Sunday, February 11, 2007

Bintangs - Café De Stad, Utrecht 11-02-07

Most of you garage fans probably know the Bintangs from their mid-60s recordings that are scattered over Pebbles-like compilations. Good as that stuff is I actually prefer the band's 70s work, when they finally found their own voice somewhere halfway 'tween Exile-era Stones and Wilko's Feelgoods (Try findin' their 1975 album Genuine Bull if possible) Anyways, it was probably 1979 or 80 when I last saw 'em and at that point they were one of the few truly powerhouse live-acts over here in the Netherlands, along-side the Rousers and Nitwitz. Durin' the 80s I kinda lost focus on 'em as most of their shows seemed either farewell gigs or reunions! So it was with some reserve that I accepted the invitation from my friend Jos to tag along and catch the Bintangs at a local bar earlier today.
The place was crammed with about 100 people (if that) and as soon as the band hit the stage all my reservations went straight outta the window. Poundin' out the Diddley beat like there was no tomorrow, they delivered again 'n again playin' nothin' but top notch material spannin' their entire career. Both hits (Ridin' On The L&N, Snake In The Grass) and cool surprises like Exciting Accident and Arthur Alexander's Burning Love. From the original 1961 (!) line-up only Frank Kraaijeveld remains but this current line-up rocks as hard as the one I saw a lifetime ago, never venturing into Stevie Ray Vaughn territory but playin' the R&B game as prophesied by the Pretty Things and/or Downliner's Sect. A lost art-form if ever their was one...
Thumbs up to those at Café De Stad who set this up. It was great to once again see a band like this play in such a modest setting and not in one of the over-sized, over-prized, over-organized soulless places that are the norm these days. A Pubrock-like experience in 2007, what a breath of fresh air...
I did have a mind to go see a couple of movies today but the weather is so godawful that didn't happen. So here are a few loose ends to tie up from the past couple of days...


Some Youtube footage of Art Fein's annual Elvis Bash from January 8th 2007


The Tielman Brothers as recommended by Kevan Aman.


Roky plays Southpaw in Brooklyn on April 13th.


From PJ @ Dirty Water Club... this offer is supposed to be for people on the DWC list but you can either pretend or better still join it if you fancy some of this action...


Fortune Teller Records presents:


A 20-track compilation that includes The Dirtbombs, Mighty Caesars (Billy Childish from the '80s), Snatch (1st time on CD for I.R.T - a Sniffin Glue fave from '77), Minor Threat (who never normally contribute to compilations!), Robert Pollard (Guided By Voices), Television Personalities (two exclusives/covering Kelis and The Who), Schwab, Stewart Home (writer of Slow Death, Pure Mania), X Ray Spex (live at Rock Against Racism '78) and comedians Simon Munnery and Gary Le Strange.

Album is limited to 1,000 numbered copies only.

If you mention that you saw the album advertised here you save money on the shop price! E-mail

Yes, you get it for just £7 + £1 p&p (in the UK)!

Just one copy per address and the offer applies for a short time only so be quick.


Maria Bartiromo (link courtesy of Mr Percival)

From the opening chord of “My First Band”, the work of Ben Vaughn shot up the NBT charts and has cruised the top of those hallowed halls ever since. To me, this guy’s songs are up there with your Dylan, Young and Newman and in my book he’s been known to surpass all of those. “Vaughn sings Vaughn (Volume 1)” sees him revisit some old material. Dusting it off and giving it a fresh new coat of the lacquer that only he can give it. The Desert Classic era Vaughn has come a long away from the North Jersey days but the music still retains that inherent beach-music bounce that it always did. These songs breathe in all types of atmospheres. Just with a lone acoustic guitar or with a band in full flight. The liner note states that “the songwriter – longtime dealer in pop gems – has been perhaps overshadowed by Vaughn the composer.” Very possibly. If you’ve never heard these songs then prepare to be blown clean away. The version of “I’m Sorry (but so is Brenda Lee)” is pure E-Street band and swings like it came straight off Darkness On The Edge Of Town. There are four songs that I don’t recognise. “Beautiful People” is a ragtime paen to give a thought to those perfect individuals. I swear there’s a cheeky wee sliver of Brian Manson’s song of the same name in there but maybe it’s just me. “When?”, “Hotamighty” and “Dead Inside” are the others. Old favourites that get the spring clean are “On The Rebound”, “Shinglaling With Me” and “Lover’s Leap” and a good few more. Back to Peter Gilstrap’s liners… “It’s the first in a series of albums that will offer the complete and utter cataloguing of all songs Vaughn”. That has to be good news. Ben may well have a big house with a (desert) yard these days but he hasn’t lost anything in the process. That he’s able to re-present this material to a whole new prospective audience is indeed a beautiful thing. And if you didn’t pick up “Designs In Music” when you were asked to some moons ago then why not score both of these at the same time. Click here for the scoop or make contact via myspace.

The Sibleys “Tuesday” was recorded live on May 24th (a Tuesday – natch, 2005?) at The Palms Restaurant in 29 Palms. The neighbourhood that Ben calls home these days but that’s not the reason he ended up producing this, their debut album on Satisfaction Records. The facility was closed to customers that day while the band layed down their sparse, sprightly sun-kissed blues. There’s something about this stuff that reminds me of Beat Happening mixing it up with The Roches in terms of feel. It doesn’t sound like either. There’s a kind of Badalamenti score-mood quality to the material. “Shadows” wouldn’t have been out of place in the soundtrack to “Wild At Heart”, it has that grandiose simplicity. “I Don’t Smile (If I Don’t Want To)" has a “Velvets do Gloria” undertow. Seems like it could burst out full speed at any moment but never does. There’s a fractured displacement to “Tuesday” that is possibly down to the relative isolation of where it was recorded. There’s plenty of heart in the performance and this roadhouse spot will no doubt jump on occasion. The Sibleys display a Cowboy Junkies kind of malevolence that could endear them to a vast audience if they snuck in via something like All Tomorrows Parties. Someplace where people have an attention span.