Sunday, March 18, 2018

Live: King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard @ Fuzz Club (Athens, March 16th, 2018)

The first ever show by King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard in Athens could not have come at a better time. The Australian psych-rock explorers have always been extremely prolific, but releasing five albums during the course of last year must certainly be some kind of record!

With so much new material constantly coming our way it was rather hard to keep up with them lately, but watching them perform live a 90-minute summation of their more recent body of work is undoubtedly the best way to experience their ever expanding universe of sound and a definitive affirmation, if you need one, that guitar rock music is way too exciting to ever go away. It may go "out of fashion" for a while (like it seems to be at the moment), but the fire is still burning somewhere and all it takes is just a little fuel to rage uncontrollably again.

The seven-piece Melbourne band, with its delicious mix of psychedelia, garage punk, metal and progressive rock creates an explosive, genuinely exciting sound that earns them more and more fans each year, not because of any type of hype, but only thanks to their hard work and their seemingly inexhaustible creativity. Their sold-out Athens gig was proof that King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard are among the most capable keepers of the rock flame that we currently have, working tirelessly to create the fuel that will feed the fire again. After a frantic 2017, it’s certainly exciting to see where their unpredictable journey will take them next.

The show opened by Montero, the band led by musician and cartoonist Ben Montero, whose eccentric take on progressive rock and '70s soft rock is not my cup of tea. Although their live performance left me unimpressed, they do sound much more interesting on record as you can listen here, where you can stream their new album "Performer".

Montero, live @ Fuzz Club (Athens, March 16, 2018)
Check out below one of the highlights of King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard’s set, the excellent "Rattlesnake" off their first and perhaps best album of 2017, "Flying Microtonal Banana":

King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard - Rattlesnake (live @ Fuzz Club)

King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, live @ Fuzz Club (Athens, March 16, 2018)

Monday, March 12, 2018

Desert Island Albums (C.M.C. 10th Anniversary Edition)

The World Wide Web has just turned 29 today and Cool Music Central (the Blogger version) is now 10! Being active for almost one-third of the internet’s life on this platform (and actually much longer if you take into consideration that the very first C.M.C. incarnation materialized in 1999, in a now long gone domain) is certainly no mean feat and deserves to be celebrated with a special music list, the kind of which I have never attempted before.

Over the years I have published in Cool Music Central a great number of music lists; you can say that my obsession with list-making is actually one of the main drives for starting this blog in the first place (and this one as well, where you’ll find only lists). All of these lists however are always focused on a particular period of time (the albums of the month, the year, the decade). I have never tried in the past the seemingly impossible task of compiling a list of my all-time favorite records, my desert island album list if you will, and I guess that the time has finally come in this post, our 615th, marking C.M.C.’s 10 year anniversary.

To be able to narrow down the number of albums that make up C.M.C’s Desert Island list to a reasonable Top 50, certain rules had to be put in place:

The first prerequisite to consider an album eligible for inclusion was to have it in physical format, so the starting point for this list was the approximately 3500 albums currently in my record collection. A side effect of this rule is that although there is no specific time limit for the selection, in reality the albums that make up this list are all released between 1976 and today, since my record shopping has always been focused in the period after the punk explosion.

The second rule was to choose only one album from each band or artist for possible inclusion in the Top 50 in order to have a wider variety of voices represented and to avoid making this list another tribute to The Fall and the late, great Mark E. Smith, whose stellar releases could easily occupy about one-fifth of it. With this rule, I was able to narrow down the number of albums that could be in the Top 50 to about 200.

The last rule was to try to have a balance between all the periods represented in this list, although for the punk and indie rock sound that we favor, the years between 1977 and 1988 is the golden period.

With all the above rules in place, our Desert Island Album list has taken the shape of the Top 50 we present today. Of course there are many other albums equally worthy of inclusion, so in order to give a more complete picture of our all-time favorites, you will find below a further 150 selections in chronological order and with the second rule lifted. These are (at least for now) the 200 albums that have created Cool Music Central’s ultimate soundtrack, and the Spotify playlist below is what we are listening to all this week in celebration of our 10th anniversary!

C.M.C.'s Desert Island Top 50

01. Perverted by language - THE FALL (1983)
02. Daydream nation - SONIC YOUTH (1988)
03. Nevermind - NIRVANA (1991)
04. Rid of me - P.J. HARVEY (1993)
05. All mod cons - THE JAM (1978)
06. Entertainment! - GANG OF FOUR (1979)
07. Unknown pleasures - JOY DIVISION (1979)
08. Remain in light - TALKING HEADS (1980)
09. Meat is murder - THE SMITHS (1985)
10. Psychocandy - THE JESUS AND MARY CHAIN (1985)
11. Never mind the bollocks here's The Sex Pistols - THE SEX PISTOLS (1977)
12. London calling - THE CLASH (1979)
13. Surfer Rosa - PIXIES (1988)
14. Ramones - RAMONES (1976)
15. Zen arcade - HUSKER DU (1984)
16. Songs about fucking - BIG BLACK (1987)
17. It takes a nation of millions to hold us back - PUBLIC ENEMY (1988)
18. Life’s rich pageant - R.E.M. (1986)
19. From her to eternity - NICK CAVE AND THE BAD SEEDS (1984)
20. Juju - SIOUXSIE & THE BANSHEES (1981)
21. Live through this - HOLE (1994)
22. Siamese dream - SMASHING PUMPKINS (1993)
23. Bug - DINOSAUR JR. (1988)
24. Meat Puppets II - MEAT PUPPETS (1984)
25. Throwing Muses - THROWING MUSES (1986)
26. Slanted and enchanted - PAVEMENT (1992)
27. Sweet oblivion - SCREAMING TREES (1992)
28. Gentlemen - THE AFGHAN WHIGS (1993)
29. Is this it - THE STROKES (2001)
30. Turn on the bright lights - INTERPOL (2002)
31. Elephant - THE WHITE STRIPES (2003)
32. Songs for the deaf - QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE (2002)
33. Definitely maybe - OASIS (1994)
34. This Year's Model - ELVIS COSTELLO (1978)
36. Sun - CAT POWER (2012)
37. To be kind - SWANS (2014)
38. House of GVSB - GIRLS AGAINST BOYS (1996)
39. The hot rock - SLEATER - KINNEY (1999)
40. The magic city - HELIUM (1997)
41. Bakesale - SEBADOH (1994)
42. Return to cookie mountain - TV ON THE RADIO (2006)
43. Fever to tell - YEAH YEAH YEAHS (2003)
44. Franz Ferdinand - FRANZ FERDINAND (2004)
45. Good news for people who love bad news - MODEST MOUSE (2004)
46. Whatever people say I am, that's what I am not - ARCTIC MONKEYS (2006)
47. Sometimes I sit and think, and sometimes I just sit - COURTNEY BARNETT (2015)
48. St. Vincent - ST. VINCENT (2014)
49. LCD Soundsystem - LCD SOUNDSYSTEM (2005)
50. High violet - THE NATIONAL (2010)

Further recommended listening:

Pink flag - WIRE (1977)
Marquee moon - TELEVISION (1977)
Suicide - SUICIDE (1978)
The modern dance - PERE UBU (1978)
Real life - MAGAZINE (1978)
Live at the witch trials - THE FALL (1979)
Fear of music - TALKING HEADS (1979)
Setting sons - THE JAM (1979)
Closer - JOY DIVISION (1980)
Sound affects - THE JAM (1980)
Crocodiles - ECHO & THE BUNNYMEN (1980)
Kilimanjaro - THE TEARDROP EXPLODES (1980)
Fresh fruit for rotting vegetables - DEAD KENNEDYS (1980)
Los Angeles - X (1980)
Crazy rhythms - THE FEELIES (1980)
Playing with a different sex - THE AU PAIRS (1981)
The flowers of romance - PUBLIC IMAGE LIMITED (1981)
The fire of love - THE GUN CLUB (1981)
The gift - THE JAM (1982)
Hex enduction hour - THE FALL (1982)
A kiss in the dreamhouse - SIOUXSIE & THE BANSHEES (1982)
The days of wine and roses - THE DREAM SYNDICATE (1982)
Pornography - THE CURE (1982)
Fire dances - KILLING JOKE (1983)
Before Hollywood - THE GO-BETWEENS (1983)
Violent Femmes - VIOLENT FEMMES (1983)
Over the edge - WIPERS (1983)
Mommy’s little monster - SOCIAL DISTORTION (1983)
Burning from the inside - BAUHAUS (1983)
Power, corruption and lies - NEW ORDER (1983)
The wonderful and frightening world of... - THE FALL (1984)
The Smiths - THE SMITHS (1984)
Atom drum bop - THE THREE JOHNS (1984)
Native sons - THE LONG RYDERS (1984)
This nation’s saving grace - THE FALL (1985)
Gas, food, lodging - GREEN ON RED (1985)
Valley of rain - GIANT SAND (1985)
Blood and chocolate - ELVIS COSTELLO AND THE ATTRACTIONS (1986)
Bend sinister - THE FALL (1986)
Sister - SONIC YOUTH (1987)
Warehouse: Songs and stories - HUSKER DU (1987)
Document - R.E.M. (1987)
Mirage - MEAT PUPPETS (1987)
Life’s too good - THE SUGARCUBES (1988)
The House of Love - THE HOUSE OF LOVE (1988)
Bummed - HAPPY MONDAYS (1988)
In the Spanish cave - THIN WHITE ROPE (1988)
Green - R.E.M. (1988)
Isn’t anything - MY BLOODY VALENTINE (1988)
My invisible lantern - SCREAMING TREES (1988)
House tornado - THROWING MUSES (1988)
Frenz experiment - THE FALL (1988)
Tender prey - NICK CAVE AND THE BAD SEEDS (1988)
Automatic - THE JESUS AND MARY CHAIN (1989)
Monsters - MEAT PUPPETS (1989)
The Stone Roses - THE STONE ROSES (1989)
Doolittle - PIXIES (1989)
Extricate - THE FALL (1990)
Goo - SONIC YOUTH (1990)
Every good boy deserves fudge - MUDHONEY (1991)
Swift-work - THE FALL (1991)
Trompe le monde - THE PIXIES (1991)
Uncle Anesthesia - SCREAMING TREES (1991)
The real Ramona - THROWING MUSES (1991)
Fontanelle - BABES IN TOYLAND (1992)
Dirty - SONIC YOUTH (1992)
Dry - P.J. HARVEY (1992)
Code: Selfish - THE FALL (1992)
Henry’s dream - NICK CAVE AND THE BAD SEEDS (1992)
New west motel - THE WALKABOUTS (1993)
Saturation - URGE OVERKILL (1993)
Independent worm saloon - BUTTHOLE SURFERS (1993)
In utero - NIRVANA (1993)
Too high to die - MEAT PUPPETS (1994)
Let love in - NICK CAVE AND THE BAD SEEDS (1994)
Cruise yourself - GIRLS AGAINST BOYS (1994)
At action park - SHELLAC (1994)
Enter the Wu-Tang (36 chambers) - WU-TANG CLAN (1994)
Deadsexy - SCARCE (1995)
University - THROWING MUSES (1995)
Scream, Dracula, scream - ROCKET FROM THE CRYPT (1995)
No joke! - MEAT PUPPETS (1995)
Mellon collie and the infinite sadness - THE SMASHING PUMPKINS (1995)
My brother the cow - MUDHONEY (1995)
Garbage - GARBAGE (1995)
To bring you my love - P. J. HARVEY (1995)
In the long still night - GALLON DRUNK (1996)
White light white heat white trash - SOCIAL DISTORTION (1996)
Black love - THE AFGHAN WHIGS (1996)
New adventures in hi-fi - R.E.M. (1996)
Too many days without thinking - SWELL (1997)
Brighten the corners - PAVEMENT (1997)
Dig me out - SLEATER-KINNEY (1997)
I can hear the heart beating as one - YO LA TENGO (1997)
Celebrity skin - HOLE (1998)
1965 - THE AFGHAN WHIGS (1998)
Powertrip - MONSTER MAGNET (1998)
Keep it like a secret - BUILT TO SPILL (1999)
Stories from the city, stories from the sea - P.J. HARVEY (2000)
The unutterable - THE FALL (2000)
Group sounds - ROCKET FROM THE CRYPT (2001)
White blood cells - THE WHITE STRIPES (2001)
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club - BLACK REBEL MOTORCYCLE CLUB (2001)
Stephen Malkmus - STEPHEN MALKMUS (2001)
Source tags and codes - AND YOU WILL KNOW US BY THE TRAIL OF DEAD (2002)
Yoshimi battles the pink robots - THE FLAMING LIPS (2002)
One beat - SLEATER-KINNEY (2002)
Coral fang - THE DISTILLERS (2003)
Abattoir blues / The lyre of Orpheus - NICK CAVE AND THE BAD SEEDS (2004)
Desperate youth, blood thirsty babes - TV ON THE RADIO (2004)
Funeral - THE ARCADE FIRE (2004)
Silent alarm - BLOC PARTY (2005)
Gimme fiction - SPOON (2005)
Let’s stay friends - LES SAVY FAV (2007)
23 - BLONDE REDHEAD (2007)
Icky thump - THE WHITE STRIPES (2007)
We were dead before the ship even sank - MODEST MOUSE (2007)
Favourite worst nightmare - ARCTIC MONKEYS (2007)
Dig, Lazarus, dig!!! - NICK CAVE AND THE BAD SEEDS (2008)
Antidotes - FOALS (2008)
Dance mother - TELEPATHE (2009)
Exploding head - A PLACE TO BURY STRANGERS (2009)
Fantasies - METRIC (2009)
Your future our clutter - THE FALL (2010)
I will be - DUM DUM GIRLS (2010)
Let England shake - P.J. HARVEY (2011)
Wild Flag - WILD FLAG (2011)
Only in dreams - DUM DUM GIRLS (2011)
Visions - GRIMES (2012)
Blues funeral - MARK LANEGAN BAND (2012)
Bloom - BEACH HOUSE (2012)
Factory Floor - FACTORY FLOOR (2013)
Shaking the habitual - THE KNIFE (2013)
Silence yourself - SAVAGES (2013)
Indigo meadow - THE BLACK ANGELS (2013)
Manipulator - TY SEGALL (2014)
Nikki nack - TUNE-YARDS (2014)
Warpaint - WARPAINT (2014)
Have you in my wilderness - JULIA HOLTER (2015)
The agent intellect - PROTOMARTYR (2015)
Currents - TAME IMPALA (2015)
Teens of denial - CAR SEAT HEADREST (2016)
My woman - ANGEL OLSEN (2016)
Human performance - PARQUET COURTS (2016)
American dream - LCD SOUNDSYSTEM (2017)
Masseduction - ST. VINCENT (2017)
The underside of power - ALGIERS (2017)

Saturday, March 03, 2018

New Releases: February 2018

Round-up of February's most interesting new releases, featuring strong albums by U.S. Girls, Car Seat Headrest, Superchunk, Franz Ferdinand, MGMT, Hookworms and the highly anticipated comeback singles of Courtney Barnett and Beach House:


U.S. GIRLS - In a Poem Unlimited
SUPERCHUNK - What a Time to Be Alive
FRANZ FERDINAND - Always Ascending
MGMT - Little Dark Age
HOOKWORMS - Microshift
OUGHT - Room Inside the World
THE LOVELY EGGS - This Is Eggland
ANNA BURCH - Quit The Curse
THE SOFT MOON - Criminal
EZRA FURMAN - Transangelic Exodus
JOAN AS POLICE WOMAN - Damned Devotion
PETE ASTOR - One for the Ghost
BARDO POND - Volume 8
PUBLIC ACCESS TV - Street Safari
DZ DEATHRAYS - Bloody Lovely
BORN RUFFIANS - Uncle, Duke and The Chief
LOMA - Loma
HOLLY MIRANDA - Mutual Horse
PEARL CHARLES - Sleepless Dreamer
THE ORIELLES - Silver Dollar Moment
TWIN PEAKS - Sweet '17 Singles
FRIGS - Basic Behaviour
THE BELLRAYS - Punk Funk Rock Soul Volume 2
FU MANCHU - Clone Of The Universe
THE LOW ANTHEM - The Salt Doll Went to Measure the Depths of the Sea
THE HANGING STARS - Songs For Somewhere Else
EVERYTHING IS RECORDED - Everything Is Recorded by Richard Russell
SON LUX - Brighter Wounds
S. CAREY - Hundred Acres
POLICA AND STARGAZE - Music For The Long Emergency

Singles & EPs

COURTNEY BARNETT - Nameless, Faceless
BEACH HOUSE - Lemon Glow
RIDE - Tomorrow's Shore EP
ICEAGE - Catch It
FACTORY FLOOR - Heart Of Data / Babel 
KAREN O featuring MICHAEL KIWANUKA - Yo! My Saint
BJORK - Blissing Me
BELLE AND SEBASTIAN - How To Solve Our Human Problems (Part 3)
BRENDAN BENSON - Half A Boy (And Half A Man)
WAXAHATCHEE - Live at Third Man
PILL - Live at Third Man
MARCHING CHURCH - Live at Third Man
THE SHACKS - Follow Me / Texas
PALE WAVES - All The Things I Never Said EP
DREAM NAILS - Vagina Police / Fascism is Coming
LADY BIRD - Social Potions

Iceage - Catch It