No better way to spend a surprisingly cold Sunday morning.
I dunno about anyone else, but I found RSD 2020 ‘Drop 2’ (of three) a bit underwhelming.
I dutifully pre-ordered the half-speed-mastered Two Tone comps and Macca from my local shop. Paid in advance online. Turned up at the prescribed time (admittedly in the afternoon, so after the rush), was handed a bag, left.
Nobody else to be seen by 1:30pm, less of a selection than in August, even less takes my fancy in ‘Drop 3’ at the end of October – one, or at a push, two releases.
According to the nice man in the shop, it has been a PITA – 3 lots of orders, the usual trouble of limited pressings and under-delivery, if the idea was to limit the spread of C19 they hadn’t considered that some punters would go to all three days. Timetabled collection times meant limited browsing time and, since I’d got caught up in roadworks on my way and arrived a few mins late, none at all for me.
He put the ‘back in 30 mins sign up after I left and went to the pub for his lunch.
I’m very happy to support my local shop, and very lucky to have one, » Continue Reading.
on in a few minutes if you can work out what 9.45am Melbourne time is
A surprisingly decent and atypical performance by Van – without horns, Hammond organ shuffle or Blues Brothers outfits.
Right then, here in NZ a general election is coming and part of this process in 2020 involves two binding referendum questions around two highly managed forms of regulation of acts that are currently illegal. 1 – euthanasia and 2 – use of cannabis.
I have been watching debates and reading about 1 – mainly because although I haven’t had a spliff in 30-odd years I feel that I’m going to vote yes on the cannabis one.
Euthanasia though – it’s a real humdinger of a moral maze. While I am broadly in agreement with people being able to end their own suffering it seems that palliative care professionals are not unanimous on this, by any stretch.
It’s a highly emotional issue as you’d expect and normal political party lines are blurred on this.
To condense the concern from the palliative care people, it seems to boil down to their strong feeling that vulnerable people will be coerced into ending their lives voluntarily because they already feel like they are a burden and, over time, it will be something that medical professionals and time-poor families will agree that ending the life of a vulnerable elderly family member will be » Continue Reading.
There has, remarkably, been little coverage of this – locally let alone nationally. Live music was effectively banned in NI yesterday. In a licensed premises, it is no longer permitted to have: (a) dancing; (b) the provision of music, whether live or recorded, for dancing; or (c) live music.
Unless you are running live music in a church hall, that’s it – you’re finished. Ironically, this is more or less opposite to the Oliver Cromwell regime in the 1640s – the puritans banning music in churches but actually doing a lot to foster live opera (albeit, maybe not in the local boozer).
I started Scott’s Jazz Club in East Belfast this month with three pals – jazz piano pro Scott Flanigan, events organisation pro Karen Smyth and sound/lighting/film pro Cormac O’Kane – in the premises of a licensed Working Men’s Club That WM club benefited from table-service bar sales; tickets included food purchased by arrangement from a neighbouring restaurant, which obviously benefited that restaurant; and the ticket funds provided fees for a couple of sound/lighting guys plus both pay and, crucially, a now painfully rare public performance platform for professional players (bassist and drummer on week one, same bassist different » Continue Reading.
Inspired by the live gig you would like to see again post I thought about gigs I looked forward to that left me cold. There have been a couple for me. I am a big fan of the recorded work of Los Lobos yet when I have seen them live (twice) they have failed to move me. I have heard live tracks of theirs on disc and they have it in them to be incendiary. Yet both times I saw them they appeared to be going through the motions. Another huge disappointment was Robert Cray – recorded output fine. I expected a live performance with extended solos etc but nada – almost a note perfect facsimile of his albums. Really what is the point?
I first spied our man on one of those science tomorrow shows where he demonstrated the technology of the synthesizer. He sported a cool look for the time and they showed the video of ‘Airwaves’. I was hooked line and sinker. Marvellous composer we should all be proud of.
I thought I’d just put this here in case anyone wanted a chat over the weekend, without disturbing the more serious threads.
This is a charming story of when hippie punks Nik Turner’s “Inner City Unit” toured as support to bonehead favourites Sham 69 in 1979. Hilarity ensues. Goes nicely with the clip on YouTube of Steve Hillage jamming with Sham at Reading festival in 1978. Glamourous, this tour was not.
I know the question has been asked and answered in a thread on here recently. But I can’t find it by searching.
Say I, er, a friend wanted to archive a live performance for his own personal viewing at a later date, one which was going to be on Yoo Toob for a weekend only.
What low-cost PC software would he need to, um, acquire?
I rather like the “On Track” series. They are books which unpretentiously do what they say on the tin: “every album, every song”. So they act as a reference guide to an artist you want to explore, or just a nice little readable celebration of an artist you are a fan of already.
With this latest entry on Mike Oldfield, author and musician Ryan Yard has filled a neat gap in the market. There hasn’t really been a decent book of this type on Oldfield, which is surprising given his rabid fan base. (Richard Newman’s “Making of Tubular Bells” is authoritative, but is restricted to that one ubiquitous album).
“On Track: Mike Oldfield” is scholarly and diligent, which suits the insular nature of much of Oldfield’s music. You could perhaps read this side by side with Oldfield’s autobiography – where that book lacks musical detail and analysis, this fills the gaps nicely.
There is a good deal of academic dissection and musical nitty gritty (the author knows his cadences from his leitmotifs, and has the glossary to prove it) which might be off-putting to the casual fan, but how else do you write about music that is mainly » Continue Reading.
Probably a question for the mods……
Having just updated Safari on my Mac, it reports what trackers the website has tried to contact and blocks them. On the Afterword site it gives two – doubleclick.net and google-analytics.com.
I presume that these are advertising trackers but wasn’t aware there was any advertising on this site – are they due to the embedded Youtube videos ?
Given that it’s unlikely that any of us are likely to be seeing anything other than a bastardised socially distanced form of live music any time soon, what are the past gigs you went to that you’d most like to see again?
Please also feel free to include details of your first – and worst – concerts, too if you feel the need.
A little tucked away on another thread so for those who didn’t spot it, Roger Waters Us and Them concert film is being shown on Sky Arts (Freeview 11) tomorrow night. Meanwhile, the restored, re-edited and remixed Delicate Sound of Thunder from last year’s Later Years box gets a standalone release in November in various configurations of cd, vinyl, dvd and bluray. It restores eight songs omitted from the original release way back when.
I’ve followed the career of Martin Amis for many years now, from the highs of Money, London Fields and Time’s Arrow through the lows of Yellow Dog and Lionel Asbo, right up to 2014’s superb return to form with Zone of Interest. One of the most interesting works was the autobiographical memoir Experience, published at the turn of the century. This new novel has some overlap with that book, with Amis describing it as a ‘novelised autobiography’. It’s a long, engaging work, focussing on themes of love and death and covering the author’s life from the seventies all the way up to last year. In particular, it deals with his friendship with, and grief at the loss of, Saul Bellow, Philip Larkin and Christopher Hitchens, as well as his relationship with the apparently fictional Phoebe Phelps, who perhaps may (or may not) be an amalgam of various girlfriends along the way. As always with Amis, you get the impression that every sentence, if not every word, has been carefully pondered over, honed and polished till it shines, but throughout this book the reader is never entirely sure what is actual fact and what is a fictionalised account of » Continue Reading.
Mercury Music Prize winner at the third nomination. I fear, sadly, that’s the last we’ll hear of him.
I prefer his first album, when he was still the new Bill Withers. But maybe that’s because I saw him donkeys years ago, promoting his first EP.
What does it sound like?:
If you are capable of doing anything, why not do everything at once? Sign “☮︎” the Times is Prince’s definitive statement, a double album displaying the full spectrum of his gifts, delving into all aspects of his bizarre imagination and stunningly performed almost entirely by himself. It is a musical embodiment of Prince’s flibbertigibbet personality and may well be the peak of his career.
In 1986/7, you’d think he had nothing to prove. Purple Rain had been an enormous global success, establishing him as a bone fide film star who could also effortlessly fill stadiums. He was a superstar, charisma oozing from his pores, living life exactly as he pleased, mostly writing, performing and recording his own songs. However, the movie Under The Cherry Moon had been a critically panned flop and he’d broken up his band, The Revolution. Some had been with him since the seventies, but they had become unwieldy and unruly with the addition of members of The Time and three so-called Bodyguards. Still, his restless creativity threatened to overwhelm him. A full band double album, Dream Factory, a pseudonymous alter ego project, Camille, and a proposed triple album, Crystal Ball, » Continue Reading.
I see that the estimable @ColinH has made it to the letters page of the London Review of Books:
“The story is told in Colin Harper’s excellent biography of Jansch, Dazzling Stranger (2006). Harper quotes Nat Joseph, who founded Transatlantic: ‘Almost any “traditional” song that somebody does an arrangement of, somebody will have done something vaguely similar before. The difficulty appears to be one of really establishing, among hundreds of arrangers, who it was that made the arrangement “original”.’ “
What does it sound like?:
Twelve songs, 47 minutes and an aura of magic. Northern lass Fay goes in search of the Otherworld – a place of strangeness, adventures, wistful pathways and sorrowing souls. A coherent, compelling sound world envelopes the album, with Fay’s rich voice supported by banjo (herself), guitar and harmonium (Rob Harbron), violin and viola (Sam Sweeney), double bass (Ben Nicholls) and jaw harp (Ewan MacPherson). Happily, not all at once, usually. On first listen, I felt that maybe there were one or two arrangements too many that featured the polyphony of strings and harmonium but on further listens – three in a row today, for instance, while grappling with various annoying tasks – it all clicked into place: it’s ALL ‘just right’.
Fay’s voice is reminiscent, to my ears, of the late Maggie Doyle in terms of her clear diction and a certain throatiness and of Norma Waterson, in the matriarchal depth and heft and the ‘northern’ twang; in places, a turn of phrase or an air of sadness brought to mind Anne Briggs, a singer of a very different sort. These are only loose pointers. Half of the songs are Fay’s own and of » Continue Reading.
An amazing life, lived to the full. Girlfriend to Miles Davis, friend of Jean-Paul Sartre. Both Lennon and McCartney fancied her like mad. She was the inspiration for McCartney’s “Michelle”.
Here’s the second release from Bruce Springsteen’s new record with the E Street Band. If you like the E Street Band live experience, you’ll love it. If you don’t you’ve probably already made up your mind!
I generally prefer my Bruce to be a little more subtle than this but there’s no doubt it’ll sound fantastic in arenas and stadiums. That’s if we ever get to hear music in arenas and stadiums again.
What does it sound like?:
Big Big Train vocalist and front man David Longdon and iconic vocalist Judy Dyble collaborate here on what, it turns out, is a very fine album indeed. Although the emphasis is on a folk rather than rock sound, there is enough here to appeal to both camps, with longer pieces such as Whisper and France almost straying into prog realms at times. Another stand out song is Obedience, which is probably the piece most influenced by the sound of Big Big Train – in fact, most of said band pop up at various points during the album. Lyrics throughout the whole record are a strong point, the vocals haunting and fragile as Dyble battled against illness to complete the album – indeed, by the time of recording the final song, Heartwashing, she was only able to speak rather than sing the lines she’d written. This is a lovely album, with subtle lyrics and captivating music producing a graceful, touching and poignant set of songs – overlook it at your peril.
What does it all *mean*?
The album stands as a memorial to Judy Dyble who passed away in July. It’s a fitting tribute and » Continue Reading.
What does it sound like?:
Bluegrass, straight from Kentucky, traditional fiddle tunes and songs in their style. Tyler Childers is an interesting character. Kentucky born and bred, long times of living hand to mouth as he developed his craft. Call him folk, call him country, just don’t call him Americana as he really gets the shits. His argument is that country music is often criticised for enough innovaion but when they do it gets a new label – ie Americana. He’s got a point. Anyway the latest hotshot Americana artist started the way of many in a country/ folk oeuvre. Think early Loudon Wainwright III or wistful Jason Isbell ( he shared bills with JI and covered some of his songs) just with a bit more high and lonesome in the voice. The Bible and the bottle were fighting on the floor encapsulates the thematics of this period. As he develops more instrumentation and we hear the fiddle getting more prominence. Purgatory from 2017 is regarded as his breakout album and we are heading more into a Zac Brown sound .On the title track it seems the bible is still fighting with the bottle. I know that Hell Is » Continue Reading.
The first one was on Whiskey.
Up to the standard of previous. I do like the jokes he tells…A termite walks in asks where is the bartender?