It’s interesting when you see a band play their song live and they play it slightly differently aaaaaaaaaaaaand, you think ‘huh, I like this less’. I get it a lot with the Pixies. Maybe I’m just an idiot. I think if I was always seeing bands I loved live then I’d be fine and enjoy them changing the music, but as it is I think I just get annoyed that I can’t sing along properly and just feel that they are stealing from me the collective expression I was hoping for. The bastards. Sometimes though it can totally work. Lot’s of bands promote their shows now (often to students with all that college advertisement stuff) specifically as being ‘different every night’ and ‘completely unique’ and stuff, but lot’s of people also love to see bands playing albums in there entirety, there’s clearly appetite both ways…
That’s a song by Nicki Manaj in which at one point she wears a black Fur Gilet and sings about how despite being played around by a lover she still loves him. She desplays vulnerability in bounds, very different to the role she often plays of sexual dominant. Or, as the Daily Mail put it: ‘NICK MANAJ BECOMES A SEXY BUNNY AND POSES HALF NAKED WEARING A FUR GILET FOR HER NEW PILLS N POTIONS MUSIC VIDEO‘. Firstly, what kind of a head line is that? Aren’t headlines meant to be, you know, short and snappy? That’s a whole story! The headlie, by the way, is 22 words long, the article is around 220 words long. So the headline is a tenth of the entire article. I quite like this song, I’d never managed to listen to a whole Nick Manaj song before, but this one I did and thought it was ok. I kind of feel that if I like it she might be failing though.
So the purple one has passed, one of the finest artists who has ever graced the earth, an earth left a fair bit less magical now that he is gone. Prince’s talent was extreme, like his style, his performance and his personality. He seemed to have been a true one of a kind, with a unique perspective and ability that was both outside of time and solidly of the world he was born into. It is hard to really grasp just how exceptional he was, he was so phenomenally talented in every aspect of his creativity that it is hard to give each of his talents the attention it deserves, the attention these talents would have received if they were spread across many artists. He was a lyrical genius, a storyteller who could capture experiences and moments, imagery and advice, observations and insights, with a flick of his pen and a flourish of his voice. His astonishing voice, he was perhaps the greatest vocal performer of his generation, able to dissolve into heartbreaking, spine tingling and body moving wordless vocal expression when playing live. Screams, cries, crescendos and the occasional extended sexual encounter would erupt from his lips and take the audience into his soul. He could do the same with his guitar.
As a live guitar player he perhaps captured the power of the electric guitar as a solo instrument better than anyone bar Hendrix, his ability to leap from the silky smooth to the gut wrenching, harnessing noise in what felt like a pure form through the strings and the instrument that would appear to become part of him, a mere extension of the emotions he expressing and experiencing right in front of you. He would tear notes out of it, ground it through the strings, ripping the very air in front of him, cutting through the mess and the fog and the confusion with a pure, unadulterated, heavenly noise. For a particular example of him playing perhaps the greatest guitar solo ever recorded, watch the bottom video(may want to skip to around the 3 minute mark). He was also, obviously and famously, a maestro at every other instrument he turned his hand too. What is relevant about his playing every instrument on his albums, as well as producing, mixing and writing everything as well, is that this was a man who had incredibly singular and complex musical visions in his mind, and also the complete musical talent to realise them. Prince needed to play every instrument. Prince needed to do everything himself. Because he was the only conduit through which his divine talent could flow freely. Prince was a true creative genius. He will be missed.
It is interesting to take a moment to re-examine the divides we place between different art forms. Between music and film and theatre and ‘art’ as in that which goes in a gallery. And performance art and acting and poetry and writing and so on and so on and so on. If one is playing music to people one is performing and once one is performing one is giving more to their audience than just the song. Like it or not you are giving a new level of meaning and a new target for interpretation by the audience. So performance is important and you are a performer. You are not just a musician, you are a performer. TY Segall, on the other hand, is a genius performer.
Today’s beautiful morning track is ‘New Slang’ by The Shins. To some extent made famous by Zach Braff’s 2004 film ‘Garden State’ in which Natalie Portman goes full manic pixie dream girl and plays the song through her head phones for Zach Braff’s main sad emotionally stunted man character, changing his life in the process. This mornings comment in is about cleaning businesses! Who should you hire? What’s it like to work for one? Ever wondered How to set up a Cleaning Business? We want to know your thoughts are on all these matters and more, so get commenting!…
In recent years rap has slowly been de constructing many of it’s established norms. Rappers can now be insecure, they can be sad, the can be scared. They can rap about depression, they can rap about love, they can rap about feeling inadequate. They can be nice, they can be nice, they can (once again) be funny. They can be, of all things, a very large ginger bearded white Armenian-American food enthusiast. They can be Action Bronson.
By neurotic, psychotic, pig-headed politicians All I want is the truth Just gimme some truth’
John Lennon, Just Gimmie some Truth
That is a quote from John Lennon. It, absolutely bafflingly, is on the wall at Liverpool John Lennon Airport. If you don’t believe me, get out there! There’s easy Liverpool Airport parking offers out there, so you can get there very cheap. What a city Liverpool is, would anywhere else take that quote from their famous sons and put it on their wall? You know, they could have chosen ‘All you need is love’. But they didn’t. And it’s not just The Beatles…
We will soon see the release of The National’s star studded tribute The Grateful Dead. A few tracks have been released so far (the gem, in my eyes, being the above take on ‘Sugaree’ by Phosphorescent and a few others). The Dead have a massive and very, very, dedicated fan base who often do not take kindly to others covering their music, especially if they perceive the cover to take the song in a more mainstream direction. The originals below(and probably the even more popular live version, though, of course, the dead nevr played the same song the same way twice…): what do you think?
We really were under pressure back then, back when we were up and running and ruling the airwaves. Life is a funny old thing and a difficult old thing. Sometimes, it bridges on completely impossible, where you feel alone and pointless, and don’t really see what worth there is in your life that will pick you up and make you feel like there’s any point in you keeping going. So what can you do then? Well, then you simply have to reach for music..
‘Cause love’s such an old-fashioned word
And love dares you to care for
The people on the edge of the night
And love dares you to change our way of
Caring about ourselves
This is our last dance
This is our last dance
This is ourselves