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