Monday, 28 July 2008

Faust - Mamie is Blue

I don't think I have ever done a blog about a single track, but I really think I need to for this. When having a massive Faust listening session recently, I played the brilliant 'So Far' album and had something of a Faustian epiphany over the track 'Mamie is Blue' It's not like it's my favourite song ever, fuck it's not even my favourite Faust song (that's 'Jennifer' for anyone who cares), but it's just so fucking good. It sounds like something made by free-thinking robots in a rebel Utopia in 3015. That sound at the start that just jolts inside your head, followed by that circular, repetitive overloaded organ line completely blows me away. Music still hasn't really caught up. The only thing I can slightly compare it to is 'Frankie Teardrop' by Suicide, which sounds like a bullet ripping through your skull, whilst Faust sounds like 'Frankie Teardrop' on a horrifically bad acid trip. Sheer genius.

This is some weird German documentary about Faust in the 70's, but it's got clips of them jamming and stuff. Pretty cool.

Sonic Sam

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

The Flaming Lips - Live at Lovebox

The Flaming Lips closed the Lovebox festival in magnificent style on Sunday in a show that featured the usual copious amounts of confetti, balloons, explosions and lights. An audio visual feast for all to behold. The Lips are the best band on the planet with a devout following around the world, and the reason is that they make every indie band in the world look lazy and arrogant for feeling that it is good enough entertainment to simply watch them play on stage. The Lips play some of the best music ever made, as well as put on the best show in the world, and seem totally thrilled to be doing it.

As ever, the show opened with Wayne rolling around the crowd in the bubblezorb (see picture), followed by 'Race for the Prize' which was absolutely brilliant. Wayne then led the crowd in a mass swear-along to 'Free Radicals'. Then came a superb version of Zeppelin's 'Song Remains the Same' which was as uplifting and summery as the weather, complete with psychedelic naked hippies running around on the screen behind them. Following that was 'Fight Test', the first song off 'Yoshimi...' which got a huge cheer and mass sing-along. The Lips played then played 'Mountain Side' off 'In a Priest Driven Ambulance', something I never thought I would get to experience live, which was amazingly fuzzy, psychedelic and heavy, ending with a massive chord on repeat. After dedicating a beautiful version of 'Vein of Stars' to Alison Goldfrapp (who had played earlier), the Lips then played a stripped down, sing along version of 'Yoshimi...' with everyone singing every word. Mr Coyne looked absolutely thrilled at the reaction. Then came the instrumental 'Pompeii am Gotterdammerung', which sounded so much more epic than on the record, during which Wayne played some gong by firing streamers into the cymbal and causing lights to start flashing all around the instrument. 'The Yeah Yeah Yeah Song' continued the singalong vibe, which sounded much more like old Lips tonight than it does on record. 'The W.A.N.D' followed before epic version of 'She Don't Use Jelly' and 'Do You Realise??' complete with masses and masses of confetti, streamers, smoke, strobes and balloons so that you couldn't really focus on quite what was going on. throughout the whole show, it felt like you were in another place where, in Lipsland, everything and anything is possible, all you have to do is live in a duplex for a couple of years, and legions will follow you. Their creativity, talent and nature is untouchable. Long may they continue on their adventure into absurdity, and long may we follow Captain Coyne and the boys.

Thursday, 10 July 2008

Playlist 10/07/08

A new playlist. Hurrah! It's all gone a bit geek rock, but it's good. In my head it's for an American roadtrip? No idea why that's what I am designing a playlist for...

1. The Song Remains the Same - Led Zeppelin
2. Fly By Night - Rush
3. San Ber'dino - Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention
4. Christmas at the Zoo - The Flaming Lips
5. Love is How You Make it - Gong
6. Giggle Smile - Faust
7. Where There's Woman - Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band
8. Holland, 1945 - Neutral Milk Hotel
9. Air - Talking Heads
10. No. 13 - Pixies
11. Today - Smashing Pumpkins
12. Fire In My Heart - Super Furry Animals

It's a short but perfect playlist I think. Enjoy.

Sonic Sam

Friday, 4 July 2008

Here Comes That Artist Again - Glastonbury 2008

Well hello Mothers.

Sorry for the delay again, been at work and it's been quite busy really. Anyway, it is time for the annual Glastonbury review. Fucking excellent. Sunshine, great music, and plenty of etc. I think this review always gets rose tinted by the fact that I write it once I am back in the humdrum of reality and am pining for the surreal bubble of existence that is Worthy Farm on the last weekend in June.

First off, the music this year that I saw was excellent. I am not condoning Kate Nash's or the Feeling's sets, but the stuff I watched was brilliant. Friday included Alabama 3 and Candi Staton as well as a storming set from the legend that is John Cale on the Park Stage. Absolutely ace. I got myself right down the front, as you can see by the photo I took! He kicked off with the full on version of the satanic 'Heartbreak Hotel' cover that he does. Other highlights included 'Fear Is a Man's Best Friend' and the excellent rendition of 'Pablo Picasso' that went on forever.

I very wisely chose to see Jimmy Cliff on Friday night, who was unbelievably good. Played all the hits, a great cover of 'Hakuna Matata' no less, exceptional energy and fantastic vibe with everyone singing along. Wonderful place, beautiful gig. I've heard mixed reports about Kings of Leon, and don't know anybody who saw Panic(ex-!) at the Disco.

Saturday was all about one thing. The big man, Jay-z. Before him, I'd seen some good stuff, particularly Holy Fuck, Eric Bibb and Buddy Guy, who were all excellent. However, Jay stole the show. The much talked about 'Wonderwall' intro worked a treat, and showed Noel up to be so out of touch it's ridiculous. Jay-z totally won the crowd over, and 'Hard Knock Life' was the singalong of the weekend. An absolute Glastonbury moment that I feel privileged to have witnessed.

Sunday I started off with a more than welcome dose of Anton Newcombe's Brian Jonestown Massacre, complete with Joel, who, apart from taking 2 minutes to start each song, were pretty damn good. It's 1969 again baby. Caught a smidgen of Black Lips, who looked hugely disappointing. Watched the mesmerising Leonard Cohen, and ate dinner whilst enjoying The Verve. 'Bittersweet Symphony' was epic, but my favourite tune was 'The Rolling People'. It's 1997 again baby.

I saw some quality other stuff as well. On Friday, I spent a lot of my time in the circus tent and saw many weird and wonderful things, the highlight of which were the Black Angels, an acrobatic African Dance Limbo troop, who were so much fun and put on a great show. The crowd were lapping it up, especially when they limboed under a stick of burning fire about 8 inches off the ground. Mentalists. Friday night I saw a stripper of questionable gender in Trash City. On Saturday night, I spent about an hour transfixed by the Dukes Box in Shangri-La. If you haven't heard of these boys, basically it's a band in a dukebox. Brilliant fun. Also on Sunday, I saw the excellent Stompin' Dave tear down the Avalon Cafe with his speedy banjo and fiddle. He also played it behind his head. Mental. See picture for proof.
Overall, a brilliant weekend, preceded by a brilliant week. See you all again next year.

Currently listening to the radio. BBC 6. At work, remember?

Sonic Sam