In 2013 Modest Mouse disappointingly cancelled their entire European tour to continue working on their new album which we today know by the title of Strangers to Ourselves. The album did compensate for the band’s absence yet a live appearance to come along with that would truly make up for past events. During their current North-American promotional tour Modest Mouse also made room for a three week ‘make up visit’ to Europe. Last friday it was the turn for the Dutch to re-embrace Brock et al in an overheated and Tour de France-minded Utrecht.
Twice I forgot about Mogwai’s existence. I first got acquainted with the band after picking them up during a BBC Peel Session. At the time Come on Die Young (1999) and Rock Action (2001) were not to miss albums. Yet shortly after that, they disappeared from my radar for unknown reasons but reappeared a decade later with Hardcore will never die, but you will (2011). Luckily I was still there to enjoy the instrumental contents of ‘Hardcore’ that in the end never nested on my playlists. Again I had no good reason for this to happen, but it did somehow. Musically Mogwai always was worthwhile to listen to. So a few weeks ago the grey, black and pink cover of their new release, Rave Tapes, caught my eye and made me, shamefully, think about Mogwai again. Let’s say three time’s a charm, all right.
At the very end of each December it is of good custom to talk about what the year has musically brought us. Before I lose myself into listmania I think it’s fair to point out a great ensemble of musicians I discovered in the latter part of 2013. So if you’re interested in Mestizo with a South-American edge, dropping acid, UFO’s and… well, let’s say an overall craziness, please read on. Continue reading
Just for a brief moment the frontcover of This Heart (2013) will undoubtedly make you think of P.J. Harvey. Although the lead vocalist of Nehedar, Emilia Cataldo and P.J. Harvey both have a deep love for New York City the similarities also end about there. For instance, the well known autumnal raw voice of Harvey is in strong contrast with the voice of Cataldo, whose voice is far more polished and controlled. Additionally, almost everything what is known about Cataldo breaths of cultural diversity. Cataldo is based in the midst of the multicultural New York, comes from a culturally diverse family and also holds a degree in Jewish Mysticism. This all echoes through in the music of Nehedar. Because of the foregoing the band is often associated with the Israeli community in the United States but can’t be pinned down as an ethnic specialized band for electonica, indie-rock and jazz are frequently added to their music. This Heart is my first introduction to Nehedar though it must be said that the band are not new to the scene, for it’s already their sixth independently produced album. Continue reading