There was less to do today at work. For now, the manic period has passed. Next will be POA. Hopefully, by then, we will have cleared away the backlog of errors and incomplete admin. I had intended to take a walk around the grounds at lunch time and even though work has quietened there were still sufficient things that needed doing so instead I sat at my desk typing at my PC.
At the end of the day, as much for relaxation as well as not wanting to go home to the solitude of the living room, I uploaded all the albums for Paul’s next musical feast. I stayed until 7.15. I wrote a brief outline with dates etc ready to mail tomorrow.
Another mix and muddle of sounds. I have tried to keep an eclectic and interesting variance of styles. Blues, Rock, Americana, Classical, Absurd and even Gypsy Folk Punk.
1. Lilly Allen – ‘It’s not me, it’s you.’ - 2009
When I first heard of Lilly Allen I dismissed her as being an ‘X-Factor candidate’ Nothing wrong with the X-Factor apart from it is not my cup of tea. Then I heard ‘The Fear’ and my opinion changed drastically. These aren’t your run of the mill pop songs even if they are dressed as such. They are wry, social commentaries and as such present Lilly Allen in a different light. She’s a folk singer of the 21st century.
2. Anton Bruckner (1824 – 1896) – Symphony No3 in D minor -1889
One of those excellent BBC Music magazine freebies; Mum buys them each month for me which is an excellent way to grow a classic CD collection. This is superb.
3. Arctic Monkeys – Favourite Worst Nightmare – 2007
The band's second album filled with the exceptional lyrics of Alex Turner that fuse so seamlessly with what sounds like, to these old ears, much like a ‘popped-up’ King Crimson with their complex riff’s that twist then turn with but pulse like throbbing carotid artery.
4. Ryan Adams – Gold – 2001
The new Elvis Costello apparently, or so the NME would have had us believe at the turn of the century. He has a new album out now which is highly rated but this is from ten years ago. Gold is a good album though filled with beautiful melodies and that rich American sound we both like.
5. Ivor Cutler – An Elpee and Two Epees – 2006
Never let it be said that Ivor was mad ‘cos he wasn’t. I first saw Ivor in 1967 when he appeared in The Beatles TV film ‘The Magical Mystery Tour’ not their finest hour but seeing Ivor performing as the hapless bus driver Buster Bloodvessel was as good as watching the fantastic Bonzo Dog Band who also made their first appearance in the same film. Absurdism at its very best.
6. Nick Drake – Bryter Layter – 1970
I had intended to include on the last (ePod man musical) USB albums or artists that were largely overlooked at their time of release. ‘The Twelve Dreams of Doctor Sardonicus’ by Spirit sadly didn’t make the last one but here is someone I, and a great many of my generation, overlooked. Now of course, and posthumously, Nick Drake is highly rated. I especially like ‘Northern Sky.’
7. Florence and the Machine – Lungs – 2009
A right royal kick up the backside from a lady with a fantastic voice and a band who rock; Florence Welch commands huge respect for her and the band’s highly original style. Like her main influence, Kate Bush, and presumably the bands also, together they soar with a majestic sound that really does lift the spirits. I especially like ‘You’ve Got the Love.’ And ‘Kiss With a Fist.’
8. Lightin’ Hopkins – ‘Nothin’ But The Blues – 1993
One of the greats of the blues genre - up there with Muddy Waters and John Lee Hooker, Bessie Smith and Blind Boy Jefferson. A voice from the delta richly soaked in the bourbon of experience. Gritty and downright dirty but with a rough-hewn beauty as black as the music that made it
9. Beck – Guero – 2006
I love and think his album ‘Odelay’ is one of the great all-time records. It is certainly among the best of the nineties – up there for me with Radiohead’s ‘The Bends’, Blur’s ‘Parklife’ and Massive Attack’s ‘Mezzanine.’ This is also good, four stars in fact and I like the way he, as many great artists do, fuse together multiple musical genres to create something fresh.
10. Bloc Party – Silent Alarm – 2005
John Peel raved about this remarkable band and after a swift listen it is easy to see why. Modern as the Tate but still with the pump ‘n grind that I like, it has that flavour of being cutting edge, possibly less so now but still worthy of attention. The lead singer, Kele Okereke, has an awful stammer but when he sings the power and passion in his voice are immense. Bloc Part are a great band who have deservedly won many awards.
11. Johhny Cash – ‘American IV: The Man Comes Around.’
Remarkable still. His voice here is aging, it is cracked but undefeated. Listen to ‘Hurt’ the old Trent Reznor song; utterly brilliant.
12. Fleet Foxes – 2008
These guys sit somewhere between Crosby, Stills and Nash and Matthews Southern Comfort. Exquisite tunes with exceptional harmonies. My favorite song of theirs, ‘Mykonos,’ is sadly not on this album – shame as it is one hell of a record.
13. Franz Ferdinand -2004
Another of the UK bands to appear around the middle of the naughties, highly stylized preferring the smart, almost Mod look of the Mid-Sixties to the rough and ready appearance of so many bands. This is their first album and I picked up it only because it was easier to get to but the second is equally as good. They are one of those sorts of bands who rise rapidly then seem to find it hard to get back the public attention they once had.
14. The Hives – ‘Your New Favourite Band.’ – 2001
Remarkably like Iggy and the Stooges but I forgive them.
15. The Good, The Bad & The Queen - 2007
There is no question of doubt in my mind that Damon Albarn inhabits the same pantheon as Lennon, McCartney, and Ray Davis. Here he is with Paul Simonon, Simon Tong, and the superb Tony Allen. Somber at times but still melodic and an enchanting listen
16. Hellwood – ‘Chainsaw of Life.’ – 2006
Two ornery critters from the Deep South, dirty as mud, quirky as a green groundhog. Hellwood are in fact songwriters Johnny Dowd and Jim White. Two highly rated guys usually to be found making solo albums. Dave bought this for me and in a funny way sums him as it is rough and ready but a treat to have around.
17. Hole – ‘Celebrity Skin.’ – 1998
After the death of Kurt Cobain Courtney Love had a rough time but pulled her life back again and together with her band made this magnificent album. There have been others but none quite so good.
18. Peter Gabriel – ‘Scratch my Back.’ – 2010.
One of my all time favourite singer/songwriters, in many ways the male version of Kate Bush. I do find that they are kindred spirits and not dissimilar in their approach to making music of another all-time favourite of mine David Bowie. This album is a selection of covers something that once I would have frowned upon but as I get older I realise is fundamental to the life of music. On this recording, Peter is accompanied by a 46 piece orchestra that gives the music a rich, warm feel.
19. Gogol Bordello – ‘Gypsy Punks’ – 2005
Somebody lock these chaps up they are ruining my dinner. Why they are like rats running over a barbecue.
20. King Crimson – ‘VROOM.’ 1994
The creators of ‘prog rock’ but also the first band ever, no matter what the experts may say, to play ‘heavy metal.’ They are not a ‘heavy metal’ band as the time signatures they employ are more jazz but boy do they make one helluva sound. Robert Fripp is among my top ten of guitarists.
21. LCD Soundsystem – ‘Sound of Silver’ – 2007
Less a band and more a one-man assault of sound. As Ethel Blowvalve would say, ‘As Funky as a Monkey in a Chicken Suit.’
22. Willy Mason – ‘Where The Humans Eat.’ – 2004
American in its warmth and delivery, a wonderful collection of songs from a singer/songwriter that seems to have been overlooked, I think you will like this one. He has another album being released now.
Captain Beefheart, Frank Zappa, The Fall, Mumford and Son, Little Dragon, and all fried in chip fat!
all words and art are copyright © of Russell 'C.J' Duffy. For another side of CJ go here: sOMeThiNg For tHE wEeKeND, SiR?