The New Electrics

28 10 2008

Generally speaking, when you go to a party/wedding/whatever the hired band tend to be pretty mediocre. So I was pleasantly surprised last night that band playing at the fancy-dress shindig I was at were more than capable of throwing out some pretty nifty crowd-pleasers. The unusual thing was, their own song was pretty damn good too. The three youngfellas go by the name The New Electrics. I haven’t been able to find much in the way of sound clips but visit their myspace page and have a listen. The lead singer has one of those warbling voices that should be unpleasant to listen to but somehow it works – like Anthony Hegarty form Anthony and the Johnsons. Anyhoo… they added to a damn good party and I’d be surprised if they’re not being touted by Phantom as their ‘latest discovery’ by 2009.


Carly Sings

28 10 2008

It has dawned on me recently that I’ve developed a penchant for female singer-songwriters with a bit of an edge – there does seem to be an abundance of them around at the moment. Up until now I had heard whisperings of Carly Sings here and there but I only really listened to her music in full over the past few days. More fool me for being so laissez-faire because I missed her performance in The Sugar Club last week. If you haven’t heard of her yet, check out the clip for her single ‘Apple Tree’ below 🙂

Something for the Weekend

22 10 2008

The long weekend is fast approaching and you may find yourself short of ideas for things to make and do. If you want to do the former, whip up a batch of toffee apples for distribution next weekend in order to prevent your gaff from being toilet papered/having dog shit posted through your letterbox (depending on which side of the Liffey you lay your head). If you’re more into the idea of finding something worthwhile to do, consider the following:

Why not start the long weekend early by getting your mitts on tickets to see Vampire Weekend at the Ambassador tomorrow night and relive the summer with their irritatingly catchy but lyrically sublime selection of clever tunes. If you still have some fight left in you after this, drop into Fibber Magees across the road for a late drink. There’s a great Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers tribute band on at 11pm that I’ve had the pleasure of seeing in action before and I can’t recommend them highly enough.

Dublin Electronic Arts Festival (DEAF Ireland) also kicks off tomorrow night encompassing everything from visual art to theatre to film to music. Hightlights over the weekend include SweeTalk in the Sugar Club (Thursday @ 7.30), where €5 will get you an insightful look into the worlds of Dublin’s most infamous street artist, Maser, and hip-hop legend Steinski. On Friday, lo-fi kings M83 supported by Dublin band, Channel One play Vicar Street. Saturday sees a Norwegian invasion at Whelans with the arrival of In The Country and Susanna of Susanna and the Magical Orchestra. After this, get down to Andrews Lane Theatre to dance your socks off to tunes spun by Johnny Moy and Arveene. The closing party on the bank holiday Sunday is a 3 venue extravaganza incorporating Whelans, Upstairs at Whelans and The Village, with €35 gaining you access all areas and with performances from Laurent Garnier, Fuck Buttons, Chequerboard and Model 500 to name but a few, you’d be mad to miss it.

On Saturday night The Sugar Club plays host to the fantastic Erin McKeown, whose last visit to Ireland a few years ago saw her play to a sellout crowd at The Village. Her razor-sharp, tongue-in-cheek lyrics set to folksy country music is both infectiously catchy and clever at once. Check out the clip below for a sampler.

Happy Bank Holiday!

Bon Iver ~ Tripod: Outstanding

8 10 2008

Last night saw Bon Iver return to Tripod for the second time this year. On the back of June’s now near-legendary gig, the Wisconsin three-piece had a lot of hype to live up to. As one of the first crazed fans through the door, I parked myself in front of centre-stage and refused to move, despite death-stares from some equally obsessive attendees.

Having heard reports from the last show there, I was expecting nothing short of acoustic perfection, so I was surprised by the magnitude of instrument tweaking and tuning that went on before the band took to the stage. An impressive set up of no less than 3 drum kits, 7 guitars and 2 keyboards (and that’s just what I could see from my 5-foot-zilch eye level) made for a decidedly, um, ‘un-acoustic’ set. Support came in the form of Anais Mitchell who, with her 1960’s-inspired lyrics about free love and revolution, seemed to be going for the Joni Mitchell vibe, but with her eerie fixed grin and youthful naivety it manifested itself as way too contrived. All a little too coffee-house folk for my liking to be honest.

So, after what seemed like an eternity of the aforementioned tweaking and faffing about with instruments, the buzz of chatter lulled and the bizarre interval music subsided as a hush fell over the room and Bon Iver emerged from backstage and began their set with album opener, Flume. First impressions were that this gig was going to live up to my expectations by providing an evening of tender harmonies and subtle melodies. I was completely blown away by what followed. After the beautifully up-tempo Lump Sum came to an end, my personal favorite album track Creature Fear, which has lulled me off to sleep many a night, was transformed by an overwhelmingly powerful electric guitar-enhanced chorus. Subtlety was out the window but amazingly the song managed to retain it’s tenderness, plucking on every heart-string in the room with the raw and genuine emotion prevalent in the music coming from the stage. Equally entrancing was their rendition of probably the band’s best known tune, Skinny Love, made famous by Vernon’s acoustic Jools Holland performance. The use of three simultaneously-pounded drums made for an epic sounding ending to the normally tranquil track.

I have to admit, until last night I considered Bon Iver and Justin Vernon to be one in the same, with the former being nothing more than a moniker for the modestly charismatic front-man. However, after witnessing the mutual respect that the three piece afford each other’s skills, I can safely say that Mike Noyce and Sean Carey are just as integral to Bon Iver’s successes as Vernon is. Since their last show here, where Vernon apologised for their lack of material, Bon Iver have added new song Blood Bank to their on-stage repertoire, along with two cover songs – Graham Nash’s Simple Man and Talk Talk’s I Believe in You, sung by Noyce and Carey respectively. At the tender age of 21 (and to look at him you wouldn’t give him a day over 16), the baby-faced Mike Noyce stunned the audience with his rendition of Nash’s song by providing gentle yet confident vocals. Carey was equally as mesmerising performing vocals to I Believe in You which built to a powerful crescendo helped by stunning harmonies from the rest of the band.

The set concluded with with the laid-back front-man asking for some audience participation with The Wolves (Act I & II), something which I haven’t seen at a gig in ages – I was giddy as a schoolgirl. As the crowd echoed Vernons cries of “what might’ve been lost”, what we lacked in pitch was made up for with enthusiasm as the song built to a raw, primal scream from the occupants of Tripod.

Not one to disappoint, Vernon reappeared for a solo encore initially with a tender performance of Re: Stacks before being joined on-stage by his band-mates once again for the poingiant For Emma. The evening drew to a close with Bon Iver and support Anais Mitchell performing their version of Sarah Siskind’s Lovin’s For Fool’s.

I have to admit, prior to the gig I had wondered if Bon Iver would be able to tackle a large venue such as The National Stadium, where they play this December. I thought that maybe their songs were too beautifully fragile to fill such a bland open space, and that maybe they needed the intimacy of a venue such as Tripod to maximise the spine-tingling effect that they had on their listeners. I am now of the conclusion that you could be standing in the middle of a warehouse surrounded by thousands of people and still Bon Iver would make you feel like you were the only person in the room and that these songs were for you. Ok, corny I’ll admit, but after last night I just feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

Do not ON YOUR LIFE miss December’s date!!

Lykke Li announces dublin date

2 10 2008

Lykke Li is set to return to Dublin for her second Irish show this year. Her gig in The Sugar Club earlier this year was phenomenal and, since the release of her debut album, Youth Novels, she has developed something of a cult following. She plays The Button Factory on November 24th. Tickets are only €17.00 and go on sale tomorrow morning. These are sure to sell out so snap them up.

Check out the talented lil lady herself in the video below along with El Perro Del Mar (who played support on Lykke Li’s last tour) and some miscellaneous musicians ad-libbing in San Fransisco – great stuff altogether.