Monday, July 31, 2006
Saturday, July 29, 2006
In case you're unfamiliar with the concept, Don't Look Back (which is an appendage of the All Tomorrow's Parties series of festivals) ask bands to play their magnum opus in order from start to finish. Simon Reynolds has coined the term 'anachronesis' for what might be seen as a sterile obsession with reproducing past glories, but I think such criticisms are frankly pretty sadcore. The biggest triumph so far has been (so I'm told) the Stooges doing 1970's Fun House last year. Things We Lost in the Fire, by contrast, came out in 2001, which is not very long for an album to enter the canon, but I can't believe people won't still be listening to it in another thirty years – it's a record of staggering beauty and emotional penetration, a true work of art. And I'm clearly not the only one who loves it, because the original gig sold out so fast that ATP added a second night. There wasn't a dry eye in the house on Thursday, except, of course, among the journalists, as it is now standard in the industry to have your tear ducts surgically removed so that, in their place, can be put a hunk of extra brain tissue specifically designed to help you cope with the psychic trauma when your editor forces you to write something nice about Keane.
There were no surprises. Alan and Mimi Sparhawk were joined by a bassist, violinist, and keyboardist, and they faithfully reproduced the album in all its slow, haunting glory. I could really have written this review before the gig. (The only thing that threw me was how loud it got. Low are known as a quiet band - or they were before The Great Destroyer - but they pull no punches live.) Some might wonder if there's any point to a gig that's quite so predictable, but seeing the emotion on Alan Sparhawk's rugged face was really something. Plus, they pulled out some other songs for the encores, like 'Canada' from Trust and 'When I Go Deaf' from The Great Destroyer, although sadly not my personal favourite, 'Two Step' from Secret Name.
So where next for Don't Look Back? I'd love to see ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead do Source Tags and Codes.
Thursday, July 27, 2006
Tuesday, July 25, 2006
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
was still very much on) I spent a few hours on the deck listening to Riton's kraut rock classics (the boat is moored though Neu! may have sounded better in motion) and then went below deck to watch Shychild (2 men, a synth and a drum kit), Battant (shouty pop punk) and New Young Pony Club (same set I reviewed last week) before surfacing to bob about to Andrew Weatherall whose techno and post punk attracted the attention of a passing police boat. In the coming weeks they've got The Horrors, Good Shoes and Jamie T. Go to www.adventuresinthebeetrootfield.com for the full line-ups.
Monday, July 17, 2006
Friday, July 14, 2006
Two conclusions. Firstly, this is an incredibly healthy scene. Secondly, the mainstream media has absolutely no excuse left for ignoring it. They'll tell you the average reader has no way of hearing club-based underground music, but this just isn't true now that dubstep's embraced the album format - and even if it hadn't, you can get dozens of crucial singles on Bleep.com, which is no harder to use than iTunes. They'll tell you dance music is faceless, but what about Space Ape, Warrior Queen, Crazy D, Sergeant Pokes, and all the other hot dubstep MCs? Sure, most people aren't going to like music that's so much about fear, austerity, and heart-attack sub-bass, but dubstep is a hell of a lot more interesting than DIY indie or whatever other haircut-fixated non-scene is getting repped this week.
Tuesday, July 11, 2006
Friday, July 07, 2006
New Young Pony Club Myspace