Month: January, 2014

The Dodos (west germany, 22/11/13)

getting to know that this gig could have been cancelled is just unthinkable.

previously scheduled at Festsaal Xberg (one of the pond’s favourite venues that was unfortunately reduced to ashes last summer), the cheery toad and the juicy frog found themselves in the very middle of panel buildings à la shanghai, or better said – a poor and cheap imitation of what you could expect from a chinese megalopolis –, as we enter the dank terrace. inside, white dilapidated tiled floor and walls threaten to crumble, open ceilings show an unbelievable entanglement of cables ready to ignite, pitiful lights convey a sumptuous water-closet atmosphere and – cherry on the cake – an appalling and crappy sound spreads in the room. welcome to West Germany, a former doctor’s office and probably the cheapest and the ugliest venue of the pond! a A4 handwritten sheet of paper announces at the front door: “Tonight: The Dodos”.

i feel really ashamed to offer such venue to the fantastic Dodos, especially when Meric told us that indeed, this was a shitty place, but well, we’re happy to be here anyway. because, right, the concert shouldn’t have taken place, so we better express gratitude for this hip, foul-smelling place.

dodos

so, The Dodos from San Francisco, the amazing Meric Long (guitar and singing) and Logan Kroeber (drums, background voice). i already saw them three times in concert, still, i struggle with impatience to introduce them to the cheery toad. my voice is choked with emotion as i explained to my very friend that this new european tour is a special one, mostly due to Chris Reimer’s departure, the third dodo, who died a year ago.

yet, tonight, The Dodos are three.
and this is the incredible Joe Haege (31 Knots, Tu Fawning) that opens the evening, before showing his nose again with The Dodos. on the stage with him, a guitar, a few loops, a drum machine, an overactive raw wildness and his solo project called Vin Blanc/White Wine.


 
a brilliant solo act, from what we are offered to hear tonight. excellent raw guitar riffs and melodies, great furious voice, convincing electro support and most of all, some amazing choreography in the public. his great set is peppered with hilarious jokes and energizing small stories. what a fabulous introductory part to the Dodos, my goodness!

dodos3

as The Dodos prepare the stage, i start boiling with happiness because i know what’s about to come. each Dodos’ concert is a fantastic present, giving birth to beautiful guitar melodies, well-tempered melancholic texts, incredible drum breaks and funny jokes – mostly due to Logan. Logan, precisely, isn’t to be found as Meric and Joe are about to start the concert. as Meric begs him (and us to encourage him) to come to the stage, it takes him quite a while to appear, without batting an eyelid and showing a relaxed and teasing smile.

thedodos_carrier

Confidence, the first single of Carrier opens the dancing and gives the pitch. the Dodos’ new album is the first released on Polyvinyl Records (bye bye Witchita!). along with the incredible Fables, Black Night, the excellent Trades & Tariffs, the evening gives an interesting insight in both Dodos’ previous and last albums. Meric plays almost entirely electric, Logan is still the absolute master of drums ruptures and cheerful booms and bangs. Joe sparkles while playing guitar and singing, this is marvellous.

yet, Stranger, Substance and Destroyer, all from Carrier, show obvious signs of fragile melancholy and subdued sadness, nevertheless providing some vivid energy. there’s no doubt that Chris Reimer’s soul impregnated this last album. despite the punchy nature of many songs, the set is covered by some gentle, but magnificent, sorrow. Logan’s drums are just tremendous, as usual, and the new songs testify also more “tenderness” in the compositions, even if exhilarating cymbal crashes explode regularly.

through the same deadpan sense of humour and hilarious mimics, Logan, together with Joe Haege, conveys to the stage some great energy and happiness. between two songs, he tells us with a rascal but sincere smile that “Without Berlin, this would not be a European Tour”.
showing an everlasting complicity with both Meric and Logan, Joe Haege is an outstanding tour guitarist and singer. his voice accompanies Meric’s wonderfully and his presence completes greatly the Dodo’s performance.

this concert was again a thrilling and fantastic moment. would this gig review still make you think that the Dodos are jokers, have a look at the following KEXP’s session and bless again the seattle radio for offering us such appreciable jam sessions. and bless the Dodos.

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Cloud Nothings’ I’m Not Part of Me

raaaawr, you can’t imagine how a guitar riff can make the frog happy. it’s better than everything in the world, even cheese (i know it’s pretty unusual for a frog to enjoy cheese, but well, mother nature made me as i am).

cloud_nothings

speaking of guitars, Cloud Nothings aren’t the last ones on the subject. today they offer us to delight our ears with the first track from their brand new album Here and Nowhere Else coming on April 1st.

I’m Not Part of Me opens the delicious sampler we prepared for you. happy bum shaking!

god only knows

while the net buzzes around Mr. Josh Homme, Mr. Trent Reznor, Mr. Dave Grohl and Mr. Lindsey Buckingham’s performance at the last Grammys, how about despising once again the f*** GEMA, along with the said Grammys from preventing us from enjoying this very moment?

this so-called killing five-minute-and-fifty-four-second event of the music history is still impossible to view from the pond, damned it.

consequently we decided to find consolation in a little treat that will make anyone happy and help us to champ at the bit. the piece of news isn’t in the first flush of youth, but nevermind – spending a lovely time with rock’n’roll gentlemen never killed anyone, did it?

as Dave Grohl (Foo Fighters, Nirvana, Them Crooked Vultures, QOTSA) recorded Nevermind with Nirvana at Sound City Studios in 1991, he probably had no idea that twenty-two years later he would direct his first (documentary) film telling the history of this LA’s mythical recording studio, which doors closed in 2011.

soundcity_cover

released last year, Sound City was a compilation of interviews with the crème-de-la-crème questioning both the music industry and legendary studios eclipsed by the online and homemade music stage.

unfortunately i haven’t get the chance to see the film yet, but my attention mostly focused on the soundtrack which was composed for the film. quite a few great musicians who recorded at Sound City joined forces under the name of Sound City Players to compose and record eleven original songs for the score.

Mantra, the closing one, had no difficulty to persuade me to share it with you today. this song was written by three of the four aforesaid gods. this is a quiet piece of music, full of muffled grace and elegance. needless to say, perfect to calm us down.

sunday’s special

Aucan(ize)!

how could the frog possibly put so much sweat in this very website without even dedicating a proper line to one of its favourite bands? how could i have them among my timeless favs and pretend as if all of you knew them? against all the evidence, my unending enthusiasm blew my mind.

blow one’s mind? yeah, this very expression is just perfect, because the first time i listened to them, i positively lost my reason. not to mention the majestic blast i experienced when i saw them in concert with Camera at Naherholung Sternchen in 2012. this marked the beginning of a pure spliff adventure, without a drop of alcohol nor being on drugs. pure madness only.

ladies and gentlemen, it’s high time we right wrongs and spend some time with the greatest italian rock/beat/dubstep/noise/dark band of this last decade.
are you ready to aucanize?

800px-Aucan_band

holy year of 2007. Aucan sees the light in lombardie, italy, under the form of an internet remote music project between Jo Ferliga (vocals, synthesizer, sampler and harmonized guitars), Dario Dassenno (drums, ex-member of Were Like Tetris Royal Orchestra) and Francesco D’Abbraccio (synthesizer and guitar effects). a year later the band has the splendid idea to allure Julien Fernandez (you’ll know more about him soon… stay tuned!) and enter the roster of one of the best french experimental labels ever, Africantape that releases their first untitled album in 2008.

a first great shot, stroking with forceful math-rock and rock-noise influences, a first breath of tempered air, yet not tempestuous due to electro notes. nothing to be afraid of, as this audiorama will tell your delighted ears.

in 2010, DNA gives us some clues in five chapters about the band’s new direction. the EP shows a more affirming sound, along with symptoms of bad-tempered noise rock (Rooko), false light-hearted song (DNA) and space ethereal atmospheres (The Darkest Light, a 15-minute track). yet, the incredible warning dub signs of Crisis paves clearly the way to the 2011’s big bang.


 
and it is precisely through Aucan’s punchy, strong-arm second album that the frog dived into madness, into a superb and uncoloured rainbow.

aucan_blackrainbow

Black Rainbow opens with a seemingly inoffensive track (Blurred) introducing Angela Kinczly’s voice that lulled us to prepare the ground to some muffled and tortured dubstep/electro vibes. the door to coldness and disquiet is now unlocked and tolls the knell of a forty-six-minute anxiety crisis.

the disconcerting track list is a bold mise en scène. in the foreground, the phenomenal Sound Pressure Level and Underwater Music unearth implacable mind-blowing weapons, while in the middle distance, genuine electronic rockets break free with Heartless and Red Minoga. more than once, a rainbow appears between two furious exhilarating sounds,  giving way to a less tormented Storm. the (false) trivial Embarque and In a Land discover a short foreboding hiatus prior to a maze of hopeless and woebegone landscapes, aided by naughty dark beats and apocalyptic singing (Save Yourself). not to mention the rage of an unchanged and revolting daily routine, which breaks open with Away! – supported by a repetitive addicting line that definitely plunges you into a dejected turmoil, if you had resisted it so far.

any resemblance to past math-rock influences is purely coincidental, for Black Rainbow‘s atomic mix of genres is a thrilling and 1,000-volt doped tour de force. Black Rainbow, the eponymous final track, ends our journey with an unfiltered darkness and a tortuous blasting wind. a nerve-racking wonder.


when the silence eventually comes back, you may go through a moment of abandon before feeling the need to listen to the album again, and again, until addiction. it’s perfectly normal and it’s only the beginning. dubcore is on its way!

Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra

excuse my language, but Fuck Off Get Free We Pour Light On Everything can be streamed here. no shit, this is (again) a great album.

Igorrr

talking about your neighbour, it’s time to celebrate the new year with a new series. a naughty (but tasty) one if your neighbour enjoys mariachi music, volksmusik or oom-pah.
contempt is the revenge of the weak and the time has come for action.
to tantalise your neighbour, we will offer you songs which may sound unusual, bizarre, loud, funny and/or barmy but worthy to be referred as “music” (and good music).

today, we have the pleasure to introduce you to Igorrr‘s crazy music.
Igorrr, aka Gautier Serre, is a French baroquecore composer and multi-instrumentalist. his last (fourth) album Hallelujah, released in 2012 via the excellent very noisy label Ad Noiseam, was a perfect mix of breakcore, baroque classical music and metal.

Vegetable Soup features Igorrr’s own hen, Patrick, whereas Tout Petit Moineau features the delicious voice of Laure Le Prunenec, a baroque singer.

if your neighbour is friendly:

if your neighbour listens to oomp-pah:

don’t forget to turn the volume on the highest possible level and to savour the instant.

Mogwai’s Remurdered

if your turntable is thrilled to amaze your neighbour’s ears with some unusual sound from a band who is considered allegedly as “foreseeable”, it’s time to play (loud) Mogwai’s Remurdered to pull him/her down a peg or two.


 
there’s not the shadow of a doubt that this pretty quiet electric tune will nonplus you (and your neighbour), with its Moroder acquaintance.

Mogwai’s new album will be released on both Rock Action and Sub Pop on the 20th and 21st january. will Rave Tapes rejoice the pond’s mausoleum and rank among the keyboard projects?

Whomadewho

how to start the weekend brilliantly?


with a pinch of sun and tons of humour (along with irony, if you want to give spice to the exercise). to combine such perfect ingredients, let’s Whomadewho take care of the job and celebrate their forthcoming new album and european tour.