Thursday, August 18, 2005

Special Beat

the beat generation

It's been a while since I was at a gig and jumping up and down from the first song, but that's what happened at the Special Beat show, as the band kicked into their repertoire of classics from The Beat and The Specials.

The band originally got together in the early nineties and includes members of The Specials and The English Beat, and this was their first appearance in Australia - headed by The Beat's Ranking Roger and The Specials' Neville Staple. The Special Beat have played successful tours of the UK & the US and recently appeared at the Summer Sonic Festival in Japan.

The line up for this tour included:-

Neville Staple - Lead Vox

'Ranking' Roger Charley - Lead Vox

Roddy Radiation - Guitar (The Specials, Fun Boy Three, Ska Billy Rebels)

Everett Morton - Drums (The Beat)

Warren Middleton - Trombone (Bad Manners, The Beat)

Matt Bane - Drums (Bad Manners, The More Specials)

Andrew Pearson - Bass (The Beat)

Christopher Rome - Bass/keys (The Beat)

Neil Deathridge - Guitar (International Beat, The Beat)

Mathew Murphy - Brass (The Beat, The Ordinary Boys)

Mark Antonie Hamilton – Brass

I had a hell of a hangover the next day, but what a great night it was.

The Beat - Mirror In The Bathroom

The Specials - A Message To You Rudy

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Tujiko Noriko

Tujiko Noriko

I was very disappointed to miss the beguiling Tujiko Noriko playing at Fabrique 23 at the Brisbane Powerhouse on the weekend due to work commitments.

But I was very happy to hear that Noriko was playing a quickly organised gig downstairs at FatBoy's Cafe to celebrate the release of Blurred In My Mirror. The set was followed by a screening on Noriko's directorial debut "Sand And Mini Hawaii", a short film equally as abstract as her music.

So we found ourselves last night sitting on the cold tiled floor of Fatboy's listening to the noise-pop of "The Rational Academy" whose last track was a very noisy version of "White Film" sung by the undisputed queen of Japanese abstract-electro-pop herself.

The second set was Noriko playing with local electronic toy boy Lawrence English, along with guitarist Benjamin Thompson from support band "the Rational Academy" and who also played on Blurred In My Mirror and a percussionist (I didn't catch his name).

I last saw Tujiko Noriko at What is Music 2004 and for me she was the hilight of the event. That time it was just Noriko and her Apple laptop and the simplicity and beauty of the performance had left me spellbound.

This time around, Noriko seemed somewhat swamped as she was surrounded by other musicans, and her beautiful voice was lost amongst the other layers of sound. But it was nonetheless another great show.

This month Tujiko Noriko is releasing three albums

Blurred In My Mirror with Lawrence English, which was showcased tonight and a track of which I've posted below

28 with Aoki Takamasa

J with Riow Arai

The Selector have recently posted some Tujiko Noriko tracks which are worth checking out.

You can also check out Noriko's blog.

Tujiko Noriko - White Film

Tujiko Noriko - I'm Not Dreaming, King

Monday, August 08, 2005

Talk Talk

Talk Talk's Life

Who needs a life when there's so much work to do? Me!!

Work sure sucks at the moment, with regular 40-50 hour weeks (even with the trip to Splendour In The Grass) for as long as I wish to remember, plus the terror of 24x7 on-call.

Gotta try to get that balance right .. only a week to go .... almost at the light at the end of the tunnel. Then it's six weeks holiday - San Francisco, New York, London, Paris - woo hoo!

So it's a rapid post tonight.

As Talk Talk so accurately put it - Life's what You Make It.

Talk Talk - Life's What You Make It

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Sigur Rós

sigur ros - takk

We saw Sigur Rós on Friday night and were mesmerized for most of the performance, which was a good mix of something old from their 3 earlier albums von, ágætis byrjun and () and something new from the new album Takk.

If I was to make a list of my favourite live shows ever, this one is right up there. The music was beautiful and haunting, the lighting was magical and the projected images only added to the moment. The band play with such intensity, not acknowledging the audience, but allowing the music to speak for itself, and the girls of Icelandic string quartet Amina were also frequently involved in the performance, their strings melding beautifully with Jónsi's bowed Gibson Les Paul.

Takk is yet to be officially released, even the first single glósóli, which will be released through download only, doesn't come out until August 15th. But Takk is already out there, digitised and posted.

My curiosity grew too strong, especially considering that I stumbled across a copy of it on the night before the gig. Yes ... litle demon Me jumped up on my left shoulder and shouted "Woo Hoo - Download it NOW!!" - little angel Me then whispered into my right ear "But you'll still be buying it when it's released". I love this album already.

One Louder seems to be stalking Sigur Rós at the moment, and has provided such information as the English translations for the titles of the new Sigur Rós songs on Takk:-

1. "Takk" = Thanks
2. "Glósóli" = Glowsun
3. "Hoppípolla" = Hopping into Puddles
4. "Med Blódnasir" = I've Got a Nosebleed
5. "Sé Lest" = I See a Train
6. "Sæglópur" = Lost at Sea
7. "Mílanó" = Milan
8. "Gong" = Gong
9. "Andvari" = Zephyr
10. "Svo Hljótt" = So Quietly
11. "Heysátan" = The Haystack

Sigur Ros are launching a new official site, on August 15.

If you want to hear more, check out the band’s current web page for a huge selection of mp3’s.

Sigur Rós - Von from von

Sigur Rós - Staralfur from ágætis byrjun

Sigur Rós - untitled #4 (aka. njósnavélin/the nothing song) from ()

Sigur Rós - Glósóli from takk

Sigur Rós - Sæglópur from takk