Thursday, April 21, 2016

R.I.P. Prince

Legends are dropping like flies these days. BB King, who lived a great long life, performing almost into his nineties. Lemmy, who burned the candle at both ends. David Bowie, who turned his death into art just like he did his life. And now Prince, who was always so vibrant, so creative, so full of life. It's hard to imagine him as a strung-out junky jut like it's hard to make sense of this opiate epidemic. 

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Spiritual Beggars @ Backstage By The Mill, Paris - April 10th, 2016

Spiritual Beggards is a hard rock band whose sound harkens back to the stoner proto-metal outfits of the seventies. Think Captain Beyond meets Leaf Hound. Heavy riffs, cool Hammond sounds, pummelling rhythm section and killer vocals all wrapped up in a drug-fuelled atmosphere. This is one of guitarist Michael Ammott's many projects and definitely our favorite one. Ex-Firewind singer Apollo Papathanasio is their current vocalist and while his approach is little more metal, he fits perfectly in the retro, lysergic music created by his bandmates.

Friday, April 8, 2016

The Posies @ Point Éphémère, Paris - April 8th 2016

There was a time when the Posies were destined to become the next big thing. And maybe they were for a while. They did have a string of radio hits in the early nineties which must have somewhat secured them financially. Nowadays, Ken Stringfellow and Jon Auer re-activate the band every once in a while but seem to mostly devote their time to other projects, which is what makes their Paris date such a treat.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Pere Ubu @ Point Éphémère, Paris - April 7th 2016

Père Ubu is forty years old but their music hasn't mellowed or become less abrasive. In fact it seems like David Thomas gives even less of a shit about what you think now than he ever did.

Not that he's rude, mind you. In fact, his stage demeanour is perfectly polite and affable. But he will not cater to an audience, the audience has to make the effort to join him.

So it's not the most accessible music, but if you do make the effort it is one of the most rewarding. The songs are at once surrealistic and political, simple and harmonically challenging. The jerky rhythms are a great gateway to their world: Pere Ubu wants to make you dance, even if their leader is sitting.

Their only concession to the vulgum pecus is in tonight's choice of repertoire: they have (wisely) chosen to emphasise their two most popular albums The Modern Dance and Dub Housing, to the delight of the small crowd of freaks, misfits and weirdos in attendance.