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The Sad Song Co: Blog

Nigel Powell: Attack the Blog!


Bloggin' The Shuffle #2

Monday 29th April, 2013

Hello from Hamburg! Ich Bein Eine Hamburger. Or something. Got an hour after breakfast on the bus before we have to travel to record a German TV show called Ina's Nacht, so what better way to make GOOD USE of my time than another quick session of bloggin' the shuffle. This time off my lovely pink iPod, which always seems to make more interesting choices than iTunes on my laptop...

Unbelievable Truth - History-Fiction - Misc. Music

Well OK. Onanism again. As previously explained there is a lot of things that I've worked on on here. This is a b-side with a rather nice cello part on. I enjoy arranging for strings, and did quite a lot of it in the UT days. It's a source of a little tension (only internally - I am English after all) that in The Sleeping Souls I don't get the opportunity any more. Matt covers that area and guards it well, so I bite my tongue rather than create conflict, ignoring anything I think I might have to offer. This song also featured a rather lovely Acousticaster guitar that I used to own, kind of like a hollow-body Tele with piezos under the bridge. Yum.

Elvis Costello and Burt Bacharach - God Give Me Strength - Painted From Memory
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Not enough people know about the album these two made together. It's very excellent. This song was written for a movie and was their first collaboration, leading to the full length Painted From Memory. It actually led to one of my first attempts at 'writing'. A friend of mine worked for an arts paper in Cleveland and asked if I would contribute some reviews and stuff. I don't recall doing much but I did do a review about this record. And a 'review' of the first trailer for Phantom Menace. I do enjoy writing, in much the same way as I don't enjoy talking. I'm a pretty quiet guy, and I hate trying to interject myself into conversations, but I suppose if I'm writing it's just me and my voice. I'm not trying to impress anyone else, or thinking that everyone else in the conversation needs to be given time to be heard because IT'S JUST ME. Being a touring musician who doesn't drink, smoke, take drugs, fornicate (much), goes to bed early and gets up before everyone else means I make do with my own company for large periods of my life. Which I'm actually totally fine about, and writing is a reflection of that I suppose. All that said I'm always hyper-aware of the pitfalls of self-analysation. Ask someone who knows me if you want a real view on it...

Genesis - Afterglow - Live Over Europe
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Them again, recorded on their 2007 reunion tour. I went to see the tour, twice of course. Everyone has the right to a reunion, but despite my passion for them I can easily judge them as tired that time around. The tunes were all transposed down to accomodate Phil Collins' stretched vocal chords, they played everything slower, and it was a shadow of the energy they used to bring to playing live. Again, a lesson. Always show up. Give it your all until you drop. There were three moments which were special - The Drum Duet, which was the only point of the show where they had developed and done something that they had never done before; Los Endos, which is so magnificent that it can't disappoint; and finishing with The Carpet Crawlers, which was unexpected and ace. Apart from that, it's time to fade away.

Rockability - Dive Dive - Tilting At Windmills
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Me again. I have a difficult relationship now with Dive Dive. First we have so little time between tours that I want to see my kids before trying to rehearse and write another album (even though Jamie has a bunch of great songs already pretty much there). But additionally I spend my life now doing something that isn't quite me (love Frank and enjoy playing his music, but it definitively is not my stuff) that the idea of coming back and doing something which again is not entirely me (I have more ownership of Dive Dive, but it's still not embedded in my soul, and I defer to the other members in most things) is... I don't know yet. The song's finished. Time to move on from that thought.

Kids Will Be Skeletons - Mogwai - Happy Songs For Happy People
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The music industry is an odd thing, where quality is not any kind of guarantee of progress (see my blog on the earth-shakingly amazing Mark Mulcahy). Sometimes you can have a fantastic band where a member or members don't have sufficient work-ethic, or commitment, or the right attitude, and constantly torpedo their chances of forward momentum, or the opposite, where an average band puts the hours in and presses the right flesh giving them rewards unconnected to their ability as musicians. Or there is the ethereal mantle of coolness. Sigur Ros are, let's face it, very cool. Their early endorsement by Radiohead set them out on the right path, and their abstruseness helped. But Mogwai, who I would describe as being in the same area, are, in my opinion, waaaaay better. They never scaled the heights of Sigur Ros, at least not in perception, because they're a bit more straightforward personally, humbler, less pretensious. But the records are all infallibly amazing. Well done. Damn. It's finished.

Ashes to Ashes - Faith No More - Album Of The Year
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A band who I actually proselytise about. They made one of the greatest albums ever made, but I suppose I should wait for a track from that album to come up before I chat about it. I really wanted to be Mike Patton for a few years. I had a ridiculous under-the-chin beard and emulated his clothing (long-sleeved t-shirt under normal t-shirt), but stopped short of the eyebrow ring or drinking of own piss. Which I think everyone agrees is probably for the best. I've lost that sense of idolatry, which is perhaps sad, and maybe contributes to making it hard to get into new music - sometimes you need to be so dazzled by something about it, be that a personality or stylistic bent, that it suspends your analysation of what's going on.



Enough for today. Thank you everyone for the suggestions on the last blog of this type, and I will certainly follow them up on Spotify. Yes, yes, I haven't already. Waiting for a quiet time when I can give it it's due. So that'll be sometime in 2014. Maybe.


Cheryl, Fri 17th May 2013, 03:36:09 AM
Here's a musical suggestion for you, since you asked for them last BtS (Bloggin' the Shuffle...) I've only been listening to them for a little over two years, but I love Fink. The last album 'Perfect Darkness' *is* just about perfect IMO, and I know they are demoing new stuff now. I think you might enjoy Mr. Thornton's work, definitely "thoughtful" rather than "big" drumming, especially at the end of the title track to 'Sort of Revolution'. He mic's his knee live because he plays it with a brush, that was cool to realize. And to suggest something that I think might be closer to stuff you'd actually listen to, try Arcane Roots.
 
Wendy, Wed 1st May 2013, 03:27:28 AM
Don't drink don't smoke - what do you do? Subtle innuendos follow. There must be something inside.
 

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