I’m not sure how long this video has been floating around but it’s pretty cool. The guy’s name is Greg Patillo apparently and I got it from mySpace
Here are two video clips of one of my two favourite musicians ever (the other being Nick Drake, as cliched as that may sound).
Spencer the Rover (Traditional)
May You Never
The first clip is a version of the traditional song Spencer the Rover that was recorded in the BBC sessions in 1977 or so. This recording is actually the one I have in audio and which I’ve listened to many, many, many times (the twang at the start gives it away). I love this version and it’s good to see JM looking young and vibrant as compared with some of his later material floating around on You Tube.
Given that Nick Drake is dead and has left behind very little video footage, it’s fantastic for me to be able to see JM play, especially watching his phenomenal guitar ability. I’d love to see him before he passes away but you never know if it’s going to be like seeing a grandparent after a stroke (or similarly debilitating incident) where they are just not like you remembered them to be. I guess it’ll all depend on whether I get to the UK in time!
So the other morning I was getting ready for work and a simple line popped into my head – “Climbing out of the blackest hole, darker than the darkest stone, dropped in the deepest sea”. As occasionally happens, I decided to write a song around this line. It changed form a few times; phrases would come and go based on whether they sounded tacky or seemed to fit the theme. Some of the chords I stole from another song I’d written a while ago and the song was written in about a day and half.
On sunday, I spent about half an hour trying to get a clean take – it’s funny how hard it is to get used to playing through electrification when every moment is spent playing acoustically. It certainly doesn’t sound the same and this is reflected in the recording. I also had significant troubles in remembering lines, not fucking up, and competing will crows, cars and planes. There are a number of things wrong with the recording (not least that it’s recorded in mono)- but at the moment it’s a compromise between time and quality and it’ll have to do.
Anyways, hopefully you like it. Here is Blackholes
When I was still young man, my life was fine and dandy,
Girlfriend sweet as sugar and she always gave me candy…
I’d never heard about…the no roots blues
You know, life could get no better and there was never talk of whether I’d wind up suffering from…the no roots blues.
Then one day it started, my girlfriend gave me nothin’
I said “I’m like a pillow babe, sometimes I need some fluffin'”
I stood up and shook hands with…the no roots blues
You know it’s not like a reunion, we can get down to it sooner.
Please don’t leave me stewin’ here in a pot…of the no roots blues.
Don’t know when it started, but I sure know when it came.
Unlike me the fool who could not get into the game,
oh I was wallowin’…in the no roots blues.
You know I need another lover cos she treats me like my mother
Can’t see you see I’m suffering from…the no roots blues
Went down to the doctor man, to grab me a prescription
He said “why what’s your ailment boy?” so I gave him this description
I said Doctor Man, I got the no roots blues
My love temple was the Taj Mahal and now it sits in dereliction
Do I go the handy-man cos I’m staring down eviction?
Doctor man, can’t you see I’m dying here…from the no roots blues.
If I were one for choices, if I were a man of action
I’d get this stone’a’rollin’, try to get some satisfaction…
I wouldn’t tolerate, these no roots blues…
You know I’d get a better lover or at least get me another
Try to find a way around…the no roots blues.
When I am dead and buried, when I’m lyin’ in the ground.
You won’t find a single tree for fifty feet around
Cause well trees need roots you know, and there are none near me.
I’ll just be lyin’ there with mud and dirt for hair
The GUY who sang about and suffered from… the no roots blues…
(A song inspired by the fact the Blues and Roots festival at Byron had very little blues or roots this year and managed to fill the bill with talent such as Vanessa Amorossi)…
I found this article whilst reading about Sly and the Family Stone and it looks really cool. Basically, the 100 immortals of rock’n’roll are described and reviewed by their peers and heirs, who are in turn famous, famous people.
Should be worth the read when I get a few moments.
I was a little suprised to see that Pearl Jam did not make the list when the likes of N.W.A, Tupac Shakur, and the other few randoms I’ve never heard of did…
P.S> just be wary of the dodgy popup for a “system registry scan” that might pop up.Â Close it!
Who said that big profits bring more jobs?
On the same day that Coles reported a whopping 82 per cent increase in net profit from last year* (total $1.2 Billion), it has reported that it is set to slash 2,500 jobs in the name of simplicity. Meanwhile, shareholders will receive a 21 per cent increase in their annual dividend.
So, maybe former Coles employees should use their severance pay (if any) to purchase Coles shares; at least then they might get a decent pay rise…
* To be fair, this includes $600 million from the sale of Myer Department stores.
For Christmas, I was given a subscription to Paste Magazine, a music, literature and film magazine from the States with a decidedly alternative slant. Each mag comes with a sample CD and I have been listening to get an idea of the changing face of alternative music. Although it’s not my style, it is interesting and helps pass the hours at work.
I have noticed, however, that there is an increasing use of backwards samples – especially guitar – in ‘alternative’ music. Of the 15 songs on the album, 3 had backwards guitar samples. I have been informed that the Beatles started the trend on either Rubber Soul or Revolver when John Lennon started mucking around with the mixing desk. However, this may be a blatant lie. Either way, it is an interesting trend and I guess we’ll have to see how long it stays around…
[LATER POST] – This is what Wiki has to say on the Matter –
“Lennon was the main writer of “I’m Only Sleeping”. Harrison played the notes for the lead guitar (and for the second guitar in the solo) in reverse order, then reversed the tape and mixed it in. The backwards guitar sound builds the sleepy, ominous, and weeping tone of the song. This, along with backwards vocals used on the Beatles song “Rain” (recorded at the sessions and released separately, as B-side to the “Paperback Writer” Single) was the first recorded instance of backmasking, which Lennon discovered after mistakenly loading a reel-to-reel tape backwards under the influence of marijuana.”
Papa Love and the Peptides
If only sloths could run
…to be continued…
The other night, whilst trying to go to sleep, I came up with a little tune. I liked it so much that I wanted to do something with it. A day or so later I realised that I could write a little “folkopus” which tells a story simply through music.
So, tying together some of my other compositions, I created a little opus called “A day in the life of the sky”. I won’t get it polished up for a while so I’ll save talking about it till later. However, of the 9 pieces that make up my ‘folkopus’, only one other was written recently (the rest being oldish compositions that happened to fit nicely). It also happens to be the one song with lyrics (in doing this I was reminded of soundtracks like Shawshank Redemption and Amelie, which use lyrical pieces very sparingly but very well)…so anyways…
In the context of the ‘folkopus’, the song is being sung by the sun about the sunset…it’s still a draft, I only finalised the lyrics last night…but I like it all the same.
I’ve always had a bit of an interest in music from other countries (excluding the American market in this instance). Rather than actively seeking new and ‘innovative’ music, however, I have generally just waited for things to fall into my lap. Fortunately, I have had the good luck to come across some very high calibre musical offerings from lesser known artists. So without further ado here is a list of my top 5 1/2 World Music Albums (in chronological order).
1) Prem Joshua, “Sky kisses Earth”– My good friend Shweta (whose wedding I will be attending in India in 3 weeks!) gave me this CD just before I left for exchange. It is a wonderful album with four beautiful compositions. To this day, one of my most resounding memories from my trip was taking the train from Thessaloniki to Athens whilst listening to this Album and having Mt Olympus appear majestically with its summit shrouded in cloud.
2) BÃ¶rte, “Mongolian Ethno-Jazz” – I happened across this CD whilst staying with friends in Frankfurt-Am-Mein. It was innocuously sitting next to a CD player and had every sign of being a $10 budget ‘Demtel special’. I was pleasantly surprised, and still am, by this live performance. A catalyst for my appreciation of this offering was my love of the documentary “Genghis Blues” and Tuvan Throat singing. Needless to say, throat-singing does not necessarily appeal to all musical connoisseurs.
3) TÃ©tÃ©, “Lâ€™Air de Rien” – During my stay in Salamanca, my good friend Candido introduced this album to my flatmates and I, and then persisted in playing it at every opportunity and waking moment. Not that I minded… This is a fantastic album and has ‘in my humble opinion’ the best opening song of any album I’ve heard. In fact, everytime I make a compilation disc for others ‘Le Meilleur des Mondes’ proudly gets the proverbial ball rolling. (Although his next album “A Faveur de l’Automne” is alright, it doesn’t quite come up to the standards of his debut release)…
4) Djivan Gasparyan, “Moon Shines at Night” – A mellow, yet haunting, album from the master of the Armenian duduk. This is the perfect album to chill out and unwind to. Although the duduk is wonderful, I particularly love the 2 songs he sings as he truly manages to meld his voice into yet another beautiful instrument. His other albums are lovely as well – although this one being the first I heard has to go down as my favourite…
5) Debashish Bhattacharya (and Bob Brozman), “Mahima” – A wonderful, spicy little number which is well worth the listen as it will have you bopping along and singing unintelligible Hindi babble. In fact, it was listening to this album tonight that gave me the idea of doing this post and letting people know of some music worthy of consideration (asssuming of course you like world music).
5 1/2) – Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grapelli – It’s only a 1/2 because I don’t have a specific album to reccomend or commend. Unfortunately, as with so many of the past greats, the majority of what we find these days is cheap and crappy compilations of supposed ‘greatest hits’. I have a freakin’ tonne of Django and Stephane’s stuff ranging in age and quality and it is well worth the listen for any person who likes boppy guitar and/or Gypsy Jazz. My favourite song (and the one that got me started on the whole Django thing) is the cover of Fats Waller’s Honeysuckle Rose, with “I’se a Muggin’ ” a close second.
Anyways, there you have it – my top 5 1/2 world music albums.
P.S> Although TÃ©tÃ© is somewhat mainstream in France, I consider him to be obscure enough in these ‘ere parts to rate a mention.