Abraxas by Santana
Sometimes I wonder if anyone is still actually reading these entries as I persevere to listen to my album collection in alphabetical order. But do you know? Part of me like to think that long forgotten LJ flisters might still be reading or random people might be coming across these posts many years into the future on WordPress. I also like to think that this is kind of a historical record and in a far off distant future scores of academics and philosophers are debating not only what I meant by vampiresses with comedy inflatable breasts but also why did I have such a massive
cock collection of music and were people actually interested in this and if so why?
Anyway, as I plunge on through the “A”s missing out only a couple of two track EPs as they don’t really count as full albums (If you’re really interested they are “Abandoner” by some bloke out of Porcupine Tree and “Absence and Plenum” by Lux Interna who none of you will have heard of anyway. I was also wearing my khaki short sleeved shirt and there are 7 cards in the card holder on the mantelpiece) we arrive at an unusual choice.
I’d never heard of Santana until they appeared on a soundtrack for a film I liked. So as I liked one of their tracks I did my usual thing of downloading their entire back catalogue. Yes. It was getting a bit silly doing that. Anyway, Abraxas contains Black Magic Woman and Oye Como Va which always makes me feel like I should be in some seedy Spanish restaurant in the 1980s. Surrounded by bullet ridden corpses having just survived a Spanish Mafia attack by hiding behind the fake plastic plant in the corner.
I know some of you guys like Santana.
Good for you.
A World We Pretend by Twilight Garden
Every so often I come across a band in my library and I think “How the hell did I ever get this?”
Twilight Garden are one of those bands.
They are a curious cross of Depeche Mode, the Cure and maybe a tiny bit of Bauhaus. Lots of echoey guitar, forlorn vocals and the kind of production that makes it sound like they’re recording in some disused quarry. In the rain. After a group of smack head punks from the 80’s have been and daubed the walls with political slogans.
Perhaps they recorded in the foot tunnel depicted in their album cover?
A Metal Tribute to Abba – Various Artists
It’s been a while. Sorry.
Anyway, back to the project, and what a start. Possibly one of the best compilations I have in my library. The Metal Tribue To Abba compilation never fails to raise a smile on faces as a group of (mostly) European metal bands rip into some of Abba’s popular pop songs with the power of a force ten gale. And it works.
Starting with Summer Night City performed by choral metal group Therion the listener is carried through Thank you for the Music, Voulez-Vouz and Chiquitita by bands whose names probably won’t be familiar to people inside the UK. Really, this is a treat. I urge anybody with even the slightest penchant for chugga-chugga guitars, thrash drums and chicks in latex with long hair and comedy inflatable breasts to find and listen to this album.
In the meantime….here is a Youtube clip
A Thousand Roads by Lisa Gerrard & Jeff Rona
A Thousand Roads is a film by Chris Eyre released in 2005. This is the soundtrack for it.
I’m very fond of soundtracks and there are many in my collection. Mostly they are of films that I have seen but this is one of 2 film soundtracks of films I’ve not seen.
I’m also very fond of Lisa Gerrard’s music including Dead Can Dance (but more about them in a later post).
So there’s two things: Lisa Gerrard and Soundtracks. What more could I want? Well there is a third thing. World music. I first got into World Music as a teenager when I was taken on a school trip to see the Gamelan at the Empire Theatre in Liverpool. Initially I was resistant but an hour into the performance I began to recognise repetitions, subtleties and changes in rhythm which none of my classmates seemed to appreciate. On the back of that experience I embraced World Music and, over the years, have collected some interesting music (again, more of that in a later post).
A Thousand Roads is a lovely mix of etherical wailing, tribal chants and haunting synths. A rare treat for travellers and explorers of the musical soundscape.
A Song for All Seasons–Renaissance
I first came across Renaissance in 2002 when I used to subscribe to Last.fm’s radio service.
In case you didn’t know, Last.fm supposedly checks what you listen to and then finds artists you might like and plays samples of their music mixed in with yours.
The song that kept being played was Northern Lights. It was one of those songs that made me think “Here! I’ve heard this before!”. It was more than probable that I had.
Keen to find out more, I spent a week downloading their catalogue and rapidly falling in love with their music. Bewildered by the fact that I hadn’t actually heard of them before that day.
They’re a mix of folk and prog. Prog folk? Maybe. Kind of like Fairport Convention meets Yes.
No..that’s not it.
It’s similar. But not.
Anyway, make your own mind up and, as usual, I would be interested to hear what you think about them too.
A Secret History by The Divine Comedy
There is a certain sound that conjures up memories of the 1990’s. Granted, I spent most of the 1990s in a haze of solitude and unemployment. Indeed, I did not really venture much further musically than the compilation album Shine 9. Instead I spent most of the 90s listening to Mike Oldfield, Yes, Triumvirat and whatever I happened upon on my cassette tapes. Those were the days. Days of sitting round, doing nothing. Wasting time.
I suspect that The Divine Comedy’s greatest hits, this album, appears in my music library due to Gay Jamie who no doubt put it on one of his many MP3 CDs he wrote for me back in the early noughties.
The Divine Comedy are that sound. The sound of the nineties. I’d not listened to this album before I began this project and, apart from a couple of tunes I’d heard on the radio or in other compilations, I’m not all that familiar nor enamoured with the band or their work. I was also surprised by the fact that they wrote the theme tune to Father Ted. So that was a surprise when it started playing midway through the listen.
Anyway, I think I’ll just keep the tracks I like off this album and bin the rest.
Album 39 was A Saucerful of Pink one of the many Floyd tribute albums. This, however, is the real deal. The second Floyd album and the first without Syd Barratt, although he did write the track Jugband Blues, which features on this album.
It shows as early Floyd. Bizarre lyrics, lots of moog and weirdness. Just my cup of tea. See, if it was this, The Piper at the Gates of Dawn and Ummagumma that was my introduction to Floyd, I would have gotten into them a lot earlier. It’s so far away from The Wall it’s practically down the garden path, across the road and under the tree in the neighbouring field. Right up my street.
A Rush of Blood to the Head by Coldplay
I never did the Coldplay thing. To me they were too mainstream, boring, bland, over exposed and overused. Listening to this album again did nothing to change that opinion.
While listening I kept expecting the soothing tones of Kirsty Wark or Prof Brian COCKs to pipe in over the top and tell me about the illusionary one armed orphan made of atoms that was in need of some respite or donations so they could buy a camel to dig a waterhole in their flooded landscape with their one eyed baby. Or someone like Lenny Henry to start telling me about Samanfa from Barnes who has over come her addiction to jam and has returned to the area where her abuse of jam started only to be reunited with Kelly her old friend who has now lost a leg. Or something.
If you’ve watched any documentaries or charity programmes since this album was released, there is no doubt you have already heard this album. I don’t know why. Perhaps it just brings to mind unbearable mental images of depression, deprivation and false hope.
Anyway, for you guys, I listened to the whole album. I didn’t want to. I wanted to gloss over it but I am loyal to you and so I tortured myself by listening to it. Please don’t make me do it again…..I can’t. I’ve recycle binned it…
A Radical Recital by Rasputina
Sometimes on a musical journey you unearth a treat. On one such foray into the musical world I was fortunate to come across this delightful live set which introduced me to the bands rather unusual works. On first listen I was hooked and listening to it again I’m still filled with warm squishy feelings and squees. Radical Recital is a good starting point for those interested in exploring Rasputina.
If you are unaware of Rasputina, which I suspect quite a few people are, they’re usually a trio of musicians, 2 cellists and a percussionist (onetime Brian from Dresden Dolls) who play a weird Country/goth/rock fusion. It works. I believe the genre is New Weird America. It would be interesting to hear your opinions…..
A Psychedelic Guide to Monsterism Island by Various Artists
Towards the end of my most recent exploration of musical genres I kind of rediscovered Psychedilia for myself. One of the many trophies I gathered from my foray was this collection.
Of course, listening to it again I can only assume that somehow my ears had been affected by something. Not drugs. Probably tiredness.
Whatever the case..this is utter bollocks. Except maybe for the fact it has a Belbury Poly tune on it. Nah…it’s shite. Don’t waste your time….