Thursday 8 February 2018

Going For Tom Ka Kai

Brrrr, it's too cold over here, so I'm on the move. Probably gonna spend more nights in Bangkok and catch me some nice sun rays. Meanwhile stay safe and groovy people!

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Tuesday 6 February 2018

On Stage: Hookworms @ Tolhuistuin

When Hookworms released The Hum over three years ago I was swept away by that record and its clever mix of punk, rock and electronics. I've been keeping a close eye on them ever since and last week they headed to Amsterdam with their new album Microshift.

Hookworms at Paradiso Tolhuistuin, February 3 2018

I received the new record in the mail a day before and was able to give it a spin. I liked it instantly and couldn't wait to see them play again. The room is almost dark when the band enters the stage and gets lit when the large video screens at the back switch on. For the rest of the night we won't be able to see the band members very clearly as there are hardly any lights on them. The drummer on the right side even stays in the dark all the time and it takes a few minutes before we even see him sitting there.

This is a smart move as the band is playing a very tight set where songs are lined-up after another and there's hardly any room for interaction. This is one of those shows where interaction isn't necessary anyway. The high energy tracks are fired off with high precision and are spot on. The new album sounds a bit more electronic but live there are still plenty of loud guitars ringing. It isn't too hard to hear LCD Soundsystem echoing through here and there, but this band have definitely come up with their own sound. It is the combination of punk and dance that draws this comparison.

There's a large variation in the music ranging from electronic dance to psychedelic rock. At one point a sax player is joining for a few songs and it turns into the soundtrack to a dark and weird David Lynch movie scene. The visuals add to the psychedelic side of the band and mix very well with the music. This is a total experience of very high standard and it is impressive to see how this band has grown even more in the past years. The songs of the new album sound as if they have been playing them for years and they come alive even more in this set. Their sound has become bigger and wider and could fill much larger venues or even festival sides. It's interesting to see how many fans they can win with the new album and how far they can get. I'll be keeping an even closer eye on these guys and hope to see a lot more of them. Hopefully this summer at one of the festival I'll be visiting.

All Pictures

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Monday 5 February 2018

On Stage: MGMT @ Paradiso

It's been over ten tears since MGMT released their hit debut album Oracular Spectacular, the one that put them on top of the indie food chain right away. After that everything they did was measured up to it which proved to be an impossible mission. Not that it is bad what they did, not at all, but it never had the freshness and impact of their first record. But when the band announces a new LP and starts touring you can still feel a trace of the same anticipation among the fans about what they are coming up this time.

MGMT at Paradiso Amsterdam, February 2 2018

That's why the duo Andrew VanWyngarden and Ben Goldwasser are showing up at a sold out Paradiso with their band on this Friday night. Visuals are projected on the back but also on a smaller screen behind singer VanWyngarden. It turns out they really need this to make the show more lively since the band is struggling with their songs and themselves. The hit songs of Oracular Spectacular score big cheers around the venue but the other songs are greeted with a mellow response.

Many of these songs are new but but sound bleak compared to monumental songs like 'Time To Pretend' and 'Electric Feel'. It is a more psychedelic prog like sound and new single 'When You Die' is actually not a bad one. But the danceable high energy hit songs simply are better. Together with a somewhat messy performance this night is running far from smooth. During 'She Works Out Too Much' a hometrainer is placed in front of the screen showing old eighties fitness videos, but VanWyngarden only rides it for a few seconds.

This is one of the first shows they are playing so maybe things are still not comfortable enough. VanWyngarden does seem frustrated at some points in the show and may have not been too happy himself. 'Kids' is the highlight of the night and is stretched out into a disco banger with nice twists. It proves MGMT is definitely still capable of playing exciting and surprising music. But it's not enough to save this night. It does make the release of their new album Little Dark Age at the end of this week something to worry for.

All Pictures

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01. Intro
02. Little Dark Age
03. She Works Out Too Much
04. Time to Pretend
05. When You Die
06. Alien Days
07. When You’re Small
08. Electric Feel
10. James
11. Ashes & Diamonds
12. Congratulations
13. Me and Michael
14. Kids
15. Hand It Over
16. Flash Delirium
17. The Youth

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