Yes! the Circle show at Chop Suey in Seattle was bloody amazing, living up to all expectations and more. Sucks to be Grails or Assembled in Sunburst Sound and have to open for the mighty Circle because they have to play with a band that's on another plain. The band stuck mainly to their rocking material, some from Katapult, some new tracks from the new Ektro release I believe, and some older material. I still can't get over the guitar work, such stellar playing and a unmatched tone. Assembled Head were fairly amateurish and played way too long and are the inevitable product of the continued onslaught of psyche/prog inspired bands bursting up everywhere.
Saw Control the other night at the VFF. While a solid effort from a first time feature film director, with a great aesthetic and solid acting, it was quite procedural. There isn't a lot to take away really as a viewer, the script is not strong, and you get what you expect in terms of the story. I'd stick to 24hr. Party People to provide more thoughtful insight into the atmosphere swirling in Manchester at the time. Bring on the Scott Walker documentary!
On a fun note, I direct you to NME's list of top 10 Pete Doherty videos. The early clip of PD waiting in line for the new Oasis record is brilliant. New Babyshambles album comes out next week in the UK, and from listening to the new single (a total Kinks rip-off) it looks to be fairly solid. I say this taking into consideration that it can't be any worse than the first Babyshambles record and will likely never equal anything the Libertines layed down or any of Carl Barat's work since the breakup.
On the Hop
- As I said above, there's a lot of psyche out there right now, and so far this year Holy Mountain is far and away my favourite label this year for churning out one good thing after another. After garnering great reviews (and ridiculous Ebay action, holy shit!!) with their 7" and 10"s, Wooden Shjips have released their full length. If it wasn't for a couple songs where it gets way to close to the Doors for my liking, i'd probably go even farther in my praise.
- Rumour has it that the Black Lips are now contractually obligated to cut any of their notorious stage-craziness out of their act, but at least there's Tyvek. Hailing from the home of garage, Detroit, they bring the sloppy, shambolic exuberance that a lot of the Goner/In the Red bands only strive for. What's Your Rupture is another label hitting its stride, with strong releases from Tyvek, Fucked Up and the domestic release of early Long Blondes material.
- A '60s freak beat classic and a big hit at Scratch right now. Another Gainsbourg protege, Gall also worked with other great French songwriters of the period, and dominated French pop. But with 1968, Gall ventures away from traditional pop to infuse her record with British psyche. Clearly she was listening to Revolver a lot and the session musicians provide a lot of jazz inspired arrangements to give the album such a bizarre and amazing twist on the usual mid-60's French pop.