Facebook Slider

The Weekly Froth!

  • Published in Columns


The Weekly Froth! A weekly take on six tracks, most of which have recently popped up somewhere in the blogosphere. Bit of a mixed bag with a slight leaning towards house, disco, and remixes, but generally just anything that for some reason tickled the writer’s fancy.

Track of the Week:  ‘Gin ‘n Tears’ by Guiddo feat. Georges Perin (Burnin Tears remix)

When such sounds are used at the start, you kind of know that this is one of those tracks that’s going to make you dance. They’re about the most effective sounds to slide a beat (or other rhythm element) under to suddenly get people moving, and indeed the bass follows within the minute to get you all going. Those vocals, these really set this one apart, they’re so high, giving it this nice extra layer and variation in feel. In the mean time the bass is still going on, as the synths and other rhythm sounds provide some extra layers and depth to hold on to. At about 2:30 they’re, again, setting the dancefloor up for an eruption, even using some of those around-the-world kind of drums, going from left to right like in those power anthems you had in the '90s. Then those vocals come in (and they’re always such a lovely surprise), just before they get back to the base rhythm sounds to get the dancefloor dancing. The instrumentals kind of sound anthemic, almost designed for a big audience, but the vocals and some of the auxiliary sounds do draw this one out of a too mainstream and too well-known sound. It’s pretty catchy as well, by the way (and a free download, and from the Tim “Beats in Space” Sweeney’s label).


‘(Got Me) Runnin’’ by B.G. Baarregaard

There you go, a nice slice of vocal house by B.G. Baarregaard. I like the pace, not too fast, not too slow, exactly right for some of that dancefloor action. You’ve got the beat in the back, the synths a bit up front, and the soulful vocals saying that, apparently, You’ve kissed her lips (you naughty boy, you). So you’ve got the loving going on in this one, though Loving you, she says, Was her mistake. After the two minute mark it slides from a more disco sound to a bit of a deeper feel, mostly because the synth sound changes. After forty seconds of that you get some extra keys in there to not make it too deep for too long, and at the three minute mark you even get some of that shimmering, floating synth to get it on a higher plain. Watch for the short break with just a moment of vocals only, after which the beat gets slid back in and it moves into the more disco house territory again. As said, just a lovely slice of vocal house, and that’s my favorite house genre out there, so you know I’m enjoying this one.


‘Some Things Never Seem To Fucking Work’ by Kindness

I love both Kindness and Solange, and I’m pretty happy I managed to see them both play live in recent years (thank you, come again please!). This one is definitely not a straight up cover, with the start seemingly taken from that Psycho scene (try to unhear that now. You’re welcome). Kindness makes the track a little bit more broody, as he almost huskily sings the track’s lyrics in his deepest voice as the background sounds swell upwards and upwards. They, too, way more ominous than the more funky and playful original. It’s like the narrator in the song was finally done in by the events, and the track has been run through his now warped mind. In that sense it is definitely an intriguing cover with a totally different function from the original, though that also means that if you’re looking for some of the catchiness of either the original or Kindness own work, well, welcome to Twin Peaks, enjoy your stay.


‘Christine’ by Christine And The Queens (Paradis remix)

Anything by Paradis gets my heart throbbing, so even a remix is a must listen for me. This is a remix of a song by Christine And The Queens, whom I’m not really familiar with, so the surprise is all mine, I’m sure. I like the vocals doing the humming thing at the start, providing a little bit of softness to the rhythm. That softness is increased soon after, getting a bit of help by the new instrumentals that come in. Apparently, Christine and her Queens are from France as well, singing the track in a language I don’t quite understand. The voice, though, is a lovely one, very smooth and clear, maybe if you throw it in the comparitron you’ll get Sade out of it. It also has that loungey vibe a bit, though the drums at the back make sure it’s not just for sipping hot drinks in a hipper-than-thou bar. I love some of the change-ups after the end of the vocals, and as a surprise you get some male vocals to help out a bit as well. The rhythm makes sure this one dabbles forward at exactly the right pace for something with this feel, and all that French makes sure it’s one that’s easy-on-the-ear as well (and quite beautiful, too).



‘Back Then’ by Formation

I like the drums at the start, but what I especially enjoy is the quick build-up of the pace as the track transmorphs into a 70s rock/punk track, propelled by those throbbing drums and the rocky-hazy voice of the singer. Obviously, a bass like that certainly helps, as the vocals have a certain urgency and anxiety in them, increasing the sense of pace. They do build a moment of peace and quiet in, but slowly they get the organ going again and they all build it up, adding some cowbell for good measure (and who doesn’t love a little bit of that). Vocals again semi-shout that he just wants to be back then, and the bass and cowbell help the crowd to dance to it’s end. Lovely little mixture of those genres, with as it’s biggest assett this feel of pace that it creates through all these different elements.


‘Cruel Summer’ by Bananarama (Casio Social Club edit)

Major drums to start this one off with, soon aided by a little bit of a beat, and an '80s overpowered synthesizer to get you in the right mood for when that funky guitar riff comes in. At about 1:45 the girls from Bananarama walk onto the set, definitely adding to that poppy vibe from back in the day (which is helped by some of that guitar and the piano sounds that are playing in the background as well). The girls remind you that it certainly was a cruel summer, leaving me here on my own. Casio Social Club go for the power drums and synths to keep both the '80s vibe alive whilst adding some dancefloor feel to it (though that high pitched percussion that starts at about 4:20 definitely aids both vibes as well). And naturally, when the girls and the guitar enter the fray, that brings you back right there. Just enough edit to get the dancefloor dancing and smiling in all it’s retro-ness, and still plenty of those old vibes and new elements that further enhance those times.



Musings On A Week In Music

  • Published in Live

Two concerts and two 1-day festivals in a week, including a stay at a friend’s place and at a hotel. Loads of acts to watch, loads of energy to expend, and loads of fun to be had. If all goes right...

National media pick up on the fact that Morrissey (playing in Tivoli, Utrecht) has ordained that no meat will be eaten in his vincinity. Said media especially seem to be concerned about the professional musicians that will be playing classical music in the same venue. How will anyone survive not eating meat for a day? Especially those who play Liszt.

In the comments section (note to self: never, ever read comment sections on these things) people are outraged. How dare a musician to tell a venue beforehand that it has to be a meatless venue for one day (they could have said no, if they wanted to...)! Guess at the core is the fact that we don’t like to be told what to do. Whatever the subject is. Probably says more about “our” God-like complex than Morrissey’s tbh (especially since loads of these commenting people all have the Divine and moral right at their side, so it seems). Though anyone who at age 55+ takes off his shirt and casually tosses it semi-naked into the audience might somewhere along the line have been inclined to develop one.

About 0.1% of those who complained about the singer’s demands were at the concert, btw. Which begs the question, why were all others giving a ----.

Morrissey’s voice has no age on it at all. The videos of animals being slaughtered get old pretty quickly though. My friend took off her glasses from her face and meat off her menu. So good day for Morrissey I suppose, despite his band’s best efforts to drown him out. When they don’t do that, like on the ol’ classic ‘Asleep’, concert is at its best.

St. Vincent is showing off her skills as the robotic hypnotic. Corny choreographs mix with rock and roll, theatrical dramatics with sexual innuendos, and all of that is connected together by Miranda July-esque short monologues about awkward conversations. And yes, some of those stories definitely qualify for that. Some are hilarious though. All need a bit more practice.

In the new Doornroosje venue (coat room still free. Best gesture ever) she starts with the pop, starting by hilariously miming the verb “running” on ‘Rattlesnake’ and ending the trifecta with ‘Digital Witness’ and ‘Cruel’. It seems like the focus of the rest of the show is on the rocking, the rolling, and the having fun with the crowd and her bandmates s. The latter who, iron faced, do all the corny Supremes-meet-android moves along with her. Her voice is awesome, her songs are intellectual, and the whole performance is jaw dropping.

The new Catch festival is in the new Tivoli building. About four rooms are in play... if you can unlock them! (It’s a game, honey!) It’s an Escher-esque maze out there, with loads of staircases always seeming to lead you to somewhere else. The room called Cloud Nine, by the way, is quite the ascension, and like going to Heaven indeed takes a lifetime. With that said, because everything is so wide apart, it never feels crowded, convoluted, or congested.

Nils Frahm has set up about fourteen-and-a-half synthesizers. In the encore he plays two of the three at the same time, reconstructing the battle-of-the-Ducks in Who Framed Roger Rabbit? single-handedly. He piles on layer after layer of rhythmic piano playing, the songs so expertedly crafted you just have to admire them. His piano playing; his hands move just so incredibly fast. If he types that way, when I am genius, famous, and 70, must remember to ask him to ghostwrite for me. If he’s available, of course.

Kindness puts the fun in funk. Anytime the singer tells an anecdote about what his band was up to last night (they apparently hijacked a jam session at a local cafe) you know it is about dancing and having fun. Especially if that anecdote turns into a rendition of some old dancefloor classic or another (memory is hazy, but might have been Womack & Womack’s ‘Teardrops’, or some Whitney tune with “dancefloor” in it.); just so amazingly fun. Obviously loads of Kindness’ tracks make it onto the setlist as well, both old and new. It ends with about a ten minute Chicago House tribute, which has the band dancing as hard (if not harder) than the audience.

Years & Years, pre-show, stand on stage, and it reminds me of the famous Picasso tableau Band-Doesn’t-Know-How-To-Fix-Technical-Issue, painted around 1904 in his famous Blue period. Ten minutes too late the band starts, and certainly many youngsters have gathered to catch a glimps of the charismatic Olly Alexander, who also happens to have quite a voice. Break out potential is certainly there, with some lovely singles like ‘Real’ and ‘Desire’. Live ‘Take Shelter’ actually disappoints, being my favorite in recording, and though undoubtedly inches away from stardom, there is some youth to be detected in the performance. So the existential question is, do you kill off your own youth for a mature sound and a full feature in next month’s Hit Parade?

Youth is also on display at the London Calling Festival in Paradiso. The Mispers have some nice hooks, and the two guitarists (one acoustic, one electric) throw in some nice riffs. The vocals no one can actually hear, which is too bad, as a couple of songs definitely show some promise. More than Fever the Ghost does. The singer comes on in a sort of beekeeper outfit, which is splendid! Except, you can’t hear him and it looks ridicilous. The band keeps throwing out so.much.noise. that it becomes hard to find the actual song in there. The sound cleans up as the gig goes on though, reaching its peak after the show has ended.

Josef Salvat reminds me of the New Girl episode where Smith pretends he is one of the Mitt Romney sons. Salvat is the singing one, and he sure has the vocal skills. The songs are pretty decent too, though the ones with just him and the piano do drag the whole thing down a tad. His moves does make my mind wander about a visibly big schism between electro performers and the kids at the Catch festival and the more indie rock-ish audience and bands at London Calling. The electro kids & artists can motherblimey dance! And the others give it a valiant effort. It’s White Men Can Dance vs. White Men Look Awkward As They Attempt to Dance. Subcultures eh, gotta love ‘m.

Spoon though. Blimey, Spoon. They’re just the blueprint for any American indie-rock band, they know how to do it right. Sure, the start of the performance is marred by technical issues. Britt Daniel asks if we can hear him. That is tech code for turn-up-the-bleeping-sound. When they arrive at the middle part and come up with the trio of ‘Summon You’, ‘Turn My Camera On’, and ‘Inside Out’ you are reminded what a good band sounds like.

A concert by them is like playing a collectible card game and buying a booster pack. I got some awesome doubles, but also loads of cards I didn’t have yet! Still missing some in my collection, though hopefully one day I’m gonna catch them all! Oh yeah, and Paradiso, buy an airconditioning system for Heaven’s sake! After all the gigs in the new venues in Nijmegen and Utrecht, being in Paradiso makes me all hot and bothered, and not in the Disco kind of way! Fainting was never so enticing an option.

Subscribe to this RSS feed