Monday, November 29, 2010

... and this blog goes quiet for a week as I head off to Istanbul to give a talk as part of the Art & Desire Seminar. It takes place at Sanat Limanı at 3PM Friday December 3rd and the title is "The Desire Called Underground"...

Sunday, November 28, 2010

it doesn't get much better than this

another black British female singer who doesn't belong in the Urban category

lovely song, all the more touching for its sweetly earnest worry that Humanity really did perhaps ascend prematurely beyond Our Proper Sphere, before We were ready

i was living in America when it hit UK #1, and first heard it via a pirate tape, sampled in a hardcore track* that detourned the lyrics so that song-shards like "in the rush", "did we peak too soon", "blame you for the dream that died", "greatest adventure", "did we fly to the moon too soon", were now talking about a different We, who tried to rise above the mundane through the reckless pursuit of collective peak experiences, only to crash back down to Earth, wrecked...

it was only when MTV put "Sleeping Satellite" into light rotation that I realised where the samples came from and what a big hit it had been back home... wonder why it struck such a chord with the U.K. general public, beyond its prettiness and yearningfulness?

* and no, it's not Wishdokta's "Rush Hour", which samples "Sleeping Satellite" and is fine as far as it goes. It might be this tune--DJ Smooth & DJ Energy's "Did We Fly To The Moon Too Soon?" a/k/a "Flying High"--although in my memory the track uses a couple of extra lines from the song and is done slightly more artfully, to more poignant effect.

in all cases probably a case of simply joining the dots between "Sleeping Satellite" and this:

it doesn't get much better than this

Joan Armatrading is a bit like a British female Bill Withers

Which is to say, a singer-songwriter (played guitar, only sang her own songs, has never done a cover version) who went in this sort of AOR-soul direction.

Record companies didn't know what to do with either of them.

Don't know if she was pushed in a New Wave direction or went of her own volition, but I rather like this era of Armatrading

New Wave's austerity really suited her dry folky voice-texture and aloof persona (Joan Armourplating, the music papers unkindly nicknamed her, on account of being guarded in interviews, I guess)

(Was "Me Myself & I" a phrase in common parlance that she picked up on, or her coinage? And did De La Soul get it from her?)

This one is also nice.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

r.i.p. sleazy

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

it gets a lot better than this

but while we're doing doing Pop Birds of Great Britain (Late Seventies)

i would have (internally) scorned this at the time (being a Slits/Delta 5 fan) but also had a secret soft spot for this pretty AOR ballad, despite the cheesy "i'll show you a sunset/if you stay with me till dawn" chorus and the overall tone of abject romantic submissiveness. (But... we've all been there, right?)

notable features: that odd progressive-ish cello interlude in the middle

also the way the drummer, when he finally comes in, really tries to give it some welly, or at least indicate the capacity to give it some welly, while hopelessly restrained by the ballad form

"Stay With Me Til Dawn" was sampled by Ultramarine for "Honey" on Every Man and Woman Is A Star, gorgeously so, using the "need you tonight" bit -- but when the remastered version came out on Darla back in 2002 it sounded like they'd removed the sample and got some female singer to re-voice it as closely as possible to Tzuke's original

what else can we say of Judie Tzuke?

the name is Polish

she has a cute overbite

and a daughter named Tallula Muggleton-Tzuke

and blimey she certainly did persevere in defiance of one-hit-wonderdom... has done sixteen albums and is still going... recently capped thirty years in the biz with a celebratory double-album titled Moon On a Mirrorball featuring over thirty songs from her back catalogue, rerecorded...
new Spectral Cassettes mix from the ever excelling Pontone
Guardian piece by me on Moon Wiring Club and the Cafe Kaput label's debut release Electronic Music in the Classroom, featuring interviews with Ian Hodgson, Jon Brooks, and D.D. Denham.

And here's Hodgson talking to Warren Ellis about his favourite weirdtronica of 2010.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

tomorrow he would have turned 45

excellent Resident Advisor article by Michaelangelo Matos on "permaretro" as the condition of contemporary dance music

it's a glass half-full view

the syndrome's been building for quite a while--remember Faze Action, or the nouveau-electro action of i/F, Ectomorph, Dopplereffekt, or Metro Area, or...

but it's definitely escalated in the last few years

it's like there's this omnidirectional recursive thing going on... the unexpected, seemingly out-of-schedule returns of figures like Zed Bias and Horsepower Productions and even Terror Danjah feed into it too...
it doesn't get much better than this

at least in terms of my personal "memoradelic" archive

for years i carried around a faint-yet-vivid memory of this song as sublime.. in 1978, on Top of the Pops, it had really made an impression on me... probably the first time I got a sense that pop music could be a glimpse of something Beyond... in the memory it grew to have an almost Velvet Undergound-like quality, blurry transcendence... i wish YouTube still had the TOTP footage, cos the bluey celestial backdrop (intended to suggest aurora borealis probably) behind the band really added to that effect

when finally at some point in the nineties i tracked the song down on vinyl, i heard the frou-frou aspect I'd forgotten, or more likely never noticed.... (on the back cover of the album one of the guys wears a Prokofiev Rocks T-Shirt!)

still despite the frilly bits it is a lovely song

i guess this was Renaissance's attempt to do a folk-prog Abba maybe

it worked - #10 in the summer of '78

the search for "Northern Lights" also trawled up Renaissance's earlier full-force prog LPs (a lot of copies loitering in the second-hand stores, going cheap... Renaissance actually had some success in the States, Joy remembers hearing one of their concerts broadcast on the radio)... on which LPs you'll find lots of overblown legend-laden song suites, but nothing to compare with the song that Renaissance's proper fans scowl at as a sell-out

Monday, November 22, 2010

The ultimate hauntology artifact?

Central Office of Information films from 1970-1986 --a documentary on new towns, Illusions: A Film on Solvent Abuse, Looking At Prehistoric Sites, Peter Greenaway's Inkjet Printer, and so forth--re-edited or reduced to a brief snippet, then daubed with Mordant Music emissions, sometimes industrial and sometimes ethereal-celestial, but always oozy, gauzy, heard-as-from-afar...

From the DVD booklet, Baron Mordant explains:

The cordial gentlemen of the BFI led me blindfolded onto the roof at the BFI HQ Stephen Street and left me propped against an obsolete Steenbeck with instructions to sniff my way to the nearest nitrate room, ruMMage through the VHS mountain and not leave until I'd misinformed at least one reel of usable DVD in earnest ... in the midst of ruptured telecine transfers and squealing reels a selection of COI films, redolent to my youth, unearthed me and I duly smeared them with my detritus ... I imagined sounds & characters leaving one film & cropping up in another and that's the way it eventually spooled ... a narrative manifested itself and 'a return to the sea' would appear to be the iMMediate answer for future spores...

Incredible stuff and a major contribution to hauntology's "strong finish" (see also: Moon Wiring Club's Spare Tabby and the launch of Jon Brooks's Cafe Kaput label with Electronic Music In the Classroom) after an otherwise subdued year

Out on December 6th via BFI filmstore

Sunday, November 21, 2010

blubstep, pt 2

blimey, he really can sing

kind of wipes the floor with Darkstar, really

just a bit

it's like if Burial turned out to have the pipes of a Steve Winwood or Gary Brooker

Blake's doing that ends-of-words and middles-of-words crumble 'n' fray, indistinct diction thing -- Glottal Stop Soul -- and i was racking my brain about which recent-ish pop singer it recalled -- Chris Martin?--and then realised it was this pale young man

So - what is going on with your postdubsteppers and the New Emotionality? Darkstar recruiting a new member specifically to sing, James Blake vocalling a tune or two, Subeena ditto...

Friday, November 19, 2010

it doesn't get much better than this

dis one going out to Man Like Robin

i was starting to get pop-aware when this was a hit (a massive hit, #3 in the summer of 1978) but I have absolutely no recollection of it from the time

would never have even heard of it I don't think (one of those massive pop hits that just drops into a chasm in popular memory) unless Carmody hadn't had gone on about it on his website back--way back--in the day (check the August 29th 2000 comments, and passim)

what I like about it is mainly the verses

the chorus is a bit happy-sappy

but the verses have this English-accented clarity and a hushed poise that's almost stately

it comes right out of British folk...

you could almost hear this as the sister record to Richard and Linda Thompson's "I Want To See the Bright Lights Tonight"

and "Dancing in the City" was actually on Harvest

what I also like.... the synth-drummy element, which caught the ear of New Order-to-be (so Steven Morris told me)and was one of the things that got them interested in electronic rhythm ... but is here done in this elegant English AOR way that's a world apart from e.g. "Ring My Bell"... meshing beautifully with the sweet bass line (reggae-ish, played by Kit Hain presumably) and those restrained keyboard chords

what I also like, in the videos --especially the one above, the official promo presumably... Kit Hain has a certain je ne sais quoi that brings to mind "fancying your best friend's older sister who's left school, is away at college/working up in London, seems really sophisticated (but with the benefit of hindsight, wasn't really... still very much had the aura of gymkhana and lacrosse about her)"....

it's a 1978 thing, you wouldn't understand

Thursday, November 18, 2010

i can feel a class action suit a-brewing...

UK Music Journos versus Books LLC

Jon Dale pointed out




and Andrew Necci directed me to this expose by John Scalzi

Did I just write "UK Music Journos versus Books LLC"?

It's more like All Writers Everywhere Ever versus Books LLC


you know what, it's coming back to me now... there was this bloke... emailed me, a couple of years back... asked "can my publishing company reprint some of your pieces?"... I responded reasonably courteously ... said "well you know I'm with Faber, we just did a collection, Bring the Noise, probably not a good idea to flood the market old bean". Bloke was persistent, though. Came back with "anything you can spare, old live reviews, anything". At this point I got suspicious, checked out the publisher, whose name escapes. And it looked well fishy. Some of the comments from punters were mighty pissed off, "i paid 18 quid for this art book, wasn't expecting a stapled collation of black-and-white photocopies", that kind of thing.

i wonder, is this the same perp? M.O. looks to be similar.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

it doesn't get much better than this

the whole feel of the record is like the way the name "Noosha" sounds and reads

love the way every little bit of this small miracle of a pop song sparkles--the crisp guitars, the succulent keyboards...that talk-box solo...

as for Noosha's voice...

the prototype for Clare Grogan, it's often said

but more intriguing is the way that this minor group in pop history seem--with this single, a #4 UK hit in the spring of 1976--to have the jump on Chic

i've scoured YouTube for anything by Fox in anything like the same champagne-in-your-membrane vein but (and they've a most t'peculiar singles-ography it has to be said) but to no avail

perhaps someone who's sifted through the albums can let me know if they are worth bothering with

oh yeah, the sly saucy lyric to "S-S-S-Single Bed"... always assumed "ain't no room for your sweet head" meant "you're not in luck tonight" . Then it occurred to me it might be more a case of "now i've had my way with you, sod off, you ain't sleeping over". Total tease or booty call?
rockcrit bits 'n' bobs

* i read somewhere that there was a second edition of Nik Cohn's Awopbopalooboplopbamboom that came out in the early Seventies in updated form. I'm curious if anyone's got it and if it has any substantive comment on early 70s music, like what did he make of Bolan Bowie Alice Cooper etc say?

The edition I have is the paperback that came out on Paladin in 1970 (see above), now this has an extremely brief update (less than one and a half pages) tacked on called "Afterthoughts" that deals cursorily with the "so many changes" that had occurred in the eighteen months since the Weidenfeld and Nicholson hardback came out in '69. The "so many changes" don't appear to be that plentiful in truth: the return-to-greatness of Elvis and the Stones, the enfeeblement of pretty much every other major Sixties figure, and the emergence of "just three good groups": Bonnie & Delaney & Friends, The Band, and the Flying Burrito Brothers. Which is odd, because short of including the Allmann Bros, that little list couldn't have been further from Cohn's vision of Superpop as expressed in Awopbop (which vision I tend to think of as the absolute polar opposite of Last Waltz/Stranded, even though there's a lot of overlap in terms of the pantheon that the two visions/ideologies are built on...

* what do you know, Greil Marcus has the same birthday as me. And who knew that Mystery Train was only his second book, preceded by the co-authored Double Feature: Movies & Politics, which - if wiki can be trusted--preceded it by three years.

I actually have the first thing with his name on the spine, the collection Rock and Roll Will Stand (1969), which he edited. I first perused this in the rare books section of the New York Public Library -- you didn't have to wear white gloves to touch it but you were definitely in an inner sanctum type area, with an eye being kept on you. Later chanced upon it for 10 bucks used and snapped it up. Like other early rock books (Paul Williams's Outlaw Blues also from 1969, The Age of Rock ed. Jonathan Eisen, Carl Belz's The Story of Rock) it's a curious snapshot of a moment: everything's very much in flux, the way things were going to go not at all clear, the signficance of recent events not yet settled. (C.f. this Woebot, sorry Cybore, post). Actually, Marcus's essay "Who Put the Bomp in the Bomp De-Bomp De-Bomp" not only has a title that parallels Awopbop but it contains a Cohn-like celebration of rock and roll in terms of repetition, immediacy, and energy. I guess this must have been written in 1968, before rock's Historical Turn: Creedence and The Band writing songs about Dixie's defeat and Mississipi paddle steamers and debt-laden 1890s farmers... when the weightiness of history (rock's own, America's) had yet to encumber the music and make its very sinews creak with craft and worthiness... before Ry Cooder and Randy Newman and post-Astral Van became a critical generation's definition of the righteous path...

* what the fuck?

who is this Books LLC anyway? check this, this, this and this... also this and this and this... and about hundreds of other examples of what would appear to be unsanctioned, photocopied reprints bound in identikit covers....
tweetronica mix

by continuo

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

There's been some requests. Some it's-been-a-while reminders. Indeed it has been a while. You'll have to excuse me (I have excuses--moving a family from one side of a continent to another, bereavement, bringing to fruition a long-term project). Commentary is beyond me at the moment (maybe later) but here for now is a mute testimonial to what made an impression these last six months or so, in roughly ascending order of how impressed I was and am.




Monday, November 15, 2010

Typically interesting piece by Nick Sylvester at Riff City about going back to a record he didn't like and gave a jaw-droppingly low (from my point of view) grade when he reviewed it for Pitchfork six years ago--Doldrums by Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti--and seeing what he makes of it now. The answer is "not much, still" but that's not the interesting bit, it's his theory that Ariel Pink's music can only be enjoyed through the mediation of a Theory.

It's interesting but I think Nick has got it arse about tit as we say in the United Kingdom. It's not that Ariel Pink supporters (and I remember there being a lot of them right off the bat, circa Doldrums and Worn Copy) didn't really care for the music that much and then came up with an elaborate rationalisation to convince themselves that it was good, important, etc. That would be perverse! No, it was much more about having an overwhelming aesthetic and emotional response and then trying to understand what was going on in the music that produced that affect. (My first proper attempt is in the profile of Ariel that is the second half of this Animal Collective/Paw Tracks piece. I also have a smaller go here). It's not a case of selling oneself on the idea of enjoying something, it's "why am I enjoying this, and enjoying it so much?".

Equally, as much as it would be flattering to think that the Theory then led to hypnagogic pop/chillwave, it seems vastly more the case that the music (Ariel's mainly, a few others) engendered the wave. If theory made any contribution it was only to the extent to which the ideas were already embodied in the music. A parallel here would be shoegaze, with Ariel Pink as My Bloody Valentine... a second wave of groups emerge that are largely inspired by the music but are also affected by the discourse that swirled around the group (and similar ones like A.R. Kane).

This is not to downplay the value of theorisation, just to put it into perspective--if a theory doesn't work as a description of the music, an eludication and heightening, it isn't going to have any purchase, power, point. So the music come first--and that has always been the case, actually, whether we're talking hauntology, post-rock, whatever. (Of course there's an argument that once a theory has been cobbled together there is an inevitable tendency to look for more evidence to bolster and perpetuate it, resulting in the conceptual-intellectual equivalent to city-scene boosterism--e.g.The Stone Roses and Happy Mondays drew attention to Manchester, resulting in unwarranted attention and exposure for Northside, Paris Angels, The High, etc).

The most thought-provoking bit in Nick's piece is where he asks what the difference really is between "nostalgic" and "derivative". Several months ago I had a sticky moment where it suddenly struck me that the arguments I might make in favour of Ariel Pink might equally be made in favour of Guided By Voices, a band I detested, philosophically as much as musically, in the mid-90s (they seemed to me to be like a one-band American Britpop). It almost made me go back and listen to GbV's records a la Nick returning to Doldrums (somehow I never quite got around to that). Ariel Pink's music does fairly often border on pastiche. What I think makes it different in the end comes down to personality. True pasticheurs erase themselves completely in pursuit of formalist perfection; if personality comes through at all it is likely to be personable, pleasant, well-adjusted (e.g. Matthew Sweet); pasticheurs and classicists tend to be fan-boys, they lack the narcissism (a/k/a emptiness inside) necessary to be stars (if stardom was their motivation they'd be more likely to be doing something contemporary-sounding rather than retro-niche, probably). As much as Pink might be reaching for the purity of these bygone radio-rock and MTV-pop forms, it is all filtered through the prism of his character and his life experience. That prism is murky (something I tried to get at in this year's profile). The fragmentary, marred, maculate sound of the earlier recordings could perhaps be seen not just as an aesthetic choice (radio out of tune, mottled decaying memories etc) but also as a kind of acting out, like a razor slashing through a canvas.... or a deliberate falling short of perfection-as-lie. Before Today is cleaned up and orderly by comparison with Doldrums and Worn Copy, but in the best songs you can still hear "negative drive" (to use Devoto's term), in the vocals and the lyrics, which are mostly forlorn, bleak, cynical, nihilistic, lost, confused etc. The driven-ness and anguish is what gives Ariel his edge over most of the wistful, washed-out (if likeable) music made in his wake. It is also why his records were worth building a theory around.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

carl on a bit of tear here and here and here

and he's right, this piece over at the 1970s blog on rock and magic is a corker
couple of provoking posts from The Fantastic Hope:

on Back To the Future and Back To The Future II (scenes from which were shot just up the road from us, in Pasadena)

on Oasis/Ballard via "Champagne Supernova" (!)

that is the song where i momentarily become an Oasis fan... it passes quickly but for just a few minutes mine ears can hear the glory...
<< Protect & Survive - Music For Your Domestic Nuclear Shelter >>

Thursday, November 11, 2010

It's hard to say what's the most quotable bit of Liz Phair's review of Keith Richards's autobiography in The New York Times

This, right near the front, looks unbeatable at first:

"You better believe it. This cat put the joie in joie de vivre. As the legendary guitarist for the Rolling Stones, Keith Richards has done more, been more and seen more than you or I will ever dream of, and reading his autobiography, “Life,” should awaken (if you have a pulse and an I.Q. north of 100) a little bit of the rock star in you."

But then you get a passage like this:

"The plight of the underdog was his passionate crusade, and anyone or anything that represented injustice in his eyes was fair game. Kate Moss recounts a hilarious anecdote from 1998 in which Keith, sidestepping the festivities of his daughter Angela’s wedding at his manor house, Redlands, finds he’s short some spring onions he laid on a chopping block while fixing himself a light nosh of bangers and mash. When the thieving guest totters into the kitchen with the greens playfully tucked behind his ears, Keith grabs two sabers from the mantelpiece and goes chasing after the poor guy in a homicidal rage. I won’t even touch on the incident involving shepherd’s pie."

And how about this?

"The most impressive part of “Life” is the wealth of knowledge Keith shares, whether he’s telling you how to layer an acoustic guitar until it sounds electric, as he did on the classic Stones track “Street Fighting Man,” or how to win a knife fight. He delivers recipe after recipe for everything rock ’n’ roll, and let me say it’s quite an education."

Or this?

"One theme in the book that really stuns is the extent to which Keith Richards has been pursued by the police on nearly every continent for the duration of his career. They’re pulling over buses, battering down doors and hanging out of trees trying to get a charge that will stick to music’s most notorious and, thus far, ne’er-long-incarcerated bad boy. The archetype of the rock ’n’ roll antihero is, by now, a familiar image. What is shocking to remember is that Keith himself invented it. It’s obvious he just doesn’t give a damn about the rules the rest of us live by."

(I particularly enjoyed the elegant archaism of "ne'er-long")


"Pulled by the poppy and pushed by cocaine, Keith acquires a taste for working unholy hours in the studio that damn near kill his colleagues.... He’s trying to impress upon his readers not the foolishness of this diet but rather the impossibility of its being replicated, since drugs of this caliber are no longer available, and few have the discipline to stick to the recommended doses."

Down to earth...

"If Keith weren’t such a brilliant character, the reader might weary of his hypocrisy. But the truth is, he’s hilarious. I got tired of jotting “hahahaha” and “LOL” in the margins."

But this, near the end, might be the creme de la creme...

"John Lennon makes a cameo, hunched over a toilet after having tried to keep up with Keith. When Bob Marley is described as a Johnny-come-lately, you know you’re dealing with the crème de la crème. There are poignant moments, too, tossed out with no more windup than the chuck of one’s car keys to a valet..."

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

internatty style

breaking into the Spanish-reading world with DESPUÉS DEL ROCK, which translates as After Rock - a collection of my theoretical writings for the Buenos Aires publisher Caja Negra, out later this month

out recently - the Japanese version of Rip it Up and Start Again, on Shinko Music

out a little while now, the Italian version of Totally Wired, a matching set with the ISBN Edizioni editions of Rip It Up and Bring the Noise

Monday, November 08, 2010

now that's more like it--great new mix by Moon Wiring Club over at the ever excelling Pontone. What he does to "S-S-Single Bed" made me come over all peculiar.

Moon Wiring Club's new album A Spare Tabby At The Cat's Wedding is out now, and it comes in both CD and vinyl forms (radically different in terms of sequencing and even track inclusions). It might be his best yet, certainly it's my equal favourite with the first one.

Here's the promo for the first single off the album, "Slumberwick Dreams"

From now on, when someone asks me to explain "hyper-stasis", I'll just point them to this mix by Mosca.

56 tracks in 100 minutes. A dozen or more genres. Drastic shifts in tempo. Every track a winner (more or less anyway).

Yet their frenetic juxtaposition kindles nothing.

The sparks deficit is not technical (the mixing was done the old-fashioned way, apparently, not digitally), a question of execution; it's more philosophical, and perhaps ultimately a reflection of the musical zeitgeist. More (sources, styles, events-per-minute) = less.

In the end: Girl Talk for uber-hipsters.


On the subject of Mosca's own productions, the blurb argues that "the best thing about Mosca’s discography so far is that none of these tunes sound particularly alike"

This actually strikes me as another symptom of gluttage/clottage. Far from a virtue, it's what happens when artistic identity becomes "pure screen, a switching center for all the networks of influence" (to quote Jean B.)You have to be exceedingly strong, artistically, to withstand this level of influence-influx, to filter the flood in such a way that the output has any kind of signature/trademark to distinguish it.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

The problem of leisure
What to do for pleasure
Ideal love a new purchase
A market of the senses
Dream of the perfect life
Economic circumstances
The body is good business
Sell out, maintain the interest
Remember Lot's wife
Renounce all sin and vice
Dream of the perfect life
This heaven gives me migraine
The problem of leisure
What to do for pleasure

Coercion of the senses
We are not so gullible
Our great expectations
A future for the good
Fornication makes you happy
No escape from society
Natural is not in it
Your relations are of power
We all have good intentions
But all with strings attached

Repackaged sex keeps your interest
Repackaged sex keeps your interest
Repackaged sex keeps your interest
Repackaged sex keeps your interest
Repackaged sex keeps your interest
Repackaged sex keeps your interest

The problem of leisure
What to do for pleasure
Ideal love a new purchase
A market of the senses
Dream of the perfect life
Economic circumstances
The body is good business
Sell out maintain the interest
Remember Lot's wife
Renounce all sin and vice
Dream of the perfect life
This heaven gives me migraine
This heaven gives me migraine
This heaven gives me migraine

Saturday, November 06, 2010

the early Eighties nuclear war aftermath movie whose name escaped me

more on Threads and nuclear scenarios and precautions and preparations at Found Objects

Friday, November 05, 2010

it doesn't get much better than this

nice thoughts from Woebot (i can't get used to calling him Cybore) on Sabbath and the essential-ness of Ozzy's piteous vocals amid the pitiless riffage

and hey in weird synchrony, Ozzy's genome has been isolated!

Sabbath = the great deaf-spot (auditory and ideological) of the Last Waltz/Stranded generation of rockwrite

Every generation of rockwrite has one, and has to have one. It's the essential by-product of having a value-system, a metrics of valorization.

So what was ours? (I'll leave the "us" of "ours" open-ended for now).

Thought: the vitiation of contemporary music-write = its attempt not to have any deaf-spots ... none at all, not one.
funny and moving "letter" from "Mick Jagger" to Keith Richards ghostwritten by Bill Wyman (not the musician)

Thursday, November 04, 2010

blimey, "Dya Think I'm Sexy" is practically a mash-up

Ed Torpey directs me to this Bobby Womack jam--just check the string part--Rod & Co nicked it wholesale.

very pretty

like a cleaned-up (dare i say IDM-ed up?) take on things Ruff Sqwad did about five years ago, "UR Love Feels" and such
come widdit my man

triffic stuff from LHF
bettye gwan

check out this great dancehall version of "Cover Me", tip off courtesy of Droid

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

the long overdue return of


Carl Neville has a book of essays about British cinema out now. That's underselling it a bit: it's a major work on what happened and didn't happen in the British 90s and 2000s, politically and socially, viewed through the prism of film. One highlight out of many: the reading of Slumdog Millionaire in terms of its Dickensianism. Classless is as stylish and steely an intellectual entertainment as you'd expect from the man also known as the Impostume.
it doesn't get much better than this

within the discography of Joni Mitchell that is

yes, well spotted, this is from The Last Waltz--one of the few good bits. This and Muddy Waters. The latter sequence tarnished by the smarm of Robbie Robertson (insufferably coquette-ish - i think that's the only word for it-- all through the movie).

Joni-wise, it doesn't get much better, unless it's

Been on a Joni jag last month or two.

"Coyote" is on Hejira, which is as "parched" as everybody says it is, sonically. Cocaine? "Coyote" has those references to "white white lines"

Things I wish we'd known when writing the Joni bit in Sex Revolts. That Hejira is an Arabic word meaning "the breaking of ties". That she has a song about Amelia Earhart. That Joni went off on some wandering on her own all across America in a car escapade during this period of her life.
it gets a heap better than these

but likeable nonethless

tasty keyboards and lap steel licksmanship. and countrypolitan strings.

sort of George Jones meets Wreckless Eric.

alway used to get Fairweather Low confused with Loudon Wainright

both these guys teetered on the edge of the Waltz-worthy, that pre-punk rockcrit-pets zone-- well, LWIII was married to one of Kate and Anne McGarrigle right? indeed it's her mammaries that are the subject of this song here

sort of Van Morrison, with jokes
bunch of people pointed out that Rod nicked "D'ya think I'm Sexy" off Jorge Ben. and admitted it too.

did not know that!

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

it doesn't get much better than this

within the discography of John "Cougar" Mellencamp at any rate

that strange empty and dry production

"oh yeah life goes on / long after the thrill of living is gone"

everything else everafter is just way too Last Waltz-worthy

case in point

can you imagine the discussions during the location scouting? "found the absolutely perfect place, main street is a dirt road.."

Actually i was just thinking the whole vibe here reminds a tiny bit of Treme (attractive female fiddle player etc) and turns out the video was shot in New Orleans.

Treme eh? The bits with the guys who were in The Wire: pretty darn great. The bits with the white female characters: not bad at all. The bits with the white male characters... now did your flesh not crawl off its bones and plonk itself down on the other side of the room and quietly quiver with cringe?

Monday, November 01, 2010

it doesn't get much better than this

not within the discography of Roderick Stewart at any rate

oh one of these years I'll get around to giving a proper listen to the canonical Rod of Every Picture Tells A Story etc but there's just something a bit... Last Waltz-y about the Good Rod, the pre-Hollywood Rod... Stranded-worthy

i prefer the flash of "Sexy"

loooooove that bit, around 2.40, when it strips down to just drums and that rubbery walking bassline, and the burly mustachio-ed drummer and the Chinese-Jamaican bassman are just soooo into it
bettye swann-abe

checking something on Duffy (i had my reasons) i came across this
from a while ago, talking about her favourite songs:

When I discovered sex: Cover Me, Bettye Swann (1968)

"Bettye Swann is one of my biggest inspirations, but this song has particular importance for me because it marks the time I got interested in physical contact. I was 19, and here was a woman singing "Cover me, spread your precious love all over me". It's very tender, but it's also, hilariously, quite crude, so I'd make my friends listen to it and we'd all giggle."

Am I misunderstanding Duffy here or is she saying...?

Listen to the song though

and "spread your precious love", erm, well, that's more like love as a blanket or a comforter, right... a bedspread... than... Mariah Carey "Honey"-ish "innuendo" right

still what do i know, until recently i was under the impression ZZ Top's "Pearl Necklace" was about jewelry

also: "the time I got interested in physical contact. I was 19" -- really? Nineteen is kinda on the late side.

That Duffy / Amy Winehouse / Adele moment was like a re-revival, like that 1986-87 Levi 501s Advert moment of soul reissues and soul rehashes all over again.

Stubbs and I could have republished "All Souled Out", just changed the names and it'd have been as applicable as ever.

"Mercy" - come off it, love! It's the 21st Century.

Still I see Mark Ronson's moved on to ransacking The Eighties now.

If The-Dream's a Republican, he could do Sarah Palin's campaign tune for 2012:

she's the thrilla (illa illa illa)
from Wasilla (illa illa illa)

it gets amply better than this

but there i was thinking i only liked just the one daryll hall and john oates tune ("i can't go for that") - turns out i'm wrong

slick 'n' eerie production

this is the One though isn't it?