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DFI Musikfilm Festival 2016: Our Picks

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Copenhagen’s Cinemateket is back with another edition of Musikfilm Festival, a film festival dedicated to music documentaries, rockumenatries, gigumentaries and more neologisms we can’t be bothered to come up with right now. It’s a chance to see what goes on behind the scenes of the music world, as well as a celluloid window into some of the most mythical concerts of the last half century. Behold, our picks for the coming week:

Daft Punk Unchained (Saturday, 16:30)

The festival opens with the (free!) showing of Daft Punk’s odyssey from the brash kings of ‘French touch’ to the robot-headed, disco overlords of today. Expect lots of teasing about “the men behind the masks”, hordes of celebrities quite rightly, if self-servingly, gushing over them, and the burgeoning realization that Homework is still the best thing they ever did. CC.

Sing Me the Songs That Say I Love You: A Concert for Kate McGarrigle (Sunday, 17:30)

Kate McGarrigle’s death in 2010 was a major loss for folk music, and the musical family she left behind. Her children, Martha and Rufus Wainwright, have McGarrigle’s influence written all over their careers (sorry Loudon), which they drive home with this tribute concert from 2011. Brace yourself for added emotional intensity from personal photographs and anecdotes, and because no one does emotional intensity quite like the Wainwright/McGarrigle family. AF.

Industrial Soundtrack for the Urban Decay (Tuesday, 21:30)

It’s all in the name, really. If you’re into brutalist architecture, the clanging of metal, and that peculiarly British sense of liberation through grimness, this is the film for you. Starting with industrial legends like Throbbing Gristle and Cabaret Voltaire, the film looks at the influences and influence of the genre that bridged the gap between pop music, avant-garde art and post-modern theory. CC.

Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars (Tuesday, 21:45 and Sunday, 19:15)

If you’re still feeling sad about Bowie, you can find one of a million rips of Cracked Actor on YouTube, or you can sit in on one of these screenings with a room full of other people sharing your feelings. This classic 1973 concert film is young Bowie in all of his technicolor splendor and still offers the right amount of weird more than 40 years later. We’re not saying we’ll cry during “Rock ‘n’ Roll Suicide,” but we’d appreciate it if you’d avert your eyes. AF.

The Possibilities Are Endless (Wednesday, 19:00)

Edwyn Collins is the former Orange Juice frontman, Postcard Records founder, and the guy behind “A Girl Like You,” which his been licensed a million times. His role as respected indie stalwart was nearly destroyed after a brain hemorrhage left him paralyzed down his right side and only able to say “yes,” “no,” his wife’s name, and “the possibilities are endless.” Yet Edwyn is still writing and recording music today, and this is the story of how. AF.

Mavis! (Thursday, 19:15)

Mavis Staples is surely one of the perfect subjects for a documentary film: a lifetime of music, civil-rights activism, and a never-ending string of collaborations with the great and the good in American music (her latest album includes songs written for her by Nick Cave, Neko Case and Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon). Take a gander and find out just why everyone wants to work with Mavis, and why Bob Dylan wanted to marry her. CC.

Hot Sugar’s Cold World (Thursday, 21:15)

After splitting up with his girlfriend, field-recording musician Hot Sugar goes hunting for new sounds in Paris. It sounds more like a Tao Lin novel than a music documentary, but if you didn’t convulse with rage while reading Taipei you can probably take this too. But I will admit that this film first sparked my interest because I was not expecting to read the names of both Jim Jarmusch and Neil deGrasse Tyson in the blurb. CC.

The Amazing Nina Simone (Friday, 19:15)

Look, the forthcoming Nina Simone biopic is a trash fire that’s already started smoldering. Forget it exists and look instead to this  semi-authorized documentary about Simone’s incredible work as a jazz singer, a protest singer, and a civil rights activist. It won’t downplay the controversy the music or the person; Simone was a complex character of the sort Americans could take inspiration from in an election year. Let’s not let that be upstaged by a controversial casting decision. AF.

LIVE REVIEW: HEALTH, Pumpehuset, 12.10.15

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Photos by Tom Spray (www.tom-spray.com)

Defining HEALTH in 2015 is not as easy as it once was. On their first two records the band mixed the cold synth noise of peers like Crystal Castles with mathematically precise drumming and razor-blade guitar riffs. But chatting backstage with bassist John Famiglietti, it is evident that he is just as enthusiastic talking about Daft Punk as he is Mudhoney. And their latest album, Death Magic, released a full six years after their sophomore effort, is evidence of that bridging interest in both pop and experimental music.

Throughout Death Magic, though it veers between blasts of noise and calculatedly danceable tracks, there is a common thread, a pessimistic gaze that finds nothing to separate mainstream and alternative. And when you consider that the hits of today include the disaffected moroseness of the likes of the Weeknd, or witness Miley Cyrus’s doomed attempt at edginess, it isn’t hard to be convinced that we are living in an uncomfortable yet fascinating transition period where words like “pop” and “indie” express mere quantitative, rather than qualitative, differences.

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And yet, tonight I do hear a difference. HEALTH’s live sets are well known for their energy and abandon, the band carefully planning out the setlist to maintain peak attention. They scramble in between songs to minimize the gaps, tearing through the set at a blistering pace. Songs are cut off as soon as they risk losing steam, at times reprised later in the set. But in spite of all this amazing display of dedication towards the craft of live performance, it is very easy to pick out the old HEALTH from the new. New tracks like “MEN TODAY” and “NEW COKE” (note: HEALTH are dedicated to the art of caps-lock) still thunder with a violent obsession that borders on grind-core, but there are heartbreaking moments when drummer BJ Miller starts playing a four-to-the-floor disco beat (see “LIFE”) and it all threatens to fall apart at the seams.

What you discover listening to HEALTH today is that their most interesting associations with pop music have absolutely nothing to do with their lately-acquired Depeche Mode pretensions. It is rather in the fact that their moments of drum madness and feedback loops bring to mind Kanye West’s “Black Skinhead” rather than Crystal Castles. Pop music has sporadically moved closer to the experimental, with greater results than the inverse move. It is true that the topic uncovers a cultural divide between the US and Europe, where we tend to be much more staunchly divisive. But one only has to hear the band tear through a bleeding-edge rendition of “We Are Water” to be reminded why we should still allow HEALTH the benefit of the doubt. A band that can make a track like that sound as urgent as the first time we heard it might still go on to do great things.

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LIVE REVIEW: Daughter, Store Vega, 8.11.2013

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It’s only seven months since Daughter last played Copenhagen. In that time, they’ve not only been bumped up from Lille Vega to Store Vega, but they’ve managed to sell out the big room as well. It’s pretty impressive for a band that’s only existed for three years.

But there’s an odd vibe throughout the show. The band take a few songs to warm up, but even then the energy is low. The vocals are swallowed up by the guitars, which, on the one hand works in a seamless, wall-of-sound way, but on the other drowns out all of Elena Tonra’s lyrics.

It is interesting to see how much of their sound is achieved by bowing guitars, what’s played lived and what’s sampled, and to watch Tonra and Igor Haefeli swap between guitar and bass. Haefeli is the more energetic of the two guitarists; not being saddled with as many vocal duties, he moves around the stage more, and seems more in the moment. Tonra, to her credit, maintains good eye contact with the crowd, which does go a long way to making a big room feel smaller.

But there is still the incessant chatter of the crowd to bring the mood down. Though ready enough with their applause, conversations can be heard through every song, and voices shout over every quiet part where Tonra’s hushed vocals should finally be clear. Maybe this is the downside of Daughter not playing at an ear-splitting volume. There are a few songs, such as “Human” and “Youth,” where the music and  lights coalesce perfectly, and everyone is taken in.

Which is why it’s depressing that the biggest reaction of the evening comes during the encore when Daughter announce that they’re going to play a cover. Everyone in the room knows they’re going to play their broody version of Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky,” and it feels unfair that a novelty cover of this year’s biggest song is what people really seem to want to hear. Tonra has thanked the crowd with a nervous laugh more than once during the set for being so nice. Are we really?

Photo from Daugher’s April show at Lille Vega.

ARTICLE: Who will headline Roskilde Festival 2014?

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Its almost like talking about Christmas on December 26th but still people are starting to speculate to who will be headlining Roskilde Festival 2014 which is set to take place between 28th June to 6th July. Although its early in the day certain patterns emerge with festivals and heres our list as to who we think is likely to grace the hallowed Orange Stage in 2014.

Arcade Fire

Why?: Three flawless albums and another just around the corner with the release of their forth studio album Reflektor on October 29th. They’re set to go on a worldwide tour in support of Reflektor starting off down under at Big Day Out Festival, come summer they’ll hit the shores of Europe expecting to play some of the largest festivals this fine continent has to offer, what other festival is bigger in Scandinavia than Roskilde Festival?

Last played the festival: 2007 (The year of the flood)

Likelihood of them appearing: Highly

Trentemøller

Why?: Roskilde always try give a diverse mixture of Danish and International headliners and across the rest of the bill for that matter. Hes about to release new album Lost September 23rd. Trentemøller has already announced shows across Europe and North America with his popularity only growing since his last headline show of Roskilde in 2009.

Last played the festival: 2009

Likelihood of them appearing: Almost certain

Rage Against The Machine

Why?: Roskilde’s organisers are friendly people and each year they ask who the public want to see play their festival, each year RATM top that list (or somewhere close), we appreciate that they’re a tough band to book since they only play shows when it suits them. Next July will mark 3 years since they last played live together, however, theres every chance 2014 could be that year with them strongly rumoured to play LA Rising in August, Roskilde and a string of other festival dates in the summer of 2014 could be a nice warm up.

Last played the festival: 1996

Likelihood of them appearing: Slim, but theres every hope

Daft Punk

Why?: After dropping Random Access Memory this year we all expected them to play at least a few festival slots with strong rumours of them appearing at Primavera Sound, Glastonbury and even Roskilde. This unfortunately never happened. And while appearances from them have been minimal this year they made a short appearance at the MTV VMA’s last week and this could work as a snowball effect to have them announce concerts and festivals “around the world” next year.

Last played the festival: 1997

Likelihood of them appearing: Doubtful

Jay-Z or Kanye West (or both together)

Why?: The always active Brooklyn/Chicago rappers both have recently released their own albums Magna Carta Holy Grail/Yeezus (respectively) this year, common trend with these two is that they hit the European circuit a year or so after dropping an album. However both have just had their first children, this could deter them, however they’re entrepreneurs and know the value of touring.

Last played the festival: 2008/2009

Likelihood of them appearing: Fairly good

Eminem

Why?: He just played Reading/Leeds festivals last weekend and he’s about to release Marshall Mathers LP 2, I’m sure he’ll want to play a handful of European shows in support of the album. He’s isn’t as relevant as he was back in 1999 and sure he’s cleaned up his act, but he’s still got a back catalogue of hits worthy of any festival.

Last played the festival: Never

Likelihood of them appearing: Miracles can happen

Mew

Why?: They’re about to release their forth album and again another Danish band worthy of being a headliner. Although what goes against them is that they played Orange stage back in 2012, that wasn’t so long ago but they surely can’t miss out on booking them again.

Last played the festival: 2012

Likelihood of them appearing: Likely….but…..

Blur

Why?: With rumours of new material and them playing most other large festivals across Europe in recent years, 2014 could be the year they make it back to Roskilde Festival, after all Damon Albarn has a long lasting relationship with the festival having played recently with Gorillaz and three times previously with Blur. They performed at SmukFest in 2012 and this year could finally be the year they roll out the hits once more to a 60,000 strong crowd rejoicing to epic sing-a-longs to one of Brit pops finest bands.

Last played the festival: 2003

Likelihood of them appearing: Good chance

Vampire Weekend

Why?: Its sometimes hard to constitute who a headliner is at Roskilde, although they most likely won’t be billed as a headliner theres a good chance if they book Vampire Weekend they’ll make an appearance on the Orange Stage in a similar slot to what The National played at this years festival. The band released their third album Modern Vampires Of The City earlier this year to critical acclaim, their first two albums secured them headlining spots at several high profile festivals across the globe and have now proved themselves worthy headliners. What better music to hear on a Saturday evening as the sun is setting over the Orange Stage than Vampire Weekend?

Last played the festival: 2010

Likelihood of them appearing: High

Wu-Tang Clan

Why?: The Staten Island rap collective played many high profile festivals worldwide this year including their set at Vangaard Festival in Copenhagen. That hyped set has left fans purring for more and will most likely be one of the top 5 bands the fans vote to headline the festival in 2014, after all it will mark 10 years since they last played Roskilde!

Last played the festival: 2004

Likelihood of them appearing: High!

LIVE REVIEW: MS MR, Rust, Copenhagen, 28.08.2013

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RUST is not a big venue. The concert tonight is sold out, and so the audience, many of whom are female, is crammed close. The crowd is very hip, but then again, so is the band. The Brooklyn pop duo have remixed MØ and have been remixed by CHVRCHES, were fallen for by the blogosphere, oh, and she has colourful hair. So far, so somewhat predictable.

However, as the concert begins, and singer Lizzie Plapinger releases the low, sultry tones of “Bones” upon the audience, I start to think there might be more to this band than comes across on their debut album, ‘Secondhand Rapture’.

Mid-way through the concert, Max Hershenow, Plapinger’s partner, producer and keyboard player, explains, “Lizzie and I started MS MR three years ago now, in my bedroom, or cupboard turned studio. I didn’t know I could produce and Lizzie didn’t know she could sing, so when we first started we thought it would be easier to do a cover.” The duo then performed Patrick Wolf’s “Time of My Life”, as they had done three years ago. Those comments come as a surprise upon hearing Plapinger’s voice, which has been on top form all night. It’s great on record, but a bit too girlie. Live, it’s more raw and real, underneath echoey vocal effects. They follow the Wolf cover with “Fantasy”, aptly chosen to co-ordinate with Plapinger declaring the Danes have “lived up to your stereotype” of being “so sexy!”

The most striking observation to make about the concert is how incredibly likeable the band are. Plapinger’s focused, but there’s an innocence and excitement that radiates from her onstage. By “Salty”, the third track of the night, she’s warmed up and confident, and has shaken off some of the awkward if charming nerves. Between songs, and sometimes during them, she cannot help but beam in disbelief. There are few seamless transitions; before “BTSK” for instance, Plapinger says “It’s really hot, I hope you’re well lubricated,” before screwing her face, giggling and adding “take that as you will.” But even the awkward stage banter and audience interaction is engaging. There’s something of the good girl trying to be rebellious as she climbs onto the drum set for “Head Is Not My Home” towards the end of the set. Of course, she’s been supported by Hershenow’s killer keyboard skills, which he’s on occasion employed to fill and complement the clunky gaps between songs. “We’ll all wait whilst you drink some water, Lizzie,” Max teases. It’s obvious that the chemistry between the two is at the heart of this band, from the dizzy sidelong looks to the samba dancing intervals.

Unsurprisingly, the final song is “Hurricane”. Plapinger’s voice is getting tired, she’s missing notes, and the focus is waning, but the enthusiasm and energy is infectious. As the curtain is drawn and Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” fills RUST’s speakers, the audience continues to dance. The concert was not flawless, but it was the imperfections that made it great.

VIEW THE LIVE PHOTOS HERE

Roskilde Festival 2013 | The full line up

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A few weeks ago we wrote up an article ‘The Line Up So Far….’, listing must see/recommended bands that had already been announced for Roskilde Festival 2013:

Sigur Ros
King Krule
Animal Collective
Savages
Crystal Castles
The National
Danny Brown
Highasakite

Unfortunately our “wildcard” Daft Punk wasn’t booked after all, not that it came as a shock given the headliners were already picked. No doubt they’ll bring ‘Random Access Memory’ to Roskilde (and the rest of the world) next year.

Anyway, now that we’ve seen the full line up heres an update on a few additional names we’ve added to our list of must see acts at this years festival………

 

Metz

 

EL-P

 

Schultz and Forever

 

Bobby Womack

 

Simian Mobile Disco

 

Iceage

 

Queens Of  The Stone Age

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club

 

Check out the rest of the line up HERE

 

Roskilde Festival 2013 | The Line Up So Far….

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In light of Roskilde Festival’s announcement this morning, at Here Today we thought we’d go to the trouble of compiling a list of the “must see” acts that’ll be performing at this years festival. The full line up is set to be released on the 18th April 2013 but until then heres a list of some of the bands we highly recommend seeing.

Sigur Ros – One of the most highly anticipated acts to play Roskilde this year and an early announcement for the festival organisers. After the release of their 6th studio album ‘Valtari’ the band went on a world wide tour playing most major cities across Europe only to miss out Copenhagen (the highest populated city of Icelander’s outside of Iceland), meaning they had something special up their sleeve and after just announcing they’ll be releasing ‘Kveikur’ in June 2013, their set on the Orange Stage is set up to be an extremely special concert.

Stage prediction: Orange

 

King Krule – Playing under the moniker of King Krule, 18 year old, Archy Marshall paints a picture in his songs of what its like to grow up in this generation in London, UK. He’s been labeled as the Joe Strummer of the 21st century and was recently nominated in the prestigious BBC Sound Of 2013.

Stage prediction: Odeon

 

Animal Collective – Trippy projections, inflatable caves, giant fluorescent teeth….all feature in the world Animal Collective have created themselves on their latest tour. The experimental psychedelic outfit will bring a similar visual set to Roskilde health permitting, they’ve recently had to cancel their US tour due to illness. Fingers crossed!

Stage prediction: Arena

 

Savages – London based all female post-punk/rock band Savages formed in 2011 and quickly rised from the underground scene having gained a reputation with their intense raw live shows. They’re set to release their debut album late 2013.

Stage prediction: Pavilion

 

Crystal Castles – Over the past 5 years electro duo Crystal Castles have been creating festival dance anthems but are better known for their live shows, you’ll generally find Ethan Kath hunched over his synths while Alice Glass is either found reclusively curled up onstage sipping on a bottle of vodka between performing epileptic dance moves or stage diving.

Stage prediction: Arena

 

The National – Last time the band played Roskilde Festival in 2010 to an over flowing tent at Arena, 2013 will surely see them play to the masses at the Orange stage. They’re a band that have seen an increase in popularity since releasing a string of critically acclaimed albums including ‘Alligator’, ‘Boxer’, ‘High Violet’ and are due to release ‘Trouble Will Find Me’ in late May, featuring guest appearances from Sufjan Stevens, St Vincent, Sharon Van Etten and Arcade Fire’s Richard Reed Parry. Perhaps we’ll see a collaboration at Roskilde Festival?

Stage prediction: Orange

 

Danny Brown – Exuberant Detroit rapper Danny Brown released his debut album ‘The Hybrid’ in 2010 launching him into the lime light of the US rap scene, his follow up ‘XXX’ was voted #1 hip-hop album of the year by Spin. He’s collaborated with several rap artists including A$AP Rocky and Das Racist. On his next album ‘Old’ (scheduled for release late summer) A$AP Rocky has returned the favour collaborating on said album along with Schoolboy Q, Ab-soul, Kitty and Purity Ring.

Stage prediction: Cosmopolitan

 

Highasakite – After already breaking out of their native Norway, the early part of 2013 has seen the band playing world wide showcases taking them to Eurosonic, By: Larm, SXSW etc. They’re debut EP ‘In And Out Of Weeks’ was release at the start of March, lead single from the EP “Indian Summer” and received praise from both Pitchfork and Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon.

Stage prediction: Pavilion

 

THE WILDCARD! 

Daft Punk – There was a lot of speculation in January 2013 as to whether Daft Punk will be playing live shows in 2013, several fake announcements were made tipping them to play at Primavera, Wireless and Roskilde to name a few. They appear to remain at the top of most festival goers wish list. Since then theres been a lot of static, until last week when they announced the release of a new album ‘Random Access Memories’ which is set to be released 21st May 2013. If they manage to book the French electronic duo this is what to expect………….

Stage prediction: Orange

 

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