Tagged: joanna newsom

I Made You A Mixtape…Twelve

As a fortnightly mixtape, we’ve found ourselves getting rather giddy days before we actually publish this post, and it’s because we’re so eager to share it. Isn’t that the point of a mixtape after all? Over the past few weeks we’ve been once again immersing ourselves in the latest sounds to come our way as we prepare for the weekend of gigging which is actually, already underway. Miaoux Miaoux last night, Pixies tonight and Shellac tomorrow, but for now, here’s our latest mix.

Book Group – Victory Lap

Phil: Gerry Loves Records have been quite a launchpad for artists over the last few years and I’d expect their latest release, a double A side from Edinburgh based Book Group, to lead on to bigger things for the band. The release comprises of two catchy as you like indie pop tunes which truth being told, I struggled to choose between for this mixtape. I’ve plumped with opener, and live favourite, Victory Lap, a rousing slacker-ish rock track which has had me humming the chorus in my head since I set my ears on it. The AA side is released on Nov 25th and they play a couple of launch shows in Glasgow and Edinburgh next week, details here.

Frightened Rabbit – The Modern Leper []

Phil: I mentioned the gigs which we are headed to this weekend. Last weekend however, there were a plethora of ‘epic rawk n roll’ shows going on in Glasgow, very few of which had tickled our fancy. However, I couldn’t help but have pangs of  jealousy as I saw the tweets come in about the Frightened Rabbit gig at the Academy. I would have dearly loved to have been there and seen them open with Holy, before moving on to this one, The Modern Leper, from 2008’s ‘The Midnight Organ Fight’.

The Nightingales – The Book of Right On [DOWNLOAD]

Kim: Last week something marvellous happened. The Nightingales, who I like to think of as the band who just keep coming back for more, made a song available for free download. The track they decided to gift to all was a cover of Joanna Newsom’s The Book of Right-On. What has been delivered is, I think, a really interesting study into how songs are perceived. I’m a huge fan of Newsom and I’ve had many conversations over whether her music is accessible and with how difficult people find her song-structure. In this rendition, there is so little melodic deviation from the original track and yet it feels like a song that’s too straightforward for The Nightingales. The lower register of the harp is used as a rooting bass line for this playful incarnation and the verses are so charming with the little percussive flares. Grab this one here and give the two a play, side by side.

Woven Tents – Kids In The Park []

Phil: Woven Tents are a band I know very little about but they provide one of the many excellent tracks which make up Dirty Beard Monthly’s first compilation. ‘Kids In The Park’ is a fuzzy psychadelic trip through jazz and rock and is the ideal buffer for the tracks which follow on the compilation, which you can download, for free! This track is taken from the recently released ‘Leave Your Monsters At Home‘ EP.

Water of Life – Liquid City/The Shellycoat []

Phil: Water of Life is a collaboration between musician Rob St.John and artist Tommy Perman (ex-FOUND) and is probably one of the most fascinating projects I’ve seen. The tracks were inspired and made by exploring the natural and unnatural water flows throughout Edinburgh. I can’t quite do the project justice here, but really, go, look, enjoy, wonder and immerse yourself in the website they’ve put together. There’s field recordings, some fantastic photography and words about their expeditions and I’ve already lost a fair few evenings getting lost in it all. Oh, and there’s a sound map. I.am.in.heaven.

‘Water of Life’ is released on December 9th as a Ltd Ed 7″ folio, including a 7″, essays and prints as well as a digital download of the tracks.

Miaoux Miaoux – Stop The Clocks []

Kim: This month the ListLive event in Stereo, which Elba are this very day recovering from, provided their platform to Chemikal Underground dance darling Miaoux Miaoux. Julian Corrie’s dreamy indie-electro music arrived last year on debut album Light of the North, which very deservedly made its way onto the Scottish Album of the Year longlist. Stop The Clocks is a song that pulls back from his playful electro-pop into something more emotional. As set closer it really cemented itself as a pivotal number. It opens on ringing fingerpicked electric guitar and a muted beat.  Julian’s voice is soft and pure here but his little percussive breaths break in and let you know that this song is not what you thought it was going to be.  When the synth appears it causes a great swell of breath to the lungs. This track is not overcomplicated in scoring. It does what it needs to. When the instrumental breaks it is time to dance, all the way to the crescendo and then through it, into the light.

Jo Mango – When We Lived in the Crook of a Tree []

Kim: Female artists telling grand stories are a great weakness of mine. Jo Mango’s upcoming EP When We Lived in the Crook of a Tree is a delicate weave of tales; threading myth, the mystical and the grim(m). After an early morning listen, I marked it as this year’s whimsical winter music. There will be nothing better than navigating icy paths to these sparkling tracks. The scoring on this title track is sparse to begin with and her voice is so fragile that you are left feeling vulnerable. The chorus is a pain-stricken mourning of the loss of a home and hideaway. By the time the sound fleshes out, you may very well be reduced to tears. When We Lived in the Crook of a Tree is being released by the lovely people over at Olive Grove Records on the 2nd December and Jo Mango plays The Glad Cafe on 14th December. She will also be appearing on the delectable Olive Grove label showcase in the Oran Mor on the 26th January as part of Celtic Connections.

Casual Sex – Soft School

Kim: Up and coming Casual Sex are back on home soil after a long and hard spell on the road supporting Franz Ferdinand. The Bastard Beat EP launch is tonight in Nice N Sleazy with support from noise monsters Halfrican and dirty synth duo Ubre Blanca. I’m a little bit obsessed with the Ubre track Taxed. It would be the perfect score to Snake Plissken’s Escape From Glasgow. I don’t think Kurt Russell would make it out alive. Picking a track of the headliner for this mix was a fucking good job to do. Casual Sex have amassed a tight little package of heavy surf-rock. There’s no wistfulness here, just jaggy 80s rock fitting for the titular act. Soft School was the b-side on the Stroh 80 single released earlier this year. Did I miss any innuendo?

Shellac – Canada

Kim: This weekend, Phil and myself have both opted for all out nostalgia with our gig choices. Where Phil will be listening to the sounds of Black Francis and his merry men (literally as, alas, there will be no Kim Deal – a deal breaker, personally), I will be off to SWG3 to be ear bashed by Shellac [of North America].  Shellac seem to illicit mad cackles from me. Their minimalist rock is unrelenting and it instills a craziness in my mood. Canada fits into what has become the place on the song list for my indulgent track. This is the track that will make no sense anywhere else on the mix so it gets jammed on at the end BECAUSE I LOVE IT and it just MUST be on the mix! I can think of only one other artist who might surpass the closing artists on these last three mixtapes for all out gushing. I wonder if I will find some tenuous reason to work them into a future mixtape. Watch this space.

I Made You A Mixtape…Twelve by Elbasessions on Mixcloud

Elba Annual 2010 – Al (Armellodie Records)

Going into the home straight in this year’s Elba annual with just a handful of posts left, the last installment before Christmas comes courtesy of Al from Armellodie Records. It’s been a fairly hectic year for Armellodie (must be hard releasing all those excellent records!) and it shows no sign of slowing down in the New Year with a Glasgow residency (more on that at the foot of the post) and a pile of great releases planned.

We decided not to go with the Armellodie logo adorning the top of the blog, instead, here’s Al looking like a crazy fool!

Album of The Year

Have One On Me by Joanna Newsom.

And another two on me…Ivory Tower by Chilly Gonzales. American Gong by Quasi.

Best Gig (by someone else…)

Have three on me… Joanna Newsom at the Royal Concert Hall in Glasgow (September). Randy Newman at the Royal Concert Hall in Glasgow (May). Pavement at All Tomorrows Parties in Minehead (May).

Favourite New Band(s)

Depends on your definition of ‘new’ but have another three on me…

The Douglas Firs.
Nosferatu D2 (so new they’ve split up already).
Honeytrap.

Musical Memories of 2010

The year that Armellodie became a little less tiny and the great records that made it so, Super Adventure Club, The Scottish Enlightenment, Kill The Captains, and Thirty Pounds Of Bone, the pleasure was all mine.

Hopes/Plans (music) for 2011

BARmellodie is where it’s at in 2011. From January to June, Armellodie Records is going residential in Bar Bloc in Glasgow on the third Friday of every month, with Armbands, and guest acts performing, plus guest DJs and ArmelloDJs spinning Armelloditties at the Armellodisco. You couldn’t accuse us of not driving the brand home. Good times and more good times.

As Al mentioned, Armellodie are launching their monthly BARmellodie residency at Bar Bloc in Glasgow from January. I’ve had a peek at some of the line ups and they look absolutely cracking. January sees Elba blog favourites Le Reno Amps take the stage along with Battery Face and The Douglas Firs as well as the ArmelloDJ’s and yours truly taking on the wheels of steel. This all takes place on January the 21st. If you need any other info, head over to Armellodie HQ. Some future dates will include Thirty Pounds of Bone, The Scottish Enlightenment and Super Adventure Club playing their hit-laden albums in their entirety

Goings On/Grumblings 16.03.2010

This post is brought to you by some sticky, doughnut icing covered, fingers. Yum.

Optimo e-closio
Kim: Sad sad sad sad news. I feel a lot like my Glasgow music institutions have been closing around me for a couple of years now. This one just seems too sad though. Where the heck is everyone gonna go on a Sunday night now? I just remember turning of age in the drinking manner of the word and my best friend and I having starry eyes when it came to Optimo.

Phil: I feel too old to comment. I mean going out on a Sunday night! Jeeeez! Seriously though, it seems like everything is shutting down to be replaced with things which are less good. Optimo is one of those institutions though, but I can’t help but wondering whether it became too big a thing? It seemed to start being populated by people who just thought that was the trendy place to go and they weren’t going for the music. That said it had a really large band of regular followers. It is sad though, the optimo dj’s spun some cracking tunes in their day.

K: Oh dear, I clearly have yet to learn that I’m too old to go out on a Sunday night. I just loved the astoundingly good tastes of Twitch and Wilkes. From bringing great acts to play the Subby to finding and/or reviving some astounding music, they were a class of their own. A real treasure. It’s true that all things must end and there is an air of inevitability about this news. I mostly worry about what we have to replace these guys right now. Someone put Dolby Anol on as residents somewhere. Keep me happy. It appears from the Optimo announcement that they are going to be doing occasional spots and help out with programming of events here and there, which is definitely good news.

Filmstars in music
K: Well, I’ll try to not talk about the obvious just yet. Though I feel it might be necessary by the time we’re spoken of the truly terrible Marion Cottilard and Franz Ferdinand collab. What exactly is this? It’s something to do with Dior, yes? I’m sure I read that? Stereogum have the vid up just now. If you last the whole duration of the song I think you should get a prize.

P: Yuck. I had to turn off about 1 min 30, when it looked like the Robert Palmer ‘Addicted to Love’ video. I can’t make up my mind whether Franz and Marion Cottiard make a good match, instinct says yes, listening to this, it’s a no. It is interesting though how Hollywood stars are now becoming a lot more involved in music. Over the last couple of years there’s been Juliette Lewis, Minnie Driver, Scarlett Johannson and of course Elba fave Zooey Deschanel. Hmmm, all seems to be females, did Keanu’s Dogstar put all male filmstars off music?

K: Perhaps female actresses just get more attention in their musical pursuits? Jared Leto still has his band if that balances things out… not the best example I feel. Russel Crowe? Even worse. Joaquin Pheonix: rapper? Lets not go there. Juliette Lewis seems a lot more involved with The Licks than I’d believe any of the others to be (other than the lovely Zooey). Though, I am completely addicted to the Pete Yorn/Scarlett single Relator.

What we’re listening to so far this year
K: I love Field Music. It had turned out to be my album I turn to when I’m not sure what sort of mood I’m in. They remind me a little of Of Montreal. Otherwise, I finally got a listen to The xx, which turned out to be the opposite of what I expected. I wasn’t prepared for how mellow and pleasant the record is. Joanna Newsom, of course, has been my little gem of the year so far. I won’t ramble on about her again. There’s a whole post should anyone wish to revisit my ode-ing.

P: I too love the Field Music album. I haven’t caught them live yet and I hear they are incredible in the flesh. The Los Campesinos! album is also very good, a lot more robust for want of another term than their last offering, which is no bad thing. I’m also liking the Lightspeed Champion album, it’s quite grand and theatrical in places. Looking through the Elba diary though there is loads of exciting things out over the coming months.

K: I think we’d both recommend Mitchell Museum right now (as Phil you nagged me until I listened to them), a free download is floating here waiting to make ears here, there and everywhere happy.

OH! Lest we forget, a little well done from us both to SeMPeR Fi for qualifying for the Area Final of Live and Unsigned held in Newcastle in April. A well deserved victory!

Joanna Newsom – Have One On Me

Another week begins and if you get paid at the end of the month you may have a small stack of notes or coins burning a hole in your pocket this week. Luckily there are a couple of places that your pennies could be spent wisely and there is one in particular I would like to point your attention to. Anyone who follows me on Twitter will be aware of my delight and anticipation regarding Joanna Newsom’s new album Have One On Me; released today.

Have One On Me

The truth is the one thing I can never get enough of is Joanna Newsom. This triple CD release is really something that will satisfy the itch that has built for anyone else following the over-listening to previous bar setting album Ys. The descriptor nu-folk was coined for the roots movement around the beginning of Miss Newsom’s step up into the wider musical consciousness. Whilst this unfortunate terminology should fill us all with loathing, if it will persuade potential listeners to let go of the dusty connotations and negative perceptions people have of the ‘genre’ to just give an artist of this quality attention, it is most certainly welcomed. The album was available to stream on a local US radio station’s website prior to its release and I can confirm that after a complete and attentive listen is that I will not be content until I have this album grasped in my hands today.

Album opener Easy is a good measure of the album. Here the piano dominates and we are greeted with a familiar rich orchestral arrangement. Newsom’s voice leaps as frequently and lightly as the woodwind on the track. Particularly affecting is the point in each little song-trail where the percussion bounds in and, much like that of previous LP Ys, by this point you will have given yourself entirely to this journey. One of the beauties of Have One On Me is the range of the work. It easily flows due to the distinctive style of the artist but through every possible route that can be taken. It shows range and a maturity that is just getting more and more honed with time. Less are the wild fantasies spun in some of the more whimsical moments of Newsom’s catalogue. This definitely allows for a greater accessibility to her music.

Moments like Baby Birch are astonishing. In this case the melodic beginnings are pure and gospel tinged whilst Joanna Newsom’s voice is clear and perfect. Over the course of the song more traditional folk based arrangement and bold celtic tones grow . I think this is the first time I’ve found this style executed so well, without resorting to hyper cliché. On A Good Day serves as a perfect coda to Baby Birch. A short and sad completion to the tale that was just weaved. Putting an end to the sorrow and sentimental conclusion to the previous track.

In California is succinct and simpler in manner, leaning more towards a recognisable love song. It is the clever peppering of accompaniment that will win you over here. Double bass scratchings and drums providing a rumble of thunder amongst the delicate lyricism, the strings and finally the much loved harp. You will be filled with warmth, longing and passion by the end of the nigh on nine minutes.

Songs like Good Intentions Paving Company and ’81, which were been leaked prior to the album, fit perfectly in this huge offering. Despite their brilliance they in no way overshadow the work as so often happens. Instead it is pleasant to discover that these tracks were merely another little stop on this vast map of work.

It’s very difficult not to use travelling or literally description to any of Joanna Newsom’s work. The sheer length, depth and richness of the music and lyrics is nothing short of epic. It is pure escapism. It is classic. It is rare that an album like this comes along. In an age where instant access and carelessness towards the sanctity of an entire work are rarely seen I encourage to you to pay respect to the work that this artist has presented and pick up a copy of Have One On Me. It’ll be putting it back down that will be the greater challenge.