Browsing All Posts published on »July, 2011«

Ed Muirhead – Cage For The Clouds (roots rock)

July 20, 2011


The songs collected on this album are personal, individuated reflections: often concerned with love, their perspectives are firmly located behind the eyes of well imagined characters, and even when there is celebration in them (as in 'Paradise'), there is insecurity and doubt as well. There is a tendency in popular song to express the everyday in melodramatic terms, and while Ed Muirhead does trade in big musical gestures, he bucks that trend by investing his songs with a strong sense of the particular.

Music Basti – Monkey On The Roof (world music/ children’s)

July 19, 2011


Monkey On The Roof is a document of, and a promotional, fundraising project for, an Indian charity called Music Basti. The charity brings music activities and education to street children in Delhi, in an organised, workshop based structure: their aim is to help give those children some hope for the future, and the skills of collaboration and concentration, and many other benefits, that music can develop. It is currently a small scale project, but by all accounts it has been expanding and developing rapidly, and plainly acts with the purposeful professionalism...

Monday Musing: Art, Folk, Pop And The Taxonomy Of Musical Culture

July 18, 2011


There’s a broad classification of musical types that has some common currency, in artistic, marketing and academic circles. I want to briefly consider what it is, where it draws the lines between musics, whether it holds water, and what use it might be to those of us that think about music for whatever reason. There’s two additional widespread categories I could add to art, folk and popular music: jazz and world music. When I was training to teach music, my knowledge of music was assessed through a questionnaire which classified music on this basis...

Saturday Summary 019

July 16, 2011


The big news this week is Spotify’s North American launch, but there’s really nothing to say about that so far. It will have some kind of an impact, but exactly how much of one remains to be seen. I don’t know what the end user deal looks like at launch, but here in Europe it’s gone very crappy for those on the free version. It’s certainly true that listeners don’t really care whether or not they ‘own’ a sound, as long as they have access to it, but whether Spotify offers the most attractive means of access for Americans I don’t know.

CS Gray – Shoot Out The Star (roots rock)

July 15, 2011


I have one major criticism of Shoot Out The Star: the title is written a bit too close to the bottom of the artwork. Some readers may be surprised, given my taste for the experimental and oppositional, that I could be that excited about a straightahead roots rock album. Perhaps ‘excited’ is the wrong word for how I feel: there’s certainly nothing here that radically reinterprets the genre, or forces me to reassess any of my carefully nurtured prejudices; but there are as many opportunities for creativity when working within an established style as when forging...

Juana Ghani – Budmo! (gypsy/ folk)

July 14, 2011


Juana Ghani play central European gypsy music (as far as I can tell, I’m no expert). They are a large band, incorporating a variety of instruments, some plucked, some struck, some blown and some squeezed. The songs collected here are driven along by a tightly and propulsively played brass bass (although on their website only a double bass player is credited), and are virtually exploding with irrepressible, celebratory energy. The band rolls a long with a bright, off-beat groove, although they are more than capable of lyrical atmospherics at slower tempos...

Various Artists – You Got Your Punk in My Garage – The Best of the GaragePunk Hideout, Vol. 3 (punk/ garage)

July 13, 2011


This album is for sale through all the usual big online retailers, but it’s also available as a freebie to active members of the garage music fan community linked to above. It’s the third in an ongoing series, and let me tell you: if you are a fan of this kind of music it is an amazing bonus (since the GaragePunk Hideout is a superb site/ network anyway). Personally I’d be very happy to pay for this; hell, I’d pay just for the album artwork! Music featured in the series has ranged from very 1960s flavoured, jangly stuff, to thrashy, punky noise, right back to rock’n’roll and psychobilly...