So I am going to try to get through a few posts today and I intend to keep them Irish and electronic. First up is Irish Alien Pop twosome Nanu Nanu who have just uploaded the video for their new single The Drop. The track is taken from their fine debut album ‘Unit 1' which was released back in May and features Californian based rapper Steve Liriks throughout. Although the video parts were shot on different continents it all melds well together.
The good news, if you like the combination, is that Mr. Liriks will be coming to Ireland before the end of the year to play dates with Nanu Nanu (see below for the dates). He is also dropping his own new EP ‘No Faith In Humans’ today which you can stream and download below. It you want to download ‘The Drop’ head to Nanu Nanu’s Soundcloud page. Better still buy the album! Oh and I also recommend you check out their YouTube channel which has lots of great footage of their adventures and mishaps on their recent European tear.
Nanu Nanu / Steve Liriks Irish Tour dates 2013:
November 21 - The Pavilion - CORK November 22 - McGarrigles - SLIGO November 23 - Sal’s On The Quay - WATERFORD December 3 - The Ruby Sessions - DUBLIN December 5 - Whelanslive - DUBLIN December 13 - Monroe’s Live - GALWAY
Perfect Pussy - I Have Lost All Desire For Feeling EP (audio)
I saw write ups on the band Perfect Pussy in a few places last week but was weary of Googling them anywhere that might set-off content filters. And I do realise by posting about them now on Tumblr and Twitter that we will proably get a mini-deluge of pornographic spam, but I guess I will have to grin and bare it!
So who are Perfect Pussy? Well from what I read they are a four-piece punk / noise rock band from Syracuse, New York, who made waves at the recent CMJ new music festival in New York. They are fronted by Meredith Graves, who is ably back up by her 3 male band-mates. So far they have just released one EP (which is in fact a demo) via Bandcamp. The four tracks on the wonderfully titled ‘I Have Lost All Desire For Feeling’ were recorded live and as such sound fairly lofi and ragged. However what they lack in fidelity they more than make up for in energy and noise. It will be interesting to see if they can stretch their intensity to something a more substantial recording. In the meantime while will have to with this 13 minutes of what passes for perfection.
I was a bit late to Whelans last night so I only caught the last two songs from local support bands Tvvins. They seemed pleasant and perky enough but I would need to hear more to come up with a more considered opinion. After playing the Airwaves Festival in Iceland on their way across the Atlantic No Joy were starting their European Tour proper, in support of their fine sophomore album ‘Wait To Pleasure’, in Dublin. Unfortunately Dublin had other plans and Whelans was barely a third full by the time Jasamine, Laura and their male rhythm section hit the stage at ten o’clock.
The Canadian leading ladies were all blonde hair and effects pedals as the hit into mid-paced opener ‘Slug Night’. By the second track, the punkier uptempo Lizards Kids, it was clear the sound was going to be a problem with the vocals almost entirely lost in the mix and the drums barely audible over the twin guitars, even though I was standing about 2 metres away from the kit. The third song ‘Hare Tarot Lies’ fared slightly better with snippets of the chorus melody slipping through the waves of guitar noise.
Things picked up further during the heady drum rush of ‘Ignored Pets’ and for some inexplicable reason a smell of porridge wafted through the venue. The title track from their debut ‘Ghost Blonde' was a long noisy workout on an open D-chord, with Laura's J Mascis signature Jazzmaster doing a lot of the work. ‘You Girls Smoke Cigarettes’ was almost jaunty with lightening drums and a false ending. ‘Hawaii’ slipped by before the closed their very short-set with an extended version of ‘E’ which finished with the girls on their knees twiddling with their pedals and teasing all kinds of noise out of their guitars.
And like that they were gone, barely a half-hour after the hit the stage and with not a word spoken before, between or after. Maybe they just weren’t into, and certainly the crowd where hardly boisterous, but I just found the whole thing fairly disappointing. And while the sound certainly didn’t help, a modicum of acknowledgment of the fact it was a gig, rather than an even in the practice room, might have helped a little.
A few lines in it dawned on me that it was a cover a Manic Street Preachers track from their 1993 album ‘Gold Against the Soul’. Other tans the lyrics and a hint of the melody The Pheromoans version is barely reminiscent of the original with mostly spoken lyrics and only an organ and triangle for accompaniment. After three listens I can’t decide whether it is genius or shit. What do you think?
Aphrodite Lion - City of the Dead-Setters (audio)
Given that it is Día de los Muertos and we are big fans of the art, costumes and general iconography of the whole event we thought we would revisit & share the track ‘CIty of the Dead-Setters’ from our 2011 debut album ‘Monochrome Bisexual Triathlete.’
The song has Mexico as an inspiration and we tried to capture the feel of the City in our arrangement. In practice this meant throwing the metaphorical kitchen sink at the production. I am still not sure if it worked but it was fun none the less.
Gesaffelstein - Hate or Glory (Video)
Although it is Friday and there are pile of new releases to check out, I haven’t been able to stop listening to ‘Aelph' the stunning debut album by Gesaffelstein. I have to admit that until about 2 weeks ago I had never even heard of him, even though he is apparently the producer / remixer du jour, having worked on a couple of tracks on the incredibly disappointing Kanye West album ‘Yeezus’ and remixed Depeche Mode and Lana Del Rey, amongst others. For fuck sake he even played in Dublin on 18th October: my ignorance is blissful.
Anyway for those catching up, like me, Gesaffelstein is Mike Lévy, a 20 something DJ and Producer from Lyon. And while ‘Aelph’ is his debut album his discography goes back to 2008 to early EPs like ‘Vengeance Factory' and 'Modern Walk.’ ‘Aelph’ is a delicious beast of a record and across the fourteen tracks he hits a range of different electronic styles. From the gangster synth whine of ‘Hellifornia’ to the throbbing techno of the single ‘Pursuit’, with its NSFW video, there isn’t a weak track here. I strongly recommend you check it out.
Action Bronson - Blue Chips 2 (Mixtape)
It hasn’t actually been a vintage year for hip-hop from my point of you but maybe I just haven’t tried hard enough or my tastes are getting out dated. Thankfully my current favourite MC, Action Bronson, is back with another stellar mixtape in the form of ‘Blue Chips 2’. As with the original ‘Blue Chips' tape from last year, Party Supplies provides the beasts and samples. The 19 tracks feature plenty of guest contributions (Ab-Soul, Mac Miller, Big Body Bes, Jeff Woods) and more rhymes about drugs, women and food than you can shake a stick. It is quality stuff as usual so stream below or click on the widget to download.
Dum Dum Girls - Lost Boys and Girls (Video)
I knew from following Dee Dee on Twitter that there was new Dum Dum Girls material in the works but I thought we would have to wait until next year to hear anything. But like an early Christmas present and just in time for Halloween we get the audio and video for ‘Lost Boys and Girls Club.’ It is the first preview track from their third album which is to be entitled ‘Too True’ and released on Sub Pop at end of January.
The song is up to the Girls brooding standards and Dee Dee sounds in fine voice after the vocal troubles she has had over the past year. I am not as sure about the video which has been produced under a H&M Life project where young artists from different parts of the world produce music videos with the support of H&M. It comes across a bit like a Gothic wet-dream inhabited by angelically-hipstered-up European fashion models. One interesting aside that I did find out from reading the blurb on H&M site was that the Dum Dum Girls did provide the theme tune to the animated series Beware the Batman on the Cartoon Network. You can check it out here.
Sano - Contonéate (audio)
Fancy some fresh Colombian electro? Well look not further than the new self-titled debut album from the Medellin native Sano which has just been released on the Cómeme label.
Sano is the musical sobriquet of Daniel Santos who made his name as a DJ in his hometown as part of a collective throwing the illegal ”Perro Negro” parties for thieves, guerrilleros and prostitutes. Across the ten tracks here Sano manages to sound both retro and futuristic incorporating the best elements of 80s synth music, techno and EBM. He is joined on the glorious synth-fueled ‘Transalvania’ by collaborators Los Malos, Lord Byron , GladKazuka, Little Chucharita, and on ‘Necrophiliac Love’ by label-mates Diegors and Daniel Maloso. I am only starting to explore the depths and delights of ‘Sano' but recommend you do the same.
Lou Reed - Halloween Parade
I think I used up a whole pile of great Halloween songs (Sonic Youth, Mudhoney, Afghan Whigs, The Misfits, Dead Kennedys) in our post this time last year. However for the week that is in it there was really only one choice: Lou Reed’s ‘Halloween Parade’ from his masterful 1988 album ‘New York.’
Young Fathers - Low (video)
Back on Father’s Day in June we were raving about Tape 2 from the Scottish three-piece Young Fathers. The good news is that multi-ethnic and multi-talented group are returning to the fray with their debut album proper ‘Dead’ to be released on Anticon / Big Dada on 3rd February next year. They are previewing their self-produced album with the track ‘Low’ which showcases their blend of soul, hip-hop and left-field sensibilities.
Even better news is that the guys will be stopping in The Twisted Pepper in Dublin on February 14th next as part of the European Tour. What better place to spend Valentine’s Day with the one your love?
I couldn’t decide whether to deal with Lily & Madeleine on their own merits of draw the inevitable comparisons to the those other masters mistresses of sisterly nu-folk The Staves and First Aid Kit, both which are firm favourites of the Lions Share.
So yes Lily & Madeleine Jurkiewicz are a sister act from Indianapolis who have just today released their self-titled debut album on Sufjan StevensAsthmatic Kitty label. The sisters are embryonically young clocking in at 16 and 18 respectively and first came to the worlds attention via their YouTube video for ‘In The Middle’ which has racked up over 300,000 views.
Having whetted the world’s appetite with a five track EP back in January entitled ‘The Weight of the Globe' they have now written their debut album with the help of co-songwriter Kenny Childers of Gentleman Caller, and producer / manger Paul Mahern. If gentle melodious songs filled with blood harmonies, acoustic picking and hints of pedal-steel guitar are your thing then you will love this.
James Dean Bradfield - It Will Take More Than A Grave To Bury You (audio)
The Senghenydd Colliery Disaster happened On 14 October 1913, near Caerphilly, Glamorgan, Wales killing 439 miners and one rescuer. It was the worst mining accident in the United Kingdom, and one of the most serious globally in terms of loss of life.
As part of the 100 year commemoration events James Dean Bradfied of the Manic Street Preachers wrote a song called ‘It Will Take More Than A Grave To Bury You’ with Patrick Jones, the poet brother of Nicky Wire. Even if you didn’t know what the song was a about, the beautiful mix of James’ voice over the minimal brass would probably still give you goosebumps.
If you haven’t already done so I would recommend you check out out the current Manics album ‘Rewind The Film’ which is a fine collection of songs delivered in a slightly more restrained fashion than we are used to. The next single ‘Anthem for a Lost Cause’ is released on 25th November. Check out the video below.
So given how this is a music blog and I have previously written about how I think ‘The Velvet Underground & Nico' is still the greatest album of all time, I thought I should post something by or about Lou Reed, after he passed away yesterday. I did think about something from 'Songs for Drella’, the amazing album her recorded with John Cale in 1990 as a tribute to Andy Warhol. I also thought about ‘I’ve Been Tired' by Pixies which has the great line “I said, “I want to be a singer like Lou Reed. “I like Lou Reed,” she said, sticking her tongue in my ear.” but I see a few other people have already quoted that over the last 24 hours.
Instead I decided to go back to the John Peel Festive 50 from 1993 which was where I first hear ‘I Suck’ by a band out of Portland, Oregon called The New Bad Things. It is a very funny track, in an early nineties alt-rock kind of way, and features a lot of great lines. However the following stuck out for obvious reason “Lou Reed wrote a lot of great songs, including a couple that made me cry when I was breaking up with my 8th grade girlfriend. He also made it cool to wear black all the time and to be a junky. Without Lou Reed, maybe it wouldn’t be so hot in the summer." Maybe indeed.
The New Bad Things did go on to release a couple of fine albums in the form of ‘Freewheel!' & 'Society' both of which are conveniently on Spotify. ‘Freewheel!’ features a track called ‘The I Suck' which has different lyrics and focuses on David Bowie rather Lou Reed. If you want to read a bit more about the 'I Suck' version head to this Bandcamp page.