• [My Gang] The Besnard Lakes – Like The Ocean, Like The Innocent Pt. 1+2 : Reco of…

    Set 7 2010, 14h46 por Babs_05

    Track: Like The Ocean, Like The Innocent Pt. 1: The Ocean (1:39)
    and Like The Ocean, Like The Innocent Pt. 2: The Innocent (7:15)
    Artist: The Besnard Lakes
    Album: The Besnard Lakes Are The Roaring Night
    Tags: , , , , ,
    Video: Click the pic...

    YouTube, audio upload

    When I first heard The Besnard Lakes Are The Roaring Night back in March, I posted excited tweets in Twitter, quoting from some of the lyrics. Then I didn't spend any more time with it. There are so many music sites streaming brand new albums in full, I find myself racing to keep up every week. Sounds brilliant, but I'm starting to miss my old habit of nursing an album till I know every note.

    Something I've always done is follow my nose. I have cravings for music like other people do for chocolate. This year, time and again, I found myself craving this album and in particular, these two opening tracks. They're droney and quite loud but at the same time, almost unbearably beautiful and uplifting.

    Part 1 is instrumental, barely audible to begin with, slowly rising to swirling echoes of strange sounds and guitars and distant voices, a wall of sound climbing at a grand, measured pace. There is no break and the track moves straight to Part 2.

    The second part is where the song is and where the crunchy guitars take over. It's epic in scale with layers touching on every level, from dark and light, calm and high drama, heavy drones and blissful heights. All the while, the same measured pace, trudging and grounded, providing further contrast to the lush harmonies and high vocals.

    Different reviewers pick different tracks from this album to highlight. Allmusic has chosen the next two, lead single Albatross, Chicago Train and the last one, The Lonely Moan.

    The Besnard Lakes Are The Roaring Night is their third album and, for me, their strongest. It dazzles with points of light that blaze through the dark, whereas the previous two focus more on darkness.

    I have to post this fluffy bit of Adrian Mole from YouTube:
    The Besnard Lakes, the Montreal collective fronted by husband-and-wife duo Olga Goreas and Jace Lasek, has returned, crafting a majestic, sprawling vision of guitar bombast and captivating pop experiments.
    On March 9th of 2010 (March 8th in the UK), Jagjaguwar will release The Besnard Lakes Are the Roaring Night, a twisting chronicle of spies, double agents, novelists and aspiring rock gods turned violent. Loyalty, dishonor, love, and hatred are all seen through the eyes of two spies, communicating through short wave in code and fighting a war that may or may not be real.

    The Besnard Lakes Are the Roaring Night was recorded at Laseks Breakglass Studios with a vintage 1968 Neve germanium mixing console used to record portions of Led Zeppelins Physical Graffiti. The Besnard Lakes Are The Roaring Night is a dark bliss-out that folds the eerie guitar epics of the bands breakthrough, The Besnard Lakes Are the Dark Horse, into a wall of affected drones and atmospherics. The toughened immediacy and grit that gives the form a much-needed shove over the cliffs makes for a haunting, provocative swan dive into the crushing tide.

    The husband and wife team each take a different approach to songwriting. His songs are about the retired spy who is now a musician. Hers are based on personal experience. In delivery, his voice is high-pitched, recalling artists such as Supertramp, whose music also seems to inform this album. Hers reminds me a lot of Isobel Cambell. But where Cambell's voice is the fairy tale next to Mark Lanegan's whisky-soaked growl, Goreas's voice acts as a ballast to the even higher voice of her husband.

    This album is one of the contenders for my end of year top ten. There's only one criterion and that is: do I wake up craving it.

    Further reading:
    Wikipedia - The Besnard Lakes Are the Roaring Night (with links to reviews)
    Metacritic score: 80/100
    The Quietus review


    - My Gang

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    Date Added: January 13, 2010
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  • [My Gang] Matthew Dear – Little People (Black City) : Reco of the Week 31 Aug 2010

    Ago 31 2010, 16h32 por Babs_05

    Track: Little People (Black City)
    Artist: Matthew Dear
    Album: Black City
    Tags: , , , ,
    Video: Click the pic...

    YouTube, audio upload

    One of the tracks that will define the summer of 2010 will be this one from Matthew Dear - Little People (Black City).

    At over nine minutes long, in three sections roughly divided into three minutes each, it is a highlight from a near perfect album.

    (Source: MySpace)

    Black City is darker and poppier than earlier work, taking it away from dance floor fillers to appeal to the wider world. Weird catchy little hooks, unexpected words in strange lines and otherworldly imagery typify the new direction. His vocals are deep and mannered, recalling the style of many artists of the early 80s, who in turn were inspired by Bryan Ferry. This is music for gentlemen in suits and long overcoats, the brims of their hats obscuring a dash of black eyeliner.

    The nod to the past doesn't stop there. Beginning with early 80s post-punk, art-rock and new romantics, we have funky grooves, mid-80s hip-hop, old skool club classics of the early 90s, right up to the morose tones of The xx, who Dear has remixed for.

    The darkness is sexy. It's the sleazy, sweaty, dirty variety from shady corners of nightclubs. Unlike earlier albums, all the track names are 'safe for work', again appealing to a wider market, but the sexiness remains and if anything, is intensified for the restraint.

    That's just the umbrella. Embedded in the layers as you go deeper are details which only reveal themselves on repeat listen or on headphones. Tiny quirks, little flashes of sound, odd rhythms. They can throw you off your stride as you dance, catching you off guard and cause you to wonder what happened if you're following them. Glamourous little jewels to catch your attention.

    The album closes with the emotional Gem, a beautiful, ethereal ambient piano piece with Dear's vocals over distorted, distant vocals in the background and choral oohs.

    Matthew Dear is described as one of America’s foremost minimal techno producers, with a career that goes back about ten years. He and Sam Valenti IV created the record label, Ghostly International. Over the decade, he has remixed for and collaborated with others, and worked under a number of aliases, including Audion. He lists Talking Heads, David Bowie, Adonis, Nitzer Ebb, and Roman Flügel as inspirations.


    - My Gang

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    Date Added: August 09, 2010
    Views: 8,293, Ratings: 10, Comments: 5, Favourites: 96

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  • [My Gang] Janelle Monáe – Cold War : Reco of the Week 10 Aug 2010

    Ago 10 2010, 18h23 por Babs_05

    Track: Cold War
    Artist: Janelle Monáe
    Album: The ArchAndroid (July 2010)
    Tags: , , ,
    Video: Click the pic...

    YouTube, official video

    My recommendation this week is by Janelle Monáe, taken from her debut, The ArchAndroid.

    I almost don't want to spoil it for anyone by describing anything. I'd like people to listen without expectation and make their own minds up, as I did. Because to describe Monáe properly, and to do her debut justice, I have to use a lot of big words that mean she is completely amazing, and in this age of hypetastic reviews, aren't they all. But she is.

    One of the customer reviews in Amazon has it right, talking about Prince, who adores her, by the way. You could say she picks up from where Prince left off. Those mad, eclectic early albums of his that stood out from the crowd on release and still hold their own thirty years later, his originality, ingenuity, youth and energy all seem to have been transposed into this young artist.

    I'm trying to hold back.

    Every genre and the kitchen sink is in this album. After half a dozen listens, I still can't say I know it. There are pop gems, like the track I have chosen, that have immediate impact, but there are others that will hold my attention for years to come, figuring them out, admiring them from various angles, playing them again and again.

    I'm so lucky. My friends told me about her for some time, but no one breathed a word about what to expect. I saw her attributed genre was R&B and thought I knew what she would be like. I knew nothing. I even checked her out a year ago for one of my groups, but I don't remember anything like this. So in a break from the usual presentation, I'm telling you as little as possible. My gift to you.

    Cold War is the sixth track and is about independence and loneliness. Bouncy and fast, it's not a track to sit still through, yet the video will have you do nothing else. Arresting and recalling Sinéad O'Connor's iconic video for her cover of Prince's Nothing Compares 2 U, the video is a tight close-up on Monáe's face against a dark background shot in one take. Same shaved hair, expressive eyes, minimal make up and even a tear are the stark similarities between the two.

    Now I shan't breathe another word. I want you to stop in your tracks in wonder on your first listen of this album, too. Then you'll do what I'm doing: look her up in Google and discover all those glowing reviews everyone's written.

    Further reading (if you really must know more before you listen):
    - Official Site
    - The Quietus review
    - BBC review
    - The Guardian review
    - Blog Critics review
    - Pitchfork review


    - My Gang
    - Next Big Things - NBTs

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    Date Added: August 05, 2010
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  • Der Blutharsch interview

    Ago 6 2010, 15h40 por TeenageCreep

    ϟ - ACHTUNG, DER BLUTHARSCH INTERVIEW ! [pages 24-33] - ϟ
  • [My Gang] Jesca Hoop – Murder Of Birds : Reco of the Week 27 July 2010

    Jul 27 2010, 18h28 por Babs_05

    Track: Murder Of Birds [ full stream on MySpace | Spotify ]
    Artist: Jesca Hoop
    Album: Hunting My Dress (2009)
    Tags: , , , , , , ,
    Video: Click the pic...


    Jesca Hoop, belongs to that family of unique female artists who take inspiration from both Kate Bush and Björk. Her contemporaries are diverse, from Lady Gaga to Soap&Skin, taking in Fever Ray and Róisín Murphy along the way; women of ingenuity, high creativity and a strong sense of drama and theatre. Defying general description, their true genre is sui generis. Ladies in a league of their own.

    Former nanny to Tom Waits's children, Waits says, “Her music is like going swimming in a lake at night.” We learned this on the release of her debut album, Kismet, in 2007. Her own kismet saw her share the stage over the next few years with Polyphonic Spree, Matt Pond PA, Elbow, Mark Knopfler, Greg Laswell, and Andrew Bird. Guy Garvey (Elbow) persuaded her to move from Los Angeles to Manchester. New best friends forever, they duet here in this week's reco, Murder Of Birds.

    The track begins with Jesca Hoop on acoustic guitar. There aren't many female guitar virtuosos but those that there are usually prefer us to know how virtuoso they are. Rarely are they as subtle as Hoop is, where the focus is on balance and highlighting specific features. The beginning is almost Spanish flamenco but quickly shifts to folk.

    I'm not a bird
    I'm a murder of birds
    Shifting my shape
    When your tongue finds the words

    The vocals begin after the brief intro. At first, Hoop sounds very much like Kate Bush. A sweet voice when reaching for high notes, creamy with an edge for the lower ones, she draws all your attention. Guy Garvey brings in the lower registers so that the whole is two voices complementing each other and a sparkly, spangly guitar that flits and swoops.

    The tempo changes from an upbeat start to a mellow pace, picking things up again later but never staying put, constantly changing. The exercise is that of movement and air. Like birds in flight. And all trying not to be noticed too much. The more it doesn't want to be noticed, the more you notice it.

    The video matches the song in its minimalist details, with just Hoop and Garvey stood next to each other against a black backdrop. Strong lights shine white from above and behind Hoop to the left. There is the briefest animation of a flock of birds, but your entire focus on on how Hoop and Garvey do and don't look at each other. Again, there's movement, no movement, and the most significant movement when they hold eye contact.

    The track isn't typical of the album, but there isn't a track that is. Her second album, Hunting My Dress, released towards the end of last year in the UK and this week in the States, is near perfect in its finish, range and variety. The current single, Four Dreams, is the most pop, being bouncy and cute. Album opener, Whispering Light, is twisty, turny and strange. The album closes with the title track, Hunting My Dress, which borrows from Celtic folk and tortures it, taking it gently into the darkness. None of the tracks have any instant impact. They are meant for repeat plays, unfurling and revealing themselves slowly over time.


    - My Gang
    - Daughters of Kate Bush and Björk

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    Date Added: March 08, 2010
    Views: 3,986, Ratings: 34, Comments: 16, Favourited: 66 times

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  • [My Gang] Villagers – Becoming A Jackal : Reco of the Week 20 July 2010

    Jul 20 2010, 15h14 por Babs_05

    Track: Becoming a Jackal
    Artist: Villagers
    Album: Becoming a Jackal
    Tags: , , , , ,
    Video: Click the pic...

    YouTube, official video

    Unbelievable, we're looking at the shortlist for next year's Mercury Music Prize already. We're only half way through this one.

    The xx will probably walk it and it does look like they are the favourites to win. All the albums on the list are strong, though some are better than others. Paul Weller's Wake Up the Nation for instance, is one of his best and brilliantly crafted. Equal to him are I Am Kloot and their perfection, Sky at Night. In the same league is Corinne Bailey Rae with The Sea.

    The debuts are good but I think it would be a shame to award prizes for potential not yet realised, or for being jury favourites, over masterpieces. So, as much as I love Laura Marling and my reco this week, Villagers, I don't think they're there yet.

    And what potential. Laura Marling is talked of as being the next Joni Mitchell, there is so much respect and high regard for her songwriting skills. Alongside her, we have the new Elliott Smith and Conor Oberst in the form of Conor J O'Brien as Villagers, who wrote all the songs, played all the instruments and produced Becoming a Jackal.

    When he first appeared on Jools Holland, I did the same as I did when Bon Iver came on: got bored, got distracted, looked for something else to do. Unfortunately for Villagers, the line up that night was a vibrant, dynamic one, and his appearance was apologetically weak, lacking presence.

    By chance, the next day, I happened to hear the song I am recommending today, Becoming a Jackal. Can't remember the details now but I was shocked to realise that I had watched Jools Holland Live, thought I'd paid attention, yet missed this amazing song. I paid closer attention on Friday and I saw what went wrong, or rather, how the presentation didn't work for me.

    Becoming a Jackal is the second track from the album of the same name. Its power lies in its lyrics and melody, with subtle nods to 60s folk and indie rock. It's a giant of a song from such a tiny, unassuming man.

    Reviewers have likened O'Brien to any number of great artists but for me, he brings to mind Seth Lakeman and Crowded House, especially in this song. He aimed for Neil Young for the album and he has come pretty close. I think the thing that's missing, however, is Neil Young's maturity and passion and what's there instead is a grown man crying. But to be fair, I'm comparing a debut artist against the master he wants to be.

    Emotional, emotive and dramatic, the song tells a dark story and is typical of the album. There is very little light at all, no moments of pop relief or sunniness, forcing you to notice all the pretty notes and wallow in every swoony swirl. The music is in places discordant and overwhelming, throwing the balance out, making you wish and wait for it to stop. He creates the same tension with songs that go on a little too long. Here is where the flaw lies. After tension, there should be relief and in this album, it isn't always there, making for an exhausting and at times uncomfortable experience.


    O'Brien has created a world of fantasy, dreams and nightmares. Visions and wishes vie with fear and dread. We are through the looking-glass:

    In the scene between the window frame
    Where the jackals preyed on every soul
    Where they tied you to a pole
    And stripped you of your clothes

    The otherworldliness of the album is perfectly showcased in the title song. With silver bells tinkling in the background, the chorus is soothing:

    I was a dreamer
    Staring at windows
    Out onto the main street
    Cos that's where the dream goes

    Anything sweet and pleasant stops here. Contrasting against the wistful chorus are gothic lyrics with imagery of horror and menace, things that never happen in real life but might if your fears came true.

    The idea of Alice continues in the accompanying video which plays with unrealistic colours, proportions and perspective. The dreamy nightmare of being trapped, trying to escape and seeing where to escape to forms the theme. Hanging slabs of meat recall Scott Walker's Clara, and the idea is taken to the extreme with the surreal dancing piggy corpses.

    The song and video are layered and complex, standing up to repetition. The album itself seems to stand outside of time, with very few elements that will date it. A clever move by O'Brien who is clearly here to stay.


    - My Gang

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    Date Added: March 01, 2010
    Views: 140,783, Comments: 230, Favourited: 1,295 times, Ratings: 827

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  • [My Gang] Maps & Atlases – The Charm : Reco of the Week 13 July 2010

    Jul 13 2010, 17h29 por Babs_05

    Track: The Charm
    Artist: Maps & Atlases
    Album: Perch Patchwork (June 2010)
    Tags: , , , , ,
    Video: Click the pic...

    YouTube, audio upload

    There's math rock in the hands of upcoming musicians still learning their craft, and there's math rock in the hands of virtuosos. This is the latter.

    The first listen of the debut album, Perch Patchwork, isn't an easy one if you're expecting the expected, but hungry ears looking for something different to rest on might appreciate it. Maybe 'rest' isn't the right word. It's more like a feast or cornucopia, there's so much going on that's at once accessible and satisfying as well as challenging. If I am to sum it up in a simple phrase, I would say it's ugly-beautiful.

    The track I have chosen isn't typical of the album, but then again the other tracks are so varied too, it's hard to say which one is. This one, The Charm, is the most minimal, relying heavily on vocals and percussion, ending on Chris Hainey's crescendo of drums. It's the second track and, for me, the most arresting. Silver bells, drone and rhythmic percussion open the track and the relative quiet continues for the first verse. The pace picks up from the chorus onwards as the singing becomes more heartfelt, ending on pure passion that rises then ends abruptly.

    The vocals are dividing opinion. They are certainly not typical of rock or folk. They are of rnb and soul, though. David Davison's voice, slightly nasal and mostly in the throat, conjures up UB40, the Fine Young Cannibals and Mark Morrison (Return of the Mack). That's one aspect, the other is how low he can go, as showcased in this track.

    So we have pop music with folky Fleet Foxes harmonies and the depth of soul against a cerebral math rock background.

    The lyrics, too, aren't typical. It's a love song but you wouldn't know it if you didn't listen carefully.

    I don't think there is a sound that I hate more
    Than the sound of your voice
    When you say that you don't love me

    Perch Patchwork follows on from a few EPs, some self-released, over the last five years. Some of the earlier tracks can be heard on their MySpace. There's a clear sense of experimentation, pushing and striving to achieve this balance between the organic and the technical that they set out for. For me, one of the loveliest aspects of this album is how hummable some of the melodies are. I'd hesitate to say catchy, but they do become delightful earworms. The joy that went into making this album comes across.

    The band, then, are clever, trendy beardy boys getting creative with music. Fortunately for them, ground has already been broken by their predecessors who, like them, may not appeal directly to the mainstream but may turn more than a few heads - bands such as Battles, Fleet Foxes, Vampire Weekend, Foals and their hero and master, Don Caballero.

    They may not set the charts ablaze or get much radio play, but I wouldn't be surprised to hear a track or two on big television series (where most people get their music suggestions from these days) and maybe soundtracks for independent films. They have the niche appeal and the talent to be coveted by people who appreciate good musicianship and something out of the ordinary.


    - My Gang

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    Date Added: June 15, 2010
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  • [My Gang] Trentemøller: Sycamore Feeling : Reco of the Week 25 May 2010

    Mai 25 2010, 19h12 por Babs_05

    Track: Sycamore Feeling [ full stream and free d/l: Spinner ]
    Artist: Trentemøller
    Album: Into the Great Wide Yonder (31 May 2010)
    Tags: , , , ,
    Video: Click the pic...

    YouTube Official Video

    Sycamore Feeling is the first single from the forthcoming new album, due in the next few weeks, depending on your region.

    The piece opens with a strum of surf guitars heavily reverbed, reminiscent of his earlier track The Very Last Resort, and someone who sounds exactly like Hope Sandoval of Mazzy Star but not courtesy of Marie Fisker. This nearly-there-but-somewhere-else twist is a theme for the rest of the track. When the dance beats start, they're so subtly and elegantly done, all you notice is the pace picking up and being taken along with it. The music is a mix of the electronic and the organic. I really like the dark Massive Attack sound of Sycamore Feeling and look forward to hearing more.


    The video is long at 5.33 minutes and features Diana Wagner and the well-known NY-drag performer Princess Diandra in the lead role. The misleading continues with the impossible and the beautiful. You're not sure what to admire first, the icy landscape, the special effects or the gorgeous girl in fur, fringeing and fishnets. The pace of the video is as languorous as the vocals and equally mesmerising.

    Anders Trentemøller is a Danish electronic musician from Copenhagen. He is better known for well-crafted minimal techno, electro-house, club/dance music, mostly downtempo if not ambient. His debut album, the double-disc The Last Resort was picked by many as one of the records of the year in 2006. I remember it was one of the standouts for me, too. The music is cold and heavy, relying more on mood and drama than thumping beats, which is where the attraction lies. If this is where he began, the new track hints at where he is now.

    While we're waiting for the new album, there's a free podcast of about an hour long mixed by Trentemøller for XLR8R here. Looks like there's a correction to the tracklisting in the comments here.



    - My Gang

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    Date Added: March 31, 2010
    Views: 43,831, Comments: 34, Favourited: 506 times, Ratings: 222

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  • [My Gang] The Specials and Fun Boy Three – The Lunatics : Reco of the Week 11 May…

    Mai 11 2010, 21h24 por Babs_05

    Track: The Lunatics (Have Taken Over The Asylum) [ Full stream: We7 ]
    Artist: The Specials and Fun Boy Three
    Album: The Very Best of the Specials and Fun Boy Three
    Tags: , ,
    Video: Click the pic...

    YouTube audio upload

    I don't even know where to begin.

    How do I summarise the surprising twists and turns in UK politics in the last seven days? I can say this much: the country is anxious.

    In the thick of it, it's hard to step back and get an overview. After the 18 hours it took for votes to be counted and for a hung parliament to be announced, the three parties closed the doors for talks. There was much speculation over what deals would be made and between whom.

    The assumption was naturally lefty Liberal Democrats would come to some arrangement with Labour, leaving the Conservatives without a hope. But as they say, you should never assume, because you make an ass of u and me. Gordon Brown made asses of all us with yet another bad decision made (in my opinion) rashly and petulantly. With three minutes notice to David Cameron, leader of the Conservatives, Gordon Brown announced his resignation this evening, around 7pm.

    Some people watching and listening live to Gordon Brown's resignation speech were moved to tears. I wasn't. I wanted to smack him. How could he be so irresponsible? So much for caring for the country. In many people's opinions, he was the worst Prime Minister the UK ever had. He is known for his bad decisions. What a great parting shot, giving us the Tories.

    I saw no grace in Gordon Brown's departure. I saw vindictiveness and spite. He hinted he wanted to step down during his speech when his constituency votes came in and I got the impression he wanted to go sometime soon. Whenever he spoke, he said he was planning to step down in coming months, maybe later this year. But out of the blue just after 7pm on a Tuesday evening, just like that?! Why?

    Clearly he wasn't getting his way. He is as unpopular in government as he is with the people. I knew he would be pilloried by the press and he was. But this is just the beginning, there's more to come. Ted Heath was villified for years (in the 1970s after his hung parliament), so much so it was hard not to feel sorry for him even if you didn't like him.

    The difference is, Harold Wilson, who took over from Ted Heath, was a likeable and charismatic character. Today, right now, we have precisely nobody. We have no adequate leader capable of taking the world stage. Forget embarrassing, it's terrifying.

    What we have are two posh boys, David Cameron and Nick Clegg, two former public school pupils who were both coached and mentored through the system to get to where they are today. Silver spoons and privilege. They have no concept of ordinary people, ordinary problems or minority issues. They don't know what normal is, they've never seen it. We're looking at an elitist government.

    So Gordon Brown resigned and invited David Cameron to take over. The Conservatives had to sit down and work out a deal with the Liberal Democrats in one evening, something they had not been able to manage in four full days.

    There was no outpouring of joy in Twitter all evening as we followed events. Not from anybody. Everyone was stunned. The hashtag of the evening was #ConDemNation. People who vote Tory are worried about how much they will be forced to compromise away under the new deal with the Liberal Democrats. And vice versa with people who voted for the Liberal Democrats.

    Talks were concluded by midnight with mostly unanimous votes. A deal was made for a new coalition. Full details will be disclosed over the next few days but so far, Nick Clegg has stated we are looking at a new kind of government. He used words such as diverse and plural and kept repeating the word fair. The MPs who had attended the meeting appeared happy, euphoric even, which was astonishing in itself. What are the Lib Dems doing being happy after talks with the Tories?

    It shouldn't be like this. It's all upside down and inside out.

    And thus endeth my fair assessment of the last seven days.

    The song: The Lunatics (Have Taken Over The Asylum) was originally written when The Specials were still together but wasn't released as a single till 1981, after they had split and the Fun Boy Three had formed.

    The lyrics are political: the cowboy is Ronald Reagan, European food mountains had just become news, which sat uncomfortably alongside growing reports of starvation around the world. "Take away my right to choose / Take away my point of view", it didn't feel like anyone had a voice under Margaret Thatcher's Tory government. Nothing anybody said seemed to make the slightest difference.

    The music is pared back and skeletal, minimal and on a monotone, as if catatonic. There is little energy or enthusiasm from the band, little expression or emotion. The version I have chosen is one with The Specials, not the one by Fun Boy Three which is even more lifeless and almost trip-hop which you can listen to at Hype Machine here: The Lunatics (Have Taken Over The Asylum - hypem stream.

    Have we gone back 30 years? Is this an 80s revival proper? Are we right to feel anxious, nervous, scared to go to sleep? Exciting times, interesting, fascinating and frightening all at once.

    Further reading:
    David Cameron - Statement in Downing Street
    The Guardian: Tory-Lib Dem coalition threatened by secret hardline memo on Europe
    The Guardian: David Cameron and Nick Clegg lead coalition into power (comments are worth a look)
    The Guardian: David Cameron sacrifices inheritance tax policy to win Liberal Democrat deal
    The Independent: Cameron begins to work out the colour of a two-tone Cabinet
    UK Press Association: Clegg vows 'new kind of government'


    - My Gang

    Reco of the Week archives

    Disclaimer: Mines

    Admin: Stats as of today: listeners of this track - 260
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    Date Added: November 10, 2009
    Views: 824, Comments: 4, Ratings: 4, Favourited: 10 times

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  • [My Gang] Jenifer Jackson - Mercury, the Sun and Moon : Reco of the Week 27 April…

    Abr 27 2010, 19h48 por Babs_05

    Track: Mercury, the Sun and Moon [ Spotify ]
    Artist: Jenifer Jackson
    Album: Birds (Parasol, 2001)
    Tags: , , , , ,
    Video: Click the pic...

    (YouTube fan video)

    I watched Simon Pegg's 2007 film, Run Fatboy Run a few days ago and the tiny clip of a song that played during the birthday party scene caught my attention. It didn't take much hunting down, fortunately, because someone else had done the hard work for me and uploaded the track in YouTube with his fan video. It's not on the official soundtrack, so props and appreciation to YouTube user markthehat66.

    The song sounds 60s lounge, a bit 50s beat and Brazilian jazz/pop, with the vocals echoing breathily over the top. The video is a collection of images of the sun, the moon and the artist, Jenifer Jackson, who seems to be pretty obscure, with not many listeners here in and not a great deal to be found in Google. Careful, she shares her name with one or two undesirables. It's Jenifer with one 'n'.

    Here is her MySpace.

    Jenifer Jackson

    I won't talk about the London Marathon a couple of days ago because I missed it, as usual. I did hear a Royal ran it for the first time in history, Princess Beatrice, setting a world record at the same time.

    Instead, I'm going straight to a bit of news that blew my mind the day I saw it, which is the latest photographs of the sun taken by NASA, released last week. Go to their website for higher resolution pictures and videos. The pictures below are from the Daily Mail's write up. The colours are due to the different filters used to show temperatures. NASA's article is here: NASA's New Eye on the Sun Delivers Stunning First Images.

    Now the thing to do is open the video in another tab in your browser, have the song playing and just look at these pictures.

    Ring of fire: Known as a 'prominence eruption', this is a loop of gas heated to an extremely high temperature. Twisted magnetic fields on the Sun's surface cause the gas to be shaped like this. This image was captured by the satellite on March 30

    Full power: An extreme ultraviolet image of the Sun shows different gas temperatures - reds are about 59,727C, blues and greens are about 999,727C

    Close-up: These images show solar flares escaping from the Sun's surface. The one below stretches almost halfway across the star, about 500,000 miles

    These images are created by colour filters on the SDO that reveal different layers of temperates on the Sun's surface. Scientists hope that SDO will provide a better understanding of the role the Sun plays on the Earth's weather patterns

    The newspaper article also hosts a couple of videos that are worth watching.

    By coincidence, I happened to catch the BBC programme, The Sky At Night, this month, which was all about the sun. It was before these pictures were released. They explained the flares are caused by magnetic fields and illustrated the effect with a very lo-fi experiment using iron filings on flat cardboard with a magnet whizzed around underneath. Moving the magnet around quickly caused little areas where the iron filings collected and it didn't take long to create a fair number of them, which went towards understanding sun spots. The shape the little collections took, which showed the conflict between the poles, explained the magnetic forces that then cause eruptions. Here is a video of a massive prominence eruption posted on flickr.

    If you're into astrology, you will know mercury is retrograde again right now and, along with the intense alignment of Saturn and Uranus, something that only happens a couple of times a century but has happened several times in recent years, astrologers are forecasting more turmoil and uncertainty. However, they also say we should start to see solutions soon, too. Less than two weeks of mercury retrograde to go. As I write, the moon is full and in Scorpio. I've fastened my seatbelt and am seriously considering a duvet day. Or two.


    - My Gang

    Reco of the Week archives

    Disclaimer: Mines

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    Date Added: October 15, 2009
    Views: 1,407, Comments: 8, Ratings: 12, Favourited: 29 times

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