Archive for March, 2008

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Efterklang- Button Factory March 08

March 31, 2008

Efterklang 

What a great gig- I really love their tunes and seeing them live was brilliant! 

The night didn’t start off well since I had a migraine- but thankfully it hadn’t hit the head yet so was great to be able to get out since I had been looking forward to this for a while.  Had to cram-listen to some of their music on the way into town though so I could remember some of the names of the songs- with all the new music I have been listening to recently I haven’t had them on in a while. 

Before the gig started I noticed a couple of things about the stage setup which always bodes well- there were lots of instruments and even better there were a set of drums by the lead singer with a set of bashed and ripped cymbals and a strange looking silver hoop in the back.  I love when musicians have different objects just for the unusual sounds they produce! 

There was no support band but two members of Efterklang did a small set to open up-  Anna by herself on the keyboard for a couple of tracks and then joined by Peter on the violin for a couple more.  Really good way to open up since they were nice and relaxing tunes.  Anna said that it felt like she was swaying on the stage since they had come over on the ferry and was still swaying with the big waves- with that sort of music you would be swaying anyway so it was all good!

When the band came on I didn’t remember there being so many- 7 guys on stage and Anna on the keyboard.  They started off with the excellent Illuminant and then Swarming which is still one of my favourites and then Monopolist…I think- he only started saying the song titles after that and with some of the tunes sounding a bit similar I couldn’t quite remember!   In between some of the tracks there was some great chats with the audience that showed that there was great camaraderie with the band- the lead singer Casper Clausen was talking effusively about Anna and how glad he was that she was there and there was quite a humorous touching moment  when he was welcoming Peter back back into the fold since he had missed the last two shows…evidently the UK immigration wouldn’t let Peter into the country so he could only meet up with the band in Dublin.

Next was Caravan, Chapter 6 and then followed by the excellent duet Freida Found A Friend- Anna’s and Casper’s voices certainly compliment each other very well.  The crowd had a small surge with the next one- Mirador which is seems to be the popular one off of their last album- cracking track so was good to have the audience bopping along.  A new track Mirror Mirror then followed and at the end it had the best audience participation I have ever seen- they wanted us to clap along and be creative with the hand clapping so there were different beats all over the place and with all of the band and the first few rows clapping it was quite enjoyable to watch!

Then was Cutting Ice To Snow which has a lovely quiet moment…in which the drummer unfortunately ripped off some tape and totally took Casper off his rhythm so a brief round of applause for the drummer and his unexpected contribution.   They finished with Collecting Shields and then the excellent Step Aside as the encore which was a perfect song to end with. 

I have a feeling that I am actually missing a song in there near the end- with tunes that are so deliciously long, I get into the vibe it is always hard to tell!  Overall it was an excellent gig though and I hope to catch them again soon.

As an aside- there are a few free downloads over at their official site and at the moment on their MySpace page there is a free download for their new song Mirror Mirror Live.

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Yu Ming Is Ainm Dom (My Name Is Yu Ming)

March 28, 2008

Had a listen to the Kiosk last week and they had a spot on about Des Bishop learning Irish.  It’s not something that I would consider since I already have Russian and French that I don’t use and only sporadically use American…and yes it could be classed as a different language on occasion!

Anyway, it reminded me of the excellent short film Yu Ming Is Ainm Dom which in English is ‘My name is Yu Ming’.  It’s a story of a Chinese man that decides to come to Ireland and learn the Irish language before coming over…only to find that everybody speaks English and nobody can understand him! 

There is a YouTube of it but it really is abysmal quality so head over to Atom Films to watch it.  There are some  really great short films on Atom so expect some other posts from there!

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Holy Fuck

March 28, 2008

Yes, what a moniker- Holy Fuck– then again they have some fucking brilliant music so it might be the expletive you will say when you first hear them! Perhaps a better one would have been a consideration though since I am not even positive you can say their name over the radio…I thought that I heard them mentioned on Phantom before but am questioning that now.

I have actually been putting off listening to them over the last couple of months for the simple if silly reason that I knew I would love their music from the couple of tracks I heard and they are having a gig here shortly which is on a Thursday. Thursday night gigs are a no-go for me at the moment since I would need to get a child minder and it works out quite expensive for a couple of hours of music.

I finally gave in though and had a listen- these guys are bloody excellent. All electronic head-melting sweetness with some great body-bopping tracks. I have only listened to their tunes over MySpace and YouTube so haven’t listened to the whole of ‘LP’- the one shop I can find it in town has an exorbitant price so will have to order it online.

Super Inuit is probably my favourite at the moment and Lovely Allen is excellent as well- some great vibes to their tracks and they are probably more accessible than Battles since they are more conventional in their rhythm and syncopation. However, I still prefer some of Battles tracks for their intensity and the excellent drumming by John Stanier.

The real test will be in their live show- if they stick exactly to the tracks as they are done on the cd then it will be a disappointment since these tunes are made to be expanded and explored when playing live. My favourite two gigs of last year were Battles and LCD Soundsystem for exactly this reason…great tunes to begin with and when they played them live they didn’t follow them note for note.

They will be in Whelans on the 10th of April and tickets are only €13.50 from Ticketmaster. Now all I need is to find is a child minder….so if you can look after two monstrous angelic boys then please let me know. Seriously…let me know!

Super Inuit

Lovely Allen at Metro

Milkshake

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Electric Picnic Lineup 2008- so far and can only get better!!

March 26, 2008

A bit late getting home so am sure there quite a few posts out there already…some great groups in the lineup!

The important bits first:

Line-Up So Far

Sex Pistols, Sigur Ros, Grinderman, Franz Ferdinand, George Clinton & The P-Funk Allstars, My Bloody Valentine, Goldfrapp, Christy Moore, Wilco, The Gossip, Duffy, Underworld, Tinariwen, CSS, Tindersticks, New Young Pony Club, Josh Ritter, Lisa Hannigan, Cathy Davey, That Petrol Emotion, The Breeders, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Sinead O’Connor, Henry Rollings, The Waterboys, The Roots, Kila, Micah P Hinson, Conor Oberst (Bright Eyes), Hayseed Dixie, Candi Staton, Juana Molina, Turin Brakes, Faust, Midnight Juggernauts, Tartit, Hadouken!, Silver Apples, Mark Geary, Teitur, Blitzen Trapper, Absentee, Balanescu Quartet, Lou Rhodes, Adrian Crowley, One Day International, The Yard Dogs, Tobias Froberg, Boss Volenti, Dawn Landes, Constantines, Yacht, Lionheart Brothers, Large Mound, Emmy the Great, Foals, Kormac & the BSQ Band, Jape, Noisettes, Dublin Gospel Choir…plus many more to be announced.

Watch http://www.electricpicnic.ie for updates.

Ticket Info

Weekend Tickets are €240 / Family Camping Ticket is EU480 for 2 adults & up to 4 kids under 12 to access to designated Family Campsite. There are no single day tickets.
Campervan Tickets for access to Campervan Park are €60, available also from the same outlets. Above ticket prices include booking fee & vat and go on sale 9am Friday 28th March from all usual outlets, http://www.ticketmaster.ie / Credit Card Hotline: Ph 0818 719300 epublic of Ireland / 0870 2434455 UK/Northern Ireland. Phone / Internet bookings are subject to 12.5% service charges. Agents fee is €2.50.

And the rest of the information from the news tab on the site:

Press Release

POD Concerts & Aiken Promotions present Electric Picnic 2008 – The Boutique Music & Arts Festival
29th, 30th & 31st August, Stradbally Hall, Co Laois

March 26th 2008

Anarchy, funk, nostalgia, surrealism….just another day at the Electric Picnic.

As the evenings get longer, the cogs of Ireland’s acclaimed music and arts festival are turning once more and details are unfolding of what to expect on the last weekend in August when the rock’n’roll circus descends on Stradbally village.

As with every year, the festival takes pride in showcasing the greatest music from around the world, iconic acts together with the hottest new acts. Acts this year range from; the first ever Irish show of one of the most legendary acts of the twentieth century, the incendiary Sex Pistols to the melodic, classical, experimental Sigur Rós, the Icelandic post-rock band known for its ethereal sound and lead singer Jónsi’s falsetto voice. The Sex Pistols changed if not the history of rock then at least its course and the lineup consists of the original four members, John Lydon, Glen Matlock, Steve Jones and Paul Cook.

Another iconic and influential band playing a very rare show are My Bloody Valentine whose critically acclaimed 1991 album Loveless was recently voted as the greatest rock and roll album of all time in an Irish Times poll. This is their first show here in 17 years and one of only a handful of shows they are doing across the world this year.

Scottish Indie rockers Franz Ferdinand unveil their eagerly anticipated third album with what is also one of a handful of shows they are playing globally this year.

Funk legend George Clinton & his astonishing 30 piece P-Funk Allstars will be showing us a thing or two about how it’s really done. One of the most important innovators of funk music, next to James Brown and Sly Stone, he has been a major influence in the world of hip hop and beyond.

The scuzzy blues rock of Nick Cave’s Grinderman appears in Ireland for the first time while the mighty Christy Moore makes his maiden voyage to Stradbally to further broaden the eclectic palette of the Picnic. Also appearing will be new Motown sensation Duffy.

Electro pop act Goldfrapp are welcomed back this year showcasing their more introspective new sound and dance icons Underworld join us for the first time. Amongst the other upbeat party acts are The Gossip, Brazillian rock dance phenomenon CSS and the classic soul-tinged hip hop of Philadelphia’s The Roots.

Alternative US rockers The Breeders return after a 6 year hiatus with their new album Mountain Battles. Other acts include Wilco bringing their engaging, no-frills blend of twang-encrusted guitar rock and ballads to the stage; Mali’s desert warriors Tinariwen, a trio of Irish stunning female voices Lisa Hannigan, Sinead O’Connor & Cathy Davey. The newly reformed That Petrol Emotion make an exclusive Irish appearance this year; Conor Oberst (aka Bright Eyes) plays a solo show; the austere beauty of Tindersticks, feel-good soul diva Candi Staton, the legendary avant garde band Faust; and of course it would be no Picnic without the Dublin Gospel Choir to lift your souls for breakfast.

We are also very excited to announce a new stage added Jazz & World Music Stage which will be hosted by the Improvised Music Company. Musical tastes are ever evolving, and adventurous ears at this years Electric Picnic will find plenty to stimulate them at the Jazz & World Music Stage. Ireland’s leading independent jazz and world music promoters are a welcome new addition, and evidence that the festival knows no boundaries when it comes to creative music, irrespective of labels and idioms. Programmed by Gerry Godley, this stage will be an acoustic affair and will add another dimension to the Picnic’s melting pot, joining the dots between jazz and contemporary classical groups, along with living traditional music from around the world, and why not some of our own traditional music too. There’ll be everything from chamber music to desert blues, from funky organ trios to grooving Balkan brass.

Roars of laughter are set to roll over the lawns of Stradbally once again this year when the essential International Comedy Club Stage returns for another riotous weekend of Leckie Pickie laugher. Founded by Des Bishop in 1998, The International Comedy Club is the nerve centre and nurturing ground of comedy in Ireland where new blood can rub shoulders with the great and the good from the world of international comedy. This stage has been an enormously popular part of the Electric Picnic experience since year one and the line-up for 2008 promises to be as stellar as ever.

The Body & Soul Village will of course be once more pulsating to its own rhythm. Imagine a breathing, living, pulsating, nature inspired realm filled with beauty, art, performance, cutting edge theatre, holistic therapies, yoga, green workshops, luscious gardens, tipis & log fires, ambient bean bag lounging, acoustic vibes, night time installations, skilled artisans set free across the landscape to inspire and be inspired, an eclectically programmed Chill Stage featuring a mix of folk, world, classical, electonic, reggae, roots and hip wiggling funk – along with the “MerkaBar” geo-dome, indulging you with the best in down tempo grooves, visual art, trapese and sumptuous décor.

World renowned performance art troupe, Lucent Dossier Vaudeville Cirque crawls out of the Los Angeles underground art & music scene once again to frolic in their favorite Irish wonderland…xtravagant, other-worldly creatures from beyond create mystical playgrounds of fire and air.

Also traveling from the US and mainland Europe are many creative collectives all of whom will be designing bigger and more colourful art installations around the festival site, including David Best who will be building and burning his exquisite Temple of Truth, as seen at Burning Man.

Music & Art are just one just two aspects of the many faces of Electric Picnic, and this year we are expanding the Spoken Word area; The Leviathan Think Tank is back to nourish the addled minds of festival-goers with world class poets from the UK, US, South Africa and Australia, one-act theatre from Little John Nee and Vendetta Theatre Co. hosted by Marty Mulligan. Major debates, hosted by broadcaster David McWilliams, will reflect on the political and cultural legacy 40 years on from 1968 – the high-watermark of 1960s counterculture – featuring some key figures from the era; the future of the Irish language and the state of the music industry. There will be readings from top Irish and international authors, Salon du Chat “speed-debating”, comedy news quizshows and a series of special one-on-one interviews, including one with Henry Rollins. RTE’s Ryan Tubridy will host a new Sunday Morning Show with guests taking a hungover and jaundiced view of the newspapers and chewing the fat from the night before. There will be politically-tinged music from Paddy Cullivan and the Camembert Quartet, Jinx Lennon, Captain Moonlight and White Cholera as well as other very special guests and we’ll have a sneak preview of a brand new series of Langerland’s satirical cartoons, taking in such subjects as the Irish language, the GAA, the IRA, the Gardaí and the Celtic Tiger. Also back is the The Word poetry tent….and much much more food for thought.

There will also be more theatre such as new additions to the festival ‘thisispopbaby’, a fabulous new space, where debauched glamour, fairy tale excess and fun is the name of the game. Each day the glittering lounge will take you on a journey from a whimsical kitsch Never Never Land to a raw and raunchy Pop Art Palace. Featuring very special guest star Panti, Queen of the Picnic, this sparkling jewel of new pop-art and design culminates every night with a Frock ‘n’ Roll drag show and a down ‘n’ dirty PopClub. Our hosts and hostesses will meet, greet and sweet talk you in this bastion of high fashion, high camp and high excess. You’re Alice baby, and this is Wonderland.

Fossetts Circus are also back, the longest running continuous circus in the world, to celebrate their 130th year in the business. And putting the Picnic into Electric is the addition of a Cooking Stage in the Spoken Word area… A Michelin-All-Star culinary cast headlined by Rachel Allen, Dylan McGrath (Mint), Kevin Thornton (Thorntons), Derry Clarke (L’Ecrivain) and more to be announced who will not only be doing cooking demonstrations in a purpose built kitchen tent, but debating whether life really is too short to stuff a mushroom in their exclusive Q&As.

Also back this year, by popular demand, is the Hot Press Chat Room which will feature intimate interviews with (and occasional impromptu sessions from!) some of the festival’s biggest names. The public interviews are carried out by a crack team of Hot Press writers, including Stuart Clark, Peter Murphy, Paul Nolan and Roisin Dwyer, with fans also being afforded a rare chance to quiz their heroes. Among those who have already been given the Hot Press Chat Room treatment at Electric Picnic are New Order, Flaming Lips, Bloc Party, Primal Scream, Elbow, The Frames, Josh Ritter, The Undertones, Damien Dempsey and many more.

The Southern Comfort Crawdaddy Stage promises to draw out the Mardi Gras fever adding a touch of New Orleans style. The Bacardi B Live Arena also makes a welcome return, as ever showcasing the collaborative works of world class DJ’s, musicians, live vocalists and percussionists.

In our endeavours to make Electric Picnic more of a family experience we are introducing a Family Ticket which will permit access for two adults and up to four children. With this ticket families will be able to gain entrance to a new specially designated Family Campsite. They will be asked to register online where, nearer the time, they can also download a small booklet outlining children’s activities and programmes as well as useful information on family camping, baby changing facilities, showers, toilets, etc. The “Children’s Festival” itself will have its own area and reception for babies, toddlers and children up to 12. It will be programmed with all sorts of creative workshops, kids yoga, chill out space for parents, and games.

This year the festival will also continue developing its green policy to make the festival more environmentally friendly – check http://www.electricpicnic.ie for updates on how that’s progressing along with stats from last year.

The Electric Picnic cogs will continue turning through out the summer revealing more and more of what’s in store and enticing you every bit of the way to come run away with it. For further details and updates check http://www.electricpicnic.ie.

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Goldfrapp- Seventh Tree

March 26, 2008

Goldfrapp has been great over the years for her electro-pop and the new album really is a change of pace compared to her older material.  While there are subtle tones of the electronics this is a stripped down and acoustic Alison Goldfrapp– which is great to hear since she really has a voice that is sweet and powerful at the same time that has the depth to carry the album. 

A&E is the single that has been out for a while and is one of the standout tracks along with Eat Yourself.  Some of the others that I thought were quite good were Little Bird, Monster Love and Road To Somewhere- solid songs with simple melodies that stay in the head.  Overall a very good album and one that I will be listening to for the next while.  Official site is here but no streaming from there.

A&E

Eat Yourself

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Bjork- Wanderlust Video Preview

March 25, 2008

Just a link for a preview of Bjorks video for the next single Wanderlust in 2D. The final version is going to be in 3D so you will need those un-fashion-statement-glasses to see it properly. I must say that I was suitably impressed by the 3D work last year at Disney/Universal Studios and that the technology involved has certainly improved…but why bother for a music video?

Blurb from MySpace:

Wanderlust is the next single from Björk released April 14th. The video is done in 3d animation but this is a short 2d preview. The video will be premiered on the 31st of March on yahoo . com
For the 3d version one will need special 3d glasses to watch. More details on those very soon…

As an aside check The Economist for an article about the future of 3D.

There is also a video on MySpace of the making-of Wanderlust.

[EDIT]

Also on YouTube

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Elbow- The Seldom Seen Kid

March 22, 2008

Listened to lots of new music today so starting alphabetically!

Elbow -had only previously come across them in passing so not too familiar with their back catalogue which seems to be quite extensive.  Their official website is very well designed however you can’t stream any of their music there at the moment which is a shame.

The new album The Seldom Seen Kid has quite a few good tracks with Mirrorball and Weather To Fly as the standout ones.  However their first single Grounds For Divorce is unquestionably the best track on there- very catchy tune and undoubtedly will be hearing this on the radio quite a bit.  Overall it is a good album but I had this niggling feeling that there wasn’t really much new since I could hear whispers of Elvis Costello and Peter Gabriel quite often. 

Some YouTubes of the single and of an excellent cover version of Teardrop by Massive Attack.

Grounds For Divorce

Teardrop – from their cd Not A Job