Meadowsilver (self titled)

meadowsilver

A younger me would probably have reacted with disbelief at the thought that folky music would end up comprising so many very favourite releases as my life went on, although hopefully said younger self would have had the sense to imagine the gradual opening of the mind, both musical and otherwise (well, the one usually insists on the other following it).

So Meadowsilver join with Espers, Horse Cult, Laughing Eye Weeping Eye, Haress, The Iditarod, etc in making really good folk inspired hypnosis. I like being in a trance.

It may be that they or some of them used to be The Hare and The Moon, not an artist I was previously familiar with so I’ll probably hunt and listen at some point.

2019 was also the year I rediscovered a love of fiction; a well told story is just as trance inducing as the best in hypnotic music, albeit in a very different way. I dislike having to have favourites, so this is just something that is really bloody good and I’ve never read anything better, ever, and I’ve read a lot of Bloody Good Things in my time – The Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson is 900 pages and frankly it isn’t long enough. Actually, it probably is because it’s so well written and so well judged in its execution, but I could have just kept on reading and reading.

And who’d have thunk it [/sarc]? Plants have feelings too. Actually, this isn’t news; there was a book in the 1970s called The Secret Life of Plants which was all about this kind of thing, but nobody in the mainstream took them seriously. What is actually notable about the link is exactly what publication I’ve linked to, materialism’s Weekly Gospel. I think we’re in the midst of paradigm shifts, people, and I bet our cultural cosmology in a century will be unrecognisable from what it is today.

Subduxtion – The Black Point

subduxtion

As I have a very rare Sunday afternoon to myself in the wake of last nights shenanigans, I had been planning to record some acoustic guitar parts. But I’m a bit hungover, so instead here’s a couple of albums I’ve been saving up until that moment when I feel like posting something.

Subduxtion are on Aagoo Records, and Aagoo have form here on Soundbergs; the marvellous Zulus and Inutili, to be precise.

This thing sits in my head under the category ‘doom-dubstep.’ Probably it’s nothing like dubstep since my knowledge of dubstep is very superficial.

A good thing or two to read whilst you listen to this: Groupname for Grapejuice‘s most recent posts have been right up my alley, philosophically speaking.

2019 has had many reasons to pretend it never happened, but one of the best things for me was the discovery of newsletters from interesting people. Probably the most academic one is the Jain Family Institute – this weeks features something on the financialization of American Higher education, and since I work in UK Higher Education, this may be a visualization of the future if the Muppet gets elected this week.

Notes on a brief reunion

I’ve probably mentioned before but I can’t be arsed to go through my old posts looking for the references but I played bass in a band called Sons of Itto between 2005-10, and had a lot of fun in so doing.

Anyway, the guitarist/singer, who shall henceforth be called Milo, is engaged to a lovely lady called called Jenny who I hadn’t met until yesterday. A few weeks ago, she is alleged to have said words to the effect of ‘I really wish I could have seen your band play…’

SO yesterday, she had a surprise birthday party. Milo had rounded up myself and drummer Colette (who played in the latter incarnation of the Itto) for a quick couple of jams to remind ourselves of stuff and to dust off the cobwebs, and last night we played 8 or so songs in front of an invited audience at The Chameleon Arts Cafe in Nottingham.

It was an absolute blast. The force was with us last night. I saw people taking photos and stuff so if any of those find their way to me, I’ll update this post with some.

The Chameleon is a great venue, it most reminded me of the much missed Attik in Leicester, perhaps a bit larger but much harder to find.

Also – Colette plays in two other bands, very different from each other. You Want Fox is a two piece that she does with Nat, and Punch Drunk is a three piece grunge-pop thing that, as I sit here typing and listening to it is putting me most in mind of late-80s Soul Asylum and also Husker Du. Keep an eye out for them wherever you put your eyes – I exacted a promise from her to get at least one of her bands to play Leicester so I intend to hold her to it.

But we may do another Itto thing again next year after the fun we had doing that, so I’ll pop details up the next time we have one.

Dragontears – Turn On Tune In Fuck Off!!

dragonteasr

Because literally everything is merely coincidence and chance, it logically follows that there is no such thing as causality.

I first discovered Dragontears back in 2010. I’d just had my then current PC for recording music die on me, and had a 9 month period without any means of recording music as the PC that was available laboured mightily with just the merest of tasks, and it was often all I could do to persuade it to let me at least surf the net a bit whilst I listened to music.

Just for the record, the album I’d just finished was Luna Takes Asylum.

During the last few weeks I’ve found myself listening to Dragontears’ three albums again, and remarking on just how bloody wonderful they are. I even found myself wondering what made me forget these albums even existed; it must be a good 6 or 7 years since I’ve listened to them. I realise that this sort of thing happens, I mean, how can it not when you have a sizeable collection of music and yet you still go looking for more? But still, this re-visit has this music really resonating with me this time, probably more so than when I first discovered them.

Just for the record, Luna Takes Asylum is now the album I wish it was back in 2010.

So the other two Dragontears albums are 2000 Micrograms From Home (below) and Tambourine Freak Machine. I cannot recommend them enough.

dragonteasr2

 

One Dog Clapping – Luna Takes Asylum (The Lunatics Return)

Luna bandcamp front

So, once I finished that series I did last year, I did, as promised, put my guitar down for a bit and listen to some music other people made. But I also had sessions of listening to my archive, probably for reasons of vanity but using the excuse that I wanted to hear it to get a feel of the context of what I’d done. And one thing happened quite soon – I was listening to Are You Hanging Comfortably? from this here album here, and I was getting annoyed by it. This had always been my least favourite album, largely because it was the last of the trio of albums I’ve since come to think of as the slapdash 3, and I was going through a period of self-doubt at the time I originally finished it which will also have coloured my perception of it. But as I listened to and got annoyed by the aforementioned track, what was bugging me the most was that I thought it was a decent tune thoroughly hidden in bad recording and production. ‘Well then,’ said an all-too familiar and frequent thing I’ve come to call That Bloody Voice In My Head That Always Thinks It Bloody Knows Best, Usually When Saying I Bloody Told You So, ‘why don’t you re-record it?’

Aaaand one thing led to another and here we are.

I haven’t spent all year on it; I’ve actually concentrated on new stuff seeing as I had a guitar in my hand anyway. But I decided to lean into the Mercury Retrograde periods by focussing on this during those, and those of you who know about such things will note that one has indeed just passed, and this timing isn’t a coincidence. Well, it is, but it’s more than just the coincidence of two things happening at a similar time.

For those of you who may have heard the original, this is different in ways more than just re-recording it. The opener on the original was called Lance, Speak, Deafening. Well, Lance… met and married a song I’d only ever recorded on 4 track in the 90s called 1000 Howling Devils and they had a child and that child now opens the album. Also, the original track two just wasn’t satisfying me anymore. I therefore replaced it with a song that was not only written contemporaneously but is also coherent thematically with the album. The rest of the songs are as they were, with some or more lyrical revisions.

I’ve also done something I haven’t done before by putting a nominal charge on the album, though each track does come with its own artwork now; the lyrics decorated with my inimitable doodles, and then inverted in some program or other. I’m going to add such things to my other albums over time, so if you want those others while they’re still Name Your Price, get in there now.

It is not beyond the realms that I may update one or two other albums during future Merc-Rets. However, the next thing I’ll put out, and it may even be this year but if not will certainly be early in the next, will probably be called Influx Arena.

Finally, I am incredibly and unimaginably indebted once again to my friend Chris Hall who helped me with Tech just as a typically merc-ret thing happened and my PC went dead when I was very nearly finished with this. Thanks again, Chris!

sunn o))) – Pyroclasts and Life Metal

pyroclasts

life metal

Now then, you know the sign of really, really good artists? They can release more than one really, really good album in a year.

Just saying.

Did you know ‘Sesquipedalian’ basically means really long word? I love that the English language contains this sort of nonsense!

Here’s an interesting post, not at all related to music, but very much related to living well.

And, taking that rhizomatic theme to heart, I might start recommending books as well, for the readers amongst you. You know who you are. You’re the people who sit there in a cafe when a person comes up to you and says, ‘well, well, looks like we got ourselves a reader.’

This posts recommendation is The Anubis Gates by Tim Powers. Proper brilliant book, it is. I’ve read many, many brilliant fiction books this year, so many that I can’t choose a favourite. But this is right up there.

 

 

FiRES WERE SHOT – Fallen

fireswereshot

Shouty caps lock is, unfortunately, intentional.

I’ve listened to a lot of drone over the years, some would say especially when I’m talking (boom! boom!); I would say especially when most males talk, we do love to hear the sound of our own opinions even though they are almost all bollocks, yes, even yours. Especially yours.

Joking aside, actually I wasn’t joking. I’m famous for not having a sense of humour. Well, not famous as such, I mean, I’m clearly not a famous person, but one of my personality traits that is remarked upon often is my utter lack of a sense of humour. I often ask my son what one is because he has one, apparently. Like most communications between the generations, however, this often results in misunderstanding as I’m never entirely sure what he’s trying to tell me.

I had intended to talk, well, write, well, type about drone music but I got distracted because that’s what happens when you let flow happen. The same thing happens when I pick up a pen.

But if you think about it, drone is all about flow.