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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Primavera Sound 2014: Timetables, 1rst attempt

The line-up
PS14: the clashes' nightmare begins...
Here it is, the timetables for the Primavera Sound 2014 are unveiled... Still pending on some additional things, like Primavera als Parcs' schedule or the remaining small stages, but for the first attempt, this is what my PS 2014 looks like:

Wednesday, May 28th, La [2] Apolo
20:30 Aries 
21.30 Beach Beach 
22.30 Me and the Bees
Zero doubts here. Not very interested on Wednesday bands at Parc del Fòrum and La Castanya's showcase looks so exciting this is a no brainer. Me and the Bees presenting their new record! Can't wait...

Thursday, May 29th, Parc del Fòrum

17:45 Grupo de Expertos Solynieve (Sony)
18:40 Real Estate (Heineken)
19:35 Midlake (Sony)*
20:40 Warpaint (Heineken)
21:50 St. Vincent (Sony)
23:00 Queens of the Stone Age (Heineken
00:30 Arcade Fire (Sony)
If the schedules fit and there's time enough to move from Sony to Heineken and viceversa stages this should be an amazing day... Fingers crossed!

Friday, May 30th, Parc del Fòrum
19:25 Jenny Lewis (Sony)
20:40 Dr. John and The Nite Trippers (Ray-Ban)*
21:40 Slowdive (Sony
22:50 The Julie Ruin (Ray-Ban)
00:20 The National (Sony)
Terrible what a dramatic day it's going to be: Slowdive versus Sharon Van Etten? No Pixies? No War on Drugs? No Lee Ranaldo? That's criminal and, sorry to say, I believe the organisation could have done better, it's pretty strange to me not to think many of the public interested in one of the aforementioned won't like to watch any of the other names... so why are they playing at almost the same times?

Saturday, May 31th, Parc del Fòrum
17:20 La Sera (Vice)
18:45 Courtney Barnett (Pitchfork))
20:00 Dum Dum Girls (Pitchfork)
20:50 Hospitality (Vice)
21:50 Volcano Choir (Sony)
01:05 Helen Love (Vice)
02:10 Foals (Heineken)
Not as terrible as Friday but quite disappointing again. At this point I'm sacrificing Television because I'm not going to leave Courtney Barnett's show and don't want to miss Hospitality's... and after that gig... we'll see... Like last year's edition, maybe I'll be back home pretty early.

Sunday, June 1rst, BARTS
19:40 Joana Serrat
20:45 Grouper
21:50 Juana Molina
23:00 Angel Olsen
Another no-brainer, really looking forward to see Angel Olsen live, and I'm curious about a couple of names on BARTS' agenda so not much to discuss here...

Sure it won't be the final schedule!

*Incomplete (depending on the distances between stages)

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Discoverer 91: new indie findings

Excellent trio of music proposals prepared for you today, check them out!

Le Man Avec Les Lunettes. This Italian quartet was born in 2004, when Alessandro Paderno met Fabio Benni during a boring engineering lesson at university, quickly realising their similar music tastes. They started to write songs together and playing live locally, until they sent a demo to the Swedish Emmaboda Festivalen, who invited them to perform in 2005. Since then, Le Man have toured Europe extensively, changed their line-up, released two albums, a couple of EPs, 7″, 12″ vinyls, a documentary about an Italian DIY group touring Bosnia & Serbia, twenty years after the beginning of the war, and are an intrinsic part of the foundation of one of our favourite labels, We Were Never Being Boring collective. After three years without new releases, they are back with "Make It Happen", out since March. Like Belle & Sebastian meeting the Polyphonic Spree, or Grizzly Bear with sense of humour, here's enduring indiepop, full of layers, melodies and warmth. Quite hard to resist.

The King in Mirrors. Behind the intriguing monarchic name lies Swindon musician Rich May, who began his assault to the guitar pop throne in 2012. The British artist debuted with self-titled mini-album in May 2012, followed with EP "Rolling in the Sun" in the summer of 2013. Now he's back with a new EP, "Little Voices" out since March on Take a Nap Records, which you should be listening now. Why? Because, echoing many of the 80s band we all love, king May has an unbeatable army of pop hooks, melodic weapons, killer guitar lines and the urgency of conquering the listener in 4 minutes. So, you should surrender... and hail the king!

Honeyblood. We end in Glasgow to meet Shona McVicar and Stina Marie Claire Tweeddale. Formed in early 2012, they started putting on a show themselves at The Old Hairdressers to release debut cassette "Thrift Shop" on CATH Records. That gig got the attention of FatCat Records, quickly signing them. Slots supporting Sleigh Bells, Crocodiles, Palma Violets and several festivals followed for the duo, who released single "Bud / Kissing on You" past October. Now a full length is scheduled this 2014, and we couldn't be more excited. Bittersweet pop, riffs, noise & pounding drums intertwine with sweet vocals & effortless charm. Breezy, urgent and addictive as hell. Dying to hear more!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

The Bloodbuzzed Jukebox 7

Here's our next round of our TOP TEN playlistwith the tunes I have been enjoying the most lately. As with previous sets, this is also available at the blog's soundcloud (come on and join us). New discoveries, a couple of beloved bands returning to form, and the first taste of a dreamt comeback meeting all the great expectations. Great tunes indeed!

Direct links to the previous Jukebox weeks
Week 1
Week 2
Week 3
Week 4
Week 5
Week 6

Welcome to the Jukebox!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

These Go to 11: interviewing Desperate Journalist

We are back with our interview series and I'm extremely happy to do so with one of my most exciting discoveries of 2014 so far, the very young post-punk band Desperate Journalist. Fated for big things, I already wrote it before: this is a band to believe in. These Go to 11!

Desperate Journalist
Desperate Journalist, dignifying a
noble profession with killer tunes
Hailing from North London, this quartet began their career in January 2013, making their live debut (that took place at the Negative Creep club) a month later. They quickly began to get the attention of good-eared people, and the buzz became "official" with their first single "Cristina", which entitled their debut EP, released in June that year. Two more tracks followed that November: the mesmerizing single "Organ" backed with "Distance", out on Label Fandango / Fierce Panda. Now the countdown is almost over for another release, the single "Happening" backed with "Vengeance", out on May 5th on Giant Haystacks Records. Ebullient but atmospheric, urgent but pensive, straightforward but passionate, fuelled by the magnetic voice of Jo Bevan (also on the most promising act Violet Hours), this is post-punk at its best. Here we go!

Band of brothers...
1. First record that you bought (be honest)
Simon: Oasis, "Definitely Maybe"
Jo: Gay Dad, "To Earth With Love" (single). I'm not entirely sure what the first album was but I think it might have been the first Garbage record.
Rob: "Appetite for Destruction" by Guns N’ Roses. I still remember how amazing it felt when I put it on for the first time.
Caz: My parents bought me some French pop records when I was a kid... I can't remember what the first one I went and bought for myself was, but I know that Bon Jovi's "Slippery When Wet" was one of the first.
2. First and last concert you have attended (be honest too!)
Simon: First, Oasis at the NIA, 1997. Last , CuT at The Black Heart in Camden
Jo: First gig was Asian Dub Foundation, with my parents. Last was No Joy and Fear of Men, sometime late last year
Rob: I think the first might have been Bush in Wolverhampton but I wouldn’t swear to it. I think the last one was the Heartbreaks earlier this year.
Caz: The first one was this French metal band called Supuration (now Sup) when I was about 12, with my sister. It was a taste of being grown-up, and it made a big impression on me. The last one was Jonny Cola & The A-Grades at Cargo, last week.

Def Leppard...
Rock of Ages or aging Rock?
3. Guilty pleasure (song/band you shouldn’t like but you do, yes, it’s the embarrassing question)
Simon: I like most 80s pop. Bananarama...Belinda Carlisle. You name it.
Jo: I don't believe in feeling guilty about songs you like! Music is only as valuable as the response it elicits from you, whether it's Taylor Swift or Einstürzende Neubauten.
Rob: I love "Nothing Compares 2 U" by Sinead O’Connor and I don’t feel guilty about it.
Caz: I’m not embarrassed about anything I like listening to, but some people probably think I should be embarrassed about Def Leppard!

4. Most precious music item you own (collector mode on)
Simon: My silver Italia Maranello bass.
Jo: I have the same mic that James Murphy used in LCD Soundsystem (Sennheiser MD409) - it's amazing. We use it for recording but haven't played big enough stages to use it for gigs yet. Soon.
Rob: My Jetglo Rickenbacker 360/12. Sometimes still have to look twice to believe I own it.
Caz: My little 60's Watkins tremolo guitar amp which I got from a charity shop for £3 and sounds amazing.

Oh, those shy guys...
5. Favorite lyrics (not yours)
Simon: "Shyness is nice, and shyness can stop you from doing all the things in life you'd like to" The Smiths.
Jo: This is a really difficult question but off the top of my head: the whole of "Wings" by the Fall.
Rob: I’ve got to go with ‘I know I believe in nothing but it is my nothing’ from "Faster" by the Manic Street Preachers as I have it tattooed on my arm.
Caz: "It doesn’t matter if we all die” ("One Hundred Years", The Cure)

Brian "musichead" Eno
6. Musician/s you would like to meet (should be alive, for obvious reasons, but you can choose a dead one too)
Simon: I want Birdland to reform and we'll support them.
Jo: I would love to pick the brain of Brian Eno.
Rob: I don’t really like meeting new people so I’m not convinced meeting a musician I admire would do either myself or said musician any favours whatsoever.
Caz: I would have said Robert Smith and Conor Oberst but I’ve already met them! I’d rather not meet my idols anyway because I get terribly star-struck and make an idiot of myself.

7. Favorite artwork album (not yours)
Simon: Manic Street Preachers' "Journal For Plague Lovers". I have it on my bedroom wall.
Jo: XTC's "Go 2".
Rob: I’m torn between "The Queen is Dead" by the Smiths and "Dog Man Star" by Suede
Caz: "Cassadaga" by Bright Eyes. The record comes with this little “Spectral decoder” that you use to see the true cover.

On Lynch's one-way road
8. Books or movies? Depending on your answer recommend us one (trick: you can choose both)
Simon: Films probably. I recommend "From The Sea To The Land Beyond". Cool archive footage of English coastland with a soundtrack by British Sea Power. 
Jo: I love both. I recently saw "Local Hero" for the first time, which is a fantastically underrated and moving film. My favourite book is either "Riddley Walker" by Russell Hoban or "A Clockwork Orange" by Anthony Burgess. Weirdy-language books are the best.
Rob: I’m not in to films so much apart from odd historical epics… I would however highly recommend "Jude the Obscure" by Thomas Hardy, "The Masterpiece" by Zola and "The Idiot" by Dostoyevsky. Of course "Don Quixote" by Cervantes is very good too.
Caz: Both. It’s hard to choose... I’d recommend the ones that I loved so much I had to watch/read them again as soon as I’d finished them: "Lost Highway" (David Lynch), and as for books, "The Outsider" (Camus) and "Les Enfants Terribles" (Cocteau).

9. Songs (of yours) you are most proud of
Simon: "Cristina" - the populist's choice.
Jo: From a selfish melody/lyrical perspective, "Distance" is my favourite.
Rob: I’d probably go with "Happening" which should be our next single. Mainly because I came up with a guitar part that took me several months to be able to actually play properly. I’m also quite pleased with how it’s got quite an odd chord structure, manages to be essentially a pop song and is still nice and boisterous.
Caz: "Mistakes" - It's the first song we’ve ever written together and therefore my first ever drumming performance.

10. What’s does it mean indie for you? (yes, the “serious question”)
Simon: When i was young i thought it meant any guitar band in the charts that wasn't Heavy Metal. Ha! Now I know it's a lot more complicated than that...
Jo: It used to mean independent but now I suppose it's shorthand for any guitar band
Rob: I think it should mean being able to make the music you want to make. I suspect that now it’s just shorthand used by lazy journalists to describe bands with guitars they can’t be bothered to listen to.
Caz: As Jo said, for me it used to mean anything that was DIY and outside of the major labels but now it just means any guitar band!

11. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Simon: Probably answering questions about 10 years ago
Jo: Sleeping on top of a pile of money with many beautiful ladies. On a bus.
Rob: Probably in the same flat, on the same street, having curry in the same curry house.
Caz: On tour, but also having a house by the sea.
Zillion thanks Desperate Journalist!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

The Bloodbuzzed Jukebox 6

I know, the post has suffered a slight delay (that's what happens when you are in holidays, on a short distance trip but the wi-fi connection completely fails you) but here's our next round of our TOP TEN playlistwith the tunes I have been enjoying the most lately. As with previous sets, this is also available at the blog's soundcloud (come on and join us). Many posts to come!

Direct links to the previous Jukebox weeks
Week 1
Week 2
Week 3
Week 4
Week 5

Welcome to the Jukebox!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

"Her", Eternal Sunshine of the Digital Mind


Thanks Spike Jonze for delivering one of the most special films this blogger has ever seen. Her is a unique tour-de-force. Sweet, wise and ahead of its time. Soulful and intriguing. Romantic and adventurous. Could be adding adjectives for days...

Her is a ridiculously smart and risky film. Smart because Jonze uses a just-barely-sci-fi setting, with a dreamy, pastel sun-setting but isolated L.A., the scenario in which he develops a profoundly deep and touching tale about human relationships in the digital age. And risky because the director is not afraid to take his time, making the movie a very peculiar one in terms of rhythm and tone (elegiac, dreamy). He's also brave enough to breath-in and breath-out. He demands an effort to the spectator (I admit the pace and the acceptance of the idea can be a bit too much for many), but the reward is mind-blowing, only comparable to, imo, to another undeniable contemporary masterpiece with whom Her shares quite a few resemblances, Eternal Sunshine of the Eternal Mind. Like Gondry's superb quest on memory and love Her connects with you in a way very few movies have.

Like Joel Barish in Eternal Sunshine, Theodore Twombly can't move on from his failed relationship, once that a hopeless romantic like him always was fated to last forever. He's lonely and self-protective, despite his work as a personal letter's writer requires him to be a very special connoisseur of human emotions. But then technology, in the form of an artificial intelligence operating system named Samantha appears. And a dozen of paradoxes and questions too. Can we reach a deeper level of communication with an OS? Can a machine, perfected to adapt itself, created to please his/her user, to meet all our requirements, understands us, also at an emotional level? Can we develop affection, empathy and finally, love, without physical attraction? Could that qualify as a real relation? What is this thing called love, anyways? Spike Jonze builds a slightly deformed, exaggerated mirror, on which he speculates with the overgrowing virtual affairs: are they the inevitable evolution of relationships? Are we that far of that scenario in our tech-blooming society (please try not to check you Iphone for at least ten minutes)?

Of course, this thoughtful and ambitious amount of dilemmas wouldn't make for a great movie without a script and real actors that transform the ideas into compelling scenes. But to this date, if Jonze was known as a masterful director in what regards to create surreal, bewildering worlds and situations (Being John Malkovich, Adaptation, Where the Wild Things Are), this time he has exceeded all expectations, penning an equally arresting and witty script, that flows gracefully from drama to comedy, entirely on his own, allowing actors to excel with the material they have. Joaquim Phoenix as Theodore just carries the movie on his shoulders, he's the perfect fit: vulnerable, needy, confused, introvert, annoying, possessive, frightened. So human and recognisable. Scarlett Johansson, never on screen, also does for a very surprising role (let's admit I was thinking who wouldn't fall in love with her a couple of times while watching it, but keep the secret). The director does an incredible job on capturing the intimacy of the impossible couple. If you don't feel for the characters, you are made of stone (or made of Iphone, even worse). Amy Adams is also impressive in her secondary but very relevant secondary role as Amy, Theodore's best friend (and something more) who is struggling with a "real" marriage that goes nowhere...

I have developed several theories about the movie and its near-perfect puzzle, the crossing of parallel lines between real and technological. But I don't want to spoil you the film (or bore you). All I can do is enthusiastically recommend you to go watch this film. An arresting, uniquely beautiful and rich movie. Masterpiece.

SCORE: 9/10

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Indie Anthology 41: essential songs

Yes, I'm getting a little more "political" lately (my personal situation and several last reads for Indienauta are probably responsible of that), so I guess the next chapter of the Anthology couldn't be devoted to any other band: the best overtly political jangle pop group, in my opinion...

Song: Keep and Open Mind or Else!
Artist: McCarthy
Year: 1989

Lyrics matter a lot to me. I'm not saying every single tune has to be about politics or show social commitment, but lyrics should have some substance, meaning, charm or interest (even if it's about some cheesy love affair). And without losing the point of creating the best songs one can. The Essex band, leaded by Malcolm Eden and Tim Gane (who would later form my beloved Stereolab along with Laetitia Sadier) penned a bunch of personal favourite lyrics, not shy of showing heart will always beat on the left, and wrapped in, arguably, some of the best jangle pop (masterful Gane's 12-string Rickenbacker) tunes ever. Like this "Keep and Open Mind or Else!", where the bouncy, engaging drums and the sweet melodic style is combined with killer verses like You should always try to see / Another person's point of view /You should never, oh never/ Think that you know everything or the An open mind / Oh why don't you keep? / It's the true side / Of the civilized. Defending the right to disagree and think by yourself in a 3:30 minutes pop gem. Meaningful lyrics, amazing tune. McCarthy, one of the most underrated groups in music history...