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

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Gig: Mafia Lights @ The Lock Tavern 29/5/11

I went to this free gig, but only saw Mafia Lights. I'd never heard them before, but they were definitely worth seeing.

Apparently they used to be a pretty boring standard rock band (link), but have since morphed into a drummerless, electronic-loop led, brilliant mess of sound. Despite apparently missing a third member, they put on a full sounding and musically interesting show. Their songs reminded me a bit of a mix between Radiohead, The xx and the less scary bits of Salem.

Here are tracks:

Saturday, 28 May 2011

The Hussy

The Hussy are a garagey two-piece punk band. They did a split 7" (here) with one of my favourite bands of all time, Sleeping in the Aviary (who I've written about in these posts), and they're real cool.

This is an awesome live video:

And here's a couple of awesome music videos. IN ONE VIDEO:

Awesome. I can't decide what to buy from them though...

Friday, 27 May 2011

Colourmusic music video - 'Beard'

The ever interesting Colourmusic present the world with a video for their track 'Beard' today, which is the opener of their newest album My ____ Is Pink.

The actual song reminds me of the post-punk, almost post-rock, riffage of Liars, and is generally awesome. The music video reminds us all how disgusting human beings are.


LCD Soundsystem...

...were way ahead of the game with this whole taking-the-piss-out-of-hipsters-from-such-an-angle-that-the-creator-of-the-satire-would-obviously-stand-up-to-their-own-criteria-of-what-makes-a-hipster thing that's been sweeping the internet for a while.

And that's all James Murphy's good for as far as I'm concerned.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Lodger - 'Honeymoon is Over'

Finnish band Lodger got some viral internet attention as a result of their cynical music videos for songs 'I Love Death' and 'Doorsteps'. However, their third, most recent album, Honeymoon is Over (released 2008) shows that they have the capacity to reach higher heights than mild internet stardom.

The opening track 'Requiem' hints, with a short, Pink Flag-esque punk out, that they have promise to be more interesting than the relatively bland rock/pop of their previous releases. Next, 'Chemicals' goes on to prove that they have the ability to write songs that almost match Sebadoh's Bakesale era depressive output.

The rest of the album is a bit hit-and-miss: 'Hairdo' goes from a bit of a rubbish verse to a spectacular chorus, 'Nostalgia' does the opposite and 'So Long' is not my cup of tea at all. Their main drawback seems to tragically be their Finnish origin. The strong accent and often clunky lyrics occasionally get in the way of what could otherwise be great. Despite this, 'I Was Young I Needed the Money', 'Prefontain' and 'Girlfriend' show a skill at crafting energetic Indie Rock songs with pop hooks Guided By Voices would be proud of.

Lodger seem to have disappeared recently, but apparently there's a new album on the way. Hopefully it'll continue where they left off with 'Honeymoon is Over', and they'll continue their progression towards becoming a really, really awesome band that remind me of other awesome bands.

Some tracks (I couldn't find all the ones I really, really liked, but these will do):

Friday, 20 May 2011

Golden Grrrls - '2011 Tour Cassette'

As far as I can make out, this ace "album" is a tape that Glasgow based Golden Grrrls sold on their tour.

I really like their brand of upbeat lo-fi indie-pop. While kinda sounding similar to many of their surfy, reverby contemporaries, the intricate harmonies, interesting arrangements and general goodness makes me think that their rough-around-the-edges aesthetic may actually be concealing some real musical talent, as opposed to covering up the usual lack of it. They also seem like they can kick up the distortion and rock out a bit (in a slightly Bad Brains-ish way), which is always a major plus.

I'm really looking forward to the possibility of hearing some more, and slightly better recorded, songs. These Grrrls are Golden (sorry).


Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Nas - 'Illmatic'

I haven't written about Hip-Hop on here before, so I may as well jump in with possibly the best Hip-Hop album of all time, Nas' Illmatic.

I checked it out a couple of weeks ago and my mind was blown. From beginning to end it's full of top notch production and rapping mastery. Nas paints a lyrical picture of his everyday reality (up until that point), mixed with the standard rapping boasts, with such dexterity that I had to listen to every song a couple of times to take it all in. His flow reminds me of Rakim's, but it manages to sound much more natural and poetic, which is saying something. What's really interesting lyrically is the bitter-sweet way he looks at ghetto gangsta life: never glorifying it, but also never smugly denying that there's something to glorify.

I'm kinda running out of things to write because the bottom line is: Illmatic is an amazing album that every Hip-Hop fan should hear, and my relatively uneducated blabbering doesn't really do it justice.

Some tracks:

Monday, 16 May 2011

Timber Timbre - 'Cedar Shakes' & 'Medicinals'

I have already rigorously masturbated over Timber Timbre in a couple of other posts (found here), and my love for him/them led me to dig a little deeper. After a lot of hunting, I managed to track down his first two, much folkier albums: Cedar Shakes and Medicinals. (Don't tell anyone, and I definitely don't condone using this route to listen to the albums at all, but they can be found here and here respectively.)

Anyway, Cedar Shakes is lo-fi. Very lo-fi. Volumes jump up and down and there's quite a bit of white noise, but it doesn't take away from the beauty of the songs and, if anything, just makes you feel even luckier to hear them. As with later albums, there's a lot packed into the songs instrumentally, lyrically and atmospherically. There's something solemnly religious about much of Timber Timbre's music (don't worry, not in a bad/mad way), and it especially shines through in Cedar Shakes. On tracks like the gospel-eqsue 'Mercy' you can almost hear his clenched fist passionately shaking at the sky.

Medicinals is also lo-fi, but it seems like a lot more time has been put into making it sound right. It definitely does sound right, and in the last few weeks it has become my favourite Timber Timbre album, even beating the properly released, most recent two. Almost every aspect of it is perfect, there are brilliant lyrics, amazing melodies and arrangements that are even better than the awesome ones on its predecessor. There's also emotional variety: 'It Comes Back To Haunt Us' makes is reminiscent of a tragically beautiful Edith Piaf song while 'Oh Messiah' borrows from 'Twist and Shout', and makes me want to do just that.

Someone really, really needs to re-release these albums and kick up a fuss about them. They are absolutely brilliant. If I could, I would spend money on them, just for the sake of it.

There are so many things I want to write about

But I am so, so lazy.

By not writing stuff for this blog, I'm procrastinating from procrastination.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Gig: Shrag + Grovesnor @ Buffalo Bar 1/5/11

Grovesnor, in all his seductive glory
The Buffalo Bar was really packed when Grovesnor came on the stage. They're the side project of Hot Chip drummer Rob Smoughton, but (luckily for Grovesnor) they're not really comparable. They play the kind of cheesy lounge-jazz-electropop that one can imagine Flight Of The Conchords seducing women with, which isn't really a genre of music I'd ever choose to listen to, or even ever known anyone to listen to. The official biography itself says that the "ambiguity of “is he for real” is where Grovesnor comes in", suggesting that either his management are just as confused about the ridiculousness of his music as everyone else, or, more likely, that it's all a bit of a joke. That being said, it is fun music and they played it really brilliantly. By the last song (complete with drum and sax solos) everyone in the room was at least nodding their heads with a smile.

Shrag were very much more up my street. Despite clearly having influences in the twee-pop genre I usually despise, they bring a punkish live element to their set that makes them sound like a more musically proficient early '90s Riot Grrl band. They said they tried out some new songs on the night (they were all new to me, I've never heard them before) and I think they were my favourites of the night, with a combination of shouting vocals, post-punk guitar and some really awesome drumming. There was also a song with a spoken verse reminiscent of that No Trend song I posted that was really ace. More popular with the crowd was their single 'Rabbit Kids', but it's not really my thing. I might try to see them next time they play. You should go see them.

After the bands some DJs played a mixture of classic soul, indie and some Spice Girls. I witnessed some of the strangest dancing ever.