Saturday, August 28, 2010

Not Least @ Latitude - Part 9 - Cevanne

Gaggle opened the Lake Stage on Sunday - it was a suprise extra at midday.

At a three day festival Sunday morning can be something of a struggle. Gaggle has however been making waves all year.   While on that subject this London-based vocal ensemble deserve a big shout for drawing in a large, possibly somewhat incredulous, tired or hung-over crowd at midday as a 'Special Guest' slot...

Their performance in The Union Chapel, London in the spring of this year was raved about and, after this one, I can now see exactly why that might be.

The assembled were again modest in number when Cevanne opened the stage for real on Sunday lunchtime.  She, and her band even more so, looked nervous as hell as they came on stage.
Latitude has a policy of showcasing local artists - and Cevanne Horrocks-Hopayian is indeed a Suffolk lass - but the artistic influences are more eastern European and Levantine than strictly east Suffolk. That she is a dancer and harpist only adds to the cross-over theme however.

By the end of the set they had the biggest crowd I have ever seen at the Lake Stage on Sunday lunch time and fully deserved it too. This is what a swelling and appreciative audience - their biggest ever and at the band's first ever festival performance - can do for confidence...
You might even ask the crowd to sing along!
[and also use coconut shells as percussion in a live setting]

They nailed it.  OMG we all heard that, so another one to watch.
Cevanne live @ Latitude 2010. The forthcoming album is 'Big Ears'.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

When genres melded...

At some point rock, hard rock indeed, developed a sensibility that included aspects of both UK folk and Americana; perhaps not both at the same time and almost certainly not in the same place.
That would probably be in the early 1970s and this is one of the albums that, I believe, was a trail-blazer although the band in question were actually heading in the direction of harder rock at that time.

This is Decca SKL 5170 (1973) and hard rock it is not!  It is still very good though...

Eric Bell was a victim of the changes but perhaps its time has come around again.  A bonus is that SKL 5170 came with an illustrated lyric sheet.
Even in later Thin Lizzy albums this traît was evident - Jailbreak (1976) is a very good example.  It was, on the face of it, a 'full-on' hard rock album but the subject matter was actually rather traditional...  It was also the album that finally saw them see some success in the US.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Living With Ghosts

This is for whoever asked, including the lyrics as published thereon.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Don't Say A Word - Phantom Limb

Don't Say A Word

Don't say a word
For I've already heard
It feels so good
But don't feel like it should
So don't say a word
Cos I've already heard
You are sweetness and charm
Without loving arms.

You are a soldier
Swimming up-stream
You are a shoulder
On which I should lean.
From what I can remember
You always looked keen
With the shimmer of the last
Fallin' light summer rain.

Don't say a word
For I've already heard
It feels so good
But don't feel like it should
So don't say a word
Cos I've already heard
You are sweetness and charm
Without loving arms.

You are the proud one,
Looking at me
Softly in the eyes
And rosy your cheeks
From what I can remember
You were never lame
Just a haze and a memory
And a distant pray.

Don't say a word
For I've already heard
It feels so good
But don't feel like it should
So don't say a word
Cos I've already heard
You are sweetness and charm
Without loving arms.

Don't say a word
Don't say a word
All I need is you love
Don't say a word

Don't say a word
For I've already heard
It feels so good
But don't feel like it should
So don't say a word
Cos I've already heard
You are sweetness and charm
Without loving arms.

Someone asked about this song and its lyric yesterday. Given this evening's frustration with posting images, etc. a bit of
ab initio lyric-divining seemed quite an attractive alternative. The above is what I think the lyric is. I have listened to the album version many times - including several times just now - and also seen the band live on three occasions too. There may be variations, not least because of inaccuracies of transcription on my part, but also in live performances. If you get a chance to see Phantom Limb live then take it!

The new studio album is much awaited (the above is from their first, the self-titled Phantom Limb) and there is also a live album, recorded in their home city of Bristol in 2009.  Another outstanding track from this album, never more so than when performed live, is 'Withering Bones'; I might well add the lyric for that tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

New Music 2010 - Part 16 - Across America in music.

This is perhaps going to be a hybrid of acts I heard at Latitude 2010, those that I am looking forward to at EOTR 2010 and others that have impinged on my consciousness for one reason or other.
If I can keep it focussed then it might work out OK.  If not it will become more than one post, maybe one of them devoted to Latitude artists or to US-based artists and acts.
At the start of the year I mentioned that I thought that diversity might be one of the beneficiaries of 2010 and, while I may not have specifically made that point, I'm starting to think that was a valid one nevertheless.  That which is certain is that, as regards the things I am listening to and those I now want to listen to, it most certainly is!

The US is springing surprises on an almost weekly basis and I have already mentioned some of them and 'Dead Flowers' - Caitlin Rose is on some kind of rotation as far as my personal play list is concerned. That the title track is a cover of a Jagger/Richards song only serves to make the self-written songs all the more apposite.

It is therefore not surprising that I now have the album 'Own Side Now' of which more later. What pleases me is that the US albums that I want are scattered across genres -  I have already mentioned Avi Buffalo's eponymous début album, which gets better with every listen I think. 

Also on my list (and I'm hardly the first to mention this one) and if we get some late summer warmth then it is hard to imagine a BBQ that is not California-themed and sound-tracked, at least in part, by this...
...Best Coast's 'Crazy for You'.

They both have critics, of course. Some say that the lyrics of Avi Buffalo are too contorted (to be West Coast?)  while others that those of Bethany Cosentino's creations for Best Coast are too simplistic; just lyrics by numbers.   Well, and this is my point I suppose, you can take your choice: For me it is "yes, please" and "both, thank-you".
* If you are reading this, and it seems strange, you are quite normal*
In retrospect I should have gone all analogue instead and spent the time on those lyrics that simply require listening to on vinyl and putting a pencil to paper!  That of course puts me in mind of  New York, which metaphorically this trip is as yet nowhere near, and Caroline Polachek's line about 'the most evident utensil'.
While entirely imaginary this is proving suspiciously like the real thing.  Transport malfunction and unexpected detours amongst them. It was a very bad idea to start on Wednesday night, however...
The road trip can wait 'till tomorrow except that what was once tomorrow  is now today; and it has been so for a while now. I am, however, still west of the Mississippi and thus some way short of my next musical destination. The rest of today has been spent in Farmville, IA.  If  Facebook notifications are anything to go by then my sister farms a large part of it now.  She is always the industrious one.
Strange day today (August, 19) but not as bad as I thought it might be and
with it came some thoughts on music that had never really occurred to me before.
Travelling east, we will reach the home of another artist that I have mentioned. What is new is that this is now readily available in the UK.  It appeared in the US before her 2010 début album 'Catching A Tiger' and she is from Rock Island, IL. It is one of the Quad Cities that border the river that is the Iowa - Illinois boundary.

A mini-album, it is too long really to be an EP even in the broadest sense, and also totally worth a listen in its own right is Why You Runnin', by Lissie.
Tomorrow is another day so, once it is done, do I then cross the river and head east or do I take a right turn and follow the river south?

You are my guides for I do not have sat-nav for this virtual journey.
I'm heading south by popular request.
Here, therefore, is a thought for the next year and this applies to UK music even though that might seem surprising.

Pedal steel is not exactly that well known over here but it is a very worthwhile complement to slide guitar, which I have long liked.  I think we might be hearing a great deal more of both instruments in the next year or so.

As for the road trip and quite where the journey will end is anyone's guess now.  I like the idea of Seattle, or possibly even Portland, via Canada and I have my reasons why.  That said I'm not paying for the fuel and, that being so, I know exactly the vehicle I would be driving - one that I once owned.
It was nothing remotely flashy... no air con, even heating/cooling was a pretty much hit & miss affair but, at least soon after I bought it it had a CD auto-changer that had more wires than the rest of it but was one of the things that never failed.  That alone was worth all the other problems. It is a journey in progress.

I've got a docket in my pocket
It says all I've ever wanted is to be free.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Lyrics again - not just my obsession?

I love it that so many like lyrics too but it has certainly proven rather more of an interest than I imagined. I thought, when I first mentioned the matter, that all was doing was setting myself up for ridicule because it was merely of foible of mine.
It would seem that I was much mistaken. I will try to do my best but the list of requests is becoming as interesting as it is daunting, even for those that I have a reasonable chance of doing.  Here is today's list and they are all from albums that I have mentioned before and thus have only myself to blame.

'The Green Fields Of Canada' - Planxty (1974)
'Don't Say A Word' - Phantom Limb (2008)
Deranged - Stacee Lawson (2008)
That's a whole album, 'Deranged', and two songs. That is quite a lot of lyrics to do, so please don't expect them tomorrow!

Stacee Lawson's 'Deranged' includes a rather worthwhile cover of Edie Brickell and the New Bohemians' 'What I Am', originally from the equally worthwhile album 'Shooting Rubber Bands At The Stars' (1988).
Phantom Limb, while from Bristol more or less, are in LA and recording their second album.
The Facebook site I use-music-as-an-escape-from-my-problems has its merits too but is struggling, if not for attention then certainly diversity.  If anyone feels like writing a bit about music; any music that you like is just fine (or even that which you don't), and why, please feel free to join in and add something.  It is not a scary prospect, I can assure you of that, and if you choose to add something slightly challenging then that is all the better.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Not Least @ Latitude - Part 8 - "The American Dream"

Much of that which I have written in this series of posts concerning some of the less well-known artists that I saw live at Latitude 2010 has focussed on those that I saw performing on the Lake Stage.  In previous years that rôle has more often than not been taken by artists that I have seen on the Sunset Stage.   I particularly associate it with all things American, thus my recent comments concerning 'The Pains of Being Pure at Heart' this year and 'Yes Giantess' in 2009.  It is however, nestling in the woods and more reflective of the ambient weather, the sublime setting for acoustic music...
It can change character in seconds! One of the hazards at the front of stage is the possibility of a surprise drenching during showers but, when the sun comes out, it is just different because of the sylvan setting. As we discovered in 2010 that can result in some surprising things - very scary and equally remarkable - but in totally different ways.

Jesca Hoop live on the Sunset stage on Sunday afternoon.
She finished the set with the awesome 'Hunting My Dress'.

And that is to say nothing about what happened when the wind almost resulted in disaster on Friday or the sun suddenly came out on Saturday...
This post is unfinished but that is only an indication of why the Sunset Stage is actually that important and, ultimately, why it matters so much.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Not Least @ Latitude - Part 7 - Beth Jeans Houghton

You may perchance have thought that I had come to the end of my thoughts on Latitude 2010.  It is not so, I have simply been diverted by other things. Here are some more that I regarded as highlights.
I have mentioned Pete Paphides' praise of Beth Jeans Houghton at Field Day 2010.   I first saw her live at EOTR 2009 and again at Latitude 2010 and all this is still before the release of her début album; before the end of the year?   Yes, she was a star in the really rather basic, but also rather good, Live @ The Local tent at EOTR 2009 but the potential was quite obvious and I was there to watch and comment. Even so I would not then have suspected that she would headline the Lake Stage on Sunday at Latitude 2010.

The fact of the matter is this: even if her stage persona might have visibly changed as an artist she has not, except for becoming even better at what she does.  The new songs, along with one or two from the 2009 'Hot Toast - Volume 1 EP', destined for the forthcoming album were impressive.  The other point to note is this: when it comes to relating to a live audience she just has that skill so naturally - and it works both ways.  There were plenty there who had never seen her live, possibly never even heard of her before. She got the great majority of them on-board without them even noticing the trick - one that is worth its weight in gold - and you tend never to forget anything, or anyone, that can do that.

I went straight from her performance to see Vampire Weekend headline on the Obelisk Stage, so could she possibly get away with the comparison?

Quite probably she could and Vampire Weekend has it too: it is not just about the music, however good that may be, it is about the presence.  Artists that don't have it are, at least to me, underwhelming when live almost regardless of any other relevant considerations.
 It was a well deserved vote of confidence I believe.
The closing song was one from the aforementioned CD-EP  and it was 'I Will Return, I Promise' - and against that assertion it is now very hard to argue.  It might, however, be on a rather larger stage.
Vampire Weekend certainly didn't disappoint either.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Don't Look Down - lyrics in other languages.

Arlington Way
Arlington way syniad pwy oedd e anyway, i aros y nos, trwy'r nos, heb un co
unwaith mewn bywyddaw na freuddwyd yn wir, mi fyddai'n cerdded gyda ti
yn ysgafn fy ngham a lliwiau mhobv man a by ni'n camu mewn drwy'r drws
Arlington Way, cer lawr i'r lle, na fe os ti isie
sa'i byth angen dallt dy fusnes, dim ystryw i mi, dwi'n iawn ar fi hun
ond doedd na neb oedd yn gystal a thi
swllt yn syrthio at y parfin, ac yn troelli yn y man,
sa'i byth yn gwybod heth i ddymuno-pen? ti'n gweld taw (cynffon)... ti y'wr un
unwaith mewn bywyd daw na freuddwyd yn wir mi fyddai'n cerdded mewn da ti,
gyda chalon yn curo a dyddiau da i'w cofio a by ni'n aros mas tan hwyr
wnaeth neb ddweud y byddai n teimlo mor natoriol
dim ystryw i mi, dwi'n iawn ar fy hyn ond doedd na neb oedd gystal â thi
ne ti ddod a dweud fod na lot mwy i'w wneud nac a wyddwn i
but it's not the same... it's not the same, a na'i byth bod mor ffôl
ond does dim amser nawr ar ôl
naeth neb ddweud y byddai'n hawdd naeth neb dweud na ellid ei wneud
neb i ddweud y byddai'n teimlo mor naturiol

Mae Angen Llong Ar Capten
Dwy law yn erfyn a mi ges fy bun ar lannau'r afon Nil
paid edrych lan a phaid edrych i lawr on ir a goll ac on i braidd ar ddi-hun
galwodd rhywun am ambiwlans clywes i'r rhybydd yn uchel a'n ghr
a phlymiais i mewn i'r dwr yn ddwfn ac anelu an y ffin
dyw e ddim mor anodd ar anorfio gydar llif
pan wyt ti ynghanol breuddwydion hâf neu canol dydd
mae angen awel ar longwr er mewn morio drwy dywydd gwael
mae angen awel ar longwr er mwyn hwylio o lan i lan
mae blodau'r Delta'n tyfi'n hadau mae'r gwair yn tyfu'n wyllt
ond ei di fyth i'r nefoedd os arhosi d'in rhy hir os mynni di fyw am byth
mae'n bryd rhoi'r ffidil yn y to, gwnest dy wely meddai'r Capten
ond allai ddim gwneud hyn a ni alla'i wneudy llall os dwi yn gaeth yn Argae Aswann
paid edrych lan a phaid edrych i lawr paid gweneud hwna a phaid gweneud y llall.

Nawr ti'n dweud bo ti'n gadael i weld y byd, a gweld y cefnfor maith
wnai ddim crio na na, na byth difaru dim gof yn lle wyt ti chwaith
mae llgad yr haul ar Carolina mae'n disgleirio i lawr ar Tupelo
na'i ofalu am y deryn a'r gwenyn i gyd a naiff fy meddwl ddim crwydro nôl,
ddim crwydro yn ôl atat ti. Ac os ddoi o hyd i ti ar ddiwrnod da
yr awyr yn las, neb i gwyno'n gas yn gadarn a chywir ar ochr y bryn gydag afon yn ei lli a Luciano y ci
os mai dyna ti moy'n, pacia dim fag, s'dim angen nodyn,
cet at t drws,'drycha' nôl am un tro arall tro'r golau mas
cym un cam at y chwith ac un arall at y dde a cherdda i ffwrdd.

Y Corryn ar Pry
Dwi an ddangos paradwys i ti, meddai'r corryn wrth y pry, ti am aros da fi: mynd â chwmpawd drwy'r ddinas
fyddai'n disgwyl na a ti, i ddangod y ffordd dwi am droi y gofod rhyngon a'i wneud e yn gan gradd,
am i ni fod da'n gilydd, wyt ti'n barod am noson fel hon?
os rhoi di bobleth sy gen ti, fe gei di bopeth sy gen i a cchymaint nwy
maen cymryd dau i neud y Tango mae gennym wahaniaethau mowr, ti byth yn gof yn dim,
dwi am droi y gofod rhyngom a'i wneud e yn dan dradd, am i ni fod da'n gylidd,
wyt ti'n barod am noson fel hon? fel hon? fflaau yn fy mhen, fy mer, fy nghalonn, fy enaid,
tyrd yn gosach, gad i mi deimlo dy fysedd arna i, fflamau, fflamau, fflamau.

Y Gwydr Argyfwng
Pam nad wyf fi'n dy gredu pam ti'n dweud dy fod di angen fi?
ti oedd y cyntaf i gyrraedd fel rhyw Twm Sion Cati ag os ma ngho i'n gweithio o hyd
mi o ti'n angel ar y penffordd ond yn ddiafol ar y pentan
o ro tin dda ac y barod... i dynnu pen o'i ysgwyddai a rhoi'r drwg yn y caws
ne nes ti neud? be nes to neud? arhosaf ar fy ochr i or dref
yn ara deg mae mynd ymhell ond calon wan sy'n dod heb ymdrech
a gwydr argyfwng syn galw arna i rhoddaf gic a'i chwalu cofn pawb ar ei domen ei hun
pam nad wyf fi'n dy gredu pan ti'n dweud dy fod ti'n caru fi
gwell peidia dweud y gair bach, gwell pedio meddwl am y peth
a bydd e btth amharu ar neb. Mi wn taw bachgen y wlad wyt ti,
wel, merch y wlad wyf fi, torra di wallt yn hir
dy hyn yn werth dim byd ond d-fe ddawnsiaf wrth adael y ty...

Lleuad Gwener
Daeth Lleuad Gwener yn rhy gynnar fe syrthiais I a gwrthod yn hyn oedd ddim gen I
rhyw gynllun gwael, y gwey'n oer, aros yn hwyr a gwylio sothach ar y teledu
am galon lân fy nhim fy hun, am fwy o graiad o llai o siriad gwan
rhyw gynllun oer, rhy gyflym o hyd. aros yn gwely a gwylio rhaglenni gwag
o hyd ac o hyd yn aros anm y dyddiau da
a hyd ac o hyd yn aros am hwyl gwell na hyn.

I Drive, Adref
Un dydd arall i ffeindio'r amser i sgrifennu rhestr,
i groesi un peth mas wedyn ychwanegu rhywbeth arall
na'i ware'r gitar am funed and dyw e byth yn ddigion a dwi'n gorffen y gân heb ei offen
ac yn cerdded i'r mailbox - des in gyfarwydd a hwnna
a gobeithio bydd na ddim dyledion i dalu,
dwi'n gyrru  ffindo llythyren ac yn agor yr amlemn...
Cyfarchion o'r gogledd pam na ddoi di adref?
mae Maine yn oer amser yma'r  flwyddyn ond na'i cadw'r tân yn llosgi..
dwi'n gyrru a dwi'n gyrru, tryd adref
Dydd Mercher , a mae'r plant yn ar ysgol, dyma'r diwrnod cyntaf mewn saith mis i
mi fod ar ben fy hyn a sai'n really gwybod beth i neud...
dyma fi'n mynd i siopa. Siopa dim credit yw e le chi'n prynu pethe wedyn mynd a nhw nôl at y siop
syn grêt tan i chi sylweddoli faint o wastraff amser yw'ch bywyd i gyd, am beth i fi'n disgwl?
am rhywun i alw? pwy? o le? wi'n mynd nôl at y car a dwi'n gyrru undrhyw le
o le i le.... o be i beth?

Drwy y coed fe ffeindiodd hi ei ffordd drwy y dail yn araf ei lliwiau hi a drodd. does dim dryll wrth dy
gefn i'th fygwth di nawr: dyw lladd ddim yn gelfyddyd, oriau a wyr cadw rhag lladd dy galon, ei lladd yn
llywr, ac edrychais ar yr haul, sy'n boddir lawr... fe ddoi di a theimaid newydd... Evelyn.

Tryw'r Drych
Os wyt ti am droedio'r ddear hon, paid dweud, cymer bwyll, gad i dy lygaid arfer â'r goleun
Os wyt ti am droedio'r ddear hon, paid dweud, cymer bwyll, gad i dylygaid arfer â'r goleun
dere'n ara deg Os wyt ti am droedio'r ddacar hon, paid siarad, cymer bwyll
yn dy sgidie gwaith, dilyn yr un daith yna'n droeon
dere'n ara deg dere'n ara deg, (dere'n ara deg ataf i),
rho di ben ar fy nghlun, dy groen ar f'un i,
dy wallt fel y frân. Ddu fel y frân na wyddai erioed am y te rfyn.

Di awyrennau'n gwneud dim byd i mi dim ond dy weld di a dwi mhell bell i fwrdd
cer âfi i'r un cyfeiriad a dwi'n codi i lle danni'n dau'n cwrdd
ac mea'n ffordd hir lawr pan ti mor bell o'r llawr ac yn bradu bob awr
Di awyrennau'n gwneud dim byd i mi dim ond dy weld di a dwi mhell bell i fwrdd
rho rhyw losin melys imi ac fe gei di bob dim sy ar y bwrdd
ista, ymlacia, ewn yn rhydd anghofia dy flinderau am weddill y dydd
at mae'n ffordd hir lawr pan ti mor bell o'r llawr ac yn bradu bob awr
awyren trên a cheir a chychod di-ri, falle âi ero, un-waith
o ddod a thi yn nes i mi, o ddod â thi yn nes.

Orenau i Florida
Mor ddu a'r môr ar brynhawn ystormus
yn corddi fel corwynt yn dy ymyl fe gerddais,
a son am forladron, mewn trefydd newydd morwyr suddedig a llygaid alaeth
ac fe gerddais yn dy ymyl ne imi beidio, nes imi beidio clywed dy lais
orenau i Florida blodau i Amsterdam gwnaiff dydd o dristwch arall
ddim yn helpu deall pam hydd diwrnod arall o ymaladd
ddim  yn trochi'r eira, orenau  i Florida a moroedd i Galilea
mae'n rhydd cymysgu anrhefn gyda'r bai a'da'ni'n gwneud
mae cariad ym mhob maddeuant, ynysoedd colledig yn arnofio ymhell or lan
milltiroedd a milltiroedd yn arnofio i rywle yn dweud rywbeth ond mae'r ystyr ar goll i fi nawr
orenau i Florida blodau  i Amsterdam gwnaiff dydd  o dristwch arall
ddim gwneud i fi ddeal pam, diwrnod arall o frwydro a'n cantref newydd yn fflam
orenau i Florida a blodau i Amsterdam.

Y Creyr
Fe ddihunodd creyr ym dyhem am goffi, roedd e hanner ffordd
adre felly arhosodd am sbel i brynu cylchgrawn i wybod popeth wrth ddarllen ei gylchgrawn
Ac fe ddaeth hi fewn fel corwynt o egni yn goesau diderfyn a'n sodlau i gyd
am beth wyt ti'n chwilie? Mae bob dim yma'n fy myd
dyweda be ti moi'n pam ti ar bigau'r drain? gad i fi ddywn y dagrau o dy lygaid
ti'n lico swn gitar wrth i ti grwydro mhobman
wyt ti di bod ir Parthenon? ti di bod i India? ti di bod i Manchester?
Ond ai'r gadael fynd yw'r hyn sy'n bwysig?
Dw I'n gwastraffu oriau yn syllu ar wynebau cylchgronnau
yn esgus taw'r  ffasiynau sydd ore, nawr dy fod di'n addor cwbwl I fi
meddianna fi, am i fi brofi blas dy addewid, ond Duw nid oes benadur
Fe wedoedd y creyr dy fod yn y man iawn ti'n lico swn gitar wrth i ti grwydro polman
wyt ti di bod ir Parthenon? ti di bod i Africa? wyt di ti clywed am Salif Keita? ti di bod ar afon y Seine,
a clywed y diafol yn gwaith Skip James? Ond ai'r gadael fynd yw'r hyn sy'n bwysig?
dwi'n gwastraffu oariau ag oriau yn syllu ar wynebau perffaith cylchgronnau
Dw I ddim am godi gwrychyn ond mae'n ffordd rhyfedd i fynd ar drws
gorau yw'r ur sy'n dy gau allan fel y gwynt
cana'r record ac efallai fe ddywedi di riau, fel hen benillion ond y gwir sydd orau
Fe ddisgleiria'r haul yn y gornel dywylla , rhaid gwneud y pethau pwysig yn y fagddu weithiau
Bydd dim diwedd i'r ddefod - na phryn oni bydd angen
ond diawch ferch ti'n gwneud i fi ganu fel hen gytgan.

My incentive is that I will now reward myself by buying her latest album, Tir (2010), which is a recording of sixteen traditional songs and therefore available in Welsh only.

And, odd though that may seem, it is actually still some real incentive.

What next? Well some more from Latitude 2010, including a whole lot of Americana, perhaps?  And some rock and then who knows...

2010 - The Year that...

What a year for music 2010 is turning out to be.  When, back at the end of 2009, I was trying to predict what it might bring I was fairly sure that nu-folk was finally coming to prominence.  I underestimated that, particularly the contribution to it that has come from outside the UK and from North America in particular.

It has bothered the UK charts throughout 2010 and that is reflected by the fact that of the twelve albums nominated for the 2010 Mercury Music Award three are of this persuasion:

Becoming A Jackal  ---  Villagers
I Speak Because I Can  ---  Laura Marling
Sigh No More  ---  Mumford and Sons

All three acts appeared at Latitude 2010, along with two of the other nine, and all credit to the organisers for their foresight. Of those three the only one that I didn't see live, owing to the inevitable conflicts of timing between the different stages, was Villagers. Everyone that I spoke to rated the performance highly and now the least I can do is get the album.

An artist who falls in to the Americana/roots part of the equation as mentioned above is Lissie and her 2010 album 'Catching A Tiger'; I was unable to see her perform live at Latitude.  That was a pity and it was the result of a first for me: four music stages and acts I wanted to see on all of them simultaneously! To some extent I had to go with choices that minimized the time spent between stages and maximized the time listening to music, but that is surely far better than being at a loose end?

That is not the say that the UK music scene is being overwhelmed by such things, far from it in fact, and that can only be good.  At the moment you can pretty much have anything and not be a pariah... Dub-step has moved to new levels of sophistication and, like it or not, new audiences to the point that it is bothering the charts too.  Artists such as Plan B, Professor Green and Example have all revealed albums that have proven major hitters in the chart.  If you want good old pop and all that comes with it that is still there too, along with all the rest.

Then there is the latest talent to have burst from the Brit School of Performing Arts - she is Katie B and her début single is entitled 'Katie On A Mission'. If that were just the title then so what? Hear her interviewed and, this is what has struck me about many in 2010, she comes across as thoughtful, intelligent and very much involved and immersed in the music scene as a whole.
Finally,  Eminem' 'I Like The Way You Lie' is a cracking return to form for him and the collaboration with Rihanna, whose world weary vocals actually make the song, is nothing if not inspired.

I've mentioned cover versions too, especially daring ones, and here are two more:
  • Three Cigarettes In An Ashtray   ---  Patsy Cline/Eddie Miller
  • Dead Flowers  ---  The Rolling Stones/Mick Jagger & Keith Richards
They both come on one 10" vinyl offering (NAMES40) - and Caitlin Rose's 'Dead Flowers' is nothing short of astonishing. Except, that is, perhaps I do have a secret liking for country after all...

Her début album 'Own Side Now' was released in the UK today (9 August). Of the ten tracks on it not one is reproduced from the seven on the item mentioned above and, as well as the Nashville country influences, it has many that are reminiscent of the West Coast music scene in the late sixties and early seventies. 

This just skims the surface of what I might mention - no rock in here for example - but if music can get better than this and I don't see any reason why not, then I want to be around to hear it.

This theme is, in many ways, continued in another post above:
New Music 2010 - Part 16 - Across America in music.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Lyrics again - Babelonia


she is the fractured one sewn
from sums of fractured time
her heart speaks a fractured tongue
her life a fractured design
she shares the weight of the sun
a love that burns alone
leaving their heart with no one
claiming no other their own

it's a wonder
you can believe
in what you see
divided love
childhood history
adult's mystery

she is her prophet and god
she is the comfort she seeks
she is a thousand wires sewn
through the outcome she receives
they share the cloak of the moon
under the darkened sky
they leave their secrets to roam
in the forgiveness of night

it's a wonder

you can believe
in what you see

divided love
childhood history
adult's mystery

I mentioned School of Seven Bells (SVIIB) as one of my highlights of Latitude 2010 and, now I have the album 'Disconnect From Desire', I am only reminded why that is and the music is only the start. will send it to you as mp3 for £7.90 (obviously including delivery).  No chance... for £8.24, including the rather pertinent issue of delivery, I was more than happy to patronize a UK independent music store.  That is not just a matter of loyalty or conscience, however, for that extra 34p ($0.50) resulted in a tangible item; something (it is actually spilt across two 12" slices) real, totally loveable and also easily damaged.  The moral of the tale is that new vinyl can be affordable it just takes a little effort and the support of the independent labels and retailers. In this case it was Reflex Records in Newcastle and the record is released in the UK by Full Time Hobby as FTH094LP.

 If £0.34/$0.50 in this regard becomes a matter of life or death then I'll quit.  

New Music 2010 - Part 15 - Rest of The World

It's difficult to start this because I don't really know where it is going. I have lots of ideas and, while they somehow belong together in some ways, they are separate strands like those in a plait.  Starting anything is, however, the hardest part.  There is so much that is wrong and yet there is also much that is right.  In the world, as also reflected in music.  There must be absolutely incredible modern music from, inter alia and in no particular order, China, India and Russia.  Maybe it is just that I'm living in some kind of musical cave; if that is so please point me in the right direction.
Europe, the Americas and Australasia may dominate our "world of music" but somewhere in the region of three billion people in those three countries alone can't help but express themselves through modern music with some stunning results.  We do hear some African music, from time to time, and even J-pop and K-punk if you look hard enough, but what about Indonesia and many others?

The 'official' title is the, rather condescending I think, term 'World Music'. I'm not promising to like anything in particular but then I never do; I am however quite happy to take a chance on some recommendations of things that I might, or indeed ought to, listen to.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Lyrics again - Folie à deux - 6 Day Riot

Folie à Deux
Reading on the bus was not for me
I couldn't focus on the things I meant to see
So I took a walk around the block
Filled my head with all you said
Now those faces breathe inside me on my way.

Come on the lights I thought we were friends
Now I'm sitting here toe-tapping every bend
Took so long to pick my dress
That boy did I almost forget
That I needed this to get me through the day.

It's just another catch to make but no-one knows their names
It's just another show to play, swings through the roof again.

The rhythm's looping round and round our heads
And the carriage shakes in time with with every single word we've said
The parson smiles with glee
On the calm of this here green
Sun is shining fires burning it's serene.

I tell you I don't care what they might say
There's no time to sit around in here and hope and beg and pray
Do you think they'll celebrate us
Do you think they'll give a damn?
Show the most of all you have and all you can.

It's just another catch to make but no-one knows their names
It's just another show to play, swings through the roof again.

I know it's wrong but shall we take this stop
Then at least we might leave here with a pocketful of change
And if we take our chances maybe we can run away
Pack our bags and feel the breeze of the highway.

It's just another catch to make but no-one knows their names
It's just another show to play, swings through the roof again.

Oh it's playing round my head, frantic words that have been said
They'll surround my every move.
The more I think about it I wonder what if we if we embrace it
Take the time to guide them through

And if we steal a friend or two who knows what we may do
To our circus found our purpose it's our way.

It's just another catch to make but no-one knows their names
It's just another show to play, swings through the roof again.