Oh yes, winter has arrived. And as it looks like it’s here to stay for the next few weeks, I’ll leave any whining about chapped lips, dry skin and frozen nostrils for another day. The week starts with a Belgian invasion – The Bony King of Nowhere (from Ghent) is playing at the Kranhalle. His music is chilled out (check out Eleonore), his voice has something of Thom Yorke (Bram Vanparys’ artist’s name is a clear tribute to Radiohead, who also used the phrase as a subtitle to There There…). Bram Vanparys certainly has talent, and his voice is full of emotion, full of sorrow.
The marvellous Rico Rodriguez is playing with the Belgian Moon Invaders on Monday night at The Atomic Cafe. The 77-year-old Jamaican reggae trombonist is a legend, and it’s most definitely the gig of the week. If you haven’t yet bought a ticket, you have the chance to win guest list places on Radioactive between 4-5pm on Monday afternoon.
If hip-hop is more your thing, and you want to continue an American vibe post-Superbowl (I only found out what sport was involved in the Superbowl last night, ahem), head down to Backstage on Monday night for GZA, founding member of the Wu-Tang Clan. Surely one of the best lyricists of our times, GZA / The Genius is back to promote a soon-to-be-released album. Monday’s a tough call between GZA and Rico Rodriguez.
The Atomic Cafe welcomes singer-songwriter Radical Face (Ben Cooper, who’s also involved in lots of other musical projects). The music is pretty chilled out, a la Alexi Murdoch and if you fancy a relaxed evening, it’s the Tuesday gig for you.
Bondage Fairies (be careful what you Google, I’ve just learnt new things!) are a fun Swedish electro-pop band playing at the Feierwerk Tuesday night. If Radical Face sounds just too… nice and you need music to dance to, the Feierwerk is the place to be.
And if GZA inspired you and you fancy yourself as the next big thing in the hip-hop world, check out the Glockenbachwerkstatt’s hip-hop open mic on Tuesday evening. I’ve never really gotten into German hip-hop, I find it lacks in lyrical depth (which is then exaggeratedly confirmed at any open mics) – but if anyone can recommend any artists to change my mind, feel free to let me know.
If you’ve cash to splash and are interested in art, you can head to the Neue Pinakothek on Wednesday 8th February for a meal at Dallmayr plus a tour through the gallery’s Naples and the South photo exhibition. The tour kicks off at 6pm and is followed by dinner, cooked by estimed chef Diethard Urbanski. At 190 €, it’s pricey, but if you love art and high-quality food, it might just be worth it.
If your budget doesn’t stretch that far, head to the Muffathalle to experience some German songwriting. Gisbert zu Knyphausen’s music has received positive critical reviews and if you appreciate good German lyricism, brave the cold and check him out.
There’s a lot of acoustic music in Munich this week, and Thursday’s tip is Stray Colors at Cord Club on Sonnenstr.. They’re clearly influenced by Simon & Garfunkel and the result is aural Entspannung. Give them a good listen first, as they could quickly slip into that “easy-listening” background music genre, which would make for a dull live experience.
On Friday, there are parties everywhere, as students celebrate the end of the semester. Go see This Is The Arrival at The Atomic Cafe, a young Munich band who get regular slots at The Atomic and always play a lively gig. The music is fun, danceable indie and they’ve recently finished making their second album, A Million Kicks. Check them out!
Lee Perry plays at Backstage on Friday – and I’m super excited for some Jamaican reggae sounds. It’s a toss up between Lee Perry and Ghostpoet, who I first saw at the on3 festival in November 2011. For me, he was the artist of the festival – good lyricism, a strong stage presence and a fantastically strong London accent. He’s at Backstage on Friday.
Faschingszeit is now well and truly underway and if you’re starting to get in the mood, check out the Weiße Feste at the Max Emanuel Braueri from 8pm on Saturday. The party is a longstanding tradition in Munich – it’s been around for 45 years. The rules? Wear white. Only white. You need some new clothes for the party? Heck, you’re not even going to the party, but still need some new clothes? Head to Nachtkonsum beforehand, Munich’s night flea market in the Tonhalle. Entrance costs 3 Euros and it kicks off at 5pm (so you have time to buy a new wardrobe, try everything on, drink some beers and then go party).
The week is rounded up with lyricist Henry Rollins, who I first saw a few years ago at Download festival in the UK. He’s political, poetic and an integral part of US subculture. Check him out at the Muffathalle.
That’s your week, folks!