Suzanne Forbes, an expat New Yorker in Berlin. Made possible by the generous support of her Patrons. https://www.patreon.com/SuzanneForbes. Former DC Penciller for Star Trek, former courtroom artist, painting portraits and teaching drawing.
I returned to the delightful Art Stalker Berlin to see the first Donut Heart reunion.
Alfred Ladylike and Rah Hell were performing with blues band Vintage & Used. Rah says I am getting better at drawing the drums! It was interesting to draw her arm and wrist movements playing the blues vs. playing punk with Baron and The Erinyes. Her axis of movement was much lower. You can see what I mean by that, with the sharper angle of her forearms, in these drawings from the Sekrit Rehearsal Space. You can see my previous visit to Art Stalkerhere!
Vintage & Used is the other band Baron Anastis is in and they were great. Greek guys can totally play the blues!
You can see dozens more musician drawings here on flickr.
As always, I am so grateful to my beautiful Patrons on Patreon for providing the monthly sponsorship that allows me to document the Berlin music scene!
What a lovely time! I enjoyed all the acts tremendously. Merlin himself performed some of his amazing super-earworm gay love songs plus some cuts from his upcoming album. He is fabulously erudite and wildly sexy and his songs are mad clever. I was delighted to get a chance to draw him and Mr. Chips!
Gentlemen troubadours Wrench and Franks performed pop songs from another century. They are so good!
You can see their cool animations here and their torch songs from times past here. They made a bananapants video for Merlin’s song “Flying Out to Berlin” with a creepy marionette which you can enjoy here.
The headliner was Das Fluff, with a new lineup including dear friend Joe Sparkle and Angel Melodyhorn.
They were great! Frontwoman Dawn Lintern was in a truly spectacular outfit featuring a snakeskin corset and hoop skirt. She is a snarling, seductive, ferocious performer who leaves it all on the stage. If you want to catch the filthy, raging Das Fluff live show, look here – they are playing everywhere all the time, in London, Berlin and Japan.
There was lots more at Merlin’s Berlin but I couldn’t draw it all, especially by the light of TWO disco balls. As always, I am so grateful to my Patrons on Patreon, whose monthly financial support makes it possible for me to document Berlin life and art!
If you would like to see a very entertaining video and don’t mind having a song stuck in your head for the next two days, check out Merlin Dietrich’s video for Like/Unlike.
I have never in my life seen anything more charming than Berlin’s “Advanced Style” icon Günther Krabbenhöft dancing.
I took the bus in the snow to get there, which sounds onerous but was actually delightful.
I was bundled up and cozy, the bus comes every five minutes and is right on the corner, and the snow flickering down in the night was like glitter. And Barbiche is in the West! It’s a gorgeous space with lots of cool art on display. In Schöneberg, where the art scene is getting stronger and stronger. As per Lena: “In the west of Berlin,” she says, “something is happening again.”
Alfred’s consort Chris was petting their dog Georgie Boy here. One of my Patreon Patrons also makes an appearance in this drawing, as does the hostess herself, Ms. Lena Braun!
It’s totally normal to bring your dog to your gig in Berlin.
And Georgie is a good boy! You can see I’m drinking Fritz-Kola, the ubiquitous independent soda of Berlin, in my fave flavor, rhubarb. Pink vegetable soda, sweet doggos, original art, woman-owned art business, friends rocking out. It’s a damn good life.
Drawing of Suzanne Forbes by Kristen Haas Curtis and of Miz K by Suzanne Forbes Feb 1 2018
The drawers, drawn! AKA, women cartoonists unite and rule!
Last weekend my friends were performing in my neighborhood, just a couple blocks from my home. At a cool place I didn’t know about, an art gallery/music venue called Art Stalker!
We don’t get much punk rock here in the Far West, ya know, so it was a big deal!
It was my first chance to catch an official gig of Baron Anastis and the Erinyes. Friend and muse Rah Hell is the drummer, veteran Berlin rocker Joe Sparkle is on guitar and Baron Anastis, punk titan of West Berlin, is the frontman and songwriter.
(You can see my drawings from when I went to a rehearsal at their Sekrit Mystery Rehearsal Space here. )
To my delight, I also got to IRL meet Rah’s bestie, Switzerland-based American cartoonist Kristen Haas Curtis. Kristen is known as Miz K in the independent comics world, and she is a marvelous talent. I had been enjoying her warm and deft diary comics for a while, and was intrigued to see her at work in the wild.
Miz K and I settled down together to share a drawing table – she was doing Hourly Comics Day, which I didn’t even know was a thing!
It turns out it is, and damn, no way would I be able to do that. Would you look at this??
Hourly Comics by Kristen Haas Curtis AKA Miz K Feb 1 2018
It was so nice to have a drawing buddy at a gig and the show was great. They played some of their terrific glampunk originals and some covers including a deliciously corroded cover of “Pure Morning” and a rollicking “Commando”. Everyone had a good time!
Afterwards we took a taxi since Rah and Miz K were transporting drums, and they dropped me off at my door like a fancy person. And then I read Kristen’s lovely comic done in collab with her daughter Bee, Princess Wolf and her Life of Darkness, which is really wonderful and if you have kids or like comics, check it out right here, I HIGHLY recommend it!
Follow Kristen on Instagram, see her previous hourly comics here, and follow Baron and the Erinyes here!
Thanks a million, million to my beloved Patrons on Patreon, who make it possible for me to show up and document events like this!
I went to frontwoman Dawn’s 51st birthday party gig at her favorite Berlin bar, Leydicke. You can’t explain Leydicke; it’s one of those Berlin places that just breathes magic. I had met Dawn at the Donut Heart video release party and liked her very much, and i was excited to hear her music. We are the same age and share much cultural and aesthetic furniture. I missed two of their Berlin gigs this summer due to my ever-present perimenopause health variances, and they are frequently playing in London and soon again touring Japan. It’s hard to get paying gigs for bands in Berlin, whereas in Tokyo serious rock is always in demand.
So I was determined to make this gig in my own part of Berlin, the West. I arrived at midnight, in time for the second set, and it was fantastic. Das Fluff has a sound that is both very modern and very responsive to the era Dawn and I became adults in, the 80s. And it is FILTHY and raging.
The crowd was all ages, as so often in Berlin, and international, and multi-gendered.
Berlin is a dress-down town, so most people were in leather jacket and black jeans mufti, except a couple gorgeous genderqueer belles in gothabilly style.
I was so happy I got to chat briefly with Dawn after the set. There is nothing like talking to a woman your own age, who has as much hard-won experience and personal power as you do. We are both here in Berlin, doing our art in the most truthful and authentic and finally distilled way, after long hiatuses from our work. We are beautiful and strong and staying the course.
There is a story to the woman in her 80s who was rocking out hard to Das Fluff, but I’m not going to tell it. She was there, she was dancing. She is part of the mystery of Leydicke, part of the mystery of Berlin. Sometimes both art and life are long.
Alfred Ladylike posed for Natascha Artworx as her human canvas.
Natascha was wearing an amazing art dress she had customized and painted. The person who owned the dress was getting divorced and planned to burn it, and it got turned into art instead!
Miss Natasha Enquist posing and Alfred Ladylike as human canvas for Natascha Artworx, Aug. 19 2017
30 minute portrait of Miss Natasha Enquist by Suzanne Forbes and the Fluid Gallery at Ludwig Berlin, Aug. 19 2017
The finished 30 minute portrait of Miss Natasha Enquist, above.
We gave out free raffle tickets and raffled it off at the end of the night! Free art! And there was even a secret surprise performance by Alfred! Her Donut Heart bandmateRah Hell was represented in portraiture by both myself and Natascha, and performed the raffle ticket drawing. What a heavenly evening.
My infinite thanks to Suzanne Wegh and Natascha Artworx for managing this event. If you’d like to help support their creative work, here’s Suzanne’s Patreon and Natascha’s Patreon. Visit Miss Natasha Enquist’s Spotify here and Donut Heart on bandcamp here.
Seriously, nukes could fly any second. The world is ON FIRE because of some dimwitted psychopaths. Life has returned to 80’s conditions, a world of “tomorrow I’ll ____, unless nukes. Thursday I’ll _____, unless nukes.”
And yet, I am full of joy, and I got to see an amazing show, and I made art.
“Teckel” means “dachshund” and there has never been a bar as dachshund-themed as Posh Teckel ever in the history of the world.
It is pretty damn delightful, and also it is a bar that cares a lot about music. It is smaller than our flat but charming. The music sounded great. Alfred performed a few songs but I only made one drawing because it was entirely red and dark and very, very hot in the music part of the bar!
Luckily the music space cooled off a bit as the evening went on. I asserted my needs and dragged in a bar chair to sit on in front of the stage. No-one minded. It’s Berlin, we do what we like.
Then Moldover played and wow he is a crackerjack musician and terrific live performer.
He was really just extremely good. I knew pretty much nothing about controllerism, or that Moldover is known worldwide as the Godfather of Controllerism. But I know musicians, and I know performers, and I was just thrilled to see such a terrific show out of the blue on a Thursday night in Berlin when we might all die in a nuclear firestorm tomorrow.
Boy howdy, I sure hope I get to go back and read this six months from now and say “wasn’t it scary, thank heavens things are better now.”
Because this is the sweetest and brightest and most joyful and meaningful my life has ever been and I’m drawing like blue hot holy hell. I headed home at midnight; I stopped at our all-night bistro to get ice-cream. Mango eis in the velvet dark and coolness of the summer night, our neighborhood still quietly bustling. I was so happy I scared the cats my husband by dancing in the front door. It would be a shame to get radiation sickness at a time like this.
Anyway, If you like me going around and documenting Berlin life and art, you can help make it possible by supporting me on Patreon. It’s easy and you can pledge as a little as a buck a month; I’ll be thrilled! Moldover has a Patreon too and is on bandcamp and boththose corporations are being pretty decent world citizens, as corporations go, so far. So you could go support this fine musician here on Patreon (I did!) or buy his music and music devices on bandcamp. And watch this video, where Moldover wears a tinfoil jumpsuit and performs inside a giant computer chip.
Or maybe he’s really tiny? Whichever, check it out.