Helpless Dancer

The Endless Note

What Is Life?

It is a great theological question to which I have no answers on so many levels, HOWEVER, I do know that it is the title of a great song by “The Burns Unit” from their 2010 album “Side Show”

“What Is Life?” – The Burns Unit

WHAT IS LIFE?
WHY AM I HERE?
WHO AM I?
DID I DESERVE THIS?
WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME, MY LIFE?

WHAT IS LIFE…

OH I CAN’T RUN AWAY FROM TIME
MY TIME WILL COME TO END IT
WITH A GUN SHOT AND A KISS
OH I CAN’T RUN AWAY FROM TIME
MY TIME WILL COME TO END ME
WILL I HIT OR WILL I MISS?

SICK OF TELEVISION TELLING ME WHAT TO DO
TELLING YOU WHAT YOU THINK IS GOOD
JUST ANOTHER LIE OR A PILL FOR A FOOL
SICK OF TELEVISION TELLING ME WHAT TO DO
TELLING YOU WHAT YOU THINK IS GOOD
A NEW MIND TO BREED FIRE TO FUEL

WHAT IS LIFE…
WHAT IS LIFE…

NO TEACHER TELLING YOU WHAT TO DO
WITH YOUR LIFE MAN WHAT’S IT TO YOU
NEVER TAUGHT THAT MIND WAS A TOOL
NO TEACHER TELLING YOU WHAT TO DO
WITH YOUR LIFE MAN WHAT’S IT TO YOU
WISE MEN ARE SO TREATED LIKE FOOLS

SEE THEM PEOPLE GET DA-RUM
SEE THEM FEAR AND WATCH THEM RUN
WEAPON IS THE LACK OF EDUCATION NOT A GUN
SEE THEM PEOPLE GET DA-RUM
SEE THEM FEAR AND WATCH THEM RUN
KEEP FROM YOUTH AND WATCH THEIR LIFE BURN

WHAT IS LIFE…
WHAT IS LIFE…

To buy the music of The Burns Unit click HERE

 

 

As a bonus the great reggae group Black Uhuru also released a song of the same name.

……………….as did a certain Mr Harrison

November 30, 2010 Posted by | Blast from The Past, New Music, Reggae, Video | , , | 1 Comment

Cover Story – Bryan Ferry

Bryan Ferry has a new album titled “Olympia” was released recently

The cover features Kate Moss in nothing more than glossy red lipstick, a stunning diamond necklace, and white bedsheets as she lies upside-down with her dark-rooted blonde locks fanned out.

“I normally use unknown women -– it’s nice to discover girls for that kind of thing,” Ferry told the Daily Mail.

“But this time I thought it would be a good idea to ask Kate, because she’s a great femme fatale of our era.

“And it turns out she was delighted to do it, she was a big fan of the music, and it worked out fantastically.”

Ferry, who dubbed the image an “early pin-up,” also told the paper that shoes and dresses were flown in from Paris especially for the shoot.

One of the tracks on the album is a version of an all time favourite song of mine Tim Buckley’s “Song To The Siren”

“Song To The Siren” – Bryan Ferry

This however is my favourite version

To buy the music of Bryan Ferry click HERE

November 29, 2010 Posted by | Cover Stories, New Music, New Releases, Video | , , , | Leave a comment

UB40

Actually “I be 50” but that’s not the point, though it is hard to believe it is 30 years since I bought the UB40 debut album “Signing Off” which was released by Graduate Records on 29th August 1980 with a free three track 12″ single as an addition to the ten tracks on the album.

Most people will unfortunately remember the band for their series of reggae based cover versions recorded for Virgin Records which transformed them from being a “protest band” to a somewhat sanatised band for happy loving couples to play at dinner parties as a token gesture to being reggae loving hipsters.

“Signing Off” however deserves to be re-discovered as it is another great debut album.

Signing Off was a mix of reggae and dub material which was lyrically politically charged and socially conscious, while musically it was reverb-heavy, doom-laden yet mellifluous, best exemplified in the hits “King” and “Food For Thought” as well as the searing “Burden of Shame”.

The opening track on the album “Tyler” was written about a young black American Gary Tyler, who was convicted of murdering a 13-year-old white boy, at the age of 17. UB40 intended “Tyler” to be their first single in the States.

“King” was a song written about the late Martin Luther King, Jr., questioning the lost direction of the deceased leader’s followers and the state of mourning of a nation after his death.

Perhaps the biggest success of the album was the song “Food For Thought”, which was an attempt to publicize and condemn the Ethiopian famine in Africa, comparing it with the Western over-indulgent celebration of Christmas, a full five years before Band Aid brought the subject to widespread attention. Subsequently it was also a prominent feature of UB40’s 2005 Live 8 appearance in Hyde Park, London – 25 years after the song had been first released. Both “King” and “Food For Thought” were released together as a Double A-side, as their debut single in February 1980. It topped the Indie chart for three months, reached #4 in the UK charts, and went on to sell half a million copies.

The original vinyl album consisted of a ten-track LP plus a 3-track 12-inch record which included the tracks “Madam Medusa”, “Strange Fruit” and “Reefer Madness”.

“Madam Medusa” stands up alongside the likes of The Beat’s “Stand Down Margaret” and The Specials “Ghost Town” as social commentaries on the Thatcher years.

“Madam Medusa” – UB40

From the land of shadows
Comes a dreadful sight
Lady with the marble smile
Spirit of the night
See the scourge of innocence
Swinging in her hand
Hear the silent suffering
That echoes through the land

From the tombs of ignorance
Of hate and greed and lies
Through the smoke of sacrifice
Watch her figure rise
The sick the poor the old
Basking in her radiance
Men of blood and gold

In her bloody footsteps
Speculators prance
Men of dreams are praying
For that second chance
Round her vacant features
Gilded serpents dance
Her tree of evil knowledge
Sprouts a special branch

Madam Medusa
Madam Medusa
Madam Medusa

Knock her right down
And then she bounce right back
Knock her right down
And then she bounce right back
She gone off her head
We`ve got to shoot her dead
She gone off her head
We`ve got to shoot her dead
Run for your life before she eat you alive
Run for your life before she eat you alive
Move out of the way cos`s you`re blocking out the day
Move out of the way cos`s you`re blocking out the day

To buy the music of UB40 click HERE

Just today I was reading the current NME in which Paul Weller as quoted as saying “this generation needs to stand up and fight”………….step forward the new Billy Bragg

November 29, 2010 Posted by | Blast from The Past, Old Music, Reggae, Video | , , , , | Leave a comment

Sunset

Sunset Houston Renfrewshire 28th November 2010

“Snow” – Craig Armstrong with David McAlmont

To buy the music of Craig Armstrong click HERE

To buy themusic of David McAlmont click HERE

November 28, 2010 Posted by | Landscapes, Old Music, Photography | , , | Leave a comment

New Music – Seafieldroad

A late contender for “Album Of The Year” may well be the latest musical project from Swimmer One singer Andrew Eaton (above) who has delivered an album of piano based songs titled “There Are No Maps For This part Of The City” under the guise of “Seafieldroad”.

The songs have a very melancholy feel about them and will appeal to fans of The Blue Nile , Steven Lindsay and Craig Armstrong.

“Hanging” – Seafieldroad

In promotion of the album release tomorrow (29/11/10) you can dowload two free tracks by clicking HERE

For years he had been writing music on the piano – delicate, melancholy, occasionally funny songs inspired by writers as diverse as Mark Eitzel, Momus, Jane Siberry, Suzanne Vega and Steve Reich.

A few of these (The Dark Ages, The Erskine Bridge, Drowning Nightmare 1) evolved into songs for Swimmer One’s first two albums, but until recently most of them stayed in his head.

Erskine Bridge

“Erskine Bridge” – Swimmer One

To buy the music of Swimmer One click HERE

Then, while finishing their second album, Dead Orchestras, Swimmer One decided it was time to record some of this other music as well. Andrew played piano and sang. Laura Cameron Lewis co-wrote several new songs and sang too. Hamish Brown produced it all and added electronic noises and ambient effects. The very talented Pete Harvey (Withered Hand, Meursault, The Starlets, The Leg) contributed string arrangements.

The results can be heard on two albums released by Biphonic Records – visit www.biphonic.co.ukor www.swimmerone.co.uk/shop

November 28, 2010 Posted by | New Music, New Releases | , , , , , | 1 Comment

“One From The Heart” – Tom Waits

I have been listening to Tom Waits a fair bit this week and in doing so I again rediscovered the gem that is “One From The Heart”

The film was directed by Francis Ford Coppola and whilst he characters themselves don’t actually sing the powerful score dominates the movie.

It is set entirely in Las Vegas, on the Las Vegas Strip and the desert surrounding the city.

Though the film realistically evokes the feeling of being on the busy Las Vegas Strip, there were no location shots used in the film. Rather, it was shot on studio sound stages, with the single exception of one space on the back lot for a “Las Vegas junkyard” set, described by a character in the film as being “the garden of the Taj Mahal”.

The soundtrack was written by Tom Waits and was recorded from October 1980 to September 1981, and released in 1982.

It was during this period that Waits met his wife Kathleen Brennan, an employee at the studio where it was recorded.

Crystal Gayle features prominently on the record, performing either solo or in duets with Waits. The soundtrack was nominated for an Academy Award for Original Music Score.

“This One’s From The Heart” – Tom Waits and Crystal Gayle

To buy the music of Tom Waits click HERE

One of the tracks from the soundtrack which was sung by Crystal Gayle was “Old Boyfriends”

This was covered by one of my all time favourite singers Claire Martin (above) on her 1994 album of the same name.

“Old Boyfriends” – Claire Martin

To buy the music of Claire Martin click HERE

November 28, 2010 Posted by | Blast from The Past, Jazz Vocal, Movies, Old Music, Video | , , , | Leave a comment

Humble Pie – Unplugged

For my earlier appreciation of Humble Pie click HERE

For this post we will stick to some “unplugged” performances.

……………….and the rest

Steve Marriott a God amongst mere vocalists

November 27, 2010 Posted by | Blast from The Past, Video | , | Leave a comment

Friday Fun – Pommy Can You Hear Me

Below is a great video from Rutland Weekend TV which is a parody of Ken Russell’s movie version of The Who’s “Tommy”  it captures both the bombast over the top style of this and Russell movies in general.

Here is the trailer and a couple of clips from the original film.

Bonus giggle below is a Japanese appreciation of The Who and Pinball Wizard!!

November 26, 2010 Posted by | Humour, Movies, Uncategorized, Video | , , , , | Leave a comment

New Music – Paul Simon (Christmas Song)

Paul Simon has a new album scheduled for March 2011 titled “So Beautiful Or So What”, however, a track has just been made available now because it is…………a christmas song!

“Getting Ready For Christmas Day” – Paul Simon

From early in November to the last week on December
I got money matters weighing me me down
Oh the music may be merry but it’s only temporary
I know Santa Claus is coming to town
In the days I work my day job
In the nights I work my night
But all comes down to waking on last day
Getting ready ready for Christmas day

I got a nephew in Iraq
It’s his third time back
But we’re pretending .. again
With the luck of a beginner
He’ll be eating turkey dinner
Somewhere .. in Pakistan

Getting ready oh we’re getting ready
For the power and the glory and the story
Of Christmas day (repeats)

If I could tell my mum and dad
That the things that we never had
Didn’t matter we were always ok
Getting ready ready for Christmas day

Getting ready oh we’re getting ready
For the power and the glory and the story
Of Christmas day

To buy the music of Paul Simon click HERE

 
 
 
 
 

 

Named after and sampling the last recorded sermon by pre-war American Christian preacher and gospel singer Reverend J.M. Gates, its lyrics and title reference the holiday, but not in the happy way traditional holiday music does. The song covers topics like a relative spending the holiday in Iraq, and not having very much money (probably not an actual issue for Simon, but that’s besides the point).

“Getting ready for Christmas Day. And let me tell you, namely, the undertaker, he’s getting ready for your body. Not only that, the jailer he’s getting ready for you. Christmas day. Hmm? And not only the jailer, but the lawyer, the police force. Now getting ready for Christmas day, and I want you to bear it in mind” Reverend Gates

 

Sourced in part from:- www.brooklynmegan.com

 

November 25, 2010 Posted by | Christmas, New Music, New Releases | , , | 1 Comment

Patti Smith – Write On!!

Patti Smith has called on publishers and readers not to let technology kill off traditional books.

The singer made the statement after winning a National Book Award for her memoir, Just Kids. She collected a $10,000 (£6,250) prize for winning the non-fiction category at the awards ceremony in New York last night (November 17), reports BBC News.

“There is nothing more beautiful than the book, the paper, the font, the cloth,” she said. “Please never abandon the book.”

Her memoir, which won the non-fiction prize, trails her youth in New York in the 1960s.

Source :- www.uncut.co.uk

“Bookends” – Simon & Garfunkel

To buy the music of Simon & Garfunkel click HERE

November 24, 2010 Posted by | Books, Old Music, Video | , | Leave a comment

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