Tweet Lists are pure mana to us bloggers, with our semi-autistic brains. Anytime I see a bunch of other bloggers shiteing on about their precious top fives I need to get proper involved. To mark the day that's in it lots of bloggers are sticking up lists of their favourite spooky tunes. I got thinking that while this is good craic none of the music posted is actually that scary. If its not hokey Hallowe'en cheese of the sort ye'd jerk around to in your 'sexy' pirate costume with the usual cast of rubbered planks from the workplace, then its metal which as a rule is about as scary as a fourteen year old acne-goth outside central bank. I wondered what sort of music really scares me? What song, if it caught me at a vulnerable moment could make me widdle all over myself and sob? Not an easy task. But here are a few ideas I painfully extracted from my ipod to follow up on the original grand intention. Any other song suggestions would be appreciated... Oh, and the scary puppets have dropped in to asleep on the compost heap to set the Hallowe'en mood. Puppets really fuckin bother me. Not the cuddly sort, but the old clattery wooden sorts. Like these boys. They'd be the kind that might separate from their strings later tonight to rattle through streets that smell of bangers and dead bonfires, carrying tiny bags filled with children's souls and tears. Now, the songs that personally petrify me, in no particular order... MP3: The Incredible String Band-Witch's Hat The wicker man scares the fuck out of me. But I can always console myself that it was only a film. The incredible string band on the other hand are real. I don't care what anyone says, but I bet they've oft dressed up as deer, engaged themselves in moonlit orgies and ritually burnt people on remote headlands at sunset. Remember The Riddlers? Fuckin' terrifying no? I wonder if they were invented by the incredible string band? MP3: Autechre-Autriche A lot of the warp label headphones electronica whisks me to weird and spooky places, but this bad trip takes the biscuit. Its a chilly nocturnal electro-breeze that whistles through your ears replete with voices garbling in the decaying gloom. Its what broken androids hear in their heads as they rock themselves to sleep in the robo loony bin. MP3: Angelo Badalementi-Twin Peaks Theme Twin Peaks season 1 was the heebiest and jeebiest thing to come on mainstream TV. And it wasn't the midget who talked backwards that unsettled me the most. It was this one recurring tiny shot of fir trees that basically just rustled around a bit to a discordant wind noise. Just a few fuckin leaves rustling. I mean what sort of a genius is David Lynch to get so deeply under my skin with a few fuckin pine leaves and a breeze? Even thinking about it now weirds me out. The opening soundtrack is for my money the best TV theme recorded. It takes you to a very freaky place indeed. And finally...something so downright terrifying, so teeth-grittingly horrific I can't even name it. Link to it if you dare
Tweet We get our extra hour in duvetville next Monday morning. I love that shit, duvets are like heroin in the morning. People just love it, eyeballing the clock, noting the bonus hour, and with a big dozy shite-eating grin, collapsing back into never-never land the way Renton collapsed into the carpet in Trainspotting. Mmmm Smack. It won't be long now 'til slices of ice start showing up in puddles the colour of milky tea. To be seasonal, I'm going to bake a lot of pies this winter. They'll be big fuck-off ones with burnished domes of shortcrust pastry, barely containing slow-cooked oxtail chunks and volcanic floods of thyme-scented, glossy Guinness gravy. Here's a few blustery-weather in November sort of tunes to warm you up like minestrone. Administer with your winter coat and some puddles. By utilising the transportive power of headphones, you could even imagine you were in your own twee shoegazey video and try to catch the eye of that special girl or boy who'll be staring forlornly through rivulets of rain on the bus home from work. MP3: Galaxie 500-Snowstorm MP3: The Boo Radleys-Does this Hurt? Mp3: The House of Love-Never
Tweet LCD Soundsystem played a stormer in Tripod on Saturday. The songs from Sound of Silver which sound special enough on record, absolutely blistered live. James Murphy gives good gig, and under a rotating mirrorball he committed himself to rocking out with cheery, banterous aplomb (complaining about the owners of the Hotel they were staying in, and telling the whooping fans to piss on its floors the next time they go there). Like many others I'm sure, I always thought of LCD Soundsystem as a one man operation. But on the night, one thing that stood out was the touring band. They were super-focused and as tight as an 'oul one's perm at a wedding. They generated a propulsive, endlessly complex analogue web of beats and melody that was what ye might call proper live music, in that things shifted in ways that sounded novel to ears familiar with the records. In this case, all the songs sounded like the horned-up rampant cousins of their album counterparts, let out for the weekend, swinging sozzled from the ceiling and knocking dust out of the fittings. For example, for the encore, the pulsing central melody of "Someone Great" which sounds quite languid on record became something else entirely, a bruisingly brash build-up to a foot-thumping climax. For sure, a little (actually most) of the song's melancholy nuance might have been lost, but I doubt many of the Saturday night hedonists cared or noticed. Everyone was too busy partying. Loreana took a few great shots. I think this particular square shaped one is class. The yelpy goodtime head in front of the mirrorball sums the dude up. Token MP3: LCD Soundsystem-Time to get away Final thought: TRIPOD SORT YOUR FUCKIN' AIR CONDITIONING OUT.
Tweet Yikes! Its the glowing remains of a Norwegian church! Mommy, I'm scared. I fuckin' hate my Last FM profile. If I'm to believe what it says about me, I'm a real meat and two veg type of indie bore. Just another faceless heinz baked blogger in a big slimy tin of millions of identikit Wolf Parade fans. The software keeps recommending me the Arcade Fire for fuck sake! Gah, there is a reason Arcade Fire never scrobble to my profile. Its because they make my skin crawl. To shake things up, I've started listening to weird stuff, beginning with the genre that burnt a thousand churches and sold a million strepsils-Norwegian Black Metal. So to find out where to start I lurked in the sulfuric shadows of a few black metal forums. This was to check out what the kids rock out to in their rooms while mum and dad tearfully talk to the school counsellor downstairs. Darkthrone, Mayhem, Burzum and Gorgoroth would seem to be fairly representative of how the kids are rolling these days. All four are inner circle (see how I've already got the lingo) black metal bands which have been around since the early days of the second wave of Black Metal. This was the scene that caused all the controversy in Norway in the mid 90s. While we were pogoing to parklife they were dressing up like Gene Simmons' decomposed corpse (corpsepaint) and conducting pagan rituals on snowy mountainsides. They even had their own Blur vs Oasis in Burzum vs Mayhem, a musical spat, which unlike Liam and Damon's little tiff ended in the bassist from Mayhem being stabbed 26 times by Varg from Burzum. Before he went to prison for murder, Varg also managed to allegedly burn a few of the oldest churches in Norway and write a little book on his pagan Nazi ideology. Ah, to be young in Norway in the 90s. But what about the music? Well, I'm including a wee sampler so you can judge for yourselves if you're not familiar with the stuff. First up is Destroyer by Gorgoroth, who believe it or not are soon bringing their travelling fun-fest of crucified fans and impaled sheep heads to Cork, thats right, Cork. I have to say, after a few listens I'm properly taken in by it. It grabs you immediately with the feeling of hurtling wildly down a subterranean cavern full of rasping voices before settling into its hi-speed hypnotic groove. The song is fairly typical of the genre, strangely structured, very fast, lots of rapid picking on the high strings of the guitar and plenty of filthy lo-fi distortion. What's Gaahl, the demonic lead singer gabbling about? Well that's for him to know and you to find out. He's been known to remove any printing of his lyrics from the Internet, threatening those who put them up and saying they're not for public consumption. Gaahl, if your reading this, I think you're sound okay? And O'Flynn's butchers in Cork do a great line in animal entrails. Oh and also, you're not allowed to be a Gorgoroth fan unless you adopt their Satanic ideology and reject Christ. So chuck out yer Bibles and get listening kids! MP3: Gorgoroth-Destroyer Gorgoroth rehearsing... Ready for the big gig...Its amazing what a bit of make-up can do! Next up is a little ditty from Darkthrone called under a funeral moon. This is my favourite track from the stuff I downloaded. These guys take low pitched demonic growling to a freaky extreme. I actually found it disconcerting and scary listening to it at night. Again the guitars and drums are relentless, sped up, mesmerising and tinged with an eastern sound. There is a distinct lack of the 'oul verse-chorus-verse, and listening to it is to be brought somewhere cold, strange and alien. There's a comical bit at 1 minute 44 seconds in where I'm guessing he's trying to scare you with a hardcore demonic yelp out of nowhere but it sounds like he's hacking up a hairball. MP3: Darkthrone-Under a funeral moon What's that? Yis want more? Okay, have some Burzum. That's the real freaky shit right there... MP3: Burzum-Key to the gate I dunno if I'd ever listen to this stuff much again. But I can really see its appeal. In addition to the outsiderish exclusiveness of the genre which I know appeals to many fans, the music itself is not to be sniffed at. Its visceral and peculiar. I've seen clips of Gorgoroth play live on Youtube, and i can imagine the sense of abandon and frenzy the fans feel at their gigs. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to unwind with some Barry Manilow. P.S. Next blog will be on LCD soundsystem gig in Tripod last night. It was mega.
Tweet If you are going out to dance somewhere between now and Sunday, put this on your headphones on the way there please!!! He's playing the Tivoli on the 28th. MP3: Gui Boratto-Beautiful Life Have fun! ;)
Tweet Can you overdose on music? Whether in college, on the 25a, or at home on the laptop my brain is being rinsed by a continual flux of musical suds. So sometimes I worry that through my addiction to the stuff, I'll kill off my ability to be enchanted by it, bowled over, knocked dead by an amazing tune. It happens less and less often. I could count the absolute wowee zowee moments I've had with new tracks this year on one hand, and even more worrying is the fact that I haven't truly and unconditionally loved anything new since Yellow House by Grizzly Bear (an album into which you can crawl deep inside of, curl up and hibernate). I probably need to detox. So today, the big tangled hairball of Sunset Rubdowns, Beiruts, Okkervill Rivers and other such flavours of the month that I've been trying to digest for the last few weeks will be kicked to the curb and replaced by silence (or depressing reality noises like drunk skinnymalinks calling their 2 year olds cunts on Dublin Bus). Before I switch off the ipod though, I'm going to listen to a classic tune. Cos sometimes, its nice to know that in the ebb and flow of musical taste there are songs which are completely unassailable in their classic status. Wichita Lineman is one of them. Something deep and sad inside me twinges every single time I listen to it. That man out in the baking sun, fixing those telephone lines, listening to a woman's voice singing through the whines of interference, he could be a character out of Kafka such is the bleak and melancholy world he inhabits. And the music just destroys me, its like Glen Campell is being stoic and just about managing to rein in his emotions while all around him Jimmy Webb's orchestration is weeping binfuls of the saddest tears ever wept. MP3: Glen Campbell-Wichita Lineman
Tweet Last night, I was broke, a bit miserable and all set to toddle home like the boring fuck I am to eat a baked spud and fall asleep in front of CSI or some shite. Thankfully I was intercepted by Lo and Conor, who kidnapped me, filled me with chips and dragged me down to see the Super Furry Animals play Vicar Street. It shat on CSI and baked spuds from a psychedelic height. The lads cranked out a ginormo-set that broke the 2 hour barrier and luxuriated in a massive back catalogue as well-worn as the matching brown tweed suits they wore. The suits and grizzler beards communicated a message. The furries know their age. They're pretty much an institution now, having consistently delivered on every single album of their career. So it was perhaps a little less electronic and less hectic a performance than you might expect from them. At times, especially as they settled into the grooves of the big rootsy numbers they reminded me of proper psychedelic journeymen The Band or The Grateful Dead. I mean the fuckin' beard on Huw, that was some real unabomber log-cabin shit. There were too many high points to count, so here are just two. Receptacle for the respectable was frenzied and its Norwegian-Death-metal-buggers-techno finale assaulted me physically in the chest, such was the towering awesomeness of the band's specially assigned PA system. And at the end of the show, when they wigged out on 'keep the cosmic trigger happy', an air of madness swept the entire venue up in a delirious party of shit eating grins and the awkward fist flapping gig-dancing of people who don't normally do that sort of thing. I looked up into the balconies and it was like a lunatic asylum full of brain-injury patients on happy pills. Not bad for a Tuesday night. Lo was snapping happily with her camera and took the great shot of Gruff. You can see more of her brillo stuff (not that I'm biased) here. There was a nice moon out over vicar street! Oh and here is the obligatory MP3 track. A fave from my early infatuation with the band. See yis!! MP3: Super Furry Animals-Ice Hockey Hair
Tweet A few years ago for Frank's birthday a few of us ended up crashing on the floor of his Granny's holiday home in a fishing village in Waterford. Wrapped against the cold floor in duvets and sleeping bags, we got to thinking about music that shared that fuzzy duvet quality. Warm and enveloping music that lets you fall luxuriantly into its cozy embrace. Womb tunes. I can't remember what came first, the conversation or this tune. MP3: Radar Bros-On the Line Anyway it ended up on the stereo, emitting its endless waves of analogue warmth overhead as we dozed off. We decided there and then, that if we formed a band we would call it 'audio-duvet' and all the music we make would share this toasty glow. In other news, my brother (storkboy) has just laid a new electronic egg. He's getting better! This one's a bit aquatic, like submerging your head in the bath while someone plays an organ downstairs. Molly Bloom is still yammering away of course. I've asked him to sample a passage out of moby dick for his next one. MP3: Storkboy Choons-Northwest Passage The cover of audio-duvet's yet to be recorded debut concept album "welcome to to our igloo"
Tweet Hmmm...embarrassing this. I went to The Field in the village last night but can't write a review because I wandered downstairs just as he started and got distracted. By the time I remembered he was on, it was over! Cripes. It was a small enough crowd and I get the feeling that the gig may have left people disappointed and cold. Shame, because I'd say in the right circumstances he could slay a crowd. Prefuse 73 supported. Nialler 9 blogs about them here. I thought it was pretty good stuff from where I was (dancing like a gibbon up front). But to those standing at the back of a quite small crowd, I can imagine it was underwhelming. Oh well. Due to my confuddledness and random wanderings last night, instead of a review of the field, I can only really give you this pleasant picture of a field and a consolation prize, a beautiful droning indie classic for you to put on yer ipods for an autumn evening walk. Oh, and check out hypemachine, they are launching their new site in a very original way. A good way to generate hype? MP3: Yo La Tengo-Autumn Sweater Buy it Enjoy. Oh, and I nearly forgot, today is blog action day for the environment, so turn yer washing machine down to 30 degrees yis wasteful bastards ;)
Tweet NUMBER 1: Devendra Banhart: A lad I once hung out with used to get very angry when he was drunk and come out with the most mad unfettered comments towards the subjects of his clownish rage. One was a girl he knew during the leaving cert who 'changed' after getting into art college. She quickly lost her country accent, started wearing petticoats, cycled around on an old-fashioned racer with a basket of organic fruit on the front, and pretended to like Belgian neo-realist cinema, that sort of thing. So one night this mate of mine was in her vicinity and lubricated on blue wkd, went all purple in the face, lost his rag and screamed at her "I wish your head was a fuckin' rugby ball so I could take a run at it and drop kick it into the middle of next week." Yikes. It sure wasn't Shakespeare, but its a line that comes to mind every time I hear Devendra Banhart, who, to me is the musical equivalent of this. I really don't think weirdness comes naturally to Devendra, such is the whiff of willful contrivance off everything he does. I bet he eats bamboo shoots or something for breakfast because weetabix isn't weird enough. I've read interviews with him, and in each, he has come across as arch, insufferable, phony and pretentious. So does most of his music. So the hairy headwrecker gets the boot and replaced by a genuine beardy weirdo... MP3: Robert Wyatt-Heaps of Sheep The Dun Laoghaire College of Art and Design Autumn/Winter '07 look. Number 2: Led Zeppelin: In the universal gaeltacht experiences of our Irish youth many of us shared a room with a fret-fiddling cab driver's son from Templeogue. A guy, who despite obviously being a ferocious cretin, managed to score girls because of workmanlike guitar skills that made him a temporary demigod in the hormonal hothouse of Gweedore in summer. For those tender acoustic moments by the campfire he'd pour his soul through fingers that strummed the deepest, most meaningful ballad known to man "time of your life" by Greenday, and for that end of Gaeltacht electric rock out, it could only ever be the 'Zep, a noodly over-serious travesty of a band designed with adolescents in mind. Wow, but I can't abide them. For me, Led Zeppelin will always be embodied by a taxi-driver's son from templeogue in a Nirvana t shirt. And as for being all mystic? If eating a bowl of koka curry noodles in front of an Irish psychics live advert is mystic, well then yeah, Led Zepplin are mystic. Here's proper scary mystical guitar stuff by Japanese people who take lots of drugs... MP3: Acid Mothers Temple- Dark stars in the dazzling sky Féach ar Lorcan! Ta sé go h-íontach ar an guitar. numbers 3 and 4 will follow in the future...
Tweet Camber Sands, Sussex, is a grim, grim place in December. Its grey, cold, and marshy. The holiday homes are shuttered up. On a Friday night the fullest bar will host a pitbull terrier or two, a paunchy wreck playing a casio keyboard and a few tattooed baldies in England shirts wheezing 'the way to Amarillo' (and thats just the ladies folks, bad-um tchhh!!!). The cultural hub of camber sands is called pontins, which to those of you who don't know it, is a place that achieves the impossible by being a bleaker version of Butlins. Pontins in happier times... Pontins now... (well as close as I can get...its actually a tower block in Minsk.) I can hear yis going "WTF? Why is he spouting off about some rancid as-featured-on-ITV1 holiday resort for lairy Brits of the past? Thats not an indie music fix." Well, its cos All Tommorrow's Parties stage some of their three day musical festivals there and I've been twice. Once in December and once in May. Both experiences have been by turns deeply odd, unsettling, uplifting and awesome. Although in fairness, the first time around was mostly just odd and unsettling. We should have known, the clue was in the name "The nightmare before christmas". And nightmare was what we got. Over the course of a lost weekend, spongey carpet, vomit, slot machines, sweaty faces, half cooked chips and a big plastic lizard rotated slowly round in a nauseating internal montage soundtracked by this... MP3:Wolf Eyes-black vomit and this... MP3: Aphex Twin-Tha Aphex Twin told my friend to fuck off. One of my friends told Aphex Twin to fuck off. And I remember seeing a girl sobbing in terror as a fully robed Sunn O)) unleashed their satanic rumbles on a stage that Bobby Davro probably stood on the week before. The second time around in summer 2006 (yes I went again, its compelling) was something of an indie-fest, so 'twas nowhere near as terrifying but still bleak due to the never-ending drizzle. However, we saw the Shins, the New Pornographers, Radar Brothers, Lightning Bolt and Destroyer. Afterwards, lying in bed in a wretched ball of post-partying sweat I silently swore I'd never go again. And yet here I am nailing my flag to the mast for the third time cos next year pitchfork are curating (yay!). So expect a mix of venerated oldies (sebadoh) and exciting newbies (los campesinos), and surely some 'bolt? Also expect a confused and frightened contingent of travelling yanks wearing horn-rimmed spectacles. They better pack their own food, cos I don't think the Cap'n Croc chip counter does vegan muffins. Here's a shiny MP3 from Los Campesinos MP3: Los Campensinos-We throw parties you throw knives
Tweet ...and the dulux colour cards out to make my blog all blue and serene and do something about the aesthetic sperm whale disaster that was going on at the top of the old page. I'm rubbish at this carry on, so got most of my help from a html panda who I think helped make the page sleek and easier to read. If you're knocking around Dublin during the next few days, you might catch sight of a little 'zine called play the song I like. Its by a cool fella I recently got to know called Gareth Williamson and is well worth a look. I wrote a little review of Jens Lekman's new album for it. I'm gonna be away from 'puters next week and don't think I'll be posting much. But I really want to blog about The Field who is playing the village next Sunday. That should be a proper bucket of fun. What I'm sure-as-eggs-is-eggs won't be doing after this is making even the tiniest computerized peep about the new album by R********. It would seem they've worked us bloggers right out, so I'll leave it up to others to promote the album. There'll be enough said about it anyway, mine would be but one more tiny chattering irrelevant opinion strewn upon an awesome mountain of mostly-shite. I bought it for 10p by the way. Here are two songs that the html panda and I were listening to while changing the blog's colours and what not. MP3: Grizzly Bear-On a neck on a spit MP3: Sunset Rubdown-For the Pier
Tweet I've been to a few of chinstrokey indie gigs in tripod recently and while I mostly enjoy them, sometimes I feel I'm standing in the midst of a slowly thawing bunch of fish fingers in cardigans. So it was barrels of fun last night to go to the loolah-packed sweat-o-rama that was Underworld. To get a drink at the bar I had to push past 60 of these... ...and then I felt a splash and looked down at my pint to see that swollen drops of condensed scobe sweat were lashing into it from the ceiling. Underworld were really old school, with plenty of lo-fi druggy visuals for the teeth grinders. Karl Hyde was doing his usual demented shaman impression, playing guitar and barking a salad of words into the mike. A particular stand out was 'two months off' which was souped up into a ten minute Balearic wig-out with huge inflatable columns flopping all over the stage. Here's a clip of it without the inflatables. I'm also throwing in an MP3 of their new single crocodile. I wouldn't say its a mad return to form or anything. Its a bit of a mongy 90s throwback. They played it last night with visuals of sunlight slowly breaking through marijuana plant leaves, shot in that olbligatory washed out purple colour you might recognise from such druggy turn of the 90s videos as fool's gold and anything by my bloody valentine. They're about as innovative as Status Quo at this stage, but they're a good laugh live. MP3:Underworld-Crocodile
Tweet This is one of the most beautiful songs I've ever heard. Its the inside of a tent on a autumn night with someone you love. Its a fire crackling in the dark and the smell of woodchips and pine needles burning. Its woozy and dreamy, full of tripped out guitars that echo like the slow heavy clangs of a distant sawmill. MP3: Swan Lake -All Fires