Archive for the ‘music’ Category
‘Pass This On’ by Dan Sartain – my tune of the month. Admittedly the month in question was April but hey, it’s out now. The video might not be a patch on the original but it has a disgracefully low number of views. So I thought I’d post it here.
March 2014 is the 25th anniversary of the murder of Laura Palmer in Twin Peaks. I watched the series for the first time last year and it is a gloriously odd. Not just odd in the way we might describe a work as Lynchian these days but often straight up baffling and sometimes simply bad. That goes double for Fire Walk With Me. But when it works, it really works. So I thought I would share my favourite scene from the series, one of the most unexpectedly powerful bits of television I can remember:
The score for Twin Peaks was composed by Angelo Badalamenti and has proved as enduring as the television series itself. This includes ‘Laura’s Theme’ which was a part of my life long before I’d even heard of Lynch via Moby:
Badalamenti describes composing the theme with Lynch at the beginning of this extraordinary Essential Mix by Nicolas Jaar:
(That mix truly is essential, make sure you download it.)
The paradoxes of being a heavy reader is that you don’t really like to receive books as gifts. “Oh, a book! Wonderful! I’ll pencil that in for 2018…” But, of course, a book is never unwelcome. My wife got me The Breakfast Bible by Seb Emina and Malcolm Eggs (of the London Review Of Breakfasts) for Christmas and I’ve been reading it in bite-sized chunks since then. I have learnt many things along the say but the most important is that to make a perfect soft boiled egg, all you need to do is place a large room-temperature egg into simmering water and then put on ‘Wuthering Heights’ by Kate Bush:
When the song is finished so is the egg.
Strange Horizons has published its year in review which features – as it does most years -a contribution from yours truly. Mostly I use it as an opportunity to praise the shortlists of last year’s Kitschies (whilst still managing to get a quick dig in) but I also just had space for The Water Sign by CS Samulski. As Kameron Hurley says in the comments, it isn’t a book without flaws but it is bloody exciting. In terms of other reviewers, I think the book that gets the most recommendations is Life After Life by Kate Atkinson. I enjoyed her previous fantasy work, Not The End Of The World , and, to a lesser extent Case Histories so this goes on the list.
In terms of my non-SF recommendations for the year, well, you need to have this:
Yeezus is mixture of the ridiculous and the sublime (usually within the same song), written and performed by a total arse who just happens to be a genius.
Romain Gavras directed the ginger genocide video for MIA’s ‘Born Free’. He subsequently expanded this idea into the truly terrible film Our Day Will Come. So let’s ignore that and watch his badass video of MIA’s ‘Bad Girls’ instead:
I’ve mentioned my love of Girl Talk before and it hasn’t gone away. ‘Feed The Animals’ and its follow up ‘All Day’ are never off my iPod and are invaluable in the gym. As I have been running along like a hamster in an underground bunker where I am forced to watch Loose Women with the subtitles on, I’ve often thought what a good soundtrack these music collages would make for a piece of contemporary dance. Turns out Wild Combination had the same idea and produced Girl Walk. Here is the first chapter:
So, if you ever see me on the streets of London, that’s what I’m doing on the inside.
I’m probably late to this party but I’ve just discovered BRAT Productions. Most of his productions are above average mashups featuring cheesy Seventies rock but this combination of The Eagles, Lamb and American Beauty is rather special:
(This post was delayed from last month because I couldn’t work out how to embed Vimeo videos so the party is even later. I still can’t centre align it. Bah.)
The shortlist for the Mercury Music Prize was announced yesterday and it was a bit of a damp squib. Not that it doesn’t contain a lot of good music but I can’t remember a more conservative list. As coincidence would have it, I have been absolutely rinsing the xx album (one of the shortlisted twelve) this week. It is the most immediate album I’ve heard in some time, an accessibility that isn’t at the expense of depth. It is also one of the most sensual. I remember someone telling be that Soulvaki by Slowdive was their favourite make out album at college and this is an album very much in that mold. You picture half-closed blinds, tiger-striping a room with morning light, full ashtrays, lethagy and lust. Regardless of this – and the fact the xx are bookies’ favourite – I will be sticking a fiver on Laura Marling.
Jackson Browne – I was raised on Browne but he is too Seventies, too California, too rich hippy to have endured. So Glastonbury should have been the perfect place for him. He didn’t draw much of a crowd though. Still, a nice enough way to spend Saturday morning, although I was glad I had a copy of the Guardian. And ‘I am A Patriot’ no longer sounds like much of an antitode to patriotism, particularly in this surroundings.
Imogen Heap - I’m a casual fan of Frou Frou and Heap herself so I thought I knew what to expect. When we arrived, however, she was leading the crowd through quite the most tortuous sing-a-long I’ve ever heard. Nah, mate.
The National – A massive buzz about them leading up to Glastonbury and they sort of delivered. That is to say, they put their all into the performance, even if it didn’t necessarily collect at all times. (I should note at this juncture that where you are stood and who you are stood with has a massive influence on this so all judgements should be taken with a pinch of salt.)
Shakira - Pop is always welcome as far as I’m concerned. Shakira doesn’t really have the tunes though; Michael Eavies, if you are listening, get Beyonce to headline. She was still great though, even if it was only with the singles like ‘She Wolf’ that you could proper get into it. And to be honest, the eye candy was not unwelcome either. Hips don’t lie, indeed.
Kelis - We arrived fifteen minutes late and fifteen minutes after that there was still no sign of her. Instead Mr Jamm continued his DJ set by playing a series of not very classic classics. We sacked it off…
The xx - …in order to see The xx, just across the way. By this point we had the wrong mindset and just listened from outside the tent. Which wasn’t ideal.
Pet Shop Boys - I don’t remember anything about this set. I am told I fucking loved it and sang along to every song.
The Hold Steady - Another of my dad’s tips. I struggled down to the Other Stage to get some breakfast and caught most of their set. I think it is time to accept that I just don’t like The Hold Steady.
Teddy Thompson – He’s a rum one, Teddy Thompson. A great voice, a decent guitarist, acceptable but forgettable songs – all this would be fine if he wasn’t such a sour bastard. I know some of it is stage persona but still. Keane were playing immediately after and for one horrible moment it looked like we would be trapped there by the influx of bed-wetters at the end of Thomson’s set. Luckily we escaped.
Grizzly Bear – Must do more research.
MGMT – I had been going to see the Blues Band, Richard Thompson and Loudon Wainwright on the Acoustic Stage but in the end decided to stay with my crew and stay electronic for the evening. The sound was a bit weedy but that is no excuse for for the weediness of MGMT themselves. The crowd loved the old singles but were otherwise pretty indifferent. They have also got ridiculous speaking voices. To top things off, someone tore off half my big toenail during this set which was unpleasant and messy.
LCD Soundsystem - This, on the other hand, was not at all weedy. You know what I said yesterday about older artist not needing to me cool? Well, that doesn’t apply to James Murphy. This was a sort of evil twin version of Hot Chip’s set and, in its own way, just as good.
Orbital - I’ve seen Orbital, you’ve seen Orbital, everyone’s seen Orbital. And yet the pull is always there to see them again. This was a classic set right from the opening track of ‘Impact’. They are a funny pair – the one motionless in a suit, the other gurning in a vest – but together they are fried gold. But then up pops Dr bloody Who. There is no escape.