Friday, 29 March 2013

My Musical Diary LV

Another week, another Diary. Not sure if it's the spring or if it's just a coincidence but all but one of my picks this week are pretty high energy. So get dancin'! And to cool down afterwards we have one gorgeous cover version of a Leonard Cohen song...

Jessica Sanchez - Tonight (feat. Ne-Yo)

This one is truly a dance song. It lodged itself in my head just after two listens and since it was unveiled a week ago I've already used it a couple of times to dance to. The lyrics are predictably stupid - you just can't expect Shakespeare from a song like this but the song does what it set out to do more than just well (btw, Jessica is a great vocalist!) and it could be a big hit. One that I wouldn't mind as much as other dance songs on the radio right now.

Kate Bush - Eat the Music

Kate's only 90's album gets bad rep among critics and many fans alike but I personally always loved this album. And if any song can put me in a spring-y/summer-y mood, it's the third track on the album, Eat the Music. It's all about blossoming, opening up, love, life etc. The video for it is very tribal and sensual. This song is just very alive and joyous. How can you not be in love with it.

Simple Minds - Don't You (Forget About Me)

The Breakfast Club is one of my favourite films and anyone who's seen this film knows the significance the song has in connection to the film (fist pump, freeze frame). For many years I'd hear this song on the radio and either hate it or somewhat like i,t depending on where my relationship with 80's music was, but it wasn't until seeing The Breakfast Club about 5 years ago that I finally got it and fell in love with it. Last Saturday the song came on the radio while I was doing some chores and I couldn't get enough of it so I proceeded to listen to the song for another half an hour, over and over. One of those moments.

Little Mix - How Ya Doin'? (feat. Missy Elliott)

My favourite English girlband is releasing a final single from their debut album next month and they unveiled it a few days ago on Radio 1. But surprise! How Ya Doin'?, which on the album has a somewhat bland production got a bit of a single makeover. As far as I can tell it's completely rerecorded, lyrics modified, full, interesting production treatment - and, obviously, it has Missy Elliott coming out of her cave and throwing some rhymes in. And the result is actually prrrretty good. Hoping for a hit for these girls.

Lana Del Rey - Chelsea Hotel No. 2

While I was getting ready for the Hurts gig last night (GIG WAS GREAT btw!!!!!) I saw Lana posting a new video turned out to be this gorgeous cover version of Leonard Cohen's (in)famous song/letter to Janis Joplin. Lana singing it obviously changed the meaning somewhat, probably changed the object of the song as well and the result is just stunning.

Lana has an amazing ability to pull you into a song and pay attention to every single word she sings. I guess that's what her and Leonard might have have in common. Also neither of them is a good technical singer but they both have incredibly interesting, unique voices and they know how to use them to their full potential. I have to say that after listening to this cover a couple of times I want Lana to record a whole album of Cohen covers. Am I crazy? I don't think so (predictably).

Come to think of it...they have quite a lot in common, these two. They are both pretty shy people who are great at self-mythologising...I actually wouldn't mind Leonard covering one of Lana's songs, while we're at it. Let's bend this gender thang. I got a taste and now I want more.

Thank you for checking out the blog. Feel free to share and/or comment and till next Friday...

Love, Peace and Ringo! xxx

Friday, 22 March 2013

My Musical Diary LIV

Another week has passed (does time fly or what?) and so a new Diary is here. Features some new & obscure songs as well as underrated classics...and a country hit! And if you like your female pop music sassy, be sure to check out the Bonus section.

David Bowie - God Bless The Girl

I don't wanna hurt you, just wanna have some fun

This song is a bonus on the Japanese edition of The Next Day and I'm a bit pissed off it's not on the album here. I really, really like this song a lot. Seems to have been written by Bowie, the (still thankfully very theatrical) human, not Bowie the alien. Does this make any sense? For me it seems to accomplish what She Drives A Big Car wanted to but didn't quite deliver. It has an emotional punch. Well done, DB. Now go & make it available for the rest of the world. I love the Japanese but this is too good to be released just to them.

Woodkid - The Shore

I've featured Woodkid here before but this time he's here because his debut album The Golden Age finally came out a few days ago and I've had a chance to listen to it a bit. Just like with Lana Del Rey (for whom he directed a few videos), his music sounds a bit samey on first listen but after a while of living with the record, the individual jewels that are on it start to crystallise and you get struck by the beauty of pretty much each and every song. The first song that hit me like that was The Shore, slower than the songs that precede it on the album and definitely something that a fan of interesting piano-featuring songs would appreciate.

Woodkid's voice already reminds me of Antony Hegarty a lot. Less vibrato and pain, more melancholy. The tempo and instrument choices on this song drive this comparison home, pretty much. But it would be wrong to try to force Woodkid into Antony's world. Woodkid has his own, a very cinematic world. Sometimes the songs are like 60's co-production epics, sometimes they are an independent 90's flick and sometimes, as is the case with The Shore, they are a quirky noughties film, a bit dark, a bit sweet and somehow moving.

I couldn't find the studio version online, but the live one I do feature here is pretty close to it and great as well. Do check out the album on iTunes if you like this song. Woodkid isn't exactly a big mainstream star and I'm sure every cent he gets for his music counts.

Carrie Underwood - Two Black Cadillacs

And the preacher said he was a good man
And his brother said he was a good friend
But the women in the two black veils didn’t bother to cry
Bye bye

Country songs are not a frequent staple on my Diary, especially not the pop country ones. But I watched Country Strong this week (and was pleasantly surprised!) and it kind of got me in the mood for one of USA's most successful female country artists of the last couple of years. Carrie performed this song on the Grammy awards this year (together with her winning monster hit Blown Away) and I got instantly hooked and had to buy it. I went back to this song this week and felt the need to listen to it over and over.

This song has an amazing groove, it's pretty dramatic (infidelity! revenge! murder!) and simply a great song, especially for a mainstream brand of country. And Carrie is just vocally spot on for it.

T.V. Carpio - I Want To Hold Your Hand

This is my favourite cover version of a Beatles song. Why did I decide to put it here this week? American Idol had a Lennon/McCartney songbook week and while quite a few of the contestants did a great job with their songs (shoutout to Candice, Amber, Kree & Janelle!), some of the less successful ones got me thinking of the Beatles songs featuring film musical Across the Universe (one of my favourite film musicals, btw!) and in particular of this delightfully surprising and moving version of I Want To Hold Your Hand. An early Beatles classic and their first smash hit in the US, but not a song that I hold as dearly to my heart as some of the others, got a deeper meaning in the film and a more interesting and exciting arrangement. The dominance of the bass in combination with T.V.'s angelic vocals are truly chill inducing. Before this version came out I honestly had no idea this song was this good and that it wasn't just some dance song for 60's teenagers.

The Beatles - She's Leaving Home

I don't write about my favourite band's songs here nearly often enough. Whenever there's a choice between an old song of an established artist and a song by a lesser known "fresh" artist I tend to choose the latter, because what can I really add to what's already been written about the classics?

But then I see 80% of the American Idol contestants not really knowing the music of The Beatles and I realise that regardless of age not everyone knows every little detail about this band. Not everyone has read almost every Beatle-related book they could find. Not everyone at least once fantasised about time travelling to the 60's and meeting them. Not everyone can't actually count how many times they listened to an outtake of a lesser known Beatlesong. Not everyone cried when George Harrison died. And that is OK. It means that there are still plenty of people who can discover the magic world of the Beatles discography and fall in love.

Take Amber Holcomb who didn't know any Beatlesong before choosing She's Leaving Home from a list of twenty. She approached the songs with fresh ears, gave each a listen and decided She's Leaving Home was the one she could connect with the most. And her recorded version is quite remarkable. She approached the emotion of the song a bit differently from the deadpan melancholy of the Englishmen. And her approach works really well.

She's Leaving Home is still a somewhat underrated Beatles song. It doesn't get played on the radio much. It gets slightly lost in the creative mayhem of the Sgt. Pepper album - it hasn't been accused of being about drugs or covered by Joe Cocker - but it's one of the most moving songs Paul McCartney and John Lennon ever wrote. And it's probably one of the last true collaborations between these two. The swinging 60's meeting the deprived 40's and 50's: the voice of a narrator telling the leaving girl's story is mixing with the desperate and disappointed cries of her parents. It's an incredible achievement which could lead one to writing an essay about happiness and the meaning of life. The parents who thought comfort and security were the way to live one's life are proven wrong by their curious child. When will the child be proven wrong?

I could go on and on...actually analysing this song makes all these ideas sound a bit heavy-handed but the beauty of the song lies in the fact that it actually is completely effortless and its meaning might have changed and gotten deeper with time.

God, don't you just love songs like this one?


Stockholm Syndrome - Karma (preview)

You can always count on the Swedes to make great, interesting pop music and Stockholm Syndrome are no exception. The female trio's second single will be released next Monday but the preview has already piqued my interest so much I had to include this snippet here. These girls are sassy. They already proved that with their first single Pretty Girl (a song that is everything but pretty). But I have a feeling Karma might be even better than Pretty Girl was, but just as cutting.


Cody Belew - Baby Get Out

Adding this song last minute because it didn't quite fit into my five chosen songs... the song is worth a paragraph though. It could be huge on country crossover radios but I think people who do not listen to country at all could like this one a lot as well. Too bad Cody is unknown outside of Nashville and the fanbase he acquired thanks to taking part in The Voice last year. This song deserves to be heard. Great hook, great two vocalists with interesting voices... Spread the word guys!

Dearly beloved, thank you for checking out the blog. Feel free to share and/or comment and till next Friday...

Love, Peace and Ringo! xxx

Friday, 15 March 2013

My Musical Diary LIII

53rd edition of my Diary is here. Some new stuff, some old stuff, some lesser known stuff - I hope you'll find something you'll like here. Here we go!

Hurts - Help

I reviewed Hurts' new album here a few days ago and naturally I've listened to this new release a lot recently. I'm looking forward to seeing the band in two weeks and excited about how these new songs will sound live. Help is definitely one of the stand out tracks on the album and it's a beautiful closer of the standard edition of Exile. It gradually builds up throughout the course of the song and its climax is a very strong experience, moving even.

Fred Astaire - Cheek to Cheek

I watched a lesser known Astaire-Rogers featuring film Roberta last weekend and it inspired me to finally buy a proper Astaire best of for my iPod (I own a CD with his later recordings and I'd previously bought a few mp3s but since I just love this man's singing style and delivery I decided to finally do something proper about it).

Cheek is right the opening track of the whole compilation and one of Ginger'n'Fred's most famous dance numbers. The song was written by Irving Berlin especially for the famous duo's 1935 film Top Hat and therefore it was tailored for Fred's singing style, which was very simple and straightforward (compared to the styles of the professional singers of that era). It has since been covered by countless many artists and much stronger vocalists than Fred was, but my favourite version of this song will forever be his.

David Bowie - The Next Day

Here I am
Not quite dying
My body left to rot in a hollow tree
Its branches throwing shadows
On the gallows for me
And the next day
And the next
And another day

What a lovely image this conjures up. Good old Bowie. All kittens and rainbows. The opening track from my very flippin favourite male artist EVAH clicked with me instantly. Musically it's reminiscent of the 1979/1980 period, which is my favourite and the here I am bit is highly sing-along-able. Apparently the song is inspired by the Arthurian legend or what not but I can't help but be reminded of Macbeth's "and tomorrow" soliloquy.  All around, it's just brilliant.

As is the whole album. I actually tried to write a review or a reaction of sorts and I might post it at some point. But even if I've been listening to the album for weeks now (since it started streaming on iTunes) I'm still quite overwhelmed by it, and smitten and THIS IS FUCKING NEW BOWIE. I never thought he'd ever release new material, let alone that it'll be better than his previous three look-back-y albums. Many people are excited, everyone's written their review...I'm not sure if I have much to add to that all. Ah well, we'll see.

At this moment I can't find this song online (a few other tracks from the album are available though) but what can I say, just buy the album. That's all.

John Lennon - Nobody Told Me

Always something happening and nothing going on
There's always something cooking and nothing in the pot
They're starving back in China so finish what you got*

A few days ago, while doing some housework I got a sudden urge to listen to solo John Lennon. Which I used to do when I was younger but rarely ever do these days. And...the songs are not bad are they? Nobody Told Me is a bit less known but it still seems to make it on every best of compilation and it's typically Lennon-y. Mid- to uptempo, some social & political commentary wrapped up in paradoxes and snark...overall a pretty strong song. It was released in 1984 on the posthumous Milk and Honey album and it has always been one of my favourites of John's.

Most peculiar, mama!

*This particular line reminds me of the stories we share with our friends about the methods our parents used to make sure we'd eat all of our meals. My friend's retort: "well then send it to Africa and don't make me eat it!"

Rodriguez - Cause

Cause I lost my job two weeks before Christmas
And I talked to Jesus at the sewer and the Pope said it was none of his God-damned business
While the rain drank champagne my Estonian Archangel came and got me wasted 
Cause the sweetest kiss I ever got is the one I've never tasted

I watched the Oscar winning documentary Searching for Sugar Man the other night and absolutely loved it. Highly recommended. The story of the American singer songwriter Rodriguez who unbeknownst to him became a huge icon in South Africa is so unbelievable you just couldn't make it up. And the music is pretty good too. Cause in particular is a very strong song and, even more chillingly, proved to be a premonition. The opening lyrics go cause I lost my job two weeks before Christmas which is exactly what happened to Rodriguez: he was dropped by his label shortly after his second album, released at the end of November 1971, failed in the charts.

I'm blown away by Rodriguez's lyrics and I'm about to buy some of his music as soon as I put this up. Got mah money today, so why not spend it on someone worthy?

Video Bonus:

Gabriel Bruce - Cars Not Leaving video

Dancing with a mop. Dancing on a ship. Sea and birds. A creeper creeping about.
What more could one want to see in a video to a great song? This video makes me smile and that's all that matters. Can't wait for Gabe's debut album. Just can't frakking wait.

Pet Shop Boys - Electric trailer

Who else is excited about the Pet Shop Boys' upcoming dance-y release? Whooooooop!

Thanks for reading......Any musical discoveries you'd like to share with me? Sound off below!

Till next week.........

Love, Peace and Ringo! xxx

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Hurts - Exile (Deluxe edition) Review

I approached the new album with some trepidation. I liked each new revealed song less and less and was eventually worried something even worse than Sandman would wait for me on the album. Listening to Exile then ended up being a nice surprise. No tragedies. Perhaps no enormous tunes a la Happiness either but I don't necessarily see that as an all out bad thing. On first few listens Happiness seemed almost cheesy to me. The melodies were so big and somehow familiar, it was a bit ridiculous. Exile definitely does not suffer from this. I also should note Theo's vocals are quite an improvement over the first album. Deeper, richer, more interesting and at the same time less affected.

To say this album is darker than Happiness would be misleading. Sonically maybe. But lyrically it's not much darker than pretty much any song on the band's debut album, and the same goes for the melodies of the individual songs. There is not a big departure here. Hurts are an interesting band in that they are not original. They didn't invent a new style of pop music. But at the same time they somehow managed to create a distinct sound for them and so even though Exile has a different, more industrial sound to it, the album is still instantly recognisable as a Hurts album. What many fans, myself included, seem to be attracted to when it comes to this band, is the core of what they are doing: the melancholy, the darkness, the romance. And Exile has it all.

The following part of this review is mostly intended for fans of the band and those who already have the album or are interested in a song by song overview. The rest of you, jump to my final verdict.

Exile: Depeche Mode meets Muse meets U2. But actually one the of strongest songs on the album. Pretty sexy. And a great opener.

Miracle: Coldplay meets Hurts. I wasn't enamoured with it at first and hated the Coldplay sound (for Hurts) but the song has grown on me and now I don't hear it as a Hurts doing Coldplay affair any more, just as a pretty good Hurts single. All emo, dark and poppy. Just the way we like 'em.

Sandman: Well. I hate this one. And it's not getting better with additional listens. The song itself would have been quite good but the whole very earwormy hip hop-y hook keeps ruining the song for me.

Blind: I've given it a few listens but it hasn't clicked with me yet. It's typical Hurts though, so I suppose the click will come soon enough.

Only You: One of my favourite songs on the album. Might be the least retro song the band has ever recorded. Sounds ethereal and a bit futuristic. Light, but in the best possible way.

The Road: The first officially revealed song from the album is some dark, creepy stuff.
Darling, what's your name and can you hear me? Tell me why you're out so late alone, it starts. But it's a very strong song and the closing Nine Inch Nails meets Muse sound effects suit it perfectly.

Cupid: Another of my favourite songs on the album. Reminiscent of Depeche Mode.

Mercy: When it starts playing it promises more than it eventually delivers. A proper tune would be nice. I do like the backing vocals though. It definitely has the potential to grow on me after a while.

The Crow: An atmospheric song. Not the strongest on the album but not a failure. Can be revelatory if one is in the right mood.

Somebody to Die For: This song could have easily appeared on Happiness, just as it is. Instantly recognisable as a Hurts song.

The Rope: The Hitchcock film Rope is definitely better than this song. It's not a bad song per sé, but it's quite forgettable for me at this point.

Help: The verses remind me of Mika at his quietest and most introspective - and that is a very good thing. A beautiful closing song of the regular version of Exile.

Heaven: A bit of a throwaway song, deservedly ended up a bonus on the deluxe edition. So far it sounds quite generic to me but it's entirely possible it will grow on me over time.

Guilt: Why isn't this song on the regular version? Come on. Previously known as Under The Bridge, Guilt was the first new song we've ever heard from the Exile era and it sounds even better recorded. It's a great song and a worthy closing track on the Deluxe edition. Quintessential Hurts.

The final verdict:

Exile sees Hurts being less 80's/early 90's dark synthpop but rather more Depeche Mode jamming with Nine Inch Nails. It actually seems a natural progression - especially to those who have seen the band perform live in the years between the releases of Happiness and Exile. And the new album still sounds very, very Hurts. Will it alienate some fans? Possibly. But I don't think it necessarily should. The emperors just put on slightly different clothes.

(Okay, the metaphor with clothes wasn't exactly apt.)

Friday, 8 March 2013

My Musical Diary LII

The new Diary is here! I've been listening to the Bowie iTunes stream of The Next Day a lot (A LOT) the past week but since apart from that and the two singles the rest of the individual songs are not legally enabled to be listened to online, I didn't want to pick one of the new songs for this post. Besides, it's hard to single out just one of the songs. I'm in the process of writing a review of the album, so I'll save all my Bowie thoughts for that entry. But for now, enjoy this pretty varied Diary and do share or comment if you find this entry interesting. ;)

Dido - No Freedom

Dido's lead single from her brand new album. I used to listen to her quite a lot about a decade ago. I especially liked the first album but then I kind of drifted away from that sound and adopted taste for the less smooth and more theatrical. Still, when I finally heard this song it felt a bit like travelling back in time to when I was listening to Dido on my cassette walkman and singing her songs at home when I was alone. It's a beautiful quiet little song, and her voice is as soothing and original as ever.

Adam Green - Dance With Me

Another blast from the past. I used to listen to Adam quite a bit about 10 - 6 years ago and this song reappeared in my head a few days ago, out of the blue. I still have a few of his songs on my iPod so I do listen to him once in a while but still the sudden play rotation was a bit of surprise.
I think Adam used to label himself as anti-folk or some such...he definitely has an alternative indie thing going on but in a good way. Wacky sense of humour, interesting voice but raw vocals and a gift for writing very strong memorable songs. I think once you hear Dance With Me, you'll never forget it. I love the guitar solo which comes up later in the song, iconoclastically going against the rest of the song, which really is mostly a pretty folk song.

I really do have to catch up on his newer stuff, I've heard only great things about it. In the meanwhile, do check out the following of his older songs: I Wanna Die, Frozen In Time (which is just simply beautiful), Emily and the anti-ode to Jessica Simpson titled Jessica.

Amelia Lily - Party Over

Now a bit of brand new dance pop. You know I have a soft spot for Amelia Lily. Ever since China in Your Hand (and I hope something a wee bit like that gets to be on her debut album Be A Figher). Amelia has premiered a new single & video for it...and even though at first I wasn't completely sold on the song (I even kicked it off last week's Diary) I have to say giving it a few listens and seeing the video helped me like it eventually. It won't be something I'll be listening to over and over (pardon the pun) but it'll be good for a workout. And it could be a hit. I hope.

The video is like sci-fi to me since I'm not much of a party animal - and that's great because I love sci-fi! Yay! No, really it's fun, and Amelia looks cute in it.

By the way, check out Amelia Lily's Youtube channel. She's got a couple of acoustic performances there, her own songs as well as some covers. She has a great voice and these videos let it shine without all the Xenomania production stuff around it.

Iggy and the Stooges - Burn

Iggy and the Stooges have just unveiled Burn, a song from the upcoming studio album Ready To Die, which will come out at the end of April. And it's not bad at all! I have to admit when it comes to The Stooges I only listen to the classic first three albums and can't say much of the renewed Stooges' material engaged me in any  significant way. But Burn reminds me a bit of the recent Rolling Stones single Doom and Gloom. Nothing entirely innovative but Stooges enough and good enough I'll want a few repeated listens.

Lou Reed - Oh Jim

Lou turned 71 last Saturday. I was already in a VU mood (see my last Diary) and so the Velvets and solo Lou ride continued for a couple of days.

My favourite album of Lou's must be Berlin. It's beautiful, bleak, depressing, theatrical and full of memorable songs. There are days I think Berlin is better than any single album Bowie ever did. But something tells me Lou might have never recorded Berlin the way he did had he never met Bowie. They influenced each other and the results on both sides were great.

Berlin is one great big song after another. It features Lou's reworking of the VU's Stephanie Says, here Caroline Says II. It features the Weimar cabaret-influenced Lady Day. The utterly heartbreaking Kids and the anthemic closing Sad Song. And more.
But for this entry I decided to choose the angry & swaggering Oh Jim which in its last third turns into an almost emotion-less, resigned complaint oh Jim, how could you treat me this way? The first part features some really cool drums, Lou's delivery here is pretty much flawless. The second part is...interesting. Not so easy to pin down. Just Lou and his acoustic guitar...sometimes I think it's sad, sometimes I think it's just Lou fucking with us ("you didn't expect me to end the song with the Velvet's Oh Gin, with different lyrics, did ya? muhaha!"). But it's definitely an intriguing piece of music and one of my favourite of Lou Reed's songs.

Video Bonus:

Lou Teddy Bear Reed is usually not very cheerful in interviews (esp. with men) but this famous interview with Charlie Rose shows him as a real sweetie. Lou had his (now) wifey Laurie Anderson with him, and their (now late) dog Lola and while all kinds of artsy fartsy things get said in the course of the almost half an hour interview, the whole thing is quite lovely and softens his reputation a little bit. So if you haven't seen this yet, I encourage you to watch it ASAP.

Until next week...

Love, Peace and Ringo! xxx

Friday, 1 March 2013

My Musical Diary LI

Happy Friday everyone and Happy March! New Diary is here and it features tons of really cool music. Please, dive in!

Roxy Music - Editions of You

As crazy genius rock songs go, it just doesn't get any better than this. I did discover Roxy because of Do The Strand (as performed on Musikladen in spring 1973) but the same '73 TV session included more songs and one of them is Editions of You, which also appears on Roxy's second album For Your Pleasure. The studio version of this song is already pretty genius. Smart as much as it is entertaining. But this particular live version features even more crazy, in the form of the guys' outfits, Bryan's on stage moves and most importantly Brian Eno's fabulous and amusing antics. And therefore whenever this song plays I think back to this performance and I have to grin.

So love me, leave me. do what you will
Who knows what tomorrow might bring?
Learn from your mistakes is my only advice
And stay cool is still the main rule
Don't play yourself for a fool
Too much cheesecake too soon
Old money's better than new
No mention in the latest Tribune
And don't let this happen to you.

Gabriel Bruce - Car's Not Leaving

My newest discovery from a few days ago, thanks to my Twitter pal Daisy (who has a pretty cool music blog). This guy's voice is amazing. That was the first thing that truck me about him. But the songs I've listened to are really flippin' good too! It's like the best bits of Iggy Pop, Nick Cave, Joy Division, and Patrick Wolf merged and decided to become a singer. I'm definitely getting his debut album (which should come out in May).

Check out his YouTube channel & Soundcloud for more music.

Pet Shop Boys - Ego Music

Pet Shop Boys - Ego Music (Elysium 2012) - MyVideo

Oh how I love when the Pet Shop Boys make fun of artists and celebrities (and to a certain degree themselves). Ego Music from their newest album (which I reviewed here when it came out) follows in the footsteps of How Can You Expect To Be Taken Seriously and Flamboyant, but it's even more funny - and spot on. I ended up listening to this song quite a bit last week (inspired by the latest edition of PSB fanclub's magazine Literally) and it never fails to make me full on laugh out loud.

There's a real purity
to my work
A childish innocence
But I'm also smart and sophisticated
I mean I grew up on the street
Sometimes I think I'm a simple folksinger
other times a scary witch diva
What can I tell you?
I'm an artist

And of course I've always had
the humanitarian vision
I think every one knows that
My commitment is
to my career
and then giving something back

Patrick Wolf - Overture

Last year Patrick released an album of acoustic re-workings of his songs, called Sundark and Riverlight, and this year he's touring it. I had the pleasure of going to one of this acoustic concerts here in Prague last night, and even though the concert was cut a bit short because of technical stuff, the music was absolutely magical. Even though I started listening to Patrick in a period of his career which was more Soft Cell and Bowie (and witnessed him playing two very lively shows, screaming female fans and all), it seems to me that the acoustic folk troubadour is where Patrick's strength lies. This part of him has always been in his music but stripped down it shines and dominates. It makes the songwriter, great musician and singer that Patrick is, show himself completely and thrive. I'm not sure I realised fully what a great lyricist Patrick was until this era came along. I'm excited for what the next album will bring.

If you like the above song, do get the whole acoustic album. You'll love it.

The Velvet Underground - Sweet Jane

I do not think this is one of the very very best songs Lou Reed's ever had a hand in writing but it sure is cool as hell. The rhythm which works so well when you're travelling or just walking down the street, the slightly rambling lyrics... Sweet Jane popped up in my head this morning and refused to leave. Standin' on the corner, suitcase in my haaaand and I knew this day would be quite alright.

and me I'm in a rock 'n' roll band

Video bonus aka the David Bowie Bonus:

David Bowie - The Stars (Are Out Tonight)

DB has released a new single from his upcoming album The Next Day (which comes out in 10 days) and he's also revealed a video for it. And boy, what a video it is! It is so good the song pales in comparison - and that's why I didn't include it above but rather in my bonus section. The Next Day is now streaming on iTunes and I'm sure I'll write something about the album sooner or later, so I won't talk about the song here any further. In the video our dear Mr. Jones co-stars with none other than my wife Tilda Swinton (who's really lucking out recently - collaborating with my husband Tom Hiddleston in Jim Jarmusch's next film of all things!), and it also features a very famous name in the world of fashion, male but very much androgynous model Andrej Pejić. The video sets up an elaborate allegory of what Bowie is trying to put across in his song, there's a lot of references to his earlier work etc. etc. But even if you don't care to go any deeper it will leave you satisfied because it simply looks just really good. It's pretty to look at. Success on all counts.

And did I mention my wife's in it? Playing Bowie's wife? Yeah.

Thanks for reading guys, do come back and share or comment if you want to. Till next week...

Love, Peace and Ringo! xxx