As the winter rolls in, so does what seems to be the best season to catch live music in Barcelona. Don’t get me wrong: the summer and spring festivals are awesome… but I’ve seen some pretty spectacular performances over the last few years during the colder months (such as the Flaming Lips, the White Stripes, the Kills, the Strokes, RTX).
This month, Gemma and I will be rocking out at concerts by Lambchop (cool funk-country with a million-piece band and loads of Curtis Mayfield: Thursday 7th at the Casino d’AllianÃ§a de Poble Nou); Albert Hammond Jr. (the guitarist from, and coolest member of, the Strokes: Wednesday 13th at Sala Apolo); and Jarvis Cocker (wise-mouthed northern lanky man off of Pulp: Friday 22nd at Razzmatazz).
If anyone’s planning to go to any of these fine concerts, let me know and we’ll share a beer and a Ducado (if you’re lucky!). Oh… plus, two bank holidays this week and a massive BarÃ§a game tomorrow… what a month!
Pop music can be a difficult terrain to navigate: just what do you feel okay listening to, and can you admit to it? This issue is at the heart of dozens of websites (like myspace.com and last.fm) and grips millions of young people searching for their Pan.
Myself, I pretty much decided that I’d stick with Royal Trux about seven years ago. For me, their blend of free jazz, 70’s opiate-rock, RnB, boogie-woogie and smart, personal, witty, political lyrics was enough. Despite my liking for bands such as The Fall, I am still certain that Royal Trux sum up what it is I want pop music to be: cool, sexy, angry, bored, wasted, wise.
Neil Hagerty, one half of Royal Trux is my first pop music hero. He was a guitarist in Pussy Galore, a band now confined to the ‘most mental album I own’ category (a bit like Royal Trux?!)… and while I’m unsure as to how much influence he had on the values of that group, I’m aware that he was behind their covering the entire Exile On Main Street album. A declaration of intent, perhaps.
Through their albums, Royal Trux have covered enough material for a complete website or two (see the links in my sidebar). Suffice to say, I drank a bottle of vodka the night they broke up. Stupid of me. It should have been juice. Since then, Neil Hagerty has released a series of albums (firstly solo, now with The Howling Hex), all of which I’ve found to be entertaining, challenging and good pop records. My favourites are probably the two solo/band crossover records, Niel Michael Hagerty – The Howling Hex and The Howling Hex – All Night Fox. Continue reading Neil Hagerty, Ian Svenonius: Two pop music heroes you may not know but, like, should