My review of End of the Road Festival 2017

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Another year goes by with personal issues, great moments, not so good moments, scary things happening all over the world,…well we/you all face this and I guess this blog is no different. However, as all good things in life, there are still a few times when one feels secured, happy or comforted. It can be done through art, books, friends, family, going to see a game, fishing,…you name it. For me, despite it being only my third edition, End of the Road brings that comforting feeling.

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There was no major news this year in terms of why and how much I love this festival. It comes for the audience, the music lovers (hello Big Jeff!), the site, the peacocks, the comedy stages, etc… Please refer to my reviews of previous years (cf. tag “End of the Road” on the right of the page) and I hope being able to share all the good karma that comes out of it. I will guide you through a more summarised review this year so let’s start with Thursday evening.

  • Thursday, 31st August 2017

As with last year, the organisers decided in keeping this good idea: let’s start the festival on Thursday night with a few gigs.

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My first music note out of 24 gigs I were to attend during these four days came from a nice and friendly UK band called The Surfing Magazines. I then attended the concert of Brix Smith & The Extricated. Originally from the US, Brix used to be Mark E. Smith’s spouse and they both were members of The Fall in the 80’s. After a few years out of the music business, she is back with former The Fall members, playing a mix of old The Fall songs and new ones they created. Quite a lively and nice set I must say.

Thursday’s headliners were Slowdive. They were contemporary of bands such as My Bloody Valentine, Ride or The Boo Radleys in the late 80’s/early 90’s and part of the so-called “shoegaze” movement. After disbanded in the 90’s and focusing on their other project Mojave Three, their leaders Neil Halstead and Rachel Goswell reformed the band a few years ago and released a new self-titled LP this year (cf. our May 2017 Albums of the month). As quite often with this band, they do not have so many memorable songs but their beauty lies in the way they work on sounds and musical structures. I was quite impressed by their strength and focus on stage and this was an excellent way to start the festival.

  • Friday, 1st September 2017

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Very sunny day to start the month of September with lots of great gigs as well! The difficulty at End of the Road is often to make decisions as there are almost always two gigs at the same time out of the four stages. I personally generally favour to attend concerts in their entirety when I can and chose either bands/musicians who are personal favourites or others I have never seen playing live before.

I decided therefore to miss Mac DeMarco who was headlining that day as I attended his concert recently at the Route du Rock festival in Saint-Malo.

I experienced a few nice discoveries such as the nice but slightly boring folk songs of Julie Byrne, the punchy Velvet Underground-influenced music of Ultimate Painting, the great country-rock of female legend Lucinda Williams, the surprising, demanding and beautiful music of New-Zealander Aldous Harding or the beautiful indie-rock songs of US band Real Estate.

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The two concerts I enjoyed the most though were Michael Chapman and H. Hawkline. Michael Chapman could be considered as a finger-picking legend. Now reaching 76 years, he sounds and looks like a youngster both on stage and on record (cf. our January 2017 albums of the month). On a very sunny Garden Stage, he played a great set, alone with his acoustic guitar, telling us plenty of funny stories between songs. The older I get, the more I get bored with conventional music, like boring folk musicians, bland indie bands or repetitive electro shit (hello Justice…) so watching someone being so long in the business while being so fresh is something to recognize.

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My other favourite concert was H. Hawkline, an artist I had already seen live two years ago. His attitude and music remain as fresh as I remember and this is a pity that this artist from Wales is not more famous. Catch him live if you can.

  • Saturday, 2nd September 2017 

Saturday is generally the most tiring day of a festival so I decided to enjoy the last sunny day, take my time rather than running from one place to another and appreciate the six gigs I went to.

No regret at all concerning those I missed as so great were the ones I attended. Quite funny and charming as with The Burning Hell from Canada, really good as always with Band Of Horses or amazingly dynamic and full of energy like The Lemon Twigs, lead by the D’Addario brothers (respectively 17 and 19-years old!). Nadine Shah‘s concert was impressive as well ; she has a real strong personality, her music is really beautiful, her words are clever and political…and she has a nice Geordie accent from Newcastle. Listen to her album as soon as you can (cf. August 2017 Albums of the month).

My two best moments of the day (and also of the festival) came from that day. I caught first quite early in the afternoon an artist I had never heard of whose name is Moses Sumney. In a world where we are 24/7 connected and where all sounds/records/news are supposed to be known, I was intrigued by it but also quite excited. I must say the reward was immense and very emotional. This beautiful big black guy is from the USA but with Guinean origins and has lots of interaction everywhere basically. He was assisted on stage by a young guitarist while he was singing, playing guitar, synths… or machines. His music can go from one minute to another from a heavenly melody to industrial sounds. He has the voice of an angel but does not insist too much on it as one can see his interest is more in sounds and emotion. I thought that this is a feeling that people must have had the first time they discovered Bjork on stage…and the next track he played was a Bjork cover. Discover him before he gets too massive ; his debut album will be out soon on the 22nd of September.

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The day ended beautifully with the Festival headliner, i.e. Father John Misty. The alter ego of Joshua Tillman, Father John Misty has been one of our favourite artists in the latest years and the current success he has cannot be more deserved. His latest album “Pure Comedy” was amongst our April 2017 best albums of the month…but really this alum is more than this. It has been personally a very emotional companion since its release and I could talk for ages about the perfect balance between beautiful 70’s Elton John’s music and Joshua’s funny, sad, complex, political and overwhelming words. The current live tour is as beautiful as the record and for his first festival headline Father John Misty was really impressive. His band is fantastic and there are around 15 musicians on stage, including strings and horns. One of my best concerts ever for a performer on top of his form.

  • Sunday, 3rd September 2017

What would be a UK festival without rain? After three days in a row without one drop of rain and two beautiful sunny days actually, Sunday was completely different and to make it short it did not stop raining all day! This did not stop your reviewer to do his job either by choosing “dry” gigs in tents or fighting the rain with the usual material (cape and waterproof clothes).

That was my busiest day with eight gigs attended, knowing that I went and see 45 minutes of each headliner rather than choosing one entire gig.

So quite a busy day indeed and a female-oriented one, either with the great C-86 UK scene influenced band Girl Ray or with the Crutchfield twin sisters. Born and raised in Alabama, their indie rock is really good and exciting: Allison Crutchfield has her own band with… Allison Crutchfield & The Fizz while Katie Crutchfield is a bit more famous than her sister with her band Waxahatchee (in which Allison also plays…shall I do it again or did you get it?). Anyway, both bands are super recommended and can be enjoyed in dry or wet weather conditions (as personally experienced!).

Other female artists I enjoyed that day were Nadia Reid from NZ and her beautiful acoustic and poetic songs and Satomi Matsuzaki who is the lead singer of the always weird but always enjoyable band Deerhoof. I could almost say that Foxygen is a female-oriented band as their two leaders Jonathan Rado and Sam France have a real non-male sensitivity in their melodies and song structures. Theirs was probably my rainier concert ever but the mood amongst the crowd was so strong that everyone almost forgot they were all heavily soaked!

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The Jesus and Mary Chain or Bill Callahan? Bill Callahan or The Jesus and Mary Chain. Both artists are part of my Top 100 and have been personal favourites for a long time. I caught Bill recently in London… and the Reid Brothers even more recently at the Route du Rock festival. So I decided to watch the first 45 minutes of Bill Callahan and the remaining 45 ones of The JAMC. I think it was the right choice as Bill Callahan‘s set (this time with a full band and not only his usual side-guitarist as early in the year) is more balanced in terms of songs’ choice whereas The Jesus and Mary Chain generally plays their most iconic tracks during the second part of their set. Despite both gigs being obviously very different, both were excellent and represent to me a certain idea of what rock’n’roll should be, i.e. mainly self-belief in one’s ideas…

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See you next year End of the Road ; I already bought my “early bird” ticket!

 

 

August 2017 Album of the month: The War On Drugs “A Deeper Understanding”

I was really expecting to struggle to find seven good albums in August but things did not work out as planned… August was actually probably the best month of the year so far in terms of quality of albums and the ones selected below are all reaching levels of excellence.

Album of the month: The War On Drugs “A Deeper Understanding” – Pop Rock – The War on Drugs is the brainchild of Adam Granduciel. After many years in being a very good band (one of his former member being the excellent Kurt Vile), their leader defined a different formula with their 2014 LP “Lost in the Dream“. It took me a bit of time to love that album which basically topped all 2014 best of lists but I must say seeing them live at End of the Road 2015 festival convinced me entirely. Their new record goes even further in this formula with hypnotic long songs. A bit as if Bruce Springsteen were playing “Dancing in the Dark” with a proper drums sound for over an hour ; who could ask for more?

  • Runner-up: Grizzly Bear“Painted Ruins” – Pop Rock – It had been quite a long time since we did not get any news from this great band but it was worth the wait. Despite having a sort of hit in 2009 with “Two Weeks“, Grizzly Bear are more a band known for their work on sounds and moody atmospheres. The first track of their new LP is called “Wasted Acres” and I guess after 20 seconds you will know if you are a fan of the band or if you feel bored. On my side, the choice has been made a long time ago so I am delighted to get a new record from such a beautiful band.
  • Also recommended:
    • The Districts “Popular Manipulations” – Pop Rock – in the same genre as TV On The Radio
    • Ghostpoet – “Dark Days + Canapés” – Urban Groove- Latest opus from soul/hip hop/indie rock master of sounds Obaro Ejimiwe
    • Nadine Shah “Holiday Destination” – Pop Rock – Hypnotic pop with political words
    • Iron & Wine “Beast Epic” – Pop Folk – First proper solo album since 2013 from our beloved Sam Beam
    • Queens of the Stone Age “Villains” – Pop Rock – This record would have been album of the month any other month. Josh Homme is the best person in the music industry with Jack White and Dave Grohl!
  • Lest we forget: album of the previous month – This Is The Kit – “Moonshine Freeze

 

PJ Harvey at la Route du Rock festival (St Malo, 18th August 2017)

Back to the future! Ten years after my last attendance at the Route du Rock festival, here I was again, still young and full of hope in life! Funny also to go back to this indie festival which struggles every year to make both ends meet but succeeds year on year in having a very good line-up. So, how was the festival overall?

  • Pros: very good line-up, smaller crowds as in other festival, having a second stage brings a lot of dynamism, no rain at all this year, eating a saucisse-galette, attending a festival while on holidays and last but not least meeting again prestigious VIP’s from Rennes.
  • Cons: only seven (!) food places, lots of queue for the drinks with the new Cashless system, people smoke a lot, gigs start too late (I could not see Future Islands from 2 to 3 am), plenty of pushing and rushing from the audience… and the pile of manure brought by the local farmer (who name is supposed to be M. Lecoulant!)

 

So lots of enjoyment from gigs such as the ones from The Jesus and Mary Chain, Angel Olsen, The Arab Strap or Interpol revisiting their “Turn On The Bright Lights” album in all its glory but the real treat for me was the PJ Harvey concert.

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It was only my second PJ Harvey concert ever and I must say I had been quite disappointed the first time I saw her at the Eurockéennes festival in 2004. That was probably at an intermediary time for PJ Harvey as she was between her first straight-to-your-face guitar period and the current one, which is brainy, political and multi-instrumental.

PJ Harvey is to me more and more like jazz artists in the sense that one could quite like an album (as I was with her latest opus “The Hope Six Demolition Project“) but feel a totally different experience while attending one of her concert. The show she presented at the Route du Rock is not new as she had been doing it for around a year now…but is really beautiful. The musicianship is amazing and players such as John Parish, Mick Harvey or the legendary Terry Edwards are amongst the best in their respective fields.

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I really liked also the beauty and simplicity of the concept: one woman and seven men, all dressed in black, no talk between songs, no “thanks”,…just the purity and strength of the songs. The setlist was quite impacted by the latest two LP’s but there were a few old songs too like the amazing “Down By The Water” for instance.

Overall great show and nice festival which I hope I will attend more regularly now.

 

July 2017 Album of the month: This Is The Kit “Moonshine Freeze”

Summer holidays for a few of us… but the blog is never on leaves! I was expecting a lazy month in terms of new releases but this not was so so let’s go for our July review.

Album of the month: This Is The Kit “Moonshine Freeze” – Pop Rock – One of the most expected releases as far as this blog is concerned following the great gig I attended at End of The Road festival in 2015. Not a disappointment to say the least as you will not find a more moving and beautiful record this year. This Is The Kit is the brainchild of Kate Stable, an English woman expatriated in Paris. As with all great records, the best thing is to listen to it and you will understand from the first track onwards.

  • Runner-up: Nine Inch Nails – “Add Violence” – Ok, I must admit I am slightly cheating here as this is a (long) 5-track EP and not an album… but what a record. Everything this blog adores about Trent Reznor and his band: power, melodies and amazing sound ideas. By the way, the band recently appeared in the new Twin Peaks series 3 in the episode 8, probably the most surreal episode of all series ever.
  • Also recommended:
    • Broken Social Scene  “Hug of Thunder” – Canadian collective pop rock
    • Toro Y Moi – “Boo Boo” – One man dance machine
    • Lana Del Rey “Lust for Life” – Lynchian girlie songs; her best album so far
    • Arcade Fire “Everything Now” – Euphoric dance pop. Not their best album but a few really great tracks
    • Benjamin Gibbard “Bandwagonesque” – Pop Rock – Death Cab For Cutie’s singer covers Teenage Fanclub best album: a fan’s dream come true
  • Lest we forget: album of the previous month – Ride “Weather Diaries”

 

June 2017 Album of the month: Ride “Weather Diaries”

A very busy month with a few okish records from favourites (Phoenix, Sufjan Stevens) a few real disappointments (Royal Blood, Fleet Foxes, London Grammar), an awful record (DJ Khaled)..and the worst record ever made (Katy Perry). However, good news is that the selection below is pretty awesome so enjoy!

 

Album of the month: Ride “Weather Diaries” – Shoegaze Rock – Amazing really to be in a position to write that Ride’s new album is our favourite of the month but this is for real! A great balance between what they used to be and what music is now, it sounds equally retro and modern. These guys give their best when they are together. Welcome back!

  • Runner-up: Lorde“Melodrama” – Pop – 2nd album from New Zealander Ella Marija Lani Yelich-O’Connor. After shaking the world with her debut released when she was 16 (!), she is back at the ripe age of 20 with an even better second LP. Great catchy melodies, weird arrangements, very original voice, moving lyrics,… everything pop should be (and Katy Perry will never be…)
  • Also recommended:
    • TOPS “Sugar At The Gate” – Canadian Power Pop
    • Cigarettes After Sex – “s/t” – Ethereal Pop (..and nice band name!)
    • Kevin Morby“City Music” – Cool folk rock
    • Flotation Toy Warning“The Machine That Made Us” – Complex Radiohead-influenced rock
    • Vince Staples “Big Fish Theory” – Hip Hop
  • Lest we forget: album of the previous month – The Afghan Whigs – “In Spades”

 

Ride with me once, Ride with me twice… Village Underground (12th June 2017) and Rough Trade East (19th June 2017)

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You think one of your favourite bands is lost forever and the only vague memory you have is an April 1990 gig in Paris when they opened for The House of Love and then suddenly you see them three times in a relatively short period of time. I guess this is the recent and nice story many other Ride fans recently enjoyed.

Their 2015 Field Day Festival was a great memory and I remember the emotion when hearing the first keyboard notes of “Leave Them All Behind“. However, the band did not really want to keep things as such and were eager to record a new record first to find back the excitement of creativity but also to be able to bring a bit of fresh air in their setlist.

So here I was, attending two Ride gigs in a row, the first one being held in the friendly and tiny atmosphere of the Village Underground in the London Shoreditch area. It started well with an excellent opening band called Novella made out of young women (and a male drummer!) singing nice melodies with a strong shoegaze influence.

Ride arrived then on stage and one could really feel the pleasure and excitement these guys have to be back doing music together. Their new record “Weather Diaries” was to be released a few days after this gig so there were new songs to digest for the audience…and I can tell you these new songs sounded excellent. I will not be doing any teasing for our June record of the month future review but I would be surprised not to find this record as part of it.

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As often the case with classic bands, their strength lies in the connection between the two leaders/singers/songwriters, i.e. Andy Bell and Mark Gardener. One of the reasons the band split in 1996 was that these two school friends were going into different musical directions. Although they both had interesting musical careers out of Ride, Andy being for instance a member of Oasis for many years, one has to admit that their best material comes from their common chemistry. The show tonight was beautiful and excellently balanced between new songs and old classics from their peak 1990-1996 period. I must say this is such a pleasure to have them back, like meeting old friends after a long period of time.

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A week later, the band were promoting their new LP at Rough Trade East with a short set and the traditional record signing. I was lucky to be there as well to see this great short set mainly focused on songs from the new LP. I queued to have my vinyl cover signed and had a nice chat with Andy Bell (about Iggy Pop’s Royal Albert Hall gig) and Mark Gardener (speaking in French!) regarding his involvement in the Nick Drake tribute band The Color Bars Experience. Thanks Rough Trade for these in-store events which are always great to attend.

 

 

 

More than grunge – Two great American bands: The Afghan Whigs (Koko, London, 30th May 2017) and Buffalo Tom (Islington Assembly Hall, London, 9th June 2017)

These two bands have many things in common: they were considered part of the grunge movement whereas in reality their roots are more to be found in traditional American music, they have great leaders/singers, they stopped for many years after the 90’s, they recently came back though…and your host had the pleasure in catching them live in a 10-day period. No excuse then not to do a review of these concerts.

  • The Afghan Whigs – London, Koko – 30th May 2017

No need to tell my whole story as not fascinating but I decided to go and try my luck literally one hour before the start of the show after a long and tiring road trip from France. I was rewarded thanks to a nice lady who sold me the ticket of her sick husband…for £10! And this for a band for which I came especially to London when I was not living in London in 2012 (I’ll be your mirror Festival)… On the other side, I lost all my pictures of the concert due to a computer issue so I guess bad and good news were balanced.

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Although I had seen a great solo concert of their leader Greg Dulli last year, this concert from The Afghan Whigs was at the same place as last time in 2015. Koko (formerly known as the Camden Palace) is one of the most extraordinary theatre I know and seeing this great band again in this same place was really great.

Not sure what I can add on this band which to me is one of the best ever. Their new record “In Spades” has recently been this blog’s album of the month. The way the setlist was built was particularly remarkable as the new songs from the two latest LP’s were totally integrated with older classics, such as “Gentlemen” for instance. Despite Greg’s fight against one or two members of the audience who were taking picture with flash on, the show was particularly moving, knowing that their guitarist Dave Rosser was absent because of his current fight against cancer. If I could add one thing on top of my previous posts on this great band, it would that Greg Dulli is a hell of a singer. I was also very pleasantly surprised to see the great Ed Harcourt as an opening act and playing many songs with the band as well as a second guitarist.

  • Buffalo Tom – London, Islington Assembly Hall – 9th June 2017

Lead by the excellent Bill Janovitz on guitar and voice, Buffalo Tom is an American power pop rock trio who have made eight brilliant records between 1989 and 2011. I never had the opportunity to see them live and this year was a fantastic one as they were celebrating the 25 years of their best album “Let Me Come Over” released in 1992.

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On top of being a brilliant musician, Bill Janovitz has more than one string to his bow and he is in particular an excellent writer. I recently wrote his 33 1/3 series book on The Rolling Stones‘ “Exile on Main Street” and I must say this is one of the best.

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Their set was brilliant and the least one can say is that the band are as dynamic and punchy in their current early 50’s incarnation than they were twenty-five years ago. The songs were played with a real density but also with a great pop sensitivity. The way the set was structured was really good: the band were their own opening act, playing first eleven songs covering all Buffalo Tom periods. After a short break, they came back to play the gorgeous “Let Me Come Over” in its entirety, before playing two encores…for a total of twenty-six songs!

As usual in this kind of celebration, the audience was looking like the former French Parliament (mainly men in the fifties) and it would be good to see more female and youngsters as in the current French political trend. However, if this is the price to pay to see such a great band, so be it!

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May 2017 Album of the month: The Afghan Whigs “In Spades”

Once again, another great month in terms of releases. Despite new excellent records, bands or artists such as At The Drive-In, The Charlatans or Todd Rundgren were not selected so enjoy the following great records!

 

Album of the month: The Afghan Whigs “In Spades” – Soul Grunge Rock – The Afghan Whigs are one of my favourite bands ever and their come back record in 2014 (“Do To The Beast”) after a 18-year hiatus was sensational news. However, despite being very good, one was expecting an even better record for their future ventures… and “In Spades” is such a record. Greg Dulli’s voice has never sounded so good and all the songs are memorable, beautifully mixing a soul sensitivity with a grunge sound. This has always been their forte but the least one can say is that they are back to stay this time. Nice cover as well from a Brazilian artist.

  • Runner-up: Mac DeMarco – “This Old Dog” – Cool Rock – The more it goes, the less Mac DeMarco should be considered as a nice and funny guy in the music industry but as a real fantastic songwriter. You will not find a cooler record to listen to during summertime but behind the easiness of the music lies fantastic songs.
  • Also recommended:
    • Paul Weller  “A Kind Revolution” – Mod Psychedelic Rock
    • Jane Weaver – “Modern Kosmology” – Space Pop
    • Benjamin Biolay “Volver” – Bittersweet French Pop
    • Slowdive“s/t” – Shoegaze Rock
    • The Mountain Goats “Goths” – Literate Rock
  • Lest we forget: album of the previous month  Kendrick Lamar – “DAMN.”

 

Less means more…a certain idea of music: Bill Callahan, 5th May 2017, Hoxton Hall – Brad Mehldau Trio, 19th May 2017, Barbican

Quite often, I realised afterwards that there had been a certain trend in a few gigs I attended in a row. Purely coincidental I guess…but good to fight writer’s block and get a new approach to concerts’ reviews!

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Bill Callahan and Brad Mehldau do not play exactly in the same musical field as the former could be described as an indie-folk songwriter, guitar player and singer whereas the latter is more associated with the jazz scene and is probably the most talented piano player of his generation. However, this would be too easy and lazy a shortcut. Bill Callahan’s music has always been something very personal which would not have the same weight if held by another singer. His music has evolved throughout the years towards more warmth and optimism than in the past whilst still keeping this intriguing and sometimes frightening aspect.

Brad Mehldau on his side is a supreme talented and gifted piano player but his musical tastes and his personality have always made him more than a jazz performing monkey as is unfortunately often the case in this music scene. He is famous in particular by his superb and very personal covers chosen in the pop and rock scene, The Beatles and Radiohead being good examples.

The main thing that made me think to link both musicians and concerts was their use of silence either in their songs…but also in the way they once in a while communicate shyly with the audience! I would recommend my beloved readers to read the article by clicking on this Sydney Morning Herald article which says it all on the relationship between Bill Callahan and silence. Same kind of thing for Brad Mehldau either in his capacity in playing just a few notes only, even during his songs à la Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour or when he collects his thoughts while patiently listening to his musicians during their solos.

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These two concerts were also quite similar in their stage nakedness. Bill Callahan was sharing his small space on stage with long-time collaborator Matt Kinsey on electric guitar. The latter is also responsible to the excellence of Bill Callahan’s concerts in the last years as his playing can go very quickly from a very sensitive ballad to repetitive loops and drones. Brad Mehldau was playing with his regular trio, i.e. Larry Grenadier on bass and Jeff Ballard on drums whom I both had the pleasure to see live with Pat Metheny in Brasil in 1999. This rhythm section is probably one of the best ever but once again Brad Mehldau’s strength is to make them play in the same spirit as his’.

Two great gigs then for two musicians whose stage presence equals beauty and subtlety. Highly recommended. Please click for Bill Callahan’s setlist. I did not find Brad Mehldau’s set list but recognised his ending the show with the wonderful “Still Crazy After All These Years” by Paul Simon.

P.S. No photos allowed at the Barbican so this Brad Mehldau Trio’s picture is not mine.

April 2017 Album of the month: Kendrick Lamar “DAMN.”

April was a very good month in terms of diversity and I listened in particular to a few very good metal/doom records. They were not in the final choice but that was just to illustrate that there are so many good releases on a monthly basis…and hip-hop is back to the top this month.

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Album of the month: Kendrick Lamar “DAMN.” – Hip Hop – I hesitated a lot this month between Kendrick Lamar, Joey Bada$$ and Father John Misty as these three Americans all released splendid records that may be considered as masterpieces when/if time confirms it. I did not find Kendrick’s new LP as great as the previous ones after a couple of listening but this album is a real grower and on par with his best material when you take the time to do so. What puts Kendrick aside from the rest of the competition today is probably the fact that he has the best balance between sound creativity, quality of songwriting and subtlety in words. To put it differently, today’s fight against the powers that be is to me more powerful if done this way rather than stating the obvious. One should note as well that Kendrick reminds everyone here of his excellence as a MC…and that the collaboration with U2 (“XXX.”) is actually very good!

  • Runner-up: Father John Misty – “Pure Comedy” – Pop/Rock – Quite difficult to summarize this record how complex and demanding it is. In terms of music style, Joshua Tillman digs the 70’s Elton John sound he started to play with his excellent former 2015 “I Love You, Honeybear” album. But the texts are amazing here and not easy to put in boxes. These are the words of a man in the middle of a weird and wide political and emotional world. Best way to understand what I am talking about is to listen to the 13-minute song “Leaving LA“.
  • Also recommended:
    • Timber Timbre “Sincerely, Future Pollution” – Synth Folk
    • Joey Bada$$– “ALL-AMERIKKKAN BADA$$” – Hip Hop – An extraordinary record as well; it would have been record of the month if no such competition.
    • Splashh “Waiting A Lifetime” – Indie Rock
    • Gorillaz “Humanz” – Damon & friends playing all kinds of music
    • Robert Cray & Hi Rhythm “s/t” – Soul Blues
  • Lest we forget: album of the previous month  Spoon – “Hot Thoughts”