Elektro Guzzi - Acid Camouflage
from Observatory, out on Macro Recordings
Whoa, not much is happening here for a little over two minutes, and it is scary as hell. Maybe I’ve watched too many Doctor Who episodes that feature The Silence, but all I could think was “Don’t blink” when the stroboscopic lights-on-lights-off effect started.
Elektro Guzzi will celebrate the release of their new album on 18 June at Flex Vienna.
One crappy cellphone picture of CLOUD NOTHINGS at Primavera Sound 2014, Barcelona, 1 June 2014
For me, “Here And Nowhere Else” has been the best release of 2014 so far. So picking Cloud Nothings as the grand finale for a grand festival was no coincidence, but in fact was also due to the show the day before at the Vice stage being so crowded that I was already almost standing at the Pitchfork stage next to it - which obviously resulted in hearing crap. It must have been about two times the crowd of an Arena Open Air - just to compare it, the band played in Vienna last year at B72.
Anyhow, the concert at a full and hot and frantic Sala Apolo was fast and loud and intense and a pure adrenaline and endorphin-rush - and looked something like this. Also, it reminded me of how much I hate stage-divers.
One crappy cellphone picture of VÀLIUS at Primavera Sound 2014, Barcelona, 1 June 2014
How to get into a pogo full of Spaniards? Easy: read 22.20 instead of 23.20 and find yourself in front row of a Catalan lo-fi band where obviously you don’t understand a single word while everyone around you is singing along and going crazy. Fun nonetheless.
One crappy cellphone picture of LA SERA at Primavera Sound 2014, Barcelona, 31 May 2014
After Cassie Ramone, Katy Goodman was now the second Vivian Girl I saw with their solo act. Even though I found the constant smiling and beaming happiness of Katy during her performance weird at first, the bright pop melodies and her radiant, powerful performance in the tiny Ray-Ban Unplugged container even managed to enchant me in the end.
One crappy cellphone picture of THE NATIONAL at Primavera Sound 2014, Barcelona, 30 May 2014
I didn’t plan on writing about any headliners. But with The National’s upcoming Vienna show, I feel like I have the perfect excuse to once again state how amazing they are and how everyone should have seen them live. This time it was even a whole other level of special with Justin Vernon joining them for Slow Show and members of The Walkmen for Mr. November. 90 minutes of raw emotions and passion; goose-flesh guaranteed.
The National are playing an Arena Open Air in Vienna on August 12, tickets here.
One crappy cellphone picture of HOKEI at Primavera Sound 2014, Barcelona, 30 May 2014
I took this picture on my way from FKA Twigs to Slowdive, when I had to stop because I was too fascinated by this band on the Adidas Originals stage - which, according to the timetable, must have been Hokei from Warsaw. Incredible live energy, plus two (!!) drumsets. Take a listen to their post/experimental/psychedelic rock tunes here.
One crappy cellphone picture of FKA TWIGS at Primavera Sound 2014, Barcelona, 30 May 2014
This surely was the sexiest show of the whole festival. Tahliah Barnett in a black bra, black panties and a see-through rain cape, moving her body titillatingly on the stage through the smoke in an incredibly hypnotizing way. And to top all that, she even seemed endearing and grateful between the songs - not even close to the bitchy diva I expected for some reason.
One crappy cellphone picture of MAJICAL CLOUDZ at Primavera Sound 2014, Barcelona, 29 May 2014
Majical Cloudz introduced themselves with an honest “Our music is really quiet”, which was true especially coming from the noise of Girl Band before. Their music exists with little to none harmonic motion, but is lyrically extremely strong, haunting, even discomforting at times. Their show is captivating, mesmerizing, and somehow this picture with Devon Welsh in the beam of light fits this feeling perfectly.
One crappy cellphone picture of GIRL BAND at Primavera Sound 2014, Barcelona, 29 May 2014
For the past weeks, my colleague at work was going on about how awesome Girl Band are. So I followed his advice to watch them - and well, their awesomeness was no understatement.
From the picture, you can already guess the misleading (and quite un-Google-able) name - they’re actually not a girl band at all. But they surely are one of those bands where you wished they’d played after sundown, so you can stomp your feet and frantically nod your head to their noise rock in an appropriate atmosphere (and without everyone watching you). So I’m gonna pass on the advice of my colleague: catch them live as soon as you can, because they’re gonna be big indeed.
Austrians may count themselves lucky: Girl Band will be playing this year’s Waves Vienna on one day between October 2 and 5.
One crappy cellphone picture of REAL ESTATE at Primavera Sound 2014, Barcelona, May 29
I might be completely wrong with this, but the guys from Real Estate seem like those boys that might not have been the coolest boys in school - they were the nice ones who’d give you their jacket when you’re cold at a concert, and not the ones that threw up all over your shoes.
Real Estate was the perfect beginning of this year’s Primavera Sound, with their light, shimmering rhythms and the soft voice beckoning the sunshine. Sadly it’s one of those bands who probably won’t come to Austria anytime soon - actually I’m not sure they even ever played here before.
Don’t worry, those of you in school or at university, it’s only one more month to go until the summer holidays, and here are some concerts that are perfect for taking breaks from studying.
First Aid Kid - My Silver Lining
The idea of two young sisters with long hair and clear voices making country folk music turns me off so much. But somehow First Aid Kit, the Swedish band formerly signed to Wichita and meanwhile releasing on a major label, turn this idea that is awful, awful, awful in theory into something so beautiful that I cannot wait for them to come to Vienna for the very first time this October.
First Aid Kit are playing at Waves Vienna 2014, which is taking place from 1-5 October 2014. Festival tickets are 47-49 EUR.
FM4 Hip Hop Open 2014 (Trailer)
Chances are you’ve heard about the controversy around the headliners of the lineup of this event. It names the local party rap newcomer, teenage hype sensation and son of an influential father Left Boy before the internationally renowned hip hop veteran Nas who will be performing his seminal album Illmatic.
But have you also heard about the rest of the lineup? No? Luckily here’s a trailer to inform you.
The FM4 Hip Hop Open 2014 is taking place on 11 July at Arena Wien and Nas, Blumentopf, Left Boy, Crack Ignaz, the Duzz Down San crew and more will be performing. Tickets are 45 EUR.
Electric Theatre - After All These Years
Sorry for all the comparing Electric Theatre to other things way bigger than them, but with a lead voice like Tom Smith’s, a sound like that of Bloc Party and a video with a Twin Peaks reference (that is a Twin Peaks reference, isn’t it?) it’s hard not to.
Ash My Love - Screamin’ Blues, from Honeymoon Blues, out now on Noise Appeal Records
Ash My Love is one of these bands that are featured in all the relevant media, and more prominently than what their Facebook stats or concert venues would suggest to be apt, and from the outside you’re never quite sure whether it might have a little to do with having friends in all the right places?
I have complained about this prevalent Vienna scene Freunderlwirtschaft before and the amount of upset people was less than leiwand, so let me end this post on a really friendly note: Ash My Love come across so charming in this video that I can understand why their friends are so supportive.