All posts by AMR

FMD: Response to Zack

To belatedly answer Zack's query from last week: I've been streaming less new music.
I'd often go to the album reviews on Pitchfork, and listen to the bandcamp selections, or get a song or two off YouTube.
Now, my speakers connected to my computer are the cruddy ones built into the laptop (I guess I could use headphones).
But more than that, I'm VPNing to my employer's network, meaning that streaming music (and, if youtube, videos I'm not even watching) is sucking the strained bandwidth we're all also using for our calls, video chats, meetings, etc.
I've got seven tabs now open in my browser that I'd like to listen to but may not ever. And I haven't even looked at today's new Pitchfork reviews.

FMD: WFH Week 1 (3-20-20)

Last year, Annika Norlin and Jens Lekman released Correspondence, an "epistolary album" where each song is a montly "letter" back to the other, over the course of 2018. I'm a huge fan of Ms. Norlin's work. She records in English as "Hello Saferide" and in Swedish as "Säkert!" (though there's an album by Säkert! in English... translations of some of her Swedish songs). As for Lekman... meh. So it's an alternatingly great/not album. Norlin's second-best song on it is "Hibernation" from April, fitting for the current moment of self-quarantine and social distancing. Except for the parts where she takes a train and talks to some youth [lyrics].

BTW, the best song is "'Silent Night'", maybe the best thing Norlin's written (at least in English) [lyrics].

Anyways, drop your lists of Random tens, or maybe point out some fitting songs for waiting out the rider of the white horse.

Best of 2019: Lana Del Rey “California”


I find LDR's live performances hard to watch and her recent videos only OK. I think it's that her voice sells so much irony that her face doesn't convey.
But her record is fantastic, so here's a fan video (despite the "official" in the video title). Song selection driven in part by wanting to keep it clean.

5 votes, average: 8.00 out of 105 votes, average: 8.00 out of 105 votes, average: 8.00 out of 105 votes, average: 8.00 out of 105 votes, average: 8.00 out of 105 votes, average: 8.00 out of 105 votes, average: 8.00 out of 105 votes, average: 8.00 out of 105 votes, average: 8.00 out of 105 votes, average: 8.00 out of 10 (5 votes, average: 8.00 out of 10)
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David Gray – One with the Birds


The original is one of my favorite Bonnie "Prince" Billy songs. Start 49 seconds in to avoid a few f-bombs in his banter.
Sounds like he bowdlerized these lyrics:
"Looks like Like so many seagulls / Like so many hawks
Like so many thrushes / And so many cocks
Well a swallow will tell you ..."
Replacing "cocks" with "storks". Which is a bummer, because that's highlight of Oldham's songwriting right there.
And if your stage banter is in cursive, why bother cleaning up the lyrics?

2 votes, average: 7.00 out of 102 votes, average: 7.00 out of 102 votes, average: 7.00 out of 102 votes, average: 7.00 out of 102 votes, average: 7.00 out of 102 votes, average: 7.00 out of 102 votes, average: 7.00 out of 102 votes, average: 7.00 out of 102 votes, average: 7.00 out of 102 votes, average: 7.00 out of 10 (2 votes, average: 7.00 out of 10)
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Fontella Bass – Rescue Me


Live, 1988 or 1989, on the Jools-hosted program "Night Music". This episode, #116, also had Carlos Santana, Lyle Lovett, and others.
I really know Ms. Bass more from her late-career work with The Cinematic Orchestra than her earlier career, although I was definitely familiar with this song.

4 votes, average: 9.25 out of 104 votes, average: 9.25 out of 104 votes, average: 9.25 out of 104 votes, average: 9.25 out of 104 votes, average: 9.25 out of 104 votes, average: 9.25 out of 104 votes, average: 9.25 out of 104 votes, average: 9.25 out of 104 votes, average: 9.25 out of 104 votes, average: 9.25 out of 10 (4 votes, average: 9.25 out of 10)
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FMD: AMR’s Week “Whither Live Music?”

I struggled to find clips for this week because I don't really know which artists I would want to see in concert right now.
Other than Julien Baker, who has probably been over-played here (8 times in 3.5 years). But what size venues does she play?
Florist's new album doesn't seem like it would translate to a live setting; it's so close and intimate.
Lana Del Rey went on a stadium tour and all I could find were audience clips. I watched a good number of her live clips early in her career and never found her performances compelling.

(As for finding cool performances in atypical settings...
Have we passed peak "Take Away Show"-like programming? Or are they just hidden under fan clips?
And how many times can I go to the BPB and HHT wells?)

I hope you like what I've offered (and will offer for a few more days), regardless.
Go ahead and drop your lists, and tell me why I'm wrong. Which touring musicians should I be excited about when they come through?