Tag Archives: Earth

Live Shows, Beers and Record Shopping in Gent

Yes! I finally had my weekend away from home and I went to Gent in Belgium to check out a live show by Earth and buy records at Consouling Store and Music Mania. Let me tell you a thing or two about it.

Gent is a beautiful city, brimming with life and vitality thanks to its student population. There’s always people about and things to do. I was especially happy to climb the Belfort tower and see the dragon (that was on top of the tower), which used to literally spit fire. How cool is that? So most of the weekend was spend with music, so I’m going to write a bit aout that.

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Earth Plays Belladonna Of Sadness

The film ‘Belladonna Of Sadneess’ is a fascinating Japanese animated film, based on french Writing and heaviyl influenced by a specific style of art like that of Gustav Klimt and Tarot cards. The film is an obscure production with many violent and sexual images of rape and erotic suggestion, but also bloody battle. Now, this film is in need of a soundtrack, so the showing of the film as part of the Film Fest Gent needs something special. Getting doom/drone pioneers Earth to take the honors is a pleasure indeed in the magnificent concert hall/cinema of Vooruit.

Trailer: without Earth soundtrack obviously

Frontman Dylan Carson introduces the bands effort today and stands with his back to the audience in front of the screen. When the film starts playing, the band kicks of with a droning music that melts in with the film. As a listener you sink away into the endless drones that keep pumping onwards, while the footage on the screen unfolds in its own special way. The combination is so fitting and completely allows the listener to submerge into the film. For a good one and  a half hour I’m mesmerized by the film and the skill of the band to keep working those notes without ever really shocking you out of the grasp of the screen on your eyes. A great experience.

Consouling Store

On the Baudelostraat, connecting to the Vrijdagmarkt where you can find the excellent café Dulle Griet (you can drink their house beer from a special glass, if you hand in your shoe), you will find Conosuling Store, the store connected to the well known label Consouling Sounds. Consouling Store is not a huge store, with an enormous collection, but has a clear own identity and also, something most record lovers will agree is a big plus, great coffee.

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Illustrative of its particular style was that a metalhead entered the shop with a bag of cd’s and owner Mike looked at them, seperating them in two piles: “These are the ones that I have an audience for, for these I don’t”. He explains, putting a Parkway Drive record on the ‘not’ pile. The strength of the shop and the label, but also of connected artists, is the strong identity. It’s somewhat dark, underground and ritualistic, but also strongly connected to art and creating something unique. This is also what you’ll find in the store, a load of gems that will speak to those who like the material that Consouling is releasing. So if you’re around, drop by this little record store and just submerge in the sounds that are playing and sort through the vinyl, cd’s and casssette’s, you’ll find treasures there.

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My purchases were mostly within the Consouling stable, so I purchased vinyl from Jozef Van Wissem, Kiss The Anus Of A Black Cat, The Black Heart Rebellion and some more… Yes, I’ve been enjoying them while writing this.

Music Mania

Around the corner of the Vooruit venue, you’ll find a small, but remarkably well stocked record store. On the day I was there, they had a vinyl market outside with 50% off. That was obviously a welcome surprise, so I purchased that Burzum best off record (‘From The Depths Of Darkness’) and another release in the series ‘The Abyss Stares Back’ with Hessian and Primitive Man (probably more of a breakfast record I suppose).

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The store itself is very well stocked, but also on the pricey end with many more popular releases. Unfortunately, I think this is not entirely the shops fault. Some artists just go for those prices, also through their own web shops or the labels. But there’s plenty of great stuff for good prices there. For the crate diggers and vinyl flippers, this is a great store to hang out, but due to its relative stuffiness, prepare to have to move aside for others a lot instead of easily browsing. The huge selection makes up for that for me (or the fact that I’m really a crate hogger, once I’ve found my section).

Food/Drinks

Gent has an exceptional amount of great bars, where you can enjoy the Belgian master beers, but be wary, their is a price difference if you visit the ones like the ‘Dulle Griet’, which are very popular among tourists, and the more ‘local’ bars. In the Vleeschhal, you can eat traditional meals, but I can’t say that the Gentish Uufflakke was really my thing (sour head chease). There’s waffel stands and places to buy ‘Gentsche Neuzen’ everywhere.

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What is most special about Gent is its vegan/vegetarian tradition. Apparently the public institutions even have a day a week when its really just vegetarian food they serve at work. Pretty cool huh? I’ve had my view of vegan food reshaped this weekend, after eating at a place where they made vegetarian burgers (walnut burger, oh boy) and a place where we had mashed sweet potato with toppings. For vegetarians the city of Gent is a must visit. I guess the same goes for those who love beer, make sure to try the local goodness of Gruut and Crabbelaar (and gosh knows what other great breweries).

Great place, go there!

 

Photo’s: Justina Lukosiute

Sounds of the Underground #5

Time for some new revelations from the underground. I feel forced to not pick mysterious bands that no one has heard of this time, since there simply happen to be some brilliant bands I need to tell you about.

If you happen to have recommendations for me, they’d be most welcome. Leave me a comment!

Earth – Primitive and Deadly 

Source: echoesanddust.com/

The band from Washington has been a defining and genre-shifting force for ages and thus already captivated my attention in the past. Particularly the album ‘The Bees Made Honey in the Lion’s Skull’, from 2008, was amazing to me. Every album the band has produced since their conception in 1989 has been brilliant and different. This one has captivated me so much, that I’ll go into every song for a bit.

Starting with “Torn By The Fox of the Crescent Moon”, the cascading riffs wash down slowly but full of foreboding. The colour of the music indeed feels pale like the moon. Darkness is in the end the main element with which Earth is playing, but there’s a light as well in that darkness, which is tangible in this songs beaming peaks that pierce the clouds. The description of a serpentine approach in music is embraced to the fullest in “There Is a Serpent Coming”, which has some riffs that give the song a movie soundtrack quality. Mark Lanegan with his charcoal black rasp provides the repetitive vocals on this track, that is filled with anticipation and warning. Bleak sound is embraced by warmth in the voice and music, which leads to a magical musical experience.

“From the Zodiacal Light” features the warm and captivating vocals of Rabia Shaheen Qazi from the band Rose Windows. Though musically far distincts, the vocals show similarities with those of The Devil’s Blood. Mystical words over soaring music and droning rhythm. Southern rock flavor is definitely detectable in the weeping guitar sounds of ‘Even Hell Has Its Heroes’. The sound seems to slow down while the chords are reverberating in the air. It’s the sound of the desert, with the sun shining in your eyes and twisting your vision, hallucinating and shrill sounding. The slow beat dragging on in the endless space around you. A similar sound can be heard on ‘Rooks Across The Gates’, featuring once again Mark Lanegan on vocal duties. This landscape is bleaker though and after almost ten minutes it just fades away.

Oh, check this interview by Steel for Brains with Dylan Carlson.

the xx – the xx / the xx  – Coexist

source: wikipedia

When the debut of this band came out, I was very keen to get my hands on it and review their sounds. I thought it was beautiful, haunting, cool and the sound of a drive through a city in the very early morning or in the deep of the night. Recently I got back into the xx and decided to listen to that other album, which I sadly ignored at the time.

The hazy youthful sound of the debut already demonstrated something unique that probably would not be reproducable. The band was on that fragile moment between youth and adulthood, expressing the sublime angst of that point in an excellent album.  That foggy, misty feeling of an early day, fresh and new, was captivated in the sounds on that first record.

That is the downfall of Coexist. Though it takes on the mellow beats, the minimal sound and gentle tones with whispered vocals, it lacks that fresh sound. The crisp break of dawn has been lifted and the monring sun has made the fog evaporate, it feels like a rehashed version of that moment when the fog was on the leaves and the cold was still in the air. When the words are whispered, no clouds appear from the mouth, just sounds. This time the angst is replaced by adulthood, certainty and a carreer. No longer is the magic in the air. It was a moment in time, that has now past. We still have the songs though.

Pallbearer – Foundations of Burden

source: Stereogum

The epic doom of Pallbearer is much appreciated in the world that adores it, so that makes it worth mentioning on itself. I like the epic quality of their sound, which reminds me a bit of Candlemass, even if it’s only a feeling for me as a listener. The clean and strong vocals are a main reason for that opinion I would think.

Oh, the pallbearer is part of the ensemble that carries a coffin. That’s kinda the drag they put in their doom, minor and sadness. It’s really everything you could want from a doom record, including its accessability. This is easy going stuff, nothing harsh, just bleak and heavy as you would want it. If you are even slightly into doom and you love feeling a bit sad with some heavy, slow guitarwork, check this band out for real.

High point is in my opinion the song ‘The Ghost I Used To Be’. Check it out. All crushing riffs, soaring guitars and picturesque vocals and strenght. Power metal meets doom? I don’t know, but this song I love.

source: austin chronicle

Perfect Pussy – Say Yes To Love

What got me tuned in to the band Perfect Pussy was not their music, but their charming singer Meredith Graves. An interview passed around on UPcoming (with a tacky headline in that ‘You won’t believe’.. line they’ve been pumping out like there’s no tomorrow), where she undressed while being interviewed. It was so captivating, that you forget that a beautiful lady is undressing. She spoke about punkrock, identity, looks and the self.

The music reflects that peculiar nature in a way I think. No distortion, just violent, wild passion is what the music expresses. An eclectic mixture of punkrock, noise and lofi rockmusic. The sound is energetic, uncompromising and light. The jangling guitar and the rattling drum form a warm tapestry of ragtag sound, that for some magical reason still sounds like a song.

Songs like ‘Big Stars’ and ‘Dig’ feature the almost proclaiming vocal style of Graves in their best shape. Powerful and relentless blurting out words of defiance. It is a great record and a great band that doesn’t seem to have many problems being out there and against the norm.