Monday, October 31, 2005Helpless Fool For Annie
It's a well known fact that Scandanavia produces some of the best pop music in the world ever. There's something in the water, or the cold, or the extremity of the seasons that makes for bitter-sweet, happy-sad, crystalic pop perfection, unrivalled by any other pop-producing geo-political region.
In late 2004, "Chewing Gum" was released. It received critical acclaim and the British music press were touting the song's writer, Annie, as a future world-conquering popstar. Fast forward to late 2005 and Bergen's Annie is slowly taking over the world. It never really took off in Britain and she has remained an in-crowd favourite, but failed to break the mainstream. However, in Germany her fantastic album, Anniemal, has only just been released and is slowly receiving the acclaim it deserves.
The best news is that she is finally playing live and has recently finished a German tour for Spex magazine with promising Danish electro-punk latecomers, WhoMadeWho. She is not a natural performer and at first was more comfortable singing from the DJ booth (it should be noted that Annie does most of the production herself and has recently released a DJ Kicks album). Her performance is ever more confident and by the time the tour hit Berlin it was full of pointing and smiling, like an arena-sized popstar just playing the small venues for fun. So catch her before she really is playing the arenas - the day when pop truth is acknowledged and Annie is crowned queen.
Annie plays 93 Feet East in London on 15th December 2006. Be there or square.
Saturday, October 22, 2005This is getting really embarrassing now. I will give this one last go, and if it doesn't go, I will call it quits on the blog and just stick to taking photographs.
A quick update on Abstractboy before the blogging continues:
Berlin is a wake-up call. Berlin is a reminder that life doesn't have to be fast, career-driven and stressful. Rent doesn't have to be high, cities don't have to be nuclear, kebabs aren't just for drunken thugs. The tube can run all night, bars can close at 3am on week nights without there being race riots, and your social life doesn't end when you get to 30.
There are obviously some things that Britain does better. Like supermarkets - the selection and quality in German pales in comparison to Britain, and customer service and consumer rights don't seem to be nearly as important. And the university system seems like a Kafka-esque construct, designed to confuse, alienate and most certainly not explain. It's no surprise that the average length of a degree in Germany is twice that of Britain, when every class is over subscribed and changes venue without warning or explanation.
But it's all adventure and it's all learning, and I hope, during this year, to write about my findings to inform and aide the exploration of this wonderful city.