Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Love, loathe, or never even thought about it?

This is just one of the lessons I learned the weekend before last. Those who have opinions have definite ones, many other people are ambivalent to the extent that the concept of folk music means almost nothing at all. It is not for everyone, I know almost nothing at all about classical music although I should. I could find so much to listen to so easily but still I don't. That's just me.
On the subject of folk, which of course I like a great deal, this is a pretty distinct compilation played and sung largely in the contemporary idiom. 

It is also a totally free, and legal, 11-track, 320 mp3 download.
You might not even regard it as folk music at all... and if that is so then that doesn't bother me one bit. If you like it for what it is then that is actually the only thing that matters.  This is the track list:
  1. Laura Boyle - Arms Of The Angels
  2. Dave Gerard and the Watchmen - Stables
  3. Jessie Moncrieff - Georgie
  4. Andrew Butler - Love Is A Record
  5. Camille Delean - Rivers
  6. O. Chapman feat. Faith Barker - Morning Song
  7. Lucy Cait - Brother
  8. Worry Dolls - Polaroids
  9. Woodford Green - What The Doctor Said
  10. Josienne Clarke - Forever And More
  11. Salwa Azar - White Horse
And, as I was exploring, I thought I might as well also add some artist links (not included in the download).  I certainly haven't had time to explore them in detail yet, but here they are anyway, and a lot of it looks well worth further investigation. 

Monday, February 27, 2012

Live music, again... The Pains of Living Life in Frome.

Just joking of course, and with apologies to Brooklyn's 'The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart'.
This post comes from Friday evening - Acoustic Plus, an almost monthly event at The Cheese and Grain. This one, the first of 2012, provided a particularly packed programme - and still all for £5 - starting with vocals, guitar and blues piano courtesy of Sara Coffield and Pete Gage.

Next to play - just five songs, three of them from her recent EP, and two newer still - was Beth Monk. She was clearly very nervous introducing both herself and the songs but once performing she owned them. While she is not the same, and you might even consider the comparison strange, the first thing this made me think of is Kate Nash in the very early days - if you are lucky enough to own the MoshiMoshi 7" singles then perhaps you can see where I am coming from; the lyrical narrative song-writing is not however derivative or, worse still, generic.
Next up, complete with the rarely-seen sousaphone, and joined by Nick on trombone...
... this is the totally instrumental 'Honk Monster'.
The next artist was one that I have seen live at Acoustic+ before. Daisy Chapman  is now accompanied by a cellist and it makes a lot of sense.
The clutter that came between them was an unfortunate result of turning five sets around in short order but didn't spoil the music, at least in my opinion, one little bit.
Last but not least was Joe Mulcrone, formerly of Bath but now relocated to Brighton if I remember correctly.
So what is it like to live in Frome?  To those just asking, I'm just saying.

Friday, February 24, 2012

No rest for the insatiable - Acoustic Moon

I've just got home from the March edition of Acoustic Moon and a gem of an evening it was too. As the title of the post suggests I could have been suffering from a surfeit of acoustic live music this week... Not a bit of it as it turned out; three very good solo guitarists but each very different in style.
One mistake on my part means that there are no pictures of Harry, who was opening the evening, as when I went to reach for my camera from its pouch on my belt I realised that it was still in the car! Rather than miss her first ever set as a solo artist, and also playing six-string rather than bass, I missed the photos for the music. It was a set very well worth hearing - excellent original songs and a truly inspired choice of a 'cover' too.
Next to play was Dirk Landish, who I have mentioned before, with his distinctly American tinged songs.

Headlining, and back by popular request, was the artist who also performed the same duty at the very first Acoustic Moon almost exactly six months ago. Emily Baker returned with some rather lovely new songs yet-to-be-recorded and, of course, favourites from the album 'House Of Cards' as well as the 'Foundations EP' that preceded it.
Here she is doing exactly that with the new song 'Northern Lights'.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Random Thought on Music

Nothing remotely to do with folk really...
Just heard 'Comeback Kid' by Sleigh Bells, from second album 'Reign of Terror'. I like it but I can't help thinking that some awful (folk tale) fâte has befallen Alexis Krauss and, while she may appear the same, she is now Charlotte Hatherley in disguise.  Funny thing music...

Live and local - Frome Folk Festival 2012

This is going to be a 'work in progress', quite likely over the next fortnight or more. I once (in 1990 to be precise) swore blind that "I would never write a 'book' again". Some sixteen years later blogging had come along and I fell into the trap;  the rest is the history of what happened thereafter.
This weekend's little place in the history of me goes to the first ever Frome Folk Festival.  The first thing I'm going to say is a huge thank-you to all the people that made it happen - from concept and organisation to the management of all aspects over the weekend and the artists who were willing to subscribe to a start-up. Yes, there were the inevitable niggles of almost any kind you can imagine, but that happens at any festival every time. Everyone is quite entitled to their own perspective but one of my blog philosophies is to concentrate on what I like (it's written down in one of the early posts) and I don't see any reason to change it now.
A few of my pictures are in the side-bar already (and I can't wait to see those from the pros!) but here is another one:

 Miranda Sykes, Rex Preston and Damian O'Kane.
Cheese and Grain, Frome Folk Festival, Sunday 19 February 2012.

She recently received a '2012 BBC Radio 2 Folk Award' for this song.
Bella Hardy, 'The Herring Girl', Westway Cinema, Frome Folk Festival.

Friday, February 17, 2012

My First Festival of 2012

This is going to be interesting in, I rather suspect, many ways. It is a new festival for me, indeed new for everyone, as it is the first Frome Folk Festival. It is going to be some weekend...
One aspect (apart from indoor camping, well I will be kinda as I live in Frome anyway) of FFF1 that I'm largely going to be ignoring is the promised 'market' of stalls offering such things at Tarot Reading, aromatherapy and crystal healing (whatever that is - and please don't even try me about the psuedo-science). That is possibly just a little too Glastonbury, even for Frome, but it is a certain hazard within the broad church of 'folk music' so I'll quite happily just let them be. 
Aromatherapy I could countenance - at least in so far as the allure of the conveniently located fish & chip shop in King Street is concerned - and the café in the Cheese and Grain does do rather tempting cooked breakfasts, which up to now I've always resisted.  If it involves any preparation whatsoever on my part then I won't be eating it.  In that sense I have decided it will be just like any other festival - I'm "on holiday" this weekend and looking forward to it all.
Tickets for Frome Folk Festival 2013 (FFF2) are now on sale...

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Confusion is just what once you thought you knew.

You will probably know the electro-dominated single 'Somebody That I Used To Know' [but to be fair the album is not all like this, far from it indeed] currently doing the rounds with Australian-Belgian Gotye at the helm and featuring female guest vocals by New Zealand singer Kimbra (and probably better known as a guitarist). I like it but it is not the same as 'Someone You Used To Know' and I like this even more, which is why I'm mentioning it here.
The confusion mentioned in the post title will, along with my liking for acoustic music, hopefully become clearer here:

'Someone You Used To Know' is a totally different song, and an original, by singer-songwriter Zee Avi. If you think that Australia has a surprising musical influence you are right. Gotye is Australian but Zee Avi is not - she is from Sarawak, Borneo - and while 'Someone You Used To Know' is not actually on her latest album, 'Ghostbird', it is well worth a listen and so is the album.

Friday, February 10, 2012

New Music 2012 - Part 12 - "Oh, internet" - A love song

Not much could amuse me more than reposting this without further comment.

Later:  It is a long time since I've added lyrics to a post, so here they are:
this constant refresh well they say it's the death of us, baby 
but I like what you do and the way that you change on the daily 
when I walk down the street only strangers I meet 
but I can shake loneliness in just a tweet
i don't want to lose you 
oh internet 
if you were a pokémon I'd choose you 
oh internet 
keep me on your feed 
I synch to you pretty much constantly 
every now and then I go and check on the mail 
cause when there are physical letters consistency fails 
oh these bills everyday, 
lest they be autopay 
are easy to ignore 
i don't want to lose you 
oh internet 
you're the only love that's true 
oh internet 
i'd make out with your face 
later tonight let's meet in cyberspace 
oh but I can't get by unless there's wifi 
is this a drug that I need 
there is no other way 
I am at home all day 
so that my torrents can seed 
you just don't get it 
cause you're not on reddit 
and if you want me to go out 
just make sure that there's 
i don't want to lose you 
oh internet 
boo boo be boo boo-boop 
oh internet 
I wrote you this song 
and if you like it then you all can sing along.
Enjoy. Music is easy to take much too seriously and yet the themes it carries often very easy to dismiss. This is presented tongue-in-cheek and that is certainly no bad thing.   The imagined destructive power of new technology has long been over-estimated and its benefits under-sold. Neither is the way in which it starts reactionary.

Monday, February 06, 2012

New Music 2012 - Part 11 - Rebecca Cant

This is her new song 'Field' performed live at 'Songs From The Shed' this week. To  check out more then visit the above, this was their 171st session, and also Rececca Cant on Facebook and Myspace.
  It is also my first attempt to embed audio/video in 'Thoughts On Music'.

Sunday, February 05, 2012

New Music 2012 - Part 10 - Trailer Trash Tracys

Just as a starter, what an awesome band name. It tells of something and nothing in equal measure - leaving you to contemplate the beauty that it promises in complete isolation.

It could be all-out metal, for the band name would suit that, but in fact it isn't. It is actually so 2012 that it hurts in the very best way imaginable. I'm wary of saying what I think is comparable, or indeed influential, except to say this.
I like it. You know what I like in music. The album 'Ester' has it all. It is available on vinyl (Double Six Records) and how could you not want that album artwork on 12"?
When it comes to individual tracks that is just something that will have to wait for now. It is too much to take in one go.
Note added February 21, 2012:
Trailer Trash Tracys was today confirmed to be appearing at End Of The Road 2012.