Archives for posts with tag: music

Everything and Nothing

Everything and Nothing, 2012

This was taken in Beckenham, UK.

Everything and Nothing  is a sort of greatest hits album by David Sylvian.

It was released in 2000 and collects together some of his greatest songs (post Japan), along with unreleased material. Sylvian’s career has had a trajectory comparable in some ways to Scott Walker’s – in recent years his work has been willfully difficult and stunningly beautiful. Everything and Nothing is pre-difficult and if you fancy dipping a toe in the water, I would recommend this as a place to start. The songs on here are sumptuous, artful and filled with longing.

Track-listing and album details can be found here.

My favourite track on the album is the first: The Scent of Magnolia.

In our house this CD can be found: dining room, top shelf, right-hand bookshelves.

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Thanks to John and Deanne and Terry for title shenanigans and Richard at CK Ponderings for being a super-cool collaborator. Our next collaboration will be posted tomorrow – watch this space.

Seen and Not Seen, 2012

This was taken somewhere off High Holborn in London, UK.

Seen and Not Seen  is the sixth track on Talking Heads 1980 album, Remain In Light.

The album was the third and final that the band co-produced with Brian Eno, and arguably their artistic zenith (the next studio album, Speaking In Tongues (1983) used more straightforward funk strategies, the one after, Little Creatures (1985) was a pop album). The songs were built on improvisations, African polyrhythms and samples & loops (which were big news in those days). The band brought in loads of session players and sonic ingenuity was bingo! theirs.

It’s undoubtedly a great album and features my favourite track by Talking Heads, The Great Curve, but for my money More Songs About Buildings and Food is a stranger album by far (and therefore more interesting).

Any road up, here’s Seen and Not Seen, The Great Curve, and The Girls Want To Be With The Girls.

The CD this track comes from is somewhere in the bedroom – the house is a bit of a mess at the moment…

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Thanks to John and Deanne and Terry for title shenanigans and Richard at CK Ponderings for being a super-cool collaborator. Our next collaboration will be posted tomorrow – watch this space.

Unhalfbricking, 2012

This was taken on The Strand, London, UK.

Unhalfbricking  is the second album by Fairport Convention. It was released in 1969. The album marked a move away from American influences, (although there are a couple of Bob Dylan tunes on here) towards English folk. No, wait, come back!

I came very late to Fairport Convention (despite having heard quite a lot of them at art college – thanks Chris Hunter! I came round in the end). But this album, What We Did On Our Holidays, and Liege & Lief  are now firm favourites in TFIPM Towers. Unhalfbricking features, arguably, Sandy Denny’s finest song, Who Knows Where The Time Goes, and Genesis Hall – what an opener! And it’s got an oblique but great cover. You can read more about the album here.

My reason for using this title with this image is nothing to do with Fairport Convention, but because Unhalfbricking sounds like a slang word used by English motor enthusiasts of a certain stripe. When I was a teenager in suburban Hampshire, there was a small, but significant sub-culture that rode around in Ford Cortinas, wore their hair in mullet cuts and boogied to Status Quo, while sporting denims over leather jackets. I love and miss them. Who knows where the time goes?

In our house, this CD can be found: dining room, right-hand bookshelves, second shelf down.

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Ta John and Deanne and Terry for title shenanigans and Richard at CK Ponderings for being a super-cool collaborator. Check Richard’s blog for some great results from our recent meet-up.

The Drift, 2012

This was taken in Beckenham, UK.

The Drift  is Scott Walker’s thirteenth studio album (his first release in eleven years!). It was released in 2006.

The album followed 1995’s Tilt (Scott’s masterpiece), and takes that album’s darkness for a trip to Dark Town. The Drift is unrelenting, disturbing, experimental and oddly emotional. There are songs about disease, Elvis Presley’s dead brother, the execution of Mussolini’s mistress, and 9/11. There’s nothing flippant or obvious about the way Scott deals with these subjects and the music reflects the emotional complexity of the lyrics.

Late period Scott’s another of those artists you either love or hate – it’s impossible to be indifferent to this music.

In our house, this CD can be found: dining room, second shelf-down, right-hand bookshelves.

Here’s Clara from The Drift.

And here’s Farmer In The City – my all-time favourite Scott song.

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Thanks to John and Deanne and Terry for title shenanigans and Richard at CK Ponderings for being a super-cool collaborator. Our last collaboration is but one post back.

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If you’re in London anytime up to the 2nd December, I strongly recommend you visit Simon Martin’s exhibition, UR Feeling, at Camden Arts Centre. Why has he brought together a fascinating selection of architectural, art and design objects for your consideration including work by himself, Ettore Sottsass, and Richard Artschwager?

Blemish (I), 2012

Blemish (II), 2012

Blemish (III), 2012

These were taken in Beckenham, UK.

Blemish  is David Sylvian’s sixth solo album. It was released in 2003.

It’s a pretty solo affair – the avant-garde improvisational guitarist, Derek Bailey (RIP) appears on a couple of tracks and Christian Fennesz does his fizzing,  popping, exploding thing on another, but it’s mainly David Sylvian (on his own in a very small cabin up a mountain – that’s how I see him). The album is sparse, electronic, spacious and employs Sylvian’s mournful croon and bruised lyrics to great effect.

David Sylvian’s career is often compared to Scott Walker’s and if you were to join in, this would be David’s Tilt (my favourite Scott album). But he’s not Scott Walker and Blemish is a wholly unique experience – harsh, brittle, bright and beautiful. As evidence, and thanks to the piratical machinations of the internet, I offer you the title track (but beware it’s over 13 minutes long). If that’s a bit too much, here’s Fire In The Forest (much shorter).

In our house, this CD can be found: dining room, right-hand bookshelves, second shelf down.

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Thank as always,  John and Deanne and Terry for title shenanigans and Richard at CK Ponderings for being a super-cool collaborator. Our latest is due this Sunday.

 

Paloma Faith, 2012

Just prior to hearing Tim AKA Flame Proof Moth, we joined a press of photographers against the railings at the back of The London Studios (Independent Television’s facilities for the South). Someone shouted, “Paloma”. I took a shot, and later found out I’d taken it of Paloma Faith. I didn’t know her work, so I’ve just Youtubed her. Quite an interesting combination of image and sound.

Street Portrait (for and of Tim AKA Flame Proof Moth), 2012

OK, eagle-eyed readers will have noticed there’s something slightly awry here – sure, it’s a portrait, but where’s the street?

We heard Tim before we saw him – he was singing a brilliant song about how women should be in charge (including banning men from the boardroom and installing women and children in their place). The guitar-playing was dexterous and heartfelt and the whole thing was issuing from a small practice amp on one of the mudflats on the South bank of the Thames. And then I saw him! No need to say anything further (Astonishingly, he says he’s looking for a stylist!), except thanks Tim for letting me take shot after shot and then allowing me to take your portrait. Hope you like it.

Street Portrait (for and of Tim AKA Flame Proof Moth) Take 2, 2012

No More Shall We Part (I), 2012

No More Shall We Part (II), 2012

No More Shall We Part (III), 2012

No More Shall We Part  is an album by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. It was released in 2001.

This was the Bad Seeds’ eleventh album together and was recorded after a four-year hiatus (due to Nick recovering from this, that and the other thing), and showcases the band’s  instrumental prowess. The lyrics deal with Cave’s usual preoccupations (death, religion, relationship breakdowns, death) and, despite the dark humour, are startlingly emotive in places. If I had a ratings system for these things, I would give this album four dead flowers out of five.

Here’s And No More Shall We Part.

In our house this CD can be found: dining room, right-hand bookshelves, third shelf down.

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Thanks John and Deanne and Terry and to Richard at CK Ponderings. You know why.

Everything Must Go, 2012

Everything Must Go  is an album by Steely Dan. It was released in 2003.

I resisted the charms of Steely Dan until a couple of years ago (they’re just hideous 70s MOR shufflers aren’t they? I would think), then I fell for them. Sure, they’re tricksy – combining cynical, sardonic lyrics with smooth, jazzy grooves at every turn, but you’ve got to do something a lot to get it right, right? I won’t go on and on about the band – you either love them or hate them.

Here’s the title track.

In our house this CD can be found: dining room, right-hand bookshelves, second shelf down.

One From The Heart, 2012

One From The Heart  is a soundtrack album to a Francis Ford Coppola film, written by Tom Waits. The album features Tom Waits and Crystal Gayle. It was released in 1982.

Tom and Crystal sing solo and duet on this album, and their voices complement each other beautifully (this was pre-barking days for Tom, and his voice has a sweetness to it). The songs form a loose narrative, presumably mirroring the action in the film, but I wouldn’t know, I’ve never seen it. What drew me to the album was Tom, who I’ve followed since Swordfishtrombones. While I’m a huge fan of some of the recent albums, particularly Real Gone, the stuff I really love is the early, romantic stuff. One From The Heart does it for me, and it’s funny too.

Here’s Picking Up After You.

In our house this CD can be found: dining room, right-hand bookshelves, second shelf down.

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Thank you John and Denne for title and tag ideas etc. And to Terry for sending me to the shelves, and to Richard at CK Ponderings for being a super-cool collaborator.