About

This website is written by Patti Vacek, a musician and an avid music fan. It began in 2007 with a focus on the live concerts I attended. I also intermittently review albums, songs, and music-related books and films. On rare occasion, I even write essays.

I currently live in Berlin, Germany, but when I started writing, I was a student living in St. Louis, Missouri. In the meantime, I also spent some time in Austin, Texas, as well as a few other places in the USA and Germany. It should also be no surprise that my tastes have grown over the years, but some broad genres I generally like are new wave and post-punk (The ChameleonsThe CureThe SmithsPatti SmithSiouxsie & the BansheesBauhaus, etc.), Neue Deutsche Welle and its offshoots (NeonbabiesFehlfarbenIdealEinstürzende Neubauten, etc.), Kosmische Musik and "Krautrock" (KraftwerkNeu!, Can, Faust, Harmonia, etc.), shoegaze and dream pop (Cocteau TwinsBeach House, Slowdive, My Bloody Valentine, etc.), and various other forms of psychedelia (Golden Dawn ArkestraBoogarins, QuiltTame Impala, etc.). And of course, there are plenty of outliers, old and new (Stereolab, The Smashing PumpkinsDie HeiterkeitAndrew BirdNeil Young, etc.). 

Most of my reviews feature a score in the form of a letter grade, which is provided to offer a rough assessment of my interpretation of the relative quality a given recording, performance, etc. These should not be taken too seriously. The key is that C means average, decent, respectable, mildly entertaining, not bad but not my thing, whatever. B means "good" or above average, and A means transcendent, excellent, exceeding any expectations. A+ means that I cannot conceive of how something could be better. (I don't give that score often.) D is for disappointing or disinterested, and F is for failure. I don't give many D or F scores because I try to avoid bad music. You will probably see more high scores than low simply because I prefer to write about things I like. To counteract that, I try to grade even my favorite bands quite strictly. That means that a C is not bad and should not be viewed as a negative score!

If you don't know where to start, here are some of my favorite posts:

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