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Live Gig Video: A behind the scenes version of Casiokids’ ‘Golden Years’ in Tokyo

 
By on Thursday, 19th January 2012 at 2:00 pm
 

Casiokids‘ new album ‘Aabenbaringen over aaskammen’ is out now on Moshi Moshi (my review of the release here). And ‘Golden Years’ (not to be confused with David Bowie’s song of the same name) is a great track on the effort.

What happens when you let Norwegians loose backstage in Tokyo? This video. It’s a lot more chill than their manic live performance, I can tell you that. You can catch the band on tour this month, starting tonight in Birmingham (all the details here).

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MnVVTfb4aac[/youtube]

 

Album Review: Casiokids – Aabenbaringen over aaskammen

 
By on Friday, 13th January 2012 at 2:00 pm
 

Yes, they had a song on the FIFA 10 soundtrack, and that’s probably where you’ve heard of them. But I have more important news. Norwegian electronic-driven band Casiokids have a new album out this month, called ‘Aabenbaringen over aaskammen’. I am in the fortunate position of having seen the band perform some of these tracks live when they were last in Washington and physically having the album in my grubby little hands for weeks now, long before any of you. And I can tell you this is one heck of a good album. It’s not perfect, but nothing in nature is. And this is pretty stellar.

Since they’ve started and up to now, Casiokids have stuck to their guns and continue to sing exclusively in Norwegian. They’re certainly not the first band of that region to do so (hello, Sigur Ros and Jonsi) but they’re certainly the first one to bring their infectious brand of dance music around the world, which is why the language is moot: people listen to Casiokids records and go see them live because they will make you feel happy to be alive and the music will force you to dance around like a crazy person. While ‘Fot i hose’ from previous album ‘Topp stemning pa lokal bar’ appeared on the aforementioned FIFA soundtrack and made them more well known, ‘Fot i hose’ lacks a lightness, a colourfulness that pervades the entirety of ‘Aabenbaringen over aaskammen’.

Two songs, ‘Olympiske leker’ (“Olympic Games” in Norwegian) and ‘London Zoo’, appear to be appealing directly to the officials of this year’s Olympics in the capital in the hopes they’ll be chosen to perform at the opening ceremony in late July. (This editor hopes they get chosen and there is not a repeat of Leona Lewis and Jimmy Page’s massacre of ‘Whole Lotta Love’ at the 2008 closing ceremony in China.) Casiokids deserve a gold medal for the synths – some twinkly, some bouncy – and the uplifting feeling of the primary melody repeated throughout ‘Olympiske leker’. What could have been a tedious exercise of “how many synth sounds can we squeeze into 4 minutes?” is instead a joy. ‘London Zoo’ takes longer to get going and is a more muted affair. While we’re on the subject of London (and Britain in general), if you had any question about the band’s affection for Britain, there is an interesting Manchester connection with ‘Aldri ska me ha det gøy‘ (“never shall we have fun”), the last track on the album. According to the band, they wrote the tune’s chorus at the Deaf Institute (and from the looks of it, around the incident of the untimely breakdown of their van in Manchester). Odd, but pretty cool.

Structurally, the song order is arranged nicely. The title instrumental track begins the proceedings a little sleepily. Unless you want the stage set ala Jonsi, this might bore you. But skip forward to track 2 for ‘Det haster!’, which we gave away as a previous MP3 of the Day. Still not super dance mode yet…until the next track, ‘Dresinen’. I’m not really sure how to describe this one except that it’s wonky-waltzy and the harpsichord/accordion-like synth effects makes me think of the Addams Family. Trippy, man. But fun. (Rather hilariously, I learned the song has found its way on the Pro Evolution Soccer [PES] 2012 video game so Casiokids’ beats will continue to beguile football gamers for years to come.)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ufNgOCGebgE[/youtube]

‘Golden Years’, not to be confused with Mister Ziggy Stardust birthday David Bowie’s song of the same name, will bring the tropical air into your cold January rooms. The band start a UK tour next Thursday in Birmingham, and I vouch entirely for the high entertainment value of their live performance (so much that I ranked them #1 on my top gigs of 2011), so yeah, catch them on this tour, you will not be disappointed.

You’d think bonus CD track ‘Dr. Tarzan Monsoon’ would have a similar effect but unfortunately that one is just another instrumental with randomly timed animal sounds. ‘Selskapets triste avslutning’ (an attempt at a wall of sound) and ‘Kaskaden’ (another instrumental but with more dance bite) are more experimental, but the one track I find most interesting is ‘Elefantenes hemmelige gravplass’. I think this translates to “elephant secret cemetery”…what? Forget the name, it’s Casiokids’ stab at creating the vibe of a great ‘80s ballad ala Lionel Richie, and it’s totally unexpected. You can almost smell the hairspray and Wind Song. This is an album that will keep your toes tapping and perky from this winter all through the year.

8.5/10

‘Aabenbaringen over aaskammen’, the new album from Casiokids, will be released next Monday, the 16th of January, on Moshi Moshi. The band heads out on a UK tour, starting in Birmingham, on the 19th.

 

Top Gigs of 2011: Editor’s Picks

 
By on Wednesday, 21st December 2011 at 1:00 pm
 

It’s always hard to nail down your favourite gigs of the year. Sometimes it’s the company you keep; sometimes it’s the excitement in the crowd; sometimes it’s the sound that blows you away. These top 5 gigs were the cream of the crop of my gigging life in 2011.

5. the Coronas at Washington’s Red Palace (Tuesday 8th March 2011) – When you play in a town for the first time, you need to endear yourself to the audience. This Irish band lit up the crowd at this relatively newbie club on the DC scene.

4. the Joy Formidable at Washington’s Black Cat (Friday 25th March 2011) – Any naysayers of ‘The Big Roar’ were quickly turned into fans after the Welsh trio released their sonic wall of fury.

3. White Lies at Washington’s 9:30 Club (Friday 20th May 2011) – The first time Harry McVeigh, Charles Cave and Jack Lawrence-Brown strolled into town (with Friendly Fires as co-headliners at the Cat), they looked very uncomfortable and unsure of themselves. Two years and 2 months later, they returned, dripping with confidence and swagger. They first appeared to us as boys; now they are men!

2. Dutch Uncles at Manchester Deaf Institute (Friday 2nd December 2011) – Manchester band at the top of their game, at home, in front of an adoring crowd. ‘nuff said.

1. Casiokids at Washington’s DC9 (Monday 17th October 2011) – Not too many bands can turn a sleepy, cold club on a Monday night in Washington into an all-out dance party. But Casiokids can – and did. Unbelievable. Definitely the most fun at a gig I’ve had all year, all courtesy of a couple of guys from Norway.

After the jump is a full list of all the gigs, in reverse chronological order, that I’ve been to in 2011 so you can have some idea how difficult my job was to choose favourites for the top 5 list. The runner-up gigs (gigs that fell were in my top 10 but did not make my top 5) are also marked.
Continue reading Top Gigs of 2011: Editor’s Picks

 

Live Gig Video: Casiokids perform ‘London Zoo’ for Radio France Le Mouv’ session

 
By on Friday, 2nd December 2011 at 4:00 pm
 

Following on from a short tour of England last month, Bergen, Norway’s Casiokids have announced a tour of the UK early next year: all the details are below. And now you’re probably wondering why this is a Live Gig Video post. Well, now I get to tell you. The band played their new-ish song ‘London Zoo’ for a live session with Radio France in mid-November, and we share it with you directly after the tour date list.

Thursday 19th January 2012 – Birmingham Hare and Hounds
Friday 20th January 2012 – Manchester Deaf Institute
Saturday 21st January 2012 – Glasgow Captain’s Rest
Sunday 22nd January 2012 – Newcastle Cluny
Tuesday 24th January 2012 – London Cargo
Wednesday 25th January 2012 – Cambridge Portland Arms
Thursday 26th January 2012 – Bath Moles
Friday 27th January 2012 – Tunbridge Wells Forum
Saturday 28th January 2012 – Canterbury Farmhouse

[vimeo]http://vimeo.com/32847227[/vimeo]

 

(Halloween!) Video of the Moment #617: Casiokids

 
By on Monday, 31st October 2011 at 9:00 am
 

Casiokids have a new video for their new single ‘Det haster!’ The email I received about this video had the words “all manner of teddy bear abuse” so I thought it was sinister enough to post on Halloween. An fuzzy ’80s tv icon also meets his untimely end. Intrigued yet? Watch it below.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WM1H5K9JjDY[/youtube]

 

Live Review: Casiokids with Hundred Visions at DC9, Washington, DC – 17th October 2011

 
By on Thursday, 20th October 2011 at 2:00 pm
 

The last appearance of Casiokids at Washington’s DC9 was 1 year, 2 weeks and 3 days of their gig this month at the same venue. However, unlike the 2010 show here that was helped considerably by Liberation Dance Party’s promised open bar and the gig happening on a Friday night, this one was on a Monday, and from what I could tell, it wasn’t heavily advertised either. I was worried that DC wasn’t going to make a good showing but thankfully, my fears were put to rest from the first song the spirited Norwegians played.

Casiokids didn’t have an opener as a Liberation Dance Party headliner the last time, but on this occasion, they brought with them Hundred Visions, a band that despite its name was surprisingly neither a dream pop nor psych rock band. That’s the odd thing about this group. They’re from Austin, Texas, but they sound like an amalgamation of indie rock and country, with an occasional funky bass line thrown in (that threw me for a loop). At the beginning they seemed quite tentative, not sure how the DC crowd would react to them. But then they soon got into a groove, with singer/guitarist Ben Maddox jumping up and down as if he were We Are Scientists’ Keith Murray or Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong. Guitarist Johnny Krueger, with his black baseball cap, looked more Limp Bizkit than the rest of the band who were dressed vaguely indie, but the way he was playing his guitar…like whoa. I didn’t think any band could successfully warm up a crowd for a headliner like Casiokids, but they did their job admirably.

The word ‘energetic’ isn’t sufficient to describe Casiokids’ set. That would be putting it far too mildly. Considering they’d just hopped off a plane from Bergen via Frankfurt and Newark just hours before, they weren’t showing any signs of flagging. As soon as I saw the famed pineapple maraca, I knew we were in for a good show, regardless of it being a Monday night. In a shock move, they just released ‘Aabenbaringen over aaskammen’, their new album, here in North America, Norway and Japan (what do you mean Europe gets this album in January 2012, months later? Really?) and this DC show was the first live American airing of the new material. ‘Det haster!’, the Moshi Moshi single we offered up as a free MP3 of the Day 2 weeks ago, was brilliant, as was ‘London Zoo’, the song which Ketil Kinden Endresen commented that they hoped they would be able to perform at the London Olympics next year. Dare to dream, eh?

The last song though was the icing on the cake: ‘Fot i hose’, the song appeared on FIFA 10 that made them globally known, was extended, with everyone in the front row offered some kind of percussion while everyone in the club kicked up their heels. Unfortunately, with camera in hand, your faithful editor never managed a hand on the proferred pineapple but you can’t have everything, can you… And while the show was nowhere near as rammed as their last show in our fair city, it didn’t matter. Well done, Washington, you showed yet again that this city should be considered alongside DC and LA as a tour stop that is completely viable for dance bands. And of course well done, Casiokids. They still sing in Norwegian and that’s no barrier at all to the multi-coloured dance party they bring wherever they go.

After the cut: set list.
Continue reading Live Review: Casiokids with Hundred Visions at DC9, Washington, DC – 17th October 2011

 
 
 

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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF was edited by Mary Chang, based in Washington, DC.

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