The Fish wrote:So my second review of this month as I did an exchange mix with Bhoy so he could play this month. Reveal to follow.
1) When it starts I’m thinking Ooh good something miserable, I like a bit of miserable, but about 30 seconds later I’m just about comatose, but then when the vocals start – wow. I don’t always like all those “chilled” type voices (Beth Orton, Roisin Murphy etc) but this woman has real expression.
I’m glad you liked this. Aldous Harding qwith Swell Does the Skull from Party. She’s my favourite new discover in ages. Her album, which is only just out, is incredible, I think. Every song is this good, or better. Just go buy it right away before reading the rest of this reveal! Trust me.
The Fish wrote:2) Well what a last testament this proved to be.The whole album has the tone of an elegy. Really dark in places. To answer the question This is just dark enough thanks Len.
You know, I’m starting to think this is the best Leonard Cohen album since the sixties. I think it’s amazing, really. Some last testament, eh? This is my favourite song off it.
The Fish wrote:3) Not a major shift in mood, but I was put off by his voice, just a bit too twee to carry it off, especially following directly after laughing Lenny, but the female voice is quite lovely and strangely I liked the two together in harmony.
This is James Yorkston, with the Blues You Sang. Funny, I’d never describe him as twee. It’s a song about his double-bass player, who died of cancer. Both of them are/were friends of mine, so I get a bit weepy at it. The female singer is KT Tunstall. Pictish Trail (another friend) also sings on this, so there’s actually three voices. The song is basically about an old, drunken friend who loved the blues, especially when he was drunk. I have no idea what made me think of it
The Fish wrote:4) Well there’s no denying everyone here can play. The guitarist seems capable of more than that relentless plinky plink which grates very quickly. The flautist is trying to create atmospheric soundscapes. It sounds like they are competing against rather than complementing each other. The proggers would probably love this. I on the other hand…..
Fabiano do Nascimento is a Brazilian guitar player whose two albums in recent years I’ve really loved. This piece is about the Amazon rainforest, which is my favourite place on the planet. I love it as it reminds me of being in the jungle. It was a risk on here…
The Fish wrote:5) Nice enough simple song lifted by some pretty wild vocal harmonies nd multi-tracking. This grew on me a lot
This is Bon Iver. I’m pretty sure you liked him last time I put a track of his on a mix for you (in fact, didn’t you have the album? Maybe not.) Anyway, this is from his latest album, 22, A Million. The whole album is a real grower, as is all his stuff. Amazing live too. Really amazing at times. As you say, simple song, great arrangement.
The Fish wrote:6) Think this might be Sinead O’Connor. Some of her stuff I;ve heard has been OK. Maybe it’s just cover versions, I never liked Nothing Compares 2 U although I appear to be in a minority. I don’t hate this but it just seems to totally miss the point. Ode To Billie Joe is in the great southern gothic tradition. The heat haze strum along vibe of the original is perfect. Everything appears carrying on as normal. The back story is all gossip, secrets, suspicions and rumours. Why try to chill it out like a Nick Cave murder ballad.
I don’t think it misses the point, personally, I just think she reimagines it as something more akin to an Irish folk tale. Horses for courses, like.
The Fish wrote:7) There is loveliness here, although it destroys its own mood getting bombastic in the middle. Ultimately there’s nothing at its core. Like a sandwich with the finest crusty bread and no filling.
For me, this is all about the tones of the instruments, the atmosphere they create (like our Brazilian friend above). It’s Lomond Campbell, with a piece called Fallen Stag, out earlier this year and recorded in an abandoned castle in the Scottish Highlands. It probably works better in the context of the album, but I just love those strings.
The Fish wrote:8) How many think they are hip because they have a copy of Watertown and nothing else. Watertown is great of course but you need plenty of this classic Capitol period too
I keep meaning to pick up Watertown. For me, though, the Capitol stuff is perfect Sinatra. This is You Go To My Head, from the perfectly titled Nice’n’Easy. Nelson Riddle’s arrangements are heaven, aren’t they?
The Fish wrote:9) Brel sort of works due to the darker tones and theatrical elements. The rest of Chanson however just sounds nonsensical to me. My acid test is imagine someone singing this in English and as often as not you’d laugh your bollocks off. Jake Thackeray did that sort of thing and just sounded plain weird.
This is a classic piece of Serge Gainsbourg. I find your acid test baffling, I have to say. It’s not meant to sound good in English, it’s meant to sound good in French. It’s from 1961 and is a tribute to the French poet Jacques Prevert.
The Fish wrote:10) The sort of guitar riff you feel you’ve heard a million times before but it really doesn’t matter. It always sounds great. I love a bit of mad frantic guitar,
Yeah, right, that’s the thing with this – it doesn’t matte rthat it’s just the same thing only very slightly different when the thing was that good in the first place. This is from a great comp of stuff that all sounds basically like this but also all sounds great. It’s the Ventures (of course) with Wailin’, from the Riding The Curl. The Surf Music Explosion 1958-61 comp.
The Fish wrote:11) There’s a song in here somewhere I think I recognise but it’s something and nothing. This one is ALL about the guitar. If the last one was mad, this bad boy needs sectioning.
Ha! Modern psych from Thee Oh Sees, with Lupine Dominus from an album called Putrifier II. I think it was out about 5 years ago. They’re from San Francisco, of course. When you’re in the mood, this album is a trip! When you’re not, it’s a headache.
The Fish wrote:12) Oft covered Mickey Newbury song that I’ve heard in a number of versions, but never before in a bluesy garage style like this. It works though !
This is Supergrass. They do a great job, don’t they? It was on the b-side to Alright/Time, which was a huge hit for them in 1995. Kenny Rogers had the first hit with the song Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In) in the late 60s. Supergrass call it Condition. Good band, Supergrass. There’s a lot more to them than the hits.
The Fish wrote:13) Nice bit of ballady God bothering. Fell I should know the voice. Shades of Elvis. Shades of Jackie Wilson.
Shades of Elvis? It is Elvis. Great gospel singer, Elvis. This was on his 1957 Christmas album, which includes a few amazing gospel cuts.
The Fish wrote:14) Oh look it’s My Way. I suppose it’s acquired a certain cheesiness due to over exposure. Here it tests my “phone book” singer theory, but to quote the song, I’ll state my case of which Im certain – Aretha is the greatest bar none. There are those on BCB who would deny this. They are of course a) cloth-eared b) stupid c) very very wrong
God, isn’t it? Something of a rarity, I believe, too. Lord knows why, as it’s simply magnificent. And anyone who claims otherwise is certainly a, clearly b, and absurdly c. I thought you’d like it.
The Fish wrote:15) Why ? Interminable overblown drivel
I actually put this on there by mistake and decided to leave it on, just to see if you could be fooled into coming to the dark side. It’s Tangerine Dream, with Atem. Be honest, did you listen to it all?
The Fish wrote:
I'm guessing that was deliberate, ending on a high note. I bet you were chuckling as you put the disc together. Anyway thanks Paul, enjoyed this for the most part and let's face it, it wouldn't be a proper Bhoy mix without something I hated,
My pleasure – seems like a few hits. Of all of them, you should try some more Aldous Harding, take my word for it.
1 Aldous Harding – Swell Does the Skull
2 Leonard Cohen – Treaty
3 James Yorkston – the Blues You Sang
4 Louva-a-Deus “Mantis” – Fabiano do Nascimento
5 29 #Strafford APTS – Bon Iver
6 Ode to Billy Joe – Sinead O’Connor
7 Fallen Stag – Lomond Campbell
8 You Go To My Head – Frank Sinatra
9 La Chanson de Prévert – Serge Gainsbourg
10 Wailin’ – the Ventures
11 Lupine Dominus – Thee Oh Sees
12 Condition – Supergrass
13 It Is No Secret (What God Can Do) – Elvis Presley
14 My Way – Aretha Franklin
15 Atem – Tangerine Dream