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Swedish melancholy from Amandine

My love for Swedish music is well known by now. So I really appreciated Zeugolator who pointed out an amazing band from the north, Amandine (twice, here and here). Amandine are from the town of Sandviken and have already released two full albums, This is Where our Heart Collide back in 2005 and Solace in Sore Hands last year. Both of them are on Fat Cat label (the label with favorites such as Animal Collective, Frightened Rabbit, Múm, No Age, Panda Bear, The Twilight Sad and Sigur Ros in the past).
The band combines traditional country-folk with chamber-rock and resembles a lot of classic Americana (although all the way from Sweden). Olof Gidlöf’s vocals provide the tone and the Shearwater-like music sets the mood for an incredible musical journey into Swedish melancholia. While following a down-tempo style on their debut album, the band has changed gear on their follow-up and introduced more electric guitars and more sparkles of rock (although maintaining their depressive lyrics and overall sense of glum). Perhaps this is not the best time to introduce Amandine since winter is closer to their style, but there’s never a better time to dig into some good music (especially if you’re currently not at your best…like me). Here are a couple of songs from their Solace in Sore Hands album and a couple more from This is Where our Hearts Collide for you to check out. And a big thank you once again to our fellow blogger for spotting them out for us…this is why we spend all this time and effort blogging :-)

Faintest of Sparks


Secrets


Halo


Blood and Marrow


Artist.Site Buy.Amazon



0

The Charlatans take us back to Today

Today's Clip of the Day brings back memories through a modern track. I'm talking about The Misbegotten, from one of our beloved Manchester-scene bands, The Charlatans. The track is from their comeback album You Cross My Path. I'm talking of a comeback to the good old Charlatans (since they never actually left the scene...but rather flooded it with mediocre albums). The track is just so upbeat and modern, with their trademark all over it. Love it,love it, love it!!



4

The Dark Knight

After endless raving reviews and recommendations by close friends, I finally decided to give in and go see The Dark Knight. To be honest, I haven’t seen any of the recent comic blockbusters on the big screen (Ironman, Spiderman, Batman Begins) so it was a good chance to catch-up. Especially on a boring Sunday night and after having watched at home in the afternoon Pixar’s marvelous The Incredibles, I was all psyched up at the end for some action hero kick-ass scenes.
Sadly, as in most cases, yet again the critics and friends let me down with their taste. Where should I start? First, the movie was way (way way) too long. Why do all new blockbusters need to be 2 ½ hours long? We’re not paying entertainment by the hour ( I know better places for that :-) ).
Second, Christian Bale was just awful. And if his acting wasn’t bad enough, during the last hour he started speaking like Rocky (honestly, I was expecting him to shout Adrianneeeee). Thank god for Heath Ledger who was amazing in his role as Joker (that I will agree with the critics) and Aaron Eckhart as Harvey Dent (although Two-Face at the end was too superficial as a character and didn’t add much to the story line). The rest of the cast was merely ok, with Maggie Gyllenhall not convincing me as the woman to steal Batman’s heart (or anyone else’s for that matter).
But the biggest letdown was director/screenwriter Christopher Nolan, who created an endless storyline with weak ethical dilemmas and poor action scenes (they were way too confusing and always ended way too easily). Even worse, the end sequence of Batman vs Joker lacked total suspense or climax (I silently cheered for Joker but his final plan was so simple that portrayed him as a common fool). What a disappointment from a film that could have been so much more. At least we’ll always remember Ledger’s magnificent acting in surely the best Joker ever on the big (or small) screen.

PS. Here’s a real Batman action sequence from the past…watch and learn Nolan!!




Self Promotion (of the worst kind)

How about adding us on the Blog Network app on Facebook? We've added the banner on the "Go on" section of our blog, but here's a direct promotion by just clicking on the Facebook banner below :-)



0

Happy Hour Again

I was staying up late a couple of nights ago and got to see a track from Beautiful South on the telly (Manchester if I recall correctly). So this gave me the inspiration for today's Clip of the Day from the good old days when The Housemartins were rocking the local pubs. It's Saturday, so the whole day is Happy Hour for most of us!!



0

Ra Ra Riot are finally LP-ing

It took 2 years for Ra Ra Riot to finally produce their debut album. After their splendid debut EP back in 2007, hype has been building around the band. Unfortunately the death of their 23-year old drummer John Pike on June 3rd last year ruined all plans for a release. However, the remaining five members moved on and are finally ready to release on August 19th their debut titled The Rhumb Line (after being signed to Barsuk Records). With Ryan Hadlock on their production side (Gossip, Blonde Redhead), the band is finally ready to show the world if they are worth the wait and praise (NME has already included them twice on their Top 5 and Top 10 bands of 2006 and 2007). Ra Ra Riot have already dedicated the album to Pike and for all of us it’s just a matter of days before the waiting is over. As they rightly state "Oh baby, how long am I supposed to wait?"


Each Year


A Manner to Act


Artist.Site Buy.OfficialSite



0

Feral Children offer more than a pint of rock

Seattle based Feral Children offer a great splash of indie rock combining lots of experimental elements. With the help of Scott Colburn on the production (Animal Collective’s producer), the band offers great music and a very interesting sound. However, the thing that strikes most about Feral Children is the pure energy that you can sense in all of their tracks. The gang just released their debut album Second to the Last Frontier at the start of July and is offering their EP free from Sarathan Records’ site (here). Be sure to check them out (we are already seeking their full album for a proper review). Until then, here are a few tracks and their debut video Spy/Glass House.


Zyghost


Jaundice Giraffe


Artist.Site Buy.Amazon



3

Philip Glass' Book of Longing

This post has been delayed for a couple of weeks but I guess it's never too late. I'm talking about Philip Glass' concert here in Athens of his recent collaboration with Leonard Cohen on Book of Longing.
The whole idea revolves around poetry and sketches/drawings of Leonard Cohen that inspired Glass' compositions. Both artists have created amazing work in the past and are considered big influences for dozens of other artists. So it was bound that our exceptions were quite high, although I'm not the biggest fan of this kind of music (but I always like to keep my senses open to different sounds). However, the night proved us wrong.
Book of Longing does have some nice moments, but in general it is an unimpressive compilation of compositions that are by far one of Glass' worst outtakes. A mix of musical, a mix of classic and contemporary compositions (for which Glass has been praised for in the past) and a set of drawings (mostly self-portraits) by Cohen that are somewhat childish. In all honesty, most people (including myself) where bored half-way in the concert and were looking forward to the end of the night rather to the next songs. While the artists on stage were more than talented and tried to make the best out of it, the quality of the compositions where too weak to sustain interest. The four singers were constantly changing places in a well choreographed (theatrical) form, which however didn't add much either. This was perhaps one of our last chances to see the genius of Glass live on stage, but to our true disappointment, we got a glimpse of his talent on one of his worst times. Nevertheless, we still respect his previous work so we'll keep that in mind and try to quickly erase the night from our memories.

Philip Glass + Leonard Cohen - Prologue: I can't make the Hills




0

Rewind back to the 80's with Buffetlibre

Rewind is an interesting project released on July 1st from the Spanish website Buffetlibre dedicated to the promotion of pop and electronic music. It is intended as a non-commercial project paying tribute to the golden age of music history of the 80’s. 60 bands have joined up, each making a cover of their favorite 80’s hit. Most of the bands are not well-known (but we will try to introduce some of them in the future here in Athens66 as well), such as Dragonette, Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin (yeap..we know these guys), Electric Soft Parade, Levy, Saint Bernadette, Hello Tokyo and The Cloud Room. You can download all 60 tracks (in a zip format) from the website. Be sure to check it out cause it is really worth the time. And here are a few tracks guaranteed to bring back some memories..

Dragonette - Sharp Dressed Man (ZZ Top Cover)


Anoraak - Talking In Your Sleep (The Romantics Cover)


Someone still Loves you Boris Yeltsin - Another Satellite (XTC Cover)


Electric Soft Parade - Jealousy (Pet Shop Boys Cover)


Mouline - Come On Closer (Pineapples Cover)



0

Eugene Francis Jnr spreads his Own Pollution

I haven’t posted a Clip of the Day for a long long time now, so here’s one for you. It’s the new single from Cardiff mate Eugene Francis Jnr, My Own Pollution. The track is from his debut album released back in April titled The Golden Beatle. Definitely worth checking out and more than appropriate for the hellishly hot summer here in Athens.


Artist.Site Buy.Legion



3

To hell with Athens as well...take me to the land of National

There was only one reason why we attended Fly Beyond Festival this year (a couple of days ago). Non other than one of the best bands on the planet at the moment, National!!

I have fallen in love with their last album Boxer, which was their best album so far and my favorite album of 2007 (along with Radiohead). So it was inevitable that we would head down to Karaiskaki stadium for their live performance. We finally made it on time (the stupid organizers had printed on the tickets that the festival starts at 21:00 but National came out 40 minutes earlier...total disorganization). And if this wasn't enough, they put National first, Massive Attack second (totally unimpressive live performance from them) and Gogol Borderllo last (I didn't even bother staying for them...only saw a couple of songs). All this meant that National came out on an empty stadium (only around 500 people in front of the stage) and with the sun shining well above us (unbearable heat).

Thankfully, National were unbelievable on stage, giving an amazing performance and playing many of the songs we came to love and adore during the past years. Despite the stupid crowd around me (which totally pissed me off and was ready to start a fight with a couple of them), it was the highlight of the great summer concerts I've attended this year (mostly abroad). What a pity that the music crowd in Athens is going from bad to worst (thousands stormed to see Manu Chao last week although he hasn't released anything worthwhile during the last half-decade..and totally ignored one of the top bands in the world at the pick of their career). Athens seems to deserve it's musical isolation...Hopefully they'll wake up again at some point and start appreciating good music like they have in the past.
Until then, here's an abstract from one of my favorite lyrics (and piano themes) from the incredible Slow Show. National for ever!!!



0

Black Kids – Partie Traumatic

Black Kids have been one of the most talked-about new bands since their debut EP Wizard of Ahhhs last year. Their single I’m not Gonna Teach your Boyfriend how to Dance with You was one of last year’s biggest indie hits, with everyone from pop youngsters to old indie-fans (like us) dancing to their 80’s synth melodies. This year they are finally back with a full debut LP named Partie Traumatic, which is out from July 7 on Mercury label.

So what new does their debut LP offer? To be honest, not that much compared to their debut EP. Their biggest hits from their EP are also included in this one (some of them remixed or with a better production) and are well supported by similarly enthusiastic tracks. Some may find this as a bit of a let-down, but this is only a small side-effect of the over-hype the band has received during the last year. Let’s be honest, this is their debut and not a follow-up record, so it is only commonsense that they stay put on their original sound. Regardless of all this, the album for me is really fun and is bound to set everyone dancing once again to the bits of Black Kids. While their influences from the 80’s are quite evident, their sound still remains unique and for me it’s one of the biggest indie-dance debuts since CSS (hopefully they’ll not follow their footsteps and disappoint us with their follow-up). So, as the Kids state it, there’s nothing else to do than Dance Dance Dance

I’m making eyes at you


Hit the Heartbrakes


Artist.Site Buy.Amazon



0

To Hell with FileDen

I would like to apologise for any non-working links to audio files but FileDen just closed down one of our accounts and we lost access to a number of flies/links. We'll try to recover most of them and host them on an alternative file hosting server. To hell with FileDen!!



0

Roskilde – Final Day - Live: DSL, At the Gates, The Black Seeds, Slayer, Cat Power, Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, Jay Reatard, Jay-Z

So, it came down to the fourth and final day at the Roskilde festival. We had already toured around most of the places in the festival grounds so it was straight to the stages for us. First up were French electronic/hip-hop trio DSL at the Pavilion stage. Not many things to say about this one; two DJ’s in the background and a singer who was trying to make jokes (and totally failing). Only good enough to wake us up along with our morning coffee.
We then decided to pay a visit to the Arena stage for Swedish metal band At the Gates. However, the unexciting music and the overcrowded tent changed our minds quite quickly. So we came back for the afternoon session, starting with New Zealand reggae rockers The Black Seeds. I wasn’t expecting much, but the guys were more than enjoyable. Along with the endless joints passing around by the crowd (hey..it was reggae!!) the gig turned into an afternoon party with everyone dancing to the bits and having a splendid time.
Next was our dose of metal, with legendary metal heroes from Brazil, Slayer. Now this was really fun, unlike yesterday’s old rockers Judas Priest. The guys still have it in them and the crowd quickly engaged into endless headbanging (including even us!!). Slayer for ever!!!!
So, we had our dose of reggae and metal and swiftly (however swiftly this can be) moved over to the Odeon stage for our dose of melodic pop/rock courtesy of Cat Power. For yet another time Marshall was completely wasted, which didn’t affect her performance however. She played most of the hits we loved, from Greatest to Live in Bars and set the crowd singing along. This was one of BLR’s favorite gigs and I can’t find anything wrong with his judgment on this one. A great performance by an amazingly talented artist.


For the next gig we remained at the Odeon stage (our favorite stage in the festival) in order to get quite up front for one of my all-time favorite artists, Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy. Bonnie was accompanied by his country-style crew (with violin, guitar and tambourine). Although he refused to enter his Darkness period and confined himself to his latest album (with only a couple of exceptions), the concert was still amazing. Everyone was singing and dancing to the melodies and Bonnie’s mesmerizing voice, supplemented by the pouring rain that had started halfway in the show. Even Bonnie couldn’t resist the chirring crowd and came up on stage for a much desired encore. What a night…finally I got to see the legend on stage..
We then rushed to the Pavilion stage to catch the remaining show of another favorite, Jay Reatard (we had already missed Fuck Buttons which I really wanted to catch live but where on at the exact same time as Bonnie…obvious choice there). Unfortunately we only got there in time for a couple of songs, but at least we got a glimpse of Jay’s powerful punk performance, which ended (as expected) into a head-on jump into the crowd (no, he didn’t kick or punch anyone from the crowd this time….)
Our final stop was at the Orange stage, for the upcoming live of the festival’s headliner (weird choice for a purely rock festival) Jay-Z. Although it was pouring down in rain, Jay-Z finally came out after a 40-minutes delay (the first delay we came upon in the whole festival….). I wasn’t that impressed to be honest, since the show mostly addresses an audience over the Atlantic and only confirmed everyone’s doubt of the headliner’s choice. Nevertheless, he did his best (he is a real professional afterall) and perhaps some people may have enjoyed it more than us.


It was then back to the camp for us (missing out on the finale given by Digitalism…but with nothing playing at that time I’m sure we wouldn’t fit under the Arena stage) for the rest of Hell’s Night (this is the term for the final night, where everyone just trashes the place up and party all night banging on anything they come across....a real hell!!).
Next day it was time to pack things up and head to the airport for our journey home (another nightmare with the Danish train system). I guess that’s pretty much it with Roskilde festival. Too much dust, too much noise, too many people but also loads of great music. It was certainly an experience to remember, but probably next year we’ll head towards Barcelona for Primavera festival and the joys of giving up the tent and renting proper hotel rooms (guess we are indeed getting old!). As always, here’s some footage from most of the acts we saw this final day (in proper quality this time). Viva Roskilde!!!



0

Roskilde - Day 3 - Live: Judas Priest, Notwist, My Bloody Valentine, Neil Young, Lykke Li, Girl Talk, The Raveonettes, The Chemical Brother, No Age

Rise and shine, for the wake of the third day at Roskilde (Saturday). With the sun shining well above us, we decided to skip the morning shows (The Ting Tings, Jose Gonzalez, Tokyo Police Club and Joan as Police Woman) and head for a morning trip to Denmark’s capital Copenhagen.
The trip took almost an hour (thanks to the great delays at the Danish train network) and we finally made it downtown. To be honest, I wasn’t impressed by the city since it was crowded with elderly tourists. But since we only stayed for a few hours I won’t let my skepticism take over and will just stick to saying that it was another typical European capital.
So, back to the music since this was the main reason of our trip. Our festival day started off with old rockers Judas Priest giving a less than impressive afternoon performance at the Orange Stage. It was fun to see the old guys on stage, but only for a couple of songs (never been too much of a fan anyway). So we quickly moved over to the Astoria stage for our German friends, The Notwist. Their latest album was really good so our expectations were quite high. Unfortunately, a lousy sound system and the ridiculously suffocating and hot atmosphere of the Astoria stage let us down. The band (as their songs) is a bit on the down-tempo style, which isn’t fitted to live performances. Although they also played all-time classics such as Pick up the Phone, they never managed to get the crowd going. What a pity..
So we decided to switch stage and paid a visit to the Arena for My Bloody Valentine. The Irish rockers were the exact opposite of Notwist. Loud as hell, energetic and simply kicked ass. Who cares that we couldn’t understand a word of what they were singing, the pure punches of guitar, bass and drums were more than enough for us. Some bands are just made for playing live..


Up next, on the Orange stage, it was time for a real history lesson courtesy of one of the greatest rockers of all time, Neil Young. I have no idea how old Neil is nowadays but he sure still knows how to rock. On stage, Neil was singing, jamming on the guitar and giving a powerful performance that many young artists would envy. And all this for almost two hours in a row (we did leave at half-point to catch some other acts but he was still up on stage when we got back after an hour or so).
Our next stop was at the Odeon stage, for Swedish phenomenon Lykke Li. The audience was once again mostly youngsters (a bit better than the teen crowd of Kate Nash), so while Lykke was giving a reasonable performance we only stayed for a few tracks (the atmosphere wasn’t suited for us…damn we are too old).
Coming up was the party of the festival, Girl Talk on the Cosmopol stage. I knew that Girl Talk is famous for setting the party on fire and this was confirmed in this case as well. Thousands of people under the same tent dancing and hoping around with every beat Girl Talk was throwing at us. Accompanied by crazy dancers on stage and bombarded by an awesome light show, this was one great show that even made me bounce around!!
After so much action, we needed to slow down so we decided to skip Liars and head over to the Arena for locals Raveonettes. Unfortunately, way too many others had the same idea so we were miles away from the stage and could only barely see the band itself. The crowd seemed to love them, but I guess that was mostly because this is their home country. To me, they were merely ok. But perhaps that was just me..
We then moved once again to the center (Orange) stage for one of the festival’s headliners, The Chemical Brothers. This is the first time I see them live, although not at their peak of their career anymore (many doubted the choice of having them as headliners). They guys give a great powerful multimedia show, but that’s exactly what it is. Two guys in front of two computers (which 95% of the crowd couldn’t see at all) and hundreds of lights, TV screens and video projectors supporting them. I agree that it was an impressive show, but to me (and most people out there) it wouldn’t make any difference if the electronic duo was actually on stage or not (the show wouldn’t be any different at all).
It was then time for the last act of the day, one that I anticipated quite a lot since their last album was one of my favorite entries for this year. Part of the new lo-fi punk scene, it was time for No Age. The crowd at the Pavilion stage was mostly made up of skateboard-like teenagers (guess this is the punk audience these days) and counted in dozens (I guess most people decided not too leave the Chemical Brothers’ light show). The LA duo is really powerful on stage, but unfortunately (for me) they cut all songs down to merely 2-minutes and left most of the improvising and experimental jams out. I guess this was mostly due to their audience (the youth were there just for the punk element). Nevertheless, I enjoyed it quite a lot, especially since they ended the set with my favorite Ripped Knees.


So that was it for the third day. We had one more day to go and although Saturday never reached the high energy of the second day, it was still quite interesting. Here’s some footage from most of the acts we saw (in the usual poor quality).



2

Yeasayer vs Vampire Weekend (2-by-2)

In today’s 2-by-2 battle we have bands that set a new scene during last year. Two bands that are mixing elements of world music with rock and provide their unique vision of how to produce great music without sticking to the commercial rules of the modern scene. We are talking of the battle between Yeasayer and Vampire Weekend as this has been documented by our favorite Take-Away Show. Shot inside the metro, a van, on the street or the apartment next door, both bands provide an amazing performance on the spot.













Yeasayer
Artist.Site
Buy.Amazon

Vampire Weekend
Artist.Site
Buy.Amazon



6

Movie Stardust - Zooey Deschanel vs Gretchen Mol

I’ve got no access to music today so I decided that it would be a good break from the Roskilde posts (which I still need to prepare for the remaining 2 days of the festival) to have a match-up of two beautiful women. They may have almost a decade difference in age (8 actually) but they are both still looking damn good. Am I getting too obsessed with these stardust posts? Perhaps…

First up is Zooey Deschanel. The girl we first met at Almost Famous is now 28 years old and has made a name of herself (although she has still to become a true moviestar). Some of her most known parts were in All the Real Girls, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford and of course her short role as the crazy chick in Weeds.

Next is Gretchen Mol, who has now reached the age of 36 but still looks hot. Unlike Zooey, she has taken up roles in some better (and more cult) movies, such as Dead Man's Walk, Donnie Brasco, The Last Time I Committed Suicide (damn I loved this movie…and the title is amongst the best ever), Rounders, Celebrity and 3:10 to Yuma.

Zooey definitely has a more cute / indie look while Gretchen is the classic beauty withstanding the pass of time. The choice of dreams is yours..



200 Cigarettes but We don't Care

A couple of posts back we reached the "200 posts" mark here in Athens66 and I thought we should pay a tribute to this fact. However, the only things coming to my mind were:
  • Who actually cares that you reached 200 posts?
  • The only thing I can associate 200 with is the movie 200 Cigarettes
From then on it was quite obvious that the best track to celebrate this milestone in Athens66 was Ramone's I don't Care which was indeed featured in the soundtrack of the movie 200 Cigarettes back in 1999. Next target...1000!! (but who cares?)



0

William F. Gibbs – My Fellow Sophisticates

I’ve been straggling with this album for sometime now. Gibbs is definitely a very talented singer-songwriter with both a beautiful melodic voice and clever compositions. His influences are kind of a history lesson of 20th century music, from the 50’s and 60’s (or sometimes even 20’s and 30’s) all the way to contemporary pop and alternative rock. Perhaps this is his biggest flaw though, since his style varies so much across this album that many songs feel out of place. While some tracks like Darling You were Beautiful Once, Come Back to Me and Operate are really beautiful and display smooth and interesting compositions, others such as Here Comes Your Steamboat Brother! Here Comes Your Freightline Sister and LA Money are quite a letdown.
At first listen, the album reminded me of the fabulous retro compositions that Get Well Soon had achieved in his debut, but as the tracks unveiled, the constant change across the decades from 20’s pianos to 50’s blues and even 70’s disco (at Streetfigher) really started to make this more of a collection of compositions than a solid album. Nevertheless, his unique music style and obvious talent manage to salvage the album and leave you with a couple of tunes that could get you hooked. Hopefully Gibbs will be more concentrated and have settled down on a particular style before his next studio attempt. We just have to wait and see..

Operate


Darling you were Beautiful Once


Artist.Site Buy.OldManRecords



0

Roskilde - Day 2 - Live: Kate Nash, Gnarls Barkley, Kings of Leon, Mogwai, Grinderman, Holy Fuck, Battles

So it’s the second day at Roskilde festival (Friday) and after a good night sleep to get our energy back from yesterday’s trip we set out in the morning exploring the camp area. Roskilde is huge, with 14 camping areas scattered across the land. We visited a number of them in the morning, mostly around the lake area where people were taking advantage of the great weather this year. Needless to say, another party was taking place around the lake with music, people drinking, sunbathing, swimming (well mostly jumping in the water since swimming was only allowed in a small part of the lake) and having a real good time in general.
After this morning walkabout, we decided to head over to the Odeon stage for Kate Nash. I must say, I’ve never been in a live act with so many teenage girls (“heaven” as BLR quoted it!!). Of’ course, ten minutes later we left the scene since Kate’s performance (and songs) are mostly addressing the younger audience and we simply couldn’t stand any more of it (despite the many under-aged temptations). So it was back to our tent for some more rest in order to make the rest of the program in one go. Unfortunately, there was a really cool breeze (despite the endless sunshine) which made it all too difficult to wake up in time for Band of Horses (and Gnarls Barkley for BLR). Even more unfortunately (as it turned out), I did manage to wake up in time for Gnarls Barkley. The act wasn’t that bad; he was trying his best to get the crowd going but being at 17:00 in the afternoon, most people were still not up to it. The really bad thing about the act was actually leaving it, cause I had a small accident (too much gin and beer might have had something with it) and while I managed not to trip over and fall (on some stupid hidden step…or something like that), I did sprain my ankle quite bad (hurt like hell…thank god the alcohol took some of the pain away!).
An hour later (and with my ankle now double in size), we were back at the Orange stage for Kings of Leon. While I had heard quite negative remarks about their live performances in the past, they weren’t bad at all. The guys gave a classic rock performance, but nevertheless (since we ain’t that big fans of them) we left half an hour later in order to get some good spots on the Arena stage for our dose of Scottish rock, Mogwai. Guitars, drums, no lyrics and lots of moody atmosphere made our ears hurt from pure musical pleasure (although we couldn’t hear a thing afterwards for 20 minutes). The gals from Glasgow are way louder on stage than I had expected (in a positive sense) and while their music will never be able to make them a super-group, they really woke as up and opened our appetite for more acts during the rest of the day.


It was then back to the Orange stage for a glimpse of Nick Cave’s Grinderman. I’ll be honest; I’ve never seen Cave on stage before (although he is giving a couple of concert here in Greece almost every year), so it was quite interesting (for a while). Cave and the rest of the gang certainly know how to give a solid performance, but their music wasn’t that impressive for me (as opposed to Cave’s last album with the Bad Seeds which was marvelous). Then again, my mind was set on the next act in the Pavilion stage half an hour later. So we rushed (lipped) to the next stage for Holy Fuck.
I’ve read so many great reviews about their live acts from fellow bloggers that I knew I couldn’t afford to miss them. And thank god I didn’t. They are absolutely incredible on stage, with so much passion and energy that they made the whole crowd go crazy at every track. The two keyboardists play head-to-head while the other two members are just inches away, giving a feeling of a gang that doesn’t care about anything else other than making the crowd have a great time and creating amazing music. This one was one of the best acts on Roskilde for me.
The day ended with us running towards the last act on the Odeon stage, in order to get up close for my favorite band of the festival, Battles. The guys from New York had produced one of the best albums of 2007 for me and their music is just made for live performances. Thankfully for me, they didn’t disappoint us. Battles is one of those bands that produce music not intended for most people (no simple tunes or lyrics) and you either get into their sound or hate them. On stage, you can feel how much they love what their doing and it’s obvious that beyond everything, they’re in it for just their music. I’m sure I’m too judgmental to give a proper review of their performance, so I’ll just say this may have been the best moment for me in the festival. The only down side was that much of their music wasn’t live actually (samples and loops flying around all the time), but I guess it’s really impossible to recreate their studio sound on stage with only 4 members.


The other downside of the Battles concert was that it ended with Atlas, which meant everyone went bizzerk and my ankle sent me to hell and back endless time. This also resulted in missing out on Yeasayer which were playing next on the Pavilion stage. I was really looking forward to seeing these guys live on stage after their fabulous 2007 album, but the pain was just too much for me to go on (it took me almost half an hour to get back to my tent which was less than 5 minutes away).
So, day two was over, but what a day! Probably the best day of the festival, although there were more great acts to come during the following two days. You can see some footage from this day’s performance on the following clip I finally managed to edit (I’m not part of the YouTube generation so I had to quickly learn the tricks of basic video-editing).



2

Introducing Zoos of Berlin

One of the main benefits of having a music blog (cause there are way too many negatives) is that cool bands and artists start getting in touch with you, promoting their music and introducing you to interesting sounds. This has been the case with Zoos of Berlin, from whom I received a contact after our post regarding Pas/Cal (with who they share a band member). The band comes from Detroit and so far has released an EP with three wonderful tracks. Their music is a mix of David Bowie, avant garde and modern pop/rock. I must say I really liked the EP but on the downside, the band hasn’t released an album yet and left me waiting for more. Hope there is more music coming our way from the Zoos really soon (and hopefully of the same quality)..

Below the Old House


Artist.Site Buy.Amazon



Roskilde aftermath

Broken backs, swollen ankles, insomnia uber alles... This is what you get when you do things 10 years later than when you should! Well, we've been taught a life-lesson if you may... next year I am staying away from youngsters - especially Dansk ones ... Yuk!

To the point though: We went to Roskilde for the music, and we were much less interested in the party aspect of the whole thing. We had booked very early, so we were also disappointed with this year's line-up, quite inferior to past festivals.

Please stay with me: I did see some inspirational acts which are sadly missed in our home city... I will not mention at all the great performances of the main acts, such as Nick Cave's Grinderman, Neil Young, My Bloody Valentine, Bonnie Billy etc. This is what caught my eye, ear, muscles and soul, all at the same time:


Jay Reatard: Good old bang-your-head-at-the-wall-and-feel-great-doing-so! Unfortunately we only got at his show at the last song and missed the opportunity to record the inevitable stage dive. (no rating)

Battles: Their vibe is well deserved. They did sound a bit too intellectual for my taste to get a 5 though...

Gossip: Tremendous party energy by Beth Ditto. Don't miss them if you're near their show!
Cat Power: Top of the tops - she was so stoned that she couldn't stand, not alone perform the songs properly: the thing is that her wonderful pieces sounded better sung this way! Kudos to a great poet!



0

Roskilde - Day 1 - Live: Gossip, Radiohead

It all started on Thursday afternoon, when we finally arrived at the west entrance of Roskilde. After getting our entrance wristbands we began our quest to find a site to set our camp, which actually took less than expected and were ready to go in almost an hour. Unfortunately the time was already 20:00 so we had already missed Duffy by quite a number of hours (didn’t care that much though) and MGMT for an hour or so (which we were interested on seeing how they perform their tracks live…next time I guess). The rest of the day was more of a warm-up with only a few bands playing, two of which we managed to catch.
First up was Gossip on the Odeon stage (where we saw most of the best lives throughout the festival). Beth Ditto is an oversize queen by all means, giving a splendid show on stage and really setting the crowd on fire. The whole live was a real party, with the entire crowd joining in. We had to actually split the concert in half though, since after half an hour we rushed toward the Orange (main) stage for the day’s main attraction, Radiohead.


I guess what most people wrote on their blogs about Radiohead’s new record was indeed true; a real masterpiece that is not intended for live concerts though. We stayed for around 20 minutes and quickly got bored so returned to Gossip to catch the party’s finale. And what a finale it was, with Beth ending the concert with Standing in the Way of Control and everyone taken over by dance fever. Beth ended it all by coming off stage and singing amongst the crowd!!
It was back to Radiohead then, which after a few tracks ended the concert and left us feeling like we hadn’t really missed that much. Fortunately for all of us, the band came back on stage for two more encores featuring old favorites such as Karma Police and Street Spirit, which really set things straight and really compensated the crowd for the first boring part.
The day ended with us touring around the Roskilde site, searching for food and getting amused especially by the Explosion Village (a huge tower with white plastic stones scattered around which actually produced drum-like noises once banged by people and if the noise levels were high enough the tower shot huge flames in the air). You can see one of these burst of fire in the next video. You could actually feel the explosion’s heat even if you were 20 meters away (which was quite unbearable during the day) and see the flames from outside the festival area, giving a gothic feeling to the whole site…Really cool piece of art!!



6

Battles setting the Scene with Atlas

It will probably take sometime to organize all my photos and (awful) videos from Roskilde, so I will split the reports into a number of parts and post them during the following days. Until then though here is a video (not mine) from perhaps the best live (for me) of the festival. I’m definitely biased since this was one of the bands I was most eager to see anyway and have already praised them numerous times in this blog. It’s Battles and their live version of Atlas (which were responsible for missing Yeasayer due to excessive fun during the concert and a sprained ankle but more on that on a later post). The crowd just went mad after the mid-section of the track and was one of the highlights of the festival for me!



0

Deep Down and Dirty

Yeap, we are finally coming back after 4 days of live music, non-stop alcohol and tons of dirt (we thought Southside was dirty last year but Roskilde is just on another level of madness..an endless field of dirt, dust and piss). It was great fun (we'll post much more about the music itself once we get back home) but for now I'm just looking forward to a warm bath and a soft bed (still on the airport waiting for the flight)..More later on..



4

Roskilde here we come!!!

The Athens66 team is now departing for Roskilde!! Finally the time has come to hit the north and enjoy some live music and lots and lots of alcohol. The lineup this year may not have many classic headliners but hopefully the new bands will make the whole trip worthwhile. We'll be back with extended reports and many pictures. Until then, take a peek of some of the acts we are going to see on stage through Roskilde's Last.Fm playlist. Here we go...







2

Beck vs Air France (introducing 2-by-2)

I thought of introducing a new concept here on Athens66. Something of a band vs band thing mixing it up with a video wall. Firsts up, two bands that are currently storming most blogs. On the left corner, good old Beck with his new album Modern Guilt coming out next week and on the right corner, Air France with their new EP No Way Down being praised by Pitchfork (although the clips are from their Trade Winds album). Let the battle begin..













Beck
Artist.Site
Buy.Amazon

Air France
Artist.Site
Buy.KlickTracks

The Team

Athens66 started off as a common project by a bunch of friends but quickly turned into almost a personal blog (although some remains of previous posts can still be found). Currently, the Team has been narrowed down to two members, who besides being old friends and schoolmates share the same joy for Music, Movies, Alcohol and Pro Evolution sessions.

The sole purpose of this blog is to shout out whatever comes in mind about movies, music, reality, fantasy and all the rest. Nothing posted here is to be taken seriously, but then again what is? Since this blog is still quite fresh, we are definitely open to suggestions and directions (although most of them will just be ignored)

Team Members

Recommended

High Places - High Places vs. Mankind Titus Andronicus - The Monitor Caribou - Swim Sambassadeur - European The Radio Dept. - Clinging to a Scheme Portugal. the Man - American Ghetto Local Natives - Gorilla Manor Errors - Come Down With Me Hot Chip - One Life Stand Shearwater - The Golden Archipelago Royal Bangs - Let it Beep Magnolia Electric Co - Josephine Phantogram - Eyelid Movies Digits - Hold it Close Au Revoir Simone - Still Night, Still Light Kordan - Fantasy Nation Fuck Buttons - Tarot Sport Dial M for Murder - Fiction of her Dreams Throw me the Statue - Creaturesque Atlas Sound - Logos Noah and the Whale  - The First Days of Spring Delorean - Ayrton Senna Reverie Sound Revue - Reverie Sound Revue Portugal the Man - The Satanic Satanist Pony Pony Pony Run Run  - You Need Danger Mouse & Sparklehorse - Dark Night Of The Soul Camera Obscura -My Maudlin Career Pains of Being Pure at Heart - Pains of Being Pure at Heart Antony & The Johnsons - The Crying Light Franz Ferdinand – Tonight Norma – Book of Norma Belle and Sebastian - The BBC Sessions Vanilla Swingers – Vanilla Swingers Lindstrom - Where you go I go too Black Kids – Partie Traumatic Beck – Modern Guilt The Old 97s – Blame It On Gravity Monika - Avatar Sigur Ros - Me? su? i eyrum vi? spilum endalaust Fleet Foxes – Fleet Foxes Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!! Bonnie 'Prince' Billy - Lie Down In the Light Shearwater – Rook Okay – Huggable Dust Wolf Parade - At Mount Zoomer Lykke Li - Youth Novel Los Campesinos – Hold on Now, Youngster Metric - Grow up and Blow away No Age - Nouns Battles – Mirrored The National - Boxer Foals - Antidotes British Sea Power - Do You Like Rock Music? The Kills – Midnight Boom

Write to Us!

If you want to recommend us a new group, advertise on our blog or just bitch about the things we post, just send us an email at martdnv [at] gmail [dot] com and we'll get in contact with you!

Disclaimer

The content provided on this blog is for promotion purposes only. If you like the music, please support the artists and purchase the CDs of the music you like. Files should be deleted within 24 hours. Athens66 is not responsible for anything you may download. If you find any content that is violating the copyright law, please send us an email at martdnv [at] gmail [dot] com and the material will be removed.

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