Was just shopping on the tax dodgers site and it seems they are no longer listing track names on albums/cd’s – what on earth is the point of that. One could argue if you are buying a new release cd you don’t need to know the track names but certainly if you are looking at compilations or deluxe versions of releases I would have though it was a pretty basic requirement. I might start buying somewhere else as this is another sign to me that they want you to be streamed music or kindle books. They can fuck right off whist I have the choice.
This months Mojo has a Bowie themed CD Crash Course for the Ravers. It contains much unfamiliar to me tracks by Ian Hunter, Mick Ronson, Gail Ann Dorsey and Robert Fripp amongst others. It is absolutely brilliant and if you are not a subscriber to Mojo I urge you to go out and buy the issue or steal it if you have to.Fabulous stuff. They normally go in the bin after one listen – this one won’t.
What does it sound like?:
I know there are a lot of Gretchen fans on here and I guess a few will be disappointed that her latest release is a tribute to Mickey Newbury rather than a collection of self-penned songs. This review intends to dispel any fears you may have.What you get with any new Gretchen album is one of the best female voices around, great musical backing and fantastic songs. You have all of these elements except that she is interpreting another great songwriters efforts. Mickey Newbury had something of a cult following whilst he was alive but like many others his reputation increased after his untimely death. Firstly I have to say that Gretchen’s voice has matured like a fine wine. If I think back to songs such as On a Bus to St.Cloud or Independence day – her voice had a sweetness and hadnt yet developed the timbre that she now has. It has a huskiness that didnt previously exist and it suits her and the songs. In listening to these songs it is clear that they were a big influence on her own songs – if you take songs like Frisco Depot or San Francisco » Continue Reading.
Amazon Deutschland have a 17 disc boxset Chet Baker – Milestones of a Jazz legend for a tad under £ 15.00 for anyone interested.
I heard this on the radio yesterday and was shocked. I thought I would listen to it again this morning just to check if it was a bad I thought it was. It is. The original is a great uplifting song. Mark Ronson has turned it into a godawful dirge. Off with his head. https://youtu.be/lRysND5-Kj0
Kudos to 6Music for playing my favourite Midlake song Roscoe on my drive in to work this am. Very melodic but strange strange lyrics that I can’t easily make sense off. The line that almost acts as a chorus in a song without a chorus is ‘Whenever I was a child I wondered what if my name had changed into something more productive like Roscoe’. Makes little sense to me either stand alone or in the context of the rest of the song.
We know songs like I am the Walrus are difficult to make sense of but this is a seemingly serious song which I assume is supposed to refer to something. Any other examples out there that you would like to post?
Let me say at the outset that this post is not intended to be either political or controversial but is borne out of something that I have been thinking about and have discussed with friends and colleagues.
I think every generation has a tumultuous event to contend with that will stay with them for years. I can only shape this in terms of my experiences, my parents experiences, my Grandparents experiences and my children’s experiences. My paternal Grandfather survived Ypres whilst my maternal Grandfather was an officer in India, China and an artillery gunner in Gravesend who shot down one of the first Zeppelins over the UK. Both of them in their advancing years reminisced about the First World War to some extent fondly if that is the right word. As they neared their final days both of them had recurring hallucinations that dispelled the fondness which must surely have been a front.
My mum and dad born in 1931 and 1929 respectively were both too young to be active in the war but have vivid experiences. Birmingham was a target for nightly bombing raids and they clearly recall the air raid shelters.Mum was evacuated to a family in Somerset » Continue Reading.
I really like The Thievery Corporation and know there are some fans of theirs on here. However their album The Temple of I and I really didn’t move me when I first heard it and has stayed on my shelf ever since. However I played it on one of my work from home days and have to say have played it about 5 times in the last week. Don’t know whether it is fine weather or a relaxed frame of mind but it has really gelled with me. What albums did you ‘get’ after initially being underwhelmed?
Austria is planning to open its bars and restaurants on 15th May – anyone fancy a pint?
I first heard this in a helicopter flying from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon. I didn’t know of its existence but was instantly taken with it. I haven’t heard it since until today when I was sorting through photos and thought back to that magical day. I know there are many who don’t like the Eagles but I happen to think this song is tremendous and so too this version:
I guess many of us are either working from home or self isolating. I work in an essential industry but work from home alternate days. Its a novelty and gives me chance to play discs that haven’t been aired for a while and catch up on new. Yesterday my Jukebox was:
Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbotts – Manchester calling (delivered that morning – first listen fab) Mike Oldfield – Ommadawn – long time since I played, really enjoyed hearing again. Fela Kuit – Everything scatter Elbow – The take off and landing of everything – a greatly underrated Elbow album Hurray for the Riffraff – Small Town Hero David Bowie – Is it any wonder ep Danny and the Champions of the World – Brilliant Light Goat – Requiem
No doubt this current predicament the World faces is a pile of shit. As a born optimist I have to look to the World post Coronavirus. In view of the fact that pubs and restaurants are taking a right kicking I believe we have a duty to spend a lot of time in them when normality returns. Let’s make sure we have a great fuck off party.
Reading Eltons Autobiography at present and really enjoying it. It inspired me to give Goodbye Yellow Brick road a spin – you don’t get many better opening tracks than this one.
Yesterday we were in London to see the stage performance of Pretty Woman, a Christmas present for my daughter. We were enjoying the show despite two older women behind us grunting and talking throughout the first half of the show and trying to sing the words of the songs that no-one knew. As the first half drew to a close one of the old bats put her hand on my daughters boyfriends shoulder and asked if he could move seats because she couldn’t see. Firstly he is not tall- about 5’10” and secondly it was a sold out show – where exactly was he going to move to? She continued putting her hand on his shoulder and saying she had asked nicely. He asked her not to put her hand on his shoulder. They then proceed to talk loudly between each other that they had upset him. It became quite heated and he walked out of the show because he felt uncomfortable. The discussion carried on a the trouble maker of the two bats said something about our accent. I then lost it: ‘what exactly is the problem with our accent?’ ‘Well its not from London is it?’. ‘So lets » Continue Reading.
Sunday, the weather is miserable – the missus is in Scotland with her brothers visiting her mum and dads grave. I am spending the afternoon tidying up my piles of cd’s and making space on the shelves. As is custom on Sundays I play stuff I haven’t heard for a while. Today I gave Donald Fagen’s Sunken Condos a whirl. I know The Nightfly off by heart but this one less so. What was I thinking ?- this is absolutely superb. I won’t leave it so long next time.
There have been various comments from many of us on here about annoying dickheads at gigs and how to deal with them. Before Christmas I went to see the wonderful My Darling Clementine at the Kitchen Garden Café in Birmingham. This is a lovely venue and not known for a raucous or unruly audience, in fact, far from it. In the second part of the set they had a segment of Elvis Costello referenced songs. Lou was at the keyboard for a beautiful version of A good year for the Roses. Midway through she stopped singing and to a couple no more than 5 yards from her who were apparently in a disagree en t with each other: ‘ I am respecting a serious musician here. At the risk of embarrassing myself will you please shut the fuck up’. Not sure if the please was actually there but it did the trick. The male of the couple abruptly left. Fair play to Lou and the rest of the gig was great.
The end of year charts talks of an Afterword list but nothing seems to be happening so I am taking the bull by the horns and posting mine here. You can either read and disregard or join in, feel free to entertain us all with your own choices:-
(Top 20 only)
1) Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – Ghosteen 2) Angel Olsen – All Mirrots 3) Santana – Africa Speaks 4)Michael Kiwanuka – Kiwanuka 5)Buddy and Julie Miller – Breakdown on 20th Ave. South 6)Lukas Nelson and the Promise of the Real – Turn off the news (Build a Garden) 7)Delines – The Imperial 8) Purple Mountains – Purple Mountains 9)Edwyn Collins – Badbea 10) Jesse Malin – Sunset Kids 11) Bonnie Prince Billy I made a place 12)Allison Moorer – Blood 13) Ebba Forsberg – Take my Waltz 14) Fat White family – Serfs Up 15) Chris Forsyth – All Time present 16) Felice Brothers – Undress 17) The Comet is coming – Trust in the life-force of the deep mystery 18) Yola – Walk through Fire 19) KoKoKo – Fongola 20) Oh Sees – Face Stabber
I had to leave out Bruce and Leonard – both good » Continue Reading.
What does it sound like?:
As an ex smoker I remember Cigarettes after sex – sorry I had to get that one in. An intriguing name for a band that’s for sure. Didn’t know much about them and the reviews I read likened them to Mazzy Star. To my ears I would say more like Yo La Tengo or even Khurangbin. A woozy sound with trance like vibes but highly melodic and extremely addictive.Singer Greg Gonzalez sounds quite feminine in parts as he has a breathy voice.Opener Don’t Let me go and third track in Heavenly became instant eagworms that got multiple spins – a really lovely sounding album, the songs all seem about relationships in different stages and some odd lyrics referring to someone ‘drinking a slurpy in a peach baseball cap’. American bands seem to be the ones doing something new these days – not sure where they would be categorised but quite poppy in their melodies. Although a new release this was recorded in 2017 in Mallorca so it is hoped they may have more new material they are working on.
What does it all *mean*?
a conventional four piece of guitar, keys, bass and drums » Continue Reading.
Every once in a while I see a gig that completely surpasses my expectations. This gig on Friday night at the lovely Union Chapel was one such gig. I really like this band but on record it would be easy to misinterpret the stately pace of most of their songs as something that wouldn’t translate to the live setting. That couldn’t be further from the truth. The music is surprisingly intricate – it is their skill as musicians that makes it appear less so. In lead singer Amy Boone they have a voice that is so pure yet so soulful that comparisons to Dusty Springfield are inevitable. The difference being the lyrics of Willy Vlautin. He is one America’s best young novelists and he brings a cinematic experience to the songs. Peopled by losers, petty thieves, heartbroken and down and outs there is always something interesting happening. I particularly like the songs where keyboardist Corey Grey doubles on trumpet which lends a melancholy air to songs when needed which given the subject matter is quite frequent. Drums were from another member of Richmond Fontaine Sean Oldham. Richmond Fontaine were probably too austere at times » Continue Reading.
Fox Lowe Arts Centre, Leek
Oh the irony. Chip Taylor is a hero of mine and I found out he was doing a short tour of the UK. His Birmingham date at the Kitchen Garden Cafe was on Monday night and I couldn’t go because it clashed with tickets I had for Dawes in London. As it was I couldn’t make the Dawes gig due to work but could have made the Brum date. As it was I had the bonus of a gig in a splendid venue I not been to before but which I will certainly go back to. Lovely acoustics, friendly people and great beer. Chip is something of a legend in my house – writer of Wild Thing and Angel of the morning are enough to have earned him a decent living but variously he has been a professional gambler, an attempt at being a professional golfer and a Whiskey Salesman which is the title of his most recent album. For 79 he looks in good shape. Accompanied by that youngster John Platania at a mere 71 and a Norwegian keyboard player Goran Grini who is a whippersnapper nearer to half their » Continue Reading.
We reached empty nest status in our house last September when our daughter toddled off to University. She came home last Christmas however so having a tree was a prerequisite. This year is different – we are visiting her in London for Xmas eve, Xmas day and Boxing day. We are in early discussion about whether we should actually bother getting a tree – we are leaning towards not bothering as the post xmas Christmas disposing of is a faff. I do however like the ambience and the smell of the pine needles.
Another thing that has surprised me is that the environmentalists have not yet launched a campaign to get ride of real xmas trees. Is that to come or are they not environmentally unfriendly?
What does it sound like?:
Firstly, I confess to knowing nothing about Ebba Forsberg until I bought this cd. Leonard Cohen songs have been with me since I was 15 so I was intrigued plus I liked the cover. Ebba Forsberg has made a name for herself in her native Sweden both as a singer songwriter, an interpreter of others songs and also as an actress apparently. Something I assume our Swedish contingent can attest to. So onto the music – it is absolutely beautiful. She has a lovely crystal voice and the sparse jazzy instrumentation lends itself perfectly to the largely contemplative mood that the songs convey. She has gone for some of the more well known of Lens songs coupled with some lesser known. We get great versions of both Suzanne and Sisters of Mercy from his debut masterpiece but it is the closing Who by Fire that really lights up proceedings. The backdrop is sensual woodwind and keys, brushed drums and largely acoustic and Spanish guitar. All of the interpretations drift away from the originals mostly in a subtle way, occasionally more radically. If I had one criticism it is that she includes Hallelujah which by » Continue Reading.
It has been announced that HMV are planning to open a new concept ‘experiential’ store in Birmingham under the brand HMV Vault. It will sell physical product but will have a permanent stage with regular bands playing, band signings etc and will apparently be the biggest of its kind in Europe. Its brave move and I applaud their approach to trying something different. Proud also that it is in my home city – I hope it works out for them.
As part of the Proms season there was an excellent show on BBC4 last night – a homage to Nina Simone with some extraordinary performances from The Metropole Orkest and Lisa Fischer amongst others. A really great version of Baltimore and Mississippi Godamn. Check it out on BBC iplayer.