Roskilde Festival 2009

Monday, 15 June, 2009

roskilde-festival One year ago I said I wouldn’t participate in the wild and wonderful Roskilde Festival. Two days before I changed my mind and saw memorable performances by MGMT, Battles, Girl Talk and Shantel, while Yeasayers and others have gone into oblivion.

Again this year I am not going. But if I were, there would be plenty of bands to see. The smaller stages have my attention as always. I believe Pet Shop Boys, Coldplay as well as Oasis and Trentemøller are going to kick as at the Canopy stage. But there are a some other bands I would like to promote.

It’s both Karen O’s rock’n’roll attitude as it’s the good melodies and details in the production that convince me Yeah Yeah Yeahs are going to play a great concert. Fever Ray has released a promising album. I’m not sure what to expect – as The Knife only played a few concerts this could both be spectacular or disappointing. I’d also promote White Lies and Friendly Fires for their 2009 dark sound and popular and danceable tunes.

More dark and metal I would love to hear Zu. They are from Ipecac (Mike Patton label) and is all about drone riffs, monster drums and jazz-saxophone. They have some kind of the same approach as Lightning Bolt. I have never seen Isis live, which probably would be enough reason for me to see them. And talking about the heavy stuff I would recommend both Mono and Wolves in the Throne Room.

It’s not going to be heavy all of it. Den Sorte Skole, Hauschka and maybe Shogu Tokumaru have made some impressing releases lately and their approach are never more far out than I think of dancing or dreaming myself far away. Especially Danish act Den Sorte Skole is a must see.

More crazy and edgy you’ll find Gang Gang Dance and Deerhoof. Sometimes Deerhoof gets somewhat annoying in a childish way. Sometimes Gang Gang Dance get too arty farty. However Roskilde Festival must be the perfect place to see these two bands.

After this I’ll probably need to rest and relax. Both Jenny Wilson and Marnie Stern could be nice to see. And The Whitest Boy Alive indeed. If you pass the Lounge stage I’ll recommend you to see the poet Morten Søkilde. His exploration into the sound of syllable is both amazing, beautiful and a somehow kitsch.

Have a nice festival!

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The year 2008: Sweet Love for Planet Earth.

Wednesday, 31 December, 2008

fuck buttons street horrrsingwolf parade at mount zoomer

This was probably the year where I was more on my own, less inspired by friends and acquaintances. But as my approach to and taste in music has changed in time, my friends (mostly .chrz) have put their fingerprints on the albums I preferred this year.

Top 5 songs

Fuck Buttons – Sweet Love for Planet Earth (ATP Recordings)
Wolf Parade – California Dreamer (Sub Pop Records)
The Matthew Herbert Big Band – Battery (Accidental)
Paavoharju – Italialaisella Laivalla (Fonal records)
Shearwater – Leviathan Bound (Matador)

At the “Night before New Years Eve” the joker was “a song from the best live concert this year”. I finally got to see Lightning Bolt (I didn’t prioritize it, as they played in Aarhus some years ago). Battles, Kid Koala and Girl Talk were fine shows. But I chose to play Menomena “Evil bee” as the joker, as they fulfilled their sound through their presence and gave it that extra that I don’t get on the records, when I heard them play at Lille Vega earlier this year.

If I should make some notes on my choice this year, I have to say that “At Mount Zoomer” probably is the most overlooked album of this year. Wolf Parade have really improved their sound and made some solid melodies and fine lyrics. Especially the “Snow on the radio … make angels in the snow” is magic poetry.
As I first heard Fuck Buttons I thought it was great. And this is still my opinion. It’s a mix of the beast and the beauty. It’s harsh but also playful. This might not be that original, but it’s done with style and good sense of what’s working and what does not. Often this kind of band is overdoing it or keeps on experimenting. “Street Horrrsing” has a perfect blend.
I’ve never heard about Paavoharju before, but I’m definitely going to get there former albums. This Finish folk (and some electronica) is a children book that also can be read by adults. When writing, I would say they are above their fellow countryman like fx Kiila.
The Matthew Herbert Big Band is not something I normally listen to. Battery has a whole lot of things going on. It’s pushy, wild and swings like hell.
Shearwater is also something I normally would have avoided. But the song Leviathan Bound is beautiful and I can only recommend this.

In the end that meant there was no spot for sweet Vampire Weekend.

The year 2004: Under the influence of .chrz.

Wednesday, 31 December, 2008

mansbestfriend new human is illegalblack heart procession solbakken in the fish tank

Mikkel moved out and .chrz moved in at Holtegade. He is an amazing guy with a outrageous taste in music. It’s funny, interesting, provocative and challenging. But this is also how music can get exciting.

We danced to Franz Ferdinand two-songs-in-one “Take me out” and we were amazed by the raw and endless energy by Lightning Bolt. It was a stunning year regarding musical exploration. Christian moved out in October and Lasse moved in instead. Another team player and inspiration regarding music.

This year we started a tradition, which has continued every year ever since.

The concept is rather simple: The day before New Years Eve we meet. In Danish we call it “Lille Nytårs aften”. There is no such word in English, so I’ll just have to refer to the “Night before New Years Eve”.
Everybody has their own list of the best five songs released within the last year. First the 5th best song is played by each participant. Then the 4th, then the 3rd and so on is played. Between the rounds the order is changed as everybody is taking a new ball – with a number on the inside – from the bowl.
Between the 2nd and 1st we have a “joker” (bobler), which is a changing theme every year. This year it was “Best band I never have heard before this year”. This was quite interesting, ’cause maybe others did know the band, but to me it was the first time I heard them and they were great.

The atmosphere is both relaxed but also intense. What are the others playing? What do they think and respond to my choice? But it’s also fantastic and surprising to be inspired by new music from friends you know so well. Music is a nice way to get each other to know better and also keep in touch. This is absolutely recommended. The following year we did also try some theme nights, meeting within the year playing “best hip hop songs ever”, “best country songs ever” and “I died in my teens”. An evening playing the best songs from our years as teenagers. We first met after the age of … 23? So there are a lot of unknown pleasures and it was a funny evening. But we haven’t kept these evenings alive in the same manner.

My choice of a top five was

Mansbestfriend: Victim Idol (Anticon)
Black Heart Procession: Dog Song (In the Fishtank)
90 day men: Too late or too dead (Southern Records)
Björk: Triumph of a heart (One Little Indian)
Rammstein: America (Universal)

No doubt about the first ones. Björk was a surprising choice. Dokaka is doing his stuff really well on this homogenic, warm and beautiful track.
One of the strengths of Rammstein is their popular sound. Its sing-along heavy without getting (too) corny and I believe “America” is one of their better tracks. The references to songs from the 80ies don’t make it worse.
90 day men made their best album – “Panda Park” – and “Too late or too dead” is only one of more exceptional tracks. To sad they stopped playing together. Never got to see them live. Well.
Black Heart Procession did play a rather boring concert at Roskilde Festival. Their “In the Fish tank” release with Solbakken is a very nice collaboration. “Dog song” and “Things go on with mistakes” are outstanding tracks.
Mansbestfriend – a project of one of the founders of Anticon, Tim Holland aka Sole – took me with surprise. It made me see Hip Hop as something completely else. My bad not knowing enough about this genre before. The concept of the record is brilliant and the lyrics have been a creative inspiration. Victim Idol is one of more songs that every year could go in my top 5.

I did also listen a lot to the demo of Wolf Parades “Songs and daughters of hungry ghosts” and Kå “Næste sommer”. Wolf Parade didn’t make it to the list and I have regretted this, as this was by far their best song until releasing “At Mount Zoomer”.