Saturday, 22 September 2012

Gillian Welch - David Rawlings - Covers

The songwriting and musical partnership of Gillian Welch and David Rawlings has delivered five albums of stunning original material in the traditional style which evokes elements of old timey string band music, Appalachian lullabies, bluegrass, gospel and Americana.

Without doubt they are amazing musicians, with legendary live shows across the world and the duo are not shy of dropping a cover or two into their sets, recent Harrow and the Harvest tour shows have seen a startling cover of Jefferson Airplane's 'White Rabbit' closing the sets.

A true test of the quality of a songwriters craft is the ability for that song to be performed and for all it's power, resonance and emotion to retain - Johnny Cash's American recordings saw him reinterpret unusual rockers into modern country tracks with amazing effect. The fact that contemporary, traditional and alternative country acts have embraced the work of Welch and Rawlings shows that this pair have written some brilliant songs over the last sixteen years.

Using Spotify we've cobbled together a 20 track collection of some covers of Gillian Welch and Dave Rawlings works, kicking off with an original song by Norwegian artist Ane Brun, advocating her love for Gillian's music, what it means to her and echoing the sentiments of many fans.

Red Molly bring a gentle take on Annabelle from their live album 'Never Been to Vegas', followed by contemporary bluegrass stalwarts The Greencards romp through 'Caleb Meyer'.

Surprisingly the Elan Mehler Quartet tame The King himself and turn 'Elvis Presley Blues' into a meditative piece of elegant piano jazz. Alternative nu-bluegrass act Jubal's Kin provide a fabulous down beat version of Everything is Free, before country big star Miranda Lambert shines a light on Look At Miss Ohio from her 2011 release 'Four the Record'.

Ex Nickel Creek and current Punch Brother, Chris Thile brings his blazing mandolin virtuosity to Soul Journey's 'Wayside/Back In Time' followed by another 14 takes, proving you can't do a great song badly.

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Ridley Scott - Prometheus - Alien


It's a big why? Maybe we all don't want to know the real reason. Inconvenient utility bills usually land around the same time as a Robert DeNiro comedy. Nuff said.

Alien was released in 1979. At the time it shocked and stunned audiences. Without any Internet hype, media attention it quietly worked it's way through a mainstream cinema audience and scared seven shades out of them.

It will never happen again.

Never mind a back story. 'Ever realise you've been had?'.

Enjoy what was, revel in young audiences seeing that for the first time. Give the young generation something magnificent which belongs to them! Enough of the re-hashes and re-works and re-imaginings.

A new imagination please....and soon...because the old people are bored too....

Friday, 6 April 2012

Beth Orton - Pass In Time - Boards of Canada - Geogaddi

Revisiting records has always had it's benefits, often with the case of an initial spin of an artists 2nd album not quite capturing the feeling you had when first hearing said artist.

Big one for me was Boards of Canada's second album Geogaddi, whereas Music Has the Right To Children had the chance to grow organically, latching onto peoples minds and spreading by word of mouth without the standard these days of flashes of Internet hype, Geogaddi dropped with the press and public eagerly awaiting it.

I found it initially dull, an identikit of the first, with a darker pallate of sounds, so ,I kind of ignored it and went on my way. Close to ten years later and the album found itself on heavy rotation, I was now hungry for the twisted sounds and reading commentary on it (after the fact) found the basis of the tracks, the source of the samples and the thoughts behind it fascinating.

Like wise Beth Orton's 1999 album Central Reservation, gathering bigger stars for the remixes (EBTG's Ben Watt on the title track) again made it seem too forced, the expectation raised from her debut Trailer Park a few years earlier, which kind of just happened. Listening to the album again some of the more 'dance' orientated tracks seem trapped in an amber of the era, leaving the simplistic folky numbers sounding as fresh as anything out at the moment. Stand outs amongst these are the superb Pass In Time, with Terry Callier providing a suitably mellow counterpoint to Beth's introspective song about the passing of her Mother, and the haunting Blood Red River.

It's been over six years since her last release, The Comfort of Strangers (her fourth) so it's quite timely that she's set to return later this year, recording now for Anti, the home of Tom Waits and Jolie Holland amongst others. File under eagerly awaited......

Friday, 3 February 2012

Stereoboard - Name and shame

Stereoboard (a ticket price comparison site) has taken it upon itself to name and shame some 'dodgy' ticket sites, including publishing a long list on their site and mentioning the fact that even though the url may contain the band or artists name it may not be legitimate.

Well, excuse me. I've seen some great enterprising bloggers who have some of these sites who only offer links to first point of sale agents like Ticketmaster and then offer links to resale websites when those original tickets are sold out. Stereobored seem to think it's OK to pander to 'genuine music fans' and offer links direct to resale sites straight of the bat. Come on.

The music scene is looking like it's going the way of all things, great sites like Wegottickets who were the first to do away with the paper ticket and still offer incredibly reasonable admin fees are slowly been pushed out by other 'cats' sweetening the deal with promoters. Eat Your Own Ears the cooler than thou promotion team behind big Hackney hits Field Day and AppleCart recently seem to have hopped into bed with See Tickets, and now feature all links to tickets in their mail out to See Tickets.

Now anybody with any sense will do themselves a favour and check with Wegottickets first, because you might be making a bit of a saving. James Yorkston and the Athletes are playing a show at Cecil Sharp House to celebrate 10 years since 'Moving up Country' was released. Tickets £14.50 so 4 tickets is (4 x 14.50 = 58) £58.00. Ok so far so good, Wegottickets charge £5.80 admin (10%) making a total of £63.80. Over at See Tickets we get a £2.45 booking fee on each ticket taking it to £67.80 and then another admin fee on top of that, a mysterious £2.31 bringing the grand total to £70.11.

Come on?

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Magnasiks - Exotique-Robotique

Super chilled house meets electronica on this d├ębut release from Carla Magnasiks on a new label, Pink Pussycat Records.
Icily cool, with a great propelling bass, moving things along nicely as the tune pulses and purrs with some ghostly tones and throbs. This brings to mind early Sabres in places, some choice elements of Warp, with some nice bleeps and melodies pushing the tune forward.

Looking forward to hearing more from this new artist and a promising release on this new label. It drops on the 16th of January 2012.

Magnasiks - Exotique-Robotique

Monday, 5 September 2011

Dracula - The Origins and Influence of the Legendary Vampire Count.

Giles Morgan, a writer who has contributed some impressive entries into the pocket essentials series on subjects like The Holy Grail, Saints, The Knights Templar and Freemasons has just released his latest.

This time exclusive to the Amazon Kindle store, Dracula: The Origins and Influence of the Legendary Vampire Count covers many aspects of the vampire myths and legends. From similar figures throughout world folklore to cinematic and literary portrayals of the count, this book is a fascinating insight into arguably one of the most famous horror creations ever known.

You can check the book here....

My Brightest Diamond - Reaching Through To the Other Side - Wisdom Thief Remix

Wisdom Thief, a good friend of us here at Too Hot To Trot has been busy dabbling and dusting of the pads again for some excursions into the ill-bient. The Thief has a track added to the Warp compilation competition, which probably won't do much, but chuffed to be allowed to hang out with the other 1500+ hopefuls.

On top of that My Brightest Diamond have an upcoming release on Asthmatic Kitty. Shara Worden has put up the elements of lead track 'Reaching Through To The Other Side' out to the interwebs for budding producers and DJ types to have play with.

Here's the Wisdom Thief re-rub....

My Brightest Diamond - Reaching Through To The Other Side - Wisdom Thief Remix by Wisdom Thief

And here's the Warp entry if you fancy a bit of that....

Ugggtgf by Wisdom Thief