Archive for July, 2009

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The Dodos- Time To Die

July 31, 2009

Kind of old news by now but The Dodo’s new album has hit the torrents already so in an effort to stop people downloading they have setup a high quality stream of their new album Time To Die over at…well www.timetodie.net.

It’s not as gloomy as the title may suggest and in-fact I think that it has an even more cheerful vibe than their last album Visiter.  Great up-beat vocals from Meric Long with the same excellent syncopation from Logan Kroeber along with the new member Keaton Snyder on the vibraphone.

If you sign up for the mailing list you will be able to download the track Fables or you can head over to RCRD LBL to get it now.  If you then want to get the whole album follow the link from their official page- for today only its the deal of the day at Amazon for the seriously low price of $2.99 so get clicking!

Fables

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One For The Team- Upstairs At Whelans July 09

July 30, 2009

Hadn’t heard of One For The Team until a few days before they hit town- a piece over at Musical Rooms peaked my interest enough though so had a listen to a couple of their tunes over at their label Afternoon Records and they were pretty catchy.

So Upstairs At Whelans again and while not many people waiting, interestingly enough there was a guy taking random pics of people- why on earth he would want one of me I don’t know but I didn’t crack the lens so there might be a pic of me floating around the blogosphere somewhere.

We Cut Corners (formerly Camogie Lovers) were up first and while not a huge gathering of people this duo gave some great entertainment.  Good voices with sometimes more than a tinge of melodrama and definitely humour.  With song titles ranging from Dumb Blonde to YKK (as in zipper) and Black Russian you certainly had to take everything tongue in cheek.

Heritage Centre were up next and I forgot how many members there were- it was only with the crowd being halved by them going on stage that I realised there were only about 12 people in the room to begin with.  Having seen them relatively recently not much has changed- except maybe downwards unfortunately.  While they don’t have much room to manoeuvre on stage it appeared they were doing things by route and weren’t very engaging.   The drummer was still good and I did notice more of a Placebo-ish vibe from the the lead singers vocals.  Still think there is some promise but time and some new tunes will tell.

One For The Team were finally up and speaking of promise there was only a little bit of that for me.  They have some good tunes but for the most part there was nothing too catchy- it was only near the end with Build It Up and Build A Garden that they really shone through.  The vocals by Ian are good but ultimately it was only when he was joined by Grace that I think they had an interesting sound.  They did have good banter with the crowd throughout and even had a joke at the expense of Mullingar where they were the previous night.   Unfortunately not enough to win me over though and We Cut Corners remained the highlight of the night.

Thanks to Ian for the pass anyway- needs must these days after all the budget changes this year!

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Other Gigs I Should Mention Before Some More Recent Ones…

July 29, 2009

Chasing my tail again of late so just a few quick comments on some gigs in June.

Phantom First Friday- ALT

Heritage Centre- Had heard good things about them and they do have a some catchy tunes.  Not as cohesive as I thought they would be but some promise there.

8 Ball- Damn where have these guys been?  According to their site they were around in the early 2000’s but then quiet for 5 years.  Some really catchy numbers and one to look out for in the future.

Messiah J & The Expert- Have seen these guys quite a few times and they always deliver.  Between Messiah J’s vocals and The Experts keyboard/synth playing these guys are excellent- some very good tunes from their last album which are a guaranteed crowd pleaser.

Dark Room Notes- Sugar Club

Danielle Harrison - Only 3 tunes with her on a guitar but a good voice with a catch and power.  First tune was best and some backing instruments or looping would help fill in some of the gaps.

The Rag DollsHad some good moments but they wandered a bit and needed some focus- the one holding them together was the excellent drummer.  Leads vocals weren’t strong enough over the drums though and a bit showy at times but there is some potential there.

Dark Room Notes- First time to catch them since their album release and they are as good as ever- although I seemed to notice a bit of malaise on some of the tunes.  The favourites were there with Lets Light Fires, Shake Shake My Ceiling and Treetops- no encore with Camera’s broken finger so no Love Like Nicotine on this occasion.

And So I Watch You From Afar- Lower Deck

First time at the Lower Deck and have to say its a bit of a weird layout for a venue!

SquAreHeAd- A three piece with  some good tunes and great beats.  Sometimes though the lead seemed concerned with having more power in the vocals than being in tune- the ones where he was were quite good though and another group to keep on the radar.

Sarsparilla- Just the one guy on electronics- nothing new really but some catchy numbers.

And So I Watch You From Afar- First time to hear the much touted ASIWYFA and they do live up to the all the talk. Great instrumental post rock tunes with a bite and my god do they put on a performance- first time in a long time I have seen a band jumping on tables and even the railings.  Crowd definitely into them and unfortunately with my ears and the funny shape I couldnt be closer to the mosh!

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The Jet Rodriguez- Seven Hour Night Shifts

July 22, 2009

The Jet Rodriguez (aka Cameron Navetta) is back with his full length album Seven Hour Night Shifts- I don’t know if he was pulling those shifts when he was writing the album but whatever he was doing certainly worked.   Some great tunes that are touching, heart felt and while some of the lyrics speak of misery the tunes themselves are so sun-soaked it is hard not to hum along!

I first heard him in March with Simplest Of Times which is the leading song on the album and it sounds just as sublime now as it did back then- great voice with some reverb and a slight plinking of strings that will grab your attention along with the similar vibe in the title track Seven Hour Night Shifts.  It’s not all about the effects though and on some of the more stripped down tunes like Marathon and Hot Waters the quality of his voice comes through.

Its good to see there was some thought into the running order of the tunes as well and the last three will leave you with a nice relaxed feeling- Where I Am and Stone are nice and slow but God, Love, Sex And The Meaning Of Life  is more akin to a lullaby with its soothing quality.

The album was released yesterday and at the moment you can stream all of the tunes over at his MySpace and head over to Amazon to get a digital download.

The Jet Rodriguez- Seven Hour Night Shifts

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We Are Wolves- Coconut Night

July 17, 2009

After being reminded of Montreal with the Elephant Stone last night, I checked out the excellent We Are Wolves again to see if they have anything new- no new tunes but a great video for Coconut Night from Fight & Kiss.

NSFW and if YouTube ever pull it for the slight nudity then you can also see it at Vimeo.

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Elephant Stone- The Seven Seas

July 16, 2009

Another excellent release from Indiecater with Elephant Stone- I don’t recall hearing them before but definitely a bounty of ear-catching tunes.

This Montreal based group are certainly different than the usual electronic/punk groups that I hear from there- excellent high registers with falsettos that are never cloying and are reminiscent of so many Swedish groups that have been in my ears recently. [Edit-see comments]

Throughout the album there is a great psych rock vibe and surprisingly an eastern tinge to the tunes which really works well.  I have to admit that when I first heard the sitar I did cringe (with memories of ruining my mothers Beatles LP’s by skipping over those Harrison tracks) but it is played extremely well and when combined with both western and eastern percussion the tracks are pretty rockin.

It starts of with Bombs Bomb Away which is a rousing sunshine tune and the next one which caught my ear is I Am Blind which has just the right balance with the reverb.  The Straight Line is the one that really caught me out with its sitar start and about halfway through there is a metamorphis with the addition of drums and an excellent post-rock vibe.  Blood From A Stone marks another change and feels more like a soliloqy with its instrumental start and strings later on.  It ends with the excellent Don’t You Know which has a good slow shoegaze start and again halfway through there is a complete change of tack with the introduction of the eastern instruments and it ends on a great jam reverb and all.

So head over to Indiecater and get these tunes for the paltry amount of €4.00 which is still less than a shot of voka and will stay much longer in the head!

The-Seven-Seas

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James Yuill- Academy2 June 09

July 16, 2009

Ahh my un-favourite venue which was more than on the quiet side with it being Glastonbury weekend.  If there ever was a venue in need of a makeover its the ground floor and basement rooms of The Academy…the pillars and low ceiling are really a nuisance when trying to see the acts on stage.

So straight back towards the bar and sound-booth where there is a chance of seeing the groups and with it being so quiet I actually struck up a conversation with James since he was standing there on his tod.  Kind of a weird feeling when he actually recognized me from Twitter since I had sent a few tweets his way.  Really sound dude though and it’s always a good thing when you can have a chat about Warp artists.

The first group up were The Riptide Movement- had heard their name doing the rounds but had never caught their tunes.  There is nothing really new about their sound but they are very good at what they do and the drummer was pretty rocking.   They remind me of CCR or The Doors and as the second support said the leads voice is bang on that of Jim Morrison so that is always a positive.

Second support was Joe Echo who was accompanied by his brother- they were performing in shorts as they had run from setting up a second gig for the night and didn’t have a chance to change.  Dubious dress sense aside Joe has a good voice and great use of the looping pedals which gave them a bigger sound than just two guys on acoustic guitars.

James Yuill was finally up and at that stage there were a few more people…still only about 40 but great to have some people interspersed between the pillars!  Good setup on stage for a solo artist between the synths and the guitar slung over his back.  His voice was every bit as catchy as it is on the album and it was good to hear him expand some of his tunes with some electric asides and jams- a much darker sound than on his album which I always find is better for a live performance.

Probably his best tune in my book was No Surprise and while he played a more stripped down version it was still damn good.  He had great interaction with the crowd as well and for some tunes he even gave a choice as to what they wanted to hear- so we ended up with the acoustic version of No Surprise straight after and even without the catchy electronic layers it is an excellent tune.

Not positive of the exact playlist so this is more an approximation than anything:

How Could I Lose (or You Always Do)
She Said In Jest
Head Over Heels
No Pins Allowed
Over The Hills-  which led into a nice long electric jam
Left Handed Girl
When You’re Alone- new one
Ghost
This Sweet Love
No Surprise- different mix than album
No Surprise- acoustic
Dance Track-uncertain if it has a name.

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