I found todays track a few days ago when it was played on Austrian radio. A$AP Rocky was new to me and I found out that he is a rapper from Harlem, New York. Not that I am too deep into rap this track is fascinating. Not only because this song has a very smooth rhythm and it's deeply based in soul-music - the main thing I was surprised to hear Rod Stewart in this song. I don't know if it's just a sample or he found the way back to the studio. Anyway, his smoky voice makes this song different.
Samstag, 30. Mai 2015
Back in 1977 Blondie was the hippiest new wave band around. A lot of friends I knew that time could agree to them, anyway what musical preferences they had. It might be Debbie Harry in front of the band with her female attraction torn between to be cute and rough. The other reason might be that they wrote simple and catchy power-pop songs. Seeing them the first time live I could understand why Jeffrey Lee Pierce was the head of her fan club. I found this little gem the other days while surfing for some old stuff in the internet. This little concert shows every part of their live attraction even it was hard not to watch Debbie the whole time.
Enjoy this little trip back into the 70s and have a great weekend.
Freitag, 29. Mai 2015
It was years ago since I joined to a festival for several days. It was the last day and I felt pain in my feet. I wasn't used to stand for hours to watch the shows they offered me but at least I figured out the gigs I want to watch. The first band we watched was Waxahatchee, a singer-songwriter project from Katie Crushfield. Deeply based in the tradition of acoustic songwriters raised up with independent music she makes a very unique sound that fits the souls of the pre-Seattle sound. Very intensive and worth to listen to their record.
The next band that showed up in the tent was Mew from Denmark. I knew them from some different records they released during the last years.Their records are not bad, but I wanted to see them live and how their songs work live. I have to admit, that they played a gig that was perfect. But for me it was too perfect. They've got no soul in their song. So it was just another professional performance that was nice to watch but it wouldn't last. Sorry - but they missed a chance to get me on their side.
The next act I watched on the open air stage was Wanda, an Austrian band which came famous at the end of the last year. Seems like they found the sound and lyrics for nowadays young hipsters. They had a little hit at the end of last year with Bologna, a song that puts love in the center of their song.
If somebody asks where you go, say to Bologna!
If somebody s for which you stand, say for Amore to Amore!
It might be a statement for them and I think it's not the worthed one. Their show wasn't too bad, but it worked with the emotions and the hipster status they had. Nice to see and if you missed it it wasn't worth to complain about.
The last concert on this festival was by Fink. I followed this DJ for many years and was curious how the present their songs. Everything I expected was more than fulfilled. He was able to create a sound that is very special and very own. Mostly starting slowly with his songs he attempts to early 80s sounds and lead this into nowadays sounds. Me was very impressed how he started a simple blues schema and turned into a heavy improvised new wave/dancefloor sound. Very special, very new and very recommendable to you all.
Donnerstag, 28. Mai 2015
After a great first day on this festival me and my youngest brother took a slow start into the next day. Sitting on the breakfast table we discussed about going to a little coffee shop to Heidelberg. It is not the coffee shop you might know from the Netherlands. It's more about a coffee shop you can get a high class coffee. As I am used to drink a lot of coffee throughout the day I couldn't imagine how a freshly brewed coffee with perfected roasted beans could smell. I was surprised how this coffee worked in my body. In the beginning I recognized a warm and wealthy feeling in my breast I've never felt before. Anyway, the main discussion to me an my brother how to spent the afternoon. He wanted to watch to concerts in the early afternoon and I was looking out for a pub where I could watch the conference of the last day in the German Bundesliga. At least I found pub where I could watch the last games. And finally my team successful and will play in the next season in the first league.
So let's get back to the festival. The first band I saw when I came back from watching football was The Soft Moon. It's a post-punk band from Oakland, USA. Deeply based in the sound of Joy Division they played a memorable gig. A very deep bass with a leading new wave guitar added with a fantastic light show they threw me back 30 years when this sound ruled my life. I was hardly impressed how an American band could play the sound of dark Britain in these days. Worth to check out more of them.
Next one on the stage was the Canadian indie-folk band The Rural Albert Advantage. They bands main ingredients is the voice and acoustic guitar of Nils Edenloff. They do very good songs, most of them in an up-tempo style and none of them boring. They had no great appearance on stage but their songs lasts in most of minds of the audience. Really good songs for a relaxed afternoons.
After the show we took a little rest to listen to a singer-songwriter and acoustic guitarist. For half an hour it was relaxed and peaceful to listen to him an his playing. Just to sit and listen was a very good experience until the next band shows up.
Next one on the list was a local band from Landau, Germany. To describe their music is not easy. Based in classic rock they integrate Afro-Beat, world music and classical song writing into their sound. I would describe their music like a wide-screen sound. Like some Scottish musicians they are able to make songs that don't hit you the first time but when you listen to them the second time you'll find out some details you've don't recognized before. Maybe a band with a brighter future.
The next two band I didn't listen closely. I've to admit that I was a little tired and took myself a rest away from the stages. Nevertheless you could get away from the music. Listening to Archieve wasn't too bad but no highlight because they just played perfect but without any emotions. In fact that they made some good songs they should be able to play them live with more feelings in the songs. So I went to the next stage to see rest of the gig from Foxygen. Not that they were much better but they tried to make a great show with an orchestral sound, an Mick-Jagger like acting singer and three dancing singers. Based on pure funk and soul they made an eye-catching show (more than you could hear on vinyl or see on videos). Without any more ambitions than having fun they served us very well.
Now it was late at night and the main act is coming to start the concert. Mogwai was the main reason why I decided to get myself a ticket for this festival. I follow this band for a long time and I think that they are maybe the best band that Scotland gave to us today. I love them because they don't make songs - they are more and more into creating a very own sound. I was not sure if they are possible to do this live but they told me that their songs live are much more better than on records. Finally I have to admit that this was one of the best concerts I've ever been. Standing in front of the stage and watching the band play you've got hit with a massive bass directly into your stomach. And there is nothing more than some drums in the background. And suddenly the guitars take over the control. Free jamming with feedback galore. At least the sound hits your body and you feel pain listening to the frantic feedbacks. But not only me was happy about this concert. For me it seems like Tortoise played faster and without their general plan and like Jesus and the Mary Jane reduced to the basics.
What more could we get from this day after watching one of the best band around? Nothing. We were full of adrenaline and waited for the last band to show up. Von Spar - a band from Cologne finished the day with an extraordinary mixture of dance-floor mixed up electro-punk with ingredients of early 80s indie-pop. But always strictly with a very good flow. All in all a band you should listen to in the very late evening/early morning and you won't fail.
Mittwoch, 27. Mai 2015
Last weekend I went for a festival in Mannheim. The idea grown while my youngest brother visited me early this year. He told me about it when he joined in last year. So I watched out for the set-list for this year. After all I was astonished how many bands will playing and how different the program is. It's located on a fair ground close to a local place for show jumping and dressage. They built up a bit top, an open air stage, a small top and a very small stage for acoustic performances. So you were free to join the concerts you would like. I was astonished how exactly the concert started. No one was later than announced. So I was commuting between the very different occasions and had me a very fine time. I would like to tell something about the acts I've been seeing and give some comments about the show they did.
I arrived late at Friday because there was a lot of traffic on the highway with several jams on the way exactly for the show of Ghostpoet. He made a fine show, presenting his latest record. He played a well concert but in my opinion I missed the soul in his music. It was just 1:1 to his record. Not too bad but I expected something more in his appearance. After all I've to say that it wasn't necessary to watch him on a live performance. If you've got his record it will be okay.
The next artist we saw was Motorama, a Russian band playing pure Rock and Roll. We don't have to discuss if it is high class or not - these guys were here to play, having fund and the audience too. They are one of these bands you could watch and listen to without any prejudices - just having fun listening to them. Based on the Indie sound of the early 80s they do a very fine interpretation of this sound nowadays. I enjoyed this concert much. Give them a listen and I am sure you will agree to me.
Standing around for hours I decided to sit down and listen to some acoustic performance. So I went to see SOAK. She's an 18 year old female singer/songwriter playing on acoustic and electric guitar. I didn't expected anything - just a peaceful rest between the main acts. What I got was a very intense appearance from her. Playing acoustic guitar to her very personal songs was fantastic. But when she plugged in her electric guitar it sounds like a femanine Billy Bragg. And her voice is so beautiful and she's able to sing in many octaves. She might be young but her songs and her performance are far over the average.
After this show I moved to next act.It was the Allah-Las, a band from the USA. Their record a few years ago impressed me much so I was curious if they can do this on stage. And I have to say - yes they can. It was a very own and special mixture of late beat sound and early psychedelia combined with extraordinary vocal harmonies. And yes, I have to admit that this sound is not stuck in the past. It is very new and fresh. It was one hour of pure fun listening to them. And the young kids liked this kind of music - even if they don't know the originals. Still a best kept secret - what a bummer.
The main act this evening was José González. He is Swedish and the son of Argentine immigrants. First he played bass in a punk band when he was very young to change to acoustic guitar when he was getting older. It is a perfect sound and the band played exactly. No tone was wrong and the songs were similar to his records. All in all a good and great concert but I missed the special kick. He and his band played perfect - just without soul and individuality I expect on a live concert.
We finished the first day with the last concert in the small tent. This location is scheduled for unknown bands and newcomer. Love A is a German post punk band from Wuppertal. I've never heard of them before but they persuaded me with their appearance. A good bass, sharp guitars and a singer that fits to the songs. And lyrics that are new and substantial.
Freitag, 22. Mai 2015
Happy Birthday Morrissey. You're as old as me and I wish you the all the best. He's exactly as old as I am For ages I am addicted to him and The Smiths for ages. It is 56 years that I'm on this planet. Had me a lot of great times around. I raise my glass to you all of my friends. Have a great time and give me a toast.
Morrissey - Irish Blood, English Heart
Donnerstag, 21. Mai 2015
In the early 60s a small TV-station in Bremen, northern Germany, started a monthly show presenting the newest beat music from Great Britain. The bands appeared to a playback-sound but most of the people watching the show didn't mind. Older friends of mine told me that they were happy to see these acts at all. It was similar to Top Of The Pops but filmed in black and white. The show called 'Beat Club' is a classic and we grew up with this series. It was obligation to watch this on Saturday afternoon. In the late 60s they changed the size. Now they invited the bands to play live in the studio. After the Beat Club closed the Musikladen opened the gates. There was no more eclectic choice in the artists that appeared. They opened their ears for new music and sometimes they let some bands play almost a whole set in front of a small audience. You can find some gems from these times in the internet (some more are filmed live concerts in the Rockpalast series). I think from time to time I'll present some of them on this place. So take some time and enjoy the show of the Ramones from back in 1978.
Dienstag, 19. Mai 2015
Bear Family Records is a German based independent record label existing for 40 years right now. They released a lot of original recordings for the second time. But most important was their compilations of different genres during the last years. A few month ago they released a compilation of early Rock 'n' Roll and Rockabilly recordings. Most of the artists I've never heard before but there a lot of nuggets in it. This one is from Al Coker and the Coker Family, another country/rockabilly artist who released some song back in the mid 1950s. Just based on a country ground with a little touch of guitar sound Johnny Cash did it a few years later.
Al Coker and the Family - Don't Go Baby (Don't Go)
Donnerstag, 14. Mai 2015
On my way to work New York Doll's 'Pills' shuffled up on my mobile phone. I really forgot how good this song was. I am not sure if I should call them proto-punks, travesty queens or kings of glam-rock or just the best of all. Anyway, David Johansen and Johnny Thunders was a main influence to the upcoming punk-rock scene. I really love their short and simple songs with them magic riffs. I found this life appearance in German television shortly after the release of their first record.
Montag, 11. Mai 2015
Another artist that will appear on the festival two weeks ahead. Ghostpoet is new and one of those who can reach critical and public favor throughout the next months. I like him because he's something like nowadays Linton Kwesi Johnson. Mostly based on a pretty, easy flow on downstep and spoken words he gives me a feeling of being arrived in this laid back music.
Sonntag, 10. Mai 2015
During the recent days I often listen to Roisin Murphy's latest release 'Hairless Toys' and more and more I get fascinated by this record. There is a review in The Guardian that says exactly what I want to write. So I'm looking forward to see her live in two weeks on a three-day festival I will visit with my youngest brother.
Samstag, 9. Mai 2015
Looking back this year seems like new music established in the place where I lived. Not that there was too many folks that agreed to this kind of music but there was still a scene. New local bands (that sadly never released any track) appeared for a few years and vanished again. A few weeks ago one of these bands made a reunion gig 25 years after they split. F.A.T. Insects played in a great venue - an old cinema. I went there expecting nothing than let my memories cruising around this time. And I got a great concert. It was not only nostalgia listening to them - I was astonished how good they were. Even better than decades ago. And it wasn't only me having fun at this concert. A lot of people appeared that I knew from these times and haven't seen them for long time. All in all one of these evenings that will be unforgotten.
1000 Mexicans - The Last Pop Song
A Certain Ratio - Life's A Scream
Anne Clarke - Our Darkness
Hurrah - Who'd Have Thought
The Men They Couldn't Hang - Green Fields Of France (No Man's Land)
New Model Army - The Price
Pastels - Something's Going On
Nick Cave - In The Ghetto
Red Guitars - Steeltown
Sandie Shaw - Hand In Gloves
Mittwoch, 6. Mai 2015
Those Goddamn Hippies are another band located in Vienna, Austria. It's melancholy, heart wearming mixture of wavey Synth-Pop and a bit of late post-New Wave and indie-rock-attitude. A fragile song that should be played on many stations.
Dienstag, 5. Mai 2015
Another song by one of the pioneers of rockabilly. Johnny Burnette made a fantastic version of the jazz standard 'Train Kept A-Rolling' by Tiny Bradshaw. It is just a pleasure to listen to it once again.
Montag, 4. Mai 2015
Producers Chris Davids and Liam Ivory are from a small British village, which might be why their work as Maribou State retains a sense of the natural. The Clown is a bit of a soulful after-hours ballade. Jazzy House combined with soft breakbeats and connecting soulful songwriting with picked guitar licks makes an ambient feeling. Nothing groundbreaking but worth to listen.
Sonntag, 3. Mai 2015
A lot of new music arrived during the last weeks but less are worth to mention here. Not because it is bad music at all - it's more that I couldn't hear any special in it and don't matter if it is just a great voice, a well played guitar or just a sound that grabs me into it. So here are some artists that are over the average:
First one is a band based in Germany and formed by the Seattle native singer and guitarist Tony Clark. Emil Brigada (what a name) and Sascha complete Tony Clark and Killing Time. They play classic rock with a dominant bass and forward driving drums. The sound is complete with Tony's guitar and his euphoric voice. I think they should be seen live to get an overview about their abilities.
Trena and Wade aka The DOVES released again some new and great songs. Mirage is a very fine song. Based on a simple R&B-riff Wade fill it up with some great guitar licks. The song is still in motion and both voices drives them forward. In former times this would be a classic in this genre.
From Melbourne, Australia arrived a pretty good pop song by the Pollydevlins. It's their first release and they combine a garage guitar with mod style and a lot of soul ingredients.
STATE LINE SYNDICATE from California continue the music of Green Day or Blink 182. Knowing that this not everybody's cup of tea they are worth to listen to. It's a song typical to this genre and works good as a soundtrack driving an open car in summer (if we get it some day).
And finally a new band located in London. Chorusgirl is Silvi Wersing's brainchild and deep-rooted in the early 80s sound. They describe themself as a noisepop 4-piece from London that formed last year, mixing the sounds of Lush, the Cure, the Breeders, Pulp, the Bangles, surf, girl groups, melodies, jangle and noise.
And they are right. I was absolutely astonished when I listened to their song. They are fresh, new, old and would have been classics if they were released decades ago. Wondering when NME will feature them.
Samstag, 2. Mai 2015
This year was a very political year at my place. First because of NATO double-track decision and the following installation of nuclear weapons in Germany by the American army and second because of the final denying of the planed census by the German government. Watching the songs on this CD I think there are less songs with a political statement on it. It seems the music is generally moving to singer/songwriter with them introverted lyrics of electronic dance/dream pop. But there is nothing to complain about because music is every time in motion and this is just a little spot on what's happened.
Cabaret Voltaire - Yashar
Depeche Mode - Everything Counts
Prefab Sprout - The Devil Has All The Best Tunes
Red Guitars - Good Technology
Shriekback - Lined Up
The Fall - Kicker Conspiracy
The Icical Works - Birds Fly (Whisper To A Scream)
The Three Johns - AWOL
Tracey Thorn - Plain Sailing
Yazoo - Nobody's Diary
Otherwise there were songs that reflect life more than shown on CD.
Enjoy and maybe you have some good memories according to this year.
Freitag, 1. Mai 2015
As in most other European countries this day is a public holiday here in Germany as well since the Nazi regime installed it as the 'Day of the National Workers'. A lot of years gone by since I joined the local socialists to celebrate this day. There are many reasons why I stopped. One of them is that I don't believe in their words any more. It doesn't mean that I declaim the unions justified aims because I was raised with them. Anyway, I finished 'GB 84', John Pearce book about one year in Great Britain. He described in a novel week by week the strike of the miners back then from some different points / characters. It's a pity to read those stories of friendship turned into hate when your neighbor joins the scabs, family broke away because they had no money at all and kids died while they were grabbing coals to heat the house. And I still respect the miners staying close together following Arthur Scargill and blast by the Iron Lady.
Billy Bragg - World Turned Upside Down