Saturday, December 23, 2006

long overdue...

as always...

right now i'm listening to Erol Alkan's Disco 2006 cd from mixmag. lovely stuff. i mean, it's far from lovely - it's dirty it's noisy, it's squelchy and just ear crunching at times - but god it's good. mixmag named him dj of the year. too right. i only got to see him once i'm afraid, but that one time was a marvellous occasion. and last night i discovered he'll be playing ucd in a few weeks, so i'll see him again. yay!


tuesday night i went to see ?uestlove in the temple bar music centre. some of his track selection was a little bit obvious (but hey, doesn't that always mean that it was great music that everyone knows?!) but the mixing was sublime. at least i thought so at the time. opening with i got a woman/gold digger he delayed the intro with some heavy scratching - my friend cried "he's f*cking it up!" - he kicked it off wonderfully with tracks like these and get by and, well i can't remember everything. one thing which annoyed me just a little bit was that every time i tried to record a video someone came over to me and put a stop to it. i can't imagine why. it wasn't a live performance - it was, essentially, a dj playing other people's music. so, erm, why?! i managed to get about 19 seconds of ?uest spinning the message, before some dude bundled across the stage and forced my camera off. hmm. then, while i was waiting for a verse of eric b and rakim's you know i got soul, a bouncer stopped me again. so i managed to record the verse on the sly, but it's a bit of a shocking video really. not impressed. i've been at nearly 70 performances/gigs this year and i've recorded videos at nearly all of them, and this is the only time anyone has even passed comment. without wanting to labour the point, what makes this one artist so self-important that his fans are refused the opportunity to capture even a modicum of his performance for their future enjoyment?

in other news, i FINALLY managed to get my hands on hell hath no fury. but i have to wait until monday (Christmas, for those of you that don't know) before i can listen to it. in the meantime i've been repeat-playing we got it 4 cheap vol 2. even from the first track their mission statement is clear. i know i've already posted about this collection, but it, and they, deserves the attention:

this ain't nothing but candy from a baby
i sell that sh*t, got 'em stuck since the 80s
y'all ain't even thinking 'bout stickin' to format
y'all n***as tell and oo-ooh-in like horseshack
singing with the band with snares and high-hats
and it ain't slow us no we kept huntin for more crack
we ain't holla back, n***a we holla black
card era, second coming taking you back
and it's a known fact y'all tired of the circus,
so come home where you smell the crack in the verses
the whole rap world watch the Clipse take a bow
we left it in your hands you ain't make father proud
none of y'all can copy, a hard act to follow
we was cursed with the spirit of verses - the stigmata
suicide bomb ya like Mohammad Adiv
or the doors on that phantom, Re-Up, we rap martyrs WHAT

ooh-ooh indeed.....

Monday, December 04, 2006

ok then....

well yesterday i was wondering what the point of writing was. and now i know.

was over at queen kong's myspace page and found that they had posted my review of their show in their blog! well that was nice to see....

Sunday, December 03, 2006

the trouble with writing

i should really be more diligent. but whatever.

i've been trying to think of the best songs, albums and gigs of the year, but it's impossible to narrow it down. i mean i had settled on five albums, but then i keep remembering others that seem great but i haven't spent enough time with them, so i can't honestly say that i think they're better than the others i initially picked, but i feel they deserve attention...

the albums i marked as being the best are... spank rock - yoyoyoyoyo, thom yorke - the eraser, mstrkrft - the looks, sufjan stevens - the avalanche and clipse's hell hath no fury. even though i haven't heard that one. but i know it's good. i ordered it, so it's on its way, and if it isn't as good as i expect it to be, i will publicly retract the above. but the other four are magnificent.

but then i start to think about album's like alex smoke's paradolia, and cat power's the greatest, and broken social scene's self-titled album, james holden's the idiots are winning and coldcut's sound mirrors, and these keep coming to mind, and i feel like i've let these people down. well not really, because they'll never know... but it bugs me...

then i start to wonder about the point of writing about music. it is IMPOSSIBLE to put into words what i feel about this or that, and yet i'm trying anyway. but even then i'm not even sure why i'm writing in the first place. am i trying to help people find music that i think is great? am i trying to impress people by showing that i like cool music? because that's entirely pointless. and saying something cool is as inane as saying something is good. both completely meaningless words in this (or any other) day and age.

oh well.

my gigs of the year are just as difficult to pin down. i know what the two best were. no question about it, they were daft punk at marlay park and jeff tweedy in vicar street. both combined musical excellence with a specific mood - that at daft punk being total and utter fun (another ridiculous word but it's the only way of describing that night) and at jeff tweedy being, well, melancholy - and led to an experience that will linger in my mind longer than any other. these were both more than just gigs. daft punk made leaving america early more than worthwhile, and made up for all the crap times i had gone through this summer, while jeff tweedy chronicled the end of the most important relationship of my life so far.

but as well as that i was at AMAZING gigs from the likes of (in alphabetical order, of course!): Aesop Rock and Mr. Lif, Architecture in Helsinki, Blackalicious, Bonde do Role, Broken Social Scene, Coldcut (Live), Damien Rice, Death Cab For Cutie, Devendra Banhart , Diplo (DJ Set), Elbow, Erol Alkan (DJ Set), Final Fantasy, Iron & Wine, Jens Lekman, Mogwai, Nickel Creek, Sufjan Stevens and Wilco. and more. these are the best gigs i went to. and that's saying something. blackalicious was the best hip-hop show i'll ever see, bonde do role was crazy, broken social scene were awesome, coldcut were legends on stage, death cab were the nicest rock band you'll ever see, diplo blew my mind (twice), elbow seemed to enjoy themselves more than anyone else i saw all year, final fantasy held everyone in a trance, iron and wine were a lot louder than you'd expect, mogwai were an unexpected treat, nickel creek covered radiohead AND britney spears, sufjan was epic, and wilco were just bloody brilliant.

but how can one possibly compartmentalise that into a few words? even in saying the above i've left out so many minor details that added up to create each and every hour or two in itself...