Wednesday, November 24, 2010

@LEGUESSWHO tips by Bob van Heur

After thinking, breathing and eating Le Guess Who? for a year again it's impossible to just recommend 3 bands and I'm afraid it's impossible to see everything. But if I have to make recommendations then I would choose for bands who changed my musical horizon.

The most important for that one and who i am extremely happy with to have at Le Guess Who is Giant Sand (Thu 25 Nov). Growing up in a town called Heythuysen and with the legendary Tom Tom Club just around the corner, Giant Sand is part of my life for about 15 years now. And in 2000 they released one of my all time favorite records called "Chore of Enchantment" on the beautiful Thrill Jockey label. This year it's also Giant Sand's 25th anniversary and 30 records later. And of all the shows i've seen (i lost count) a Giant Sand show has never been the same. Howe has always been exploring and as an audience you just have to wait and see what happens. So far it always have been memorable nights/shows. So definitely a show I look forward to.

On the same day Awesome Tapes of Africa will DJ the "thursday afterparty" at Rasa. One of the photographers who was part of the photo-exhibition at LGW 09 last year, Shawn Brackbill, recommended his website An unbelievable amount of unknown treasures. And up till today I'm still discovering new tunes every day. Aster Aweke, Ali Akeko, The Tigrean People's Liberation Front, and tons of others. please check the blog yourself and search your way trough the sounds of Africa.

On Friday and Saturday Yuri Landman again will organize the workshop building a homeswinger and the worldpremiere of his IKEA version of the Kalimba. Yes the thumb-piano which for example is used by Konono No. 1 to make your brain go completely cookoo. An amplified one ofcourse, otherwise it's no Landman. email if you want to be part of this. His instruments look like art-pieces and sound like nothing else.

On the first day of the festival we will have the legendary SWANS (Wed 24 Nov) play. I discovered Swans after i first discovered Michael Gira's solowork. Since that moment i have been highly fascinated by the intensity and classiness of his appearance. Earlier this year their myspace said "SWANS ARE NOT DEAD" and their last album proves that. According to those who have seen SWANS on their last US and UK tour it will be a lifechanging experience. Yes it will be loud, but only because it will serve the sound. Or like Gira says himself "Soul uplifting and Body Destroying". For those who don't have a ticket, don't worry. There are still a few tickets left for Swans show at Vera, Groningen and they will also headline Roadburn in April 2011 (sales will start saturday of Le Guess Who?). yes. SWANS ARE NOT DEAD!!!

Kristian Mattson aka The Tallest Man on Earth (Sun 28 Nov) is becoming a legend pretty fast. For those who have seen him live before can agree with this. Last time i saw him play was last saturday at a sold out show at Botanique in Brussels. Truly unique person and artist. And am very happy he is playing the closing night of Le Guess Who?.

But yes. there is so much more. So here another four recommendations per day. And still it's not enough....

James Blackshaw - one guitar, twelve strings and heavenly compositions. One of the most unique guitarplayers on the planet.

Eric Chaneaux - One of the most productive musicians on the constellation records label (GSY!BE, Clues, Fly Pan Am, Do Make Say Think). Dark, warm and intense.
The Greenhornes - The Raconteurs at Le Guess Who?. And if you have good songs you don't need Jack White. Their new record will come out on XL early next year.
Ty Segall - With Lemons he made one of the best garagerock albums of last year. For those who are fans of the Black Lips, Oblivians, Jay Reatard
The Strange Boys - There is too much love for this band. Just go, because they are the Strange Boys

Tivoli De Helling - Together with the visuals of Secret Project Robot A/V system and Doodcast Fitz DJ-ing this night will be ideal setting for all those who love the best riffs, psychedelics and mind-blowing grooves.
Trumans Water - Back after a break of 7 years and still relevant. Check their latest album "O Zeta Zunis.
Menomena - Perfectionists pur sang. With their latest album "Mines" they showed how to make a perfect pop-album. But menomena style. always inventive with sound and rhythms.
Kiss The Anus of A Black Cat - the only belgium act at this years Le Guess Who? Kiss the Anus might be a strange band name, but it's so perfectly honest, dark and real you will forgot the cat's black hole as you will be send to place which is a cat-heaven.

Trembling Bells - Glasgow Folk, Classical compistions with enough psychedelic vibes to forget time for a second.
Scientist - A legend in dub. and still his. Rarely plays Europe, so extremely happy to have him play Le Guess Who this year. Space is the place...
Esben and the Witch - If the XX is too easy for you. Listen to Esben & The Witch. Just as cool, but bit more experimental and always with a dark tension lingering just below the surface. Could become one saturdays unexpected highlights for sure.
Baths - modern classical compositions with a hip hop vibe. His record Cerulean is full of little twisted stories which will make you discover new things over and over again.

Wooden Shjips - A band i have been listening to probably the most the last two years. Their records "Vol. 1" "Dos" and "Vol. 2" sucks you into a trance you never want to leave anymore.
Munch Munch - Kaleidoscopic pop music from Bristol. Where Weezer meets Philip Glass. Nope. It's not impossible to put too much creativity into one song.
Marnie Stern - It seems not to make any sense. So many rhythms, melodies and breaks. Marnie Stern makes Marnie Stern-rock. And she is the best at it.
Francis - Never seen them live, but recommended by The Tallest Man. So we completely trust his opinion on this and lots of Swedes have been raving to us about their live-performance.

And actually can go on and on. Black Breath in dBs on Saturday, Grasscut at Tivoli, Idiot Glee at Spiegelbar etc etc
And it wouldn't be Le Guess Who if the program is never finished. So don't be surprised if suddenly see your new favorite band is playing the recordstore, coffeebar or afterparty. It can happen.
Enjoy the wintery scenery of Utrecht city and explore new sounds
thank you!

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