mp3: Mercy - Duffy
mp3: Rockferry - Duffy
mp3: Breaking My Own Heart - Duffy
Duffy on MySpace
Posted by Divinyl at 11:05 PM
Posted by Divinyl at 8:26 PM
Wandsworth's The Correspondents make me want to dance! And nothing makes me want to dance...well, except for maybe The Jackson 5 and I Want You Back!
The tunes on their MySpace page are seriously kick ass and they sound like they'd be great fun live...if I could find out where they're playing! There also doesn't seem to be a way to actually own any of their music yet...either in 'get your sticky mitts on it' or download form, but as soon as there is, I'm there!
Describing themselves as "1930s Hip Hop", throwing in some swing and big band sounds, as well as some nifty turntablism, this is proper catchy stuff. In places it reminds me a lot of Chumbawamba (back when they were good) or The Avalanches...with some foot-shuffling, scuffling ska thrown in. And you just have to hear their version of The Jungle Book's I Wanna Be Like You!
They are DJ Chuckles (aka Tim Cole) and Ian Bruce, the former being the DJ/producer and the latter MC/singer/general trouble maker and they site such diverse influences as Ella Fitzgerald, Fatboy Slim and Donovan.
Their story, as told on their MySpace blog:
"The Correspondents formed in a small coffee shop in the French Riviera while waiting for the bar to open. They both set eyes upon the same unfinished glass of 1987 Bordeaux, and after an extremely gentlemanly yet dubiously romantic cuffuffle, managed to spill it down Ian's hand tailored tweed waistcoat. A crime Chuckles is still paying for today.
The Correspondents found that large quantities of port, Swing and Hip Hop go surprising well together.
The Correspondents found that while decks will skip, sound systems will cut out and microphones will feedback... Ian's two tone spats will without fail maintain the contrast of the ying-yang.
The Correspondents spent an illustrious couple of years peddling imitation moonshine in a Glaswegian suburb.
The Correspondents thought about becoming a Phil Collins tribute act... But then thought that time is better spent doing just about anything else.
The Correspondents have heard a rumour that Ian hangs his tie collection on a rhinoceros horn he acquired from an ex-pat colonial adventurer he met once in his local... This is nearly true.
The Correspondents realise that lying is bad, so want to tell you that really they just met in South London."
Catch them now and you can say you were there at from the start...they have only 121 friends and 9 comments on their MySpace page.
(P.s. Apologies to all for my dreadfully sporadic posting, and replying to messages, of late...there is a lot going on in Divinyl World, outside of Blogland...no immediate promises of any improvements on this, but I'm still knocking around and will get back on the horse eventually!)
Posted by Divinyl at 3:00 AM
Album artwork by Katy Horan
Whilst we are (kind of) on the subject of Kristin Hersh, have you checked out CASH Music recently? Kristin has now released three songs over there, and Donita Sparks and Xiu Xiu have also joined up. Keep your eye on it, as it's all getting pretty exciting!
Posted by Divinyl at 9:09 PM
Posted by Divinyl at 9:07 PM
Posted by Divinyl at 9:15 PM
And I may as well throw in Shelley with The Buzzcocks singing Ever Fallen In Love (With Somone You Shouldn't)...a classic. And it even has Sir Jim'll of Saville at the end of the clip! Seriously guys, what more could you ask for? ;o)
Posted by Divinyl at 6:32 PM
Unless you have been whiling away your time under a boulder, you will no doubt, by now, have seen the new MacBook Air from Apple. You are also likely to have seen - and heard- the television advertisement. Apple have been savvy in their choice of sounds once again, as with Leslie Feist's 1234 in their iPod Nano ad. This time, they have plumped for Yael Naim. The song that everyone and his/her dog has been Googling furiously for (long before now) is New Soul and, well, is just gorgeous.
French-Israeli Naim was born in Paris in 1978, but moved to Israel, not far from Tel Aviv, aged four. There she fell in love with the piano and the rest, as they say, is history. New Soul comes from her latest, and sophomore, solo album, which is eponymously titled (her debut being the appallingly-titled In A Man's Womb in 2001) and was released on 22nd October 2007. It was recorded in the studio of her Paris apartment over the course of two years and owes a great deal to West Indian drummer and multi-instrumentalist David Donatien.
On Yael Naim, she sings in not only English, as per the song you have all heard, but also French and Hebrew. And, for me, it is the last of these that results in the most beguiling of her songs...it's not a language you often hear used in contemporary folk-pop music!
New Soul, as I am writing this, is currently the 39th most popular download at iTunes UK, although I understand that it's at #1 in the US. And you know what? The album is great too (although that is nowhere to be seen in the UK top 100 on iTunes). These are not songs that you will find yourself humming or singing along to, but as a whole the album is really rather nice. A lot of the songs sound like lullabies, so it is not one I would recommend as driving music. My concern is that, although I like this album from the five or so listens through I've had so far, her profile will be raised so greatly due to the ad that she will become like a Norah Jones or Katie Melua that I never want to hear again.
It's not that I am some obscure music snob (as this certainly isn't...used by Apple!), you understand, it is just that when something becomes so omnipresent the patina wears thin and it starts to grate...think Dido.
I can appreciate a good pop song...hell, I have Crazy Chick and My LA Ex on my iPod; they are catchy, well-written tunes...good at what they do and hitting the metaphorical nail. Another great pop ditty is Toxic, by the ever more pitiful Britney Spears...and that is covered here by Naim! (Nope, it wasn't just a random tangent). It's a lovely, ballad-y version and plenty nice to listen to but, shoot me for saying this if you wish, in this case I prefer Britney. And that is not something you will hear me say often! Have a listen for yourselves...what do you think?
And I feel that I can't leave without mentioning it, although it matters not a jot to the music, but she's certainly rather easy on the eye too!
Posted by Divinyl at 6:16 PM
Video: Willie Nelson - Cowboys Are Frequently, Secretly (Fond Of Each Other)
Check out the lyrics to the song here (the reference to 'Pansy Division' is not homophobic...they are a Queercore band that recorded the song in 1995!).
Whilst I'm here, it only seems right to mention Nelson's song He Was A Friend Of Mine, which was used in the film Brokeback Mountain (and which is a great song)...i.e. from a song about gay cowboys to a song used in a film about gay cowboys, and both from the same artist.
Posted by Divinyl at 12:15 AM
This is not the kind of CD that I normally would have come across, but it is really pretty good. Coolhouse is not a high budget release, and therefore it sounds like Hickey has been able to record exactly what he wanted, without any record company interferences. The music we hear is honest...it is not 'try hard' and there are no alternative agendas.
All of the songs (12 of them) were written by Hickey, who has played with various outfits in his time - from Chessnut in the 70s, to The Alsations in the 80s, and others including Keep The Faith and The Critters. Coolhouse is his second solo album, after his 2002 debut with Cheap Cabaret. It was recorded in Hollywood...erm, that's County Wicklow folks! Yep, this is Irish music through and through; yet it is not just that, there are many other influences to be heard here.
The opening, and title, track, Coolhouse, is a sultry number about hot nights and cold beer. The vocal here reminds of Chris Rea or Joe Cocker, and there is even a chorus akin to Lou Reed's "coloured girls"...except here it is "la la lah", as opposed to "do do doo"! Those backing vocals come courtesy of Sue Jefferson and Lou Holden of Choral Sex, and work nicely with Hickey's voice, however can sometimes be a bit distracting, and could have done with being a little quieter in relation to Hickey's lead vocals. This is not a big criticism however and, all in all, this is a great opener and a track that you will want to hear again.
Second track And When I Walk is completely different in tone. A simple song (promising "no more funny stuff"), this has even more "la la lahs" and you begin to really hear Hickey's Irish twang.
Third is, for me, the stand-out track of the album, and is called Heuston Station. This is no Homeward Bound but, written at a station, this is the most obvious song to compare it to...well, except for the Littlest Hobo theme tune (which, laugh if you like, I love!), due to the lyrics "I'm not searchin'/I'm just wandering on".
My Love and Me is a lovely song about, surprisingly, love. The sentiments here are sweet, no frills and affectionate. By this, track 4, things are beginning to sound more Irish, musically-speaking...a little bit Saw Doctors, a certain hue of Shane McGowan (although, despite singing about beer on his opening track, Hickey does not sound like he's put quite as much moonshine away as McGowan!).
Straying into slightly political territory is track 5, In God We Trust, which Paul tells us a little about on his website,
"In 1986 there was a divorce referendum in Ireland that was defeated by religious power. I felt so angry, at the time, and I wrote this song about the hyprocrisy of the whole event."
A refreshing angle, then, from a country so veined with religion.
Jimmy Cliff comes to town on next track Watch Out Love. The reggae-lite backing here reminds me of Cliff's song Vietnam and has me bobbing my head along each time it comes around.
I can imagine that this album sells very well at gigs as, from what is recorded here, it sounds like Hickey would be good live. As I said before, this is honest music with no pretences. The playing is also very capable and, I can't think of a better way to put it but, I think the atmosphere at a Paul Hickey gig would be a good, happy, friendly one.
There are six further tracks that I haven't discussed, but I think that I have rambled on enough for now! Suffice to say that they are all, also, very listenable and, although this is not the usual kind of music I have been listening to recently, I've played this album a good few times.
The full track listing for Coolhouse is:
02. And When I Walk
03. Heuston Station
04. My Love and Me
05. In God We Trust
06. Watch Out Love
08. If I Could Sail That Ocean Again
09. Teach Me To Fly
10. Live Before You Die
11. Revolution On Their Minds
12. See You Again
Posted by Divinyl at 10:05 PM
February is the fourth annual LGBT History Month in the UK, so, in honour of that, here we have some lesbian-themed songs for your delectation. There are 20 of 'em and each song is downloadable by right clicking on the title and choosing 'save target as'.
BD Woman's Blues - Lucille Bogan (from 1935! The "BD" standing for 'bull dyke')
Carolyn - Phranc (an amusing one)
Crimson and Clover - Joan Jett and The Blackhearts
Damn, I Wish I Was Your Lover - Sophie B. Hawkins
Genius - The Murmurs
High School Confidential - Rough Trade
I Kissed A Girl - Jill Sobule
If It Isn't Her - Ani DiFranco (for all the B's out there!)
Iowa - Dar Williams
Lick It - God-des and She (warning - the lyrics to this one are very explicit)
One More Hour - Sleater-Kinney
Prove It On Me - Ma Rainey (another one from an early girl)
Rebel Girl - Bikini Kill
Rim Me Isabella - NEED (surely the best title for a song ever??)
She's Amazing - Team Dresch
She's My Heroine - Skunk Anansie
She's So Lovely - The Butchies
Start Leading Me On - The Cliks
Tell Me Does She Love the Bass - Lesbians On Ecstasy
Where the Girls Are - Gossip
And a further 10 that aren't really lesbian songs, but could be with some interpretation!
Christobel - Joan As Police Woman
For Me and My Gal - Judy Garland (for all friends of Dorothy - what would a list of gay songs be without Judy?)
Gloria - Patti Smith
Just Like A Woman - Charlotte Gainsbourg and Calexico
Let Your Loss Be Your Lesson - Alison Krauss
Oh My God - Pink, featuring Peaches
Past the Mission - Tori Amos (just for the line "I once knew a hot girl")
Secret Love - Doris Day (a coincidence that, in Calamity Jane, she sings this as she is shacking up with Katie? Calam was a butch dyke if ever I saw one! Come on, there is even a line about daffodils!)
Starpower - Sonic Youth
When She Loved Me - Sarah McLachlan (actually a song from a toy to its owner, from Toy Story 2 of all places...but taken out of context...)
And I shall leave you for now with a WTF?? I can't believe this book (below) exists!
Posted by Divinyl at 9:30 PM
I can tell you very little about Kellie The Eagle...except that I think it sounds good! This is the new name for the artist formerly known as Joy Tourette (she changed the name on 9th January 2008...hey, at least she opted for words, as opposed to some dumb squiggle!), who comes from Norwich, England, played her first solo gig on 20th July 2007 and...actually, that really is all I know.
Her music is beat-driven electro, with some folky influences...a bit Peaches, a bit PJ, vocals-wise, in places, a little bit Lamb. And what I've heard so far is rather tasty.
Have a listen for yourselves (all mp3s free and legal):
Go to Monkey Love Records to buy the Joy Tourette EP Cassiopeia - either as a CD or to download.
Track listing for that -
02. Good Vibrations
Whilst you are there, you could have a gander at Kellie's artist page (still under the name 'Joy Tourette' at the moment)
Visit Kellie The Eagle at MySpace.
Posted by Divinyl at 4:14 PM