Monthly Archives: August 2008

Lowlands Notebooks – Sunday etc

Lykke Li:

magnetic personality – eclectic music – tendency towards hit or miss -banging single



songs all either “bleeeeep or faaar away” (thank you Katie) – limp – bad

Sigur Rós:

quiet loud fairytale thing – not half as bowled over as my friends – most of the set ordinary – regular gig, not theatre set-up as Oxegen 2006 – highlights did hit the nordic sublime


The Roots:

sore neck from jerking it and trying to dance to rap – unused to this – virtuouso instrumentalists – guitar/bass solos for twelve hours – rap as part of the music, not over the music – ultimate fun – genius festival closer



Lowlands Notebooks – Saturday etc

50 Jaar Nederpop (Dutch pop retrospective, see here):

bim bam bom, House For Saaaaaaaaaaaale, Heideroosjes singer, fullest main stage ever, loads of fun

Los Campesinos:

Pete Dohertwee – nothing there – no gap between fun and good music

British Sea Power:

dull, soft focus, 4/4 rubbish


halfway between sloppy Sleater-Kinney and less self-absorbed Cat Power, even if they were there first. not very good.

Iron and Wine:

Vote For Pedro t-shirt brigade vs. my Dublin jersey – unfolding and uncertain – jam sensibilities – virtuoso drummer – Woman King opener – a little too spacey


No Age:

bedroom noise – attack! – youth abandon punk



mix mix mix – combining rhythms – Soulja Boy and Lil Wayne and Paper planes – Baltimore to bhangra




Lowlands Notebooks – Friday etc

Holy Fuck:

sweaty, communal, committed, Lovely Allen, Super Inuit. ultra buzzing vibrant violent headnod energy.


Hot Chip:

ragged, loud, second record, Nothing Compares 2 U, bit classic rock, bit festival set


Lowlands Notebooks – Sex Pistols

senile grand aunt being bitten by vipers into singing the hits

but perversely ENJOYING it.

clap along everything

anarchy breakdown singalong

absolute travesty

Lowlands Notebooks – Flaming Lips

pixellated, made of space

panda head

streamer rafter disaster

alien rainbow mess

future laser, retro box of light

squid gong


last party in the world


Get Low

In Amsterdam now, about to get the train out to the world’s largest artificial island for Lowlands. Last year’s line-up (LCD Soundsystem, Arcade Fire, Battles, Sonic Youth, Interpol at marquee level alone) was exceptional, and there aren’t really any bands I’m truly pranging to see, but I’m sure I’ll find some way to keep busy. For example:

Flaming Lips – widely acknowledged as an incredibly awesome mad freakout live experience. I haven’t seen them before, so that’s one thing I will definitely not miss due to being drunk, stoned or lost.
Heima/Sigur Ros – They’re showing Heima on the huge screen, which is a perfect opportunity to flake. Or, if I’m arsed, I might actually go to see them. Quiet -> LOUD. A simple formula, but it’s worked for them so far.
Hot Chip – There are all kinds of dance acts playing, but I’m not heavily into that kind of thing. I prefer the soft, knowing electronics of the Chip.
Holy Fuck – I also like the hard, grating electronics of the Fuck.
Iron & Wine – I had Woman King years ago. I still do, actually. Maybe this will be good.
Lykke Li – The hype choice.
Modeselektor – Have to dance sometime.
The Roots – Self-proclaimed greatest ever live hip hop band. Didn’t know they were playing until just there.
There Will Be Blood – One of the best films ever made. Clashes with something good, but we’ll see.

Things I Will Not Be Going To See:

The National – Not an old man, don’t like dad rock.

Snack Point Charlie

I’m in Berlin at the moment. I have to be up early in the morning, so I can’t go to the apparent best club ever which Junior Boys led my friends to last week, prefacing a 48 hour odyssey that ended without shoes in Kreuzburg for one of them. I only have one pair of shoes with me anyway, and I probably don’t have that kind of stamina in me, so I’m going to be dull and blog some bits and pieces.

I got my mp3 player, along with a camera, stolen in the “Party-Room” of a hostel in Munich of all places. This has led to a quite surprising result. When you don’t have the option to listen to Times New Viking at full volume whenever you want, you end up much more aware of the music being played on the PA in receptions, restaurants and shops. The song in your head isn’t of your choosing any more. This is especially important when you’re spending a month staring out of train windows for between four and nine hours at a time. The soundtrack of your life is out of your control.

Mine, so far (because every journey further than a walk to the shops has its built-in soundtrack) has been as follows: Bad Boys For Life by Puff Daddy, Without Me by Eminem, the zither theme from The Third Man (since Vienna), Nantes by Beirut, everything by the Pet Shop Boys (thank you German radio), Mercy by Duffy, that song by the Rasmus, Nessun Dorma by Paul Potts.

I miss Times New Viking.

A few observations from Berlin: at some sort of ersatz Nazi museum on boards near the last stretch of the Wall, I noticed the phrase “Unsichtbar gemachte Geschichte” – history made invisible. It was about the rebuilding of Germany after the war, and having been here for nearly a week, I thought that described the way things are here really well.

It’s not that they’re allergic to history in general – they’re proud people, and there are the same monuments and symbolic statues and museums and things here that there are in Vienna and elsewhere. It’s just that they skip straight from Bismarck to JFK. For something so unavoidable anywhere in Europe, it’s kind of remarkable they manage not to Mention The War. Obviously it’s for the best, and I’m sure it’s just one of those things known and not spoken. But that’s just my one-visit, one-week observation.

I’m going to go do something else now, maybe eat Vietnamese food. Bruce Springsteen just came on the radio where I am. I am not happy at the prospect of having it in my head for the day tomorrow, no matter what Dan, Rory or my parents say.

In other news, Dublin Duck Dispensary are playing Hard Working Class Heroes, on the Friday at 7.30 in Andrew’s Lane. “Unmissable”. Check out the Hot Press review.

Tschuss, Blogosphere.