Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini - Brian Hyland
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini - Brian Hyland
Posted by Divinyl at 10:11 AM
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Kristin Hersh has just today released her inaugral recording for the project known as CASH Music - the Coalition of Artists and Stake Holders. With this venture, she endeavours to "blur the line that's traditionally stood between creators of content and the consumers of that content".
...but I would also encourage you to visit the CASH Music website (the link is to the Kristin Hersh page, but there is a 'home' icon you can click on there too), as it promises to get quite exciting over there!
So, go on, make your friend a CD, slip (ha ha!) this baby on there...they'll thank you for introducing them to great new music. Enjoy it...and remember to give Kristin your kind words and support.
I shall leave you with a quote Kristin included in her e-mail, which embodies the intended memetic effect of CASH, and indeed blogging culture, very nicely:
"a blues player walks a song from town to town, playing on street corners, in dance halls, at parties and bars. The song stays when the musician leaves, adopted and adapted to suit various personalities, voices and life stories."
Posted by Divinyl at 8:30 PM
Monday, November 26, 2007
Agent Orange - Tori Amos
Aging Orange - The Vandals
Blue Burns Orange - Hawthorn Heights
Bruised Orange - John Prine
Cod Liver Oil And Orange Juice - Hamish Imlach
Evolution Orange - Earth, Wind and Fire
L'Amour Des Trois Oranges - Prokofiev
Once An Orange Always An Orange - Al Stewart
Orange - 10,000 Maniacs
Orange - David O'Doherty
Orange - John Spencer Blues Explosion
Orange - Orange
Orange And The Black - The Boils
Orange Blossom Special - Johnny Cash
Orange Coloured Sky - Nat King Cole
Orange County Lumber Truck - Frank Zappa
Orange Crate Art - Brian Wilson
Orange Crush - R.E.M.
Orange Juice Blues - Bob Dylan
Orange Moon - Erykah Badu
Orange Pony - Hilt
Orange Rolls, Angel's Spit - Sonic Youth
Orange Skies - Love
Orangefield - Van Morrison
Oranges And Lemons Again - Jools Holland and His Rhythm and Blues Orchestra with Suggs
Pink Orange Red - Cocteau Twins
The Power Of Orange Knickers - Tori Amos
Trip On An Orange Bicycle - Orange Bicycle
Given that this list is so short, how about some tenuous ones?
Tangerine - Led Zeppelin
Tangerine - Moist
Let's Tango - The Delilahs
Tango - Throwing Muses
Nope? Oh well, just a thought!
Posted by Divinyl at 8:40 PM
On Saturday night I was a disgustingly drunken Divinyl...hence the hangover and the delay in posting this!
It was the final ever gig of The Witches of Elswick at The Cumberland Arms in Byker - and what a send-off! There was free bubbly, balloons and sweeties (I am a lass that can definitely be won over with a chocolate eyeball or two!) and general good cheer.
Who are The Witches of Elswick? They are (or, I suppose, as of Saturday night, were) a four part folk vocal harmony group. They sing a capella. They are splendid! Working mainly with traditional folk songs, their arrangements are often complex, but work brilliantly. And with good humour galore.
Becky Graham (top left in the photograph above), Gillian Tolfrey (top right), Fay Hield (bottom right) and Bryony Griffith (bottom left) formed their coven in 2001 when they were all sharing a flat in Elswick, Newcastle (hence the name...a play on The Witches of Eastwick). They have since appeared all over the country and at various folk festivals. Hell, Fay even sung on Eliza Carthy's album Rough Music (her partner, Jon Boden, is one of Carthy's band The Ratcatchers). That's pedigree for you...and also links us neatly to a previous blog of mine >>> The Imagined Village.
Although the group is now no more, they have left a legacy of two albums, Hell's Belles and Out Of Bed. You can listen to snippets of a decent length from the latter here, download three of its tracks from Amazon.com, and hear a 2004 interview with them at the BBC website (which includes the great song Honey For The Bee in full). Enough to convince you to make a purchase I'm sure.
But back to Saturday...
It was 'one of those nights'...and I place the blame firmly on the shoulders of that ludicrously strong honey ginger ale (or at least I would, if ale had shoulders!). It was delicious, but just too easy to drink...and get drunk on! I very rarely get drunk, but on this occasion I was well and truly plastered (which turns me into a dick who talks complete crap!). Example: I lost my wallet, which I was reunited with by the bar maid who, at that time, I couldn't have loved more! I was also abandoned, without so much as a goodbye, by the friends I had gone with. This didn't seem to bother me too much, however...nope, I was outside smoking and chatting chatting chatting to all and sundry!
One of whom was a lovely man called Simon...part of the sword dancing troupe we had seen on stage earlier and the husband of Becky Witch. Somehow he ended up inviting me to the party that they were having back at he and Becky's flat...and what could be a better idea when you are alone, know nobody and are hammered?? (Yes, yes, getting in a taxi and going home to sleep it all off, I know...spoil sports). I would talk random shite to Simon and a woman who was even more drunk than I, Ingrid, well into the morning.
Five hours later (6.00am!) I was in a taxi headed for my bed. A thoroughly cracking evening...but I do hang my head and apologise for being 'that' twat of a party crasher...who repeated herself over and over I'm sure (chosen topic on this particular night = Fay Hield. I was bewitched! I just wish I hadn't insisted on telling her how hot I thought she was (ridiculously!)...unnecessary!). Still, I had a lot of fun, it was refreshing to meet some new people...and they were a lovely crowd indeed...who, sadly, I will probably never see again (far too drunk to swap mobile numbers or e-mails!).
The Witches of Elswick: Women who seriously know how to have fun! Best of luck for the future ladies.
What a night!
Posted by Divinyl at 6:48 AM
Saturday, November 24, 2007
Posted by Divinyl at 12:59 AM
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Video = It's Getting Boring By The Sea
Blood Red Shoes are a Brighton-based two piece outfit who categorise themselves on their MySpace page as grunge/punk/disco house. This is noisy (in a good way!) female-fronted drum and guitar music. As Q Magazine put it, they are "Like The White Stripes in reverse" - the female of the band, Laura-Mary Carter, on guitar (and main vocals) and the male member, Steven Ansell, on drums (and vocals). They formed in 2005 and named themselves in honour of Hollywood actress Ginger Rogers who, during a filming session, had to repeat her dance moves so many times that it made her feet bleed, turning her white shoes red!
Free, full, download tracks from their website:
mp3 : can't find the door
mp3 : stitch me back
mp3 : meet me at 8
mp3 : victory for the magpie
mp3 : bless his heart
MySpace - where you can also download a further mp3 (How To Pass The Time)
Posted by Divinyl at 12:51 AM
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Posted by Divinyl at 6:24 AM
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Posted by Divinyl at 1:21 AM
Sunday, November 18, 2007
For which reason I would recommend introducing yourselves to their music via the 2005 live recordings CD A Brief History. I know what you are thinking...live CDs are often dreadful, right? In this case it conveys what they are about perfectly, containing 32 of their very best (and best loved songs)...my personal favourites being the two featured here, as well as The Waitress, Billy Jones and Gillian. It's a purchase I couldn't recommend more highly...I have even done some internet scouring - the cheapest I am able to find this album is at CD Wow, where it (at the time of writing this) is only £9.49. For a double CD with 32 tracks? BARGAIN!
Video for London Still:
Posted by Divinyl at 1:32 AM
Saturday, November 17, 2007
And, just to treat you, here's Mr Burton's short animation 'Vincent':
Posted by Divinyl at 6:28 PM
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Posted by Divinyl at 1:45 AM
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Posted by Divinyl at 10:54 PM
Truly dark, but very nicely done. The creators' website is at http://www.runwrake.com/.
For more seriously disturbing, but brilliant, animation, check out Salad Fingers.
Posted by Divinyl at 4:43 PM
This film is disorientating (but definitely disturbing) and can seem desultory and fitful, but the whole thing is visually mesmerising and, using only a very small budget, very precisely brought into being (the director, Shinya Tsukamoto, is also credited for screenplay and art direction, lighting direction, editing, special effects and co-photography – as well as starring in the film as the Fetishist). There is obvious attention to detail in every shot, exciting (and exacting) camera work and editing...this is like a short film that is 67 minutes in length. In places it looks like an expertly choreographed ballet. In other scenes it is some kind of pop music video (I'm sure Michael Jackson has taken some inspiration from this, only with a much larger budget...and I'm not even going to get into the whole 'transformation' side of the debate!) or, with help from the soundtrack created by musician Chu Ishikawa (click here to download the soundtrack...just click on the 'free' column), an industrial metal (metal...ha! How appropriate!) or dark electronica video (think Aphex Twin). It might even remind you of (and therefore may have influenced) The Terminator (admittedly, fucked-up Japanese style!), except inverted – here the metal is on the outside, the man trapped inside and engulfed.
Might it be about the advance of technology, our relationship with it, and the way it is encroaching into our lives? A warning about relying on technology or letting it take over (CCTV, 1984's 'telescreens' - “Big Brother is watching you”, or perhaps even controlling you...from the inside! Not to mention more recent discourse over microchips, ID cards and general governmental surveillance)? Or could it be about the machine, or other emblems of technological advance, as status symbol and, beyond functionality, the anthropomorphism and sexualisation of the inanimate, e.g. cars and motorcycles? It could equally be a comment on our hidden sexual desires, our id suppressed and concealed from society. Tetsuo is certainly very much about the sexual being – at times bordering on some kind of mechano-porn or cyberotica (even the relatively comedic / light relief elements of this film come in the form of a giant, spinning, motorised penis - “You want a taste of my sewage pipe?”)! Is it a nod to the fact that we never really know what is beneath the surface of the 'normal' man? We could be seeing the Salaryman's hidden core forcing itself to the surface; his darkest desires, his yearning for some sort of power and recognition. Is it, therefore, about the monster within each of us (the high-school shooter who 'flips' and those closest to him could never foresee that he was capable of such acts)?
I don't know the answers to any of the above questions, but I definitely don't remember the last time a film made me think and hypothesise so much! Ultimately, we don't even know for sure whether this film is showing us dreadful nightmares or startling 'realities'.
Ok, so finally to some reasons you might not like this film: it is gruesome and shocking in parts; it is low budget and you will have seen technically better special effects (but that's so not the point); it can be confusing and disorientating; it doesn't hand you all the answers; there is barely any dialogue at all – it is mostly an abundance of raucous, angular industrial sounds and loud music; the scenes where the camera is chasing through Japan are at head-fuck speed (and totally look like they were inspiration for the Madonna video for Ray Of Light!). It's going straight on my list of great films! I would LOVE to hear what you think of the film, what it made you think about and, indeed, if you thought it was a complete waste-of-time-piece-of-rubbish! Does anyone know if Tetsuo II: Body Hammer is also worth seeing?
File under: Horror, sci-fi, cyber-porn!
Posted by Divinyl at 12:50 AM
Sunday, November 11, 2007
Posted by Divinyl at 11:00 PM
Saturday, November 10, 2007
Apologies for the gap between postings (I am full of cold and can't seem to concentrate enough to put in the effort I usually put into my blogs...and I don't want to just post tosh for the sake of it!)...I shall return with one of my more customary, longer blogs soon.
Today, however, I am just stopping by to tell you about the above album. I've been having a bit of a mooch round MP3.com, which really is a great website...tonnes of free downloads, free album streamings, reviews etc. etc. (No, I don't work for them!). On my travels I came across Alice Smith, who I have never heard of before.
Posted by Divinyl at 11:04 PM
Thursday, November 8, 2007
Posted by Divinyl at 1:19 PM
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
But I am not really here to talk about the show itself...I am here to talk about its title music. The song is Little Boxes, which was written by folk singer-songwriter and political activist Malvina Reynolds in 1962. Inspired by the houses in Daly City, California, the song is all about tell-them-apart-if-you-can, chocolate box house, suburban living and its values and expectations of conformity. The song is best known through the performance by Pete Seeger.
In the first series of the show, the original song (video above) aired as the title music for each episode; however, by series' two and three, a different artist or band was being used for each separate episode. Apparently the impetus behind this was because series producers were initially unsure as to whether they would be able to use the original, and therefore had several artists record the song before deciding which one to use. It has now got to the stage where performers are requesting to be included...and the role-call holds some very big names!
There has been an orchestral and instrumental version (by Maestro Charles Barnett - Season 2, Episode 5), a Spanish version with a disco feel (Kinky - Season 3, Episode 3), a rap version (The Individuals - Season 3, Episode 7), and even one sung partly in Russian (Persephone's Bees - Season 3, Episode 12).
Here are my top five in order of appearance (the clickable links are to the video for each on YouTube):
1. Death Cab For Cutie - Season 2, Episode 2
Death Cab For Cutie are Ben Gibbard, Nick Harmer, Jason McGerr and Chris Walla. They were formed in Bellingham, Washington in 1997 and took their name from a Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band song, which appeared on their 1967 album Gorilla and in The Beatles' film Magical Mystery Tour. Their best known track is probably Transatlanticism, from the album of the same name - this song was used in the HBO show Six Feet Under, and several more have featured in The OC.
The McGarrigle sisters, who are of Canadian and Irish origin, hail from the town of Saint Sauveur des Monts (where I had a pen pal as a child!) in Quebec. They record in both French and English and their songs are based around folky vocal harmonies and often unusual timings.
3. Regina Spektor - Season 2, Episode 10
Can this woman do no wrong? Born in Moscow, Russia, moving to The Bronx, New York aged nine, Regina Spektor studied classical piano from an early age. She now makes quirky (typified by relatively unusual techniques such as the glottal stop) folk-influenced music, claiming to have written over 700 songs...although neglecting to write them all down!
Kidjo was born in Ouidah, Benin and grew up in the port village of Cotonou. In her early 20s she moved to Paris, due to the political conflicts in her home country, where she began performing. She is fluent in Fon, French, Yoruba and English (I haven't even heard of all of these languages!) and often uses traditional African vocal styles, such as the zilin technique of her native Benin, alongside jazzy stylings.
5. Joan Baez - Season 3, Episode 9
I'm sure Joan Baez needs little introduction...what a coup, getting her to sign up to this! Just in case...Baez is a Mexican-American folk singer and songwriter who, due to her father's job, grew up all over the US, Europe and Middle East (she was born on Staten Island). She is a soprano with a three octave vocal range and performed at 1969's Woodstock Festival. Baez is well known for singing songs with political and protest-based lyrics. On her live CD Ring Them Bells, reissued this year as a collectors edition, she is joined by many other big names, including Kate and Anna McGarrigle, who also appear in this Top 5.
Also worth a listen (in my rather humble opinion) are:
- Elvis Costello (The Man!) - Season 2, Episode 1
- The Submarines - Season 2, Episode 8 (nice backing to this one)
- Jenny Lewis and Johnathan Rice - Season 2, Episode 11
- Randy Newman - Season 3, Episode 1
- Man Man - Season 3, Episode 8
And I haven't even mentioned that others have included:
- Engelbert Humperdinck (!) - Season 2, Episode 3
- Donovan - Season 3, Episode 4
- Billy Bob Thornton - Season 3, Episode 5
- The Shins - Season 3, Episode 6
- The Decemberists - Season 3, Episode 10
Is it 4.20 already?
Posted by Divinyl at 4:23 PM
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
Monday, November 5, 2007
unwinding ribbon. A streamer cast and caught with joy."
Posted by Divinyl at 12:53 PM
Sunday, November 4, 2007
Saturday, November 3, 2007
Posted by Divinyl at 12:19 PM
Posted by Divinyl at 1:41 AM
Friday, November 2, 2007
Last night I went to see Vin Garbutt at The Sage, Gateshead. It cost me the princely sum of £3.50! Not bad to see two acts (support came in the form of Jez Lowe) in a beautiful venue methinks. This was the third time I have seen Vin live - my first as a child dragged along by my mother (I think she had a spare ticket or something) - and he never fails to impress.
The title of this blog is a line he came out with during this recent gig, and a prime example of his inter-song witticisms. This, unbeknownst to me beforehand, was his 60th birthday concert and so, as he took to the stage, he was greeted by most of the audience singing Happy Birthday.
So, I hear most of you ask, who on earth is Vin Garbutt? Well, he is a folk singer from Middlesbrough. Born in South Bank (still Middlesbrough, not London!), he became a professional musician aged 21 and has been slogging away ever since. He tours the world each year and sells out gigs across the globe...the one last night included.
Yet most people never seem to have even heard his name. Unless they are particularly into folk music...Vin is a big name, probably one of the biggest, on the British folk scene. He even won the Best Live Act at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards in 2001. And he is a proper shaggy-haired, penny whistle-playing folkster; this is trad folk (yet not just trad songs...most of the songs are written by Mr Garbutt himself). These are songs about real people's lives and hardships, which tackle the big issues out there, such as asylum-seeking, working for pennies, nature (and its destruction), and coal and potash mining.
The lyrics are intelligent and thought-provoking, as well as humorous in places. My favourites on this occasion were from Land Of Three Rivers ("In the land of three rivers I'm longing to be/Where the Tyne, Wear and Tees meet the North's rolling sea") and Punjabi Girl ("I never thought I'd fall for someone from another world/Until I met and fell in love with a dark Punjabi girl").
As someone who comes from my home town (which, although recently voted the worst place in Britain by Location, Location, Location, I am very fond of and nostalgic about. It does have its merits - beautiful countryside and seaside towns nearby, friendly people etc. But I digress...this is not the intended topic of this blog post!) and sings about it proudly, I always find the 'local' lyrical references particularly poignant. The first of the above quoted lyrics exemplifies the pride people feel in this region...their region; affinity with it really means something to people of the North East (despite what the otherwise lovely Kirstie Allsopp might have to say). It is a region that is truly in our hearts.
Punjabi Girl I found really quite touching as, despite being lovely, warm people, the folk of Middlesbrough are not a people I consider to be (obviously I generalise hugely) especially open-minded in their cultural beliefs. This song, therefore, evoked for me the sentiment of someone overcoming the preconceptions he had previously held...sadly, in the song, their families were not able to do this, but love still reigned :o) I seriously struggled not to cry on several occasions during the gig.
I laughed too. As I said previously, Vin is a very witty and likeable man. The one that made me laugh the most was:
"...my current cd. I'm one of very few artists to sell flavoured cds"
This obviously works best aloud due to the homonyms, but I'm sure you can imagine.
There was also a great cover of the song Teesbay by Bob Fortune, which evokes an image of a city on the sea, made up of boats and liners...a city that is always in flux, but always alive with sparkling lights.
He's an excellent live act and I will definitely go to see him again in the future (and hope that he sings my favourite song of his, If I Had A Son, which he didn't on this occasion). Perhaps, however, as a friend I bumped into observed, this was not the best venue for him. The Sage is absolutely stunning, but there just isn't that proper folk club sing-along atmosphere...it feels too formal.
Try to catch him and see what you think...I seriously doubt you'll come away unimpressed (or even without a cd in your hand - I never seem to! This time it was his latest Persona...Grata). And no excuses about where you live...this man has played everywhere!
Vin's MySpace (I can't believe he has a MySpace profile! Check out the song Philippino Maid on there)
And a (sometimes quite cheesy) video to give you a better idea of who he is:
Posted by Divinyl at 8:29 PM