Archive for the ‘ALBUMS’ Category

the invisible comes to us - out now

Anna & Elizabeth’s “The Invisible Comes to Us” taps into their imagination-fuelled arsenal to present an extraordinary work of unique, genre-bending storytelling and sonic exploration. Lauded by many well-known musicians and widely loved for their moving minimalist arrangements, Anna & Elizabeth’s partnership pioneers new ways of presenting old songs and stories to modern audiences. Co-producer Benjamin Lazar Davis (Cuddle Magic) and legendary avant-rock drummer Jim White (The Dirty Three, Xylouris White) assist in the duo’s vision of breathing life and new perspective into the crackling and disintegrating recordings and artifacts of the past. Rarely does an album based on traditional folk music resonate so strongly in modern times.

Official music video for “Mother in the Graveyard” from ‘The Invisible Comes to Us

“Mother In The Graveyard” was collected by Margaret MacArthur, recording Hildreth Brown in 1961 in Brattleboro Vermont. MacArthur recorded her own version for her Folkways Record ‘Folksongs of Vermont.’

Anna & Elizabeth is Anna Roberts-Gevalt and Elizabeth LaPrelle

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We’ve just released a collection of 26 demos/etc. from the making of Transangelic Exodus (2018) – we ask you to PAY WHAT YOU CAN/WANT for it to support us in a time of cancelled shows and lost income (we’ll divide the proceeds amongst the band and our teeny touring crew). It’s a kind of audio “making of” document for you if you are a fan of that record… thanks all…

Get it from https://ezrafurman.bandcamp.com/

Demos, Rehearsals and Shots in the Dark for Transangelic Exodus

Welcome to a collection of malformed reject recordings, the unpolished refuse of the process of making our 2018 LP, Transangelic Exodus. I’m proud of the final version of the record, but I always yearned to let people glimpse some of the strange process of making it.

We all knew that we wanted to approach making this record differently than we had our other albums. In the past we’d usually listen to my solo acoustic recording of a song, talk about what we might do with it, get the band all together in a room and go with our best instincts of how to bring it to life. This time, we wanted to abandon our first instincts. Tim’s idea was that I should get together one on one with each band member and see what we came up with together when the others weren’t watching. Try out different combinations of band members and think of ourselves as a different band, playing for a different audience, or no audience. We wanted to get weird. Then we’d pool our findings and try to make a record of maximal impact, maximal originality and excitement.

So what we have here are some of the more listenable or potentially interesting artifacts of that process, which began in 2016 and really got going in early 2017. The last recordings featured here are from around March 2017—after that point we were working on the actual tracks for the record, where (as you can hear on the album) we made all kind of other steps forward, toward what I consider the best thing I’ve ever made.

This is for fans of Transangelic Exodus who want to hear a little bit of the process of mutation along the way. There’s a lot more that I won’t ever show you. Also, I’ve only included versions of the songs that made it onto the final album; there were many more songs we left behind as we realized they wouldn’t be part of the best record we could make. I also left off most of the solo acoustic demos; I kept one or two that showed how much the songs progressed from my initial idea for them. But I wanted to keep the whole experience close to the average length of a feature film. One shouldn’t spend too much longer than that being this up close and personal with my psyche.

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I have catalogued the tracks with the personnel that appears on that track, plus my best guess at a date of the recording. The band members (The Visions) are: Ben Joseph, Jorgen Jorgensen, Sam Durkes and Tim Sandusky.

I’m very grateful that the weird passionate fictional-conceptual record we made has some fans that appreciate it. This is a little X-Ray of the process if you’re curious. The fact that you’ve let my dark hopeful dreams into your heart means so, so much to me. I hope those dreams are as useful to you as they have been to me.

Love, Ezra Furman

PLEASE BUY AND SUPPORT THIS SUPERB ARTIST

Everything changed for The Beths when they released their debut album, Future Me Hates Me, in 2018. The indie rock band had long been nurtured within Auckland, New Zealand’s tight-knit music scene, working full-time during the day and playing music with friends after hours. Full of uptempo pop rock songs with bright, indelible hooks, the LP garnered them critical acclaim from outlets like Pitchfork and Rolling Stone, and they set out for their first string of shows overseas. They quit their jobs, said goodbye to their hometown, and devoted themselves entirely to performing across North America and Europe. They found themselves playing to crowds of devoted fans and opening for acts like Pixies and Death Cab for Cutie. Almost instantly, The Beths turned from a passion project into a full-time career in music.

Songwriter and lead vocalist Elizabeth Stokes worked on what would become The Beths’ second LP, “Jump Rope Gazers”, in between these intense periods of touring. Like the group’s earlier music, the album tackles themes of anxiety and self-doubt with effervescent power pop choruses and rousing backup vocals, zeroing in on the communality and catharsis that can come from sharing stressful situations with some of your best friends. Stokes’s writing on Jump Rope Gazers grapples with the uneasy proposition of leaving everything and everyone you know behind on another continent, chasing your dreams while struggling to stay close with loved ones back home.

“If you’re at a certain age, all your friends scatter to the four winds,” Stokes says. “We did the same thing. When you’re home, you miss everybody, and when you’re away, you miss everybody. We were just missing people all the time.”

With songs like the rambunctious “Dying To Believe” and the tender, shoegazey “Out of Sight,” The Beths reckon with the distance that life necessarily drives between people over time. People who love each other inevitably fail each other. “I’m sorry for the way that I can’t hold conversations/They’re such a fragile thing to try to support the weight of,” Stokes sings on “Dying to Believe.” The best way to repair that failure, in The Beths’ view, is with abundant and unconditional love, no matter how far it has to travel. On “Out of Sight,” she pledges devotion to a dearly missed friend: “If your world collapses/I’ll be down in the rubble/I’d build you another,” she sings.

“It was a rough year in general, and I found myself saying the words, ‘wish you were here, wish I was there,’ over and over again,” she says of the time period in which the album was written. Touring far from home, The Beths committed themselves to taking care of each other as they were trying at the same time to take care of friends living thousands of miles away. They encouraged each other to communicate whenever things got hard, and to pay forward acts of kindness whenever they could. That care and attention shines through on Jump Rope Gazers, where the quartet sounds more locked in than ever. Their most emotive and heartfelt work to date, Jump Rope Gazers stares down all the hard parts of living in communion with other people, even at a distance, while celebrating the ferocious joy that makes it all worth it–a sentiment we need now more than ever.

releases July 10th, 2020

The Beths
Guitar: Elizabeth Stokes, Jonathan Pearce
Bass Guitar: Benjamin Sinclair
Drums: Tristan Deck
Vocals, Percussion: All

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“Sometimes I feel like we’re just sleepwalking through our lives. We’re not really present.” Hazel English wants us to open our eyes. Through her shimmering, daydream-pop, the California based singer-songwriter is on a mission to rattle the cages of our very existence, asking us to dig deep and ask challenging questions of ourselves. “Wake UP!”, her debut album, is a call to arms: an attempt to “make people become more aware and mindful,” she says.

Since debuting with bittersweet single ‘Never Going Home’ in 2016, the Sydney-born artist has felt the urge to connect with her listeners in a meaningful way. Blending wistful, candid lyricism with jangling psych and beach-pop sounds, English’s compelling song-writing has earned her over 25 million streams, airplay on BBC Radio 1, 6Music and Beats, praise from Lauren Laverne and Annie Mac, and press acclaim with double EP Just Give In/Never Going Home labelled by The 405 as “one of the strongest records of the year”. 2019 saw her gain an even wider audience after touring with Lord Huron and Death Cab For Cutie.

Where the double EP was very much a lo-fi, bedroom-produced record, English left her home setup behind in favour of roomy recording studios and tapped up session players for her debut album. Bigger, lusher, and more live-sounding, the LP shows a new side to English: one that conveys the joy and excitement of collaboration. Drawing from a more grandiose sonic palette while pulling on the same sun-kissed thread of her previous work, half of the record was made in LA with super-producer Justin Raisen (Sky Ferreira, Charli XCX, Angel Olsen), while English flew to Atlanta to work with Ben H. Allen (Deerhunter, M.I.A, Animal Collective) on the other half.

Listening to the record, it should come as no surprise that ‘Revolver’-era Beatles, The Mamas & The Papas, The Zombies and Jefferson Airplane were all at the forefront of her mind while recording. “Radical messages need a raw and vibrant backdrop to pop,” she says, and she’s kept her trademark sunshine-filled sound that fits her Los Angeles dwelling, but with bigger, stirring choruses. It’s a testament to English’s writing style and ear for a hook that she won’t make anything that she couldn’t play stripped back to its bones, refusing to rely on production to carry a song. Standouts like the infectious ‘Off My Mind’ and ‘Like A Drug’, with its swirling hypnosis, find English’s songcraft at its most accomplished.

Lead single ‘Shaking’ wears its ‘60s psych influences on its paisley patterned sleeve. Written by Hazel and frequent collaborator Blake Stranathan (Lana Del Rey), it was a painstaking effort: “I just couldn’t rest until I had gotten it to a place where it felt like I could sleep at night. And I’m really glad I did,” she says. Tackling themes of power, lust, manipulation, pleasure, and control, its Erin S. Murray-directed video strikes right at the heart of this idea, finding English as the charismatic ringleader of her own Manson-esque cult, manipulating her subjects in a baby doll dress and beehive hairstyle. “It presents the promise of a spiritual awakening as a kind of seduction,” she says.

An open sufferer of anxiety, English wrote the record following something of an existential crisis. Stuck and isolated, she felt like life was becoming a series of mundane objectives. She began asking herself: “am I happy? Do I like the direction I’m going in life? Am I engaged with my community? Do I feel connected to others?” English realised that the answers to all these questions were, for her, resounding nos. The album’s title became a kind of personal mantra to her – “a reminder to wake up and be present in a time where we are used to switching off and looking for constant entertainment,” she says. “[‘Wake UP!] will mean something different to everyone. Like, oh yeah, I’ve been sleeping on this goal of mine, or I need to spend more time with my kids. It’s for whatever people need to confront.”

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Obsessing over old movies and vintage clothing since the age of 15, English took cues from surrealism, dadaism and the writings of sci-fi novelist Philip K. Dick for the record. She wrote words before she became a musician – before a student exchange programme prompted her San Francisco move, English was studying creative writing in Melbourne and writing poetry prolifically. After reading Guy Debord’s 1967 book The Society of the Spectacle, English began pondering our obsession with self-image. In it, Debord considers how we get caught up in the ‘spectacle’: How am I perceived by others? How can I make it seem like I’m successful? English draws parallels from the ‘60s text with our social media-crazed present as “essentially creating a fabricated version of yourself and making sure it seems like you’re living this amazing life. It’s not a true experience. That just makes us unhappy, I think.”

Confronting issues with the rampant, consumerist nature of capitalism and “our human propensity for dissatisfaction,” Wake UP! also explores power struggles, with English looking at how shifting dynamics affect relationships, be it in the music industry or in romantic life. The record dives into unbalanced power dynamics, be it “feeling stuck in a one-sided relationship where the other person cares less,” “needing space in order to seek power within myself, or feeling like I’m the one holding all the cards in a relationship.”

Wake UP! is a rallying call to our 2020 selves; a reminder of what our core values are, packaged up in a glorious, sparkling record. “I hope I can inspire others to also search for their inner truths and find their own inner strength in the process,” English says. “I wanted to create something really dynamic, and kinda wild.”

releases April 24th 2020

Esoteric Recordings is proud to announce the release of a new re-mastered four-disc deluxe expanded boxed set limited edition (comprising 3 CDs and a DVD) of Axe Victim the legendary 1974 debut album by Be Bop Deluxe.

Recorded in the Spring of 1974 at several studios in London, AXE VICTIM was released by EMI’s Harvest label in June 1974 to much critical praise and introduced Be Bop Deluxe to the record buying public. The album featured the band’s first line-up of Bill Nelson (vocals, lead guitar, acoustic guitar, piano), Ian Parkin (rhythm & acoustic guitars, organ), Rob Bryan (bass guitar, vocals) and Nicholas Chatterton-Dew (drums).

Axe Victim was a fine debut and was championed by DJ John Peel (who had been an advocate of Bill Nelson’s work since the release of the rudimentary self-released album “Northern Dream” in 1971) as one of his favourite releases of 1974. Although Bill Nelson was still finding his creative feet, Axe Victim featured some fine material including the classic ‘Adventures in a Yorkshire Landscape’, along with other fine material such as ‘Night Creatures’, ‘Third Floor Heaven’ (which featured Babe Ruth vocalist Jenny Haan guesting), ‘Jets at Dawn’ and the superb ‘Darkness (L’Immoraliste)’.

This expanded reissue has been newly re-mastered from the original master tapes and features an additional 41 bonus tracks drawn from stunning new 5.1 surround sound & stereo mixes of the album from the original multi-track tapes by award winning engineer Stephen W. Tayler, along with two complete BBC Radio One sessions from November 1973 and May 1974 (including the previously unreleased “lost” John Peel session from November 1973), both sides of the rare Smile Records single ‘Teenage Archangel’ b/w ‘Jets at Dawn’ released by the band in 1973 prior to being signed to EMI. Also included is the complete previously unreleased Be Bop Deluxe audition session for Decca Records from December 1973 (mixed from the original 16 track tapes by Stephen W Tayler) & previously unreleased out-takes from the original album sessions.

Another highlight of this limited-edition boxed set is the lavishly illustrated 68-page book with many previously unseen photographs and an essay of recollections by Bill Nelson. Additionally, the set includes a facsimile Record Store poster and postcards. This special deluxe limited edition boxed set of Axe Victim is a fitting celebration of a wonderful debut album and a tribute to the creative vision of Bill Nelson.

 A DELUXE 4 DISC LIMITED EDITION BOXED SET OF THE CLASSIC 1974 DEBUT ALBUM BY BE BOP DELUXE COMPRISING
3 CDs and A DVD (NTSC / REGION FREE)
• NEWLY REMASTERED FROM THE ORIGINAL MASTER TAPES
• FEATURING AN ADDITIONAL 41 BONUS TRACKS DRAWN FROM NEW 5.1 SURROUND SOUND & STEREO MIXES FROM THE ORIGINAL MULTI-TRACK MASTER TAPES, BBC RADIO SESSIONS FROM 1973 / 1974, INCLUDING THE PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED “LOST” BBC JOHN PEEL SESSION FROM NOVEMBER 1973, BOTH SIDES OF THE RARE SMILE RECORDS ‘TEENAGE ARCHANGEL’ SINGLE FROM 1973, COMPLETE (& NEWLY RE-MIXED) PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED BE BOP DELUXE DECCA SESSION FROM DECEMBER 1973 & PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED OUT-TAKES FROM THE ALBUM SESSIONS
• INCLUDES A LAVISHLY ILLUSTRATED 68 PAGE BOOK WITH MANY PREVIOUSLY UNSEEN PHOTOGRAPHS &
NEW ESSAY BY BILL NELSON / ALSO INCLUDES A REPLICA RECORD STORE POSTER & POSTCARDS

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The record is called “Solid Love”. Half of that title, at least, should be immediately apprehensible when you listen. The songs Dan Knishkowy writes and sings for Adeline Hotel are tender and frank, disarming in their commitment to treating the sweetness of love and friendship with the gravity and wonder such a subject deserves. The “solid” part might take a little longer to sink in. The band—guitarists Knishkowy and Ben Seretan, bassist Andrew Stocker, pianist Winston Cook-Wilson, drummer Sean Mullins, with a host of others joining in here and there—plays softly and spaciously, with as much emphasis on listening as on making themselves heard. The sound they conjure together is less concrete than the album title lets on: a memory of chance encounter; a few dust motes glowing in a shaft of sunlight, then drifting away from the bedroom window.

After years of releasing quasi-solo records with rotating casts of accompanists, Knishkowy assembled a settled band for the first time on Solid Love, each member of which has their own song-writing practice: “Five people with loud playing personalities, playing as quietly as possible,” as he puts it. In the un-showy intricacy of its arrangements, and in Knishkowy’s plainspoken delivery, Solid Love sometimes recalls Jim O’Rourke’s songwriter albums; in its languid gait and jazzy rhythmic elisions, it may bring to mind John Martyn. Verses blooming into choruses, chords changing with few hard distinctions between them—the songs revel in a kind of musical ambiguity that only comes when the players are intimately attuned to their companions, a looseness that seems to arrive paradoxically from deep togetherness. “‘Solid’ is less definitive, more a changing of state,” Knishkowy says. “On the verge of crystallizing, or beginning to melt away.”

Solid Love out May 8th, 2020

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“The New Abnormal” is the long awaited new album from The Strokes, and the band’s first album in seven years. “The New Abnormal” is The Strokes’ sixth studio album and was recorded at Shangri-La Studios in Malibu, California, with legendary producer Rick Rubin . The New Abnormal is a long awaited new album release from The Strokes,. The album’s cover artwork is a painting called ‘Bird on Money,’ by famed artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. The album sees the Strokes roll back the years with an album of lo-fi intimate nuggets full of melodies that mark the Strokes at their best.

It’s been 19 years since their seminal debut ‘Is This It’, and with album number six, ‘The New Abnormal’, they’re still five of the slickest white men in guitar music – but now they’re older and wiser, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. “I am having a selfishly good time,” Casablancas admitted at that gig, before double-checking: “But are you also having a good time?”

The answer, applied to ‘The New Abnormal’, is an easy yes, as while the album explores a few new directions, it’s still often fairly recognisable. The best stuff sounds familiar – few people ever have, or ever will, write a better riff than that of ‘Last Nite’ – and the worst, only peppered in small amounts, feels beyond experimental, as if pointedly ignoring what everyone else in indie rock is doing to stay fresh nowadays. Instead Julian and co. often settle into an afterlife of cantankerous synths only belonging to The Strokes.

The Strokes have now officially announced their new album. It’s called The New Abnormal, it was produced by Rick Rubin, and following the 2016 release of their Future Present Past EP on Julian Casablancas’ own Cult Records — it comes out April 10th via their longtime major label RCA. The album artwork (above) is a Basquiat, and the first single is “At the Door,” which is on the atmospheric side but singing-and-songwriting-wise sounds like classic Julian Casablancas. Not a bad first taste.

The Strokes also played a Bernie Sanders rally in New Hampshire last night and they debuted new songs during their set and covered the Talking Heads’ “Burning Down the House.”

he Strokes have shared a second single off their upcoming first album in seven years, The New Abnormal (due 4/10 via RCA). It’s called “Bad Decisions,” and it kinda sounds like the middle ground between “I Melt With You,” “Dancing With Myself,” and Is This It-era Strokes. The metronomic, guitar-led ‘Bad Decisions’ and ‘Why Are Sundays So Depressing’ – are sandwiched between more jarring offerings.

Take ‘Brooklyn Bridge to Chorus’ and ‘At The Door’. The former is a disco-synth bop with lively vocals and decidedly self-determining lyrics (“I want another day/I want another break/I want another start”). It’s not about what fans crave any more; these words may move you, but were ultimately written for the person who first sang them. The latter, drum-less celestial number, was the record’s first single, announcing a stark change of pace for the band. It now stands as one of the strongest tracks due to its commitment to the new mood, and some of the most contemplative lyrics. “Use me like an oar / And get yourself to shore’, Casablancas sings to someone we will never know.

The Strokes have always kept their feelings at arm’s length, but there are traces of deeper introspection on The New Abnormal’. There’s striking cinematic beauty to ‘Selfless’ and ‘Not The Same Anymore’.

‘Selfless’ plays like a daydream, opening with a waltzing guitar, and there’s plain but piercing romance in Casablancas’ lyrics. “Please don’t be long/I want you now” he sings over a wailing refrain that confirms The Strokes remain some of the best riff-makers around. Casablancas’ vocals are diamond-sharp on ‘Not The Same Anymore’, as he captures the inevitably of ageing, proving he’s still underestimated as a lyricist. “Now the door slams shut/The child prisoner grows up” comes the haunting confessional.

But Casablancas can’t be kept away from his beloved ‘80s synths for too long. This is more convincing electronica than most of 2013’s ‘Comedown Machine’ offered, but still weaker than the three-for-three hit-making albums ‘Is This It’, ‘Room on Fire’ and ‘First Impressions of Earth’. ‘Eternal Summer’ is as close as this album comes to a misfire. It’s a poppy, seasonal ode with a brain-melting falsetto, a tinny chorus and workmanlike lyrics such as “summer is coming / it’s here to stay”, which would be fine they weren’t delivered quite so earnestly. It bears the messy energy of the guy nobody knows in the crowd at a festival, who caught sunstroke and let his one canned cider go to his head.

The Strokes‘ first album in seven years, the third single is here. It’s called “Brooklyn Bridge To Chorus,” and it’s a dose of glittery, disco-y new wave, but done in an unmistakably Strokes way.

The one Strokes album that feels decidedly absent is 2011’s ‘Angles’, which surprisingly triumphed with its psychedelic influences and existential lyrics – one of the few times the Strokes successfully committed to something entirely new. The tracks that bookend ‘The New Abnormal’ were first teased at live shows over the past year. The opening seconds of ‘The Adults Are Talking’ might scare people off with abrasive electronic drum samples, until Casablancas comes in with a mellow vocal. As it develops, it’s unmistakably top-tier stuff. The analogue beats of ‘Ode to the Mets’ promise to close the album in similar fashion, before the song blooms into a slow-burn ballad, the central riff sounding as if put through a wind machine.

There’s plenty to praise on the record, even though the listener has been certified as a second thought. Like its cover, the Jean-Michel Basquiat artwork ‘Bird On Money’, it’s spiky but quite stunning. This is a cool album. The Strokes ‘The New Abnormal’ Available 10th April 2020.

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The first show of the band’s four night stand at Chicago Stadium begins with a series of loud firecracker blasts as the band takes the stage. Robert Plant is quick to respond, saying “listen, before we start, can I ask you one thing?… can you stop throwin’ those firecrackers, cause we wanna give you a lotta music and we’re not gonna fight with firecrackers, okay? “The Song Remains the Same” is a relentless sonic assault. Plant again asks the crowd to cool it following “Sick Again”.But I’d bet the 20,000 or so people who turned up at the Chicago Stadium Wednesday night for the first of four shows the band is doing there would find their popularity as credible as the group is incredible in its steamroller approach to rock and blues. Purchasing tickets for the shows was a story in itself. It was the 1970’s. When the tickets went on sale, it became a literal war! Broken doors, shattered glass, fighting and fainting girls! Raised seats just above the main floor. This is a band, for instance, that plays for three hours straight, with few dull moments once it gets rolling. Wednesday, it took a couple of songs; the band tends to build to a cumulative effect rather than launching all of its firepower at once. There was Jimmy’s speaker cabinet with the ZoSo symbol! Bonham had a new and beautiful gold metallic kit, waiting in ready, high atop his riser. The stage appeared sharp and clean with banks of lights and the P.A. hung aerially.

Part way into the show lead singer Robert Plant, ace guitarist Jimmy Page appears, turned toward Bonham . He’s in white satin with a dragon design on his shirt’s back. No design on his satin pants. keyboard and bass player John Paul Jones and drummer John Bonham sat in a peaceful row across the front of the stage, doing a segment of quieter ballads in a folky, medieval mood. It was a striking change of pace from what had gone before and would come after, which was the sort of power-rock, extremely loud with a blues base, that Zeppelin handles so well.  Jimmy Page tears through a blistering guitar solo during “Nobody’s Fault But Mine. In My Time of Dying” is plagued by tape issues. After some scary firecracker blasts and shouts of protest from Robert, the show begins. It is quite good. Jimmy’s solo in is excellent in “Since I’ve Been Loving You” is an intense emotional journey. Page shreds wildly through the guitar solo, emphasizing each note as if it were his last. An outstanding performance.

 

John Paul Jones is introduced as “the most debonair member of the band” before “No Quarter”. He and drummer Bonzo further develop the honky tonk interlude during the piano solo.

Page delivers an excellent guitar solo. Unfortunately, a cut in the tape near the end leaves us at the return to the main theme. There is another cut during the final verse. Plant announces “at the front of the stage for the first time,Robert introduces Jonesy as ” The most debonair member of the band. He can speak two languages. John Bonham… looking very suave in a two-piece tuxedo” before Jimmy actually speaks during the acoustic section (“Better to live one day as a king, than a thousand years as a peasant.”), “The Battle of Evermore. Going to California” is introduced as “a tribute to a lady who sings and drives a Mercedes and gets uptight.” Unfortunately, the song is plagued by more tape issues. After singing a bit of Surrender as Page retunes before “Black Country Woman”, Plant jokingly refers to the Black Country as “the land where men are men and sheep are nervous,” to which Page responds “better to live one day as a king than a thousand days as a peasant.”

Page’s guitar is painfully out of tune during White Summer/Black Mountain Side. He spends most of the song trying to compensate for the problem, but to no avail. Plant delivers a powerful performance during Kashmir. His banshee howls threaten to destroy the taper’s equipment. Bonzo is introduced as “our diplomat for peace and good relations” before Over the Top. Unfortunately, the tape suffers from constant volume fluctuations throughout the drum solo. Page has trouble keeping up during Achilles Last Stand. The first few notes of Stairway to Heaven are met with a loud cheer from the crowd. Page’s fingers become entangled in the strings during the guitar solo. The band closes the show with Trampled Underfoot, with Page shredding through an aggressive guitar solo.

Setlist: The Song Remains The Same, (The Rover intro) Sick Again, Nobody’s Fault But Mine, In My Time of Dying, Since I’ve Been Loving You, No Quarter, Ten Years Gone, Battle of Evermore, Going to California, Black Country Woman, Bron-Y-Aur Stomp, White Summer ~ Black Mountainside, Kashmir, (Out On the Tiles intro) Moby Dick, Jimmy Page solo, Achilles Last Stand, Stairway to Heaven, Rock and Roll, Trampled Underfoot.

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Idlewild frontman Roddy Woomble continues his solo career with the release of experimental six track EP ‘Everyday Sun’ which combines minimal electronic beats and soundscapes with existential musings and stream of consciousness poetry. Joining him on this meditative voyage is bandmate Andrew Mitchell, who helped Woomble write each track in stages and create an otherworldly feel. the arty Edinburgh-based angular rock band that emerged in the late ’90s to blossom with commercial success at the turn of the millennium when they began to embrace stringed anthems and a more overtly commercial sound. Woomble has also embarked on a successful solo career, releasing four studio albums since 2006, which allowed him to explore a wider scope of sound though usually rooted in folk. Now, he teams up with his Idlewild band mate Andrew Mitchell to write and record possibly his most ambitious material to date; the Everyday Sun EP.

The Everyday Sun EP, for the most part is cool, dry, and detached, certainly not the anthemic rock or angst of Idlewild, which is thanks in part to the unconventional creative process that saw Woomble adopt something akin to the William S. Burroughs’ cut up method, famously adapted by David Bowie, putting lyrics to the beats and soundscapes created separately by Mitchell. The pair took turns to consider and adapt each other’s contributions, allowing each track to mutate and change in unexpected ways.

Starting with the title track, we are immersed in an alien world that is strangely serene as Woomble picks apart existential questions with a curious detachment. Electric keys are joined by basic beats that beep and flow like the workings of a ventilator, whilst the monotonal vocal delivery completes the feeling of being under the knife in an operating theater. A marked distance from anything previous in either his solo or Idlewild back catalogue, the all-pervasive strangeness is both apparent and yet somehow soothing and the antiseptic smell lingers over most of the six tracks.

The sluggish pace of “Context of Midnight,” with pianos awash in reverb creates a sense of paralysis. This woozy sterile background met with poetic musings feels like losing half remembered morphine dreams upon waking. Before the vocals start, “Straight to Blame” feels like the score to a ’70s hard hitting antihero detective movie before unfolding into something more psychedelic, reminiscent of the experimental freeform writers of beat counter culture.

“Secret For the Last Time” is the only song that feels like the Woomble we are more familiar with, taking a more tradition approach to create a stripped back acoustic led song which sees the introspection change from cold and nervy to become a warm sepia filtered nostalgia. We return to Woomble’s distant planet for “One Minute Out of the World” where low bellowing synths are joined with reflections of how precise moments can have a lasting effect that reverberates around the world.

The EP ends with a truly ambitious 17-minute long experimental echoing abstract poem “RW OC Cuttup,” which was composed by cellist Oliver Coates and saw the pair explore exactly what happens when the dividing line between the traditional and cutting edge blurs by using an algorithm to re-interpret their looped composition. The result is a hypnotic limbo of mental claustrophobia, as Woomble tries to make sense of shape, texture, form, and his surroundings, seemingly stifled by the computer program and condemned to repeat his thoughts and actions endlessly in a digital Nietzschean eternal recurrence. While it’s not exactly the sort of song that is particularly memorable and I can’t imagine many situations you would want to play the whole thing other than helping you focus whilst reading or studying, it is an interesting artistic folly for the purposes of the EP.

On his latest solo album The Deluder, Woomble began to shed his more pastoral woody texture and start to explore a more measured and ethereal sound. But whereas that LP had real heart, Everyday Sun has removed all sense of humanity in favour of total abstraction. Though it shows that the experienced songwriter still has plenty of ideas to play with and is bold in terms of experimentation and expression, it rarely hits the mark and is unlikely to be regarded as amongst his best work. But then, the beauty of the EP as a format is that it allows an artist to try something new to some depth and test the reaction without becoming fully committed or permanently chained to the new sound. (www.roddywoomble.net)

“I greatly enjoyed both of Andrew’s instrumental solo albums, and really liked the idea of trying to read some of my words over his compositions. It was interesting just to have an electronic drumbeat to base my words around…”

Everyday Sun – taken from Roddy Woomble’s forthcoming EP out 2th7 March.

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‘Missive To An Angel From The Halls Of Infamy And Allure’, the forthcoming double solo album by David J is an intensely personal, self deprecating, confessional song cycle which details a period of profound transition. It is intended as a cyclic swan-song, the last track, ‘I Hear Only Silence Now’ being a new version of the song which was the first on J’s 1983 solo debut, ‘Etiquette Of Violence’. The new album was recorded in Prague, Berlin and Los Angeles as well as Wellingborough, England when J revisited Beck Studios where his former highly influential band, Bauhaus cut their seminal classic, ‘Bela Lugosi’s Dead’ back in 1979.

The new album features contributions from Anton Newcombe (Brian Jonestown Massacre), Toby Dammit (Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds), Paul Wallfisch (Swans), Sean Eden (Luna), Rose McGowan, Asia Argento, Emily Jane White, Annabel (lee) and the great Czech violinist, Karel Holas amongst others.

David J sees the album as the culmination of 36 years of solo /collaborative work. It is also a ‘coming home’ of sorts as the label behind the release is the London based Glass Modern which is in fact the newly reactivated Glass Records which originally released some of J’s earliest critically acclaimed works.

David J (Bauhaus, Love and Rockets) presents ‘I Only Hear Silence Now’ featuring Emily Jane White on piano and vocals, the two stars shining bright in tandem vocals. This track can be found on his double album. This is a new version of a track that first appeared on David J’s debut solo album ‘Etiquette of Violence’ in 1983. The accompanying video features both artists. Filmed by Pierre Malacarnet and David J, This video was pieced together over several months. Most of the footage was shot by the intrepid Pierre Malacarnet at Beck Studios in Wellingborough, the site of the original Bauhaus recording of ‘Bela Lugosi’s Dead’. I filmed the game and lovely Emily Jane White in a 19th Century bathtub in San Francisco. Pierre then shot some other cut away scenes in Berlin and edited the whole thing together quite brilliantly. The mood of the film resonates perfectly with that of the music,” says David J.

David J’s latest album was not immediately accessible but on 2nd & 3rd listening has revealed many new gems such as Blue Eyes in the Green Room, Clandestine Valentine and The Auteur

Glass Modern is a new imprint of Glass Records, released October 18, 2019, “Missive To An Angel From The Halls Of Infamy And Allure” Featuring David J , Emily Jane White