voice + melody = love

I must begin by apologising for long delay in writing. Political (dis) engagement, trips to Sheffield, quick trip to Romania, fun family weekends in London, visits from relatives, working at the school, watching cool films. late night conversations and the like that I’ve simply just had no time to write about how rad the new girlpool album is! 😉 So click on those links if you’re bored, but do come back because I’m addicted to making lists like this :

1. The new girlpool album really is rad. Play it loud and dance away.

2. But the new sun kil moon album is even better. Play it soft and cry.

3. I saw Kathleen Hanna’s band Julie Ruin in Brighton a couple of weeks ago. It was so much fun, the music is so infectious my 9 year old son and I are driving around the sleepy Sussex villages blasting it out at the moment. She’s also, apparently, making a new album and just this week there’s a brand new fascinating interview with Ms Hanna in Pitchfork where she talks about the challengers of making music with a chronic illness and why she’s sick of hearing about her “supportive” husband. She makes a pretty good point really that everyone tells her how cool and great her husband is because he pretty much had to be her full-time carer, and although she says he is of course supportive and totally cool, she said if it was the other way round everyone would expect the wife to be the supportive one for the sick husband, but when it’s the other way round everybody makes a big deal about the “supportive and caring” husband, when it should naturally be this way. She says it a lot better than I have just now. Check it out.

4. I sent my first payment for the Brighton Writers 2 year course. It gives me two years to write a book. It’s suppose to make-or-break writers, and some have gone on from this course to win the booker prize and all that. Others have faded into obscurity

5. I was reminded of just how epic Norah Jones is. I listen again and again to her cd’s, and I’m often so transfixed by the sheer beauty of her voice and the brilliant love-gone-sour lyrics it just gives me goosebumps. She was on David Letterman a few weeks ago, when he did his final shows, and she played an old song that was simply gorgeous. So gorgeous I’ve put it below. Sorry those hoping for the Kathleen Hanna girl punk, or the hipster lo-fi indie of girlpool that will have to come another time.  I’ve always been a sucker for voice and melody and you can’t beat Norah Jones at that….

more than this

I’m always searching for sounds that will transform my little world, shake things up a little in my rural East Sussex hideaway, it doesn’t really matter if that’s by someone who has sold gizillions of albums or somebody who has just a few cd’s for sale at the Buxted village hall – if it grabs my attention I’ll absorb it’s radness and then write about it here….

I’ve just watched a Roxy Music concert from the early 1980’s, and I was transfixed with the seeminglybferry effortless coolness and beauty of it all. I have a bunch of Bryan Ferry cd’s and throughout the years I’ve picked up the Roxy Music vinyls, and they have become the most played records I own. The atmosphere and the elegance, with the glitzy and lost Fitzgerald-esque lyrics just blow me away every time. So, ok, Bryan Ferry has a new cd out on 17th November called Avonmore. I don’t know if it will compare to “Country Life”, but Ferry is the kind of singer you can’t have to much of. Even if his last one “Olympia” was kind of boring, this new one has Johnny Marr and Flea on too so I live on hope. Also a nice little interview with JM in NME this week too.

Something which I can promise you isn’t boring is the new release by a small, butfoxes super talented, band called Foxes in Fiction who I discovered one night drinking too much green tea whilst reading the Pitchfork website and it seems to be only out on tape and record – but wait, don’t let that put you off! It might be enjoyed by American hipsters in Corduroy, but trust me It’s really glorious and sad and slow, and perfect for driving about in your car too. I think the tapes have now all sold out, one of which is whirling its way across the Atlantic to me, but you can get it as a 12 inch or for a while you can get a  free download too (you lucky people!) at the Orchid Tapes website.

mark kozelek’s family snapshots

I don’t know how your summer has been, but mine has been pretty wild and I haven’t really heard much music apart from hipster 90’s songs from German weddings and catchy disco pop as the lemony sunshine baked me in Romania. Actually in rural Romania for 11 days I was kind of liberated from the world, for a news junkie like me it was a strange kind of freedom not knowing the daily political news or reading whatever garbage Liam Gallagher had said during a drunken night out.

 So, back to Earth gently with Mark Kozelek and news of yet another new album. This one will be released 14th January 2014 and features guest spots from Steve Shelley, Jen Wood, and Will Oldham. This, as yet untitled, sun kil moon album features songs about Marks childhood and family. That might sound kind of dull, but a sneak preview of a song he wrote about his mum which featured in a moving New York times piece he wrote earlier this year suggests yet more brilliance from this oddly compelling singer.

 I’m still intoxicated by the last sun kil moon album, among the leaves, and here’s a song to show why. I think among the leaves is the best record released over the last five years.