Mary Timony Band - The Shapes We Make

Mary Timony Band - The Shapes We Make

At the outset this felt like typical female fronted pop-rock, the more I listened the more I realised that there's actually some really interesting work going on here. Second listen and I'm finding myself rather intrigued.

Kind of punky. It would be easy to drop the PJ Harvey label on this because of the rawness that comes through - it doesn't really sound like PJ Harvey (well, Pause/Off does a bit). Killed By The Telephone has interesting almost found sounding patterns towards the end.

You know what, this is almost prog. They use those classic keyboards and the vocals have an 80s Debbie Harry vibe.

That's it, prog it is.

Mclusky - McLusky Do Dallas

Mclusky - McLusky Do Dallas

Howzer! This one caught me off guard. The opener (Lightsabre Cocksucking Blues) really sets the tone. Alternative-Rock/Punk-Pop, in the sense that it's catchy as all hell. Bit of an Albini sound about the recordings.

Mike Patton esk vocal moments - I think it's the way he screams when he's losing it - controlled crescendos. Sounds like Ween sometimes too. Great lyrics as well, "The little kid pissed on the big kids porch, He thinks he's amazing he's rubbish of course, But one of those bands got paid I heard, One of those bands got paid"

Reminds me of an old Hawkes Bay band, Big Blue Blanket. I believe that a good song is a good song no matter what style it's played in. There are some people blessed with the ability to write good catchy songs. These guys have that gift and it makes for some of the most enjoyable alternative punk-rock I've ever listened to.

Spoon - Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga

Spoon - Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga

All of a sudden I've been completely swamped by music that really does it for me. When I last wrote about Spoon I was surprised by them secretly becoming my favourite band. Since then I've completely accepted them as one of the greatest indie bands of all time. Their latest offering is just helping to cement that position.

Don't You Evah is great bit of radio friendly perfection. That the funny thing with these guys - every song is a top indie radio hit, but it's not like everything else. Fundamentally it's quite simple I guess - good pop always gives the appearance of being simple... though I guess if it was actually that simple there would be more good stuff around.

Come on world, pay attention this time, this really is some seriously good stuff that deserves to push everything else off the charts.

Fog - Ditherer

Fog - Ditherer

Umm... drop everything right now. Nothing else matters... get down on your knees and worship Fog.

Got hold of a copy of this (even though it's not out until August) just before going away on my trip last week - stayed up listening to it even when i needed to sleep because I was so enraptured. Several times during my trip I stopped to think about how much I was looking forward to getting back home to give it another listen.

These are pop masterpieces... they must be, I'm on the second listen (the first being over a week ago) and I already know lots of the hooks. Here's the thing though - it twists and turns so much that everything takes me by surprise.

Is the old Fog work as good as this? Should be able to tell you soon - just purchased the entire back catalogue. Man, I can't wait to catch these guys at the Goldmund Festival.

As Fog themselves put it -

"There are people in the world that like weird noises and there are people in the world that like pop songs and then there are some people that like both... and we're those people."

See, I'm those people too. Now it all makes sense.

Tiny Dancers - Free School Milk

Tiny Dancers - Free School Milk

Truthfully, I'm not sure what to think of this. Maybe I'm missing something but it just felt a bit safe. Parts of I Will Wait For You sound like a rip of a old White Stripes track (from the Blood Cells days).

Kinda country-pop-rock - generally a bit too happy - though I guess it's fun. Interestingly the song I liked the most, Hemsworth Hallway, was actually the happiest sounding of the bunch. It's got the catchiest hook on the album... "You know, we don't know what goes though your little miiiiiiiiiiiiind"

If nothing else it definitely sounds like it's derived from a different era.

The Fratellis - Costello Music

The Fratellis - Costello Music

I know, I know, this is old news. I've listened to the album through before - it's just that this is the first time I've had my very own copy to enjoy.

This stuff is good. I've listened to too much Brit rock that really hasn't done much for me of late (I'm looking at you Arctic Monkeys) - listening to this again restores my faith in the genre. I think half the tracks on here were hits last summer, rightfully so too. It's fun. Silly fun with great pop hooks.

Chelsea Dagger is a top lads-down-at-the-pub-sing-a-long track. Overall it got a bit boring towards the end - but mostly because I've bombarded with this stuff so many times before that I already know the whole thing off by heart.

Aphrodite's Child - 666

Aphrodite's Child - 666

Before Vengelis was famous for such classics as the Blade Runner Theme he helped to put together one of the classic prog-rock concept albums. I guess this is probably what made him famous in the first place.

The whole thing is based on The Book of Revelation. I'd heard The Four Horsemen on a mix cd some time ago - man, it's a hot track.

A couple of other things jumped out on first listen. Have I heard The Seventh Seal and Seven Bowls sampled by Enigma? Maybe not sampled but it sounds mighty familiar.

I haven't attacked the second disc yet but I'm told it's a hard listen. We'll see.

Camera Obscura - Let's Get Out of This Country

Camera Obscura - Let's Get Out of This Country

The first thing that springs to mind is that this it Mazzy Starish but I don't know where I get that from. It's far too light and fluffy for Mazzy Star. I think it's probably because it sounds so pretty. There's a nice vintage air about the sound that makes it feel kinda 50s. Great use of Hammond Organ.

The title track just made me realise what this reminds me of - it's The Smiths. The Let's Get Out of This Country sentiment spills over into the following track. Wow, great lyric - "You can't see that I'm just the same, as all the stupid people who you hate."

They've gone for a really full noisy production - somewhat like Go Team!, though not as pronounced.

I think this one is going to become a favourite.

Joan as Police Woman - Real Life

Joan as Police Woman - Real Life

I stumbled across Joan on the internet one day and was very impressed by the few samples I heard... then I forgot about her/them. It was seeing them billed for Rock Werchter that refuelled my interest.

It sits reasonably close to standard american, piano playing female pop rock, but the deviation is wide enough that one has to give it more attention. Eternal Flame jumped out at me straight away - very interesting chord progression. The whole thing is quite dark.

Listening to it again I think that it was the loss of the subtleties in the concert killed a bit of the inspiration for me. This is actually really cool.

Rock Wechter 2007 in Brief

Rock Wechter 2007 in Brief

All in all this turned out to be a really enjoyable festival. Everyone was friendly and it was well organised and clean. Unfortunately the corporations have taken control - the one place I could get something to drink other than coke/beer (I drink neither) was closed down after Stella claimed they were cutting into their market (mutually exclusive markets people).

The bulk of the music was Brit Rock/Pop - briefly:

Joan as Police Woman

Very nice, some of the subtleties were definitely lost in the festival soundsystem. I always appreciate an artist that gets up and disses the US government.

Lilly Allen

One of the great performances of the festival. She smoked the whole time and apologised for being so drunk (drinking Jagermeister straight from the bottle may well be the reason for that). Her voice actually sounded great live.

Queens of the Stoneage

It wasn't loud enough or something - just seemed to lack any real balls. There was actually a problem the whole festival with the vocals being lost in the mix on the main stage.

Arctic Monkeys

Why are these guys so big right now? There's not much to recommend them. Young boys who have no idea how to perform yet. Watching stuff like this makes me feel cynical.

Pearl Jam

Man it was great to finally see these cats play live. Thankfully they stuck almost entirely to Ten/Vs (i would have been lost otherwise). Vedder rambled on a bit (too much weed for him methinks).

Amy Winehouse

What a voice, eh? It comes across well live too. I found watching her was a tad disturbing - too goddamn skinny.


"I don't give a fuck!" - and you know they mean it. The whole performance was very much in that vein (in a good way). Absolutely mental dancing.

Cold War Kids

Not too bad - a bit serious in their performance. The sound was a little uninspirational but I'll have a listen to the recordings 'cos there may well be something there.

Frank Black

What can I say - I've been listening to more and more of his stuff recently because I think he may be a rock god (an angry one at that) - and his performance backs that view up. I think he did a Fat Boy Slim cover in there (performed while lying on the floor).




Why are these guys the kings of metal again? Oh yeah, it's because they completely kick ass. Such a powerful live performance. They tried to lose me with the ballad based encore but the So What madness soon fixed that.

Tori Amos

Pleasantly surprised by this one - great performance. I haven't listened to her stuff before (though I will now). The girls in the room (almost everyone) were definitely feeling the empowerment (:


I've seen these guys before so I didn't waste to much time on them. The whole thing feels dated and lacking in energy. They were are a certain place at a certain time and that's why they're famous. Let go England - for the love of music.

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