Friday, 27 August 2010

Pixieguts and Jim Robson - A tweet I followed.

 Sometimes you click on something and instead of moving on you hang around and follow it through -

@Pixieguts Track release: Again by @JimRobson featuring my vocals, our first collaboration. http://bit.ly/JimRobsonAgain

I recommend you go and have a listen to this track. 

Voice: Marie Craven pixieguts.com
Music: Jim Robson reverbnation.com/jimrobson

Bugger it I think I must get this 'brainworm'.

Revolectronic Society™ - This week's FAV

Basically this is a music collective, that in my humble opinion (I must be more humble and moderate my opinions because I have been accused of being arrogant and unprofessional) - Bollocks - I think this is one of the best 'collaborations' out there, if not the best. 'Save It' is very, very solid and (without offending - you see I'm trying hard to be...) grown up - in an on the edge sort of way.

This is what is said on ReverbNation:
Revolectronic Society is an open group of musicians and artists who've come together with unique styles of influence and have collaborated to create the most unusual electronic music. Society is diverse, and so are we. Revolectronic Society welcomes anyone who would like to join in! Share your talents with us, whatever it may be!




I don't count beats and I can't be arsed to do so, I have no idea what genre this belongs to and quiet frankly I don't give a shit - It is on my player and I love it!


Friday, 20 August 2010

The Raven - Review


If you like luscious strings the track  One Last Time is well worth listening to...but pop over to Myspace and listen to 'Devils Path' for a darker look into this varied collection of tracks.

The smashing of styles and genres together creates an interesting creative, solid product. I love the string, drum, guitar (actually all) production on these tracks - even though each song has a different mood the whole thing is cohesive and very listenable.  Great stuff.

From ReverbNation:
 

Davey Strehler started The Raven at the age of sixteen, while he was living in sunny Ft.Lauderdale,FL. Between 2007-2008, Davey focused on imporving his musical skills, in Voice,Guitar,Bass and Drums. The band went through numerous members, yet none felt the same passion and drive to provide the band with the dedication needed. In 2009, Davey released the long anticipated E.P through Danse Macabre Records.



Thursday, 19 August 2010

If you don't like it lump it

I have had a lot of support from the readers of this blog with my stance regarding the pap we are being forced to listen to (see http://bit.ly/ckMo3q ).

I am more than happy to be criticized but make it personal and I will simply tell you to f---k off and call you a c--t.  If you disagree then make a comment. If you think I am arrogant then fine but I have my own opinion and I will defend it!

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

This Darker Entity - In All Conscience

When you get an email with content like this you have to go and investigate:

....anyway for the project i have to say that is rubbish,untalented,i am an asshole,deceiver, cause if i say anything different,.........








He's a F*********g fraud and liar. This is brilliant and everything I love about DIY music, dirty, noisy, clever, simple, analogue drums,  analogue arpeggios, scary, and fucking angry!  This is simply beautiful madness. If I had a star rating system this would be 10 out of 10!

Reminds me very much of a partner in crime of mine called Garry Smout (T34, Finish The Story, Eva Eva) - must go and see him and make some NOISE - Thanks for getting in touch with me.

Visit their site
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Below is part of an earlier email interview I did with This Darker Entity.
  • Your tracks appear to be heavy (analogue) synth sounds, how would you describe your music?
ANSWER 1- I'm coming from a thrash/death metal background of 80's bands as POSSESSED, CELTIC FROST, among others,so what always I do, I have them in mind.This Darker entity hunting *the spirit of innovation* and I'll explain why? All recordings I've made created on a 1994 pc with windows 98 on it,a microphone that cost 3 dollars in a pc store and a second hand Yamaha SW60 sound card i bought 30 dollars from a friend,and I download the drivers from the net. As you can see this is a miracle of its own,by creating whole songs with such a poor equipment. Other than that I'm not studied musician I don't know notes or musical terms, just creating by *ear* hearing the sounds and record piece by piece. If you ask me what DO RE MI FA SO LA SI DO is, I'll tell you is a pizza or spaghetti....So I call my music ELECTRIC DOOM SYNTHESIS, and this last one is borrowed by BEHERIT/Finland!


The Black String Theory - Review

The Black String Theory stride out from the angst-ridden dark spaces that are called Gothic and deliver songs that have audio references to the 1980's and 1990's. It would be easy to make a list of lots of bands and artists that these tracks remind me of but that would be a bit pointless and quite disrespectful. These tracks immediately draw you in emotionally and lift you up - deliciously self indulgent and music perfect for the twilight. What else can I say except go and have a listen.

The four-song, self titled EP was mixed by GRAMMY Award winning engineer, Chris Testa (Jimmy Eat World, The Subways, Motion City Soundtrack, Switchfoot, Mat Kearney) in Los Angeles, CA and mastered by Tim Young (Editors, The Clash, Bat For Lashes, The Kooks) at Metropolis Studios in London, UK. The EP was made available worldwide via iTunes at the end of April and is also available via Amazon, Napster and eMusic. 

Below is from MySpace:

THE BLACK STRING THEORY was first conceived in July 2009, inspired by what van Dort views as a quest for self-liberation and a life of authenticity. Van Dort says “You can look in an office anywhere around the world and no doubt you’ll find most people there have a shadow life of some sort. I’ve spent years working corporate 9-5 jobs, while writing music and playing in bands on the side, so I know what it's like to lead a double-life. I realized I had to give rise to that side of me if I was ever going to live authentically.”


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Saturday, 14 August 2010

The Tascam 144 4 track cassette recorder

'Like A Sickle Runs Through Corn' was recorded on a 4 track Tascam 144 cassette recorder – I had bought this in Birmingham – the store fleeced me with excessive repayments – they were expensive bits of kit and a piece of cutting edge technology - in comparison with today’s digital audio world they were positively primitive. This was a massive investment for me and at the time - it was the best available home recording equipment on the market and Finish The Story had two of them.


Remember the tascam 144 portastudio 4 track multi-track cassette recorder? http://tinyurl.com/23nlpjt Track released by Beggars Banquet, see Finish The Story track on this 1980's vinyl release on Discogs.com

Below is from Amazon.com

Gunfire and Pianos LP Zig Zag Situation Two - made in England - 1988 situ 17...Lp vinyl record album, not a cd...various artists...cover is VG+ condition with made in England sticker, vinyl is VG condition with some marks...features : ALL ABOUT EVE - Suppertime / AGE OF CHANCE -I Don't Know And I Don't Care / ZOOEY - Teddy Bear / MANCUBS - Serious / PSYCHIC TV - Baby's Gone Away / MEMBRANES - (Even More) Skin and Bone / ZOOEY - Carnival / DIATRIBE - Peace In Our Time / JAZZ BUTCHER - Lost In France / FINISH THE STORY - Like a Sickle Runs Through Corn / PASTELS - I'm Alright With You / BABY BRAVE - Rainmaker / BRIGANDAGE - Up To You / VERY THINGS - The Hole / NAKED RAYGUN -Home Of The Brave / ZOOEY - Zooey.

Nude Woodcut for sale

This series of woodcuts is available to purchase. This image was exhibited in the 150 Building at West Buckland School, North Devon. This woodcut is printed over pages of an old directory of important people from the early 20th century. … Continue reading
 

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Portrait of St.Austell – woodcut print for sale

Woodcut printed over high quality printed page from a book outlining the history of St.Austell in Cornwall. This series of woodcuts is available to purchase. This image was exhibited in the 150 Building at West Buckland School, North Devon. Each … Continue reading

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Jim Robson - Review

I often dip into Jim Robson's music, relaxing, beautifully constructed and executed. The production is first rate  - 'Equilibrium' is a cool chill out track which is perfect from where I'm sitting,  looking out to the sea with the sun just beginning to set after a wonderful warm Summer's day.

'Bridge' gently pulls you into its atmospheric swirl and cocoons you safely in a piano, feather filled duvet - Splendid!




This is what is said on Reverb Nation: Around the 80's JIM ROBSON bought a 4-track tape-recorder and wrote like mad. Then MIDI came on the scene and he embraced that like it was going out of fashion (which it hasn't). The keyboard has always been a favourite medium of musical expression of his and although he have never had any lessons, he continues to use it as a compositional tool.

Speaking as an 'old man' who cut his teeth on 2 and 4 track tape recorders, you can tell when a piece of music is not over produced with a zillion tracks. Using tape taught me not to be overly excessive when laying down tracks - only play and record what you need. I think I can spot the same philosophy in this music, the temptation to over produce has been avoided, you are only given what is precisely required. That is a rare skill these days.

Nika Shoot - Concert

I watched Nika Shoot play last year and it was jaw dropping. To feel a grand piano rumble and hear it cry is an experience that is up there on any to do list.



West Buckland Festival 2010
Thursday 9th September, 7.30p.m. to 9.45p.m. Pianist Veronika Shoot currently studying at the Royal Academy of Music, London presents a special program of classical Piano Music.
Interval at 8.20 p.m. refreshments.
Tickets £12


Russian-born Nika Shoot moved to England aged 5, and gave her first recital aged 7 in Dartington International Summer School. She began her musical training with her mother, and at the age of 7 was offered a full scholarship to study at the two leading music schools in the UK, but continued her private tuition with Ilana Davids until the age of 10, when she took up a place at the Yehudi Menuhin School of music to study with Irina Zaritskaya. Later, she continued her studies at the Purcell School of music under a full scholarship, and is at present in her third year at the Royal Academy of Music where she is a recipient of the Frederic Jackson Award, studying with Tatiana Sarkissova.
Nika has performed at numerous venues throughout England and abroad, notably, London’s Wigmore Hall on 3 occasions, The Queen Elizabeth Hall, Steinway Hall, The Purcell Room and Jaques Samuels. Concerts abroad include ; The Amsterdam Conservatoire, The Royal Conservatoire in the Hague, the International Mozart Festival in Istanbul, The Coblenz Gymnasium in Germany, the Hudební Škola in Prague and L’Opera Gabriel at the Chateau de Versailles, France. A recipent of numerous prizes and awards, including the musicas fund and the Michael Hamburg trust, Nika received a special award at the 2008 Final of the Yamaha International Piano Competition (YMFE),inviting her to attend that years’ Birmingham International Piano Academy under a full scholarship. Nika has given many recitals and concerto performances in venues throughout Devon, including Plymouth, Dartmouth, Exeter, Torquay, West Buckland Festival, and Dartington’s Great Hall. Nika was a winner of the Young Musicians’ Competition at the Two Moors Festival, where she also gave a recital.
She has had masterclasses with renowned musicians such as Dmitri Bashkirov, Murray Perahia, Jean-Bernard Pommier, John Lill, Boris Berman, Joanna Macgregor and others. A participant of the Tel Hai International Piano Masterclasses in Israel, she studied under Emanuel Krasovsky, playing in a number of masterclasses and performances. In July 2009, she was selected by John Lill to perform in Dartington’s Great Hall in a concert for the Dartington International Summer festival. Recent performances include Rachmaninov’s 2nd piano concerto with Torbay Symphony Orchestra under Richard Gonski. 

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

The Maverick Way - Book

The Maverick Way is an interesting book which puts forward a blueprint and shows (first hand) how subversion within companies, networks, and groups can be a massive creative tool. These days creativity is confined and controlled by 'the big boys' but if these bigger organizations are not careful anarchy outside the system will conquer. It is therefore imperative that larger companies listen and be prepared to make massive cultural changes.

The word Maverick comes from a 19th century Texas land baron. Sam Maverick decided not to brand his stock; therefore any newborn or unbranded cattle wandering around on the free range could belong to him. Needless to say he was not a popular man.

A ‘Maverick’ is a person who is constantly having ideas and chasing their tails. Beginning projects with an energy that is uncontrollable. Staying up, working through the night. Forgetting to eat, forgetting to have a bath. Generally being self-absorbed in their own little world. ‘Mavericks fly beneath the radar. They possess the freedom to detect the creative vision that can lead to new products or businesses. But no one – in business …..from the chief executive to middle managers …… really wants to acknowledge their existence.’ Mavericks consider their projects to be different and new. ‘By their nature, they are not people who want to be noticed. Their ability to function as mavericks is to have a great deal of independence. They don’t want to get locked into anything.’ However they could revolutionize the Art World, make a computer loop the loop, make air travel safer or maybe run rings around the latest search engine optimization guidelines, getting web pages to number one by bending the rules (without breaking them). Mavericks are generally lateral thinkers and innovators. Mavericks very rarely finish or complete anything and as a result they usually get fired; that’s not really too bothersome, the next innovation/idea is far more interesting. This means that Mavericks are prone to under achieving if left to their own devices.
This definition of a Maverick could quiet easily be the definition of an Artist, Writer or Performer. and is a definitional description of a top Search Engine Optimizer. The principal definition of a Maverick is being able to look at things from a different perspective see the other alternative possibilities, use this when planing your creative strategy.

Mike Georgiades - Acoustic

When a guitar is played well, the style or type of music becomes irrelevant. Fantastic craft - I hate him! (Just jealous really.)

From MySpace: Mike Georgiades is a guitarist and composer from London. His beautiful acoustic guitar arrangements offer strong melodies combined with Mike's eclectic guitar style, with influences ranging from classical and latin jazz through to contemporary bands and dance based music. Mike currently has a publishing deal with Boosey & Hawkes and is collaborating with producers Alexis Smith and Joe Henderson for film and TV rental music.

Lotte Kestner - China Mountain

Had a very long day yesterday - Devon to London and back again. I've had very little sleep and the house is very quiet so it is time to follow up on 'old' emails, send apologies and catch up. This could be that mundane chore that finally puts me to sleep - Nope!

Silber Records have a stable of fine thoroughbreds including Lotte Kestner... You can get Lotte Kestner's download release China Mountain direct from Silber here

The blurb about this project reads: 'Lotte Kestner is the solo project of Anna-Lynne Williams (Trespassers Williams). A cross between White Chalk era PJ Harvey & early Joan Baez, she sings songs that would be equally at home on a beatnik’s record player, a hippy’s 8-track, or some hipster’s iPod. Minimal, sparse, majestic. Guitar & voice tell stories of hope for love & loss of love & the difficult navigations of human relationships.'

I get what the press release is trying to say but actually this stuff is not totally referential, yes there are the obvious folky references but it is different. I get really bored with mediocre acoustic guitar music. I hate the caterwauling and badly strummed out of tune, out of time six and twelve string (the twelve stringed ones are worse) songs that proliferate the Internet and street corners of our world. Come the revolution all the guilty will be lined up against the wall.... Lotte Kestner is safe...


Sunday, 8 August 2010

VV MORGUE - An accidental find.

I got very bored this afternoon, checked 'Faceache' and found a link to this band Vv Morgue. I have listened to them before and sort of forgot how much I liked their tracks. This is all put right now, I have book marked them (myspace). How very, very fab.

This what is said on ReverbNation: Vv Morgue was started in 2006 as a solo project by Genevieve (Vv) Loveland. Vv bored with the local music scene in San Diego decided to take it upon herself to start a revolution. This meant that she would do anything to get people to dance as dance is the way to get things started. She would show up with nothing more than herself a crazy costume fake blood and a microphone. Singing and dancing wildly to playback she had recorded at home. Art and performance went hand in hand and by the end of 2008 she had a full band backing her up (not that she needed it lol) but non the less the full band Vv Morgue was born Current line up: Vv Loveland Vox synths, Voodoo Elvis, drums, Ariq Sangre, Bass....


'Stalk with me/ Pretty Half Datascraper' Is a fantastic track which I have played over and over again - but then you know I love analogue, dark, gothicish stuff. Well worth listening to. 'Run For Your Life' - most splendid.

The Book of Were-Wolves - The Reverend Sabine Baring-Gould


The Book of Were-Wolves By Sabine Baring-Gould was originally published in 1865, is the original source book for all werewolf books and movies. Read this and you will know where everybody gets there 'latest' plot line from. It is probably the most often cited book on Lycanthropy.

The Reverend Sabine Baring-Gould (28 January 1834 - 2 January 1924) was an English hagiographer (the study of Saints) antiquarian, novelist and eclectic scholar. His bibliography lists more than 1240 separate publications, this list continues to grow. His family home, Lew Trenchard Manor near Okehampton, Devon, has been preserved as he restyled it. Lew Trenchard Manor is now a hotel and restaurant. He is remembered particularly as a writer of hymns, the best-known being "Onward, Christian Soldiers" and "Now the Day Is Over".  Over the road from the family home is the church where  Baring-Gould  delivered his sermons and the churchyard is the last resting place for his mortal remains.

He also translated the carol "Gabriel's Message" from Basque to English. He habitually wrote standing up, and his desk can be seen in the manor (see the image below).

Sabine Baring-Gould's desk
During the nineteenth century, when belief in werewolves in many communities in Europe was fairly common place; Baring-Gould used his first hand experience of his own visit to a rural village in Italy, where local inhabitants warn him not to venture out alone after sunset (sounds like the plot of a Hammer horror movie from the 1970's). Stories, myths and legends are documented in the book from all over the world, each having the same peculiar references to the phenomenon of 'Shape-shifting".


For more information on Sabine Baring-Gould follow the link. Sabine Baring-Gould (2010, August 1). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 08:40, August 8, 2010, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Sabine_Baring-Gould&oldid=376515664

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Rammstein - Favorite live video!


 Sometimes it is very difficult to find something that really grabs your attention. Without doubt Rammstein grabs your attention - theater, power, great imagery. Not only do they have an extensive back catalog, they still create music that impresses. This is my favorite live video!

As of 2005, Rammstein have sold over 10 million records worldwide. Rammstein's entire catalogue is published by Universal Music Group. Since their formation in 1994, Rammstein has had no changes in their band line-up nor have any members left the band.


Rammstein takes their name indirectly from the German town of Ramstein-Miesenbach, the site of the flight show disaster on 28 August 1988. The band's signature song, "Rammstein", is a commemoration of the disaster. In a short period before the band became well known, they performed using the name "Rammstein-Flugschau" (literally meaning "Rammstein-Airshow").


Although the majority of their songs are written in German, Rammstein has had success across the world. It was confirmed in 2007 that the band had re-united from their vacation and had begun working on their sixth studio album, Liebe ist für alle da, which was released on 16 October 2009 in Europe.

Rammstein. (2010, August 3). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 19:14, August 4, 2010, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Rammstein&oldid=376995099

Monday, 2 August 2010

The Gilded Gutter Life of Francis Bacon - Daniel Farson

The paintings of Francis Bacon have always stood out in the crowded museums and galleries that are stuffed full of mediocre British paintings.

Daniel Farson gives a personal view of his (if only in his own mind) 'friend's' chaotic debauched life, gay lovers, masochistic beatings and 'bits of rough'. This is in no way a proper critical view of this painter's life, is is merely a tabloid's view, scandalous, shallow and sometimes pathetic. It is a fantastic read!

The storytelling is random and underscored with Farson's  deep bitterness - I think he wanted to be a bigger player in this game.

Bacon's early life, which sounds positively hideous, the days in Berlin, Paris and the buggering about on the coast. The deep depression and the sex driven, drink driven highs are all in The Gilded Gutter Life of Francis Bacon. Well worth reading.

From the mid 1960s, Bacon mainly produced portrait heads of friends. He often said in interviews that he saw images "in series", and his artistic output often saw him focus on single themes for sustained periods including his crucifixion, Papal heads, and later single and triptych heads series. He began by painting variations on the Crucifixion and later focused on half human-half grotesque heads, best exemplified by the 1949 "Heads in a Room" series. Following the 1971 suicide of his lover George Dyer, Bacon's art became more personal, inward looking and preoccupied with themes and motifs of death. The climax of this late period came with his 1982 "Study for Self-Portrait", and his late masterpiece Study for a Self Portrait -Triptych, 1985-86. Despite his seemingly existentialist outlook on life, Bacon appeared to be a bon vivant, spending much of his middle and later life eating, drinking and gambling in London's Soho with Lucian Freud, John Deakin, Daniel Farson, Patrick Swift,[2] Jeffrey Bernard, Muriel Belcher and Henrietta Moraes, among others. Following Dyer's death he distanced himself from this circle and became less involved with rough trade to settle in a platonic relationship with his eventual heir, John Edwards.

Francis Bacon (painter). (2010, August 1). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 07:26, August 2, 2010, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Francis_Bacon_(painter)&oldid=376519313