Thursday, December 24, 2009

Cowboy Junkies: 200 More Miles: Live Performances 1985-1994

There is at least one good reason to listen to Cowboy Junkies: Margo Timmins' wonderful warm voice. I personally have to say that I don't own their whole discography but that I hold dear (as one of my favourite records) their second groundbreaking 1988 album "The Trinity Sessions", and that, had I to choose one single work of theirs as an example or a good point of entry to their career I'd probably go for this "200 More Miles", being it a good sum of their first five LP's and having also a spectacular rendition of Springsteen's State Trooper .

And listen to them play Lou's Sweet Jane:

200 More Miles

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Piano Magic: Live November '09

I saw Piano Magic live twice: the first time five or six years ago, and then some weeks ago during the tour of their last "Ovations". This is the bootleg recording of that concert. It must be said that as a live band they are way different than in studio (i.e. more electric guitars, less electronic, more strightforward, etc.). Still, they always play beautiful, meaningful and profound music. Only more new-wave-like (and yes, I do hear some echoes of Joy Division in here).
Anyway, I did whatever I could in order to give this audience recording the best possible sound: now it's not perfect, but it's a nice listen if you enjoy Piano Magic.
PS The picture is from another gig (an english one, taken from Flickr).

Piano Magic Live November '09

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Does anybody have any of Amanda Brown's work as film music composer ("Son of a Lion", ""Sidney Nolan"...)? And would like to share...?

Sunday, November 01, 2009

The Go-Betweens: Tallulah (The Expanded Edition)

I know how poorly this album is usually considered, and by the Go-Betweens too, as anyone can see by reading the Forster-McLennan interview on their whole career in the 80's @ the Go Betweens' Archive page, where Forster, talking about "Tallulah", says: "...we were sort of cursed. We had the engineer that we were using on Liberty Belle, Dicky Preston, and working with Dicky was good. We then went on to the next one and we were put into this horrible studio–..." and then "And so Dickey didn't do a good job I think on Tallulah, so it had to be rescued and remixing a little but which always sounds horrible ...". But I also completely agree with him when he says: "...Tallulah really could have been the big, dark masterpiece, and I don't know, we didn't… really…hit it. But it's good."
Yeah, that's really true, I mean, look at some of the songs in the album: there is Someone else's wife ("It's a fine line between love and despair/Do you know the times I've waited on your stair?"), The house that Jack Kerouac built ("With friends like these; you're damned as well/Keep me away from her"), Hope then strife ("Never gonna be the one /Who said you were the one /Who liked the lonesome life"), and then there's the whole (and one-of-a-kind type of song in the GoBes' canon) intense The Clarke sisters.
But yes: the production of "Tallulah" brings out the worst of the eighties' music: it's almost hard to listen to this version of Right here (when compared to the oh-so-much-better live rendition of it)... Plus there is Cut it out, possibly the worst Go-Betweens' song ever.
And that's one of the reasons why I have uploaded the bonus disc too: the demos of Right here and I just get caught out do give more justice to Forster's and McLennan's songwriting skill. Moreover the B-side When people are dead is a beautiful gem.
One more thing: this two-discs edition of "Tallulah" got out of print...why?

Tallullah (Disc 1)
Tallullah (Disc 2)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Steeleye Span: Ten Man Mop or Mr Reservoir Butler Rides Again

It's no surprise that I adore english folk-rock (or electric folk), and I'm particularly fond of the "Fairport family" (Fairport Convention, Sandy Denny, Richard and Linda Thompson, Fotheringay...). But I had never put my heart and soul into listening to the other major british folk-rock ensemble, i.e. Steeleye Span and Pentanle. My bad, of course. Anyway, although I still have some problems listening to Pentangle (because of Jacqui McShee's voice mainly...but I dig Bert Jansch's solo repertoire), I am now starting to love Steeleye Span too.
And the album I love the most (at least until now) is their third, this "Ten Man Mop or Mr Reservoir Butler Rides Again": I think everyone (and I mean EVERYONE) should try and listen at least to When I was on horseback and Gosser Wassail. The work of Martin Carthy on this two songs is simply incredible (the Gosser Wassail lick does sound like new-wave to me...)

Unfortunately I haven't found any video on youtube with Gosser Wassail. But I found When I was on horseback:

Ten Man Mop...

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Warren Zevon: Stand In The Fire

I'm going through a Warren Zevon phase (again). So, I've decided to post this strong live album from the seventies with many of his early careers' classics (Excitable boy, Muhammad radio, Werewolves of London...).
It's also a quite good point to start your own Zevonesque mania (and this is the new 2007 edition with 4 bonus tracks)

By the way: there is plenty of Zevon's gigs @ the Internet Music Archive.

And here is some good advertisment of "Stand In The Fire" by David Letterman:

Stand In The Fire

Thom Yorke: Open the floodgates

What can I say? I absolutely love this new song...

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Townes Van Zandt: Live at the Old Quarter (Disc 1 & 2)

I bumped into a Townes Van Zandt's music only recently, but I was immediately hypnotized by it: rarely had I heard songs so intense and a songwriting apparently so simple and yet so deep, the typical example being Van Zandt's most famous song, Pancho and Lefty (the cover version by Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard in 1983 reached #1 in the Country Chart), which after you first listen to it, it may not sound a first rate number, but then later, it slowly grows on you (and gets huge).
TVZ has recorded a vast number of (excellent) LP's, but I have just purchased this one, the "Live at the Old Quarter", which I particularly love because of the sparse arrangement: only Van Zandt singing and playing his acoustic guitar.
What more? This one has TVZ's best songs from the first part of his career, and also some blues numbers that he loved (i.e. Chaffeur's blues and Cocaine blues in the second disc). If you like his music go search for more. My advice is (but I'm not into his whole carerr yet, so I'm not such a good or impartial judge of it, I suppose) go buy "Our Mother the Mountain"(too).

Live at the Old Quarter (Disc 1)
Live at the Old Quarter (Disc 2)

Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Unthanks: New album leaked

I have already ordered it...but my mailman is being lazy, so: I cannot delay this wait for much longer and I guess I'm going to download it thanks to (the usual welcome post by) Bolachas. Yipee!
Btw, if you want to buy it (and I already know it's sure woth it), go see the Unthanks' official site.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Rachel Unthanks & The Winterset: Live BBC 2008

They probably are one of my favourite bands of this decade, and I mean really. I say this simply because "The Bairns" just knocked me dead. It reminds me of when I listened to Lal Waterson for the first time: I instantly knew that was a great voice, with depth and intensity. And the Unthanks (their “new” name) seem to have the Midas touch too. You know, it’s a bit like listening to Richard Thompson playing Britney Spears’ Baby one more time…I mean: it sounds almost good… (or Caetano Veloso performing Jackson’s Black or white, for that matter). The point being: it looks like they can take any song (particularly from the british folk canon), make it their own, and make it sound divine.

So, just in case any of you haven't heard anything from Rachel Unthank/The Unthanks, this is a rip from a BBC radio christmas special with 3 songs (Tar Barrel In Dal, Felton Lonnin, This Endris Night).

If you want to know more about the Unthanks and their forthcoming album, "Here's the tender coming" go listen to BBC 2 "The Radcliff and Maconie Show" from 08/09/09, when they played live 3 new songs. Incidentally: does anyone have an upload of "Here's the tender..."?

And here are also 2 videos of them playing for "Shoot the player", dating back to some months ago:

Rachel Unthank & The Winterset: Blue Bleezin Blind Drunk from on Vimeo.

Rachel Unthank & The Winterset: On A Monday Morning from on Vimeo.

Live BBC 2008

Saturday, July 11, 2009

The Go-Betweens: Los Conciertos de Radio 3 (2001)

I don't know why but I was fairly certain that I had alrealy posted this, when I actually haven't... So what happened is that I found the video of the GoBs' performance @ Radio 3, I went and check the whole thing (if I had posted the Radio 3 bootleg or not), and it turned out I didn't. Which is kind of a shame because it is a very good boot. It's just eight songs, but I like the performance a lot (a very simple semi acoustic rendition of then new songs from their comeback "The friends of Rachel Worth" and some old ones), and being able to watch almost the whole showcase (alas the last Love is a sign got left out of the TV broadcast) is definitely a plus (so yes, I split the video into four parts and uploaded them to youtube).
Hope you appreciate.
(I'm still thinking over the idea of collecting a sort of "Best Of" GoBs' bootlegs, so if you have some concerns, some ideas, suggestions or whatever just tell me. And if you have some pictures of the band: send them over to me, please, I'll sure need them for future posts).

So here are the videos and the audio download:

Los Conciertos de Radio 3

Monday, June 22, 2009

Elliott Murphy: Night Lights

I'm still amazed by the depth of rock history: no matter how smart you think you are, there's always some great artist you somehow failed to recognise as one, or that simply didn't cross your way... And that's what happened to me with Elliott Murphy: I barely knew he existed (had heard of the name, I guess), and that's why when some weeks ago I read a long article spanning through his entire career I knew exactly zip of him... So, just after reading I started digging and as soon as I started listening to his debut "Aquashow" I felt sooooo very stupid. I mean: Bob Dylan, Lou Reed, and Richard Hell in one person (and one album!).
So, I was supposed to upload the "Acquashow" LP, sure, but I know there's plenty of blogs with that same album (try PVAC...for instance), and I wanted something a little less obvious, and I went for Murphy's third release, "Night Lights", a slightly inferior one, but with a bunch of great (great!) songs as Diamonds by the yard, You'll never know what you're in for, or Lady Stiletto (about Patti Smith, btw).
And if you're not easily convinced try and read Lady Stiletto's lyrics:

I see this little girl she's dressed in black
She's spitting on the stage
And like some stray cat she arches her back
She leads the anarchist parade
She's a poet with street walking rhymes
They say she's got no shame
And as she screams about some piss factory
Her eyes burn with Rimbaud's rage

Ch baby you got such a way with words
You got such a way with your hairstyle
There's only one thing that you do I don't believe
That's when you smile

Her T shirt's ripped with a passion
Her mind's been raped by Rolling Stones
She keeps her weight down by fasting
On Jim Morrison's bones
And when she's good she's a rock dream witch
With Mac Beth on lead guitar
Just a ballad of a thin girl
I really think she's gonna go far

Oh baby you got such a way with words
You got such a way with your hairstyle
There's only one thing that you do don't believe
That’s when you smile

She really knows how to get to the heart
She writes with a stiletto in mind
She's got just a touch of Bonaparte
She's lack the Ripper's kind
Her wounds are open for the sake at art
She's living right near the edge
I love to see that kind of power
Its getting lonely on this ledge

Oh baby you got such a way with words
You got such a way with your hair style
There's only one thing that you do I don't believe
That's when you smile

And if this didn't do the trick, take a look at Diamonds by the yard played live in 2008:

Night Lights

Thursday, June 18, 2009


I have a little (?) request: does anybody have the Go-Betweens' "The last Stand, Max's Dec.1989" (i.e The Go-Bes' last concert of the 80's)?
If yes, please (pleeeeeze) would you upload it and post as a comment?
It'd be very appreciated.


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Monday, June 08, 2009

The Go-Betweens: Live Zeleste, Barcelona, Spain, May 17, 1989

It's been a while since my last post about the Go-Betweens (almost two months!), and so I started digging into my hard disk, and I picked this one up, a very good bootleg indeed: quite long tracklist (18 songs) and a couple of rare moments in it. Which are: the weird intro to Love is a sign (and with violin pizzicatos), and (above all) Bob Dylan's Hurricane (it's just a pity that the recording does not start at the very beginning of the song). Plus, this version here of Clouds (more or less the same of the "Fools in love" boot) is possibly my favourite ever (the one with the "oceanic" drumming...), and then great finale for both Streets of your town (a funky one!) and Karen.

So, one more thing before I go, one more time: if any of you has any GBs photos, would you be so kind to upload them and send me the link (as a comment)? I'm really running short on pictures here (this one above is Razzmatazz in Barcelona, same bulding as Zeleste, new name -if I'm not mistaken)


1. Love Goes On
2. Was There Anything I Could Do
3. Clouds
4. Dive For Your Memory
5. I'm Alright
6. Right Here
7. The House That Jack Kerouac Built
8. Quiet Heart
9. Spring Rain
10. Streets Of Your Twon
11. Bye Bye pride
12. The Clarke Sisters
13. The Devil's Eye
14. Love Is A Sign
15. Core Of A Flame
16. Hurricane
17. Apology Accepted
18. Karen

Live Zeleste Part 1
Live Zeleste Part 2

Monday, May 25, 2009

Jay Bennett

Jay Bennett was largely most known for being a member of Wilco from 1994 through 2001, where he served as a talented musician and writer. He and Jeff Tweedy wrote the songs for Wilco's "Yankee Hotel Foxtrot", possibly the first rock masterpiece of the 21st century (and imho Wilco's best effort), after which Bennett left the band (and you may have heard the news of a lawsuit held by Bennett against the band because of the "I'm trying to break your heart" DVD, but what does it matter now?).
Bennett by the way went on making music and released a passionate acoustic record only some months ago, called "Whatever happened I apologize". A truly amazing bunch of songs (so much so that when I first listened to them I thought : "How I wish Wilco's next album could be so good"...but it turned out it probably isn't. Which is sad: I've always found Tweedy and Bennet great songwriters, perfect for this generation, for these times like, say Thom Yorke... But I can't get Wilco's music after "A ghost is born"... You know the expression: "One step forward two steps back", well that's just how I've been feeling about Wilco in these last years..)
And now Jay Bennett is gone, in his sleep.
If you feel like listening to some of Bennett's music I've uploaded "Yankee Hotel Foxtrot", while you can download his whole last album for free @ Rock Proper.
And here's a video I found of Bennett's beautiful "I'll decorate my love" (from "Whatever happened...").

Yankee Hotel Foxtrot

Whatever Happened...(Link to Rock Proper)

Friday, May 08, 2009

Karine Polwart: Scribbled In Chalk

Karine Polwart is a scottish songwriter: she got a BBC Radio 2 Folk Award in 2007 for Best Album ("Faultilines", her debut), but the album I love most (among hers) is definetely this "Scribbled In Chalk", because it simply features a large number of beautifully melodic folk tunes, which grow after every listen.

Here's the video to "I'm gonna do it all"

Polwart has made four albums in her career, and there are many good things in other works too, but I simply think in "Scribbled In Chalk" there is not a single song less than good and, moreover, the band and the arrangements are the best (not leaning too much on the folk, and in so doing sounding very modern), sometimes making this sound almost like a Beth Orton thing.

But listen to her (these are part 1 & part 2 of a short film on "Scribbled in chalk):

Scribbled In Chalk

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Go-Betweens: Live 2003-05-09,Darmstadt,Germany

Here comes another Gb's boot, this one from the Bright Yellow Bright Orange Tour: long tracklist, pretty good recording, and I'd say that it's worth having also because of The house that Jack Kerouac built, a song played only rarely live during their post-2000 career (and maybe one of the most underated songs in their whole repertoire, and possibly one of my favourites -as it often is when it comes to many songs from "Tallulah" which lacked the proper production, or at least imho).
PS That night the supporting artist was Richard Hawley. The picture was taken (I don't remember by whom, sorry about that) from a concert from the previous year.


Disc 1:
01 Make Her Day

02 Poison In The Walls
03 Magic In Here
04 Surfing Magazines
05 Right Here
06 German Farmhouse
07 Bachelor Kisses
08 Spirit
09 Too Much Of One Thing
10 Old Mexico
11 Bye Bye Pride
12 121
13 Caroline And I
14 Was There Anything I Could Do?
15 Love Is A Sign
16 The Clock
17 Spring Rain

Disc 2:
01 [crowd noise]
02 He Lives My Life
03 Love Goes On!
04 The House Jack Kerouac Built

Live Darmstadt, Part 1
Live Darmstadt, Part 2

Saturday, April 11, 2009

PJ Harvey & John Parish @ KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic

Nice showcase @ Morning Becomes Eclectic. And PJ and Parish's new album "A man a woman walked by" (which I've been listening to for a couple of days) sounds like one of her best so far.

Friday, April 10, 2009

The Organ: Grab That Gun

I was really into this album when it came out (in 2006), so it was with some shock that I apprehended about The Organ's split up short after the release of this debut album. They probably weren't the most original combo of all the times (and in those days they kind of sounded like a female version of Interpol, didn't they?), but they had all the influences I dig: new wave, Smiths...I mean, the second song is entitled "Steven Smith", come on! How cool is that?
Anyway, this is for those who missed it.

Grab That Gun

Monday, March 30, 2009

Sholi: S/t

I usually don't post/upload new stuff. I like those blogs, yeah, actually I do (I find them absolutely necessary to find what is really worth buying, no matter what RIAA may say about that), but I like to keep this blog about bands' or solo artists' albums I really got to know (or about good bootlegs: which are one of many things I think make the internet so good: no more money given to fake labels or for you-don't-know-what-kind-of-quality recording).
So: Sholi, instead, are a young band, from the USA, and they've released so far only one EP and this debut album. What can I say about them? They are a mix of thing I like a lot in music: post-rock, good songwriting skills, and a nice balance of assonance and dissonance.

So, check their myspace page if you will or just give it a try buy downloading the album right here:

Sholi: S/t

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Robert Forster: Sex God (Disc 1 & 2)

"Sex God" is a collection of precious bootleg recordings of Robert Forster's spanning from live recordings dating from 1991 to 1996, and including also some "Danger In The Past" demos. Which means: a lot of stuff, and quite rare too (there seems to be not many Forster's boots out there from the nineties), and I mean to make a point when I say that, for example, it is a great joy to be able to listen to (what probably is) the first public performance of When she talks about angels (from the "Mark Radcliffe" radio sessions at BBC Radio One), and I personally could never get tired of listening to Danger in the past (the album demos obviously do not sound perfect, but they are very good and of great interest: it is, for instance, captivating to see how I've been looking for somebody can sound good also without (that wonderful sounding) piano).
Also among my favourites: the plain, simple solo acoustic rendition of Love is a sign (from Disc 2), Grant Hart's acoustic 2541 (I actually thought it should have made it to the Intermission Best Of instead of Frisco Depot, and not only because I love Husker Du) and Rock 'n' roll friend of course (though nothing can beat the 1987 KCRW radio sessions).
And last (but not least) a big big thank you to Uli who managed to upload this for me (and for you, yeah).

In case someone didn't get how much stuff you'll find in here I'm posting the tracklists as well.


Disc 1:
Magasinet, Gothenburg, Sweden, February 17, 1991 (radio broadcast)
01. Is This What You Call Change
02. Love Is A Sign
03. People Say
04. I've Been Looking For Somebody
05. Dive For Your Memory
06. Baby Stones
07. Spring Rain
08. Leave Here Satisfied
"Danger In The Past" demos
09. Danger In The Past
10. The River People
11. I've Been Looking For Somebody
12. Drop
"Danger In The Past" outtake
13. Falling Star
"Greater London Radio" session, UK, April 21, 1993
14. Atlanta Lie Low
Triple J "Acoustic Sessions", Australia, May 26, 1993
15. The Circle
16. Falling Star
17. Drop (cuts)

Disc 2:
Phaat Chalice, Sydney, Australia, June 24, 1995 (radio broadcast)
01. Danger In The Past
02. Love Is A Sign
03. I've Been Looking For Somebody
04. 121
05. 2541
06. The Circle
07. Part Company
08. Dive For Your Memory
09. Crying Love (cuts)
"Mark Radcliffe" session, BBC Radio One, UK, August 7, 1996
10. I Can Do
11. Rock 'n' Roll Friend
12. She Sang About Angels
BBC Radio One session, UK, July 1994
13. 3AM
14. Interview
15. Baby Stones

Sex God (Disc 1)
Sex God (Disc 2)

Monday, March 09, 2009

Tortoise: Live 1999, Frankfurt

I've been a Tortoise fan for quite a long time now (since 1998's TNT), I've seen them play them live only once (and Jeff Parker is one of the very people I asked for an autograph, btw, and man was he kind! It got to the point where it was hard to see who was thanking whom...), and I also saw (probably during that same year) Chicago Underground Trio, so I was really delighted when I bumped into this bootleg with Tortoise during their TNT tour sharing (part of) a performance with CUT (plus Fred Anderson).
And it's not only that: it is a great quality show. I had also another boot on my hands but when I re-listened to that one I had no doubt this one is SO much better.


1. Intro
2. TNT
3. Tin Cans & Twine
4. In Sarah, Mencken, Christ, and Beethoven There Were Women and Men
5. Track 6 Intro
6. Unknown
7. I Set My Face to the Hillside
8. Ten-Day Interval
9. Unknown
10. Swung from the Gutters
11. La Jetee

Tortoise Live 1999

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Robert Forster: Live San Francisco (Sept. 10th 2008)

Here is another boot on Robert's splendid 2008 tour, but actually a special one to me. Mainly because of two very simple reasons called Girl lying on the beach (probably my favourite go-beteens' b-side ever, really! I do think it was a real blame it never made it to the tracklist of some album: it would have been a perfect fit for "Bright Yellow, Bright Orange"), and From ghost town (the heartbreaking ending to last year's "The Evangelist").
Plus, the first part of the set is all acoustic (voice + acoustic guitar + bass), and very intense.
As always when it comes to this extraordinary tour the gig is very long, which means more than 30 tracks. Yes, the sound is not perfect (a decent audience recording), but the performance is so good that it's hard to care about the rest.

I do hope you enjoy all of this.

Live S. F. Disc 1, Part 1
Live S. F. Disc 1, Part 2
Live S. F. Disc 2

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Best Of 2008 (Part 1)

It took me quite some time...but I've finally made it.

(By the way: Bon Iver's "For Emma..." was 2007 to me)

1-Rachel Unthank & The Winterset: The Bairns

I know: "The Bairns" was released in 2007...but not in Italy (and that's where I live). That's why I discovered the beauty of the Unthank sisters' music so late. Just try and listen to the opening track of the album. Plus they did success in covering Wyatt's Sea song: hats off!

2-Robert Forster: The Evangelist

It may sound like an obvious choice being the huge Go-Betweens fan that I am...Bu actually I didn't hope "The Evangelist" could be so good. And every time I listen to Demon days or Ghost town makes me want to go back to everything he (they) did to listen to all of it all over again.

3-Frightened Rabbit: The Midnight Organ Fight

I discovered this one by chance, just blogging around (so thank you mysterious blogger that I forgot, and shame on me for that), and I just couldn't stop listening to it for a couple of weeks. It got to the point that I haven't managed to listen to their first album because I'm afraid it wouldn't live up to this.

4-Portishead: Third

This one maybe was the biggest suprise of this year in music: Portishead reunion was for real (it was hard to believe after all those years of rumours) and "Third" blew away all that chill- out shit (that kind of was Portishead's corrupted legacy) with a take-no-prisoner attitude album.

5-TV On The Radio: Dear Science

And this one took me by suprise: I was never really into TVOTR, so the first impressive song of "Dear science" came as a rather unexpected shock to me. And so did the rest of the tracklist.

6-Fleet Foxes: S/t

So good to see a debut album among the best of almost every chart of the year. Let's only hope this magnificent Brian Wilson-like dreams will stay with us a little bit longer.

7-Bonnie "Prince" Billy: Lie Down In The Light

Hard to keep track of every step of Will Oldham's musical career, being him almost as prolific as Prince (the other Prince...), or Ani Di Franco. Thing is: up until now the quality of his output has never caused any preoccupation in his fans. And I personally find this album almost as good as his "I see a darkness" masterpiece.

Best Of 2008 (Part 2)

8-BRIAN WILSON: That Lucky Old Sun

I'm a big fan of the man: he's written one of my "desert island" records (obviously "Pet Sounds"), and I'm so happy he's finally made a very good solo album (hard to consider the last "Smile" a solo, considering his very well-known story; and actually I do prefer the "Smile" version made by bootlegers with the original Beach Boys' voices).
By the way: there's indeed a lot of nostalgia in here (Forever my surfurl girl quite gives that away), but also his best songs in decades.

9-MAVIS STAPLES: Live Hope At The Hide Out

That was another world...remember? George W. Bush at the White House and everybody out there looking for some hope. Well, it turned out this great exercise of both hope and music wasn't that useless after all, wasn't it?
Great rebel songs, great voice and great concert.

10-REM: Accelearate

Indeed they did. But back are the lovable Mike Stills' backing vocals, some fast "Sing in tune with Stipe if you can" tirades...And some of the power of the best pop-rock songs they wrote during the eighties are still here, disguised as some new postsomething (post-Strokes?) rock. But behind all that (much unlike the other noisy & rockin' REM LP, "Monster") are the old school REM songs.


One of my fave italian artists. Once almost famous for being in a band called Scisma, he has been following a new path among italian songwriters and rockers, quite far away from both the angloamerican model and the italian one.

12-THALIA ZEDEK BAND: Liars And Prayers

That voice, that wonderful hoarse voice... A much better album than the previous one and almost as good as my favourite ("Been Here And Gone"). Be careful: its songs will crawl slowly underneath your skin.


I have to admith that I have some problems getting to like Mr. Chesnett, and I can't honestly say why. I have probably never given him enough attention. But this time around I didn't need to: "Dark Developments" is a charming and funny (yes: funny) album from the get-go.

14-THE WAR ON DRUGS: Wagonwheel Blues

Another excellent debut. And with one of the best à la Dylan songs (circa 1966-1967 era) I've ever heard: Arms like boulders (I try everytime to imagine an Al Kooper organ in there...). And they sometime are more Springsteen than Springsteen himself (especially these days...)

15-BODUF SONGS: How Shadows Chase The Balance

Mat Sweet plays silence as if it was another instrument: chords that sound like ghosts, hypnotic arpeggios... Music for a slow slow day, when nothing ever seems to happen.

16-BAUHAUS: Go Away White

I may be the only person on this planet, but yeah: I like this album. I don't find this reunion useless at all (and therefore I'm sorry they called it quits so soon) simply because IMHO these songs are Bauhaus songs (I mean: this is not like some Genesis reunion with a Stiltskin singer...), the sound of the guitar is awesome (yeah!), and Bauhaus playing funky (well, quite...) and loud are a dream come true. And go listen to Undone, please.

17-AFTERHOURS: I Milanesi Ammazzano Il Sabato

An italian rock band emerged during the grunge period: it's nice to see what they've become. Anyway, they probably were (and still are) the best at finding a way to sing in italian with a very "rock" attitude. And the production of this album is amazing.

18-DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE: Narrow Stairs

Ok, it's not one of my favourite DCFC albums ever, but chance is I'm not understanding something here. Still, are or are not DCFC the best indie-rock band of the world? I can't say it yet (also because...what is indie-rock now? Possibly anything, I'd say), but I'm truly glad Death Cab exist.

And these are some of my fave songs from these 18 albums:

Music Playlist at

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Lal Waterson & Oliver Knight: A Bed Of Roses

Completed after Lal Waterson's Death, "A Bed Of Roses" is a almost as good as "Once In A Blue Moon" (which I consider a true masterpiece), and I think we could never ever thank her own son Oliver for completing this beautiful output, this worth work.
Lal's songs are haunting me sweetly these days, I find myself humming them wherever I go, specially (from this LP) Memories and Foolish One. Actually what really happens is this: I take my guitar, strum some chord and I try to sing some Lal-Waterson like melody, but with no success at all. This woman and her voice has been an inspiration to me for quite some time now, I hope it will be to you too. If so, go and find (and wishfully buy) more.

A Bed Of Roses

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Dick Gaughan: Handful Of Earth

Some time ago I luckily bumped into an used book, some old italian guide to UK folk spanning from the folk revival of the 60's till the late 90's and I slowly started digging and looking for some of this old (but new for me) stuff. I obviously was aware (and in fact was a great fan) of some of the most known names: the whole Fairport Convention family. and the Watersons.. But now I also know the lots and lots of remarkable artists whose career is worth much more than some mp3's in my hard disk. Some names: John Martyn, Nic least there are those I'm starting to know. So, I'm not pretending to know a whole lot about Dick Gaughan, but I do know this one, "Handful Of Earth" is supposed to be his best album (and up until now I have no reason whatsoever to doubt this notion) and it contains some songs that I just can't get out of my head (first of all the trad The snows they melt the soonest). So what can I tell you:I love the nasal sound of his voice, his simple (as simple as a talented top class folk guitarist can be) guitar playing.
I'm thinking of uploading some more stuff like the already mentioned John Martyn and Nic Jones (though I know Time has told me had some troubling after having uploaded Jones)..., so let me know what you think of this one and then I'll consider the others. (Or maybe Lal Waterson's "A Bed Of Roses"...)

Here's a diy Youtube video with Gaughan's Song for Ireland:

Handful Of Earth