Manic Street Preachers - Kodawari (Audio) - DELETED NOW FOR COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT - SORRY!
Still in this digital omnipresent on-demand era bands (or more probably labels) release different versions of albums to milk the “real fans” of every penny. Case in point is the new Manic Street Preachers album ‘Futurology’. Not content with an ordinary and deluxe version (the deluxe version is on Spotify and has demo versions of all 13 songs on the album along with three tracks which didn’t make the final album cut: ‘Blistered Mirrors’, ‘Empty Motorcade' and 'The Last Time I Saw Paris’) there is also a Japanese version with two additional new songs (‘Kodawari’ & ‘Anti Social Manifesto’) and a couple of older songs in liver versions (‘Ocean Spray’ & ‘You Love Us’). On discovering this I made it my mission to track down the two songs online. I was only semi-successful and you can share the fruit of my adventure above via the pleasant instrumental noodlings of ‘Kodawari.’
On my journey I discovered another two new Manics’ songs on the virtual b-side of ‘Walk Me To The Bridge.’ No sure about those ‘Europa Geht Durch Mich’ remixes though. Anyway I not sure what point I am trying to make here. Maybe it’s just great that a band on their 12th album are so still so prolific that they had seven songs left over on their second album in a year. If you have even a passing interest in the Manic Street Preachers I do recommend a listen to ‘Futurolgy’. I don’t think it as fantastic or as outré as some of the reviews would suggest but it is damn fine none the less. There are as least half-a-dozen songs on there as strong as anything they have recorded in the last 26 years.
Lust for Youth - Illume (Video)
Eventhough it is a couple of months away I know you are trying to figure out what you are goign to do on my birthday. Well figure no more. Skinny Wolves have just announced that they are bringing Lust For Youth to Dublin on the 25th September for a gig in Bello Bar in Portobello. Tickets don’t seem to be on sale yet so join the event on Facebook to track it.
If you are not familiar with Lust For Youth here is the crash course: starting out as solo project for Copenhagen-based artist Hannes Norrvide, Lust for Youth have this year expanded to a trio and have released their thrid album ‘International' on the Sacred Bones label. The addition of Loke Rahbek and Malthe Fisher has lightened the synth heavy sound a little but a certain retro eighties vibe remains.
Attendre La Ghost - Ghostface Killah live in The Sugar Club, Dublin - Thursday 10th July 2014
When will I fucking learn? Yeah another rap show and another Wu-tastic wait. The show was billed as “An intimate evening with rhyme supremo Ghostface Killah" with doors opening at 7:30pm. However by 10:30 there was fuck all to show for it. The word in the toilets was that Ghostface has stormed off back to his hotel when he found out there was meant to be a Q&A and they were trying to convince him to come back and do a show.
Just when I was about to split his DJ, Technician The DJ finally started to spin some tunes. Even though it was the usual cliched hype shite with snippets of hop-hops greatest breaks, it did indicate there may be a show after all. And so at 10:45 Ghostface finally arrived on stage and the rhyming began. For the evening he accompanied by Sheek Louch with whom he had recorded 2012’s ‘Wu-Block' album. They effortlessly traded rhymes on a mixture of Wu-Tang, Ghostface and related tracks with 'Ice Cream' and 'Incarcerated Scarfaces' from Raekwons' 'Only Built 4 Cuban Linx' both getting early outings.
Also along for the ride was Sun God who is Ghostface’s son. He ably delivered a few verses here and there which is more than can be said for the 5th guy on stage who just drank and out towels on his. Sheek Louch also got to dip into his back catalogue from his time with The Lox, dropping ‘Money, Power & Respect' and some verse from 'All About The Benjamins.' Of course there were a couple of RIP sections with the inevitable shout-outs to B.I.G. and some 'Shimmy Shimmy Ya' for ODB.
Along with phones / lighters out for “Can It Be All So Simple” we also had the gest rappers from the crowd to rap a couple of verses on ‘Protect Your Neck’ with both Lee & Marcus acquitting themselves well. After a couple of tracks with ‘the ladies’ dancing on stage the midnight hour was fast approaching so after some verses from ‘C.R.E.A.M.’ ‘Cherchez La Ghost’ and ‘I Can’t Go Sleep’ the show came to messy end with all participants telling how much the loved Dublin. And despite all the delays I went home smiling, only slightly less likely to go to the next Wu-Tang related show that rolls into Dublin.
Bentcousin - Dizzy (Audio)
The word(s) “Bentcousin" conjures up a myriad of interpretations but I am going to stick to the literal which is a Brighton-based musical group founded around twins Amelia (whalesun?) and Pat Innit. After releasing the cute, clever and compelling mini-album ‘Everybody’s Got One' in 2013 they are back with a new 'Dizzy' on Team Love Records which you can check out above. It starts out a jangly indie-pop but then at 1:20 minute mark it drops an initially-incongruous rap but which eventually blends in quite well. It is as sparkling a summer tune as you are likey to hear this year. B-Side ‘2014’ is a little more limber with a male lead vocal about pissing in the sink. Charming.
Video from ‘Bentpaperboy’ from the debut mini-LP below. It is not typical of the rest of it but cool none the less:
Not - Fix (Audio)
Sometimes on Sunday evening I get the fear. It is probably something to do with not having done what you wanted to at the weekend before you ran out of time, with another week of work looming ominously. What better way to deal with a mild dose of the fear than with some right noisy punk rock. Step up Nots who have just released their second single in the form of ‘Fix’ b/w ‘Modern’ on Goner Records out of Memphis. As you can hear above ‘Fix’ channels that angry lofi Riot Grrrl sound into something fresh and exhilarating. After a short subdued intro ‘Modern' is equally terse and exhilarating. The combined length of barely over four minutes the single begs to be listened to over and over again.
A little more info: Nots are a Memphis based Trio consisting of Natalie Hoffmann (former Ex-Cult bassist) on guitar, Charlotte Watson (from Manateees) on bass and Laurel Ferdon (from Moving Finger) plays drums. This 7” is their second release on Goner with their four song debut EP ‘Nots' well worth a listen.I also read that their debut LP is coming this November.
Subtle Turnhips - Redhair With Some (album audio)
So it’s a nice sunny summer Thursday evening. As there is no football on tonight I should be outside enjoying the bright evening but instead I’m sitting in front of computer listening again the album ‘Redhair With Some’ by the wonderfully named Subtle Turnhips (which Google keeps trying to tell me is Stubble Turnips).
So until a few ago I had never heard or heard of Subtle Turnhips even-though this is their 5th album. Best I can figure out is that they are a French, even-though they album is released on Australian label Homeless. Their sound, as you can hear above, is kind of garage-post-punk with short spiky songs at the lower fidelity end of the spectrum. The press blurb cites Swell Maps, Wire, The Fall and Brainbombs. All fine bands which the Turnhips can stand proud amongst. Vive le Punque Rock.
Cate Le Bon - Solitude (Audio)
I was pretty sure I posted the Cate Le Bon track ‘He’s Leaving’ when it appeared online back in February. But as Tumblr doesn’t lie and I can’t find the post I guess I just imagines it. Anyway just today another new track ‘Solitude’ has been posted on Soundcloud. Like ‘He’s Leaving’ it was recorded at the same time as her amazing ‘Mug Museum' album but didn't make the final cut. As you can hear it is a fine slice of organ-driven retro sub-psychedelia lathered in Cate's distinctive Welsh tones. Both track are available on a limited edition 7” available to buy throughout Cate's UK September Tour. Unfortunately yet again she doesn’t seem to be playing a solo show in Dublin. (If you can get BBC iPlayer working you can always check out her Glastonbury set - if you are not in the UK I recommend Hola - works best with Chrome)
The Fall - Fibre Book Troll (Audio)
Any day with a new track from The Fall is a good day. So given that ‘Fibre Book Troll’ has now joined my musical collection I officially declare today a Great Day. While you stream it above you will hear that it is 6 minutes and 40 seconds of pure prime Mark E. Smith curated mayhem. And while it feels somewhat incongruous amongst the other 18 track of mostly instrumental electronic music on Modeselektor's new compilation Modeselektion Vol. 03, that doesn’t take from its exhilarating brilliance. Buzzing synths, doubling bass, pounding drums and Mark’s seemingly random drunken savant ramblings about online trolls (as far as I can make-out). Surely a new album is due? It has been over 12 months since Re-Mit.
Jessy Lanza - You and Me (Audio)
Summer festivals are all well and good but are they gonna keep you warm in the middle of winter? Of course not, and that is why it is necessary to keep an eye on what gigs are coming up later in the year. For example it has just been announced that U:Mack with be bringing both Caribou and Jessy Lanza to Vicar Street on 5th November for a Canadian double-header. The tickets are a very reasonable €26 (especially considering Lykke Li in the same venue the following week is €40+) and go on sale on Tuesday 1st July at 9:00 am. Although they both played Body & Soul last weekend I have seen either artists live (well unless you count Caribou’s earlier Manitoba incarnation, who I saw at Wonky 2 in the Guinness Storehouse back in 2002, with loads of other bands) so will definitely be there.
Both have new music coming out soon: Jessy has a new track ‘You and Me’ on the second Hyperdub 10th Birthday Compilation which comes out on 21st July. It is her usual fine mix soul & electronica. Caribou have also recently released a new track ‘Can’t Do Without’ which is a preview from their forthcoming album ‘Our Love’ which is to be released on 6th October. Check out is looping loveliness below.
Automatic Tasty - Winetavern Street Romance
Had a moment of musical synchronicity: while driving to work down Winetavern Street in Dublin, the track ‘Winetavern Street Romance’ came on my weekly Spotify electronic playlist. This fine and funky stab of retro-futuristic electronica is the lead track on the ‘The Joys of Departure’ EP from Automatic Tasty. While the EP got a very limited vinyl release last year it is no available for digital purchase or streaming if you prefer that kind of thing. If you have been paying attention to previous posts you will know Automatic Tasty is Wicklow based artist Jonny Dillon who has been making the world a better musical place since 2008. Long may he continue to do so.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream - Sleep Thieves with Nanu Nanu & Cover Upstairs in Whelans, Dublin - Saturday 21st June 2014
Another Saturday night and another choice to be made between the World Cup on TV and the lure of live music. Despite the attraction of Germany v Ghana the chance to see Sleep Thieves launch their brilliant new album ‘You Want The Night' with a couple of other cool Irish bands was always going to win out.
After collecting my free album download card at the door I arrived in time just to Tipperary trio Cove start their set. And while their mixture electronic beats with synths, guitar & bass was pretty spot on I found the singer’s falsetto vocals pretty out of tune for the most part. That being said they had plenty of nice musical tricks up their collective sleeves and the piano led cover of Daniel Johnston / Sparklehorse’s ‘Hey Joe' was a nice touch. With plenty of energy and the promise of a new EP 'Vespers' on the way the finished their set off with 'Silhouette' which ended with the front-man dancing in the crowd.
By the time Nanu Nanu took to the stage it was covered in more electronic gadgets than the D.I.D. warehouse. Having enjoyed their album ‘Unit 1’ from last year I was familiar with opener ‘Skin’ which was topped off by some feisty and alluring dancing from front-woman Glitterface. A couple more ‘Unit 1' tracks followed in the form of 'Seahorse' and 'Pocket of Gold' which saw them breakout the green lasers for added effect. Speaking of lasers beams they featured heavily during their cover of Frankie Goes To Hollywood's 'Relax'. After thanking the other bands and the crowd effusively and a little giddily Glitterface introduced the final number 'Mandy' with its vocoder intro and thumping kick. With live performances this engaging if Nanu Nanu had a couple of killer pop-songs they would probably take over our world, and some world beyond.
With a pretty full house made of friends, family and fans Sleep Thieves were always going to go down well. Just to challenge us little they started with the slow and brooding ‘Through The Sea’ with Sorcha Breenan delivering her captivating vocals centre-stage, flanked by Keith Byrne and Wayne Fahy on keys & synths either side. Of course ‘Through the Sea’ ratchets up the tempo towards the ends and the pulsating arpeggios and dark disco beats were a flavour of the ‘You Want the Night’ heavy set that was to follow. While Keith & Wayne swapped between synths, guitar, bass & drums, Sorcha was the main focus or attention. And while they did dip into their back catalogue for a couple of tracks of ‘Islands' they finished the night with two of strongest songs from their new LP 'City of Hearts' & 'Sparks.' Stunning stuff all round.
"The iron tongue of midnight hath told twelve; Lovers, to bed; ‘tis almost fairy time."
Ghostface Killah & Badbadnotgood - Six Degrees (feat. Danny Brown)
So hear’s a thing: released this week is a collaboration between Wu-Tang’s finest Mr. Ghostface Killah and Canadian Jazz trio Badbadnotgood entitled ‘Six Degrees’. A minute into the deft groove Danny Brown also arrives to drop some rhymes. The digital download / 10” Vinyl on Lex Records also features a smooth lounge-like instrumental entitled ‘Tones Rap' no doubt named after 'Tony Starks' one of Ghostface's favourite aliases.
No I don’t know if this collboration is a one off but if you want to hear more Badbadnotgood released their their third album ‘III' last month and well worth a listen it is too.You can also check out some of their previous rap collaborations with likes of Earl Sweatshirt & JJ DOOM. It seems they are also playing in Dublin again on 30th July in The Sugar Club.
And fuck me if Ghostface Killah isn’t also playing The Sugar Club in July - the 10th July to be precise. It is billed as Beck’s Rhythm Series Presents “Up Close & Personal with Wu-Tang’s Ghostface Killah”. They describe it as “a very special Q&A with Tony Starks on his career to date, his influences in music, forthcoming projects, his part in the Wu-Tang Legacy and much more. This Q&A will be followed by a live show where Ghostface digs into the crates of his prolific back catalogue and performs some of his rawest cuts...” The tickets are only €17.50 (if you buy them from the venue - they seem to be a good bit more from Ticketbastard).
Oh and if you really need to see Danny Brown he is one of the support acts for Macklemore & Ryan Lewis in Marlay Park on the same night as the Ghostface gig.
Aphrodite Lion - Cover These Hands (Audio)
So I realised the other day that The Lions Share was fast approaching its 750th post and now it is here. I thought we had better mark this auspicious somehow. Given that we originally setup this blog to promote our band, Aphrodite Lion, I thought there would be not better way than to post a a previously unheard track.
So here is a track called ‘Cover These Hands’ which we recorded earlier this year. As it is pretty different from our other material (not a guitar in sight!) we are not sure if it is finished - hence labeling it as a demo. It has a pretty long intro before the vocals kick in so bare with it. We haven’t recorded any new material since this track but hopefully we will do something about that over the summer. Thanks for listening.
Austra - Hulluu (Audio)
So Austra posted via social media that the video for their new single ‘Habitat’ will be ready for posting next week.
Luckily the four song Habitat EP is already out in Ireland so I thought I would share. If you haven’t heard the title track yet (below) it is a typical Austra i.e. a brilliant piece of left-field electropop smothered in Katie Stelmanis amazing quasi-operatic vocals. They do things a bit differently on the other 3 tracks: ‘Doepfer’ (named after Doepfer Musikelektronik, a German manufacturer of analog synthesizers etc.) & ‘Bass Drum Dance’ are instrumental tracks which wouldn’t sound out of place on an album of contemporary electronica. 'Bass Drum Dance' in particular has a catchy psudeo-string riff, oh and some wordless vocals. The final track 'Hulluu' (which is a cool Estonian word for “delusions of grandeur” - Katie is of Estonian stock) is a fun track with a giddy beat and riff with the vocal refrain of “I took your microphone, it’s in the river” menacingly whispered over the top. Stunning stuff as usual from Austra with some interesting avenues opened up for exploration on future releases.
From Little Acorns - Wye Oak live in The Sugar Club, Dublin - Saturday 14th June 2014
With all the football (& hurling) on the TV yesterday it was hard to drag my lazy arse off the sofa but drag it I did into semi-salubrious environs of The Sugar Club, always a rather odd venue for gigs with its tiered lounge seating. When I arrived support act Bachelorette was always well into her set. I had checked out New Zealander Annabel Alper’s music before and had not been convinced but live she was certainly an interesting prospect: on stage alone with 2 laptops, 2 microphones, a keyboard and some other assorted gadgets she mixed beats, synths, vocals & loops with interesting and engaging results.
After a short change-over and soundcheck the Wye Oak duo of Andy Stack and Jenn Wasner hit the stage. I must admit to have not been entirely convinced of the new electronic heavy direction of recent album ‘Shriek’ but I kept an open mind. They started the show with a trio of songs from ‘Shriek’ including single ‘The Tower’ with its overdriven bass solo and the title track on which Jenn played keyboards instead of bass. One of the most intriguing elements of their performance was the fact the Andy played keyboards with his left hand while playing drums with his right - Rick Allen eat your heart out!
For ‘Holy Holy’ from 2011’s album ‘Civilian’ Jenn switch to guitar and brought the rock. After a some more guitar driven tracks it was ‘Glory’ and ‘Sick Talk’ from ‘Shriek’ with plenty of plunky bass, synth arps and pounding drums. For the track ‘Spiral' (from the 2012 Adult Swim’s Singles Program) Andy abandoned drums in favour of guitar and with a drum machine backing they worked their way through a delay-infused riffs to an improv-heavy ending. It all got a bit mid-paced and noddley at this point with some of the weaker songs on 'Shriek' not really holding their own live. Things livened up when Jenn switch to guitar, such as on the frenetic 'For Prayer' but the vibe was certainly dragging by the time she took the microphone in hand for set closer 'Logic of Color'.
They returned for the encore with a cover Kate Bush’s ‘Running Up That Hill' we they recently performed as part of A.V. Undercover. Given the original is such a great song I found their version a little plodding and unremarkable. However they finished the night on a high note with ‘Civilian' which started all droney & countrified before the upped gears and drove it home with lashings of guitar noise.