So the internet at home doesn’t work, so I missed Lo-Fi Friday. Sorry, the entire genre of lo-fi. Instead of that, here’s a veritable plethora of live reviews I haven’t done, in very truncated form owing to fading memory. A few sentences each. Explanation for new readers: I review everything, so I have to do this whether you want it or not.
Swans: People seem to talk about Swans in “legend” terms, but while they do make physically affecting music, they take themselves awful seriously and aren’t as ‘experimental’ as they’re often talked about as being. Gira saying “Jesus Christ” blank-faced over the same chord every song was is faintly ridiculous, and arriving in something other than a black t-shirt made me feel a little awkward. Still, worth seeing.
Xiu Xiu/Former Ghosts: Former Ghosts also required a suspension of disbelief, but unlike Michael Gira, it’s less difficult to feel like you’re pulling for Freddy Rupert. Highly strung, sometimes infectious, always energetic. Xiu Xiu were still as good as they were last time, and the noise-drenched Fabulous Muscles was unparallelled. The weight of sound and emotion that Jamie Stewart can get into the parts that are sound, and the desolate weight that he can get into the parts that are silence, is sheer and never not impressive, and even though they’re not a band, they’re one of the best live bands around at the moment.
Adebisi Shank: Only got about 80% of this due to other commitments. It’s Adebisi Shank, so you’re assuming perfect game and then taking points off for flaws. The sound in the Button Factory wasn’t great, and Europa will never be their best song no matter how many times they say that from the stage. Still great.
State vs. AU: Cloud Castle Lake were, as usual, hypnotic and excellent. Preferring their faster stuff, vaguely disconcerting and chaotic, to the slower stuff which is also good but closer to other stuff. Lowly Knights were a good ol’ nu-folk group of no note. Grand Pocket Orchestra I should stop talking about, but they’re on top of their game right now.
I have a feeling I forgot something. Regular service tomorrow.