Well, I have no excuses for the latest hiatus, apart from intrusive reality, but ‘Spillin’ The Beans is back again and this week I am exploring the debut album by Silver Liz, “I Can Feel The Weight“. The album was released at the end of October Continue reading
After Fuel’s epic week at the helm of his wonderful, joyous and revealing mixtape topic over at The Guardian, I thought I’d share with you a blog I’ve been following for some years.
Beautiful Song of the Week is a genre busting music blog, born when the writer decided to capture the songs he was sharing and listening to with his girlfriend. It does exactly as the name suggests. Every week the writer shares another song. There’s a short write up about the background of the artist or a story to go with the track. At the end of the post the writer gives 3 reasons why the song is beautiful and a suggestion of what you could be doing when you listen to the track. In his “About” page he says “think of this as a mixtape that’s never quite finished” (if he does ever decide to end it, Fuel has a beautifully curated list of options he could consider!). It’s a marvellously simple and effective concept. I dip in an out of this blog, maybe not visiting for a month or so, but because there is only one post a week, I never feel like I get too behind with the content.
The full list is also available to browse on the blog. The writer recently put together a Spotify playlist of all the songs he’s included so far; 363 songs and 24 hours of music (in the “Contact” tab). I’m working my way through it in the order it was written – there really is some very lovely stuff to discover.
I want to share this with you now because only the other week he wrote about his love of mixtapes and compilations mentioning a series called Late Night Tales. I am a fan of this compilation series, it’s where I most recently discovered The Alessi Brothers – Seabird The song he shared on this occasion is a cover of a song I love. I agree with him that the original is totally underrated; it has been a constant on my own compilations for years. The cover version lives up to the name of the blog. Beautiful.
Click the link at the top to visit the blog or to follow on twitter go to @abeautifulsong
Which music blogs (other than The ‘Spill, of course) do you visit and why? – Discuss.
Apologies once more for the absence of any Beans last week, but my excuse is perfect. The dog ate my review. No? Well, OK, I tried. Anyway, this week I am turning once again to a major artist, to my mind, one of the towering giants of British experimental, underground and progressive music since 1969. Continue reading
After a short hiatus last week, I am back again and ‘Spillin’ The Beans about the double EP “Reuben and Coldcut” by Spiller, who are an Oregon-based quartet and not an Italian DJ and producer with a famous connection to Sophie Ellis-Bextor. 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.
Better late than not at all….
A spooky thing happened to me last week on my way home from work and when cooking dinner a bit later. I had a random playlist on in the car (always far too loud so as to distract me from the annoying traffic), for once I was really listening to the music rather than allowing the issues of the day to invade my subconscious and begin to worry me. A song called Shining Light by Ash came on. It’s a sweet tune from 2001 with some lovely lyrics you could send to someone in the hope they’d pick up your meaning…it’s not as rocky as Girl from Mars, but still passable commute listening. As the song progressed, it suddenly changed tempo and key “Ah that’s a lovely little middle eight right there” I thought to myself – I never think of these things generally, so it was a weird thought to have. End of little anecdote number 1.
Here’s the track as a reminder:
Later I was cooking dinner with a new releases round table discussion on the radio in the background. They played the new St Vincent release called Los Ageless. (which is a great track btw). The panel members loved it, but one of the guests (Jimbob from Carter USM) mentioned how brilliant the middle eight was in her track. How bloody weird! I’ve never really thought about middle eights and there it was; twice in the space of a couple of hours.
I agree with Jimbob; a good middle eight keeps you interested and moves the track on. There are loads of great Motown tracks I can think of with very good middle eights – Ain’t No Mountain High Enough as a starter. The Beatles and The Beach Boys were pretty good at middle eights too. I love the middle eights in Stevie Nicks’ Edge Of Seventeen and in Justin Timberlake’s Rock Your Body. Both tracks ramp back up after their middle eight lulls, propelling the tune to its end.
Since last week I have tuned into so many middle eights in the songs I’ve listened to; I notice them even when I’m not really paying attention. There was a middle eight RR topic back in 2009 and the songs that made the list are all good examples (although I can’t claim to like all the songs – Kaiser Chiefs???). So, yet again ‘Spillers I come to you to discuss this issue. What do you know about all of this? What are your favourite middle eights? Or maybe you think they are a waste of time and an attempt by the artist to self indulgently show off? Discuss.
This week, I am taking a slightly different approach to ‘Spillin’ The Beans because I am going to discuss an album released by a major artist back in August. That album is Steven Wilson‘s fifth solo release, “To The Bone“. It isn’t really a review, more of a personal reflection upon the music and how it has been received.
Now, first, a confession. Continue reading