Having the day off I decided to do some overdue electronic housekeeping including doing a back-up to external hard drive. Plugged in the little black box and the blue light came on but not being recognised by my Mac. Found some alternative cables. Still not working. Checked a few forums – maybe the recent iOS update? Nothing much there. Assumed the drive had died (but nagging doubt why the blue light?) Started browsing John lewis, Amazin etc to look for a replacement – congratulating myself that “it” had failed before the mac….started to check the tiny small print on the “dud” and realised that it was actually the rechargeable power supply not the drive – which was sitting quite happily on the shelf and apart from being a small black box looks quite different. Wasted 45 minutes but saved myself £50 or so – and i did get as far as finding a Kraftwerk ticket on Ticketmaster for nearly £90 – but then paused and thought better of it. So thats me nearly £150 up by doing nothing….now what shall i spend that on guys?
After last week’s excitement re Low playing (just for me!) at Christmas, this….was reading a long review of the latest reissue of the latest complete (this time) reissue/redux of Twin Peaks (ahead of …something next year, mmm?) and adding it to my wish list…..and now I see the other guy (Mr Frost) is doing a book tour and is appearing close enough for me to take him a hot cup of coffee…take me I’m yours…
What does it sound like?:
The Monochrome Set have their roots in the early days of post-punk art school rock, and share similar DNA with semi contemporaries Wire – all too post-modern and post- ironic to wear pirate outfits but still very clever, clever. And good. Their work is beloved by a select band of OK people – and a few annoying ones. Also one of the few bands (I think) since the Monkees to have their own eponymous theme song – which is a brilliant way to come on stage – “I entertain your tiny brain so spuriously”.
Latest album Cosmonaut is the highpoint of a late blossoming career revival given added impetus by singer Bid’s stroke a few years ago. Since the departure of alt.guitar hero Lester Square (is that really a vibrator he’s using?) extra musical duties have been shared with key board player JP Moran – who looks a bit scary (but not as scary as his previous band Rapid Pig). Andy Warren’s bass playing is as impassive as ever. Includes vocal contributions from Alice Healey who graced some of the early output from Bid’s other project the even more whimsical “Scarlet’s Well” and Jessica » Continue Reading.
Just saw that Low are going back to UK for Christmas shows and have ordered my ticket. Made by Day. Looking forward to some chilly serenity. What is making your day?
“One of the most exciting new indie bands of 2016…” – according to the weekend paper. Be that as it may they certainly put on an exciting show last night. Coming on stage to “Ghost Rider” suggests a certain confidence and they had plenty of New York attitude….luckily they have some good songs to back it up. They also seemed quite sweetly pleased that the audience recognised and sang along to a few of them. They look like pop stars goddamit! Boy guitarist in a cool white outfit which suggested access to better laundry than many touring bands – girl bass player/singer quite dowdily dressed by comparison but some good playing…she dived into the audience at one point…there was a drummer too (beard and shorts I think) – couldn’t see much of him, will probably turn out to be the driving force. If you want more jangly, thrash guitar pop with a bit of psych-punk and catchy hooks thrown in this could be for you – it was for me.
Younger audience tonight (freshers week I guess), Big Jeff is back. Luckliy he didn’t crowd surf although a few girls did. I » Continue Reading.
Another performer who was new to me until very recently, but 3 albums quickly became real favourites – as recommended here by @badartdog! Thanks bdog!
Ezra comes across quite intense – heart on the sleeve, but not preachy, he seems artlessly sincere and funny too. Great songs and great show. A really rocking band having a high old time, playing 90 minutes of raucous rock and roll thrash, full of doo-wops and catchy choruses, and plenty of sax. He’s got a few more UK dates coming up – strongly recommended.
Wide age range and high energy for a Monday Night – always good to know there are a few with less hairline and more waist line than me.
It made me think..
A bigger venue than I usually go for but plenty of space and good sight lines. I remember ABC Minors matinees here.
A free exhibition at the British Library, featuring a random but (to me) quite enthralling selection of memorabilia (much of it very carefully looked after). A good way to spend 30 minutes while you wait to do something else – go into the Reading Room or try their very reasonable cafe. They have a wall of singles and I reckon I had 75%+ of them, that copy of Zigzag too…and genuine punk graffiti (see photos) courtesy of Viv Albertine). No photos allowed apparently but I took one anyway – see it worked?! The pop-up shop was selling framed prints of the Clash for (I think) £800. Turning rebellion into money…hahahaha. Then onto see the Shakespeare in 10 Acts Exhibition – highly diverting
It made me think..
It certainly did….reminded me that while it may have happened anyway, for this provincial teenager punk was about experiencing things and thinking thoughts above my station – and today that Station was Euston but I did go down the road to marvel at St Pancras.
Didn’t arrive in the best of moods for this – horrid driving weather and confusing parking directions. ended up parking on the street which i noticed was Resident’s parking so I resigned myself to a fine…and then got to the Venue and the band had started early – unheard of!
Anyway, the Tramshed is a nicely done up shed – and the politest security ever. As the band had just started I may have missed any introductions but there wasn’t a lot of chat with the audience until the end. No matter. Slowly Low got me unwound with their strange mixture of guitar thrash and fragile melody. No support they played 2 sets – most of last year’s album Ones & Sixes plus a popular selection from the back catalogue. Not many laughs or histrionics (the odd puff of dry ice and coloured lights felt almost sarcastic) but highly atmospheric – makes me think of stopping by woods – lovely dark and deep. The feel exemplified for me by one of my favourite songs from last year “What Part of Me”(which I discovered very late) – a brilliant pop song.
The very polite » Continue Reading.
Now more than ever…sub-zero cool….
….I’ve fallen for another one. A Novel Resort appears to be the drummer from Northern Portrait – who I only discovered this year – hope they haven’t gone already. Mr K is bound to know?
Can anyone recommend an iTunes alternative music management tool for mac that doesn’t require pretending to still use windows? Preferably free/cheap. After my iPod classic died last week I’ve followed the recommendation of others here and gone for a fiio x3. I think the sound is definitely miles better – assuming I have not brainwashed myself. Although I am still getting used to the different buttons and slightly slower response times the only big downside at the moment is that each time I add an album (as I have been in the habit of doing 3 or 4 times a week)it updates the whole library and with 110g that can take half an hour. May need to time my updates a bit better. This has encouraged me to look at managing the library better. Music monkey sounded the trick but running on mac looks unduly complicated. What do other mac users here use as an alternative to iTunes? Is it worth the effort?
Album arrived today and looking forward to seeing her live next week. More electric sunshine. (Records by old blokes also available.)
Don’t look like much but we have everything…Close run thing but so far, so good…
Coming home from shopping this morning there was a queue outside one of the (several) tattoo parlours we have in town. I assume tattooists are not early risers but I may be doing them a disservice, perhaps someone had lost the keys. Even so – half a dozen people. Upstairs they appear to have a tattoo removal parlour. I wonder who was queuing for what? There’s a whole world/economy/social phenomenon that is opaque to me – anyone think its worth investigating?
PS several of them seemed to be “vaping” too!
Beverly is a band. Bought this ticket on impulse – not heard of Beverly at the time but it looked interesting, it’s a great venue (normally get to stand about about10 ft from the band)so what the hell let’s splash out on £8 for 3 bands. In the meantime I’ve done my homework – got Beverly’s first album and delved (thanks discogs) into corners of yet another scene(s) that was previously unknown to me – Frankie Rose, Dum Dum Girls, Crystal Stilts – what presence! Some interesting stuff there which I’m still digesting but Beverly are the pick of that crop for me and are currently filling a similar place in my pop heart as Alvvays – but a bit more noisy. Beverly is a band – did I mention that? Fronted by Drew Citron (love that name!) who sings and plays guitar alongside the other guitar guy, Scott Rosenthal (I think), the bass guy and the drum guy – didn’t get introduced to them. Love all this guitar action – some great songs with a touch of Wire/JAMC wall-of-noise in there somewhere. All played with energy and obvious enthusiasm. They played just under » Continue Reading.
I rather like this – not least as an attempt to reduce the average age of performers discussed here into double figures. Also makes a change from some of the gargoyles featuring recently (present company excepted). Some more good stuff on the album & looking forward to seeing them next week. What do you think Mr K?
Sunday night is always a bit problematic for going out and it had been a long hot day however this was one Mrs Anton wanted to see and she normally only goes out for the Monochrome Set and Wire* so off we go. Driving so no booze hence I am up early today 🙂
This was the last night of UK touring for all 3 bands and it felt like the Fleece was a good send-off.
Openers Leggy were the youngest/newest and played 30 minutes of enthusiastic garage-pop.
Next up Wussy who we had come to see. Although they have been going for years they were unknown to me until a couple of months ago when reviews of latest album “Forever Sounds” got me intrigued and quickly hooked. Damn they have some great songs – very country feedback. Although Cleaver and Lisa are the main singers/song-writers tonight the bass player was the most vocal and mobile – although the stage at the Fleece is not huge he seemed to be enjoying having some space. They finished with ” an 80’s favourite by Huey Lewis & the News” which was actually Joy Division/New Order’s Ceremony. » Continue Reading.
…but this really does if for me tonight
Because it is…and who’s that?
A stormy night after a grim few weeks/months and in need of some serious cheering up. Thank goodness for Meilyr Jones the man/band to do it. I’d never heard of him until stumbling across “2013” but its one of my most played albums of 2016 and this show was a great showcase for it. Starting with a stomping version of “How to Recognise a Work of Art” (great video too) – MJ and band grinning like they know what a brilliant song it is – gloriously brassy (maybe a touch of the Motors?)
“Aber Abba” someone shouted – several times in case we missed it first time. It’s not just the songs about Rome and the harpsichord keyboards that make you think Divine Comedy type chamber pop – some of the music is ethereal and atmospheric, and then you get a belter like “Strange Emotional” which nods to “Smoke on the Water”.
MJ has an engaging stage presence (invades the audience at one point)and was manning the merch table and chatting afterwards.
Support Edward Penfold looks interesting.
The Louisiana has had a refit since I last visited – new stage backdrop and ceiling. It’s » Continue Reading.
New name to me but looked interesting and worth a punt on a quiet Wednesday. Did some discogs research and got drawn in to a world- as you/I do. He’s been around a while (as I’m sure you knew) and sounds it. Looks a bit like a younger Elvis Costello (alright he’s got short hair, glasses & guitar) and sounds like a gnarled Western old-timer, but his songs are strangely sweet and golden at the same time. A life of pain and woe and nasty accidents and heartfelt songs to match. Gothic country anyone?
Usual Thekla – hipsters and hip replacements. No Jeff tonight.
It made me think..
God I need cheering up – today especially – so Meilyr Jones next week. Make me smile.
Well do we?
Product Description Kate Jackson is back. The former frontwoman of the Long Blondes is pleased to announce her debut solo album, British Road Movies. The record was written by Jackson alongside guitarist and producer Bernard Butler (Suede, The Tears) at West Heath Studios in London. These ten songs were conceived as cinematic starting points, movie titles with lyrical story-boards. With ‘British Road Movies’ Jackson paints scenes and tells stories, paying homage to the colour, weather and architecture seen from every car windscreen. ‘British Road Movies’ takes in eclectic musical styles, from synth driven glam rock to Blade Runner electronica, faded piano allure to sweeping strings alt-country. All these recordings have two things in common, Jackson’s unique vocal top line and Butler’s instantly recognisable guitar. These are big, melodic alternative pop songs, with the guitarist’s naturally cinematic production perfectly complementing the narrative of the record.
Never quite “got” the idea of tribute bands although there seem to be almost as many playing these days as actual “originals”….Whatever, the idea of a Morrissey tribute band from Mexico seemed too good to resist. They put on a great show – a big band for a small stage and they turned the boat into a party for an hour or so – dancing, singalong, clapping and all. A bit of a challenge to see who is first to “name that tune” in translation. The music speaks for itself.
Hot and sweaty, enthusiastic. Big Jeff obviously. Grins all round.
It made me think..
Say what you like about Morrissey(most people do) he’s produced some great songs.