I Prefer The Obscure Remix Blog

I’m all out of love part 3

So I finally have a chance to get back to moaning about gigs. Saturday the 27th of October was my third of that week – Les Savy Fav in Crawdaddy. Previously I’d heard from some people just how good a live band these guys really are. Seemingly they stole the show at ATP during the summer, and Crawdaddy was no exception. Also, it’s not every night you get accosted by Amy Winehouse (unless that is, you live in London and frequent every awards ceremony going). I should explain, a large portion of the crowd arived in fancy dress. Amy, Wolfman, and Robot Girl seemed to enjoy LSF immensely, so they informed me afterwards. But nobody seemed to enjoy themselves more than LSF’s larger than life frontman, Tim Harrington. While his wit and posturing can be annoying at times, his performance and delivery is stunning. The band themselves are super tight accomplished players, and their set packed a real punch. The operative word here is energy – the energy of the band, and the crowd. It was hectic stuff, played hard and fast. The band fed off the crowd, and vice versa. If Johnny Giles had been there, he would’ve said the crowd were like a 12th player! Gigs like this make you wish you were in a band – this band.

A sold out show, a crowd as ‘up for it’ as the band, and a wealth of excellent songs played and received like each one was an anthem. No wonder The Ticket gave it Gig of the Week. The title of this post is completely irrelevant, I hang my head, I love live music!

The clip below pretty much sums up the night, “The Sweat Descends”. How apt!

November 5, 2007 Posted by | Crawdaddy, Dublin, Les Savy Fav, live | 2 Comments

The early bird gets the worm

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I’m a bit of a terror for missing support acts whenever I go to a gig (but I generally don’t stand down the back and talk once I’m there). This happened yet again on Thursday night, I keep hearing from everyone how good St. Vincent was. So my New Year’s resolution is to make it to gigs on time (and quit the smokes, again!). I’ve already got my eye on the Explosions in the Sky gig in Tripod on January 26th. I’m a big post-rock fan, and EITS fit nicely into this category. Dramatic, quiet/loud, instrumental, melodic music – they tick all the right boxes really. Considering I’ll probably be back on the tabs by then, I should get myself down there early and fulfill at least one resolution. Thankfully, support on the night comes from Mr Matthew Cooper, AKA Eluvium. I’ve been listening to some of his recent releases this week, and they are nothing short of gorgeous! I knew nothing about Cooper until the promoter brought him to my attention recently (cheers B!). He has dabbled in electronic composition, but seems to favour a more organic, orchestral approach these days. He has received a deluge of gushing reviews and critical acclaim. Metacritic lists his new album, Copia as the 17th best of the year, calculated by the average rating he has received from internet reviews.

Cooper is based in Portland, Oregon (a hotbed of talent, with an electronic scene as healthy as Berlin), a city that must have a low cost of living, or excellent facilities for artists and musicians, as so many interesting bands/musicians/artists/designers seem to reside there. Eluvium are signed to legendary post-rock label, Temporary Residence, also home to EITS, Cex, Tarantel, Fridge, and Mono in the US.

Recent reviews of Copia have compared Cooper’s work to Eno in his prime, Phillip Glass, and Gorecki. So the critics seem to love Eluvium, but there’s a worry that an artist of this calibre could still remain merely a blogging phenomenon or a well kept secret, as I don’t think the album has been picked up by a European label, and print reviews are still pretty thin on the ground. It’s worth getting there early and checking Eluvium out, Cooper may not be back for a while.

It’s also worth noting, the beautiful artwork for Copia and Eluvium’s previous EP, When I Live By The Garden And The Sea. Artist Jeannie Paske is responsible for both, you can check out more of her work here.

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November 5, 2007 Posted by | Album, Eluvium, Explosions in the Sky, live, Music, Tripod | 2 Comments

High treason. They’ll have my head for this!

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So I just got back from The National. Yes, I caved and went. This is rapidly turning into a blog on live music, or confessions of a gig-goer. Maybe I should change the name to Belle De Tour! Anyway, I really wanted to see them, as I think they’re an intriguing band. They’re not the type of band you’d ever expect to hear on daytime radio, and their songs are generally left of centre, but somehow they’ve managed to hit the bigtime in Ireland, relatively speaking. I was a massive fan of Alligator, and I think Boxer and Sad Songs For Dirty Lovers are pretty good too. For me, it’s all about the drummer (Bryan Devendorf), and to a lesser extent, the singer (Matt Berninger). Take away either of these and I think The National would be an average band. Berninger has an interesting voice, coupled with compelling yet opaque lyrics. The drummer, Bevendorf, has a unique style that really propells the songs, and his rhythms develop and evolve throughout the tracks. He always seems to teeter on the brink of overdoing things, but somehow manages to remain in control, and maintain a consistent level of subtlety. But tonight you couldn’t really hear him, and on record the drums are always really high in the mix, so that was a real disappointment. The singer, Berninger, didn’t really know what to do with himself when he wasn’t called into action, so he generally elected to stand with his back to the audience (not very compelling). I thought the gig was very good but not great, and I expected great. I was surprised by the crowd’s reaction to Fake Empire, but I probably shouldn’t be. It went down really well, but I can’t help thinking it would only be one of the weaker tracks if it had appeared on Alligator. The first hour of the gig seemed like a lesson in restraint, and it was only the last 5-6 songs (when they seemed to loosen up, enjoy themselves, and let go) that I felt really worked. Saying that, it was great to hear Secret Meeting second in the set. I still think it’s their finest moment, and a perfect example of singer and drummer at their best. If you don’t believe me check out youtube, there are clips of drummers trying to play along with the beat. The beat might sound pedestrian, but it’s really intricate and clever. That must sound so pretentious, but it’s all subjective. People like the same band for different reasons, and these are mine. It’s only an opinion, and I know I was in the minority tonight as most people thought it was amazing.

I missed St. Vincent but I heard she was very good, and really fit (thanks Pedro!).

November 2, 2007 Posted by | Dublin, live, Music, Olympia Theatre, Personal, The National | 7 Comments

I’m all out of love part 2

I skipped Dizzee Rascal on Thursday night for 2 reasons.

1. I hate Groove Armada

2. It wasn’t down at IMMA, it was moved to Tripod.

Friday night provided another chance to see o’death in Whelan’s. This Brooklyn-based 5 piece played here a few months ago, supporting Goodtime John on a wet Sunday night. They blew me away completely, and I remember leaving the gig thinking they were the best live band I’d seen in a long time. I think the 20-30 people that were there felt the same also, as they were all there again on Friday night.

Their album, Head Home was released a few months back between both gigs. Although great, it fails to capture the energy and sheer chaos of their live show. It’s a tough one this, as I’ve been raving about the band recently, so much so that when people finally cave in and check out their myspace, or buy/download the album, they’re somewhat underwhelmed. I’ve decided to adopt the positive slant and run with this theory instead. o’death live, and o’death on record are two very diferent things. The key here is to check the band out live, and the album will then make perfect sense, whether you’ve heard it before or not. The reason I still feel they’re the best live band I’ve seen all year is that they’ve succeeded in bringing something new and totally different to the o’death experience, and the live experience, and that’s what live music is all about.

We drank, we laughed, we danced!

November 1, 2007 Posted by | live, Music, o'death, Whelan's | 1 Comment

I’m all out of love part 1

 I’ve been so busy for the last week, I haven’t had a chance to write anything here. It’s been non-stop gigs and deadlines, and I’m burnt out! I’m also a drama queen, so the last statement is an exaggeration. I feel like I’m out nearly every night, or there’s an excuse to be out every night, especially with the current crop of live gigs in Dublin. I think I’m all out of love when it comes to gigs, until my liver and/or my wallet recover sufficiently. Saying that, I’ll probably be down at The National tomorrow night. Anybody remember their gig in the Cobblestone all those years ago?

Last week was extremely hectic, probably the busiest of the year. I kicked things off with Arcade Fire on Tuesday night, in the Park. Don’t really know if it was any good, as we were down the back and could neither see or hear the band. These things I do know though.

Beck’s Beer gives you a hangover before you’re drunk.

The visuals looked pretty good, for an indie band.

The drummer seemed to enjoy himself (he was projected onto the backdrop quite frequently, this was all I could see).

The drummer has a tattoo on his right arm, or a large clump of hair (see above).

It was extremely easy to get to and from the Phoenix Park, via the Dublin Bus service (I know, I was shocked too!).

The Bruce Springsteen comparisons are all true.

Wake Up was, is, and always will be an anthem, no matter where Arcade Fire go to from here.

November 1, 2007 Posted by | Arcade Fire, live, Music, Phoenix Park | 2 Comments