Saturday, 21 February 2009

Duffy - This Note's for You

Duffy, who I quite like, has fallen into bed with Coca Cola. She had the best selling album in the UK last year, and has 'broken' the U.S., so she can't be short of a few bob. Now, it's up to her to make a few quid while she can, and it's not like she's advertising guns, or supporting the Tories, but you'd think she could come up with something better that fizzy pop. Should it make her less of an artist? Probably not, music is a selling game, but Coke? Really? You couldn't think of anything better?

Duffy, This Note's For You by Neil Young

Saturday, 14 February 2009

Valentine's Day

You may wonder, why the photo of what looks like a 'full English'? 'I've logged on to read amateurish and badly spelled music posts that lack insight and judgement, and you've gone all Master Chef on me'. The 'baked' beans weren't up to scratch to be an 'English', but for a Kiwi take on it (Kiwi owned cafe), in Chile, the Mrs (who has sampled authentic fayre in the greasy spoons of West Ealing, Northfields and the pubs of Shropshire) declared it 'lovely', through a mouth full of sausage.

It often perplexes me as to why, after spending time and effort creating a pleasant atmosphere, perfecting a menu, and spending a fortune on tables, chairs and lighting, the owners of eateries pay so little attention to the music they play. Is Barry White an aid to digestion?

The posh brunch, in an upmarket backstreet, was because of Valentine's Day, which I usually don't recognise. This year I recognised it as an opportunity to have posh poached eggs with smolked salmon on toast, and my digestion was actually aided by the Everley Brothers wafting through the precariously mounted wall speakers. At the end of a confusing conversation with the Mrs, it turned out she was confusing the Everleys with the Blues Brothers, which explained her continuous mentioning of 'their sunglasses'. Also played was Tony Bennett's 'Rags to Riches', by which time we were on the small coffees and 600 peso biscuits.
My only complaint was the fact that one speaker was in one room, and the other in another room, so the miracle of stereo made it sound like some of the musicians were on the far side of the joint. At one point I worried for the group of gringos who were seated about six metres to my left, as I thought they were being attacked by trombonists.
So, here is a Valentine's Day threesome, made up of 2 I heard while mopping up my egg with French Bread, and The Godfathers, who always used to play their Valentine's Day Massacre gig.
Birth, School, Work Death by The Godfathers

Walk Right Back by The Everly Brothers

Rags to Riches by Tony Bennett (it's on The Goodfellas Soundtrack)

Monday, 9 February 2009

The Grammys 2009

This is what I learned from watching the Grammys 2009......

Carrie Underwood is Bonnie Tyler re-incarnated.

Coldplay dress like forgotten 80's never-rans.

The Jonas Brothers, Camp Rock indeed.

Whitney Houston is still alive, although she looks like she's been taking lifestyle advice from Shane McGowan.

The Rock should do less push ups and more stand up.

Kid Rock may well be a Rock & Roll Jesus but I've seen him on the bus selling ice-creams.

Kanye West, the guy that sang Ghostbusters wants his suit back.

Monday, 2 February 2009

New Music for You, and You and You!

Peter's evangelical passion for genitals (see Evangenitals post below) rather prodded me in the direction of CD Baby I was curious to see why he was suggesting we purchase his genital passions on this particular website. I really should have gone to bed, but found myself playing with their Discover Music button. It's simple, you just type in the name of an artist you like, and they suggest other people you might like. The beauty of it is that it is a website of independent music, so you haven't heard of half the names suggested to you. This makes is so much more interesting than Amazon suggesting artists that, while you might initially have a passing interest, chances are you won't ever need to buy the album as you are destined to hear it in lifts and supermarkets for the next year or so. You won't hear many of CD Baby's suggestions as 'boarding music' when you next get on a plane.
For those of you bored with the 20,000,000 songs on your 346GB mp3 player, and uninspired by forthcoming albums by major names, this is the place for you.

Thankfully, the kind people at CD Baby have put samples of the cd's on the page, so your search results provide you with some brief entertainment, whether or not you decide to buy. I decided to put it through its paces.

Give me music like Nina Simone - suggested Liza Melfi, Bjorn Norestig, Lisa Sokolov.

Give me music like Pearl Jam - suggested NYC Smoke, Lucas, Caroline's Spine

Give me music like Half Man Half Biscuit - suggsted Dogs Must be Carried, MJ Hibbett & The Validators

Give music like Britney Spears - suggested children's music, fair enough I thought, it works.

Not only can you search by the artist name, you can also search with a key word.

My search for 'annoying' music gave me an album by Becky, about who the blurb read
'Music to annoy your parents with', which I thought was surely proof of an excellent website.

John Martyn RIP

This may be the only time I open with a Phil Collins quote.

"He was uncompromising, which made him infuriating to some people, but he was unique and we'll never see the likes of him again"
John Martyn died a few days ago. The first time I ever saw him was on a BBC2 folk show, and he played an acoustic guitar and beautifuly drawled a song of his classic Solid Air album. Even to a novice like me he was clearly an unusual talent, and I spent the next few years tending to agree with Phil Collins, as purchasing his albums could be infuriating. Think you've got a folkie? Think again. Some called him the 'father of trip-hop', which I don't understand, as I'm not sure what it is.
I saw him live once, at the Cambridge folk festival. He did a version of Johny Too Bad that had guitar sounds which sounded like a chopper scene from a Vietnam film. Several hard core folkies in the tent were highly disturbed. I loved it.
Here are 3 John Martyns
Johnny Too Bad, 1981.

A slightly oriental version of Don't Want to Know

One for The Road, 2004