Friday, 7 December 2012

My Musical Diary XLI

Another week has passed and so another blog post with my favourite songs from the last few days is due. Okay, here we go then!

Marc and the Mambas - Caroline Says (live at the Duke of York's Theatre)

I finally got around to watching the recently released DVD of the legendary piece of Marc Almond history, known as the gig at the Duke of York's Theatre, and liked it much better than I expected. I'm not the biggest fan of the Mambas period...which musically is definitely good, but overall it's just very heavy and reeks of drugs and despair. But I discovered the material comes off better in a live setting, which I kind of expected, and came out of the whole experience loving Untitled (which has a great melody in the chorus...more on this song maybe some other time...) but what I did not expect was seeing Marc Almond holding a baby while singing a cover of The Velvet Underground's Caroline Says. The pricelessness of it all.

The above video doesn't have a great quality but it's for free. If you want a better quality, on a DVD, with a CD of the concert as a bonus, check out this link.

Jacques Brel - Le moribond

Marc also sang an English cover of Jacques Brel's Jackie at the aforementioned gig, a song which he recorded and released as a single 8 years later. That inspired me to pick up my Brel best of album to which I hadn't listened to in many years and even though I don't speak French, it's obvious I was missing something after I stopped listening to this double album. I know so many of his songs covered by other artists, sung in English (mainly Marc & Bowie) and Czech (check out this amazing version of La chanson des vieux amants
...doesn't seem this song has been covered in English properly yet), so whenever I dig into his songbook I seem to rediscover new amazing songs. There obviously is a language barrier here, but even though I don't understand most of what Brel is singing, he's the kind of artist who is able to transcend this.

Le moribond is one of the songs which I would never connect with Brel. I knew it it Czech and I knew it in English (Seasons in the Sun), and I hated all of these versions. But when I heard Brel's original I was stunned how much sense the song makes in French. I have no idea what's sung there bar a word here or there but Brel manages to make the song not sound annoying. His version sounds proud, if that makes sense (and looking at the translation, it actually does). Shows you how much power an arrangement and a passionate, unique singer can have over a song.

The Killers - I Feel It in My Bones + video

Another year, another Christmas song by the Killers! The band has been faithfully releasing one since 2006, which makes the latest one the 7th one already. Time flies! The Killers's annual Christmas songs have ranged from comedic to thoughtful to downright depressing, I Feel It In My Bones is a mix of all, best described as dark comedic...and to my ears it actually sounds quite Halloween-y. The song has a strong 80's sound, which would make it fit right into the band's latest album Battle Born. I like the song quite a lot but man, do I absolutely LOVE the video!

Lana Del Rey - Paris

The other day, when I was listening to Afraid, I realised it would be really nice if I could own all of Lana's unreleased songs. So I got them. And I haven't even remotely listened to all of them yet. Christmas time is a busy bitch! So far I've only listened to a few songs which titles appealed to me...and let's face it...Paris is a pretty grabbing song title.

The heroine of of this song fits the archetype of Lana's "official" songs quite well. A small town girl dreaming of the big, glamorous European city she knows from films. She lives in the 50's or 60's...and wasn't Paris back then magical. I love the little grammar tweaks in Lana's lyrics which help to build a whole story around this little retro pop song. And pop it is.....more than the stuff of hers you keep hearing on the radio. Musically it actually reminds me of Lily Allen a bit.

David Bowie - Dead Against It

Another song choice caused by the excellent Pushing Ahead of the Dame blog, analysing Bowie's discography, song by song. The Buddha of Suburbia TV series soundtrack is a kind of a half-forgotten Bowie album. I was able to acquire it only when it was reissued 5 years ago. I listen to this song quite often but for some reason, last night, while reading the blog author's post about it, the song triggered a whole wave of memories of my first visiting the UK 8 years ago...I even had to go and investigate where in London I actually stayed at that time. That whole week-long trip was just so cool. But it's strange. I didn't even know this song at that time...but for some reason Dead Against It (with lyrics having nothing to do with my case) keeps reminding me of this sweet teenage time. Nowadays it's one of my very favourite Bowie songs.

Video bonus:

I usually post music videos here but since none caught my attention last week, there will be none this time. Instead, I'd like to feature some interesting music-related footage I've found on YouTube recently. I should do this more often here, since I keep finding cool stuff online all the time.

Leonard Cohen 1966 TV interview footage

Leonard is talking about poetry here, not singing but damn, wasn't he a wisearse even back then! Compared to today's interviews he definitely seems shier and less sure of himself. At 32, his eyes don't have that glint of the nowadays well known Laughing Len yet, but he already offers some interesting thoughts for his audience to ponder on. And last but not least he's very attractive here, and age-compatible to my 2012 self. If only I had a TARDIS...

Bryan Ferry late November 2012 interview

A pretty good very recent interview with Bryan which touches on his latest album The Jazz Age (which I reviewed here last week) as well as his career, influences, style and all that jazz (no pun intended). Apart from being handsome and not looking his age he also manages to be quite adorable in this interview - and more charming and less awkward and shy than he tends to be on these occasions.

Thanks for reading and I hope you might have even discovered your new favourite song here. If not, check out the older entries of my Diary. Feel free to share this post and to comment below as well.

Till next week...

Love, Peace and Ringo! x

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