“Turning your crystal clear studio sound into a shit muddy festival experience”.
One Week Only @ P4k TV: Super Furry Animals: Dark Days Light Years
With in-studio performance footage and endearingly inscrutable interview segments, this 48-minute special delves deep into Dark Days, Light Years, the new album from veteran Wales weirdos Super Furry Animals.
(Editors Note: I really hate it when the Furries are described a “weirdos.” Totally lazy. Visionaries? Yes. Middle aged sophisticates? Yes. Weirdos. No. Not at all.)
I had no idea what to expect from the new Super Furry Animals album. Would it be wandering and unfocused with occasional moments of clarity like LoveKraft? Would it be powerfully poppy but ultimately a bit shallow like Hey Venus!? Actually it appears that the Furries took the best elements of their last two records and combined them.
DD/LY is very psychedelic at times, but the band never loses focus on the sugary pop that they do best. “Cardiff In The Sun,” their love letter to their home town is as epic and moving as anything they’ve ever done. “Inaugural Trams” is one of the best singles they’ve ever released. Yesterday Lane Brown rightfully asked “Have Super Furry Animals Written the Definitive Krautrock Song About Railcars?” A rhetorical question for sure, because the answer is obviously YES. I can’t think of another band that can write such a catchy tune about the monumental progress that a new integrated transport hub brings, much less make lyrics like “I will design a town in the image of your face / Around the wrinkles of your eyes my footsteps you can trace” sound so sincere.
Bunf contributes the best song he’s ever written with “White Socks/ Flip Flops” (Well, he sings it so I assume he wrote it). It sound like a glorious b-side from Tusk, or an album from that era. The song’s chorus is “Switch it off and start again,” advice the Furries seem to have taken to heart this time around.
Also, there is a song called “The Very Best of Neil Diamond” that has a tabla on it. Bonus.
Hear me now, believe me tomorrow, this is one of the best albums you are going to hear this year. When it’s all said and done, this album will be regarded as one of the band’s best.
The physical album won’t be out until April, but you can head over to Superfurry.com and buy the MP3s right now.
Right? Video, audio, something…Right?
What I am assuming is the cover for the new Super Furry Animals album, which is being released today! Details below.
Super Furry Animals brand new album Dark Days/Light Years will be performed in its entirety on Monday March 16th, at Noon PST/3pm EST/8pm UK time in an exclusive ‘once only screening’ gigcast hosted at superfurry.com filmed in conjunction with MusicBox, Cardiff, and graduate filmmakers from Central St Martins College, London.
The album is available to buy immediately as a download from the start of the gig on Monday!
Full Tracklisting for Dark Days/Light Years as follows:
1. Crazy Naked Girls.
3. Moped Eyes.
4. Inaugural Trams.
6. Cardiff In The Sun.
7. The Very Best Of Neil Diamond.
8. Helium Hearts.
9. White Socks / Flip Flops.
10. Where Do You Wanna Go?
11. Lliwiau Llachar.
[MP3] Super Furry Animals | Inaugural Trams
SUPER FURRY ANIMALS ANNOUNCE NEW ALBUM (currently untitled)
Digital release 16th March on the band’s own website – www.superfurry.com
Physical release April 21 on Rough Trade Records
Rough Trade Records are delighted to announce that Super Furry Animals are currently hard at work on their 9th studio album in Cardiff.. Since 2007’s ‘Hey Venus’ the band have been keeping busy with their various side projects including Daf and Guto’s acclaimed work as part of The Peth with Rhys Ifans, Cian’s forthcoming Acid Casuals release and Som Bom techno nights in London and of course Gruff’s Mercury nominated work with Neon Neon.
Currently with a tracklisting but without a title the band promise; “Musically it’s based around riffs and grooves we’ve been playing around with over the last few years. We have enough now for a whole album so even though it’s still very melodic we thought we could leave off the acoustic ballads for the time being.”
“It’s recognisable as a melodic SFA record, but is very focused musically as a cohesive album. And no country rock as Daf has developed a pedal steel phobia. Which has confined the great Nashvillian instrument along with the Saxophone to the banned instrument directive of the SFA board. there’s only one slow number which isn’t slow at all.”
Longtime cohorts Pete Fowler will combine with legendary Japanese artist Tanaami for the album artwork, which is sure to result in a feast for the eyes.
The album is due for digital release on the 16th March via the bands own website (www.superfurry.com), the physical following on the 21st of April on Rough Trade Records.
Super Furry Animals have some more tricks up their sleeve which we will be announcing a little closer to the release date!
Tracklisting after the jump! Looks like there is one Welsh song!
Quite frankly, this was one hell of a year. More about that a bit later, but let’s go ahead and kick off the end-of-year-listage with the best gigs of 2008!
1) Underworld @ Virgin Mobile Festival – Baltimore, MD
What I said at the time: Crazy Crazy Crazy Crazy Crazy Crazy Crazy Crazy Crazy Crazy Crazy Crazy Crazy Crazy Crazy Crazy Crazy Crazy Crazy Crazy Crazy Crazy Crazy
Not only was this the best show I saw all year, it was one of the best shows I have ever seen. Period. It was thoroughly mind blowing. My expectations for this could not have been higher but Underworld still blew me away. All concerts should be like this.
[MP3] Underworld | Beautiful Burnout
BUY: Underworld: Everything, Everything on CD
2) Oasis @ Virgin Festival – Toronto, ONT
What I said at the time: Craziness erupted at the Oasis gig in Toronto tonight when during “Morning Glory” some punter somehow got onstage, and gave Noel a mighty shove into the monitors directly in front of him before turning and going after Liam. Luckily security corralled the guy before he could do any more damage to the band and the gig.
Photo superstardom for yours truly! I was totally crushed that I didn’t get to shoot Oasis from the pit, but because I didn’t, I happened to have my camera out when Noel was attacked on stage. The resulting shots were published all over the world.
[MP3] Oasis | To Be Where There’s Life (live Wembley Arena 10/16/08)
BUY: Dig Out Your Soul on CD
3) Radiohead @ Nissan Pavilion – Fairfax, VA
What I said at the time: It rained. Alot. A hell of a lot. More than you’ve ever seen. Ever. Almost four inches. Seriously, it was one of the biggest storms in D.C. history. And we stood outside during it and watched Radiohead. The “rain down” part of the “Paranoid Android” suddenly has new meaning to me.
Fuck. I don’t think I’ll ever forget this gig. It led to my first-ever photos in the Post and a whole bunch of other work. Oh yeah, and it rained. A hell of a lot. More than you’ve ever seen. Ever. I cannot stress this enough.
[MP3] Radiohead | Reckoner (live @ Nissan Pavilion)
BUY: In Rainbows on CD
So spoke our tour guide at the Sam Adams Brewery on Friday. He was talking about the special Brewmaster Blend of Stout pictured above, but he might as well have been talking about the weekend in Boston that Ms. Smith and I just had.
To be honest, we were just happy to get up there in the first place. We took the 9 a.m. flight out of Dulles so we arrived up North before the snow did. While we were waiting for our bags, we learned that the flights scheduled to arrive after us had all been canceled. And with good reason; it snowed from noon until after 10 p.m., leaving between 8 and 10 inches of snow on the ground. But we had no problems getting around town – if anything, it just made the city more picturesque.
I’ve been to Boston plenty, but this was easily my best trip yet. We had a great hotel – smack dab on the MIT campus -, a great neighborhood, great food and drink and no shortage of things to do. It all culminated with the Super Furry Animals show Saturday night, which was – for the record – my 30th (!!!!) Super Furry Animals gig. I too recoiled in horror after reading the previous sentence.
The gig was great, a loose and informal affair in front of a sell-out audience. The Paradise is a great room, although it has a funny shape. It’s very wide, but not very deep. The sides of the club have risers and balconies, so the best view is generally from the sides of the stage. But the sound was superb, as was the vibe from the crowd.
A few hours before the gig, I got an email from David, a reader of the leafblower who wanted to buy me a pint at the gig. After doing so, I bought the next round and insisted he come backstage after the gig to meet the band. We made our way backstage as the last strains of “:Keep The Cosmic Trigger Happy” faded into the night and I introduced him to everyone and we hung out well into the early morning, drinking beer and talking football and whatnot. The recent injury to Eduardo was a big point of conversation, as was the band’s Conan O’Brien taping today. We had two sides arguing for specific songs – myself and the crew on one side and the band on the other. Add in the 37 Stella’s I drank andyou can see where this is going.
Anyways, before I knew it, the driver started up the tour bus, which meant it was my time to head back to the hotel, officially ending my Super Furry road trip of 2008. I think this tour has been really good for the band. They stripped down their show to the bare essentials, letting their songs speak for themselves and from the feedback I’ve heard, the reception has been entirely positive. Another ilb reader, Joyce from NYC, emailed me this morning to say last night’s show in NYC was the best he’d seen the band do in over six years.
I think it’s easy to get caught up in the “show” aspect of the last few tours, and I definitely missed the video of head-banging Ozzy during “Receptacle for the Respectable,” but I think this tour (and album) are a reboot of sorts for the band, and it’s done the trick. You don’t need Yeti costumes when you write perfect pop songs and this tour reminded everyone of that.
On the good news front, there is a possibility of another US tour towards the tail end of the year, which is both exciting and frustrating. Exciting because, hey, more shows! Frustrating because I will either be on my honeymoon or out of vacation days.
I’m not sure if the Conan taping will air tonight or another day, so check your local TV listings. Gruff said the band were supposed to do Conan at the start of the tour but they decided not to do it because of the strike. This will be the band’s second appearance on Conan, the first came back when the band was promoting Rings Around The World. Here’s the mp3:
[mp3] Super Furry Animals | (Drawing) Rings Around The World (live on Conan O’Brien)
It’s Super Furry time again around these parts. Ms. Smith and I are (weather permitting) heading up to Beantown this morning in advance of the SFA show at the Paradise tomorrow night. If you’re going to be in attendance, get at me.
One weekend. Two cities. Three incredible shows. And not a whole lot of sleep. I’ll take it.
Friday’s Buffalo Tom gig was so good it deserves it’s own post, so that will be forthcoming as soon as I get around to editing the photos.
The Furry portion of my weekend was just as incredible. The venue in Philly, The Starlight Ballroom, was really weird. It was like a big dance club that had been converted to a roller-rink. It reminded me of an extra wide version of the 40-Watt Club with a huge dance floor in the middle of the room. The show was all ages, so they cordoned the drinkers off in the back of the room, which kinda sucked. The show was superb though, the highlight being the third ever performance of “Mrs. Spector,” a b-side on the “Fire In My Heart” single from Guerilla. It has long been one of my favorite Furry selections so to finally hear it live was quite a treat.
But the highlight of the weekend came last night during the band’s 9:30 Club performance. On the tour bus after the gig in Philly I had begun lobbying the band to play “Torra Fy Ngwallt Yn Hir” from Radiator, and Gruff seemed to think that sounded like a good idea. Then, about 30 minutes into last night’s set, Gruff started talking about voting irregularities for their online widget and the possibility that the band was going to switch to the caucus system instead. He followed that up by saying “This next song is a request from our good friend Kyle.”
That was the second Super Furry shout out I’ve ever gotten, the first being in Dublin in 2001 when after literally begging them for two straight days the band played “Citizens Band” for “our friend Kyle who traveled a very long way to see us play.” It was just the third time they had ever played that song. Gruff didn’t even know the words, he faked his way through the second verse. It was awesome.
Unfortunately the and are playing pretty much in the dark on this tour, so my photos reflect that. But hey, no complaints from me.
Time permitting I will try and elaborate on everything tomorrow or later in the week.
[mp3] Super Furry Animals | Mrs. Spector
[mp3] Super Furry Animals | Torra Fy Ngwallt Yn Hir
The Super Furries started their US tour on Wednesday in Hoboken, a show I was sadly unable to attend. Totally gutted, obvs. Still, I’m going to see them twice this weekend, so there’s that to look forward to.
Here’s the set list from last night, via punkphoto:
The Gateway Song / Run-Away / Golden Retriever / Ice Hockey Hair / Into the Night / Battersea Odyssey / Down a Dif’rent River / Carbon Dating / Zoom! / The Gift That Keeps Giving / Juxtaposed With U (cut short due to equipment konking out)/ Show Your Hand / Receptacle / Slow Life / (Drawing) Rings Around the World / Baby Ate My Eightball / Hello Sunshine / The Man Don’t Give a F**k / Cosmic Trigger
Not too shabby. The band is letting fans request songs at each gig on the tour, all you have to do is scroll and click.
My suggestions: Nothern Lights, Torra Fy Ngwallt Yn Hir, Mrs. Spector, Hot Nutz, or She’s Got Spies
During the last tour, the band evaded my continuos post-soundcheck interview requests, so this time around, I went through their PR rep.
Leaf v. Guto, the interview!
See you in Philly on Saturday.
Pre-game at DC9 on Sunday.
In the meantime, I’ll be at the Black Cat tonight reliving my college years by taking in Buffalo Tom in all their glory.
Best. Weekend. Ever.
[mp3] Super Furry Animals | Ice Hockey Hair (live)
[mp3] Super Furry Animals | She’s Got Spies (live)
[mp3] Super Furry Animals | God! Show Me Magic (live)
[mp3] Buffalo Tom | Summer (acoustic)