Sunday, November 15, 2009

Sophia Live @ Köln

Photo from Leaky Sparrow – Robin Proper-Sheppard (Sophia) – Kulturkirche Nippes, Köln – October 4, 2009 - More pics here

Robin Proper-Sheppard and band, Sophia, and string section was on tour throughout Europe in September and October. Was in Cologne by chance the day he stopped in the Kulturkirche for one more good show.
Sophia’s There Are No Goodbyes... (2009) is available here:
The Flower Shop Recordings (Europe), City Slang (Germany) & Bang! (Belgium)

Links:
sophiamusic.net - sophiamusicnet.blogspot.com

Sophia - A Last Dance (To Sad Eyes) .mp3

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Saturday, July 25, 2009

Gong live @ Herzberg 2009, Germany


Photo from Leaky SparrowGong – Herzberg Music Festival – July 17, 2009 - More pics here

After
Crosby, Stills & Nash (with our without Young) who is the best band ever? Gong… yes, Gong! You know this pataphysical freak out band that rose 40 years ago with a magisterial album called Camembert Electric… I hope you had the chance to hear it almost once in your life. I’m not gonna tell you here the story of Daevid Allen and Gong from the beginning to now. Please go on Gong page or on some well informed sites. I just want to say few words about there performance during the Burg Herzberg Music Festival held last week-end in Germany.
It was the first time that I went to
Herzberg, believe me it’s the coolest place to go in summer to hear good music and to be amongst wonderful people. This festival is also known to be the biggest “hippie” convention held in Europe each year. Well, Gong fit well there. And it does despite a heavy rain that never stopped during the concert, thousands of fans where there to hear once again the story of the Pot Head Pixies as well as some new song from 2032 (read below) stood in the wet and the cold. Daevid Allen and Gilli Smith were there of course, Miquette Giraudy too but the most important was that Steve Hillage was also on stage. A wonderful show! Those guys are still young and gave to the crowd everything that it was possible to offer in such circumstances. And I was the lucky guy too, I had the chance to talk to the band backstage after the show… but I will keep it secret for the moment… it’s a long story to tell… Ok, what I want to say now is that they are still touring until the end of the year, don’t miss them and run to get 2032 as soon as it is possible.
Gong has already produced a brand new forward-looking album called 2032 - Yes that's the year 2032 - the year that the Planet Gong makes full contact with the Planet Earth - and a major new chapter in the continually evolving Gong mythology. The album is due to be released in September 2009.

Website:
planetgong.co.uk

Gong - The Pot Head Pixies .mp3 from Flying Teapot (1972)

And from "Continental Circus (Original Soundtrack)" LP (Philips) 1971 (France)
Gong - What Do You Want? .mp3 via Siblingshot.blogspot (nice post by the way…)

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Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Crosby, Stills & Nash Live @ Bonn

Photo from Leaky Sparrow – Stephen Stills (Crosby, Stills & Nash) – Museumsplatz, Bonn – July 3, 2009 - More pics here
I have to tell you a secret… for me, Crosby, Stills & Nash (with or without Young) is the best band ever. And a live concert of CSN is something that I wouldn’t miss for nothing. I saw them in 1974, in 1983, in 1992, in 2005 and last week in Bonn. Believe me, each time it was a wonder, each time I left the show with joy in my heart after 2 hours and a half of happiness… It’s something that I quite never experienced with another band or performer. Those guys are magic. Long may they run.

Label:
crosbystillsnash.com

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young – Carry On .mp3
Stephen Stills - Fishes And Scorpions .mp3 via The Rising Storm

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Sunday, June 21, 2009

Scott Matthew - There Is An Ocean...

There Is An Ocean That Divides And With My Longing I Can Charge It With A Voltage Thats So Violent To Cross It Could Mean Death is the title of Australian-born Scott Matthew’s second album. So far, concerning title length, Fiona Apple is still the winner with When The Pawn… (1999), but this one will stand amongst the longest in the history of Rock. Musically, Scott Matthew has nothing to be ashamed of Apple’s work, There is An Ocean… is a pretty collection of tranquil piano melodies with melancholic lyrics.
Scott Matthew is one of the very few musicians who strips with his music, who dissects himself to reveal his very innards with great parsimony.
His voice cries without whining. His songs accuse without soliciting pity. Scott Matthew’s music has truth and exigency. And he forms this into songs that are purely magnetic, that expose an honest beauty and sorrow, allowing listeners to take and feel part of the experience.

Scott Matthew:
Website and MySpace
Label (Europe): Glitterhouse

Scott Matthew - For Dick (live) .mp3 via slowcoustic
Scott Matthew - Upside Down .mp3

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Sunday, June 14, 2009

With These Hands – Michael J. Sheehy And The Hired Mourners

Here is one of the most intriguing and interesting records this year so far. For his 6th album Michael J. Sheehy has written a song cycle which tells the story of Francis Delaney, a fictional prize fighter whose life unravels after he takes a dive in the most important fight of his career. The story is told through the eyes of Delaney himself and other characters such as the fight promoters, the punters and his opponent.
This is a concept album like I like. The other one who comes to my mind is an other album about boxing: the one and only one Ghosts Of The Great Highway from Sun Kil Moon.
With These Hands should cement Sheehy’s growing reputation as a gifted storyteller and a musician with a unique voice. And not to forget, Gemma Ray as a lead vocal on the beautiful Frankie My Darling.
The new album will be out on the 6th of July in Europe only.

Web:
michaeljsheehy.info/album
MySpace: myspace.com/michaeljsheehy
MySpace: myspace.com/gemmaraymusic
Label: glitterhouse.com

Gemma Ray - Rise of the Runts .mp3

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Sunday, June 07, 2009

Rusties - Move Along

It’s not because you have been a tribute band for years that you have a lack of imagination and talent. Let’s take for example the Rusties. It’s an Italian band who played Neil Young songs since 10 years mainly in Europe (Italy, Germany and Switzerland) and released 3 or 4 CDs full of great covers. Now, they just released their first album with their own compositions and it’s enough talented for me that I should bring it to your attention.
Move Along has a sound that is not far from Californian bands like the Eagles – maybe it’s the sun from Italy… - the harmony of the voice of the Rusties invites the listener to follow the lyrics easily and to sing along with them.
The new album will be out on the 10th of June. It won’t be mentioned everywhere for the moment so I’d like to tell you where it will be available: through
ird.it (International Records Distribution) or tubejamrecords.com or iTunes.
In a couple of weeks, the Rusties will be back on tour in the south of Germany - believe me, on stage there are awesome - you can follow them if you wish (more info here:
myspace.com/rustiesband)

Bellow Tracks a song that you can hear on Move Along and Southern Man a cover from our old friend Neil Young.

Lucky Girl

MySpace:
myspace.com/rustiesband

Rusties - Tracks .mp3 from Move Along
Rusties - Southern Man .mp3 a Neil Young cover

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Friday, May 22, 2009

Sophia @ Café de la Danse, Paris 2009

Photo from Leaky Sparrow - Robin Proper-Sheppard (Sophia) – Café de la Danse, Paris – May 21, 2009 - More pics here

Three years after his last performance with Vito (
read) for the released of his previous album Technology Won’t Save Us, Robin Proper-Sheppard and his Sophia Collective returned to Paris. More than that, Sophia took the stage of Le Café de la Danse as “top of the bill” exactly where he played as “support act” of Chokebore in December 1998, eleven years ago. I was there too, such a long time now…
Sophia is a steady band still delivering his sad-core music despite the changes of musical styles that rose since one decade. Records after records, shows after shows, the same feeling, the same mood, the same quality, Robin Proper-Sheppard has a gift for writing and a voice to interpret his poetry (as a reward, Robin will be invited by Mister Bernard Lenoir himself for one of his famous broadcast White Session in one week).
Meanwhile, last Thursday, Sophia played a solid show in front of fans that came to hear the new songs from his forthcoming album There Are No Goodbyes but also to hear few masterpieces from his back catalogue like The Sea, Ship In The Sand, I Left You and The River Song. Robin didn’t come alone, he was backed by a full band and string quarter, ten people on stage in total, who were perfect even during the acoustic songs than during his fully electrifying ones.
There Are No Goodbyes will be out 27 April 2009 with a bonus CD (more
here). I will make a short review in one of my next posts.

MySpace:
myspace.com/thesophiacollective
Web: sophiamusic.net
Robin’s Blog: theflowershoprecordings.blogspot.com

Sophia - Lost (The Valentine's Day Session).mp3
Sophia - Call Me On Your Way Back Home.mp3
Sophia - Ship In The Sand.mp3

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Sunday, May 10, 2009

Christo Jota – Moondog

It's the second full-length experimental release by guitarist Christo Jota from Köln, and although he isn’t breaking much new ground with this one, it's such interesting terrain that I don't mind revisiting this particular sound. Guitar-Loops melting in all tracks repetitive patterns put on soft synthiepads, on which the guitar takes off for some spacey melodies. I loved his first release, Mantra, and this second work, Moondog, has nothing to be ashamed of. To help you to discover his universe, let me say that Christo Jota is inspired by people like Robert Fripp, Steve Hillage, Harmonia, Tangerine Dream, and the looping scene with guys like Andy Butler, Zoe Keating etc.

You can listen to both new and older tracks on:
christojota.de

MySpace:
myspace.com/christojota
Label : fuego.de

Bonus:
Steve Hillage - Electrick Gypsies .mp3

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Monday, April 20, 2009

Jackson Browne – Live @ Cologne

Photo from Leaky SparrowJackson Browne – E-Werk, Cologne – April 17, 2009 – More pics here

Few words about Jackson Browne’s performance last Friday in Köln. I didn’t want to miss his 2009
Time The Conqueror Tour. Why? First, I wanted to spend another good week-end in Cologne with my sweetheart and, because I had a very good memory of his performance five years ago in La Cigale, Paris, I decided to get a couple of tickets for us to see the guy who promoted peace and justice through his music since almost 40 years.
Not much surprises, Jackson Browne was there to introduce as much as possible songs from his last release to his German fans. Together, few good old standards like Doctor My Eyes or The Pretender, but, for me, the highlight of the evening was These Days a song that he dedicated to Nico, of course (
Nico was born in Cologne and that was the place to perform it!). Please do listen to both versions, the Jackson Browne’s one on For Everyman (1973) and Nico’s version on her record Chelsea Girl (1967). Browne was only 16 years old when he wrote it.

Web:
jacksonbrowne.com

Jackson Browne - I Am A Patriot .mp3 via One Sweet Song
Jackson Browne - For America .mp3

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Monday, April 13, 2009

So Far So Good – The Decemberists

What happened since the beginning of the year? Nothing much! I already mentioned here how much I like Barbara Morgenstern and Science For Girls latest works as well as Vetiver’s fourth album. Of course, I didn’t miss the release of the new PJ Harvey, but I need more time to listen to it before I should review it or not here on Leaky Sparrow. What else? Animal Collective, of course, but it was in January. The Leonard Cohen Live and Neil Young’s Fork In The Road because it’s Leonard and Neil... But, the best discovery so far for me is The Decemberists. I missed their previous albums, it’s a good find for me and I really like this concept album around a love story: The Hazards Of Love (Rough Trade Records)

Web:
www.decemberists.com
The Decemberists - Shiny.mp3 from 5 Songs (2003)

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Sunday, March 29, 2009

Vetiver – Tight Knit

Vetiver, the coolest band on earth, strikes again with a fourth album called Tight Knit. Nothing fancy, just a bunch of pretty good songs for our pleasure. Andy Cabic makes me think of Jerry Garcia from The Grateful Dead, I mean his voice, listen to Strictly Rule, for example, and let me know.

Web:
vetiverse.com
MySpace: myspace.com/vetiverse

Vetiver - Everyday .mp3

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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

US Rails On The Road


I wanted to send a short post out to promote the US Rails shows coming up in the US starting next week. US Rails is a collective of songwriters, singers and musicians who met originally in the Philadelphia area but have since scattered all over the map to France, Germany and Austin, TX.
The US Rails are Joseph Parsons, Ben Arnold, Scott Bricklin, Tom Gillam, Matt Muir.

After that, my good old friend Joseph Parsons will be back in Europe for a solo tour. All dates here:
Joseph Parsons

Joseph Parsons - Shy .mp3
Joseph Parsons - Heavens Above .mp3

Photo by Leaky Sparrow: Joseph Parsons and Scott Bricklin in some great place somewhere in Germany last summer.

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Sunday, March 08, 2009

De Chassy & Yvinec - Like A Hurricane (Neil Young Cover)

I don’t think I ever really talked about jazz here on Leaky Sparrow. I’m not a jazz “connoisseur” but once in a while I do enjoy listening to a good show on some radio. Lately I was invited to discover Songs From The Last Century the latest work from Guillaume de Chassy, piano, and Daniel Yvinec, double bass. In two days they recorded a selection of songs that were written during the last century. The surprise is that you’ll find there together with some jazz standards few pop songs from Paul Simon, Prince, Paul Mc Cartney or Neil Young. Yes, here you’ll find an unusual cover of Like A Hurricane from Neil Young of two minutes and a half that you will be able to hear on that video.

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Sunday, March 01, 2009

Science For Girls - 14 Days

Gotta be 14th Street
Corner of 7th Ave
Funny Cry Happy gift is always open

14 Days
is pretty cool song and Bronwen Exter’s voice is so warm, can’t stop listening to it since the beginning of year (together with Barbara Morgenstern's Come to Berlin, of course).
Science For Girls "is the project of producer and songwriter Darren Solomon, whose melodic electronica is steeped in jazz with the cool feel of Brazilian music. The debut album features guest vocalists from NYC's indie music scene."

Web:
scienceforgirls.net
MySpace: myspace.com/scienceforgirls
MySpace: myspace.com/bronwenexter

Science For Girls - 14 Days .mp3

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Friday, February 20, 2009

I'll Be Back...

Don’t worry; the little sparrow is still alive. Thanks again for those of you who worried. I will be back… soon. I’m just too much busy since the beginning of the year, couldn’t take care of the blog and didn't listen to much music. Meanwhile, I advise you to buy the Red Hot Compilation called Dark Was The Night. Not too bad, not too bad at all.

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Sunday, January 11, 2009

Barbara Morgenstern - Back With BM

Barbara Morgenstern (morning star) one of the primary producers on Gudrun Gut's Berlin-Based electronic-pop label Monika Enterprise released her new album BM last October.
For BM, her fifth album, Barbara wrote beautifully plaintive electronic pop songs. Like usual she incorporates English lyrics into her German writing, it helps a little bit those like me who doesn’t speak the language. The album also includes collaboration with Robert Wyatt (Camouflage).

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Thursday, January 08, 2009

Cloudland Canyon – Lie In Light

Let’s start 2009 with a record released in April 2008. It’s never too late for a real find.
Kip Uhlhorn and Simon Wojan began collaborating under the moniker Cloudland Canyon in 2000. Both have toiled in various music scenes (hardcore, psych and punk) since the last century. Recent collaborations with Kranky artist Lichens and others have taken the duo into transcendental musical territories. Cloudland Canyon’s Lie in Light is a full length released on
Kranky last April.

MySpace:
myspace.com/cloudlandcanyon and Web: cloudland-canyon.com

Cloudland Canyon - You & I .mp3 via Pop Matters

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Sunday, January 04, 2009

2009


Best wishes for 2009 to you all. May the music brings warmth and joy...

Helios - A Mountain Of Ice .mp3 from Caesura (2008) via Obscure Sound
Also: Helios - Mima.mp3 (read Brainwashed.com)

Web:
soundalong.com/helios
MySpace: myspace.com/thesadepicurean
Label:
typerecords.com

Bonus:
Winter - Carla Olson .mp3

Photo by Leaky Sparrow: Museum Ludwig (Köln)

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Friday, December 26, 2008

2008 - Top 12

Top 10 in 2006, top 11 in 2007, why not a top 12 for 2008? This year was full of good music better than the previous one and it was not so easy for me to select 10 records amongst all that I heard in 12 months… and I didn’t have the chance to listen to everything. So this is only the best of what I choose to purchase.
Number One? MGMT. I was right in May when I reviewed the show of MGMT in Cologne, as I said, Oracular Spectacular will be first on most of year-end music lists, why not in Leaky Sparrow’s list... Radiohead is not mentioned? It’s a mistake and should be #1 - I bought the album the 1st of January - but I didn’t know what to do, in or out?... Some records were released before 2008? Yes, but for me they were all new. So why not In Rainbows? I don’t know…

Please do enjoy the last days of 2008 and see you next year. In peace.

1 – Oracular Spectacular – MGMT (Columbia)
Web:
whoismgmt.com
Music: MGMT - Destrokk .mp3
Show review: May 2008

2 – Third – Portishead (Island)
Web:
portishead.co.uk
Show review: April 2008

3 – Against The Dying Of The Light – Avrocar (Make Mine Music)
MySpace:
myspace.com/avrocar
Music: Avrocar - Our World Is Their Heaven .mp3
Album review: September 2008

4 – Ghost Repeater – Jeffrey Foucault (Signature Sounds)
Web:
jeffreyfoucault.com
Music: Jeffrey Foucault - Americans In Corduroys .mp3
Show review: February 2008

5 – The Hawk Is Howling – Mogwai (Matador)
MySpace:
myspace.com/mogwai
Show review: October 2008

6 – Rest – Gregor Samsa (Own)
Web:
gregorsamsa.com
Music: Gregor Samsa - Jeroen Van Aken .mp3
Album review: May 2008

7 – Dark Undercoat – Emily Jane White (Double Negative)
Web:
emilyjanewhite.com
Music: Emily Jane White - Hole In The Middle .mp3
Show review: October 2008

8 – Rook – Shearwater (Matador)
Web:
shearwatermusic.com
Music: Shearwater - Rooks .mp3
Show review: September 2008

9 – Glasvegas – Glasvegas (Columbia)
Web:
glasvegas.net
Album review: later in 2009!

10 – The Last Side Of The Mountain – Chris Eckman (Glitterhouse)
MySpace:
myspace.com/chriseckmanmusic
Album review: December 2008

11 – Heavens Above – Joseph Parsons (Blue Rose)
MySpace:
myspace.com/josephparsons
Music: Joseph Parsons - Falling.mp3
Album review: August 2008

12 – Fleet Foxes – Fleet Foxes (Sub Pop)
MySpace:
myspace.com/fleetfoxes
Music: Fleet Foxes - White Winter Hymnal .mp3
Album review: August 2008


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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Lee Clayton Rides Again

There is a nice thread here on Leaky Sparrow around a post that I wrote more than a year ago. So far, something like 17 comments around the life and music of Lee Clayton. I’m proud that you people took the opportunity of that short notice to exchange thoughts and information about that “unknown legend forgotten by most of Rock dictionaries”. Thanks very much to you all.
Here is the post:
Lee Clayton Rides Alone (May 07, 2007)

Above is the ticket that I kept of the one and only occasion that I had to see Lee Clayton playing live. As you can see, it was in 1980, a stop in Paris during the European Tour promoting McGuinn-Clark-Hillman latest release. Lee Clayton was opening the evening. I have a quiet precise memory of his performance: his set was equal to the one that gave McGuinn and Hillman – Gene Clark refused to tour in Europe – in length and in quality, maybe more…

Thanks again for your interest and collaboration; it helps me trying to keep up the “good” work with freedom and without accepting money in return for any advertising space!

Web:
Roger McGuinn, Gene Clark & Chris Hillman

Roger McGuinn - Go Tell It On The Mountain .mp3
Roger McGuinn - 500 Miles .mp3 via ibiblio.org/jimmy/folkden-wp
Gene Clark - Hot Burrito #1 .mp3
More Xmas song: McGuinn - Greensleeves .mp3

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Coldplay – Viva la Musica

I was thinking about my top ten albums of 2008 and at the same time I had a look at some Web year-end lists. Coldplay’s fourth album, Viva La Vida, is in a good position most of the time, taking the top spot in few of them (Last.fm). The album has, to date, been the number-one-selling album in 36 countries around the world, debuting at number one in UK the first week. Also, Viva la Vida has become the most paid-for downloaded album of all time.
Even if I prefer to promote indie bands here in Leaky Sparrow, I’m not against records that sales thousand of copies, not at all - if they are pretty good and enjoyable, you can count me in. Also I’m always happy to see some of my friends wishing to share their music choices with me; consequently with Coldplay, I paid attention to what they say and got my own copy. I must admit that I do kind of like Coldplay last work where Brian Eno is in charge of “sonic landscapes”… Viva la Musica!
Coldplay released in November an EP, Prospekt's March, consisting of unreleased material from the Viva la Vida recording sessions. The album was re-released in a deluxe edition, titled Viva la Vida - Prospekt's March Edition. It contains tracks off the original album and Prospekt's March. If you even have a slight interest in Coldplay buy it. It’s Xmas time…

Web:
coldplay.com
MySpace: myspace.com/coldplay

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Sunday, December 14, 2008

Chris Eckman - The Last Side of the Mountain

Slow starts. I love albums which have the confidence to start gently, letting you drift into the record. Slow is also one of Chris Eckman’s trademarks, remember his cover of Yellow Submarine for The Mojo magazine free cd called Revolver Reloaded (2006)…

Known as the frontman-composer, producer & songwriter of The Walkabouts, Eckman is leaving since few years now in Slovenia, consequently the culture of this European country started to influence his work and as a result you have The Last Side of the Mountain (November, 2008 - Glitterhouse). For that album Eckman translated and set into music eleven poems by the Slovene poet
Dane Zajc and recorded them at Studio Zuma his personal studio in Ljubljana.
The Last Side of the Mountain is a very beautiful record and with no doubt this is Eckman’s finest work to date, with or without The Walkabouts. This is simply a breathtaking album. For the melancholy flowing from the dozen tracks of The Last Side of the Mountain, for the lyrics, for the enchanting melodies perfectly produced, you have reason enough to love it. Just two small negative remarks, the mournful voice of Chris Eckman – sorry, Chris – and one track that I feel like skipping, The Same, performed with Steve Wynn, that doesn’t really fit with the other songs on this album. Besides you have gems like Scorpions, With What Mouth and the moving Who Will Light Your Path?, a beautiful song ala Elysian Fields, wherein polish vocalist Anita Lipnicka adds sublime harmony vocals.

No songs yet available to listen for free, meanwhile, you can go to his
MySpace and give a visit to his Website: thewalkabouts.com/discslast.htm
Label: glitterhouse.com

Nick Drake - Black Mountain Blues.mp3 via Stereogum
Shearwater - Mountain Laurel .mp3
Jonathan Coulton - Skullcrusher Mountain .mp3
Rogue Wave - Are You on My Side .mp3

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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Chairlift – White Session

Chairlift formed in Boulder, Colorado in early 2006 to make live music for haunted houses gave a White Session for Mister Bernard Lenoir, the French John Peel, on his radio program called C'est Lenoir (This is Lenoir). You can listen to that exclusive “live” recording (only during a small week) on the link below (wait 15 minutes). Like me I hope you will fall under the charm of the voice of Caroline Polachek – she even sing in French with a Belgium accent! - and discover the sound of the trio that lives now in Brooklyn where they joined people like MGTM...
Chairlift's debut album, Does You Inspire You, is in stores since Sept 30th!

MySpace:
myspace.com/chairlift
Label: Kanine Records

White Session – December 8, 2008 on France Inter:
here

Photo: Chairlift in Madison, WI from kaninerecords.com/pics

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Sunday, December 07, 2008

Sugar Mountain – Left track: The Voice

The first time I ever heard the voice of Neil Young was when I purchased in 1970 my 3 LPs copy of Woodstock - Neil was singing Sea Of Madness - remember: “All I need is your sweet sweet loving…” Soon after, I bought one after the other: Déjà Vu, a compilation of Buffalo Springfield, After the Gold Rush and then the first Neil Young album. What struck me first with the Canadian was his tenor singing voice more than his personal lyrics or his guitar work.
Sugar Mountain, Live At Canterbury House 1968 is a magnificent testimony of the early days when Neil Young started is solo career. This unearth live recording is another example of how his voice is so moving. Unfortunately, later, in October 1975, he had a throat operation and his voice changed a little bit. All I can say is that now he never sings like he used to during his early recordings, for me it’s obvious.
So to come back to Sugar Mountain, this recording allows us to listen to some amazing acoustic renditions of Nowadays Clancy Can’t Even Sing, The Old Laughing Lady, Broken Arrow or If I Could Have Her Tonight… simply, the best of the best.
By the way, Young's Sea of Madness, heard on Woodstock soundtrack album, was actually recorded a month after the festival at the Fillmore East.

Web:
neilyoung.com – MySpace: myspace.com/neilyoung

Neil Young - Sugar Mountain .mp3 Live In Bakersfield – March 11, 1973
Neil Young - Only Love Can Break Your Heart .mp3 Live In London – February 27, 1971
Neil Young - Cinnamon Girl .mp3

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Thursday, December 04, 2008

Two-Lane Blacktop – You Can Never Go Fast Enough

Some said it was an answer to the commercial success of Easy Rider. Released exactly two years after the “first ever” road-movie directed by Dennis Hopper (read here), Universal Pictures asked Rudolph Wurlitzer and Monte Hellman to build a story around a journey of two friends from West to East USA, the name: Two-Lane Blacktop.
In both movies you’ll find a lot of similarities: bikes/cars, two bikers/two drag racers, two main protagonists (Dennis Hopper + Peter Fonda / James Taylor + Dennis Wilson), who picked up a hitch-hiker during the trip (Luke Askew / Laurie Bird) and are joined by a third character (Jack Nicholson / Warren Oates), etc, etc…
The only difference is the soundtrack, unlike Easy Rider Two-Lane Blacktop music is not a major actor of the movie (except the original version of Me and Bobby McGee performed by the song's author Kris Kristofferson), and no soundtrack had ever been released which is a surprise when you know that, the two stars of the film, James Taylor and Dennis Wilson, could contribute with some very good music.
So, we had to wait April 2003 to find a Tribute album to Two-Lane Blacktop this definitive road movie that I saw again on public television one night two weeks ago. It is call You Can Never Go Fast Enough; you’ll find the Tracklisting
here. I was happy to purchase one copy, Yeap! A special mention to Roy Montgomery for his contribution.

More:
Wikipedia and All Music or Two-Lane Blacktop Tribute Website

James Taylor - Fire And Rain .mp3
James Taylor - Sweet Baby James .mp3
James Taylor - You've Got A Friend .mp3
Roy Montgomery - Sterling Morrison Corner 10th And First 1966.mp3
Roy Montgomery - Zabriske Point (Part 1).mp3

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Monday, December 01, 2008

Dennis Hopper & The New Hollywood


I remember… Billy going to the Mardi Gras celebrations in New Orleans… Easy Rider
I remember… Thomas Ripley playing pool humming Dylan's I Pity The Poor Immigrant and the Beatles' Drive My Car
Der Amerikanische Freund
I remember… a pretty stoned photojournalist…
Apocalypse Now
I remember… a father working amongst the rubbish…
Out Of The Blue
I remember… someone called Cracker in
Human Highway, a fantasy directed by someone called Neil Young…
I remember… sweating while I watched
The Hot Spot
I remember… a bomber terrorist who has nothing in common with “the” Billy from Easy Rider:
Speed
I remember… the Dennis Hopper exhibition that I saw last Saturday.

The Cinématheque Française in Paris – who hosts the largest archive of films, movie documents, and film-related objects in the world – offers until mid-January a wonderful retrospective of all the works and fantasies that Dennis Hopper produced since 40 years or more: movies, drawings, photos, sculpture, and so on. Be careful, it’s a unique exhibition only made for Paris with the “invaluable collaboration” of Dennis Hopper. You won’t see it elsewhere. So, take a plane, a train, a bike and then a Vélib’ and make an exciting journey through the past of Hollywood after Easy Rider.

Did I tell you that Easy Rider changed my life many years ago? And that I gave my old LP to some lucky fellow long time ago?… stupid me!

Web:
cinematheque.fr Dennis Hopper & Le Nouvel Hollywood – October 15, 2008 to January 19, 2009

The Band - The Weight .mp3
Jimi Hendrix - If 6 Was 9 .mp3
Ice-T - Personal .mp3
Devo and Neil Young - My My Hey Hey .mp3

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Thursday, November 27, 2008

Adrienne Pierce - Winter EP

Maybe it’s because Adrienne Pierce covered Neil Young's Pocahontas as part of Borrowed Tunes II that I which to share with you Adrienne’s new EP Winter. Maybe it’s because it’s cold outside here in Paris or that the holiday music season starts already. I don’t know... my mood today…
Adrienne Pierce is a Canadian singer from Vancouver, her six songs EP Winter (November 18th) is "a musical love letter to this special time of year. Recorded primarily in a cabin on the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia, this is a holiday release with both classic appeal and indie charm to spare. The four original Christmas songs are diverse in style but unified in theme and DIY approach."

Web:
adriennepierce.com
MySpace: myspace.com/adriennepierce

Adrienne Pierce - Joy Is With Reach .mp3 via Scrink.com
Adrienne Pierce - Laundry And Dishes .mp3

Bonus:
John Denver - Please Daddy Don't Get Drunk This Christmas .mp3

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Monday, November 24, 2008

Megapuss Surf’s Up

Leaky Sparrow’s friend Devendra Banhart has a new project, it’s called Megapuss. Megapuss is also Greg Rogove (Priestbird), Fabrizio Moretti (The Strokes, Little Joy), Noah Georgeson (member of Banhart's band and producer), and Aziz Ansari (actor/comedian). One year after the half success of Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon, Devandra signed with Neil Young’s Vapor Records label who released Surfing beginning of November.

Web:
megapuss.net
MySpace: myspace.com/megapuss
Label: vaporrecords.com

Megapuss - Adam & Steve .mp3 via Cream Team

Priestbird - Mandog .mp3
Devendra Banhart - Will Is My Friend .mp3
Beirut - Mount Wroclai Idle Days .mp3

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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Postcard from Lisbon - Madredeus


Hi! Just been away on a short vacation trip in Lisbon; the little San Francisco of Europe. Lisboa is a wonderful city and also known as the birthplace of Fado a very melancholic music. I am not a connoisseur - I guess you all know Amália Rodrigues - but I would like to mention amongst many Madredeus whose music combines Fado influences with modern folk music. I discovered them in a 1994 film directed by Wim Wenders, Lisbon Story. Teresa Salgueiro is one of the most beautiful voices I've ever heard. Ainda…….

Web:
madredeus.com

Madredeus - A barca da fantasia (live) .mp3
Madredeus - Haja o que Houver (Lux Mix) .mp3

Photo (Leaky Sparrow): a wonderful guitar player in the quiet cloister of the Mosteiro de S. Vicente (Lisbon)

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Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Beatles White Album

After two and a half years and more than 300 posts, I just realized that I never wrote anything about The Beatles. As a teenager raised in the 60s with the sound of the four guys from Liverpool, I shouldn’t miss the opportunity to celebrate the 40th anniversary of that amazing masterpiece double LP usually called The White Album.
My mother gave it to me as a present for Christmas 68 (see photos of “the” copy). At that time, I didn’t have so many records and just few 45s… so The White Album, for months, was on my turntable. Before I had the Sgt Pepper’s, the Magical Mystery Tour LP and one compilation called Oldies But Goldies, my older sister already had Rubber Soul and Revolver. That was my first steps on the music universe… such a good start!
I could write pages and pages about that record and about everything song. It’s a listening delight even 40 years later.
The Beatles is the ninth official album by The Beatles, a double album released in 1968. It is more commonly known as The White Album as it has no text other than the band's name (and, on the early LP and CD releases, a serial number) on its plain white sleeve, which was designed by pop artist Richard Hamilton. More on
Wikipedia

The Beatles - Helter Skelter .mp3

The Beatles are the most-covered band in history, here is just a quick selection of cover versions from The White Album:

Beatlejazz - Blackbird .mp3 from Another Bite Of The Apple
Evan Rachel Wood - Blackbird .mp3 via Friedreich from the musical movie Across The Universe (2007)
Evan Rachel Wood - Dear Prudence .mp3
Joe Anderson - Happiness Is A Warm Gun .mp3
The Rolling Stones & John Lennon - Yer Blues (Live) .mp3

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Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Barack Obama - Hope For Peace

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