Dienstag, 25. April 2017

Arabian Heights

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The Afghan Whigs were always a band that was named in different hypes but never did really belonged to them. They were termed with grunge and alternative rock but they were always different. They wore suits instead of lumberjack shirts, had influences of soul, funk and jazz in their sound and so they didn't made it to the highest level. Their records were fantastic, sometimes interesting and even boring and I have to agree that I didn't listen to them often during the last years. After several discords and re-starts they will release their next album soon. This song shows them in their old sad and disrupted phase with howling and crying guitars. However: So danceable as in Arabian Heights" this band has never been. The track is carried by the rhythm by the night: a grooving, born from Krautrock motor activity and psychedelic shaken thoroughly Manchester Rave Stone Roses.



Montag, 24. April 2017

From The In-Box

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I subscribed several sites that promote new music. The recent days I finally found the time to check my e-mails with all the new records that was released during the last months. And I was surprised what great music was released and I didn't had it on my radar. It is too much for a single post so I will split it in various posts.

Let's start with London's Divisionists, a four-piece band playing their very own rock sound inspired by the rock history. You can find the melodic side of The Byrds, the guitar sound of Neil Young as well as a bit of Velvet Underground. Their first single is a catchy tune that reminds me sometimes at the era of pub rock and the guitar sound is a bit like Bob Mould. Namedropping? Yes but it is worth.



Inhalt (German for content) is a San Franzisco based band around Swiss born singer Philip Winger and took me back to the days of DAF, Front 242 and other bands from this genre. But with all their coolness and monotony this guys know Giorgio Moroder as well. Maybe it is sentimental but thank you guys for this trip into nostalgia.



Never thought that Italians can make a British sound like this. Influenced by The Cure, The Smiths and soft Sonic Youth Someday doesn't copy. They take the best of their influence to create a sound of their own. Someone said about them: "A sound that skips nonchalantly through impressive passages of alternative rock peppered at times with melodiously dark guitar progressions, atmospheric post-rock reverberations and interesting vocalisations" Nothing more or less.



The next band in this round is from Dublin but this duo don't stand for traditional music. Analogue Wave is an electronic duo with breakbeats, vocals and synths. Hope is a sonic call to arms in a world spinning wildly out of control, both politically and climatically, with no hope of a positive ending in sight. Seldom combined a political message with electronic sounds like these. A band to watch.

Sonntag, 23. April 2017

Surrender

the-veil

After a week of absence tomorrow I will start working again. It was necessary to get a few days off to recreate. Doing nothing special than taking a few excursions, going to a wellness place for a day and hanging around doing things at home I should have done earlier. After work we will go supporting Stuttgart on the way back to Bundesliga. Stuttgart is now at the top of the table and we will play against a direct rival Union Berlin. I think when we win this game we have a real good chance for promotion.

Today's song is by The Veil a London four-piece post-punk band that was very close to the sound of Siouxsie and the Banshees. Their records were re-released these days and they sound as fresh as they did in the mid 80's. Frankly they can't beat the Banshees but they have a very unique sound with fiery guitars and high-octave basslines.

Samstag, 22. April 2017

Century

Rare photo:


Canadian indie-pop chanteuse Leslie Feist is back with a new album soon. A few weeks ago she gave an appetizer with Pleasure from the album with the same name. Now her second single is out. Century is one of those songs that surprises. Her clear voice over a simple beat and some guitar riffs are the way we know her but after three and a half minutes the songs seems to come to an end and after a few seconds of silence an organ appears and leads us to a monotone and well known baritone. Jarvis Cocker starts a monologue about some interesting thoughts. Not that this thoughts are necessary but probably worth to spent some times over them

“Century, how long is that?” 3,155,973,600 seconds, 876,000,000 hours or 36,500 days, almost as long as one of those endless dark nights of the soul.”

Freitag, 21. April 2017

Son Of The Velvet Rat

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When this band crossed my way for the first time I thought by myself what a weird name for a band and was curios what kind of music they make. My first thought was that it will be another heavy and noisy band but I was surprised that is wasn't that way. Son Of A Velvet Rat is a long going project by Austrian musician Georg Altziebler and it leads to Americana. He shares his live living in California and Austria and the whole record has a big touch of music made in the desert. Blessed with a voice that is something between Cash, late Dylan and Cohen makes these songs worth listen to.

Donnerstag, 20. April 2017

Something Obscure On Thursday

Bildergebnis für phew band

If I think about Japanese music first thing that comes up was J-Pop a very special genre of chart orientated music. I remember this kind of music when I visited Japan seven years ago. Listening to radio stations or going for music TV you will always see this crazy dressed kids moving to just the same sound. After listening to a few songs I couldn't here any difference. But always played loud so that you feel like being in patchinko hall (it's like an amusement hall filled with one arm bandits and the music played in the background was like on an Motörhead concert). The other side of Japanese music is a sophisticated one, played by bands like Yellow Magic Orchestra. Otherwise there is a big heavy metal scene over there.

I got the news that a female Japanese artist released a new record after a longer time of absence. Hiroki Moritani aka Phew started in the late 70's when punk reached Japan and everyone was possible to start a band of his own. Aunt Sally was famous over there in these days but to be honest I've never heard of them before. Very soon she started to walk on her own paths. What means that she decided to go a more avant-garde way. She collaborated with Ryuichi Sakamoto and he showed her the way to Cologne. Her first album was recorded in Conny Plank's studio and produced by Krautrock legends Holger Czukay and Jaki Liebezeit which also played on different tracks. It is a different kind of listening to this psychedelic inspired sounds and Hiroki's voice but the often I listen to the more I like.


A few years later she returned to Cologne for her second record now collaborating with artists from Deutsch Amerikanische Freundschaft and Einstürzende Neubauten.





Mittwoch, 19. April 2017

Labled

Bildergebnis für sst records

A few days ago I was out for a couple of beer with an old mate of mine and as usually we started talking about music. I can't explain why but suddenly we were talking about record labels and that a lot of them stand for a unique sound. We are not talking about classic labels like Sun Records, Motown or major companies. More about independent labels. The more time we talked the more we stuck in this theme. One named a label and the other had to add the artists the label signed or are formative to it. So I think it it will be now the start for a new series.

SST Records were formed by Greg Ginn in the late 70's in California to release material of his band Black Flag. SST's merit was to be a platform American underground music in the pre-Nirvana era. Originally featuring classic hardcore-punk they spread their spectrum during the years into alternative music.

Black Flag was the first band on the label and they sounded like The Ramones on speed with atonal guitar solos. They maintained their attitude as angry nonconformists and got their highest level when Henry Rollins joined the band.


The Meat Puppets started as another punk band from Arizona and changed their style from their second record on. Instead of noise there was suddenly alternative rock and country in their sound. Nirvana played years later three songs from their second album on their legendary MTV appearance.


Another band that made SST Records famous was Dinosaur Jr. The first three albums are all classics in alternative rock music. J. Masics's drawling vocals and distinct guitars sound with the extensive use of feedback were highly influential for many bands in the 90's.


Minutemen started as a punk band as well. But all members were so highly talented so that this post will not be complete if I won't name then. True pioneers of alternative music. Their first records are a legacy that I listened often during the last decades.


Sylvia Juncosa played guitar in SWA (the band of Chuck Dukowski after he left Black Flag) before she started a career with her own name. Her only record Nature from 1987 was one of the records I loved these days. Simply forward going aggressive hard rock.


Probably the best selling SST-artist was a trio from Minneapolis. Hüsker Dü started like many other artists as hard-core punks and developed their own unique sound album by album. Flip Your Wig was the completest record they made and it is still a timeless beauty.


Also Sonic Youth started their career on SST. Evol is probably the first record on that they created their very individual sound. Still a classic record from these days.


Probably the first cross-over record in this genre. Bad Brains made a great melange out of ingredients of hard-core punk, reggae, funk and soul. Massive basses and heavy guitars made this record a classic.



At the end a band that never got the credibility they should have. Firehose started as the following band after Minutemen was history. Instead of D. Boone Ed Crawford, a Minutemen fan played guitar.


Dienstag, 18. April 2017

Us And Them

Bildergebnis für them band

A few weeks ago Brian made a great post about one of the best bands from the early 60's. The Kinks and especially Ray Davis were one of my first love in music and guided me to a lot of other bands from this era. All this bands swashed over the Atlantic ocean in the mid 60's as the so called British invasion to show the natives how to play their very own sound. A lot of songs are borrowed by American blues legends or singer/songwriter but played with full enthusiasm. We don't have to discuss about their influence to the successive generations of musicians and bands because their legacy is well known and undisputed. I ask myself why Them was never featured at this place because I was always addicted to their very unique music. Originally another garage band from Belfast but blessed with one of the most soulful voices ever. Van Morrison made the difference to all the other bands and it was unavoidable that he quit the band to start a career of his own. Their legacy was only a few records under the name of Them and young people may not know that they was a band and Van Morrison was 'only' the voice.

Many artists covered their songs and this shows how great these songs are. Them made a great version out of a song originally written by Bob Dylan and the Bunnymen did it even better at the hight of their creative power.

Them - It's all over now Baby Blue
Echo and the Bunnymen - It's all over now Baby Blue

A simple three-chord song made it great. G-L-O-R-I-A seems like to be the blueprint of many songs from the post-punk era.

Them - Gloria
The 101er's - Gloria
Patti Smith - Gloria

Them - Here comes the night
David Bowie - Here comes the night

The Rivals, a British punk band from Kent, covered this song as well thinking that it was originally written by David Bowie

The Rivals - Here comes the night


Montag, 17. April 2017

Retro! Retro! Retro!


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Listening to the sound of Hawkwind, Amon Düül and other kraurock bands brought me back to my younger days. A lot of bands were influenced to the sounds of the late 60's/early 70's and tried to make their very own of this. It makes me smile when some bands from nowadays were raised in this sounds. It is a heavy-psyche band from Philadelphia and they stuck in the sound of the late 60's. I hear a lot of MC5, early Hawkwind and the spirit of Motörhead. Good to have a band that transports this spirit to nowadays. A spaced out sound and the right one if you are in the mood for stepping backwards in music.

 

Sonntag, 16. April 2017

Andrew Eldritch Is Moving Back To Leeds

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It was a long time ago since I heard something by The Mountain Coats, that Californian new-folk band but I remember that it made fun listening to them. The more I was surprised that they are still a band and able to release a new album next month. I was more confused about the title of the song Andrew Eldritch Is Moving Back To Leeds and thought it will be worth to listen to the lyrics closely. Sounding like a singer-songwriter doing country, this song is a simple, smooth and somewhat modernized MG anthem, which just happens to be about Sister Of Mercy's erstwhile leader.



There's indifference on the wind

But a faint gust of hope
At a club nobody goes to
With a musty velvet rope
Guys in Motörhead jackets
Who knew him way back when
Haven't raised a drink in years
But now meet up again 

To remember how it was
When they all thought they'd move away
And ride in Lotus 7s
Through the London streets one day.


Nobody ever gets away
Even the best of us come back some day
To the unmarked rooms, where the dry dust breeds
Andrew Eldritch is moving back to Leeds



No-one anticipates the rush
The breezy feeling of the faceless crush
At the end of things, where the salvage bleeds
Andrew Eldritch is moving back to Leeds

They don't throw him a parade
He just comes in on a train
One suitcase in his hand
And an old army backpack
From the second world war
From a Leipzig secondhand store


And as a bonus one of the Sister's classic songs:



Samstag, 15. April 2017

Lights Out

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In 2014 West Sussex duo Royal Blood appeared on the scene with their self titled first album and I played it often then. I liked their raw sound only played by bass and drums. Influenced by blues rock, hard rock and a bit of psychedelic rock they made the difference to others in this genre. Now they announced their next album and they released a new single. It is as we used to know - just simple and propulsive drums and almost the whole song a bass solo. Seems like the British make the better kind of stoner rock.



Freitag, 14. April 2017

Something For Good Friday

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Today is good Friday and therefore something contemplative. Karen Elson released her second album these days and for me it is a beautiful one - not only that I am delayed to good female voices. Karen Elson is Briton, model and musician. And she is also married to Jack White. The songs are centrally held with semi-acoustic guitars so that her voice can be the centre of the songs. Singing about (lost) love is not a new thing but she does it in a credible way. Although she's living in New Orleans it is not another American singer/songwriter record. In return her Manchester roots are too deep. Sometimes she reminds me to Emmylou Harris because their songs have the same tragedy and melancholy.

Happy Easter all.




Donnerstag, 13. April 2017

Songs For The Eternity

Bildergebnis für the cramps

I started this series weeks ago when I was transferred songs from my computer to my external hard-drive and I was surprised how much songs I have and how many will not transferred because they were songs I listen often from time to time. These songs doesn't belong to any genre and they accompanied me during the last decades.

There were many songs by The Cramps I could choose for this series and it is hard to select only one (even harder to make an ICA). But I think Human Fly is one of those songs that will stay when everything is gone. Back in 1979 in my hometown the first punks appeared and at the same time a small rockabilly scene established as well. There was no dispute between both groups because they were both outside the mainstream. I knew a few guys in both scenes and they met in a small cellar playing some music where I hang around in these days. Some day a greaser came and introduced us to a new imported 12-inch single he got. It was The Cramp's Gravest Hits and listening the first time to these songs I was infected to them. Only a small drum-kit making the rhythm, two twaning guitars making the sound without a bass and then Lux Interior singing in a way I never heard before. I also like the short and trashy lyrics of their songs and I was lucky enough to see them once live on their Flaming Job tour.

Would be happy if TV Set would appear on Drew's new series

The Cramps - Human Fly

I got a garbage brain
That's driving me insane
And I don't like the ride
So push the pest aside
And baby I won't care
'Cuz baby I don't scare
'Cuz I'm a reborn maggot using germ warfare Rock

I found this rare footage while researching for this post. It's 16mm film by Alex de Laszlo also for the benefit for Lux Interior.





Mittwoch, 12. April 2017

Searching For The Perfect Pop Song

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Back on the blog after a short time of abstraction. There were different things that kept me away from my computer and writing on this blog. For example my mother got 90 years a week ago and we celebrated her birthday last Saturday. Then there was a three games week in Germany's second league where I had to join the games on Sunday around lunch time. And finally I got a bad cold the recent days that kept me staying in bed. After all I think I left these things behind and looking forward to brighter days.

While reading the news that David Letterman is celebrating his 70th birthday I remember the first time Future Islands came to my attention when they appeared on his late-night show. After watching Seasons I asked myself what happened here. There was a singer moving like a beat-up Elvis and singing in a way that doesn't fit to the sound. It seemed like they were falling in a musical pot of new wave and adapting the sound of new romantics. To the surprise - it worked fine and a medical hype was born and their record Singles was rightly one of the best records in 2014.


Now they are back with their new album The Far Field and it is on the same level as the last one. Now with some borrowed sounds by New Order and Flock Of Seagulls. All in all a pop record that will probably accompany me during this summer

Dienstag, 4. April 2017

It's All Live Now

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A few days ago a re-release made a lot of fun to me. Echo And The Bunnymen released recordings they made more than 30 years ago. It shows them at the hight of their musical abilities and it is still a pleasure to listen to it after decades. I was always a follower to them and I didn't get rid of them after all this years. It's All Live Now shows a lot of great live versions of their songs as well as their versions of songs they are influenced of. It is like a journey back in time. This is why they are that famous and great. Listen and enjoy.

Echo and the Bunnymen - Do It Clean
Echo and the Bunnymen - Run Run Run
Echo and the Bunnymen - Heroin

Montag, 3. April 2017

Ring My Doorstep

Bildergebnis für the crispies

You might know my affection to the new Austrian music scene. Most of the artists from there that appeared at this place were based in electronic music. So it is seldom enough to show you that there is still an other side of music over there. The Crispies are a Vienna based band and they celebrate the transitoriness in typical rock'n'roll manner: fuzz, fooks, reverb, youthful hedonism, sex. They take  apart the epochs of the rock history, Grunge, punk, Psychedelic rock and turn by the mincer and composes them in quite an own style again. This is sometimes propelling loudly and forwards, is sometimes hypnotic and is breaking also the banks every now and then. It seems that they celebrate the Beastie Boys in this song.