Archive for December, 2008

03
Dec
08

#011 Stellarium – Paddle Pop (live)

The first sound we hear from shoegaze revivalists Stellarium at their debut gig is a caterwauling guitar screech set aglow in crashing hi-hats. Then, just as the title “Paddle Pop” suggests, a sticky sweetness follows as a pop structure emerges and the boy-girl voices of Az and Mar appear, wrapped snugly round a collapsed melody like an unstable double helix. This immediately brings to mind My Bloody Valentine, and the wavering melody doesn’t stray too far from “When You Sleep” (even though Az has more of a Jim Reid sneer, a point emphasised by the fact that his vocals are turned up so unforgivably high in the mix).

In a Guardian article about the shoegaze revival of recent times, James Chapman (aka Maps) is quoted describing “nu-gaze” as “music that doesn’t stare at its shoes. It stares at the stars.” This sounds like what the five young musicians from Stellarium might have had in mind when they named their band after the 3-dimensional mapping of star systems. Whether star- or shoegazers, Stellarium wear their noise pop influences proudly and loudly. 

mp3: Stellarium – Paddle Pop (Live at Even Ruder, Nov 28, 2008)

01
Dec
08

#010 Manic Street Preachers – You Love Us (live)

Useless Generation

Useless Generation

The Manics live in Singapore? 4real? When I was fifteen it was difficult enough trying to get my hands on their music. Their albums were banned (or so I was told)– even the venerable Chua Joo Huat (old record store at Far East Plaza, R.I.P.–they brought in a copy of Marilyn Manson’s also-allegedly banned first album for someone I knew) refused to take my order. After scouring countless record stores, I finally bought a copy of Generation Terrorists for $30 (bargained down– he gave me a “student discount”) from a place called The Musical Shop. More than ten years later, Generation Terrorists is still the Manics album I listen to most (even more than the intense tour de force that is The Holy Bible) and for the same reasons that it hijacked my devotion all those years ago. Where else to experience such a ridiculously uncool agit-pop blend of glam, heavy rock and punk powered by youth, sex and militant boredom? One of the tracks on the album, “You Love Us”, was actually released as a single about a year before the album came out, and here it is seventeen years later, live in Singapore with our Middle-Aged Preachers (minus Richey, R.I.P.) in the flesh– still that wanton energy, incredible Guns N’ Roses riffs, spit n’ soar vox and Burroughsian cut-up lyrics.

mp3: Manic Street Preachers – You Love Us (Live in Singapore, Nov 24, 2008)




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cd reviews

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