Thursday, March 23, 2017

Live: Blonde Redhead @ Gagarin 205 (Athens, March 19th, 2017)

Thankfully this time we didn’t have to wait 10 years for Blonde Redhead’s return to Athens, as it was the case between their first gig at Gagarin 205 way back in the spring of 2005 and their return in March 2015.

In the two years since their previous gig, the only new material from the band came just a few days ago with the release of the four-song EP "3 O'Clock", which they played in its entirety. The rest of Blonde Redhead’s 90-minute set was comprised with selections from their back catalogue, mainly from "Misery Is a Butterfly" και "23", perhaps their two best albums to date. Despite the recent re-release of their first two albums as part of the "Masculin Feminin" compilation, the band chose not to revisit its '90s noise-rock days and the only representation of this period came early in the set with an excellent rendition of "Bipolar" off "Fake Can Be Just as Good", their third album which recently turned 20.

Apart from the four songs off the new EP, which admittedly does not find the band in its best form, the other recent material that Blonde Redhead played were "Mind to Be Had" and "Drippin", two of the most upbeat songs off their 2014 LP "Barragán", for which Kazu Makino abandoned her guitar and started a little dance over her keyboards.

The highlights of the set, apart from the already mentioned "Bipolar", included also "Falling Man", "Elephant Woman", "Dr. Strangeluv", "Spring and by Summer Fall" and the anthemic "23" which came near the end of the three-song encore. The finale of the show came in the hushed reverie created by the atmospheric "Golden Light", a serene ending to a night of many electric delights which certainly satisfied the faithful fans of Kazu Makino and the Pace brothers.

The evening started with a set from Jack Heart and his band who presented his new album "Emotional Piñata". Unfortunately Sunday’s football derby did not allow us to be at the club early enough to catch all of his set, but the two songs we did hear, sounded very promising indeed. We’ll certainly try to see him again at the next available opportunity.

Jack Heart, live @ Gagarin 205

Check out below two songs from Blonde Redhead's live set at Gagarin 205, the new track "3 O'Clock" and the classic "23":

Blonde Redhead - 3 O'Clock (live in Athens)

Blonde Redhead - 23 (live in Athens)

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

The 7s, part 4: 1997

Since the beginning of the year, we have been revisiting some of our favorite albums and songs released in previous years ending in 7. So far we’ve listened to the punk sounds of 1977, the UK indie scene of 1987, as represented by the recent Cherry Red compilation C87, and the wonderful guitar noise emanating from the US underground of the same year

In the 4th part of this series, we are going twenty years back to 1997, a year that gave us plenty of great albums by the likes of Pavement, Spiritualized, Blur, The Verve, The Dandy Warhols, Cornershop, Wu-Tang Clan, Prodigy, Portishead, Foo Fighters to name just a few of the year’s high profile and critically acclaimed releases.

The seven albums that we have chosen to represent 1997 in this feature, include a few releases that have gained cult status over the years as the prestige of their creators has risen with each subsequent release, along with some more obscure choices which are just as dear to us and we think more people need to discover. In the first category there is Sleater-Kinney, Modest Mouse and Built To Spill, three of the greatest US rock bands to come from the Pacific Northwest really hitting their stride with their 1997 releases, and in the second there is the last ever albums in the brief but excellent discography of '90s cult heroes Helium and The Geraldine Fibbers, plus a couple of outstanding records by Swell and Prolapse, who were also at their very best around that time. Have a listen to the indie sound of 1997


Turn It On

The Lonesome Crowded West - MODEST MOUSE

Heart Cooks Brain

Perfect From Now On - BUILT TO SPILL

I Would Hurt A Fly

The Magic City - HELIUM

Leon's Space Song


California Tuffy

Too Many Days Without Thinking - SWELL

(I Know) The Trip

The Italian Flag - PROLAPSE