Some Van Halen Bluegrass Joy...

A brilliant Bluegrass version of Van Halen's epic song 'Jump' sung by front man David Lee Roth accompanied by The John Jorgenson Bluegrass Band on an album I've only just discovered entitled: Strummin' With the Devil: The Southern Side of Van Halen . Although the re-unions with former Van Halen bandmates still happened what is abundantly clear here is how much genuine fun Mr. Lee Roth is having! This is a delightful collaborative re-imagination of classic Van Halen tracks with various bluegrass and US folk music ensembles, love it!


The Art of JOE SACCO

Joe Sacco, artist of the award-winning graphic novel Palestine was sent on tour with R.L. Burnside by Details Magazine in 2000. The work below was published in the magazine and included in the Fat Possum Records book Darker Blues.

I'm a man, yes, I am... war hardened skeptic


This is the last entry I have transcribed from my father's wartime journal that has a definite date. There are some scraps of paper in between the pages that I will endeavour to decipher too...

Entry 10 - February 18th

Four and a half years ago when I first learnt that I was about to join White's, that career was shrouded in absolute mystery. Around it I wove a veil of romance. Three days in the drawing room office shattered the romance and broke my illusions, but, reviewing, in retrospect, those three and a half years once more I can feel the deeper feeling of respect for those traditions and institutions which have their basis in the office.

I can still remember that first whiff, a turgid, musty smell of old plans and papers along with unchanged air that came insidiously up the strongroom stairs as I watched Ginger, on my first morning there, open up the vault. I recall vividly the cricket and darts in the strongroom. The battles with paper pellets; being browned; holiday anticipation. All those things, which, at the time, seemed small and absurd but now contain, for me, a deeper meaning.

Personalities, too, return. The dominant, to us, tyrannous, Mr. Parker. The way he stalked in at 8:20am breaking up the happy era of mutual conversation with a brisk 'Good morning'. The way he turned round, resting on one elbow, to glare at some offender too long away from his board. Bill going in imperturbably, conscious, perhaps, only of his house, wide, garden and motorbike. Edgar: completely subservient to and docile under the pressing influence of the job in hand. The meticulous care of John Beasley, who talked French to me. Those fellows who worked because they were interested and keen and those who worked because it was the easiest solution of an unconquerable difficulty.

The atmosphere. The difference in the medium of the upper and lower offices. The sun and glazed cloth; drawn blinds and the upsetting of inkwells. The 'bog' with its pungent arcid aroma of stale tobacco pervading all other, probably more obnoxious, smells.

All these impressions and many more, too intangible and indefinite to be committed to paper, flash across my mind when I, in a new sphere, climb into flying clothes and parachute harness. I owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to the Drawing Office, the men and boys there for turning me from a callow youth into manhood. Now alienated from its environment I can judge its true merits with the ability that only complete detachment can competently give it.

It is indeed strange that two out of the triumvirate that held the lowest positions in the office in Aug '36 should have been failures, Ginger and myself (I wonder what happened to Ginger?). However, if I have failed Whites, Whites has not failed me for which I am grateful. It was inevitable I neither had the hereditary nor the environment which would have allowed me to be a success. Initially I was an outsider and an outsider I would have remained.

It has been indeed fortunate that I held no illusions concerning the Air Force. I never held any brief for the Services and never shall, but I firmly believe that while Whites made a man of me all the Services could add was the hardening, servility and scepticism necessary to face any eventuality the future might hold.

I value all those past associations with the whole office which now forms such lucrative food for thought.

Douglas George Banks 1920 – 1989 written in 1941

Index to the journal:
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Tim Minchin - Away in Some (m)Anger...

This wee ditty from the extraordinary mind and talents of Mr Tim Minchin has been cut from the Jonathan Ross Christmas show because of ITV fearing a backlash from conservative Christibods... Oh dear oh dear... full story on Tim's blog here.

Enjoy, consider this a Seasonal Salutation!


The Sensational Golden Age Gospel Goodness of JUBiLEE SHOWCASE

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Starting out humbly by broadcasting from a  Chicago car dealership in 1963 and for the next twenty-one years of Sunday mornings, Sid Ordower presented the Emmy award winning Jubilee Showcase, a powerful half-hour of the finest Gospel music America had to offer. 

Many artists now considered legendary performers from Gospel music's golden age got their start on Ordower's show or made their first televised appearance there.  Names like Thomas A. Dorsey renowned as the father of gospel music , The Barrett Sisters, The Soul Stirrers, Andrae Crouch, Albertina Walker and The Caravans, Jessy Dixon, Edwin Hawkins, Sallie Martin, The Staple Singers, Inez Andrews, The Dixie Hummingbirds, The Reverend James Cleveland, Otis Clay, Shirley Caesar and many more. The ultimate Who's Who of Gospel music. As Mr. Ordower told the Chicago Tribune in 1982,  

"I always used to pride myself on getting the best soloists, the greatest groups, the finest accompanists in gospel," "The idea was to get variety. . . . We didn't want to feature just quartets or just soloists. We wanted everything that was out there, so long as it was the best."

Featuring three to four acts per show, over the course of the shows run Ordower presented over 430 acts. In a an interview with Steven Ordower, Sid's son, I asked how his father became interested in Gospel music,

"My father became interested in Gospel Music out of his work and commitment to the Civil Rights movement. African-American churches were a main part of the organizational apparatus of the Civil Rights movement, so my father was around a lot of Gospel Music at the time." Steven Ordower went on to tell the Chicago Tribune that,  "I think a lot of his views got shaped when he was in World War II," "I have a feeling that seeing the atrocities of war first- hand – and he would never talk about it with me – scarred him mentally on many levels, and I think it inspired him in a lot of ways, too…."I think that really launched his whole desire to do something about the injustices he saw. He got really involved in the labor movement and in the civil rights movement. And the churches were a real organizing part of the civil rights movement, so he got to know a lot of those people. … He could really cross cultural and racial boundaries pretty naturally – he was accepted in these different worlds."

The senior Ordower's experience in America's Civil Rights struggle included a trip to Jackson, Mississippi in 1951 where he was beaten by racist thugs when they learned of his plan to appeal to the state supreme court for a stay of execution "to allow new evidence to be presented in the case of Willie McGee, who had been unjustly convicted of raping a white woman."  As a result of the vicious beating Ordower recieved, a U.S. Supreme Court Justice intervened and granted a stay of execution.

When asked  what kind of relationship he had with the artists who performed on his show Steven Ordower replied, 

"My father had a relationship with a lot of the artists outside the show.  He used to take me to the Barrett Sisters' house for meals when I was very young, and he is remembered very affectionately for helping guide the careers of many of the artists that went on to become well known. He was also regularly referred to as "Brother Sid" in the black church, and recruited some talent directly from the churches."

Sid Ordower would be the first to admit that the Jubilee Showcase was not about him. Rather, he took pride in limiting his face time, "You see, I wasn't the star of the program, and I didn't pretend to be," he said in the Tribune interview. "I wasn't the one who sang and danced. All I did onscreen was introduce the groups, and I had a rule that I made myself and followed religiously: Never talk for more than 2 1/2 minutes."

Thanks to Sid Ordower and his family, America now possesses what Chicago's Rev. Lucius Hall calls,  ``the most comprehensive gospel video collection in the world today.`` As Ms. Albertina Walker states, "Sid opened the door and made it possible for the people at home to see it, because it wasn't show before he started it."

I don't think it's possible to state strongly enough that if you are a fan of serious Gospel music, if like me you have the documentary Say Amen, Somebody and The Gospel At Colonus in your DVD collection, then you must add Jubilee Showcase. It is a powerful set that we are so blessed to have had preserved. It's an amazing collection and I can't wait to see what else is in the Jubilee Showcase vaults.

Kraak Records - God Damn, I Hate The Blues

Kraak have just released the latest entry in the label's ongoing split double 7" single series titled God Damn, I Hate The Blues featuring Amen Dunes, Ignatz, Marissa Nadler, Nathan Bowles, Warm Climate, & Bridget Hayden. It's easy to take the name of this compilation at face value as the haunting specter of the blues tradition continues to filter into alternative and popular musics. The handful of musicians included in this release have been chosen wisely though and their musics seem to offer winks towards the past as well as opening up the genre's particularly downbeat notions.

Amen Dunes - Ethio song by KRAAK_records

Amen Dunes contribution is a take on a traditional Ethiopique song that has been taken for a strange ride. The track assumes the particular guitar styling that Damon McMahon has become known for over the past few years while his vocals quiver and wail above following the loping guitar lines. This may be one of the most satisfying Amen Dunes recordings I've heard to date actually and will become a refreshing musical moment for the winter days ahead.

Ignatz - She gets all she wants by KRAAK_records

Ignatz mellow country-folk groove "She Gets All She Wants" comes off as a lost John Phillips classic. I say this because the track's distinctly lo-fi sonic characteristics, complete with enough crackling hiss and tape warbling to make someone believe this could be a Phillips bootleg taken from the odd home recordings. Luckily Ignatz quickly bypasses the lingering feeling of anothers work and establishes his own voice and emotional structure that the song unfolds into.

God Damn, I Hate The Blues is available now via Kraak records.

Tashi Wada - "Duet"

Tashi Wada "Duet" by destijlrecs

Tashi Wada and his newest composition "Duet" exist at once as homage and a refinement of Minimalist music composition of the past. As the name implies this is indeed a duet between two violin's in their unison, and almost monumental, descent in pitch. At any moment giving way to slight drones of intonation and interacting harmonics, always returning and continuing with their downward trajectory.

Today contemporary indie and experimental musics have almost consumed the avant garde moves & form of minimalist composition. As electronic artists have come to commonly sight composers such as Terry Riley, La Monte Young, or Steve Reich as often as less academic and institutional musicians such as Kraftwerk, Cluster, or Brian Eno. I don't think very many people can say this isn't a great thing though, as the emergence of a younger and enthusiastic audience has taken on the task of rediscovering and reissuing some fantastic composers and musical works.

To make an exact reference point Tony Conrad's Fantastic Glissando matches similar aesthetic and conceptual moves. This may be an easy comparison due to both pieces utilizing the distinct sound of the violin, but beyond mere instrumentation each hold at their core slowly gliding pitch's and perceptional experiments. But unlike Conrad's abrasive pre-noise take Wada brings a more accessible and dare I say engaging take to such concepts.

Tashi Wada's "Duet" will be available via De Stijl records.


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Mr. Mueller hails from Aachen, Germany.  He was tapped by Chris Johnson to do the artwork for the 2008-2010 Deep Blues Festivals.  Mr. Mueller is responsible for the striking album art for Willem Maker's newest album and his work has graced the covers of albums by Chip Hanna, Peter Murphy, and others. He has also done artwork for Muddy Roots Festival and for Rambler Magazine, Daddy Mojo Cigar Box Guitars, and Wayne "The Train" Hancock.

I am curious about your artistic  influences. R. Crumb and Joe Coleman I can see. Who else inspires you?

Another major influence was Chris Ware, I was drawn to his work for the first time when I was about 14, especially by his stunning lettering style. After reading Jimmy Corrigan I was amazed how a "comic" is able to move you emotionally. 

I have always been fascinated by how drawing could be used to make visible all those invisible things we deal with every day, things that are pretty much the very nature of the human experience. That's also what impressed my about R. Crumb's and Joe Coleman's work. Especially seeing Crumb's sketchbooks when I was in my early teens opened a whole world of possibilities to me, it showed me how drawing could help you cope with life better. It's a very good tool to reflect on things, once you put them on paper you are not in the middle of them anymore, you have a chance to observe them from the outside. This process has been very important to me again and again, I think it helped me somewhat understand the chaos around me.

I met Crumb in 2003 briefly, he took a look at my sketchbook from that period and encouraged me to keep at it, "keep on drawing!" he told me. That was a very important moment, a very encouraging one. I think my sails where set by that point, but getting that support from my big hero was the wind that kept me going. After that Joe Coleman encouraged me to look and dig deeper inside myself, find out more about myself. Another important day when I met him at home in Brooklyn. Not sure why I elaborate on this, I think it was very important to me to actually meet the people that had been such a great influence on me. Being acknowleged and supported by them was and still is the fuel that keeps me going on the draftman's path. 
There are many obstacles and uncertainties, many people that don't really understand what you do and why, getting approval by your mentors lets you know you are on the right track. 

When I write about music I always listen to whoever it is i'm writing about or I enjoy the silence. I wonder what you listen to when you work on a piece?

 Music is very important. It used to be the key to get in touch with myself whenever I sat down to make a personal drawing. I liked to get carried away by songs that fit my mood, doing very little thinking, a lot of feeling and just let things happen on the paper. For some reason I have stepped a bit away from that approach recently, could be due to my analytical period I am in at the moment. But it still happens. I still don't consider myself to be the best thinker there ever was. I feel like being too much a slave to my own feelings at times. Something prevents me from thinking every now and again. Probably a good thing for my drawings, not sure yet. 

Another thing about the kind of music that appeals to me is that there seems to be a somber tone to it. Wether it's the blues, country, irish folk music or Mahler, I am somehow drawn to that melancholy tone. Probably because it is anchored very deeply inside myself. It feel like home to me. And wether you channel your sorrows into sounds or lines -- it isn't that much of a difference I think. 

Your font choices and often the style or layout you use in your work looks like it comes from turn of the century (or earlier, actually) American newpapers. Do you agree?  If so, what can you tell me about the origin of those style choices for you?

Visually I am very much influenced by the lettering of the late 18th century. I am just blown away by the craftsmanship of those people, overall there seemed to have been much more appreciation for a craft well executed. I can spend hours just looking at old stock certificates, maps, paper money, and books from that period. I can also really relate to the spirit of the Arts and Crafts movement, William Morris or Louis Sullivan for instance, to whom's work Chris Ware introduced me a year ago. I have spend a lot of time studying ornament recently. Seems like I have turned a bit more analytical and less impulsive. I didn't really think a lot about what I was drawing in the past, that however has changed these days and I am pretty sure it shows in my work.

Artist Statement:

Christoph Mueller:
“I came to the solution in the last years of studying that you can try any style or whatever . . . the thing that makes your artwork interesting is when you find out what’s inside of you. Who you are. What gets you going. All that kind of stuff. That’s where it becomes real art. Or at least something that I think is worthy of doing.”

Joe Coleman:
“Yeah, and the process of doing that Christoph, is painful.”

Christoph Mueller:

Joe Coleman:
“But that’s the prize. It should be painful. Most things that are worth while in life are painful. And life, even though you might try to avoid it, which is understandable, anyone would try to avoid the fucked-up things in life, but that’s what life is about. Life is about pain. Everybody’s going to suffer, so why don’t you face the suffering that’s important to you. You’re going to suffer all the other things too. Everybody . . . No-one gets out of this world alive.”

Enable the little CC (closed caption) button for the Germanicly challenged:

OTHAR TURNER - Gravel Springs Fife and Drum (1971) A short film by Bill Ferris and David Evans

It's a SOUL OF JOHN BLACK Christmas!

The Soul of John Black has a new Christmas ep out now.
You can download it from his label Yellow Dog Records
for a measly four bucks. Get it HERE.

Here's JB with the great Nikka Costa:

Advent music - taking a great idea and...

Taking the idea made famous by Bob Dylan, this video from the small Yupiq Eskimo Village of Quinhagak, Alaska , was a school computer project intended for the other Yupiq villages in the area. Much to the villagers' shock their 'little', project took off!

P h/t Pat Kirby

Ensemble Economique - "Everything I Have, I Give To You" video

ENSEMBLE ECONOMIQUE - Everything I Have, I Give To You from kohnkepik

Ensemble Economique is the alias of busy North California stalwart Brian Pyle, who some may know as a member of recently mentioned Starving Weirdos. As Ensemble Economique he has been quite busy the past year or two in particular with releases on label's Not Not Fun and Amish to name a few. The sound of Pyle's solo compositions follows a similar trajection to his main project and others coming out of the north-west underground, such as Pete Swanson's recent solo work.

In "Everything I Have, I Give To You" and the accompanying artist made video the sound and vision of Ensemble Economique is laid bare; haunting rhythmic loops, hovering atmospheric synths, and a vintage horror film aesthetics are combined to great affect. The video is created by way of borrowed footage from Nicolas Roeg's 1973 film , making a rather perfect fit for the vibe present in the music itself.

Ensemble Economique's newest album Crossing The Path, By Torchlight is available now from Dekorder.

The Retro Future Blues of Hungary's MiSSiSSiPPi BiG BEAT

Gal Csaba Boogie from Budapest, Hungary, has always made interesting blues-based music. His new group Mississippi Big Beat is no exception. Consisting of Harmonica, guitar, and turntables/drum machine it's an exciting step to the future. Check out his Soundcloud page for more info. 


The Sensational Friendly Brothers of Tallulah, Louisiana, perform "Heaven Is My Goal" at the St. James Missionary Baptist Church in Canton, Mississippi. Shot by Alan Lomax, John Bishop, and Worth Long, August 11, 1978. For more information about the American Patchwork filmwork, Alan Lomax, and his collections, visit

Sean McCann & Matthew Sullivan - "Vanity Fair"

Sean McCann & Matthew Sullivan - "Vanity Fair" by Recital

Sean McCann & Matthew Sullivan are two busy men in the post-noise underground right these days. Sullivan's project Earn was recently discussed on this site and while he was on tour from Los Angeles made a stop in Brooklyn to play at a Last Nights show blowing myself and I believe the rest of the audience away with slowly unfolding compositions filled to the brim with white-noise and meditative structures. While Sean McCann has been at it on the west coast for a while now and has been slowly building a reputation as meticulous composer working in a world filled with many unmemorable improv bands trying to make a name for themselves.

It's not surprising to see these two west coast drone heavy weights coming together for a collaboration. Sullivan has released McCann's music via his Ekhein imprint more than once over the years and the two seem to have a natural affinity for similar sonic aesthetics. The track "Vanity Fair" taken from their upcoming album on McCann's Recital label incorporates varied elements found in each's work while also extending beyond the reach of either individuals solo work.

The Sean McCann & Matthew Sullivan LP will be released via McCann's new imprint Recital

Starving Weirdos - "In Our Way" video & Land Lines album


Amish records has announced the release of the next Starving Weirdos album titled Land Lines. The album sees the long running north west experimental group make some of their first forays into a more structured songwriting process. This is explained by Amish as a result of the album being a couple years in the making, though recordings were first initiated around September 2010. They go as far as to incorporate some haunting vocals as demonstrated in the lead album track "In Our Way."

The band created video for "In Our Way" takes on a quasi-religious status as a result of the slowed down some synced dance moves taken from what appears to be footage of contemporary african dance moves. Something that when combined with Starving Weirdos own almost horror film score leaves a creepy yet intriguing lasting impression on the viewer.

Starving Weirdos' Land Lines is available January 24th via Amish Records

Top 10 album listening during 2011 meme...

Compiled mainly from instinct as well as a detailed perusal of my iTunes stats and Spotify playlists... have stuck to albums that I listen to all the way through, as it is important to appreciate the the complete 'work' these artistes have created:
  1. Peter GabrielNew Blood.
    At the moment this is the CD I'm listening to the most and I cannot stress how much I absolutely love it! I am very much one of the compact Peter Gabriel (PG) post Genesis appreciation society that is delighted he is no longer part of his prog rock heritage. Apart from the hints in PG's evergreen 'Solsbury Hill', he very much chooses to leave the past where it belongs. Now his lyrical focus is less personal having become predominantly concerned with topics of international justice.

    This latest collection forms the 2nd part of this major orchestral project, the 1st release, 'Scratch my Back', featured covers from a variety of artistes who, in turn, would release covers of their fave PG song. New Blood is an intriguing selection right across PG's solo career, a subset of songs that were filmed in March this year (2011) for the DVD/BluRay and 3D concurrent release.

    As mentioned in my reviews, (Scratch my Back - New Blood) John Metcalfe's arrangements are seriously stunning, Tom Cawley's piano playing sublime and, along with Peter's brilliant vocals, they are the standout elements that make this such compelling listening. It is also important to note these arrangements are in a full, classical symphonic format. This is NOT Peter Gabriel's songs simply accompanied by orchestra, it is a much more significant piece of work than that. A surprising outcome is that some pieces that were favourites on his original recordings have been overtaken by some of the ones that, perhaps, were not appreciated so fully. For example, the wedding favourite 'In Your Eyes' is outshone by the more epic 'San Jacinto' and 'Digging in the Dirt', the latter my current top choice.

    Both 'Scratch my Back' and this 'New Blood' project have puzzled some of PG's ardent 'rock' fans, yet throughout the 3D filming session at the Appollo I noticed there was a more rapturous reception than at the initial outing in the 02 the previous year. Furthermore it is clear that this has gained PG a additional audience that now have now been seduced by the depth of his musical art through this adventurous and risky exploration of a radically different approach. It is a bit of an irony that such an established rock icon has found that this more orthodox classical accompaniement has enabled him to express himself with greater clarity than ever before.

    There are a number of formats to buy this fantastic release, with or without DVD, a version with instrumental only recordings on a bonus CD and a deluxe edition all packaged up together (yes, you've guessed, that's what I went for!)

  2. Arcade Fire – The Suburbs.
    This year I went to see Arcade Fire with another one of my fave bands, Mumford and Sons, perform in Hyde Park. Along with a supporting cast which included the very wonderful Beirut it was a seriously splendid eve! There is something unique about Arcade Fire's music which sets them apart from many other bands. There is a sense of 'musical' anarchy where both instrumentation and song arrangements do not, in any way, follow the usual tried and trusted paths. The overall impression one gets listening to them live is how much energy comes over from an essentially acoustic line up: great vocals, great sounds and thoughtful lyrical ideas. I have already featured an excerpt from the album here, the transcendent 'Sprawl (Flatland)'

  3. Hope & Social - April.
    I saw this band at this year's Greenbelt Festival and they completely blew me away. With many bands that can really deliver live, hearing the recorded output can be tinged with disappointment, yet Hope & Social do not suffer from this problem. The band have set up their own studio and are clearly masters at capturing the characteristics of their endearing live performances. If you see they will be playing nearby, do not miss it, they are seriously good and superb fun. Fave track currently 'A Darkness Now Is Coming'.

  4. Paul Simon - So Beautiful or So What?
    The Beeb recently ran a documentary about the album 'Bridge Over Troubled Water' that both lifted Simon and Garfunkel into the music biz stratosphere yet paradoxically became their swansong as a duo. This prompted me to re-discover their output and Paul Simon's repetoire of solo work. His new album is delightfully quirky, utilising a return to basic methods of recording which gives it a freshness that more produced work would not have. And, of course, if you want some evergreen Paul Simon, you need look no further than the influential Graceland album.

  5. Jónsi - Go.This is the solo output from the guitarist and singer of cult Icelandic megastars Sigur Rós. Do check out the videos of the stage show, an assault of jaw dropping lighting and projected imagery that becomes one with the band of multi instrumetnalist musicians. I find the music deeply moving, the kind of music that 'gets to you' despite, on the whole, being created with an array of electronic synth type gizmos.

  6. Brandon Flowers - Flamingo.
    The Killers front man has turned in a really respectable solo effort and, despite the expectation of it being a 'Killers Lite' soundalike, allows Brandon to express more of himslef than he might do otherwise. So not only is he a great front man with a wonderful voice he now shows that he is a man of considerable depth. The lyrics include many religious references which the handful of videos made to promote this release bear out, see earlier post here.

  7. Coldplay - MYLO XYLOTO.
    Yes, OK, I confess, I actually like Coldplay! Although their latest offering seems to play very much into the stadium rock genre (including songs for the acoustic section in the middle of the set!), what entices me is the optimism of their music. It is as though they are done with experimentation, they've found their sound and now they can create song after song that seems to celebrate our very existence. Even the potentially sombre 'Fix You' from the X & Y album has hope for the future and lifts the spirits, whilst MYLO XYLOTO packs a joyful, foot tapping punch all the way.

  8. Owl City - All Things Bright and Beautiful.
    Whilst many music pundits think that Adam Young's voice is yet another Autotune special the simple fact is not only can he sing but his voice actually sounds like his recordings! The Owl City concept is very much his and indicates what a prodigious young talent he is, which I discussed briefly here. I love 'Deer Caught in the Headlights' with its audio, lyrical and visual nod to the 80s, and I'm sure I recognise those synth riffs?! Check out this unplugged version, too. I love the finely crafted tracks this guy produces, not too dissimilar to the amazing Imogen Heap, another artiste for whom it will be equally intriguing to see how they develop over the next couple of decades.

  9. Arvo Pärt - Spiegel im Spiegel.
    I remember it was one of those wonderful moments making a long journey that one of the Soul Music series on BBC Radio 4 covered this piece. It was rally interesting to hear directly from violinist Tasmin Little about how she approached this minimalist music score. Of course, its simplicity masks the technique needed to allow the very beauty of its emptiness to lift the listener into the emotional heights which,ironically, reach down into your very core enabling succour to the spirit. It is, what I may venture to call, 'universal music'. By that I mean that it would be appreciated by folk from different cultures, disparate status and by every musician regardless of their chosen genre. Something to listen to either lift or soothe the spirit.

  10. Mumford and Sons - Sigh No More.
    I have to include this, despite its 2009 release date, as I still listen to it so much! It's an amazing debut album, it doesn't suffer from many band's first studio efforts when they are prone to try lots of different styles and techniques once given the freedom of the recording process. I love the depth of the lyrics, love the energy that comes over even as an acoustic band and having heard some of their new songs live in Hyde Park very much looking forward to their next release.
Over to you, look forward to reading your compilations?


CHiCKEN DiAMOND - Factory Smoke

You can find out more about our French monster homeboy 
@ Facebook // Beast Records 

Chelsea Wolfe - "Sunstorm" video

If I may forego all the usual trappings seemingly embedded into conversations pertaining to Chelsea Wolfe... At least that the sentence I anticipated starting with and then I realized I couldn't. Wolfe's persona is built upon combined elements of the gothic, greek, and occult imagery and vibe. I want to liken it to Nico once she got over being a pop star and became addicted to heroin. That is a totally update to date version who to my knowledge is NOT a drug addict which is generally great news.

The song "Sunstorm" maintains stark elegance, which is perfectly matched in this Sean Stout directed the video. Even some of the song's most far reaching moments, such some questionable lyric choices & dance moves, come off as forgettable & endearing. It's that much more then that the "Sunstorm" & Wolfe are able to withstand under such intense emotional, while still retaining a catchy enjoyable song. Despair has rarely sounded so good.

Last Nights: Woodsman / Images / Alan Watts / Scott and Charlenes Wedding Friday Dec. 9th

Come join Last Nights tomorrow night (Friday Dec. 9th) at Big Snow in Brooklyn, NY. It will be a great night of filled with spacey jams and psychedelic pop concoctions. With music by:

Alan Watts
Scott & Charlene's Wedding (mem Family Portrait)

Friday December 9th
Big Snow
89 Varet St. Brooklyn NY
8pm | $7 | All Ages

RSVP on Facebook here


Little Joe Washington @ Online // Facebook

Last Nights Presents: New Monuments / United Waters / Zaimph / Decimus

The New Monuments (C. Spencer Yeh, Don Dietrich, Ben Hall)

Thursday December 8th
Shea Stadium 20 Meadow St. Brooklyn NY
8pm | $8 | All Ages

RVSP on Facebook here

Images - "Where You Are Now"

We're happy to announce "Where You Are Now" the lead track from Images forthcoming album titled Know What I Mean. The group recorded/mixed the album late this past spring after a busy 2011 filled with shows that saw the duo share stages with MV & EE, Soft Circle, & Spectre Folk to name a few. "Where You Are Now" sees them operating at surprising levels of clarity and accessibility for the cloudy headed psychedelic concoctions offered up in the past. As this lead track demonstrates Images aren't afraid of stepping into the light, sounding almost indie-rock while they're at it. The cleanliness of the sound itself is attributed to the live nature of the recordings, in which few overdubs were undertaken in order leaving the raw live band sound in tact. The bounce of it all makes it perfect to add some energy in the bleak days of winter ahead.

"Where You Are Now" is available now straight from the band's bandcamp site as a free download. Be sure to look out for more info on Images and the upcoming full-length Know What I Mean this January here via the Last Nights Records imprint & AMDISCS.

Images will also playing Last Nights upcoming show this Friday Dec. 9th at Big Snow w/ Woodsman & Alan Watts.

Pinch & Shackleton

Possibly one of the first forays around here into the more electronic and techno end of the musical spectrum. Pinch & Shackleton have been at it for a while now each helping define a new era of bass music with their individual compositions. Looking back to the origins of dubstep it is easy to point towards Pinch's debut Underwater Dancehall & Shackleton's former label Skull Disco as some of the finest examples of the genre.

This self-titled collection, their first collaborative outing, sees the pair operating at the same level of quality which initially propelled them into the music public's eye. Shackleton's unique This is not to say that it is a neutral meeting ground between the two. Contrary to such a thought, the seemingly simple feet of combining the hallmark aesthetics of the two artists is a rather difficult feet that is achieved with grace.

Pinch & Shackleton is available now from Honest Jon's.


Bummed you missed out on those 5 bonus tracks from Biram's Bad Ingredients?
Me too. Scott's got yr Xmas present right HERE.

From J Samuel White's to Wellington Bomber...

Picture from Bartie's Postcards

In this entry in my father's wartime journal dad remembers the start of his working day and some of the personnel at J. Samuel White & Co, shipbuilders on the Isle of Wight.

Entry 9 - February 9th

Today we have been flying. As I pulled on my flying boots and Mae West through my mind flew retrospective thoughts of home. I imagined myself back at work. Nine o'clock a busier hum would settle over the office. The late arrivals, drawing off their coats, would break into spasmodic chatter with their bench mates, leavened with chaff. Then Mr Parker arrives, briskly throwing out 'good mornings' on either side. Les and I would break up our huddle and with a sigh return to the common basis of work. Others, watching the censorious glance of Mr Parker, would carefully fold their 'Telegraphs' or 'Mirrors', according to age or taste, and emerge from their day dreams, dropping their castellated visions to grapple once more with reality. By the time Mr Brading arrives another day has begun.

Douglas George Banks 1920 – 1989 written in 1941

Index to the journal:


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The Dead Exs are a two-man rye-soaked crossroads from the NYC. 
They make heavyhowlin'muddydirrrtyblues stomped down with rock n' grrravel. 

Last Nights Presents: Woodsman / Images / Alan Watts

Alan Watts

Friday December 9th
Big Snow
89 Varet St. Brooklyn NY
8pm | $7 | All Ages

RSVP on Facebook here

TiNARiWEN on The Colbert Report

Pete Swanson - Streaming Man With Potential

A little bit back I posted a video for Pete Swanson's track "Remote View" taken from newest album Man With Potential. Since then the album has been released by Type records who are also streaming it in it's entirety. The release comes after a steady stream of Swanson's solo work in the last two years as he has put out two albums on Thee Lobed and Root Strata respectfully, along with a good handful of quietly self-released recordings.

The stream of Man With Potential provides a glimpse into the new almost techno-oriented direction Swanson's work has taken. The results are not one oriented towards getting people onto the dance floor. As the press release states "This is Birmingham techno filtered through the mists of the Pacific Northwest, and is all the better for it. Elsewhere ‘Remote View’ explores a more downtempo sound; coming across like post apocalyptic house music as heard from a club bathroom." Such a description and sound places the music firmly within the realm of what Sonic Boom's Experimental Audio Research was after on The Köner Experiment album.

Man With Potential is out now on Type records.

Advent music with The Killers

The Killers invite Elton John and Pet Shop Boys singer Neil Tennant to provide vocals on 'Joseph, Better You Than Me' with wonderful lyrical and theological insights. Note the subtle change in the refrain as the song develops:
From the temple walls to the New York night: Our decisions rest on a child
When she took her stand did she hold your hand?
Will your faith stand still or run away? Run away?
From the temple walls to the New York night: Our decisions rest on a man
When I take the stand, When I take the stand, Will he hold my hand?
Will my faith stand still or run away?
And my favourite line linking the 40 years and 40 days wilderness times:
And the desert, It's a hell of a place to find heaven