Archive for April, 2011

On April 25th 2011, I saw the Scottish band Mogwai live for the third time. They were playing the Olympia, in Montreal, to support their latest record called Hardcore Will Never Die But You Will.

Before the show, it seemed like the stars were not aligned for them this time around. A few days before the show, they announced that due to visas problems, they had to postpone the first few dates of the American leg of the tour. I was happy to see that the Montreal show was not delayed. Then, the day before the show, they announced on Facebook and Twitter that drummer Martin Bulloch would not be part of the tour, due to family commitments. James Hamilton of the band Errors will be playing drums for the North American tour.

As if it was not enough, when the opening act took the stage, they told us that they were playing instead of Errors who were supposed to be the opening act. I don’t know what happened here, but it seemed like everything was against Mogwai this time.

But honestly, I have to say that it all turned out pretty well. Finally, the first band to play was a Montreal band called USA, out of Vietnam. I never heard of them before. The singer/guitarist of that band is called Jonathan Cummins. He’s well known in the music community for having played in many bands, including the Doughboys and Treble Charger. But the sound of this new band is really far from the Doughboys or Treble Charger. The quartet plays a loud and heavy rock that is not instrumental, but that has long instrumental intros / breaks. I was pretty impressed by the performance. Of course, the sound was not all that good, but having a good sound is something an opening act can rarely count on. But the energy, and the songs were there. I will definitely be watching them and be looking for a CD release. I don’t know if there’s anything available yet, but I checked at the merchandise booth at the show and they did not have anything. However, for those interested, you can hear some songs on their Facebook page. And by the way, for those who said that a Telecaster could not be heavy or loud, well Cummins would prove you wrong anytime.

Mogwai took the stage next. Once again, we were on for a delightful journey through their musical landscape. They opened the show with White Noise, the first track on their new CD. As with all the other Mogwai show I have seen, there was nothing really fancy there. Just a great band, with awesome music. They also had a big screen behind them where there was some projections to add visuals to all that. Nothing fancy but still, everything it takes. Pure rock, intense and loud. But they’re not just loud. There’s something more. You can definitely feel the intensity. They sent shivers down my spine.

Something I really like about them, and you have to see them many times to notice, but as opposed to many other bands, they don’t serve us the same shows over and over. As an example, this time around they did not played songs as Haunted By a Freak, Christmas Steps or Batcat, even if these songs where great moments of previous shows. The playlist that time was mostly around the last album, with some older stuff thrown in. As an example,
the encore started with Auto Rock, off their 2006 album Mr Beast. I believe they played pretty much all the songs off the new CD, except for Letters To The Metro and Too Raging To Cheers. They played and fantastic show that lasted for roughly 1 hour and 45 minutes, including the 3 songs encore.

And for those “anxious” about Bulloch not being of the line up, let me tell you that Hamilton did a great job. That guy is definitely a hard-hitting beast. The only noticeable mistake was at the beginning of George Square Thatcher Death Party, in the encore. But still, it was just a little fun.

All in all, a gorgeous show… just as usual.

Advertisements

C’est mardi dernier que paraissait officiellement le nouvel opus du groupe montrélais Malajube. Intitulé La Caverne, cet album devait marquer un retour vers le son plus joyeux des premiers albums, délaissant le côté sombre de Labyrinthes.
Il y a quelques temps, le groupe rendait disponible sur son site le tout premier extrait de cet album, une plage intitulée Synesthésie. Ça ne faisait aucun doute. Un son résolument plus joyeux et aussi plus pop. J’avais l’eau à la bouche, je ne pouvais plus attendre pour écouter ce nouvel album.
Premier constat à la première écoute: bien que la formation ait voulu délaisser le côté sombre du précédent album, on sent qu’il laisse toujours sa trace. Personnellement, je ne m’en plains pas. J’avoue que Labyrinthe était (et est toujours) mon album favori de Malajube. Mais, on sent tout de même le côté plus joyeux et festif. On remarque aussi que les arrangements ont été beaucoup simplifiés par rapport à ce à quoi ils nous ont habitués. En entrevue dernièrement, Julien Mineau, chanteur du groupe, mentionnait que, pour cet album, ils ont beaucoup pensé aux spectacles et c’est ce qui les a menés à faire des arrangements qu’ils pourraient reproduire à quatre sur la scène. Mais la musique de Malajube n’y perd vraiment rien. Comme à l’habitude, ils nous balancent en plein visage un mélange de rock, de pop et de progressif, avec des textes qui, selon moi, sont tout à fait délicieux.
Étant donné que le premier extrait de l’album s’appelle Synesthésie, j’ai décidé de me prêter à un petit jeu et d’associer une couleur à chacune des chansons de l’album. Voilà ce que ça donne:
Synesthésie: Rose. Un rose bonbon éclatant parce que cette pièce est un gros morceau de pop bonbon à son meilleur. Courte, accrocheuse et entraînante, on ne peut pas y résister.
Cro-Magnon: Orange. Sincèrement, c’est la chanson à laquelle j’ai eu le plus de difficulté à associer une couleur. C’est finalement la couleur orange qui m’est venue en tête. Tout d’abord parce que le texte fait souvent référence au feu, mais aussi parce que sa “vibe” faisait en sorte que j’imaginais le groupe en train de jouer cette chanson en spectacle, devant un mur de feu. L’image était parfaite.
La caverne: Noir. Noir, car c’est probablement la pièce qui porte le plus ce petit côté sombre qui était si présent sur l’album précédent. Noir parce qu’elle nous entraîne vraiment au fin fond de la caverne.
Sangsues: Brun. Le brun des bottes qui martèlent le sol. C’est que le rythme accentué et saccadé de cette pièce me fait penser à des bruits de pas.
Mon oeil: Bleu. Le bleu du ciel à qui elle emprunte sa légèreté. J’adore cette pièce très “atmosphérique”.
Le blizzard: Or. Cette pièce est fortement influencée par le funk et le disco des années 80, avec ses paillettes et tous ses brillants.
Radiologie: Vert. Le vert de l’été. Une pièce qui respire le soleil, le beau temps.
Ibuprofène: Sable. J’ignore pourquoi mais, quand j’entends cette pièce, je vois une grande plage. Elle est un peu dans le même esprit que le morceau précédent: légèreté, pop, bon temps.
Le stridor: Blanc. C’est la couleur que cette pièce au rythme de valse m’a inspirée. Je voyais une grande réception avec de somptueuses robes blanches.
Chienne folle: Rouge. Rouge pour l’énergie, car cette dernière pièce de l’album en a à revendre. Probablement le titre le plus énergique de l’album. On termine en force.

Voilà! C’est ce qui conclut mon petit exercice synesthésique. J’espère que vous avez eu autant de plaisir à le lire que j’en ai eu à l’écrire. Surtout, n’hésitez pas à laisser en commentaires les couleurs que cet album VOUS inspire.

Wow! It’s been a long time since I have been that excited about new music coming out. I don’t know what’s happening this spring, but new music is blooming everywhere.

Well, where should I start. Maybe with Radiohead who finally put out the sequel to In rainbow in the name of The King of Limbs. I was so excited to finally have new Radiohead music. Even though I think I still need some time to tame the beast and fully appreciate this weird record (to say the least), I think it’s a great record. I really love how Radiohead seems to be able to destabilize us with every new record they put out.

Also, PJ Harvey gave us a new record called Let England Shake. I must admit that I haven’t followed closely her career, but I always find her music interesting. This album is the first PJ Harvey album I bought since To Bring You My Love and I have to say that I really love it. You should give it a try.

What’s next? J Mascis, leader of Dinosaur Jr jut released an acoustic album called Several Shades of Why. I haven’t listened to it yet as it is very difficult to find here, but I ordered it online and just can’t wait to hear this new material from one of my inspiration as a guitarist.

Another album I can’t wait to put my hands on is a record called La Caverne by the Montreal based band Malajube. I really discovered them with their last record, Labyrith, but became a real fan of their music. If you don’t know them yet, give them a try. You won’t regret it. You can find the first single off their new record on their website http://malajube.com/

Also, new music coming next week by the Foo Fighters. I have to admit that I lost some interest in them over the last few years, but the first single Rope really got me back in. I am really excited for this album to come out. I also like the idea the had to entirely record this new album in a garage, using only analog technologies. Can’t wait to hear how it sounds.

Well, well, well. It’s not over yet. As I am typing this text, I am patiently waiting for Jane’s Addiction to put the link on their site to download the first single off their new record. I streamed it online and it sounds really promising. It’s been a while since we could listen to new material from Jane’s. I am really curious to find out how this will sound.

Have I told you it was quite busy? Also, Jeff Martin, ex-leader of The Tea Party (the band, not the political party), just released a new album with a new band called 777. This is a really amazing album and you can read a review of it in a previous post.

I was about to forget Mogwai. What a mistake. This great post-rock band just put out Harcore Will Never Die But You Will. An amazing record I can’t stop listening to.

Also, It makes me think that Explosions in The Sky is also set to release a new record soon. If you go to their website http://www.explosionsinthesky.com/ you can download their first single. If you don’t know them, I strongly suggest you listen to them. It’s one of the best band I discovered in the last few years.
As if it wasn’t enough, Smashing Pumpkins is continuing their Teargarden by Kaleidyscope project, and each new song to put out is better than the previous one. Keep it rocking…
I am sure I am forgetting a lot of interesting stuff as I am just throwing ideas as I write. I was just so excited about everything happening in the music world right now that I had to share it.
Hope you’ll find some stuff you like in all that.