Photography by 600film
Once, in what feels like a lifetime ago, I acted as the host on Peanut’s Playground. Me and some of my friends wrote about music there. We did just about everything from obscure indie to (semi) popular stuff, just because we felt like writing about the music we love. One day, for some trivial reason, I decided to kill the website. Just like that. Dead. At the time it felt like a huge relief, because somewhere along the way I lost the feeling of joy that I felt when I started the blog. Somehow it had begun to feel more like ‘work’ than I wanted it to.
Anyway, it took a little while but eventually I regretted having pushed the delete button. And here we are…
My good friend Tsuru, who I met on the (virtual) Playground has given me the opportunity to get back in the game. Granting me a little piece of his heaven to try and relive some of the old magic. Without any pressure, or as Tsuru said: “Make it a weekly-ish column, because it can be weekly or less or more, that’s totally fine!” And that’s the way I like it and I really hope you will enjoy my ramblings. I’m still a little rusty, but that will wear off I hope…
So here we go!
You might wonder what I’ve been up to these past years. Well, I got older, that’s for sure. I also helped bring another little peanut into the world. Granted, my role was somewhat limited, but still. He’s mine and his name is Dex Niven. Aptly named after my favorite serial killer and my favorite chef. What I’ve also done is listen to a shitload of music. And this time I didn’t feel the pressure (or need) to write about what I heard. I could just concentrate on listening for a change. And I must say, I really enjoyed that.
What did the listening teach me? Well for instance that the ‘Indie’ tag does not cover the load any more. Everyone and his brother’s dog is ‘Indie’ these days. I have no clue what it stands for this day and age. What I also discovered is that not the entire world listens to the same music as I do (evidence found at a Voxtrot concert with only 35 or so attendees). And I’ve learned to appreciate the value of guilty pleasures more. Guilty pleasures should be cherished since they are the things that define you. Don’t ever let anyone talk you out of the things that you love!
And here is something that I happen to love; going to see my favorite artists perform live. And these are the ones I’ve got lined up for 2010:
March: Phoenix and Josh Rouse
WHAT’S SO SPECIAL ABOUT EUROPE?
Europe?? Why would you go to see those poodle haired old age rockers!? Because these guys happen to be one of my guilty pleasures and I’ve wanted to see them perform live since I was 10 years old. They remind me of those good old days way back in ’86, when we first heard ‘The Final Countdown’ on the radio. I was a little boy then and remember very vividly how we used to strut our tennisrackets on the schoolplay stage, acting like we actually were John Norum and Joey Tempest. And now I’m a somewhat older dude of almost 34 and those thoughts and sounds still bring a smile to my face. Every time I listen to them. That’s why I went to seen them live and I loved every second of it!
WHAT’S SO SPECIAL ABOUT SPOON?
Tsuru did a fun post on Spoon a little while ago (see here). He indicates, and rightly so, that songs like ‘The Mystery Zone’ seem to be never ending. Songs like these were the reason that the band’s latest album didn’t quite grab me. But now I’ve seen them perform these songs live everything seems to fall in to place. I was hardly impressed by ‘Transference’ at first few listens, but I am now! Perhaps the perfect example of how it has grabbed my attention is that the main guitar solo on ‘Written In Reverse’ has been promoted to my current ringtone. Replacing the theme of I Dream of Jeannie after nearly 4 years! Quite an achievement is it not!?
Out Go the Lights (removed per request)
Guitar solo of Written In Reverse (cruelly ripped out of the original by your friendly neighborhood Peanut)
WHAT’S SO SPECIAL ABOUT PHOENIX?
The French lads of Phoenix are finally getting the credits that have been due since they first hit the scene back in 2000, and it’s all because of their latest work ‘Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’ (see Tsuru’s review here). Better late than never I guess. I happen to belong to that select group of early adopters (read: worshippers) and grabbed the first chance I got to see them live back in ’04. Despite all the great concerts I’ve been to before or since then (Wilco, Danko Jones, Nada Surf, Anthrax, Underworld and Brendan Benson immediately come to mind), Phoenix’ performance easily ranks among the 5 best I’ve seen. I can’t wait untill March 26th to see them again.
WHAT’S SO SPECIAL ABOUT JOSH ROUSE?
Josh Rouse is responsible for two of the best collections of songs of the Naughties: ‘1972’ (released in 2003) and ‘Nashville’ (released in 2005). That his work since those high water marks hasn’t been as good says more about the quality of the two masterpieces than about his last three albums though. Because they happen to be very fine pieces of work in their own right (read Tsuru’s review of ‘El Turista’ here). And finally, after years of waiting I get to see Josh do his stuff in a live setting. In the small room (actually: the tiny room) at the Amsterdam Paradiso. I have no doubt that this concert will live up to my (very high) expectations!
WHAT’S SO SPECIAL ABOUT PAVEMENT?
Dang! Pavement is not just special; Pavement is UBERSPECIAL! My all time favorite band. They split up before I ever had to chance to go see them in real life, but it seems that Karma has finally answered my (very silent and actually non-existent) prayers. Anyway, Pavement is UBERSPECIAL and their body of work merits an article of their own. I will get around to that soon, so please do not forget to check back in at TSURURADIO!
Until next time,
My current top 10 for ’10:
Beach House – Teen Dream | Sambassadeur – European
Efterklang – Magic Chairs | Spoon – Transference
Josh Rouse – El Turista | Vampire Weekend – Contra
Miles Kurosky – The Desert of Shallow Effects | White Rabbits – It’s Frightening
Rogue Wave – Permalight | Yeasayer – Odd Blood