Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Top 50 Tracks of 2017


We're in the last week of the year which means it's time for the two lists that matter the most; our selection of the best new music released in the past 12 months, chosen among the hundreds of cds and digital files plus the few vinyl records (old habits die hard) we have added in our collection in 2017!

Let's start today with our 50 favorite tracks of the year and we'll keep, as tradition dictates, the album list for our first post of the new year. The "singles" list, as we used to call it when 7-inch and 12-inch vinyl releases still mattered as a means of getting your best songs out to the fans, is made up of stand out tracks from albums released during the year plus a few selections from stand-alone singles and EPs. As we usually do, only one track is included from each artists or band in order to be able to narrow down the selection to just 50 songs and to represent as many of our favorite releases of the year as possible.

So, let's leave the music speak for itself and without any reverse countdown nonsense (don't you always start by checking out the number one of a list before deciding if you are interested to see the rest?), here are the 50 tracks that mattered the most for Cool Music Central in 2017, starting with St. Vincent dripping poison about L.A.'s celebrity culture while mourning the loss of a lover and LCD Soundsystem waxing philosophical about mortality and living in the moment over one of the most catchy dance tunes that James Murphy and co. have ever created:

Top 50 Tracks of 2017


1. Los Ageless - ST. VINCENT


2. Tonite - LCD SOUNDSYSTEM


3. The Architect - JANE WEAVER



4. Evil - NADINE SHAH



5. Hot Thoughts - SPOON



6. The Underside Of Power - ALGIERS


7. DNA. - KENDRICK LAMAR



8. To the Moon and Back - FEVER RAY


9. Day I Die - THE NATIONAL



10. In Undertow - ALVVAYS



11. Silver - WAXAHATCHEE
12. French Press - ROLLING BLACKOUTS COASTAL FEVER
13. Amputation - THE JESUS AND MARY CHAIN
14. Don't Get Captured - RUN THE JEWELS
15. Holding On - THE WAR ON DRUGS
16. Demon in Profile - THE AFGHAN WHIGS
17. Beehive - MARK LANEGAN
18. The Last Ten Years - MARK EITZEL
19. My Children - PROTOMARTYR
20. Cease Fire - THURSTON MOORE
21. Over Everything - COURTNEY BARNETT AND KURT VILE
22. High Ticket Attractions - THE NEW PORNOGRAPHERS
23. Tinseltown Swimming in Blood - DESTROYER
24. Mourning Sound - GRIZZLY BEAR
25. Road Head - JAPANESE BREAKFAST
26. Soothing - LAURA MARLING
27. Sister Green Eyes - JOSEFIN ÖHRN + THE LIBERATION
28. Mad As Hell - U.S. GIRLS
29. Aryan Nation - EMA
30. Cred Woes - LIARS
31. Cali - RIDE
32. Sugar for the Pill - SLOWDIVE
33. 3 O'Clock - BLONDE REDHEAD
34. Formula X - BOSS HOG
35. Somos Chulas (No Somos Pendejas) - DOWNTOWN BOYS
36. Nothing Feels Natural - PRIESTS
37. I Took Your Picture - CULTS
38. Everything Now - ARCADE FIRE
39. Skyline - BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE
40. Currency - THE BLACK ANGELS
41. Glide - THE DREAM SYNDICATE
42. Near to the Wild Heart of Life - JAPANDROIDS
43. Short Elevated Period - WIRE
44. Evermore - GRANDADDY
45. It Gets More Blue - GIRLPOOL
46. Special - ANGEL OLSEN
47. Darling - REAL ESTATE
48. Follow The Leader - FOXYGEN
49. Sucker - THE BIG MOON
50. Don't Delete the Kisses - WOLF ALICE


Sunday, December 24, 2017

New Releases: November - December 2017

One week to go before the end of 2017 and as we are finalizing the lists of our favorite albums and songs of the year, let's take a moment to check out the latest new releases:

Albums

KING GIZZARD AND THE LIZARD WIZARD - Polygondwanaland
GUN OUTFIT - Out of Range
ANGEL OLSEN - Phases
BJÖRK - Utopia
CHARLOTTE GAINSBOURG - Rest
MORRISSEY - Low in High School
NOEL GALLAGHER'S HIGH FLYING BIRDS - Who Built The Moon?
ESCAPE-ISM - Introduction to Escape-ism
SPINNING COIN - Permo
OCS (aka OH SEES) - Memory Of A Cut Off Head
LOST HORIZONS - Ojala
JIM WHITE - Waffles, Triangles and Jesus
BILLY BRAGG - Bridges Not Walls
SONDRE LERCHE - Pleasure
EUROS CHILDS - House Arrest
PETE INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT - Safer With The Wolves
AUTOBAHN - The Moral Crossing
ZOMBY - Mercury's Rainbow
VISIBLE CLOAKS - Lex
VIRGINIA WING / XAM DUO - Tomorrow's Gift
QTY - QTY
QUICKSAND - Interiors
GODFLESH - Post Self
GLASSJAW - Material Control
I, LUDICROUS - Songs From The Sides Of Lorries
U2 - Songs of Experience
JIM JAMES - Tribute to 2
BONNIE PRINCE BILLY - Wolf of the Cosmos
SUFJAN STEVENS - The Greatest Gift
HÜSKER DÜ - Savage Young Du

Singles & EPs

MORRISSEY - Jacky’s Only Happy When She’s Up On Stage
SUNFLOWER BEAN - I Was A Fool
GOAT GIRL - Cracker Drool
PIP BLOM - Babies Are A Lie / School
XIU XIU/(R) - Xiu Xiu/(r)
EMA - MopTops (Twist While The World Stops)
U.S. GIRLS - Velvet 4 Sale
DJANGO DJANGO - Tic Tac Toe
THE LOVELY EGGS - I Shouldn't Have Said That
TOTAL CONTROL - Laughing at the System EP
ABATTOIR BLUES - Blinded
HERE LIES MAN - Animal Noises
THE LIMINANAS - Istanbul Is Sleepy
THE LIMINANAS WITH PASCAL COMELADE - The Curse Of Santa Claus / Silent Night
BELLE AND SEBASTIAN - How to Solve Our Human Problems, Pt. 1
THE BIG MOON - Acoustic EP
KELLY LEE OWENS - More Than A Woman
SLEIGH BELLS - Kid Kruschev EP
AT THE DRIVE IN - Diamante EP
BLACK LIPS - This Sick Beat
ALLAH-LAS - Covers 1
PETE ASTOR - Water Tower
PAUL WELLER - One Tear
NOEL GALLAGHER'S HIGH FLYING BIRDS - Holy Mountain
U2 - The Blackout
THE CHARLATANS - Over Again
TENNIS - We Can Die Happy EP
THE BUG - Bad / Get Out The Way
SUPERORGANISM - Something For Your M.I.N.D.
THE MOONLANDINGZ - The Cities Undone EP
AVERAGE SEX - Ugly Strangers EP
DEAD PRETTIES - Confidence / Water
PICAPICA - Spring and Shade


Pip Blom - School

Monday, December 18, 2017

Live: The Wedding Present @ Temple (Athens, December 14th, 2017)



2017 was a year full of comebacks and anniversary re-releases. Although I feel that rock music continues to be as necessary and important today as it’s ever been, at least for me, there is no denying the fact that exciting new rock bands are thin on the ground these days, while so many bands from the past are returning for concerts and release new records which are easily among the best of the year, even if they don’t usually surpass their past glories.


In this climate, it isn’t surprising that some of the best gigs we’ve been to this year were from bands with quite a bit of history (Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, The Dream Syndicate, Swans, Thurston Moore, Einstürzende Neubauten, The Jesus And Mary Chain, Slowdive) and now to this list we can add The Wedding Present, who this year celebrated the 30th anniversary of their debut album "George Best", one of the indiepop classics of the C86 generation.


Although "George Best" is certainly one of the albums that I would like to see performed from start to finish, David Gedge preferred to keep in the set list about a half of it and present instead a “best of” of the first period of the band, a choice that certainly pleased the fans as along with early favorites like "My Favourite Dress", "Everyone Thinks He Looks Daft" "Anyone Can Make a Mistake" or the pre-"George Best" single "Once More", we also got to hear the likes of "Kennedy", "Corduroy" or "Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah".


Some of their newer material was also present in the hour and a half set, with "Two Bridges" and "Rachel" representing their latest release, 2016’s "Going, Going...", and "The Girl from the DDR" off "Valentina" being also among the standouts with bassist Danielle Wadey contributing the German vocal part.

A great gig that showcased some of David Gedge’s finest songs, from the mid-80s to the present day, that certainly deserved a larger audience than the relatively few who managed to come to the Temple club on Thursday night despite the strike in public transport.


Here's the handwritten set list of the gig and our video of the band performing "Everyone Thinks He Looks Daft":


The Wedding Present - Everyone Thinks He Looks Daft (live @ Temple, Athens)

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Live: Plisskën Festival 2017 (Athens, December 1-2, 2017)

Liars, live @ Plisskën Festival 2017
The 2017 winter edition of Plisskën Festival followed the same concept as last year with gigs taking place across four stages in three different locations along Pireaus street and the emphasis on electronic and dance music. Rock acts, with the glowing exception of Liars and the dance-rock of Holy Fuck, were left out of the picture and guitar pop was barely there with Mac Demarco and Tops on the main stage on Saturday. To be honest, this year's edition left me with mixed feelings regarding the music on offer and sorely missing the festival's last summer edition with bands like Savages, Metz or Waxahatchee gracing its line up.


To focus on the positive, Liars return to Athens after several years was, for us at least, by far the most exciting prospect on the festival's line up and Angus Andrew with his reconfigured band did not disappoint, giving one hell of a performance with material from almost all of their releases so far. 


Andrew came on stage dressed in a wedding gown, a striking image in the spirit of the cover of "TFCF", the band's latest album, and soon after a tension building "Drum Gets a Glimpse", he unleashed a powerful, all-out rock assault which combined new songs like "Coins In My Caged Fist" or "Cred Woes" with many favorites from the band's remarkable back catalogue including "Mr You're On Fire Mr",  "It Fit When I Was a Kid", "Scissor", "The Overachievers" and "Mess on a Mission" to name a few. Liars are one of the best bands that came out of the early '00s indie rock explosion and with performances like this they prove that they still remain a vital rock force today. Undoubtedly, the top performance of Plisskën 2017!


Before Liars, on the second day of the festival (December 2) we also saw Tops from Montreal, opening proceedings on the main stage with their mellow indie pop, likable enough but without the killer tune that would make them standout, and Jessy Lanza who combines hard hitting electronic beats with sweet, soulful vocals and pop melodies that could lead to greater commercial success for her in the near future.

Tops, live @ Plisskën Festival 2017
Jessy Lanza, live @ Plisskën Festival 2017
The headliner on Saturday was Mac DeMarco whose performance, especially after the explosive Liars show that preceded it, seemed very weak to my ears, although most of the crowd seemed to be having a good time. I guess his "jizz jazz" style is not for me and the karaoke-style covers of Red Hot Chilly Peppers and 50 Cent that closed his set did not help much to change my mind.

Mac DeMarco, live @ Plisskën Festival 2017
On the first day of the festival we attended on the main stage the beat heavy, experimental electronic performances of Demdike Stare and Andy Stott, both of which would have benefited from a late night spot, but nonetheless managed to engage and move the feet of the relatively few people who turned up early enough to see them.

Demdike Stare, live @ Plisskën Festival 2017
Andy Stott, live @ Plisskën Festival 2017
The day on the main stage closed with the unlikely pairing of Holy Fuck and Mulatu Astatke who headlined. We didn't get to see the latter, but we did enjoy the upbeat performance of Holy Fuck, the second one in Athens for the Canadian electrorockers after this one from the great Synch Festival of 2008 (the good old days!). Their sound has not changed very much over the years, but they certainly remain a fun act to watch live.


Holy Fuck, live @ Plisskën Festival 2017
Check out below a video playlist with selected highlights from the winter 2017 edition of Plisskën Festival, featuring Liars, Holy Fuck, Jessy Lanza and Tops:


Liars, Holy Fuck, Jessy Lanza, Tops live @  Plisskën Festival 2017 (Piraeus 117 Academy, Athens)

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Listening Habits: 10-11.2017

The first year-end lists of 2017 are already here, but for now we are going to turn our attention to the albums and songs that earned our appreciation in the last couple of months of the autumn and leave the task of figuring out our "Best of the Year" list for the end of December, as usual.

However I can already say with certainty that the two albums at the top of our autumn list have already booked their place in our 2017 Top 10, as both St. Vincent and Protomartyr have delivered killer albums that are not going to leave our headphones any time soon.

"Masseduction", St. Vincent’s fifth album, adapts and subverts the concept of modern pop music, as dance-floor friendly rhythms and sweet melodic interludes echo the sound of the pop charts but they are transformed through Annie Clark’s unique perspective into something beguiling and deeply personal.

Protomartyr continue to march on the post-punk path that pioneers like The Fall or Pere Ubu have laid down and they are showing no signs of slowing down as "Relatives In Descent", their fourth album, is another fine example of intense, vital rock ’n’ roll.

Other stand-out releases among the fine albums we’ve enjoyed recently include the triumphant return to action of The Dream Syndicate after 29 odd years with "How Did I Find Myself Here?" (see also our recent live review here), the resurfacing of The War On Drugs who continue to operate at the height of their powers with "A Deeper Understanding" and, last but not least, the astonishing, krautrock-influenced, psychedelic pop that Jane Weaver has concocted with "Modern Kosmology", her ninth solo work.

Here are our 16 favorite albums for October - November 2017:

Top 16 Albums

1.   MASSEDUCTION - ST. VINCENT
2.   Relatives In Descent - PROTOMARTYR   
3.   Modern Kosmology - JANE WEAVER
4.   How Did I Find Myself Here? - THE DREAM SYNDICATE
5.   A Deeper Understanding - THE WAR ON DRUGS
6.   Cry Cry Cry - WOLF PARADE
7.   ken - DESTROYER
8.   Moonshine Freeze - THIS IS THE KIT
9.   Weather Diaries - RIDE
10. Cost Of Living - DOWNTOWN BOYS
11. Electric Trim - LEE RANALDO
12. Offering - CULTS
13. Every Valley - PUBLIC SERVICE BROADCASTING
14. Losing - BULLY
15. Visions Of A Life - WOLF ALICE
16. C88 - VARIOUS ARTISTS

Top 15 Tracks

1.  The Architect - JANE WEAVER
2.  Moonshine Freeze - THIS IS THE KIT
3.  New York - ST. VINCENT
4.  My Children - PROTOMARTYR
5.  Cali - RIDE
6.  80 West - THE DREAM SYNDICATE
7.   Up All Night - THE WAR ON DRUGS
8.   Valley Boy - WOLF PARADE
9.   Cover From The Sun - DESTROYER
10. I Took Your Picture - CULTS
11. Uncle Skeleton - LEE RANALDO
12. Somos Chulas (No Somos Pendejas) - DOWNTOWN BOYS
13. Feel the Same - BULLY
14. Beautifully Unconventional - WOLF ALICE
15. Progress - PUBLIC SERVICE BROADCASTING




Jane Weaver - The Architect

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Live: Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds @ Tae Kwon Do (Athens, November 16th, 2017)


"I am transforming, I am vibrating, look at me now!" sings Nick Cave during the climactic finale of "Jubilee Street" and I think these words are the best way to describe his formidable way of commanding the stage and, indeed, the whole of the packed Tae Kwon Do arena on Thursday night.


I had the pleasure of attending numerous Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds gigs over the years and each one has been a unique experience: the noisy chaos on the stage of Club 22 in September 1987, the triumphant return a couple years later at the historic Rodon Club, their first large scale performance in Athens at Lycabettus Theatre in the summer of 1990, their performance right before Nirvana at the muddy Reading Festival of 1992 and several more up to their previous show in Athens in 2008 (see our review here), when "Dig, Lazarus, Dig!" became our Album of the Year.


Given that their return to Athens comes right after the release of the band's most solemn album to date, the mournful "Skeleton Tree", it would be an easy mistake to make if you thought that this was going to be a more introverted, lower key performance. In fact, the presence of seven songs from this album on the set list did add a more melancholic mood in parts of the show, particularly at the beginning with "Anthrocene", "Jesus Alone" and "Magneto" opening the set, but the intensity we've come to expect whenever Nick Cave takes on a stage, gradually started building up by the fourth song, the slow-burning epic "Higgs Boson Blues", and by the time "From Her To Eternity" and "Tupelo" hit us with the force of a tornado, any thoughts of a quiet night out were quickly dismissed.


The balance between dark melody and menacing intensity was exemplary throughout the 15-song main set, which came full circle when tremendously powerful renditions of "Red Right Hand" and "Mercy Seat" led to the soulful "Distant Sky" and the sweet sadness of "Skeleton Tree".


However the best was yet to come. The three song encore started with Nick Cave jumping into the crowd during "The Weeping Song", walking all the way to the back of the crowded arena and ending up on the stands, from where he sang the rest of the song among the lucky fans and conducted the whole stadium to a clap-along!


Even more amazing was the brutal force of "Stagger Lee", with fans being invited to come on stage to participate to the climactic finale of the show, which came to an end with Nick Cave conducting his make-shift choir to the sad and beautiful melody of "Push The Sky Away"; a grand ending for a truly epic concert, the stuff of legends indeed!


Here is the complete set list of the show:



Check out below Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds performing "Jubilee Street" and "Skeleton Tree" live in Athens, at the Tae Kwon Do arena:

Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds - Jubilee Street (live in Athens)

Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds - Skeleton Tree (live in Athens)

Sunday, November 12, 2017

The 600th: Killer Tracks 2008 - 2017

This is Cool Music Central's 600th post since starting life on Blogger in March 2008! To make it a special one, I decided to dig deep into our past, go through all of our monthly and year-end "Best of" lists and piece together a playlist featuring all the songs that have taken the top spot over the years.

You can listen to the result of this endeavor on the Spotify playlist below, featuring 60 of our 65 Number Ones so far. This playlist will be updated in the coming months as we continue to present our "Listening Habits" lists, in order to include every top song in the 10 year history of this blog.

As we are getting closer to our ten year anniversary, you can expect a few more special lists like this one to celebrate the occasion. Although this 65-song playlist tells only a small part of the story so far, it is certainly indicative of the music we have been championing and obsessing about here in Cool Music Central.

Killer Tracks 2008 - 2017 (presented in reverse chronological order):
 
  • Tonite - LCD SOUNDSYSTEM
  • The Underside Of Power - ALGIERS
  • Hot Thoughts - SPOON
  • Sister Green Eyes - JOSEFIN ÖHRN & THE LIBERATION
  • Jesus Alone - NICK CAVE AND THE BAD SEEDS
  • Shut Up Kiss Me - ANGEL OLSEN
  • Sun City Creeps - WOODS
  • Florian Saucer Attack - BLACK MOUNTAIN
  • The Wheel - PJ HARVEY
  • Snakeskin - DEERHUNTER
  • Why Does It Shake? - PROTOMARTYR
  • A Beautiful Woman - DERADOORIAN
  • Interference - HOLLY HERNDON
  • Lampshades On Fire - MODEST MOUSE
  • Pedestrian At Best - COURTNEY BARNETT
  • Disco//Very - WARPAINT
  • Feel - TY SEGALL
  • Food For Clouds - THE BRIAN JONESTOWN MASSACRE
  • The Lottery - THE AFGHAN WHIGS
  • Satellites - EMA
  • Love Is To Die - WARPAINT
  • Full Of Fire - THE KNIFE
  • Sunray Venus - THROWING MUSES
  • In The Green Wild - JULIA HOLTER
  • Culturecide - PRIMAL SCREAM
  • Sacrilege - YEAH YEAH YEAHS
  • San Francisco - FOXYGEN
  • Fall Back - FACTORY FLOOR
  • Wet Blanket - METZ
  • Watch The Corners - DINOSAUR JR.
  • Ruin - CAT POWER
  • Oblivion - GRIMES
  • The Gravedigger’s Song - MARK LANEGAN BAND
  • I’m His Girl - FRIENDS
  • Bedroom Eyes - DUM DUM GIRLS
  • Gangsta - TUNE-YARDS
  • Future Crimes - WILD FLAG
  • The Glorious Land - PJ HARVEY
  • The Words That Maketh Murder - PJ HARVEY
  • Not In Love - CRYSTAL CASTLES feat. ROBERT SMITH
  • Mirrorage - GLASSER
  • Ready To Start - ARCADE FIRE
  • Jail La La - DUM DUM GIRLS
  • Tell’em - SLEIGH BELLS
  • Bury Pts.1+3 - THE FALL
  • The Longest Shadows - HIGH PLACES
  • The Ghosts That Wake You - FOLLOW THAT BIRD!
  • Written In Reverse - SPOON
  • Ambling Alp - YEASAYER
  • In Your Heart- A PLACE TO BURY STRANGERS
  • Die Slow - HEALTH
  • Treat Me Like Your Mother - THE DEAD WEATHER
  • Black Hearted Love - PJ HARVEY & JOHN PARISH
  • Sacred Trickster - SONIC YOUTH
  • Help I’m Alive - METRIC
  • Big Man - THREATMANTICS
  • So Fine - TELEPATHE
  • The Step And The Walk - THE DUKE SPIRIT
  • Idle Hands - THE GUTTER TWINS
  • Dreams Old Men Dream - COLD WAR KIDS
  • Chrome's On It - TELEPATHE
  • Crawl - KINGS OF LEON
  • I Will Possess Your Heart - DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE
  • Swords Of Truth - THESE NEW PURITANS
  • Lie Down Here (& Be My Girl) - NICK CAVE AND THE BAD SEEDS
 


Sunday, November 05, 2017

A Week to Remember: Thurston Moore Group / Austra / The Dream Syndicate, live @ Fuzz Club

Last week was certainly one to remember! Between Sunday, October 29th and Saturday, November 4th we had the pleasure of attending not one or two, but three excellent gigs at the Fuzz Club, in Athens. Take a look below at some of our best photos from these shows, as well as video highlights:

Thurston Moore Group (October 29th, 2017)


This was Thurston Moore's second solo visit in Athens with his current, all-star group, featuring James Sedwards, Debbie Googe and Steve Shelley (check out here the first one). This time the performance was part of the new Fraternity of Sound festival, featuring also in the same day experimental electronic sounds by ex-Coil member Drew McDowall, Zonal (a collaboration between Justin Broadrick and Kevin Martin, a.k.a The Bug) and Ben Frost.


Thurston Moore and his group played mostly songs from his latest solo work, the excellent "Rock n Roll Consciousness", including the non-album single "Cease Fire" which kicked-off the set and "Speak to the Wild", the lead track off his previous album "The Best Day". For the encore of the nearly 80-minute performance, the band revisited "Ono Soul" from "Psychic Hearts", transforming it into an extended, adventurous guitar jam.



Check out below Thurston Moore Group in "Smoke of Dreams" from their performance at Fraternity of Sound festival:

Thurston Moore Group - Smoke of Dreams, live @ Fuzz Club (Oct. 29th, 2017)

Austra / Ela Minus (November 3rd, 2017)


Coming to this weekend's happenings, on Friday we enjoyed Austra's first ever club gig in Athens in a set that covered all three of their albums so far. The electropop outfit led by Katie Stelmanis had previously paid us a visit as part of the line-up of 2015's Plissken Festival, but this time, at their own gig and in a more fitting environment for their sound, they were able to give a truly remarkable performance, where Katie's outstanding voice shined in all its glory!



Austra's show opened by the upbeat synthpop of Ela Minus, the stage name of Gabriela Jimeno from Colombia, who brought us bright sounds for dark times, as it was written on the side of her brightly lit synthesizer.

Ela Minus
Listen to Austra in "Freepower", one of the tracks from their  latest album "Future Politics", as performed on Friday night at Fuzz Club:

Austra - Freepower, live @ Fuzz Club (Nov. 3rd, 2017)

The Dream Syndicate / Dustbowl (November 4th, 2017)


Last, and certainly not least, on Saturday night we had the pleasure of witnessing another mind-blowing performance by The Dream Syndicate, Steve Wynn's legendary '80s Paisley Underground outfit whose reunion a few years back for a few concerts celebrating the 30th anniversary of their seminal debut LP "The Days of Wine and Roses" (see also here) has led to a brand new studio album this year, the excellent "How Did I Find Myself Here?", their first in 29 years!


The Dream Syndicate were as electrifying now, on the stage of Fuzz Club in 2017, as they have ever been in each one of their now legendary '80s shows in Athens, starting with their 1986 performance at Pedion Areos park, as their long-time fans (including myself) who were there then and now can testify.


The band, including also Dennis Duck, Mark Walton, Jason Victor and guest-starring Chris Cacavas on keyboards, expertly combined the new material with the time-proven classics from their previous four records showing beyond any doubt that true rock 'n' roll exists out of time.

The nearly two and a half hour set included nothing but highlights, starting with "Hallowing" off their debut LP and finishing with an astounding rendition of "John Coltrane Stereo Blues" from "Medicine Show" after two encores. Other honorable mentions that come to mind include "The Days of Wine and Roses", "Tell Me When It's Over", "Armed With An Empty Gun", "Burn", "Boston" which incorporated a snippet of Tom Petty's "Refugee", "The Side I'll Never Show" and from the new ones "Out of My Head" and "80 West". Another vintage performance indeed!



The opening act for The Dream Syndicate show was Dustbowl who contributed to the good rock 'n' role vibes of the night.

Dustbowl
Here's "Out of My Head" and "Boston" from The Dream Syndicate show at Fuzz Club:

 The Dream Syndicate - Out of My Head,  live @ Fuzz Club (Nov. 4th, 2017)

The Dream Syndicate - Boston / Refugee,  live @ Fuzz Club (Nov. 4th, 2017)

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

New Releases: October 2017

Round-up of October's most interesting new releases featuring albums by St. Vincent, Fever Ray, Destroyer, Wolf Parade, Cults, Bully and the collaboration between Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile, as well as singles by Jane Weaver, Breeders, U.S. Girls and Morrissey:

Albums

Masseduction
ST. VINCENT - Masseduction
FEVER RAY - Plunge
DESTROYER - ken
WOLF PARADE - Cry, Cry, Cry
BULLY - Losing
COURTNEY BARNETT AND KURT VILE - Lotta Sea Lice
CULTS - Offering
STARS - There Is No Love in Fluorescent Light
BECK - Colors
DANIELE LUPPI AND PARQUET COURTS - Milano
A. SAVAGE - Thawing Dawn
JULIEN BAKER - Turn Out the Lights
MARGO PRICE - All American Made
DERADOORIAN - Eternal Recurrence
DUCKTAILS - Jersey Devil
FLAT WORMS - Flat Worms
MELKBELLY - Nothing Valley
MAKTHAVERSKAN - III
WEAVES - Wide Open
ALEX LAHEY - I Love You Like A Brother
THE WEATHER STATION - The Weather Station
WILD ONES - Mirror Touch
FOUR TET - New Energy
DAPHNI - Joli Mai
JESSIE WARE - Glasshouse
KING KRULE - The OOZ
WEEZER - Pacific Daydream
WU-TANG - The Saga Continues
MARNIE - Strange Words And Weird Wars
HOLOGRAM TEEN - Between The Funk and The Fear
REPTALIENS - FM-2030
YUMI ZOUMA - Willowbank
MARTIN CARR - New Shapes of Life
KELE OKEREKE - Fatherland
MARK KOZELEK WITH BEN BOYE AND JIM WHITE - Mark Kozelek With Ben Boye And Jim White
MICHAEL HEAD AND THE RED ELASTIC BAND - Adios Senor Pussycat
LIAM GALLAGHER - As You Were
MARILYN MANSON - Heaven Upside Down
KELELA - Take Me Apart
ZOMBIE ZOMBIE - Livity
JOHN MAUS - Screen Memories
BAXTER DURY - Prince of Tears
WILD BILLY CHILDISH AND CTMF - Brand New Cage
KING KHAN AND THE GRIS GRIS - Murderburgers
GOAT - Fuzzed in Europe

Singles & EPs

The Architect EP
JANE WEAVER - The Architect EP
THE BREEDERS - Wait in the Car
U.S. GIRLS - Mad As Hell
FEVER RAY - To the Moon and Back
MORRISSEY - Spent The Day In Bed
WILD BEASTS - Punk Drunk and Trembling EP
CCFX - CCFX EP
LUNA - California Blue / Rock Yr Baby
LUNA / CHEVAL SOMBRE - Lonesome Cowboy Bill
DARTO / WAND - Hush / Follow Up
FONTAINES - Hurricane Laughter / Winter In The Sun
HMLTD - Satan, Luella and I / Kinkaku-ji
BEACH SLANG - We Were Babies and We Were Dirtbags (Quiet Slang)
PHENOMENAL HANDCLAP BAND - Traveler's Prayer / Stepped Into The Light
KID CONGO AND THE PINK MONKEY BIRDS - Spider Baby / Apple In The Razor Blade
MOUSE ON MARS - Synaptics EP
COLDCUT x ON-U SOUND - Kajra
FLOATING POINTS - Ratio
FATIMA AL QADIRI - Shaneera EP
CARLA DAL FORNO - The Garden

In the spirit of Halloween, check out the strange video for Fever Ray's comeback single "To The Moon And Back":



Saturday, October 07, 2017

Listening Habits: 08-09.2017

The period between the ending of summer and the beginning of autumn is usually associated with a melancholic mood, but with so much great new music coming our way in these last couple of months we didn't really have any reason to feel sad.

2017 is shaping up to be one of the better years in a decade where there is a lot of uncertainty regarding where music as an art form is heading to, what is its value for people and how the industry that relies on it will adopt to the rapidly changing technological environment.

Even though record sales are down and the physical format seems more and more like a relic of the previous century, the flow of great music from both new and old acts is still strong and there is plenty of evidence of that in our latest list of recommended new albums and tracks. Although it feels sometimes that there are no new ideas or fresh musical movements any more, the mixing and matching of different styles from the past and the co-existence on the scene of brand new artists and seasoned veterans produces interesting results that show there is still life in our post-rock 'n' roll, digital world.

The triumphant return of LCD Soundsystem after seven years with the ambitious "American Dream", a record on par with their best efforts from the past decade, claims the top of our latest New Albums list, followed closely by the passionate, politically charged "Holiday Destination", the excellent third effort by Nadine Shah, a record inspired by the refugee crisis and the paranoid reactions against everyone who is seen as a "foreigner".

Other great records we've listened to in the last couple of months include the latest efforts by Alvvays, Waxahatchee, The National, Broken Social Scene and Japanese Breakfast, the solo project of the very talented Michelle Zauner. The list goes on and the fact that our all-time favorite band, The Fall, is only at number 9, is further evidence of the quality on offer in this latest batch of 2017's new releases:

Top 16 Albums

1.   American Dream - LCD SOUNDSYSTEM
2.   Holiday Destination - NADINE SHAH
3.   Antisocialites - ALVVAYS
4.   Out In The Storm - WAXAHATCHEE
5.   Sleep Well Beast - THE NATIONAL
6.   Hug Of Thunder - BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE
7.   Soft Sounds From Another Planet - JAPANESE BREAKFAST
8.   Painted Ruins - GRIZZLY BEAR   
9.   New Facts Emerge - THE FALL
10. Exile In The Outer Ring - EMA
11. Everything Now - ARCADE FIRE
12. Fujiya & Miyagi - FUJIYA & MIYAGI13. TFCF - LIARS
14. Villains - QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE
15. In*ter a*li*a - AT THE DRIVE-IN
16. The Tourist - CLAP YOUR HANDS SAY YEAH

Top 20 Tracks

1.   Tonite - LCD SOUNDSYSTEM
2.   Los Ageless - ST. VINCENT
3.   Wait In The Car - THE BREEDERS
4.   Day I Die - THE NATIONAL
5.   Evil - NADINE SHAH
6.   Silver - WAXAHATCHEE
7.   In Undertow - ALVVAYS
8.   Road Head - JAPANESE BREAKFAST
9.   Protest Song - BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE
10. Mad As Hell - U.S. GIRLS
11. Cred Woes - LIARS
12. Aryan Nation - EMA
13. Mourning Sound - GRIZZLY BEAR
14. Tinseltown Swimming In Blood - DESTROYER
15. Put Your Money On Me - ARCADE FIRE
16. Serotonin Rushes - FUJIYA & MIYAGI
17. New Facts Emerge - THE FALL
18. Hostage Stamps - AT THE DRIVE-IN
19. The Evil Has Landed - QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE
20. The Pilot - CLAP YOUR HANDS SAY YEAH
 

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

New Releases: September 2017

Round-up of the most interesting albums, singles and EPs released in September 2017:

Albums

LCD SOUNDSYSTEM - American Dream
THE NATIONAL - Sleep Well Beast
PROTOMARTYR - Relatives in Descent
ALVVAYS - Antisocialites
THE DREAM SYNDICATE - How Did I Find Myself Here
LEE RANALDO - Electric Trim
METZ - Strange Peace
WOLF ALICE - Visions of a Life
TORRES - Three Futures
ZOLA JESUS - Okovi
CHELSEA WOLFE - Hiss Spun
EMILY HAINES & THE SOFT SKELETON - Choir of the Mind
ARIEL PINK - Dedicated to Bobby Jameson
HISS GOLDEN MESSENGER - Hallelujah Anyhow
CHAD VANGAALEN - Light Information
THE PAINS OF BEING PURE AT HEART - The Echo of Pleasure
DEATH FROM ABOVE - Outrage! Is Now
DEERHOOF - Mountain Moves
DEER TICK - Deer Tick Vol. 1
DEER TICK - Deer Tick Vol. 2
FOO FIGHTERS - Concrete and Gold
PERE UBU - 20 Years In a Montana Missle Silo
THE SURFING MAGAZINES - The Surfing Magazines
THE HORRORS - V
MOGWAI - Every Country's Sun
GODSPEED YOU! BLACK EMPEROR - Luciferian Towers
CHAIN AND THE GANG - Experimental Music
TED LEO - The Hanged Man
LUNA - A Sentimental Education Double Feature
ROSTAM - Half-Light
THE KILLERS - Wonderful Wonderful
TRICKY - ununiform
SUPERFOOD - Bambino
SLOTFACE - Try Not To Freak Out
RODDY WOOMBLE - The Deluder
THE CLIENTELE - Music for the Age of Miracles
WAND - Plum
THE BRONX - V
PROPHETS OF RAGE - Prophets of Rage
HUNDRED WATERS - Communicating
HOT WATER MUSIC - Light It Up
GIRL ONE AND THE GREASE GUNS - Night Of The Living Electrical Appliances
SUSANNE SUNDFOR - Music For People In Trouble
ANGUS AND JULIA STONE - Snow
MOUNT KIMBIE - Love What Survives
DÄLEK - Endangered Philosophies
THE COOL KIDS - Special Edition Grandmaster Deluxe
NOSAJ THING - Parallels
CUT COPY - Haiku from Zero
FISCHERSPOONER - SIR
ORCHESTRAL MANOEUVRES IN THE DARK - The Punishment of Luxury
GARY NUMAN - Savage
THE WATERBOYS - Out of All This Blue

Singles & EPs 

St. Vincent
ST. VINCENT - Los Ageless
HOPE SANDOVAL & THE WARM INVENTIONS - Son of a Lady EP
SWIMMING TAPES - Soft Sea Blue EP
FLOWERS - Say 123
SEAFANG - Solid Gold
UV-TV - Go Away EP
SPARROW PEOPLE - I Thought of You / Baby Foxes
WYE OAK - Spiral / Wave Is Not the Water
YASSASSIN - Vitamin Y
LAZY DAY - Ribbons EP
BAD NERVES - Radio Punk
THE LEMON TWIGS - Brothers of Destruction EP
POND - Firein the Water / The Weather (Live at Rough Trade East)
BRIX AND THE EXTRICATED - Moonrise Kingdom
KAMASI WASHINGTON - Harmony of Difference EP
ZOMBY - GASP! EP
DAPHNI - Hey Drum / The Truth
JESSIE WARE - Midnight - Goldie Remixes
DEPECHE MODE - Going Backwards
EVERYTHING IS RECORDED - Mountains of Gold
HAND HABITS - Yr Heart
WOMEN IN LOVE - Shamed
SUZI WU - TeenageWitch EP



St. Vincent - Los Ageless