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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Day 5 at Primavera Sound: Deserter's Pop Songs

And the final chapter of the Primavera Sound Festival, back where it all started, at Poble Espanyol.

The Good
A nice day of music. Four bands were scheduled on Sunday, and all four offered an excellent taste of their music, giving us a different and estimulating approach on indie-pop. From the lovely Me and The Bees and their Sarah Records style of pop to the vigorous power-pop of My Teenage Stride, or the fantastic, charming, romantic, and funny classic pop -and unforgettable presence and a new discovering for me- of BMX Bandits. And of course the psychedelic pop of Mercury Rev.

The Bad
Re-arranged schedule. Totally understandable that one band (Deakin) cancelled their gig, so the timetables for Sunday had to be re-scheduled. But would it be too much to ask to know about the new schedule in advance? We would have saved an hour of time.

The Queen
Deserter's Songs. What a mesmerizing performance by Mercury Rev! Among the best gigs of the Festival. An epic, sumptuous, theatrical tour de force through the whole "Deserter's Songs", with the band giving everything and enjoying themselves in every single second of each song. A wonderful last concert to close the PS.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Day 4 at Primavera Sound: Let the Festival shake

Folk-rock brilliance for a great Saturday at Primavera Sound!

The Good
Small band, great attitude. Must be hard to play in one of the smallest stages of the Festival, at the time the football match starts. But Deep Sea Arcade showed attitude, passion and upbeat melodies to forget about Messi for a while easily.
Stadium indie-folk: The Tallest Man on Earth proved that he is not only a man of talents, but also a great showman, and helped by a (surprisingly) enthusiast crowd, the Swedish gave us a great show. Later in the afternoon, Fleet Foxes doubled down and proved how uplifting is their music, I would say that even contagious: the songs from "Helplessness Blues", "Mykonos", "Your Protector" or "White Winter Hymn" shimmered on the open spaces, fuelled by the passionate sing-alongs of a pleased audience

The Bad
Warpaint: I was really looking forward to their concert....but they ruined it with an awful sounding, really harming for the ears and killing the amalgamation of guitars and harmonies that makes their psychedelic-rock so enjoyable. Only at considerable distance from the stage the gig was audible. Missed opportunity.

The Queen
PJ Harvey. The GREAT, EXTRAORDINARY PJ Harvey I should say. What a fantastic performance yesterday night. I had doubts about how the songs of "Let England Shake" were going to sound live, particularly at the main stage of the Festival, but by the time she played "The Words that Maketh Murder" it was clear the night was going to be unforgettable. A flawless, intense and enormous gig, with brutal performances of "Bitter Branches", "In the Dark Places", or classic renditions of "The Sky Lit Up" or "Big Exit" (to name a few). Truly amazing.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Day 3 at Primavera Sound: "Common People" in brief!

Yesterday it was a day of contrasts at Primavera Sound Festival.

The Good
The National: As expected, their gig was impressive. Probably Matt took to much wine, but that gave the concert a more physical side, even aggressive approach at some songs. Despite not really audible, seeing Sujfan Stevens performing with them was great. Stunning performances of "England" and "Squalor Victoria".
Confirmations: Like Cults on Thursday, Tennis were great yesterday afternoon. Lovely and joyful music, stunningly performed, and with real, unforced charm.
"Feeling the music": Wether it is the simple and pure joy of playing, like Aias, or the capacity of getting lost in the music, like Avigdor Zahner-Isenberg, leader of Avi Buffalo, that sort of attitude can really make the difference.

The Bad
Massification: It was clear from the start Friday was the "big day". At 17:00 pm the place was already pretty full, and by the time Avi Buffalo took the stage, one could easily guess one of the words of the night was going to be massification. I insist, the organizers of PS should take that issue into consideration, the Festival was really uncomfortable yesterday, at times uncomfortable to the extreme. And considering the spirit of PS its a contradiction.
More contradictions: to point out before moving into the music: why I was allowed to access the Festival with a bottle of water on Thursday, but forbidden yesterday? And why a bottle of water is dangerous, but a ball or a skateboard is not? Oh! one last thing, AGAIN: you need a lot of time to move from Llevant stage to San Miguel stage, so you'll probably will miss some shows. I ask the organizers to have in mind that.
Drunk people is not cool: Linked to the issue of massification, a gigantic drunk mass willing to move to the front of a concert can almost ruin it. Some additions: rubbish (why people cannot be more considered with the rest?) and drunk people makes a pretty disgusting combination. And people on drugs asking if you are interested in buying some cocaine is not cool either.

The Queen
P-U-L-P: After surviving the "angry mobs" and get, by chance, a fairly good place to see the concert, all I can say is that it was a phenomenal one! Jarvis Cocker was outstanding, the sound was great and the opportunity of enjoying, finally, "Disco 2000", "Do You Remember the First Time?", "Something Changed" and "Sorted For E's & Wizz". I missed some more "This Is Hardcore", but when Jarvis, an extraordinary frontman and entertainer, dedicated "Common People" to the ones who faced the unjustified repression at the Plaça Catalunya camp, saluting the "indignados", he made the impossible. He transformed the quintessential party song, the one that everyone was expecting to shout, jump and dance all over, into a protest song, a danceable hymn for the ones that are defending their rights.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Quick note from the Primavera Sound Festival

Hi there! Just a quick post briefing on how the Festival is going after its first two days

The Good
Diversity: many bands to see and options among to choose.
Discovering new bands: so far The Fresh and Onlys and Of Montreal are among my list of positive surprises.
Confirmations: Cults will be huge. And they deserve it. Their music is highly addictive.
And seeing Jarvis Cocker next to you watching Of Montreal!

The Bad
Distances: I understand that with so many options, you need more stages, but honestly, Llevant stage is too far from the rest, so arrive there/move from there when a "big name" is going to play with so many people is a bit chaotic.
Massification: Linked with that, I guess the Festival has become a bit too huge, and is starting to be a bit uncomfortable.
Discovering new bands: unfortunately, some new bands you discover on a festival you won't like at all. In my personal case, that is Islet.
Sound quality: The Festival has to improve. Nissennemondai, Las Robertas, Comet Gain on Wednesday, Cults, The Fresh and Onlys and Interpol yesterday. From slightly to overtly too noisier, in some cases almost burying the voices...
Going home: It is really that impossible for Transports Metropolitans de Barcelona to open all night for just two nights? Why when Barça has a late night game they usually do then?***
The "Portal" thing: I won't say anything about that, because honestly, my least interest on a Festival is beer.

The Queen
So far, the best gigs for me have been...
Comet Gain: they had some sound issues, and Dave Feick's voice wasn't at his best, but their enthusiasm and wonderful tunes were refreshing.
The Walkmen: Best so far from PS. Excellent music leaded by a thunderous frontman. I was a bit frustrated when I saw them on November at BeCool, because the noise killed half of their gig, but yesterday they were superb.

And today The National, Belle and Sebastian and Pulp, so excited!

*** Totally unrelated note, but I had to say it: this morning eviction of the camp in Plaça Catalunya is pathetic. It shows that our government and city responsibles care about football (because tomorrow's match is the real reason of the forced eviction) instead of democracy and the rights of the people to protest. Shame on them. Real Democracy Now!!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Happy Birthday Bob! (Dylan)

Today the blog has arrived to 5.000 visits. A MILLION THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO HAS VISITED IT. Hope you are enjoying it.

By a wonderful coincidence, today is also a very special day to celebrate for any music lover. Today is Bob Dylan's 70th anniversary. And to commemorate such an important date, here goes a playlist (one of the toughest I ever made) with my favourite songs of his entire and formidable career, a career and a myth that goes beyond any other musician. Why 18 songs? Well, I started my relation with Dylan with an old cassette tape a friend gave me. I was 15 then. The cassette has 18 tunes (I still have it), it was a sort of best of. Several songs included there are making this list after many years.

So, Happy Birthday Bob, happy b-day Jokerman!
  1. Like a Rolling Stone
  2. Subterranean Homesick Blues
  3. Tangled Up In Blue
  4. Ballad of a Thin Man
  5. You're a Big Girl Now
  6. It Ain't Me, Babe
  7. Hurricane
  8. Idiot Wind
  9. Tombstone Blues
  10. I Want You
  11. It's All Over Now, Baby Blue
  12. Jokerman
  13. Just Like A Woman
  14. Masters of War
  15. Love Minus Zero/No Limit
  16. Lay, Lady, Lay
  17. Ain't Talkin'
  18. Buckets of Rain
Here's the GROOVESHARK playlist (yes, I'm replacing spotify)

Monday, May 23, 2011

Discoverer Special II: Primavera Sound new findings

Three more proposals you can add to yesterday's recommendations among the international bands that will be playing at Primavera Sound Festival...only two days remaining!!

Rubik. An indie-pop treasure hailing from Helsinki, Finland. I couldn't define this 8 piece-band in any other way after hearing "Solar", their third album, a brightly shimmering, joyful collection of tunes, where The Postal Service meets Of Montreal, or Grandaddy fuses with Modest Mouse. Their music is a roller coaster, a cascade of sounds and rhythms where everything is possible, from warm electronic envelopes to anthemic trumpets or handclapping. Sounds messy on paper, but trust me, what a fun and addictive mess it is.

Francis International Airport. More quality indie-pop, this time from Wien, Austria. "In The Woods", their second album, is a moody, at times reminiscent of the atmospheric sound of The Cure ("Solaris" for instance), intricate affair mixed with occasional glimpses of effervescence (check the single "Amnesiacs"). Sophisticated yet catchy, melancholic and with a very particular ambience. A very powerful record, one that offers you many different listens, endures and always rewards.

A Classic Education. A 6 piece-band, half Italian (Bologna), half Canadian, that define their sound as "nocturnal music for lazy afternoons". And indeed these delicious EP, "Hey There Stranger", with misty pop tunes like "Gone To Sea" or "Terrible Day", evokes quiet hours spent in warm beaches and breezy parties under the moon light. With the exception of the infectious melody of "What My Life Could Have Been", a reverb-less Pains of Being Pure At Heart approach, A Classic Education prefers to distille elegance and subtleties to their indie-pop, with excellent results. 

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Discoverer Special: Primavera Sound new findings

For today's round of new findings I propose you bands that are playing at Primavera Sound Festival  2011. Some more excellent options among to choose to see live this coming week!

The Tallest Man On Earth. Among the bands discovered by now, there's a special place for Kristian Matsson, aka The Tallest Man on Earth. Hailing from Dalarna, Sweden, he's a young (just 28), modern era folkie troubadour, but not just one more to add to the bunch. His songwriting skills, his fingerpicking guitar style and his mesmerizing voice will translate you directly to another time, another place and another name: yes, Bob Dylan. But vocal similarities aside, I'm just using the comparison to highlight how big the talents of Matsson are. Best thing you can do is to judge yourself, checking his two albums and EPs. Eagerly awaiting to see him live on Saturday afternoon.
The Tallest Man on Earth - King of Spain
The Tallest Man On Earth - The Dreamer

Deep Sea Arcade. This Australian (from Sidney) five-piece band will make you think immediately on the 60s and another mythical name: The Beatles. Luckily, there's a more adventurous music here, closer to the power-pop classicism and The Zombies psychedelia, but also to Bristol's sound or Air's ambient pop. What matters, though, is that whatever their approach is, the band always seems capable of transform it into an addictive pill of perfect indie-pop, with an unforgettable melody. Their debut album will be out on September, but I already guarantee you won't regret listen them now.

Las Robertas. This ridiculously young (the four members are well under 25) all-girl band comes from San José, Costa Rica, a place that you won't usually relate with the actual melodic lo-fi punk explosion. But they don't have anything to envy to Vivian Girls, Best Coast or the Dum Dum Girls. In fact, they have pretty distinctive sound, a bit darker (full of death references) and noisier, despite the mixture of wistful vocals harmonies and crunchier guitar riffs, reminiscent of Black Tambourine or Sonic Youth. Their debut album,"Cry Out Loud", was released last year, gaining the recognition such a collection of hits deserves.

Las Robertas - V for you

Primavera Sound 2011 wished setlist: Pulp

And of course, after The National and Belle & Sebastian, on Friday 27th will be the time for one of the most expected gigs of the Primavera Sound Festival 2011, and for me personally, as I will have the opportunity of seeing a band that I thought I won't be able to see: Pulp. So excited to hear "Common People" and some personal favourites live (please play "Something Changed" and E's & Wizz")! Prepare your Jarvis Cocker movements!
  1. Disco 2000
  2. Mis-Shapes
  3. Cocaine Socialism
  4. Babies
  5. Bad Cover Version
  6. Help The Aged
  7. Lipgloss
  8. Glory Days
  9. Birds In Your Garden
  10. This Is Hardcore
  11. Do You Remember The First Time?
  12. Sorted For E's & Wizz
  13. Something Changed
  14. Common People
  15. A Little Soul

Friday, May 20, 2011

From #spanishrevolution to #worldrevolution

The saying goes: "a picture is worth a thousand words". How true. Just take a look to this very special map. Wishing the first big change in Spain comes with this Sunday's elections (end bipartidism, stop corruption), and then... a real and meaningful change in the whole world. Really proud and excited of what's happening.

Place take your time to watch (and hear)

Primavera Sound 2011 wished setlist: Belle & Sebastian

As started with The National three days ago, here's the second wished setlist for Primavera Sound Festival 2011, this time a playlist of my beloved Scotts Belle and Sebastian, who will be also playing on Friday 27th. A highly expected gig. Enjoy the "setlist"!

  1. I Didn't See It Coming
  2. Me And The Major
  3. Asleep On A Sunbeam
  4. If You Find Yourself Caught In Love
  5. Like Dylan In The Movies
  6. She's Losing It
  7. I'm Waking Up To Us
  8. Seeing Other People
  9. Wrapped Up In Books
  10. I Want The World To Stop
  11. Another Sunny Day
  12. The State I Am In
  13. Get Me Away From Here, I'm Dying
  14. There's Too Much Love
  15. Expectations

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Spain, in the name of corruption... (don't vote them!)

Many more are misssing, and the list doesn't included the politicians that have been excluded from their parties lists for this Sunday elections. But here's a noteworthy relation of politicians charged with corruption that are running for the weekend elections. That's a "taste" of how democratic is Spain.... How can you vote them?

1- Francisco Camps (PP), Valencia, IMPUTADO Caso Gürtel
2- Ricardo Costa (PP), Valencia, IMPUTADO Caso Gürtel.
3- Xicu Tarres (PSOE), Baleares IMPUTADO Caso Eivissa.
4- Francisco Cuenca (PSOE), Granada, IMPUTADO Caso Morelábor5- Carlos Penit (IU), Pinto - Madrid IMPUTADO Cohecho.
6- Ferrán Falcó (CIU), Barcelona, IMPUTADO caso Adigsa.
7- Jesús Machín (C. Canaria), Canarias, IMPUTADO Operación “Unión”.
8- Marc Moreno (ERC), Vilaller - Lleida, IMPUTADO corrupción urbanística.
9- Antonio Rodrigo Torrijos (IU), IMPUTADO Caso Mercasevilla.
10- Raimundo González (BNG), Pontevedra, IMPUTADO caso Naturgalia
11- Jose Manuel Traba (PP), Fisterra Galicia, IMPUTADO Operacion Orquesta
12- Jose Manuel Santos (PP) Mazaricos Galicia,IMPUTADO Operacion Orquesta
13- Jose Antonio Cacabelos (PSOE), O Grove - Galicia, IMPUTADO diversos delitos

14- Juan Jose Diaz Valiño (PSOE) -IMPUTADO caso Castro de Rei
15- Rafael Gómez (Unión Cordobesa), Córdoba, IMPUTADO caso Malaya
16- Esteve Ferrán (UTpS), Salou Tarragona, IMPUTADO delitos varios
17- Antoni Banyeres (NSP), Salou Tarragona IMPUTADO delitos varios
18- Ignacio García de Vinuesa (PP) (Alcobendas)
19- Jose Ignacio Fernández Rubio (PP) (Las Rozas)
20- Miguel Rodríguez Bonilla (PP), Guadarrama Madrid, IMPUTADO delitos varios
21- Miriam Rabaneda (PP) Pinto Madrid, IMPUTADO delitos varios
22- Luis Partida (PP) Villanueva de la Cañada Madrid, IMPUTADO delitos varios
23- Clara Torres (PP) Torres de la Alameda Madrid, IMPUTADO delitos varios
24- Raúl López (PP) Coslada Madrid, IMPUTADO delitos varios
25- Íñigo Henríquez de Luna (PP) Madrid
26- Trinidad Rollán (PSOE), Madrid, IMPUTADO delitos varios
27- Carmen Toledano (PSOE), Madrid, IMPUTADO delitos varios
28- Cristina González (PSOE), Madrid, IMPUTADO delitos varios
29- Jose Joaquin Ripoll (PP), Alicante Valencia, IMPUTADO caso Brugal.
30- Carlos Fabra (PP), Castellón Valencia, IMPUTADO caso Fabra31- Mariano Arévalo (PSOE) Carabaña Madrid, IMPUTADO delitos varios
32- José Miguel Govantes (PSOE) Pinto Madrid, IMPUTADO delitos varios
33- Carmen Toledano (PSOE) Galapagar Madrid, IMPUTADO delitos varios
34- María Isabel Peces-Barba (PSOE) Colmenarejo Madrid, IMPUTADO delitos varios
35- José I Fernández (PP), Las Rozas Madrid, IMPUTADO delito contra la ordenación del territorio
36- Miguel Rodríguez (PP), Guadarrama Madrid, IMPTADO prevaricación
37- Ignacio García de Vinuesa (PP) , Alcobendas Madrid, IMPUTADO malversación, prevaricación y negociaciones prohibidas
38- Clara Torre (PP), Torres de la Alameda Madrid, IMPUTADA malversación
39- Miriam Rabaneda (PP,) Pinto Madrid, IMPUTADA prevaricación
40- Raúl López Coslada (PP), Madrid, IMPUTADO prevaricación
41- Luis Partidad (PP), Villanueva de la Cañada, Madrid, IMPUTADO tráfico de influencias
42- Ana María Pinos Belmonte de Tajo (PP) IMPUTADO delito contra la ordenación del territorio
43- Ángel García Guadalix de la Sierra Madrid (PP), IMPUTADO negociaciones prohibidas
44- Íñigo Henríquez de Luna (PP), Madrid, IMPUTADO tráfico de influencias
46- Mariano Arévalo González Carabaña Madrid PSOE condenado por no presentar las cuentas municipales en los ultimos 10 años, etc.
47- José Miguel Govantes (PSOE)Alcorcón Madrid, IMPUTADO condenado por acoso laboral
48- Natalia de Andrés (PSOE) Alcorcón Madrid, IMPUTADA y condenada por un delito de injurias contra el portavoz popular
49- Isabel Peces-Barba (PSOE) Martínez Madrid, IMPUTADO prevaricación
50- María del Carmen Toledano Rico (PSOE) Madrid, IMPUTADO prevaricación
51- Cristina González (PSOE) Getafe Madrid, IMPUTADO prevaricación
52- José María Fraile Parla (PSOE) Madrid PSOE prevaricación
53- Manuel González Rojo (PSOE) San Fernando de Henares Madrid , IMPUTADO prevaricación
54- Hans Antón Bock Galapagar (PSOE) Madrid IMPUTADO prevaricación
55- Jesús Dionisio (PP) Madrid, IMPUTADO prevaricación y tráfico de influencias

Glossary of terms (Spanish-English)
Imputado: charged, accused
Caso: case
Diversos delitos: miscellaneous offences
Prevaricación: prevarication
Cohecho: bribery
Tráfico de influencias: influence peddling
Acoso laboral: workplace harassment
Delito contra la ordenación del territorio: crime against national planning
No presentar las cuentas municipales: failure to submit the municipal accounts
Delito de injurias: defamation
Negociaciones prohibidas: prohibited negotiations
Corrupción urbanística: urbanistic corruption

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Real Democracy Now! (hoping for the revolution)

I'm so happy Spain is finally getting indignant, and that we are reacting, reclaiming our rights. Maybe the time to revolt has arrived. As I already said in the blog (although I tried to keep the political posts to the minimum), i firmly believe (well I think its obvious) big, deep changes are needed. I thought society was disappointingly inactive, but happyly, I was wrong. Even at my job we have expressed openly and publicly our thoughts and supports today, something that makes me very proud:

The United Nations Association in Spain wants to express its support for all the people who are peacefully expressing their deep dissatisfaction with the current economic and social situation. We understand that the present course of events in our country, as in the rest of the world, reflects unambiguously the injustice of a system against which we cannot we be indifferent. The values and principles of the United Nations, the respect for human rights and human dignity, social justice and solidarity among peoples, are seriously challenged, confronted with the reigning corruption, hypocrisy and the market as the only value. So that’s why we join the protests.

Real Democracy Now!!

We are young despite the years we are concern
We are hope despite the times
All of the sudden, these days
Happy throngs, take this joy wherever, wherever you go

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Primavera Sound 2011 wished setlist: The National

As Primavera Sound Festival is almost here (just one week!!) I have prepared some playlists, better said my desired setlists from some of my favourite acts. So to start with, The National (of course), who will be playing on Friday, May 27th. I narrowed down the dreamed gig to 15 songs, as being a Festival they won't have that much time, that's why some favourites ("Slow Show", "Squalor Victoria", "Start A War", to name a few) have been dropped, also in favour of a few new and/or infrequent tunes, that I haven't heard live yet. Hope you enjoy!

  1. So Far Around The Bend
  2. Terrible Love (Alternate Version)
  3. Mistaken For Strangers
  4. Afraid Of Everyone
  5. Exile Vilify
  6. Bloodbuzz Ohio
  7. Think You Can Wait
  8. Conversation 16
  9. Abel
  10. England
  11. City Middle
  12. Fake Empire
  13. Mr.November
  14. About Today
  15. Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks


Monday, May 16, 2011

Farewell Pedro San Martin (La Buena Vida)

Yesterday, Pedro San Martín, bassist and one of the main composers of La Buena Vida, one of the most important Spanish indie bands of all time, died on a car accident in Burgos. Pedro, 39 years old, was spending the weekend with some friends and that night decided who attend the gig of Nacho Vegas, another important name of the national scene, who already expressed his sorrow on his facebook page, as many other artists. My condolences to his family, members of the band and friends. Today is a very sad day for music.

Thanks for the songs, Pedro. Goian Bego.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Discoverer 11: new indie findings

Round 11, here we go!

The Lollipops. Quality guitar driven indie-rock from Poland is what this young band offers us with their debut album "Hold!", just released. Sometimes recalling Ms. PJ Harvey, here you'll find garage rock, punk-pop ("Let's Go Baby") traces and some quiet, dream-pop passages (great "Girls Night Out"), always with the addictive and hazy voice of Kasia Staszko presiding the music. Below you can listen the whole record. Do it!
the Search for the lollipops holdlollipops HOLD!

The Very Most. Third time an EardrumsPop EP makes it on Discoverer series (Boca Chica and Baffin Island), but the reason is very simple: if you love indie-pop, you will love EardrumsPop. The Very Most (already mentioned on the Baffin Island post) are from Boise, Idaho, USA, and they are stunning craftsmanships of pop gems. They've been active since 2002, so there's plenty to discover. I strongly recommend you to start with the joyful "Alien Girl", standout track of this EP, and once you are converted, go for their third full-length, "A Year With The Very Most". You won't regret it.
The Very Most - ePop017 - digital single by EardrumsPop

The Ruling ClassRemember Madchester? The Stone Roses? Ok, let's admit it, "Umbrella Folds" seems like a less-danceable ripoff of "Waterfall"...but to heck with it. The music of this Swedish-British band, included on the "Tour de Force" Ep, released by the great Shelflife Records (another label to look closely) is so fun and exciting you shouldn't care that much about the revivalism thing. Listen to songs like "Marian Shrine" or "Sleeping Beauty" and you won't be able to do anything else than dancing and "tripping" ( careful about that part).

Saturday, May 14, 2011

"Reckless Serenade", good news from Arctic Monkeys

Today I have had the chance of listening the third song unveiled so far from "Suck it and See", the forthcoming album from the Arctic Monkeys, to be released on June 6th. And finally, after a horrible title, a pathetic artwork for the record (on the next Please No More Awful Covers post it will have a well deserved spot, for sure) and two so-so songs (in my opinion, of course), we have a reason to be excited about the new collection of tunes from Alex Turner and co. "Reckless Serenade" is great. Hope the record has plenty of this. Looking forward to hear this one live along with so many other classics at FIB Festival this summer.

Here it is
Arctic Monkeys- Reckless Serenade

And the previous songs, so you can make your own judgements. Enjoy!
Don't Sit Down 'Cause I've Moved Your Chair
Brick By Brick

Friday, May 13, 2011

My Primavera Sound 2011: we have timetables!

Primavera Sound posted today the timetables for the whole Festival. The countdown (and the overlaps suffering) has officially started!! Here's what My PS 2011 will look like:

Wednesday 25th Poble Espanyol
19:30 Comet Gain
20:45 Echo & The Bunnymen performing  "Crocodiles" and "Heaven Up Here"

Thursday 26th Parc del Fòrum

19:15 Cults (All Tomorrow's Parties stage)
23:00 The Walkmen (Pitchfork stage)
00:45 Interpol (Llevant stage)

Friday 27th Parc del Fòrum
17:00 Sufjan Stevens (Auditori) if possible....
Alternate option 17:00 Ainara LeGardon (RayBan stage)
18:00 Avi Buffalo (San Miguel stage)
19:15 Tennis (All Tomorrow's Parties)
20:00 M.Ward (San Miguel)
21:15 The National (Llevant)
22:45 Belle & Sebastian (San Miguel)
01:45 Pulp (San Miguel)

Saturday 28th Parc del Fòrum
17.30 The Tallest Man On Earth (San Miguel)
18:45 Warpaint (Llevant)
19:40 Fleet Foxes (San Miguel)
20:30 The Album Leaf (All Tomorrow's Parties)
22:30 PJ Harvey (San Miguel)

Sunday 29th Poble Espanyol
17:00 Me & The Bees
18:00 Deakin
19:30 My Teenage Stride
20:30 BMX Bandits
22:00 Mercury Rev performing "Deserter's Songs"

That's what is almost decided so far. Sure I will add more names (Of Montreal, Ford & Lopatin, Odio París, Nosoträsh, Yuck, just to name a few have serious possibilities) to the ones already listed...

A final note on the (very disappointing) controversy surrounding Saturday and the "Match". That's what I'll be seeing instead of the UEFA Champions League Final (Barça against Man. United). I understand (I like football and I support Barça) what a significant date is, but not compared with music. No question about it.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

"The Lady Who Liked to Clean Rest Rooms", unsatisfactory satire

The Lady Who Liked to Clean Rest Rooms- J. P. Donleavy 

Let's face it, this is a "one-joke" book (it seems that based on a true situation), so at the end, what really matters is that you find that joke funny. Sadly, I didn't. But I will elaborate a bit more.

The first thing that makes the book peculiar is the writing style, or better said, the voice. Is an interesting stylistic surprise, but I'm sorry to say that, although the novel is short, it makes the reading tiring and Joy's character a little obnoxious. Made me remember Carmen Sotillo from "Cinco Horas con Mario" ("Five Hours with Mario", written by Miguel Delibes). Another comparison could be made with the Tina Balser from "Diary of Mad Housewife" by Sue Kaufman, but in my opinion, Donleavy's book lacks the dynamism the "Diary" has.

The other main struggle of "The Lady Who..." are the secondary characters, they are never built, because the don't matter a thing for Joy (and Donleavy's) so the permanent monologue is only broken by a couple of dialogues that are just circumstantial, to keep the hysterical internal behaviour going. At least Joy, although being caricaturisation, is well defined character, and Donleavy's prose is really good (and credible) and you can see the satire shows little mercy with high-class society. But overall, that's far from being enough.

SCORE: 3,75/10

Monday, May 9, 2011

Spanish indie 2: suggesting the best national acts

I enjoyed doing the first round, so new suggestions of Spanish indie bands!

Odio París. This new band from Barcelona must be the most hyped Spanish (indie) group in many years. Aside the comparisons with Los Planetas (early times) and The Pains of Being Pure at the Heart, both pretty obvious, what we have is a debut album (out very soon) without a single bad track on it, and that's what matters. Melodies infected in feedback and reverb, gold indierock, C-86 style, but in Spanish. Fame awaits the Spanishgazers!
Odio París - Cuando nadie pone un disco
Odio París - 1 de Noviembre

Russian Red. Lourdes Hernández broke indie Spanish standards with her first album, "I Love Your Glasses", on 2008, selling more than 40.000 copies (an impressive mark for a debuting singer / songwriter here). Tomorrow she will publish her second record, "Fuerteventura", produced by Tony Doogan (B&S, David Byrne, Teenage Fanclub, The Delgados) in Glasgow and with the help of Belle & Sebastian musicians. Impressive names for a highly awaited album, that promises changes while she keeps her natural talent for writing indiepop gems.

The Bright. Classic, acoustic folk-rock from León? Yes sir, you're right. Miryam Gutiérrez and Aníbal Sánchez are the duo behind "Soundtrack for a Winter's Tale", their first album, already released, a stunning collection of tunes that seem to converge somewhere between the American tradition and a more diverse ambition, with the (be careful with her warm voice, you might get addicted) presence of Myriam dominating a record as pleasant as exciting to hear. Sorry for the easy joke, but the future looks bright for them.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Discoverer 10: new indie findings

Next round of weekly proposals!

The Sand Band. "All Through the Night", debut album (released in January) from this Liverpudlian (great word) band leaded by David McDonnell has been praised all over the blogosphere. And with a reason. A rare honesty and an uncanny talent for melodies permeates the whole record, in which their folk-rock arises into something suggestively different, melancholic, atmospheric and strikingly beautiful. While McDonnell has been recruited by Noel Gallagher's for his new music adventure, I'm pretty sure this album will be among every Best of the year lists. Don't miss The Sand Band.

Austra. Pretty radical drift in style for the blog (not very fond of electropop or goth synth-pop), the recommendation of this Toronto trio has a reason: Katie Stelmanis unforgettable voice. Multi-instrumentalist Katie pursued a career in opera until she decided she wanted to “make classical music with really fucked up, distorted crazy shit on there.” "Feel It Break" first album (out May 17th) as Austra, enters dance territory but has more in common with bands like Zola Jesus or Fever Ray. Add the new wave feel and Stelmanis voice for a simple equation: Austra is going to be huge. Listen to "Lose It" and get mesmerized. AUSTRA Lose It
Tamaryn. And for the third proposal, we move to shoegazing territory with this duo (vocalist Tamaryn and multi-instrumentalist Rex John Shelverton) from San Francisco. Two EPs and a first album "The Waves", from 2010, for a band capable of condensing a cinematic, dense and atmospheric sound, with guitars that will draw comparisons with a more melodic version of My Bloody Valentine, with a female's voice that evokes a noisier Beach House, an experimental version of The Raveonettes, or even Mazzy Star. Big references for a record that you should check immediately. Judge yourself!!
Tamaryn - The Waves
Dawning -Tamaryn by absentminded

"Different Gear, Still Speeding", Beady Eye's debut, or the (new?) life without Noel

Different Gear, Still Speeding- Beady Eye

How things change, and how fast. Now any song that has a real musical instrument played, that doesn't have a rapper, that wants to have some meaning/substance, or that is sung in English, has no chance to succeed in Spain. But not so long ago, Liam Gallagher was the voice (or at least one of the voices) of my generation (teenage years), on a time, when brit-pop was all over Spanish radio and tv. Sure, "Definitely Maybe" and "(What's the Story) Morning Glory" weren't re-inventing the wheel, but 16 years after, they still have more good tunes and more relevance as albums than 99% of  the records that reach the number 1 at the charts nowadays.

Oasis, or better said Noel Gallagher, called it a day, and the brothers, that were never near their first two albums, decided to move on. Liam (with the former members of Oasis and a new keyboardist) has been the first in having his say with Beady Eye eager to prove the world he doesn't need anyone, not even Noel, and that there's life beyond Oasis. But judging the results of the "Different Gear, Still Speeding", is he right?

The first approach to "Different Gear" is really positive. First, Liam's voice is in full mode, reinvigorated and powerful. And second, it seems the band had quite a lot of fun making the record, a joy that it is showed throughout the record, especially on the more upbeat songs. And third, the album has a flair of unpretentiousness that is somewhat gratifying coming from music biggest bigmouth of the last two decades.

Unfortunately, the virtues are not enough if we judge the record in terms of its strength, durability or interest. It's hard to keep the attention focused because the album is one-dimensional and by far (and considering the Oasis career this is not a minor statement) the most deliberated attempt to revisit the 60' British invasion style, with ripoffs from Lennon ("The Roller" is pretty blatant) Beatles, Stones or The Who. And although the classicism might be entertaining for a while (as I said, songs like "Four Letter Word", "Bring the Light" or "Standing on the Edge of the Noise" are pleasant rides) it gets really tiring after during 13 songs and shows an important lack of effort/ambition on Liam's and Co. songwriting.

Getting past the legacy and comparisons to Oasis is not an easy task. But with albums like this one, is going to be impossible. Please Liam, consider to switch off the autopilot mode. There's probably a much better album awaiting to Beady Eye if you do so.

SCORE: 5,5/10