Stegzy's Music Project

A commentary on Stegzy's album collection

In Ear Park – Department of Eagles [#622]

In Ear Park by Department of Eagles

There has been some discussion of late about the longevity of albums in the music market and how, because of the likes of Spotify (a Facebook infected platform), Apple Music and Google Play, albums have only a few years left in them. This is a discussion that people have been having for some years now, indeed, there have been discussions about why modern artists are required to provide fans with a selection of their other works when, surely just by the hard work put into making one song alone, the fans should just be thankful and worship the artist just for that one pitiful track. Kids today eh?

And why not?

Well, this is an example of where I’ve downloaded bought an entire album purely because I liked one track. Really I should come up with a tag for this kind of thing as it seems to have happened regularly.

Sometime ago, the song No One Does It Like You kept coming up on random playlists and internet radios where the software decides what music you would like. So often did it surface, I had to find out what it was from.

From the sounds of the song, I thought it had been dredged up from some 1960’s hipster compilation I had but I was mistaken, it was, in fact from the 2008 album  In Ear Park by Department of Eagles.  I suspect that the reason it kept coming up was that I’m a big fan of the 4AD label and many of the artists on that label such as Tanya Donelly, Dead Can Dance and Kristin Hersh to name but a few.

Over the years, including the recent weeks before writing this article, I’ve tried to enjoy the other tracks on the album. I don’t know what it is, but something just doesn’t gel with me. Whether that be mood, time, situation or just the fact it’s a little unfamiliar and not catchy enough beyond No One Does It Like You. 

Advertisements
Comments Off on In Ear Park – Department of Eagles [#622]

Immortal Memory – Lisa Gerrard & Patrick Cassidy [#615]

Immortal_memory_-_gerrard_cassidy_-_front.jpgWhen she’s not wailing away hauntingly with Brendan Perry and the rest of Dead Can Dance, Lisa Gerrard likes to loan her distinctive siren call to other atmospheric music makers like Irish composer Patrick Cassidy (Hannibal {2001} and Salem’s Lot {2004}).

This pretty much sounds no different to any other Lisa Gerrard work and will no doubt appear in cheaply produced tense, moody-broody television dramas and films set in rainy locations and involving despairing situations such as wearing raincoats in Washington DC or the protagonist not being able to tell people about something awful they’ve uncovered because “the man” won’t stand for it.

I think if I really want to feel depressed and out of luck, this is the album I’ll listen to.

Comments Off on Immortal Memory – Lisa Gerrard & Patrick Cassidy [#615]

Heaven or Las Vegas – Cocteau Twins [#576]

Cocteau_Twins—Heaven_or_Las_VegasOh dear me. Scottish shoe-gazing shenanigans with the band’s 1990 release Heaven or Las Vegas.

There I am, at that futile point in ones life where you are dabbling with new scenes, trying to find a genre you identify strongly with. At the same time, I am exploring cinematography, in particular the works of David Lynch, and watching cult TV series typically featuring 90s yuppies shagging and dinner partying; the media’s way of saying “hey your life is mediocre, this is the life you want”.  When what do I hear? Only Cocteau Twins’ Elizabeth Fraser wailing away on some incidental music.

Later I discover that this Fraser woman is the same woman singing about Pearly Dewy Drops on the Uncut 4AD Sampler CD that I have (it was my very own 4AD3DCD) and on the This Mortal Coil CD I was gushing over.

I happened to mention this to a hipster friend. He was such a hipster, he didn’t have a beard or wear half mast trousers, because beards and half mast trousers would be on trend ten years later and he was too cool to lead a trend so far in the past. Hipster friend pointed out that I “should” like Cocteau Twins and that I should use “arcane internetery” to “obtain” their back catalogue, not just for myself, but to also pass to him so that he could survey the same and ensure that it was truely safe for my delicate ears to digest.

Heaven or Las Vegas is Cocteau Twins’ sixth album. A much more developed sound than their earlier albums and not as abusive to the ears. You could quite happily drive across somewhere like say, Scotland or Ireland, with this on your car stereo without it feeling out of place. Indeed, Fraser’s mumblings are a little more intelligible and soothing than before. Of course, as with most of the albums in my collection, I came to it too late to enjoy the excitement of watching a band grow and blossom. Instead I came to Cocteau Twins at the end of their career, too timid to venture beyond their greatest hits and in a different situation from one where I could sit, chill and absorb at leisure as I could in my twenties.

Comments Off on Heaven or Las Vegas – Cocteau Twins [#576]

Garlands – Cocteau Twins [#510]

CocteauTwins-Garlands-smallWhen I said I liked the Cocteau Twins I should have clarified that I liked a couple of tracks. It’s just that when you mention you like a band you often get inundated with advice about which albums you “should” like.

This is one such case. Apparently I “should” like this album because I’m a “fan”. I can actually understand that because a lot of the album sounds like early Dead Can Dance and there are occasions where you can detect the seeds of early goth, shoegazing and dream pop and it is easy to suggest a recommendation based on hearing other bands of similar sound.

This is the Cocteau Twins’ first album but really, it gets to a point where all Cocteau Twins stuff sounds the same. Indecipherable caterwauling from Liz Fraser droning guitar wibbles from one of the blokes and synthetic moodscaping from the other. If I was held captive in a car driving somewhere late at night in the post rain wetness while perhaps bleeding to death or coming down with a fever, this would probably be ok to listen to.

 

Comments Off on Garlands – Cocteau Twins [#510]

Duality – Lisa Gerrard & Pieter Bourke [#399]

Duality_Lisa_GerrardSomeone spoiled my enjoyment of Dead can Dance’s Lisa Gerard’s solo work. Simply, they told me to listen to her music and imagine her singing while pointing at something really disgusting. Like a plate with a dog poo covered fork, or perhaps a bowl of green olives, or that video on social media of someone having something fished out of their ear.

Yeah, that did it.

This is Gerrard’s second  album without Brendan Perry, her first being the Mirror Pool, and is a collaboration with occasional DCD session musician Pieter Bourke.

As a result the DCD sound is almost there. It’s not entirely there but it is almost. It’s like a cup of coffee that’s almost coffee but turns out to be something like coffee substitute. It does, however, feature some interesting tracks that featured in the film The Insider.

Comments Off on Duality – Lisa Gerrard & Pieter Bourke [#399]

The Drift – Scott Walker [#398]

images You might remember Scott Walker as one half of the Walker Brothers. What do you mean you don’t know the Walker Brothers. Hmm. Ok…

That’s the Walker Brothers. Gary, John and Scott, brothers in music not by birth.

Ok, now I’ve established for you who the Walker Brothers are, let me tell you about Neo-folk. Neo-folk, according to Wikipedia, is:

a form of folk music-inspired experimental music that emerged from post-industrial music circles.Wikipedia

Unfortunately, Neofolk gets a teeny bit of a bad name due to its links to martial music and appropriation by a minority of Neo-nazi groups who aimed to spread their filth through the medium of good music.

I like Neofolk. I discovered it through the Looking For Europe neo-folk compendium, the first track on which is Scott Walker’s Angel of Ashes which, I’m told, is Neofolk.

Intrigued by the inclusion of one of the Walker Brothers on the album, I sought out more by the artist and found that at one point in his career, he was signed to my favourite record label…4AD.

Sadly the album The Drift, is an acquired taste. A taste, I’m afraid, my aural tastebuds finds a little too rich and unusual tasting. A little bit Anthony and the Johnsons with a pinch of  Current 93, topped with notes of Can.Still, like with Kiss, I’ll persevere. Just in case he gets better with age….

Comments Off on The Drift – Scott Walker [#398]

Death to the Pixies – The Pixies [#351]

Pixies-DeathToThePixiesCoverSometime in the 1990s I must have been living under a rock or something. It seems that, to everyone else, the greatest band that ever performed were around and releasing records. Of course, living under a rock meant that I was unaware of this. Probably in the same way as I was unaware of many other musical things. See, that’s what it was like in the pre-internet nineties; if you wanted to find out about the latest music you either had to know someone who worked at Our Price or read NME.

I didn’t know anyone that worked at Our Price. I knew someone that had a music shop, but they sold instruments and rented videos on the side. I also didn’t read NME. Paul Sanderson read NME. Mike Reagan read NME. Most other people I knew thought NME was something to do with miners or something.

Then the late nineties came and I was more musically astute. There I am listening to Uncut magazines 4AD compilation upon which is a track called Debaser. Only to me they’re singing about a steam basin. Lyrics have never been my strong point. My then pre-first-wife says to me that this song is by the Pixies and that I should like them.

At some other point in that time, there I am in work, whistling absent mindedly along to Debaser while doing a stock take in the stationery cupboard. Along comes my chum Nick.  “I didn’t know you liked the Pixies” he says to me from under his beret and soul patched face. “I don’t” I replied. “Well you should like them“.

It seemed that if I wanted to be accepted in the world, I had to relinquish my grasp of seventies prog and, at that stage, eighties goth and embrace the modern musical age welcomingly by liking The Pixies. So I went to the Virgin Megastore (HMV was and is shit for music like this) and picked myself a copy of the Pixies’ greatest hits.

And this is said album. I know I should like them. But I don’t. I like two songs on their greatest hits, Debaser and Monkey Gone to Heaven. I should like more of their work. I don’t. I am a failure when it comes to being a hipster it seems.

 

 

Comments Off on Death to the Pixies – The Pixies [#351]

Crooked – Kristin Hersh [#326]

Crooked - Kristin HershYou might know Hersh as either half-sister to Tanya Donnelly or lead singer of Throwing Muses. However, Kristin Hersh came into my life through the Uncut: 4AD compilation album and her song Your Ghost. I was later to hear her first solo album Hips and Makers from which the song came but was not too impressed.

Years passed but I still enjoyed Your Ghost. Then along came Learn to Sing Like a Star. Wow what a difference! Like a fine wine or a port or single malt whisky, Hersh had matured. So when I saw Crooked I had to get it.

Crooked is Hersh’s eighth studio album and she plays and sings with a rich style and many of the songs on this album can be heard on the previously project featured live album Cats and MiceWorth a listen.

 

Comments Off on Crooked – Kristin Hersh [#326]

Creatures – Clan of Xymox [#320]

Creatures - Clan of XymoxI’ve always been the kind of person that really digs a peculiar name.

When Clan of Xymox appeared on the alt.binaries.sounds.mp3.goth newsgroup back in the noughties I couldn’t resist. Peculiar name. Bound to be excellent.

While such a tactic is destined to end with megabytes of dirge, it turned out not to be the case with this album. Firstly it turned out that Clan of Xymox were originally signed to 4AD. Secondly, Creatures was the band’s 8th studio album and it appeared that they had many many more. Guess what I did? Yep, I downloaded their entire catalogue.

Fortunately, I now only have three Xymox albums. This is the first and probably my most favourite of all Xymox albums. Goth/Darkwave in tone with lots of that guitar sound I really like.

Comments Off on Creatures – Clan of Xymox [#320]

%d bloggers like this: