Finally, time to put you all out of your misery with my third playlist of music I have enjoyed in 2017. Without further ado, well after the obligatory cute Festive image, the music will follow. Continue reading
‘Spillin’ The Beans is late again this week, so apologies for real life getting in the way of writing reviews. This week’s review is the debut album by Granfalloon, the musical nom de plume (nom de plectrum perhaps?) of Manchester-based songwriter Richard Lomax.
For dull reasons, ‘Spillin’ The Beans is a day late this week, but never mind, this week’s column is about a very interesting album, Amerikana, by yet another band I’ve not previously heard of, and that band is The Stevenson Ranch Davidians, even though they have been around in various forms since 2006, although they haven’t released anything since 2009, which makes me feel better about my ignorance of their existence.
This week I am listening to some tracks by The Big Drops, a New Jersey-based act who seem to have beamed here direct from a hazy, psychedelic recreation of the 1960s, which is an entirely Good Thing as far as I am concerned.
This week, ‘Spillin’ The Beans is having a quick round-up of odds and ends that have been hanging around and really need to get an airing.
Abahachi introduced us to doom jazz – well, this is – sort of – doom folk, and very good it is too. The Ghosts of Johnson City are a dark Americana group from Portland, ME USA and they are gearing up to release their second album, The Devil’s Gold, on February 7th. They have very kindly shared a Soundcloud stream with us, prior to release.
Based in Maine with musical roots in Appalachia and the Deep South, The Ghosts of Johnson City “aim to take listeners on a journey through the annals of the past, giving voice to those who can no longer speak. Their debut album, Am I Born to Die? was released to wide critical acclaim in 2015. The Devil’s Gold finds the group exploring new territory while adhering to their trademark themes of love, loss, meaning and mortality.”
You’ll find links to everything you’ll need to get to know about The Devil’s Gold below.
Here is a shameless plug for the second Holywell Community Music Festival near Elland, in West Yorkshire. It is scheduled over three evenings, Friday July 1st, Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd. There’s a great line-up including Chris Leslie from Fairport Convention (headlining on Friday night); Ducie, who mix traditional and contemporary styles from across the world; Maia, a “psychedelic sci-fi folk-rock band” and Emily Lee, a dynamic London-based singer-songwriter. The ticket price includes a simple supper, with vegetarian option available. Here’s a link to the web site, which tells you more about it; how to buy tickets; location; accommodation; etc., and profiles some of the acts: http://www.holywell-music-fest.uk/
A NYC judge is being asked to declare the iconic We Shall Overcome is in the public domain. A non-profit group that works with orphans and the poor, the We Shall Overcome Foundation, wants to use it in a documentary.
The group complains the publishing company asserting rights only ever held protection for one specific pre-60’s arrangement
The NY Times explains in today’s paper.
That time of year again. Work is slow, lots of tedious photoshopping to do, needed a new mellowish playlist i could work to. Mostly folkish, some old, some new, some blue. More females than usual, twee alert for some strings, bit of jangle, bit of gentle groovy psychy and soulish surf pop, and a familiar stonker to wrap it up. Because at some point it’s going to be spring and i’m going to have to get out of the house.
Q: How do you see the guitar solo fitting into the song? Does every song need a guitar solo? Does the solo need to have an emotional connection to the song?
A: Does every song need a guitar solo? Absolutely. Without question. What’s my purpose on Earth if I’m not playing solos?
11. “Everything Will Be Alright In The End” – Weezer
My secret weapons at “work” over the last year or so have been coffee and perky helpings of Weezer’s dumbest big rockest tunes, and their latest album was a return to form with some ridiculously huge unapologetic bangers on it and a three part rock ‘suite” to finish the LP.
10. “Burn Your FIre For No Witness” – Angel Olsen
Angel turned out a record that stylistically was all over the place but held together by a distinct voice.
9. “God’s Dream” – Ringo Deathstarr
This was an EP really, unless you count the extra tracks that Japan got, but acted as a good signpost towards the LP I hope they make next of big-thinking-stadium-shoegaze-1992-pumpkins-rock. The dude from Swervedriver popped up, and a non-classic Pumpkin too.
8. “From Scotland With Love” – King Creosote
Specially written to soundtrack a lovely film made from archive footage of Scotland, this was prime Kenny through & through.
The East Neuk of Fife, down the coast from where I live, is a funny old place. Everything is tiny and the rappers are eggs or potatoes if you squint; living in a dolls’ house means less time spent cleaning. The name slaters for woodlice travelled to Australia too. Put another twig on the fire, the nights are fair drawing in.
POST-GIG EDIT – Before I went out this evening, I wrote: “Can’t remember the last time I was this excited about a gig.”
… and …
“I’m particularly looking forward to this song”:
So it’s been a glorious September here in the northeast US of A, save for a sweltering first week or so. Brilliant sunshine, a bit cold for this time of year, feels more like October. I love autumn, the leaves are starting to change and should peak in 2 or 3 weeks here. My city runs roughly on an academic schedule, so after a plodding summer i’m absolutely spanked with work, with no real relief in sight until the new year when the work dries up for a month or 2 or 3. Which is all good, i like the looks of my bank account and getting a solid chunk put away for a rainy day.
Which i find i’m looking forward to. Rainy days, that is, and it looks like we have a week of them coming up if weather.com is anything to go by. Continue reading
I knew about Comus back in the early 1970s. They tended to get lumped in with people like the Third Ear Band, because of their general weirdness, and also with the Incredible String Band.
Anyway, I knew about them and my cousin liked them a lot, but he was weird. He liked the Holy Modal Rounders as well.
I was reminded of them yesterday because I was looking up Opeth on Wikipedia and that led me on to look at the article about Storm Corrosion, the Steven Wilson/Mikael Åkerfeldt collaboration from a couple of years ago. That article mentioned Comus as an inspiration for the Storm Corrosion album. I made a mental note to check on YouTube to see if their first album was there and, lo and behold, here it is.
I think that some people here might like it, certainly I think it will strike a chord with Beth and maybe Chris too.
In a slight break from tradition, I’m sticking to the vinyl that I bought this year (sorry Crocodiles & Mikal Cronin, your records were great too, I just don’t own them yet!) – Here’s a not-particularly ordered list!
1. “The Bones Of What You Believe” – Chrvrches. Unstoppable song writing from these Glaswegians, a pop heart shot through with a bullet of the all important Scots melancholy. Mighty non-cheesy 80s synths abound.
2. “Modern Vampires Of The City” – Vampire Weekend. Good golly there’s a plethora of cracking & clever tunes on here, as the VW begin to contemplate their mortality & place in the world.
3. “A Sea Of Spilt Peas” – Courtney Barnett. Bob Dylan, Lou Reed & Kurt Cobain as seen through the lens of a slightly bonkers, mildy stoned Australian singer.
4. “Pedestrian Verse” – Frightened Rabbit. The fourth good record in a row from Selkirk’s finest.
5. “Dream Cave” – Cloud Control. Skewed psych-pop from more Aussies (what do they put in their water over there?)
6. “Hobo Rocket” – Pond. Heavy deavy psyche nonsense lifting bits of Zep and Bowie, sounds like it was knocked off in an evening. Australian. Bonza.
7. “II” – Unknown Mortal Orchestra. Tripped out rambling 60sesque psyche pop from a bunch of long haired freaks. Not Australian!!! What??!
8. “Secret Soundz Vol 2” – Pictish Trail. I think I may have put this in last year’s list too, but as it officially came out this year…
9. “Now That You Are A Dancer” – Kid Canaveral. More indie pop perfection from the brawsome foursome, now with added shoegaze & epicosity.
10. “EP 1” – Pixies. Not technically an LP, but I did play the heck out of it. 3 amazing songs, one ok song. No Kim. Still a good deal.
I’d be interested in seeing your lists, so if you can’t be bothered to do a full post, please put top 3s/5s/10s/100s in the comments! I love lists!
A new album from Juana Molina starts off with a fine, moody, and angular composition in 7/4. Juana is an Argentine multi-instrumentalist with a long career as a musician, comedian and TV star; her latest solo album Wed 21. is a wonderfully offbeat discursion into electronic folk music. More info from her label.
This music is quite distinctive and it’s hard to find a good matching track; so to pair it I’ve fallen back on my favourite 7/4 composition, Joe Zawinul’s 74 miles away, performed by the Cannonball Adderley sextet.
A beautiful, restless track from Tigran Hamasyan’s new album Shadow Theatre, featuring the amazing Areni Agbabian on (wordless) vocals. Lots of references came to mind when I heard this, from the piano playing of Bojan Z to the circular routines of Penguin Cafe Orchestra. But in the overall effect of music and video it seems to me this track shares an affinity with The Ruby Suns’ Tane Mahuta- both draw heavily on folk influences, are based on waltz time, build to emotional climaxes, and are accompanied by endearingly off-beat collage-style black and white films.
So I was down the road in the East Neuk over the weekend, celebrating the non-demise of Fence Records, at an all-dayer in Crail. It was really nice to see some new local bands & performers under the Fence umbrella; the amazing Lidh being one of them. Anyway, she has handily just released a new EP and a video to go with the lead track “Rockpool Hospital”. It’s a bit of an earworm, very moreish, very pretty & happy and the video is tons of fun (show your small children!). Hope you like it. Lidh’s website is here.
Aha, another ‘Spill Challenge. No real theme here this time and Frippiness has been kept to an absolute minimum. I expect that many of these songs won’t be unfamiliar to most people and I hope that there is something here for everyone. Listening back, though, if there is a theme, it is that I think these tracks all seem to work well in our Summer heat.
So, same as always, What rocks your world and what rains on your parade?
01 – Intro/Sweet Jane – Lou Reed From Lou’s 1974 Rock ‘n’ Roll Animal album, featuring the twin guitar talents of
Steve Hunter and Dick Wagner, who also played in Alice Cooper’s band.
02 – Black Water – The Doobie Brothers
The hot weather seems to suit the early Doobie Brother’s sound. This one has a languid, zoned-out feel.
03 – Baby’s On Fire – Brian Eno
The Bard of Braininess from his first album, Here Come The Warm Jets. with a suitably incandescent guitar solo by Robert Fripp (his only appearance on the list).
04 – He’ll Have To Go – Ry Cooder
A hit for Jim Reeves, Ry Cooder’s take is a laid-back affair with a Tex-Mex swing, courtesy of the accordion of Flaco Jimenez.
05 – Jacket Hangs – The Blue Aeroplanes
One of the best-known songs from Bristol’s Blue Aeroplanes. This is a band that needs to be seen live because Gerard Langley is a fantastic frontman. They had a non-singing dancer long before Bez came along, fact fans.
06 – Spencer The Rover – John Martyn
A traditional folk ballad given the inimitable Martyn treatment. One of my favourite songs on the album Sunday’s Child.
07 – There’s No Way Out Of Here – David Gilmour
From his first, 1977 solo album, originally recorded by a band called Unicorn (no, me neither) and released as a single, which flopped, probably because of the year. David gives his guitar a typical workout. This album is interesting, because it shows how Floyd would sound once Roger Waters left leaving David in charge.
08 – When Poets Dreamed Of Angels – David Sylvian
A typically atmospheric song from David Sylvian’s Secrets of the Beehive album. I am a huge fan of his solo work and I really think he deserves more airplay.
09 – Song With No Words – David Crosby
A dreamy drifting workout, basically a jam, from his 1971 solo album, If I Could Only Remember My Name, this features Jerry Garcia, Jorma Kaukonen, Jack Casady, Mike Shrieve and Graham Nash. Hippy Royalty, really. Substances may have been involved in the recording of this track.
10 – Dolphins – Tim Buckley
Fred Neil’s song given the Buckley treatment at the Albert Hall in 1968. Danny Thompson on bass, natch plus guitarist Lee Underwood and David Friedman on vibes. His voice was never better, I think.
11 – Naked Eye – The Who
A regular feature of The Who’s live act but not ever an album track until a version appeared on the Odds ‘n’ Sods compilation. This is classic ‘Ooo.
………. But it seems that, at last, there will be a new Mazzy Star album.
There is even a single;
Welcome to the special Cross Cultural Edition of He Said – She Said ! ! ! This time we decided to show what we think is typical of the music from each other’s counties ! ! ! So I will be picking typically English tracks and Mr P will be picking typically Japanese tracks ! ! !
We think it will be fun and hope you like the post ! ! !
This time we have chosen to visit each other’s musical heritage in a fantastic cross cultural exchange type of a thing. I think it’s interesting to see how others see us, through the medium of music. We have chosen one contemporary track, one oldie and one traditional. We hope you enjoy the tracks.
I’ve already got my ticket for this – it was only £13! – and I was thinking it would be really great if some of you others could come too! It’s a Thursday, so not very good for a social, but we could have a drink beforehand at least.
Darrell Scott is an American singer-songwriter in the Americana mould – you may know him from tfd afasarae You’ll Never Leave Harlan Alive. Danny Thompson is a bass player best known (to me) for his work with Richard Thompson (no relation) and the Pentangle; but he’s played with loads of other people as well, and he plays in many styles. Darrell and Danny made a live album a while ago, and here are a couple of tracks to show you the sort of thing.
So, on the assumption that the noise they’ll make will be similar to that…here’s where you can book!
I finally got an email from WeGotTickets that made me sit up and pay attention. Southern Gothic murder balladeers The Handsome Family are coming over for a short UK tour in May, and three – yes, THREE – of the dates are easy commutes for me. Can I have a quick shout if you’re interested, please, and with a preference for which venue and date?
Tickets are in the ten to fifteen quid price range, and if we choose either of the weekend dates, I’m considering combining it with hosting a daytime Social on the Saturday.
I don’t know The Ruby Lounge, but HB Trades Club isn’t a big venue, and the guy at The Brud told me he expects this to sell out quite quickly there, so if you can feed your pigeon some go-go juice before you send back your replies attached to its leg pouch, I’d appreciate it.