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Wooden Shjips – Back To Land/live at The Grand Social with Twinkranes

Dublin 14 December 2013

Set phasers to phase.

Listening to the recent Wooden Shjips album Back to Land is a very different experience to seeing the band play the album live. That’s obviously true of every record. Every artist. Every band. But some more than others. And Wooden Shjips more than most.

Fortunately both experiences are excellent.

Wooden Shjips - Back To LandBack to Land (Thrill Jockey)is as good a slice of mellow spacerock as anything released in the past ten years. From the first seconds of the opening (title) track through to the end of “Everybody Knows,” the groove never relents. But it never gets predictable. It travels from a west coast of America haunted by the spirit of Jerry Garcia to Lou Reed‘s New York. It passes

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Swans/Josephine Foster – (live at The Button Factory)

Dublin 15 August 2013

There is a story. “It’s all made of stories, you know”. There is a story that back in 1980 David Byrne (of Talking Heads fame) read an article in the music press about a band from England who were rewriting all the rules, who had discovered the new sound. Impressed by what he read, and based on the description of the music not the music itself, Byrne wrote and recorded “The Overload,” the final track on Remain In Light… sinister lyrics intoned gravely over the top of a long menacing drone. A little later he finally got to hear Joy Division and admits to being disappointed. “They sounded closer to a rock group than I thought they were”.

A little over a decade later I first heard the name My Bloody Valentine when a friend enthused wildly about their new album, Loveless. I listened to his

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