My mp3 player randomly selected a lovely tune that got me all nostalgic about the time I saw him play in Brixton Academy a few years back. The definition of a one-man band, this guy is talented to say the least. Just you try singing whilst playing the lap steel guitar, didgeridoo and bass drum all at the same time...
A Documentary is just about to be released about the life of Patti Smith called 'Dream of Life'.
I can remember seeing Patti Smith as a teenager in the 70's and not really being particularly comfortable with how she made me feel as i had been used to either dancing to songs in a Shangri -Las/Ronettes sort of way or going mental in a Cramps/Ramones/T-rex sort of way, she made me stop for a minute, take stock of my body, connect with my mind and see what happened. I danced but it was very different from the usual, and i guess that's where she still sits for me, a true rock and roll lady with a message.
Last year amongst other things she collaborated with Kevin Shields of My Bloody Valentine to make an album called the Coral Sea.
Earlier in 2008 the documentary premiered in Edinburgh at the Film Festival. It took 11 years to make and was produced by Steven Sebring with full co-operation with Patti. It's out on general release in March 2009 and is already available on pre order through the usual channels. It is also accompanied by a beautiful book and i can wholly recommend it.
I've also taken the liberty of adding and MC5 track on here as she was married to Fred 'Sonic' Smith who passed away a time ago now but should be none the less remembered here, He's the one with the wobbly knees in the last clip.
Here's the trailer first off, followed by a rare treat of a clip , followed by a performance by Detroits Motor City 5, Horses to finish[/youtube] [/youtube] [/youtube]
Our friend Dilly produces this great music show called From The Basement. Joby designed this dvd cover for the first series. You can buy it here. Live sets by Radiohead, Sonic Youth and an incredible one by PJ Harvey that I have watched a billion times.
It's shot so well, it kind of feels like you are in the room with them.
On top of that, the second series airs tomorrow at 10pm on Sky Arts.
3 Dec Gnarls Barkley, Sparks, The Kills
10 Dec My Morning Jacket, The Fall, White Denim
17 Dec Iggy Pop, CSS, Shortwave Set
24 Dec Radiohead, Andrew Bird, Fleet Foxes
31 Dec The Raconteurs, Seasick Steve, Band of Horses
Way better than anything else on TV, ever.
Keeping with Tim's Throwdown Threes, here's my selection for the weekend. Have a great one.
Orbital - 'Style'http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=I2AbiQHkGTc&feature=related[/youtube]
Boards of Canada - 'Roygbiv'http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=yT0gRc2c2wQ[/youtube]
Fu Manchu - 'Evil Eye'http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=R9x1T287xOk[/youtube]
I just happen to think these ladies made some incredible music and now there's a great book about them.
Girls Like Us Carole King, Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon - and the Journey of a Generation By Sheila Weller 584 pages.
This review is by By Janet Maslin of the New York Herald and Tribune.
There is something irritating about the very premise of "Girls Like Us," Sheila Weller's three-headed biography of legendary singer-songwriters. Maybe it's the instant-girlfriend tone of the title. Maybe it's that at least one of Weller's subjects, Joni Mitchell, objected to being lumped into the same book with the other two, Carole King and Carly Simon.
Or maybe it's the euphemism. Her book is about women whose musical careers took off in the 1960s, and all are now in their 60s. They aren't girls. They're grandmas.
But "Girls Like Us" turns out to be unexpectedly captivating. And it defies expectations, to the point where Weller's grand ambitions wind up fulfilled. "When woven together," she writes, predictably summoning King's image of a tapestry, "the strands of their three separate lives, identities and songs tell the rich composite story of a whole generation of women."
Never mind that nobody asked Weller to do this weaving. Never mind that her book has a tendency to gush and fawn. She has still put it together in revelatory ways, underscoring the generation-wide impact of her subjects' songs and stories. As Elliot Roberts, Mitchell's longtime manager, once put it, this was "a matter of people being guided by your music and using it for the soundtrack for their lives."
"Girls Like Us" is a strong amalgam of nostalgia, feminist history, astute insight, beautiful music and irresistible gossip about the common factors in the three women's lives. Much of the overlap has to do with these women's ties with certain men. "I was his new queen," says Simon, the only one of the three who cooperated with Weller, about how James Taylor passed from Mitchell's life into her own, and Mitchell "was Anne Boleyn on her way to the Tower."
But if "Girls Like Us" presumes its way onto a first-name basis with lovers and compatriots like Cat, Mick, Warren, Jackson, Kris, Leonard and James, it also has a point to make about sexual inequality in the era when these three women came of age.
The ambition and posturing that turned middle-class Robert Zimmerman of Minnesota into Bob Dylan, Weller argues, were much more costly for women, no matter how freewheeling those women seemed. This book illustrates how Mitchell's long-held secret about the baby she gave up for adoption was infinitely more punishing than the rambling, gambling male singer-songwriter's stock way of paying his dues.
Given the drastically different backgrounds and personalities of her subjects, Weller creates a remarkably smooth synthesis. Frequently citing songs and quoting lyrics, she establishes how the assertively homey style of King (who was a pregnant bride at 17 1/2 and a chart-topping songwriter not long after) and Mitchell's "traveling, traveling, traveling," for instance, were both ways to establish strong public personas.
And Weller segues neatly from the fictional melodramas watched by the young Mitchell (then Roberta Joan Anderson) on Canadian movie screens to the real-life ones unfolding in Simon's privileged, sexually overcharged household in Riverdale in New York.
Though "Girls Like Us" covers vast spans of time and territory, Weller comfortably evokes many different milieus. "It was embarrassingly unfeminine in 1961 to be a piano-banging, moon/June rhyming argumentative workaholic," she writes of King in Brooklyn, New York.
The mid-1960s liberal arts college girl like Simon is described as "a polished young woman from a family of means, who wore an expensive suede jacket and hoop earrings.", with the sides of her shiny long hair gathered at the back of her head by a wooden-chopstick-clasped leather thong."
For all her interest in larger themes, Weller constantly risks sounding like a besotted fan. And for that the reader owes her a little debt of gratitude. She has both the nosiness and the temerity to track down the stories behind well-known songs.
Edith Bowman has been kind enough to let us have three tunes for the afternoon that should see us all nicely into the weekend. Thanks Edith. Glasvegas play Bristol tonight by the way.
Glasvegas-Please Come Back Home