Saturday, September 1, 2007

connect - friday, 8/31/07

well, today has been fucking packed. tearknee and i woke early to catch the citylink bus to the festival (which wound its way through many twists and turns, upsetting more than one stomach), fought through a bitch of a crowd to get our press passes, before reaching the campsite, only to realize our borrowed tent was minuscule. but we are nothing if not resourceful, and managed to fit everything in. that was a lengthy process, so we missed the festival's first act, the up-and-coming amy macdonald. she has garnered a lot of press around these parts on the strength of her first single, "poison prince," which you can stream here. homo eclectic also has some mp3s available for download, though she's not really my cup o' tea, so missing her was no heartbreak. we heard a bit of make model on our way to the press tent, and the glasgow-based band sounded pretty good, nice and perky, a great way to open the guitars & other machines stage. we caught a few songs from trashcan sinatras before heading back to our tent for lunch/dinner, but we were not impressed. i'd heard of them, somewhere, but i hadn't realized that their brand of adult contemporary pop was so bland. there was nothing in their sound that compelled us to stay, so we took a quick break to eat.

the evening kicked off with the last few songs from the css set, and the brazilian electro-rockers lived up to the hype. i caught two videos, "i wanna be your j. lo" and their single, "let's make love and listen to death from above." the former is posted at the end of the post. i'm working on setting those up, and they, along with the myriad other movies i have/will take this weekend, will be up asap. we meandered over to the aliens, who transported us back to 1977 with their floydian jams and queenesque hair. frontman gordon anderson even had a fan in front of his mike to keep his 'do perpetually windblown. their set was really fun, especially "setting sun" and "robot man," the latter of which was marked mostly by anderson donning a visor, headlamp, and awkward helmet, and pantomiming robotness, much to the delight of the crowd. as with astronomy for dogs, the aliens' novelty wore off after a few songs, but there is no reason to deny their obvious talent, and their own enjoyment, along with the crowd's.

we then skipped over to the guitars, etc. stage to see gordon anderson's brother kenny do his thing as king creosote. a live show from the fence collective mastermind is no common thing, and he lived up to every expectation, banging out old classics like "jerusalem" and "not one bit ashamed" alongside songs from his upcoming bombshell like "you've no clue do you." well, everything he played was spot on, though he suffered a technological setback two songs into the set, a la his guitar breaking. so, he switched to the accordion for a while. his songsmithing remains to be of the highest caliber, and while his self-imposed permanent domesticity means that we won't be seeing him on the other side of the pond anytime soon, we can take comfort in the increased maturity his new songs already show.

then, the highlight of the night. tearknee went off to see a few songs from the jesus and mary chain, while i dug in for the go! team. i've been enjoying proof of youth for a few weeks now, and was very excited to see them perform. briefly, it was fucking awesome, though ninja's mic was set a little low. i took between 2 and 3 million photos, which i'm slowly editing, though here are some choice ones. they performed old favorites and new classics, from "huddle formation" and "junior kickstart" to "grip like a vice" and "fake id," and the crowd ate it up. i can't wait to see them again in september.

the go! team burned with energy, shredding and jumping all over the stage. ninja told the crowd several times about how much the team loves playing in scotland, and i think they especially enjoyed this gig, as it was on founder ian parton's birthday. so ninja sang a bit of "happy birthday" during the set-closing "ladyflash," and everyone went home happy.

after the go! team, we lost some of our momentum. we stuck around for a few songs from super furry animals (including "rings around the world" and "golden retriever"), which were nice, but rather a comedown after the insanity of the go! team. we had tried to see them in new york last summer, but that show had rained out, so it was nice to see them again, but we weren't really feeling that vibe, so we meandered over to beastie boys with mixed expectations, not on their end, but because neither of us had ever been major fans (and, to tell the truth, songs like "intergalactic" are overused to the point of being irritating). but i was really impressed by what i saw of their set, a "greatest hits" though it was. mca, ad-rock, and mike d have become very slick, in their tailored suits, and really impressed me with their professionalism. they were courteous to the crowd, energetic about their songs (even though most of them were well over a decade old), and happy to be there. i was quickly won over and got into the flow of things, saddened when their set ended two songs after we arrived. fortunately, there was an encore, opened by a short act from their dj before segueing into "intergalactic." my previous reservations about the song vanished, for they had reworked it to not sound so tired and played out. the beasties ended the night with "sabotage," and though the crowd definitely wanted more, the stage closed and the night ended (at least for the live music).

css - "i wanna be your j. lo"

the aliens - "setting sun"

king creosote - "jerusalem"

the go! team - "grip like a vice"

super furry animals - "rings around the world"

beastie boys - "dj intro > intergalactic"

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