Archive for September, 2008

Bon Iver - Myspace Transmissions EP

September 23rd, 2008

Bon Iver - Myspace Transmissions EPOk, so I’ve gone abit Bon Iver mad lately, but for those of you curious, you can download a free EP from Myspace:

myspace transmissions

Nothing new, but its got some very nice arrangements of tracks from ‘For Emma, Forever Ago’. they’ve also got lots of other really cool music in there too, so check it out…

Bon Iver - Shepherds Bush Empire, 11 September, 2008

September 20th, 2008

Bon Iver, Shepherds Bush Empire, 11 September, 2008 -- from mullersflickr flickr account

Ok, so I admit it, I’m abit of a music-o-holic at the best of times. I’m always sniffing around for new music, new experiences, the next big thing — anything that will slap me around the back of the head and make me sit up and listen in awe. Several months ago, in one of my frustrating ‘why cant i find anything to listen to?’ moods, I stumbled across Bon Iver’s ‘For Emma, Forever Ago’, and it rapidly became part of my constant play rotations. If it isnt a contender for album of the year, I dont know what is!

So when I heard Bon Iver was coming to town, I knew I just had to witness them on stage and take in all that was their live show, however much the ticket hawkers on ebay were charging. I wasn’t disappointed.

They played with a relentless intensity and beauty that reminded me of Mazzy Star, the dynamic control and simplicity of bands like Low or Sigur Ros. I recently read one fan’s post concert thoughts, stating he much prefered Bon Ivers previous ‘intimate’ performances, like he was inferring that now that there’s a bass player, and a guitar rack full of guitars that they’ve some how bought up, and sold out.

I’ve seen this idea floating around a few blogs as well, but I would also argue that this is merely another case of ‘I like your old stuff better than your new stuff’. Which in itself, seems abit of a pointless argument - having recently listened to Justin Vernons REAL old stuff (pre Bon Iver, a band called DeYarmond Edison), and it sounds remarkably like their new track ‘Blood Bank’. So what people are actually fighting against here, is an artists right to grow and change, because they love what they were. Maybe Bon Iver is changing. Maybe they’ll one day find their way back to what that sound was. But expecting an artist to stay in still frame for your own personal pleasure is as pointless as trying to hold onto running water. Things change… Deal with it!

But I digress… For a performance to a packed venue the size of Shepherds Bush Empire, I struggle to believe this could have been any more intimate and personal than it was. Any added bass and drums actually complimented the texture, rather than detracting from it by overcomplicating the sound. More organic, than intrusive.

Most of the beauty in their musical texture, in my opinion, was not even from the instruments, but the voices in all their glory. Justin Vernon was in fine falsetto voice, as was his band, and they seems to effortlessly acheive a level of unity when singing together that you dont often hear in bands, and even more so with 3-4 male voices in unison. Every time they started up a song, the entire audience was silent and hungrily listening. For a band still coming into its own, everyone there seemed to be a staunch fan.

A tip for you punters going to Shepherds Bush Empire - dont get standing room tickets. I’m 6′4″, and from 10 metres out, the most I saw of the players was heads and shoulders, while my poor partner saw nothing. for the whole concert. (dang it)

If you get a chance to see these guys live, I strongly suggest you do. I look forward to seeing them again, and their 2nd album, which I hope, will involve as many instruments as they see fit! :)

So here are my picks for that night: ‘Flume’, ‘Re: Stacks’, ‘Blood Bank’, and ‘I Believe in You’ (a Talk Talk cover). Enjoy!

the tracks:
Bon Iver - Flume.mp3
Bon Iver - Blood Bank.mp3
Bon Iver - Re Stacks.mp3
Bon Iver - I Believe In You.mp3

flickr photo sets of the night: (including the one above, by mullersflickr)

Yael Naim - The Pigalle Club, 10 September, 2008

September 16th, 2008

photo by: Photo Rod |

Having experienced Yael by myself in May, and really enjoyed it, I thought I’d catch her again in the smaller venue of The Pigalle Club, which is a cabaret or burlesque club venue, much different to her last outting at the larger Scala.

I was really looking forward to seeing her again, and introducing my gf to her music. Her voice was still as good as I had recalled, and the intimate venue suited her music.

Her setlist was only slightly different to the Scala performance, but thats to be expected, since she’s still on the same tour. Admittedly, her energy levels were also slightly less than her Scala gig, but it was still quite a convincing performance considering shes on the tail end of a fairly large world tour.

Here are a few tracks from the night - (a few duplicates of the Scala gig, for your comparison!)

Yael Naim - Lonely.mp3
Yael Naim - Yashanti.mp3
Yael Naim - Why Do We Fall In Love.mp3

photo by: Photo Rod |

Regurgitator - The Venue, ULU, 9 September, 2008

September 15th, 2008

Regurgitator - The Venue, ULU, 9 September, 2008. Flickr pic by andrewontour

Anyone who’s seen these larrikins live before will know that they put on a pretty convincing show, and have a good time on stage while they are at it. Which, was perfect for a room full of antipodeans looking for a trip down memory lane.

Not to say that their latest official release isnt as good as their old stuff (yes, thats an injoke…) in fact, Regurgitator have a nack of suprising everyone with something fresh and rocking with every new album. Indeed, they opened with one of their tracks of the new album, and it kicked the night off nicely.

I first time I saw these guys was around 14 years ago, at the Perth Big Day Out, with Quan wearing a rather becoming pink frock, and thrashing out classics like Blubber Boy and Track 1… (since then he’s denounced the dress wearing, stating that he was put off them after seeing a band he didn’t like very much wearing similar fair.)

They may have grown up abit since then, lost a drummer, and adopted a keyboard player, but they played a cracking set of 22 tracks to round off the end of the UK tour, using their experience to rile up the crowd to their own advantage. Within a few tracks into the set, the audience were busy moshing around and shouting out lyrics to their favourites. Quan and Ben still work amazingly together, and have a great energy on stage.

I certainly enjoyed this concert,but I wish they’d played blubber boy… can’t win them all I suppose!

Heres a few tracks from the night:

Regurgitator - Everyday Formula.mp3
Regurgitator - I Sucked Alot of Cock to Get Where I Am.mp3
Regurgitator - Devil With a Thousand Eyes.mp3
Regurgitator - Polyester Girl.mp3
Regurgitator - Kung Foo Sing.mp3

EDIT: ‘devil with a thousand eyes’ is actually titled ‘Sonnet of a Media Mogul’ (thanks for the heads up from Andrew!)

and a flickr set: