Monthly Archives: April 2009

Nina Nastasia & Jim White – You Follow Me (Fat Cat, 2007)


Nick: Nina Nastasia and…?

Jim White

is he white?


my first reaction is, wind-cheaters, cardigans and sandals, English, folk.

exactly the same as it always was except that they’re trying desperately to update it with these weird rhythms, and the drumming accompaniment.

this stuff has been around for three centuries, they’re trying to bring it back to life.

am I being insensitive?

well whats wrong with wanting to update something?

nothing, but this isn’t a true update, the lyrics, the voice, the melodies, that’s all old stuff. but with all this badda-dabba-badda-dabba drumming…..

and to me there’s just this incompatibility between the music and her voice, she would be much better off playing with people from the same part of the forest as her.

occasionally the whole band do come together though.

this is just two people. she sings and plays guitar, he drums.

aha, now I understand, because it’s just the two of them he wants to be heard just as much. the old ego problem. he should be taking it easy, subtle. but instead he’s like ‘aaaagghhh look at me! notice me! I’m the drummer!’

the record is credited to the two of them as you might have noticed.

well that just backs up my point. ego.

so basically you’re a drumist.

what is a drumist?

you think drummers should be heard and not seen.

no no no! if this were jazz or something I’d have no problem with the drummer doing a solo, but this music just does not suit this kind of heavy drumming.

it’s like something that’s over designed, this is over drummed, the music would be fine without it.

it could be very good, it just needs new percussion, or a new band.

it’s like a lovely little subtle painting with a huge ostentatious frame around it.

This is my favorite out of Ms. Nastasias many amazing albums. Go figure.


The Byrds – Sweetheart Of The Rodeo (Columbia, 1968)

byrdheartNick: It’s obviously……it’s very ‘good’ music.

but it’s pretty depressing stuff all over, the tempo, the melodies, the singing.

it just all comes over as seriously depressing.

you expect to read in the paper the next day that the whole band has committed suicide or something, thrown themselves into a ravine.

flawlessly put together.

but even the jauntier song’s have these moaning violins or accordions.

and the voice combines with the moaning, minor instruments.

it’d be the sort of thing I would listen to once and then tell them to go and retire to their dark little corner and sit there whimpering because I do not wish to know anymore.

I dunno what he’s on about.

Bill Callahan – Sometimes I Wish We Were An Eagle (Drag City, 2009)


Nick: Not too good at the old grammar is he?

does he do everything or is he just the singer?

think on this he’s just singing and guitar.

can I have an opinion?

yeah of course.

this is supposed to be a poster for….

oh you’re not talking about the music, hold on.

it’s very nice, I would…like him to spend as much time and attention to the main melodic line as he, or whoever does to the arrangements.

the arrangements, they sort of… you know, tend to be quite original, whereas the main melodic line, although there’s nothing wrong with it, it tends to be very similar all the way through, you’ve heard one song you’ve heard them all.

so your attention starts to focus on the accompaniment.

there was a song back a bit with a kind of eastern or Asian feel to it, but the main melody was just the usual.

I like it.

serious production values.

and the way he sings, he could keep it up forever, no strain on his throat, he’ll be doing this for a long time.

It’s been a Bill Callahan kinda week.

Edan – Beauty & The Beat (Lewis, 2005)


Nick: This is a complete chaotic mess.

but for some reason it works! in fact it gets better the more chaotic it becomes.

it’s fascinating.

the bits like this, with the rapping, are quite ordinary but when it goes into these sections with all the mixing, all the different sounds and genres coming together it gets very interesting.

now, obviously it’s not my scene, I won’t be running back to listen to this, but as I said, it’s fascinating.

I have no idea how easy it is to make music like this, but I’d imagine it’s very hard to get it all to come together so well.

and energy, you’d need lots energy. I reckon he’s a non-smoker.

Salvador Dali


Salvador Dali

oh did he mention him?

no but he said ”numbers fall off the clock” I bet that’s a Dali reference.

you could be right.

is this still called rap?

yeah I guess so, hip hop.

but it’s more isn’t it? progressive rap?

there really isn’t a second that isn’t interesting, even the more normal bits are interesting because you’re waiting to hear where it will go next.

amazing stuff. has everything I like about music.

Enter the technicolour echo chamber, let it spin you round till you start puking rainbows.

LCD Soundsystem – Sound of Silver (DFA, 2007)


{Track 2 – Time To Get Away, James Murphy sings; ‘I like it automatic’}

Nick: I can hear that, yeah.

I quite liked the first number, but as always I would’ve preferred if it was less mechanical.

it irritates the shite out of me when you can clearly hear that the music was made by machines.

I have nothing against it, if it’s a way to do it, but this just sounds too mechanical.

because it’s very nice melodically in parts but after two minutes of repetition it just becomes terrible.

the only reason I can see for the mechanical sounds is if it’s just one guy with sequencers and all that.

it is just one guy really, I think.

live they’re a full band.

it’s like somebody was passing a factory, liked the sound of it, recorded it and put a song over it.

some music can sound very good with sequencers but not when they try to make it sound like real music.

it’s all real music

well, yes but…it sounds like he wants to be a band, it’s not artistic dishonesty it’s just……….getting it wrong.

do you know what I mean?

I know what you mean….

but you don’t agree with it.

{Track 5 – All My Friends}

like that is SO annoying, that dah dah dah dah dah dah dah piano sound, but if it had been played by a real person it wouldn’t be torture, you’d have variations in the sound.

of course now you’re going to tell me that it was played by a real person.

I have no idea, probably not.

if I was watching this live I would’ve left by now, it takes over, the piano, it becomes all you can hear, they may as well just leave out all the other sounds.

I’m sorry to say but it’s just creative laziness, find a nice second of music and repeat it endlessly, just because you couldn’t be bothered to write any more.

according to wikipedia, there were 12 musicians involved in the making of the record.

and what? they all just played one note? let the computers do the rest?

and actually I don’t give a shit about how it was made, it could be made in any way, it still sounds like one man with a computer.

{Track 9 -New York, I Love You But You’re Bringing Me Down}

this is ‘real’ music now isn’t it?

yes but it’s not very good is it?

I always forget about LCD Soundsystem, it’s weird. But a friend put this on over the weekend and it’s just so so good. My brain isn’t working today so I’ll leave it at that.

My Bloody Valentine – Loveless (Creation, 1991)


Nick: did that start at the beginning?



{Track 5 – When You Sleep}

I’ve heard this one before haven’t I?

it’s highly possible.

or have they stolen it from somewhere?

yeah that! doo-di-dee-do-do.

{Track 6 – I Only Said}

This I’ve heard before as well!

well you’ve probably just heard me playing it.

that must be it.

this is the wrong way to listen to this, I reckon I would like it if I were totally immersed in it, more volume, less distraction.

the last couple were interesting, but the first ones were dreary and repetitive noise, which is fine but you have to be immersed to get it.

you know what they remind me of as well?

Manhattan Transfer?

haha no, they’re Irish, name some Irish bands, you played them recently.

The Jimmy Cake?



could you not hear them playing this? obviously it would be different instrumentation, but they come from the same part of the forest.

All album covers should look like how the music within sounds.

Electrelane – The Power Out (Too Pure, 2004)


Nick: electro lane


electro lane

no, no o, tre, Electrelane

electra lane

tre, tre, Electrelane, one word.

this is good stuff!

quietly inventive.

if you listen to it superficially there’s not much to it, but listen carefully and there’s lots of invention.

actually it corresponds to what I’m looking at, logo’s made entirely from type, some of them are very clever, subtle.

very clever use of what I call dynamics.

everyone calls it that

do they? ok, so I’m right.

very effective, not a sledgehammer.

where are they from?


I can’t put my finger on it but they sound very European, mainland Europe, don’t ask me why but I never would’ve said American or British.

well, they have been singing in French and Spanish.

yes, I’ve just become aware of that.

it also has some elements of modern jazz in it, doesn’t it?

in fact it has loads of elements in it.

although it’s occasionally running extremely close to being very ordinary, it’s great stuff, I like it, I do like it.

Now on ‘indefinite hiatus’, Electrelane were / are one the best things ever, come back you moany lesbos!

Yeh Deadlies – The Snow Joke EP (Self Released, 2009)


Nick: as in; yeah, deadly?




ok it’s a short one so pay attention.

(record ends)

oh, that WAS very short

interesting contrast, what was it, the second or third song? the instrumental?

the forth I think.

well that was a nice contrast, but apart from that it was all very nice, I’d certainly listen to it again.

but it didn’t sound as if it was of now, if you know what I mean.

it was released this year.

was it? ok.

nice nice stuff.

Hmmm, not a great start to the week. Yeh Deadlies are easily one of my favorite Irish bands at this moment in time. They have the effortless, ramshackle folk pop charm of early Herman Dune mixed with….eh something else really great. Seek out!

oh hey!

Nick turned 71 on Saturday.

And I’m busy all week with recording so there’ll be no posts till next week.

Stay cool!

Crystal Stilts – Alight of Night (Slumberland, 2008)


Nick: that doesn’t make sense, are you sure it’s not ‘a light’?



(Nick whistles along to track 1: The Dazzled)

well it’s got you whistling!

yeah, exactly, it’s sorta catchy.

(track 3 – Graveyard Orbit)

I thought I was going to like this, and then as it continued, basically in the same vein, I thought, no! this is just an ongoing drone.

droning on at the same level, which makes it, the whole thing, a bit boring.

nothing to lift it.

what they badly need is an arranger.

do you know what I always find amazing about music like this?

that they don’t hear it themselves! they can’t hear how excruciatingly boring it is.

it just goes on and on, everything the same, no change.

how could they be happy with this?

if I were in the band and we were listening back to it….I’d say ‘ok, lets start again, let’s try to change something, anything’

it’s just more talented people making bad music.

it doesn’t need much to lift it out of the drudgery, maybe add another instrument, change the tempo now and then.

(track 11 – The City In The Sea)

ah! an almost different sound, oh no wait. no.

I really thought I was going to like this but..unfortunately it’s just boring music.

and it’s the tempo and the voice that make it boring, speed it up, use another voice, you might get something better.

no fun, no joy, no nothing really.

boring boring boring.

sad sad sad.

Even if it sounds like The Doors on ketamine, which is probably the most horrible thing I can imagine, for some reason I still quite like this record. Anyway this post is for my buddy ‘Oslo 12’ who has recently started his own blog – Go read!