Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Burnin' For You... Thoughts on Music 2010

Things are looking interesting on the music front once again.

The big UK festivals have for the most part announced their headline acts, and they are a hard-hitting collection, but as is customary 'Festival Republic' has not. This means that those for Leeds/Reading and Latitude 2010 are as yet unknown. The same, as far as I am aware, also goes for the 2010 'V Festivals'. The why and when of this does not overly concern me; the main stage headliners for Latitude 2010 will no doubt be revealed on the day that the tickets go on sale - 9 March 2010. I went last year and had a fantastic time but I didn't bother with any of them... The acts on other stages, and those lower on the main stage playing order, held plenty of promise and that was of more interest to me.
It is the 'Award Season': the NME awards are taking place in London as I write and they are in general messier than events such as last week's 'Brits' but no less worthy. I have found it tempting to start a 'wants lists' of bands I would like to see this summer and needless to say it is already a long one that includes all manner of currently less well known acts. That is what interests me and it has served me well this last two years...
The really interesting thing that takes place in the forthcoming weeks is SXSW and it can have a considerable influence.
I'm not making predictions; who am I to do that? I do however have some ideas about the artists, or genre of artists, I expect to see.
I like it like this.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

'Brits 2010' - Some first thoughts

Well, a few days later, I have to say that the 'Brits 2010' was in my opinion much better than for some time. I say that for two reasons: firstly it was well presented and an all-round good production but more importantly, and even if I don't like them, the winners were the deserving ones.

I'm not really of the JLS generation but they deserved a 'Brit'. Lady GaGa got what she got, not just to remind the UK that it isn't the centre of the world and music is no exception, simply on merit. In the same category of merit were Florence and The Machine and Dizzee Rascal so it is not that Britain lacks talent, far from it, and their duet was quite something. That brings me on to N'Dubz - who could have imagined this of UK hip-hop just a couple of years ago?

Summary: brilliant.

It all reminded me of this album from 2001 in some ways...

New York, white, female, hip-hop and, like Madonna and GaGa of Italian heritage, Concetta Kirschner is recognisable as an icon of the genre and she is still busy, with a new album soon. In the meantime 'Life Is But A Dream' is available on 7" now...

Forecast: expect more surprises in 2010. The nominees for the 2011 'Brits' could be very interesting indeed.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

I Speak Because I Can - Laura Marling

Here it is at last:

It includes 'Alpha Shallows' and 'Goodbye England (Covered In Snow)' which, if you are a fan of 7" vinyl, you will recognise from that format.

I've just listened to it all for the first time, twice back-to back, and the result is oddly as damning as it is a revelation. The album is quite remarkable and yet I should have known that this kind of music could be so rooted in time and simultaneously so fresh.

There are two sides to this observation: I now think I could be better versed in the first wave of new-folk, realized well before she was born and 'Rambling Man' is a case in point; and I'm now acutely aware that this is not something in isolation here in the UK but rather that it lies on a wider plane.
I could find out about a new artist of this genre every few days without trying, which makes me think that this summer's festivals could be very interesting indeed and more on that soon, but equally I now know I need to listen to the classics of the first blooming that have to some extent passed me by. Joni Mitchell is one that comes to mind but I can think of plenty of others...
It is not that the new generation necessarily sounds like them, rather it is the influence and the ethos that matter.

Monday, February 08, 2010

I Tried To Do Hand-stands For You...

It is time for some new 'thoughts', more lyrics and a whole lot of new music, but I tend to fail on the vaulting of my ambition.

The most evident utensil
Is nothing but a pencil

and, from different tracks on the same album...

Permanently black and blue
Permanently blue for you.

All the garbage that you have thrown away
Is waiting somewhere a million miles away.
Your condoms and your VCR
Zip-lok bags and your father's car
Dark and silent, wait for you, yea-hey
And so much garbage will never ever decay.

And just four hints for now:

Esben and The Witch
iLiKETRAiNS - album #2
The Joy Formidable - album #2
Blood Red Shoes - Fire Like This
...and a whole lot more to follow. Guess what? I am not a robot...

Some thought it was facetious on my part and others saw it for what it was. It is real and another worthy of note in the nu-folk canon, artist and album both. It is released on February 15, 2010 by River Rat Records.

Was It Worth It - Jeremey Warmsley and Elizabeth Sankey (aka Summer Camp) seem to think so...
..and (for what it is worth) so do I, very definitely.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Higher Powers - 6 Day Riot - the album lyrics

It is mostly done and, given the new-found popularity of 'Every Third Sunday', I thought it a shame not to share all the lyrics for 6 Day Riot - Have A Plan.

Run For Your Life
And morning comes with a meltdown, this town is needing a shakedown, we've
been burning bridges for hours: guided by higher powers. And rising up from the
edges this land is covered with faces we've been praying for someone to lead us, the
end of those who deceive us. Ooh if I was you I'd run for your life. Her face is in every
paper and may we never forget her... A nation cries together, hoping to remember.
Look back at roads we have taken, as sleeping giants awaken, counting days till
tomorrow we'll beg steal and borrow. It's not the time to stand in line if you wanna
change this. They'll make the world you measure by if you let them take you. And hand
you to the darker side where everything's about you, it's not the time to stand in line
someone has to change this.

O Those Kids
O those kids, those kids won't bat an eyelid if we don't change a
thing. I risked my mind, I risked my mind and sanity to give you
what you need. I'm drowning. I'm leaving this life we made.
I'm drowning, my last thought's of all the money we'll make.
We'll make. O my dear, now don't you fear, just another day
and we'll be done. O my dear now don't you fear, just another day
and the money's coming quick and fast. We'll spend! We'll spend!
We'll spend! O those kids...

Be With Me
I look inside your mind and hide beneath this bed, the sheets are cold tonight the
shapes all blur to life. As I pray for you and watch you as you sleep, as I wait
my turn I hope that you will be with me, we'll find what only the wise men seek.
They hang around in pairs with boards that hold your name, a tick or two for you
could mean another day. As I hold my breath and wait to hear some word, as I beg
for rest I hope that you will be with me, we'll find what only the wise men seek and
though it's hard to tell what only wise men seek. We took a risk our way;
we fought to know, we took a risk our way; open and closed. Come on and tell us,
come on and show us.

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 realized 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.

Rise Above
Rise above, rise above, rise above all the lies and hatred and new-fangled love,
could you find a way to turn this all around? Wide awake, wide awake, wide awake
as the morning turns another page and the anger lies sleeping one more day.
But oh to be like you, a stranger to all we knew, to hold yourself above what
might be true. Walk away, walk away, walk away turn your back on all that we
once made let the mountain rise upon this land. I don't know, I don't know,
I don't know you could count the lives that have been lost but still your mind
rests firmly on your own. But oh to be like you, a stranger to all we know,
to hold yourself above what might be true.

So You're A Writer
So you're a writer but can you hear this? You've been chasing circles all across
those pages. Another landslide and they're all cheering, got your people outside
every doorway listening. Bring it back to mine, slip back into line, it's harder to
deny so bring it back. You'd take my own mind to hide your old lies and try to save
face if only just to rise above us. So lie in wait there and toast your genius, raise your
glass high while everthing around you crumbles. Bring it back to mine, slip back
into line, it's harder to deny, it's harder when you go sailing past this place take that
trip back round. All a game planned in your mind take that trip back round. These
last days have multiplied the thoughts you hoped to hide as you go sailing past your
soul take that trip back round.

Never thought, never thought to wonder if you heard all that I said, if my house isn't
there any longer then I guess I've burnt that bridge. How.m I ever gonna fight this breakdown
if I'm dead from the waist down? If I thought I could take this over then I might earn
my name, as I lie and wait, lie and wait for answer lie and wait, lie and wait in vain.
How'm I ever gonna fight this breakdown if I'm dead from the waist down. Undo my mind
rewind our time. On the face in the face of all this, like you, like me, like he, it's all I thought
I ever wanted all I thought I'd ever be. How'm I ever gonna fight this breakdown if I'm
dead from the waist down. Undo my mind, rewind our time. Every word that I encounter
holds an old part of me. all the books I've ever opened lie floating on the sea, and my clothes
don't even matter if I have nothing more, could you stay a little longer, help take away
the noise. How'm I ever gonna fight this breakdown if I'm dead from the waist down,
undo my mind, rewind our time.

Go! Canada
Oh we sailed for days to find this view before us, there lies the land an inch or two
below us. Take a look around you'll see the flags are raised again, and rising from
the earth the theatre beckons us along. Way beneath the swell they laugh at our
misfortune. All that holds our wealth lies washed up in Dalston. We fought our
way through broken years to conquer, there lies the land an inch or two below us.
Wave across the rolls at red and white united, may we return another day to find this.
Oh we're losing you, drink to forget what is right. Oh saluting you, drink just to sleep
through the night.

Rise Again
Chasing the circles and fighting the cause it's now that we have come for.
it's now that we needed. Inside your pocket, lined with our gold you hide your
intentions and hold our restless souls. But oh we will rise once more, ignore
those fearful men. I'll try to regain my strength for now I can breathe again.
Lost in the moment still biding our time we swim for this promise and hold
the dark line, now with momentum we run with the waves we're dying to meet
you, we're dying to know your name. To know your name...

Long Slow March
In this place not a face that I can trust, not a scene to be believed it's changing...
From each door to the boot of my car they follow every move I'm making.
Like age they'll take my mind, like years they'll take my sight, a long slow march
through the night, a long slow march tonight. To the next I hear each word I
breathe a stranger to deceive, I'm on you. Here you stand a brother in each sense
but eyes that I can't place: do I know you? Like age they'll take my mind, like years
they'll take my sight, a long slow march through the night, a long slow march tonight.

Previous posts on this topic:
Every Third Sunday - 6 Day Riot

While you're at it why not also check out this CD from 2004...

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

So much to listen to...

After the customary slow start to the year new music suddenly seems to be bursting out from all sorts of expected and unexpected places! It may still be winter on all counts but the joys of spring seem to have appeared like the first brave snowdrops.
I'll try and add more in the next few days but for now here is another band from the US:

Audio Fiction come from New York and, having only found out about the band on Sunday, I listened to the two free mp3s, 'Way Out' and 'Suffocate', available on download from the website. I like what I heard and the self-titled CD is on order from

Have you have ever wondered what late 80s and early 90s New York indie pop-rock might sound like, if it were tinged with a no-shit punk attitude and reinvented in 2010? Well now you have an answer: