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I went out last night and saw a band
  • Whoah, pretty good set list there, Nick!

    I guess I’m surprised that they ended with “Electric Dreams”—I got the 12” last year at the op shop, so I guess that probably indicates some level of popularity but it still seems a bit of an obscurity to me. Giorgio Moroder had some interesting collaborations in the 80s.

  • I think Mirror Man and Seconds were the highlights for me, but apart from a couple of choices it was basically wall-to-wall classics all night.

    Both the encore songs are from Oakey’s Giorgio Moroder collaboration actually!

  • Good times this weekend were had at the Xylouris/White show. Got to hang out with KDSB and Dan, which is always nice.

    It was an amazing crowd, with middle aged bookish nerds melting into greeks dancing arms aloft (Melbourne has the biggest greek population of any city outside of greece) and then also your garden-variety tight pants/beard/glasses Brunswick native. In addition to records and t-shirts, the merch table was also selling aromatic prayer beads.

    I would describe this music as a polyrhythmic lute hoedown with distorted electric lute. Pretty gnarly stuff (in a good way) and drawn out to over 2 hours of music.

  • Two hours! Wow! I wasn’t planning to go and see Gy!BE in April, but bought a ticket immediately upon learning that Xylouris White would be opening for them - especially stoked as they were playing in Karlsruhe in December (an hour’s drive from here) and I wasn’t able to go at the time.

    2015 in shows is off to a good start - Jozef Van Wissem played a beautiful (sold-out!) set in the auditorium of a suburban library last night, and next week I get to suck up my dislike of the “band plays an old album in full” concept, because in that case the band in question is Lambchop.

  • Yeah, I guess Lambchop can get away with it! I see they are touring Nixon now; so maybe they’ll do Is a Woman next? I wish, anyway!

    I saw Low last weekend. It was somehow quite an emotionally overwhelming experience for me - I was pretty exhausted anyway, and the experience of going to a concert on my own for the first time in a long time brought up all sorts of memories, and it felt a bit weird. I did think they were quite excellent, though!

  • Next to Danzig in ‘93, missing Jozef Van Wissem at the art gallery down the street is one of my most regretted musical misses.

    Also, Low rules. I haven’t seen them since I moved away from Minneapolis but hopefully they’ll make it to Australia in the near future.

  • I can’t tell for sure because it’s a low-def wide shot, but the band picture from Bordeaux that Lambchop just posted on their Facebook suggests William Tyler is with them this time around - exciting!

    Glad Low were excellent!

  • Just got tickets to see Courtney Barnett at the Concorde 2 here in Brighton next month, with one of my oldest friends too. Nice.

  • Next weekend we’re seeing Rainer Maria (whut) and Sleater-Kinney (also whut, tho I really didn’t think I’d ever get a chance to see Rainer Maria). It’s going to be a good weekend for seeing awesome bands with awesome ladies in them.

    Also, a pretty crazy weekend because we’ll be going down to Chicago Friday with the RM show on Saturday and then back to Milwaukee for S-K on Sunday. Okay maybe not that crazy but for me that’s pretty intense

  • On Saturday I went out to a local metal show, which is something I haven’t done since I lived in Minnesota. The opening band Amaros (named after the delicious italian liqueurs?) was the platonic ideal of “local metal band”, with individuals wearing cargo shorts and baggy t-shirts playing alternatingly moshy/”brutal” and fast parts with high-pitched snarls. The crowd was addressed in death metal english. Over the course of the evening there was also black metal played by shirtless men, swedish death metal played by shirtless men, and a terrible suburban Avenged Sevenfold rip-off (wearing shirts, mercifully).

    The suburban metal-core people were billed as the headliners, but played second to last for some reason. They even managed to play an encore while there was still another band to go (the band that I was there to see, coincidentally). This struck me being in poor form.

    Finally, at the stroke of midnight the band I was there to see took the stage, Aquilius. I tend to see them referenced as “atmospheric metal”, and they seem to share some similarities with mid-period Opeth (minus the clean vocals) and have some of the post-rock qualities of Agalloch but with a more symphonic sound. My senses were enlivened by frankincense candles placed around the stage so I was able to log some aromatherapy time while also being crushed by wicked riffs and tormented screaming. Seconds after the last note was played I headed out the door and ran two blocks to chase down the last tram down Brunswick street back to St Kilda.

    Now that I’ve been to a few Aussie metal shows I think the main difference is that you are able to drink wine at a metal show in Australia without being ridiculed. The black metal band even brought a bottle on stage and the singer guzzled it and poured it all over his face, which struck me as strangely appropriate for the genre. Wine: an underrated black metal beverage.

    Then yesterday I saw The Church at the St Kilda festival with 20,000 bored teenagers waiting to see a hip hop group from the hard streets of exurban Sydney.

  • Lydia Loveless


    Also, Rainer Maria are back together? How did I miss this?

  • Yup! They played in NYC on NYE and then announced a Chicago date.

  • I wanna see Lydia Loveless.

  • You really should. She was so good.

    Best stage banter of the night: “This next song is a new one. It was co-written by Tom Petty.”

    Re: Rainer Maria, are they just doing a handful of shows or are there plans for a more extensive reunion? There isn’t much info at their site at the moment.

  • As far as I know it’s just a handful of shows. I haven’t heard anything more.

  • Courtney Barnett was pretty good! A good atmosphere and all the songs you want to hear. No encore either, just rattled through everything and off.

    Just picked up two tickets for me and my brother to see Luna on what they say is their farewell tour.

  • I’m seeing her this summer but mostly because Darren Hanlon’s opening. I am super psyched about that show.

  • We had two supports, but not him. I think I missed them both actually, so I’m not completely sure, but the name doesn’t sound familiar.

  • Darren Hanlon is a witty folk-pop dude (with some twee tendencies) whose records are released by Yep Roc here in the States. He’s another Aussie, so it makes sense them touring together.

  • I’ve seen her twice, once was fantastic, the other time was also pretty good.

  • Yes, I just checked and it was Fraser A.Gorman here, as well as Spring King, who are getting a bit of radio play now I notice.

  • I actually wouldn’t know a Courtney Barnett song if I tripped over it. She seems to be more popular in the US than Australia. Ditto Darren Hanlon, although he was popular here in the early 00s when nobody had heard of him anywhere else. I saw him a couple of times supporting other people. Does he play Falling Aeroplanes? That was a big radio hit back in the day.

  • She’s pretty popular in Melbourne—sold out the Corner 5 nights in a row or something.

  • I saw her album in the best sellers at JB and I checked the national album chart and it’s there, too. I think my assumption was a bit off. I mean she may well may more popular in the US, but not unpopular here as I was implying.

  • Steve Gunn in Saarbrücken, backed by a bass player and a drummer, was well worth the trip and late return yesterday; I also really, really like openers Mary Lattimore & Jeff Zeigler, a harp and synths duo who made music that sounded like the soundtrack to driving to your great uncle’s funeral in Norway (I mean that in a good way)

  • I really liked that Steve Gunn record from last year.

  • Darren Hanlon was super charming as Courtney Barnett’s opener but his set was only about 30 minutes long, which I was bummed about, having dedicated 3 hours in the car to see it. But nonetheless I’m glad I did, because I might not get the chance again. It was just him & his guitar, which was nice, unadulterated, etc, but damn, his last album was a huge deal for me and what I wouldn’t give to see it performed live with a full band.

  • nickinko said: Just picked up two tickets for me and my brother to see Luna on what they say is their farewell tour.

    Bummer. I’m going to have to cancel on this. Not looking forward to telling my bro. Basically, I have to work away for a fortnight at that time.

  • I saw Godspeed You Black Emperor and Xylouris White last night and it was pretty awesome.

  • I saw the Mountain Goats (solo) last night. It was fine.

  • Only fine?

  • Yeah. I mostly blame my own cynicism, though. I was pretty amped up for it because solo! Who knows what he’ll play! But it was still mostly (relatively) new stuff. There was Grendel’s Mother and There Will Be No Divorce and Death Metal and that was it for pre-4AD, and a few Tallahassee songs, and about 75% of the set was Sunset Tree and later, which is where I sorta fell off the wagon, discography-wise. To be fair, there was some stuff, like a Beat the Champ outtake and Thank You Mario that are kind of off-the-beaten-path in the context of current tMG, which probably made a lot of people feel the way I’d have felt hearing Terror Song or Going to San Diego or something. It just bums me out that I don’t care about these songs like I do/did the old stuff, which is obviously not the fault of the songs, but more me being a cranky old man. And I mean, it was still a lot of fun, but there were just some aspects… the between song banter was more rehearsed-monologue than actual banter, for example… that made it feel like I was just watching a guy doing his job (granted, a guy who appears to really enjoy doing his job), rather than like, sharing an experience with an artist or whatever corny nonsense.

  • I saw C86 jangly indiepop legends, the June Brides last night, along with about 30 other people at a tiny venue in Brighton. They were fantastic, shredding away like David Gedge and replete with violin and trumpet too. They opened with The Instrumental and played a fairly short set including This Town, Every Conversation, I Fall, Sick Tired and Drunk, Better Days, She Seems Quite Free and Cold before a rousing finale of In The Rain. They then just about found the space to all get off stage and shuffle back on again for an encore of Heard You Whisper. I wouldn’t have minded a few more old favourites but overall it was good stuff.

    Next up Robyn Hitchcock next month, and then, ahem, ABC in November.

  • I saw my longtime favorite band The Handsome Family in Frankfurt on Saturday, in an oddly night-club-like venue near the soulless, skyscraper-filled city centre, for the first time after my first encounters with them in Ireland twelve years ago. It was like seeing old friends, except that you’re too shy to even say hello to them. They told stories about the astonishing success rate of bank robbers in New Mexico, the need for more human-pigeon marriages, hallucinating deadly fights in motel rooms, and the “American experience of shooting each other on Christmas day”. I laughed and laughed, and also cried a bit during a beautiful rendition of “Tesla’s Hotel Room’.

    Earlier in the week I saw the Notwist, because why not see The Notwist when they are in my town, I figured, but ultimately they ended up being more than a “why not” proposition and played a surprisingly intense set featuring a lot of Neon Golden material (the first encore consisting of a medley of “Neon Golden” and “Pilot” stretched past the fifteen-minute mark). They had two percussionists in addition to their (excellent) drummer on a number of songs; they were equally good at shredding and launching into entrancing grooves. Minor complaint: it’s a shame that they had to finish with “Gone Gone Gone”, a particularly boring song - especially after “Consequence”.

  • I saw the Notwist after Neon Golden came out and they were fantastic. “Pilot” was much the same as your experience, only minus the medley. I wish they would tour more.

  • Dungen were so great last night. just pure joy watching them play. is there a better rhythm section than Johan and Mattias right now? i am not sure, but i’d say it’s doubtful. the only slight downer was Reine’s guitar tone wasn’t quite as strong as i was hoping, and he expressed dissatisfaction at his Marshall amp.

    if they are hitting your town, go see them!

  • I have tickets to see Stars Of The Lid later in the year, at a chirch here in Brighton. Speechless with excitement.

  • Holy fuck you guys Refrigerator is playing here in a couple weeks.

  • Refrigerator was great and featured an impromptu conga line!

  • so i got to see Sleep play a show in Reykjavik.

    that was cool.

  • Just got tickets to see Kristin Hersh here in Brighton in November.

  • here is a vid i shot of “Holy Mountain” if anyone is interested: