Friday, August 31, 2012

Friday Feature: Youth Lagoon

Like most people, Trevor Powers has many hopes and fears. However unlike most of us, he's not afraid to say them out loud. As Youth Lagoon, Powers explores themes such as mental distress, break ups and dreams. It's safe to say that we can relate more or less to his feelings, but are sometimes unwilling to admit it even to our own selves.

It's been a year since Youth Lagoon's debut album The Year Of Hibernation was released, though I believe that the intimate and atmospheric lo-fi music the record contains has the potential to be timeless. Not only does it remind you of those good and sad moments in the past, but it also makes you think of what could be. 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

CSS @ Heaven, London

December 7th, 2012

Every week this one promoter company in London gives away gig tickets on their Facebook page. This time there was a chance to go see Brazilian band CSS, of which I've never heard about. Though when listening to their hit Let's Make Love and Listen to Death From Above, I thought "COOL!". I wanted to be truly honest in my answer, so I wrote I'd take my friend Linda with me, because her music taste needed (needs) improvement. And honesty paid off.

As we arrived to the venue Heaven, we decided to take our places from the balcony, and let others have more space closer to the stage. During the gig, regret was pretty much what we felt. Even Linda, who doesn't like to be in front. That's how wild good it was.

CSS gave a crazy all around performance with some crowd surfing, limbo and jokes, which cracked everyone up.

How many beers can you drink, before your breathe starts to stink?
We have Ginger Spice on the drums. (Their drummer having a Union Jack shirt on).

At the end of the show, when everyone was cheering and applauding, I remembered the band tweeting something about longboarding, so I told Linda to raise her board up. Then apparently singer Lovefoxxx went "Uuh a longboard!".

After the gig we definitely wanted to see if there were any band members around, so we could thank them for the awesome time. Little did we know that "thank you" would turn out to be beers at the backstage.

It was quite interesting to hear stories from their tour manager, who was into skating too. We also had no idea that their bass player is Swedish! Non-blonde hair can really confuse people. All of the band members were extremely kind and had a good sense of humor. Also, instead of us taking photos of them, well it just went the opposite. Guitarist Luiza took photos of us with her old-fashioned camera (btw we're still waiting for the photos ;)) and was wondering how old we were.

I guess wearing backpacks, helmets and ripped Union Jack banderas made us look younger. Click here to see.

In summary, on Heaven's stage EMA smashed a guitar, CSS did the limbo and lastly, I posed with a longboard. Entertaining moments.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Turn on the Bright Lights turns 10

There are some things that are more significant than others in your life. For sure, those things include albums. Nirvana's Nevermind turned twenty last autumn, and never have I felt depressed over music, as I did then. During that time, the music world changed. Now, there aren't any bands, which could actually shake the entire universe. 

However, I could feel comfort, when I've had the chance to enjoy a true classic in recent memory. Or actually in a period, which I can remember. That true classic is Turn on the Bright Lights, the debut album of New York post-punk rockers Interpol. I was fifteen, when I heard TOTBL for the first time, and as years have passed, my appreciation towards it has grown. Although, I'm not able to concentrate solely on listening music as I could as a teenager, there hasn't been another album, which shaped my music taste as drastically since then. 

Because of TOTBL it was easier for me to start listening to "difficult music". You see, there is a reason why early Interpol isn't played on radios. It takes time to grow on you. It takes time for you to appreciate the every nuance, which makes everything complete. It takes time to realize that it actually isn't that depressing.

Yes, after the first time listening to TOTBL, I felt depressed. I was thinking of which songs to listen to, when I was done, and one of them was Green Day's Wake Me up when September Ends. Those sad songs changed quickly into cheerful ones. It was like I lived the entire winter within those 49 minutes. 

So what makes the album musically special? In this case it would be the uniqueness of each band member. Carlos D, has been voted to be the second best bass player in the world, for me he is the best. Sometimes it seems like there isn't a clear structure in his playing, and it probably isn't the easiest to practice. My friend once said that Sam Fogarino drums in a way, which sounds like his banging songs of his own. Daniel Kessler's guitar playing is simply fierce and passionate, but still so focused and subtle. Last but not least, Paul Banks' voice. The voice, which you can recognize anywhere you go, even underwater. Yet each individual's talent fuses perfectly together without losing the touch of their own. Everyone contributes to the song writing, excluding lyrics. Those playful lyrics.

Taken from Leif Erikson:

She feels that my sentimental side should be held with kid gloves
But she doesn't know that I left my urge in the icebox
She swears I'm just prey to the female,
Well then hook me up and throw me, baby cakes, cuz I like to get hooked.

Shortly TOTBL is the reason, why I can listen to indie pieces, which don't make much sense at first. But that's how I learned not to "judge a book by its cover". It is the first album outside my comfort zone, which I hold precious. So precious that I made a presentation out of it a couple of years back, and wrote a very in-depth essay of six pages for school (if anyone wants to read it, message me).  

Simply, it's a masterpiece.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Friday Feature: Dominant Legs

Named after a mate's sexy legs, while skinny dipping, San Francisco native Ryan Lynch started his Dominant Legs project with some demos late in 2009. Already then it was named a "band to watch" by Stereogum. Lynch later met the sweet-voiced Hannah Hunt, and the pair started performing together. Soon after their EP Young At Love and Life was released in August 2010, the duo became a quintet with Rene Solomon, Garett Goddard and Andrew Connors making the band's sound and performance full-fledged.

Dominant Legs' debut album Invitation is full of upbeat love pop songs. All instruments and vocals work perfectly together creating a feel-good mood. It's almost like Abba; cheerful melodies, but perhaps a hint of sadness in lyrics. Their music is something what your parents would be listening on the car radio. As a matter of fact they do describe their music as "'80s R&B, pop, disco that you would hear on KISS FM", even though Bob Dylan, Bruce Springstreen and Buddy Holly influence them.

They've put out two videos, of which the latest "Make Time For The Boy" is definitely one of the best videos of 2012. Twin Peaks fans, step forward.

Dominant Legs - "Make Time For The Boy" from stereogum on Vimeo.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Imperial War Museum London

After a few months, I found the best museum London had to offer. It was so intriguing that it took me the whole weekend to go through the whole place (excluding chargeable displays). Where else could you find a piece of the Berlin Wall and World Trade Center in the same location?

The museum had 4-5 floors, of which one of them was dedicated solely to the Holocaust. I rarely get nauseous, but the stories of Josef "Angel of Death" Mengele and his experiments on people at Auschwitz were in its own league. Major surgeries without anaesthesia, sewing children to create conjoined twins, injecting chemicals into eyes to change the color, amputation of limbs, shock treatment and so on. Just to show his power.

During my visit, they had an exhibition of British children at World War II. The best exhibition I've seen? In recent memory, yes.