Sunday, December 25, 2016

Top 50 Tracks of 2016


It's that time of the year again! The festive season is upon us, and despite what we might think or feel about 2016, we are seeing it off with a selection of some of the best music released in the last 12 months. For starters, we present today our own version of the Festive 50, 50 great tracks representing stand out moments from some of the albums we've enjoyed the most during 2016, plus a few selections taken from stand-alone single or EP releases. As usual, we are including only one track from each artist or band, so that we can fit in as many releases as possible.

The top position of our favorite tracks list belongs to Angel Olsen with her impossible to say no command "Shut Up Kiss Me",  the astonishing, grungy power-pop single off her excellent fourth album "My Woman", one of the best examples of the reinvention of her sound which keeps the delicate melodies of folk music, but adds plentiful rock energy that lets the sparks fly on tracks like this one.

Here is the complete list of our Top 50 Tracks of 2016, which you can also stream on Spotify:

1. Shut Up Kiss Me - ANGEL OLSEN



2. The Wheel - PJ HARVEY



3. Fill in the Blank - CAR SEAT HEADREST



4. Human Performance - PARQUET COURTS


5. Florian Saucer Attack - BLACK MOUNTAIN



6. Under the Sun - DIIV



7. New Song - WARPAINT



8. I Sing in Silence - GOAT


9. Lazarus - DAVID BOWIE



10. Jesus Alone - NICK CAVE AND THE BAD SEEDS



11. When Will I Return? - SWANS
12. Bath White - 50 FOOT WAVE
13. Sad Person - SAVAGES
14. Wedding - POLIÇA
15. Burn the Witch - RADIOHEAD
16. No Care - DAUGHTER
17. Chasing The Tail Of A Dream - THE CORAL
18. Tiny - DINOSAUR JR.
19. I’m Done - THE JULIE RUIN
20. Wise Ol’ Man - THE FALL
21. Sun City Creeps - WOODS
22. Were We Once Lovers? - TINDERSTICKS
23. Soma Gone Slapstick - KRISTIN HERSH
24. Sunday Love - BAT FOR LASHES
25. Dial Me In - FACTORY FLOOR
26. I Exhale - UNDERWORLD
27. We the People... - A TRIBE CALLED QUEST
28. Where the Lights Gets In - PRIMAL SCREAM
29. Aviation - THE LAST SHADOW PUPPETS
30. I'm In Love - TEENAGE FANCLUB
31. On the Lips - FRANKIE COSMOS
32. Be Apart - PORCHES
33. Brainwasher - AUTOLUX
34. La Distinción - LORELLE MEETS THE OBSOLETE
35. Janie In Love - MARISSA NADLER
36. Sweetest Girl - ELEANOR FRIEDBERGER
37. Let Me Get There - HOPE SANDOVAL AND THE WARM INVENTIONS
38. The Spoils - MASSIVE ATTACK
39. Doing It to Death - THE KILLS
40. The Bridge - SAUNA YOUTH
41. Kiss Me When I Bleed - WHITE LUNG
42. Candy Sam - TY SEGALL
43. Oblivious - THE STROKES
44. Death Note - SPEEDY ORTIZ (mp3)
45. Golden Gal - ANIMAL COLLECTIVE
46. On My Heart - SCHOOL OF SEVEN BELLS
47. X-Communicate - KRISTIN KONTROL
48. Reichpop - WILD NOTHING
49. Your Best American Girl - MITSKI 
50. Late 20s - BEST COAST


Sunday, December 18, 2016

Listening Habits 10-12.2016

Less than two weeks left on 2016’s calendar and before we get into the business of presenting our favorites for this year, let’s have a look at the albums and tracks that earned the most spins and, of course, our appreciation over the last three months.

At the top of the list of our favorite albums of the last quarter of the year you’ll find Warpaint’s third LP, "Heads Up", their most dance-influenced release so far. The quartet retains the atmospheric, fluent melody that characterizes its post-punk rooted sound, but adds more dub and hip-hop influenced grooves to the rhythm, resulting in some of the brightest, dance-oriented pop songs of their career, like the infectious "New Song" or the exquisite "White Out".

Equally majestic is "Requiem", the third and most accomplished album by the always enigmatic Goat. The Swedish group’s experimental fusion of psychedelic rock and world music is challenging and astonishingly beautiful, resulting in a unique, hour-long listening experience that you must not miss.

Other great releases we’ve enjoyed over the last three months include the return of '90s hip-hop legends A Tribe Called Quest with their first LP in 18 years "We Got It from Here... Thank You 4 Your Service" (as good as anything they released in their heyday), the psych-rock gem "A Weird Exits", one of the best additions into the long and ever-expanding discography of Thee Oh Sees, and, of course, the return of two of C.M.C.’s all-time favorite artists, Kristin Hersh with the double cd and book "Wyatt At The Coyote Palace" and Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds with the haunting "Skeleton Tree".

Here are C.M.C.’s 20 favorite albums for October - December 2016 and 20 excellent tracks to add to the year’s "Best Of" playlist:

Top 20 Albums

1.  Heads Up - WARPAINT
2.  Requiem - GOAT
3.  We Got It From Here... Thank You 4 Your Service - A TRIBE CALLED QUEST
4.  A Weird Exits - THEE OH SEES
5.  Wyatt At The Coyote Palace - KRISTIN HERSH
6.  Skeleton Tree - NICK CAVE AND THE BAD SEEDS
7.  Heart Like A Levee - HISS GOLDEN MESSENGER
8.  Case/Lang/Veirs - CASE/LANG/VEIRS
9.  Inner Journey Out - PSYCHIC ILLS
10. Until The Hunter - HOPE SANDOVAL AND THE WARM INVENTIONS
11. Slugger - SAD13
12. Babes Never Die - HONEYBLOOD
13. Here - TEENAGE FANCLUB
14. Head Carrier - PIXIES
15. Meet The Humans - STEVE MASON
16. FLOTUS - LAMBCHOP
17. Balance - LORELLE MEETS THE OBSOLETE
18. Monographic - THE OSCILLATION
19. Malamore - THE LIMIÑANAS
20. Mystère - LA FEMME

Top 20 Tracks

1.  Jesus Alone - NICK CAVE AND THE BAD SEEDS
2.  Soma Gone Slapstick - KRISTIN HERSH
3.  I Sing in Silence - GOAT
4.  New Song - WARPAINT
5.  We The People.... - A TRIBE CALLED QUEST
6.  Tell Her I'm Just Dancing - HISS GOLDEN MESSENGER
7.  Georgia Stars - CASE/LANG/VEIRS
8.  I'm In Love - TEENAGE FANCLUB
9.  Plastic Plant - THEE OH SEES
10. Mixed Up Mind - PSYCHIC ILLS
11. La Distinción - LORELLE MEETS THE OBSOLETE
12. Let Me Get There - HOPE SANDOVAL AND THE WARM INVENTIONS
13. The Hustle - LAMBCHOP
14. Words In My Head - STEVE MASON
15. Get a Yes - SAD13
16. Sea Hearts - HONEYBLOOD
17. Tenement Song - PIXIES
18. The Dead Are Walking - THE LIMIÑANAS
19. Mycose - LA FEMME
20. Monographic - THE OSCILLATION



Warpaint - New Song

Monday, December 12, 2016

Live: Europavox Festival with The Limiñanas, The Oscillation, The Noise Figures, The Third Sound (Athens, Dec. 10th, 2016)

The Limiñanas, live @ Europavox Festival, Fuzz Club, Athens
Europavox Festival, a project dedicated to the promotion of European musical diversity which started in 2006, opened its doors for the first time in Athens last Saturday, with an event held at Fuzz Club, featuring The Limiñanas from France, The Oscillation from the UK, The Noise Figures from Greece and the Berlin-based The Third Sound, the band formed by Hákon Aðalsteinsson, formerly of Icelandic band Singapore Sling.

The Limiñanas
The Limiñanas, the headliners of this mini festival, played an excellent 70-minute set filled with infectious, '60s-influenced psych and garage pop melodies.


The band from Cabestany, in the south of France, presented tracks from their recent album "Malamore", as well as older material, which showed us how the language-barrier can be easily broken down by the power of good, old rock’n’roll. Their songs, sung in French and English by either Marie or Lio Limiñana, the group’s creative core, are driven by buzzing garage-rock guitar lines and simple, yet highly-effective, drum rhythms. The Limiñanas’ rock energy and good vibes didn’t take too long to spread from the band to the audience, who showed their appreciation to both new and old material; the perfect ending for a fine night of rock music from all corners of the European map!

Marie and Lio Limiñana
Earlier in the evening we also enjoyed The Oscillation’s krautrock-influenced, psychedelic sound, The Noise Figures explosive, garage-blues rooted, guitar & drums workout, and The Third Sound’s mix of psych-rock and post-punk.

The Oscillation, live @ Europavox Festival, Fuzz Club, Athens
The Noise Figures, live @ Europavox Festival, Fuzz Club, Athens
The Third Sound, live @ Europavox Festival, Fuzz Club, Athens
The Oscillation, the band formed by Demian Castellanos almost 10 years ago in Walthamstow, presented their latest album "Monographic", which sounded even better live, with the motorik drum beat adding more drive to their fuzzy guitar sound. The Noise Figures, the representatives of the local rock scene, seem to be getting better and better each time we cross paths, and this was definitely the best show we have witnessed by them so far, while The Third Sound kicked off proceeding by spreading their dark "Gospels of Degeneration".

The Limiñanas

The Oscillation
The Noise Figures
The Third Sound
Check out below The Limiñanas playing "Funeral Baby", as well as highlights from the performances of The Oscillation, The Noise Figures and The Third Sound at the Athens edition of Europavox Festival:

The Limiñanas - Funeral Baby (live in Athens @ Europavox Festival)

The Oscillation - Take Us to the Moon (live in Athens @ Europavox Festival)

The Noise Figures - In The Boneyard (live in Athens @ Europavox Festival)

The Third Sound (live in Athens @ Europavox Festival)

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Live: Plisskën Festival 2016 (Athens, December 2-3, 2016) - Day 2 highlights

Sights and sounds from the second day of the Winter 2016 edition of Plisskën Festival:

La Femme, live @ Plisskën Festival 2016

Saturday, December 3rd


Forest Swords, live @ Plisskën Festival 2016
Even more electronic beats with quite a variety of moods and bpm on the festival’s main stage, ranging from the up-tempo party bangers of The Vatican Shadow to the dark, experimental sounds of Death In Vegas. Our favorite electronic performance of the day came from Forest Swords, a journey into atmospheric, dub-influenced sounds created by Matthew Barnes with the help of a bass player.

Forest Swords, live @ Plisskën Festival 2016
Death In Vegas, live @ Plisskën Festival 2016
However the unexpected protagonists of the festival’s second day were La Femme, the French electropop punks, who played for the first time in Athens and won the audience over with their energetic, fun performance.

La Femme, live @ Plisskën Festival 2016
La Femme introduced us to their recently released second album "Mystere", without omitting some of the highlights from their 2013 debut "Psycho Tropical Berlin".


Their sound mixes new wave, synth pop, yé-yé, psychedelic and surf-rock elements, with the synthesizer being their instrument of choice (no less than four were present on stage). They performed their songs with punk rock urgency, sometimes bringing to mind the energy of Plastic Bertrand’s classic pop-punk hit "Ça Plane Pour Moi". The melodic nature of La Femme's music remained intact despite the frenzy of their performance and their contagious fun created a party atmosphere in the venue, earning them quite a lot of new fans in the process.


Check out below La Femme performing "Si Un Jour" and "Sur La Planche 2013" , Forest Swords in "Miarches" and Death In Vegas in "Blood Yawning" from their sets on the main stage of Plisskën Festival 2016:

La Femme - Si Un Jour / Sur La Planche 2013 (live @ Winter Plissken Festival 2016, Athens)

Forest Swords - Miarches (live @ Winter Plissken Festival 2016, Athens)

Death in Vegas - Blood Yawning (live @ Winter Plissken Festival 2016, Athens)

Click here for our coverage of the first day of the festival.

Monday, December 05, 2016

Live: Plisskën Festival 2016 (Athens, December 2-3, 2016) - Day 1 highlights

The Winter 2016 edition of Plisskën Festival offered us two nights of eclectic sounds across four stages, with a line up consisting mostly of artists coming from the left-field of electronic music, mixing it up with a few representatives from the rock and hip hop world. On the open-air Republic stage (a peculiar choice for a winter festival) local artists braved the night chill to present their latest music creations, while two more stages, Aquarium and Tunnel, hosted DJ sets and live electronic and dance music.

Tuxedomoon, live @ Plisskën Festival 2016
Cool Music Central was at Piraeus 117 Academy, the club hosting the main stage of the festival, on Friday and Saturday and brings you sights and sounds from our favorite performances. Here's what we saw on the first day of Plisskën 2016:

Friday, December 2nd



Tuxedomoon, the legendary experimental rock band that formed in San Francisco in the late '70s, headlined the first day of the festival and gave one of the best performances we saw on the main stage of Plisskën.


In the first half of their 90-minute set the band presented their 1980 debut album "Half-Mute" in full. The adventurous sound of Tuxedomoon's early work has stood the test of time well and 36 years later their mix of electronic music, jazz and post-punk retains its cutting-edge feel. Next to the songs from "Half-Mute" we also got to listen to a few other classics from the same era including "East" and "Jinx" from their sophomore LP "Desire" (here’s another stellar album that we’d love to see performed live in full), and a few obscure jems like "This Beast", the B-side from their 1983 EP "Short Stories".


Early in the afternoon Psychic Ills was the opening act on Plisskën’s main stage. The psychedelic rock sound of the New York band did not fit in too well with the rest of the first day’s line up and perhaps this was the reason that they didn’t attract a bigger crowd. However the band on its second visit to Athens (check out here our impressions from their live debut) gave a solid hour-long performance, presenting songs mostly from its latest album "Inner Journey Out", plus a few choice cuts from the recent past.

 
Psychic Ills, live @ Plisskën Festival 2016
In between Psychic Ills and Tuxedomoon the festival’s main stage was filled with electronic and hip hop beats provided by (in order of appearance) The Four Owls, Zomby and Prefuse 73. A brief visit to the Republic stage gave us also the opportunity to enjoy the idiosyncratic baroque pop of Nalyssa Green and her band.

Prefuse 73, live @ Plisskën Festival 2016
Zomby, live @ Plisskën Festival 2016
The Four Owls, live @ Plisskën Festival 2016
Nalyssa Green, live @ Plisskën Festival 2016
Check out below Tuxedomoon performing "East" and "Jinx", one of our all-time favorite tracks, and Psychic Ills playing "Mixed Up Mind", one of the highlights of their latest album:

Tuxedomoon - East/Jinx (live @ Winter Plissken Festival 2016)

Psychic Ills - Mixed up Mind (live @ Winter Plissken Festival 2016)

Click here for our impressions from the second day of the festival.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

New Releases: November 2016

With just a month left on 2016's calendar, let's take a look at some of the most interesting new releases that November had to offer:

Albums

A Tribe Called Quest
A TRIBE CALLED QUEST - We Got It From Here... Thank You 4 Your Service
SAD13 - Slugger
HONEYBLOOD - Babes Never Die
HOPE SANDOVAL AND THE WARM INVENTIONS - Until the Hunter
LAMBCHOP - FLOTUS
JIM JAMES - Eternally Even
THEE OH SEES - An Odd Entrances
THE MEN - Devil Music
E - E
VIRGINIA WING - Forward Constant Motion
AUSTRA - Future Politics
ESBEN AND THE WITCH - Older Terrors
SLEIGH BELLS - Jessica Rabbit
ULRICH SCHNAUSS - No Further Ahead Than Today
THOUGHT FORMS - Songs About Drowning
TYVEK - Origin Of What
ONEIDA AND RHYS CHATHAM - What's Your Sign?
JAMES JOHNSTON - The Starless Room
HOWE GELB - Future Standards
PAPA M - Highway Songs
MANNEQUIN PUSSY - Romantic
UNIFORM - Ghosthouse
WOLF PEOPLE - Ruins
AMERICAN WRESTLERS - Goodbye Terrible Youth
THE WAVE PICTURES - Bamboo Diner In The Rain
BUBBLEGUM LEMONADE - The Great Leap Backward
THE PERFECT ENGLISH WEATHER - Isobar Blues
THE WHARVES - Electa
MICA LEVI AND OLIVER COATES - Remain Calm
DAVID BAZAN - Dark Sacred Night
HIS NAME IS ALIVE - Patterns of Light
BALTIC FLEET - The Dear One
JUSTICE - Woman
COMMON - Black America Again
EFTERKLANG / FUNDAL - Leaves: The Colour Of Falling (feat. The Happy Hopeless Orchestra)
MARTHA WAINWRIGHT - Goodnight City
THE HIDDEN CAMERAS - Home On Native Land
SEX SWING - Sex Swing
BODY / HEAD - No Waves
MIKE WATT - “Ring Spiel” Tour ’95

Singles & EPs

Goat Girl
GOAT GIRL - Country Sleaze / Scum
OUR GIRL - Normally EP
FORTH WANDERERS - Slop
STEVE GUNN - Ancient Jules
THE LAST SHADOW PUPPETS - The Dream Synopsis EP
FREAK PARTY featuring ANGIE BROWN - Firefly / You Can Drum But You Can't Hide
BLANCK MASS - D7 - D5
FLASHER - Flasher EP
ES - Object Relations EP
STEPHEN'S SHORE - Stephen's Shore
WILD DAUGHTER - Get Gone
ABATTOIR BLUES - Sense
BRYDE - EP2
IS BLISS - Velvet Dreams EP
THE SHACKS - The Shacks EP
THE HISTORY OF COLOUR TV - Wreck
GRIEF TOURIST - Strigoi
THE AR-KAICS - Just My Life / It's Her Eyes
BABA NAGA - Pina Krvy / DeificYen
DAVID BAZAN - Christmas Bonus EP
LAZY DAY - Disappear / All the Time
MASS DATURA - Feel Me Human
HELLO CASANOVA - I'll Be Waiting

Goat Girl - Country Sleaze

Sad13 - < 2

Sunday, November 06, 2016

It's Plisskën time again!


All has been quiet on the Athens live music front since the summer, but thankfully things are going to get loud again! We are less than a month away from the 2nd Winter edition of Plisskën Festival, one of the best live music events you can find in the Greek capital.

Last summer we enjoyed the 5th and most ambitious edition of the festival so far, featuring the likes of Savages, Waxahatchee, Sleaford Mods, ..And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead, Mudhoney, Thee Oh Sees (just to mention some of my favorites performances -  check them all out here and here).

This year, on December 2nd and 3rd, we are expecting to see over 40 international and local artists representing a broad spectrum of genres and styles, who will play on 4 stages in 3 different locations all dotted next to each-other, creating a street festival atmosphere.

Some of the names that stand out include Death In Vegas, Tuxedomoon who will be performing their classic debut "Half-Mute" in full, Prefuse 73, Zomby, La Femme and Psychic Ills. Check out the complete line-up below and visit plisskenfestival.gr for more details:



And here are videos for few of the songs we are hoping to enjoy live in less than four weeks:

Death In Vegas - Hands Around My Throat

Tuxedomoon - What Use? (live @ Les Ateliers Claus, Brussels, May 12th, 2016)

Psychic Ills - I Don't Mind (Feat. Hope Sandoval)

Sunday, October 30, 2016

New Releases: October 2016

Round-up of the most interesting albums, singles and EPs released in October 2016, featuring the excellent double CD and book "Wyatt At The Coyote Palace" by Kristin Hersh and Goat's third psych-folk opus "Requiem":

Albums

Wyatt At The Coyote Palace
KRISTIN HERSH - Wyatt At The Coyote Palace
GOAT - Requiem
BRIAN JONESTOWN MASSACRE - Third World Pyramid
HISS GOLDEN MESSENGER - Heart Like a Levee
JAGWAR MA - Every Now & Then
TOY - Clear Shot
CONOR OBERST - Ruminations
D D DUMBO - Utopia Defeated
LEMON TWIGS - Do Hollywood
THE RADIO DEPT. - Running out of Love
JOSEFIN OHRN + THE LIBERATION - Mirage
CRX - New Skin
MALE BONDING - Headache
CROCODILES - Dreamless
GURR - In My Head
SKINNY GIRL DIET - Heavy Flow
WEYES BLOOD - Front Row Seat to Earth
JOAN AS POLICE WOMAN - Let It Be You
TERRY MALTS - Lost At The Party
THE GROWLERS - City Club
EZTV - High in Place
SAVOY MOTEL - Savoy Motel
PURLING HISS - High Bias
MOTORAMA - Dialogues
HOOTON TENNIS CLUB - Big Box of Chocolates
SLOWS - Slows
THE BLUE ORCHIDS - The Once And Future Thing
THE POP GROUP - Honeymoon on Mars
AMERICAN FOOTBALL - American Football (LP2)
JIMMY EAT WORLD - Integrity Blues
GREEN DAY - Revolution Radio
KINGS OF LEON - Walls
THE PRETENDERS - Alone
EBBOT LUNDBERG AND THE INDIGO CHILDREN - For the Ages to Come
LUKE HAINES - Smash the System
C DUNCAN - The Midnight Sun
XYLOURIS WHITE - Black Peak
LEONARD COHEN - You Want It Darker
NAIM AMOR AND JOHN CONVERTINO - The Western Suite and Siesta Songs
PEOPLE OF THE NORTH - The Caul
SOFT HAIR - Soft Hair
BENOIT PIOULARD - The Benoit Pioulard Listening Matter
SAINT LEONARD'S HORSES - Good Luck Everybody
HIS CLANCYNESS - Isolation Culture
NxWORRIES - Yes Lawd!
POWELL - Sport

Singles & EPs

Apocalypse Fetish
LOU BARLOW - Apocalypse Fetish EP
SLEAFORD MODS - TCR
FUJIYA AND MIYAGI - EP 2
PATIENCE - The Pressure
NEW ORDER - People on the High Line
SUMMER MOON - With You Tonight
CAVERN OF ANTI MATTER - I'm the Unknown
EL MICHELS AFFAIR featuring THE SHACKS - Strange Boy / No Surprise
THE LIMINANAS - The Woods / The Inventor
HAPPYNESS - Tunnel Vision On Your Part EP
THE LOVELY EGGS - Drug Braggin
SLAVES / WONK UNIT - Take Control / We are the England
NEIL MICHAEL HAGERTY AND THE HOWLING HEX - Full Moon in Gemini
UNIFORM - Ghosthouse
CC DUST - Shinkansen No.1
VUKOVAR - The Three Shades
H. GRIMACE - Royal Hush
JUNIOR BOYS - Kiss Me All Night EP
KAG - EP A
WIFE - Standard Nature EP
PUMAROSA - Honey
BABEHEAVEN - Moving On
HIS CLANCYNESS - Pale Fear / Coming Up Empty
DALTON DESCHAIN & THE TRAVELING SHOW - Roberta EP


Kristin Hersh - Soma Gone Slapstick

Sunday, October 23, 2016

1979 Revisited: Top 40 Albums

Recently BBC Radio 6 celebrated the music of 1979 as part of My Generation, their year-long season of programmes presenting the history of pop music across the decades. Listening to The Sound of 1979 playlist reminded me that several of my all-time favorite albums were released on that year and although over the years I have compiled many "Best of" annual lists (all of which can be found  here), I have never gone on record about my favorites from 1979 (or any other year of the '70s for that matter).

Time to change all that: what follows is a list of 40 excellent albums released in 1979 which I would gladly listen to over and over again today. Most of them have been a huge influence on shaping what we now refer to as the post-punk sound and are indicative of the innovations and  transformations taking place in rock music at the late '70s as a result of the big bang caused by the punk explosion.

This short list, being of course a subjective collection of personal favorites, does not try to include everything that was going on in 1979, but in the near future we will publish in Cool Music Database an expanded and much more wide-ranging version that will cover all bases. But for now, here's our version of The Sound of 1979:

Top 40 Albums of 1979


1.  Entertainment! - GANG OF FOUR
2.  Unknown pleasures - JOY DIVISION
3.  Live at the witch trials - THE FALL
4.  London calling - THE CLASH
5.  Fear of music - TALKING HEADS
6.  Setting sons - THE JAM
7.  Armed forces - ELVIS COSTELLO AND THE ATTRACTIONS
8.  Cut - THE SLITS
9.  Second edition - PUBLIC IMAGE LTD.
10. 154 - WIRE
11. Three imaginary boys - THE CURE
12. The B-52's - THE B-52'S
13. The Undertones - THE UNDERTONES
14. Drums and wires - XTC
15. Specials - SPECIALS
16. Secondhand daylight - MAGAZINE
17. Join hands - SIOUXSIE AND THE BANSHEES
18. Dragnet - THE FALL
19. 20 jazz funk greats - THROBBING GRISTLE
20. Colossal youth - YOUNG MARBLE GIANTS
21. Eat to the beat - BLONDIE
22. Machine gun etiquette - THE DAMNED
23. A different kind of tension - BUZZCOCKS
24. A trip to Marineville - SWELL MAPS
25. Real to real cacophony - SIMPLE MINDS
26. Reproduction - THE HUMAN LEAGUE
27. Reggatta de blanc - POLICE
28. One step beyond... - MADNESS
29. The Raincoats - THE RAINCOATS
30. GI - GERMS
31. Y - THE POP GROUP
32. New picnic time - PERE UBU
33. Door, door - BOYS NEXT DOOR
34. Rust never sleeps - NEIL YOUNG & CRAZY HORSE
35. Wave - PATTI SMITH GROUP
36. Tom Verlaine - TOM VERLAINE
37. A can of bees - THE SOFT BOYS
38. Quiet life - JAPAN
39. Life in a day - SIMPLE MINDS
40. Eliptical optimism - SPHERICAL OBJECTS



Monday, October 17, 2016

Live: Lorelle Meets The Obsolete @ Death Disco (Athens, October 14, 2016)


Friday night we were back to Death Disco for our second fix of guitar noise for the week, this time courtesy of Mexico's Lorelle Meets The Obsolete (check out what happened on Monday at Girls Names' gig here).


Lorelle Meets The Obsolete record their music as a duo, with Lorena Quintanilla and Alberto González playing all instruments, but on stage the band presented its latest record, their fourth effort titled "Balance" as a five piece. Lorelle's melodic vocals, following shoegaze tradition, are usually buried in the fuzz of the guitars, keyboards add insistent, psychedelic drones and the distinctive rhythm section often drives the songs towards the paths that krautrock opened.


With so many musical threads to weave together, the band seems to strive to find, as the title of their new album suggests, the right balance that will tie everything together and when this happens, as on the mesmerizing single "La Distinción", the results are truly spectacular.


Their hour-long set was a fine introduction to Lorelle's and The Obsolete's idiosyncratic, psychedelic universe, a journey with many twists and turns that you're never sure where it will lead, but you'll certainly be glad they took you along for the ride!


Check out below two songs from their set, "Music for Dozens" from their 2014 album "Chambers" and the title track from the new LP "Balance":

Lorelle Meets The Obsolete - Music for Dozens, live @ Death Disco

Lorelle Meets the Obsolete - Balance, live @ Death Disco

Lorelle Meets the Obsolete, live @ Death Disco
Cruel Anagrams, live @ Death Disco
The night opened with a half-hour set by local duo Cruel Anagrams, playing electronic-influenced experimental pop. Guitar and synths build the backdrop for Lily Truble's narratives and although the result is at the same time strange and intriguing, I believe their live sound would benefit if they brought on a drummer to flesh out the rhythms. Modern technology makes it easy to record music with just one or two persons, but to get a good result live you still need a full band, something that was proven later on by Lorelle Meets the Obsolete and their live band.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Live: Girls Names @ Death Disco (Athens, October 10, 2016)


The second week of October had plenty of live action in store for us, with the Death Disco club hosting two events of fine guitar music. For starters, on Monday night we had the chance to see Girls Names playing their third gig in Athens with support from local act Acid Barretts.


In the three years since the first Girls Names' gig in Athens (at 2013's Plissken Festival), the Belfast band has evolved its sound, adding more energy and more noise to its music, which still draws inspiration from the riches of the '80s post-punk scene. While their previous album, "The New Life", and consequently their live presence, was more in debt to the dark, rhythmic new wave of bands like Joy Division, last year's "Arms Around A Vision" ups the aggression and the balance has shifted in favor of guitar assaults and more adventurous, explosive arrangements.


As a result the gig was certainly more engaging than our first encounter and proved that Girls Names is certainly a band to watch as they move forward and strive to create their own, personal sound where noise and melody coexist and fight for dominance in each song.


Acid Barretts, the Athens duo that opened the gig, mix guitars with drum machine rhythms bringing to mind the first demos of the Jesus and Mary Chain, when the Reid brothers were yet to hire the services of a drummer. Add Spacemen 3 psychedelia and the ghost of Suicide's Alan Vega and you get a very interesting result that you can explore further by visiting their bandcmp page to listen to their new EP titled "DK".

Acid Barretts, live @ Death Disco (Athens, Oct. 10th, 2016)

Girls Names - A Hunger Artist, live @ Death Disco (Athens, Oct. 10th, 2016)

Girls Names played: Reticence, Take Out The Hand, Desire Oscillations, Zero Triptych, Hypnotic Regression, Malaga, A Hunger Artist, I Was You. Encore: The New Life

Girls Names, live @ Death Disco (Athens, Oct. 10th, 2016)
We left the Death Disco club with buzzing ears and a content smile on Monday night, only to return there a few days later to close our week in the company of Lorelle Meets The Obsolete. More on the subject, coming up very soon ...