Posts Tagged ‘Morrissey’

Robert Crumb

This week we have the superb new LP from Maps, taking this psychedelic atmosphere and injecting it with a healthy dose of percussive heft and placing more of an emphasis on the jagged time signatures and heady vocal reverbs. Moving beyond this heady mix and into more grounded territory, we get the big new indie release everyone’s been waiting for, and the brilliant ‘Here Comes The Cowboy’ certainly doesn’t disappoint. Filled with all of the smooth and sweet vocal flourishes you’d expect from Mac Demarco, a smooth loungey groove into his already super relaxed sound.

Please check out the new A.A. Bondy this new LP guarantees melodic undercurrent of folk and Americana being all but completely disguised by shadowy synths and cavernous reverbed bass, not to mention a plethora of technological flourishes to really ramp the enjoyment up. The new one from Holly Herndon, bolstered with Herndon’s HUGE vocal presence. Coming soon is the new Raconteurs LP ‘Help Us Stranger’ released on the 21st of June.

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Charly Bliss – Young Enough

Charly Bliss have evolved from the bunch of scrappy upstarts behind their brash punk debut Guppy, to the confident, assured artists who have produced the comparatively dynamic and unapologetically pop Young Enough. But, for lead singer Eva Hendricks, the path of this evolution was fraught, as her lyrics inspired by a past abusive relationship show. Songwriting became a source of respite, and, eventually, redemption. “You go through experiences of loss or extreme pain and you just keep moving,” Eva says. “You look around and go, how has the world not stopped? But it is also powerful. It’s like, I’m still here, I’m not a person who is ruled by pain, I still like who I am.”

Chat Room and Young Enough are new sonic lynchpins, as is the soaring, mini epic, Fighting In the Dark. The delicate synth confessional Hurt Me also felt, as Eva puts it, “like something we hadn’t explored yet.” The entire record sounds like a new realm, from the deceptively easeful confessional Capacityto the propulsive, more classic pop of Hard To Believe. In the end, Young Enough feels joyful and celebratory, but also infused with a new sense of depth and maturity. “I want people to feel strong when they listen to this record,” says Eva. “Like you’re working through some shit but you feel really strong and beautiful, even if you’re in a lot of pain. That’s what I want people to feel. The opposite of broken.” For fans of Veruca Salt, Pixies and The Breeders.

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Holly Herndon – Proto

Holly’s third full-length album Proto isn’t about A.I., but much of it was created in collaboration with her own A.I. ‘baby’, Spawn. For the album, she assembled a contemporary ensemble of vocalists, developers and an inhuman intelligence housed in a DIY souped-up gaming PC to create a record that encompasses live vocal processing and timeless folk singing, and places an emphasis on alien song craft and new forms of communion.

Eternal follows the 2018 release of Holly and Jlin’s collaborative song Godmother (feat. Spawn). The skittering track, which was created by Spawn reimagining the artworks of her ‘godmother’ Jlin in a trained model of her mother’s voice with no editing or sample trickery, was praised everywhere from NPR to The Guardian to New York Times, and elsewhere.

You can hear traces of Spawn throughout the album, developed in partnership with long time collaborator Mathew Dryhurst and ensemble developer Jules LaPlace, and even eavesdrop on the live training ceremonies conducted in Berlin, in which hundreds of people were gathered to teach Spawn how to identify and reinterpret unfamiliar sounds in group call-and-response singing sessions; a contemporary update on the religious gathering Holly was raised amongst in her upbringing in East Tennessee.

Just as Platform forewarned of the manipulative personal and political impacts of prying social media platforms long before popular acceptance, Proto is a euphoric and principled statement setting the shape of things to come.

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Songs: Ohia – Love and Work: The Lioness Sessions

The Lionessis the first Jason Molina project to fully turn away from the battlefield folk and deconstructed Americana of earlier Songs: Ohia recordings. At the dawn of the 21st century, the album felt modern. It aligned Molina with a new set of peers – Low, Gastr del Sol, Red House Painters and, most importantly, the influential Scottish band Arab Strap, whose producer and members were crucial in the creation of The Lioness. The avant-garde tones and arrangements of Arab Strap are absorbed here into Molina’s songwriting to create what would become, for many acolytes, the archetypal Songs: Ohia sound. Love and Work: The Lioness Sessions, the box set reissue, will serve as the seminal log of the era, complete with lost songs, photos, drawings, and essays from those who knew Molina best.

We know Molina was diligent in both love and work. He treated songcraft like a job at the mill, and his approach to romance was not so different. We know that when he fell in love with his wife, he was dutiful in his adoration. There were strings of love letters and poetic gesture. Included in this edition are replicated examples of this relentless love – an envelope with a letter from Molina, a photograph of Molina and his to-be wife, a postcard, a Two of Hearts playing card, and a personal check for one million kisses. Some of these items were gifts he would send to his new love from the road; others, like the 2 of Hearts, were totems he’d carry with him around this time as a symbol for his burgeoning love.

And so, the head-over-heels album that is The Lioness has its workman counterpart. Nearly another album’s worth of material was recorded in Scotland during the album sessions. While similar in tone and structure, the songs seem to deal in the grit and dirt of being. These are songs for aching muscles getting soothed in the third-shift pub. But they’re also examples of Molina’s diligence as he constructs what would be the essential elements of The Lioness. In addition to these outtakes, we also have a 4-track session made weeks earlier in London with friend James Tugwell. Comprised of primarily guitar, hand drums and voice, these songs are raw experiments that mostly serve to illustrate Molina’s well of words and ideas. But then, there is the devastating Sacred Harp hymn Wondrous Love. While he may have had his new love in mind, one can’t help but think of Molina’s legacy as he softly warbles “Into eternity I will sing / Into eternity I will sing.” You don’t have to try too hard to mythologize Molina. He did all the work for you.

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The Dream Syndicate – These Times

There are two phases of The Dream Syndicate. There was the band with revolving lineups that existed from 1982 to 1988 and made four albums includingThe Days of Wine and Roses and have influenced bands and delighted fans in the years since. And then there’s the band that reunited in 2012 and is closing in on its seventh year with nary a lineup change. This 21st Century version of the Dream Syndicate releasedHow Did I Find Myself Here in 2017 to universal acclaim, no small feat for a band reuniting after almost three decades. With that reintroduction and a full year of touring behind them, the Dream Syndicate had the freedom to take it all somewhere new, to dig a little deeper, get outside of themselves a little bit. Their new album These Times feels like a late-night radio show that you might have heard as a kid, drifting off into dreams and wondering the next morning if any of it was real.

So, what does it sound like? If How Did I Find Myself Herewas a 10 pm record, all swagger and cathartic explosion, then These Times is the 2 am sibling, moodier and more mercurial, the band acting as DJs of their own overnight radio station, riffing on an idea of what a Dream Syndicate album could be at this moment in time. It is Radio DS19.

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Lydia Ainsworth – Phantom Forest

Lydia Ainsworth’s third album, Phantom Forest, introduces a lush, complex dream world that the singer, composer, and producer created and inhabited largely on her own. She produced all the songs, and wrote and performed everything on the self-released collection outside of a re-imagined cover of Pink Floyd’s Green is the Colour and 2 other tracks (The Time, Give It Back To You), which started as instrumentals written by Survive’s Kyle Dixon (who composed the Stranger Things soundtrack with his bandmate Michael Stein), to which Ainsworth wrote melodies and added lyrics. Phantom Forest is a beautiful, vast collection that mixes the historical and the hands on, with hooks about the apocalypse and people obsessively using face-recognition software to see what paintings their face match with, in search of some kind of connection. It’s a journey that holds up to close listening (and lyric reading) and to dancefloors, but that can also exist on a purely emotional plane. In all cases, it asks that you listen, and take some kind of action.

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The Beths – Warm Blood

The Beths debut EP – available for the first time on (Pink) Vinyl. This EP is the prequel to their debut album Future Me Hates Me which is much loved release. The Beths’ Warm Blood is a strong contender for the catchiest record you’ve never heard. Formed when four jazz students at the University of Auckland bonded over their shared love of the pop-punk sounds of their youth, The Beths bring new energy to the genre. This 5-song debut EP, a deliriously pleasurable statement of purpose, comes crammed with enough blissful hooks to carry through most bands’ careers.

Listeners for whom the tag “New Zealand indie rock” brings to mind the Flying Nun sound of bands like The Clean and The Chills may be surprised to find Warm Blood’s five unstoppable tunes landing closer to artists like Slant 6 and The Breeders. The nimble guitar work here moves from heavy riffing reminiscent of Sleater-Kinney to hazily bending lines that would make Stephen Malkmus and Mary Timony beam, while the joyous vocal harmonies from all four members bubble and swell to ecstaticcrescendos that channel The Zombies’ Odessey and Oracle.

With impeccable production from guitarist Jonathan Pearce and stellar musicianship across the board, Warm Blood is a non-stop delight. Tracks like lead off track and first single Whatever, the ridiculously addictive standout Idea / Intent, andRush Hour 3, a playful ode to romance in this era of download-and-chill franchise films, take delight in the challenge of breathing new energy into the limitations of the 3-minute pop song.

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Morrissey – Wedding Bells Blues

Limited Clear Yellow 7″ vinyl from Morrissey’s covers album California Sun featuring Billie Joe Armstrong from Green Day on Wedding Bell Blues originally by The Fifth Dimension. Lydia Night of the Regrettes also joins Armstrong and Morrissey on the track. It comes backed by Brow of My Beloved

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Mikal Cronin – Undertow / Breathe

Mikal Cronin is back in the Famous class fold with his beautiful new 7”. This is Mikal’s first new solo material since his excellent album MCIII back in 2015. It’s two tracks of perfect guitar-pop craftsmanship

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Linda Guilala – Estado Natural

Spanish shoegaze trio Linda Guilala’s new single is the third instalment in the Sonic Cathedral Singles Club.

Estado Natural(which translates as ‘natural state’) is the follow-up to last year’s Mucho Mejor and is an indie-pop classic in the making, all driving rhythms and synths swooping and fizzing like Stereolab in a Soda Stream. The flipside, Espacio De Tiempo (‘space of time’), is a much more Lush and laid-back affair. Limited edition of 350 on red vinyl.

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Coming soon is the new Raconteurs LP ‘Help Us Stranger’ released on the 21st of June.

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In August 1982, Johnny Marr and Steven Patrick Morrissey went into Manchester’s Decibelle Studios to record the first two songs they’d written together, “The Hand that Rocks the Cradle” and “Suffer Little Children,” both of which would appear on The Smiths’ debut two years later.

They were aided by Dale Hibbert, a recording engineer who worked at Decibelle — often misspelled as Decibel — and briefly played bass in The Smiths, including on the “Hand that Rocks the Cradle” recorded that day (though not on “Suffer Little Children,” according to Simon Goddard’s definitive “Songs That Saved Your Life: The Art of The Smiths 1982-87”). The drummer on the session was Simon Wolstencroft.

A couple weeks ago, a YouTube user named Domu Kafe — identified by the Morrissey-solo fan forum as Hibbert himself (that’s also the name of the coffee house Hibbert owns) — began sharing parts of those sessions, writing, “I will slowly upload the Decibelle demo, isolated vox tracks and cassette recordings.”

After a few teases, Hibbert on New Year’s Eve uploaded the full, spindly 6-minute, 30-second demo of “The Hand that Rocks the Cradle” and has since added Marr’s isolated guitar track and backing vocals, as well as Morrissey’s isolated vocals from that song.

In “Songs That Saved Your Life,” Goddard writes of the demo:

The Hand That Rocks The Cradle’ featured a grumbling low Morrissey vocal, typical of the group’s formative recordings, while Marr soaked his sketchy, central riff in a shallow flange-pedal wash. Surprisingly, the surviving demo also reveals Marr’s shaky attempt at a backing vocal harmony. … At seven minutes plus, the Decibel ‘Suffer Little Children’ is a much longer prototype than that which was finally to appear on 1984’s The Smiths. Though Wolstencroft’s pattering rhythm was discernibly different from that later applied by Mike Joyce, Marr’s basic melody was intact, if less pithy. So too was Morrissey’s stirring baritone, utilising wraithlike reverb for added drama (the only lyrical difference being the surplus lament from Myra Hindley’s conscience, ‘oh, what have you done?’). The mock Hindley voiceover was also more explicit, cackling haughtily and audibly crying out the victims’ Christian names: ‘Lesley! Edward! John!’.

Hibbert has yet to upload the full demo of “Suffer Little Children,” though he has shared a few pieces of that song’s recording, including a piano outro that’s quite reminiscent of future B-side “Asleep.”

Below, you can hear the full “Hand that Rocks the Cradle,” uploaded by Hibbert

The original Decibelle recording. Brings back so many memories. Thanks to Philipe Delcloque, one of the many unsung heroes of the late 70’s, early 80’s Manchester music scene.

“Jacky’s Only Happy When She’s Up on the Stage” is a politically charged song where in Morrissey shares his views on the UK leaving the EU through an analogy featuring the girl Jacky (as in the Union Jack).

From the forthcoming album ‘Low In High School’ out November 17th

I love the idea that this song is an analogy for Brexit. Jacky is the UK (Jacky as in the Union Jack), “since she lost you” is referring to the EU, “no audience telling her what to do” relates to independence and then of course the repetiton of “exit, exit” playing with the phrase “Brexit”. Don’t know if this is the intended meaning but the extra depth is fantastic! Edit: I am very aware Moz is pro-brexit, hence the “this country is making me sick” lyric 🙂

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You can always expect honesty from the former Smiths frontman Morrissey—especially on the tracks that make up his forthcoming album “Low in High School”. He’s already shared the cynical “Spent the Day in Bed,” and now, after previewing the song on BBC 6 Music, he’s officially released its second single “I Wish You Lonely.”

Morrissey maintains a synth-heavy, rock-forward beat as a vehicle for vigorous lyrics, taking a stab at the selfishness of world leaders: “Tombs are full of fools who gave their life upon command of monarchy, oligarch, head of state, potentate, and now, never coming back, never coming back.” In the lyric video, the song’s rousing message is displayed on the sign a boy is holding while he sits in a shopping cart.

Morrissey will be taking tracks from Low in High School on the road to spread the politically charged gospel before his album comes out November. 17th, Morrissey performed two tracks “Spent The Day in Bed” and “I Wish You Lonely.”  on Later… with Jools Holland, BBC Two (3rd October 2017)

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“I’m not my type, but I love my bed”, croons Morrissey on ‘Spent The Day In Bed’, the lead single from his forthcoming album, Low In High School.

While the song suggests you turn off the TV news and instead bury yourself under the sheets, it’s not likely to be the most politically-charged tune on the record, given there are songs with titles such as ‘The Girl from Tel-Aviv Who Wouldn’t Kneel’, ‘Israel’ and ‘Who Will Protect Us From the Police?’

There’s also a song named ‘When You Open Up Your Legs’, but that’s just Morrissey being Morrissey, is’nt it.

Low In High School is out on November 17.

Released 31 years to the day before this release. “The Queen Is Dead” appears here for the first time on a single, and is a rare edit which omits the sing-along intro (a sample of “Take Me Back To Dear Old Blighty” from 1962 film The L-Shaped Room). We don’t have much info on the extent to which Morrissey and Marr were involved in this, but it contains all the trappings of a typical Smiths release.

Gorgeous portrait nicked from a film still on the front (in this case, Margherita Caruso portraying the Virgin Mary in 1964’s Il Vangelo Secondo Matteo), poly inner sleeve, cut nice and loud at 45rpm in classic Smiths styled vinyl 12” style. Even the font on the center label looks an awful lot like the original Rough Trade styled label . The b-side contains The Smiths only three instrumental tracks ever recorded , all of which have appeared as b-sides on original Smiths singles but never before on the same record, until now. Also available as a 7″ picture disc with “I Keep Mine Hidden” on the b-side. Both are extremely limited and essential for any Smiths completist.

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Last Saturday, September 25th, the legendary Morrissey returned to New York for a sold out performance at Kings Theatre in Brooklyn, for a much more intimate performance than his show at Madison Square Garden last summer.
It’s been two year since the release of his last album, World Peace Is None of Your Business, but Morrissey’s setlist at Kings was still heavily loyal to the album, along with the usual favorites from his solo career (“Everyday Is Like Sunday,” “Irish Blood, English Heart”). Being a smaller show, you had plenty of Morrissey die-hards quite literally rushing the stage trying to deliver a huge or a personal gift to Morrissey, only to be taken down by his well-placed and quick-moving personal security guards that stand to his side on both direction.

The 22-song set featured an encore performance in dedication to New York, with a rather surprising but welcome cover of The Ramones’ classic “Judy Is A Punk.” After his dramatic show-concluding performance of “Irish Blood, English Heart,” Morrissey tossed his shirt into the crowd as he always does. About half a dozen of fans each laid claim to a part of his shirt, and tried to rip it out of the others hand, or use a key to try and quite literally rip it into shreds so they could share. There are many big-time artists out there, but not many that have people quite literally fighting off one another for a piece of fabric.
There’s truly only one Morrissey.
Find some shots from his performance posted below, along with his setlist and a fan-recorded video of his Ramones cover.


Morrissey Setlist:
1. Suedehead
2. You Have Killed Me
3. Alma Matters
4. Ouija Board, Ouija Board
5. The Bullfighter Dies
6. I’m Throwing My Arms Around Paris
7. World Peace Is None of Your Business
8. Ganglord
9. Speedway
10. Kiss Me a Lot
11. How Can Anybody Possibly Know How I Feel?
12. All the Lazy Dykes
13. Meat Is Murder (The Smiths)
14. Everyday Is Like Sunday
15. The World Is Full of Crashing Bores
16. All You Need Is Me
17. You’re the One for Me, Fatty
18. How Soon Is Now? (The Smiths)
19. Jack the Ripper
20. What She Said (The Smiths)
Encore:
21. Judy Is a Punk (The Ramones Cover)
22. Irish Blood, English Heart

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Early in 1985 the band released their second album,Meat Is Murder. This album was more strident and political than its predecessor, including the pro-vegetarian title track (Morrissey forbade the rest of the group from being photographed eating meat), the light-hearted republicanism of “Nowhere Fast”, and the anti-corporal punishment “The Headmaster Ritual” and “Barbarism Begins at Home”. The band had also grown more diverse musically, with Johnny Marr adding rockabilly riffs to Rusholme Ruffians” and Rourke playing a funk bass solo on “Barbarism Begins at Home”. The album was preceded by the re-release of the B-sideHow Soon Is Now? as a single, and although that song was not on the original LP, it has been added to subsequent releases. “Meat Is Murder” was the band’s only album to reach number one in the UK charts. To set the scene, let’s talk about music in 1985. In February of that year, two songs held the No. 1 spot: “I Want to Know What Love Is” by Foreigner and “Careless Whisper” by Wham! Schmaltz and sax riffs were reigning supreme. The only other album of importance to the latter-day post-punk movement to be released that month was “Night Time” by Killing Joke. Tears for Fears’ “Songs from the Big Chair” dropped too, just in case you were wondering what kind of rad pop music was available to consumers during that month. Then in walk The Smiths ready for their round two.

Allow yourself to feel small in the presence of the group’s overwhelming talent. Johnny Marr was 21 when this record was released. This means he’d written “How Soon is Now?” at that point in his life, and all I’m doing is writing about how amazing that is. Andy Rourke and Mike Joyce’s rhythm section never gripes for unnecessary authority over the songs but when they’re in the spotlight, they always shine. Morrissey’s eloquence and command over the English language can be deceptive. Sometimes it’s easy to forget how recently these Manchester masterminds graduated from the institutions they decry. Their music is so fully formed it’s hard to believe it was being written by people in their early to mid twenties. Since they were so beyond their years, the music doesn’t sound very dated. Sure, it’s easy to identify “Meat is Murder” as an ’80s record, but more because of mood and jangle than anything else. In the age of synthesizers, this is a guitar rock album through and through. Johnny Marr could shred as well as any metal band popping up back then, but he keeps everything so tasteful and necessary. Each layered riff and strumming pattern adds to a unified whole which never comes off as an ego stroke.

Morrissey brought a political stance to many of his interviews, courting further controversy. Among his targets were the Thatcher government, the British monarchy, and the famine relief project Band Aid. Morrissey famously quipped of the last, “One can have great concern for the people of Ethiopia, but it’s another thing to inflict daily torture on the people of England” (“torture” being a reference to the music that resulted from the project). The subsequent single-only release “Shakespeare’s Sister” reached number 26 on the UK Singles Chart, although the only single taken from the album, “That Joke Isn’t Funny Anymore“, was less successful, barely making the top 50.

Recorded in Winter of  1984 at Amazon Studios, Liverpool and Ridge Farm, Surrey, England and released on Rough Trade Records.

 

 

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The hard-rocking English five-piece Marmozets—whose members include two sets of siblings—have been performing together since they were teenagers. Signed to Warner’s Roadrunner Records on the strength of those live shows and a few EPs, the band released their first full-length this autumn.

Marmozets recorded a phenomenal cover of Morrissey’s classic ‘English Blood, Irish Heart’ whilst at the XFM studios in London. The recording is taken from The Evening Show .