Category Archives: music

Move over electro, Berlin’s got a new beat

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Berlin features big on the global set list of electronica, but a bunch of musicians are strumming their stuff in an effort to add another, handmade, string to the city’s bow.

One chilly Friday night earlier this year, I was sitting in Schlesisch Blau mopping up the remains of the soup I’d ladled into my own bowl from the vast pots on the old-fashioned stove, when the chatter and chuckles that are the restaurant’s ambient sound were suddenly interrupted by the deep pluck and jangly twang of an unexpected musical interlude.

Conversations hushed, and within moments the trio of musicians had the stage – or the square foot of standing room in front of the giant soup pots – and the attention of the assembled company. No preamble. Just music that sounded as if it had been tailor-made for that very situation. They played for 20 minutes or so, took their bows, sold a few CDs and went on their way. Read on.

Category: Berlin, music | Tags: , ,

Kenny and Kevin

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It is probably blogger and social suicide to admit this, but Kenny (I had to look this up) Loggins has me in his grasp. It is early morning in early spring in Berlin and Footloose is belting out in my generally snoozy little café.

But I am not here. I am in Canberra, where the rough edge to said Kenny’s voice once pounded its way into my brain on the bottom of the tired looking footwear that accompanied the opening credits to the 1984 cheesily classic, not to mention classically cheesy, teenage film.

There, in Australia, it is hot and I am hanging around in the foyer of the cinema, waiting for the B-film to finish and the intermission to begin so I have the chance to sneak in without paying. Bad? Probably. In my defence, I was young, we didn’t have a video player, the world didn’t have youtube, and I didn’t have enough money to feed my recurrent need to watch Kevin Bacon get footloose in the eponymous film.

Thing is I don’t actually like the song. I didn’t like it even back then, but I adore the way it has whisked me however many thousands of miles away to a memory so vivid that I can smell it and taste it. I am unceasingly amazed at the time capsule power of music, and the way even the opening three bars of a track so effortlessly unlock the senses, the body and the mind.

Kenny is fading out now, and my surroundings are beginning to regain their form. I likely won’t go back to that Canberra movie theatre until I happen upon the song again, but that’s okay, because I like my here and now. Oh… but wait a minute… aren’t those the opening notes to Love Lift us up Where we Belong? And wasn’t that the sound track to An Officer and a Gentleman?