Monday, August 21

THE CONCRETES


After Friday's post on the Knife, we're staying in Stockholm to suck down some pickled fish and to take an in-depth listen to the Concretes. (True, in-between, we had a brief stopover on Sunday in Montreal - birthplace of cool-cat crooner William Shatner. But surely Shatner is as huge in Sweden as Jerry Lewis is in France and David Hasselhoff is in Germany, yes?)

Until fairly recently, I was only familiar with the Concretes' 2006 release, In Colour. You may already be familiar with that album, or at least with a number of its tracks. You may NOT know that the band first formed way-the-hell-back in 1995 as a three-piece, then gradually added members thereafter. As far as U.S. releases go, the group has put out two proper albums, as well as a U.S.-only collection of b-sides and extras in 2005 (Layourbattleaxedown). They've also been a bit cursed when it comes to working with record labels - with their first two efforts ending in utter frustration.

Despite receiving wide acclaim for In Colour, the Concretes have experienced even more frustrations in 2006. First, while touring the U.S., they had the bulk of their instruments stolen. Then, they had to cancel a number of dates on that tour due to "illness." Finally, just about a month ago, the group announced that lead singer Victoria Bergsman had left the band to... you guessed it... "pursue a solo career."

The Concretes, however, are forging ahead - getting together this September to begin recording their next album. Life, as they say, goes on....

From the LP In Colour, 2006 >>>
[MP3] "Chosen One"
[MP3] "Song for the Songs"

From the LP Layourbattleaxedown, 2005 >>>
[MP3] "Oh Baby"

From their self-titled LP, 2004 >>>
[MP3] "Seems Fine"
[MP3] "Lonely As Can Be"

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