Monday, 10 September 2012

Q#85 - August - September 2012

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Q’s Compilations
Volume #85 – August – September 2012

Hello! This compilation has a theme to it, and a rather self-indulgent one. It has been a fantastic summer here mainly for one reason, the sheer volume of spectacular free concerts that are hosted in this fair city, this mix features bands that I have seen over the course of the year so far and not had to pay a penny. The mix still manages to omit an impressive roster of artists who I managed to see and many others who I did not (Funkadelic!).

01) The Pains of Being Pure at Heart – Higher Than the Stars: I’ve feature Pains… on a few mixes over the years, but have so far not featured any tracks from their EP, Higher Than the Stars (this of course, being the title track). The band played Central Park Summer Stage on a sweltering day that also featured Cloud Nothings, The War on Drugs and Guided By Voices. “This time you should have stopped. But where’s the fun?”

02) Frankie Rose – Night Swim: I’d heard a few songs over the last few months, but probably nothing that stuck in my head, but Frankie played a rather spellbinding set at Prospect Park opening for Little Dragon. Rose has an impressive CV, having been part of early versions of Crystal Stilts, Dum Dum Girls and Vivian Girls. Her second solo album, Interstellar was released this year.

03) Diiv – Doused: Another band on the excellent Captured Tracks record label, I caught Diiv last month at Hudson River Rocks, their debut album, Oshin, is well worth an investment and I featured a track on the last mix as well. “Act like it stops and starts, a gesture here and there, for me is one thing, but I felt every time you blew it”

04) Roomrunner – Aesthetic: I used Roomrunner on the last mix, having been impressed with their set at Hudson River Rocks, playing with John Maus and Dan Deacon (for whom Roomrunner mainman Denny Bowen also drums).

05) Bob Mould – The Descent: Silver Age has just been released and coincides rather swimmingly with the 20th anniversary of Sugar’s Copper Blue album, which Bob played in full at an immense show in Williamsburg Park. I reviewed the gig here: and the new album is a corker. “I started out so starry-eyed, full of hope and wonder.”

06) Cloud Nothings – Wasted Days: To be honest I wasn’t completely won over by Cloud Nothings, who opened the day at the Central Park CBGB festival, whose set was marred a little by being a bit too samey. However, drummer Jason Gerycz was a joy to watch with his animal-like drumming and facial expressions. This song didn’t seem to click that much live but I think I have more patience with the recorded version, the wigout section here works.

07) Mission of Burma - Semi-Pseudo-Sort-Of Plan: Opening for Wild Flag at Prospect Park (which seemed to confuse a lot of people who thought it should have been the other way around), it seemed like most of the crowd weren’t really there to see them, but they put on a spirited performance and it was great to see them. No Academy Fight Song in the set though! This track is taken from their latest album, Unsound, released this year.

08) Guided By Voices – Game of Pricks: I’m using GBV for the third time in a row, of course, but I couldn’t put this type of theme together without including them again! Seeing them play this song (a rare classic in a set dominated by newer material) was a special moment. “I've entered the game of pricks, With knives in the back of me, can't call you or on you no more,
When they're attacking me”

09) Eternal Summers – You Kill: Suffering a somewhat nasty hangover, I thankfully managed to get to Eternal Summers free show at Fulton Stall Market. which perked me up! Unfortunately they sold their last copy of new album, Correct Behaviour (on which this song appears) as I got to the front of the queue, but they played a cracking set, well worth checking out. “It’s a piece, of a plot, of a story we are not”

10) Lee Ranaldo – Lost (Plane T Nice): I was fortunate enough to get to see Ranaldo’s record release show for Between the Times and the Tides, playing as an acoustic trio (drummer Steve Shelley was gigging elsewhere) at Other Music. It’s a fine record and Lee was a pleasure to meet afterwards. “When every single dream requires revision”

11) Kurt Vile – The Creature: In a case of “should have been the headliner”, Kurt Vile opened for Dawes (who we endured for a couple of songs then decided to leave) at Central Park. This song features on the EP So Outta Reach which was included on the deluxe edition of Smoke Ring for My Halo. “She said I'm a creature of habits, Oh, she's so cute with her claims, Ain't got time for asking questions, So I just nod and move on, And that's all right for me, So far, So good for me”

12) Veronica Falls – Starry Eyes (demo): Another sweltering evening was spent at South Street Seaport. I featured My Heart Beats on Q#83. This track was a b-side to Found Love In a Graveyard. A lovely song to throw away as a b-side. “Starry Eyes what can I say, Starry Eyes, what can I do for your attention, Starry Eyes Starry Eyes forever shall be mine”

13) Rain Machine – Smiling Black Faces: A gloriously sunny day was had at Union Pool (the heat made bearable by numerous $5 margaritas), which also included an improvised set by Thurston Moore on the 9th of June. Rain Machine is of course, Kyp Malone’s side-project from TV on the Radio, they played some new songs which sound promising, and I got to meet Kyp afterwards and babble like an embarrassed fanboi.

14) Barry Adamson – Straight til Sunrise: Adamson played a set at Other Music back in February, launching his latest album, I Will Set You Free, it was a nice set albeit a bit karaoke (he mostly just sang while the instrumental versions of the songs played over the speakers), but the album is good. This track is from the previous record, Back to the Cat. “In my head was every word that was said, Reverberating with consonants baiting me, I wish I had done what I said I would”

15) Grimes – Vanessa: Grimes appears to be this year’s hipster sensation, in truth I find the record a little lacking (and some of the fans at the show we were at reaching unknown levels of douchebag-dom), however, some of the tunes are pretty interesting and this one gets under your skin after a few plays. Grimes played at Hudson River Rocks. “hey hey wanna play well baby i can go go, and every other day you're running off the phone, no. Well baby I would call you if I didn't know you but I'm waiting for it”

16) John Maus – Bennington: John Maus played the Hudson River Rocks on the 12th of July. My wife has become slightly obsessed with Mr Maus, and I think probably needs some professional help about it. Bennington appears on Maus’ latest release, a collection of demos, rather obviously called Collection of Rarities and Previously Unreleased Material. Live, Maus is a bit of an enigma, what should amount to little more than a glorified karaoke performance is oddly rather engaging. “Time and time again, I'll see her in my dreams, Time and time again,
Time and time again”

17) Dan Deacon – Lots: Deacon headlined the show on the 12th of July at Hudson River Rocks and put on a storming performance. Audience participation is a big thing with Deacon (at which point, I made sure I drifted off to the side!), dividing the audience into dance-offs and scattering them into random directions, interspersed with random humour and heartfelt gripes at society. He’s also backed by two drummers who perform incredibly well. “Feel like we've been here before, Without a choice and insecure, Of where we'd be without this net around,
Yet we've always hated it”

18) Little Dragon – Blinking Pigs: Swedish electro-pop band Little Dragon provided a bouncey evening on the 10th of August at Prospect Park, probably not something I would pay for, but since we live close by it was a fun thing to do, the crowd were really into it and made for a great atmosphere. “Was a distant moan, and a smell of home, Haunting me, from the clouds above, oh the memory of, you”

19) TV On the Radio – Keep Your Heart: Just to put the icing on the cake, I got to see TVotR for free this year as well, heaven! They headlined the Afropunk festival at Commodore Park on the 26th of August, they played a great set (which also benefitted from a good sound, something that hampered the previous two times I’d seen them). “Outside ecstatic love, what did we think we'd find? Over that broken road,out past the land mines.”

Like I said, it has been a great summer here and I have truly been spoiled!
Until next time
Peace and love - Q