Thursday, February 12, 2009

Robert Forster: Live San Francisco (Sept. 10th 2008)

Here is another boot on Robert's splendid 2008 tour, but actually a special one to me. Mainly because of two very simple reasons called Girl lying on the beach (probably my favourite go-beteens' b-side ever, really! I do think it was a real blame it never made it to the tracklist of some album: it would have been a perfect fit for "Bright Yellow, Bright Orange"), and From ghost town (the heartbreaking ending to last year's "The Evangelist").
Plus, the first part of the set is all acoustic (voice + acoustic guitar + bass), and very intense.
As always when it comes to this extraordinary tour the gig is very long, which means more than 30 tracks. Yes, the sound is not perfect (a decent audience recording), but the performance is so good that it's hard to care about the rest.

I do hope you enjoy all of this.

Live S. F. Disc 1, Part 1
Live S. F. Disc 1, Part 2
Live S. F. Disc 2

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Best Of 2008 (Part 1)

It took me quite some time...but I've finally made it.

(By the way: Bon Iver's "For Emma..." was 2007 to me)

1-Rachel Unthank & The Winterset: The Bairns

I know: "The Bairns" was released in 2007...but not in Italy (and that's where I live). That's why I discovered the beauty of the Unthank sisters' music so late. Just try and listen to the opening track of the album. Plus they did success in covering Wyatt's Sea song: hats off!

2-Robert Forster: The Evangelist

It may sound like an obvious choice being the huge Go-Betweens fan that I am...Bu actually I didn't hope "The Evangelist" could be so good. And every time I listen to Demon days or Ghost town makes me want to go back to everything he (they) did to listen to all of it all over again.

3-Frightened Rabbit: The Midnight Organ Fight

I discovered this one by chance, just blogging around (so thank you mysterious blogger that I forgot, and shame on me for that), and I just couldn't stop listening to it for a couple of weeks. It got to the point that I haven't managed to listen to their first album because I'm afraid it wouldn't live up to this.

4-Portishead: Third

This one maybe was the biggest suprise of this year in music: Portishead reunion was for real (it was hard to believe after all those years of rumours) and "Third" blew away all that chill- out shit (that kind of was Portishead's corrupted legacy) with a take-no-prisoner attitude album.

5-TV On The Radio: Dear Science

And this one took me by suprise: I was never really into TVOTR, so the first impressive song of "Dear science" came as a rather unexpected shock to me. And so did the rest of the tracklist.

6-Fleet Foxes: S/t

So good to see a debut album among the best of almost every chart of the year. Let's only hope this magnificent Brian Wilson-like dreams will stay with us a little bit longer.

7-Bonnie "Prince" Billy: Lie Down In The Light

Hard to keep track of every step of Will Oldham's musical career, being him almost as prolific as Prince (the other Prince...), or Ani Di Franco. Thing is: up until now the quality of his output has never caused any preoccupation in his fans. And I personally find this album almost as good as his "I see a darkness" masterpiece.

Best Of 2008 (Part 2)

8-BRIAN WILSON: That Lucky Old Sun

I'm a big fan of the man: he's written one of my "desert island" records (obviously "Pet Sounds"), and I'm so happy he's finally made a very good solo album (hard to consider the last "Smile" a solo, considering his very well-known story; and actually I do prefer the "Smile" version made by bootlegers with the original Beach Boys' voices).
By the way: there's indeed a lot of nostalgia in here (Forever my surfurl girl quite gives that away), but also his best songs in decades.

9-MAVIS STAPLES: Live Hope At The Hide Out

That was another world...remember? George W. Bush at the White House and everybody out there looking for some hope. Well, it turned out this great exercise of both hope and music wasn't that useless after all, wasn't it?
Great rebel songs, great voice and great concert.

10-REM: Accelearate

Indeed they did. But back are the lovable Mike Stills' backing vocals, some fast "Sing in tune with Stipe if you can" tirades...And some of the power of the best pop-rock songs they wrote during the eighties are still here, disguised as some new postsomething (post-Strokes?) rock. But behind all that (much unlike the other noisy & rockin' REM LP, "Monster") are the old school REM songs.


One of my fave italian artists. Once almost famous for being in a band called Scisma, he has been following a new path among italian songwriters and rockers, quite far away from both the angloamerican model and the italian one.

12-THALIA ZEDEK BAND: Liars And Prayers

That voice, that wonderful hoarse voice... A much better album than the previous one and almost as good as my favourite ("Been Here And Gone"). Be careful: its songs will crawl slowly underneath your skin.


I have to admith that I have some problems getting to like Mr. Chesnett, and I can't honestly say why. I have probably never given him enough attention. But this time around I didn't need to: "Dark Developments" is a charming and funny (yes: funny) album from the get-go.

14-THE WAR ON DRUGS: Wagonwheel Blues

Another excellent debut. And with one of the best à la Dylan songs (circa 1966-1967 era) I've ever heard: Arms like boulders (I try everytime to imagine an Al Kooper organ in there...). And they sometime are more Springsteen than Springsteen himself (especially these days...)

15-BODUF SONGS: How Shadows Chase The Balance

Mat Sweet plays silence as if it was another instrument: chords that sound like ghosts, hypnotic arpeggios... Music for a slow slow day, when nothing ever seems to happen.

16-BAUHAUS: Go Away White

I may be the only person on this planet, but yeah: I like this album. I don't find this reunion useless at all (and therefore I'm sorry they called it quits so soon) simply because IMHO these songs are Bauhaus songs (I mean: this is not like some Genesis reunion with a Stiltskin singer...), the sound of the guitar is awesome (yeah!), and Bauhaus playing funky (well, quite...) and loud are a dream come true. And go listen to Undone, please.

17-AFTERHOURS: I Milanesi Ammazzano Il Sabato

An italian rock band emerged during the grunge period: it's nice to see what they've become. Anyway, they probably were (and still are) the best at finding a way to sing in italian with a very "rock" attitude. And the production of this album is amazing.

18-DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE: Narrow Stairs

Ok, it's not one of my favourite DCFC albums ever, but chance is I'm not understanding something here. Still, are or are not DCFC the best indie-rock band of the world? I can't say it yet (also because...what is indie-rock now? Possibly anything, I'd say), but I'm truly glad Death Cab exist.

And these are some of my fave songs from these 18 albums:

Music Playlist at