Sunday, December 23, 2007

Klaxons @ Club Capitol, 23.10.07

Perth has longed for the arrival of neon-glo knights and they were finally here.

Damn Arms, a Melbourne-based band opened to a fluoro army of audience in the sold-out gig. As part of a crop of new wavers from down under, the band proved to be an adequate support with their angular guitars and electro sound. Damn Arms played a mix set of tracks from old EPs and new full debut ‘The Live Artex’.

The glow-stick armed crowd launched into soaring mood as Klaxons hit it off with the perfect opener The Bouncer, announcing that ‘if your name’s not there, you’re not coming in’. The Mercury Prize winning ‘Myths Of The Near Future’ basically wrapped up the main set. Next, the band set the dance floor on fire with the raving ‘Atlantis To Interzone’. There was not a soul in the club who was not fluttering their limbs in full force. I got myself plenty bruises from bashing onto the stage as I was standing at the front row. I was close enough to see Simon’s hair clearly, he indeed has the best/craziest hair in the scene.

The absolutely sensational Golden Skans provided one of the highlights of the show as everyone in the house was ‘ooh-ooh-ooh-ahh-ing along to the catchy chorus. Jamie, James, Simon and Steffan got the crowd all revved up by belting out track by track of their psychedelic dance. Mind-exploding Magick and Gravity’s Rainbow kept the possessed horde dance the night away. We certainly hoped the band meant it when they played their cover of 90’s rave hit It’s Not Over Yet, however the show was near its end.

The boys returned to the stage for a brief encore with the awe-inspiring Four Horsemen Of 2012. At this point, I knew it was time for me to stretch out my arm to grab Simon’s set list I had been eyeing the whole night.

A wonderful (with much fluorescent colour) night.

Klaxons -
The Night (Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons Cover)
Damn Arms - Homewrecker


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Thursday, December 13, 2007



The White Stripes' remake of Corky Robbins' 'Conquest', off their album, 'Icky Thump', is set to be released as the latest single in the US on December 18th and in the UK on December 31st. The B-sides of this single were co-produced by Beck, who contributed vocals and piano to 'It's My Fault For Being Famous' and slide guitar to 'Honey, We Can’t Afford To Look This Cheap'. The mentioned tracks plus an additional b-side called Cash Grab Complications On The Matter are released as a series of 7-inch of black, white and red colored vinyl singles. The b-sides also feature an acoustic Mariachi version of 'Conquest'.

The White Stripes - It's My Fault For Being Famous
The White Stripes - Honey, We Can't Afford To Look This Cheap
The White Stripes - Cash Grab Complications On The Matter
The White Stripes - Conquest (Acoustic Mariachi Version)

Watch Meg and Jack step into the bullring as matadors, with the latter showing off bull-fighting skills, until there's an unexpected role reversal. A rare sense of humour in White Stripes' collection of videos. Pretty amusing.

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Monday, December 10, 2007

Top 20 Tracks of 2007

Ah, time flies.Year 2007 almost comes to a close, once again I list my favourite tracks of the year. I made a list of ten tracks last year, 2007 has rewarded us so many stellar moments in music that ten is defininitely not enough to sum up what I have been listening for the past 12 months. Looking back, there was a mix of incredible comebacks that regain my love and newly discovered gems that capture right off my ears. Suprisingly on this list, only one artist has appeared on my previous year end list, and a handful of the the artists in this year's list are almost unheard of by me or their old materials just did not appeal to me. Excuse me for the recycle use of vocabulary in my descriptions, here are my top twenty favourite tracks of year 2007:

2080 - Yeasayer
This track is simpy astonishing. It's got everything, melodic chanting, harmonized chorus, heart-thump drums, clarinets, guitars, you name it. Yeasayer's ridiculous energy is well displayed with its wild, Animal Collective-like chants during the bridge's climax, coupled by some eerie children choirs in the remainder of the track.

Run To Your Grave - The Mae Shi
This is probably the most-played track in my playlist this year. The jingle-like melody and the feel-good sing-along vibe make this track a catchy-as-shit indie rock track. Closing with a cool Nitendo-like sound effect, it is utterly fun and addictive. Not to forget, it comes with a great and colourful video too.

Someone Great - LCD Soundsystem
Built on synthesizers and a dual vocal-and-glockenspiel melody, this bittersweet pop song grabbed me by ears right off the bat. As James Murphy's finest lyrical moment to date, this track helps further the notion that he should be recognised as a great songwriter, not simply a skilled musician with a few studio tricks.

Your English Is Good - Tokyo Police Club
Another excellent slice of upbeat jangles guitar pop from the Canadian bright young things. With all shouty group vocals and summery guitar sounds, this song always goes over well in the party atmosphere. The only let down is, where is their debut album!?

From Nothing To Nowhere - Pinback
With its distinct bass fret action, this track moves along swiftly with the fast-paced guitar riff, providing quick, bubbling beat and lots of energy. It certainly got me hooked. A tasty trademark Pinback melody.

Men's Needs - The Cribs
Men's Needs is purely fantastic - tight, catchy and simple. Starting with a riff that will linger in your head until the end of time, this track is no doubt a perfect indie pop gem. It all adds up to the Jarman brothers' catchiest, glammest and best song to date.
Cribs+Kapranos=Pop Genius

The Opposite of Hallelujah - Jens Lekman
Jens Lekman is undoubtedly a true pop music genius. The melancholy instrumentation of strings and piano, Jens fantastic vocal delivery, and witty lyrics in this track just have me filled with happiness after listen.

Pioneer to the Falls - Interpol
Elegant yet dark and atmospheric, this phenomenal song simply blows my mind. Haunting soulful guitars riff and odd piano tinkle, complete with funereal trumpet, set the experience up to be epic. Best track on the album.

Fluorescent Adolescent - Arctic Monkeys
How can these Sheffield lads be left out in a year-end best of list? Jangly guitar riffs supported by driving bass, plus one of the catchiest choruses of the year in "oh the boy's a slag, the best you ever had", would you expect anything less than instantly catchy? A brilliant pop gem that I can't stop listening.

Atlas - Battles
Throw in some massive energetic drums, chunky riffs, low-rolling bassline and weird synthesised chipmunk vocal, and you have this insanely inventive track. Who would thought of experimental math rock can be that danceable? Awesome.

The Magic Position - Patrick Wolf
"Shoot, bang, fire!" An infectious clap along chorus and an endless stomping beat that demands participation, coupled with saxophones, chimes and children squeal, this uplifting track creeps into my ears and doesn't escape. Glorious magical pop.

Elephant Gun - Beirut
Begins with that signature ukulele sound, bottomed out with marching band drums and Condon's lovely vocal, and ends with a gear shift to another flavor of accordion and horn, "Elephant Gun" brings a soothing and joyousness feel to me. Lovely.

Teardrop - José González
This echoey acoustic cover version of Massive Attack hit is simply stunning. José managed to transfer the original track's dark textures with inspired acoustic arrangements and earnest emotion. Completely addictive.

O Katrina! - Black Lips
Aa amazing up-beat rock number with jangling, fuzzy guitars and 60's styled, lo-fi approach. Wildly infectious. In fact, the whole album is. Garage punk at its best.

Bullets - Tunng
'Bullets' is made up of warm guitar arrangements, strange percussion line and harmonious piano and vocals, resulting in a joyous, catchy and fun tune, which makes you tap your foot and sing-along uncontrollably.

Gronlandic Edit - Of Montreal
Pure pop pleasure with funky bassline, and Kevin Barnes's deadly falsetto out of the blue make this track a frantic fun-fest of disco-fuelled indie. 'Physics makes us all its bitches' is such a great line.

15 Steps - Radiohead
The edgy and clattering beatwork and rhythm are brilliant in this album opener, contrasting greatly with the more fluent guitar riffs and melodies. The part where the kids yell merrily really clinches it, giving a rare sense of delight in the Radiohead catalog. They certainly did not disappoint this time. Excellent song, great album.

Those Thieving Birds (Part 1) / Strange Behaviour / Those Thieving Birds (Part 2) - Silverchair
An incredible prog-pop tune, with beautiful sounds of an orchestra playing with a rock band. Starts off as a lovely acoustic/string laden ballad with great guitar work and deep piano, moving to a disjointed classic and catchy sounding rocker, and returning to the previous ballad, simply epic!

Australia - The Shins
The Shins is just so damn fine. Their summery blend of pop melody evoke a feeling of comfort and joyfulness, and Australia follows this trend. With a banjo chucked in for good measure, this is as addictive as other Shins' classics.

Plasticities - Andrew Bird
Open with some beautifully plucked strings, Bird croons over his trademark violin, augmented by wonderful vocal, snappy guitar hook and hand claps in this wonderful power pop track. Great stuff.

Notable mentions:

Golden Skans - Klaxons
Neon-glo knights. Top notch album. Mercury Prize.

Is There A Ghost - Band Of Horses
Follow-up to last year's Funeral. Could not top the masterpiece. But still love this beautiful melancholy song.

D.A.N.C.E - Justice
Who would miss this DANCE anthem of summer? I'd write more but I have to go dance now.

My People - The Presets
Electrifying. Full release next year. Excitement.

Lake Michigan - Rogue Wave
Handclaps and lovely vocals. Perfect indie pop.

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Sunday, December 02, 2007

Teddy Picker

Teddy Picker

Already a fan favourite, ‘Teddy Picker’ is set to be released as the third single from Arctic Monkeys' sophomore album, 'Favourite Worst Nightmare' on December 3. As for B-sides, the Sheffield lads have teamed up with Richard Hawley for a duet and recorded a version of 'Bad Woman', a cover of Pat Farrell And The Believers' 1969 track. Also we can hear an instrumental track titled 'The Death Ramps' as well as 'Nettles, a short and upbeat trademark song of them. These two songs are too released by Artic Monkeys on a limited edition vinyl under a pseudonym called The Death Ramps.

Arctic Monkeys -
Bad Woman
Arctic Monkeys - The Death Ramps
Arctic Monkeys - Nettles

The tra
ck comes with a Strokes-ish video directed by Roman Coppola, which features the band in a recording studio performing the song. Coppola is literally only able to make the same type of video but having said that, he has perfected it. The Strokes should definitely take him back.

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