Thursday, July 31, 2008


I spent yesterday evening down in Northampton again, at a somewhat combative, intermittently obscene and totally excellent show by King Khan and the Shrines…about which, more later, when I’ve had coffee and PopMatters has had about a month to sit on my review. But meanwhile GO SEE THIS BAND! It’s fun. You’ll thank me.

(They’re just about done with this particular tour, but I’m guessing they’ll be back…though maybe not to Northampton, which they didn’t seem to care for very much.)

Also a few short things in various places around the web.

A review of the new Fucked Up EP at Philadelphia Weekly:

Fucked Up
Year of the Pig (Matador)

Rating: Solid, like the Liberty Bell.

Three little piggies and one monstrous she-sow wallow recklessly on this appetite-whetting EP from the Canadian hard cases newly signed to Matador. Centered around the ground-shaking, epic “Year of the Pig,” the disc collects three different edits of the 18-minute single, one each for the U.S., U.K. and Japan. Each balances soft female waltz-lullabies with teeth-rattling aggression, though none quite matches the force and complexity of the original. New cuts, a B-side and one very un-twee cover
of Another Sunny Day’s “Anorak City” top off the disc, but this time it’s the pig that blows the house down. (Jennifer Kelly)

Here’s the US edit of “Year of the Pig”

A show preview for Kenyan/Chicagoan benga quartet Extra Golden:

Extra Golden
Sat., Aug. 2, 8pm. $10. With Sonic Liberation Front + Public Record. Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 Frankford Ave. 215.739.9684.

The three Kenyans in Extra Golden have been unable to play in their native country for some time now, due to the extreme unrest that keeps people of all tribes battened down in their homes. So why not come to America where their brand of funky, laid-back jam and traditional Kenyan benga is just another excuse to party? Last time the band hit the States they had a new song about an Illinois senator (half-Kenyan, like the band) who helped them cut through a bureaucratic visa morass. This time the senator is starting to look like a president, and the band might haul out “Obama” not as a traditional praise song, but as a song of triumph. (Jennifer Kelly)

Check out an MP3 of that Obama song

And a review of Howlin’ Rain’s Magnificent Fiend, which I wrote a long time ago for Harp and which ran yesterday in Blurt.

Howlin’ Rain
Magnificent Fiend
Comets on Fire's Ethan Miller can't possibly remember the 1960s, and maybe that's the secret to Magnificent Fiend's dead-on, day-glo channeling of the decade of love. The unmistakable scent of patchouli wafts from the viscous guitar lines and swirling organs in "Dancers at the End of Time." You can hear a bit of Comets on Fire's mad chaos in the interstices here, but not much. This is, after all, Miller's band for structured songs. And what songs! In "Lord Have Mercy," a cast of thousands swirls gospel, blues, funk and soul into one Peter Max-vivid vibe. "Goodbye Ruby" shape shifts from porno-quality, wah-wah laced funk into a soaring, circling guitar solo worthy of Duane and Dickey in their prime.

These cuts are so old-fashioned, they're almost fresh by default. In the end, though, what's remarkable is not how well Howlin Rain remembers the 1960s, but how completely it forgets everything that came after. (Consumer note: the band is issuing the vinyl version of the album via indie label Birdman.)

Listen to “Dancer at the End of Time” yourself.

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