Top Tracks: Cafe Berlin’s Emily Holtzman
Find out what Cafe Berlin’s booking agent listens to!
This week in Top Tracks, I chatted with Cafe Berlin’s main booking agent, Emily Holtzman. Her favorite record is the Boston indie group The Magnetic Fields’ fourth album, “Holiday.” Booking agents usually schedule and book shows for bands, meaning Holtzman’s job is critical to keeping the CoMo music scene alive and well with fresh faces and talent.
Why is “Holiday” your favorite album?
I don’t know, it’s kind of a strange album. I just really like it. It’s kind of like pop-y, but still kind of weird; I guess quirky is a good way to describe it. it was one of the first albums that I really liked that wasn’t just, like, guitar music. It was a little stranger.
How’d you find it?
I’m not sure, I think someone told me about The Magnetic Fields or I just heard their “69 Love Songs,” which is that three-volume album with 69 love songs. And I just started looking into their discography and then I found that album.
Was high school when you started getting into music?
Later in my high school years, I started going to a lot more shows and that’s when I started really loving local music and live music.
Is that how you got into booking?
Yeah, kind of. Just being around in Columbia, going to shows, you meet a lot of people who also like to go to shows and then I just knew the people who were doing it at Café Berlin and the guy who’s in charge of it asked if I wanted to help out and I was like, “Yeah, I’d love to.” It’s always been an interest.
So did you ever see The Magnetic Fields in concert and did the album translate live?
Yeah, I saw them in St. Louis two years ago, I guess ... (it) was a really cool place to see them at; it was really intimate … I don’t think they played one song off that record, maybe one. They played some stuff off of 69 Love Songs and they had a new album out so that’s mostly what they played.
Would you say you still listen to it often today?
Not really, but I own it on vinyl, so I’ll throw it on. But when I put it on I can’t stop listening to it, I have to hear it all the way through, like start at the beginning. I can never just listen to one song off of it.
What’s the Columbia music scene like?
It’s full of a lot of really talented people and it’s obviously really close-knit. There’s such a really great sense of community. It’s just people who really care about local music and it’s cool when everyone comes together to make cool things happen.