Thursday, February 24, 2011

Let the mysteries be..

This is a post celebrating the old-ish and the new-ish in Country music. Belated happy 50th birthday, first of all, to Iris Dement. It's almost twenty years since Philo records released her debut album, 'Infamous Angel,' and it is yet to be equalled by old or young 'uns.

Caitlin Rose reminds this writer of Lucinda Williams - but she is very much Caitlin Rose. Her latest album, 'Own Side Now,' was released to critical acclaim last year. If you're a fan of the aformentioned Miss Williams and Iris herself, then it's a surest thing Caitlin Rose will be for you.

Try some.

Caitlin Rose - Shanghai Cigarettes from LaundroMatinee on Vimeo.

Caitlin Rose@Stereo
Rough Trade Records/Caitlin Rose

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The landscape of love...

In the commentary to 'Wings of Desire,' Wim Wenders speaks about his then desire to return to Germany, to Berlin, to make a movie about the city, explaining further the duality of his feelings for a rapidly changing, commercially and socio-politically, urban unreality. In the 25 years since Wenders decided to make his masterpiece much, and perhaps, in many respects, little, has changed. What has remained however, is Wenders' singularly unique cinematic vision.

'Wings of Desire,' is one of the great films. It owes some debt to Wenders' first film, 'Summer in the City,' and, especially so, to the films of the great Russian director, Andrei Tarkovsky - to whom the film is partly dedicated. What makes the film great, however, is its convincing ability to make us, the viewers, feel compellingly lost in our own all too human inadequacies, our individual, yet shared tragedies, whilst offering hope and counsel and a collective understanding of our grief, our happiness, our joy at being no more, no less, than alive.

It is magic on film. Watch it.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The burden of love is so strange...

Fresh from the mightily canine, 'Alsatian records,' the debut album from Norman Blake and Euros Childs - or, 'Jonny,' as they're now rather convivially known.

Laden with the kind of hooks we've grown to expect from two tunesmiths of the first hors d'oeuvre, it's a nice departure and a welcome return.

Jonny Jonny Ooh...

Teenage Fanclub
Gorky Dispenser

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Cool outside...

Toro Y Moi/Chaz Bundick has been writing music for almost ten years - which means he's been writing music since he was 15. His output is eclectic to say the least - a mixture of, amongst others, Sonic Youth and Daft Punk - but he's very much his own thing.

This own thing extends itself to various musical reworkings and collaborations - Les Sins being by far, so far, the most interesting.

Toro Y Moi's new album, 'Underneath the pine,' is available from Carpark records on February 22nd. Try some.

' album that weaves into reality and stitches the easy letters of wonder...'

Toro Y Moi- Talamak from bryan bush on Vimeo.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Barry town...

The John Barry sound was established as early as the 1950's - witness the marvellous, 'Watch your step,' instrumental of 1957 - credited to the John Barry 7.

Since 1960, Barry had been involved in film music, writing, sometimes performing and conducting the scores/incidental music to two British thrillers starring Adam Faith; an artist whose early career, in some ways, he paralleled.

Barry's abilities came to the attention of film producers Saltzman and Broccoli whilst working for EMI records, producing and arranging material for their roster of recording artists. They were impressed. So much so, that they decided to give the 29 year old a chance to work on one of their upcoming EON projects...the rest is history.

John Barry was a musical genius. Notable, not only for his immeasurable contribution to the James Bond series of films, but for his talent in transforming base elements into cinematic silver and gold - often, solely, because of his contribution. It's also impossible to watch memorable films such as, 'Midnight Cowboy,' and, 'Walkabout,' without being affected emotionally by their images and their musical counterpoint.

Thanks John, for your gift of beautiful music.

'Watch Your Step'
'Beat Girl'
'Florida Fantasy'

***The above contains spoilers***