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  • Fleet Foxes - Fleet Foxes : Quick Album Review 5/5

    27 Jun 2008, 00:51 by Babs_05

    Artist: Fleet Foxes
    Album: Fleet Foxes
    Tags: , , , , , ,

    Another quick album review, I won't waste your time.

    Overview: so pretty!

    Last.fm

    There's absolutely nothing new in this album from Fleet Foxes. We've heard everything before from the likes of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, My Morning Jacket, The Beach Boys and any other band you could mention who enjoy three or four part harmonies. In fact, I'd go so far as to say Fleet Foxes don't quite reach some of the standards set by these guys. The album isn't perfect by any means, particularly in the lead vocals.

    And yet...



    I have to say, my response to Fleet Foxes is entirely emotional. I know other people do it better but I want them! I want to hear them back to back with Simon & Garfunkel. (Done it. iPod. Sudoku. Nice.)

    At times, they're Ennio Morricone. Other times, they're The Arcade Fire. They wear their inspirations on their sleeves. This album will be one of those that mark 2008 for me.

    Top tracks:
    Ragged Wood Tell me anything you want / Any old lie will do / Call me back to / Back to you
    Tiger Mountain Peasant Song
    Your Protector

    Before this shout on their artist page gets buried, here is the wiki link to the original painting used in the cover art. (Thanks, Micjen.)


    Babs My Gang



    Click for full screen image

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  • Paul Weller - 22 Dreams : Quick Album Review 4/5

    26 Jun 2008, 23:56 by Babs_05

    Artist: Paul Weller
    Album: 22 Dreams
    Tags: , , , , , , ... !
    Guests: Noel Gallagher and Gem Archer (Oasis), Steve Cradock (Ocean Colour Scene), Graham Coxon (Blur)


    Another quick album review, I won't waste your time.

    Overview: A musical tour de force.

    Last.fm


    I'd read one or two reviews prior to its release, I'd seen Paul Weller on 'Later... with Jools Holland', heard the hype and thought, 'Nah'. Then someone I know, whose opinion I respect very much, said he liked it. That was enough to give the album a proper try.

    I'm so glad.



    I don't want to spoil the surprises too much for you but 22 Dreams is a showcase of everything Paul Weller can do and is capable of. It sweeps up genres he obviously enjoys and scatters them throughout the album. The hype actually didn't do him justice; it focused on the indie rock tracks and left it at that. This album is full of music, including a little bit of psychedelic noise. Bet no one expected that. 111

    Don't you think he sounds like Cat Stevens here? Light Nights

    My 5 star track is Song For Alice (Dedicated To The Beautiful Legacy Of Mrs. Coltrane)

    Oh and this one - One Bright Star

    And this one - Lullaby für Kinder (sorry, sorry, sorry, I'll stop now... wish I could add another one... Where'er Ye Go)

    It's a 5/5 album I think, but I've marked it down a notch for now while I get to know it better.

    Some of the customer reviews in Amazon complained there's no coherence but I'm with the ones who are grateful for an album that's not all samey-samey. It's one of those deliciously rich albums that will take me a long time to get to know.

    22 Dreams, 21 tracks and a few EPs. Should keep me busy for a while.


    Babs My Gang



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  • [My Gang] Max Richter - Arbenita & Embers : Reco of the Week 18 June 08

    18 Jun 2008, 01:04 by Babs_05

    Artist: Max Richter
    Tracks: Arbenita (11 Years) and Embers
    Album: Memoryhouse
    Tags: , , , , , ,

    Video (10:15)

    Two tracks for the price of one this week, both from Max Richter, who I am going to see in a couple of weeks. The second track, 'Embers', begins at 06:58 with whispers and a soft piano.

    I've watched this video a lot since I found it at the weekend. During the day, the music is too slow for me and after fighting for a catchy melody, I give up and allow it to just be. Then it becomes ambient in the truest sense - part of my environment, competing with traffic, neighbours, birdsong etc. Erik Satie's 'furniture music'. At night, however, on the edge of sleep, every note is pin sharp and the bright jewel colours of the video overwhelming.

    I'm a bit annoyed at some of the comments in YouTube. It seems the video is an art project and commentators have grumbled, causing the artist to doubt his original ideas and tone things down. At the rate they're going, we're going to end up with nothing more than a wash of beige. Watch it while you can.


    Max Richter


    The tracks are from Max Richter's first solo album, Memoryhouse, recorded by the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, which is set to be re-released this August on FATCAT. His fourth solo album, 24 postcards in full colour, also on FATCAT, is out this week.

    Max Richter doesn't play all that often, so the concert I'm going to is a rare treat. He will be performing earlier pieces as well as material from the new album. I'm not quite sure how it will work - according to his official site, it says, "The project is not an "album" in the traditional sense, but an experimental collection of miniatures exploring the ringtone format as a vehicle for music performance." I can't find anything online to give me an idea of what that might be like, so I can only speculate.


    Jóhann Jóhannsson


    Also appearing at this intriguing concert is Jóhann Jóhannsson who fans of Sigur Ros may already know. He is best known for his album, IBM 1401 A User’s Manual, on 4AD. There's a strange and haunting video for Sun's Gone Dim And The Sky's Turned Black in YouTube.

    Video

    Max Richter:
    Official Site
    MySpace
    Wikipedia

    Jóhann Jóhannsson:
    Official Site
    MySpace
    Wikipedia

    Last.fm Group: The Arctic Circle
    Last.fm Event: http://www.last.fm/event/556621
    Union Chapel, London


    Babs My Gang


    Max Richter


    Admin - Stats as of today:

    Max Richter Video:
    Date Added: March 18, 2007
    Views: 4,545, Ratings: 25, Responses: 0, Comments: 11, Favorited: 55 times

    Arbenita (11 Years)
    Last.fm listeners of this track - 4,268 (streamable)
    No. of plays scrobbled in Last.fm - 15,382
    Position in Top 20 Last Week: -
    Position in Top 100 Tracks: 37 / 1,656

    Embers
    Last.fm listeners of this track - 4,973 (streamable)
    No. of plays scrobbled in Last.fm - 19,027
    Position in Top 20 Last Week: -
    Position in Top 100 Tracks: 27 / 1,957


    Jóhann Jóhannsson Video:
    Date Added: October 18, 2006
    Views: 16,313, Ratings: 52, Responses: 0, Comments: 9, Favorited: 168 times

    Sun's Gone Dim And The Sky's Turned Black
    Last.fm listeners of this track - 1,180 (not streamable)
    No. of plays scrobbled in Last.fm - 4,881
    Position in Top 20 Last Week: - 15 / 35
    Position in Top 100 Tracks: 20 / 389


    Stats after 7 days:

    Max Richter Video:
    Removed by user

    Arbenita (11 Years)
    Last.fm listeners of this track - 4,302 (streamable)
    No. of plays scrobbled in Last.fm - 15,587
    Position in Top 20 Last Week: -
    Position in Top 100 Tracks: 37 / 4,226

    Embers
    Last.fm listeners of this track - 5,022 (streamable)
    No. of plays scrobbled in Last.fm - 19,335
    Position in Top 20 Last Week: -
    Position in Top 100 Tracks: 27 / 5,376


    Jóhann Jóhannsson Video:
    Views: 16,482, Ratings: 52, Responses: 0, Comments: 9, Favorited: 168 times

    Sun's Gone Dim And The Sky's Turned Black
    Last.fm listeners of this track - 34 (not streamable)
    No. of plays scrobbled in Last.fm - 155
    Position in Top 20 Last Week: - 12 / 34
    Position in Top 100 Tracks: 20 / 1,057

    ?? Strange stats. Maybe because Last.fm is currently in beta?

    279 Unique Visitors
    366 Page Views



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  • [My Gang] Sonny J - Handsfree (If You Hold My Hand) : Reco of the Week 10 Jun 08

    10 Jun 2008, 20:24 by Babs_05

    Artist: Sonny J
    Track: Handsfree (If You Hold My Hand)
    Album: Disastro
    Tags: , , ,

    Video

    Anything with wacka-wacka 70s guitars that reminds me of Wonder Woman and Dolly Parton via Bollywood gets the thumbs up from me anytime!

    Whilst the world is quietly plugged into their iPods listening to the new Coldplay or watching football and tennis on tv, I figured the rest of us could have a giggle with this little number. The artist describes it as a "collage of , Morricone, and The Fifth Dimension, with an added splash of The Avalanches thrown in for good measure."

    I love the dance routine in the video. The choreography is brilliant. Zombie jerky moves meet line-dancing. The song is a cover, the original If You Hold My Hand was by "Little" Donna Hightower (Decca and RPM, 1950s). It isn't available in Last.fm (at the time of writing) but you can hear it here.

    Sonny J is an enigmatic fellow from Liverpool, UK. You might remember Can't Stop Moving, a cult hit last summer. Same guy. There really isn't much more information on him, except we know it's a he. Here's a little pic, isn't he handsome:



    The track is taken from Disastro, out next week on Positiva and is released as a single this week.

    Amazon UK

    There are an awful lot of references to keep us busy. He's not shy about plundering. According to his 'About Me' on his official site, it says, "You'll hear snippets from the Rockford Files, pieces of cod astrology, end of pier northern cabaret,mix n matching the likes of The Hues Corporation, The Stooges, Mellow Gold era Beck and Indian B Movie soundtracks; often in the same tune."

    Browsing his pics gives us some insight. They look like our scrapbooks when we were kids. I'll do a little selection, see if you can name them all:



    Official Site
    MySpace
    Great Female Singers - Donna Hightower


    Babs My Gang




    Admin: Stats as of today:

    Video:
    Date Added: May 01, 2008
    Views: 89,610, Ratings: 322, Responses: 0, Comments: 246, Favorited: 750 times

    Last.fm listeners of this track - 202 (fully streamable)
    No. of plays scrobbled in Last.fm - 1,659
    Position Last Week: 1 / 113
    Position in Top 100 Tracks: 28 / 5


    Stats after 7 days:

    Video:
    Views: 118,602, Ratings: 407, Responses: 0, Comments: 294, Favorited: 993 times

    Last.fm listeners of this track - 310 (fully streamable)
    No. of plays scrobbled in Last.fm - 2,454
    Position Last Week: 1 / 178
    Position in Top 100 Tracks: 28 / 5


    375 Unique Visitors
    487 Page Views



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  • RIP Indie : 1982 - 2008

    7 Jun 2008, 19:14 by Babs_05

    A few months ago, I ranted blindly that I was fed up with as it stood and asked if pop was the new avant garde. It was tongue-in-cheek but I think I made a good point - that something so disposable that most people sneer at could have enough power to overthrow the current mainstream.

    As 2008 moves on, it turns out I wasn't too far from the truth, although I picked the wrong genre. I should have picked folk music traditions from around the world.

    Indie died sometime in the last 2-3 years and I didn't even notice. What was the last great indie album? Any ideas? Don't say Arctic Monkeys. I mean great album. Radiohead haven't been properly indie since The Bends, so I don't want to hear them mentioned. They've been without anyone knowing it. It was probably Coldplay's X&Y (2005), wasn't it? Maybe The WhiteStripes, although, to be honest, that's straightforward . Maybe the Arctic Monkey's offshoot project, The Last Shadow Puppets, although that's very orchestral, so maybe not.

    If you think it was The Arcade Fire's Neon Bible, you're wrong. That's .


    The Arcade Fire

    Folk is the new direction and the new mainstream we're looking at. It's been building for a while but now it's been made legitimate with Coldplay's Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends. Their foray into African music totally makes sense if you understand your musical family tree.

    Let me explain: indie comes from rock, which came about in the 60s as pop's big, bad brother. Rock's roots are in the blues, which came from folk. If we oversimplify folk, we could say it's 'music of the people', as opposed to grand master composers. Keeping the simplistic definition, we could say traditional music from around the world are all forms of folk. Your country music, your African tribal, your Indian bhangra. If the music comes from villages, farmers, 'of the people and of the land', in my book, it's a form of folk. If we bring this up-to-date, we could include the urban experience too, along with the socio-political.

    Blues defined by allmusic:

    Blues is about tradition and personal expression. At its core, the blues has remained the same since its inception. Most blues feature simple, usually three-chord, progressions and have simple structures that are open to endless improvisations, both lyrical and musical. The blues grew out of African spirituals and worksongs. In the late 1800s, southern African-Americans passed the songs down orally, and they collided with American folk and country from the Appalachians. New hybrids appeared by each region, but all of the recorded blues from the early 1900s are distinguished by simple, rural acoustic guitars and pianos. After World War II, the blues began to fragment, with some musicians holding on to acoustic traditions and others taking it to jazzier territory. However, most bluesmen followed Muddy Waters' lead and played the blues on electric instruments. From that point on, the blues continued to develop in new directions -- particularly on electric instruments -- or it has been preserved as an acoustic tradition.


    Muddy Waters

    (I'll stand corrected if someone knows more. Please do share below in Comments.)

    We have all been slowly getting used to folk being incorporated with mainstream styles and reinvented in recent years. We've had the likes of Sufjan Stevens for a start, who caused quite a stir. We've had from artists such as Calexico and Iron & Wine. (alt country is basically true country, the alt bit comes from wanting to create distance from pop country such as Garth Brooks). There are an awful lot of 'one man and his geetar' acts around, notably Scott Matthews and a new one Yoav. We have the female equivalent in Emmy the Great, who wouldn't have her cult following without Lily Allen, who espoused the urban experience. , , , , and more are all established now.


    Sufjan Stevens (I had to add this, lol!)

    This year, we have bands who are inventing new genres using indie as their base, such as The Coal Porters, who have chosen the most unlikely folk form of all - - and made it alt. Superband Hayman, Watkins, Trout And Lee are doing exactly the same. (see here)

    Bluegrass as defined by allmusic:

    Bluegrass music grew out of traditional string band music that formed the roots of country music. In the '40s, country music began to splinter into different directions, as honky tonk and country-pop became genres of their own. A certain segment of country musicians continued playing traditional string music. Led by Bill Monroe, these musicians adhered to the songs, structures, and conventions of string bands, but they made the music faster, harder, and more technically demanding. The result was bluegrass; the genre was named after Bill Monroe's backing band, The Blue Grass Boys. After its inception in the mid-'40s, and its popularization in the '50s, the sound had become part of country music, and there were legions of bands that followed in their footsteps. In the late '60s, a number of bluegrass groups began expanding the possibilities of the genre, much to the chagrin of many of the music's most popular artists and dedicated fans. Consequently, the new breed of bluegrass groups were dubbed progressive bluegrass, while those that adhered to the music's heritage were tagged traditional bluegrass. Over the next three decades, progressive bluegrass changed frequently, while the sound of traditional bluegrass rarely varied.


    Bill Monroe

    Along with bluegrass, we have an underground cult following for right now, particularly in Germany, who have conflicting feelings of love and guilt towards it.

    Klezmer defined in allmusic:

    Klezmer is a Yiddish term for musician and refers primarily to a tradition of Jewish folk music with deep German and Eastern European roots. Two of the most important instruments in this tradition are the violin and the clarinet. Today klezmer music is not just practiced in Eastern Europe but is also practiced in the United States, where it has influenced American popular song. Klezmer music in the United States has influenced the early development of American popular song through Yiddish folk musicians who participated in vaudeville. More recently, Yiddish folk music has influenced Broadway musicals like Fiddler on the Roof.

    We're already used to our artists borrowing from overseas musical styles, to the point where straightforward simplistic styles sound dull and lifeless. (or they do to me). A number of bands have the right idea but are doing it badly, among them The Foals and Vampire Weekend.

    For this playing around with unpopular, cult musical forms to reach the likes of Coldplay is significant. Coldplay are the last great indie band. (Remember, Radiohead have been without you knowing it). Coldplay have any number of copycats who want a slice of their pie. Now they've raised the bar and embraced the world, they have effectively greenlighted traditional folk music as the new avant garde. Expect everyone else to follow suit.


    Coldplay


    related: my quick album review of Coldplay - Viva La Vida

    Babs My Gang

    EDIT: The journal was designed to be a little provocative to engender discussion and debate. It is an opinion piece - all observation and speculation. The comments make an excellent read - the discussion got quite philosophical. I learnt from everyone, including those I initially disagreed with. Thank you.

    After being criticised for not providing an adequate definition of indie, I made an attempt on page 2, 10 Jun 2008, 18:41.

    People aren't reading it through now and I'm getting spam, so I'm closing the journal for the time being. If you have a comment which you feel furthers the discussion, give me a shout and I'll open it up for you.

    Thanks again to all who participated.


    7 Sept 08 - Yess! I am vindicated!! The Sunday Times just published an article covering some of my points - Why are British bands embracing alt country?.


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  • [My Gang] A Place to Bury Strangers - The Falling Sun : Reco of the Week 03 June 08

    3 Jun 2008, 18:33 by Babs_05

    Artist: A Place to Bury Strangers
    Track: The Falling Sun
    Album: A Place To Bury Strangers
    Tags: , , , , , , , ,

    Video

    I just discovered these guys last week. I wrote more here. (refresh the page if it doesn't land properly).

    Regular readers will know I love my 'old school', I was at school during post-punk before it became 'post' and I love my music dark. Not just ordinary dark, I like it inky black. I just found it again and I'm ecstatic.

    Last.fm

    The new album from A Place to Bury Strangers is 5/5 perfection. It's been a hard task to pick a track. I decided on The Falling Sun because it isn't typical of the album. The rest of it is much louder and faster than this. Also that video is just so cool. Made-for-tv 70s sci fi. It's not Garth Marenghi though, more Logan's Run. I'm not sure if it's an official video or an amateur effort. Either way, it's great.

    From YouTube:

    The video was directed by David Yoonha Park: http://www.yoonhapark.com/. The footage is culled from a late 70's made for TV movie entitled "Lathe of Heaven," the first sci-fi movie ever produced for public television and based on a Ursula K. Le Guin novel.
    Wikipedia: Lathe of Heaven



    If you look at the shoutbox for this artist, you'll see a lot of references to The Jesus & Mary Chain. I think that's simplistic and obvious. From my point of view, I'm hearing darkwave from the late 70s and early 80s - Echo & the Bunnymen, Cocteau Twins, This Mortal Coil, The Cure. What we used to call . Then I'm hearing The Sisters of Mercy, The Jesus & Mary Chain and My Bloody Valentine, of course. From more recent times, I'm hearing The Stone Roses, Spacemen 3, Mogwai and Slowdive.



    Their influences as cited on their MySpace (I won't get spammy and link them):

    The Crystals, Xinlu Supreme, JAMC, Loop, Heaven Piano Company, Skywave, Ecstasy of St. Theresa, My Bloody Valentine, The Cure, Slowdive, Ride, Cocteau Twins, Somber Moments, Snow-cane, Venom, E.P.M.D., Sleep, Lightning Bolt, Alcian Blue, Airiel, Ceremony, Ministry, Boris, Mono, Ashrae Faux, Hartfield, Dirty On Purpose, Autodrone, Mogwai, Curve, Vaz, Adult, Death From Above, Death in Vegas, The Emerald Down, Spacemen 3, Brian Jonestown Massacre, Warlocks, Suicide, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Sex Concious Young Moderns, Lazy Lane, The Bedroom Set, Cobra Spa, Hoomdorm, Six Finger Satellite, Bowery Electric, Spiritualized, Oasis, Chapterhouse, Joy Division, The Sex Pistols, Astrobrite, Medicine, Mazzy Star, Francis 7, Dead Kennedys, Flying Saucer Attack, Guitar Wolf, Bauhaus, New York Dolls, Catherine Wheel, Kraftwerk, Magnetic Fields, The 6ths, New Order, Tommy James, Public Enemy, Misfits, The Ramones, Red Lory Yellow Lory, Orange Juice, Rockethouse, The Smiths, Stellarscope, The Shangri Las, The Vandelles.



    What A Place to Bury Strangers have done so well is bring all these styles together. Loudly. Turned up, the music comes to life. The band play with tension and control, assaulting you with "sonic annihilation" so loud you're in pain, without ever losing the music. When you listen with the volume down, you get a lovely thick soup of sound. It's like when you were a kid and you listened to John Peel in bed, under the covers with the radio pressed against your ear.

    There's a great review at Amazon.co.uk. Looks like there's a new album due later this year! Something to look forward to. It will be interesting to see how they develop their sound, although what they have now will be missed.

    Babs My Gang



    Admin - Stats as of today:

    Video:
    Date Added to YouTube: February 05, 2008
    Views: 4,666, Ratings: 14, Responses: 0, Comments: 8, Favorited: 44 times

    Last.fm listeners of this track - 8,055 (not streamable)
    No. of plays scrobbled in Last.fm - 27,139
    Position Last Week: 7 / 376
    Position in Top 100 Tracks: 6 / 4,752


    Stats after 7 days: to be added

    Video:
    Views: 4,911, Ratings: 15, Responses: 0, Comments: 9, Favorited: 44 times

    Last.fm listeners of this track - 8,055 (not streamable)
    No. of plays scrobbled in Last.fm - 27,139
    Position Last Week: 7 / 517
    Position in Top 100 Tracks: 6 / 4,747

    212 Unique Visitors
    334 Page Views



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  • Coldplay - Viva La Vida or Death And All His Friends : Quick Album Review 4/5

    6 Jun 2008, 23:34 by Babs_05

    Artist: Coldplay
    Album: Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends
    Tags: , , , ,



    Another quick album review. I won't waste your time.

    The whole album is being streamed in full on their MySpace globally (except for a few countries) from tonight for a week.

    I feel I have to balance out what I said on the release of their single, Violet Hill. I spoke too soon.

    You'll probably read a gazillion reviews on this album, most likely mine will get buried in the mound but for what it's worth, here's what I think:

    Coldplay have jumped out of their indie box and are standing beside it. They haven't lost sight of their roots but they are looking out at a big wide world. And it's bright and lovely.

    They haven't lost what makes them Coldplay. The old tug at the heartstrings, the sentimentality, it's all there. (best bit!)

    It always takes me a long time to get to know lyrics. Sometimes I never do. From what I'm getting so far, they seem more grown up, more mature. I'm getting more life experience with contemplation of themes such as loneliness. 42, about bereavement, is brilliant. Lost! is going to make me buy the album. The album version is better than the acoustic one here in Last.fm - Lost? - although that's good too. Daydreamy.



    I must say, I'm really enjoying the music. Multi-layered, multi-sectioned, not typically western, not typically world, not typically fusion either. It's a great blend. Brian Eno's, doing is it? Good man. The Tinariwen influence isn't token. It's throughout and incorporated.



    They're still anthemic on the whole, but there are signs they're breaking away from that too. Maybe in the future, they'll treat us to an intimate album. They couldn't possibly go back to how they were now they've stretched so much. That would just be lazy.

    Babs My Gang





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  • [My Gang] Bruce Springsteen - Candy's Room : Reco of the Week 27 May 08

    27 May 2008, 16:30 by Babs_05

    Artist: Bruce Springsteen
    Track: Candy's Room
    Tags: , , ,

    Video, Live in Passaic, New Jersey, circa '78.

    Last Thursday, at around 3pm, I discovered Bruce Springsteen.

    I've been reading Greetings from Bury Park: Race, Religion and Rock 'n' Roll, by Sarfraz Manzoor. I was about half way through when it happened.



    From Amazon:

    Sarfraz Manzoor was three years old when he emigrated from Pakistan to Britain in 1974 with his mother, brother and sister. They came to join their father, who worked on the production line at Vauxhall, and settled in the Bury Park neighbourhood of Luton. Sarfraz's teenage years were a constant battle to reconcile being both British and Muslim. Frustrated by real life, he sought solace in TV and music. But it was when his best friend introduced him to Bruce Springsteen that his life changed forever. In this perceptive, affectionate and timely memoir, Sarfraz Manzoor retraces his journey from Lahore to Luton to Ladbroke Grove, from the minor frustrations of his childhood to his response and analysis of the tragedies of 9/11 and 7/7. Original, darkly tender and wryly amusing, it is an inspiring tribute to the power of music to transcend race and religion - and a touching salute of thanks from one working-class Pakistani Muslim boy to the father who died too soon for his son to make him proud.



    I am roughly the same age as the writer so there was a lot for me to identify with, except for this love of Bruce Springsteen. I've grown up hearing all the hits, enjoying a few of them too, but I never really looked any further. Last Thursday, with a little time on my hands, I picked up my book and logged into Last.fm. Bruce Springsteen is fully streamable (where I am) so I took the opportunity to hear what was so special. I wasn't expecting what I heard.

    The first album I played was Darkness on the Edge of Town because that was the first one Manzoor heard. It's nothing like the hits. There's another layer. The next album I tried was The Ghost of Tom Joad. Not only is there another layer, it's in another league. Dark, thoughtful, reflective, morose, deep, sad. I never thought I'd attribute these words to Springsteen. I thought he was all Born in the USA, upbeat, easy listening and good fun.



    Reading the book, I learnt there's an integrity to Springsteen's lyrics. They're about being true to yourself and being the best you can be. They're about poverty, politics, society, relationships especially between fathers and sons, they're about factories and cities, surviving in an urban environment. They're philosophical and they're about life. His closest musical relative is Bob Dylan.

    You can't listen and not want to study the lyrics. Here's your new best friend - Bruce Springsteen official site.

    Where Dylan uses a folk style to deliver his messages, Springsteen uses classic rock. It's masculine and hard-edged, apart from the hits which are enormous fun. This is why Candy's Room jumped out at me. It's nothing like any of his other tracks.

    The first thing that struck me was the drums. I had the volume on low so I could read at the same time. I love drumming but I don't think I've ever heard a track where the drums carry all the emotion. It's the drums that drive the song, conveying passion and frustration. There's a guitar solo but I suspect it's to give the poor drummer a break. It must be extremely painful to go at that speed.

    The song is about the thrill of a kiss. The drums describe the rush of blood and the excitement the guy feels. I'm not sure if he's fantasising or if it's a girl he's just met. Looking at the lyrics, he's someone without much experience, young, a bit shy with not that much to offer, whilst Candy has any number of rich suitors to choose from. The guy doesn't know how to compete but is convinced he's the right one for her.

    Lyrics

    In Candy's room there are pictures of her heroes on the wall
    but to get to Candy's room you gotta walk the darkness of Candy's hall
    Strangers from the city call my baby's number and they bring her toys
    When I come knocking she smiles pretty she knows I wanna be Candy's boy
    There's a sadness hidden in that pretty face
    A sadness all her own from which no man can keep Candy safe

    We kiss, my heart's rushes to my brain
    The blood rushes in my veins fire rushes towards the sky
    We go driving driving deep into the night
    I go driving deep into the light in Candy's eyes

    She says baby if you wanna be wild
    you got a lot to learn, close your eyes
    Let them melt, let them fire, let them burn
    Cause in the darkness there'll be hidden worlds that shine
    When I hold Candy close she makes these hidden worlds mine

    She has fancy clothes and diamond rings
    She has men who give her anything she wants but they don't see
    That what she wants is me,
    oh and I want her so
    I'll never let her go, no no no
    She knows that I'd give
    all that I got to give
    All that I want all that I live
    to make Candy mine
    Tonight


    Copyright © Bruce Springsteen (ASCAP)




    The video I've chosen is in black & white, filmed around 1978. You can see the drummer really well, and doesn't Bruce Springsteen look young! I think the drumming comes across much better in the recorded version. I hope wherever you are, Last.fm has the fully streamable track for you.

    Springsteen is currently touring the UK, appearing in Manchester tomorrow. Have a great time, all of you who are going. Come and tell us how he was!


    Thanks to Last.fm for the fully streamable albums.
    Thanks to my family for recommending the book.

    Babs My Gang



    Admin - Stats as of today:

    Video:
    Date Added to YouTube: May 01, 2006
    Comments: 44, Favorited: 324 times, Honors: 0, Links: 5, Ratings: 110, Views: 27,538

    Last.fm listeners of this track - 11,966 (fully streamable)
    No. of plays scrobbled in Last.fm - 43,996
    Position in Top 10 Last Week: n/a
    Position in Top 100 Tracks: 77 / 3,889

    Stats after 7 days:

    Video:
    Comments: 46, Favorited: 324 times, Honors: 0, Links: 5, Ratings: 111, Views: 27,791

    Last.fm listeners of this track - 12,118 (fully streamable)
    No. of plays scrobbled in Last.fm - 44,565
    Position in Top 10 Last Week: n/a
    Position in Top 100 Tracks: 77 / 3,889

    226 Unique Visitors
    315 Page Views



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