Thursday, 23 February 2017

On Stage: Tim Darcy @ Cinetol, Cosmonauts @ Bitterzoet

Tonight Indiestad created a dilemma for me: go see Tim Darcy in Cinetol or Audacity and Cosmonauts in Bitterzoet. I decided to try both which means I have to go see Tim Darcy first and then rush myself to Bitterzoet afterwards. Unfortunately this means I won't be able to see Audacity who are supporting Cosmonauts and will start too early, which is a real shame since I love that band. Still, two out of three isn't bad for tonight.

Tim Darcy at Cinetol Amsterdam, February 21 2017

A few years ago Ought blew me away the first time I saw them and again after hearing their LP Sun Coming Down that ended up at my end of the year list. Now the group’s singer has released an intriguing solo album Saturday Night which he presents tonight. Darcy asks who came here because of Ought and who came to see him because of his solo project. It's an honest question since many people here tonight haven't heard his solo record yet.

Live the songs sound a lot like on the record except some of the more rocking songs have been tuned down a bit. Together with the two ladies in his band he creates an atmospheric environment for his songs. His pleasant voice floats reminds of Roy Orbison. Although it’s not always in tune, it definitely is fascinating watching him sing. With his head tilted a bit, staring in the distance Darcy is able to keep everyone interested. It may not be as mind blowing as Ought but it sure is fulfilling.

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Cosmonauts at Bitterzoet Amsterdam, February 21 2017

I race my bike through the rain across the city and make it to Bitterzoet in a short while. There Cosmonauts have just started there set. Things get a little more rough here than earlier tonight at Cinetol. These guys have an amazing sound, kind of like a mix of The Stone Roses and Sonic Youth. The way the two guitars blend into each other with a lot of effects is very clever. Alexander Ahmadi and Derek Cowart take turns singing with Cowart doing most of the vocals.

Their set is high on mid tempo psychedelic songs that create a spacy atmosphere. Now and then they pick it up a few notches and knock out a powerful rocker. Their set could have used a few more to keep everyone on their toes. I can see these guys filling larger venues with this overwhelming sound, especially if they can keep up their down to earth appearance.

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Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Spotlight: At The Drive In - Incurably Innocent

Hard-core band At The Drive-In had a wild ride before the band imploded in 2001. A somewhat hesitant reunion in 2012 finally spawned a convincing one in 2016 and now the group around Cedric Bixler and Omar Rodriguez announce their first new album since their break-up. in•ter a•li•a the LP will be called and is scheduled for release on May 5. Now you can listen to the first song 'Incurably Innocent', their first new music in 17 years:

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Monday, 20 February 2017

On Stage: Iguana Death Cult @ Bitterzoet, JAGD @ Vondelbunker

The music scene always slows down around the end of the year and together with my vacation in January things take a while to pick up for me. But now things are moving fast with lots of new music coming out and many bands going on tour. So tonight I could choose between two shows and decided to try to make both.

Iguana Death Cult at Bitterzoet Amsterdam, February 17 2016

The Rotterdam based garage rock band Iguana Death Cult is one of the many exciting new bands that are country has been producing in a steady pace. Their energetic performances didn't go unnoticed and they released their first album The First Stirrings Of Hideous Insect Life this week. I listened to their music and instantly liked it. The comparison with Thee Oh Sees is spot on, since many songs have the same drive and feel including the shout outs and are high on reverb. On stage the band is lively and their energy gives the music even more power. It's as if the band and crowd are electrified and everyone is kicking off their Friday night on a high.

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JAGD at Vondelbunker Amsterdam, February 17 2016

Picture: Reinout Bos

I've been following JAGD for a while, simply because I know one of the band members. But also because they make great music. They won the "Amsterdam Pop Award" ("Amsterdamse Popprijs") in November and recently joined the Friendly Fire portfolio. It means the band is on the right track for greater things but for now are mostly trying to spend as much time on stage as possible. Tonight they are playing the Vondelbunker, an underground stage in Amsterdam. It's a great environment for this band and even though the sound is totally crap, it doesn't matter to them. Their powerful songs and convincing performance pays off. Their groove driven songs with an eighties new wave vibe go down well, especially because they play them with a lot of heart. Keep an eye out for this band, because we are going to hear a lot more from them.

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There you have it. Not a bad way to get out of my hibernation and start off the weekend. And there are so many bands lined up to play in or around my home town in the coming weeks, so check back here regularly.

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Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Spotlight: The Black Angels - Currency

Psych rockers The Black Angels have announced a new album, Death Song, that will come out April 21st. That is great news and even better, there's a new song now. Check out 'Currency' below. The Black Angels will go on tour as well, but so far only dates in North America and two European festival dates have been confirmed.

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