17-02-11

3 languages, total silence

So, I went to a show again yesterday. It was pretty impulsive, saw the poster on the previous show and it looked like fun. I had no idea what to expect.
So I got introduced to some quiet music. No punkrock this time. Vulnerable acoustic guitar songs, entrancing piano-enforced soundscapes and heart-crushing electric guitar compositions.

Definitely worth the 5 euros. It was a show by NachtKracht, in the Depot's former Popacademie, a last minute locational change. Really cool of these guys to put up such shows.
It was a cold place, but generally the atmosphere was cosy. Some seats, a carpet to sit on and a small, intimate podium. Everyone was in it for the music, mostly twenty-something dudes and mostly hipster-kids, and it's cool to see people coming out to get entertained without horrible techno music and druuuuuuugs.

Sooo, Love Like Birds started the jams. She has a really cool voice, vulnerable and a bit husky, sexy and touching. She has no own guitar but borrowed her sister's. She is pretty. Her songs are piercing, going straight to every inch of your body and finally her heart reaches the audience's heart, in song. I was really impressed by her music, the voice with the guitar, and by her lyrics. That's probably because I only listen to 3 singer/songwriters alike, and I am  generally easily impressed, but it definitely is worth checking out. There's also a splendid Elliott Smith cover on the myspace page.
Really cool performance, a lot of emotion, including happy songs hidden in sad songs "because [she] isn't good at writing happy songs". Really friendly gal, appreciative of her audience and so on. She gives you shivers and makes you smile. At the same time.
For fans of sad music.

Library Tapes came up next. This Swedish guy surely is doing his thing. With a laptop and a piano he created soundscapes invoking awe throughout the room. This is not my cup of tea, but for some reason he got my attention at the show. I probably wouldn't listen to any of his 8-or-so CDs more than once or twice, but live, with the atmosphere going on, seeing the guy playing his piano and arranging his music, it was quite impressive. I didn't get bored all that much so that's a good indicator. Check it!
For fans of weird music.

I was told that Rivulets would be great. So obviously, I was really psyched to see him perform. He is a man with a guitar and a voice. Beautiful. Heart-felt singing, some great lyrics, great compositions. A truly genuine type of music. This man could silence an army with his music. (Although a few might talk a bit, to which he'll sing you to "shut the fuck up"). The simplistic musical set-up is used to cross bounds and amaze with a variation of intruiging songs. I don't know if that means anything, but it's true.
He has a lot of songs up for download on his website, as well as quite a few CDs, so if you like it, support it.
For fans of sad music.


So yeah, open up your mind to some mellow music, and if you don't like it, you can always put your Ramones cd back on.

15-02-11

UK Skatepunk invasion

New term, back to normal times, I can go to shows again, without worrying about other things.

So yesterday I went out to celebrate Jare's (of State Of Mine fame) birthday. The party took place in the Rock Café in Leuven. I have been to a couple shows there and always had a lot of fun. Sunday night was no exception.

As far as technical skatepunk goes, I really like This Is A Standoff (and Belvedere), Bedtime For Charlie and probably another band. I'm no expert, but there are some really good bands in the genre. To discover those, I have to go to shows because I'm internet-lazy. And Myspace sucks nowadays.

Laughing In The Face Of started off the night with a lot of good riffs and beats, reminiscing of This Is A Standoff - especially vocally. Really impressive. Maybe not the most original skatepunk band I have heard, but they are really good musicians and performers.
They also like weed. A lot.

Truro is a weird name. I don't know what it means. It doesn't matter really. The sound in the venue wasn't really great, so that may have done away with some of the impression of the live show. But overall, I wasn't all that much into this band. Descent, but they didn't stand out.

The Fair Do's, on the other hand, were really, really awesome. Great show, they got me headnodding, maybe dancing for a moment. Fast, melodic, raging. Sometimes they sounded like regular heavy metal with punk rock melodies, but it worked. Some influences from hardcore, which they use to create a distinct sound. Cool!

Each band has demos/eps out and/or albums coming out. Support them, go see a show or buy some merch.
They also all talk/sing really British English. Or "non-normal English", as I was told during the show.

11-02-11

I don't know if chix dig it.

4 years after a re-release of their debut album, Chixdiggit! from Canada have stepped up their game with their much anticipated new EP, Safeways Here We Come.

Label: Fat Wreck Chords
Release: 2011

Tracks:
1. Miso Ramen
2. Swedish Rat
3. Since You Got A Dog
4. Found Love
5. Hot N Horny
6. I Hate Basketball
7. I Hope Things Will Turn Around


It is highly advisable that you pick this up as soon as this is released, or buy it at a show (they have a European tour coming up March/April!).
But first: a retrospective overview.

Chixdiggit! is one of those bands with a exclamation mark. They have been a band since the early nineties, beginning with selling t-shirts and afterwards starting a band, at the same time of being/learning their instruments. That's how the story goes.

Their first release was a demo tape called Humped, with recordings that would later end up on 'real albums', except the HIV song. I Should Have Played Football In Highschool turned up on the EP Best Hung Carrot In The Fridge, among other introductory songs to the sound that Chixdiggit! would perfect. The songs sound a bit messy every once in a while, but the originality is definitely there. It's pop punk with an edge.
Their George Michael cover is also noteworthy.

They get picked up by Sub Pop Records and in 1996 a fabulous self-titled album is released. This turns out to be a great, fun pop-punk album. Witty lyrics, great hooks, good overall songwriting. It includes classics such as I Wanna Hump You and Where's You Mom? Very enjoyable, danceable, singalongable popped up punk rock.
This was re-recorded and re-released in 2007 as Chixdiggit! II and featured 2 more songs. The new recording and production suit the band, who had obviously evolved a lot in those 10 years. Definitely not a waste! The artwork is really cool as well, for both versions in fact.

Back to 1998. Honest Don's, a Fat Wreck Chords subdivision releases Born On The First Of July, generally considered their best album. It has a lot of hits, most noteably My Restaurant, Quit Your Job, Chupacabras and Sikome Beach, but every song is killer, really. This could be one of those album who are perfect. Probably, I'm not sure. It could be. No fuss, just rock. Just doing their thing.

After 2 re-releases of Best Hung Carrot… (on CD and on 10" vinyl) and a split with Groovie Ghoulies on which they do 2 Boomtown Rats cover and a awesome Ghoulies cover, they yet again surprise the world with From Scene To Shining Scene. This might be a tiny bit underrated sometimes, but it is a personal favourite for sure. I remember being absolutely insane about Moto Foxe. I still get shivers when listening to it. You got me feeling just like everyday's a leap year. I don't know what it means, as with a lot of KJ's lyrics, but it sounds so damn cool. Going To The Peelers does the same. Great album including some of their best songs and some of their equally good songs. (This means all their songs are their best songs.)

So, I think I found out about Chixdiggit! in 2007, when Pink Razors had been released for 2 years. Pink Razors is just a genius continuation of their œuvre. More pop, more punk, more power, more songs. This album is bound to make the listener smile. Good Girls or You're Pretty Good should just ake anyone happy. C.G.I.T. and - from a different perspective - Nobody Understands Me don't achieve the same goal, but are fun/witty in their dramatic way. Nobody Understands Me ends the album with the best keyboard part ever written and performed.

They have played Belgium once since I've known them, but I didn't have the chance to see them then.

And now the almighty Chixdiggit! have returned with Safeways…, an EP that makes you jump around and sing. It makes you eat Japanese food, hate basketball, and reconsider your haircut. It makes you amoureux and horny and distolerate friends with dogs.

Can't wait to see them March 26th! Crossbone Fest in Houthalen, everyone should be there.

AND WHEN I'M NOT DRINKING, ALL I CAN THINK OF IS THAT I HATE BASKETBALL!

04-02-11

Small castle songs

So, Mixtapes have put out 2 more songs. Yes they did. They don't stop.
There are tons of bands who deserve more attention. Mixtapes are getting huge. They're everybody's favourite band. Everybody who has heard of them and is not an idiot, that is.

They put out Castle Songs a couple of days ago. It is 1 minute and 42 seconds long. It has 2 songs. They are awesome.
1. Cause I'm A Genius
2. Hey Baby

First one is a short poppunk song with influences from ska and pizza. (It's actually a cover of the theme song of Zeke & Luther, a show I have never heard of.) It's difficult to sing along, but the lyrics are quite great. Life is awesome. I love pizza. You love pizza.
Hey Baby is a slow acoustic song. They are really good at slow acoustic songs. Really cool melodies, lyrics are tongue-in-cheek humourous, referencing Tim Burton and Strung Out.

These recordings do miss some Maura lead vocals though. But it's awesome. Check it out. Pizza is awesome.