More Photos from King Khan and The Shrines, Live in Whelans, Dublin - 19th April 2014
More Photos from King Khan and The Shrines, Live in Whelans, Dublin - 19th April 2014
Rather than staying at home last night and prematurely scoffing Easter Eggs, I decided relatively late in the day to venture into Whelans for a bit of Canadian / Teutonic Garage Rock Soul. And boy I am glad I did. Having really only heard their last album ‘Idle No More' and read a few articles, I wasn't completely sure what to expect from King Khan and The Shrines. After possibly the worst opening act I have ever seen (Myles Manly) anything with a bit of life in it would have done but I wasn’t expecting how much vitality could be squeezed onto Whelans’ tiny stage.
The Shrines are a multinational eight-piece band with guitars, bass, drums, percussion and a triple-threat brass section. With the larger than life King Khan out front that made it nine and with Whelans packed to rafters there was barely room to do the required amount of getting down. The mood was euphoric from the off: there is something about brass blasts that elevate the soul. And while King Khan is definitely the star of the show both keyboard player Fredovitch and in particular guitarist Till Thim deserve their own turn as a front man. Till had every rock move in the book down pat and how he didn’t hit me in the head with he frequent windmills and star jumps i will never know.
The uptempo rock songs came thick and fast, with the material off ‘Idle No More’ making up a significant proportions. By the third song Khan & Till had abandoned the stage and performed the second half of the song from the middle of the floor. This was to be repeated by most of the band at different stages of night, when the crowd wasn’t too busy dancing, surfing and generally having a blast. The King’s between song banter was great too, dedicating songs to all the fat women out there and telling stories about making manginas on stage in Texas. He also dedicated ‘So Wild’ to the late Jay Reatard and explained how Jay has once stuck a sunflower up his ass on stage.
Between the soul & the psychedelia we got the odd blast of punk-rock like on the short sharp ‘Shane McGowan’s Teeth’. On the following song (‘Heart made of Trash’?) he made us all crouch onto our hunkers before jumping up in unison, on his count, to start screaming. With more tales about self-fellatio and erect nipples the tempo, energy and brass-fueled euphoria kept going right to the end.
For the encore Fredovitch returned with a golden cow’s head on, like a punkrock minotaur. The King returned in just too-tight shorts and a cape. The music and the antics ensued for a few more songs with Khan fake strangling Fredovitch with the mic cable and miming eating Till’s heart. He even discovered he could make squalls of feedback by stuffing the mic down his shorts. Oh the horror of it all! By the end of the last song half the band where in the crowd with the girl standing beside me having been handed the bass guitar to ring some noise out of.
In all my years of going to gigs in Whelans, last night was no doubt the most fun I have ever had and the music wasn’t half bad either. All Hail the King, he is the son of a bad motherfucker.
Sunny Day Real Estate - Lipton Witch (Audio)
Given I am such a big music fan I have been trying to figure out why I am totally nonplussed about Record Store Day. I mean I even walked Tower Records and a few other shops while I was in town this afternoon but didn’t even venture in. I think there are two reasons: firstly I consume all my music digitally now either bought or streamed. I have literally thousands of CDs, LPs, 7”s and even a drawer full of cassettes but there really just there for decoration now and never get played. Secondly when Records Store Day kicked off back in 2007 (I think) it felt liek most of the released were exclusives: new songs, lost tracks and other such rarities. Looking over this years extensive list it seems a huge proportions of the releases are limited edition re-pressings in coloured vinyl etc. Even when I bought physical releases it was always about getting access to the songs i didn’t, never about some nebulous rarity. I mean I have a box of coloured seven inches beside me here but those purchases were about the b-sides mostly, not about the vomit-coloured laser-etched Japanese import status.
Anyway rant over. One of the more intriguing #RSD2014 releases is a split 7” featuring Sunny Day Real Estate and Circa Survive. Now I had never heard or heard of Circa Survice until about 15 minutes ago but Sunny Day Release Estate! Who doesn’t love Diary? After much will-they / won’t-they reunion action in the late noughties and beyond the band have finally released their first new material in 14 years in the form of ‘Lipton Witch’. It is a pretty fine slab of old-school Emo before that word got co-opted and corrupted by the black eyeliner & Self-harm brigade.
Witching Wave - Chain of Command (Audio)
Another day another cassette-single released from Soft Power Records. This time it is in the form of Emma Wigham and Mark Jasper, otherwise known as Witching Waves. As you can here from the two track: ‘Chain of Command’ (above) and ‘Concrete’ (embedded below) this is lo-fi / hi-concept indie rock that says a lot with just buzzing & jangling guitars, pounding drums and interwoven him / her vocals. The super limited single will only have have a hundred copies: 25 Blue & 75 Baby Pink when released on 21st April.
If those two original track whetter your appetite how about a cover a Kanye West track? Check out ‘Can’t Tell Me Nothing’ they recorded with their tour mates As Ondas. If you want to compare it to the egomaniacal original check it out here. If you’d rather see Witching Waves on their UK tour find the dates here.
Silo - Cabinn Fever (feat. High Priest and M. Sayyid) [Audio]
So I have be listening to ‘Work' the first album in 13 years by Danish noise-merchants Silo. Now I can’t admit to being too familir with Silo, who are made up of , but I had enjoyed 2001’s ‘Alloy' the one time I listened to it. Undoubtedly 'Work' is a difficult listen full of angular riffs, odd time signatures and bursts of noise. There are a few tracks featuring guest vocals and it was 'Cabinn Fever' that really stood out for me on the first listen featuring the rapping skills of High Priest and M. Sayyid from Anti-pop Consortium. Check out the edgy hip-hop attack above and let me know what you think. I am going to give the rest of the ablum another go to see if I can get my head around it.
Gruff Rhys - American Interior (Video)
Just when I thought no more gigs could squeeze into the month of May I find out that, as part of the Dublin Writers Festival, the one and only Gruff Rhys will be ‘In Conversation & Performance’ in Whelans on Saturday 17th May. This event is part of the promo for his ‘American Interior' is a multimedia affair project which I have written about previously. As well a producing great music I have always loved Gruff’s occasionally impenetrable Welsh accent so both aspects of the show dual show should be entertaining. Tickets are €18 / €20 via the festival website. I am already have mine, best you get some too to avoid disappointment.
Night Trap - Rough Spirit (Audio)
So I have been writing a lot about all the upcoming gigs in Dublin, and I have a lot more posts to do in this regard. But as I mentioned the other day one of the gigs I am most looking forward to is by Soft Metals in Whelans on 29th May. The promoters of this gigs, Skinny Wolves, have just announced that Soft Metals will be supported by Dublin synthtronic duo Night Trap who may be in fact making their live debut on the night.
Don’t know a whole lot about Night Trap other than they are Jill Daly & Ciaran Smith, who both frequent other bands like Crayonsmith & Terrordactyl . There is only one track online - a demo of ‘Rogue Spirit’ dating from last summer. It all sounds suitably futuristicly retro and is definitely reason to get to Whelans early on 29th. See y’all there?
CRUISING- You Made Me Do That (Audio)
I am not sure I ever bought a Cassette Single. Even back in the pre-digital age and before I even had a CD player, I normally plumped for Vinyl over the Cassette version of albums, and always for singles & EPs. That didn’t mean I didn’t have a stack of C90s for my Walkman. But why such reminiscing? Well the small, but perfectly formed, Scottish Indie label Soft Power Records' next release will be a super limited cassette single by CRUISING on 28th April. Only 100 copies.
So if like me you are loving the filthy fucked-up fuzz of ‘You Made Me Do That’ the and are wondering who the hell CRUISING are, well I’ll let you into a bit of background: they are an all-star all-Irish cross-border fearsome foursome made up of moonlighting members of Girls Names, September Girls, Logikparty and Sea Pinks. Not sure whether the band have any other releases planned or any gigs in the pipeline, so instead I am goign to have another listen to the track via their Al Pacino featuring video cut from the movie that they named themselves after.
So far this year I have been to 8 gigs: The New Mendicants, Moderat, St. Vincent, Neneh Cherry, Chvrches, Nina Persson, Doom, Kurt Vile. The rest of April isn’t looking that promising for new shows but if I get a chance I might chck out King Khan and The Shrines in Whelans on Easter Saturday and / or the new configuration of Yuck in the Workamns on 30th April.
But May will be here soon and that is a different story altogether. I already have tickets purchased for 9 shows that month and there are a few more that also look worthwhile but I don’t want to overdo it. So here is The Lions Share guide to early summer gig May-hem:
Eyedress Whelan’s (Upstairs) Thursday 1st May (Tickets: €13)
Idris Vicuña’s brings his electropop-stylings and distinctive high-register voice to Dublin. A great way to start the month and the bank holiday weekend. It will be interesting to see if the crows is more hipster or Filipino ex-pat. If you haven’t already download Eyedress' excellent free mixtape 'Hearing Colors’
MØ The Academy Saturday 3rd May (Tickets €17.35)
After some festival slots and an AlunaGeorge support last year Karen Marie Ørsted finally makes her Dublin headlining debut in support of excellent ‘No Mytholgies to Follow’ album. Based on the couple of times I’ve seen her already the 2 months deferral of the show should be worth the delay.
I have to admit I haven’t got a ticket for the Fat White Family show yet and have only given their debut album ‘Champagne Holocaust' a couple of listens. But based on what I have read & heard this should be worth a punt or even €13.
Dum Dum Girls & Crocodiles Button Factory Sat 10th May (Tickets: €18.50)
Dee Dee Penny finally brings her Dum Dum Girls back to Dublin. This time with husband, Brandon Welchez’s band, Crocodiles supporting. If you haven’t heard it yet check out DDGs excellent thrid album ‘Too True’.
Jon Spencer Blues Explosion Whelans Sunday 11th May (Tickets: €22)
The last, and only time I saw the JSBE play way supporting the Beastie Boys in the RDS in 1995. So 19 years later I have the chance to check them out in the much more intimate surroundings of Whelans with Dublin’s finest September Girls in support.
Jimi Goodwin Whelans Monday 12th May (Tickets €18)
I have always has a soft spot for Doves and frontman Jumi Goodwin is a large part of that. His debut solo album ‘Odludek' is well worth a listen so an goign to be in Whelan's on 12th to see if he can cut it live.
Neutral Milk Hotel Vicar Street Friday 16th May (Tickets: Sold Out)
The Neutral Milk Hotel reunion tour makes its way to Dublin on 16th May. Unfortunately it went on sale & quickly sold out while I was away so I’ll be missing out on Jeff Mangum off-kilter masterpieces.
Mutual Benefit The Workmans Club Mon 19th May (Tickets: €14)
Another show I don’t have a ticket for yet but one I would be lining up for in any other month. Most recent album ‘Love’s Crushing Diamond' highlightes their alt-county stylings. If that is your things be sure to head to the Workmans Club on 19th.
Speedy Ortiz Workmans Club Tuesday 20th May 14 (Tickets: €13)
Like eveyone else I was completely won over by the stellar indie rock on Massachusetts four piece Speedy Ortiz’s last album ‘Major Arcana’. Recent EP ‘Real Hair’ has only confirmed that their debut Dublin show is a must see. Support on the night comes from Dublin garage posters Squarehead.
Hospitality Whelans Saturday 24th May (Tickets: €12)
I only started listening to Hospitality a couple of month back when the gig was announced. If catchy left-filed indie pop is your thing you could do a lot worse than spending your Saturday night in Whelans come the 24th. My Sad Captains support and are well worth arriving early for.
Camera Obscura Vicar Street Monday 26 May (Tickets: €20)
Nobody does catchy / twee indie-po better than Camera Obscura. Last years album ‘Desire Lines' was proof of that if needed. It is about 5 years since I last saw them plat (In Andrews Lane Theatre which was a gid venue for a while) so I am really looking forward to catching up wiht Traceyanne & Co.
Glasser Button Factory Tuesday 27 May (Tickets: €15)
I didn’t really give Glasser’s s second album ‘Interiors’ the attention it deserved when it came out last year. Luckily notice of their return to Dublin gave me plenty of reason to reevaluate its subtle electronic depths. When I saw them in Crawdaddy back in 2011 Cameron Mesirow was a superstar in the making. Hopefully the bigger stage in the Button Factory will bring this out even more. If Real Estate are more your thing the are playing Whelans the same night.
Soft Metals Whelans (Upstairs) Thursday 29th May (Tickets: €10)
Arguably the gig I am most looking forward too for the month is LA based him/her electronic duo Soft Metals, who are finishing their European tour in Ireland, with their second last show upstairs in Whelan’s on 29th.
The Dudley Corporation The Workmans Club Saturday 31st May (Tickets: €10)
Last, but my no means least, Dublin’s own The Dudley Corporation have a rare live outing in The Workmans Club on Saturday 31st May.
Frida Sundemo - Drawn To You (audio)
It is no secret we are big fans of quality electropop here at the Lions Share. Based on now scientific study whatsoever we would conclude that such electropop is always better if it is female fronted and Scandinavian in origin. And while Robyn is the queen of this oeuvre there are many pretenders to her thrown, not least amongst them being Gothenberg based one-time medical student Frida Sundemo. Having delighted us with last year’s Indigo EP and some one of tracks (A Million Years & For You, Love) and collaborations (Indian Summer with Rasmus Faber) she is back with a new 5 track EP entitled ‘Lit Up By Neon’ due on 5th May on Best Fit Recordings.
Of the 5 tracks on the EP two are available to check out on her Soundcloud page: ‘Hanging By a Thread’ is brooding and restrained with implied gear-shift up never quite happening, instead on the choruses the percussion drops out just leaving a swelling pad to accompany Frida’s vocals. On the hand we have ‘Drawn To You’ which is uptempo synthpop in excelsis, with an rollercoaster of builds and falls to draw you along with Frida’s yearning entreats. We can only hope the other 3 tracks are just as good.
Also worth a mention is that Frida wil be making her acting debut in ‘Kill Your Friends' later in the year. The movie is an adaption of John Niven’s satirical novel of the music industry. The book was highly enjoyable so the film should be worth a look.
GusGus - Crossfade (Audio)
After The Sugarcubes & Björk, GusGus were probably the first Icelandic band I got into, around the time of ‘Polydistortion’ (see my previous post about Hafdis Huld). Now I have at least 10 favourite Icelandic bands at any given time but I still have a soft spot for GusGus. It has been 3 years since they released their last album ‘Arabian Horse' but a new LP 'Mexico' is due on 23rd June on the ever reliable Kompakt label.
From what I can glean from the press blurb out there GusGus are now a four piece of Birgir Thorarinsson, Daníel Ágúst, Högni Egilsson and Stephan Stephensen. They describe Mexico as being infused with the same luster as their earlier work, but with the snappiness and intricate production values needed for contemporary debauchery.They sat that the album draws influence from ’80s synth pop, UK garage and ’90s trance, and, in keeping with the vocal-heavy direction of recent records, the title track is the only instrumental on the whole LP. So now you know as much as me! While you wait for June check out some of the remixes for ‘Crossfade’ that are floating around.
Depending on which unreliable website you consult the average Irish Male is somewhere between 170 & 177cm high. That makes me a little taller than average but you would never think it at lot of gigs, where there is always a veritable giant in front of you. The ridiculously low stage in Whelans always exacerbates this problem if you don’t have to foresight to get in early and get up the front. Kurt Vile's decision to perform his solo show in a sitting position last night meant, for the majority of the show, I only managed the occasional glimpse of his flowing Dave Mustaine-like locks as he mumbled and plucked his way through his set.
Being only a relatively convert to Kurt’s output I wasn’t sure how his lengthy guitar drive alt-rock tunes would translate into a solo acoustic performance. Things got off to a less than auspicious start with a lengthy tuning session and a mid-paced, uneventful song that I didn’t recognize. Obviously sensing my ambivalence, he stepped up the pace with the title track from his 2011 album ‘Smoke Ring For My Halo.’ After the sleepy ode of ‘Ghost town’ he changed guitars and indulged in finger plucking for ‘Dead Alive.’ I couldn’t decide if his guitar playing was sloppy and uneven or that was the style he was going for. Either way I decided to stop worrying and just embrace it.
After some shrill strumming and string bending solos on ‘Laughing Stock’ he broke out the banjo for a number I didn’t recognise. He then reverted back to guitar for the stone(d)-classic ‘Goldtone’ but he never, as they say, touched the stuff. Those familiar lines provoked some level of sing-along, as the song seemed to go on forever. After the mumbled geezer lyrics of ‘He’ Alright’ we got some more disjointed plaintive plucking on ‘Feel My Pain’. Announcing he had a couple of songs left he called for request while trying to tune his “slippery bastard” of a guitar. He dedicated ‘Peeping Tom’ to Tommy the soundman and finished his set with ‘Walking On A Pretty’ replete with a solo and slapback echo ending.
He returned to his lamp-lit stage for an encore of ‘Girl Called Alex’ with its dramatic chorus chords and big strummed outro. To finish the night he treated us to some more awkward plucking on ‘Too Hard’ before exiting stage right to save himself for a second show tonight. Although I was by no means blown away by the show, once I got over the limitations of solo-style I did enjoy it for the most part. Hopefully when he next returns to our shores he will bring the Violators for the full band feel.
Warpaint - Disco//Very - Keep It Healthy (Videos)
Not only have Warpaint arguably made THE album of the year so far, they are probably the coolest, sexiest women on the planet if their new double video for ‘Disco//Very’ and ‘Keep It Healthy’ is anything to go by. Two different moods: Day & Night. I can’t believe that I am going to miss them when the play Dublin on 1st June as part of Forbidden Fruit. I will be in the south France but that is little compensation.
Crash Course in Science - Cardboard Lamb (video)
So we have previously featured (re)releases on the excellent Dark Enteries from the likes of Victrola, Nagamatzu, Lè Travo & Big Ben Tribe. This week it’s the turn of Crash Course in Science, who were a post-punk electronic trio from Philadelphia active originally in the late 70s & early 80s. The band did get back together in late noughties and are still active touring in the US & Europe.
From what I can find the band only seem to haev released 7 tracks before the broke up with the four song ‘Signals From Pier Thirteen’ EP from 1981 being the stand-out. This near-perfect artifact of early electro-punk is now being re-released on Dark Entries this week. The stand-out track is ‘Cardboard Lamb’ whose low-rent & very dated video you can check out above. It is bass-synth and drum-machine driven abstract pop at its best. ‘Crashing Song’ is a instrumental noise groove & ‘Flying Turns’ has some stark minimalist vocals over rhythmic noises and filter sweeps. Final track ‘Factory Forehead’ is a noisy near-industrial stomp with him-her vocals fighting it our over electronic buzzing. On the Spotify version of the EP there are a couple of non-essential remixes if that is your things.
If you like what you hear then check out ‘Near Mainland’ which was finally released a few years ago as their debut album, although from the best I can figure out it features demos from back in the day.
Made to Break - Cherchez La Femme (audio)
Although I very occasionally dabble with a bit of Jazz I rarely about it on The Lions Share because I know very little about it. In the case of Made To Break’s new album ‘Cherchez La Femme' on the Austrian label Trost. I think it was the fact the first track ‘Sans Serif - For Betty Davis and Sleater Kinney’ is partly named after the incomparable Sleater Kinney that got my attention (I still regularly regret missing Sleater Kinney’s only ever Dublin show in 2005 - I went to see the reformed Dinosaur Jr. that night instead).
Anyway back to the album: Made to Break are an electric / acoustic quartet led by American saxophonist Ken Vandermark. The albums features three lengthy tracks which each go through a few different movements across their fourteen minuted plus. We get everything from wild uptempo sex driven freakouts, ambient interludes, atonal experimentation and everything in between. It is certainly enough to engage and entertain a casual jazz listener like myself and definitely warrants a trawl back through Mr. Vandermark's extensive back catalogue.