Considering I’m about ten days late, I’ll attempt to recap my six months of music. I guess me yakking on about Joanna Newsom is rather inevitable, but if you had seen her you’d understand too. The Speigeltent was home to Newsom for two nights and both were enchanting moments I wished were endless.
To be brief, she is perfection – an elegant, gypsy-esque figure whose humble presence is a privilege to be a witness to. I thought nothing would come close to Newsom but I was proven wrong in March with a double bill worthy of the hype. Phoenix and The Rapture blew the Factory theatre like I’ve never seen before. Not since The Strokes and Kings of Leon double bill, had I seen so much anticipation around a gig boasting a double headliner like that and both delivered like you wouldn’t believe. The reports from their performances at the V Festival were pretty much spot on, so you can imagine the intensity and energy invested into their sideshows. I have another five months to decide on who will take my gig of the year, and if Electrelane or Wolf Parade don’t visit us any time soon, well either Joanna Newsom or the Phoenix show will take out the coveted title.
Other shows that are still fresh in my mind would be Neko Case’s show at the Annandale, who was just achingly beautiful and closed my January off with her amazing voice. CSS redefined all my previous notions of breaking a sweat on the dancefloor and Deerhoof proved that first impressions do not always last. I saw Sarah Blasko again since the last time she graced my ears and eyes at my uni for a mesely $5! But I must say, this year has also been a year of firsts with my first warehouse gig and first living room gig in the bag. If anything, they have been eye-openers in Sydney’s music scene.
Onto a few releases. The Bravery released another downer of an album. The Polyphonic Spree’s latest needs a longer listen. The Cinematic Orchestra are a breath of fresh air. The National have sent shivers down my spine. Menomena and Panda Bear frightened me because they are that fricken good. Bloc Party and the Kaiser Chiefs were great in 2005. The Handsome Furs plagued my mind. Bill Callahan turned into a big softie (thanks Joanna). Songstresses, Feist, New Buffalo and Laura Veirs are all something special. Lavender Diamond warmed my heart. Of Montreal made me wiggle and I found love with Electrelane.
A few of my favourite bands have split up, notably The Blow, Sleater-Kinney and Pretty Girls Make Graves. Suffice to say I’ve seen two-thirds of the above, so not all was lost. A few members of Architecture in Helsinki left and they’re new album Places Like This sounds no where near as good as In Case We Die.
Other releases I’m looking forward to:
- Iron & Wine – The Shepherd’s Dog
- MIA – Kala
- Animal Collective – Strawberry Jam
- The New Pornographers – Challengers
- Caribou – Andorra
- Stars – In Our Bedroom After The War
- PJ Harvey – White Chalk
Musicians I hope will stop over here in the remaining 5 months:
- Sufjan Stevens
- Wolf Parade
- Panda Bear
- You Say Pary! We Say Die!
- Jenny Lewis
- Explosions in the Sky
People I know will make it out by the end of the year:
- Of Montreal
- The Arcade Fire
- Tegan and Sara
Notice the lack of ranking? By ranking gigs or releases, I’d feel rather restricted when compiling my end-of-year list and I think I need the whole year to comprehend the significance of each event &/or release. Also, to every single one of you make this all worthwhile, thanks for your time. Hopefully, the rest of the year will be as good as the first half.
I want to start my own festival now, excuse me while I do some research.