Friday, May 30, 2008

New music, old technology...

This is a post with a difference. Some of it will be music new to me, that I have recently acquired, and some will be things that I've heard about and are now on my wish list. The first is in the former category.

What to say? Well, for a start, if you thought you might like Regina Spektor (Begin To Hope, 2006), but found it a bit more weird anti-folk than perhaps you imagined, this could well be more to your liking. I like it too, indeed more with every listen, but I actually fell foul of one of my own rules here! If an album that I'm reasonably sure I will like is available on vinyl then I will buy it on that format if the price is not unreasonable. It was and, unfortunately, I didn't! It is not music for a party or that to listen to while preparing for a night out.

Now here is another US act and one that I haven't heard yet. They are now signed to Bella Union in the UK, an independent label that was very prominent at Latitude 2007, and I have high hopes for one of their newest signings; Fleet Foxes are from Seattle.

Sun Giant EP - Fleet Foxes (SubPop, 2007)

Their eponymous début album should appear on Bella Union in the next couple of weeks. The current date is 9th June (in the UK) and it should also be available on 12" vinyl too.

I know my liking for vinyl is slightly archaic, but I also know that I'm far from the only one who appreciates its tangibility, and thus this article on the BBC website today made me feel good. I could not, of course, blog using a typewriter but that they still have their devotees certainly had some resonance.

When one of the biggest acts of the 21st century sees fit to make the only physical release of the first single from their new album available only on 7" vinyl, who I am I to argue?

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Canada, then...

To some extent this (the wealth of new Canadian music) was where my curiosity for new music really started again. The rest was to follow, naturally enough, but it had to start somewhere and I'm about to reveal the original, before Arcade Fire, culprit:

Metric - Old World Underground, Where Are You Now (2003)

It however was not the first thing they recorded, and it is true that the new Canadian scene is more complicated than you could imagine because in 1999-2000 the proto-Metric (Emily Haines and James Shaw) were in London. Sometimes they were in the restaurant above the Bricklayers' Arms, 63 Charlotte Street, Shoreditch, talking about recording deals they knew they would never get. They got a free lunch, which was better than beans on toast, but otherwise they were spot on when it came to the reality of the deal.
They had nearly completed an album too, done on the cheap while holding down day jobs, but eventually they went back across the Atlantic in the hope that someone might like them more.
The toil in London eventually paid dividends but, until recently, that album has not been released on CD and it still isn't in the UK...

Metric - Grow Up and Blow Away (Last Gang Records Q2 00940)

Metric finally made it with 'Old World Underground, Where Are you Now' (Everloving, EVE006) and then a second studio album 'Live It Out' in 2006. In the meantime, while many of the band are also very much involved with Broken Social Scene, Emily Haines has also released her (second) kinda solo album. Knives Don't Have Your Back - Emily Haines and the Soft Skeleton (2007) and also the less well known 12" EP What Is Free To A Good Home? (2007).

It is also available on CD, if you must, but the story certainly doesn't start or end here!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Why Eurovision might actually matter.

So I haven't added much lately?
That is right and I must admit that it is my fault alone, as I've been off to see my family, but we did watch the Eurovision Song contest together. The UK came last again, but even that is amazing given that there was a qualifying round. The Spanish entry (Baila Chi Chi) had a free-pass to the final round that, in retrospect, should hardly surprised any of us!
For goodness sake, if Eurovision needs shit music we can surely be relied upon to provide it! It was a Public Holiday weekend here too, which means that today (Monday) is also a day off so, guess what, it is windy, wet and cold. That is quite typical.

The Russian song was co-written by a UK songwriter so maybe the gas will stay on for a little while longer. That said I rather liked this year's Serbian entry - in fact I'd have been delighted had it won - and the acts from Finland (for their sheer devotion to the cause of heavy guitar rock), Greece and the "angels and devils" from Azerbaijan.
The voting is determined by politics but why care too much about that? Voting is politics, at least in any fairly democratic situation, so perhaps it is a good thing whatever the outcome! It is a fine excuse to get a now quite remarkable collection of nations together to a common end and I can see no harm in that. If all the music was totally shit, and it certainly wasn't, that would not actually matter much.
The fact is that twenty years ago it is impossible that Russia would have been a competitor, let alone the winner singing a song in English co-written by an English songwriter, and ten years ago it would have seemed equally implausible that the contest in 2008 would be held in Belgrade with other parts of the former Yugoslavia involved. If the northern and western European nations are losing out on the scoreboard it is surely a very small price to pay.
Don't make excuses - back in the Iron-curtain days
there was less incentive and far less competition - most of our Eurovision entries were still shit! Maybe we have no chance of winning now, and it may not survive in its current form, but I'm not at all convinced that the Eurovision Song Competition is any the worse for that. Whoever wins, and whatever the music, the fact that so many nations want to take part is probably far more important than anything.

Friday, May 23, 2008

My Paper Made Men

It looks as though this is currently download only (and by that I mean legal download), which is a shame. I know that it will sound very little the worse for it and, for those listening on portable players it is the most convenient. I, being slightly old-fashioned, hope that a physical format will follow. If that is CD then I'll be fine with that, but if it were to be on 12" then I certainly wouldn't be one to complain!

The image is rubbish. Why can't downloads at the very least include decent art work, which one can print oneself if so minded and for that matter lyrics, when appropriate, too? This would add little to the download size and, to me at least, make the whole package much more appealing.
When it comes to lyrics (with the usual disclaimers, on my part, regarding accuracy and security) to both 'False Smiles', 'My Paper Made Men' and many other odds and ends then you might try this unofficial site.

Is this just me being strange?
If it is then I don't really care; so please feel quite free to comment!

For those who asked, as this seems to be the most enquired about track, here is the lyric to 'She Walks Beautiful' taken from the site mentioned above. It has a few bits that are missing or doubtful but thats always a problem when working them out fom the recording and even then those printed (if they are) don't always agree with those printed in the album. If you think you know what they are then this site allows you to add suggestions or corrections:

She Walks Beautiful

She walks alone and when she loves, her love is so wrong
She don't need a man
She won't stand by what she can't stand
Like why did (walls?) you all stand in line
Now when she pass you by
She knows her sins with humility
And reaches for the light

With aching knees and back the way is hard to bear
but she carries it with a smile
She walks beautiful, she walks beautiful
she walks beautiful by herself
She walks beautiful, she walks beautiful
she walks beautiful by herself

She walks alone
she's not invited to parties
so she's (...?)
All alone
to feel the high she bears the lows

She doesn't call out like the others in the night
in despair of loneliness
She walks beautiful, she walks beautiful
she walks beautiful by herself
She walks beautiful, she walks beautiful
she walks beautiful by herself

Ayaheaheah Ayaheaheah Ayaheaheah Ahohohoh (x4)

She walks beautiful, she walks beautiful
she walks beautiful by herself

Ayaheaheah Ayaheaheah Ayaheaheah Ahohohoh (x3)

She walks beautiful, she walks beautiful
she walks beautiful by herself
She walks beautiful, she walks beautiful
she walks beautiful by herself
She walks beautiful, she walks beautiful
she walks beautiful by herself

While writing this I'm listening to False Smiles - Amy Studt. If it is not fashionable then it bothers me no more and no less than if it were the hottest album right now.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

We Started Nothing, but things are changing.

We need all the talent but that said, and while there would seem to be no shortage around, it is not all going to be with the new brigade!

This week, on both sides of the Atlantic, the album charts are topped by Neil Diamond and it is the first time in a career spanning the better part of five decades that either in the UK or the US he has done that with a studio album ('Greatest Hits' and other compilations are excluded). That Home Before Dark did it simultaneously in both the UK and the US, when he is sixty-seven and on the week of the release, is nothing if not remarkable.

It shows two things I think; one is that music is not only the preserve of the younger generation (Neil Diamond is a huge influence on many successful young singer-songwriters anyway) and that, perhaps, the decline of the recorded music industry is overstated and there may be some that have their own reasons for purveying that impression.

So these two, both twenty-something denizens of the modern and creative part of Salford, chose a rather self-deprecating title for their much anticipated first album, but this not an outfit to mention in the same breath as many fellow Mancunians. It has to be said that, but for the grace of God, Oasis have yet to be self-destructing but the same sadly cannot be said for Ian Curtis of Joy Division.

Ting Tings are however just what Britain needs at the start of every summer and were widely tipped to be so in 2008. This album is a blast that, while in some minor ways pays homage to the 1980s and 1990s, is just pure pop as it really should be done; for the sheer hell of it and so just perfect for summer and the festival season!
The first two singles, 'Fruit Machine' and 'Great DJ' were special but the third single 'That's Not My Name' is just stupidly addictive (so thus the perfect pop single) and went straight to #1 in the UK this week, which was also the week in which the album We Started Nothing was physically released*. I would not be particularly surprised if the single and album managed to achieve a chart double this coming Sunday.

There is not quite the apparently vast gulf between the two acts as at first you might imagine!

* Yes it does exist - very limited and all pressed in red - on 12" vinyl too.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Lyrics again - by Stormy The Rabbit

A new unreality TV series is to start here soon. It is a kind of karaoke in which the auto-cue prompts will suddenly stop and the contestants have to keep singing to win. It will probably be quite horrendous TV but the interesting thing, if is there is one at all, is that it focuses on lyrics. The contestants might just get to try those from my last post but I would not expect these; then again, if it did, it could make for quite fascinatingly awful viewing/listening.

I'm sorry to say that Stormy doesn't really do verse structure and his lyrics come with 'Parental Advisory':

For four fortnights I've fled from my fortress, foraging forests five footsteps in length, fortitude found within forty ounce bottles, flowing like flies from your face, from your face. And my neighborhood, it's been filled brim with black cats and when I go driving they walk my path, every time, every time. First we were babies, we're birthing and dying, and then we were children we were playing and crying, and then we were teenagers we were smoking and fucking, liking mud larking and licking our wounds we've created by lusting and lying, to ourselves and to others, we're sadly sighing. And I'd like to be a big ball of meat that bees can buzz around and eat when I die, so that I may be granted one sense of purpose.

You can possibly understand why it might make alarming trashy TV footage! The album is People That Can Eat People Are The Luckiest People In The World - Andrew Jackson Jihad. (2007, Asian Man Records).

I Wish I Could Have Loved You More - lyrics

To whoever asked just now, here are the lyrics...

I Wish I Could have Loved You More.
I wish I could have loved you more.
I wish I could have loved you more.

And ever since that day
I had to say goodbye
How I've longed to change my mind
But I know it won't be right
And in so many ways
You were made to be my man
Why I had to make you cry
I hope you understand.

I wish I could have loved you more.
I wish I could have loved you more.

And ever since that day
I had to say goodbye
How I've longed to change my mind
But I know it won't be right
And ever since that day
I had to say goodbye.

I wish I could have loved you more.
I wish I could have loved you more.

Another of my favorites on the album is this song, but it is a hard choice to make...

All I Need To Hear
That you'd rather be with me Is all I need to hear
Don't deny it please
Don't deny it please
Cause it's all I need to hear.

Just one little white lie
Just one little white lie
Is all I need from you

What harm can it do?

Give me just this lie
So I can keep my pride
If it's just between the two of us
It's all I need to hear.

Just one little white lie
Just one little white lie
Is all I need from you
What harm can it do?

I'll happily post the lyrics to the other tracks on the album if anyone wants them. Love lyrics - love life.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

It's Not Me, Its You...

I got myself in a kind of loop this week hence the lack of posts.
I like to think that I have a good memory and that this is a good thing. It is but very occasionally it has a downside and one manifestation is that most of the music I can remember suddenly doesn't seem so interesting at all! This has happened before and I know it is only a temporary thing, so nothing really to worry about, but now I have realised it might have a benefit - or perhaps be more of an excuse! It is not my fault and so, if I have enough albums, surely there will come a point at which I can't possibly even remember them all, let alone whether I like them or not? My tastes change anyway, as I mentioned recently, so that should help too. It is possible that I have enough already but I'm not going to take any chances...

This evening I even got bored with the radio, but there are some current singles I should mention, and thus went to explore my collection in some detail. I created a small stack of things that made me curious - some of which you'll probably be glad that I rejected - and finally settled on this one for starters.

It's Not Me, It's You - The Free French.

It did the trick, hence this post and its title. Listening to it now, twice this evening, it strikes me that it fits current UK pop sensitivity well in many ways. What I find interesting about this is that it was released, as hitBACK Records 25CD, in 2003. If you are curious too it is happily still readily available. The Free French is essentially South London-based singer, songwriter and instrumentalist Rhodri Marsden aided by any (variable) number of collaborators for the performance aspects. The music is good and the lyrics can at times be even better still, if slightly strange. And track 5 Metaphorically contains a reference to Ribena (a blackcurrant soft drink seemingly largely confined to the UK) thus proving that (another Londoner) Estelle's current single featuring Kanye West is not the first song to mention it!

There was an earlier album, Running On Batteries (2002) that I also have and a later one, A Place Of Our Own (2005) that I don't. They are both readily available and I've just ordered the latter to complete my collection. I am currently unaware if The Free French is still a going concern but only because I haven't yet attempted to investigate.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

New albums I want ...

Like some fictional character - in this case Piglet - I'm minded to shout "Help, help and rescue!" My problem is however a very enviable one and it is simply too much new music (that I want to listen to) appearing too fast.
I'll do my best and continuing the female singer/songwriter theme of recent posts here is another one who, to be honest, could keep a modestly ambitious label in albums all on her own. Her last studio album was Harpo's Ghost back in 2006 - which for her, if not for Portishead, is an age between albums!

Liejacker will be released on 19th May and is her eighth studio album in ten years, which is particularly impressive for someone who is still just twenty-eight. I haven't heard the new album yet but I strongly suspect that the title gives something away; if it is not political, pugnacious and possibly rather stripped back to basics I shall be both wrong and disappointed. It does, I believe, have the occasional guest contribution and most notable amongst them is Joan Baez.

Another under-appreciated star of the UK female singer-songwriter world releases an album this Monday (12th May). She is Isobel Campbell and this is her second collaboration with Mark Lanegan (Screaming Trees, Queens Of The Stone Age, The Gutter Twins, &c.).

That's finally fixed! You can find lyrics for some of the tracks here and I've kept the linked sites transparent:

The 12" has all the lyrics on the back cover so, if you want them, please just ask (using comment or e-mail).

If it is anywhere near as good as Ballad Of The Broken Seas (2006) it won't be in my CD player forever --- but that is simply because 'V2 Records' have made it available on vinyl. It is true that Campbell now has a higher profile than when, in 2002, she left Belle and Sebastian but that is not to deny that this remains an album that should be better known. So should the earlier ones and this is the first...

Belle & Sebastian "Tigermilk" (1996).

Post-2002 she released two albums as 'Gentle Waves' and then, simply as Isobel, the remarkable Amorino. There are others too, not least three more B&S albums recorded before she left the band, and so here we have another creative powerhouse.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Thunderbird Motel

This is not a thank-you note
This is just a few words that I wrote.
They were never meant for you to hear
It's just that they kept ringing in my ear.

Now you can read me like an open book
Read about the beatings that I took
About happiness all shot to hell
A weekend at the Thunderbird Motel.

At the Thunderbird Motel.

Well, the bitter moon is hanging low
Neil Diamond pours his heart out on the radio
And nothing seems to go my way
Sad, sad songs and cheap Chardonnay.

Three days in the wilderness
Was all it took to make my life a mess
My happiness all shot to hell
A weekend at the Thunderbird motel.

At the Thunderbird Motel.

This is hardly a cheerful song but may be a tonic for those revising for exams because things will get better soon - believe me. It is also, perhaps, not a well known one. The band is Oh Laura, the singer Frida Öhrn and the album A Song Inside My Head, a Demon In My Bed. The UK release was 2008, on Cosmos Records, but it was released in some parts of northern Europe in 2007.

It is not as if Scandinavia - Oh Laura is a five-piece band from Sweden - is ever remotely short of good new music and 2008 is looking particularly interesting on this front but this is rather different to much that we have become accustomed to in the last few years.

It is not all gloom, perhaps in Scandinavian pop it never is, but on this one even the ostensibly optimistic 'Out Of Bounds' still has worrisome shadows.
It is consistently good and certainly one of the best albums I have bought in 2008.

A fascination with lyrics...

This is becoming a theme here and I welcome it. Why have songs with words if no-one cares what they are?

To whoever has just asked about Kate Nash lyrics then those for the album 'Made Of Bricks' are in the sleeve insert of the standard CD released in the UK Fiction/Poyldor (Universal) 1743143. You can also find them here, and this includes the lyric for Birds (see below). My usual warnings about the safety of the site and, less importantly, the reliability of the lyrics apply!

Yesterday someone searched for how to get a download of the first Kate Nash single; released in in early 2007 and before she had a label deal. It was Caroline's A Victim, c/w Birds. This was a limited release, physically only on 7", on the label Moshi Moshi Records as MOMO4. If my memory serves me right it was also available for download (not free) and it may have included a bonus track. Moshi Moshi has recently released a compilation of the hard-to-find 7" releases on CD and it might be on that, along with many other interesting gems.
I can provide the lyrics for either of these tracks if you ask but Caroline's A Victim doesn't really have many anyway.

Finding a copy of the 7" would be a bonus and never say never! An overlooked copy may lurk in the 'bargain bin' of your local record shop because not many people had heard of Kate Nash when it was released and, if one thing is certain, it is that if you don't look then you won't find it. Even in the apparently obvious places there can be surprises, and sometimes at bargain prices, because people in search of items they perceive as hard to find don't look there while those looking for the new releases will look there but not for such items!

To help you find it, this is what you are looking for.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

A Change Is Gonna Come?

I've been quiet this evening as I've been playing in two pub general-knowledge quizzes at once. The nearer pub is some twelve miles away and the other about 150 miles away but I'm at home. I simply can't be in two places at once and anyway it is a great deal cheaper this way!

That is largely irrelevant except that I've just just been asked the following question in what is a quiz with a definite music bias: Who was Wolverhampton's end of last century 'Prodigal Sista'?
That is the sort of question that can be exceedingly annoying unless you remember that this was the title of Beverley Knight's second album. That was interesting in itself but it also reminded me that I should listen to her third album Who I Am (2002) again and when I did I had forgotten just how good it is. What is more important it remains so despite the massive increase in popular interest in UK soul and blues in the intervening years.
There is nothing poor on it but , for me at least, the stand-out tracks are still Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda and Fallen Soldier.

That said it is now available so cheaply on Amazon Marketplace that it is probably cheaper to buy the whole album than pay to download even two tracks, not least because my favourites might not be yours! What is more, for all of you who want the lyrics too, Parlophone CD 7243 536032 0 5 has them printed in full in the cover booklet. There is nothing wrong with her subsequent albums, Affirmation (2004) and Music City Soul (2007) either.

Although slightly different, and coming from the other side of the Atlantic, it prompted me to listen to this again. It is another album that, like some others that I have mentioned before, I bought in a frenzy of enthusiasm that had worn off by the time it arrived. It seems that when I felt inclined to give it another chance I rediscovered what it was that inclined me to buy it in the first place.

A Change Is Gonna Come - Leela James (2005)

The album has two cover versions, the title track (originally by Sam Cooke) and a rather surprising but, for my money, extremely successful version of the 1996 hit-single Don't Speak by No Doubt and from the album Tragic Kingdom. It was a brave idea, to cover a Gwen Stefani classic that spent a then record of sixteen weeks at the top of the 'Billboard 100', and I still very much like the original, but I can't say that she messed it up. I know that not everyone will agree but that is how it is for me.

Monday, May 05, 2008

More bands to see live.

My musings this afternoon, concerning those bands I might like to hear at a festival, have continued. In fact the excitement of not yet knowing which artists will be playing is probably one of the most appealing aspects.
Continuing the hi-energy theme, like The Go!Team, another band with Brighton connections would be right up there.

'Fashionista Super Dance Troupe' (Fantastic Plastic, 2004) was the first LP by shouty-punk quintet Help She Can't Swim. They returned, but as a four-piece, after a run of singles and EPs with their second album 'The Death Of Nightlife' (Fantastic Plastic, 2007). While they have never had mainstream success this is infectious music that could only benefit from being performed and heard live. Both albums are still readily available on CD and 'The Death Of Nightlife' can still be found on vinyl too. 'Fashionista Super Dance Troupe' exists on vinyl but only to the extent of three-hundred copies all of which were pressed on turquoise vinyl.

Some more Latitude 2008 acts have become known, amongst them M.I.A., The Breeders and Mars Volta. What fascinates me most now is who will be appearing on the smaller stages. I believe that Huw Stephens will once again curate the Lake Stage, which last year was a treasure trove of new and often less well known acts. Thinking of such things has reminded me that one of those artists previously unknown to me that I saw at Latitude 2007 was Candie Payne and, while the all-conquering Mark Ronson has recently been in the news for projects he is not involved in (Lily Allen's second album and the 'Quantum of Solace' Bond Theme' with Amy Winehouse are but two that come to mind), he is most definitely working on the follow up to 'I Wish I Could Have Loved You More' (Deltasonic, 2007), which was Candie Payne's début album and remains one of my favourite albums of 2007 and quite rightly so I believe.

Live and not so dangerous...

My last post ended on a sombre note. At the other end of the scale come festivals. While much is made of the risks most of them are probably far safer places to be than out in almost any town on a Friday or Saturday night. Pick-pocketing and other theft aside, you probably aren't going to find, or even see or hear of, much trouble unless you go looking for it. I'm, as already mentioned, going to Latitude 2008 and I went to last year's one too and the fact that I was going on my own bothered me slightly until I got there. That I couldn't really imagine a more friendly place to be occurred to me in the first hour I was there.

The set list is interesting me more with every addition. One thing that was of interest was quite how anything could equal the exuberant madness of CSS? I had two thoughts, CSS (again, their new album is being hatched) and Operator Please! (who I'd love to see live). Later it occurred to me that we have a UK band more than capable of fulfilling the requirements for enthusiastic mayhem and, recent acts confirmed for Latitude 2008, indicated that they are the chosen ones.
Ian Parton formed the live incarnation of The Go! Team to tour with Franz Ferdinand (also at Latitude 2008) in 2004.

This was their magnificent début album, on the tiny indie label Memphis Industries, in 2004. It is an almost indescribable thing comprised of a collection of shiny beats, samples and other bits that would make a magpie with real addiction issues turn green with envy. It has has been reissued, partly for sample clearance in the US, and also later incorporating a couple of additional tracks. It remains as good now as it was when first released, so there would be difficult second album issues, right?

No! Proof Of Youth (2007) is every bit as good, in some ways even better. The band - a six-piece - are hardly short of writing talent and this time it really shows on the album. That is not to say that they have compromised either their propulsive enthusiasm or the rather unusual multi-threaded and eclectic dynamic. When it suits them they can muster four drummers simultaneously though only two, Chi Fukami Taylor and Sam Dook, are normally thus employed and in Ninja they have a very versatile singer/rapper. If she reminds me slightly of anyone it is Lauryn Hill.

Another Latitude 2008 act, one already announced, is Death Cab for Cutie. The album 'Narrow Stairs' is released in the UK next Monday (12th May) and is getting very favorable reviews by people in the press whose opinions I trust.

Music matters - but not that much...

I would say sorry for the grandiloquent title to this post except that, in truth, I'm not.
It has been a Bank Holiday (3-day) weekend here in the UK and I have spent quite a bit of time catching up on the music - listening to it and reading about it - that has been gathering in various piles for some weeks now.
Much, indeed most, of what I have read and heard has cheered me up. I read a review of 'My Paper Made Men' and it was slated. It should have been so too - not because it is bad but simply because why was NME magazine reviewing it anyway? This goes against my policy of not buying and reviewing things I know I won't like. I am however quite prepared to experiment by acquiring new things so it annoys me that NME often seems to believe that no-one over the age of 18 is actually able to buy or read it. It fortunately contains much more worthwhile content - if it did not I would hardly pay good money for it as it would then fail my own criterion.

Music, like any other aspect of culture, thrives on diversity but also requires respect and tolerance of other's tastes in equal measure. The tragic tale of the murder of Sophie Lancaster shows what happens when it doesn't.
If you have ever been out wearing a t-shirt by one of your favourite bands - but are thinking "this only happens to other people" - or anything else like that you should think about it again.

That is my rant and it is not only stroppy teenagers who can throw their iPod out of the pram!

Sunday, May 04, 2008

To Listen to in 2008 - Part 4

While you might think it perhaps just more of the usual fare I have to admit that I've had very considerable help here.
Thanks to Beki, who happens to have provided most of the trans-Atlantic input including several artists of which, if I had ever even heard of them before, I have no recollection of whatsoever. [I'm getting old you see...]
This first I was aware of; A Fine Frenzy is the alter ego of Los Angeleno singer-songwriter Alison Sudhol but it is not my place to attempt to even paraphrase the comment so I haven't:

"The singer has a great voice but I think I would end up seriously depressed if I listened to a whole album in one go."

Three more were mentioned and the artist that, as of now, I haven't investigated further is Tyler Hilton. The other two were these, again in her own words:
  • Kate Voegele's album 'Don't look away' is actually rather good, she reminds me a bit of Michelle Branch.
  • Colbie Caillat's album 'Coco' has also found it's way onto my laptop and I wasn't too sure at first but she's really growing on me... it's coffee shop music :)
Now these are two that had completely passed me by although, by virtue of being older I suppose, the name Caillat rang distant bells and, after some on-line investigations, this is why. Her father, Kenneth Caillat, was co-producer of one of the biggest selling pop albums of all time, Fleetwood Mac Rumors (1977) and also the, often maligned, Lindsey Buckingham-inspired follow-up double album Tusk (1979).

This was regarded as a failure, at least commercially, but it has now sold rather more than four million copies and for most that would be an heroic achievement - that it is not is comparative and simply because Rumors is now past the thirty million mark! The fact remains that almost everyone knows of Rumors, at least in passing, while Tusk is also a very good album but largely forgotten. I don't know where all the other copies are languishing but here is one that remains both loved and listened-to:

Warner Brothers K66088 in all its original vinyl glory.

This has proven very interesting and not just because I've discovered perhaps rather obviously that I'm not the only one willing to experiment by listening to things that can, in so far as they are discernible as a category, at best be lumped together as being 'beneath UK radar defences'. Some may in time become household names while others will doubtless disappear without trace, but equally that can happen to home-grown acts too and there is certainly no shortage of those either, in any flavour you might desire.

OK. I admit that I've gone a bit off-message here and so the ramblings will have to be continued in another post soon. This is why it is fun, not merely just another job.