The Null Device
Posts matching tags 'new buffalo'
According to Beat, there's a new New Buffalo gig coming up at the Empress soon. Unfortunately, it's on the same night as Kraftwerk, so I'll miss it.
The piece goes on to say something about her new album. EMI did fly her over to LA to work on it, and did put her in a studio with a producer who worked with Madonna and William Orbit (though he also worked with Björk, so it may not be too bad). More encouragingly, the album will have contributions from Jim White (of Dirty Three) and Laura Macfarlane, which suggests it won't be too MOR, formulaic or manufactured. Though time will tell.
The time is nigh upon us for the obligatory "top 10 albums of the year" lists (Graham already has his, for example). I'm not going to post my best CDs of 2002 just yet (for one, I'm still not through with all of this year's releases, and am still awaiting a particular consignment from Twee Kitten); however, I am going to do something related, that is, look at the lists for 2001 I wrote up a year ago, here and here, and see how they hold up a year later; which of my picks of the year have stood the test of time, which have fallen by the wayside, and which discs have emerged subsequently as favourites of that particular year. So please allow me this exercise in self-indulgent omphaloskepsis.
Firstly, the RAN list:
- New Buffalo, About Last Night. I'm still rather fond of this quirky little EP, though haven't listened to it much lately. (Apparently, Sally's off in LA recording an album with EMI/Capitol money. Hopefully they won't turn her into Danielle Spencer or Geri Halliwell or some generic pretty girl singer, though history doesn't give one many reasons to be optimistic.)
- Lush, Ciao! Best Of. Haven't listened to it, but have since then picked up the entire Lush back catalogue, plus some unreleased MP3s. Split and Lovelife still get played every so and so (in fact, I'm listening ti Split right now, and it was one of the discs I burned to CD-R and took to London with me.) As such, Ciao! has done its work admirably.
- Radiohead, Amnesiac. Still gets played every now and then; though of the Radiohead back-catalogue, OK Computer gets the most play around here.
- Spearmint, A Different Lifetime. Since last year, I've picked up their previous 3 discs as well. A Different Lifetime and its more baggy-oriented predecessor A Week Away would be my favourites.
- Black Box Recorder, Worst Of. Gleefully sardonic, and some of their best work (funny how B-sides sometimes tend to be that way).
- Prop, Small Craft Rough Sea. This CD still rocks. Groovy, cooler than cool and yet with powerful momentum.
- Radiohead, I Might Be Wrong Live Recordings. Haven't listened to this much over the past six months or so, though I prefer the version of Like Spinning Plates to the Amnesiac one.
(Of the honourable mentions, I've listened to the Angels of the Universe soundtrack and the Sealifepark album since. The Zero 7 album sort of got shelved, as I really only liked one track of it. Jan Jelinek's Loop Finding Jazz Records suffered a similar fate, having failed to hold my interest with its ultimately less than satisfying combination of deep-house-like rhythms and chords and Max/MSP laptop glitchery; and TISM's De Rigeurmortis lasted about one and a half listens. Oh, and as for the Field Mice best-of, that's still one of my favourites and is usually not far from the CD player.)
And now for the unsung favourites; the CDs that didn't make the list, but ended up redeeming themselves after further listening:
- A Silver Mt. Zion, He Has Left Us Alone But Shafts Of Light Sometimes Grace The Corner Of Our Rooms. Bleak, desolate, existentially despondent, and beautiful.
- Models, Melbourne: Their early tracks. The whole thing didn't grab me, but Party Girls and Atlantic Romantic are pretty cool.
- Mogwai, My Father My King: a 20-or-so minute wall of intense, immersive noise. Put it on, turn it up, and feel it engulf you. It's all good.
- Vivian Girls, The, The Vivian Girls: like a slice of dimly-lit early-80s post-punk claustrophobia; it's great, especially Black Chair In A Black Room. (To be fair, it probably slipped the list because it was released in 2000, but I think it still rates a mention.)
So there it is. Watch this space for the best of 2002.
This coming Saturday at Pony looks like being another great electro-pop night, with quite an impressive lineup. New Buffalo, Letraset and Laura McFarlane of Ninetynine are all playing on the night.
Tonight I went down to the Empress to see New Buffalo. The supports were various former bandmates of Sally's: one Lara M., who played keyboards and guitar, accompanied by a Roland PMA-5 and a sampler, and an outfit named Friendly Injun. The New Buffalo show was quite good, and probably the last one for a while, while they work on a full-length album.
I also ran into Libby from Sir there; she mentioned that Sir are going overseas (touring the US and Europe) soon, so their last show before they leave may be next Friday's, at the Czech Club in North Melbourne.
Tonight I went to the Corner Hotel to see Scottish punk-pop combo Life Without Buildings, supported by New Buffalo and Ninetynine. I actually went mostly for the support acts, and wasn't disappointed.
First up, New Buffalo played a short set on the side stage; the lineup consisted of Sally Russell on vocals and keyboards (and occasionally guitar), backed up by a drummer and bass player. Unlike the show at Revolver, this time the sound guy got the mix right, and it sounded quite good.
Then Ninetynine came on the main stage and put in a characteristically frenetic performance. The members kept swapping instruments (two xylophones, a stack of Casiotone synths, guitar, bass and drums), and doing it with a lot of energy and a sense of humour. The drummer, in particular, stole the show, pounding at the drums frantically and generally jumping about like a maniac. (He's the guy with the vaguely Robert Smith-esque hairdo.)
Then New Buffalo played another set, which was also good, except for the two airheads behind me loudly catching up on the latest gossip, oblivious to the fact that there was a show on. (I'm Wayne Kerr, and if there's one thing I hate, it's idiots who talk loudly at band venues. If you want to catch up on the latest social chitchat, do so outside.)
Finally, LWB came on; at this stage, I was quite far from the stage, and could barely see them (the venue was packed, mostly with fresh-faced indie kids). They played an energetic show, with singer Sally Tompkins (a cute ickle punkette) bouncing around and singing/shouting her stream-of-consciousness lyrics. Not bad, though it only got really tight towards the very end, and all their songs sound rather the same.
Tomorrow night, I'm going to see Prop at Revolver; and on Saturday night I may be going to see Down Town Brown at the Dan O'Connell. (Hmmm; I should really set up an upcoming-events page of some sort to list all this stuff.)
Tonight (well, last night), I went to the Black Cat Cabaret to see the New Buffalo performance. This time there was no backing band, just Sally with two keyboards, a drum machine (a Roland CR-68, for the trainspotters out there) and a guitar. She performed a number of songs, singing and playing keyboards quite deftly. It was arguably better than the Revolver show on Monday; the more minimal instrumentation worked better with the vocals, and also the smaller space (a café with a stage, rather than a cavernous nightclub-type venue) was probably more suited to the show.