Wednesday, November 19, 2008

2008 reviews

We went to a lot of gigs in 2008, no really, a lot.......
We figure we will have been to 113 or 117 shows by the end of the year depending on whether we call CMJ a festival or not. Yes that's right that outrageous figure doesn't include SXSW!
About one very three days, not bad when you consider we both hold two very time consuming jobs (60 or so hours a week).
So its probably time to review highlights and bands who we saw for the first time or that impressed us and those that didn't.

2008 saw The Spinto band implode, releasing a mediocre second album and losing any energy that they had at the start of the year. We saw them in Philly in January and Boston in May then in October. Not a good situation.

We saw White Williams at The Middle East Upstairs in January, young and green, his album is spotty but has some good tracks, this one may burn out or mature and improve.

We saw Ra Ra Riot many times (6) in 2008, starting in February sometimes as a headliner other times supporting The Cribs, we never were disappointed and I love their album.

On the other hands The Virgins who we saw that night in February plus another support slot just bugged the hell out of me, file this under Vampire Weekend syndrome, over hyped and under talented, I loath this band.

Spear of Destiny, a blast of the past, Kirk Brandon still rocking good style so glad we got to see the show and a side note Kirk was a real nice guy.

Liars & No Age, well sometimes you have got to listen to what is popular locally, even when as in this case it just leaves you lost as to the appeal. Leave it as not for me.
Until later..........

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Exit Clov review

To follow up on my previous blog it seems The Eames Era has followed the slew of bands that have broken up this year which makes me sad.
On a brighter note it was really nice to see just how much Exit Clov seemed to have developed over the summer. The songs are really much more structured with more intricate guitar work that adds rather than distracts from the songs.
I hope this leads to tehm being signed and having some success, we get to see them again when they play Middle East Upstairs on December 4th.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Sometimes you love bands as soon as you hear them, this year Cajun Dance Party and Look See proof both astonished with their debut albums. Then there are bands who you hear and think are interesting then a funny thing happens when you see them live suddenly the music doesn't just make sense it deepens and you see the layers the depth the necessity of it.
Seeing the Cribs for th first time showed how The New fellas was an essential listen which made your heart soar, then again when we caught These New Puritans, an album which had appeared spotty when listening to it suddenly showed its depth and undercurrents and became essential listening. JoFo took a little longer, the first time we saw them they intrigued but after two additional gigs at CMJ they sneaked under my skin so much that I cant stop listening to the CD. As you listen you can just go back and see the intricacies and passion of the live set.
So does it surprise you that my top albums of 2008 are going to include The Colourful Life, Between Here And There, Waited Up 'til It Was Light and Beat Pyramid?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Cloud Cult/Exit Clov

Music begets music. Two years ago at SXSW we got to BD Riley's early to catch The Victorian Gentlemans Club (good thing too it was mobbed) and caught a band we hadn't heard of - The Eames Era. Way outside of what we were looking for, they charmed us and moved into our VERY short list of American bands who don't suck.
When they turned up in Boston last year for a gig at Hennesseys near the North End they spread the love. (photos here Supporting was a band who we hadn't really heard of - Exit Clov. True before they came on there was some signs they might appeal

exit clov 20070617_1155

But if you look further (photos here and here you find a band who can write charming pop songs, some of which have a bite to them, who sometimes seem to struggle with an identity crisis but when they pull it off are fun, charming and with underlying thought provoking tendencies. Check out their myspace - and their myspace perhaps you will be as charmed as I was.
Exit Clov play at the middle East Downstairs on Thursday November 13th supporting Cloud Cult - be there.
Exit Clov MK ULtra

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Tears but not of sorrow.

America has hope again, so does the world. Perhaps some of the rot can be reversed.
There is hope again, what can you say, the eight years of hell should be over.

A Break from music

Everyone else is doing it so why not.
I can't vote today - being British.
Please vote but vote for hope, vote for decency, vote to show the world America isn't racist.
Please America, this time do not make me cry.
Oh and a thought about the last 8 years