Watch the JC being interviewed by John Doran here:
Watch the JC being interviewed by John Doran here:
Favourite new adventurous folk band, The Owl Service, named after a favourite book by a favourite author. Album review in the latest issue of The Wire. The Wire meant so much to me early on as a music fan. After a more homemade magazine, which might have been called Impetus (I can’t seem to track it down) went away, (It used to be sold at gigs in London), The Wire appeared with many of the same writers.
This is what the band said on their Facebook page: longed for a Wire review since day one, shame that when we finally get one it’s a bit crap. Funny how so often people don’t view your work the same way you do. Thank fuck they don’t use star ratings…
The Owl Service webpage called The Pattern Beneath the PloughShare This:
An article from Tablet Magazine about the Kinkster. He is his own man , who in his novels and his songs is often veers into bad taste, sexism and more while at the same time creating sympathetic characters and images that demand a response.
The legendary songwriter, novelist, and Texas phenom is touring on his first new album in three decades, but Kinky Friedman will still sign anything except bad legislation
Kinky Friedman is one of the best songwriters of our era, yet most people today who know Kinky know him not from his music but from the series of popular detective novels he wrote, beginning in the mid-1980s, and for his recent campaigns for public office in Texas. His early music, recorded back when there were vinyl LPs, never achieved the kind of commercial success that many less-gifted, better-marketed artists enjoyed. Perhaps the greatest of the eras’ singer-songwriters, Bob Dylan, told Friedman, “You came five years too late, man, or you’d be rich like the rest of us.”
Every gift has conditions, all talents have constraints: Friedman’s would not conform itself to the marketing requirements of the music industry, which, as it became more efficient at getting listeners to part with the price of a record, became less interested in “acts” that ran contrary to marketing wisdom. Sold American, Friedman’s first record, had a children’s song, a satiric ballad, and an elegiac hymn for 6 million Jews dead in the Holocaust all on the same grooved slab of plastic.
In response to my friend, Scott Weighart’s reflections on his favourites from last year.
Joanna Newsom DIVERS
I love the complexity of her music with the harp often in the lead as well as her complete lack of shame at the pretentious lyrics.
David Wax Museum – GUESTHOUSE
A local band with Mexican influences finally finds their own sound distinct from the general Americana/Mexican work they have done until now.
Dave Rawlings Machine – NASHVILLE OBSOLETE
Counts for me as a Gillian Welch album and that’s always a good thing. And this is only unfair to Rawlings in that he is a big part of all GW’s records and the two under his own name are just as good.
Richard Thompson – STILL
Nothing to say. Always worth hearing, even as he has grown into more styles than most people are capable of, the playing, arrangements and songcraft is as good as anyone out there.
The Unthanks – MOUNT THE AIR
Sisters from the folk world of the North of England. Harmonies with an edge and song structures that draw the long folk tradition into the present.
Bjork – VULNICURA and VULNICURA STRINGS
Strange, hard to listen to but mesmerizing and moving. In two equally intense versions.
Los Lobos – GATES OF GOLD
For me for a time, Little Feat were the greatest band of musicians out there, but for the last 10 years it has been Los Lobos, and their songcraft outshies anyting the Feat have done since Lowell died.
Led Zeppelin – CODA
Totally not the crappy thrown together white elephant that the band sold their labels. WIth the new tracks it makes sense as the perfect valediction to Bonzo Bonham and the band of the first half ot the seventies.
The Spike Orchestra – CEREBUS
Volume 26 of John Zorn’s Book of Angels sequence of compositions.
Giant Sand- HEARTBREAK PASS
Howe Gelb and whoever he is playing with take Americana into areas of musicianship and styles beyond what most others manage. The dust of Tuscon the cold of Denmark. Laid back and rocking at the same time.
Calexico – EDGE OF THE SUN
Where Giant Sand have gone world wide, Caleixco stay right on the AZ/Mexico border, writing more varied and better songs with each album. They don’t need Iron or Wine, they can do it themselves. We just say the documentary, Circo, they did the score for, and that is a great film about a struggling family circus and a perfect project for John and Joey to work on.
Courtney Barnett – SOMETIMES I JSUT SIT AND THINK, AND SOMETIMES I JUST SIT
The album of the year by the Australian. Not wrong to compare her to Dylan in that she tells the story she wants to tell and the song shape comes from that.
Yo La Tengo – STUFF LIKE THAT THERE
As mellow as YLT have ever been. Brings a smile to your face to hear the band enjoy just playing.
Laurie Anderson – HEART OF A DOG
A farewell to her pet dog but at the same time to Lou Reed (the old dog). Each album is an aural representation of where Anderson is as an artist. Hard to keep up but more than worth it.
Personal portrait of the critically-acclaimed and enigmatic British folk rock singer Richard Thompson, providing an insight into his fascinating life alongside exclusive footage. Contributors include Billy Connolly, Bonnie Raitt, ex-wife Linda Thompson, Harry Shearer and Richard’s wife Nancy Covey. The documentary visits him at home in both London and Los Angeles – the first time such intimate access has been granted to this private and complex artist.
In the 60s whilst still a teenager, Thompson wrote generation-defining songs like Meet on the Ledge. As founder member of Fairport Convention, as a duo with then-wife Linda and more recently as a solo artist, Thompson’s unique mix of rock and traditional music has ironically become more popular now in America than in the UK.
At their height, tragedy struck Fairport Convention when a motorway accident killed their engineer, drummer and Richard’s girlfriend Jeannie Franklyn. Galvanised by grief they created stark new music, adapting traditional songs for a young electric band and spearheading folk rock.
Richard and Linda Thompson’s songs of spiritual yearning culminated in their becoming Sufi Muslims. Alternative living and devotional music gave way to the 80s success Shoot out the Lights. Good fortune coincided with the duo’s messy divorce, painfully played out on their legendary US tour. The documentary captures this tension and highly-charged atmosphere with exclusive footage recorded at one of the last concerts by a fan in America, which has never been seen on television before.
Since then Richard’s solo career has burgeoned, especially in America, with such resolutely English-themed songs as Vincent Black Lightning 1952, celebrating a classic British motorbike. As well as featuring powerful performances of songs such as Over the Rainbow and A Heart Needs a Home, the documentary includes Solitary Life and Kidzz, neither of which appear on his recent album The Old Kit Bag. From: BBC Website
Friends and I work together with a great teacher, John Purcell at the Brookline Music School, and we work as a band arranging, playing and twice a year performing songs.
At the moment we are working on Jeff Tweedy’s Harrison-esque “You Never Know” from Wilco (The Album) and online there is a dispute about one couplet that is mostly rendered as:
“It’s a long heavy hell
Super size it by ten”
“It’s a long, heavy hell
Synthesizer Patel is a real life fictional character from the show Look Around You:
“Synthesizer Patel only ever appeared on a few occasions. When did you realise he had become a bit of a cult hero?”
Q. One thing that impresses me about your work is that you totally avoid the whimsy trap. How do you do that?
A. I guess it’s by trying to stay true to my own sense of humor and avoid the cloying. We try to never be so ironic that we’re making fun of the pieces. With “War and Peace,” for example, we never wanted to be making fun of Tolstoy — though we might make light of Tolstoy at times. You want to be telling a story and give the audience a cathartic experience, which is more rewarding in the end than just cheap laughs.Share This: