Sunday, January 31, 2010

Every Third Sunday - 6 Day Riot Have A Plan

To whosoever asked for the lyric to this song just now, here it is:

Every Third Sunday:

If you take this wrong then time will stop, wasted spaces move back
up; many days have rolled into one. Daily meals to calm your eyes,
wisdom seldom realised I could try to reason one more time.
But by the by, by the by, how fear has multiplied wild and lost within
your state of mind. My oh my, my oh my, how tears have multiplied
drowned and lost within your state of mind. To the edge and round the
bend, stubborn till the bitter end hold on tight before this whole
town blows. Get up get up and face the day don't let those hours slip away,
chasing time and talking hate again. I'm drowned and lost within your
state of mind.

The almost (!?) complete lyrics to the album 'Have A Plan' are now here:

What Comes Next? - New Music 2010 - part 6

In a sense the title says it all. In some ways I'm more confident commenting on music than almost anything else. It is time that I added some more music from the US to my wants list and I am happy to do that.

This one was released in the US last year, but I have only just become aware of it, and suspect that I will like it...

It is in fact her fourth studio album, which makes the fact that I was until very recently unaware of her even less excusable. Of Taiwanese heritage and bought up in California she has now relocated to New York. Her music is piano-led, she is a classically-trained pianist, and those tracks that I have heard sound very interesting indeed. This album was released in the US in 2009 and the music is, as she likes to describe it, chamber folk.
Given the patch-work of music currently finding favor on both sides of the Atlantic I can see this being another missing piece of the jigsaw.

Another album I want to listen to is of continental European origin - IRM - Charlotte Gainsbourg (2010). I must say I am still a fan of her 2006 album 5:55. It is true that she doesn't have a remarkable singing voice but, when the tracks are written for it, one that is rather affecting.

Another piano-led singer and also songwriter and another from California, who does have a truly remarkable voice, is Alison Sudol better known as 'A Fine Frenzy' and from what I can gather she is busy with the release of her second album 'Bomb In A Birdcage', the follow up to 'One Cell In The Sea' (2007 -US and 2008-UK). It is due for release in March 2010.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Lyrics, or sometimes the lack of them...

Lyrics continue to feature prominently, and I like that, but yesterday someone asked about those for 'Memories Last Longer Than Dreams' - Leyland Kirby (2009).

Here they are and indeed those to the 3CD/6 vinyl LP set, in its entirety.

It is the easiest request to fulfil; there aren't any as it is about four hours of totally instrumental music and worth every minute of it. I recently acquired the 12" LP 'Joint Chiefs' - Cursillistas and it is also lyric free. When compared to the former project it is, as well as being only a single LP (I do not know of a CD or download release as yet), much more natural and organic in the more acoustic rather than the overtly electronic sense.

The vital thing is that 'Joint Chiefs' is actually deceptively simple and also totally lovely. It is not hard to like but rather it is for you to recreate that 'snowed in' feeling even if all you want to do is simply to spend a lazy weekend at home and feel guilt-free. I can imagine some of the avant-garde of nu-folk and Americana jamming this kind of thing, simply to amuse themselves, in a remote winter recording hideaway. It is however, for the most part, the mind-warping creation of just two such from Maine - Matthew Lajoie and Dawn Marna.

It deserves a much wider audience.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

This Is How It's Meant To Be - lyrics

Thanks once again to whosoever asked and here are the lyrics to the first track on this album.

This Is How It's Meant To Be

He only sees shadows behind shadows and he's been like this a while
for he keeps forgetting every shadow needs light to survive.
He has been lost and I followed like any good friend
and I carried him as far as I could but when I let go he just turned back.

This is how it's meant to be, apparently this is for a reason
This is how it's meant to be, but we can't seem to find a reason.

He is the victim and culprit of his own crime
And I tried to be a mirror so that he may realise
I've been breathing for the two of us and now I am so tired
my patience has fallen hard for he's not even trying.

This is how it's meant to be, apparently this is for a reason
This is how it's meant to be, but we can't seem to find a reason.

This is how it's meant to be, apparently this is for a reason
This is how it's meant to be, but we can't seem to find a reason.

It is a cracking album, just as worthy of you attention as 'Despite The Snow', and she played the second track on it 'Blackbird' in her set at 'End Of The Road 2009'. One of my personal favourites is the call - response duet 'Fields of June' (track 6). How easy it now is to come by is another matter: I got my CD from
Rough Trade, London in September 2009 and although they do not seem to have it in stock as of today they may well be able to provide a helpful suggestion.

Other posts about this artist:

Oh! Memories from, and thoughts of, festivals...

Note added October 31, 2010:
This album/tracks on it are now available from on download. The CD is also available again.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

A Curious Thing - New Music 2010, part 5

I've been quiet for a while, that is true, but I've still been listening and reading. With three new albums by artists I've already mentioned in this respect released tomorrow it is time to move on.

Here are another few that are well and truly on my wants list and they are all by returning artists...

Few might actually recall her 2007 début, This Is the Life, because it was a slow burner but it finally reached #1 in the UK album charts a year after release, while then selling over 3 million copies worldwide (to date). I've heard a couple of the new tracks and 'A Curious Thing' would seem to be well worth the wait. Is it slightly 'rockier' than the first album? Yes, well maybe, but not in a radical way. I can't currently find the album artwork so this will have to do for now.

The same, given what I have heard and including the first single, can be said of the fifth album from Goldfrapp. In this case it would seem to be rather more electro-influenced than 'Seventh Tree' and none the worst for that. Alison's vocals are as good as ever they were but perhaps Will Gregory has twiddled a few more buttons than on their last recording. If summer 2010 sounds like these albums it will be one to remember. I should know the title of this album, due to be released in late Spring 2010, is but it has slipped my mind for the moment.

Jill Jackson is another artist who has promised a second album soon...

This image is from her myspace but what it relates to is only my guess.

Can I think of more? Well yes I can.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Real for me...

According to reports today (the third Monday in January) is the most depressing day of the year in the UK!
Newspapers of a certain leaning drag up no end of 'experts' to explain why it is so... It's cold, its time for the post-Christmas credit card bills; you know that sort of psychobabble.
It may be flawed, and it may yet presage disappointments as yet unforeseeable ( but then didn't 2008?), but as of today 2010 became real for me.

While this might seem persuasive I wish to point to another view. The first thought has nothing, at least directly, to do with the situation in the UK today but it is 'Martin Luther King Day' and that has implications that are, albeit in a slightly different way, just as profound in music and thus equally so in the UK. It is hard to say what music, globally, would be like in 2010 if it were not for the contributions of many that became stars before that seminal moment in 1968. Robert Johnson being one that very much comes to mind for he did it the hardest way but it also paved the way for major league female stars... Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone and Diana Ross to name but three.

It also seems to be the day that that the music for the forthcoming year, wherever it is from and whosoever it is made by, suddenly becomes real rather than merely just something hoped-for. The last few years have been glibly referred to as the age of the female artist and, while many are also songwriters too, regardless of race, colour, creed or the bone of contention that is nationality they all owe a debt of gratitude to the pioneers. That said I don't see the situation changing vastly in 2010, except to say that diversity will probably be the main beneficiary.

You might not agree with the music I like in 2010, and judging from today there will be a great deal of it, but that does not trouble me at all; just be passionate, persuasive and tolerant and I'll be the same.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

As the winter winds...

It is twenty-one years since a non-Christmas seasonal song has had such resonance: The last being 'Fairytale of New York' by The Pogues and featuring the late Kirsty McColl. It still sells well on download, better than the following actually, but it finally has a rival.

Yes it was chosen by BBC Radio 1 as its seasonal song but that only makes it more remarkable: it prominently features banjo and even in the UK there has been love. That alone is an affirmation of the effort and dedication that it must have taken to write and record it, but was certainly no guarantor of its success.

Winter Winds

As the winter winds litter London with lonely hearts
The warmth in your eyes swept me into your arms
Was it love or fear that lead us through the night?
For every kiss your beauty trumped my doubt

And my head told my heart
Let love grow
But my heart told my head
This time no, this time no

We'll be washed and buried one day my girl
And the time we were given will be left for the world
The flesh that lived and loved will be eaten by plague
So let the memories be good for those that stay

And my head told my heart
Let love grow
But my heart told my head
This time no, this time no

The shame that sent me off from the God I once loved
Was the same that sent me into your arms
And pestilence has won when you are lost and I am gone
And no hope, no hope will overcome

But if your strife strikes at your sleep
Remember spring swaps snow for leaves
You'll be happy and wholesome again
When the city clears and sun ascends

And my head told my heart
Let love grow
But my heart told my head
This time no, this time no.

If this were the only good track on the album that would be something but it isn't. I am, in fact, unsure that it is any better or worse than the others, which is saying something given that this is a début album, but it is the one that is just perfectly allied with the current scenario. Most of the album would be probably be perfect listening at a barbeque on a warm summer night.

Its depiction of London has just reminded me of another song, again quite recent, and in this instance by an artist from outside the UK but that will have to wait for another post.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Have One On Me - Joanna Newsom

I don't know if her Australian distributor, Spunk, intended to do this on purpose but it seems to have spilled the beans.

Joanna Newsom live at Latitude 2008

The link might be hard to reach, or have even been abolished, but it certainly existed as I and many others reached it. There are however reasons to think that it is probably genuine...

Her US label, Drag City, posted the following enigmatic cartoon on its site a little while back...
The date, 2/23/2010, is very plausible as albums are usually released on a Tuesday in the US. The Australian release date was given as 19 February, which fits with local release practice. In the UK albums are almost always released on a Monday and all of this has to do with the way weekly sales figures are recorded in the respective territories.

If this turns out to be correct I am more than interested to discover what it sounds like: no doubt her harp and trademark vocal acrobatics will be back but I wonder what else. When she performed at Latitude 2008 she played three then very new and unreleased tracks and performed all of them unaccompanied on grand piano and I remember thinking at the time that two of them were really quite special but sadly I cannot remember their titles.

Here it is...

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Canada again - New music 2010, part 4

It is almost a week since I last posted, which pains me somewhat, but then it takes time to listen and do the research. While it wasn't my intention to do a second post on new Canadian music straight after the last one a certain flexibility is a necessity.

This one will be more concerned with returning artists and the first is this and my impression is that is going to be a fine continuation of their form. Yes it is true that this is not music for the masses, rather that for those who want to have it with rather eerie cold-war-era lyrics...

Jace Lasek and Olga Goreas, The Besnard Lakes, can be relied on to do just that.

This is once again something of a collaborative effort and I really doubt that the new album will disappoint. 'The Besnard Lakes Are The Roaring Night' is released by Jagjaguwar records, on vinyl, CD and download, on 8 March 2010 and is well and truly on my wants list.

Since I wrote last Monday I have learned of a few more new releases from well established Canadian artists...
Arcade Fire are recording their third album, and it better be good, but I know of no title or release date for that. Stars are recording an album, which they say will be released in the summer and Broken Social Scene are also planning a return, complete with a new album, in 2010.

Most remarkable of all is that, after eighteen years and more line-up changes than Sugababes, Martha & The Muffins return in 2010 with a new studio album and perhaps now the time is right.

Monday, January 04, 2010

New music 2010 - a Canadian wants list

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned that 2009 new releases had all but ended, which was true, but that was not to say that I had become aware of anywhere near all I should like to have done, let alone hear them. I did also say that I still had a long 'pending list' from 2009...

This is an attempt to deal with a few of them and, because it has proven a treasure trove of new music over the last five or so years during which I have been paying attention, one country has never failed to amaze me. I have thus chosen to start with some Canadian music that I really want to hear...

I mentioned If The Fun and Laughter - Land of Talk (2009) (CD EP) in the side-bar yesterday and it is good indeed. Land of Talk is however not a band new to me. These pretty much all are and, in most cases, I know little except what I have read or otherwise been told.

Years (One Thousand Fingertips) - Attack In Black (2009)

These albums might not be so well known in the UK, and might be a little harder to track down than some, but I'm pretty certain that is going to be worth the effort. Here's another one...

This one shouldn't be too hard to find and it is also available on vinyl.

On a 2010 release promise I can't help but want to hear the 'Kite Hill' début release. Two of the most influential Canadian bands that I heard live in 2009 were Ohbijou and The Acorn, both part of the Toronto music scene, and this project involves members of both.

Spirit Guides - Evening Hymns, which you can get from, is another amongst many and there are indubitably dozens more of which I am sadly unaware...
If you would like to add any corrections, comments or additions please just feel free to do so.