Monday, March 31, 2008

The Beasts Of Bourbon - Gagarin 205 Live (29/3/2008)

The Beasts of Bourbon are unleashed once again and about to take Europe by storm! Having released "Little Animals" last year, their first new studio recording in almost a decade, they embark on a European tour which has just kicked off in Greece. 90 minutes of kick ass, take-no-prisoners rock'n'roll was in store for us on their Athens gig, which included highlights from all their albums, most memorably "Drop out", "Hard for you", "Let's get funky", "Chase the dragon", "The low road", "I don't care about nothing anymore". Aussie blues punk at it's finest, born in the early '80s booming Down Under scene (Birthday Party, New Christs, Scientists, Lubricated Goat, Lime Spiders, Died Pretty, Cosmic Psychos to name but a few) and still alive and screamin' bloody murder today!

Recommended listening: ''The Axeman's Jazz" (1984), "Sour Mash" (1988), "The Low Road" (1991)

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Kristin Hersh - Kyttaro Live (27/3/2008)

Kristin Hersh's first visit to Athens was a troublesome one; she had to endure a 5 hour delay to her flight from London Heathrow (thanks to the Terminal 5 fiasco) and arrive to the Kyttaro Club minutes before her appearance with all her baggage and equipment left behind. Thankfully, an acoustic guitar was found, courtesy of local singer-songwriter Simon Bloom (the fine support act of the evening) and magic did happen. Kristin is the rare short of performer that doesn't need to rely on amplification to electrify. She could sing a cappella and still create the same sort of intensity of a full-on rock band performance. The set comprised of songs not only from her illustrious solo career (Your Ghost, Cuckoo, The Letter, 37 Hours) but also from her Throwing Muses days (Snakeface, Hook in her Head and Counting Backward's excellent B-sides Same Sun and, my personal highlight of the night, Cottonmouth). An evening that started with some trouble turned into a truly memorable night. Here's a couple photos from the show:

Recommended listening: Throwing Muses (or untitled, 1986), House Tornado (1988), Hunkpapa (1989), The Real Ramona (1991), Red Heaven (1992), University (1995) by Throwing Muses, Hips and Makers (1994), Sunny Border Blue (2001), Learn to Sing Like a Star (2007) by Kristin Hersh, Golden Ocean (2005) by 50 Foot Wave.

Download her latest songs here!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Best albums of January - February 2008

What have I been up to in the first couple of months of 2008 you ask? Trying to listen to as many albums from last year as possible in order to perfect the Best of 2007 list, as you can easily understand by taking a look at the Top 20 below. 
Albums by the likes of Magik Markers, Future Of The Left, Black Lips, Holy Fuck, Wu-Tang Clan and several others definitely deserve a place in any self-respecting year-end list. And there will certainly be more late discoveries in next month's list, too. But the first great albums of 2008 start to arrive as well, the best of them being "Neptune", the second full-length by The Duke Spirit. The British band relocated to the California desert to record with Chris Goss the follow up to their amazing 2005 debut "Cuts across the land". The result is the kind of rare, magical desert rock, previously only heard in the Desert Sessions recorded in the same studio with Queens Of The Stone Age and PJ Harvey a few years back. A fact that adds weight to my argument that Liela Moss is the new indie-rock queen and we should all bow down and pay our respects!
Top 20 Albums

1.  Neptune - THE DUKE SPIRIT
2.   Jukebox - CAT POWER
4.   In The Future - BLACK MOUNTAIN
6.   Curses! - FUTURE OF THE LEFT
7.   Good Bad Not Evil - BLACK LIPS
9.   Made In The Dark - HOT CHIP
10. 8 Diagrams - WU-TANG CLAN
11. Pre-Emptive False Rapture - CHROME HOOF
12. Lion The Girl - MIDNIGHT MOVIES
13. Friend And Foe - MENOMENA
14. In Our Bedroom After The War - STARS
15. Wooden Shjips - WOODEN SHJIPS
16. Mirrored - BATTLES
17. Ash Wednesday - ELVIS PERKINS
18. We Can Create - MAPS
19. Attack Decay Sustain Release - SIMIAN MOBILE DISCO
20. Rough Trade Shops Counter Culture 07 - VARIOUS ARTISTS

The Duke Spirit - The Step and Walk