Archive for August, 2009

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Sickboy- Whelans July 09

August 31, 2009

Hadn’t really heard of any of the groups before heading up to Whelans but a friend had tipped one of the supports so wanted to catch them.  Decent sized crowd and always a good sign to see band members from other bands in the audience.  Surprisingly for me though also a group of lads from work there- not sure that is a good sign or not!

Arrived after The House of Dolls had already started so had missed a few of their tunes- what I did hear was quite good.  When they use the synth they have an excellent sound and vibe- the tunes without the synth and just the guitars aren’t quite so catchy but still a good group to keep an ear out for.

Funeral Suits were up next with a good sound- clear and direct although sometimes muddied with too much heavy guitar work.  The pared down numbers really showed the quality of their tunes though and Now We’re Moving, Now We’re Free and Modern Urban Pleasures were excellent.  The only downside with their set is that they ended most of their tunes rather abruptly- hopefully they will work on the endings to keep the vibe going!

Sickboy were finally up and they certainly have a more polished sound which was a bit of a weakness actually.  Plenty of shoegaze guitars at work and strong vocals even if not always on key.  Recognized the A Tune but the problem with their polish is that they don’t stand out from so many others with the same sound.  Not sure what the last tune was but it was a cracker- long and more instrumental and had a great vibe.  Unfortunately they didn’t say it was their last tune until it was over and they didn’t come out for more no matter how much the audience clamored for it.

A good night but more for the supports than the main and will be keeping an ear out for Funeral Suits.

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Electric Picnic 2009- Maps

August 26, 2009

[EDIT] Set list times now here.

Busy life this year and not much time for the lead-up to Electric Picnic…so just a quick post with some maps of the areas.  Nothing printer friendly just yet since all of them have the black backgrounds but will update when I have a chance.

Camping- click on the image for bigger size and pdf here.
EP2009Camping

Arena Site- click on the image for bigger size and pdf here.
EP2009ArenaSite

You can find more maps here– not all there so check back for updates.

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Owensie

August 16, 2009

I probably shouldn’t post this today as I have heard the name Michael Owens all over Twitter- evidently he is a famous footballer who has committed some act of treason recently.

Thanks to the guys at Thumped (@thumped) I have come across another Owen but this one has some delightful folk tunes and a beguiling sound.  Even if Owensie has that recent Irish affliction of adding ‘sie’ to a word it doesn’t affect his  simple guitar plucking and a vocal performance that is close to but not quite falsetto.

He only has a few tunes up on his MySpace with a little bit of history so head over there for a look!

Owensie

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V?V!V

August 16, 2009

I knew it wouldn’t be long before an artist came along after the post on iterations…but damn that was quick!

V?V!V is the moniker and I’m not sure if you should say the V’s with the intonation associated with the punctuation or if you should just verbalise the punctuation.  No help on his MySpace on that front since his url is 3VVV and on his page he has Vquestionmark…oh dear.

Anyway, unpronouncibility aside, on the tune front he has my ear- an electric French artist with some down and dirty remixes up on his player.  Surprised by the first remix up on his player…or not given that the it’s the cracking track No Surprise from one of my favourites this year James Yuill.  There are also some good remixes of the Nigerian artist Femi Kuti’s You Better Ask Yourself and La Cause from the French group La Phaze.

Not much other information and no videos so while you’re pondering how to say the name head over there and give them a listen!

VVV

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The Octopus Project

August 13, 2009

Quite a few excellent groups from Texas these days:  the post-rock boys Explosions In The Sky, the rather powerful and excellent Ume (mentioned here) and new to my ears The Octopus Project with a genre spanning sound- some great post-rock tunes along with some rather catchy jangly twee ones.

Wet Gold falls into the latter with some excellent female highlighted vocals…although the video is reminiscent of H.R. Pufnstuf which I had happened to see a few days before when following links from Land Of The Lost– yep quality childhood theme tunes still available in cyberspace!

Wet Gold

You can stream their new ep Golden Beds along with their previous ep Hello, Avalanche from their label Peek-A-Boo Records and if you head over to their official site you can grab some of their mp3s from recordings going back to 1999.  Some great tunes there so hopefully they will be doing a tour in Europe soon!

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Mason Proper

August 13, 2009

Another day another new group that has my ear- Mason Proper have a melancholic almost haunting sound which is perfectly captured in the tune Safe For The Time Being.

The song opens with ethereal backing sounds, a lone pounding bass drum, simple guitar finger plucking and a powerful falsetto vocal punch from the lead singer Jonathan Visger that is just pure bliss on the ears.  All of which visually translates in the excellent video below…

We filmed this last summer in an unbelievably hot warehouse
with our friends Hott Garbage
and many extras who were also quite hot by the end
and it was so hot
that the film melted
and it took nearly a year to restore to it’s original glory
but here it finally is

Safe For The Time Being
Vodpod videos no longer available.

You can get the Safe For The Time Being remix ep here which has the titled tune along with two remixes as well as a remix of another tune Lock And Key.  If you head over to their official site and you can also get some of their original tunes from the albums Olly Oxen Free and There Is A Moth In Your Chest- Life’s Cornucopia is a must listen and is just sublime.

As if that wasn’t enough- from a link on their MySpace they have the huge FREE mason proper collection– and they certainly aren’t joking about it being huge!  Some tunes from each of their albums, covers (the Kayne West vs LCD Soundsystem has to be heard),  solo work,  spoof interviews, links to YouTubes…pretty much every angle covered!

Life’s Cornucopia– live performance so ignore the chatter.

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kIM NOVAk

August 13, 2009

The French know how to do many things extremely well but for some reason rock has never been their foray and the majority of the music that I would listen to from there would have more than a tinge of electronica to it.   There are exceptions of course and although I am a bit late to the fray hearing their tunes from their 2007 album,  a friend request from kIM NOVAk really peaked my ears.

While I am one to shy away from comparing groups- mostly because of my deplorable memory for names- there are obvious comparisons to Interpol and Editors and yet they do have a slightly different vibe which makes them unique.

When I first went to their official site there was a widget was playing the very catchy Love Affair but that seems to be gone now unfortunately…so have a listen to Swallow which is catchy as well or head to their label Le Cargo‘s site for snippets of each tune.

Swallow