Punk means different things to different people yet if anger, activism and energy are still important then London-based, self-described ‘feminist punk witches’ Dream Nails might just be the best punk band we’ve had in quite some time. I first saw them supporting the fantastic Cherry Glazerr at the Brudenell last year, an impossibly fun and genuinely inspired set it was too. A whole year later and I’m finally getting to see them play again, this time at DIY venue par excellence Wharf Chambers.
It’s Tuesday night and if things have seemed a little quiet around here recently then that’s all about to change with the arrival of Earthless. The San Diego three-piece released their latest opus, Black Heaven, back in March and they’re now hitting the road to bring their blissfully uncompromising take on psychedelic rock to venues across Europe. With my earplugs cautiously placed inside my pocket, I head down to The Brudenell Social Club to start my summer with a good, old-fashioned sonic shakedown.
Over on Waveland Avenue, the Foo Fighters were carpet bombing Wrigley Field. The more genteel of us were subject to a much more delicate dismantling at the hands of Kate Stables (aka This Is The Kit) and Aimee Mann at Jay Pritzker Pavilion at Chicago’s Millennium Park. In most instances and most cities, the offer of a free concert in the park would be grounds for a polite decline. Add to that it was a Monday night and there must be better things to do.
- Mark Moody
A musician appearing on TV can give the illusion of overnight success. You write a few songs, put in a brief appearance on a national TV talent show and – bam! – you’re sipping champagne with Ant and Dec. Sounds relatively quick and easy, right? Micky P Kerr made it to the final of this year’s Britain’s Got Talent but those three appearances are far from the full story.
With a name like Soccer Mommy, you’d expect a much older front woman than Sophie Allison. Instead, a fresh-faced, wide-eyed 20-year old took the stage with her band on Sunday in downtown Kansas City to get the crowd ready for Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks. The 35-minute set is further proof that Soccer Mommy intelligently taps into the current trend of directness in indie rock. Their debut album Clean dropped back in March, and it’s full of Elliot Smith-level mournfulness that translated to the live setting well.
It’s about half 9 on a Saturday night in Shipley and it looks like my friend is about to be indoctrinated into a cult. Tribal rhythms and shadowy figures work their way through the crowd and it feels like I’ve inadvertently stumbled into the middle of a horror film; the closing scenes to Ben Wheatley’s disconcerting Kill List perhaps? Well, let’s hope things don’t go that way. Of course all this makes sense when I remember that I’m actually at The Golden Cabinet, West Yorkshire’s finest night for all things experimental.
When Kevin Shields spoke earlier this year that new material from his iconic shoegaze project My Bloody Valentine would be released in 2018, I knew right away that they’d be touring the U.S., and more specifically that the closest they’d be playing would be St. Paul. Back in 2013 on the mbv tour, they played Denver and St. Paul. I had every intention then to see them, but plans fell through. MBV has been my number one bucket list band to see for years, and missing that show was a gut punch. I thought I’d never get the opportunity again.
Sometime in the last five years, Melbourne’s Courtney Barnett became a certified rock star. Touring behind her sophomore album Tell Me How You Really Feel, Barnett and her band swung by Kansas City’s The Truman, on their way to the Pitchfork Music Festival this weekend in Chicago. The last time Barnett visited the area was in 2015, supporting her debut album Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit, and opening for Belle & Sebastian at the Uptown Theater. Despite that brief set, Kansas City has embraced Barnett’s punk-meets-alt rock style.
When Beck (finally) released Colors last year…I didn’t hate it, I hated what it represented…or might have represented; I had some pretty weird thoughts in my review…but one thing was undeniable: it was colorful. And not the standard spectrum of colors we’re used to seeing as humans, this motherfucker INVENTED colors for this album. Then he called down lightning from some other planet’s sky to supercharge the damn thing before unleashing it upon the masses.