Entries for June 2008

Articles

26
A review of the album Explode From The Center by Rubies Review Snapshot: Swedish (we think) five-piece debut with a sound collection of works that - regretfully - seem too comfortable in their own skin to reach out and engage the listener in an anotherwise worthwhile listen. The Cluas Verdict? 5.5 out of 10 Full Review: Rubies are a five-piece built around the longstanding pair of Simone Rubi and Terri Loewenthal, and while all of their promotional material manages to avoid details of their geographical heritage, Rubies are as Swedish as Ikea – you know they’re Swedish, but don’t know exactly how you can distinguish it that way, it’s just something you know. ‘Explode from the Center’ is a very solid and distinguished album, and doesn’t at all sound like a debut. Whether this is a good thing or not is another matter – the album seems to lack the distinct, urgent freshness that classifies a great debut. Perhaps Rubies just aren’t that kind of band. Despite the synthesis, the a... [Read on]
Posted in: Album reviews
Actions: E-mail | Comments (0)
23
A review of the album I'm Not Entirely Clear How I Ended Up Like This by Michael Knight Review Snapshot:  Don't judge a book by a cover, or so older wiser people tend to tell you.  However, what are you to do when the cover is far more interesting than the content?  The Cluas Verdict? 3 out of 10 Full Review: Buying/receiving albums in bulk; it can often be weeks/months/years before I get around to actually removing them from their packaging, never mind listening to them.  Sometimes though, an albums artwork is such that it moves swiftly to the top of the playlist.  Such was the case with I'm Not Entirely Clear How I Ended Up Like This, the second album from Michael Knight, not a person, but a collective of musicians under the stewardship of Dublin Born/Berlin Based Richie Murphy.  Designed to look like a well read book, it has the subtitle: 'A Somewhat Disjointed Narrative in 11 Tableaux'  and the... [Read on]
Posted in: Album reviews
Actions: E-mail | Comments (0)
23
Ham Sandwich (live in The Button Factory, Dublin) Review Snapshot:  It's easy to make food related puns/jokes when you're a vegetarian reviewing a Ham Sandwich gig, but I shall make just this one by way of summary.  If Codes and Ham Sandwich were the sonically delicious pieces of bread, The Kinetiks were the slightly out of date cheese in the middle. The Cluas Verdict?  8.5 out of 10 Full Review: I was wet, I was miserable and I was sulking.  I'd spent all day trudging through the monsoon like conditions that swept Dublin searching for a book that everyone told me didn't exist (An Arsonist's Guide to Writers' Homes in New England if anyone knows where I can get a non-online copy).  My motivation for heading back into town was low to non-existent.  But something (known more commonly as my wife) convinced me that it would be worth it.  It was. Opening the night were Codes, a Dublin band ... [Read on]
Actions: E-mail | Comments (0)
17
Metronomy (live in Andrew's Lane Theatre, Dublin) Review Snapshot: As it turns out, Sunday evening in town was dead. Due to a ghostly combination of rain, bleak wintery weather and possibly it just being Sunday, Metronomy attracted a small crowd. The result was disappointing. The Cluas Verdict? 5 out of 10 Full Review: Sunday evening in town was spookily quiet. When we arrived at Andrew's Lane Theatre punctually at 11pm, the lights were on and nobody was home. There were a couple of organisers standing around and when I mentioned I was on the guest-list they didn't even need to consult a list: 'Sure, yep, grand... but come back later, sound check is on now.' Eek. Funny vibes from the beginning. When we finally arrived back after 12pm, David Kitt's new project 'Spilly Walker' was bopping about onstage, playing to an almost empty venue. There were about twenty people sitting around. The act was somewhat akin to the new singer-songwr... [Read on]
Posted in: Gig Reviews, Dublin
Actions: E-mail | Comments (0)
17
Dan Deacon and Jape (live in Vicar Street, Dublin) Review Snapshot: Anyone in Vicar Street for last Saturday's Future Days Festival was in for a treat: Deerhunter, Dan Deacon, White Williams and Jape were all outstanding. Jape was somewhat of an anti-climax after Dan Deacon (who should have headlined), but the love at the venue was massive and the buzz after Dan was sweaty, electric, otherworldly.  The Cluas Verdict? 9 out of 10 Full Review: It was strange being at Vicar Street so early. The venue was close to empty when Brooklyn duo High Places came onstage. The gig warmed up slowly with a couple of curious onlookers nodding their heads to the beats. Though High Places knocked out a couple of wickedly intense tribal percussion pieces, the pair just didn't have enough charisma to warrant looking at. Ping-pong ball noises, shaky and scratchy erratic beats led into a more ambient Buddhist lounge style; Mary Pearson's vocals however sounded flat and she held... [Read on]
Actions: E-mail | Comments (0)
09
Plaid (live in Crawdaddy, Dublin) Review Snapshot: More dubstep than Double Figure, Plaid knocked out a short and surprising set. There were two schools of thought: the Disappointed (discussing the performance in the smoking area) and the Dancers (who made up the electric crowd in the venue). As a disappointed dancer, the gig lay somewhere in between for me... The Cluas Verdict? 6 out of 10 Full Review: Support act Sunken Foal opened the night of electronica. Featuring one half of Ambulance (Duncan Murphy), the duo soaked the venue with eerie church bells and sustained apocalyptic sounds. Imagine the haunting, sweeping discords of the Radiohead's Morning Bell/Amnesiac infused with deep synths that sound like bullfrogs - and you've almost got Sunken Foal. They drifted from darkness to more euphoric moments of harmony, and brought the crowd on an emotional journey with them. As my companion said to me of their sound, 'Oh my God. It's like Kermit on crack.... [Read on]
Actions: E-mail | Comments (0)
05
Bon Iver (live in Tripod, Dublin) Review Snapshot: Bon Iver played a short, but sublime set in Tripod. They took the record 'For Emma, Forever Ago', to another level, adding layers and new sounds to it, whilst retaining the beauty that has made it the great album it is. The Cluas Verdict? 8.5 out of 10 Full Review: Over the winter of 2006-7 Justin Vernon retreated to a remote cabin in Wisconsin. It was in this isolated sanctuary that he recorded nearly all of what was to become ‘For Emma, Forever Ago’. The record is a quiet masterpiece and there was a massive air of anticipation before this gig. This Sound Track gig was due to take place next door at Crawdaddy, but it was moved to Tripod at the last minute for a seated gig. Support came from James McMorrow and Get Well Soon. McMorrow is a local lad. His performance was decent, if a bit too influenced by Ray Lamontagne. Get Well Soon is a 7 piece with members from Germany and Ireland. With a h... [Read on]
Actions: E-mail | Comments (0)
05
Spiritualized (live in Tripod, Dublin) Review Snapshot: Saints or stoners  - you decide- a rejuvinated Spiritualized storm the Tripod with a set of old, rather obscure, favourites and tasters from their new album. With Jason Pierce looking merely heavily tubercular rather than close to death, the band in its current state is working a minor storm and its back catologue gets better and better with time. The Cluas Verdict? 8 out of 10 Full Review: A Wednesday in early May and I’m talking to a neighbour. "I’m going to a gig." "Who?" "Spiritualized – Jason Pierce, the singer, has nearly died, like loads of times, he never made a penny from any of his records but he’s a genius, he does this atonal drone thing, there’s feedback, and one minute he’s all gospel, the next he’s a screaming junkie, you should see him, he looks like death warmed up. Like, literally." "Great-... [Read on]
Actions: E-mail | Comments (0)
03
Mr. Scruff (live in the Black Box, Galway) Review Snapshot: Galway city, June Bank Holiday weekend, a sky full of sun, a bottle of bucky, Mr. Scruff and a couple of friends; the winter is over, and life is good again. The Cluas Verdict? 8 out of 10 Full Review: Last time I saw Mr. Scruff was at the Tony Allen gig in Crawdaddy last year, but because of Mr Allen’s afrobeat sensation, and the free mojitos outside, I didn’t really get to see much Scruff. What I had seen, however, had been something fresh. As we sat in the bar about nine o’clock sipping our drinks, he was playing soft chill out, laid back beats perfect for the start of the night. When I came back in a couple of hours later, buzzing off the closest I will ever be to Fela Kuti, he was spinning funk, klezmer and afrobeat to a room full of the demented. Hot damn. This weekend I was looking forward to five hours of solo-scruff loving. As a DJ, Mr. Scruff is damn impressive. The bread... [Read on]
Posted in: Gig Reviews, Galway
Actions: E-mail | Comments (0)