Monday, November 30, 2009

Who is the striker who washes his hands as he walks away?

New song by Paul Weller "7 + 3 Is The Striker's Name" featuring Kevin Shields. So who is the striker who washes his hands as he walks away? Francis Lee perhaps?

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving Maskers

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Girls / Tamaryn / Dominant Legs @ Bottom of the Hill, San Francisco, 21 Nov 2009

The Bottom Of The Hill, San Francisco

I saw one song by Dominant Legs which is new Girls' guitarist Ryan Lynch's band. This was fun in a REM plus girly harmonies way.

I liked Tamaryn. The main sound comes from the John McGeoch style guitar of Rex John Shelverton, coupled with a driving bass. The focus of attention is on singer Tamaryn Brown. She is serious and passionate, brave and likable. She emotes, and dances, and throws a few shapes. Their fast songs are best, where the drummer starts to pound like Budgie. There's something not quite right about their sound, the singing is hard to hear at times because too much of the rest of the band are trying to play in the same tonal spaces. But overall this was rather good.

Both Tamaryn and Girls setup their own equipment. The main act didn't have a dramatic start as the guitar tuners slowly morphed into guitar players. Girls are an up and coming band from San Francisco. When they play at home they add to their lineup Miles, a percussionist, who is a bit of a Bez (without the dancing). The core of the band is singer/guitarist Christopher Owens. His songs seem to be to be about catching a mood, or a fleeting instance of happiness. The songs often end in a shimmery bit of improvisation as we try to keep the happy feeling from fading away.

It was a weird crowd at the Bottom of the Hill. Although it was a 21 and over gig there was a whiff of immaturity about. There was a lot of pushing near the front and eventually a small fight broke out. After the handbags had been put away I found the lost glasses of one of the combatants and was duly hugged. Then some people were shouting at the band, stupid things like "you rock". I saw pain and disgust pass across Christopher's face. The band seemed rattled. Can such a sensitive and subtle band survive in the world of rock? I hope that the inevitable transition to larger venues will actually help them. I am sure they will be successful as they are a bit special.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

4 Superstars

There's also an interesting version by Bette Midler which cannot be embedded here. For details on the song see wikipedia.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Mitsuko Uchida

Mitsuko Uchida at the RFH in 1991, photographed by Clive Barda

Friday, November 13, 2009

Thursday, November 12, 2009


I don't want to like it, but I cannot help myself, I like Tusk. I can take or leave those other Fleetwood Mac albums but I like this one. I suppose Tusk is the In Utero of the soft rock world as it is the bolshy followup to a massive success.

Making a scythe for the grim reaper for halloween

This is a summary. For the complete instructions go to Making a Scythe for Halloween at Flickr.





Scythe and Reaper

Billie Holiday with Dog