Archive for May, 2009

look at the cover, it just screams summer

look at the cover, it just screams summer

This is one of my favorite summertime albums along with Caribou, Air France and Four Tet. I am fascinated with that 60’s sun soaked psychedelic sound where vocals and harmonies are drenched in reverb and the vocals are just lingering in the hazy background. Koushik’s music pretty much embodies all those elements. Koushik has also worked with Caribou and Four Tet , usually on vocals and is now opening of madlib since they both are on the hip-hop label Stones Throw records.

Here is an interview with Koushik Ghosh.

Buy the album  from Amazon.


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Here is an album from someone  I am sure none of you guys  have heard before. I saw Nordic Nomadic aka Chad Ross open for Black Mountain couple of years ago and didn’t think much more than a dude strumming away at this guitar. I don’t quite remember what led me to download his album a few weeks later but I am glad I did. The record can be described as psych- rock/folk-rock and the only artist I can think of who remotely sounds like Nordic Nomadic is Bon Iver of “For Emma, Forever Ago” fame. Also it turns out that his live performance was just an acoustic set. His album contains incredible guitar and percussion work.

Here is what Dusted Magazine had to say about the album

Is it ever enough to say a record is merely good? Without getting into a laundry list of influences and suppositions? Is muted aloofness the best critics can muster when they run out of adjectives and comparisons?

Nordic Nomadic’s self-titled debut raised these questions as it had its laid-back way with my headspace. The solo effort of ex-Deadly Snake Chad Ross, Nordic Nomadic trades the bent garage-pop of his previous act for heady and hushed (North) Americana. The Toronto-based songwriter makes great use of mood and groove over the course of the record, with the occasional bromidic bout. But it’s all “good,” in the broadest sense of the word.

Particularly the opening track. “The World’s Slowest Man” slithers through spacey verses and a captivating instrumental section beset with unearthly electric guitar and tumbling percussion. “My mind won’t let me stay /
My legs wont let me get away /
But I’ll be there when I can / Cause I am the world’s slowest man,” Ross languidly sings over the hypnotic music.

Subsequent tracks, while not as immediately fetching, do showcase a songwriter of considerable refinement. Ross’ fingerpicking is crisp and clean, and his vocals are autumnal but never cold. “Ruby Rose” has some of the gloomy mystery of the first cut, with righteous dynamics and flashes of trippy organ.

“Grey,” on the other hand, feels like any number of downer Americana cuts I’ve heard. You know the score – faux-Appalachian opprobrium and acoustic ignominy. It’s hard to take Ross seriously when he sings lines like “get off my land” – last time I checked, Toronto couldn’t exactly be called hardscrabble.

But I do give him points for trying. And for succeeding, as he does on “Living Arrangements.” This track, with its amorphous intro and dusky tonality, hints at a broader psych-folk palette I’m hoping Ross more fully exploits on future releases.

Understated can easily border on undercooked, a fate Nordic Nomadic largely avoids. Still, I’m looking forward to the day when “good” isn’t enough to describe Chad Ross’ music. I’m guessing that day is just around the corner.

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01( the only decent picture I was able to take)

So I wasn’t able to stroke Kyp Malone’s majestic beard at the end of the show like I wanted to but one day it will surely happen. Dirty Projectors opened the show but if I am being honest, I didn’t really care much for them other that their drummer who pounded away at those drums. I was just anxiously waiting for TV on the Radio to get the evening rolling.

Opening with Love Dog, one of my favorite track from Dear Science, TVOTR pretty much hushed all the naysayers who argued that their sound is not transferable to a live setting. Its amazing how Tunde Adebimpe and co have mastered their live sound. They also brought in a guy for the flutes and saxophone which livened thing up for tracks like Golden Age and Red Dress. “Wolf Like Me” was performed pretty early on and that’s when something weird happened, a group of people started moshing which I totally didn’t expect at a TVOTR show. Maybe I don’t go to a lot of show and maybe I don’t know any better but I usually associate moshing with the punk genre and TVOTR certainly doesn’t belong in that genre.

I didnt bother taking pictures with the camera but I did get some pretty good video clips. Let them do the talking.

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If you had asked me two years ago about my chances of seeing TV on the Radio live in Edmonton, I would have laughed at you for being silly. I guess times have changed and Edmonton is starting to get some amazing shows. I will be watching TV on the Radio for the second time tomorrow. I saw them last September for the first time when Dear Science came out and I was ecstatic to say the least. TV on the Radio is one of the few bands where I celebrate their entire discography. Everything they have done is pure gold in my book. From the thunderous Return to Cookie Mountain to the soulful Dear Science, TV on the Radio has covered a wide territory in a short amount of time. I am just too excited for tomorrow’s show and I just felt like writing something about them. I’ll sign off with posting some hilarious promo videos they released before Return To Cookie Mountain came out.

This one is probably the funniest. I totally second the sentiment of the old bearded guy when he says “I wonder how much of it was the mushrooms?”.

The second one is pretty funny too. I think this little kid is the change we need in the music industry. He would definitely get rid of all the shitty music *cough* MGMT *cough*

Finally to cap  off my excitement and this post, I will leave you with this amazing performance of “Wolf Like Me” on David Letterman from a while ago

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It’s a shame that King Khan & The Shrines are only getting popular now given that they have been going on for the last 10 or so years. Doing my research before going to their live show, I learned that King Khan  is originally from Montreal and went to Berlin when he was 22 and found his Shrines there. What Is?!  really a compilation of all their best tracks from over the years rather than a new album. It’s pretty much impossible to hate this record. Wikipedia describes them as garage rock and psychedelic soul band but that’s just tip of the ice-berg.  I picked up my vinyl copy after their live show and I suggest you do the same.

Buy from Amazon

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king khan & The Shrines 1

King Khan & The Shrines put on one of the best shows I have ever seen. I know I say that every time I attend a show but this time, I mean it. I mean whats there not to like. You’ve got King Khan himself who seems to channel James Brown, the cheerleader who danced her heart out for the entire show spraying glitter over the dancing crowd every couple of minutes and the amazing backing band including the amazing brass section and a percussionist who formerly played for Curtis Mayfield and Stevie Wonder.

The whole show was a spectacle and I couldn’t take my eyes off the stage. I was always guessing as to what King Khan will do next. He comes to the stage adorned in a leopard skin suit along with a peacock feathered headpiece and at the end of the show once everything was said and done, King Khan was seen shirtless wearing a golden cape and what looked like a Darth Vader mask.


At one point, King Khan asked the crowd if they were in to gospel music and proclaimed that it was time for some gospel revival music but not just any gospel music. Obviously since this was a King Khan show , it would be “erotic gospel music”. I was curious as to what that would entail and I was not let down. With the help of his backing band, King Khan started talking about what could be described as an experience of “live rebirth” along with all the gory details but it was hilarious. He would always dedicate a song to a certain demographic among the crowd. He started the infectious track “I wanna be a Girl” by dedicating it to all the “transvestites, faggots and to all the people who make this world a fun place to live in”. He called out to all the unemployed people while singing “Welfare Bread” and to all the freaks before belting out their most popular song “Land of the Freak”. At one point, a drunk fan gets up on stage and start dancing with King Khan which was hilarious. I was able to capture that on video.

An hour and half went by way too fast and the show was over. If you get a chance to see them live, do not miss it.

Here is another short clip of  “No Regrets” duing the encore.

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Is it just me or does the first half of this track sounds like Neu!’s Hallogallo and the second half has the same progression as Portishead The Rip ?

I like some of their songs from the new album but it seems like they sound exactly like their influences.

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