Friday, July 31, 2009

35 Rhums and French Fancies

I went to see a film called 35 Rhums last night and the music was fantastic, a mix of gallic whimsy, bassoon, strings and melancholia. Spot on lonesome. Especially when accompanying shots of people looking a bit glum on trains, and we all know how I feel about that.

So - to coin a phrase - imagine my surprise when the titles popped up and it turned out that the soundtrack was by Tindersticks. Perfect, somehow. Sadly, there don't seem to be any plans to release it, but you can hear the music from the closing titles on their MySpace here.

In the meantime, here are some ooh la la echoes of what the soundtrack reminded me of. Ah bon.

Listen: Calexico - Old Man Waltz

Listen: Yann Tiersen - L'autre Valse d'Amelie

Listen: Jeff Buckley - Je N'en Connais Pas La Fin

Buy Calexico's The Black Light here, Yann Tiersen's Amelie soundtrack here, or get a mawkishly overpackaged Live at Sin-e here.

Howard here - In a bizarre francophonic simultaneous post here's what I had planned to post today:

Montreal's Monogrenade sound like a francophone The Acorn on this track Ce Soir, taken from their brand spanking new debut EP "La saveur des fruits". It's a bit pacier than we normally post, so steady yourself or sit down before clicking the link.

Listen: Monogrenade - Ce Soir

MySpace

Buy It

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Scott Walker breaks my heart

Do songs ever make you think in pictures? And books?
Do you ever think you're nothing more than some kind of synesthesic mess, just a big tissue of references and cross references and nothing is anything without a meta in front of it?
Or is it just me? Is it because working on a sunny Saturday afternoon just messes with your mind?

Either way, my cognitive pathways are a bit jarred.


So I hear Plastic Palace People and I see Chagall and flying people and I see young Billy Casper and hear Barry Hines' words.

It's quite a melancholic mix, let me tell you. Extraordinary. Tell me that I'm not on my own here. Anyone else?
I suppose I should just be grateful that it's not a slab of meat.



Listen: Scott Walker - Plastic Palace People

Buy, it's less than £3 and, frankly, essential.

I'm off for a long cold drink in a dark room.

Oh - for those of you who might have/heard of colour synesthesia, apparently John Donne's poems are all red and orange. But that's another post entirely.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Billy The Kid

Somewhere in the early morning haze between the Shipping Forecast and Farming Today, Radio 4 told the nation that today is the anniversary of Billy the Kid's death. That was just the prompt I needed post this belter from Luke Powers - a slice of steel-drenched and sand scorched Texassee to see us on our way.

Luke Powers - Billy the Kid Rides Again (Buy)

And whilst we're on the subject, here are some other Billy-related treats:

Nic Jones - Billy Don't You Weep For Me (Buy)

Super Furry Animals - Don't be a Fool, Billy (Buy)

Bobbie Gentry - Ode to Billy Joe (Buy) (House point if you can tell me what this song is all about, please)

Read

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Hope Sandoval - Blanchard

I have bought many albums multiple times, but the first Mazzy Star album I think holds the record. I wore out two or three copies on tape (one of only two tapes I had whilst living in Cork, the other was Violent Femmes), then on vinyl and probably twice on CD as well (not including my wife's copy). So I'm always interested to hear what's new in the seemingly slow-moving world of Hope. I liked, but couldn't grow to love, the Bavarian Fruit Bread album from a few years back - it lacked the 'Country Music as imagined by Tim Burton' that I came to love and obsess slightly about in Mazzy Star. This new song from a forthcoming album promises a return to those soft edged vocals and burbling telecaster.
Listen: Hope Sandoval - Blanchard

Official

Friday, July 03, 2009


The weather here has been hot and humid, I lay in bed with the duvet bunched up between me and my wife to act as a heat sump, we were too hot. The rain came at 3.15 this morning, we listened as my 3 year old son got up to watch the lightning out of his window for a bit in the semi-light and then went back to bed of his own accord. We drifted back to sleep worried about open windows, flash floods and our old cooker that is sat in the back garden. Last night our sleep was a little too salty.

I guess I'm going to have to get my 'Summer of Joni Mitchell' underway with some appropriate songs by current artists. Shannon Stephens' is from her new album, The Breadwinner, coming out on Sept 8th. The Blue Roses album is out July 21st.

Listen: Shannon Stephens - In the Summer Heat

Listen: Blue Roses - Doubtful Comforts

Shannon Stephens on MySpace
Blue Roses on MySpace