10 years birthday with fritze, d. cooper, jan opoczynski, martin tetzlaff, park

O no! O yeah! We have turned officially ten years! Although inofficially we might be a bit older – but in december 2003 we put on our first bands: four bands in two nights. So we thought for its anniversary we make it four acts in one night, or five – we never counted much in numbers. But ignoring mathematics or not: it’s been a decade! And lots has changed and nothing much. We can say we helped shaping this decade a bit, or tried preventing it from changing too much to the worse, we kept berlin „sexy“ by staying poor and honest and only committed to the things we like, the music, arts, and people, we helped those needing help, we pushed where pushing seemed necessary, we put the focus on stuff that should have been known to a bigger crowd, we met people, we made more people meeting. We made new clubs getting an audience, and got well hosted the last five years at madame claude. There are many more new acts to be discovered, musicians waiting to be asked to play again – and I would love doing it all, but the scene has became bigger, there are more promoters around, networking and booking was never as easy as these days, but if you call it a hobby then it’s still a lot of work to do on ones own. And when it’s best you have to stop. Or take a break and change into something new again, or go back to the total beginning. So we call it a long ten years, but say bye for now and good-bye madame claude!
For the last night I just asked a few musicians from the many I still would have loved see playing there, like jim avignon, jens friebe, schneider tm, all who would have loved playing but couldn‘t make it. But I am glad to present once more a fantastic line up, consisting of older and newer friends and great musicians, all local berlin underground stars, and german by accident: FRITZE aka freedarich, mittekill, die bäume, dj-ed for us, and put on art with us, but never played live for poplars and rocks, so I am glad he still finally made it. Beside his love for techno, he went back to his love for country with die bäume just being his favourite project. but as I was never good a deadlines and urging things, and as I love it stripped down to the bone, it just will be him solo. and since it’s just him solo, it fits perfectly the rest. D. COOPER used to have a band, but decided a long time ago to go his own way. Hence it is usually him solo. Berlin though not being very grateful with what good comes out of her, he joined a project again in vienna and only travels back to sleep. meeting him again by accident last week, he said he wanted to play again, and I surely was the last to say no, so him being back on the boat once more. JAN OPOCZYNSKI I have also known and followed for a while, but also it never happened that he could manage to play, back then with the jan opoczynski orchester nor then with der internationale wettbewerb. but bumping into him on sunday night when only what you call bohemians have a late night, I told him he should play too. for him never ever having played without his backing musicians it’s a premiere – just him solo, and the luckier for us! MARTIN TETZLAFF as one of the first acts we ever presented years ago of course was not allowed to be missing. he happily joins, and does what I like best of him: just him solo, playing guitar and singing. although his biggest love now is being his new band the beauty regime, but for a few songs he has to get over it without them. PARK is park, and it’s hard not to bump into him. and whenever I mention a next show, it’s a why-can‘t-I-play? he played for us before, and dj-ed a few times. park played in a few bands, even had it’s own musicians, but in the end still makes it himself. and he really does busk on the streets. so he had to be part of the last regular small residency night at claude. on the decks will my humble self provide with guests and friends the after-show hang out as had all the years. I still may dj bands no one knows yet or those who have been forgotten, and surely just some nice music, that is music I like from people I like. that is who have earned some more ears.


fb event there.

felix wickman + susanna berivan

leaves are falling, time to sit back and let go, to a cosy autumn soundtrack. november moves in with felix wickman and susanna berivan.
felix wickman is a swedish singer songwriter from stockholm. his music balances between acoustic and electronic, where a deep underlying electronic beat seems like forcing the soft, gentle intruments on top into a sphere of ambiguity about where the song is taking you; fragile voice mixes with dancy rythms. his first record „dry hands“ was released 2009, followed by „whatever her sins“ 2011. last year the two track album „mrs burke“ was released.

felix was recommended by susanna berivan who will open up the night. she has been with us before and provided a splendid show with her soul, rythm and true blues. always playing a lot, solo or with band, it’s never too much having her a second time around. susanna berivan will have her first full length album out soon, which is already recorded waiting for the final master. so will be a video. stay tuned and watch her come out with more soon!

november 1st, 10pm, madame claude. admission donation. on decks rad spin rotate club, our very selves.

isolation berlin + behindertentransport

poplars and rocks presents this october: ISOLATION BERLIN and BEHINDERTENTRANSPORT, new and older local grandeur.
Isolation Berlin only started off with their first live shows last year or so. First time I encountered them was a bit about a year ago at the debut show of the Anna Thompsons, who quickly made it within a few months up to stages as big as Festsaal Kreuzberg, whereas Isolation still kept their shows down at the punk cellars to navigate around to where to develop their sound into. mature, interesting lyrics in the tradition of german young big city punk worldweariness presented in according bitter yet confident manner, the music itself fluctuates between garage, neue deutsche welle, and chansonesque pop, wild guitars alternate with hymnic melodies, recalling diverse punk varieties of bands from Wire to Ton Steine Scherben. A direct homage was made to Brausepöter, one of those many great 1980 bands who quit first in 1982 when punk in germany made it to become too commercial – they covered a song and shared live a stage. Now Isolation Berlin, based around Tobi and Max, born Berliners, are recording their debut album. Producing is Timothy LaLonde, known from helping out at the door at poplars and rocks‘ nights and as former head of the band The Michelles. The album will be due around november. Normally a four piece, Isolation Berlin will perform a special stripped down acoustic set at Madame Claude. Expect more to hear from them in future.

Behindertentransport is a band I thought poplars and rocks presented a long time ago, but I am not sure if it happened under this precise shape, when line up and name changed in the beginning, when the idea was just making music with friends, weird music that is, that was to combine all the different backgrounds and ages of its members, ranging from Blumfeld and modern philosophy to Techno. Brain behind the outfit is Ricki, a true bohemian, whose life is just doing nothing, if not making a bit music or painting, if someone asks him to. Expect the unexpected, the total refusal of fame and success, but musically everything from noise to schlager. And a lot of fun in the disguise of sarcasm and true love of the imperfect.

On decks rad spin rotate club, the usual one writing this, and new friends and tunes.
Madame Claude, october 4th, 9pm, admission free donation!

fb event there.

programmed for pleasure + nanu nanu

Poplars and Rocks is back from a summer break at Madame Claude! Back with Programmed for Pleasure and Nanu Nanu.
Programmed for Pleasure is the musical project of Carvin Wetlands. It began around 2003 in Los Angeles. After performing several shows and releasing an EP, the band dissolved and transformed with the head and singer moving to Europe. Meanwhile in Berlin, Programmed for Pleasure is still there with new material and members. Latest new member is Colm Rutledge, guitarist in several bands, such as Humanzi, and his own project Suzie’s Ashes, with which he is going to release his debut album very soon. Programmed for Pleasure’s last EP, City of Witches, was released 2012. Their music roots between Can, Jesus and Mary Chain, and Sisters of Mercy. Programmed for Pleasure took its name from a movie in which a robot is created by man, who ends up controlling it’s creator. Beware.

Nanu Nanu are an electro pop duo from Dublin, Ireland, calling themselves what they do „alien pop“. They started off around 2010, and, after massive touring in UK and Ireland, have this year released their debut album, Unit 1, on independent label Flaming June records. It’s their first gig in Berlin.

6th September 2013, 9pm, Madame Claude, Lübbener Strasse 19, Berlin. Admission is free donation, bands are on at 10pm sharp! On decks Rad Spin Rotate Club.

essay edwards

despite being on a summer break with the monthly madame claude shows, there will be special one off: you know when you hang around as a local, with no money but for the späti, everyone is away except the ones with no money or no idea how you book a holiday, so to say the real artists, for whom art was no choice, but no other way avaible, but the town is full of people from all over the world, as if it would not be so the whole year through, only it maybe becoming more obvious with the locals away, and they take photos from a distance of how cool you people look with your take away beer in those picturesque urban landscapes of refurbished and new buildings, or they even dare approach you, as everything is so nice and friendly here, and they ask you how to get to... and you kind as expected say: hey, you look like a musician, don't you want to play? so, or not so, or similar it happened in this case. poplars and rocks presents: ESSAY EDWARDS. Essay, originally from Melbourne, stayed a few months in berlin to support Roller One at their shows (whenever we presented them, they had been a formidable two-piece) as a drummer, played one off gigs with compatriot musicians at percussion, and jammed with new bands – but you could tell, like many drummers, Essay is also a very profound singer and songwriter. he had been writing songs for years, used to play back in Melbourne, and then concentrated more on the writing than the release. on request he put a few songs online, and will play this special gig for us. though I asked him out of the blue, he didn‘t disappoint yet: his music lies between classic singer songwriterdom and opulent pop. his sampler Oh Dear assembles various styles that concur in the honesty of the tune. whereas Forthright starts dangling, it kicks in with surprise with the chorus, that’s wants to go off but is slowed down by the beats, and leaves insatiated and begging for more. Hit & Miss is strangely touching by the voice as such, and thus the honesty behind the lyrics -the word love has hardly ever been expressed with more shyness, or doubt, being taken turns by the latent anger. Oh Head First comes across dark and cool, and with a chorus riff that can compete with those famous metal or former punk noise bands from Australia, and refers to one of the unavoidable musical influences. And I bet there could be named a few, but being bad with it myself, to me the music of Essay Edwards is something that could have been written by a young Thom York when he would have had more of Robin Gibb. makes sense? check out yourselves when you hang about lonesome in the city, and you wonder why the beauty and easy charm of summer was invented at all, except for making the sun come up earlier to light your way home.

on decks a special rad spin rotate club issue: minotaur contemporary happened to come into existence when drunk late at night and the idea to take over prenzlauer berg again for people who think there is no one left from ten years ago, and prove it wrong, but have more friends around again in one of the nicer hang out spots in the area. after the june inauguration minotaur is back on demand! featuring Chrigel Farner, originally from Zürich, illustrator, musician, and former drummer for bands such as NM Farner, Knarf Rellöm, or Human Elephant.

JULY 25th, 9pm sharp! at ten the neighbours will complain. decks after as long as it goes: Neu!bar, greifswalder strasse, prenzlauer berg, between heinrich-roller-strasse and immanuelkirchstrasse. free admission, but you can donate to the musician.