Archive for December, 2008

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The Lamentable Lack Of Lists for 2008

December 31, 2008

I do love lists believe me, but for some reason come this time of year I don’t like putting numbers on things since I would be forever in a tizzy re-ordering them and there would be more edits on the post than the number of shots of vodka I have downed this year…sizable to say the least!

Wi nøt trei a høliday in Sweden this yër?

It really boils down to Sweden this year- the number of new artists I have heard from there and the new albums from some of the old favourites almost has me packing my bags to move there permanently!

See the løveli lakes

So with no time for writing new posts, I don’t even have time for going through the old ones and will have to leave the lists this year.

The wøndërful telephøne system

There has been a monumental number of great groups that I have heard this year though and hopefully that will continue in 2009- as noted so many places its going to be an interesting year for music and the struggling bands and I hope they can still afford to gig on these shores.

And mäni interesting furry animals

Speaking of which I hear rumours of Animal Collective coming back in March…the very first gig I went to was in the Merriweather Post Pavillion oh so many years ago…The Moody Blues for those curious and damn fine they were even if a bit on the weathered side by then.

Including the majestik møøse

So as a final thought- it has been one hell of a year on a personal note so hopefully 2009 will be a bit calmer and I will have lots more time for gigs, films and friends!

A Møøse once bit my sister...

No realli! She was Karving her initials on the møøse

with the sharpened end of an interspace tøøthbrush given

her by Svenge - her brother-in-law - an Oslo dentist and

star of many Norwegian møvies: "The Høt Hands of an Oslo

Dentist", "Fillings of Passion", "The Huge Mølars of Horst

Nordfink"

Well I am off to watch Jools and his Hootenanny so have a good one folks and see you in the New Year!

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Jape- Tripod Dec 08

December 31, 2008

Oops- thought this had been published but with being me sparse around these parts lately I didn’t notice till now!

So just a few thoughts…

Only arrived for the dying seconds of The Vinny Club…and it was like he was dying with him wriggling on his back on stage…shame since he always puts on an interesting show.  I must remember that these days they are sticking to the times and that with a second support they will come on shortly after the doors.

Cap Pas Cap were pretty damn good as always- started with the older L.I.E.S. and since I don’t have a record player I don’t know their new tunes which are only out on LP!  The third song was quite good and they do have a great sound although I think that sound wise the Village was a better gig- not often I say that about The Village!  For some reason they reminded me a bit of LCD Soundsystem this time around but it could just be the length of the of the tunes.   The light show they had for the set was quite good as well.

Jape came on just after 9 and I thought that we were going to be out early…he definitely banished those thoughts with 16 tunes and he kept going up to half 10 mark.  Have to say that Jape is one of the acts that I have been very neglectful with this year- aside from the couple of tunes I heard at Electric Picnic this is the first time I have seen him live outside of his Redneck Manifesto persona.  It’s not that I didn’t want to catch him before but as he is an Irish act I will sometimes choose the international one since I will ‘eventually’ see the Irish ones…with the current gig climate I might have to re-think that mentality though.

So since I haven’t listened to his albums and only caught some of his new stuff on Phantom I am definitely not the authority on what was played (besides the Toto cover in the encore but that is just showing my age!)   He started off with a quiet one which I thought surprising as he is rather energetic on stage- the crowd was quite big when he started off which was a pleasant surprise since with all the crimbo parties and the stacks of tickets I saw at Road I thought this might be a quiet affair.    The one track I did recognize from his new material was the third one Strike Me Down which I love and has an excellent vibe and of course I Was A Man and Floating were in there as well and damn fine.

The crowd was also treated to Jape’s soppy side when he announced he was now engaged and played a special number for his bride to be…not that he had to win the audience over but you could just hear all the ahhhhhs from the girls.   Overall a great gig though and hopefully will hear more from him in 2009!

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For The Dead Can Dance Fans…

December 28, 2008

Nice little Christmas present from Brendan Perry of Dead Can Dance– his first solo concert in 1993 at the ICA in London.  Simply go to his official site and sign-up for the mailing list- once you confirm your email you will get a second mail with links to download the tunes.

Pretty damn fine they are and be quick since the download will expire the 31st of Dec!

Chase The Blues


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Oh Darling- Can’t Wait To Come Home

December 26, 2008

Ahhh finally Christmas day is over and St. Stephens day upon us (or Boxing Day in the UK…and in the States with its nameless ChristmasDayPlusOne!) I can finally relax and there is nothing better than to listen to this charming tune from Oh Darling

Can’t Wait To Come Home– which has some frolicking in the snow and the closest I will get to that in Dublin!

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Slaraffenklang EP

December 22, 2008

Ah if only more mutants of the world would unite into such a sublime sound…Slaraffenland and Efterklang are giving away a free EP of their performance at Sono Festival in 2008.

The blurb from the bulletin

Free SLARAFFENKLANG EP – Merry Christmas

Please download and enjoy this free Live EP by Slaraffenklang! A mutant band of Slaraffenland and EfterklangSLARAFFENKLANG – ‘Danish Dynamite Live at Sono Festival 2008’
DOWNLOAD THE FREE SLARAFFENKLANG EP HERE (30mb)

There are 4 songs on the EP and a front cover is included in the zip archive as well.

Here is the story:
In May 2008 Efterklang & Slaraffenland were on a joint US tour under the name The Danish Dynamite Tour. Halfway through the tour the bands got a call from back home.
The newly established Sono Festival wanted to hear if Slaraffenland and Efterklang could be interested in performing a special concert at their festival. After a very quick talk on the topic it was decided that everyone would love to play in a band with two drummers and a lot of distorted guitars and therefore the offer was accepted.

The 4 songs on this free live EP are all recorded at Sono Festival in Rødovre (a suburb to Copenhagen) November 8th 2008.
This was the first and maybe also the last concert with Slaraffenklang.
The idea is simple and fun. Slaraffenklang is the mutant band of Efterklang and Slaraffenland. There are 12 musicians on stage, all men, and the songs performed are covers of Efterklang and Slaraffenland. Sometimes just louder and more rumbling versions and sometimes in new slightly new arrangements.

Tracklist:
Cutting Ice To Snow
Polaroids
Echo Wave
You Win

Recorded, mixed and mastered by Petter Samuelsson.

Merry Christmas from Slaraffenland and Efterklang!

A.K.A.

Bjørn, Casper, Christian, Frederik, Jeppe, Niklas, Mads, Mike, Peter, Rasmus, Rune & Thomas

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Ho Ho Ohhhhh

December 22, 2008

What a month!  Moving house then nearly every night taken up with the boys, meeting friends and of course the crimbo parties!  Hogans has a bit more of my income than expected at this stage but it seems to be the place to meet this year so at least I am keeping one pub afloat in these recessionary times.

Amidst this madness I have been fitting in a few Christmas tunes when I get a chance and still a couple of days left for you to get into the spirit with these…

Head to Aquarium Drunkard for some Sufjan Stevens 2006 tunes or you can stream loads of his tunes over at Asthmatic Kitty.

Knock on over to Pitchfork for quite a few different groups tunes- an older one from Bodies of Water (O’Come O’Come Emmanuel), The Raveonettes (Come On Santa), and best of all a new video from Low for Santa’s Coming Over.

This seems to be the year for compilations galore as well- not only is there the excellent An Indiecater Christmas but some great tunes from quite a few different blogs…

Swedes Please has some rather sublime tracks on his Swedish Christmas Mix– highlights are Hello Saferide, Sally Shapiro, Shadetree, The Knife (oh yeah!), and for pure damn sweetness while singing about sadness Sofia Talvik is one to check out.

From a blog I only came across with this-  The Yellow Stereo has A Christmas Mix with some lovely eclectic tunes for your eardrums.

Last but definitely not least are a couple of groups new to me over at Rcrd Lbl- Paper Route which has some really bloody sublime Christmas tunes along with  Computer Perfection and friends which has some old tunes sung in a different light with a bundle called Romantic Air.

For those that are running around in a state trying to get the last minute bits and are being assaulted by all the usual rubbish streaming from the speakers I do hope these tunes will help clear the head and get you into the Christmas spirit!

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An Indiecater Christmas

December 5, 2008

What can I say- I am a Grinch this time of year with all the materialism flying around and the annoying Christmas tunes that are in every.single.bloody.shop. with some even have it blaring outside to boot!

So it takes something special to get me in the Christmas spirit this early in the season and there is no better way than with the tunes that Mr. Hugger has put together for An Indiecater Christmas.  After one listen to the compilation I can only describe the feeling in the words of Suess where ‘the Grinch’s small heart grew three sizes that day!’

There are really some special tunes on here and from some of my favourite artists that I have been listening to this year. Nina Hynes is just sublime, Venice Is Sinking spectacular and Jape & David Kitt electrifying!  Some of the tunes you can tell from the title that they are definitely an ‘alt’ version of Christmas…Christmas in Jail and Santa Got The Spins are absolutely hilarious! As ever with the Indiecaters the order of the tracks is spot on and really gives a great album experience.

So if you are tired of the the same Christmas music tripe they drag out year after year head over to Indiecater and download this gem- you can listen to all the tunes before you buy and for €6.50 it will put some Christmas cheer in your life…and probably cheaper than the dodgy mulled wine that is going around!

As I have done with the previous compilations, just a few thoughts on each of the tracks…

The Cloud RoomMelody, Like Snow What a start- great looping and beats.
Nina HynesTwinkle Oohhhh so nice- voice cold melt ice!
Kill Krinkle Club – Songs Of Noel Great instrumentally and good harmonies.
Bill Baird – Christmas In Jail Sonorous and fits the lyrics!
Idaho – Santa Claus Is Weird Slower with simple beats.
Venice Is Sinking – The Grey Line Great tune- strings and female harmonies with some of them jingly bells.
Normandy – Merry Christmas, Blogosphere! Lots of bells and high pitched voice.
The Very Most – This Year, Christmas Came November 4th More traditional with bells kicking it off- damn boppy though with the female dadadada- good vocals as well.
Remington Super 60 – Here Comes Christmas Boppy start with male harmonies.  California sunshine singing about snow!
Jape & David Kitt – I Will Cry This Christmas Bloody great electro- simple with a great voice-excellent ending.
The Specimen – Wish It Would Snow Mostly electric- some bells with good beats and catchy.
Nonstop Everything – There Is No Santa, Little Boy Instrumental and good vibe.
My Teenage Stride – Is It Christmastime Already? More traditional with driving sleigh bells and bouncy-deep sax nice.
Dora Flood – Coastal Winter Ok- good percussion.
Loxsly – Santa Got The Spins Absolutely hilarious lyrics- good use of jingle bell rock.
Track A Tiger – Once In The Wine Ok- good start to the the wind down.
The Winks – Action Figures Slow and subtle- with some building elements at the end of the tune and good way to end the compilation.

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Chad VanGaalen- Crawdaddy Nov 08

December 1, 2008

Have been looking forward to Chad VanGaalen for a while and he did not disappoint!  Lots of things afoot for me at the moment so only a quick post….

Crawdaddy wasn’t exactly buzzing when I arrived but for a Sunday gig on a bloody freezing night there were a respectful 50 or so there.

An all Canadian night and the first support were Attack In Black– hadn’t heard of them before but they have some good tunes with some good singers and a nice hard edge to most of the tunes.  With 3 guitarists and a drummer they can certainly pump it out.  One of the guys mentioned about how exhausted they were…and he was so tired that he forgot he said and said it again!  In fairness they had taken the ferry over just to be there with Chad so fair play…good story about trying to find Crawdaddy and to be told by a girl at a music shop that the gig was the previous night so they had missed it!

Women then came on and the first impression was damn these guys are loud.  I don’t think I am showing my age here but the sound level for the instruments was really overpowering.  Not sure of the opening tune but Black Rice was the second and it really is sublime- unfortunately you could barely hear his voice and the singer actually said it to the sound guy at the end of the tune to raise the volume on his and the drummers mic.  Think that was too little too late though since there no real harmonies on the rest of the tunes- far harder sound than I had expected and some of them seemed to be a bit of a mess really.  When they hit it right they did sound good but there were not many moments when they did.

Chad VanGaalen was then up and even before he opened his voice I was looking forward to the set- when the drummer was setting up he came out with an array of different sticks and he used them all to best effect- really subtle and excellent drumming.

Chad started with Willow Tree which is one of my favs from his last album- such an excellent falsetto voice and combined with the banjo is really just sublime.  He picked up one of the dinkiest guitars I have seen and  came out with Poisonous Heads which is another great one from the album.  There was some hysterical laughing in the crowd by a woman and Chad thought this was directed at his guitar…or the fact that there was a massive dreadlock hanging from the end!

He followed up with Bare Feet On Wet Griptape and another of my favs Molten light.  There were then some other tunes from some of his older albums- haven’t listened to his full back catalogue so not completely sure of the names but they are really some great tunes so will have to do that soon.  Interspersed in the tunes was a story about them driving in the Irish countryside and listening to U2’s Joshua Tree for the first time as they were not fans- they were getting emotional over it so they want to forget about that experience as quickly as possible.

Some of the other tunes from the latest album were Cries Of The Dead and Rabid Bits Of Time which were pretty good along with some of the older tunes which had a bit more of a rock edge to them.  A new tune in there as well with some very good guitar playing by Pat- sounded like he was playing a piano on the guitar and really striking.  He ended on a good vibe with a rock number and came out solo for a really good subtle number for an encore.

Overall Chad was just as good I was hoping he would be- such an excellent voice and hopefully he will tour again when he has a new album.  The only song I wished he played was TMNT but most of the electro/keyboard tunes didn’t seem to be on the playlist.

A bit rushed now so when I get a chance to hear some of his old tunes and figure out the names I will edit the post with hopefully the full playlist!