Half Moon Run- “She wants to know just who I am…She can make you work for the worth that she has”

Half Moon Run– Rough Trade, London

(January 31, 2013)

Half Moon Run (my favorite new disocvery of 2013) is a talented young band from Canada that was born out of hardships/desperation in Montreal’s Mile-End district. The original trio (now quartet) were motivated to create a unique sound restless indie, pop and folk layered with beautiful rhythmic harmonies, delicate guitar lines and subtle electronica.

Devon Portielje’s remarkable voice is beautifully backed up by Connor Molander and Dylan Phillips. Phillips often plays drums and keys simultaneously as Molander and Portielje shuffle between guitar, keys, samplers, and percussion. Just last year (2013), picked up a 4th member, multi-instrumentlist Isaac Symonds, who adds vocals, guitar, mandolin, keyboards and percussion. Altogether, the create a soundscape of folk harmonies with psychedelic arrangements and a hint of Radiohead-esque electronica. The selling point for me was when they used TRIPLE DRUMS (staggered “hocketing” style) for their huge hit, ‘Call Me in the Afternoon.’  The only other bands I have seen do triple drums since then are The Boxer Rebellion (song called ‘New York’) and Wild Cub (song called ‘Thunder Clatter’). I am STILL LEVITATING from their performance at Village Underground (first time I saw them), and had to see them THREE MORE TIMES (Green Man, O2 Shepard’s Bush, Rough Trade East) when they were touring through the UK that same year.

They are just an insanely talented musicians with siiiiiiick stage presence and dramatic gestures that ooze all sort of sexiness. They seem SO COMFORTABLE with the crowd (always engaging with us), and it might have something to do with the fact that they toured for a few years in Canada before they came over here to play.  And there are so many layers of sounds that I never know what beat to move my body to! It’s hard to pick favorites, but I must say that Call Me In the Afternoon, She Wants to Know, Give Up, Judgement, Full Circle, Fire Escape, and 21 Gun Salute are on the top. I also really enjoy their acoustic, folk-driven cover of Pink Mountaintop‘s Creature, which they always save for the end and bring a wooden board out on stage to create fierce, feverish STOMPS. Plus, it’s one of the only songs they whip out the lovely mandolin for.

It happened to be CRAZY ODDS that my FAVORITE NEW BAND of 2013 (Half Moon Run) were playing ON MY BIRTHDAY (see videos/pics of the O2 Shepard’s Bush gig in November). Very lucky lady indeed! My head was BOBBING AROUND non-stop (like a true Bobblehead) from all the hypnotic beats, seductive guitar lines, and sexy vocals. Restless elements of indie, pop, & folk fused together to create an irresistible sound. Not to mention that they could basically win an academy award for their animation on stage. Devon (lead vocals) was SLAYING HIS GUITAR so hard that he actually CUT HIS FINGERS on the strings and continued to play with BLOOD SMEARING ALL ACROSS THE SHAFT. That’s DIE HARD right there, and I was right in front to see it unfold before my eyes. 

In the end, I was VERY LUCKY to have met these magic makers (see pic of me and Devon below) at both Green Man and Rough Trade East, and I CAN’T WAIT to see them again when they play the British Summertime Festival at Hyde park this Saturday (July 12, 2014) with Neil Young, The National, Tom Odell, and Lucy Rose.

VIDEOS:

21 Guns Salute:

Judgement:

Unofferable:

Call Me in the Afternoon:

She Wants to Know:

PICTURES:

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Half Moon Run– O2 Shepard’s Bush Empire, London

(Nov 18, 2103)

BEST BIRTHDAY TREAT EVER!!! Front & center for my FAVORITE NEW BAND OF 2103. ❤

VIDEOS:

Turn Your Love:

Unofferable:

Need it:

Give Up:

Full Circle:

She Wants to Know (beginning):

Vampire (Pink Mountaintop cover):

PICTURES:

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Half Moon Run– Green Man, Wales (Aug 18, 2103)

VIDEOS:

Full Circle:

PICTURES:

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Half Moon Run– Village Underground, London

(June 25, 2013)

VIDEOS:

Call me in the Afternoon:   (MY FAVORITE!)

Nerve:

Judgement:

Drug You:

Give Up:

She Wants to Know:

Vampire (Pink Mountain cover):

PICTURES:

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James Vincent McMorrow- “Sometimes my hands they don’t feel like my own, I need someone to love, I need someone to hold”

James Vincent McMorrow– Rough Trade East, London

(Jan 16, 2014)

Had to sell my James Vincent McMorrow tickets for the Barbican on Jan 26th because of the Grand Canaria marathon I ran that weekend, so I was SUPER LUCKY to have caught him at his in-store gig at Rough Trade East. This Irishman has pipes that could make the gods weep, no joke. HELLOOOO FALSETTO! (see the videos below if you don’t believe me) He’s also really goofy and made the audience laugh plenty of times with his stories of insomina, fear of flying, and joggin’ at 5 am in the morning when “all the weirdos are out.” It was really cool to meet this awesome human being, and to have him sign my album (although I almost took his sharpie by accident, haha). DO YOURSELF A FAVOR and get tropical, Post Tropical The first song (Cavalier) of this album is INCREDIBLE, as it Red Dust and Lookout. Thank gosh I had the speakers to lean against because I nearly FELL OVER when James hits that INSANELY HIGH NOTE during Red Dust at 3:30 in.

“Sometime my hands, they don’t feel like my own
I need someone to love, I need someone to hold…”

Another favorite, Look Out, sent me on cloud to far away places. A perfect song for the occasional day dream. 😛

“You’ll be lucky once, when the fall listen to send around.
When the sun comes, dry tears from my eyes.
So you come around as the weather starts to change,
and you settle in. And the best has yet been made.”

Then there was one of my favorites from his first album, Down the Burning Ropes, which has so many twists and turns and is bound to keep you engaged.

“Down the burning ropes
Past the places where the steal beams meet concrete skies
You make your bed under the moonlight
I think it’s time we said goodbye.”

Then came the EPIC We Don’t Eat track that I had fallen in love with 2 years ago and could not get enough of the beautiful piano into…(so much anticipation/emotion conveyed through those simple chords!)…This one speaks so much truth, and send shivers crawling down the spine (especially the third verse when the tempo picks up and James goes at it on the drums). My favorite line (“I’d rather be working for something, than praying for the rain“) builds up to the chorus that we all know by heart:

“We don’t eat until your father’s at the table
We don’t drink until the devil’s turned to dust
Never once has any man I’ve met been able to love
So if I were you my friend, I’d learn to have just a little bit of trust.” (TRUTH)

Unfortunately James only had time for one more, and I think we all knew it would be Cavalier, the star of his new album.

“I remember my first love..”

Such a stunning (yes, I said it) song. Very much for the sexy time. Reminds me of bit of Volcano Choir‘s (side project of Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon) new album, Repave (also one to check out!)

 

VIDEOS:

Red Dust:

Cavalier:

We Don’t Eat:

Look Out:

Down The Burning Ropes:

PICTURES:

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