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The Human Elephant + Milenasong + Bernd Jestram + Ernst Markus Stein

Poplars and Rocks proudly presents: an evening of the human element with The Human Elephant. The Human Elephant, who played within the context of Poplars and Rocks once before, came back to play finally the small stage of Madame Claude, as we begged him to play a solo and acoustic show for us. John Edward Donald, as he is also known, tried out after his last gig with us several line ups, making the Human Elephant becoming something like a big band with members loosely tied in a coolness of style recalling The Velvet Underground in their early days while expressing the miserableness of Joy Division. For a long time John did not feel like playing solo again, and again he has new people around him who play with him and support him. This time’s solo show therefore became bigger than actually planned – but we don‘t like plans, we like something happening: For one part of the night John will team up for some experimental musical happening with Milenasong, a singer songwriter from Germany and Norway, for some years already associated with the underground Berlin music scene where she lived for a while, and with Bernd Jestram, one half of Berlin band Tarwater, who started to gain underground fame in the nineties and more so outside of Germany, after they had started off in East Berlin with underground outfit Ornament und Verbrechen. He like Schneider TM also is responsible for the sound of the White Thunder album that came out last year by The Human Elephant on mexican label Umor rex, but which I had already mentioned previously. Bernd and John also still have the side project Rats Live On No Evil Star. For the other part of the night John meets Ernst Markus Stein, also been around in Berlin’s noise scene for a bit now, to improvise on a new soundtrack for the french silent movie Les Vampires (also for free download under this link) from 1915. Last but not least, another friend of Poplars and Rocks and a DJ colleague John’s Emil Delikolder will join Rad Spin Rotate Club on decks for a special set.

And I still love this video and have to post it a second time: the rotten romanticism, the state of decay and above all the freedom of the uncertainty of where to go when the heart craves for the lost: Berlin, personified in a guy from Chicago. John just brought out a DIY 7′‘ release as single from White Thunder: Terrorist, which was a hit since the above mentioned open band days, fragile, cool and disturbed like Daniel Johnston, with the b-side Human Elephant. Produced by Jan Kucharski from former Aim Of Design, who also shot this video, and officially released by AmStart, their very first release on a new label… Go and get at the live show, highly recommended, or online if you cannot else. 1726:

All this, as usual, nearly for free, just donation! Friday, April 6th 2012 at Madame Claude. The live show starts at 10 pm sharp, and will be finished at midnight! Note: There are two rooms, the concert room is slightly hidden. After that bar and DJ take over. Happy Easter!

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Thought Creature, Shoxxx, Human Elephant


this month at poplars and rocks at madame claude: THOUGHT CREATURE. this former three-piece from wellington, new zealand, had recently relocated to berlin, where they got casted right away from the street. or let’s say from in front of a club, where the outside yard was more attracting than the inside bands. big in their home country, they went looking for the challenge into the uncertain and new. now with the experience of a few tiny festivals in never-heard-of areas in germany enriched, and with two secret gigs to warm up the berlin audience, the now two piece will play finally their first big official gig in this town, within the cosy walls of madame claude. having said that the band now consists of two remaining members, and having shifted their initial more indie sound towards a much darker, electronic psychedelic sound, it has to be stressed that a third member is still essential to the band, producing the visual equivalent for the sound. (most friendly already lending her abilities to last month’s acts.) the band’s first full length album Teleport Palace (2008) is available for free download. the ep Total Recall (2011) can be streamed on soundcloud. a new album Ocean Dream is anticipated.
speaking of visual enjoyment, we went a step further to fuse the music with the arts: SHOXXX, artist and animator from hiroshima, japan, will present one of her delighful and charming live animations, in which all materials are being used to make a comic start developing right as you watch the screen, following the sound track. years before, I have noted I had come across shoxxx‘ comic-style art before, when I felt so touched by a little pressed flower: part of the cd cover for No Nebraska’s aloha.
the sound track on decks comes this time from very special guest THE HUMAN ELEPHANT. having been a bit quiter the past few years, john didn‘t get lost in his day jobs, or rather night jobs, but kept, beside other projects in the meantime like rats live on no evil star with bernd jestram from tarwater, working on a album, produced also by former and no one less than dirk dresselhaus aka schneider tm: White Thunder (umor rex records) is out this october! and this has to be celebrated. a wonderful video shot by jan of former the aim of design is to define space is the first visual release. you can listen to the whole album on soundcloud.
joining resident rad spin rotate club will also raving mad carlos. more surprises always to be anticipated!


Friday, October 7th, Madame Claude. Show starts at 10pm sharp. Admission is free donation.