Hox to Dot

Posted by jill on May 23, 2008

Dan Deacon, originally uploaded by jellybeanz.

Two and a bit weeks of a ridiculous number of gigs followed by three weeks of nothing at all, and now an extended weekend of ‘festivals’: Hox to Dot on Thursday and the Brainlove alldayer on Saturday.

Hox to Dot was surprisingly good fun. I had expected the venues to be rammed, but it was not too busy, and it was easy to get into any of the shows. The line up could have been busier, since there were a couple of moments where I had spare 15 minutes to fill, but it also meant that the evening wasn’t too rushed. What was tough was to get to work after only 5 hours sleep (at least that was still more than what I managed the night of Soulwax.

An advantage of a multi-venue festival is the chances to watch things that I would not normally see. Juiceboxxx is one such example. An ‘MC’ performing over a synthy backing track, it could be something that would be terrible in practice. But it was actually enormously fun. Not that I would probably pay just to see him.

On the other hand, going to see things only because you’ve seen the name about is also highly risky. I went to see Iglu & Hartly because they had been featured on Popjustice. They turned out to be a rap/funk/pop band, trying to sound a bit like the Beastie Boys but without the edge.

There were some other great discoveries though. Oppenheimer were cute, like a more innocent version of the Postal Service. Cadence Weapon was the first point in the evening when the audience really got into the music. I look forward to seeing him again at Slottsfjell in July.

The two acts I wanted to see in particular were Eugene McGuinness and Dan Deacon. Eugene McGuinness’s set was great, but at only 20 minutes long, way too short. His mini album is still getting regular plays, and the new songs sound pretty great too. Dan Deacon’s closing set was as much fun as usual, although the Macbeth didn’t work as well as a venue as The Dome did. Maybe it was because it was the end of a long evening on a school night, with a smaller crowd, the show wasn’t as crazy as the one in December. We still did get everything from a Dan Deacon show, the green skull, the interaction and of course the great music.


Explaining the silence

Posted by jill on April 20, 2008

There have been no new posts since February for various reasons.
1) Most of March was very quiet in terms of musical activities (a few gigs in the first week of the month and that was it)
2) The last week of March, I was in Italy
3) The first week of April, I was in Vienna
4) And it’s only in the past week that I’ve gone to gigs again.

To make up of 4 and a bit weeks of no gigs, I am now in a run of a number of ridiculously good shows. It started on Monday, with Los Campesinos! at the Brixton Windmill. After the disappointment of their show at ULU last Autumn, this tiny show made up for everything. It supporst my previous rant, that the size of a venue definately influences the atmosphere of a gig.

Then on Wednesday, dEUS made me completely re-evaluate their music. It’s strange to think that presented with a band’s back catalogue, two people could have entirely different interpretation of their style. I’ve always listened to dEUS for their more gentle songs, like Little Arithmetic. So it was a bit of a shock to see the band live, and experience the louder, rockier side of their music. Still, the gig was fun, even if I didn’t expect to end up at the edge of a mosh pit that night.

In any other week, these two gigs would have been the highlight of that week’s musical events. Not this week. Saturday was Record Store Day and also Low day. An afternoon at Rough Trade, listening to Euguene McGuinness and Jason Molina, followed by a Low gig at the Union Chapel. Thanks to my friend’s eagerness to be right at the front, we ended up on the front row, in the middle pew of the venue. It was the perfect vantage point for the set, close enough to see every glance that Mimi would give her husband, whenever he said something inappropriate, or just not performing seriously.


Favourite albums of 2007

Posted by jill on December 31, 2007

1. Beirut – The Flying Club Cup
2. Justice – Cross
3. Jonquil – Lions
4. Holy Fuck – LP
5. Super Furry Animals – Hey Venus!
6. Daft Punk – Alive 2007
7. Keyboard Choir – Mizen Head to Gascanae Sound
8. Eugene McGuinness – The Early Learnings of…
9. Electrelane – No Shouts No Calls
10. Herman Dune – Giant
11. Tegan and Sara – The Con
12. Menomena – Friend and Foe

And a special mention for In Rainbows by Radiohead. When I paid £40 for the boxset, it really did seem like it cost too much, but when the boxset arrived it was worth every penny.