31 July 2009

friday five - 31.07.09 - livin' live

WOW, what the hell day is it?

Here's the thing: life is insane. Life, people, stuff, things, mostly people, are all batshit crazy. Dude, I've been to more shows than I can handle (haha well actually maybe I could do a couple more IF YOU INSIST) in the past two weeks than I have the rest of the year, set foot in more locations in the past two weeks than I generally like to see in the span of a decade, and screwed up my sleep schedule forever (not that it was ever very consistent to begin with).

Now it's pouring out, and I'm torn between wanting to dance in it and just, like, sleeping until the end of time.

Instead, I'll use this time to recap a few of the bands I saw live. Three of them aren't really mentioned below, but I can refer you to the special I wrote up on the super-rockin' War Tapes and Chris' external review of the opening bands for Junior Boys for the Full Experience.

Anyway, on with the show. And then I'll sleep until the end of time.

Ayria - "Red Shift" (mp3|7.45MB): The electric pink in Jennifer Parkin's voice is daring you to fuck with her. No, seriously. With lyrics and an aggressive demeanour that would put her microphone in league with Scarface's "little friend" (coupled with raw club beats and enough synth distortion to make me happy for weeks), this group was a very pleasant new discovery for me. They manage to mix the attitude of Garbage with the shameless MDMA-laced Toronto club scene, not only making the dancing unavoidable, but making me wish I still had Barbie dolls. If only so I might be able to give them Sharpie tattoos and cut their hair into mohawks. (Not that I, you know, ever did. I mean, I would have, if I hadn't been afraid of taking them out of the box.)
(from the 2003 album Debris)

VNV Nation - "Beloved" (mp3|6.79MB): This is one of those bands that, if you are given the chance to see them live, you must do whatever is necessary to do so. Sell your children. Give up a kidney. (You only need one. It isn't that big a loss.) I've been a VNV fan for a couple of years now, and this is one of the first songs I heard after Empires (which, by the way, is one of the most amazing electronic albums I've ever experienced). It was an instant favourite, mercilessly hooking me in with lyrics such as "We were once young and blessed with wings / no heights could keep us from their reach" and the repeated "eternity awaits." Hopefully, I'm not alone in this - just download and hear for yourself.
(from the 2002 album Futureperfect)

Junior Boys - "The Equalizer" (mp3|6.81MB): Typically, Junior Boys present a downtempo, whispery electronica that doesn't really fall into the realms of the stuff I'm usually into. I remember a while back when they mixed some of the artists I am really into (some examples being The Decemberists, Stars, and Billie Holiday); their additions to the songs didn't really phase me. Thankfully, Chris introduced me to this song's parent album, and with the booster of seeing them rock it live, I can see now why people dig them. Granted, I don't think I'll be stalking them any time soon, but still. It's pretty good stuff.
(from the 2006 album So This is Goodbye)

Iran - "Where I'm Going" (mp3|7.23MB): "She wasted everything she owned defending the throne." I'm going to say one thing: Iran live is nothing like Iran in the studio. Wait, scratch that. They are, but when you listen to their songs on your mp3 player, they sound more like the kind of psychedelic rock that you play when no one's paying attention to the lyrics in music anymore because you're so wasted you could freak out oh god did that lamp just move. I chose this song specifically for that effect, if only because I didn't glean anything like it from their live performance. It was more like - well, a regular rock show. It's definitely interesting to see TV on the Radio's Kyp Malone spotlighted in another element, and I look forward to seeing how he continues to wear these colours. In the meantime, prepare to trip balls.
(from the 2009 album Dissolver)

Destroyer - "Watercolours into the Ocean" (mp3|4.37MB): I don't know what it is about Destroyer (and Dan Bejar in general), but I seem to be the only one in my immediate circle of friends who appreciates this particular outfit of music for everything it's worth. More often than not, I find myself defending Trouble in Dreams with every fibre of my being, fervently chanting "But it got me through my college commute!" I don't know. Maybe Bejar and I have some things in common. I can name two right off the bat: absolute insanity and big hair (though, admittedly, his hair is way more awesome than mine could ever aspire to be). Watch out, y'all: this man deviates from setlists. Taken from the one Destroyer album that seems to be neutral ground for both of your beloved DJs, have one of my favourite Bejar songs to date. Because, believe it or not, it is 1987 all the time. Or, you know. Something like that.
(from the 2006 album Destroyer's Rubies)

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