WHITE HINTERLAND Wilfully unpredictable and hypnotically evocative, White Hinterland call to mind everyone from Feist to the Dirty Projectors, via jazz divas and tribal rhythms. Leaving behind the piano-led songwriting of past work, singer and songwriter Casey Dienel, with new collaborator Shawn Creeden, embrace beats, loops and bass as the backdrop for soulful vocals on new album, Kairos. Give us five words that describe your music.
‘Blue, atmosphere, fractals, sex, dactyls.’
There are so many different styles of music in your songs – where did it all come from? What did you listen to as a kid? ‘I have what some of my friends call “broken ears.” I’ve always been really drawn to sound, so totally fixated, that it was hard for me to do other things when something really great came on the radio. I grew up listening to Janet Jackson and Mariah Carey, playing Debussy and Schönberg, stretching out on the lawn with the boombox playing Nirvana, then Selena, then TLC, then Sonic Youth.’ Have you been to Scotland before or heard anything about it? ‘No and yes. Shawn is saying something about you lot being able to toss trees? I’d like to see that.’ (Laura Ennor) ■ White Hinterland are playing as part of Stag & Dagger, Glasgow, Sat 22 May and supporting Samuel & the Dragon, Sneaky Pete’s, Edinburgh, Sun 23 May.
REVIEW ELECTRO/ROCK LCD SOUNDSYSTEM Barrowland, Glasgow, Wed 24 Apr ●●●●● REVIEW INDIE ROCK REUNION PAVEMENT Barrowland, Glasgow Wed 5 May ●●●●●
There’s nothing like a gig where every- one in the room is ecstatic just to be there. Ten years after calling it quits, Pavement’s 2010 worldwide reunion tour sees the five-piece blatantly flaunt the best of their 8-year back catalogue, and serves as reminder of just how brilliantly addictive a killer hook, sloppily executed, can be. Pavement’s innate songwriting talent, despite any resolute lo-fi aesthetic, combined with a sound that has never really dated, has seen them acquire new fans with each year of inactivity. Stephen Malkmus being one of the most influential and listenable guitarists of the age doesn’t do any harm either. Early classics ‘Cut Your Hair’, ‘Gold Soundz’, ‘Range Life’ and ‘Stereo’ all make an appearance but they hit the sublime in the expertly crafted ‘Grounded’, ‘Date w/ IKEA’ and ‘Starlings In The Slipstream’.
REVIEW POLITICAL JAZZ GIL SCOTT HERON HMV Picture House, Edinburgh, Mon 26 Apr ●●●●●
At over three score years, poet and musician Gil Scott Heron cuts a dapper, if weathered figure. Slender and sage-like, he resembles a jazz Gandalf. His famous baritone cuts through the packed crowd, here to witness the return of a true survivor, the chaotic progenitor of hip hop. As he plays excellent 70s political
diatribe ‘Blue Collar’, it twigs – this is the same setlist Heron has played for twenty years. The hope of him trying a few tasty cuts from his intriguing new album I’m New Here recedes quickly. From here, it is business as usual. Members from his backing groups – Amnesia Express and The Midnight band – join him for fairly trad versions of the good – ‘Winter in America’, ‘Pieces of a Man’, and the bad – ‘Is That Jazz?’, ‘Your Daddy Loves You’, ending on sub-Niles Rogers euphoria; ‘Celebrate, Celebrate, Celebrate’. The encore is – unironically – ‘The Bottle’.
The only people who didn’t seem What Heron and his exceptional
particularly engaged were Pavement, but this, and the absence of a second encore (as seen in prior dates), are fleeting niggles. With a back catalogue this great, they’ve every right to earn a living wage from it, whenever they feel like it. (Hamish Brown) band do is great; if you’ve never seen him before, the show is wiggy enough to give the sense of having seen a legend. But for lovers of this god-like genius it’s simply not fresh enough. Tonight the son of the Black Arrow is on cruise control. (Paul Dale)
Much has been made of James Murphy’s love for the Barrowland so its stands to reason that any show here by Williamsburg, Brooklyn’s most astute musical export, should be nothing short of incendiary, right? Handy then that LCD Soundsystem brought the heavy artillery tonight. More muscular and frenzied than on
record, the LCD seven-piece live line up avoids the ‘live dance music’ cul- de-sac in favour of a looser, more dynamic sound.
Their bedrock – even for new material from third album This is Happening (see review, page 65) – remains a join-the-dots mélange of electronic magic (unequal parts New Order, Talking Heads, Giorgio Moroder and late-era Can) while Murphy regales us with a stack of pithy lyrics that gleefully pull the rug from under pop culture snobs everwhere.
Throbbing tirade ‘Losing My Edge’ or hypnotic funk poem ‘Yeah’ might be almost a decade old, but still feel as fresh as those limited editon Air Force 1s you just purchased from eBay, and stand proudly alongside smoochable newies like the anthemic ‘Drunk Girls’ and the ungodly rumble of ‘Pow Pow’. Wow. (John Astin)
m o c . t r o p s d n a s w e n a s r e v n u . w w w i
REVIEW SYNTH ROCK BEAR IN HEAVEN Sneaky Pete’s, Edinburgh, Sat 24 April ●●●●●
Brooklyn four-piece Bear in Heaven have reinvented psychedelic rock. As equally indebted to 70s American stoner rock and as they are to the rhythmic stabbing synths of early New Order or exploratory jams of Can, their synths and drums-led shoegaze is actually capable of making you forget where you are.
Playing live as a three-piece, to a
Saturday night Sneaky Pete’s packed with a mix of the converted and the soon-to-be-very-converted, they sound absolutely fantastic, creating a thick, warm and mesmerising wall of noise, and play their recent second album Beast Rest Forth Mouth in its entirety. Where critics’ darlings Grizzly Bear
and Fleet Foxes opt for a pretty derivative take on the close harmonies of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and the 70s Laurel Canyon crowd, Bear In Heaven start from America’s West Coast, then drive into the desert. Like an non-European M83, minus
the fascination with John Hughes’ brand of Americana, but with heightened striving for the transcendental, this is music to get completely lost in. (Hamish Brown)
13–27 May 2010 THE LIST 63