"Most rock journalism is people who can't write, interviewing people who can't talk, for people who can't read." - Frank Krappa

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Future gigigigigigs

I just spent a horrific £70 combined to see Portishead in July at All Tomorrow's Parties/I'll Be Your Mirror and Caribou in February at the NME Awards Show (booooo! hissssssss!).

To celebrate my past money, present poverty and future aural pleasure, I thought I'd write a blog post.


Portishead are fucking amazing. To be honest, I'm still having trouble getting into their newest album, Third, but their first two are masterpieces of misery. Also, according to YouTube, they do a mindblowing live show. I don't think they'll be doing the massive orchestra thangg in July, but they might as it's such a big, high profile show. Look at the heart tearing renditions that'll happen in the event that they do:

Also playing that day are Grinderman (OMG NICK CAVE), who are pretty awesome, the dreamy Beach House, the bodacious Liars and several other bands I'm not cool enough to know
It should be an amazing day.


Although I was originally upset to find out Caribou wasn't a Pixies tribute band, I am constantly amazed by the complexity and beauty in Dr. Dan Snaith's music. His most recent albums, Swim and Andorra, are very different, but share the capacity to make me very angry that I'll never be that good at making music. Caribou are also supposed to be really great live, something I would have witnessed first hand if not for being fucking kicked out of fucking Offset fucking Festival FOR NO FUCKING REASON, but that's a story for another blog...

Also playing in February are Factory Floor, who I also missed at fucking Offset but were apparently so intense live someone passed out. It could have been me... 

Friday, 26 November 2010

Review: 'Great Vacation!'? more like 'Great Albums!' (Oh I crack myself up...)

Sleeping in the Aviary, who I have written about at some length before, have a new album, Great Vacation!, out on November 30th. Due to me pre-ordering it immensely quickly and the people at the label (Science of Sound) being very nice, I received it a couple of days ago.

The first thing that struck me about the album was the giant increase in production value, unlike the last two it can't be described as lo-fi in any way, shape or form. It originally worried me that they might have lost the rough, roguish charm I loved them for, but luckily Sleeping in the Aviary aren't one of those awful bands whose only talent is being recorded terribly.

Musically, they've moved away from the Folk-Punk aesthetic of Expensive Vomit in a Cheap Hotel and closer towards a softer, surfier one. There is still the odd distorted guitar, but sadly singer Elliot Kozel has generally refrained from screaming and there is nothing that even compares to Gas Mask Blues.

There are many genuinely great songs on Great Vacation!, some of my personal favorites being the immensely fun You Don't Have to Drive (which you can listen to here)Axes Ground Looth Tooth (in which the token girl, accordionist Celeste Heule, has a fantastic official lead vocal debut) and Last Kiss on a Sinking Ship, for which they made their first ever music video (which I really like) and combines a daft premise with touching lyrics about getting it awwn.

I must admit that I'm slightly upset about the lack of punky material, and I do think it has resulted in 2 or 3 dud songs, but I guess they have moved on creatively. There are some fantastic new things going on, such as the slide guitar on Maria's Ghost, the weird aesthetics of the softer sounding ballads (that they've borrowed from Elliot's brilliant side project she is so beautiful/she is so blonde) and also the Blondie-esque, falsettoed last track.

Another thing I would have liked is more songs sung by Celeste, her voice is really lovely and reminds me of whoever it is that sometimes sings with Casiotone for the Painfully Alone. On this brilliant, freely downloadable thing (it includes earlier versions of some songs), I heard her singing the fantastic song Deep Sea, which really should have made it onto the album.

Anyway, despite my quibbles, I do like Great Vacation! quite a lot. I would have liked a repeat of the last album, but that would never of have happened and I would complain about their lack of innovation anyway. My love of EVIACH has made me judge Great Vacation! very harshly.

Great Vacation! is a solid effort, but if you only have £10 to spare, buy Expensive Vomit in a Cheap Hotel right away.

Monday, 22 November 2010

The Jesus Lizard

So I was watching Clerks clips on YouTube when I saw the trailer, which said "including music by blah blah blah..." and I thought the bands might be quite fun to check out, so I did. Corrosion of Conformity were quite fun, but the best band I found also had the best name: The Jesus Lizard.

They make music that Wikipedia calls Noise Rock, and I'm not one to argue with Wikipedia (I'm sure it is called Noise Rock), but to me it sounds like if you took those weird, slightly sickening songs on Chairs Missing by Wire and mixed it with The Birthday Party. And then put in some Nirvana (who they actually did a split single with).

Anyway, despite my unsatisfactory description and generally rubbish writing, I do quite like what I've heard of them. Again, I haven't listened to them enough to really know their best songs. Here are some ones I think are coooooool.

Also, here is a Wire song I rediscovered recently which I think is amazing and beautiful. I think.

I'm rambling quite a lot, I'm pretty tired and very aware that nobody actually reads this. And if they were to read it, they would gain nothing from the experience anyway.

Monday, 8 November 2010

Apologies to my millions of readers for not posting in a while

I have recently been listening to Guided by Voices. I downloaded a random few of their albums after watching some videos of them that were related to Pavement videos on YouTube.

They are enjoyable to listen to. Some of their songs are kinda crap, some of their songs are really good and most of their songs are very okay, but are nice to have on in the background when you're doing other things because they make you feel like you're a nonchalant Generation-Xer in Clerks or something.

They make that kind of messy, 90s lo-fi type indie rock that makes you feel okay about being disgustingly lazy as it feels like (and sounds like) they're probably just as disgustingly lazy as you are. However, unlike you, they have the capacity to sound really rocking, in a similar way to songs like Summer Babe by Pavement and Sacred Attention by Sebadoh.

Here are some of my favorite songs that I have heard so far by them. They're probably not their best songs though, as I haven't listened to them nearly as much as I should have, especially considering that I'm writing a blog about them.

Oh also, I forgot to say that their songs are all really short, which means they get extra brownie points.