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Saturday, 30 January 2010

a musical expedition - the journey continues...

To a bit of musical diversion now – to ease the troubled mind. This is my choice of what's around at my local library.
(I'm stocking up for at least two months of work up in sunny Queensland again. This time it's deliveries to a Port somewhere - Qld State Govt Authority; and also to a tunnel project of sorts - South-to-North bypass Tunnel or something like that, under a river i'm told. I hope to see the light at the end).

So here is for my listening pleasure - my company on the road.

Recent CDs
Lyle Lovett. I like Lyle Lovett. And I love and have at least half of his recordings. His latest is called ‘Natural Forces’. It’s a modest effort really. There’s more covers here than original compositions, but he does them all tastefully and respectfully. Check out his interpretation of Townes Van Zandt’s ‘Loretta’.

Norah Jones. I don’t mind Norah Jones either. I believe she’s from Mainit country he he. This is her 4th album. And like her first three, there’s something to like here too, though they’re mostly songs of heartache and regret over a love that’s gone sour. The CD just lacks something – like maybe a killer cover as in her previous efforts. But she’s sold 40 million albums - and am still looking at my old school photo album.

Dave Matthews Band. This 2-cd set is a Greatest hits compilation. The second CD is a compilation of fans' choices of live performances. I prefer Matthews’ subsequent release (with Tim Reynolds) at Radio City music hall, but this is okay if you like your music rowdy.

Kathryn Williams is an English singer who does great versions of songs by Neil Young, Leonard Cohen, The Byrds, Tim Hardin and Jackson Browne.

CDs to Revisit:
Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. 'Will the circle be unbroken Vol 3'. This is top country, with input from established artists and the band. This 2-CD collection is what country music is meant to be. On this volume, the Band is joined by Iris DeMent, Johnny Cash, Dwight Yoakam, Willie Nelson, Alison Krauss, Emmylou Harris, Tom Petty, etal.

Putumayo Presents American folk. And this is topshelf folk with contributions from peter mulvey, lucy kaplansky, Nanci Griffith, Patty Griffin, Natalie Merchant, Eric Bibb etal. This compilation features these well-known artists alongside lesser-known troubadours.

The best UB40 is just that with their hits including 'kingston town', 'many rivers to cross', 'light my fire', and others.

Simon & Garfunkel. This duo’s music is hard to ignore even decades on from their heyday. Their seminal album is still worth the time.

Dvds:



Woodstock. Woodstock is ingrained in American 60s culture and the music there in those three days still echoes. Check out Arlo Guthrie, Joan Baez, Country Joe, John Sebastian, CSN, Hendrix etc here. If you haven’t seen or heard Woodstock before, you were born yesterday.

The best of REM includes hits 'man on the moon', 'losing my religion', 'everybody hurts' etc.


John Schumann. 'Behind the lines'. If you get a chance to listen to some classic aussie songs, check out schumann’s ‘I was only 19’,’ khe sahn’, and eric bogle’s ‘and the band played waltzing matilda’, both are in this cd. Or try youtube.
More CDs
See also Tarantino connection and The Sports.

the rest:



Grant Lee Phillips. A Native American Singer-songwriter compared favourably to Neil Young and Bob Dylan. 'Strangelet' was released in 2007. Since 1999, Phillips has quietly been establishing himself as a singer and songwriter of the first caliber, and 'Strangelet' is lovely stuff that shows he's still reaching the top of his game.

'Campfire songs' by the 10,000 maniacs (lead Natalie Merchant) include songs by Cat Stevens, June Carter, John Prine, Jackson Browne, Patti Smith/Springsteen.

Yet more books:

Don DeLillo's 'Underworld' is a bit disjointed but this acclaimed book is a snapshot of american culture and needs a bit of patience to enjoy.

Dr Karl Kruscelnicki is a popular and likeable Aussie who popularises science. Read his books. They're funny but the best part is they're very informative.




Yet more reads:
Mojo Dec 2009 on the latest news on music.

'The Politics of hope' is more on Obama.

'Fire' (Oxfam book) is a selection of short stories including from Le Carre etal and poetry from Vikram Seth.