Archive for the ‘ENG’ Category

The Smiths rehearsal tape May 1983

März 18, 2013

Some great versions of „Reel around the Fountain“ (where Morrissey sings „mountain“), „Handsome Devil“ et al.. Altogether pretty mellow compared to the ones released on „Hatful of Hollow“. Morrissey’s voice is less histrionic than later on but his falsetto often mutes into a screaming – esp. on the last song „Miserable Lie“ – probably because the mike does not capture it well.

Two guitars having slow sex

Februar 27, 2013

A recent post on Plain Or Pan reminded me of The House of Love, a band from London which started just when The Smiths finished and finished (more or less) when Britpop began. They tried to make a career starting from the third Velvet Underground album and failed though they had a following of die-hard fans. The song which was featured in four different versions on Plain Or Pan was their 1988 single Destroy Your Heart and I am totally enchanted by the demo version which is quite different from the Peel, the live and the single versions. The two guitars, apparently Gibsons are soaked in reverb and sound like two church bells chiming in stereo. They have an unreal quality to them like aural fata morganas which seem to lead somewhere but don’t. There is also something about the slow playing which adds an effect of estrangement, in places the guitars seem to tremble as if the recording has been sped up and sped down. Guy Chadwick’s voice has been sent through a vocoder or something, it is unusually low here, he sounds like someone very old and wise. The lyrics add more weirdness as they are about a love gone wrong, something you wouldn’t expect happening to such an honorable person. This version is totally enthralling, the guitars intertwine in a way that you can’t tell which is which, like in good sex when you don’t know anymore if you are up or down or when you have forgotten if you are the man or the woman.

Jessie Ware – If You’re Never Gonna Move

Januar 24, 2013

I listened to and watched this for the first time this morning just past 5 o’clock and I totally fell in love with the singer, her voice, the tune, the video, even the car she drives away with at the end (not the guy though). The song and video are both kitschy in a romantic kind of way, her mellifluous whisper is sexy and clean at the same time, there is so much wrong about this song and especially about the video but they both still work for me.

Low 2013

Januar 9, 2013

Low, the best band from Duluth, Minnesota and already for quite a while my favourite live band (they will play the Zoom Club in Frankfurt/M. on May, 10th) have a new album out on March, 19th. It’s called The Invisible Way (produced by Jeff Tweedy, Dave Fridmann and Steve Albini among others) and the first song they put online is rather promising. It has this typical warm and soothing Low sound, rich vocal harmonies by Mimi and a melody which makes my heart melt. How do they succeed in making still such inspired music which is so simple and straight but has this strong spiritual feeling? I think one of their secrets is the slowness. Not only of the music itself but also of their releasing speed. In twenty years they have put out just ten albums. Not one too many. The song is called Just Make it Stop and can be streamed or downloaded here. Plastic Cup, a great duet of Alan and Mimi with acoustic guitar and piano can be streamed here (there is a small audio ad before).

Advice for smokers

Januar 31, 2012

Don’t stop smoking if you want to continue telling everyone including yourself that if you wanted you could easily stop but as it would be so piss-easy, you see no point in pulling the plug.

Retro music & retro post

Oktober 10, 2011

I spent more or less the whole month of July 1979 in the United States very close to New England. It was my first encounter with US American culture and people and it made a big impression on me. The family I lived with had a wooden summer house on the Truesdale Lake in South Salem, New York. The next town was Ridgefield, Connecticut which was maybe 5 miles away and we went there occasionally to have a sundae, an ice-cream with a delicious, very rich chocolate sauce. The family had three sons, one older than me, one younger than me and one my age. Robert already had a driving license and he had a Bug. Nobody said Beetle, of course. Sometimes he drove the family car, a huge American road cruiser, no clue what brand it was. We also went to Bridgeport, Connecticut (and probably Stamford) where there was a university. Anyways this band called the Stepkids is from Bridgeport. The song which they perform live in the video is by far the best on their first album which was released a couple of months ago and which I purchased today. Call it psychedelic funk in the 2010s. The extremely groovy track could have been recorded in the early seventies, I still cannot help thinking that it is a cover but I haven’t found the original yet. It definitely sounds like a an old classic, especially the killer bassline after about half a minute which immediately hooks the listener without ever releasing him again.

P.S. Now I am almost 100% sure that there is a very similar tune by Lansing-Dreiden, another very derivative, eclectic band originally from Miami but now based in New York. I am too lazy now to check the iPod and nail it though.

6:05 Maximum Joy – Let It Take You There (1982)

März 24, 2011
A forgotten band from Bristol – long before it became famous for trip-hop – with a funky and vibrant post-punk track. Is there a more adequate way to finish off a project which stayed an insider tip for more than a year from the beginning to the end? Thanks for the comments, especially from here, here and here. Next will be the book of course (Nick Hornby will be put to shame) and then the audio book consisting of four cd-roms with all songs in 192 bit+ mp3 quality plus my avid and erudite comments read by myself. I am still thinking about the film but it will definitely feature all musicians – if still alive – which have been performing the music. There is a lot of organisation involved which will keep me busy for the next twelve months. Merchandise will include cups with implanted chips and loudspeakers, a teddy bear reading the posts and a card game with 365 singing cards. Some more thanks go to Charles Babbage and Tim Berners-Lee for inventing the computer and the internet, the Fraunhofer institute for the mp3 compression algorithm, WordPress for the blogging software and the servers, Google also for its servers, Apple for the iPod, Bose for the ear plugs, all the musicians and composers, my readers and listeners, the evolution for my ears and fingers, my teachers for teaching me how to write in German and English and finally my parents for making me. Did I forget someone?

(The list of all 365 selections since 1st February 2010 is here).

6:03 Bark Psychosis – Shapeshifting (2004)

März 22, 2011

All you people make me ill
You’re not really touching me

Just one comforting thought when I left the apartment this morning: At least I am not alone. I have got some good company which does not leave me. Never. My blues.


Sorry to Mark Tranmer and Roger Quigley from the Montgolfier Brothers. I could have chosen the simple and melancholic Between Two Points from Seventeen Stars as well. And I could have written more or less the same words. Sad music is so soothing.

(The list of all 363 selections since 1st February 2010 is here).

6:01 Talk Talk – Tomorrow Started (1984)

März 20, 2011

I’ve said I’m wrong when I’ve been right
I’ve seen times when I’ve been sure but still I find
I’m just the first that you take

Not all of the synthesizer music in the eighties was rubbish. On this song there is a two note motif – which is played first after hundred seconds – so full of yearning and longing that it is impossible not to fall for it if you have a soft spot for romantic feelings. Like a cork-screw it drills deep into my heart. But this is just a tiny part of the gorgeous song. There is also Paul Webb’s cosy, bubbly electric bass and the omnipresent drumming and percussion. Not to forget the trumpet solo and last but not least Mark Hollis singing which is rather restrained and confident here. The marriage of pop music with other genres like jazz, world and classical music has hardly ever been as convincing as on this track.


A question for my English readers. Are you actually reading what I write here or does this not reach you at all? For the last couple of weeks I have alternated between German and English but I didn’t get any feedback of English-speaking readers so I wondered if there is a point in continuing the English exercise. Thanks for answering.

(The list of all 361 selections since 1st February 2010 is here).

5’59 Blonde Redhead – In Particular (2000)

März 19, 2011

Lying on my back,
I heard music,
Felt unsure & catastrophic,
Had to tell myself it’s only music,
It blows my mind,
But it’s like that.

That verse could almost be about me. Kazu Makino, Blonde Redhead’s Japanese high-pitch voice, sings about an Alex but apparently it is the teenager from Anthony Burgess A Clockwork Orange who gets a kick from listening to Beethoven. At one point of the story Alex is subjected to an overdose of classical music and tries to kill himself by jumping out of a high window. That it is a setting I have always been afraid of. To be driven crazy by having to listen to my favourite music forever. The biggest nightmare imaginable for a music lover.

(The list of all 359 selections since 1st February 2010 is here).