Categories
old bolachas

Overseas

There’s not a single song nor a video to show you, but I had to take a pair of minutes just to let you know David Bazan (Pedro the Lion, Headphones), Will Johnson (Centro-matic, South San Gabriel), Matt and Bubba Kadane (Bedhead, The New Year) have formed a new band called OVERSEAS. There’s an album coming out later this year. Someone at Facebook took the time to say all I ever needed to say about this announcement: The mere idea of this makes me all warm and fuzzy. Word.

DSS

Categories
live

Spain @ Hard Club, Porto (19.05.2012)

There’s something heartwarming about this first couple of years off this decade. To make up for the absence of new groundbreaking albums released on this period, grandiose bands who were kinda dead for more than 10 years decided this was the right time for a comeback. Bands like Swans, Superchunk, My Bloody Valentine, the Afghan Whigs, At the Drive-In or Refused started/are starting to take over all the summer festivals that matter. Spain, quietly reformed by frontman (and only permanent member of the band) Josh Haden back in 2007, might not be following their trail into the big stages, but they’ve just embarked on a full European tour after releasing The Soul of Spain, their first full length record since 2001’s I Believe. Last Saturday, at Porto’s recently renewed venue Hard Club where they last played 13 years ago, Haden and the new band proved that not only his songwriting remains as good as it was back then; Spain’s live show is still rock solid.

(Honestly, I have no clue about it as I was just 11 back then. The only Spain I knew back in the day was Tui (that lovely border town where I bought my first Final Fantasy game), Vigo and A Coruña.)

(due to the lack of a decent camera, here’s a picture of the soundcheck via the band’s twitter account)

Haden knows everyone loves The Blue Moods of Spain. Haden is a crowd pleaser. Haden decides it’s a wise choice to play their 1995 iconic debut album on its entirety in the first part of the concert. He’s totally right: four songs into the show and the band’s playing everyone’s favorite song, the not-so-wisely-titled “Untitled #1” (watch some footage below, recorded by someone else. Thank you, by the way). From the hardcore fans paying €25 to see them to the broke but awesome people who could only afford to be there thanks to a lovely website who was handing out tickets for the show, everyone felt that was money well spent. The sound quality was so pristine that it looked like you were listening to the album on your living room using a million dollar sound system, except that yesterday you had an opportunity to do it while looking miserable around everyone else, asking the bartender to pour some more of that ol’ whiskey bottle on your glass. That’s the wet dream of every 40 year old depressive/depressing man who never got over that heartbreak from over 15 years ago, right?

After a 20-minute break, which I bet they required in order to watch the Champions League final’s penalty shootout, the band returned to the stage for a regular set comprised of songs from the rest of their discography, including the latest LP: “I’m Still Free”, the first song released by this new incarnation of the band, was one of the highlights here, with Haden repeating the somewhat basic but powerful lines on the chorus over and over again: “I’m still free/I’m still free/And I tell the world about it/‘Cause I got no doubt about it” while keyboardist Randy Kirk had his moment of glory, elevating the song into the instant-classic-song-pantheon through his Hammond.

Of course such a crowd-pleaser band knew how to end a show on a high note: “Our Love Is Gonna Live Forever”, She Haunts My Dreams’ wallowing closing track was played just before the encore, which consisted of arguably the best song off it, “Nobody Has to Know”. Too late: now everyone who was there knows Haden and the band are still on top of their game. Like in every single year’s Eurovision song contest, here are the results of the Portuguese voting: twelve points to Spain.

Setlist:

1 – It’s So True
2 – Ten Nights
3 – Dreaming of Love
4 – Untitled #1
5 – Her Used-To-Been
6 – Ray of Light
7 – World of Blue
8 – I Lied
9 – Spiritual
-20 min break-
10 – Every Time I Try
11 – Only One
12 – Without a Sound
13 – I’m Still Free
14 – Before It All Went Wrong
15 – She Haunts My Dreams
16 – Oh That Feeling
17 – Make Your Body Move
18 – Sevenfold
19 – Our Love Is Gonna Live Forever
Encore
20 – Nobody Has to Know

DSS

Categories
Uncategorized

The Missing Season, “The Last Summer” (My Little Cab Records, 2012)

Last summer I gave you my heart, but the very next season, you gave it away

Screw that tentative of a pun on the opening line, it’s not even remotely funny. Like this record. One of my favorite bands from the always thriving French depressive but not depressing music scene has put out their 3rd album earlier in the year, but the only thing that made me sad about it is that I only got around to listen to it properly by now. Probably because I’m not really a melancholic person, though: I just seem to enjoy gloomy stuff in order not to be so happy and be able to fit in my circle of urban depressive, The National-worshipper friends.

But this isn’t a post about me; I’m talking about The Missing Season, a duo comprised of songwriters Nicolas Gautier and Marin Pérot who, like me (and this was the last time I mentioned myself in this post), probably spent countless hours of their lives listening to Dakota Suite, Low, Codeine or Red House Painters and getting to know them so well that they managed to craft a sound so close, yet so distinctive from each of those bands, rejecting the whole (unfortunately well spread) idea of cloning. On “Could It Be”, one of the highlights here, Gautier and Pérot teach you how to use a synth with great success in a band whose fanbase probably doesn’t like synthesizers at all and that fact alone is enough for me to praise this album. But by the ending part of the album, “Mystic Candle”, which seems to be some sort of hopeless, farewell song, reveals itself as possibly the best this duo has ever done.

Even though the whole of The Last Summer is not consistently as great as those two standout songs, it’s still worth taking a listen and paying a couple of bucks for the digital download (although you can get it for free on their Bandcamp page embedded below). I can’t name five slowcore albums as good as this one being put out in the latest couple of years. But give me five more like this, and it’s 1995 again.

DSS

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<a href=“http://themissingseason.bandcamp.com/album/the-last-summer” data-mce-href=“http://themissingseason.bandcamp.com/album/the-last-summer”>The Last Summer by The Missing Season</a>

Categories
live

Viva España

Once on the leading pack of the so-called slowcore movement, Spain hadn’t released an album since they called it a day in 2001. Frontman Josh Haden reformed the band with a new lineup in 2007 and 11 years after I Believe, Spain’s fourth album finally sees the light of day. The Soul of Spain is out next month and you can listen to a beautiful, alt-country tinged track off it, “Sevenfold”, on the player above this post.

Haden et al will be presenting the new album all across Europe (click to see tour dates) after a couple of Los Angeles shows during the month of May, including two concerts in Portugal: Lisbon (Lux) on the 18th, Porto (Hard Club) on the 19th.

DSS