Thursday, 22 May 2008

1, 2, 3, YouTube

Fugazi are one of those bands that I always forget just how good they are. I think because I don't listen to them that regularly, I'm always pleasantly surprised when I hear them again and remember why they're revered so much. I've recently been watching videos of them on YouTube and it saddens me to think that I passed up on what was most likely my only real opportunity to see them, assuming they don't come out of retirement. These videos are from the tour they did for 'The Argument' which was quite a dramatic change of sound for Fugazi. They had proper singing on it and everything.

The video of 'Waiting Room' features some great moves from Guy Picciotto, which have been ripped off by pretty much every front man of any loudish indie rock band since the mid-90s.

The other two videos feature a second drummer. Which is exciting. After those two videos there's one of Black Flag for no other reason then me liking it and that it was uploaded by the same person as the Fugazi videos. I would recommend you look through his or her videos. They are very good. Essentially this post is me exploiting someone else's hard work. What can you do. Here are some videos:

Wednesday, 14 May 2008

Knee Deep At ATP Vs Pitchfork

I think I've used this title on my blog before; however this year it seems all the more appropriate given that Los Campesinos! were playing. In keeping with the slightly weak LC! references, I have decided to format my review in lists. I told it you it was weak. Since it was ATP Vs Pitchfork, I shall also be providing handy Pitchfork style ratings for you.

  1. Pissed Jeans - Downstairs room, Sunday

  2. Of all the bands playing this year, I think Pissed Jeans were the one I was most looking forward to and since they've never played in the UK before, I was expecting a lot. Thankfully, they didn't disappoint. Opening their set with a feedback ridden version of 'Secret Admirer' from last year's Hope For Men lp, Pissed Jeans didn't let up for forty minutes going from slowed down one note metal riffs into fast, pissed off hardcore, they provided what every Sunday afternoon needs. In addition to being awesome musically, Pissed Jeans managed to win not only the best equipment award (Sunn Model T head, Ampeg SVT bass head) but the best and possibly only stage dive of the weekend, which saw they drum jump over his kit, cross the stage in two steps and leap over the barrier. A perfect way to finish.

  3. The Hold Steady - Upstairs room, Sunday

  4. In contrast to a lot of the bands playing, The Hold Steady are a pretty straight forward band. Bruce Springsteen is an often used and pretty fair reference point. Given that musically they can be fairly straight ahead and simply, it does allow Craig Finn's lyrics to become more of a focal point. Personally I enjoyed this verse from 'Ask Her For Some Adderall' (I realise you may not):
    If she asks, don't I'll tell her that I'm living hand-to-mouth.
    Don't tell her that I'm sleeping on your couch.
    And if she asks just tell her that we opened for the Stones,
    It's her favourite band except for the Ramones.

  5. Les Savy Fav - Upstairs room, Saturday

  6. At last year's ATP, Les Savy Fav played one of the best gig I have ever seen and whilst their set this year wasn't as good, it was still pretty fucking good. As you'd expect there were some costume changes, most notably Tim Harrington putting on a Pink Panther costume he had removed from an audience member, ridiculous banter and some songs. A rare airing of 'Dishonest Don' that segued into 'Rome (Written Upside Down)' provided an effective way to end. The end of 'Rome' saw three of LSF lead the audience out of the upstairs venue and into downstairs one where the Black Lips were about to start playing, all the while carrying and playing drums. The only downside of this great piece of showmanship was that we almost got tricked into seeing Black Lips.

  7. Dirty Projectors - Downstairs room, Saturday

  8. Dirty Projectors have an unfair advantage over most bands - Black Flag covers. If there's anything that makes a band more enjoyable, it's the prospect of seeing them bust out some Black Flag. That they also managed to perfectly replicate all the harmonies from last year's Damaged lp, which in itself is admirable. Not only that, both their guitarists did some great John Fahey style finger picking, which is enough for any band to win me over.

  9. Yeasayer - Upstairs room, Saturday

  10. Listening back to Yeasayer, it becomes obvious that they would have problems translating their songs from record into a live setting. On record, they utilise a lot of samples, sounds and tones which it seems they can't replicate live to full affect. Due to this some of their slower, more downbeat material suffers from a lack of production, but when they hit their stride with their faster songs, notably 'Sunrise' and '2080' (which itself is such a good song they could have played it for forty minutes and everyone would have been happy), they prove that they're a band worthy of attention.

  11. Fuck Buttons - Downstairs room, Friday

  12. Current darlings of the ATP stable, and certainly a band to name drop for those in the know, Fuck Buttons played to an eager crowd on the first evening of the festival. Having never seen them before, I was looking forward to see if they lived up to all the hype. Opening with 'Sweet Love For Planet Earth', they got off to a good start with some nice distorted bass synths and the old noise trick of yelling into a mic plugged into a suitcase of pedals. As their set progressed, it became apparent that where you'd expect them to exercise their noise muscles and play with their delay pedals, they instead chose to concentrate on those pesky melodies and getting the audience to dance. Whilst this is in no way a bad thing, personally I felt that they'd have been better if they'd have just messed about with some feedback instead of moving into the realms of laptop electronica.

  13. Bon Iver - Upstairs room, Friday

  14. At this point in my list, it became a bit hard to find bands whose entire set I had watched and enjoyed. This is mainly down to how hot it was - both of the venues suffered from poor ventilation, which made it hard to persevere with a band, unless you really wanted to see them. The other factor was the old "fall asleep at whilst watching a band in a mid-afternoon slot". I saw the first half of Bon Iver before I nodded off. What i saw was pretty good; quite folky but not in a way that made it suck. I believe he's on Later.. this Friday so watch that.

  15. Glass Candy - Downstairs room, Saturday

  16. I think of all the bands I saw, Glass Candy were without a shadow of a doubt the worst. The problem wasn't that they weren't so bad that it could be considered a joke band (or even ironic) but that they were sincere in their desire to genuinely want to play Italo-Disco, a genre that is so bad it makes me want to both laugh and cry. And for some reason, I made a point of going to see them and watching most of their set. I think it was down to the Troubleman connection.

  17. Meat Puppets - Downstairs room, Sunday

  18. Fulfilling Sunday's quota for re-united grunge bands, the Meat Puppets were pretty good. I can't really think of anything constructive to say. They played both of those songs Nirvana covered.

  19. Los Campesinos! - Upstairs room, Saturday

  20. Normally I'm a bit harsh on Los Campesions! - whilst I think they're pretty good I always feel that they aren't as great as everyone says (blogs) they are. It seems that the amount of touring they've done has paid off, with them appearing to be much more comfortable and focused with themselves, compared to the previous times I've seen them. Saturday's set was certainly an emotional affair, with Gareth referring to ATP as "our Knebworth, our Wembley, our Pyramid Stage", which only added to the excitement that LC! play with. Whilst Fuck Buttons may be playing every ATP event possible, it's Los Campesinos! that represent the perfect ATP band.

So that was my weekend. A special mention of all my friends who put up with my annoying jokes for the whole weekend.

Next installment should be a Kinsella themed mixtape. Exciting.

Friday, 2 May 2008

Return Of The Blog

Hello there, blog fans. It's been a while hasn't it? I'm not sure why I've not written anything for so long. But fear not, for there is a brand new web application that I'm taking advantage of for this return post. Yes that's right, I've made a Muxtape. Only two months behind everyone else. Details below.

Hello, I made a mix tape for you and called it "9 Songs Not As Good As Born To Run."

1. Bruce Springsteen - Thunder Road
2. The Jesus Lizard - Boilermaker
3. Drive Like Jehu - Caress
4. Black Flag - Six Pack
5. Archers Of Load - Wrong
6. Pissed Jeans - I've Still Got You (Ice Cream)
7. Make Believe - Sam Rollerskating Backwards
8. Dirty Projectors - Six Pack
9. The Hold Steady - Killer Parties

Bonus points to anyone who spots the title reference. Some of these bands are playing at ATP Vs Pitchfork, so this should act as a primer of sorts. I should have some more bands to write about after that weekend but who knows?

I also made a Muxtape for a feature on Sweeping The Nation. It's songs from the year 1995. I wrote a hilarious track by track description on the Drowned In Sound message board, but I didn't save it so you'll have to make up your own jokes. Sorry.

Eventually this blog may become active in the future; I'm already planning some entries but I think it depends on me finding some stuff that is exciting in some way. There may even be a face lift along the way (by this I mean change the background to white).

Enough of my typing. Listen to some music.