berlin

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UTE LEMPER INTERVIEWED (2003): The ice maiden cometh

UTE LEMPER INTERVIEWED (2003): The ice maiden cometh

Midnight on a warm Wednesday in New York City, the Gotham of the Great Republic. The German cabaret maven has come home early from a recording studio across town so, sure, she has plenty of time to talk."I'm not an early sleeper," she laughs, somewhat stating the obvious.This is singer and actress Ute Lemper, once memorably described...

CAN: A CONCEPT, A CULT, A BAND; As only the Germans can

CAN: A CONCEPT, A CULT, A BAND; As only the Germans can

By definition most people miss cult acts. And to their tuned-in loyalists that makes them even more special. There is nothing like the whiff of martyrdom, or being ignored or misunderstood, to elevate a musician’s reputation among the faithful. Like most people, I missed Can in the late 60s/early 70s. No matter, the albums are out...

BERLIN AND THE BICKERING KOREAS (2004): A Tale of Two Walls

BERLIN AND THE BICKERING KOREAS (2004): A Tale of Two Walls

Journalists are rarely given the gift of prophesy. And like some Alice in Wonderland character they are always running twice as fast just to keep up with current events. The luxury of second-guessing the future generally falls on columnists. Contemporary journalism largely consists of two motivations which might be given the same adjective:...

ANTONY BEEVOR INTERVIEWED (2003): The Anatomy of War; Berlin 1945, Baghdad 2003

ANTONY BEEVOR INTERVIEWED (2003): The Anatomy of War; Berlin 1945, Baghdad 2003

In the final weeks of the siege, battle-weary troops defending the capital were forced back through the inner suburbs by tanks and artillery. They fought out of fear of capture, and some from loyalty to a failed ideology. They were outnumbered and outgunned.By day their city had been bombed into submission by American planes taking advantage of...

Berlin: Another brick in the Wall

Berlin: Another brick in the Wall

The first thing you see when you come out of the Bernauerstrasse underground station in Berlin is the ruin: no houses down one side of the road, just overgrown and scrappy wasteland spotted with slabs of crumbling concrete and rusting reinforcing steel. It is as if the homes which once stood here had been hastily bulldozed and their skeletons...

JORDAN REYNE INTERVIEWED (2009): Tales from the dark side

JORDAN REYNE INTERVIEWED (2009): Tales from the dark side

Jordan Reyne is one of New Zealand’s most challenging and innovative songwriters. Whether it be on albums under her own name or as Dr Kervorkian and the Suicide Machine, Reyne has pushed sonic and lyrical boundaries, pulled together electronica and acoustic instruments, explored noir-narratives and personal emotional states  . . . and...

MADRID AND BARCELONA: Putting in the hard yards for art's sake

MADRID AND BARCELONA: Putting in the hard yards for art's sake

We should expect to suffer for our art. God knows I have for mine -- although standing in the rain outside Madrid's famous art gallery the Prado on a bitterly cold day might just have be taking it too far. It was. I quit the queue and headed back to my tiny hotel room for a warm shower, then jumped puddles to the nearby bar where I...

Travel with seniors: practical advice for older travellers

Travel with seniors: practical advice for older travellers

We were in a crowded post office in Venice when I said to my mother-in-law Sue, "You know the first thing you pack when you travel? Patience." We needed it that morning. We were sending home unwanted clothes and a few souvenirs. We'd queued to buy the box, queued again to have it weighed and get the necessary paperwork (in duplicate,...

Ute Lemper: The Best of Ute Lemper (Decca)

Ute Lemper: The Best of Ute Lemper (Decca)

With this great entertainer returning to New Zealand after her thrilling cabaret-noir/showtunes performance in 2003 it seems not only timely to reprint the lengthy, career encompassing interview with her, but to point to this 21-track easy-intro overview from the late Nineties. Here, divided into easy to assimilate sections, are songs from...

UTE LEMPER INTERVIEWED (2010): The fearless angel comes treading

UTE LEMPER INTERVIEWED (2010): The fearless angel comes treading

Ute Lemper – the foremost interpreter of Weimar cabaret songs and the music of Jacques Brel, Kurt Weill and Edith Piaf – doesn't pull her punches. With no prompting at all after she mentions one of her most recent projects has been creating a multi-media theatrical setting for the poetry of barfly Charles Bukowski, she...

STALINGRAD, a documentary series by S. DENHARDT, C. DEICK and J. MULLNER (DV1/Southbound DVD)

STALINGRAD, a documentary series by S. DENHARDT, C. DEICK and J. MULLNER (DV1/Southbound DVD)

In the tragically vast annals of war, the battle for Stalingrad stands out for the horrendous loss of life, the stubborness and arrogance of Adolf Hitler, the horrors that the German 6th Army endured imprisoned in that city, and the dreadful aftermath. This award-winning, three-part documentary resiles from none of that and if it perhaps...

SLEEPING WITH GHOSTS by DON MCcCULLIN: War -- and something approaching peace

SLEEPING WITH GHOSTS by DON MCcCULLIN: War -- and something approaching peace

In one of those excellent but buried television programmes, various photographers who were in the Vietnam killing zones told of the stories behind some of those images imprinted on the collective memory of a generation. That shot of the young girl running down the road, her back on fire from napalm? It was initially rejected...

ARCHITECTURE; THE COMPLETE BOX SET (Five DVDs, Ovation/Southbound)

ARCHITECTURE; THE COMPLETE BOX SET (Five DVDs, Ovation/Southbound)

Although at a first encounter the narration to this series -- 29 major architects and/or buildings in separate episodes over five DVDs -- might seem a little dry and distant, you warm to it as the images take hold and the voice-over offers clear and informative commentary. These episodes take the nature of self-contained films (character and...

COLDITZ, THE COMPLETE COLLECTION (BBC box set)

COLDITZ, THE COMPLETE COLLECTION (BBC box set)

For many decades, those who remember this exceptional BBC series from the early Seventies have searched for it on video and latterly DVD. Over the decades the cachet of the 28 gripping episodes which screened over two years until '74 just grew and grew. On DVD release at the tail end of 2010 there was bound to be some disappointment after...

17 Hippies: Phantom Songs (Hipster)

17 Hippies: Phantom Songs (Hipster)

Not the most promising band name in these tougher times, but this multi-lingual German neo-folk outfit (which played the Taranaki Womad this year) don't go the 20-minute guitar solo route, but rather their name reflects their origins in a Berlin squat and their collective mentality. With horns, banjo, ukulele, violin etc. they can move...

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