Skip if you don’t like music !
Always gives me great pleasure when I hear some decent music being used in a TV show. This week treated me to Damien Rice and Grant Lee Buffalo during “House”, Pixies and Embrace in “Veronica Mars” and some completely underrated Mazzy Star this morning in “The Practice”.
For some reason the most memorable singles from last year were pure pop songs for me – and some of them double-hitters. There’s something so infectious and well-made about most Black Eyed Peas-singles that there’s just no resisting them – “Don’t Lie” and “My humps” are all over the place. And though Coldplay sometimes managed to make some single choices that never gelled well with me, “Fix You” (for its momentous overhaul in the break and finale) and “Talk” (for its multitude of catchy hooks all through the song) clearly are the best songs on an otherwise disappointing album. In the case of “Talk”, I’ve had one night where I was unable to sleep for three hours because the jukebox in my head kept playing it over and over.
And I’m having a hard time admitting this, but Shakira’s “Don’t bother” is wacky and off-beat enough to make it on my list of guilty pleasures.
For you, I’d give up all I own
And move to a communist country
If you came with me, of course
And I’d file my nails so they don’t hurt you
And lose those pounds, and learn about football
If it made you stay, but you won’t, but you won’t
Anyone slipping lyrics like this into the mainstream has at least one good thing going for her.
Before I lose my cool …
Of course I haven’t spent all my indie cred just yet. I don’t know how I managed to miss out onThe National for almost a year (and shame on all you music radar friends I have out there – you know who you are), but their third record has been spinning for a long time now and it just keeps getting better.
It’s a common fetish for a doting man
To ballerina on the coffee table cock in hand
Lyrics like these would even make Shakira and her small humble non-mountainy breasts blush.
Further new musical pleasure was offered by Head Automatica, Isobel Campbell, KT Tunstall (I found a video of her performing on Jools Holland – if you watch it from the start it is mindblowing), Starsailor (yeah I know – sorry), Walkmen, and – it finally clicked with me – Verve’s Urban Hymns.
The last four concerts I’ve been to last year I hadn’t mentioned previously. All were special in some way. Bloc Party was just dead on fantastic – tight, energetic, lively, a band on the verge of making it really big and at the top of their game. Every song was made just that little bit better by increasing the speed a wee bit up to the point where you can feel the gig can explode at any moment. They completely overpowered the audience.
Coldplay was incredibly disappointing. First of all, it was a basketball stadion. Second, the Barcelona soccer players that took a seat after the opening band, Goldfrapp, was finished, got more applause than them. Even though we were not too far from the stage, people around us obviously weren’t really coming for the music, since they preferred to blabber on about completely uninteresting things until there was another hit chorus to yell along out of tune to. And Coldplay didn’t really play a stellar set anyway, missing most of my favourites of their debut, except for what’s probably the best one, Don’t Panic, from which they completely removed the guitar solo that gives the song half of its value, and they turned it into some acoustic campfire-y slowed-down version. A big letdown compared to the other two times I’ve seen them.
dEUS defended our national pride with vigor. Mauro Pawlowski, one of the most talented musicians in Belgium, performed excellently as the new Barman henchman, being able to carry off all of the low Trouvé and Ward growls, as well as the high Carlens whines. The set was tight and powerful – dEUS is back in form, and performing at Benecassim this summer. (Though seriously – why they have Elbow open for them instead of the other way around is beyond me)
Sigur Rós was simply otherworldly. While the concert was a little expensive because it was in a theatre, I liked their new album so much for its atmospherics and childish echoes that I really did want to see them perform it live. I was not let down – and my favourites across all albums where rendered with the force of a felt tip knife through the heart.
I’ve never seen Tool perform anywhere else but at festivals. And, given that they were announced to play Werchter this year, I was assuming it would be the same again. But lo and behold, they’re prepending a club tour and they’re hitting the Razzmatazz in Barcelona at the end of May ! Need to get tickets ASAP.
A new Twilight Singers album is also due for May, excellent.
And one of the best news snippets I’ve come across is that Josh Pearson of Lift To Experience might actually release an album this year ! Listen to this random peel session (my gem of last year – crank it up because it doesn’t get any louder and you need to hear the voice bleed) to listen why this gets me excited, or read the most moving music piece on any artist I’ve ever read.
That’s it for flushing the brainial archives for now – as usual, other recommendations are welcome!