DIIV - Past Lives (lyrics)

DIIV - Past Lives

Past lives I was your home and you locked yourself outside
and ran with your ghosts
back to a place you'd already known
Nowhere to crawl but to your past life
and hide from it all
a buried flower convinced you'll grow
 kept enough to remind but stayed outside
with nowhere to go you left nowhere to go

words and music by Zachary Cole Smith

DIIV - NXNE, Lee's Palace, June 15 (review, setlist)

There's a very short list for the 'breakthrough' if you like bands of the 2012 NXNE music festival, they include but are not limited to: The Hundred in the Hands, Purity Ring and undoubtedly DIIV.  In spite of Ghostface Killah, and Raekwon The Chef devastating an already Yonge and Dundas Square to close out the festival with a free performance one could make a handy argument that it was these young lads in DIIV (pronounced Dive) two nights prior that stole many of the hearts and minds of this years attendees. 

 They're perspicacious and preternaturally gifted take on whatever their influences happen to be makes one wonder seriously about the exponential rate of talent growth and craftsmanship. Primary songwriter Zachary Cole Smith (Cole will do), as distinguished from bandmate and former Smith Westerns drummer Colby Hewitt, declared at outset that they'd be playing their forthcoming 2012 release for Captured Tracks in its entirety: Oshin.

Later Cole conceded that despite dropping in a few 'new' songs (Big Joke) the set largely followed the analog flow of their distinctive release.  My listening companion heard the obvious strains of homage and reference to Ian Curtis and Joy Division, but also Echo and the Bunnymen or even the Stranglers.  Though not fully evident on the recorded product, the relatively terse and succinct pop numbers, were stretched out into filetted slivers of sound and dense guitar interplay that belied their tender years.  This listener was reminded fondly of two concerts he'd seen Built To Spill play in the selfsame venue a couple of years back.  The appeal of DIIV seems to lie somewhere between the Christopher-Robins-In-Never-Neverland waifish (and very Ian Curtisian) charm of Z. Cole Smith and the long soloed crunch of influential guitar based bands like Dinosaur Jr. and the latter Built To Spill albums.  They're short, wistful inspired bits of (sometimes maudlin) songwriting brought to life on the backs of a wooly improvising beast.  It may be also that the band prefers the effects, pedals and signal processing sound associated with the 80's but that their pushing magnificent solos inspired by the 90's through vintage setups.

DIIV, Lee's Palace, June 15

Past Lives
Big Joke
Air Conditioning
How Long Have You Known?
Bambi Slaughter *

* Nirvana cover


Raekwon & Ghostface Killah NXNE, Toronto, June 17 (review, setlist)

Ghostface Killah and Raekwon - NXNE (Sunday, June 17)

Raekwon, Ghostface Killah, DJ Skratch Bastid
Yonge Dundas Square, June 17 2012
(partial setlist, all songs sung as duet)

Incarcerated Scarfaces (Raekwon original)
Ice Cream (Ghostface Killah original)
Glaciers of Ice (Raekwon original, Ghostface featured)
Winter Warz (Ghostface Killah original)
Da Mystery of Chessboxin' (Wu-Tang Clan)
Surgical Gloves (Raekwon)
R.A.G.U. (Ghostface Killah)
Mighty Healthy (Ghostface Killah)
Verbal Intercourse (Raekwon)
Eye for an Eye (Raekwon)
Apollo Kids (Ghostface Killah)
Broken Safety (Raekwon)
4th Chamber (Genius/ GZA)
new mixtape cut (JD Era)
Mt. Olympus (JD Era)
Protect Ya Neck (Wu-Tang Clan)
Raw (Ol' Dirty Bastard)
Uzi (Pinky Ring) - (Wu-Tang Clan)
CREAM - (Wu-Tang Clan)
Can't It Be All So Simple - (Raekwon)

(note: this is a partial setlist - I caught at least 30 musical cues of seperate songs, here's 20 in order that I was able to identify.  More was played after Simple I just had to leave. Anyone with gaps or who heard a different song, sequence or sample please mention on the comments.)