Saturday, April 19, 2008

Old folks vs. Young folks

Here in Cool Music Central we equally care about the old and young folks and we like talkin' about the old and young styles alike. So, starting with the old folks, I am delighted to agree with the favorable reviews that R.E.M.'s politically charged "Accelerate" is receiving, which is definitely their best since "New Adventures in Hi-Fi" from 1996. Recently we also had great new albums from Nick Cave (the renaissance that started with "Abattoir Blues" and Grinderman continues with "Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!!"), Bob Mould ("District Line" is his best solo album since 1998's "The Last Dog and Pony Show"), American Music Club ("The Golden Age"), Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks ("Real Emotional Trash") and The Gutter Twins ("Saturnalia") where Greg Dulli and Mark Lanegan combined forces to amazing effect. The only disappointment from the old folks camp came from The Breeders. Their previous effort, 2002's "Title TK" was in the top-10 of that year, unfortunately the 3 or 4 great tracks in "Mountain battles" cannot produce a similar result.

Moving on with the young folks, there's a trio of new British bands with recently released debuts that I'd like to rave about. First, there's These New Puritans (see previous post) with the amazing "Beat Pyramid", an album that as the title suggests is filled with monumental post-punk beat constructions. Then, there's Blood Red Shoes from Brighton, a guitar & drums duo (sounds familiar?) who after a string of great singles ("It's getting boring by the sea", "I wish I was someone better", "You bring me down") finally release their much anticipated debut "Box Of Secrets" that should deservedly introduce them to a wider audience. And last but not least we have Foals from Oxford, led by Yannis Philippakis (born in the Aegian island of Karpathos), who make math exciting even for non-mathematical minds (if we accept the rather ridiculous term "math-rock" frequently used by the press to describe their sound). "Antidotes" is just what the doctor ordered to give dance-punk a new leash on life after many abuses in recent years. Add to the three UK bands' efforts those of New York newcomers Vampire Weekend, MGMT, A Place To Bury Strangers ("Vampire Weekend", "Oracular Spectacular" and "A Place To Bury Strangers" their corresponding excellent debuts) plus the sophomore releases by Minneapolis' Tapes 'N Tapes ("Walk It Off") and Nashville's Be Your Own Pet ("Get Awkward") that fulfill the promises made on their first albums, and the young folks styles look set to make 2008 an aurally spectacular year!

Red Socks Pugie - Foals

Swords of Truth

These New Puritans from Southend, UK recently released the amazing "Beat Pyramid" LP on Domino, one of the best debuts of 2008 so far. Post-punk with electro beats, kind of like The Fall meeting Wu-Tang Clan in a rave. Check out the video for "Swords of truth", the follow up single to the equally awesome "Elvis".

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Black Lips - Gagarin 205 Live (10/4/2008)

Thanks to a brave but commercially suicidal promoter we got to see the Black Lips in Athens at the right moment. After last year's release of their excellent fourth album "Good Bad Not Evil" the Atlanta, Georgia band find themselves at the best point in their career so far. But the thing is that new rock bands cannot easily find an audience in Greece and the few that does pay us a visit usually face half-empty clubs. This was also the case here, but thankfully the rather small crowd was loud and overly enthusiastic, creating the necessary party atmosphere for a good garage punk show. The Black Lips responded with a frantic 90 minutes high-octane set connecting the dots from Chuck Berry to The 13th Floor Elevators, with highlights including "Bad Kids", "Cold Hands" and "O Katrina!". Top marks also to Jared's moustache, the craziest 'tache in rock since Greg Norton (Husker Du bassist, ask your dad kids)!

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Best of the Month - 03.2008

Favourite albums and songs for March:

Top 10 Albums
1. Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!! - NICK CAVE AND THE BAD SEEDS
2. Saturnalia - THE GUTTER TWINS
3. A Place To Bury Strangers - A PLACE TO BURY STRANGERS
4. Get Awkward - BE YOUR OWN PET
5. Vampire Weekend - VAMPIRE WEEKEND
7. District Line - BOB MOULD
8. Do You Like Rock Music? - BRITISH SEA POWER
9. Random Spirit Lover - SUNSET RUBDOWN
10. Person Pitch - PANDA BEAR
Top 20 Tracks
1. Lie down here (& be my girl) - NICK CAVE AND THE BAD SEEDS
2. All misery / flowers - THE GUTTER TWINS
3. The step and the walk - THE DUKE SPIRIT
4. You bring me down - BLOOD RED SHOES
5. Just a song about ping pong - OPERATOR PLEASE
6. Cassius - FOALS
7. To fix the gash in your head - A PLACE TO BURY STRANGERS
8. Deep, deep - HAVE A NICE LIFE
9. Machine gun - PORTISHEAD
10. Time to pretend - MGMT
11. Oxford comma - VAMPIRE WEEKEND
12. In a cave - TOKYO POLICE CLUB
13. Creepy crawl - BE YOUR OWN PET
14. Thirteen walls - BLACK MOUNTAIN
15. Windows on the world - AMERICAN MUSIC CLUB
16. The taming of the hands that came back to life - SUNSET RUBDOWN
17. Vanished - CRYSTAL CASTLES
18. Goodbye service - SONS AND DAUGHTERS
19. Stupid now - BOB MOULD
20. Waving flags - BRITISH SEA POWER