John Bercow may be a puffed-up ego on short legs but I applaud his rejection of the tiny-fingered one and his attempt to prevent Parliament from hearing more of his bile. It’s a start.
Lets celebrate films about refusal then, those where the little man or woman digs their heels in to stop the big bully. 2012’s No, about René Saavedra’s advertising campaign to defeat Pinochet in a referendum in 1988 fits the bill perfectly but I’ll kick off with Made In Dagenham instead.
Again, based on truth, the women refusing to take their lowly status any longer are also fighting against the patriarchy; which seems to fit the moment even better.
What films about refusal would you recommend?
Abahachi introduced us to doom jazz – well, this is – sort of – doom folk, and very good it is too. The Ghosts of Johnson City are a dark Americana group from Portland, ME USA and they are gearing up to release their second album, The Devil’s Gold, on February 7th. They have very kindly shared a Soundcloud stream with us, prior to release.
Based in Maine with musical roots in Appalachia and the Deep South, The Ghosts of Johnson City “aim to take listeners on a journey through the annals of the past, giving voice to those who can no longer speak. Their debut album, Am I Born to Die? was released to wide critical acclaim in 2015. The Devil’s Gold finds the group exploring new territory while adhering to their trademark themes of love, loss, meaning and mortality.”
You’ll find links to everything you’ll need to get to know about The Devil’s Gold below.
Good morning … another luvverly bunch of worms for you – many thanks to all contributors … please keep calm and carry on sending your worms to email@example.com, a small patch of continuity in a topsy-turvy world.
Sonic Youth – Superstar – CaroleBristol: I never knew that this even existed until about a week or so ago. It is Sonic Youth covering Superstar, which was made famous by The Carpenters, but was originally written by Bonnie Bramlett and Leon Russell. This version was for a Carpenters tribute album, but is apparently disliked by Richard Carpenter. I say “Meh” to Mr Carpenter, because I think it is rather good.
The Orioles – Teardrops on My Pillow – severin: A doowop oldie from one of my Jubilee and Josie compilations. Popped up on iTunes shuffle recently and sounded rather earwormy to me. Hope it does to you too.
Marcus Carl Franklin – When the Ship Comes In – Ravi Raman: As I said on the Films on Musicians thread, I really enjoyed the film on Dylan, especially the songs. This is one of the many lovely covers and is by the actor/singer who played “Woody Guthrie”. 14 years old!
Kauan – Ommeltu Polku – glassarfemptee: Kauan are a Russian post rock band that do a lot of stuff in Finnish. Ali posted a track recommended by Fuel last year, with a link to an excellent album on Soundcloud, of which this is the first track.
Kevin Morby – Singing Saw – tincanman: Both the title track of last year’s album and one of the instruments it is played on, Morby fashioned his suitably somewhat ominous soundscapes after daily twilight and midnight walks in the hills northeast of LA.
Brent Dowe – Down here in Babylon – goneforeign: From a Lee Perry session. You probably know Brent as the lead voice on “The Rivers of Babylon”. (This is a different version from one used previously – Ed.)
Is it just me, or is life getting more and more confrontational, miserable, exhausting and just too damned complicated? Anyone need some simple, light relief? Here it is:
Shall I explain, or are any of you already ahead of me?
More diverse new sounds to wake up your Sunday – thanks to all contributors. Have a listen and let me know what you think, in the comments below – please also mention any new music you’d like to share. There’s a Soundcloud playlist for the first six tracks, followed by individual links to the other six tracks on Youtube, etc. Details as follows:
Sidizen King – Stuck in the Middle: The latest from Sidizen King, “The song takes the perspective of a guy who believes the girl he’s seeing wants commitment that he isn’t ready for. As the song progresses, he sheds his “player” persona and realizes that he actually does want exclusivity. The last verse finds him confessing his feelings to her – fully expecting her to reciprocate – when to his surprise, she’s the one who isn’t ready to commit. The song is meant to be fun on a superficial level but a careful review reveals a more serious sentiment … (i.e.) “a commentary on the non-committal nature of courtship in the “millennial” era and attempts to examine the feelings that come with being on either side of a relationship where one person wants more than the other.””
Puzzle – Little Black Book: Released on 17 January, lead single from upcoming EP Babylon, “Little Black Book” is a song about unrequited love and casual encounters magnified in the context of the digital age. (I sense a theme here – see Sidizen King, above).
Brandyn Burnette – Escape: Brandyn Burnette is a progressive soul producer/singer-songwriter from St. Louis, Missouri currently living in Los Angeles. This self taught, 3rd generation musician has crafted his own sound and style and found success writing hits for such artists as MKTO and Jake Miller as well as opening for such artists as James Bay and John Mayer. His current project Cosmos & Creature has amassed over 10 million streams on Spotify and the latest single debuted at #3 on the Spotify Global Charts.
Yes, it’s a slightly naff hashtag, but the sentiment is perfect: in these dark times, we need to try to find comfort and relief where we can, to fortify ourselves for the struggle ahead. One of my #tinyjoys this week is the fact that my aubergine and Pimiento de Padron seeds are germinating – there’s always a period of nervous uncertainty, as peppers and related species take so long to sprout (and I’m still waiting for any sign of life from the habaneros). The other is the discovery of someone in Finland who improvises Lego sculptures to jazz albums; see @AjuArchIdiot on Twitter, but also this quixotic project to get Lego to produce an actual kit of the ECM studio, complete with Pat Metheny Group…
Amidst all the petulance, prejudice and posturing of Adolf Trump’s first week, I found one glorious ray of sunshine: the Scorsese-produced doc about the Grateful Dead, Long Strange Trip, was premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. Yippee!!
It’s the full 4-hour treatment awarded to Dylan, George Harrison and Tom Petty and it garnered much positivity from Rolling Stone and Vanity Fair. I will swallow my pride and take a trial subscription to Amazon Prime to see it when it airs in 6 parts there in May.
Currently, my favourite film about musicians is, naturally, The Grateful Dead Movie (closely followed by Stop Making Sense), Jerry Garcia’s labour of love, which opens like this:
What films about musicians, in real life or biopic form, would you recommend?