full moon fiasco + johannes bügeleisen

poplars and rocks in spring blossom may presents JOHANNES BÜGELEISEN and FULL MOON FIASCO.

in berlin you meet everyone, and even if you don‘t know it, you can be sure you are talking to a musician – and the funnier thing: the nicer people make also the more likeable music. barpeople are musicians anyhow. one of my two, four favourite barman in town was a canadian called Ryan, until I lost sight of him – I met him again last year at a tiny festival in Berlin Mitte and asked him what he did there – it turned out he just had played a show under his new moniker: JOHANNES BÜGELEISEN. Ryan, being artist and musician, merges everything in his über-ego Johannes Bügeleisen: harsh noise, dub, samples, distorted vocals, house, minimal NDW keys, tribal beats. last year I received a box with his self-produced work: four beautifully designed, printed and self-wrapped cds. beside a noise music based concept drama, it contained his two releases from 2011, Tiger Bonus and Mouse Trap, latter with absolute lo-fi radio-compatible music (but no idea what is being played really these days when stopped listening some years ago, but I can only assume it got worse) like Q or Tetanus Scare, the fourth album being his latest so far, Canary Kingdom, released 2012, all on Tar and Feather, opening with Military Hospital, dancy and dark in criticism. humour, brains, and refusal lie close together – and embracing it all at the same time. Johannes Bügeleisen recently works on new material. I recommend to get his albums, you won‘t get bored. even more, don‘t miss his glamorous live performance.
more guitar based in distortion and exploration is FULL MOON FIASCO, a concept one man bedroom band that started out in New Zealand, until it grew a full band, that dissolved after several shows and local fame, for the moment finally by the head having settled in Berlin recently, and quite comfortably so. when I met Will he had just come over with two friends to stay for a bit in Berlin: Thought Creature played then a few, wonderful shows at crazy nights, until the others had to move back for the usual money and visa reasons – Will though came back, started Black Cat, and continues now with Full Moon Fiasco as a solo idea to explore the psychedelic depths of untravelled territory, and as duo in live performance. Full Moon Fiasco’s still last album, Cosmic Palms, was out 2010 on Muzai Records. If you like Jim Morrison and Syd Barrett, you will love Full Moon Fiasco.

friday, may 3rd, madame claude, berlin kreuzberg. bands on between 10pm and 12pm. on decks after Rad Spin Rotate Club. admission donation. celebrate the nights where good people come together!

flyer by sch.

angy lord + francis plagne

This april at madame claude: Angy Lord and Francis Plagne.
Angy Lord normally plays drums in the very charismatic sister-duo Jollygoods. but she also understands well to play some softer chords, proven here with her solo-project where she hits the piano and organ keys. lyrically dark, catchy monotonous songs carry a fragile, sometimes angry voice.

Francis Plagne is a Melbourne based musician currently on a stop in europe. His music oscillates between popular tunes and highly experimental sounds. his third and last long player so far, Tenth Volume of Maps, was out 2011 on Lost and Lonesome. On the recording he collaborated with different musicians, one of them being Ned Collette, who will also join live on stage at madame claude.

Madame Claude, april 5th, 9pm. admission free donation. on decks rad spin rotate club. facebook event there.

yukon orange + raving mad carlos

march already! poplars and rocks presents at their most longsteading relationship so far – madame claude, who is turning five today: YUKON ORANGE and RAVING MAD CARLOS.

YUKON ORANGE is a new project by chrizzi, crazy girl, doctorate, married woman (to a member of Banque Allemande, a berlin punk band, who have a brand new album out right now – and who, needless to say, we also had the honour of having at our shows long, long time ago) and mother, largely unemployed and musician – who I mentioned earlier in this blog a few times. after we had her with her other project Hilde Tropengold first time a few years ago (same place: madame claude), she now put her bass guitar aside and focused on „how she could possibly manage writing songs for electronic music“ (and the harder question remained for her: how to perform them?) – after she had been approached by someone asking her to do this for and with him – that being the beginning of Yukon Orange. and she managed it as expected in her very own way: like her childlike drawing, that accompany the virtual cover of the songs and their first album „Im Rahmen deiner Neurosen“ (online released in 2011), the songs itself reflect the according apparent naivity of a child discovering the world, but rooted in a thorough observation of daily life, its banality and often absurdity, as perfected in „Discountbestattung“, as well as its never ending stories of love and its tiny hindrances, „Sag mir…!“. the sometimes thin, not every tone hitting voice adds to the intended imperfection, that breaking of the „classical“ polished electro pop song in favour of an uncommon content-wise, individual playful approach, whereas the music itself oscillates between 80s new german wave and 90s techno. not to a big surprise the music of yukon orange found its first fans on the other side of the atlantic – the maybe most charismatic known radio station of the US of A WFMU gave the band its first air play in 2010… listen to the album on bandcamp:

RAVING MAD CARLOS played the last time at our NYE festival, but not before with us at madame claude, so he will catch up on this (or you). Unable to ignore the links between the visual and the acoustic, I also freely draw a line between Carlos as visual artist and the electronic musician: his colourful paintings and wild collages mirror his heavy beat based songs, somewhere anchored between mark e. smith, underworld and his native south american origin, that are lighted up with humourous unseriousness, especially live when melodica and megaphone add the anarchic punk to the techno and dance. when lately being homeless and jobless, carlos made plans of waving good-bye to berlin, but another artist and musician managed to keep the head above the water for a bit longer – we welcome him back in the family.

1st of March, 9pm, Madame Claude, Lübbener Strasse 19, Berlin. Admission is donation! on decks Rad Spin Rotate Club with julie and the usual surprise whoever. visuals added by jen. bar open until they throw us out.

flyer by julie with a drawing by chrizzi and a collage by carlos.

aiello + ilo rive

poplars and rocks presents february 1st at madame claude: aiello and ilo rive.

AIELLO is a young canadian, who was thrown on the shores of the river spree some years ago. he just finished his latest full-length album: later’s baby! in march follows a tour for the album – alongside no one less than sean nicholas savage (my personal discovery last year and who we nearly presented at madame claude, hadn‘t he played a different night.)… record release show!

ILO RIVE is a paris born musician, singer songwriter, and actor, who grew up largely in the states, and spend his life travelling between paris, london, and new york, where he spearheaded the band Die Romantik, when after break up he only logically had to make his way to germany to settle finally in berlin. after entertaining bridges all over the world with his guitar and stories he collected on both sides of the atlantic, he meanwhile joined one of the newer circles of singer songwriters in town, partly even organising his own nights with bands and friends that makes him welcome also as a colleague… his first ep „one two, for you“ was released two years ago; the new is waiting to be mixed and will be out soon this year.

1st february 2013, madame claude, lübbener strasse 19, berlin. doors 9pm, start 10pm, dj on at midnight, on decks ourselves as rad spin rotate club, admission is donation.

flyer by j. photos of acts on up-coming (or past shows then). facebook event via our page there.

jim avignon

when it comes to free download recommendations I also thought to let you know about this one. it’s the latest album by local hero artist and musician jim avignon, who is consequently following his own paths and in this shaping berlin since the late nineties. ironically he had tried to escape to new york recently being bored with the changes to the worse in this town, but they didn‘t want him… we still do. (we had him never perform within poplars and rocks, but he was part of an exhibition that was largely poplars and rocks grown two years ago.) jim plays now on and off more in berlin, and his performance and songs still bear the berlin nineties spirit, the non-conformity as well as the melancholy, and still charme and stand out in its lo-fi individuality yet being mainstream pop – that never made it to the masses. „unpaid work“, the soundtrack for all those that sit in the nights (is it really 3am again?) and dedicate their spare time to work that is born out of other ideas than money… enjoy!