Archive for the ‘music’ Category

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First Aid Kit cover Jack White

1 August 2014

Triple j‘s Like a Version is always a must-listen on my way into work on a Friday morning. Today’s was an excellent amalgam of two of my favourite acts: First Aid Kit covering Jack White’s “Love Interruption”.

If you’re a Tenacious D fan, watch from the start (a bit of a Jack Black/Jack White contrast). Otherwise, the serious stuff starts from about 1:00.

You can see their harmonious original song, “My Silver Lining”, here.

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Jack White’s “Lazaretto”

24 April 2014
Not Johnny Depp. Or Tim Burton. Or Robert Smith.

Not Johnny Depp. Or Tim Burton. Or Robert Smith.

Here’s the next track from Jack White‘s second solo album, the titular “Lazaretto”.

This sounds like bluesy Rage Against The Machine. That’s promising.

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Instrumental taste of the second Jack White solo album, Lazaretto

3 April 2014

The Man Who Can Do No Musical Wrong has released a taster from his second solo album. Jack White’s Lazaretto will come out in June.

“High Ball Stepper” is a weird choice: a Zeppelinesque slab of crunching guitar instrumentals. Every second of it thrills me.

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Art vs Science – Create/Destroy

18 March 2014

A band I already like creates a track with thumping bass and falsetto vocals? I’m in.

Fun video too.

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Dave Hole at the Bridge Hotel

2 November 2013

I spent Halloween evening at the Bridge Hotel in Rozelle, Sydney, listening to the blues. This should come as a surprise to no one.

The Bridge is a no-frills place. It’s not sawdust-on-the-floors, but it’s not too far beyond that either. It’s a simple pub on one side and a small room with tables and a stage for music events on the other. The crowd the other night was, in the words of one of the performer, “small but select”. I and the two friends I went with would agree.

The first act was Canadian Charlie A’Court. I didn’t know until I looked him up, just before going into the room, that he’s actually a Nova Scotian like me. From Truro, in fact, so not far at all from where I grew up. Charlie’s got a powerful voice and plays a good acoustic guitar. He sounded great, and performed a good mix of blues, soft folk, and soul tunes.

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The main event was Dave Hole, an Australian slide guitarist I’ve been keen to see since I heard him on an Alligator blues collection I picked up in the early ’90s. He hasn’t toured much in recent years, and this mini-tour around Oz is an acoustic one. He came on stage with a Dobro steel guitar; he was later joined by a drummer on snare and high hat, and a bass player, so not the stack of Marshalls he admitted he usually uses.

But no matter what sort of guitar he has in his hands, Dave Hole can play a slide guitar. He coaxes all those emotive slide sounds from his instrument, the wails and shouts, the glissandos of mourning.

And Dave plays from his guts. There’s no artifice about his performance. His singing isn’t polished. He makes an effort, and grimaces and gestures and shouts, but not in a put-on way. He just has the air of someone who’s self-taught, who loves the old roadhouse blues tunes, and who loves playing them.

By the end of the night it was perhaps getting to be a bit too much of the same sliding trills, over and over, for me. But then he ended with his version of “Purple Haze” and left me with a smile. Thanks Dave.

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Remembering Lou Reed

28 October 2013

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Lou Reed, member of The Velvet Underground, solo musician, and New Yorker, died earlier today. It’s been very big news – and rightly so – so if you want to review the man’s huge contribution to the rock music scene since the late ’60s you can easily find those sort of articles on the ‘net, written by bigger fans than me. You could do worse than this one.

My personal reminisces of Lou always come down to two memories:

1. His performance of Bob Dylan’s “Foot of Pride” at the Dylan 30th anniversary concert in 1992. The song sounds like it was written for Lou, which is maybe why Bob didn’t include it on Infidels.

2. His hilarious views on his life in New York, from ad-libbed film Blue In The Face.

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Lorde at the Metro Theatre

17 October 2013

I’m just back from seeing Lorde play the tiny Metro Theatre in Sydney.

The first act was Oliver Tank, a one-man electro-groove-folk act. I liked his mix of samples, synthetic beats, and easygoing vocals in a laid-back sort of way.

Before I talk about Lorde I feel that I should clarify something. Lorde – real name Ella Maria Lani Yelich-O’Connor – is (at the time of this post) a 16-year-old trip-pop singer and songwriter from New Zealand. She is very distinct from Lordi, the ludicrously-costumed hard rock band from Finland that won the Eurovision song contest in 2006. Just so there’s no confusion. Because there has been.

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Now, back to Lorde. She was good. I mean, for someone who can really only have performed on stage a limited number of times, given her age, she was pretty good. Her show didn’t consist of anything flashy. She sang, one guy played drums, and another played synth and electronics. There were a few lights. There were a lot of recorded background vocals, since a lot of the songs have multiple vocal tracks. There wasn’t much opportunity for elaborate showmanship.

Lorde did a hunched over, herky-jerky dance throughout the show, and flicked her cascading set of hair a lot, but was an assured performer for one so young. It was only between songs, when the crowd went mental, that she sometimes seemed at a bit of a loss as to how to respond. No worries, she’s got a whole career in front of her to become polished (and jaded and cynical).

A word about that crowd: they were loud. I have been to hundreds of gigs. Really, a lot. Metal, rock, punk, Springsteen, everything. And I’ve never heard a crowd scream so loudly all around me as I heard tonight. After she played “Royals” I had to cover my ears. “Biting Down” also got a massive response. The piercing volume might have had something to do with the high proportion of females in the audience. Nevertheless it was a clear sign that the crowd absolutely loved her.

For my money she was good, not amazing, live. She  played for slightly over an hour but got through most of the songs on her EP and LP. A surprising omission was new ANZ hit “Team”, which I really like. Maybe they’re still figuring out how to do it live. Here it is for you:

And just to show you that she can sing live here’s Lorde and her band doing “Royals” for a radio show in the US:

Lorde has shown herself to be a phenomenally catchy songwriter. She’s on the road to be a good performer. I don’t see that there’s any stopping her.

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