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

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