Friday, 28 September 2012

Fiddles on Friday III

One of my favourite string ensembles is The Kronos Quartet. I discovered them via Steve Reich. Here some wiki info about them. The Kronos Quartet is a string quartet founded by violinist David Harrington in 1973 in Seattle, Washington. Since 1978, the quartet has been based in San Francisco, California. The longest-running combination of performers (from 1978 to 1999) had Harrington and John Sherba on violin, Hank Dutt on viola, and Joan Jeanrenaud on cello. In 1999, Joan Jeanrenaud left Kronos because she was "eager for something new"; she was replaced by Jennifer Culp who, in turn, left in 2005 and was replaced by Jeffrey Zeigler. With almost forty studio albums to their credit and having performed worldwide, they were called "probably the most famous 'new music' group in the world" and were praised in philosophical studies of music for the inclusiveness of their repertoire. By the time the quartet celebrated their twenty-fifth anniversary, in 1999, they had a repertoire of over 600 works, which included 400 string quartets written for them, more than 3,000 performances, seven first-prize ASCAP awards, Edison Awards in classical and popular music, and had sold more than 1.5 million records. Kronos specializes in new music/contemporary classical music and has a long history of commissioning new works. Over 750 works have been created for the Kronos Quartet. They have worked with many minimalist composers including John Adams, Arvo Pärt, George Crumb, Henryk Górecki, Steve Reich, Philip Glass, Terry Riley, and Kevin Volans; collaborators hail from a diversity of countries--Kaija Saariaho from Finland, Pēteris Vasks from Latvia, Franghiz Ali-Zadeh from Azerbaijan, and Osvaldo Golijov from Argentina. Some of Kronos' string-quartet arrangements were published in 2007

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Thunder on Thursday II

Todays thunder on thursday is for the American alternative rock trio the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion.
For those who don't know the JSBX here's some wiki info: They are formed in 1991 and based out of New York City, New York. The band consists of Judah Bauer on guitar, backing vocals, harmonica and occasional lead vocals, Russell Simins on drums and Jon Spencer on vocals, guitar and theremin. Their musical style is largely rooted in Rock and roll although it draws influences from punk, blues, garage, rockabilly, soul, noise rock, rhythm and blues and rap. They have released seven official studio albums, collaborative records with Dub Narcotic Sound System and R.L. Burnside as well as numerous singles, out-take albums, compilations, remix albums and, in 2010, a series of expanded reissues. Throughout the course of their career this experimental sound and occasionally unconventional recording techniques has allowed the band to work with a number of diverse artists including Elliott Smith, Beck, Solomon Burke, Steve Albini, Martina Topley-Bird and Ad Rock of the Beastie Boys. Downside of the long existance of this group is their enormous inheritance. You already heard Bellbottoms, what about Wail from their great Orange(1994) album(Video directed by Weird Al by the way) Their latest album Meat & Bone is a killer, released a week ago (fresssshhhhh!!!!), So here's the video of the opening track Black Mold directed by the Belgium director photographer Toon Aerts Horribly funny! And here you can listen to 5 tracks of Meat and Bone

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Warm Wednesday II

Todays warm wednesday is for the Danish trio My Bubba & Mi
Maybe it is because of the Northern short winterdays that they compensate that with their warm music. I was asked to play as support act for these ladies but I was too busy to plan this last minute gig. Regrets came after I looked at the site and the many youtube videos of this band. Not only because these are three beautiful girls but mainly because of their fine music in combination with their voices. My bubba & Mi's songs are slow and easy, teasing and pleasing. They call them lullabies from the countryside, with one part sweet talking, one part mumbo jumbo and one part pure wisdom. Bubba (from Iceland) plays the guitar and the banjo, and My (Swedish) has an ancient table harp. Sometimes a contrabass or a mandolin is part of the outfit, as ‘Mi’ represents the changing additional musicians who accompany on tours and recordings. And they sing. Sweetly and simply, songs that stroke you like a banana cream pie and the sound of wood, and remind you of a great grandmother’s perfume. It all started a couple of years ago in Copenhagen, when Bubba happened to move into My’s apartment. They started spending evenings together humming homely hymns, and soon found themselves in Italy making a record; the very lovely ‘How it’s done in Italy’. Since then they have been adventuring about and around playing hundreds of club shows, leaving charming impressions at Iceland Airwaves (IS), Eurosonic (NL), Into The Great Wide Open (NL), The Band Room (UK) and SPOT Festival (DK), to name some famous names. In 2011 My bubba & Mi released single ‘Bob’, EP ‘Wild & You’ and the Japanese special edition of ‘How it’s done in Italy’. They ended the year with a US tour, playing such as Culture Collide Festival in LA & CMJ in NYC. The first half of 2012 has brought glacier melting tours in Denmark and Iceland. My bubba & Mi are currently residing in the jungle, where they are composing a new album. Here's a fine video for the warm wednesday shot downunder in a Eucalyptus forest where you can hear the crickets and the dry crackling leaves under their feet.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Tuesdays got talent II

Todays tuesdays got talent is for King Krule aka Zoo Kid. Okay confession time, he's not the unknown DIY musician anymore. With gigs from London to Poland to Paris, a million plays on youtube, reviews on Pitchfork, Rolling Stone and a released EP under the True Panther label. But the fact that I didn't know him until a week ago and also my musical friends had never heard of him was for me an indication lots of people left to discover King Krule.
Archy Marshall is the seventeen year old musician behind the King Krule moniker. Here some quotes I found on the internet. "He is a ginger kid with baby face and looks like your ordinarily awkward teenager. However, when he opens his mouth, he reveals a deep voice and artistic sensibility wise beyond his years. The face certainly doesn’t match the voice". Or what about: "King Krule, the Brit School's bohemian boy wonder. He cackles like Ian Dury, smokes like a chimney and grew up preferring Fela Kuti to S Club 7. He spits lyrics like a punk and plays guitar like a jazz maestro. So there's something going on then. I liked the dark sphere in the songs in combination with the straight on drumsamples, the Django'ish guitarsound and the voice. With his debut single ‘Out Getting Ribs’, King Krule captured the startling voice of an emerging generation of young Londoners; his deep and mournful baritone tracing disappointment and disorientation to devastating effect. His second release sees an expansion of vision, both musically and thematically. The ‘King Krule’ EP is the sound of a young man growing up and attempting to grapple with the realities of the world he inhabits, and a fascinating, brutal journey it is too. Here's a youtube link to a live concert at the Mercury Lounge

Monday, 24 September 2012

Misty Monday ll

Today we're going North with scandinavian singer/songwriter Moddi
Pål Moddi Knutsen aka Moddi is a Norwegian musician, and you can certainly hear the long winternights back in his music. It's very spheric and dark but not too heavy. The songs have very nice dynamics and variation between very intimate whispers to crying out loud. Violins and other folk influences are integrated in his great songs. My favourite song is called "Magpie Eggs" from his album "Floriography". His voice sounds a bit gritty (think Rod Stewart / Kelly Jones) but perfect for the misty monday blog. Here's the song MAGPIE EGGS And here you can see some DIY livingroom videoclip, I love this low-budget creativity This song is called "SILHOUETTE" An we end this misty monday with some SMOKE also from his album FLORIOGRAPHY.

Friday, 21 September 2012

Fiddles on Friday II

The second Fiddles on Friday is for the Irish band The Divine Comedy. I followed them over the years (since the mid-nineties)and i'm often surprised by the diversity of this group songs. Having said that I realise that the voice of Neil Hannon is one of the characteristics of their music. His warm voice makes the sound this band produces. By the way,I often like to compare voices with materials and Neil Hannon is in my opinion in the same category as Jonathan Jeremiah he's got an oak voice... hope you can follow me :). Neil Hannon is the only constant member of the group and thats a long while because they were formed back in 1989!
Okay back then to the song for Fiddles on friday. Divine Comedy made songs that are very poppy, uptempo with humourous lyrics etc. Songs like: Becoming more like Alfie" with lyrics such as : Everybody knows that No means Yes Just like glasses come free on the N.H.S, But the more I look through them the more I see, I'm becoming more like Alfie" (it's a song about Alfie, a movie (with Michael Caine) about an unrepentant ladies' man who gradually begins to understand the consequences of his lifestyle). Or what about the song Mother Dear: If I ever get arrested by the C.I.A., Because they take me for a foreign spy, They won't need no lie-detector, all they'll have to do Is make me look into my mothers eyes" :) But Divine comedy is known for their orchestrated, melancholic songs, (btw books are a returning subject, the bands name is after Dante's Divine Comedy but also this song for Fiddles on Friday "Our Mutual Friend" is a booktitle by Charles Dickens. It's not a song about that book but a song about a night with a new love, introduced by a mutual friend. He thinks she's the one, they had a good talk, kissed and shared the night but the next day he woke up he found her sleeping with that (not so mutual anymore) friend. Enjoy! Live on the Ronan Collins Show from studio 1 in the RTE radio centre And a more uplifting song to end with, HAVE A NICE WEEKEND!

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Thunder on Thursday 1

Okay we've been warmed up now, lets crank it up a little more and put some thunder back in Thursday , okay we could start with AC/DC but we all know that song so next candidate> Wallace Vanborn
Sounds like a singer songwriter but its a Belgian Rocktrio from Ghent, (also Ghent..what's going on there)?!?. They derive their name from a character out of the movie Pulp Fiction (Wallace Marcellus). Wallace Vanborn, Dries Hoof (base), Sylvester Vanborm (Drums) and Ian Clement (Vocals) made their first studio album "Free Blank Shots" in 2010 and it immediately caused a buzz in the Belgian rockscene (their participation on Humo's Rock Rally gave them also airplay on Studio Brussels). After that they were asked to be the supportact for the European tour of "Blood Red Shoes" and many more gigs followed. And this gigs are crushing, full of energy and overwhelming, so they were called Pletwallace (Plet is Dutch for crush). Their new album "LIONS, LIARS GUNS & GOD"
was made together with producer and Grammy collector David Bottrill..(Muse (Origin of Symmetry), Tool (Aenima/Lateralus), Placebo (Battle for The Sun) en dEUS (The Ideal Crash/Keep You Close) Do I have to say more? It was released in April'12 and in my opinion the second track "Found in LA" and the fourth track "cougars"are killers. So for the first Thunder on Thursday ...hit it!

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Warm Wednesday 1

In the area where I live the temperatures are falling due to the autumn and upcoming winter so it would be nice to hear some heartwarming sounds. Here's the Dutch artist Bart Constant, he made a beautiful album called "Tell Yourself Whatever You Have To". Bart Constant's (Rutger Hoedemaekers) songs, sorry I must say compositions are a little like Jonsi meets Al Stewart meets Sufjan Stevens mixed in a Philip Glass. Nice patterns repeating, overlayed with poppy vocals / strings / brass, and the building up is done superb. He made this album in Berlin and with some help from musicians like Colin Benders (Kyteman) for the trumpetsessions and baseplayer Volker Zander (Calexico). Here you see the video "Do Better" it is in my opinion heartwarming not only because of the music but also due to the video read short film. It Won the prize for Best Music Video at the Dutch Film Festival 2011. Here's a link to the complete album on soundcloud. Please do check the song "No North so South" And here's some live footage of No North so South

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Tuesdays Got Talent 1

Tuesdays got talent is for the less known musicians, for bands / artists, still unsigned, still rehearsing, still working on their image or style. Bands, dropped a song on the internet to see if it will reach anyone, making their first DIY video without any budget. So contact me if you got any tips, names or interesting developments. I like to discover new music so let me know when you got something to share. The first Tuesdays got talent is for MEK with the song Utoreen. I discovered MEK a while ago when I wandered around the Belgium musicsite...VI.BE I was caught by the dreamy soundscapes and also by the cheap, but smart and intriguing videoclip. Someone with a handycam on a bike, smoothly cycling through nighttime Ghent.. thats it. But it fits perfectly with the music. It made me think of Sigur Ros - Jonsi / Yann Tiersen / MONO / Mogwai / Zoo Kid - King Krule (b.t.w. more of this kid later this week)/ Pink Floyd / Radiohead. Now who is MEK? I did some research and I found very little. Okay we got a name: Koen Meirlaen guitarist of the Ghent Band "Nova Zembla" (they have a myspace account and a dead link so if they still exist ... I don't know) but that's all the information I could find. No facebook, no bandpage no I-tunes just a clip on youtube and some talentsite-accounts. Well I love some mysterie in life so it's okay by me. MEK is still productive, he dropped a new song called "Lullaby"on his VIBE account last week.

Monday, 17 September 2012

Misty Monday 1

Almost every monday I have difficulties with starting the week up again. The first hours on work I have to slap myself now and then in the face to keep up my concentration levels. Not that I'm a heavy drinker or drug abuser but the fact that I have slept some more in the weekend and often make music untill the early hours is a change of rhythm that my body can't handle that easy any more. So for this day I want some mellow, dreamy, spheric, soundscapyish, ambient you know what I mean music. So here's the first candidate for misty monday TOE with the song GOODBYE. Enjoy the beautiful stop-motion video>> It's a perfect monday song, building up slow with some nice guitarpicking, after a while it gets more and more complicated and uptempo with beautiful drums. here's some info about the band TOE that I found on the internet. Toe is a Japanese music group. While mentioned in many post-rock circles, their song structure and dynamics are similar to many popular math rock artists. Toe is composed of Kashikura Takashi on drums, Mino Takaaki on guitar, Yamane Satoshi on bass guitar, and Yamazaki Hirokazu on guitar. Toe has formally played with this line-up since the band’s inception in 2000. They are currently one of four bands on the indie label Machu Picchu, along with the bands mouse on the keys, Enemies and Tangled Hair. This is a label formed by the members of Toe.
The vast majority of the music is instrumental in nature and is also known for its melodic, clean guitar settings. Additionally, the compositions have repetition from typical rock motifs, but use very subtle changes in beat and rhythm to form a unique sound. The band has changed their sound over their musical tenure by incorporating acoustic guitars, rhodes piano, and vibraphones in their most recent releases. The band tours regularly in Japan, and can most notably be compared to acts such as Pele and The Album Leaf. Here's a live concert by TOE

Friday, 14 September 2012

Fiddles on Friday 1

Welcome, this is my first post on this blog, congrats if you read this, you've made it. In this virtual world stacked with classy or useless blogs about music you ended up on this one...if you like it or not. I'm honoured. My aim is to post a daily song (weekdays) on this blog. Every weekday has a theme and I start with FIDDLES ON FRIDAY. Songs with nice violin or string parts. And when I think about violins I think ANDREW BIRD, one of my favourite musicians, He comes from Chicago and he's a phenomenon on the violin. He often uses a loopstation to place layer upon layer, sometimes pizzicato like a banjo sometimes different long strikes so it seems like a whole string orchestra is playing. Oh yeah did I mention he's a fantastic whistler too?
For Dark Sounds, Bird collaborated with sculptor, inventor, and luthier Ian Schneller to present Sonic Arboretum, a site-specific performance involving violin, looped passages, and a landscape of speaker horns. Here is the video of this wonderful gig in the Guggenheim museum in New York. ANDREW BIRD - SECTION 8 CITY And here you can hear the song "Lull ".