Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Death Of The Music Industry


There's nothing more to say.

BTW, thanks for Ducky Carlisle @facebook for this link.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Review: Feist - The Reminder

The Reminder - the third record of Feist - is a kind of magic.
The album is sort of a grower in several ways: The first time I listened, I didn't like it very much. This changed very soon!
It's also a grower in the charts: In the Germany it stayed in the charts for a very very long time (I think it was at least one year).

It has an acoustic and mellow touch, there are less instruments and more vocals by Leslie Feist.
"1-2-3-4" is simply stunning and uplifting, "Brandy Alexander" is beautiful (later it was covered by a friend of Leslie - Ron Sexsmith), "The Park" and "The Water" are quiet but instant classics.

Songs for a lonely island: 1-2-3-4, I Feel It All, Brandy Alexander, The Park


Review: Goldfrapp - Seventh Tree

Goldfrapp were famous for their disco sound, in 2008 this changed rapidly: With the record "Seventh Tree" they released an LP they described as a "sensual counterpoint to the glitterball glamour of Supernature", their last studio album from 2005.

The opener "Clowns" creates instantly goose bumps and is one of the highlights along with "A&E". Only two of the songs are kind of up-tempo("Happiness" and "Caravan Girl"), the other ones are laid-back.
The whole record is very homogenously, embedded with strings, bird's twitter and wonderful harmonies.

Also the video of A&E is a little masterpiece:

Songs for a lonely island: ALL of the ten songs, with no exception!


She & Him

She & Him is a duo of Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward. The band released two records: Volume One and Volume Two (BTW, I like these titles!).

Deschanel and Ward first met on the set of the film The Go-Getter, in which she had a starring role. They sang a duet together.
Deschanel had done years' worth of home demos. After meeting M. Ward she decided to send them to him. Ward called her a short time later, telling her that he would like to record her songs properly, and the band She & Him was formed.
By the way, both LPs are available as as a very nice vinyl edition.

Songs for a lonely island
Volume One: Sentimental Heart, This Is Not a Test, Sweet Darlin'
Volume Two: Thieves, In the Sun, Lingering Still, Don't Look Back

Finally, a video for the song "Don't Look Back":

Mick Terry

Mick's debut album was released with a little delay. About 30 years. "The Grown Ups" is a fresh compilation of songs inspired by The Beatles or the Beach Boys (at some point supported with Jim Boggia).
In the same way as a photographer uses light and shade to create a mood, these musical snapshots form a sort of audio palette colour generator for a process Terry likes to refer to as “painting with audio”. The lyrical themes of love, loss, faith and hope that run through the LP are those of a man looking back on his childhood and coming to terms with the man he has become.

Songs for a lonely island: Hoxton Song, Comets

Thursday, May 26, 2011

+++ News May 2011 +++

Bleu will soon release a B-Sides compilation ("Besides") - only on vinyl and digital download. There will be probably also a live CD/DVD this year (with strings).

Ocean Grove
Ocean Grove, a new band from L.A. have already released their first EP (Little Record EP). A second EP is coming soon. Please listen, it's a perfect record for summer. You can also download an acoustic EP for free here!

Scott Gagner
Scott's first record "Rhapsody in Blonde" will be released on June 1, 2011.
San Francisco songwriter Scott Gagner has created a great Rock/Power Pop feel, but also touches on Americana and Indie themes - which makes it all the more enjoyable.

Listen to: I Hate To Say and Take Two.

Coming Soon - New Records

Friday, May 20, 2011

The Nines - Polarities

News today (from Facebook): Just before the end of the world, it's the new Nines album, Polarities. The album features unreleased songs spanning 15 years, 4 full length albums, major (Universal, Polygram) and indie label releases. Now available on CD at www.cdbaby.com/nines6 .....It will be out on major download services/stores shortly as well.

If you don't know The Nines, I recommend "Calling Distance Stations" (the 3rd record) at CDBaby. I love it!

Today in history...

Emil Berliner was born. You don't know him? You should:

Emil Berliner (1851 – 1929) was a German-born Jewish inventor. He developed the disc record gramophone (phonograph)and founded The Berliner Gramophone Company in 1895 and The Gramophone Company in London.

If you don't know, what how it looked like*:

* ;-)

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Ben Folds Five - Live in Concert with WASO

Here's Mr. Ben Folds at the top of his game - with the whole WASO (West Australian Symphony) Orchestra in 2005. The concert sums up the best songs he has ever written - see the tracklist or buy the DVD on amazon.com. I hope he gets back to this - I didn't like "Way To Normal" and "Lonely Avenue" as much as everything before.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Jon Brion Show

Brion did this pilot for VH1 in 1999. The show never aired - what a shame. It includes performances from E (eels), Elliott Smith, Rickie Lee Jones, Grant Lee Phillips and Robyn Hitchcock (it's in 5 parts):

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Ben Folds Five

Ben Folds Five (1994 – 2000) was one of the first bands I discovered solely by the world wide web. Without it I would have missed a big impact in my musical taste.

The band members were Ben Folds (vocals, piano), Darren Jessee (drums) and Robert Sledge (bass). Yes That's three. Ben Folds once said they just named them FIVE because it sounds better than THREE.

  • Ben Folds Five (1995)
  • Whatever and Ever Amen (1997)
  • Naked Baby Photos (1998, a collection of rare songs)
  • The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner (1999) 
After the split Ben Folds started his successful solo career, so did Darren Jessee with Hotel Lights (commercially not as successful as Folds, but musically very nice!).

In 2008 Ben Folds Five made a one-off live show at the UNC Memorial Hall in Chapel Hill. The band played its final album, The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner, in its entirety.
Funny thing: When the Messner album was released, the band members had no idea who Reinhold Messner is, they just thought his name would sound nice for the album title.


Del Amitri

Del Amitri were formed 1983 in Glasgow ... and went away in 2002 - because their record company dropped them.

In these 19 years they produced seven records and one Best Of LP.
The sound of Del Amitri is handmade, anywhere between rock, pop & folk, with great hooks and clever lyrics. Lead vocals were performed by Justin Currie.
Summed up, The Dels are a mix of Crowded House, The Beatles and a dash of Scottish folk.

After the band went separate ways there were two solo records by Justin Currie, the lead singer (What Is Love For and The Great War) and an interesting project called The Uncle Devil Show.

  • Del Amitri (1985)
  • Waking Hours (1989)
  • Change Everything (1992)
  • Twisted (1995)
  • Some Other Sucker's Parade (1997)
  • Hatful of Rain: The Best Of Del Amitri (1998)
  • Lousy With Love: The B-Sides (1998)
  • Can You Do Me Good? (2002)

I strongly recommend the Best Of: A Hatful Of Rain (Driving With The Brakes On / Here And Now / Kiss This Thing Good-Bye / Roll To Me), Can You Do Me Good  (Just Before You Leave / Cash & Prizes / Drunk In A Band / One More Last Hurrah) and The Uncle Devil Show.

You can listen to them below: