This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… Guernica November 21, 2015Posted by irishelectionliterature in This Weekend I'll Mostly Be Listening to....
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Guernica were and Irish band influenced by New Order and Joy Division that were around from 1985 to 1989. Comedian/actor Joe Rooney was their lead singer. I saw them at least once and had the “Humming of the engines” single although it seems to have been mislaid in the almost 30 years since. They were quite good.
This is a compilation of the bands various RTE TV appearances. The track listing is as follows with the TV show too.
0’00 new boy (anything goes, 1985)
4’06 americano (mt usa, 1985)
8’40 americano (visual eyes, 1986)
13’25 deep sea diving (borderline)
17’42 humming of the engine (megamix)
22’25 veil of tears (?)
Aside from the music,it’s worth watching from 17.40 on this video to see the get up and hear the language of the RTE MegaMix presenter, who I think is Paul Tylak (Incidentally Tylak and Rooney both played Priests in Father Ted).
This is another one of their singles ‘Orange and Red’
‘The Queen of our Country’ which was the B side of ‘Orange and Red’
This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… Christy Moore November 7, 2015Posted by irishelectionliterature in This Weekend I'll Mostly Be Listening to....
Was listening to Christy Moore on the radio recently and realised how his music has been a backdrop to my life and indeed most Irish people of my vintage. He’s covered issues ignored by others, done jokey songs, folk songs, political songs and in a way opened up some issues to a wider audience.
I’d imagine most houses have a Christy Moore album somewhere. Have seen him live on many occasions and he’s a fantastic rapore with the audience and is a great entertainer.
He’s written material himself and brought the songs of many other songwriters such as Jimmy McCarthy to a wider audience.
Without even going near his work with Planxty or The Moving Hearts it’s very difficult to pick some of his songs but here’s a small selection….
This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… Goldie – Timeless October 31, 2015Posted by WorldbyStorm in This Weekend I'll Mostly Be Listening to....
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Well, I’d tentatively lined up another post for today, but the sad news this week that vocalist Diane Charlemagne has died this week and at an appallingly early age seemed to make it fitting to consider Goldie’s album Timeless, twenty years old last month and an album that in some ways brought jungle and drum ’n’ bass to a much wider audience than it had had hitherto. Central to that project was Charlemagne. She contributed some of the key vocals on the album and co-wrote two of the tracks and along with vocalist Lorna Harris provided a link to other areas of dance as well as accentuating the individuality of Goldie’s approach. She was someone with an already broad cv in dance, including being lead singer for Urban Cookie Collective and alter contributed to Netsky and worked with producer High Contrast. Lorna Harris’s provided vocals on State of Mind and You&Me. Her contribution along with that of Charlemagne was essential in providing a distinct character to the album.
Timeless was immediate, a rush of sound and melody and something like pop, but paradoxically languorous – with no track shorter than four and a half minutes, and some like the title track stretching to a good 20 minutes or so. Goldie, who had already a name as a graffiti artist, had been producing and appearing on tracks from the early 1990s a process that eventually led to the establishment of the Metalheadz label. His profile sort of mushroomed from there – fairly sharpish he was in television and film and so on.
I always loved the sound he achieved, the clatter of breakbeats, the none so deep basslines, the synth sweeps, even – perhaps particularly – when, as at times there was, something endearingly plastic about it, I’m not sure exactly why. I think it had an oddly nostalgic feel even when it first came out – perhaps that was driven by the almost over abundantly lush high pitched keyboard strings, the genuine emotiveness of the vocals, the sense that everything including the kitchen sink had been thrown in. And it worked!
Let’s not ignore the sheer experimental heft of the sounds on the album (again look at the soundscapes created on Timeless itself) which are breathtaking, even at this remove. The choppy and chopped up approach (weirdly reminiscent of prog) wasn’t one suspects necessarily an easy listen for some. That this proved chart-topping was nothing short of astounding. I suppose the pop finish of some tracks – State of Mind with its joyous unspooling chorus comes to mind, helped the medicine to go down.
Worth noting some of the names of others involved, Dego, Marc Mac, Howie B and Photek amongst them. Rob Playfords production and programming holds the whole show together. But this is unquestionably Goldie’s vision ably aided and abetted by Charlemagne and Harris.
Inner City Life
State of Mind
Sea of Tears
Also here’s Charlemagne with Urban Cookie Collective – The Key, The Secret
Growing up there was a Mary O’Hara record at home, so when thinking of the Harp I thought of her and Derek Bell of The Chieftains. The Chieftains were good and Mary O’Hara was well, ‘pleasant’ but she was not an artist I’d listen to.
I stumbled across the music of Catrin Finch and Seckou Keita recently and found it mesmerising. Their debut album ‘Clychau Dibon’ was described as “intricate, ethereal and entrancing, an elaborate pas-de-deux… remarkable” .
Caitrin Finch is a classical harpist from Wales whilst Seckou Keita who is from Senegal plays the West African instrument the Kora. Its both beautiful and hypnotising. It must also be brilliant for a classical musician to explore and experiment in a different way. I can only imagine what a pleasure it would be to see them perform live.
This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… The Black Velvet Band October 10, 2015Posted by irishelectionliterature in This Weekend I'll Mostly Be Listening to....
Was going through old tapes at home looking for something for my brother when I found an album I had long forgotten about. “When Justice Came” by The Black Velvet Band.
Fronted by Maria Doyle Kennedy and Kieran Kennedy I quite liked them and saw them a number of times. Both their voices are fantastic and of course Maria Doyle Kennedy has a decent following as a singer herself and has also a career as an actress.
They had two albums and their first album “When Justice Came” was released by Mother Records. Founded around 1987 they were active until the mid 90’s.
“We Plough The Fields” is probably my favourite track by them.
In honor of Andrew, and The Devil. With a special and very rare tip of the hat to Mark P for inspiration.
“It’s like it’s forever still the 1980s in their heads. Turn up the Red Army Choir and watch the bombs drop”
[As a side note, the usual TWIMBLT will still go up, but I just couldn’t let this opportunity pass]
Még tréfából is baszd még oroszországot
This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… A House – Access All Areas (Full Live Show) September 26, 2015Posted by irishelectionliterature in This Weekend I'll Mostly Be Listening to....
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This appeared on Youtube yesterday. Access All Areas was a show of live music on ITV. I gather they have been released as CD’s and DVD.
The track listing
1. I Want to Kill Something
3. Everything’s Wrong
4. I Am Afraid
5. I Lied
6. Violent Love
7. Take It Easy On Me
8. Endless Art
9. You’re Too Young
10. I Don’t Care
12. When I First Saw You
A great reminder of how fantastic they were. No point in writing anything else about them although I do remember having to play my copy of the “Kick Me Again Jesus” single rather quietly at times in case my parents heard it!
This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to…Commie Funk and Agit Pop from the Hermit Kingdom September 12, 2015Posted by irishelectionliterature in This Weekend I'll Mostly Be Listening to....
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A variety of North Korean music from the Sublime Records release “Radio Pyongyang: Commie Funk and Agit Pop from the Hermit Kingdom”
The description of the album from The Sublime Frequencies site
Schmaltzy synthpop, Revolutionary rock, Cheeky child rap, and a healthy dose of hagiography for Dear Leader Kim Jong-il, this is the now NOW sound of North Korea! A hermit kingdom with a rich folk history and an even richer tradition in over-the-top praise for the ruling House of Kim, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea remains a diplomatic thorn and a culture never Neverland. Boasting a heady mix of Stalin opera, Tokyo karaoke and brooding impressionism, the sound of present-day Pyongyang distills into warped agit-pop and lost-in-time commie funk. If you’ve ever wondered what goes on in North Korean music, this is your vehicle for exploration. Christiaan Virant has visited this mysterious land and has assembled this amazing audio collage. Captured within are rare live recordings from various performances and mass games demonstrations, sounds lifted from People’s Army television dramas, samples from hard-to-find CD releases obtained in the capital, and of course, news reports from the “real” Radio Pyongyang, which continues to broadcast to this day, albeit under the new, strikingly anodyne moniker “Voice of Korea”.
Needless to say it’s a strange eclectic mix. As expected from such a regime, some of it is austere, some of it sounds like the soundtrack to those Polish Cartoons on RTE in the 70’s. Yet there is some very kitsch pop (Parts sound like a 1970’s Eurovision entries compilation.), children singing folksongs, sounds that wouldn’t be out of place in a Spaghetti Western and on top of all that the album is interspersed with announcements from Radio Pyongyang. All the sounds are stitched together to make something that’s strangely fascinating and actually quite listenable to.
I’ve included a few tracks and also the full album below.
The full album
Sometimes you think it might be a cover version but it turns out its just a song of the same name. I’ve left out ones like “The Power of Love”, “Runaway” and tried to include just the one band. An awful lot of Beatles tracks have names that have been used by other songs.
Other examples welcome….
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I’ve always figured Newcombe of Brian Jonestown Massacre – in whatever incarnation – knows pretty much what he’s doing and even when he gets it wrong he usually does it in an interesting way. And in this joint project he doesn’t get it wrong at all.
Tess Parks – supposedly a protege of Alan McGee is someone who to judge from this album entitled ‘I Declare Nothing’ has from a strong and compelling identity all her own. Hers is an idiosyncratic voice that wavers on occasion in outright growls – the Guardian suggested a mixture of Hope Sandoval and Courtney Love. Well, perhaps. And yet I kind of like it. This isn’t Lee Hazelwood and Nancy Sinatra – great though that pairing was, or Opal, but a grittier and perhaps more formidable combination.
Standout tracks are Wehmut, which lopes along lazily to a backing of entertainingly space rock squeaks and burbles until what sounds like a flute enters the picture. Cocaine Cat and Peace Defrost power along on subdued riffs somehow balancing narcolepsy with primal rock and roll. Or perhaps that is the balance and always has been, this being music to enjoy as one falls asleep, the hazy strums and woozy reverb the perfect backdrop to allow consciousness to simply drift away. Gone is, ironically perhaps with its choppy stop start guitars, almost jaunty despite the lyric – not least when Newcombe provides backing vocals. Voyage de L’ame certainly benefits from what sounds like a mellotron.
Speaking of which Newcombe is a great man for filling sonic spaces even when his overall approach seems sparse to the point of minimalism. Example A is October 2nd which has a soft one note keyboard/organ sound in the background. Meliorist is perhaps the most conventional track but none the worse for it and Friendlies has a fantastically atonal guitar line that winds through its length.
For the most part it works, though if there’s a criticism it is that the tracks tend to the mid-paced. It would be interesting to see them genuinely let rip. But there’s more than enough going on to ensure that the album holds the attention. it’s the sort of album, particularly a guitar/vocal album, that yet again proves that the form isn’t played out – at least not by those who can dig deep into it, and Parks and Newcombe can and do.
I hope we hear more from this quarter.