Thursday, July 24, 2014

What I did while I was looking after my kid (1)

I'm at home these days on paternal leave hanging out with my youngest kid.  He's two months old so doesn't really do much except eat, sleep, and occasionally make eye contact with me.  Feeding him can take over an hour on a bad day, all of which means I'm spending a lot of time just indoors with not much to do.  So I've decided to be productive and go through old episodes of 'Later... with Jools Holland' that I've recorded.  And I've decided to add to that productivity by blogging about what I'm seeing.  Basically any stand out performances will get blogged, or at least that's the idea -- we'll see if I can keep up with it.

I'm going start with Grizzly Bear, who were on in 2009.  They are an interesting looking band aren't they?  I think I saw this performance before but didn't care for it as much as I did the second time around.  I really like their harmonising and their overall sound; it's just different enough to be interesting but not annoying.  And they look cool.

Next up, the Dead Weather, also from 2009.  These guys are just interesting.  It's like they achieved exactly what they set out to do -- scuzzy rock that sounds vaguely like something from the past but in actuality probably never existed.  It's like Jack White imagined a band and a sound and then it perfectly came to fruition.  Quite amazing really, that a vision can be realised so fully.  I love the organ in this song, and I like also like how Jack White's at the back of the set-up, even though he's one of the singers -- it does seem like his voice is dropping in as some kind of sample.  Great dancing too.  One thing I've wondered about Jack White -- how does he get his skin that colour??  Is it a condition?  Make-up?  Or is just the blue lighting?  Oh yeah, another thing I like about this performance is that they really seem to go all out.  I feel like often on Jools Holland musicians play in an embarrassed or self-conscious way -- probably cos they're being watched by all the other musicians.  But not these guys.

This link's got a short interview from the same show.

Lastly, some more great dancing, this time from Dave Gahan.  It may just be me, but when I see a band like Depeche Mode, bands from the 80's who've been through all the drugs and controversy, I do feel like there's a defiance there that comes from having got through it and still being around.  It's the same with Boy George.  It's good, I'm glad they're here and doing ok.  Dave Gahan still looks cool.  Another great thing about this performance is seeing how the band produces it's sound.  I've not seen them live, or really seen them perform in any capacity, so seeing the different elements work together is pretty interesting -- for instance, seeing that Gahan and Martin Gore lay their voices over each other to produce a sound that is so familiar to me, but one I'd not really noticed the particulars of until I saw them doing it here.  For a more explicit example, check out their performance of 'Personal Jesus' (though doing so may take away from the seemingly magical alchemy of the pop song).  I really liked this performance:

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Struggles with doodoo + Three New Tracks!

I've been enjoying Laetitia Sadier's solo work since her last album, 'Silencio', so I'm quite happy to report that she's got a new album, 'Something Shines' coming out in September.  The first single is posted below -- happily, it's sound isn't too much of a departure from what was on Silencio.  Here's hoping she hits DC on tour again!

Jessie Ware's also about to come back with a new record, and her first single has been playing too.  Not entirely sure when the album comes out, but the album and first single are both called 'Tough Love'.

Lastly, I've been hearing this next track on 6 Music and have been digging it.  It's by Robert Plant. Don't judge me.  He also has a new album coming out!  I guess new singles and new albums go hand in hand... not really news, is it?
Robert Plant Little Maggie from Friedrich Schwabel on Vimeo.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Old and new

Minimal time so a minimal post.  Caribou's put up an extended version of his excellent track 'Can't Do Without You'.

I like the new Jenny Lewis stuff.  I also like her old stuff, in case you're wondering. Thank God for Soundcloud, and it's ability to shelter us from terrible videos featuring Anne Hathaway.  Sadly, this is one of those times where I've looked up an artist right after they've toured DC -- doh.

Heard a bunch of old songs recently that I quite liked.  First up, Eddie and the Hot Rods.  Finding out that they're from Southend was like finding out that Bonnie Tyler is Welsh.

Next, this 70's crooner who turns out to be Bruce Springsteen!

Last, Television.  Who are just Television.