Saturday, May 31, 2008

Christian Williams - songs from his new-ish album of gothic prairie music

Purveyor of the finest gothic prairie music (country is too generic, but prairie - now we're getting specific), Christian Williams was kind enough to send us some more of his songs from his new album called 'To the Trees'. He sent it quite a while back, and I've been mulling them over ever since. One guitar with his voice sounding like he could have had a career writing/being covered for/by Johnny Cash, the other a banjo led ditty which doesn't help with the GAS.

I've been listening to a lot of clawhammer just lately, but it drives the wife mad and so remains a private pleasure between me and my headphones.

Listen: Christian Williams - Lake Effect
Listen: Christian Williams - the Recluse Anna Brown

Official - you can stream the whole album from here.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Southern Tenant Folk Union

We've posted this lot last year and they've got a spankingly good new album out. It's full of clawhammer and fiddle and melancholic bluegrass. Still seems incongruous that they hail from London. They seem to be permanently on tour (have a look at their MySpace), and are playing the very nice Luminaire in London on 21 June for a Club Ugly night, which sounds like a good time.

Howard, sadly, is no closer to being allowed a banjo.

Listen: Southern Tenant Folk Union - Never Got the Best of Me

Listen: Southern Tenant Folk Union - Here In The Dock


Thursday, May 22, 2008

Dennis Wilson POB to be reissued at last

Firstly apologies for not posting much, work is proving very demanding. Anyway, there's a head of media hype/steam building up to the release of Dennis Wilson's solo album Pacific Ocean Blue. Long term readers will know that I'm a sucker for a bit of mid-period Beach boys, this article in the Guardian is one of the better ones - Richard Williams revisits the musical masterwork of former Beach Boy, Dennis Wilson (yes I know my writing leaves an awful lot to be desired).

Anyway I was going to post the 'masterwork' from the article - Only with you, but I realised that for me it's actually a different song that does it for me. Listening back to it again before posting also made me realise the deeper connection between spiritualized and the beach boys. Your comments are as always, most welcome.

Listen: Dennis Wilson - Carry Me Home

Friday, May 16, 2008

Getting a bit emotional at gigs

I'm still filling up on the train and now I've taken to doing it in public. I've been lucky enough to go to a couple of corking gigs this week and have had a bit of a moment at both of them.

Rounded off the most Scottish weekend of my life by going to see King Creosote and his brother, Ian, (stage name Pip Dylan and an utter delight), do an acoustic set on Monday in the Brudenell, which is probably not much bigger that your front room (hello american readers!). There's an intimacy about KC that is irresistable, especially when there's no band, only banter and lifelong in-jokes with his brother. Kenny's got a secret album out, a single on spacy blue vinyl and a new accordian. Swoon.
Listen: King Creosote - 678

And then off to the Leadmill for the majestic Iron and Wine. I was a bit worried about losing the layers of their sound in a bigger venue, especially after a noisy support from Bon Iver, but it was superb. Sam Beam makes it all look so effortless - astounding - and there was steel guitar and beauty a-plenty. They finished the set with an a cappella version of Flightless Bird that brought the place to its knees. Shivers and goosebumps all round. So, just on the off chance that you've yet to hear it, here is is again.
Listen: Iron and Wine - Flightless Bird, American Mouth

Friday, May 09, 2008

Silver Jews - Honk If You're Lonely

Howdy all,

Treated myself to a school night jaunt to see the mighty Silver Jews last night. They were utterly resplendent in matching suits, (love a band that makes an effort), tight, hilarious and, dare I say it, more than a bit funky. I wasn't expecting as much lounge lizardry - it could have been, ooh, Urge Overkill up there at times.

Until, of course, Dave Berman starts singing. What a legend.

They did a deal with the audience and played a set of half new and half old songs. New album sounds a corker. We didn't get this one though, so I'm sharing it here. Where else? Enjoy.

Listen: Silver Jews - Honk If You're Lonely


Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Kathryn Williams and Neill MacColl

A gentle song about the point at which a friendship develops into something more in the early hours of a party that is winding down.

The arrangement infers a musical intimacy with the vocals pitched perfectly in the moment of the song.

If I were sung to in that way and with that tone of voice I know what my decision would be.

Quite possibly the best song I've heard all year.

Listen:Kathryn Williams & Neill MacColl - Come with me


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