Saturday, May 27, 2017

Killer Tracks: The Spring 2017 Collection

We're waving goodbye to spring and welcoming the summer period with a selection of some of the finest new tracks we've had the pleasure of listening to in the last few months. As we're reaching the mid-point of 2017, this playlist is also indicative of where we currently stand on the issue of the best releases of the year so far. Let's leave it to the music to do the talking:

Thurston Moore - Aphrodite


Mark Lanegan - Beehive


The Afghan Whigs - Oriole


Boss Hog - Ground Control


The Jesus And Mary Chain - Always Sad


The Black Angels - Currency


The New Pornographers - High Ticket Attractions


Spoon - Can I Sit Next To You


Kendrick Lamar - DNA.


Run The Jewels - Legend Has It



Monday, May 15, 2017

Live: Wovenhand @ Fuzz Club (Athens, May 13th, 2017)


The release last year of their eighth album, the powerful "Star Treatment", paved the way for Wovenhand's return to Athens for a sixth time. Once again David Eugene Edwards and his band led us on a musical journey to a strange place where the Old Testament meets the Old West and rock 'n' roll is the path to a higher spiritual level.


The four-piece band walked on stage to the sounds of tribal rhythms (while seconds before we were listening to The Fall's "Hit The North" coming from the venue's PA!) and started their incantations with "Hiss" from previous album "Refractory Obdurate".


This imposing start opened the way for a storming set which was largely based on the new album including tracks like "Crystal Palace", "The Hired Hand", "The Quiver" and the superb "Crook and Flail" with its infectious, eastern-influenced melody, along with a few more selections from "Refractory Obdurate".


As always Edwards presence and commanding voice was the epicenter of Wovenhand's fervent performance, while the three musicians that accompanied him did an excellent job building up the rock storm that engulfed us for an hour and a half.



The show came to an end with a scorching three-song encore that included "Five by Five", "Low Twelve" and "King O King" which marked the triumphant finale of another epic performance from a band that has rightfully earned a place among the favorites of the local gig-goers.


As an added bonus, before Wovenhand's show we had the chance to enjoy a brief acoustic set by another Sargent House recording artist, Emma Ruth Rundle. A recent injury kept her on a chair for the duration of her half hour set but her voice was in fine form, as she presented her folk-based, atmospheric songs (listen to her solo catalogue here).


Emma Ruth Rundle, live @ Fuzz Club (Athens, May 13th, 2017)

Check out below Wovenhand performing "Crook and Flail" and "Crystal Palace", and Emma Ruth Rundle in "Living with the Black Dog" from their joint gig at Fuzz Club:

Wovenhand - Crook and Flail (live @ Fuzz Club, Athens)

Wovenhand - Crystal Palace (live @ Fuzz Club, Athens)


Emma Ruth Rundle - Living with the Black Dog (live @ Fuzz Club, Athens)

Blast from the past: see here what we had to say about Wovenhand's gig at An Club in November 2009!

Wovenhand, live @ Fuzz Club (Athens, May 13th, 2017)

Sunday, May 07, 2017

New Releases: April 2017

Another great month for new releases with albums by Thurston Moore, Mark Lanegan Band, The Black Angels and The New Pornographers to name but a few. Here's our shortlist of those that stood out from the pack, including some of the Record Store Day 2017 releases:

Albums

THURSTON MOORE - Rock n Roll Consciousness
MARK LANEGAN BAND - Gargoyle
THE BLACK ANGELS - Death Song
THE NEW PORNOGRAPHERS - Whiteout Conditions
WOODS - Love is Love
THE BIG MOON - Love In The 4th Dimension
ROBYN HITCHCOCK - Robyn Hitchcock
GUIDED BY VOICES - August by Cake
JULIANA HATFIELD - Pussycat
FUJIYA & MIYAGI - Fujiya & Miyagi
KENDRICK LAMAR - DAMN.
RAEKWON - The Wild
ARCA - Arca
ACTRESS - AZD
GORILLAZ - Humanz
THE RAVEONETTES - 2016 Atomized
HAPPYNESS - Write In
SHEER MAG - Compilation
FATHER JOHN MISTY - Pure Comedy
FEIST - Pleasure
KAREN ELSON - Double Roses
TARA JANE O’NEIL - Tara Jane O’Neil
MARK MULCAHY - The Possum In The Driveway
BNQT - Volume 1
COLD WAR KIDS - La Divine
FUTURE ISLANDS - The Far Field
MAXÏMO PARK - Risk To Exist
SPLASHH - Waiting A Lifetime
PART CHIMP - IV
H GRIMACE - Self Architect
DIET CIG - Swear I’m Good At This
LOS ANGELES POLICE DEPARTMENT - Los Angeles Police Department
A VICTIM OF SOCIETY - Freaktown
WALL - Untitled
HERE LIES MAN - Here Lies Man
WHITE REAPER - The World’s Best American Band
ALEXANDRA SAVIOR - Belladonna Of Sadness
LITTLE DRAGON - Season High
JOE GODDARD - Electric Lines
CLARK - Death Peak
JOEY BADA$$ - All-Amerikkkan Bada$$

Singles & EPs

SPOON - Hot Thoughts
THE CHILLS - Rocket Science
POLICA - Lipstick Stains / Still Counts
GOLD CONNECTIONS - Gold Connections EP
THE FIREWORKS - Dream About You
THE WAR ON DRUGS - Thinking of A Place
KEVIN MORBY - Beautiful Strangers
LORELLE MEETS THE OBSOLETE - The Sound of All things
BARRY ADAMSON - Love Sick Dick EP
FUJIYA & MIYAGI - EP3
ARCA - Saunter / Reverie
PRIMAL SCREAM - Mixamatosis
DAMAGED BUG / BLACK PUS - Rubber Lips / High Tide
TEMPLES / KADHJA BONET - Fortune / I Wanna Be A Free Girl
THE VELDT - Symmetry / Slow Grid
THE DARLING BUDS - Evergreen
MAJOR LEAGUES - It Was Always You
REPTALIENS - Prequel / Olive Boy
BLACK HONEY - Somebody Better
SHIT GIRLFRIEND - Mummy's Boy
THE SUBURBS - Hey Muse!
THE SUBURBS - Lost You On The Dance Floor
YOUNG FATHERS - Only God knows (featuring Leith Congregational Choir)
HMLTD - To The Door / Music!
VANISHING TWIN - Dream By Numbers
OLD 97'S - Terlingua / Off My Mynd
BONNIE "PRINCE" BILLY AND NATHAN SALSBURG - Beargrass Song +2 EP
ANIMAL COLLECTIVE - Meeting Of The Waters
SYSTEM CORPORATION - Dismal Universal Hiss


Thurston Moore - Smoke Of Dreams

Thursday, May 04, 2017

Live: Chelsea Wolfe @ Piraeus 117 Academy (Athens, April 29, 2017)


Chelsea Wolfe's first ever live performance in Athens took place at Piraeus 117 Academy and it was the highlight of the two-day Smoke the Fuzz Fest, an indoor mini festival which also featured  :Skull & Dawn:, Oathbreaker and Amenra.


Wolfe and her three band mates presented an impressive 70-minute set largely based on her last album, 2015's "Abyss", her heaviest and probably best work to date which combines expertly gothic folk melodies and dark, distorted metal power. A few songs from previous album "Pain Is Beauty" completed the set, along with a couple of new ones ("The Culling" and "Static Hum") and "Pale on Pale" from 2011's "Apokalypsis".


The best moments of the main set included a climactic, powerful rendition of "After the Fall" as well as "Carrion Flowers" and "We Hit a Wall" (which you can watch below). The night came to a close with an encore featuring "House of Metal" and "Survive", the haunting melody of the first leading the way for the noisy finale of the second, a fitting recap of Wolfe's dark, commanding sound.


Chelsea Wolfe's complete set: Feral Love, Carrion Flowers, Dragged Out, The Culling, We Hit a Wall, After the Fall, Simple Death, Iron Moon, Static Hum, Pale on Pale. Encore: House of Metal, Survive.



Chelsea Wolfe - We Hit a Wall (live in Athens, Smoke the Fuzz Fest, April 29, 2017)

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Listening Habits 03-04.2017

As we have already pointed out in previous posts, the list of new releases of the last couple of months included plenty of outstanding albums by several of our favorite artists, both old and new, and here are those that earned the most spins:

The return of The Jesus And Mary Chain with their first album in 19 years was inevitably going to be one of the major events in the music calendar of 2017. As soon as the familiar guitar chords of "Amputation" open their seventh album "Damage And Joy", it is obvious that the Reid brothers are returning exactly where they left off at the end of the '90s and start to retrace their steps back to their origins and the sounds that shaped them. Echoes of almost everything they've done before can be heard in the 14 songs of their comeback (with added female vocals to sweeten the deal) as well as tributes to their heroes and despite the familiarity of the end result, there is no denying that "Damage And Joy" is another essential chapter in the history of one of the greatest rock 'n' roll bands of the last 30-something years.

Spoon offer us the other great rock record of the first quarter of the year with their ninth album "Hot Thoughts". The Texan outfit continues its impeccable streak of releases with another collection of richly melodic and dynamic songs, eager to toy with electronic rhythms and even dabble with jazz for a while, without straying from its main mission: to create constantly awesome rock 'n' roll!

Other great comebacks that you will find in our album list include "Hey Mr Ferryman", one of the best solo efforts by Mark Eitzel, the voice of American Music Club, this time in collaboration with Bernard Butler, "In Between", only the sixth full-length in the 40-year history of New Jersey legends The Feelies, "Silver / Lead", the 16th album by the unique rock genius of Wire and Grandaddy's return after an 11-year hiatus with "Last Place", a record not far away from the late '90s sound of the band. Add next to these, the excellent new records by Laura Marling, King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard, Moon Duo and the rest of the records that make up our latest Top 20 and it's obvious that 2017's discography is really in bloom right now!

Top 20 Albums

1.  Damage And Joy - THE JESUS AND MARY CHAIN
2.  Hot Thoughts - SPOON
3.  Semper Femina - LAURA MARLING
4.  Hey Mr Ferryman - MARK EITZEL
5.  In Between - THE FEELIES
6.  Flying Microtonal Banana - KING GIZZARD AND THE LIZARD WIZARD
7.  Last Place - GRANDADDY
8.  Silver / Lead - WIRE
9.  Occult Architecture Vol. 1 - MOON DUO
10. Heartworms - THE SHINS
11. In Mind - REAL ESTATE
12. Volcano - TEMPLES
13. English Tapas - SLEAFORD MODS
14. Love In The 4th Dimension - THE BIG MOON
15. I See You - THE XX
16. Hang - FOXYGEN
17. Heron Oblivion - HERON OBLIVION
18. Damaged Good - BETTIE SERVEERT
19. The French Press EP - ROLLING BLACKOUTS COASTAL FEVER
20. 3 O’clock EP - BLONDE REDHEAD

Top 20 Tracks

1.  Hot Thoughts - SPOON
2.  Amputation - THE JESUS AND MARY CHAIN
3.  French Press - ROLLING BLACKOUTS COASTAL FEVER
4.  The Last Ten Years - MARK EITZEL
5.  Soothing - LAURA MARLING
6.  Way We Won’t - GRANDADDY
7.  Gone Gone Gone - THE FEELIES
8.  Short Elevated Period - WIRE
9.  Rattlesnake - KING GIZZARD AND THE LIZARD WIZARD   
10. Cold Fear - MOON DUO
11. Follow The Leader - FOXYGEN
12. Dead Alive - THE SHINS
13. Darling - REAL ESTATE
14. Strange Or Be Forgotten - TEMPLES
15. Moptop - SLEAFORD MODS
16. Sucker - THE BIG MOON
17. Say Something Loving - THE XX
18. 3 O’clock - BLONDE REDHEAD
19. Faro - HERON OBLIVION
20. B-Cuz - BETTIE SERVEERT



Spoon - Hot Thoughts


The Jesus And Mary Chain - Amputation

Sunday, April 23, 2017

The April '17 Hit Parade

Hope you all enjoyed yesterday's Record Store Day and that you were able to find those special releases you were after. Actually, with such a strong roster of new releases lately, I don’t think that a special day is needed to give us an incentive to visit our local record stores. As you will see next week in our latest Listening Habits post, there is currently a huge pile of excellent records we are going through and plenty more are going to be added over the next few weeks as we're anxiously expecting new releases by the likes of The Afghan Wigs, Mark Lanegan, The Black Angels and At The Drive-In to name but a few.

With so many excellent new releases by returning favorite artists, it is easy to overlook some very worthwhile albums by new or relatively new acts that are coming out over the same period. To avoid making this mistake, in this post we have chosen to highlight the new work of a few of these bands that we are either newly acquainted with or we have known about for a little while. Say hello to London all-girl four-piece The Big Moon and Melbourne rockers Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever, and welcome back the psychedelic sounds of King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard, also from Melbourne, and Temples from Kettering:

The Big Moon - Sucker

The Big Moon are Juliette Jackson, Soph Nathann, Celia Archer and Fern Ford. They made their debut with the single "Sucker" in 2015 and after a few more singles, among them last year's pop gem "Silent Movie Susie", they have just released their debut album "Love in the 4th Dimension", a strong pop record that brings to mind the era when bands like Elastica or Sleeper ruled the indie airwaves. Check out above the reworked version of "Sucker" that opens their debut album.

Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever - Julie's Place

We can't wait to hear what Melbourne's Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever are going to present to us when the time comes for their debut album. For now we'll have to make do with their astonishing second 7-track EP "The French Press", their Sub Pop debut, that sounds like a marriage made in heaven between Broken Social Scene and The Go-Betweens!


King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard - Rattlesnake

Psychedelic rockers King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard have been going for a while now, releasing so far nine albums in five years! Their latest one "Flying Microtonal Banana" is an outstanding mix of psych and krautrock sounds and is just the first installment of five albums set to be released in 2017 that experiment with microtonality. This is going to be interesting, to say the least...


Temples - Strange Or Be Forgotten

We have been championing Temples ever since we've come across their excellent debut album "Sun Structures" at the beginning of 2014. Now the Kettering four-piece is back with its sophomore work "Volcano", another psychedelic pop trip with more dance-rock influences this time around, but with a prevailing 60's rock vibe at its core, with strong melodies forming the backbone of their sound.

Visit us again next week for the complete list of our favorite albums and songs for March - April 2017, it's gonna be a blast!

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Live: The Black Heart Procession @ Fuzz Club (Athens, March 31st, 2017)


It's been six years already since the last time we saw The Black Heart Procession in Athens, in one of their last tours before they decided to take a break. Back then Pall Jenkins and Tobias Nathaniel, the creative core of the group, had played as a duo, presenting a stripped down acoustic show with only the bare essentials: a keyboard, a guitar and Pall’s signature instrument, the musical saw.


The reunion of the band came about as we've reached the 20th anniversary of its formation and to mark the occasion, Pall and Tobias decided to revisit the songs of "1", their debut album recorded in 1997. Enlisting the help of two musicians from Serbia, this new version of The Black Heart Procession presented "1" in its entirety, giving the opportunity to their fans, old and new, to listen live the eleven songs that started their story.


Although personally I am more fond of their work during the next decade and especially of "Amore Del Tropico", their fourth album from 2002, the songs from "1" have certainly retained their melancholic charm and represent the romantic, "black" heart of the group as good as any of their subsequent albums.


If you’re looking for the highlights of the hour-long main set, I would say that for each member of the audience these would have to coincide with their favorite songs off the album, as its live presentation was quite faithful to the recorded version. So for me the stand-out moment was "Release My Heart", the most electrifying song of a mainly acoustic record, followed by "Blue Water Black Heart' and "Square Heart" (as you can understand, the matters of the heart are ubiquitous on "1").


The show closed with a three song encore, during which Pall Jenkins addressed the audience for the first time, not only to thank us for being there at the last show of this tour, but also to explain the reasons for choosing these particular songs for the finale. So, for "A Cry for Love" the choice was down to the popularity of this track on YouTube (and I’m guessing from the enthusiastic reception of the crowd that a lot of the "likes" came from Greece). Regarding "The War Is Over" (from the album "Three"), it was the anti-war subject matter the deciding factor, while "Borders", the new song that closed the evening, was chosen as it speaks about the refugee and immigration issues, currently at the forefront of the news. As Pall pointed out, San Diego, the band's hometown which is located near the borders with Mexico, is strongly influence by Latin culture and no wall can break the strong ties that exist between people, regardless where they are coming from.


With these three songs The Black Heart Procession waved goodbye and renewed our rendezvous for their next tour. Let's see where this reunion will lead, beyond this first rate opportunity to retrace the band's first steps.

The Black Heart Procession - A Cry for Love (live in Athens)


The Black Heart Procession - Square Heart (live in Athens)

Sunday, April 02, 2017

New Releases: March 2017

The list of new releases for March 2017 was a particularly impressive one, featuring several important comebacks, including the first new album by The Jesus And Mary Chain in nearly two decades and the return of Boss Hog after 17 years. Add next to them new records by several of our favorite artists and bands, like Spoon, Laura Marling, Temples, Real Estate, Sleaford Mods and Wire to name but a few, and you have quite a great month for new music!

Albums:

Hot Thoughts
SPOON - Hot Thoughts
THE JESUS AND MARY CHAIN - Damage and Joy
BOSS HOG - Brood X
ROLLING BLACKOUTS COASTAL FEVER - The French Press
LAURA MARLING - Semper Femina
REAL ESTATE - In Mind
TEMPLES - Volcano
GRANDADDY - Last Place
THE SHINS - Heartworms
SLEAFORD MODS - English Tapas
WIRE - Silver / Lead
LAETITIA SADIER SOURCE ENSEMBLE - Find Me Finding You
BRITISH SEA POWER - Let The Dancers Inherit The Party
CONOR OBERST - Salutations
CRAIG FINN - We All Want the Same Things
SPIRAL STAIRS - Doris and the Daggers
MILK MUSIC - Mystic 100s
PHARMAKON - Contact
ADULT. - Detroit House Guests
KELLY LEE OWENS - Kelly Lee Owens
JAY SOM - Everybody Works
VAGABON - Infinite Worlds
UV-TV - Glass
THE COURTNEYS - II
CIRCUS DEVILS - Laughs Last
MINUS THE BEAR - Voids
BARDO POND - Under The Pines
ARBOURETUM - Song of the Rose
HURRAY FOR THE RIFF RAFF - The Navigator
DESPERATE JOURNALIST - Grow Up
CIRCA WAVES - Different Creatures
SECRET SHINE - There Is Only Now
MOUNT EERIE - A Crow Looked At Me
THE MAGNETIC FIELDS - 50 Song Memoir
DAMAGED BUG - Bunker Funk
THE BUG Vs EARTH - Concrete Desert
BLANCK MASS - World Eater
FUTURE - HNDRXX
KID KOALA featuring EMILIANA TORRINI - Music To Draw To: Satellite
GOLDFRAPP - Silver Eye
HOLLY MACVE - Golden Eagle
FORMATION - Look At The Powerful People
WHY? - Moh Lhean
VENN - Runes
GREG GRAFFIN - Millport
BODY COUNT - Bloodlust
SOULWAX - From Deewee
DEPECHE MODE - Spirit
JARVIS COCKER AND CHILLY GONZALES - Room 29
ALEXIS TAYLOR - Listen With(out) Piano
METHYL ETHEL - Everything Is Forgtten
SACRED PAWS - Strike a Match
PC WORSHIP - Buried Wish
BAIT - Bait
WOLF EYES - Undertow 
THE RESIDENTS - The Ghost of Hope
DIAMANDA GALÁS - All The Way
DIAMANDA GALÁS - At Saint Thomas the Apostle Harlem
JULIA HOLTER - In The Same Room
WHERESWILDER - Hotshot

Singles & EPs

THURSTON MOORE - Cease Fire
BLONDE REDHEAD - 3 O'Clock EP
SNEAKS - It's a Myth EP
PINS - Bad Thing EP
SPINNING COIN - Raining On Hope Street
FUCKED UP - Year of the Snake
THE BESNARD LAKES - The Besnard Lakes are the Divine Wind
BLEACHED - Can You Deal?
CATE LE BON - Rock Pool
JULIEN BAKER - Funeral Pyre
ANOHNI - Paradise EP
MAX JURY - Under The Covers
UNQUALIFIED NURSE BAND - Death Surf A52
THE WAVE PICTURES - Canvey Island Baby
HORSEBEACH / THE PHEREMOANS - Alone / Removals
THE BLUE ORCHIDS - Skull Jam EP
BRIX AND THE EXTRICATED - Something To Lose / Faced With Time
BLONDIE - Long Time
DEPECHE MODE - Where's the Revolution
STONE FOUNDATION - Your Balloon is Rising (Featuring Paul Weller)
HANNAH LOU CLARK - The Heart And All Its Sin EP


Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever - French Press

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Live: Blonde Redhead @ Gagarin 205 (Athens, March 19th, 2017)


Thankfully this time we didn’t have to wait 10 years for Blonde Redhead’s return to Athens, as it was the case between their first gig at Gagarin 205 way back in the spring of 2005 and their return in March 2015.


In the two years since their previous gig, the only new material from the band came just a few days ago with the release of the four-song EP "3 O'Clock", which they played in its entirety. The rest of Blonde Redhead’s 90-minute set was comprised with selections from their back catalogue, mainly from "Misery Is a Butterfly" και "23", perhaps their two best albums to date. Despite the recent re-release of their first two albums as part of the "Masculin Feminin" compilation, the band chose not to revisit its '90s noise-rock days and the only representation of this period came early in the set with an excellent rendition of "Bipolar" off "Fake Can Be Just as Good", their third album which recently turned 20.


Apart from the four songs off the new EP, which admittedly does not find the band in its best form, the other recent material that Blonde Redhead played were "Mind to Be Had" and "Drippin", two of the most upbeat songs off their 2014 LP "Barragán", for which Kazu Makino abandoned her guitar and started a little dance over her keyboards.


The highlights of the set, apart from the already mentioned "Bipolar", included also "Falling Man", "Elephant Woman", "Dr. Strangeluv", "Spring and by Summer Fall" and the anthemic "23" which came near the end of the three-song encore. The finale of the show came in the hushed reverie created by the atmospheric "Golden Light", a serene ending to a night of many electric delights which certainly satisfied the faithful fans of Kazu Makino and the Pace brothers.


The evening started with a set from Jack Heart and his band who presented his new album "Emotional Piñata". Unfortunately Sunday’s football derby did not allow us to be at the club early enough to catch all of his set, but the two songs we did hear, sounded very promising indeed. We’ll certainly try to see him again at the next available opportunity.

Jack Heart, live @ Gagarin 205

Check out below two songs from Blonde Redhead's live set at Gagarin 205, the new track "3 O'Clock" and the classic "23":

Blonde Redhead - 3 O'Clock (live in Athens)

Blonde Redhead - 23 (live in Athens)

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

The 7s, part 4: 1997

Since the beginning of the year, we have been revisiting some of our favorite albums and songs released in previous years ending in 7. So far we’ve listened to the punk sounds of 1977, the UK indie scene of 1987, as represented by the recent Cherry Red compilation C87, and the wonderful guitar noise emanating from the US underground of the same year

In the 4th part of this series, we are going twenty years back to 1997, a year that gave us plenty of great albums by the likes of Pavement, Spiritualized, Blur, The Verve, The Dandy Warhols, Cornershop, Wu-Tang Clan, Prodigy, Portishead, Foo Fighters to name just a few of the year’s high profile and critically acclaimed releases.

The seven albums that we have chosen to represent 1997 in this feature, include a few releases that have gained cult status over the years as the prestige of their creators has risen with each subsequent release, along with some more obscure choices which are just as dear to us and we think more people need to discover. In the first category there is Sleater-Kinney, Modest Mouse and Built To Spill, three of the greatest US rock bands to come from the Pacific Northwest really hitting their stride with their 1997 releases, and in the second there is the last ever albums in the brief but excellent discography of '90s cult heroes Helium and The Geraldine Fibbers, plus a couple of outstanding records by Swell and Prolapse, who were also at their very best around that time. Have a listen to the indie sound of 1997

Dig Me Out - SLEATER-KINNEY



Turn It On

The Lonesome Crowded West - MODEST MOUSE



Heart Cooks Brain

Perfect From Now On - BUILT TO SPILL



I Would Hurt A Fly

The Magic City - HELIUM



Leon's Space Song

Butch - THE GERALDINE FIBBERS



California Tuffy

Too Many Days Without Thinking - SWELL




(I Know) The Trip

The Italian Flag - PROLAPSE


Autocade

Sunday, March 05, 2017

Live: Swans @ Gagarin 205 (Athens, March 3rd, 2017)


For their fourth gig in Athens, Michael Gira's Swans returned to Gagarin 205, the venue where we first saw them six years ago. In these six years the band has released three of the best rock albums of this decade, three epic works unlike anything else out there, and it's no exaggeration to say that all of their live shows have been nothing short of a revelation.


This means there was no way I would let my 38°C fever (which I still haven't shaken off completely as I write these lines) to prevent me from attending this sold-out gig and experiencing once again the magnificent sonic constructions that only Swans can create on-stage.


The two hour and 15 minute set masterfully balanced extended, drone-noise pieces like the new composition "The Knot" that occupied the first half hour of the set or "Cloud of Unknowing", with shorter (for their standards, of course, meaning around the 10-minute mark!), leaner, rhythmic noise-punk explosions as the exquisite "Screen Shot" (off our 2014 Album of the Year "To Be Kind") or "The Man Who Refused to Be Unhappy", another excellent new number that prepares us for the next chapter in the Swans history.


The triumphant gig reached its climactic ending with another epic composition, "The Glowing Man", the title track off their latest album. If this album, and therefore this tour, turns out to be, as announced, the end of their current line-up, I can't imaging a more fitting epilogue than this great show. And as the new songs have shown, there is a lot more to expect from Gira and any new reincarnation of the Swans.


The gig opened with something completely different, an hour-long set of Cretan music with the unique voice and lyra playing style of Psarantonis. Gira, a big fan of folk music, is among his admirers and picked him for the opening slot, which was warmly received by the crowd.

Psarantonis, live @ Gagarin 205
Check out below two of the highlights from the fourth Athens gig of the Swans, "Screen Shot" and "The Man Who Refused to Be Unhappy" and click on this tag if you want to remember what went down at their three previous shows here (and more Swans related posts).


Swans - Screen Shot (live @ Gagarin 205)


Swans - The Man Who Refused To Be Unhappy (live @ Gagarin 205)

Swans, live @ Gagarin 205 (Athens, March 3rd, 2017)

Saturday, March 04, 2017

New Releases: February 2017

Round-up of the most interesting new releases of the month:

Albums:

THE FEELIES - In Between
MOON DUO - Occult Architecture Vol.1
PISSED JEANS - Why Love Now
THE BATS - The Deep Set
CLAP YOUR HANDS SAY YEAH - The Tourist
THE BRIAN JONESTOWN MASSACRE - Don't Get Lost
THE UNDERGROUND YOUTH - What Kind Of Dystopian Hellhole Is This?
KING GIZZARD & THE LIZARD WIZARD - Flying Microtonal Banana
SUMMER MOON - With You Tonight
DIRTY PROJECTORS - Dirty Projectors
JESCA HOOP - Memories Are Now
TIM DARCY - Saturday Night
SUN KIL MOON - Common as Light and Love Are Red Valleys of Blood
SIX ORGANS OF ADMITTANCE - Burning The Threshold
MEATBODIES - Alice
CRYSTAL FAIRY - Crystal Fairy
LOS CAMPESINOS! - Sick Scenes
THE DEARS - Times Infinity Volume One
JULIAN COPE - Drunken Songs
MODERN ENGLISH - Take Me To The Trees
ELBOW - Little Fictions
RYAN ADAMS - Prisoner
SON VOLT - Notes of Blue
CHUCK PROPHET - Bobby Fuller Died For Your Sins
OLD 97s - Graveyard Whistling
THE SADIES - Northern Passages
TOBIN SPROUT - The Universe and Me
JENS LEKMAN - Life Will See You Now
SURFER BLOOD - Snowdonia
MOZART'S SISTER - Field of Love
NOVELLA - Change of State
THE NECKS - Unfold
COMMUNIONS - Blue
FUTURE - Future
SINKANE - Life & Livin' It
DUKE GARWOOD - Garden of Ashes
DUTCH UNCLES - Big Balloon
LUKE HAINES - Smash the System
XIU XIU - Forget
MUNA - About U
STEF CHURA - Messes
DAMS OF THE WEST - Youngish American
DUDE YORK - Sincerely
BLANK SQUARE - Animal I
THE MENZINGERS - After the Party
PALBERTA - Bye Bye Berta
PVT - New Spirit
BENT - Snakes and Shapes
GRAILS - Chalice Hymnal
GREAT YTENE - Locus

Singles & EPs

PARQUET COURTS - Captive of the Sun (featuring Bun B)
JOSEFIN ÖHRN + THE LIBERATION - Sister Green Eyes
ANIMAL COLLECTIVE - The Painters EP
BRIAN JONESTOWN MASSACRE - Dropping Bombs On The Sun (UFO Paycheck)
ALLAH-LAS - Autumn Dawn / Hereafter
TEENAGE FANCLUB - I'm in Love
PART CHIMP / GREY HAIRS - Lies / Capable Man
BRUISING / PERSONAL BEST - What It Feels Like / Rollies
WICHSWUT - Wichswut EP
CFM - Homegrown Paranoia EP
JW RIDLEY - Everything (Deathless)
PAUL WHITE ft. DANNY BROWN - Accelerator EP
JLIN - Dark Lotus EP
SALEN - Copper Kiss
DIRTY DISHES - All Of Me / Sentiment
RETRO KID - Retro Kid EP
ALDOUS HARDING - Horizon
HOLY MOTORS - Sleeprydr
GULP - Search For Your Love
CRAIG BROWN BAND - Overthinking / Last All Night
TEAM PICTURE / LAMINATE PET ANIMAL - Back to Bay Six / Eve
THE SHERLOCKS - Will You Be There?

Parquet Courts - Captive of The Sun (ft. Bun B)