The esteemed editor of Shiny Shiny, Susi Weaser, writes:
Posting duties for this song have been passed on to me by the infinitely lazy Stuart, presumably because the phrases ‘violin and rustic percussion’ and ‘woozy folk flourishes’ appear in the press release. Just reading those terms has brought him out in armpit hives, while they’ve done something altogether more pleasant to me.
“White As Diamonds” is by someone called Alela Diane. I suggest you say that name aloud right now. Personally speaking, it’s probably the most pleasing thing to have come out of my mouth since I half-swallowed a wasp and then coughed it up. But of course that was pleasant because it was so unpleasant having it in there – I have not been hiding Alela Diane (say it!) in my mouth all this time. (Er, good to know – Ed)
As I’m sure you’ve noticed, 2009 has been claimed by young ladies with synths and laptops and the like. And hurrah for that, frankly, if it gets certain types of band – say, those with the word “Scouting” in their name, to pick a section at random – off our radios. Likewise, plaid-clothed forest-dwelling types with birds in their beards (except Bon Iver; he can stay).
HOWEVER. Let’s not call time on a whole gender, eh? One reason to allow men with stubble and checked shirts to continue to create music might be a band called Delta Spirit (above; click image to enlarge).
Been a while since we had a Bon Iver corner round these parts, and I reckon hearing a new song is a pretty good way to remedy that.
The Middle Distance Runner posted this live footage of “Blood Bank” a month or so back, along with a pretty comprehensive review, and although the video isn’t great the sound is pretty terrific. And it’s a nice tune on first listen, more upbeat than we’ve become used to while remaining identifiably Iver-ish.
Let’s be honest. There’s no man alive today in the world of folk/country who creates more confusion and joy… and mystery… than Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy. Quasi-cryptic songs, wonky key shifts and pure, unadulterated heartbreak see Will Oldham taking the crown of king of modern country. So with each new release comes a little more fervour. Good news is that Oldham, in his Bonnie Prince Billy guise, is to release a new album titled ‘Lie Down In The Light’ on May 19.
There’s no folkie, singer songwritery news today. So, seeing as the sun is out and I’m in the mood for some sumptuous pop to see me through the afternoon, let’s sink into the golden strains of Glenn Campbell. A random choice? No way! It’s Glen’s birthday today! He’s a grand ol’ 72! Now, here’s his most famous (although not necessarily best) hit, ‘Wichita Lineman’.
Country? Folk? Tex-Mex? Psychedelic Jazz? Whatever Calexico are, they’re bloody great when on form. Having caught them live a few times, I’m happy to say that they’re usually mindblowing. So with that, the group have announced their only UK date, which will take place at the forthcoming End Of The Road festival.
I saw Bob Dylan a number of years ago and I have to say that I wasn’t all that impressed. In fairness, my expectations were incredibly high after seeing him a couple of years before. Speaking to some hardened Dylanites, some of whom were following him around the world on his ‘neverending tour’, it seems that Mr Zimmerman can be hot and cold live, and I’d caught a ‘cold’ evening. Shame, as it was the middle of summer.
Some of those world travellers may be following him again soon, as Dylan has confirmed 29 European live dates which will start this May. Via his website www.bobdylan.com he’s announced that he’ll be visiting quite a few festivals, and a whopping eleven gigs in Spain! There’s no word on any UK dates as yet, but he’s playing so many gigs that, chances are, you’ll be able to catch him wherever you decide to go for your holidays this summer. The full confirmed Bob Dylan European tour dates are over the jump.
I Know You’re Married But I’ve Got Feelings Too, the new forthcoming long player from Martha Wainwright has the distinct whiff of singer-songwriter about it. I know she is a singer-songwriter, but she’s upped the ante by getting some truly legendary musicians on board from the golden period of the singer-songw… sorry… I’m tired of repeating that phrase over and over. The new studio LP will have The Who’s Pete Townshend, The Band’s Garth Hudson and Steely Dan’s Donald Fagen guesting.
Get the sandals and patchouli oil at the ready, then. And that’s not all. She’s getting some of the family in on the act too – and then she’s hitting the road.
Have you heard of Vince Power? Well, Vince is one of the UK’s biggest live music promoters and he’s set to return to the festival game this year with the first major non branded ‘back to basics’ event of its kind.
This festival looks to be pretty good as it’s based at the Hop Farm at the Kentish Oast Village in Paddock Wood, Tonbridge and is basically is devoid of any sponsorship. A Day at the Hop Farm will also be without any VIP areas, with the aim of being a festival for festivalgoers, returning live music to its roots, where you turn up with your ticket and enjoy the same experience as every other ticket holder! So who is on?
Sid Griffin, who was in Paisley Underground group The Long Ryders, has just written a book about Bobby Dylan and is to host an evening of ‘spoken word and music’ to promote his new book Million Dollar Bash: Bob Dylan, the Band, and the Basement Tapes at a central London bookshop this week. I should have written bookstore shouldn’t I? That would have sounded much cooler.
Anyway, Griffin will be holding his Basement Tapes evening at Waterstones bookshop at Gower Street from 6.30 – 8pm on Wednesday March 19. If you want more info, although there isn’t that much more you need to know, you can find it at Sid’s Myspace page. If you can’t bear the thought of going to London, Sid Griffen will be appearing at the following places too… read over to find out.