Goat: Don’t forget that tie-dye shirt, man!

I should know better than to be surprised whenever a band with a certain style comes from a country that seems unexpected. After all, this is the 21st century, everything is possible. But still, to hear a band like Goat coming from Sweden…it surprised me.

I might have read about Goat on some other blog, I can’t remember but I gladly link to it if you let me know. Now, Goat have a very unfortunate name because there are other artists of a wide variety of genres that have the same name but only one Goat plays wild and highly exciting psychedelic artrock that will artrock your socks off. The band comes with a mythology, that’s how freaking psychedelic they are. Apparently, they are from Korpilombolo in Sweden. Once, there lived a witch doctor who practices voodoo but he was hunted and slain by Christian knights and cursed the city.

In 2012, they released their debut “World Music” and it’s a hippie journey into the drug-fuelled, consciousness-enlarging world of crazy music. It’s mostly instrumental and if we hear vocals, they are distorted beach-punk vocals that seem to come from the other side. Their newest songs, “Stonegoat” and “Dreambuilding” have a little more artrock in them (guitarero-pleasures) and are my personal favourites because they escape the late 60s, early 70s a little to create some modern chaos.

Apparently, the band goes on stage with masks and I am quite sure that every show will be accompanied by the faint smell of some form of smoking herb that enhances your mind (at least, that’s what I was told).

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Wax Fang ‚La La Land‘: Modern prog never sounded sweeter

I first heard „The Majestic“ – as probably quite a few people – during the American Dad episode “Lost in Space”, proving once again why “American Dad” is nth times better than “Family Guy” ever was. The whole episode’s soundtrack was provided by Wax Fang’s album “La La Land” but during the episode I didn’t know that, I only hoped, prayed and pled that this wasn’t just an exclusive song for this one particular episode but an actual band. And sure it was. By the way, I wasn’t the only music nerd who had to fear that this was a one-time song.

I love everything in this episode, the Jim Henson-like “Summoner”, the story that can be enjoyed out of the context of the show and the roughly 1000 references to every cool Sci Fi movie imaginable. Continue reading

Alt-J: Yeah, maybe the Maccabees didn’t win the Mercury Award, so what?

The title suggests it, this article is supposedly about the band that won the Mercury Awards (which are the less popular but all the more worthy version of the MTV Music Awards) but will end up talking about the Maccabees just ’cause.

So, when I read the name Alt-J, I raised an eyebrow, “pffft”-ed for a while and then rolled my eyes in this theatrical way that really works in sitcoms but is just weird in real life. But then I listened to them and thought ‘dang, them boys are damn fine!’. Sure, their band name is quite horrible (why does no one listen to me?) but their music is absolutely amazing and reminds me of a weird mixture of Brian Eno and Menomena and an old-fashioned blues-artist stuck in the middle. Seriously, as much as I want to dislike them, because they look so hip and fresh and beautiful (well, not as beautiful as the Maccabees, obviously), their music is hypnotic, it’s the kind of music you get lost into, the kind that might remind you faintly of genres, artists and styles but in the end is its own entity, the kind that you will remember and gravitate towards.

Continue reading

Field Music ‘Plumb’: Old news but it’s soooo amazing

I recently (finally) tuned into Field Music because they are nominated for the Mercury Price alongside the Maccabees. “Plumb” is a real surprise, because it is so incredibly colorful and magical and 70s glam/proggy that I got off my seat and did a little artsy dance for my colleagues at the office. Suffice to say that it was a success and everyone fell in love with my elegant movements.

Anyways, “Plumb” (that’s the title, folks) conjures up Genesis and early ELO and it is nothing short of genius. Usually, when I listen to this kind of music, I feel the need to turn it off and turn on some Genesis but Field Music actually manage to keep me interested and surprised long enough to get through the whole album and then some.

My heart hurts saying it, but if the Maccabees would lose to Field Music, I wouldn’t mind because this is gorgeous. I only worry how this would translate on stage, it feels as if it loses a lot without the ELO orchestra. Oh, and don’t trust any review that doesn’t mention the word “prog rock” because those reviews stink! I know, I know, I am usually not like that but this genre is so underrated by the indie scene and never gets mentioned anywhere that it drives me crazy.

Cover me badly: ‘Light Flight’ Pentangle/Bruce Peninsula

Often, if you listen to a cover song first and love it, it doesn’t matter how good the original is, the cover will always be the first time you came into contact with this song.

I guess the same goes for Bruce Peninsula’s version of Pentangle’s „Light Flight“. I didn’t even know Pentangle before (I kinda like it but only kinda, maybe I would need to get into some LARP costume to appreciate it more).

But I love the grittiness of Bruce Peninsula, there is something so earthy about their music, that I always feel as if they are singing to my blood, my subconscious, my spirit animal*. It also sounds a little heavier which they always manage with their great gospel choir atmosphere.

This is considerably louder than the previous.

*which probably is some really weird and obscure animal that disproves God’s existence in its pointlessness and wacky antics, like this mould Physarum polycephalum that is capable of thinking even though it doesn’t have a brain. Just like me!

Kurze Proggerei auf ILMPITM

Frisch von der Zappanale zurück, naja, eigentlich schon gestern, aber da musste ich dann erstmal das Festival wegschlafen, zumindest habe ich wieder mehr Zappa-Cover gehört, als mir lieb ist, mit Lazouli gab es am Samstag dann jedoch auch eine Band, der man nicht sofort anhörte, dass sie auf ganz individuelle Weise genau so wie Zappa klangen.

(wegen denen musste ich bis 2Uhr auf meine Mitfahrgelegenheit aka Freundin mit Auto warten, da sie eigentlich nur “1-2 Songs” hören wollte, dann aber bis zum Ende blieb, was mir nach den ersten 1-2 Songs auch klar war, diese orientalischen Sachen haben ja immer eine merkwürdige Wirkung auf die meisten Vertreter des weiblichen Geschlechtes.

Da ich die meiste Zeit im Büro saß, wo es mir dank netter Gesellschaft auch äußerst gut ging, kann ich ansonsten nicht viel zur musikalischen Qualität der diesjährigen Veranstaltung sagen, Freitag und Samstag musste einiges umgeschoben werden, da der Wind zu gefährlich war, um das Programm auf der großen Bühne weiter zu führen. Auch wenn sich einige Gäste beschwerten, kann man wohl dankbar sein, wenn Bands noch nicht mal ausfallen, sondern lediglich im Plan herum geschoben werden, anstelle dass man katastrophale Unfälle riskiert, wie es sie dieses Jahr zu Hauf auf diversen Festivals gegeben hat. Schön ist das alles nicht, aber gegen äußere Umstände kann man nix machen.

Mein liebster Ort auf der Zappanale
Mein liebster Ort auf der Zappanale

So, im Geiste der Artrock-Musik einer Zappanale aber anbei die Spirits of the Dead, eher eine Progangelegenheit, was mir aber nur Recht ist, da zig Zappa-Coverbands auf die Dauer auch nicht das Wahre sind und ich sowieso immer die paar Psychedelic/Prog-Gruppen bevorzuge, die sich hin und wieder dort verlaufen (Adrian Belew war beispielsweise vor einigen Jahren eine wahre Freude).

Spirits of the Dead sind ein paar coole Rockerdudes, die vom Prog auch mal in düstere Stonergefilde abdriften und die auf ihrer Facebook Seite schreiben “Facebook is as far as we go, we will twitter from our graves”. Davon kann man jetzt halten was man will (OPAS!!), ihre Musik klingt ebenfalls sehr altmodisch, vor allem klingt sie so, als würde man live ne dicke Ladung Rock-Geschichte um die Ohren kriegen. Aufgenommen ist das teilweise etwas sehr rudimentär, aber damit kann ich leben, muss ja nicht alles so perfekt sein, wie White Denims “D” (nein, jetzt fängt sie schon wieder mit denen an…).

Das aktuelle Album heißt “The Great God Pan”, dessen titelgebender Song wohl der versöhnlichste und verspielteste sein dürfte. Übrigens hat das Album ein selten dämliches Cover, was schade ist, da die Rückseite eigentlich ganz hübsch geworden ist. Aber gut, ist ja auch egal.

The Great God Pan kann man auch auf Spinner runter laden, hier erstmal ein anderer Song, wie gesagt, man muss schon Progger sein, um sie zu mögen

Hazards of Love – soon to be visualized

Although there is still one full month left, I am pretty sure that my number one album of 2009 will be The Hazards of Love. Remarkable, as I am usually torn between at least 6 records.
And while I am waiting for someone to pick up the storyline and make it into a proper movie (I somehow envision old-fashioned special effects, done by the Henson studios or with some great claymation…) the Decemberists had help from four filmmakers to make the experience of Margaret and William even more enchanting – by visualizing it remarkably.

By the way, I am planning on posting the whole story-line as far as I interpreted it before New Year’s Eve. I’ve already done it in German and only have to get myself to translate it properly. I am not sure it is perfect but I am absolutely convinced that it beats Ben Sissario’s (negative) review who got pretty much everything wrong. Maybe with a little help of my friends (meaning you, dear reader), we can assemble the best interpretation of this beautiful folktale.