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

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Killer Tracks: The 2017 Playlist Vol.3

It's been some time since our previous 2017 Playlist, time to add a few more killer tracks to the mix:

Japanese Breakfast - Road Head


 LCD Soundsystem - Tonite


Fujiya & Miyagi - Impossible Objects of Desire


Liars - Cred Woes


 The National - Day I Die


Grizzly Bear - Mourning Sound



Alvvays - Dreams Tonite



Nadine Shah - Holiday Destination


EMA - Down and Out


Broken Social Scene - Skyline



Friday, September 15, 2017

Live: Slowdive @ Fuzz Club (Athens, September 9th, 2017)


Slowdive's triumphant comeback continues! Last year we had the opportunity to enjoy their first ever gig in Athens at Release Festival and reconnect with their '90s material, this time though we also got the chance to experience live songs from their new album, an excellent work which proves that nostalgia is not the main driving force behind the band's reunion.


The seamless way in which new songs like "Slomo" or "Star Roving" mix with those written more than twenty years ago, renders the big time-gap between their latest album and their '90s body of work irrelevant, making it clear that good music cannot be tied down to any particular era or decade. Slowdive's melodic guitar symphonies may always be associated in our minds with the early '90s shoegaze sound, but what this powerful live experience proves beyond any doubt is that their sound is a living and breathing entity that transcends time stamps and can still blow minds today, in these post-everything times of the 21st century!



This is Slowdive's set list for their show at Fuzz Club:


Slowdive, live @ Fuzz Club (Sept. 9th, 2017)

The gig opened with the atmospheric post-rock sounds of Afformance who are about to release two new albums in October, "Pop Nihilism" and "Music for Imaginary Film # 1". A good effort and certainly a good fit with the night's main act.

Afformance, live @ Fuzz Club (Sept. 9th, 2017)
Check out below Slowdive performing "Star Roving" and "Sugar for the Pill" live in Athens:

Star Roving, live @ Fuzz Club (Athens, Sept. 9th, 2017)

Sugar for the Pill, live @ Fuzz Club (Athens, Sept. 9th, 2017)

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Live: The Black Angels @ Piraeus 117 Academy (Athens, September 7th, 2017)


"Death Song", The Black Angels' fifth album, brought the Austin, Texas, psych-rock quintet back to Athens for a fourth time. After playing in summer festivals on their two previous visits, this time the band was here to do its own gig and present its latest release, one of the year's finest, almost in its entirety.


Interestingly enough, the only track off "Death Song" which we didn't get to hear live this time, was "Hunt Me Down", the new song they had chosen to preview in last summer's Release Festival set, so their loyal Greek fans have now listened live every note on the new album.


From the "death" songs that we did get to hear live on this occasion, my favorites included the opening "Currency", "I Dreamt" and "Medicine", while from their back catalogue "Black Grease" and "Bad Vibrations" are always sure fire hits, as is "Young Men Dead", one of the oldest songs in their set, which they saved for the climactic ending of their three-song encore.


Here's the entire set that The Black Angels presented in their fourth visit to Athens:

Currency, Bad Vibrations, The Prodigal Son, I Dreamt, Medicine, I Hear Colors (Chromaesthesia), Black Grease, Grab As Much (as you can), Half Believing, The Sniper at the Gates of Heaven, Entrance Song, I'd Kill for Her, You on the Run, Comanche Moon, Life Song. Encore: Estimate, Death March, Young Men Dead



The Black Angels, live @ Piraeus 117 Academy

The local band that was fittingly chosen to open for the Texans was Holy Monitor who, despite problems with their live sound, played a spirited half-hour set of speedy psych-garage tracks selected from their promising self-titled debut album.

Holy Monitor, live @ Piraeus 117 Academy
Check out below The Black Angels performing "Death March" during the encore of their gig on Thursday:


The Black Angels - Death March, live @ Piraeus 117 Academy (Athens, September 7th, 2017)
 

Monday, September 04, 2017

New Releases: July - August 2017

The summer vacations are over, time to get back into it! Let's start by rounding up some of the most interesting albums and singles released in the last couple of months:

Albums

New Facts Emerge
THE FALL - New Facts Emerge
LIARS - TFCF 
BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE - Hug Of Thunder
WAXAHATCHEE - Out in the Storm
NADINE SHAH - Holiday Destination 
EMA - Exile In The Outer Ring
JAPANESE BREAKFAST - Soft Sounds From Another Planet
FRANKIE ROSE - Cage Tropical
GRIZZLY BEAR - Painted Ruins
THE WAR ON DRUGS - A Deeper Understanding
ARCADE FIRE - Everything Now
QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE - Villains
DOWNTOWN BOYS - Cost of Living
RAINER MARIA - S/T
FILTHY FRIENDS - Invitation
GUIDED BY VOICES - How Do You Spell Heaven
OH SEES - Orc
KING GIZZARD AND THE LIZARD WIZARD with MILD HIGH CLUB - Sketches Of Brunswick East
IRON AND WINE - Beast Epic
THIS IS THE KIT - Moonshine Freeze
PUBLIC SERVICE BROADCASTING - Every Valley
SHABAZZ PALACES - Quazarz: Born On A Gangster Star
SHABAZZ PALACES - Quazarz vs. The Jealous Machines
GHOSTPOET - Dark Days and Canapes
UNKLE - The Road - Part 1
THE DUKE SPIRIT - Sky is Mine
THE CRIBS - 24-7 Rock Star Shit
THE DEARS - Times Infinity Volume Two
WIDOWSPEAK - Expect the Best
JEN CLOHER - Jen Cloher
KELLEY STOLTZ - Que Aura
SHEER MAG - Need To Feel Your Love
MELVINS - A Walk With Love & Death
THE FRESH AND ONLYS - Wolf Lie Down
PSYCHIC TEMPLE - IV
CHRIS FORSYTH AND THE SOLAR MOTEL BAND - Dreaming In The Non-Dream
AVEY TARE - Eucalyptus
EVERYTHING EVERYTHING - A Fever Dream
MADONNATRON - Madonnatron
A GIANT DOG - Toy
SOCCER MOMMY - Collection
TRAILER TRASH TRACYS - Althaea
LANA DEL REY - Lust For Life
HAIM - Something to Tell You
MANCHESTER ORCHESTRA - A Black Mile To The Surface
TYLER, THE CREATOR - Flower Boy
DIZZEE RASCAL - Raskit
PUBLIC ENEMY - Nothing Is Quick in the Desert

Singles & EPs

Crow Cries
GOAT GIRL - Crow Cries
SAMANTHA URBANI - Policies of Power EP
THE KILLS - Echo Home Non-Electric EP
TY SEGALL - Fried Shallots EP
HISS GOLDEN MESSENGER - Standing in the Doorway
GUIDED BY VOICES - Just To Show You / Knife City
ARIEL PINK - Another Weekend / Ode To The Goat (Thank You)
PURITY RING - Asido
THE OSCILLATION - Evil In The Tree
LAMBCHOP - The Hustle Unlimited / When You Were Mine
BONNIE PRINCE BILLY - Leonard
MOGWAI - Party In The Dark / Eternal Panther
ALICE GLASS - Alice Glass EP
NINE INCH NAILS - Add Violence EP
DJ SHADOW - The Mountain Has Fallen EP
LITTLE BARRIE - Produkt
POLICA AND STARGAZE - Bruise Blood: Reimagining Steve Reich’s Music for Pieces of Wood
SQÜRL - EP #260
THE SEXUAL OBJECTS - Sometimes EP
ALDOUS RH - Feelin’ Blue
CONFIDENCE MAN - Bubblegum Remixes 
SHIT AND SHINE - Hamburger EP 
MADONNATRON / NOFRIENDZ - Headless Children / Bloody Love
THE GOA EXPRESS - Goa / Kiss Me
SLOTFACE - Empire Records / Sponge State
JERKCURB - Voodoo Saloon
STONE FOUNDATION - Simplify the Situation
PAUL WELLER - Woo Sé Mama
THE CHARLATANS - Different Days
LIAM GALLAGHER - Wall of Glass
SUNDARA KARMA - Explore EP 
ORCHESTRAL MANOEUVRES IN THE DARK - Isotype

Goat Girl - Crow Cries

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Listening Habits: Summer 2017

The time has finally come for our much needed summer break, but before we take our leave, let's have another listen to some of the best new albums and re-releases of the last couple of months:

At the top of our list of recommended albums for the period May - July 2017 we have the sophomore LP by Algiers, "The Underside of Power", a powerful protest statement for these dark times that manages to make its point without losing its tunefulness. The Atlanta - London - NYC four-piece rages against the powers that be with the fury of punk, adds uplifting melodies from soul and gospel, shakes the walls with hip hop beats and channels the spirit of the blues to produce one of the strongest collections of songs we've listened to this year.

Among the best albums of this season you'll also find the latest outstanding releases by several of our 80's - '90s indie rock icons who are here once again to show you how it's done, including Thurston Moore's "Rock N Roll Consciousness", one of his strongest solo efforts, Mark Lanegan's "Gargoyle" and "In Spades", the eighth album by The Afghan Whigs. '90s cult shoegazers Slowdive are also here with their first album in 22 years and so is Boss Hog, the blues-punk outfit featuring Christina Martinez and Jon Spencer, with "Brood X", another couple of additions to the long list of this year's excellent comebacks.

Add to the above the rightly acclaimed "DAMN." by Kendrick Lamar, great records by The New Pornographers and The Black Angels, as well as promising releases by up-and-coming new acts Priests, Cherry Glazerr and Girlpool, and our Summer 2017 playlist is shaping up pretty nicely:

Top 15 Albums

1.   The Underside Of Power - ALGIERS
2.   Rock N Roll Consciousness - THURSTON MOORE
3.   Gargoyle - MARK LANEGAN
4.   In Spades - THE AFGHAN WHIGS
5.   Whiteout Conditions - THE NEW PORNOGRAPHERS
6.   Death Song - THE BLACK ANGELS
7.   Slowdive - SLOWDIVE
8.   Damn. - KENDRICK LAMAR
9.   Brood X - BOSS HOG
10. Nothing Feels Natural - PRIESTS
11. Apocalipstick - CHERRY GLAZERR
12. Powerplant - GIRLPOOL
13. Occult Architecture Vol. 2 - MOON DUO
14. OK Computer / OKNOTOK 1997 2017 - RADIOHEAD
15. The Great Annihilator / Drainland - SWANS 

Top 15 Tracks 
 
1.   The Underside Of Power - ALGIERS
2.   Aphrodite - THURSTON MOORE
3.   Death’s Head Tattoo - MARK LANEGAN
4.   Demon in Profile - THE AFGHAN WHIGS
5.   DNA. - KENDRICK LAMAR
6.   High Ticket Attractions  - THE NEW PORNOGRAPHERS
7.   Hunt Me Down - THE BLACK ANGELS
8.   Sugar for the Pill - SLOWDIVE
9.   Formula X - BOSS HOG
10. Pink White House - PRIESTS
11. Told You I’d Be with the Guys - CHERRY GLAZERR
12. It Gets More Blue - GIRLPOOL
13. Sevens - MOON DUO
14. Celebrity Lifestyle - SWANS
15. Lift - RADIOHEAD




Algiers - Cleveland

Friday, July 21, 2017

Live: The Jesus And Mary Chain @ Ejekt Festival (Athens, July 14th, 2017)

The Jesus And Mary Chain, live @ Ejekt Festival 2017
The second day of the 2017 edition of Ejekt Festival was headlined by Kasabian, but the reason we paid a second visit this summer to Plateia Nerou was to witness the return of The Jesus And Mary Chain to Athens after nearly two decades.


The last time I saw them in Athens was actually exactly 21 years ago, on July 13th, 1996 when they appeared at the Rock Of Gods festival, near the port of Piraeus. A couple of years later they played one final show here, at Rodon Club, which was probably their last one before announcing their split. William Reid did not come to play at that gig and I didn't see the point of going either.

The years passed, the Reid brothers made peace and started touring again in 2007, but what was missing until recently was a new album, a statement that would prove that The Jesus And Mary Chain still had a part to play in today's music and they were not back as merely a nostalgia act, constantly rehashing past glories. 


Thankfully "Damage And Joy" was exactly the comeback album we were hoping for, masterfully picking up exactly where The Jesus And Mary Chain had left off in 1998 with the underrated "Munki", offering another stunning set of songs about their favorite subjects, like their love - hate relationship with the world of rock 'n' roll, and mixing sweet pop melodies with aggressive, noisy guitars, the sound blueprint they perfected in the '80s which is still influencing countless new acts.


The older, wiser Mary Chain is admittedly not causing riots any more, but still knows exactly what pedals to push to cause rock explosions. The pace of the show effortlessly switched gears and went back and forth between the new record and the old favorites, showing that songs like "Amputation", "Always Sad" or "All Things Pass" are worthy additions to the band's rich history.


Of course, most of the highlights of the 75-minute set were written before many of the festival-goers were born, making those of us who actually remember the '80s to feel a little bit old, but certainly happy to listen live once again some of the songs that shaped our musical minds: "Just Like Candy", "You Trip Me", "The Living End", "April Skies", "Blues From a Gun", "I Hate Rock 'n' Roll" and of course a magnificent "Reverence" that closed triumphantly their come-back performance.


Here's the complete set list and videos for two of the highlights of the night: Amputation, April Skies, Head On, Far Gone and Out, Between Planets, Blues From a Gun, Always Sad, Mood Rider, All Things Pass, Some Candy Talking, Halfway to Crazy, Nine Million Rainy Days, Just Like Honey, You Trip Me Up, The Living End, War on Peace, I Hate Rock 'n' Roll, Reverence.

The Jesus and Mary Chain - Blues From a Gun (live @ Ejekt Festival 2017, Athens)


The Jesus and Mary Chain - All Things Pass (live @ Ejekt Festival 2017, Athens)

Kasabian, live @ Ejekt Festival 2017
After such a set by The Jesus And Mary Chain, you will forgive me for not paying too much attention to the actual headliners of the festival. Kasabian are certainly a good festival band, they do have some memorable hits ("Shoot the Runner", "Club Foot") and know how to get the party started, but there isn't much else there for when the party is over.

Peter Hook And The Light, live @ Ejekt Festival 2017
Earlier in the day we saw Peter Hook And The Light, exactly the sort of nostalgia act I try to avoid at festivals. Hook remains a formidable bass player but a great singer he is not and I really can't see any good reason (except a financial one) for keep playing substandard renditions of everybody's favorite Joy Division songs.

Of Montreal, live @ Ejekt Festival 2017

There was however early in the afternoon a performance that added value to the second day of the festival and made it worthwhile to go to Plateia Nerou early and endure the heat. Kevin Barnes' Of Montreal have been going on for twenty years now but as their fine 45-minute set proved, they manage to retain their pure pop sparkle intact. The band skillfully and flamboyantly combined its electropop influences with its more adventurous psychedelic pop side and, to our delight, next to newer songs they also played several older favorites, among them a couple of tracks from one of their finest records, 2007's "Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?", namely "Heimdalsgate Like a Promethean Curse" (which you can watch below) and the epic "The Past Is a Grotesque Animal", the song that closed their set with a bang.




Of Montreal - Heimdalsgate Like a Promethean Curse (live @ Ejekt Festival 2017, Athens)

Check out our coverage of the first day of Ejekt Festival 2017 featuring The Killers and The Kills here.