LOW/BASSERY: eight o eights →
lowbassery [originally written for dipped in dollars]: For an artist with a globally-recognized ego issue, it is perhaps a positive thing that one of his albums is almost always underappreciated. After ending his previous effort, Graduation, by proclaiming his “stadium status”, Kanye West strikes a more private tone by “taking off his cool” in his…
A few days ago, Lincoln Hall was buzzing with anticipation of Australia’s highly acclaimed psych-rock group, Tame Impala. The chatter of how “nobody has made music like this in years” filled the venue and came from the old and young that had gathered there. It was almost too much. During Yuck’s very strong opening performance, where pop melodies, catchy hooks and growling, grungy guitar mixed...
Here’s lookin’ at you, kid. Early evening in Chicago. I’m reading a textbook. A woman walks in. I recognize her from … ? After 10 seconds of looking for the Waldo in my head and I spot him. He’s flying a blue bird, Twitter. Yes, Twitter. V added me a couple weeks earlier, we once chatted about a mutual musical interests (Mount Kimbie & Gold Panda)....
a.fé - re.cáp
Hello tumblr. I am mirroring this elusive anti-season known as “Chicago Spring” and inadvertently teasing you. But rest assured, my love never waivers — only my goldfish-style attention span does. Recent times have featured ignoring my academic duties with mixed success, enjoying Chicago, loving the radio show, typing on a website, discovering the shortcomings of social...
Table Manners with Black Light Dinner Party
I’ll have what they’re having. Tough to keep your feet off the table and on the dancefloor? These guys’ll help. Black Light Dinner Party is an outfit from what seems to be somewhere between Boston and Brooklyn. Solid songwriting and production are the core of this strong debut. But what sets them apart from the rest is their darker/deeper atmosphere to complement the...
7 Sins, 11 Tracks, 1 Vice Mix
How and why I haven’t posted this eons ago is among the many questions I asked myself while trying to sleep for 3 hours last night. Crunch time today. This mix has helped me through many a tough time. Check out his Sketches EP as well - a great one. Do yourself a favor: click, cruise and question below. You won’t be disappointed. 1. Bjork – Hidden Sphere (Illum Sphere...
When I heard that “Chillwave” was a genre, music categorization became dead to me. It seemed that any pre-post-core-funk-wave-tech tune that popped up would get its new self-defining stamp. Maybe I’m just jealous I don’t have my own sub-obscure genre to brand my band with. (Subcore anyone?) In any case, it’s no surprise I’d (I now shamefully admit)...
Ride the Wave
The Graveyard gets Groovy. People hear “graveyard” and think bad thoughts. I hear graveyard and yap away. Such are the perks of midnight radio. Though it’s my second crack at the radio thing (big ups to my old buddy at my old station), I’m a newbie in Chicago so I gotta fight for my radio real estate to rise in the ranks. So without further ado, introducing…...
Clap Clap, Soul Clap
Meat Packing gets Musical I knew it was here somewhere. I had heard about it, and just needed time to dig and wander down the rabbit hole to find what I was looking for. Two months into my Chi-time I found a damn good night of music and mischief to shake my tail feather to. Thanks to funk-infused tracks of Boston’s DJ duo, Soul Clap, I was able to boogie till the wee hours of the...
Neukölln's G Spot
It’s a story that’s made the rounds in Kreuzberg and many an area inside (Prenzlauer Berg) and outside Berlin (in Chicago’s Wicker Park). But now it’s personal.. and I guess I’m partly to blame. I lived the dream in Neukölln, a traditional Turkish neighborhood with a history of crime and unemployment, from August ‘09-Sept ‘10. In recent years it’s become a hotbed for...
Contagious Cuts Viral is bad when students are being threatened with being indirectly kicked out of college because we’re not getting our flu shots in time for winter. Viral is good when animals mock people. One of my favorites is the this-never-gets-old classic that is our fellow Tumblog Hipster Puppies. (Classic posts are here and here.) Viral is great when not just animals, but...
a.fé - re.túned
“I was elected to lead, not to read.” - A. Schwarzenegger, Simpsons WARNING: Body paint (ie. breasticles) appears in the video. Street-smart screening suggested. Sure, I wasn’t elected at all (that said, I do hope you went out and voted if you care about those who are), but by the powers invested in me by the Tumblr Kingdom and the Wide World of Web, I have made...
Since being back Stateside, I’ve rediscovered many a treat I had forgotten about: ice cream sandwiches, maple syrup, candy corn and free-refills. One thing I don’t miss so much is the incessant branding of everything from “The official drink of the PGA golf tour” to the “official whiskey of the NHL Playoffs”. Yes, I’m not proud at how well I scored...
bed and breakfast - Mixtake →
Speaking of yings and yangs, my academic self struggles without the proverbial “fries with that” to accompany it. Okay — maybe that was more my hunger than mind typing — but the truth is I work less well without beats (and, evidently, bread) to complement my books. With that in mind, here’s my first attempt at moving my mental muscle in a way my books+highlighter...
Turkey Times Twelve
Novelty keeps things interesting. It pushes you out of your comfort zone makes you (re)act in ways you didn’t expect. Long live discovery of the novel and unexpected. The yang to this ying shouldn’t be written off too easily though. Repetition, though dull on its face, can be one of the best things around. Hell, it’s been the main ingredient for fun films and terrific...
So I’ve never been Boy Wonder in the weight room. My old flatmates put me to shame with their gym sessions and protein-powered purées. Now, I’m living with three ladies again and they’re entrenching my Sir Sloth role. Little do they know that I recently shook my my money-maker without heading gym-side. My secret? Workout videos. On an unsuspecting Sunday evening, after catching...
Game of Inches
An email from my main man, who recently became a Ph.D. student in Climate Policy: This is the world I’ve entered… “The snow Pool for 2010-2011 is on! “It is that time of the year again. For those that forgot - we had 54.2” last year. This Fall, our precipitation has been closer to normal but after the very dry summer we are still behind in total ...
Strange but true: I wrote another piece for unlike.net’s Berlin chapter way back when but it never made it up on the site. After being certain it was lost in an inbox somewhere east of Alex, I stumbled upon it yesterday. It put a smile under my whiskers and made me get kinetic about posting on a.fé again - double trouble. Here’s to hoping they start a Chi-town chapter soon…...
a.fé : BLN -> CHI
After many moons, I’m back and ready to refresh alpaca fé. No excuses for my digital disappearance but I have one explanation: indulgence. Since writing from a Ugandan mosquito net, I returned home and made certain to enjoy what I had just discovered was my last summer in my favorite city. This was done in decadent fashion as I drank up every drop of the juice that fuels Berlin. As my...
Görli Goes Global
Through a stroke of luck, Boy Meets Görli was recently published on the global city blog unlike.net. Enjoy the great photos they added and the generally cool site here: http://berlin.unlike.net/locations/307235-Goerlitzer-Park
of Capes and Facial Fluff
Fantasy, I’ve learned, is often born out of desire and, with some luck and effort, can become reality. There are few forms which capture fantasy and the dream it embodies, more than the comic book. For those who can’t get enough of couture runway rundowns, this article takes apart the clothes of the caped crusaders who fashioned our dreams and captured our fantasy in comic...
Get Physical Records encapsulates a sound that is as Berlin as Curry Wurst, running into people, vernissages, freelancing, mate, day clubbing, open-air raves and my beloved döners. Located in the heart of Prenzlauer Berg, this label — home to Booka Shade, M.A.N.D.Y. and Raz O’Hara — emanates all things Technotown. Guten Appetit. image: thx.
Remember pogs? And Tamagotchis? Though I can’t remember if I had a Yoda pog, I definitely was the caretaker of a Yoda Tamagotchi, which is pretty much cheating since he lived for 900 years and could never really die. Yup, I’ve been a victim of a few embarrassing fads in my time. Here’s hoping my latest dip into fadville doesn’t last another 900 years: Thanks to...
So I’ve learned a few things about Mormons since being in Utah. First thing is that the Mormon Church have a living prophet. Yes, he’s alive and well and has a red telephone to Christ. He even lives in Salt Lake City. Thomas S. Monson — age: 82 years old, occupation: prophet. Awesome. I also learned the Mormon Church stopped condoning polygamy over a hundred years ago (a...
a.fé’s currently taking a short break from Technotown and has ventured out to a place that couldn’t resemble Berlin any less. Yes, I’m writing on location from the land of Robert Redford, Butch Cassidy and, as I’ve just learned, Jell-O. Utah: land of mountains and Mormons. Sure, its international reputation might be one related to powder and the 2002 Olympic Games but...
From Argentina with Love
Technotown’s buzz, bottled. Hello, my name is a.fé and I have a drinking problem. The culprit? This cursed creepy earringed and sobrero-clad hombre’s precious potion: Club Mate. Obnoxiously caffeinated (20mg/100ml) and based on yerba maté — which has everyone with a hemi-semi link to Argentina yelping that it’s a techno-themed knock off of a traditional Argentine drink...
Boy Meets Görli
Once a Bahnhof, always a Bahnhof — sort of… I think it’s pretty clear that this city’s strength lies in its charm more than its beauty. One of my favorite neighborhood spots illustrates that more than any other. If this park were a man, he’d be the scruffy beardy hungover one on the left struggling to roll his cigarette with his eyes only half open. He’d...
Click Click Boom
Walk through Kreuzberg or Friedrichshain on any given weekday at 2pm and you’ll see the cafés buzzing with business. It didn’t take me long to understand that 9-5 was not the grind people followed here. Instead, freelancing is the main name of the game, with a slew of graphic designers, choreographers and DJs among the strangers I bump into here. Aside from feeling increasingly...
Once a dump, not always a dump. Sure, Paris oozes romance at every street corner, Florence dizzies you with charm and Vienna gleams of timeless beauty. Nothing though, matches the romantic breakfast I had at one of Berlin’s finest eateries. Cosily squeezed in between two traffic-filled, graffiti laden, loud and smokey city streets. Cutely tucked underneath a metro line that shakes above...
Art Wank à la carte
It’s about the drink art. Vernissages are something I have never been into. I’m gonna go so far as to say they’re something I’m still not particularly into. But vernissages, or gallery openings, are a staple of Berlin life. Walk down Torstraße on any given Friday and you’ll see many a gallery buzzing with men in blazers and tshirt holding a flute of sekt....
A club is a club. It has a bar and a sound system. In Berlin, a club is only a club with a bar and an hi-tech hi-fi. I was a bit thrown off when Berliners kept referring to a venue’s sound system as one of its first few qualities or shortcomings. After some time here though, it’s clear that this town takes it tunes and the speakers they come out of seriously. Berghain is the...
Lost and Found
You don’t want a place people see. You want one people find. A friend who owns a couple bars around town shared that nugget of advice with me. Think of that what you like but it is an interesting point and a Technotown reality. That’s often the way places hit it big here (and even subsequently suffer as a result). Despite having that in mind, I was surprised to find myself in a...
Teased & Pleased
He said, hold on it’s coming He said, hold on it’s very near He said, hold on it’s coming He said, hold on it’s almost here The past few months have been grim. With the mercury making timid appearances above zero, the previously inconceivable actually happened: Berlin slightly lost some of its spark. During the city’s Ice Age - freezing from Christmas to February -...
of Fabba and Fältskog
re: Blue Swede Shoes - dkanter: damn straight sweden is rocking it. i only wish abba wasn’t so alphabetically premature, it’s the first thing that shows up on my itunes. people scrolling down are like, oh, wow, abba. if they were called fabba (say if agnetha used her last name - fältskog), then i could at least establish some credibility with people looking through my music library...
Blue Swede Shoes
What does this girl have in common with this two-time Olympic gold medalist and about everything that seems to make my head swing these days? Sweden. Under 10 million people and the country’s still everywhere. OK, it’s already invaded most homes in the developed world thanks to one of its richest men’s obsession with naming household goods things like Yngslö and...
The Red Hot Chili Peppers’ album Californication was both the start of my teenage passion as well as the end of the reason for it. Their signature brand of funk and rock which oozed through classic albums - Mother’s Milk, Blood Sugar Sex Magik and even One Hot Minute - never appeared in quite the same way post-1999. Though I never reached the Chili-brand of obsession with the...
In Wikipedia we trust. If so, that means we’re placing most of our trust in the 1,400 people (approximately 2% of those who write/edit the pages) who have made 73.4% of the edits. That’s a lot of trust in a few people. Still, in these 1,400 I trust. They’ve helped me through many a question and taught me quite a few random facts along the way. One not so random fact,...
He gon' think I'm a hoe
These two minutes capture so much about men, women, sex and love in a way that so many have failed to do. Lust, insecurity, chance, alcohol, affection, reputation, empathy, nonchalance and love - Andre 3000 just nailed it: She: Oh my god where are my panties? What? I don’t.. He gon’ think I’m a hoe Fuck that I liked it Mmmm.. but he don’t even know my name […]...
Green Skulls and Dan
Berlin. -20 degrees during the depth of a dark winter. Are you thinking what I’m thinking? It’s festival time. Yes, February marked the unrolling of many a red carpet. First, for heels (fashion week) and reels (Berlinale) before ending with the Transmediale festival (er…). As with any Berliner fest, you need entertainment, and the organizers didn’t disappoint....
I was at home last night.– Entrance stamp from Villa club, 6 March 2010.
Cover to Cover
Now this isn’t news to anyone, but BBC’s Live Lounge is off the hook. It’s idea is simple as it is sweet: famous artists play their tracks and cover a track by other bigtime artists. What sets the show apart, of course, are these covers. They don’t always click so well, but when they do, man is it good. I stoopidly didn’t take advantage of this music vault when...
Breakfast of Champions
Wake up: tick. Brush teeth: tick. Breakfast: boom. I’ve had a few great breakfasts during my time in Technotown (beer and sushi being the highlights) but after this February, I think they’ve got some competition. My new favorite frühstück? Berghain. I know this doesn’t click with a previous post (where I claimed there was nothing normal about Sunday clubbing) but after...
Good Cop, Bad Cop
“You got her what?” “A Wii. You think she’ll like it?” Talk about marking the futility of a childhood spent advocating for video games. For the years spanning my childhood, my parents preached as video games the inevitable demise of a kid’s future. If video games were a Mario character, they’d be Wario (I’m sure there are far better...