Olivia walked out today into a storm, a coldish windy day at the end of April when spring is supposed to be here. No bother, I remember being in Sweden once and I woke up on a day at the end of April and there had been a massive drop of snow in the middle of the night. To be honest I don’t mind, I like the wind and I like the rain like I like the sun and the blue sky, but too much heat and too much rain are equally painful. It’s all about the balance – in everything, right? But today it was a squall, the wind blowing the rain sideways and then stopping for a bit and then coming back again. I ran through the streets with my towel on my head and sunglasses living both summer and winter simultaneously.
Lots of news today. Record Store Day has moved again till the end of each month from August to November. It comes with a new name for this unprecedented situation, RSD Drops. I’m happy to announce that my 2008 album Nightjar will be one of those vinyl releases although at this point we are not sure which month. It all adds to the intrigue. Nightjar will be released exclusively in a limited edition gatefold on red vinyl through Schoolkids Records. We’ll let you know the details of the release date as we get them.
In other hot news Bandcamp has again decided to have another day where they waive their fees so anything you buy from us either digital or physical goes directly to us. This time we have more things available than last time. We have extra stock of T-shirts and CDs in the US which will help postage if you live there. The big day is May 1st and it’s just for 24 hours, so don’t miss it. Any questions you can send us a mail and we’ll help as much as we can.
I’ve been meaning to write about the video release of The Churchhill Garden’s new song which stars me and Olivia as well as me old mate Mark Burgess from The Chameleons. Also starring our friend Andy Jossi who is the composer and instrumentalist and Krissy Vanderwoude who sings and who wrote the words. The song is called We Can Dream and will be today’s Song Of The Day at the end of this post.
I was also thinking today to remind you to check out the In Deep Playlist on the site to see which records we have been spinning this month. Tomorrow is the last day of April so we will start afresh on May 1st. In my mind, in my dreams I will be doing some Spotify playlists for your listening pleasure, but I’m so busy with sessions, studio, blog, and life, that I’m not finding any big blocks of free time, but I will do my best and will post anything that I do. I didn’t even get to watch Star Trek tonight.
We listened to a mix of Space Summit song 9 tonight as we get close to completing the album. All will be revealed when we have all the songs and we’ve thought about how we are going to present it, when, where, all that needs to be decided, but I just can’t wait for you to hear it. As I was just nipping in and out of the studio today as Dare was mixing I did find some time to get better organized in the archive and actually got to put some records away, so whilst pottering I was throwing on all kinds of CDs that will appear in today’s music picks.
Also I trust this more newsy blog today doesn’t have you craving for more intense philosophical ruminations, surreal stories, true life-changing experiences shared and intriguing considerations. We are all living this bizarre reality at the moment and it must surely be a time of reflection. What are we doing? Why are we doing it? I got busy, but for a lot of people there’s more free time, no commute, working more or completely from home. Less social life and therefore more indoor contemplation. I’m busy because some people out there are taking this time to doing something creative, work on ideas they’ve been meaning to get to for a long time and now they finally can. The Songwriting & Guitar Guidance is open. If you are healthy and not freaking out about how you are going to survive like a lot of people are, I would recommend not wasting this time, because it may not happen again. In fact we hope it won’t and if it doesn’t then everything you do now might just give you the future you want. Let’s hope so.
So music today has been very varied CD and vinyl, due to the pottering and filing and sorting. Starting with one of Mexico’s great bands of yore, Los Dug Dug’s from Durango. Mostly unknown outside their home country they made their own special brand of Psychedelic Beat music and thanks to that dastardly internet we can find their records at least on CD and probably on vinyl if you have the cash. This one is from 1971.
There’s a very sweet album called Analog Man by Joe Walsh released in 2012. It’s so lovely and sincere that you have to smile when you hear it. As always with Joe the guitar sounds and playing are really great and his unique voice gives it that familiarity. Produced by Jeff Lynne (you can always tell), Ringo plays drums on a couple of tracks. A great album for the uncynical.
I have all of First Aid Kit’s albums. Olivia and I saw them in Texas and when I worked at Pet Sounds in Stockholm they came and played on RSD. It was a thrill to stand right next to them as they sang their magnificent harmonies – beautiful. This is their first album Drunken Trees (2008), still developing, but a promise of things to come. I can only recommend everything they do.
Then there’s U2 and Songs Of Innocence (2014). I try and try and sometimes succeed in liking some of the songs on later U2 albums. On this one especially Every Breaking Wave, but it sounds a little lacklustre in the energy department to me. Not that energy is what I need from U2, what I need from U2 is the passion that the none Bono lovers don’t like. I never thought you could fault him on effort. The Edge, samey, I don’t know, a certain blandness going on, fine for pottering, but even Morrissey does current affairs better than Bono these days and Coldplay sound a little edgier. I blame Danger Mouse. I feel the same way about his album with Karen O – Lux Prima. Still, I will try again.
The three girls in boygenius (2018) are Phoebe Bridgers, Julien Baker and Lucy Dacus. I have their collaboration EP on vinyl, but my stereo isn’t set up to play 45RPM, this is when Spotify comes in handy. Check it out. But tonight I was playing the solo albums by Phoebe, Stranger In The Alps (2017), and Julien, Sprained Ankle (2015). I’m particularly fond of Phoebe at the moment, really like this album. I’ve had it for a while, played it quite often, Julien Baker I’ve only heard once and that was tonight. So more listens needed. Highly recommended US singer-songwriters. Lucy Dacus also has a cool album, Historian, from 2018.
So who is Israel Nash? I’m not sure really. He’s also been called Israel Nash Gripka. This album Lifted (2018) is kind of Hippie Lush. Melodic, well produced, if he was already famous people would really like this album, ha ha. Maybe he is very successful in America, I don’t know. Other records I have heard by him sounded very Neil Young like, more simple, less produced. I have Barn Doors And Concrete Floors from 2011. You’re just going to have to press random play on your music service to hear him, to see if you like him, but I recommend you do.
Then there’s Margaret Glaspy, singer and electric guitarist. I’m not sure why she’s not more popular, perhaps she’s just too new. But like Israel Nash, perhaps she is popular, I really wouldn’t know from here. This album is Emotions And Math and is from 2016. I really like it. Her new album Devotion (2020) I’m yet to explore. On a sad note each of her albums on vinyl are nearly £30 each, ridiculous, and why?
Moving right on to vinyl. I bought the last And Also The Trees album, Born Into The Waves (2016), direct from the band. Nice note back from guitarist Justin Jones. Really good, moody, dark, atmospheric, as all their albums are. Always interesting lyrics from brother Simon Huw Jones and Justin’s effected guitar creates perfect moodscapes as a background to the evocative words and singing.
Next was the new Rustin Man album, Clockdust (2020). You have to like his singing but I do. It’s quite unusual, moody, intriguing, sometimes a bit Robert Wyatt. I’ve only played it once so far, but I liked it immediately.
Next came Jenny Lee Lindberg’s Right On (2015). She is the bass player in Warpaint who I love and like her band mate, guitarist Theresa Wayman, has released her own album. You can tell they are in the same band, they tap into something, it’s hard to put your finger on it, but I really like the mood and the sounds.
Last but not least Vanishing Twin’s odd record. I’ll add a quote from Wikipedia as to what they sound like: “Their sound has been compared to the band Stereolab and is described as Brazilian psych-jazz as well as a psychedelic, experimental pop ensemble”. Last thought – Do the very rich have record collections?
Today’s Song Of The Day is You Can Dream by The Churchhill Garden, featuring us and many others in the video. The song is featured on a compilation called “Songs from Quarantine”, available exclusively on Bandcamp. 100% of profits will be donated to the World Health Organization for Covid-19 relief efforts.
We Can Dream
I miss you
I miss everything
About the way it used to be
Before life in quarantine
Feeling so alone
Scared inside our homes
But I still have my memories
This can’t take that from me
We can dream
We can dream
Dream…about how we hope we’ll be
After life in quarantine
No more isolation
Feeling so alone
Scared inside our homes
I still miss you
I miss everything
We can dream
We can dream
(Andy Jossi / Krissy Vanderwoude)