Monthly Archives: September 2008

New Blogroll

How fancy is the new blogroll thing? Does it in order of the most recently updated. That’s going to make things so handy for me. I can finally delete half of the myriad live and dead bookmarks on my Firefox. Bit of spring cleaning.

I will start going to gigs again soon, I promise. Maybe starting with Our Brother The Native on Sunday.

Then I can hopefully knock the video for The Rat down to a place where it doesn’t wreck the Blogger theme, and get back into the right way of doing things around here.

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The Rat.

Tried to post this on the Analogue blog a while ago but I don’t think it worked.

No words can express how deadly I think this song and this performance is. If words could express it, the words I would choose would be: violent, frenetic, energetic, frantic, fast.

I wonder if the Walkmen ever resent Vampire Weekend for leapfrogging them.

Statement of intent

Here’s some gigs I want to go to.

Our Brother The Native
Holy Fuck
Times New Viking/No Age
Port O’Brien
Vampire Weekend
Story of Hair/So Cow
Roots Manuva
The Walkmen
TV On The Radio
Jay Reatard
Built To Spill
Wolf Parade
Beach House

Never going to get to all of those.

Special Bulletin

Started listening to Fight Like Apes’ album as soon as it went up to stream.

One-listen verdict:

guarded expression…

cautious smile

wide grin!

Gareth wanted me to link to his exclusive review of it, for some reason possibly relating to a belief that Fight Like Apes fans read this blog because it’s named after them. So go there, read it, then go to entertainment.ie and compare notes with newly ebonics-employing Analogue web supremo Gareth Stack.

music scene is crazy, bands start up each and every day

A summary is a shortened version of the original. The main purpose of such a simplification is to highlight the major points from the genuine (much longer) subject, e.g. a text, a film or an event. The aim is to help the audience get the gist in a short period of time.

Groom – Not impressed. A little bit OK Computer-y at times, but way less cool. And the song of theirs that kept coming on between bands is something I cannot imagine anyone who doesn’t watch rom-coms without irony ever liking.

The Hot Sprockets – I was expecting “folky” and “a whole different buzz altogether”, because the girl from Muzu said they’d be like that. But they weren’t.

Holy Roman Army – This band needs to get some visuals going, and figure out a more exciting way of playing live. Granted, they were on way too early for the kind of music they play, but being soporific is never a good trait in a live band.

The Vinny Club – Man pressed play on iTunes, then arses around.

Foxface – Their blurb was about ten times as exciting as they were.

Noise Control – 90s rap rock? Seriously?

Heathers – Can’t see why everyone is so impressed by these. They have a couple of lyrical turns that make you go “hmm”, but if you do everything using terms of reference derived from female American singer-songwriters from the 1990s you’re never going to be able to be new or impressive. I also couldn’t stomach the fact that they literally did not stop harmonising once in the first four songs.

Carly Sings – Too quiet, venue too loud. Couldn’t hear, had to leave.

So there you have it. Hard Working Class Heroes 2008.

One Big Stormcloud In A Duffelcoat

Apologies to MC Aoife Mc for shamelessly pilfering this image, but it’s the best one on the first page of Google Image search and my camera was stolen in Munich so that’s where I have to go for pictures.

It came from the West, with a “strange American accent that I really didn’t see coming”. So Cow has been to Dublin before, at Dame Lane for Loreana, in Anseo for Hefty Horse and at somewhere else for some Korean thing during Electric Picnic. But So Cow has never been this deadly, at least while I was there.

Seriously, when did this happen? So Cow has made two excellent albums in These Truly Are End Times and I’m Siding With My Captors, and played fairly good live shows. But the live shows have always been approximations of the recorded material to some extent, because they’ve been to backing tracks or with under-rehearsed bands. This time, with a drummer capable of bombing a Middle-Eastern city with only his sticks and two tins of biscuits, and a bassist with a beard, So Cow turned into some kind of breakneck proto-punk garage trio. It doesn’t sound like an effort to be like what’s in Brian’s head or on his CDs any more. It sounds outside that, better.

It was breakneck. It was slightly out of tune at points. Songs like Moon Geun Young and Casablanca from the first album got garaged up and spat out so they’d sit with the stuff from the second album. And the second album stuff, like Greetings and Normalcy, got a serious shot in the arm, infused with all kinds of aggression and energy. Most solos were substituted with simple rocking out. Some chunks were added, like the metal intro, or various outro messes. The whole thing, being “SO COW 2008! PLAYING THE HITS!” went by way too quickly and left me feeling like I’d been hit by a fish or something equally unexpected.

The best part for me, though, was To Do List. Like an oasis in a storm of ultra-tight garage mess, original So Cow and new So Cow drummer harmonised over a strummed ditty for a minute of so. Until… breaking into full band awesomeness and carrying the thing to a complete new level. One of those “Woah!” moments. Gig of the weekend this time, without a doubt.

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Programmed To Destroy Us

So on to Sunday. The Judaeo-Christian God, who’d been letting the cistern fill up since mid-August, eventually opened the flood-gates and flushed his toilet once more onto the hapless Dublin. This had a fairly negative effect on Hard Working Class Heroes. Example 1: I got wet. Example 2: I had to wear an unfashionable anorak over my already unfashionable attire. Example 3: Fewer people showed up.

Robotnik though, was unmissable. If you were at Meeting House Square or Andrew’s Lane at all during the festival, you’ve seen the video for Puddlestarter he did for Muzu, featuring an anthropomorphic horse with a rainbow umbrella getting super-soaked and making some of the greatest expressions ever recorded while battling Chris Morrin on the floor for supremacy during the instrumental section.

The horse was there again in the Academy 2. Robotnik is someone who does enough to be on the radar for a lot of people, but who doesn’t necessarily fill them with childish joy and enthusiasm for his music. More than 50% of his appeal is in the drama and the visuals, in my opinion. Without the costumes, the supersoaker, the horse, he’s just a guy. I’m sure people would still listen to a degree, but he wouldn’t have the medium-sized status he has right now.

His set was good enough, for what it was. People Walk Away was a highlight. He has a tendency to sound a bit too influenced by the music of the 90s, and at other times he forgets melody. But with Robotnik, image is core. He sang a song about rain dressed in a raincoat. He did some other okay stuff. Then he played Puddlestarter and had an elaborate and slightly too violent fake fight with a horse, who tackled him after the fight was over and forced him to sing the last chorus from the floor. It was fun, not enough fun to make me want to run out and buy the album, but fun.

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