The Gate Presents: Live in the Front Yard

Merry Christmas! I’m normally a complete grinch at this time of year, but I’m shedding my seasonal curmudgeonly ways and getting into the spirit of giving. And blogging, for that matter! (don’t fall off your chair)

We’ve just released a video series of acoustic live performances called “Live in the Front Yard“, featuring The Paper Scissors, Valar, Tash Parker and Lessons In Time. The performances were shot in between soundchecks before our last show at The Gate. Masterfully directed by Matt Davis, they’re some wonderful performances by some wonderful acts that you owe it to yourself to get amongst. Enjoy!

The Paper Scissors


Valar appeared on my radar a couple of months back, and having now seen them live a couple of times in the time since, they’ve become firmly fixed on my “band to watch” list. They’ve just released a short live performance film that very compelling makes a case for why you should, too.

This 6 and a half minute clip features two songs, and highlights all of the band’s trademarks: meticulous yet sparse songcraft, poignancy, and a very candid, genuine sense of human frailty. Impressively, the entire performance was recorded old-school: just two mics in the centre of a room – a gutsy move, giving the band little opportunity for editing or post-production trickery, so you’re definitely hearing the live performance without much happening between the recording and you.

The clip was gorgeously shot using a four camera setup all manned by Matt Davis in a pristine, church-like setting. Obviously a lot of attention to detail has gone into making sure the space really comes alive, and it all pays off wonderfully.

The band recorded an EP earlier this year entitled We Have A Home Amongst The Trees, which is available as a digital download or handmade 10″ vinyl from Bandcamp.

New Why? video – A Sky for Shoeing Horses Under

I’ve been remiss in not mentioning Why?‘s Alopecia since it was released in April this year, but consider this me making up for it: you really really should get on it if you haven’t. It’s up there with the year’s best in my opinion and appeals to people from a variety of backgrounds.

Pitchfork have the premiere of the band’s new video for their wordily-titled track “A Sky for Shoeing Horses Under”, which is a surreal, somewhat dramatic advanture into the story of – well, I have no idea what it’s about… masked attackers and the frightened hunted I guess, except that Yoni’s chillin’ with his pals and dropping a tune amidst the action. And making tea.

While on the subject of Alopecia (the album, not hair loss condition): How good is the mixing on this record? Seriously, one of the more adventurous mixes I’ve heard this year and it pays off in spades by setting this album apart from the pack hugely. It’s both incredibly dry and upfront while somehow managing to give a wonderful sense of warmth and space at the same time. The treatments are both warped and yet entirely musical. And the drum sounds kill me every time.

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About 5 years ago I ventured with a number of friends to a Regurgitator gig where, as reward for having turned up early, we were presented with music performed by a mystery man. He began his performance with a series of electroclash tunes (joined by a keyboardist that pressed play on an iPod and two female backup dancers) before being joined by a bassist, guitarist and drummer to form a live band that proceeded to MELT OUR FACES OFF. The set was loud, chaotic, brutal, bewildering – and above all, extraordinarily entertaining.

I’ve certainly never forgotten the name SPOD since.

And now, SPOD is back with a new album – and a video that will give you your very own opportunity to have your face melted too. Witness the mayhem:

I meant to blog about DEAD a few weeks ago, but I lost the press release which contained the link to the mp3 and subsequently forgot about it, but Jonny was nice enough to remind me about it when he posted the video.

It’s actually a good thing I didn’t write about the track back then, because I think it’s made even better by this video clip. Make sure you click through to Vimeo’s website and check out the HD version.

The song is an exceptional nugget of juicy electro-pop anthem goodness – infectious in all the best ways possible and absolutely impossible to ignore. The SPOD is proving that he’s a force to be reckoned with, and I’ll willingly bet money that you’ll hear a lot more from this song and album in the months to come.

SPOD is playing at the Oxford Art Factory this Saturday. Tickets are $10.

DEAD appears on SPOD’s new album Superfrenz which is out now and can be purchased from his website.

Yeasayer Take Away Show

You still haven’t heard Yeasayer? Well, maybe you’ll understand what you’re missing when you see this awesome Take Away Show from La Blogotheque, complete with a choir of ring-ins, hand-claps, sleigh bells and more:

Battles – Live at Pitchfork Music Festival

Battles performing Leyendecker

I may not have got to Battles‘ recent show at the Gaelic due to unfortunate circumstances, but these videos captured from the band’s performance at the Pitchfork Music Festival will keep me happy until I see them when they come back for the Big Day Out next year.

In a word: whoa! They show performances of Atlas and Leyendecker and they’re absolutely mind boggling.

New U2 “Window In The Skies” Video

I may be becoming soppy in my old age, but I do believe I count U2′s latest video for Window In The Skies as being somewhere up there in my list of their best video clips.

Go watch it. Tell me it doesn’t bring a smile to your face. So many quality arists paid tribute to!

Even your mother will love it.

(Yes, I like the song too. And yes, I’m aware it’s created a divide in the U2 community)

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