Music Review http://culturecatch.com/index.php/music en The Darkness of Old Shadows http://culturecatch.com/index.php/node/3962 <span>The Darkness of Old Shadows</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/index.php/user/460" lang="" about="/index.php/user/460" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Robert Cochrane</a></span> <span>August 3, 2020 - 10:04</span> <div class="field field--name-field-topics field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Topics</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/index.php/music" hreflang="en">Music Review</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/index.php/taxonomy/term/580" hreflang="en">folk rock</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><div class="video-embed-field-provider-youtube video-embed-field-responsive-video form-group"><iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Z3bBJ8wmPPU?autoplay=0&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> <p><strong>NANCY PRIDDY: <em>You've Come This Way Before</em> (Modern Harmonic)</strong></p> <p>Although Nancy Priddy is primarily known as an actress, (<em>Bewitched</em>, <em>The Waltons,</em> and <em>Married...With Children</em>, to name but three) in the 1960s she also pursued a career as a recording artist. Initially in The Bitter End Singers whose blend of folk-pop hasn't aged particularly well via their brace of albums and a handful of largely forgettable 45s. Curios rather than classics. She sang backing vocals on Leonard Cohen's <em>Songs Of</em>, hung out with and dated Stephen Stills, Buffalo Springfield's "Pretty Girl Why" was written about her, and she was here, there and everywhere. </p> <p>Priddy possessed d the looks to be a muse, and  also via the good luck and vibe of the era made an album of her own <em>You've Come This Way Before </em>(CD/LP) that has over the years become recognised as a respected and desired artefact of the psych-folk genre. Difficult to find and expensive if one had the luck to do so, it has finally been revived, faithfully repackaged on vinyl and released on cd, and not before time. If slightly dislocated, kooky female fare is your opiate of choice, it is a treat, and if it isn't you are in for a feast and a surprise with a charmingly executed piece of sublime baroque fare.</p> <p>Priddy stares languidly out from the cover. Beautiful, poised and direct, but in a faraway way. There but somewhere else, an impression that continues with what emerges from between the grooves. Her voice is wistful, spooky and hauntingly appealing. She resides somewhere in the milieu of Nancy Sinatra and the only recently rediscovered Lynn Castle, it is a strange confection.</p> <p>Opening with the title track, a quirky Tim Hardin jazziness colludes with the pop breeziness of the Fifth Dimension. Slightly out of sync in vibe, Priddy's voice has a girlish clipped-ness that compliments the lyrical content, even if it seems darkly out of vibe with the positivity of the time.</p> <blockquote> <p>"Our pathways are magnetic.</p> <p>Our logic is synthetic</p> <p>Our struggle is so pathetic and a bore."</p> </blockquote> <p>It is followed by "Ebony Glass" and again a bleakness of perspective is suggested in the name. It is a strange madrigal of a song, a cross between a series of spooked wishes and malevolent incantations. With its nursery rhymes conceit her voice pipes and swoops in what is a bad trip of a song. T.S. Eliot and his Wasteland laid bare.</p> <blockquote> <p>"With ebony stars and ebony jade,</p> <p>This is the way the world was made.</p> <p>And ebony sounds and ebony glass,</p> <p>Bursting into ebony gas.</p> <p>this is the way the world ends.</p> <p>this is the way the world ends</p> <p>this is the way the world ends."</p> </blockquote> <p>"Mystic Lady" has a dislocated pop sensibility as it slips from up-tempo sunshine catchiness to a kooky sense of introspection. Trippy and spooky it slips between dark contemplation to positivity. All tightly reigned in but all over the place at the same time it is an interesting exercise in precision and madness</p> <blockquote> <p>"Ride a cockhorse to Banbury Cross</p> <p>And see what they've lost.</p> <p>ladybug, ladybug</p> <p>don't go home....</p> <p> </p> <p>For the asking why</p> <p>And the weary eyes</p> <p>Stay my lady.</p> <p>For the wondering wheres</p> <p>And the nothing theres</p> <p>Pray my lady.</p> <p>For the falling downs</p> <p>And the never founds</p> <p>Stay my lady."</p> </blockquote> <p>There is an implicit gospel element, but only briefly, as it fades away.</p> <p>Then we enter "Christina's World," one of ethereal psych postcard images that suggests Bobbie Gentry in cahoots with "White Rabbit" era Jefferson Airplane.</p> <blockquote> <p>"Yesterday - miles away</p> <p>Suns fall down -</p> <p>Green grass turning brown</p> <p>Christina's world - was a world of 'Mustn't cry'....</p> <p>Empty rooms and yellow lace."</p> </blockquote> <p>A song whose sunlight has been edged with darkness.</p> <p>''We Could Have It All' is a neat piece of girl pop with a marching tempo undercurrent and anthem-like refrain that could have been at home in the songs from the musical <em>Hair</em>. A rare blast of positivity in a collection riven with suggestions of calamity. Things take an odd detour once more with "My Friend Frank" -- a tune that is simply odd and not at home with itself. It sounds like the cast-off from an off of off Broadway show and is the weakest cut with its mixture of jazzy freed and up-tempo cheesiness. A song about someone not having either a good trip or a neat time, it sounds like a lampoon of the sixties it has arisen from</p> <p>There's a "Taste Of Honey" beauty and sophistication to "O Little Child." A liltingly beautiful effort it again reveals a certain lyrical starkness that is carried by the elegance of the melody and the arrangement.</p> <blockquote> <p>"Yours is a season of dew on the vine -</p> <p>Mine is stained with the grapes of an old ageing wine</p> <p>O, blessed be the hours of the absence of time."</p> </blockquote> <p>"And Who Will You Be Then?" skips into life like an accusatory question. A dark little cabaret-style number with a faintly gothic vibe.</p> <blockquote> <p>"See that face in the looking glass,</p> <p>As it looks at you today.</p> <p>Watch the eyes, and just try to guess,</p> <p>All that they're dying to say."</p> </blockquote> <p>It darkens as it goes along, a little like a letter from a girl whose been locked in a cupboard for a time, but all for her own betterment and self-improvement.</p> <p>There's a sixties pop fluidity and vibrancy that ducks and dives in "On The Other Side Of The River" but it still manages to sound faintly misaligned, as if though it is spinning just lightly, but rather perfectly off of centre. The album concludes with "Epitaph" which glides a slightly classical piano craziness. Vocally delivered in a throwaway and couldn't care less manner it slides away as a rather unsatisfactory but beautiful ending like Tori Amos in free-fall.</p> <p>Too arch to have ever actually sold in huge numbers, that is precisely why it all still resonates today. A product of the time but one that was primarily out of step with what was required or expected for it to gain success. To be an album recorded by a young woman at the height of flower power it is obtusely dark and self reliant. Love is barely mentioned, if it is even considered at all. There is no suggestion of a broken heart, lost love letters or the hope for happiness in the future. This is a cold, icy affair of the art. Short, mannered and distant and one that beguiles with its world of weary and abstracted disenchantments. Nothing that it should or could have been, it is precisely all the better for being itself.</p> <p>Nancy Priddy didn't make another album for almost forty years. On the strength of this one she'd already staked her claim and made her mark. It would find its own place in time, and half a century on is now beginning to. Its title is both an answer and a perfect means of introduction.</p> <p> </p> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=3962&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="0VFI7l_6IPlNIFx8Vv2xCXrpsHWF70Ok5qqeBfw_O-M"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Mon, 03 Aug 2020 14:04:32 +0000 Robert Cochrane 3962 at http://culturecatch.com A Maid From Then & A Maid For New http://culturecatch.com/index.php/node/3961 <span>A Maid From Then &amp; A Maid For New</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/index.php/user/460" lang="" about="/index.php/user/460" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Robert Cochrane</a></span> <span>July 28, 2020 - 10:49</span> <div class="field field--name-field-topics field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Topics</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/index.php/music" hreflang="en">Music Review</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/index.php/taxonomy/term/145" hreflang="en">alternative rock</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><div class="video-embed-field-provider-youtube video-embed-field-responsive-video form-group"><iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/wCNQBTjInHg?autoplay=0&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> <p><strong>Fruupp: <em>Maid In Ireland (</em>Cherry Red Records)</strong></p> <p>If good things come to those that wait Fruupp have in many ways served their time in the game of patience. Last year saw their entire output given the box-set treatment. Four albums, refined and eclectic in nature remastered, but with no new morsel from the vaults to enhance the pleasure of such a compliment. Hot on its heels comes <em>Maid In Ireland</em>, a compilation that can only serve two purposes. Either as a primer for beginners unfamiliar with their rich offerings, or a bauble to beguile their completists. Vinyl copies of their output have rocketed in price in recent years, so if you are arriving as a curious novice, this is the purchase with which to begin your education. Compiled by Paul Charles, their former manager and collaborator, a man blessed with a good memory for detail and diligence, virtues that have gifted him the role of Fruupp's scribe and Boswell.</p> <p>Northern Ireland wasn't a suitable home for a band of their kind. They didn't do a neat line in country and western, hadn't a catalogue of covers to placate a restless crowd. and there was nothing cabaret or cruise ship in their repertoire. They left their native shore and headed towards London like four Irish Dick Whittington's in search of something more. Their foppish romantic classicism was strikingly odd in a province that had begun the long sad process of tearing itself to pieces. Such refinement was a direct rebellion of psyche and sentiment. to the backdrop that had initially spawned them. Mysticism, a touch of folklore and penchant for elegant piano didn't gel terribly well with, bombings, strife and sectarian murders. Ambition meant a term of semi-permanent exile. Following in the foot-prints of Them, Dr Strangely Strange, Taste, and Thin Lizzy, as well as a myriad of others, they hit the metropolis, secured a deal with Dawn Records, and what happened there after is what is compiled revisited on this new offering.</p> <p>Things kick off with the breezy and up-tempo "Janet Planet" a mix of keyboard jauntiness and a coach and horses drum motif and bass driven intro. ELO with a touch of 10cc. The song a ditty for Van Morrison's Laurel Canyon lover and muse, it should have been a single, but only appeared as one in the Irish Republic. "Decision" is a rumbling monolith of a song, proof positive they were a consummate rock band beneath their refinements but it has so many elements that take it beyond any pedestrian journey, Screeching guitar from Vincent McCusker, crazy strings, a pastoral psyche interlude, then banshee-like wailing ghosts above the rumbling drums. It is also home to one of the best screams ever committed to vinyl thanks to Peter Farrelly at one crucial dramatic point letting his tonsils rip. A relentless and passionate effort. </p> <p>"Three Spires" implies a suggestion of Yes at their most refined at its heart, but it leans more towards their Italian contemporaries PFM who dwelt within the same elements of classical pastoral refinement.. There is also a late- period Beatles edge to the song's conclusion. "White Eyes" too operates with in the same subdued and mannered eclecticism. Oboe and guitar blend into a fleeting reflectiveness before Farrelly pipes into action and the whole thing is suggestive of a Irish collision between Chopin and Bach. Things couldn't get much more considered as it drifts off into a loose jazz-combo amble.</p> <p>In "Sheba's Song" there gleams an element of Supertramp in its relaxed and confident swirl of keyboards, with the guitar sound suggesting Focus, and a lovely sense of jazziness from the sparkling illusions from the electric ivories of the late John Mason. Peter Farrelly is a uniquely sensitive singer, his voice glides melds and soars in cahoots with the the rich tapestry of music, to which he also adds some sublime bass notes. Epic and controlled it is a song that is perfectly taut in its seemingly languid execution. "Wise As Wisdom" emerges like the intro to a ballet and builds into a mini opera with a Stranglers-like organ motif and wistful  layered vocals. Restrained and classy with an unusual toy-town cohesion between the bass,, keyboards and percussion. Elements occur and repeat like a refined classical jig. A deceptively effortless execution, and one that reveals the band at the height of their cohesive powers.</p> <p>"Knowing You" stands as a particularly baroque laden song graced with space and a perfect melody it builds like a hymn, neatly underscored by Stephen Houston astute sense of piano and oboe. Melancholy it drifts along and then lets fly with another perfect shout from Peter Farrelly it sounds like the song to close a massive stage production with. Florid, fey and effortlessly flowing it really tugs at the heart strings as it drives itself to a conclusion egged on by Farrelly's exceptionally tender and laconic vocal. It exits with a dervish-like palette of  voices before he again strides in like a strident chorister as power chords abound. Slicing guitar licks slice and dice with empathic drum rolls. </p> <p>A neat similarity of tone allows "Graveyard Epistle" to sweep in, glistening amongst it's keyboard embellished beauty, before rumbling into a reel of jazz and Eastern elements, suggestive of dervishes in full whirl and swirl guided by Martin Foye's perfectly paced drumming. All hits a crazy Irish reel-like bridge and back to Farrelly at his angelic best, and finally to a manic conclusion like Riverdance on acid. Proceedings wind to goodnight and goodbye with the up-tempo "Prince Of Heaven" a synopsis of their concept album of the same name, and their sole UK single. It fits perfectly as a conclusion, and leaves the listener, like Oliver Twist, wanting and hoping for more.</p> <p>I approached this selection with a certain degree of scepticism and suspicion, but Paul Charles has done a mindfully difficult job in creating a sense of cohesion with songs that were never destined to be combined. It is refreshing to hear them in their rearranged contexts. He has carefully dressed certain jewels and they sparkle still, giving a sense of freshness to the songs. Fruupp never were press darlings. The beard-strokers of the day either sneered at their kookiness or damned them with faint praise and in doing so missed the point completely. Outsiders at home, they were more, but never altogether at home in London. Punk saw them fall apart in 1976. </p> <p>Their music remains vital, varied and supremely gifted. It speaks loud and clear in the present day and that's because it has one thing that cannot be crafted, bought or cultivated. Integrity travels lightly through time, and therefore their efforts have a permanent ticket to ride.</p> </div> <ul class="links inline list-inline"><li class="comment-add"><a href="/index.php/node/3961#comment-form" title="Share your thoughts and opinions." hreflang="en">Add new comment</a></li></ul><section> <a id="comment-2077"></a> <article data-comment-user-id="0" class="js-comment"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1596061270"></mark> <div> <h3><a href="/index.php/comment/2077#comment-2077" class="permalink" rel="bookmark" hreflang="en">Fruupp fans. </a></h3> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>This is the link to the official Fruupp Facebook group if anyone is interested in keeping up with the latest news and archives. https://www.facebook.com/groups/63773410349/</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=2077&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="4CoprOwkcV74LYRc4VSiCGRpPEuZpes-EIfQSCChAXc"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0"><img src="/sites/default/files/styles/extra_small/public/default_images/avatar.png?itok=RF-fAyOX" width="50" height="50" alt="Generic Profile Avatar Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> <p>Submitted by <a rel="nofollow" href="https://www.facebook.com/groups/63773410349/" lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Brian O&#039;Neill</a> on July 29, 2020 - 18:09</p> </footer> </article> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=3961&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="ZVRAaBGx_KCf4NdoVemuznqlbenZNdOuZuyjEh9nXF8"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Tue, 28 Jul 2020 14:49:59 +0000 Robert Cochrane 3961 at http://culturecatch.com Twenty Four Hours From Tulsa http://culturecatch.com/index.php/node/3960 <span>Twenty Four Hours From Tulsa</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/index.php/user/460" lang="" about="/index.php/user/460" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Robert Cochrane</a></span> <span>July 27, 2020 - 06:48</span> <div class="field field--name-field-topics field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Topics</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/index.php/music" hreflang="en">Music Review</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/index.php/taxonomy/term/262" hreflang="en">Americana</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><div class="video-embed-field-provider-youtube video-embed-field-responsive-video form-group"><iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/tjZD_uLokzg?autoplay=0&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> <p><strong>"Frank Lloyd’s Revenge, (the Tulsa Massacre of 1921)" </strong></p> <p><strong>Scott Baxendale </strong></p> <p>History always has been a skewed vortex, collated by the victors, excluding irksome narratives that wrinkle the supposedly smooth fabric of society. We are as children spoon-fed the myths and half-truths as a kind of benign dogma. Santa Claus exists along with the Tooth Fairy, and Christopher Columbus discovered America. The final fanciful fact belittles and eradicates the rights of the people who were already there on land that had been and was still rightfully theirs. The same applies to the Aztec and Inca populations of South America. The Aborigines of Australia. A list, long and sorrowful of Western arrogance, of theft and exploitation. </p> <p>The death of George Floyd, played out and replayed on a loop of shock across the world, has ignited a sense of rightful outrage and a desire to redefine, challenge, and analyse the past we are left to live with. Statues we walk past every day have begun to fall. It is no longer acceptable to ignore the canker beneath the gloss of bronze and marble.</p> <p>Many years ago I was fortunate to catch the esteemed Canadian novelist Robertson Davies do a reading. The blurb on the flyer stated, "He writes like an angel and looks like God" which was the truth wrapped up in a neat remark. He read from one of his novels where a group of students under the cover of the night, dismantle and replace the plaques on statues. In the morning and in the succeeding days, no-one notices this minor act of humorous vandalism. It however made and continues to make a moot point. What was once sufficiently revered to be commemorated, with time slips from memory and becomes irrelevant. It is there simply because it exists. Marooned in a sea of contemporary amnesia and disinterest. </p> <p>Once begun, such backwards glances shine disconcerting lights into equally unpalatable corners. Many sacred and revered figures become unstable on their plinths. Winston Churchill, the epitome of whatever it was that made Britain great, had a wealth of unsavoury opinions and deeds. Be it the creation of what were the first concentration camps during the Boer War, or his attitude towards the striking miners of Wales whose stomachs he wished to fill with lead, and the people of India and Africa who sadly suffered such a fate. In more recent times his self-proclaimed heir Margaret Thatcher had her own troubles with miners, created the iniquitous, socially divisive Poll Tax, and the notorious, thankfully repealed, Clause 28 which forbade the teaching, or the mere mention of anything related to homosexuality in the classroom. This from a woman who was friends with the notorious sexual abuser Jimmy Savile, sufficiently so to entertain him over Christmas, yet managed to protect and absolve her Parliamentary Private Secretary, the late Sir Peter Morrison, a man whose interest in young boys was well known, but who was, even when caught, continued to go unpunished on account of his importance to his employer.</p> <p>In America, Roy Cohn, actively gay, but in the closet, affiliate and cohort of Senator Joe McCarthy, was responsible for the hounding, exposure and sacking of scores of gay men. Cohn succumbed to Aids in 1986. Minorities were always easy targets for the self-righteous and the opportunistic. They wielded no power and couldn't effectively fight back.</p> <p>During lockdown the thing that having time on ones hands permits is to stumble across new information, most of it illuminating, but some so shocking one is left to ponder why such a cataclysmic event could have been erased from wider public memory.</p> <p>Singer and guitarist Scott Baxendale has written a perfect elegy for one such incident. Like Vic Chestnuut in cahoots with Nick Cave he eloquently questions the absence of what transpired in Tulsa almost a century ago, from recognition and recall. With the very public passing of George Floyd, mentions began to surface of the Tulsa Riot, and the hushed up deaths of hundreds. By received and conventional wisdom, Pearl Harbour was the first time America was bombed from the air. It was actually in 1921, near the birth of wartime flying, and the recipients of such action were American citizens, at least three hundred of them, and the obliteration of a district that was both prosperous and thriving. </p> <p>This shocking blemish on America's soul has been covered up. Newspaper reports have vanished from archives, the inflammatory journalism in the <em>Tulsa Tribune</em> that provoked and unleashed this act of brief, but successful genocide no longer exists. Yet Richard Jones, the reporter responsible is revered still in Tulsa, was gifted a house there by his cousin the architect Frank Lloyd Wright for his services to the town, post the incident, and remains a venerated citizen. Things only get hidden and removed because of a sense of shame. Jones even built a church even though the impact of his bile-laden journalism saw a fine one burn. His esteemed cousin had lost his mistress Mamah Borthwick murdered by a black servant, along with six others in 1914. Frank Lloyd Wright was no friend of minorities.</p> <p>In Tulsa only now are initiatives afoot to deal with the incident that began over a white girl screaming in a lift in 1921. The mere proximity of a black boy to a white girl was sufficient to inflame simmering hatreds. She later refused to press any charges. Her supposed assailant Dick Rowland was the son of a prominent businessman in the district known as Black Wall Street and was in police custody for his own protection. A deputation from the area arrived to seek reason, but Smith's shoddy racist journalism was already in print suggesting "Nab Negro" and thus things escalated. The black community was destroyed for trying to defend itself. They weren't rioting, they were simply being eradicated.</p> <p>Sometimes it is best to forget, but mostly remembering is a painful obligation that the living owe the dead. Tulsa should be taught across the world, it presently is a negated footnote. Unsavoury people are equally capable of good acts and therein lies the problem in apportioning blame and handing down judgement. Some actions betray the reason for a febrile society, and their negation simply compounds that as the ultimate act of disrespect. </p> <p>A song is perhaps the best means to stir a slow, but certain reaction. Scott Baxendale's measured gothic ballad deserves to be that provocation. Only time will tell if it helps to reveal what hasn't yet hasn't already been properly divulged. A National Day of Remembrance from now on on June 1st would be a fitting and respectful start.</p> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=3960&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="iVzBHuudeFwq-6J_rT2lagQ1U9fTkbqsM8LbTQttJFk"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Mon, 27 Jul 2020 10:48:15 +0000 Robert Cochrane 3960 at http://culturecatch.com A Splendid New Beginning http://culturecatch.com/index.php/node/3958 <span>A Splendid New Beginning</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/index.php/user/460" lang="" about="/index.php/user/460" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Robert Cochrane</a></span> <span>July 23, 2020 - 20:19</span> <div class="field field--name-field-topics field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Topics</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/index.php/music" hreflang="en">Music Review</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/index.php/taxonomy/term/629" hreflang="en">prog rock</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><div class="video-embed-field-provider-youtube video-embed-field-responsive-video form-group"><iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/WB0bGpTk0rw?autoplay=0&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> <p><em>By Name. By Nature </em>- THAT JOE PAYNE (TJP 001)</p> <p>Joe Payne a.k.a. THAT JOE PAYNE is a man whose vision and ambition is in equal measure with his talent, which is a good thing as few acts could create and sustain his opulent and mannered tapestry of delights. He makes Coldplay sound like a scratch orchestra with his first offering since departing from Prog Institution that is, and remains The Enid. Their first resident vocalist during their forty-five plus years, after six albums it was time to go solo.</p> <p>Two and a half years in the making, and the evidence of his recovery from a breakdown, <em>By Name. By Nature</em> is a dizzyingly varied stab at immortality. An autobiographical extravaganza from a richly embellished portfolio, his is a perfect collision between theatrical sensibilty and the world of song. The collection has a neat archness. At times a self-regarding exercise, it is as critical as it is honest. Far from shy and retiring it makes a bigger splash than anything you'll encounter this year. A gaudy rainbow of audacity and doubt, it twitches with ideas and delivers and develops a variety of moods from his rich interior world. As lyrically honest as it is a total BIG production, a glitzy roller-coaster of a record.</p> <p>Opening with "The Thing About Me Is" Payne reveals:</p> <blockquote> <p>"The thing about me is</p> <p>I'm too insecure</p> <p>No wonder no-one likes me</p> <p>I guess I'm all yours"</p> </blockquote> <p>A brutally honest, yet rather witty put down, isn't how most artists would introduce their debut. It neatly slides into "By Name. By Nature" a choir drenched collision of Barry Manilow in bed with Electric Light Orchestra and Peter Gabriel-era Genesis. Plainly deranged, it is a busy, frantic burst into being and alerts the listener to fact that are in the presence of a musical eccentric with a wide array of influences. Baton down the hatches a ton of glitter balls are spinning and cascading. The lyrics betray his sense of self-dismantling</p> <blockquote> <p>"That Joe Payne</p> <p>Is a real bad loser</p> <p>He's a Payne by name </p> <p>And he'll only use you"</p> </blockquote> <p>The laddie as a tramp, and a thoroughly disreputable one in his opinion. West End meets East End with a dose of old Hollywood and a fizz of immodest panache. It keeps spiralling long after it has disappeared along with its "Sparky's Magic Piano" motif. The late lamented Jobriath attempted such a stab at rock and theatrical panache almost a half century ago and was immolated by the critics. Payne won't suffer the same fate. Times have fortunately changed, and he is an open book who isn't apologising for being himself. Jobriath antagonised. Payne simply mesmerises as is apparent with "Nice Boy," a piece of Hip Hop backbeat and Steinski-like blips and electronic hiccups and blasts it all with a choir to boot.</p> <blockquote> <p>"They tell me I'm worthless.</p> <p>They tell me I'm dumb...</p> <p>They tell me I'd be nothing</p> <p>Without someone...</p> <p>They tell me I'm a bad boy.</p> <p>They say that I'm gay,</p> <p>They say I don't belong here...</p> <p>O.K."</p> </blockquote> <p>A breathlessly manic but totally inspired outburst instilled with wry lyrical dissections.</p> <p>"In My Head" is a perfect taking down of the frenetic tone. An almost monastic array of voices are the trampoline from which Payne arcs and soars and betrays the rich tonality of his voice, it suggests the refined baroque elements of Japan and Talk Talk. Again the lyrics belie a certain honesty of spirit. </p> <blockquote> <p>"Nothing's under the bed....</p> <p>You shouldn't be upset</p> <p>They say it's all in your mind</p> <p>It's all in your head"</p> </blockquote> <p>The song also suggests Freddie Mercury at his most reflective best, and Rufus Wainwright devoid of the showiness that sometimes spoils the impact of his songs. "With What Is The World Coming To" Payne shines with all his song-craft and sense of intense melody. Think Keith West's maverick "Excerpt From A Teenage Opera." </p> <blockquote> <p>"I keep feeling lo-loneliness</p> <p>I keep feeling low</p> <p>I keep feeling lo-loneliness</p> <p>Never needed nothing to believe in"</p> </blockquote> <p>Melancholy with a plethora of power chords, and choral beauty. An ear-worm of a song that wakes one up in the morning running around your brain. A jaunty and confident masterpiece, visionary and extraordinary and possessed with a subtle confidence and a cushion of choirs. The presence of Celine Dion's drama pervades, but without ever descending into Maria Carey's warbling histrionics. Payne is also the possessor of a four octave range. He pipes it at the conclusion with the grace of the caged bird that sings. "Love (Not The Same)" is a perfect collision of old standards like "Anyone Who Had A Heart" and "Love Letters."  An extraordinary power ballad to weep into your gin, a song about loving someone simply because you fancy them, and that's you sole source of commonality. </p> <blockquote> <p>"And love </p> <p>I would love to be through with it</p> <p>But I cannot tear away from it</p> <p>It's a funny thing."</p> </blockquote> <p>The song is neatly aided and abetted by the perfectly pitched Ms Amy Birks who is a neat counterpoint to Payne's brilliant bombast. The song that exits in a screech of frustration. all perfectly pitched of-course, and alone, well worth purchasing the album for. It flies so high it is in danger of entering another world.</p> <p>A perfectly honest ballad with a churning melody to die for "I Need A Change" has had all its drama pills as it weaves its way along Payne's descent into a nervous breakdown. A goodbye cruel world malady and one he was lucky to survive just as we are privy to experience the artistry he has distilled from it. Sad, destructive, and dangerous experiences can be transfigured to become things of grace, but only in the right hands where it is transcended by an opulence of touch. His wounded soul is our reward, but comes at a price from the muse that gifts accordingly.</p> <blockquote> <p>"Dear life I'm leaving you</p> <p>Cos I have no reason to stay...</p> <p>The black dog bites</p> <p>He puts up quite a fight</p> <p>He looks at me with those sad eyes."</p> </blockquote> <p>A perfect transcendent journey of a tune.</p> <p>"End Of The Tunnel" is a work whose deeply personal nature has kept it in the shadows, and out of the limelight for more than a decade. </p> <blockquote> <p>"Tears are your protection</p> <p>Let the rivers flow</p> <p>Opposite directions</p> <p>Are the way to go."</p> </blockquote> <p>A considered slice of exposed reflection which has a poignancy laced with subdued angst and occasional flourishes of Tori Amos at her most hauntingly sorrowful, and yet it builds into some of the best epic flourishes that Pink Floyd would distill and deliver. A song that deserves to soar and fly along the arches and cloisters of a cathedral, and hopefully one day in the becoming future it will. "I Need A Change" is a bass-driven piece of pop flexibility and grace with an underlying operatic aria at play. A baroque elegance with a casual finesse it has a shuffle and bop vibe that works well with its inherent classicism. All draws to an end with "Moonlit Love" a torch song that weaves a "Moonlight Sonata" progression with the string driven opulence of Tomaso Albinoni and Samuel Barber. Dramatic and lilting it reaches high and then descends in a slow dive and goodbye; a piece that simply wanders away, quietly, understated and haunting.</p> <p>Clever without being irritating. Pomp devoid of pompousness, this is an album imbued with honesty, ambition and good humour. It is also an indication that THAT JOE PAYNE has arrived with a wealth of magical ideas. A splendid progression towards a new beginning.</p> <p><em>The album is released on August 7, 2020.</em></p> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=3958&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="TYk4GMKrid7jwdfgepj-PdL-jMZwLb1LH5-k-hKtGhk"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Fri, 24 Jul 2020 00:19:16 +0000 Robert Cochrane 3958 at http://culturecatch.com Swagger And Sway Beneath A Neon Glare http://culturecatch.com/index.php/node/3957 <span>Swagger And Sway Beneath A Neon Glare</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/index.php/user/460" lang="" about="/index.php/user/460" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Robert Cochrane</a></span> <span>July 22, 2020 - 11:48</span> <div class="field field--name-field-topics field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Topics</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/index.php/music" hreflang="en">Music Review</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/index.php/taxonomy/term/792" hreflang="en">dream pop</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><div class="video-embed-field-provider-youtube video-embed-field-responsive-video form-group"><iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Zr5X2G5m6uk?autoplay=0&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> <p><em>Empire</em> - Arielle Dombasle &amp; Nicolas Ker (Paris Premiere/Barclay Records)</p> <p>Some albums are sublime confections. A perfect amalgam of style, poise and kookiness. One such venture is <em>Empire</em> the second explosion of songs from Nicolas Ker (Poni Hoax) and his muse <a href="http://culturecatch.com/podcast/arielle_dombasle">Arielle Dombasle</a>. At first sighting they are an unusual pairing, the French-Cambodian rocker and the respected actress/singer with the sultry voice and ghostly air. It shouldn't work, but does, quite perfectly. If you like your pop intelligent, riven with references and old fashioned elegance, then this is the confection for you. Like a cross between Nick Cave/Leonard Cohen, Ker drawls and intones, and Dombasle evokes Marie Laforet/Vanessa Paradis in her vocal slinks and quivers. An elegance and wit is at large. Tongue in chic and shooting perfectly from the hip. Think Lee Hazlewood and Nancy Sinatra exiled from LA in the French rain. It would all fall asunder if Ker wasn't such an astute creator and embroiderer of superb songs. The album, like many has been delayed because of the current world crisis, but has been well worth the wait and the anticipation, with the delicious confetti of videos to charm and insinuate an increased sense of desire. </p> <p>Proceedings launch with the jaunty "Humble Guy" a song that blends Ker's dulcet tones with Dombasle's piping and kittenish ease and a Sixties orchestration that suggests both London's Carnaby Street and a neon drenched interlude in Paris.</p> <blockquote> <p>"Humble guy thought he could win the bet. Shot for the stars, cast a silhouette."</p> </blockquote> <p>A lyric about a sense of failure, but one imbued with a delightful air of flippant sadness.</p> <p>"Twin Kingdom Valley" has a Kraftwerk reminiscent heartbeat motif and an air of louche decadence. A song of narcissistic trepidation, it twists effortlessly along and slowly fades away, whilst lingering and loitering long in the memory. "Desdemona" possesses a tremendously catchy marching band conceit that allows it to step along with a wonderful automaton inflection, as Ker's voice underpins things like a officer barking out commands whilst Dombasle pouts and soars.</p> <p><a href="http://culturecatch.com/node/3940">"Le Grand Hotel"</a> stands as the sole French sung confection. A mix akin to Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin, neatly underpinned by violin. Evocative moody and bewitching, and as Dombasle delivers an effortlessly wan vocal, Ker anchors the song with his distinctive lower register. A near perfect slice of wayward despair.</p> <p>"Just Come Back Alive" contains a Giorgio Moroder-theme of European pop-disco textures, and a catchy hook, a catwalk sense of movement and odd riffs, before a subtle explosion of strings and drums, catchy and memorable it develops into an epic of almost cartoon-like proportions. </p> <blockquote> <p>"But I fall down on my knees</p> <p>I'm not even praying to anyone around</p> <p>Just come back to me</p> <p>And come back alive." </p> </blockquote> <p>A mixture of need, a plea, and a command. As assured as it is honest, and a curt expression of vulnerability.</p> <div class="video-embed-field-provider-youtube video-embed-field-responsive-video form-group"><iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/dqPL5aYSH1g?autoplay=0&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> <p>"Lost Little Girl" has a sweet, deceptive melody that rises and builds like The Stranglers did at their best. A strident confident song that flows and swerves in decided counterpoint to the tone of the words. There is an annoyingly infectious Euro-pop nod and wink in "The Palace Of The Virgin Queen" but it is effectively reigned in by an almost Rammstein heaviness, but it could still ignite like wildfire with its sparks of catchiness. A creation that should be remixed into an addiction for the ears, in all its dark and light nursery rhyme-like glory. More than faintly bonkers it has a life of its own that suggests the influence of the late Klaus Nomi. </p> <p>The appropriately named "A Simple Life" is a mixture of Baroque folk and Francoise Hardy '60's elegance and shows what a refined instrument Dombasle's voice is. It bridges a perfect quiet interlude in the midst of such stylised concision. Utterly beautiful, and with a timeless brevity, the piece glides and sways like a leaf falling in the breeze. </p> <p>"Deconstruction Of The Bride" unleashes a manic industrial filmic soundscape, a nightmare that flies above tinkling stabs of piano. A gothic panorama of the mind with a plethora of descending chords, it throbs and rises, and falls to again soar. Melding the likes of Ministry with Nine Inch Nails it betrays the breadth of shade that the album houses, without ever jarring the tonal landscape of its varied proceedings.</p> <p>With "The Drowning Ocean" we are treated to a Glam-like piano fueled epic, akin to Mott The Hoople's "All The Way From Memphis." An accomplished partial pastiche that presents itself as forceful plea to treat the world with respect, a rock ballad of exquisite ache and accomplishment, it departs with a welling wealth of poignant orchestration. </p> <blockquote> <p>"Cities sigh, cities moan.</p> <p>Fires burn by the side of the road.</p> <p>As we bleed, we bleed for the ocean."</p> </blockquote> <p>"Enter The Black Light" arrives like a subdued and smouldering piece of of mannered elegance. Prancing and preening in darkened majesty, this stands as a song haunted by Nick Cave's restrained and tempered sense of pomp, as it slithers like a snake recoiling into darkness.</p> <p>Finally "We Bleed For The Ocean" bewitches, an ethereal hymn for ecological sense, with a dirge-like beauty and Dombasle in the role of a warning siren. A fitting conclusion to a palette of finesse and splendid inspiration, and so the red velvet curtains, finally and quietly, swish together in conclusion.</p> <blockquote> <p>"We bleed for the stars and the skies.</p> <p>We could hear the sirens song</p> <p>Today we can't hear anything."</p> </blockquote> <p>Albums like <em>Empire</em> are rare. The visions it contains are wide but perfectly reigned in, and breathing, living proof that artistry remains a force we should cherish and desire in a world increasingly engulfed by auto-cued mediocrity. Splendidly, unashamedly romantic and decadent, this is a work that transcends its European origins by being universally appealing. Ker has a knack for distinctive and accomplished song-craft and in Dombasle he has the perfect counterpoint of light to illuminate his darkening scores. The whole thing exerts a sense of manicured madness, but never veers off the edge, and if it does it brings the listener back. All part of the exquisite journey. </p> <p>Here is an album that reveres its ghosts with kindness. Listen and you'll see them rise in their refined and haunting glory. And somewhere in the rain a blue neon sign crackles and dies</p> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=3957&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="9IRa2IOtyC7y2mRCcs5k5zBtacNhKF6D_WMCM1baVFw"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Wed, 22 Jul 2020 15:48:43 +0000 Robert Cochrane 3957 at http://culturecatch.com Young Is A Thorny Rose http://culturecatch.com/index.php/node/3951 <span>Young Is A Thorny Rose</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/index.php/users/steveholtje" lang="" about="/index.php/users/steveholtje" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Steve Holtje</a></span> <span>June 25, 2020 - 10:52</span> <div class="field field--name-field-topics field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Topics</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/index.php/music" hreflang="en">Music Review</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/index.php/taxonomy/term/139" hreflang="en">singer-songwriter</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><div class="video-embed-field-provider-youtube video-embed-field-responsive-video form-group"><iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/vJzqRDX8jGo?autoplay=0&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> <p><strong>Neil Young: <em>Homegrown</em> (Reprise)</strong></p> <p>There's a common therapeutic strategy: you write a letter to a person expressing your feelings, and then you don't send it.</p> <p>But what happens if, 45 years later, you want to buy an expensive train set or whatever, so you sell the letter? That's basically the story of <i>Homegrown</i>. Young wrote and recorded it in 1974-75 while his relationship with Carrie Snodgrass crumbled, scheduled its release, and then withdrew it. To fill the gap, Reprise finally released <i>Tonight's the Night</i>, so that worked out well.</p> <p>Over the ensuing decades, Young found places to recycle the best songs on <i>Homegrown</i>: "Star of Bethlehem" and the title track (the latter re-recorded with Crazy Horse and much the better for it) filled out the odds-and-sods side two of <i>American Stars and Bars</i> (1977), "Little Wing" showed up on <i>Hawks &amp; Doves</i> (1980), as did <i>Homegrown</i> outtake "The Old Homestead." Young  first gave "Love Is a Rose" to Linda Ronstadt, who hit the country charts with it in 1975; then Young's version was included on his 1977 three-LP retrospective <i>Decade</i>, a pioneer in the concept of using such compilations to let fans finally hear previously unreleased tracks. "White Line," a duo with The Band's Robbie Robertson recorded in London while on tour, was re-recorded with Crazy Horse for <i>Ragged Glory</i> (1990); the duo version has a certain off-hand charm.</p> <p>All of which raises the question, how about the seven tracks on <i>Homegrown</i> that haven't been on an LP before?</p> <p>The only entirely brilliant previously unheard track is "Vacancy," a full-band rocker that I'm surprised Young never recycled sooner. Perhaps he didn’t because it's so lyrically vicious towards, presumably, Snodgrass. Nonetheless, this by itself is enough to make me buy the album.</p> <p>As for the rest, they sound like therapy and filler, though that doesn't keep a couple of them from being worthy of release.</p> <p>The three therapy tracks lead off the album. Perhaps the first two could have been developed into better songs with some editing of the lyrics, which are often clunky and awkward, not so much art as merely morose musings. Okay, yes, some of Young's best '70s work could be characterized as morose musings, but not merely. The musings on "Separate Ways" and, especially, "Try" are just poorly written. From the latter: "Darlin', the door is open / to my heart, and I’ve been hopin’ / you won’t be the one to struggle with the key / We’ve got lots of time to get together if we try." And you’ve got to hear it sung to fully appreciate its awkwardness. Nor does the song get better than that horrible opening metaphor. The bridge: "And I try to wash my hands / and I try to make amends / and I try to count my friends." "Mexico" shows promise, but at 1:41, isn't developed into a full song. (A concert version was included on the obscure Young film <i>Trunk Show</i>.)</p> <p>The most blatant entry in the filler is "Florida," which is Young talking (literally talking) about a UFO experience while somebody runs a wet finger along the rim of a glass, sounding like lazy feedback. After having heard it once, I've been skipping it ever since. "Kansas" is two barely there verses about a one-night stand; Young sings so quietly, it's almost as though he's embarrassed (though not so embarrassed that he didn't perform it live for <i>Trunk Show</i>). Almost elevating itself above filler is "We Don’t Smoke It No More," a blues that's musically attractive, with some good harmonica and guitar by Young over band backing -- but the minimal lyric is a drug goof. Fortunately the focus is firmly on the music.</p> <p>So, the math. One excellent "new" song, two of interest, five we're already familiar with, one of which is an alternate version worth hearing, and four that do not live up to release-worthy standards. But I'll be purchasing it anyway.</p> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=3951&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="cqrmuPwkLB7Z2wIVTvHulO3BbS7I2rvuCwjnf8Ju4aw"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Thu, 25 Jun 2020 14:52:08 +0000 Steve Holtje 3951 at http://culturecatch.com Numbers, Dylan & Young http://culturecatch.com/index.php/node/3947 <span>Numbers, Dylan &amp; Young</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/index.php/users/dusty-wright" lang="" about="/index.php/users/dusty-wright" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Dusty Wright</a></span> <span>June 15, 2020 - 10:00</span> <div class="field field--name-field-topics field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Topics</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/index.php/music" hreflang="en">Music Review</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/index.php/taxonomy/term/262" hreflang="en">Americana</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="800" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2020/2020-06/numbers-band-photo-2.jpg?itok=_oU-V9Zj" title="numbers-band-photo-2.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1200" /></article><figcaption>15-60-75 (l-r, Bill Watson, Jack Kidney, Bob Kidney, Terry Hynde, Clint Alguire)</figcaption></figure><p>The summer is here. We've safely left our caves for the healing warmth of sunlight and the promise of a better tomorrow. Here's some new music to accompany your journey. While Covid kept us all in lockdown during the thaw  of  spring, the amount of music created was inevitable. No stadium tours, no wasted nights on tour buses, all summer music festivals canceled; bands and artists have created a tsunami of new "lockdown" music. Some release dates are scheduled for later in the summer and early fall. Numerous singles have been released. And some veteran singer/songwriters are releasing some amazing albums in the next few weeks, having been doing it for 50+ years!</p> <div class="video-embed-field-provider-youtube video-embed-field-responsive-video form-group"><iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/obdlCQwAPlE?autoplay=0&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> <p><em><a href="https://www.numbersband.com" target="_blank">Endure (Outliers On Water Street)</a> </em><a href="https://www.numbersband.com" target="_blank">- 15-60-75 (The Numbers Band) (Water Street) </a></p> <p>If you a regular reader of my music reviews you will know my profound love and support of this NE Ohio-based band. 50 years old this year, and they drop what might be their finest album to date <em>and</em> one of my favorite albums of 2020. Cut live in the studio. 10 blistering tracks of "Country Eastern (like Country &amp; Western)" as Bob Kidney corrected me the other day, each recorded exactly as they perform on stage -- no headphones, instruments bleeding into each other, played 6-8 times each to find that one perfect take. Looking for the magic that happens when you set up your gear and play it live in the studio. Music done with the telepathy -- like jazz or a well-oiled Rube Goldberg contraption -- that only occurs from playing together for so long. </p> <p>I spoke to their leader/singer/songwriter/guitarist Bob Kidney and being the well-dressed, smooth talking cat that he is, he shared some insight into why this effort is such a sublimely  special album:</p> <blockquote> <p>"Everyone kept telling me that they love our <em>Jimmy Bell</em> live album. I've been wanting to cut a live album in the studio for years. I can't stand all I fuss that goes into studio recording. Let's set up and play like we do in the clubs. I don't have time for fussing with mixes. We just played these songs live, over and over again, until we got a take we liked, it was a consensus and obvious to everyone including David who usually nailed it."</p> </blockquote> <p>And why not, I've seen them live for at least 48 years. Saw them open for Bruce Springsteen at Kent State in the early '70s. Danced and sweated with them at JB's on Water Street all through high school and college. Taped them live at Bowery Electric in NYC a few years ago. (That was amazing night of music.)  I even see them when I head back home to visit my mother in Akron, OH. Selfishly, I try to make sure that they're playing the weekend I've scheduled my visit.</p> <p>For you newbies, their current lineup consists of bassist Bill Watson, drummer Clint Alguire, and founding members Jack Kidney, Bob Kidney and Terry Hynde. That original triumvirate is the secret sauce that keeps their enduring flame burning so bright. Brothers in arms, on stage, soldiering on through thick and thin.</p> <p>And what is about <em>Endure</em> that makes it so special? Most of these "autobiographical" songs will be familiar to their fans. <a href="http://culturecatch.com/node/3854" target="_blank">"Back To Disaster"</a> is one such tune and one of my favorites. I first heard Bob play it at The Golden Palominos reunion gig at Le Poisson Rouge in New York City in 2010. It's a riveting agro-blues stomp that ebbs and flows on the crest of Bob's pained lyrics and emotive vocal delivery punctuated by one of his trademark haunting guitar solos. This man makes us believe in his convictions and demons.</p> <blockquote> <p>"I eat the blues for breakfast / Left over from the night before / The bad news is restless / The Devil's standing at the door"</p> </blockquote> <p>Each song on this album is a mini-opera. Upon first listen two songs jumped out at me. Brother Jack's exceptional chuggin' "That's the Way the Railroad Runs" and Bob's heartfelt love ballad "Rosalee" -- covered by Chrissie Hynde's <a href="https://youtu.be/HOicglujmzU">Pretenders</a> in 2008 and first recorded for his solo acoustic record -- display what this band does best. Lock into a groove, fast or slow, and swing; thanks to the relentless groove provided by Clint and Bill, thus letting Bob, Terry and Jack to add their azure-hued paint to this glorious canvas.  </p> <div class="video-embed-field-provider-youtube video-embed-field-responsive-video form-group"><iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/HNpCYW_nHoY?autoplay=0&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> <p>Witness them in full majesty on the 8+ minute track <a href="https://youtu.be/HNpCYW_nHoY">"Blue Collar,"</a> an homage to the working man and the pecking order of greed and one of the most challenging tracks to record. According to Bob, it required Herculean strength from their drummer Clint to follow Bob's vocals and then for Bob to follow Clint's drumming, especially given that they recorded it 8 times. And real intricate tug of war. And lyrically? Bob says this is one of the most important lyrics on the album:</p> <blockquote> <p>"Well, they say there's no rest for the wicked / </p> <p>You can be sure there's no rest for the poor!"</p> </blockquote> <p>Talk about currently relevant.</p> <p>And as song builds to a final crescendo  with a fury of drums and cymbals and Bob's guitar howling, it stops abruptly, pause... Bob states empathically:</p> <blockquote> <p>"They worship that Green Jesus / And kneel at a bottom line"</p> </blockquote> <p>Equally impressive is the engineering/mixing/production chops provided by longtime fan Dave Sacchini, who also owns Son of Moondog studio in Kent, Ohio where the album was recorded. He was able to capture the vibe on this track by grafting the ending from another take to create a seamless whole.</p> <p>Major props to one of the baddest harp players on the planet Brother Jack and his three original tunes on the album -- "Railroad Runs," "Getting By," and "In Stride." It's another album corker and plays like a soundtrack to some Raymond Chandler novel. People who love this band  know how important his contributions are to the band's mojo. Besides his vocals and transcendent harp blasts, he plays killer sax, percussion, and keyboards.</p> <p>And the cerebral Terry Hynde on alto and soprano sax. Bob so values him and says, "he's one of the best sax players of his generation." Watching him on stage he appears to possess the vibe of a transdimensional time traveler, even when he's providing hypnotic percussion while waiting to step up. One just needs to listen to his soloing on "Wolf" on <em>Endure</em> and then compare it to the live video above. Like Charles Lloyd meets Charles Gayle, he creates a tension that mounts and releases just at the right time, Bob dropping back in with a vocal phrase and guitar riff or Jack adding a keyboard line or doubling his line on another sax. It's hypnotic. It makes you dance. You can't help but move your body to this music. Until it's made available digitally, order the CD <a href="https://www.numbersband.com/shop">here</a>. It's the perfect driving music.</p> <div class="video-embed-field-provider-youtube video-embed-field-responsive-video form-group"><iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/p5zxOWgCVbA?autoplay=0&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> <p><a href="https://neilyoungarchives.com" target="_blank"><em>Homegrown</em> - Neil Young (Reprise)</a></p> <p>Much has been written about the "lost" Neil Young albums. <em>Homegrown</em> is one such affair. Suffice it to say, it was worth the wait. Neil is so prolific it is understandable how this one got shelved.  He was busy recording -- <em>On The Beach</em>, <em>Tonight's The Night</em>, <em>Zuma</em>, and touring solo and with Crosy, Stills, Nash &amp; Young during this time period -- 1973-1975. Some of the songs found their way to other releases, but these are the originals. Ragged and real, just like you love Neil. Heartfelt songs worn on his plaid flannel sleeves. Nothing pretension. Songs of keen observations about life. Poetic and moving. Comfortable melodies to play over and over again. "Love Is A Rose" was released on his <em>Decades</em> compilation, "Pardon My Heart" was heard on <em>Zuma</em>, "Star of Bethlehem" on <em>America Stars 'n' Bars</em>, "Little Wing" and "The Old Homestead" on <i>Hawks &amp; Doves. </i>The album will be released on June 19th.</p> <div class="video-embed-field-provider-youtube video-embed-field-responsive-video form-group"><iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/2QPBpFAKTGo?autoplay=0&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> <p><a href="http://www.bobdylan.com" target="_blank"><em>Rough &amp; Rowdy Ways</em> Bob Dylan (Columbia)</a></p> <p>This is Bob's first new album of original material since <em>Tempest</em> (2012). Will it be his last studio effort? He's got much to unpack, too. The world and his/our place in it. Sir Bob is not pulling any punches. If the lyrics of the first 3 singles are any indication, this may well be his an epic swan song. It was pointed out to me that the melody of "False Prophet" sounds just like the 1954 song by bluesman Billy "The Kid" Emerson <a href="https://youtu.be/oNbmnrqbrDM">"If Lovin’ Is Believing"</a>. Regardless, many folk singers have "borrowed" melodies from old folk songs from the past, and Dylan has done so in the past. It's Dylan's lyrics that distances himself from "The Kid's" original song:</p> <blockquote> <p>"Well I'm the enemy of treason / Enemy of strife /</p> <p>I'm the enemy of the unlived meaningless life / </p> <p>I ain't no false prophet / I just know what I know / </p> <p>I go where only the lonely can go"</p> </blockquote> <p>Karma is real. Cause ands effect. Placing your happiness in things that really don't amount to much will not deliver salvation. Gotta serve somebody. Sure, they may us "feel" better, but that's fleeting. <em>That</em> is a false prophet to pleasures that will never bring true happiness. </p> <p>Two previous singles have already been released in advance of the album  "I Contain Multitudes" and the 17-minute, loss-of-innocence <a href="https://youtu.be/3NbQkyvbw18" target="_blank">"Murder Most Foul,"</a> a song that begins thusly:</p> <blockquote> <p>"Twas a dark day in Dallas, November '63 /<br /> A day that will live on in infamy /<br /> President Kennedy was a-ridin' high /<br /> Good day to be livin' and a good day to die"</p> </blockquote> <p>President Kennedy's assassination may have killed the dream of a better future for all of us, but perhaps it was liberating in the sense that true Utopia will never be found on this mortal coil. All of things we think bring us happiness, pinning our hopes on our leaders is just another "False Prophet" to lead us astray. The album will be released by Columbia Records on June 19th. </p> <p>Here's the full track listing:</p> <p>01 I Contain Multitudes<br /> 02 False Prophet<br /> 03 My Own Version of You<br /> 04 I’ve Made Up My Mind to Give Myself to You<br /> 05 Black Rider<br /> 06 Goodbye Jimmy Reed<br /> 07 Mother of Muses<br /> 08 Crossing the Rubicon<br /> 09 Key West<br /> 10 Murder Most Foul</p> <p>For <em>the times they are a-changin</em>'...</p> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=3947&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="5h3_zoKsR1T0AUpAr9l0FeAz2hj7-3Rm18j7L2-EYC4"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Mon, 15 Jun 2020 14:00:00 +0000 Dusty Wright 3947 at http://culturecatch.com Video of the Week: "Finally" http://culturecatch.com/index.php/node/3949 <span>Video of the Week: &quot;Finally&quot;</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/index.php/users/dusty-wright" lang="" about="/index.php/users/dusty-wright" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Dusty Wright</a></span> <span>June 11, 2020 - 22:44</span> <div class="field field--name-field-topics field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Topics</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/index.php/music" hreflang="en">Music Review</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/index.php/taxonomy/term/769" hreflang="en">pop rock</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><div class="video-embed-field-provider-youtube video-embed-field-responsive-video form-group"><iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/cR5wwCOa-WA?autoplay=0&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> <p>I get to screen plenty of cool videos every day and video for the song "Finally" is one of the best. This whimsical stop-motion  piece from LA-based country-pop stylist <a href="https://eileencarey.com/site/" target="_blank">Eileen Carey</a> was conceived and executed by  producer/director Taner Tumkaya who has collaborated with her on most of her recent music videos. This catchy mid-tempo tune love song was written by LA-based singer/songwriter Meesha Black. </p> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=3949&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="uQtJU_LXPIxASG-7njPF2kdf9UN1um29-IEvGI5_JWg"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Fri, 12 Jun 2020 02:44:40 +0000 Dusty Wright 3949 at http://culturecatch.com Song of the Week: "Parachute" http://culturecatch.com/index.php/node/3945 <span>Song of the Week: &quot;Parachute&quot;</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/index.php/users/webmaster" lang="" about="/index.php/users/webmaster" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Webmaster</a></span> <span>May 21, 2020 - 12:23</span> <div class="field field--name-field-topics field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Topics</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/index.php/music" hreflang="en">Music Review</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/index.php/taxonomy/term/139" hreflang="en">singer-songwriter</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p> </p> <div class="video-embed-field-provider-youtube video-embed-field-responsive-video form-group"><iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/UXPOfnpMrbs?autoplay=0&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> <p>From upstate New York comes this wonderfully heartfelt, sing-songy ballad "Parachute" by the indie folk vocal duo The Sea The Sea -- Chuck and Mira Costa -- from their forthcoming album from AntiFragile Music due in August. Music this catchy will find a much larger audience. Enjoy it and share it via the links on this page. Stay safe!</p> <p> </p> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=3945&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="A_czudYSYwqFXKBnXsZC-mhnET4GocMwZ9oTQsG34_U"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Thu, 21 May 2020 16:23:57 +0000 Webmaster 3945 at http://culturecatch.com The Queen Is Dead. Long Live The King! http://culturecatch.com/index.php/node/3943 <span>The Queen Is Dead. Long Live The King!</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/index.php/user/460" lang="" about="/index.php/user/460" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Robert Cochrane</a></span> <span>May 9, 2020 - 11:58</span> <div class="field field--name-field-topics field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Topics</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/index.php/music" hreflang="en">Music Review</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/index.php/taxonomy/term/553" hreflang="en">celebrity obit</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><div class="video-embed-field-provider-youtube video-embed-field-responsive-video form-group"><iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/8SlOj_-_rTI?autoplay=0&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> <p>For sheer tear down the house, hollerin' bravado and pure passion. </p> <p>Conflicted and contrary. </p> <p>Scandalous and screaming and black. </p> <p>There was only ever Little Richard.</p> <p>The true originator of Rock &amp; Roll.</p> <p> </p> <p>All the brass, sass and androgyny from the Stones to Bowie. </p> <p>From Michael Jackson to Prince.</p> <p>From Madonna to Lady Gaga.</p> <p>All roads lead back to Richard Penniman.</p> <p> </p> <p>He wasn't just the most extreme presence of his era.</p> <p>He left every era standing in the shade of his sheer bravado.</p> <p>He knocked hell out of those piano keys.</p> <p>As the hairline receded the wigs just got bigger.</p> <p> </p> <p>Conflicted and at times provocative.</p> <p>His recent unfortunate views on homosexuality came from inner conflict.</p> <p>From that came the songs.</p> <p>His contradictions drove and made him who he was.</p> <p> </p> <p>We don't want our icons perfect.</p> <p>We need them chipped and flawed.</p> <p>There were the convictions for voyeurism and lewd conduct.</p> <p>The revolving doors on his sexual closet.</p> <p>The extreme swings of religiosity.</p> <p> </p> <p>You simply can't ignore the jerking electricity that still fizzes in his songs.</p> <p>The joy combined with madness.</p> <p>Good Golly Miss Molly, Tutti Fruitti, Lucille, Rip It Up!</p> <p>The sheer poetry of Awopbopallbopalopbamboom.</p> <p> </p> <p>As Jobriath once sang  "A Little Richard Goes A Long Long Way"</p> <p>It did then and it always will.</p> <p>This is the end of the very beginning.</p> <p>Something pivotal has died with him.</p> <p>The baton has fallen.</p> <p>There is, in this instance, no successor waiting in the wings.</p> <p>The Queen Is Dead! Long Live The King!</p> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=3943&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="k8DEdrt-TH5OqDpb6O6j848ok3c47RnaI3FTySke1s4"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Sat, 09 May 2020 15:58:48 +0000 Robert Cochrane 3943 at http://culturecatch.com