Tuesday, 30 March 2010

God Like Genius - The 4 Ages of Green



I read today that Scritti Politti are releasing a greatest hits lp soon. A true mark of genius is to keep growing keep changing but keep the quality. So I give you the 4 ages of Green



The age The NME : Everything about the band screamed NME. The left wing politics , the name as an homage to an Italian Marxist theorist, a song named after Jacques Derrida, the living in a squat and the early post punk recordings. The paper included a demo of "the Sweetest Girl" on a give away compilation. However underneath pop songs shone through. This was the hit single that never was and still one of the best things Green Gartside has recorded

Asylums in Jerusalem - from "Songs to Remember" 1982

The age of Smash Hits : By 1983 Scritti Politti had fully embraced shiny pop music but instead of reggae rhythms, underpinned it with hip hop and dance influences. At the same time the student of deconstruction was a fully paid up member of the "what colour socks do you like?" brigade. Although you always felt like he never fully jumped ship (the lp cover for Cupid and Psyche featured raw steak and white chocolate)

Wood Beez - from "Cupid and Psyche 85" 1985


The age of Q : If "Cupid and Psyche" and "Provision" flirted with hip hop and dance, The 4th lp (released a full 11 years after the 3rd) "Anomie and Bonhomie" fully embraced them,with a majority of tracks Green taking a back seat to guest stars such as Mos Def's raps. The cover I did think was a wonder of photoshop with the name of each song branded onto an everyday item. I've since read that each item was especially made - Green not taking the easy route to his art!


The track I've posted below was the lead off single and even now I still can't quite fathom why it wasn't a massive hit. I challenge you to listen to it and not to have the opening sample and the "time keeps slipping"refrain running through your brain for the rest of the day. The track is so confident that after 11 years we don't even hear Green's distinctive vocals for 1 1/2 minutes

The rest of the lp is a bit patchy maybe because of the high set by this and the more "traditional" Scritti track "Brushed with Oil Dusted with Powder"

Tinsel Town to Boogiedown from "Anomie and Bonhomie" 1999

The age of Uncut - Nothing for another 7 years, then out of the blue a new lp of stripped down songs, in a variety of styles that in places echoed among others Brian Wilson. "White Bread Black Beer" found it's audience I suspect with "Word" and "Uncut" readers who had fond memories of the early days. Green finally got some of the recognition that he deserved with the lp being nominated for the Mercury Prize. Like Ian McNabb before him, he was never going to win but the recognition was long over due. It felt right as well that it came with his most consistent lp, not a duff track on it.

Snow in Sun - From "White Bread Black Beer" 2006

You will never be without me
I'm beside you never doubt me
There'll be something good about me soon
Like sun on the London snow
Like snow in the London sun

You can buy all the lps mentioned here

Monday, 29 March 2010

Monday Moment part 3/26 - The Adventures


A truly great song in a truly horrendous sleeve (1985 the year of big hair) The Adventures are best known for their one hit "Broken Land" which came from their second lp. Their best moment is from their debut lp "Theodore and Friends".

I've always been a sucker for the massed vocal harmonies and when they kick in on the choruses it always gives me a shiver. Add to that guitars that sparkle and chime and this is still one of my favourite singles

You Can buy "Theodore and Friends" here. It thankfully has a much better cover

Sunday, 28 March 2010

Lazy Sunday - Lloyd Cole


Lazy Sunday and top of the shuffle pile is 7 mins of Lloyd. This is an alternative mix to a song that opened up his Bad Vibes lp. This version id from last year's excellent 4 disc compilation of demos, bsides and unreleased tracks.

I like it as it is about a close to a wall of sound that you are going to get with Lloyd Cole

You can buy Cleaning out the Ashtrays from Lloyd Cole's own website here

Saturday, 27 March 2010

Singular Sounds O - Orange Fetishes



I'm afraid I know nothing about this band a part from the fact that they are Irish.As you can imagine a search on google sends up some very strange websites. Media player doesn't help as in picking up album information it is convinced that this track is in fact the sound track to M. Buterfly. If anyone knows anything about them then please let me know as I'd like to hear some more stuff by them.




Anyway the track itself is a nice bit of Irish jangly pop


Thursday, 25 March 2010

And the Winner is







A while back I offered up the chance to win a copy of the Pearlfishers lp"Up with the Larks" (for some reason I'd ended up buying 2 copies).


My son has now made the prize draw and the winner is .........Colin (cd in the post)


Thanks to all those that e:mailed to take part and sorry you didn't get drawn out


To celebrate here is an earlier track and if any one can tell me what this is all about and what on earth jelly shoes are I'd be very grateful




Tuesday, 23 March 2010

The Family Japan



A couple of posts last week looked at the God Like Genius that is David Sylvian. But what about the rest of the band. For the sake of simplicity I've ignored Mike dean original guitarist, who left pre Tin Drum.




I've posted 4 tracks




The first is by "Rain Tree Crow". This was essentially a Japan reunion in all but name I think David Sylvian only did it on the condition that they didn't call each other Japan. The lp has a couple of tracks that are good as anything anyone in the band has done. The fact that they got together long enough to record anything considering the history between David Sylvian and Mick Karn (think John Terry and Wayne Bridge) the fact is they produced something so good was a real achievement. The sound builds on Japan and David Sylvian's solo stuff but adds a dash of "Spirit of Eden" period Talk Talk.
It gave a tantalising idea as to how the band might have developed





Mick Karn has recorded a number of largely instrumental lps which have his singular bass style to the fore. However he is also responsible for one of the great lost 80s singles made in 1982 just as the band had split up. The lyrics given extra meaning in that his former band mate and best friend had just walked off with his girlfriend



Sensitive - Mick Karn



He also buried the hatchet long enough for David Sylvian to contribute vocals to another track recorded for a later lp "Buoy". Shock of shocks it is almost a pop song with David Sylvian sounding dare I say it "upbeat"?



Buoy - David Sylvian and Mick Karn






Finally Steve Jansen and Richard Barbieri got together under the name Dolphin brothers and recorded one lp released in 1987. It is a slightly smoother , poppier, more electronic version of the Japan sound. As they are brothers I shouldn't be surprised as to how similar Steve Jansen's voice is to David Sylvian but it does still make me do whatever the audio version of a double take is. Apart from this both have appeared on numerous of Sylvian's solo recordings at one point or another



Catch the Fall - Dolphin Brothers

Sunday, 21 March 2010

Lazy Sunday - Elvis Costello


Lazy Sunday and top of the shuffle pile this week is a track by Elvis Costello from his lp "Blood and Chocolate". What I like about it is that despite sounding like it was recorded in a biscuit tin it just shows that Elvis costello can write on hell of a great pop song.

Friday, 19 March 2010

God like genius - David Sylvian part 2




Part 2 of David Sylvian God Like Genius, a bit of aural marmite. My 2 favourites of his solo lps are the linked "Secrets of the Beehive" from 1987 and 1999's sort of follow up "Dead Bees on a Cake". Both lps see him record some of his most melodic songs



First up is his solo version of "Forbidden Colours" the theme tune to "Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence" that he released with Ryuichi Sakamoto. This is a more organic version than the original (apologies for slipping into pretentious music journalist mode for a moment) which fits in in well with the rest of the lp. It is not as good as the original but is still one of the best things he has done.



Forbidden Colours - David Sylvian



Next up from "Dead Bees on a Cake" is the opening track which sees some gorgeous guitar playing and one of his strongest vocals. It's 9 minutes of music that washes over you. It is not music to dance to, best to listen with the lights dimmed in a comfy chair



I Surrender - David Sylvian



His last 2 lps have moved further away from the traditional song structure with the only melody really coming through the vocal line. It reminds me of what Talk Talk were doing with their last 2 lps. It is the sound of skilled musicians playing almost freeform. (alternatively as one of my friends put it the sound of musicians playing different songs in different rooms). I listen to "Blemish" quite a bit but it isn't an easy listen. I've yet to get "Manafon" which featured in a number of lps of the year charts although almost every review used either the word brave or the word difficult.



In between these two David Sylvian recorded an lp with his brother Steve Jansen under the name "Nine Horses" which was a lot more mainstream. The track I've posted even has some do do do dos backing vocals on it



Wonderful World - Nine Horses



You can buy "Snow Borne Sorrow" by Nine Horses here



You can listen to more samples of Nine Horses here

Thursday, 18 March 2010

God Like Genius - David Sylvian



A genius that splits opinion. David Sylvian is either a pretentious bowie/ferry rip off poser with a drone of a voice or someone with an ear for melody a voice of emotion and who makes atmospheric music and actively looks to experiment with his song structures and sounds.



Among my friend I am in a minority of one in agreeing with option 2. Over the next 2 days I'm going to post 7 tracks that try to prove my point!



The first is the obvious one from Japan. This was a top 5 single at a time when you actually had to sell a few copies to get a top 5 hit. Along with Laurie Anderson's O Superman it must one of stranger songs to climb so high. If it was released in these days of Simon Cowell singles I can't imaging it getting on the radio let alone in the charts. A brave single and still a great track. This version has a re recorded vocal for the double compilation lp "Everything and Nothing"



Ghosts - Japan


1984 saw the release of David Sylvian's first solo lp "Brilliant Trees". The song had a minor hit in the almost poppy "Red Guitar" but when the press and radio realised that they weren't going to get another "Art of Parties" but instead a lot of mood music they soon lost interest. This lp saw the start of a trend where he would surround himself with the best musicians he could find who operated on the margins of commercial music.



Nostalgia - David Sylvian



The next lp "Gone to Earth" must have had Virgin Music throwing their hands up in despair. David Sylvian was fairly sprinting away from the mainstream at this point. Record companies don't like double lps at the best of time let alone one where 2 sides are instrumentals. Despite all this the lp contains one of the best melodies he has written



Silver Moon - David Sylvian



To really push Virgin's patience he then releases a single called "Pop Song" which of course it wasn't



Pop Song - David Sylvian



I don't think what I've posted will convert anyone but hopefully it will remind a few people as to how good he can be and get them to explore some of his lps which you can get here



I've tended to look at his more mainstream releases and I'm not posting anything from his instrumental lps/eps or the work he did with Robert Fripp (some great songs are on their "First Day"lp) or with Holger Czukay.



You can find a full discography here on his website. I was going to say it was one of the best website designs for a singer/band I'd come across. However it has recently had a redesign and now features a drawing of David Sylvian that looks like it has come from one of those shops that sell scented candles, silk clothes and tarot cards. This is a bit odd as everything he releases normally comes with a gorgeous cover

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

A Year in Books 2010 - The Believers




Sometimes you do wonder who on earth is marketing books at the main publishers. Zoƫ Heller's previous book "Notes on the Scandal" dealt with the fall out of a teacher / pupil affair and the web of manipulation an older teacher spins as a consequence . It was a lot more of a subtle affair than the resulting film , which had Judi Dench's character get a bit too close to Misery territory.

Her latest book is built around a well off American liberal middle class family and has a lot in common with Jonathan Franzen's the Corrections . Someone at Penguin has made the bizarre decision to sell Heller's books as "Chick Lit". That is the only reason if a totally misguided reason I can think of for such and awful cover. The book has got a broad appeal ,however, it has a cover that means I'm loathed to read it on the tube in case people think I'm reading confessions of a "shopaholic yummy mummy" . Yes I know I shouldn't be so shallow and this shouldn't bother me but it does. Perhaps the salient point is that if I hadn't already read "Notes on a Scandal" there isn't a chance that I'd have picked this up.

Anyway back to the book. The story focuses on the family of Joel a celebrated human rights lawyer and how they react when he firstly falls into a coma and then they discover the true extent of his infidelities. We follow Audrey,the English mother (a bitch from hell) and and her dominated children - the adopted Luke who is relapsed drug addict, Rosa who much to tithe family's horror is discovering religion and Karla who is unsure about her own marraige and adoption plans . The novel focuses on how each of these 4 characters cope both with Joel's coma and the fact that they didn't know him as well as they all thought.

The book starts with a prologue of how Joel and Audrey met and continues to flit back and forth in time as you start to piece together how they all ended up the people the now are.

The main problem with the novel is that the character of Audrey is so strong and well written that the others seem to pale in her presence. When she is there she gets all the best lines (a lot of the humour comes from some of the outrageous things she says) and when the focus switched to other characters the pace of my reading picked up as I wanted to get to her again as soon as I could. Everytime you start to feel a shred of sympathy for her she comes out with somehting even more outrageously awful.

As I said it reminds me of the Corrections (although not as good) but at about 1/2 the size, so if you liked that book, then this is worth a go (if you can put up with the cover that is)



You can buy The Believers here

Monday, 15 March 2010

Monday Moments part 1 - The Waterboys



First week for a new Monday theme. The idea is that over the next 20 weeks I'm going to post tracks that have for me one of those moments when the hairs of your neck stand up. This could be due to a lyric ,a chord change, a key shift anything. By their nature they will be personal to me so most of the time I'm sure you'll wonder what I'm making a fuss about. But maybe one or two of you might share the same moments.



The first moment comes in The Whole of the Moon and isn't any of the things I've mentioned, but it is the bit where having built up a head of steam Mike Scott sings


"You came like a comet Blazing your trail"


At the same time in the background we get the sound of fireworks, it gets me every time. Having re listened to the song I always remember the rockets as being much more powerful, I think every time I hear it I add my own orchestra of fireworks at this point


Released in 1986 it was a staple of every poly bop and student party I went to , in fact every party I've been to since. At the time it was reported that it was about Mike Scott's sense of wonder at what Prince was doing, something he has since denied. By rights I should have felt a bit self conscious about shouting out lyrics that could have featured on a Yes lp -"Flags rags fairy boats, scimitars and scarves" but the music is so uplifting that somehow it is okay.


I feel strangely proud of the fact that I still know all the words off by heart.


On the sleeve notes for the expanded version of "This is the sea" the lp that "Whole of the Moon" came from, Mike Scott says he learnt the following


From The Velvet Underground : inspired content wins over technical proficiency, the glory of sustaining a single dynamic intensity for an entire track


From Astral Weeks: atmosphere , that string arrangements can be luminous and gossamer light


From Steve Reich: sudden short chord bursts , short melodic motifs repeated at strategic points , teeming strings and multiple tambourines playing disciplined rhythms and phrases


Added all together and you have one of the best singles ever and a Monday moment care of a cheesy firework effect

.

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Lazy Sunday - Lotus Eaters

Lazy sunday and top of the shuffle pile is a track from 80s one hit wonders the Lotus Eaters. "First Picture of You" is a real classic. This track however is from an LP they released in 2008 that seemed to pop out of nowhere. I like it because it still has that breezy summery sound of their hit, without sounding dated.









You can buy Silent Space here

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Why I Love Country Music - The Beautiful South



In 2004 The Beautiful South released "Gaze". By then the days of regular chart appearances were in the past. To try and drum up a bit of interest the record company started calling this their country lp. The songs featured were the usual mix a radio friendly tunes with razor sharp lyrics. There were a few nods the Nashville but no more than usual. I've posted 3 tracks and then to make the point I've posted their biggest hit which wouldn't seem out of place on a radio 2 country night and could be re-recorded as a Dolly and Kenny duet!














Paul Heaton and Dave Rotheray are two of the country's most under-rated songwriters. They are never mentioned when music programmes/ magazines periodically do their great songwriters slots. I think this may have something to do with the almost easy listening nature of some of the music, which is a real shame. It is almost as if they are viewed as that band that surprisingly sold a lot of their greatest hits lp.
You get the feeling is the same songs had been recorded in a gritty alt country style the "Uncuts" and "Words" of this world wouldn't stop having them on their front covers


You can buy Gaze here for the princely sum of £4:99!

Thursday, 11 March 2010

A Year in Books 10 - The Outliers



In the last few years a new section has appeared in bookshops - "popular science" as apposed to "unpopular science" which I imagine is reserved for big unwieldy hardback books with very small print and lots of complicated formulae in them.


The trend has included titles that have sold an awful lot of copies, "Freakonomics" being one and the first book from the above author "Tipping Point" being another early example. In these books the subjects may vary widely but the pattern and style remains consistent. The science bit is kept in the background as almost a secondary thought to the idea of concepts explained through story telling. Don't get me wrong there is nothing wrong with this , the best teachers I had were the ones that could tell the best stories and it is the ideas and concepts in those stories that i remember rather than the dry facts.




I'd not read Malcolm Gladwell's previous 2 books ("Tipping Point" and "Blink") but "outliers" was recommended to me so I thought I'd give it a go.


The main concept is to look at why some people achieve so much more than others? Do any patterns emerge? Well it is not spoiling the plot to say that some patterns do emerge and you don't need to be a genius to figure out that hard work , taking opportunity , your cultural background, when and where you were born and luck all play a key part. The ideas themselves aren't really what is important, the real skill is how Gladwell gets them across. In pulling the threads together Gladwell looks at subjects as diverse as Bill Gates, The Beatles, Jewish law firms, and the Canadian Ice Hockey League. He tells his tales with great style, humour and intelligence. It is a good and interesting read, however there are 2 issues.




The first relates to the other pattern that a lot of these popular science books have is that they start with 2/3 great chapters and then the links to the big idea begin to get a bit more tenuous and the the later chapters can fade away. "Outliers" is a great example of this. It makes a great point about how which month of the year you are born in can massively impact the chances you have at succeeding at professional sport (which is why I'm not a pro golfer), how cultural norms can increase greatly the risk of an air crash, and selection based on high IQ is fundamentally flawed. However once we get on to rice growing cultures v wheat growing culture then the attention does begin to drift and the final chapter on his mother had me skim reading at my quickest.




The second point is that a bit like fast food, it is okay when you are eating it but afterwards the feeling fades - when I finish these books a little voice does seem to pop into my head and say "so what" and I feel I'm left with a couple of good conversation starters at parties but that is about it.




So I guess if you are looking for the answers to life the universe and everything than look elsewhere but if you want so interesting ideas to chew on then give it a go


You can get Outliers here

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

life of live - Martin Stephenson



Whilst waiting for the new Dainties lp to come out I managed to see Martin Stephenson on a short solo tour. From what I remember it wasn't strictly solo as he had with him multi instrumentalist Micky Watson who it seems could play just about everything. Micky Watson played with the band for a couple of the lps and tours and not blessed with the pop star looks (think Chris Evans with bigger glasses and more ginger hair) his other main role seemed to be the constant butt of piss taking from Martin. He seemed to take it all in good heart but sometimes it would make you wince. They fell out sometime later and I often wonder if night after night of the constant public micky taking had something to do with it.

Anyway the concert was a mix of old songs and new. The concert was a much more mellow experience than seeing the Dainties, Martin singing and playing guitar and Micky adding depth and texture with clarinet, accordion and anything else he could get his hands on. This was at the time when I thought Martin could do no wrong and was busily trying to track down everything the dainties had released at that point, so it was great to hear some new stuff and old stuff but in a different arrangement.





I think every band should have one song where when they play it live the singer almost becomes redundant as the crowd lost in their own version sing the song instead. For the dainties it was the track I've posted. There was something special about an the crowd singing in whispered vocals as Martin strummed on the guitar. It was a"hairs on the back of your neck" moment and the lasting memory from this concert




Monday, 8 March 2010

Miracle Mile monday part 28

So it comes to an end - 7 lps with 4 tracks from each and if you don't think everyone's a winner, well we will just have to disagree. I've chosen this song to end not because it is one of my favourites but I think it is a typical Miracle Mile song in that the playing is faultless, you keep hearing new subtleties and it has one of those killer choruses that hooks into your brain and never lets go.



Say the sun will rise tomorrow

Try and cast away your sorrows



Step by Step - Miracle Mile



Thanks to sticking with it and a big thankyou to Trevor for leaving comments of support and explanantion



The good news is that in one of those comments he has mentioned that he and Marcus Cliffe have started work on the next lp.



In the meantime you can buy all the Miracle Mile lps here on their website (as well as last years fantastic Trevor Jones solo lp "Hopeland") all £10 each including postage. Pretty good value!



Some of the tracks posted here along with others just as good are featured on a "best of" called "Coffee and Stars" (for some reason sums up their songs) which can also be found on the website



As for next week , well I'd be lost without a theme and I've settled on Monday Moments (I'm sticking with the alliteration) - the idea is songs that have a certain phrase, melody , instrumental break, single chord etc that give me one of those hair on the back of the neck moments. If nothing else it will give me a chance to wax lyrical on some of my favourite songs.

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Lazy Sunday - My Latest Novel




Lazy Sunday and top of the shuffle pile this week is a track from the 2nd lp of "My Latest Novel" (one of my favourite band names and that is before we get to the music). What I like about this is the way it just builds and builds (and the sudden appearance of some sweet bo bo bos)




You can buy their 2 lps here. They are both great but if you pick one then I think "Death and Entrances" just shades it.

Saturday, 6 March 2010

Singular Sounds N - Neneh Cherry


Well it was a choice between this or Northside. Listening to them both again the Northside one has dated a bit so I've gone for Neneh Cherry. I didn't really like "Buffalo Stance" the lead off single to the "Raw Like Sushi" lp. However the follow up was another matter. The moody synths and low key vocals should jar with the rap parts but somehow they fit so well together. I think I must have suspected this was a bit of a one off as I didn't buy anything else by her


Looking at her Wikipedia page it is amazing the variety of stuff she has done and people she has collaborated with . All that and having her own cookery show as well!


Manchild - Neneh Cherry

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Bigger Than the Beatles - Furniture

Furniture are one of those bands who seemed to be for ever on the verge of a big breakthrough only for bad luck to whip the carpet from under their feet. Formed in 1979 their debut single appeared 2 years later and up until 1991 they produced 3 lps of great pop songs but pop songs with a dark twist either in the words or the way the melodies never seem to go quite where you'd expect them to.


They are best known for "Brilliant Mind" apparently Boy George's favourite song of the 80's.(don't let this put you off) It is one of those rare songs that, despite only reaching 21 in the pop charts, my guess is that most people in their early 40's would know if you sang a few bars to them. I've also yet to come across anyone who doesnt like the song.


The first lp, "The Lovemongers" is more of a compilation of tracks released previously on a mini lp and various singles, as a result it feels a bit inconsistent.

I've posted my favourite track "Bullet" which isn't really representative sound wise (synth dominates this one) but the more uncomfortable elements of relationships is a theme that the band's lyrics return to again and again. In fact listening back it may be their only theme




Things were on the up with the release of the next lp in 1986. "Brilliant Mind" had been a hit and appeared on the obligatory John Hughes soundtrack (Some Kind of Wonderful). Their record company pressed 30,000 copies of the lp (The Wrong People) which met advanced orders. The record company couldn't afford to press more to keep up with demand and went bust shortly after release. As a result the lp shot up the charts and then just a quickly plummeted out as no one could get hold of a copy to buy.


This is a real shame as the follow up single "Love your Shoes" (an earlier version also appears on the Lovemongers) was just as good as "Brilliant Mind" but suffered the same fate as the lp




I know it is going to rain on our party

But we mustn't let that get us down


4 years went by (3 of which trying to get themselves out of the Stiff contract) until, now signed to Arista, the lp "Food Sex and Paranoia" was released by which time the band were already being featured as one hit wonder quiz questions. The two tracks I've featured here again showcase catchy songs about doomed relationships.




Out on the town with a friend of a friend

I'm not ready I'm not ready

When something else hasnt come to an end




I woke up in someone else's bed

To face a jury of my peers


They started work on the next lp but had to stop when the recording studio shut down. Eventually they split, with stangely two members going on to form Transglobal Underground. A compilation "She Gets out the Scrapbook" followed. All the lps are a nightmare to get hold of and tend to go for silly prices.


I think as a band one of the things that made them so good is that they were blessed with 2 main singers and songwriters so my guess is it kept the quality threshold high. My copies of the 3 lps are on worn out vinyl so I live in hope of an eventual cd re release.


If all you know about Furniture is "Brilliant Mind" then give these a listen I don't think you'll be disappointed

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Say Something concept - Kate Bush


Kate Bush had kind of passed me by up to the mid 80s. I knew some of the singles and had a memory of my dad insisting on doing his own version of Wuthering Heights every time it came on the radio ( a joke that wore off after the first attempt). However, all that changed with seeing her on Wogan performing "Running Up That Hill" . Thinking back it is amazing the number of great songs I heard for the first time on Wogan . (he used to have a chat show that like Eastenders seemed to be on every night) The song was amazing and she looked gorgeous despite dressed in a strange grey cross between a dress and trousers and doing some very strange dancing.

I therefore bought the lp and it is still one of favourites. The reason is more to do with side 2 (in old lp language ) rather than side 1 with all the singles on.

Subtitled the 9th Wave, the set of 7 songs all built around a drowning girl lost at sea. It is a proper mini concept with sound effects and voices that float in and out of the girl's mind as she slips in and out of consciousness.
One particularly effective piece has a number of different voices from her present and past try to wake her up.

I've posted 2 songs. The first is one of the most beautiful things she has done. "And Dreams of Sheep" sees the girl longing for the release that sleep will bring her

Little light shining,
Little light will guide them to me.
My face is all lit up,
My face is all lit up.
If they find me racing white horses,
They'll not take me for a buoy.

Let me be weak,
Let me sleep
And dream of sheep.

"Attention shipping information in sea areas...Bell Rock, Tiree,
Cromaty, gale east...Malin, Sellafield..."

"Come here with me now."

Oh, I'll wake up
To any sound of engines,
Ev'ry gull a seeking craft.
I can't keep my eyes open--
Wish I had my radio.

I tune in to some friendly voices
Talking 'bout stupid things.
I can't be left to my imagination.

Let me be weak,
Let me sleep
And dream of sheep.

Ooh, their breath is warm
And they smell like sleep,
And they say they take me home.
Like poppies heavy with seed
They take me deeper and deeper


The second song sees the girl's future telling her that she can't die or her future self will cease to exist all sang around a whirling Irish jig.


Hello, old lady.
I know your face well.
I know it well.

She says,
"Ooh-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na!
I'll be sitting in your mirror.
Now is the place where the crossroads meet.
Will you look into the future?

"Never, never say goodbye
To my part of your life.
No, no, no, no, no!
Oh, oh, oh,

"Let me live!"
She said.
"C'mon and let me live, girl!"
She said,
"C'mon and let me live, girl!"
("C'mon and let me live!")

"This moment in time,"
(She said.)
It doesn't belong to you,"
(She said,)
It belongs to me,

"And to your little boy and to your little girl,
And the one hand clapping:
Where on your palm is my little line,
When you're written in mine
As an old memory?
Ooh, na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-

"Never, never say goodbye
To my part of your life.
Oh no, no, no, no, no!
Never, never, never!
Never, never let me go!"

She said,
"C'mon and let me live, girl!'
("C'mon and let me live!")
She said,
"C'mon and let me live, girl!"
("C'mon and let me live!")

I put this
moment..............................................here.
I put this moment.........................here.
I put this moment--

"Over here!
"Over here!
Can't you see where memories are kept bright?
Tripping on the water like a laughing girl.
Time in her eyes is spawning past life,
One with the ocean and the woman unfurled,
Holding all the love that waits for you here.
Catch us now for I am your future.
A kiss on the wind and we'll make the land.
Come over here to where When lingers,
Waiting in this empty world,
Waiting for Then, when the lifespray cools.
For Now does ride in on the curl of the wave,
And you will dance with me in the sunlit pools.
We are of the going water and the gone.
We are of water in the holy land of water
And all that's to come runs in
With the thrust on the strand."




The side ends with "The Morning Fog" which is up lifting but still leaves it ambiguous as to whether the woman is saved or not.



From hearing the Ninth Wave I then went on to buy all of Kate Bush's lps and as with the Blue Nile live in hope that the time between them will start to get shorter. If I ever found myself in an extremely unlikely "Juliet Naked" situation and I ever met her, it is these set of songs that I'd have to stop myself appearing an overly obsessive fan and start asking for a line by line explanation



For info on all things Kate Bush go here - this is one of the best fan sites around , if a little scary in the detail present (and that it has a photo that seems to giver her comedy giant hands)



And Dream of Sleep - Kate Bush



Jig of Life - Kate Bush



My guess is that most people who read this will have heard the Hounds of Love , but if not give it a go just to lose yourself in side 2

Monday, 1 March 2010

Miracle Mile Monday part 27


The penultimate Miracle Mile post. This track follows the usual pattern of building to a killer chorus. Also important for keeping the word plasticine in the English language as playdoh seeks world domination.



As ever you can buy Limbo from the band's website here