Over at BrooklynVegan, Klaus Kinski expressed how he felt some concern ahead of the new release from one of the pioneers of electronic dance music, Underworld. He ended up realizing, “[T]hey still deliver records with as much energy and intensity as ever as evidenced by their newest release Barbara Barbara, we face a shining future. When artists I love are in the grips of old age, I am always prepared to be disappointed by their latter day releases. I don’t know why I do this… But once again they delivered an item of vintage Underworld sound.”
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Nine episodes into her new TBS show Full Frontal, Samantha Bee has quickly risen to the top of the late night game. In aptitude, her only rival may be HBO’s John Oliver with Last Week Tonight. Even before the show aired, the organizers of the Tribeca Film Festival recruited Bee and her showrunner Jo Miller to discuss her show with them, fully trusting Bee’s abilities to produce an excellent television program. Bee’s new network home also held the same confidence in her. After years of being a correspondent for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Bee proved her worthiness and value as a comedian and as a political satirist. At the Tribeca talk, Bee said TBS, who had already been working with her husband Jason Jones, “just trusted us because we had already been working with them. They put a lot of faith in Jason and they put a lot of faith in me. I’m very thankful for them.”
The attitude of Full Frontal is apparent right from the intro where Peaches’ “Boys Want to Be Her” plays over the credits. Bee knew right away she wanted Peaches, “almost from the moment of knowing we were gonna be doing a show it came to me in a moment where I went, ‘Well, Peaches will do the song.’ Because, Peaches.” before reaching out to Peaches, another edgy Canadian female, via Twitter. Peaches, ever so generously provided additional cues, cuts and backing bits for the show to supplement her song.
The Show of Shows bears some similarity in terms of composition to a 2011 Tribeca Film Festival selection that I saw, The Miners’ Hymns. Both set black and white footage from a UK archive against an original score from an Icelandic composer (or in this case composers) to present a documentary feature. Each has a score essential to the narrative arc of the film yet stands alone—particularly the final cut in Miners, Jóhann Jóhannsson’s epic “The Cause of Labour is the Hope of the World”. But, while The Miners’ Hymns carried political weight, The Show of Shows is lighter, more entertaining fare.
Iggy Pop’s latest album Post Pop Depression, made in collaboration with Josh Homme of Queens of the Stone Age, may be his last according to him. But even if that is the case, at 68-years-old, Pop has made one of the strong albums of his career and a rock album that all others will have to live up to in 2015. Currently on tour in support of the record, Pop has taken Homme (guitar, bass, keys), and other album collaborators, including QOTSA’s Dean Fertita (guitar, keys), Matt Helders (drums) of Arctic Monkeys and Those musicians, as well as QOTSA/A Perfect Circle’s Troy Van Leeuwen Matt Sweeney from Chavez, on the road with him.
Though the set avoided any Stooges songs, Pop dazzled fans with numerous other classics and the full weight of the songs from Post Pop. As Radio.com noted, “this show saw an artist who became a legend by challenging his audience, challenging them one more time. Happily, the fans were up for it: like a jazz legend, he wasn’t just playing the songs that blew our minds in the first place. He reminded that he can still blow our minds today, and that’s a bit more satisfying.”
Gaz Coombes’ first solo US tour included two very well attended, if not sold out, nights at Rockwood Music Hall in New York City. Coombes is supporting his latest release, Matador which had been nominated for a Mercury Prize last year. On hand to open both nights was Piney Gir, who introduced herself as hailing from Kansas originally but now London based, performing her delightful pop songs, including tracks from her sixth album mR. hYDE’S wILD rIDE.
Coombes sounded fantastic, his solo efforts were as grand as the originally fully band Supergrass material. As the Examiner noted, “Though the production and arrangements on Here Come the Bombs and Matador are anything but organic, Coombes showcased his material quite sparingly in this intimate setting, performing solo with an occasional loop to assist him. One might assume that watching Coombes perform on his own with nothing but guitars, loops and keyboards as accompaniment would be lacking in energy. Hardly. What quickly became apparent is that not only is Coombes’ voice still in fine form and incredibly strong after all these years, but that the structure of his songs is durable enough to withstand being stripped down to its bare bones.”