Zero restraint as Zeronic get ready to rock

Zeronic, one of Austria’s most exciting live acts, will rock Vienna next month.

The trio confirmed that they are due to perform at the city’s Chelsea club on 10 October. The band – who released their fourth album, “Grandezza”, in June – are celebrated for their live skills. On stage, the alternative rock aces delight their fans with a superb mixture of melancholic tunes and energetic glam pop anthems.

Tickets for the upcoming gig are in great demand since it will be the first time for Zeronic to return to the stage after a concert last May. One month earlier, the band had the honour to perform as support act for New Wave legends New Order at the Gasometer concert hall in Vienna. The gig took place only a few days before the trio fronted by Mik Tanczos released a single called “My heart is still in your hands”.

Already last February, “Let’s Fool the World”, was made available on online music platforms. The song, in which a convincing melody is combined with witty lyrics, is one of the highlights on “Grandezza”. “Nights” and “That’s how it ends, a ballad, are must-listen matters too. It were those songs and a whole slew of other fine tunes which made “Grandezza” Album of the Week on radio7.at, an Austrian online radio station.

The Amadeus laureates’ concert is not the only occasion Viennese music fans are looking forward to next month. Former Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds member Mick Harvey will come to Vienna on 18 October to perform at the Szene. Already on 6 October, Sofa Surfers – the pioneers of electronic music in Austria – will rock the W.U.K. Iceland’s Gus Gus will enter the same venue’s stage a few days later (11 October).

>> http://www.zeronic.net

>> http://www.szenewien.com

>> http://www.wuk.at

A triumph called ‘Triest’

Two of Austria’s best young Kabarett artists are touring the country.

“Triest” unites “Falco – Verdammt, wir leben noch!” star Manuel Rubey and Thomas Stipsits (“Bauernschach”) on stage. The play’s brief plot posted on the website of the duo’s agency sounds promising: “A red suitcase. A ship in Triest. Two people on limited space. A downfall Untergang. A red suitcase. Have we lost the overview? What happens if we are suddenly unable to handle day to day matters?”

“Triest” is not the opening chapter of promising careers. The play – on in the coming weeks in Mattersburg, Güssing, Perchtoldsdorf, Vienna and Graz – can be considered as the next step being taken by Rubey, who fronted pop band Mondscheiner until 2010, and Stipsits. Having been celebrated as promising talents for some time, it is evident that the duo are now willing to take their artistic activities to another level. And, as reviews of “Triest” in Austrian papers suggest, they are succeeding.

The Kurier informed its readers that they must brace for being forced to laugh tears. The paper praised the play for its pace and charm. Die Presse acclaimed the concept of both Rubey and Stipsits playing all the various characters appearing in “Triest”. Their timing in doing so is “wonderful”, according to the daily newspaper’s critic. And while the Tiroler Tageszeitung, a daily newspaper with headquarters in Innsbruck, deplores a lack of scheduled performance in Tyrol, the Kleine Zeitung stresses that it agreed with the audience’s decision to create a hurricane of an applause.

Meanwhile, Stipsits’ “Bauernschach” tour is continuing. The comedian from Burgenland – who previously entertained the crowds with his one-person programmes “Cosa Nostra”, “Griechenland”, “Erbarmungslos” and “Tiefkalt” – will hit the stage in Traun, Vienna and Rotenturm in the coming weeks. “Bauernschach” tells from mysteries occurrences in a farmhouse in his hometown Stinatz. Stipsits excels as actor, voice imitator and singer in the play.

Tickets for “Triest” and “Bauernschach” are in great demand. For more information about the artists and their touring schedules, visit http://www.e-a.at, http://www.manuelrubey.com and http://www.stipsits.com.

Petritsch on parental advice and performance power

Barbara Petritsch has revealed how she feels about acting on the Burgtheater stage – and why retiring is not an option for her.

Petritsch, who starred in strongly acclaimed plays such as “Stallerhof” by Franz Xaver Kroetz and Roland Schimmelpfennig’s “Der golden Drache”, told magazine profil that each stage production she was part of had to be sharp and on the spot “because they all deal with hot-button issues”.

Asked where her confidence comes from in times where many are of the opinion that elderly actresses are neglected by many directors, Petritsch explained: “My parents were very liberal people. They were of the opinion that no one has to be afraid of anything. This attitude helped me to gain a needed sense of self-confidence.”

The former Stadttheater Klagenfurt ensemble member disclosed she had always ruled out working with Peter Stein at the Schaubühne in Berlin “as they often staged just one production per season. That would have never been enough for me.”

Petritsch, 63, currently acts in “Der Komet” and “Geschichten aus dem Wiener Wald” on stage at the Akademietheater, the Burgtheater and its smaller sister theatre, among other plays. “Der Komet” is a new production based on a novel by Justine del Corte. Schimmelpfennig, the author’s husband, directs the play about a wedding party.

Petritsch works at the Burgtheater since 1999. Asked whether she spent any thought on quitting acting, the Schladming-born stage star told profil: “I want to act, act, act. I never want to retire.”

Apart from the aforementioned Petritsch-featured plays, “Eine Mittsommernachts-Sex-Komödie” (A Midsummer Night’s Sex Comedy) is also on at the Burgtheater this season. The comical play written by legendary Hollywood moviemaker Woody Allen, already drew the crowds last year. Michael Maertens leads a brilliant cast in the play about true love, flirtation and romantic jumbles.

Another highlight of the 2012/2013 Burgtheater season is “Die schönen Tage von Aranjuez”, a new play by celebrated Austrian writer Peter Handke. Dörte Lyssewski and Jens Harzer star in the play. Viennese newspaper Kurier’s theatre critic praised the play directed by Luc Bondy as “bold and brazen”. Most German reviewers such as the Frankfurter Rundschau and the Süddeutsche Zeitung lauded “Die schönen Tage von Aranjuez” as well.

For the Viennese theatre’s full playbill and more information about its current and upcoming productions, visit http://www.burgtheater.at

Kristan stages hilarious holiday horror

Austria’s best voice imitator is touring the country with a new Kabarett programme.

Alex Kristan – who currently engages in “Legenden spenden”, an online competition organised by TV station Puls 4 as part of its UEFA Champions League live coverage – will perform “Jetlag für Anfänger” on stages in Vienna, Klosterneuburg, Linz and several other cities in the coming weeks. For detailed information, visit http://www.alexkristan.at.

”Jetlag für Anfänger” is not the first time Kristan tries himself as a Kabarett comedian. He previously performed in “Ärztlich Willkommen!”. However, “Jetlag für Anfänger” is his first solo programme. The funny plot deals with various issues linked with holidaymaking – from troubles on the airport to friction between hotel guests. Kristan does not leave out any sensitive vacation-related topic in the eagerly-awaited programme.

Fans of Kristan – who has also succeeded in raising the entertainment factor of business events by hosting them in comical manner – who plan to see the comedian live on stage can look forward to his analysis of tourists’ fights for the best of the breakfast buffet and the ideally-placed poolside sun loungers.

Kristan is not expected to downscale his voice imitating activities despite a busy “Jetlag für Anfänger” tour ahead due to the unanimous acclaim of his skills in this field. Only recently, he mimicked football heroes on Radio Arabella. The Viennese station asked Kristan to slip into the roles of ex-FC Sevilla star Toni Polster and former Bayern Munich captain Franz Beckenbauer to explain football terms like Catenaccio and offside to listeners. As part of the special feature, Kristan also acted as car racing legend Niki Lauda and Joachim Löw, the manager of the German football national team.

Book look: a political giant, an anti-plastic appeal and legal ludicrousness

Hans Peter Schwarz is one of Germany’s most profound historians. His book “Das Gesicht des 20. Jahrhunderts” – a 900-page tome portraying the most influential players of global politics of the 20th century – is nothing less but sensational. Schwarz, who lectured at universities in Germany, England and Italy, previously also wrote about legendary publisher Axel Springer and late German President Konrad Adenauer. Now the award-winning writer 78, has finished a Helmut Kohl biography. “Helmut Kohl. Eine politische Biografie”, now out by DVA, looks back on the former German Christian Democratic Union (CDU) chancellor’s rise to power. Voluminous parts of the book are dedicated to Kohl’s political actions in the province, his extraordinary alliance with late French President Francois Mitterrand and the bitter end following the infamous party donations affair.  Schwarz also explains the significance of Kohl’s decision-making in the years leading to the downfall of Communism and the reunification of Germany. Other chapters deal with Kohl’s partnership with Mikhail Gorbachev, the creator of Glasnost and Perestroika, and his role in the construction of the European Union and its joint currency – a controversial issue considering the current discussion about alleged mismanagement of the continent’s leaders in the 1990s. Many economists and politicians are of the opinion that Kohl, whose 16-year chancellery ended in 1998, and his political partners are to blame for the dire situation the European economy is in at the moment as they failed to agree on a political union going hand in hand with fiscal regulations.

Helmut Kohl. Eine politische Biographie.
By Hans Peter Schwarz
Published by DVA (www.dva.de)

Global warming, rising fine dust rates, soaring fuel process – human beings may have already missed the chance to achieve a turnaround in saving the planet. Such depressing estimations, however, could not keep a family based in a town near Graz in the Austrian province of Styria from embarking on a truly ambitious project: living a plastic-free life. In “Plastikfreie Zone”, Sandra Krautwaschl tells the unusual story of her family. She looks back on the many struggles and setbacks they had to endure. Krautwaschl, whose book includes several pictures documenting the difficult process, writes about unusual holiday preparations, shopping matters – and wooden toothbrushes. She does not fail to mention her kids’ struggles either. Readers are informed whether she managed to convince them that plastic-free alternatives are as much fun as their favourite items which were banned under the family’s new eco-friendly policy. Krautwaschl did not only write a book about the issue of living a better life without anything containing plastic. She also created a homepage, http://www.keinheimfuerplastik.at, to demonstrate to people in the whole world that doing without – or less – plastic is not impossible. “Plastikfreie Zone”, now out by Heyne, features an epilogue by Austrian film director Werner Boote who caused a stir in 2009 with his documentary “Plastic Planet”.

Plastikfreie Zone. Wie meine Familie es schafft, fast ohne Kunststoff zu leben.
By Sandra Krautwaschl
Published by Heyne (www.randomhouse.de/heyne)

A taxi driver did not stop after his fare asked to do so as he had to vomit. The cab driver did not believe the young man despite having picked him up from the infamous Munich Oktoberfest. Furthermore, he tried to avoid wasting time as he just started his shift. The young man eventually threw up on the back seat of the vehicle. Who is due to pay the cleaning costs? This is just one of the numerous extraordinary court cases documented in “Vom Geschlechtsverkehr mit Verwandten ist daher abzuraten”, a new book by Winfried Schwabe. The Kölner Stadtanzeiger columnist also writes about an unusual legal battle between a teacher and town hall officials in Neustadt an der Weinstraße. The pedagogue set the school on fire when he tried to prepare French fries for the class in a special lecture. Over a dozen fire-fighters were needed to extinguish the blaze caused by the would-be chef for one day. Another hilarious courthouse episode mentioned in Schwabe’s book, now out by publishing house Dumont, took place in German capital Berlin where a service station manager started legal action against a regular customer. The man forgot to pay for the petrol one day. The boss of the filling station was not impressed by his arguments – that he was in a rush and immediately returned after noticing the offence to pay for the fuel. He decided to take the regular to court over the costs of examining the pictures taken by a surveillance camera. Schwabe recounts what happened in court in witty manner – and reveals to readers the judges’ verdicts.

Vom Geschlechtsverkehr mit Verwandten ist daher abzuraten
By Winfried Schwabe
Published by Dumont (www.dumont-buchverlag.de)

Austrian tourism ads at the library

“Willkommen in Österreich. Eine sommerliche Reise in Bildern” is the title of a wonderful new exhibition now on at the National Library (www.onb.ac.at).

“Willkommen in Österreich” consists of images used by the Austrian tourism industry before and after the world wars. Visitors to the exhibit – which includes posters from all provinces but also old photographs from Italian seaside resorts and Austrian beauty spots like Bad Ischl – learn how those in charge developed some sort of marketing initiative for the first time.

Austrian tourism board decision-makers boosted the country’s holidaymaking industry by creating and distributing strongly cliché-laden posters and leaflets depicting illustrations from the Austrian countryside.

It may be no surprise that the majority of the images focus on presenting the Austrian countryside as an idyllic haven for everyone looking for a place to leave their worries behind for a few days. Less known might be that the domestic tourism industry’s movers and shakers were rather reluctant about using photographs for their various campaigns. Illustrations – some of them based on the blueprints of renowned artists – held the upper hand for decades before a process of refocusing kicked off in the 1970s.

“Willkommen in Österreich” does not turn a blind eye to tourism marketing activities during the Nazis’ regime. This is just one of many aspects which easily make “Willkommen in Österreich” one the city’s most interesting exhibitions.

Book look: German soccer, US society and Austrian artists

A heated row has erupted in Germany about how to deal with hooligans after a series of violent incidences in during matches in top-flight and lower-league competition. Furthermore, the country’s political elite, football officials and fans are at loggerheads concerning the ignition of pyrotechnics. Experts think that the latest occurrences could scare away women and families from visiting matches – as the Bundesliga, one of the most spectacular and popular soccer leagues in the world, hopes to set another attendance record this season. Now, as these topics dominate the headlines in the papers’ interior politics and sports sections, publishing house Verlag Die Werkstatt has released “Ultras im Abseits?”. In the widely acclaimed book, sport journalists and sport event safety experts share their views on the controversial Ultras fan movement which calls for competitions free from marketing measures and money-making activities by bigwig club bosses and greedy promotion businesspeople. Readers find out more about their views in several interviews and analyses. The German Football Association’s former safety issues department chief is one of the authors’ interview partners.

Ultras im Abseits?
By Martin Thein and Jannis Linkelmann
Published by Verlag Die Werkstatt (www.werkstatt-verlag.de)

Klaus Scherer has been German TV station ARD’s man in Washington, D.C., for some years. Now the former Tokyo correspondent wrote a book about various political, sociological and cultural aspects regarding the United States. For “Wahnsinn Amerika” – which can be translated as “American Madness”, the Grimme Prize laureate spoke with people about healthcare, upcoming elections and their daily struggle to make ends meet. He mostly spoke to members of the middle class but also interviewed FBI agents to describe what living in the USA means nowadays. The ex-Panorama editor also compares the policies of George W. Bush and his successor as president, Barack Obama, to analyse their impact on people’s lives. Furthermore, Sarah Palin and several other highly influential political personalities are portrayed in his remarkable book which comes shortly after Eva C. Schweitzer’s brilliant portray of the ultra-conservative Tea Party (“Tea Party. Die weiße Wut”, published by DTV, http://www.dtv.de).

Wahnsinn Amerika
By Klaus Scherer
Published by Piper (www.piper.de)

“Im Irrgarten der Bilder. Die Gugginger Künstler” is a new picture book by Gerhard Roth. The celebrated author has visited the community of artists in Maria Gugging an uncountable number of times over the years after seeing them for a first time in 1976. Roth took pictures of August Walla, Johann Hauser, Franz Kamlander and several other members of the creative group of mentally handicapped men. The photographs of the new 350-page book show the art brut artists engaged in creative processes but also during daily routines. Added poems and paintings turn this Residenz Verlag publication into something very special. “Im Irrgarten der Bilder. Die Gugginger Künstler” was released on the occasion of an exhibition of the same name at the Greith Haus in St. Ulrich im Greith in the province of Styria. Reviewing which obstacles had to be taken in the planning and production procedures for the book, Roth praises Gugging Museum director Johann Feilacher for his “tenacity and aptitude”. As far as novels are regarded, Roth most recently published the seventh volume of his monumental “Orkus” cycle called “Reise zu den Toten”. The Gugging Museum is located just 13 kilometres north of Döbling, a district of federal capital Vienna. For more information, see http://www.gugging.org.

Im Irrgarten der Bilder. Die Gugginger Künstler
By Gerhard Roth
Published by Residenz Verlag (www.residenzverlag.at)