The crash course: How do you feel the Lemonheads?

Evan Dando has led the Lemonheads, on and off, for almost three decades.

The Lemonheads have been around pretty much forever. They never got as big as their peers, but ask someone knowledgeable for a quick primer on American indie rock, and they’ll be mentioned. Evan Dando has led this troupe for almost thirty years (there was, of course, the eight-year break from 1997 to 2005) and have churned out interesting tunes, both originals and covers, and have pretty much positioned themselves as one of indie rock’s luminaries. Tonight they’re performing at Whitespace in Makati (with support from Ciudad, Ang Bandang Shirley and the Itchyworms) so, well, here’s one of our usual crash courses, because I also need to know. [NB]

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The crash course: The ongoing story of Kate Bush

Throughout her career, Kate Bush has become one of the most inventive musicians of our time.

Today, Kate Bush performs at the Hammersmith Apollo in London – her first concerts since 1979. But calling her a recluse based only on that 35-year gap between gigs is doing her a disservice. In the over four decades since she began making music, she has built an oeuvre that is both fascinating and compelling, and has inspired many artists, from Björk and Natasha Khan to Big Boi and Courtney Love. It’s very likely you’ve heard your favorite artist make a reference (or three) to her. So, yes, I know that condensing her career to five songs is also doing her a disservice – there is just a lot to talk about – but as a starter, we might as well get on with it. Ladies and gents, Kate Bush. [NB]

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The crash course: Picking up this Broken Social Scene

Just one of the many configurations of Broken Social Scene.

Today is Canada Day, marking the day in 1867 when three British colonies in North America united under one name: Canada. Oh, Canada, home to much more indie acts than one can shake a stick at, to the point where you’d hear a band and like it and be surprised that it’s from north of that border. For today, we take a look at one Canadian band and its connections to many other acts representing the country (and particularly Toronto) in recent years: Broken Social Scene. I swear, it’s pretty much a smorgasbord. But I must note, again: this is, by no means, exhaustive. No, far from it. [NB]

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The crash course: Malasimbo a-go-go

Omar, Jose Gonzalez and the Robert Glasper Experiment are among the acts appearing at this year's Malasimbo Music & Arts Festival.

Now, Malasimbo isn’t exactly my thing, but as an occasional listener (meaning when I’m still awake at night) to Gilles Peterson’s show on 6 Music, I have to say I enjoy the more chilled, improvisational, wild, I don’t quite know how to describe it side to music. I mean, I could easily call it “soul” or “jazz” or “reggae” but these things, they merge together, and that’s the best part of it, for me. And I think that’s also why I find myself, surprisingly, knowing some of the names who have performed. The same goes for this year, although I will need a bit of a refresher myself, so, yes, another crash course to one of the more interesting niche festivals around. Or at least some of the acts, because there is a lot of ground to cover across those five days. Malasimbo, by the way, starts today and runs until Monday, in Puerto Galera. The full line-up is here. [NB]

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The crash course: Phoenix, live, twelve hours from now

Phoenix went from cult indie darlings to arena-filling, well, indie darlings.

When it was announced that French band Phoenix would be making a stop in Manila, I swear, there was a collective, almost orgasmic, gasp from indie kids everywhere. Maybe it’s a bit of a “finally, we get a concert for us!” kind of gasp. Maybe it’s an “oh my God they’re going here!” gasp. It is a bit unexpected, but at the same time it is. Phoenix is one of the biggest bands in the world right now: they’ve certainly gone a long way from their decidedly left of center origins in Versailles. From being one of the more (arguably) chilled acts coming out of France, they are now filling arenas with their ethereal take on indie pop. And, once again, I am not going to be there. So here’s a crash course, in usual earthings! tradition. [NB]

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