February 6, 2010 § Leave a Comment
January 27, 2010 § 4 Comments
I’m a total sucker for Joanna Newsom.
A lyrical wordsmith with a voice, despised by so many, that gives goosebumps of the good kind. She is notorious for her meticulous compositions and conspicuous virtuosity, instrumental, lyrical and conceptual. She sings intricate narratives of longing and loss.
I saw her live a couple of years ago and she played her harp until her fingers, literally, bled. She held them up at the end and apologised if her playing had faltered.
Her third album, the follow-up to 2006′s acclaimed orchestral opus Ys is now unveiled as a triple LP. Have One On Me will be released internationally on 23 February.
Here’s ’81, a preview of her new work…
November 18, 2008 § Leave a Comment
From the best band to come out of Lewis in eons, ladies and gentleman, boys and girls…the new, and last, album from Crash My Model Car ‘Waiting For The May Star’ will be available to by online via all good download sites soon (now?).
Who are they?
Go search the archives for more.
November 9, 2008 § Leave a Comment
In the same year that Bob Dylan stepped back from his electric pilgrimages by releasing an album of roots-oriented morality tales, the Byrds took a symbolic flight to Nashville. Gone was Roger McGuinn’s singular 12-string guitar sound and the acid rock that had had an effect on everyone from the Monkees to the Velvet Underground.
McGuinn now played banjo, and bassist Chris Hillman doubled on the mandolin, both seemingly reconsidering their musical approaches. And while Dylan remained the songwriter of choice, his tunes now sat alongside a rearranged hymn (“I Am a Pilgrim”), a bluegrass version of a famous outlaw tale (Woody Guthrie‘s “Pretty Boy Floyd”), and a cover of the Louvin Brothers (“The Christian Life”). This was a musical turn, turn, turn, indeed.
The obvious catalyst for all this reconstruction was the arrival of young Gram Parsons, and this album played as if it was his coming-out party. He introduced Hillman and McGuinn to a musical world that seemed totally foreign to these predecessors of the Summer of Love, but one which lay a scant hundred miles outside their L.A. windows, in Bakersfield. Parsons’ most important act was to help shape the overall sound of the album, but he contributed two original songs as well–”One Hundred Years From Now” and “Hickory Wind,” a signature composition he’d record again.
Sweetheart Of The Rodeo caused an entire musical community to reconsider the musical traditions of America.
August 24, 2008 § 2 Comments
Reykjavik Iceland’s violinist with her voice in the clouds: Gudbjrg Hlin Gudmundsdttir and friends Sindri, Kjartan, Orn are the inner triangle of Seabear along with Eiki, Orvar, Gudni and Driguitar. Seabear features members of Sigur Ros, mum and stage members of Benni Hemm Hemms Band the other Icelandic band on morr music. Tiny and gigantic, unobtrusive and exciting at the same time. This album doesn’t blurt it out: There is no loud Ta-Dah!, no exclamation mark. ‘The ghost that carried us away’ flatters in a rather unobtrusive way. However, it has encircled you after the third song at the latest. Fragile hymns of nonchalant casualness, created by the 24-year-old Sindri Mr Sigfsson. Guitars, piano, his almost bashful and yet so present voice. Nature, mortality, love, these are the topics of his debut album. Even the one who listens only briefly, is able to make them out within the sounds. Do you remember how the things look when you were young?
July 8, 2008 § Leave a Comment
Sad Day We Left The Croft is a compilation album of punk bands from island of Lewis, recorded in 1980 and released in 1981. A related 7 inch vinyl single on Adult Entertainments was also released in 1981. The single was played by John Peel on his influential BBC Radio 1 music show shortly after its release. Pressed in limited quantities, both the single and the album became cult items and copies have been much sought after by collectors.
In the late 1970s during the punk era, bands sprang up all across Britain following the musical style and ‘do it yourself’ ethos of groups such as the Ramones, Sex Pistols, and The Clash. This phenomenon was not confined to cities – many small towns and rural areas also had local punk music scenes, including the Western Isles of Scotland, where traditional music and local covers bands had mainly prevailed.
A number of punk bands emerged around the main town of Stornoway on Isle of Lewis. By 1979 there were several local punk and post punk bands, including The Bland, The Rong, The Subjects, Bruce Wayne Band, Noise Annoys, Battery Boys and Dirty Girls – and in 1980 they recorded the tracks for the album and the single.
The album was recorded at Croft Recordings, a small studio at Tong, about 5 miles from Stornoway.