More thoughts on more new music

  • Jarvis Cocker – Further Complications. Grandly sexual rock from the former Pulp frontman. This is such a British album, equal parts pomp and self-deprecation. Jarvis is a classy man, but a wry and ironic one.
  • Joe Gideon & The Shark – Harum Scarum. A rough, percussive brother (Joe) and sister (The Shark) duo. As if The White Stripes were influenced by Bauhaus as well as the blues. Spooky and weird and fun and cryptic. “Kathy Ray” is strange, lo-fi, yet inspirational.
  • Metric – Fantasies. More of the upbeat indie pop-rock this band’s become known for. Emily Haines’s voice is so effortlessly fun, a perfect balance of winking lightness and head-nodding catchiness. It’s not far from dance music, really. It rocks, but sunnily precisely.
  • Mono – Hymn To The Immortal Wind. Instrumental post-rock in the Mogwai/gy!be mold. Heavier on dramatics than dynamics. Moody and slow and majestic and cathartic; good, but nothing new or surprising.

Live review: The Duke Spirit at the 100 Club

I’ve seen London rock act The Duke Spirit six times already, but the chance to see them in the tiny 100 Club last night wasn’t something I could pass up. And my pal Siany and her friend Eddie showed up too, so I didn’t have to be a gig saddo.

The support act was Joe Gideon & The Shark. I’d just recently heard of these guys: a brother-sister act (the Shark’s real name is Viva Gideon, which is already so rockstar-cool that it could only be bettered with a name like The Shark) that are like the White Stripes crossed with Fiery Furnaces. They belted out some awesome foot-stomping super-syncopated blues-rock. I would see them again in a minute. I signed up to their mailing list.

The Shark (via Creative Commons license from faithmonsoon)

The Shark attacks

Photo from faithmonsoon via Creative Commons license

In late 2007 I saw the Duke Spirit at 229, in February I saw them at Ginglik,  and I attended their last album’s listening party at The Social. They then proceeded to have a smashing 2008: touring the US, opening for REM and Duran Duran, headlining the Astoria, and doing some late-night US TV slots. They still seem to have some fondness for their old ‘hood, though, as last night singer Leila Moss explained that they thought it an oversight that they’d never played the 100 Club. I was glad to be there and see that corrected.

What could I write that I haven’t before? Their songs rock, Moss is a very cool frontwoman (witness Siany’s girlcrush), it’s just the right mix of groove and fun and attitude. The sound’s not perfect in a little rectangular room like the 100, but you wouldn’t expect it to be: you’re paying for proximity here.

Keep on rocking, Duke Spirit, you’re doing just fine. There are enough frills and tricks and posers out there.

The Duke Spirit

The Duke Spirit somewhere much bigger than the 100 Club

Photo from beardenb via Creative Commons license