Thursday, April 26, 2007

Keren Ann: S/t

Keren Ann is a Dutch/Israeli citizen living mostly between France and the USA and this homonymous album is also her sixth. Produced and played in the USA and in Iceland seems to mean for Ann that her influences of her past are now de fait past: no more french-style chansonnes, but as you can see (also by watching this video, although I do not know if it is an official one) Lay your head down is a very Velvet Underground-like song, while The harder ships of the world owes something to Cowboy Junkies. And if you like Mazzy Star and Hope Sandoval I think you may find something in here that might meet your tastes as well.

Keren Ann on Wiki
Exclusive Live Videos @Les Inrocks

Download: Keren Ann

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Maia Hirasawa

Love this girl. I have discovered her album through a Bolachas Gratis post, and it's highly recommended.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Neil Young: Live At Massey Hall

There are two Neil Young's to me: the electric warrior, riding mostly with his Crazy horse, perfectly pictured in LPs as "Ragged glory", and then the gentle loner, singing high-pitched acoustic pieces as seen on "Harvest" or "Silver & gold". I have always prefered the latter, and that's why I'm loving his last release so much: "Live At Massey Hall"is the second CD of his Performance Series (much like Bob Dylan's Bootleg Series) -though weirdly coded as #3...- and sees the canadian singing and playing on his own back home in Canada, but what really overwhelms me is that he keeps going: "This is a new song..."and what follows is what we know as a masterpiece. And already perfectly shaped.
In fact in a few months "Harvest" will come out, but many songs from "Time fades away" and "On the beach" are already in his live repertoire by that day, and it just blows my mind to think of this man that, in a bunch of weeks, composed songs as Journey through the past, A man needs a maid, Needle and the damage done, Old man, See the sky about to rain...and he chats through them as though they were just some more songs.
By the way, the performance is outstanding, with some pieces quite close to album's rendition, but some of the others that differ from it...and get even better: listen to A man needs a maid without Jack Nietsche's pompous orchestration. It is no doubt why some of Neil Young's friends insisted on releasing this before "Harvest". 36 years have been a long time, but the wait has surely been worth it.

More Info:
Neil Young @ Wiki
Fansite: Hyper Rust (lots of stuff, including tabs)
Neil Young Links

Live at Massey Hall

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Richard Thompson: Solitary Life Documentary + Dad's gonna kill me (new song)

I was just going through youtube the other day and I found this very well-made BBC documentary (in 7 parts on youtube) on Richard Thompson called "Solitary life" which starts from his early days as a Fairport Convention member and contains bits of performances (also some exclusive ones), plus interviews with friends and former wife Linda. Here are all parts.
But what is more important is that Thompson is due to release a new album, "Sweet Warrior" in May 28, but meantime you can download this new song from SW in advance, Dad's gonna kill me just below the you tube video (and you can read its lyrics). You'll also find out that this is no song about his father (longing for killing Richard), but about war, since "Dad" is military slang for Baghdad.

Download Dad's gonna kill me

"Out in the desert there’s a soldier lying dead
Vultures pecking the eyes out of his head
Another day that could have been me there instead
Nobody loves me here
Nobody loves me here

Dad’s Gonna Kill Me
Dad’s Gonna Kill Me

You hit the booby trap and you’re in pieces
With every bullet your risk increases
Old Ali Baba, he’s a different species
Nobody loves me here
Nobody loves me here

Dad’s Gonna Kill Me
Dad’s Gonna Kill Me

I’m dead meat in my HumV Frankenstein
I hit the road block, God knows I never hit the mine
The dice rolled and I got lucky this time

Dad’s Gonna Kill Me
Dad’s Gonna Kill Me

I’ve got a wife, a kid, another on the way
I might get home if I can live through today
Before I came out here I never used to pray
Nobody loves me here
Nobody loves me here

Dad’s Gonna Kill Me

Dad’s in a bad mood, Dad’s got the blues
It’s someone else’s mess that I didn’t choose
At least we’re winning on the Fox Evening News
Nobody loves me here

Dad’s Gonna Kill Me
Dad’s Gonna Kill Me

Dawn Patrol went out and didn’t come back
Hug the wire and pray like I told you, Mac
Or they’ll be shovelling bits of you into a sack

Dad’s Gonna Kill Me.

And who’s that stranger walking in my dreams
And whose that stranger cast a shadow ‘cross my heart
And who’s that stranger, I dare speak his name
Must be old Death a-walking
Must be old Death a-walking

Dad’s Gonna Kill Me

7 muzzle monkeys standing in a row
Standing waiting for The Sandbox to blow
Sitting targets in the wild west show

Nobody loves me here

Dad’s Gonna Kill Me

Another angel got his wings this week
Charbroiled with his own Willie Pete
Nobody’s dying if you speak double-speak

Dad’s Gonna Kill Me"

More info:
More about military slang in thompson's words
Richard Thompson @ Wiki

Friday, April 13, 2007

Fairport Convention: Liege & Lief

There should be no need for explanation here. Because "Liege & lief" is one of the best albums of all time, the masterpiece of folk-rock, or british way to folk-rock, played by a band at its peak and at its most painful time (if you don't know much of the story that led to L&L read this).
Anyway, this was Fairport Convention's 4th long playing release and, as hard as it appeared to be, it topped also their previously LP, "Unhalfbricking", and it made history for Sandy Denny's perfect vocal performance and its combination of tradionals mostly and self-penned songs (or new suits for traditional songs, with new lyrics for instance).
What else: Richard Thompson may be the best british guitar player ever (sorry for all Eric Clapton fans, by the way)
In a few words:one of my desert island discs.
Plus, this is the 2002 edition, with 2 bonus tracks.

More info:
"Liege & lief" @ Wiki
Fairport Convention @ Wiki

Liege & Lief

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Kurt Vonnegut RIP

"If I should ever die, God forbid, let this be my epitaph:


said once Kurt Vonnegut, and this post is for all the people who have loved his unbelievably witty and funny novels. He was one of the last humanist and socialist in the american"showbiz", and it probably took a lot of sense of humour to be one. So: grab a coby of "Slaughterhouse 5", turn off your iPod and pay him hommage, if you like.

Listen to KV's interview in 2006 @ BBC Radio 4
and then:
Good article on KV @ Rolling Stone
KV @ Wiki
KV's non-official site, full of stuff
KV's quotes @ Wikiquote
KV's quotes @ The Quotation Page

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

The Magic Numbers @ Fabchannel

Ain't this a great song?
Just a little excuse to show some of this wonderful site, Fabchannel, filled up with whole concerts (for instance: arcade fire, I am kloot, solomon burke, bloc party, bright eyes, jaga jazzist, john cale's).

Friday, April 06, 2007

John Cale: Five Tracks EP

This time a little upload: John Cale's "Five tracks EP", released in 2003 prior to his great comeback with the "HoboSapiens" LP. None of these songs featured later in the albun btw.
Well, this is mostly it. The mood is more or less the same as in "HoboSapiens" and -which is more important- these tracks are surely better than others that made it to an album in his past career (my mind goes to "Walking on locusts": money very bad spent, heck). So: great atmosphere, and pieces of music played and sung at Cale's best.

More Info:
John Cale @ Wiki.

Five Tracks EP

Monday, April 02, 2007

Nick Castro: A Spy In The House of God

Here I am, back with the first Nick Castro's album. About his last -"Come into our house"- much has been said, but I do prefer his first: a bit more free-form, while the last dug too much into the great british folk-rock artists' repertoire, like Fairport Convention's (and Wendy Watson is no Sandy Denny). Which I love, but the fact is that he just can't keep up with them if he plays their same game. That's why I like this album so much: there's more non-british music (i.e. indian and psych stuff) and more room for trance-like tracks or atmospheric songs in general in it (like No sweeter thing, that reminds me more of Sid Barrett's Pink Floyd than Denny's FC). Listen also to the beninning of Winter's song: isn't it like a gamelan ensemble playing?

A spy in the house of god (320k)