Damien Rice’s unrequited love for The [clarinet teacher’s] Daughter

November 28, 2007 at 5:33 am | Posted in Music discussion | Leave a comment
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Unrequited love. Sleepless nights, foodless days, and usually it all comes to nothing.You wouldn’t think there’d be much to add on the topic, given how exhaustively it’s explored in music, literature and film (my favourite is the young boy Sam’s line in Love Actually – ‘[what could be] worse than the total agony of being in love?’]. However, reading this post by Gala Darling, I discovered something new.Wikipedia’s unrequited love entry lists four songs by Damien Rice that, apparently, are all about the same girl – the daughter of his clarinet teacher.I can only assume that I’ve been living under a rock, because finally the ‘blower’ part of ‘The Blower’s Daughter’ makes sense! How could this little fact have escaped my knowledge before?Anyway, here are the tunes for you to enjoy – hopefully they’ll comfort your wounded heart.Damien Rice:The Blower’s Daughter ( ‘The pupil in denial/ I can’t take my eyes off you’)I Remember ( ‘I remember it well/ The first time that I saw/ Your head around the door/ ‘Cause mine stopped working’)Elephant ( ‘Well, this has got to die/ This has got to stop/ This has got to lie down/ With someone else on top’) Accidental Babies ( ‘But do you really feel alive/ Without me?/ If so: be free/ If not: leave him for me’)And finally, not mentioned by Wikipedia but one of my favourite Damien Rice songs, which definitely fits the ‘unrequited love’ theme, is:Cheers Darlin’ ( ‘I die when he comes around /To take you home/ I’m too shy/ I should have kissed you when we were alone’)Listening to music to drown your sorrows may not be as cathartic as taking the following action though:And remember – you deserve to be loved by someone who doesn’t want to be with anyone but you.

Kevin07 victory mix – here comes K.Rudd, there goes Johnny

November 27, 2007 at 11:12 am | Posted in Mix tapes | Leave a comment

Kevin07 button

Bye bye Johnny.

Australians have just ousted John Howard, prime minister for 11-and-a-half-years, in favour of a K.Rudd-led Labor government with ‘fresh ideas’, to borrow a slogan. It feels like a victory for values over the economy.

In honour of our new Mr Sheen-style prime minister*, Kevin Rudd, let’s enjoy a Kevin07 victory mix, shall we?

Bob Evans – Don’t You Think It’s Time

Dan Kelly – Drunk On Election Night

John Legend – Maxine’s Interlude (I tried not to choose songs based solely on their title, but this is just too good. Fancy Maxine McKew causing Johnny the indignity of being only the second Aussie prime minister to be voted out of his electorate.)

The Frames – Finally

The Libertines – The Boy Looked At Johnny (He certainly did – he came, he saw, he conquered.)

Kings Of Leon – Woo Hoo

The Whitlams – Gough

Midnight Oil – One Country [iTunes doesn’t have a sample, do yourself a favour and buy it elsewhere, it’s beautiful.] (And go on K.Rudd, bite the bullet and make ex-Oils front man Peter Garrett environment minister.)

The Style Council – Shout To The Top

The Pointer Sisters – Jump For My Love (No reason why Kevin07 couldn’t give Hugh Grant a run for his money doing the Love Actually dance:

Well okay, perhaps there are a couple…)

Here’s to John Howard not being able to make me feel ashamed to be Australian any more.

Suggest any songs I’ve missed, leave me a comment.

*The Mr Sheen comparison is used with affection. At least it’s neat and tidy, unlike those eyebrows on our former PM.

Song lyric of the week – LCD Soundsystem, New York I Love You But You’re Bringing Me Down

November 26, 2007 at 10:02 am | Posted in Song lyric of the week | Leave a comment
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New York tribute tile fenceIn June, I went to New York for the first time and fell utterly in love with it.The first couple of days were bumpy. Strangely, I didn’t feel like I was in New York at all. Having lived the city imaginatively for so long, the reality of it felt different (naturally, because a large part of imagination is fantasy). Walking amongst all the skyscrapers, it was as if the familiar landmarks were being blocked from sight!But following on from the moment I set eyes on the Statue of Liberty, New York fast became my favourite city I’ve ever travelled to, and a place I hope to live one day.The thing is though, because it is so excruciatingly cool – the restaurants and bars, the shopping, the apartments, the lifestyle – New York makes you want so much more than you’ve ever wanted before. A nagging sense of yearning settles in, and it feels a bit dangerous. That’s what LCD Soundsystem’s song ‘New York I Love You But You’re Bringing Me Down’ is about for me – in particular the following line:’But you’re still the one poolWhere I’d happily drown’You’d also have to search far and wide to find a better couplet than:’There’s a ton of the twistBut we’re fresh out of shout’A comment on movement without conviction, perhaps?

I want to be the girls on these album covers

November 16, 2007 at 12:26 pm | Posted in Music discussion | Leave a comment
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These album covers make me go ‘oh’ – so beautiful in their simplicity.

Emiliana Torrini - Easy

Emilana’s song ‘Easy’ may just be perfect – wistful yet assertive, and with a deceptively simple storytelling thread (basically, you’ve led me to this point, I want you, so ‘why should we take it easy?’) that she brings a gossamer touch to. In an instant, the girl has ’20 years in sight’… and who doesn’t spin off into daydreams like this after even the briefest of encounters?!

Emiliana Torrini – Easy

Leona Neass - I Tried To Rock But You Only Roll

Leona Naess is a brand-new discovery for me, so I’m still in the process of really absorbing her, but I’m loving this track from her debut album:

Leona Naess – New York Baby

Feist - The Reminder

From the warm tones of those album covers, to the icy-cool shades of Feist.

The combination of her shadowy, ballerina-like self (long neck, bare shoulders, gentle bun), and those rainbow beams refracting behind her creates a purity that draws you in.

This tune perfectly displays Feist’s crystal vocals – her lilting delivery chimes like a bell.

Feist – So Sorry

And speaking of album covers, does anyone else see a striking resemblance between the girl on The Cars’ debut album, and actor Anne Hathaway?!!

The CarsAnne Hathaway

The Cars – Just What I Needed

(Adore the line, ‘I don’t mind you hangin’ out, and talkin’ in your sleep’ – in no small part because I talk in my sleep too!)

Song lyric of the week – Kanye West, Stronger

November 16, 2007 at 10:50 am | Posted in Song lyric of the week | Leave a comment
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Being the major Prince fan that I am, this Kanye rhyme has me tickled purple:

‘You know how long I been on ya?

Since Prince was on Apollonia

Since OJ had Isotoners

Don’t act like I never told ya’

Comedic and lyrical genius. For the uninitiated, Apollonia was Prince’s co-star in the movie musical Purple Rain (she duets with him on ‘Take Me With You’, from the soundtrack), and a member of Apollonia 6, one of Prince’s many vanity project bands.

Here’s a visual (full of 80s glamour – I particularly enjoy the bikini teamed with the fingerless gloves):

ApolloniaApollonia 6

The Prince line was my way into the song, however since then I’ve been friends with the following verse (addition in square brackets is my own, to make it from my perspective which is the way I hear it):

‘I don’t know if you got a [wo]man or not

If you made plans or not

If God put me in your plans or not

I’m trippin’, this drink got me sayin’ a lot

But I know that God put you in front of me

So how the hell could you front on me?

There’s a thousand yous

And only one of me’

… an endearing blend of vulnerability and arrogance from Kanye.

Also, the situation he describes is very relevant to my own life right now. And all the best song lyrics are the ones that make us feel like they’re about us, right?

Justin Timberlake – one of the greatest

November 12, 2007 at 10:33 am | Posted in Concerts | Leave a comment
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Justin Timberlake live in Melbourne

Sexiest man alive, that’s all.

(Performing at Melbourne’s Rod Laver Arena, Monday 5th November 2007.)

Ben Lee – Joy unison at Prince Bandroom Melbourne, 18/10/2007

October 20, 2007 at 4:44 pm | Posted in Concerts | Leave a comment
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Ben Lee’s show at Melbourne’s Prince Bandroom on Thursday night (18th October) was full of rainbow goodness.For a start, the man wore a silver (or it may have been gold – it was hard to tell under the stage lights) lamé suit.And he rocked out on an acoustic guitar. But not just any acoustic guitar – one the size of a toy guitar you’d give to a very small child. “This guitar isn’t small,” said Ben at one point, “I’m just really really big.” Glad we cleared that up then.The set list was faultless; an even mix of material from new album Ripe, and the previous one, Awake Is The New Sleep.Main set From Ripe – these songs really came alive with Ben’s on-stage energy:American TelevisionBlush (which Ben introduced as “a song about taking someone out of their comfort zone”)Is This How Love’s Supposed To FeelLove Me Like The World Is EndingNumbRipeBirds And Bees (duet with support act Lisa Mitchell)From Awake:Light (a shortened version – “I’ll spare you guys the six-minute sax solo”)Gamble Everything For LoveNo Right AnglesAche For YouInto The Dark (the lyric ‘when I kiss you, that’s the real me’ slays me every time. Come to think of it, so does ‘it’s not a slow dance, this modern romance, feels like we’ve already waited too long’)Other:Cigarettes Will Kill You (launched into early in the set, a refreshing surprise)New Wave (Ben’s acoustic version of the Against Me! track. Ben so loves Against Me! that he covered their entire album, and made the results available on his blog to download for free)EncoreSex Without LoveCatch My Disease (and yes, Ben did point out the interesting choice of song order!)We’re All In This TogetherWhat I love about Ben is that he’s just such a happy character. And he has me convinced that his aim in life is to share the joy through his infectious attitude and his pure pop gems. Which is okay by me. I left the concert on cloud nine, and felt particularly good-natured for all of the next day.So, thanks for spreading your little rays of sunshine, Ben, and for being a slightly eccentric, passionate, earnest, joyful soul, proud to walk to the beat of your own snare. And also for employing a sexy little keyboardist who I very much enjoyed watching/imagining running off into the sunset with.

Signs you’re addicted to Facebook #12 and #35

October 20, 2007 at 2:45 pm | Posted in Music discussion | Leave a comment
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#12: You think in status updates#35: Instead of checking Facebook for the millionth time, you sign in to your email account (pretending to yourself that you’re checking your emails). Of course, you’re really checking for Facebook email notifications, which helpfully inform you if someone has sent you a message, added you as a friend, written on your wall, tagged you in a photo, invited you to join a group, invited you to an event, etc. If there’s any, then clearly you can log into Facebook guilt-free (it’d be just plain rude not to reply). If there isn’t, then there’s no need to check Facebook, thus you have successfully avoided feeding your addiction, yet still cleverly managed ascertain whether you’ve had any Facebook-related action.Note: This thinly-veiled attempt to trick your conscious mind into believing that you’re not checking Facebook works about as well as setting your clock 15 minutes fast, hoping that when you glance at it, you’ll leap into action thinking you’re running horribly late. Which is to say, it doesn’t work at all. We all know that by day two, you’re mentally subtracting those 15 minutes. So, let’s celebrate (musically) the addict in all of us, shall we? Super songs by some modern-day addicts (who unfortunately are troubled by more than just zealousness for a certain social networking site):Amy Winehouse – ValerieI adore ‘Wino’. I don’t care how many shabby pictures of her I see in the mags – I just hope she’s happy (or gets happy). Your chances of hearing her sing this sunshiny Zutons cover live, however, are somewhat limited by the fact that she keeps cancelling concerts. Which is a real shame.The Libertines – Don’t Look Back Into The SunPoor Pete’s problems have been comprehensibly chronicled by the world media. But there was a heady time when The Libertines were the darlings of the English music press (such as NME), anointed as The Best Thing Since Sliced Bread (or similar). Here’s why – hard to believe this is a B-side.Rufus Wainwright – Cigarettes And Chocolate MilkLet’s face it – Rufus is a godsend. And I’m not even religious. This song (one of his best) finds him confessing that everything it seems he like’s a ‘little bit harmful for me’. No matter our vices, I’m pretty sure we can all relate to that. So please be kind if he’s a mess.Now, if you’ll excuse me…

Mix tape necklace

August 23, 2007 at 8:19 pm | Posted in Music-related products | Leave a comment

Mix tape necklace

I just bought this hot mix tape necklace, and I can already see it becoming my talisman.

You can get one here – they also do a boombox, headphones, and Air Jordans (nothing to do with music but eternally cool nonetheless).

Be warned – Miijo’s website is totally addictive!

Ryan Adams at Palais Theatre, Melbourne, Monday 20 August 2007

August 22, 2007 at 10:51 pm | Posted in Concerts, Ryan Adams | Leave a comment
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I went to see Ryan Adams.

I’ve been saying those six words for the last two days, and I’m pretty sure that they don’t reveal how momentous the truth of them is for me.

Last time Ryan Adams was in Australia was over two years ago, and at the time I didn’t go because (a) I’d only just bought my first Ryan album – an older one, Love Is Hell – and was worried I wouldn’t know any of the songs he’d play, and (b) I didn’t have anyone to go with. Biggest regret of my life.

The author of one of my favourite blogs, ‘I am fuel, you are friends’ (see my Blogroll), recently went to her third Ryan Adams show in two weeks. Living in Australia, I’ll be lucky if I get to see Ryan again in the next two years. Reading her blog posts about his concerts made me ache to live in America, where going to multiple shows by the same artist wouldn’t require flying to another state.

So, my first Ryan Adams concert. The first thing that hit me was how extraordinary his voice is. I’ve always adored the swagger, sweetness and longing in his voice, but live it’s just so powerful and he’s so in command of it, going from a roar to almost a whisper in a second. At times a soft incredulous laugh would erupt from within me, because I just couldn’t believe anyone could be so good.

His songs make my heart swell. I’m always in awe of singer-songwriters – how can they be blessed with such gorgeous voices, as well as the ability to write the songs (which has to be one of the hardest things in the world to do) to channel their voice through?

So many Ryan Adams songs are rooted in particular places ( ‘Oh My Sweet Carolina’, ‘New York, New York’, ‘Off Broadway’, ‘Dear Chicago’, ‘La Cienega Just Smiled’, etc), and yet they’re so universal. It’s like he’s given voice to the feelings and fears inside you that you can’t quite find the words to express. He sings for all of us.

I was on the edge of my seat for much of the show, courtesy of a ridiculous heckler (why come?) who threatened to ruin it for all of us. I’d heard the horror story from his last Australian tour, whereby a fan dared to request ‘Summer of 69’ and Ryan walked off stage and didn’t return, so I was scared he’d pack it in again this time. Instead he dealt with the situation deftly, telling the loser that all he (Ryan) could hear up on stage was ‘muppet noise’ (think Cookie Monster when he’s chowing down on cookies), a noise Ryan (and some of the Cardinals) would then make every time the heckler called out.

The stage was very darkly lit, so it was hard to see Ryan’s face (and I was just a few rows from the front). But there was some endearing banter, which I believe isn’t ever a given at a Ryan Adams show. (In case you were wondering, ‘Let It Ride’ is “a song about f**king… like all songs are really.” Ryan also weighed in on a recent Australian political scandal [read: media beat-up] – like the rest of us, he can’t understand why our Federal Opposition Leader going to a New York strip club four years ago is news. “I kept waiting for the ‘and'”, he said. “He went to a strip club… AND he was attacked by monsters.” You get the idea. Also, Ryan’s on the lookout for a tall women who loves DC comics… that rules me out on account of my height. And he got to play his favourite game of sitting amongst the audience before the show. Nobody noticed him, and all the girls in brightly-coloured overcoats that he had his eye on were then joined by boys with messy hair.)

The performance of Ryan Adams and the Cardinals couldn’t be faulted, yet I couldn’t help but feel a little disappointed by the set list.

Before the show, I had researched what Ryan’s been playing lately on his American tour, so I knew there wouldn’t be any of the ‘big hits’ (I’m glad I was prepared or I would have had completely different expectations). However, I had a wish list of 12 favourites, and I didn’t get to hear any of them. Some I knew better than to expect (such as ‘New York, New York’, ‘Gonna’ Make You Love Me’ and ‘Wonderwall’), but my list also included ‘Two’ (the first single from the new album), ‘The Sun Also Sets’, ‘I Taught Myself How To Grow Old’ (again, both new ones), ‘When The Stars Go Blue’ (played recently) and ‘I See Monsters’, one of my all-time favourites and a song he’s been playing at almost every show lately. Being that it’s a bit of an obscure one and yet I’ve always loved it (I was surprised and thrilled to discover it on recent set lists), I was sure I was cosmically destined to hear it. But alas. None of the afore-mentioned Easy Tiger songs got a run either, no ‘Stars’, and nor some others I’d dared to hope for such as ‘Desire’, ‘Answering Bell’ and ‘How Do You Keep Love Alive?’.

The show opened with ‘Goodnight Rose’, which on the album has a bit too much of a country flavour for my tastes, but live it was a revelation. Other highlights were ‘Off Broadway’, ‘Let It Ride’, ‘Dear Chicago’ and ‘Peaceful Valley’. Ryan also played ‘Please Do Not Let Me Go’, ‘Cold Roses’, ‘Magnolia Mountain’, ‘Dear John’, ‘Mockingbirdsing’, ‘Blue Hotel’ and ‘Wild Flowers’. Closer ‘Easy Plateau’ was blistering; fun until we realised there wasn’t going to be an encore.

Ryan certainly left his audience wanting more – many of us waited in our seats even after the crew started taking apart the stage, refusing to believe it was really over.

Farewell to the love of my life, until next time at least. Come back soon, Ryan. Please.

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