Live review: Twerps and Ultimate Painting played Rough Trade

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I made the trek to Rough Trade for the second time this week, this time to catch Melbourne’s Twerps. In terms of the dictionary definition, the only twerps were those not watching the band on Friday night.

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Top 5 shows of the weekend

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The week started off pretty well for shows and as usual we’ve got some great options with which to end it. Maybe just like all that snow and slush, our troubles can melt away, in our case with the aid of a gig or five! Before I start the list I’d like to note that you should get out to Cloud City (85 North 1st Street) as the RIP DIY exhibit ends on the 15th of March. More information can be found here.

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Live review: Moon Duo played Rough Trade

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Moon Duo, or perhaps rather, Moon Trio as a live act these days, gave a space-rock masterclass at at jam-packed Rough Trade on Monday night, celebrating the release of new album Shadow of the Sun, which is out now on Sacred Bones.

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Australian band Twerps play Rough Trade and Mercury Lounge in March

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I suspect it’s not uncontroversial to say we’re all fed up of winter, but sometimes a record comes along that gives us hope for sunnier times (let’s conveniently forget it’s summer down under). Twerps’ latest album, Range Anxiety, is a spring record if ever I heard one and is out now on Merge Records. Needless to say, if you enjoy guitars set to jangle with an unabashed Flying Nun influence, have your wallet at the ready. Tour dates and songs below the jump.

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Top 5 shows of the weekend

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I’ll be taking over this column from Coleman, who has admirably been handing you better plans than you had for the weekend for quite some time now. Your ears might get a bit more of a break from time to time (please, always bring earplugs), but as someone who goes to 150-odd shows a year, I’m hoping you will find the quality of recommendations remain high.

5) Dave Gorman at Subculture
I’m throwing a bit of a curveball to start things off, with a comedy show at Subculture. Dave Gorman is a British comic, and I’m always a bit wary of our humour getting lost in translation (as the saying goes, “a common language separated by two countries”), but Gorman is nerdy and niche enough to hopefully pull in more than just an expat crowd. I went last night and thought he was hilarious. There will be a powerpoint presentation…

Friday and Saturday, 7pm and 9pm both nights (and another 6 performances at the same venue next week).

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Interview: Robert DeLong

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Just because LA-based singer/songwriter/producer/DJ/Drummer Robert DeLong uses Microsoft Sidewinder controllers, Wii-motes and joysticks during his live shows, doesn’t make him a video game nerd. “I guess I grew up playing Super Nintendo,” DeLong says. “The only game I ever got good at was Tony Hawk Pro Skater II, and now I don’t play video games at all.” You’d never guess that was the case when peering at his elaborate setup, which includes integrated video content, equipment fit to please a world-class gamer and enough tricks up his sleeve to support the idea that he may be the illegitimate child of Inspector Gadget. But then again, I assume DeLong is full of surprises. His calm demeanor and attentive gaze had me assuming he was the quiet kid in class – smart and thoughtful, but his frequent bursts of laughter show he’s bound to undercut with cunning wit when least expected. [Read more...]

My December Show Wish List

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Checking out all of these amazing December show announcements reminds me that living in NYC is truly the gift that keeps on giving. With so many great concerts under the imaginary Christmas tree, it’s hard to decide which ones to include in your schedule. That’s okay! I’ve put my thought into it, and after all that’s what really counts.

I’m wrapping up my top picks and gifting them to you in the form of this blog. Sometimes the things you didn’t know you wanted are exactly what you need. These shows are sure to get you amped full of holiday cheer, so start flinging coin because these concert tickets aren’t going to last  long.

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Interview: Justin Currie

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Justin Currie‘s current US tour just took in his first ever Brooklyn show, at Rough Trade in Williamsburg (20th of September), and also included a stop at City Winery (23rd of September). As singer/songwriter in Del Amitri and now into his third album as a solo artist, Currie has ran the gauntlet in a 30-year career.

A slight mix-up means we end up talking before the show at City Winery on Varick Street instead of Rough Trade, it’s my first time to the venue and while I tend to prefer beer stained walls and sticky floors to refined wooden decor and expensive wine, it’s readily apparent that the venue treats the artists well.

Del Amitri’s self-titled debut album, released in 1985, is begging to be rediscovered by a new generation hungry for arty indie-pop (think Orange Juice meets The Smiths meets Television. I know, I hate lazy reference points too, but it’s as good as all those band’s best moments). If that pricks your interest, at the bottom of this post you can listen to the band’s John Peel session from 1985.

After the debut, Del Amitri’s sound moved in a more traditional direction and they scored a string of top-40 hits in the UK over the course of 5 albums (1989-2002) including Nothing Ever Happens, Always the Last to Know and Tell Her This. In the US, Justin is mostly known for Del Amitri’s top-ten radio hit, Roll To Me; it’s one of those time-old examples of “this song is not really representative of the band’s output”. Regardless, let’s not downplay the beauty of a good pop song, however throwaway it may be. There are three certainties in life: death, taxes, and Justin Currie’s ability to write moving lyrics for the lonely, heartbroken, misanthropic and disenfranchised; sprinkled with just enough hope for us all to carry on.

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