Countdown: 2010: Gigs

The problem with my gig-going in 2010 wasn’t that I went to too few, or too many – although for various reasons I did miss a number of gigs I really wanted to see – but that trying to narrow the best of the year down to ten was probably as difficult as it has ever been. So a couple of gigs that I perhaps would otherwise have included didn’t make the cut. Read more “Countdown: 2010: Gigs”

Countdown: 2010: Albums

A good year for music, so here’s twenty albums I think were great this year. Read more “Countdown: 2010: Albums”

Into the Pit: 097: The Young Gods – Live at Academy Islington – 05-December 2010

Nowadays – and perhaps as always during their twenty-five-year career – the release of a new Young Gods album is an event. A band of unusual standing, a band that don’t really fit in amongst the usual genre descriptions, and frankly have long since had the freedom to record what they like. Which has seen them tackle industrial rock, acoustic laments, ambient electronics, even an album of Kurt Weill material. And recently, an entirely acoustic album, including a few interesting covers, that also included a version of Gasoline Man done on an acoustic guitar or two while walking through Paris…that was better and more thrilling than any industrial version of it. Read more “Into the Pit: 097: The Young Gods – Live at Academy Islington – 05-December 2010”

Into the Pit: 096: Neurosis – Live at KOKO – 06-December 2010

I think it’s pretty fair to say that I wasn’t expecting a support act quite like Daniel Higgs. Having read up since, he’s an ex-member of an influential folk act called Lungfish, and looked initially like he may be as old as the total age of the members of Neurosis, and looking a little like Santa Claus on his day off. Rather marvellously described by Dischord Records as an “Interdimensional Song-Seamstress and Corpse-Dancer of the Mystic Crags”, this is space age (or space cadet) folk music, not exactly of this world and not, perhaps, what the crowd wanted in some cases. If you put the time in, his sparse, acoustic songs were actually intriguing, and his between-song banter hilarious. His set was also notable for running ten minutes over time, and the first time I’ve ever seen a member of the headline band come onstage and tap someone on the shoulder to remind them that it’s time to finish! The closing cover of Somewhere Over The Rainbow was mightily odd, too… Read more “Into the Pit: 096: Neurosis – Live at KOKO – 06-December 2010”

Countdown: 2010: Tracks

There has been so much good music this year – as well as a few stinkers, frankly, but let’s not dwell on those, at least for now – that for the first time ever in a year roundup I’ve stretched this one out to cover 25 songs, and I’ve still had to miss a couple of things out. Read more “Countdown: 2010: Tracks”