I Break Horses will be spending a lot of time on the road in coming months:
02/03 - Molotow, Hamburg (GER)
02/04 - Grammatikof, Duisburg (GER)
02/05 - Gleis 22, Münster (GER)
02/06 - Comet (Karrera Klub), Berlin (GER)
02/10 - Paradiso, Amsterdam (NL)
02/11 - La Flèche d'Or, Paris (FRA)
02/12 - Rotonde, Brussels (BEL)
2/16-18 - By:Larm Festival, oslo (NOR)
04/22 - Fillmore, San Francisco, CA *
04/25 - Roseland, Portland, OR *
04/26 - Neptune, Seattle, WA *
04/27 - Vogue, Vancouver, BC *
04/29 - In the Venue, Salt Lake City, UT *
04/30 - Ogden, Denver, CO *
05/01 - Granada, Lawrence, KS *
05/02 - Pageant, St Louis, MO *
05/04 - Vic, Chicago, IL *
05/05 - Majestic, Detroit, MI *
05/06 - Sound Academy, Toronto, ON *
05/07 - Town Ballroom, Buffalo, NY *
05/09 - House Of Blues, Boston, MA *
05/10 - Terminal 5, New York, NY *
05/11 - Union Transfer, Philadelphia, PA *
05/12 - 9:30 Club, Washington, DC *
05/14 - Buckhead Theater, Atlanta, GA *
05/15 - Marathon Music Works, Nashville, TN *
05/17 - House of Blues, Houston, TX *
05/18 - Stubb's, Austin, TX *
05/19 - Granada, Dallas, TX *
05/21 - Crescent, Phoenix, AZ
05/22 - Casbah, San Diego CA
05/23 - Echo, Los Angeles, CA
05/25 - Sasquatch Festival, The Gorge, WA
05/29 - Lincoln Hall, Chicago, LA
05/30 - Mercury Lounge, New York, NY
Check out a sample clip from the upcoming film "oslo Jazzed Out" featuring saxophonist Håkon Kornstad performing "Symphonies in my head". Other performers to be featured in the production include Bugge Wesseltoft, Nils Peter Molvaer and Tord Gustavsen, among others.
Fifth signature compilation from the very cool Oslo-based label , celebrating their five years of existence and a variety and diversity of styles. The label's ability to act as an umbrella collective works when the sum of so many contrasting creative devices, at times, outweigh some particulars -- but in the spirit of camaraderie, we're not here to pick those out. Experimental yet smart, the label is a solid example of successful DIY'ing in today's world. The comp could probably roughly grouped into categories: quirky-electronic-based tracks (Hans Ice - "Phone home" / satanicpronocultshop - "Tennnojizoo (remix by Kesalan Patharan)", Toshybot - "Super Nintendo Chalmers"); 80s synth-pop tunes in the vibe of Bill Murray on a karaoke dance-floor (Cyranoarmageddon - "50 cent" / Pilemil - "Back to 1010"); nods to Can (Radio 9 - "Damo Suzuki is staying at my house"); literary freak folk star Magnus Moriarty with, "Distant athletic parts of you" and other serious folk-ies (Yoreyolk - "Eggs" / Feather and Folly - "Emma's island"). My two favourite tracks however, are Hanny - "Can't", female fronted rapping/vocals producing some catchy beats. Then Easy & Center of the Universe - "Bosphorus (Coco high energy rewerk)", mixing the "irresistibly funky sound of Skweee with rich Eastern melodies that one would usually hear in styles like Turkish Anatolian pop, Egyptian our music or dance latest dance sound pounding from a Persian bazaar." If that ain't descript enough for you, let's just say it sounds like the parents have finally reigned home and inundated the kids with who's boss. A comp highly recommended for anyone wanting an appealing taster through Oslo's underground. - Ann Sung-an Lee
Pop Group: Eva & The Heartmaker - "Dominoes" Katzenjammer - "A Kiss Before You Go" Montée - "Rendition Of You" Real Ones - "First Night On Earth" Team Me - "To The Treetops!"
Rock: Honningbarna - "La Alarmane Gå" John Olav Nilsen & Gjengen - "Det Nærmeste Du Kommer" Kaizers Orchestra - "Violeta Violeta Vol. 1" oslo Ess - "Uleste Bøker Og Utgåtte Sko" Rumble In Rhodos - "Signs Of Fervent Devotion"
As much as there seems to be a singing of praises for Oslo's true kvlt black metallers Svarttjern's second album, I'm not enamored by it in the slightest. The production is, without question, a hefty lesson in annihilation-by-metal, but it's completely wasted when the music it's enhancing is nondescript in the big black metal picture. There's nothing exciting here at all; not even the obligatory mid-paced-into-fast-paced-into-mid-paced mid-album track (in this case "I AM the path part II") that normally elicits a "Let's fucking slay!" reaction works here. The riffs are just way too... crap. I'm sorry to have to use the word, but boring just doesn't cut it at this moment in time. Neither Kerry King's long-and-pointy nailband nor Watain's applied-as-if-it-were-just-thrown-on-but-really-it's-contrived-as-fuck corpsepaint can make up for the fact that Svarttjern are a very average black metal band. I've just noticed that there are a lot of hyphens in this review. Fuck, that's how bored I am listening to this album -- I'm actually counting hyphens. I'm -- actually -- counting -- hyphens. We're up to 29 now. Time to fire up "Sworn to the dark" and wash this muck outta my earholes. - John Norby
This isn't really my thing; it's an Oslo thing. And it's my first time reviewing a band where I gotta tiptoe and use my indoor voice. Forthright impudence almost seems like it'd offend an entire national consciousness or institution, as revered as they are. But let's not forget- Oslo's music scene is the most comfortable place in the world. No political suffering, no industrial labor strikes, and no real equivalent to the dole. Hence, dozens of well-dressed boys running bars amuck and feeding off cultural-grant breast milk, or the titties of the finest groupies you'll ever see. No matter how disparate your black metal band A is from shoegaze band B to Top 40 act band C, "we're social equals" so hey, let's all hold hands, and let's be sure to do it on TV. Norgs often blur this crucial distinction between "style" and "fashion". It's like the difference between having Hepatitis B or C. Some ailments you can be born with like a genetic inclination. Style is one's raw talent, however bizarre or mutant, possessed and created only by you. Whereas fashion, like Hepatitis C, you can catch from any motherfucker.
The obvious nods by Madrugada cohorts onwards to Blixa Bargeld and Nick Cave fits extremely well into rich, dark and brooding Scandinavian territory, and has had the self-perpetuated effect of mounting them in a tiny, yet hierarchical scene as gods. But if The Bad Seeds have done it already, is the simulacrum just another fashion? The blues noir motif encompasses everything aspired in an artist's life -- glorified isolation, mystery, sexual energy, freedom. I remember my monumental realisation when Nick Cave's "God is in the house" DVD first came out. It was a signal of the times; the inexorable musicianship of this group of MEN turning something deeply of themselves into an awe-inspiring and transcendentalizing performance. The essence of "soul".
Soul is definitely not something you can just copy, it's not like you can hire a bunch of gospel-singers and assume you'll get that effect. My impression of this album is in fact, soul-searching, which is not to say it ain't solid. It's more like wandering and jamming in the key of retro-blues. At times, it does feel so grown-up and sterile I begin imagining folks in V-necked sweaters listening to the album in their living rooms on designer couches, hi-fi stereo systems and tons of high-end drugs.
But by solid, I really mean perfect. You gotta hand it to them, a total self-awareness shines through; they know who's gonna try to get a piece of 'em, so they're armed with deadly ammunition. Pristine production, fantastic percussive elements building gigantic drones, and the excellent saxophone-playing is a goodnight cherry on top. My favourite tracks, "I've been watching you (night and day)" has an infectious boogie, like Ethiopian music from the Sixties, Tilahoun Gèssèssè, Mulatu Astatqé, etc. and "After party killer" has a Bowie-air to it that's epic, classic and hit-worthy. In fact, most of these songs are.
But back to what I was sayin', KKKMEO's not exactly my thing. So why the 9? This is not a revolutionary 9. This is not a 9 for alienated subterraneans. This is a 9 for the masses. As a reviewer I tend to detect the moment in which my pure unadulterated love for music is betrayed. In this case, the flow of the album runs like butter, the tracks are easily digestible and honed to the Nordic ear. After being frustrated by many new albums of late, hearing a record that's so un-objectionable and on a higher level of musical professionalism makes me daresay I'm not allowed to object. So I do as any humble reviewer would. Give it a 9, quietly put it back on the shelf, blast "Transilvanian hunger" and make myself a cup of tea. - Ann Sung-an Lee