Monday, July 30, 2007
Sunday, July 29, 2007
And why is FC essential? Because they were the first to my knowledge in the English folk scene, which in their case called on traditional English music and turned it into rock and pop songs. Folk and folk-pop music for the years previous had been dominated by Americans - Dylan, Baez, Phil Ochs, The Byrds, numerous others - so FC was almost a reponse to it, and you can see from their first few records, incl. Holidays, that they started out working with American songs (lots of Dylan covers, for ex) until they re-invented themselves as interpreters of traditional Brit songs with Liege and Lief - and that's the record I would own if you had to have one. Full House is equally good but doesn't have the benefit of Sandy Denny, who'd left by that point. Unhalfbricking is less interesting thematically, but is a fantastic record nonetheless - personal faves are the justly famous "Who Knows Where the Time Goes", plus "Autopsy" and "Percy's Song" (one of three Dylan covers on the record). The English folk scene - of which I own very little, but I know Stuart is a huge fan so I will let him expand and expound on this...but artists like Steeleye Span, John Martyn, Pentangle, even Nick Drake - grew out of the inspiration of Fairport Convention. Later celtic rockers in the 80's too (Spirit of the West eg).
Friday, July 27, 2007
Thursday, July 26, 2007
I saw a Denny-less, Thompson-less Fairport live at a small club in Ottawa in the early 80's, and despite the lack of (famous) original members it was pretty fantastic.
The 'Podcasts' links will now open up in itunes and bring you to the subscription page, where a simple click will add that podcast to your list of automatic updates. If there are additional music-related podcasts you think I should include, or even non-music related ones, please let me know and I will add these.
Under 'Radio', I've added 'Fresh Air Edinburgh', a great station I discovered in Itunes radio. In addition to playing great music, they list the track and artist in itunes while playing, which the other two links aren't able to do at present. When you click on this link, select 'open' and it will open up in itunes. I've also added last.fm, which does what Pandora used to do (no longer available in Canada).
Streamlined the reading section, most of which are focused one music, two of which focus on fake news (the onion) and commentary on real news (salon). If you only have time to read one blog per day, Glenn Greenwald's daily (sometimes hourly) posts on media coverage and politics in the US is essential. The last is a link to the Toronto Public Library, which you should really bookmark if you haven't already.
The Giles Peterson comps are hit and miss. You can listen to a few samples at emusic.com to see what I mean. You may also want to follow the trail of links of suggested music and labels to find other similar examples (duh).
What you definitely don't want to do is find yourself on the slippery slope to smooth jazz.
Regarding sandy denny, the box set is 5 cds and covers her whole carrer, Strawbs, Fairport Convention, Fotheringay, Solo....It is probably way too much for anyone other then the true nutters like me...The best records to have are unhalfbricking , Holidays, Leige and leif,
Fotheringay, and Sandy , and I would start with unhalfbricking or leige and leif.....
Also, if you want to see how jazz got off the rails in the seventies, you should check out his record from a few years later - Black Byrd - which is soul/R&B jazz with black guys and girls chanting along....real Isaac Hayes meets jazz stuff. Sounds pretty cool in a purely retro way actually, but considering it came from a pure jazz trumpeter, and was a huge seller, well, it was the beginning of the end of the line for jazz for about ten years.
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Stuart, I take your point about REM and the ludicrious application of a term to a band long since past its 'alternative' days--I'm pretty sure U2 is still winning or being nominated for Alternative Grammys, despite being mainstream for 20+ years. But I still think that 'Document' and 'Green' were college radio, though the single 'Stand' from the latter certainly helped them transition to the mainstream, solidified with 1991's 'Out of Time'.
Gotta run out to pick up some Depeche Mode.
Monday, July 16, 2007
in fact, I recall making a series of cassettes in 1987 that was comprised mainly of songs I'd taped directly off the radio--how's that for audio quality--and they were labelled 'New Wave 1', 'New Wave 2, 3, etc..).
I have a freakishly good memory when it comes to these types of things (ask me to rattle off the last 30 stanley cup winners....come on....i dare you) so I'm saying your colleague has it wrong.
However, you are completely wrong when it comes to Depeche Mode, who are, or at least were for a time being, awesome. 'Just Can't Get Enough' is in the top 5 songs of the 80s, and they have at least 3 great albums (Music for the Masses, Black Celebration, and Some Great Reward), mentioned specifically here if only to draw a potential differentiation point from Derek, who will likely support my claim in general. As punishment for saying this, i invite you to recall the opening bars of 'personal jesus', which will now stay in your head for the remainder of the day.
I never called Depeche Mode anythign because I thought they stunk, but that's beside the point.
Anyone feel like sounding in to help me settle this?
Friday, July 13, 2007
also , whats a good way to cure the kyndey stone blues, go blow 100 bucks on a box set... picked up the Sandy Denny set and as I am already a committed fan, unsurprisingly I love it...however, it is a bit like the faces box, in that the outtakes (in particular one disc of demos of just her and her guitar or piano singing) are magic... this is not always the case......
Thursday, July 12, 2007
As an aside, I question why emusic with all of its "new release" notifications (seems to be about two a day) almost never tells me about something I either (a) didn't already know about or (b) would really like, given my previous downloads. Julie Doiron is a perfect example. Kyle, can you arrange to work with them to re-program that?
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Erik Friedlander a cellist with an eclectic bent I heard this morning on their jazz show. They played a track from his latest disc Block Ice & Propane which was pretty cool. I'd also recommend the album Africa Calling by Wilton "Bogey" Gaynair a recent re-issue of a British jazz album from the 60's which I downloaded last week.
I also heard a track today from the most recent Julie Doiron CD which was just nominated for the Polaris prize. I didn't even recognize it as her and it was very good. Was surprised to see this was on e-music. I've also heard some good buzz about The Veils and their most recent disc Nux Vomica. The main guy in the band is Finn Andrews the son of Barry Andrews of XTC fame.
A recent Gramophone issue also gave plaudits to the Young Danish Quartets disc of Nielsen String Quartets, a record which I'm about to download myself as I know only Neilsen's symphonies.
Hope that helps a bit.
A couple of recent (yes, e-music too) discoveries for me were The Slip - their recent release Eisenhower is beat-based indy guitar rock and pretty well done, and a mix of styles that is a little new to me - more emphasis on rhythms and beat than I generally seek out, maybe a bit of The Feelies in their library....but also a lot of Death Cab and Geek Rock influences. Listen to Soft Machine and Children of December to see if it works for you. Through searches for The Slip I came upon Phoenix, which you younger cooler cats probably know all about, much ballyhooed in '06, but brand new to me...and in a generally similar way, quite good. Less geek, more dancy at times, but some very good songs.