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

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