I can't tell you anything at all / And that's the biggest joke of all.
Posts tagged Galaxie 500
Miserable Christmas 2011
I recently set myself a challenge - compile a CD of Christmas tunes designed to instill melancholy, bitterness and other assorted forms of narrow-minded, lip-quivering nostalgia.
My criteria haven’t been too narrow, a result of deciding that the first priority needed to be that everything on here should actually be a great song. So, then - cover versions are fair game, and explicit Christmas references aren’t necessarily a condition of entry - snowy ambience will do just as well (or even just a vague association with the relevant time of year). Also, no Fairytale Of New York. That’s too obvious.
1. Clem Leek - Snow Tale #1
2. Arab Strap - Xmas (Baby Please Come Home)
3. Gary Jules & Michael Andrews - Mad World
4. Mew - Snowflake
5. Galaxie 500 - Snowstorm
6. iLiKETRAiNS - Last Christmas
7. Low - Blue Christmas
8. Jacob Golden - Feeling Like Christmas (Again)
9. Frank Sinatra - It Came Upon A Midnight Clear
10. The Raveonettes - Christmas Song
11. An Insection - Awake/Alone On 25
12. Conquering Animal Sound - Not Til The Snow Has Gone
Ladies and gents, I am very proud to present Miserable Christmas 2011. Download it here, and may all your Christmases be blue.
Primavera Sound 2011 - Day 3
… and so it concludes.
John Cale performing Paris 1919 - It’s as close to a straight up pop set as one of the godfathers of creepcore will ever come - but this set, with an orchestra, relies on great melodies subtle enough not to really need said orchestra at all. It is a grand spectacle which actually withholds most of the spectacle in question, and as my exposure to These New Puritans’ uber-blowout at the Barbican in October is still fresh in my mind, I could do with it being more bombastic, frankly. The closing Captain Hook does, however, come very close. It’s splendid.
Dean & Britta - Messrs Wareham and Phillips serve up a bitesize chunk of what’s to come later in the microscopic acoustic tent, acheingly fragile as usual, the sound of an old guy getting irrevocably older. They finish with Snowstorm and I’m devastated beyond all rhyme, beyond all reason. I need something to compose myself…
Fleet Foxes - That’ll do. The most boring live band in the world. Good tunes and all just… not for anyone with a pulse. Too harsh? I’m composed again. Before everything is launched, inevitably, helplessly straight back up into the smoking industrial skyline.
Mercury Rev performing Deserter’s Songs - Jesus. H. Fucking. Christ. You know what? I’m still getting shivers just thinking about Jonathan Donahue appearing through a fog of smoke and his band calmly opening with Holes, wraiths of the dry ice hanging in suspended animation over the front rows of the theatre, searchlights swimming into my eyes so that I can’t see anything properly. Righteous. I’m in a daze. It’s dark. Man Utd have been thrashed. Truth wins.
Dean Wareham plays Galaxie 500 - A friend once gave me Today on vinyl. He told me it was his favourite album by his favourite band, in the process making this one-sided trade an act of true virtue, true selflessness. I was aware of On Fire before that, but hadn’t really considered G-500 to be the kind of platform to invoke fanaticism. Over the next few months, I came to realise that I was dead wrong. This show seems like a natural culmination of cumulative attention and allowing tunes to seep under my skin. G-500’s astounding repertoire of songs seem to be given new life by Dean’s social autism, his reticence, but most of all his sense of fun, buried underneath all the necessary hubris (I don’t mean that pejoratively), there for one to work at tracing if one so feels. The rapturous (and now significantly expanded) cult are experiencing this, most for the first time, with due deference. There’s magic in the still air tonight.
Jon Spencer Blues Explosion - Life is about opposites. And this might just (just) be the first time I ever saw a band with such natural, experimental intensity whilst still channeling the true spirit of the blues and thought… nearly… who needs Mr White, anymore?
Who’s afraid of a spirit with the blues for bones…?
Darkstar - Darkstar have evolved with unnatural speed, from the meticulous, slightly withdrawn outfit that I saw bravely supporting at the aforementioned These New Puritans orchestral indulgance last year. This is not about sparse Ladytron-like mathematics. This is not about the space between the beats, as previously. This is about nastiness, aggressiveness, machismo and the mutation of brilliant, plaintive tunes into frightening alpha male chunks of overbearing noise. This version of Gold, especially, pisses on their studio work, encouraging different reasons, paths and perceptions - and this diversity makes them necessary. Hyperdub win, wholly, again.
DJ Shadow - Neatly sidestepping the inevitable smugfest of Animal Collective, I stagger into a much more visceral world of visual overload. I’m surprised how much the reworked versions of Building Steam With a Grain of Salt and, especially, Stem/Long Stem, mean to me. I like Endtroducing. Very much. But this is it’s - and Shadow’s - natural habitat. Endless energy, deep into the night. Release demons.
Kode9 & The Spaceape - Except there’s no fucking Spaceape! It is, then, a standard Kode9 set of creepily tight dubstep. But that’s just it. No tunes off Memories of the Future. Nothing off Black Sun. Just me being dumped into a state of disillusionment when my relentless fever dreams of what a Kode9 & Spaceape set must actually be like promptly evaporated. An odd end to proceedings, on a very slightly sad note.
The next day I go to the Spanish architectural equivalent of Main Street: Disneyland in Poble Espanyol to put this right with a second dose of Mercury Rev, the second dose of Deserter’s Songs. Righting wrongs? This fights them, sucks them out, disintegrates them, cuts me up and reassembles me. This is truly how to finish things; the scripting would be dismissed as too toe-curlingly sweet, too corny. This was the only way to depart a very, very close challenger to the unreal, unrelenting bill that Prima assembled in 2007. Magic happens.