Monday, November 27, 2006

And the nominations are... (you cant go wrong with these two)



BETH ORTON – COMFORT OF STRANGERS
Few vocalists equal the expressive subtlety of Beth Orton, whose fourth album is both her most musically spare and artistically complex to date. Not only does the production and backing by Jim O'Rourke (known for his work with Sonic Youth and Wilco) capture Orton's vocal style at its most unstudied and unvarnished, the lack of embellishment focuses all the more attention on her songwriting. From the jazzy phrasing on the deceptively jaunty "Worms" through the haunting "Feral" and the amazing grace of the closing, hymnlike "Pieces of Sky," Orton's songs give voice to the sort of knotty, prickly emotions that are as hard to define as they are deeply felt. Most of the musical dynamic features piano or guitar over an elemental, insistent rhythm section, making the coloring of an occasional string section ("Conceived"), harmonica ("Absinthe"), or accordion ("Safe in Your Arms") all the more striking. As an indication of the emotional range of this musical minimalism, the title cut is soothing enough to please fans of Norah Jones, while "Heartlandstruckstop" is as edgy as Patti Smith.




MINDY SMITH – LONG ISLAND SHORES
With her expressively breathy vocals and uplifting melodies, Mindy Smith expresses both the romantic and spiritual dimensions of rapture. It can occasionally be hard to tell whether Smith is singing of God or love, or if she even makes a distinction between the two. Whether she's invoking prayer and sin in the opening "Out Loud," hoping that God's looking out for her in "Out of Control," casting a seductive charmer as a "Little Devil," or recalling her preacher father in the title track, Smith's material blurs the distinction between the earthly and the ethereal. Her duet with kindred spirit Buddy Miller on "What If the World Stops Turning" highlights the album, though the Nashville-based artist rarely hints at country within her buoyant brand of folk-pop.

Friday, November 24, 2006

And the nominations are... (the winner?)



For years, for any Neil Young fan, this recording was what for any Bob Dylan fan the legendary "Royal Albert Hall 1966" bootleg was (which, in fact, as we all know, was recorded at the Free Trade Hall in Manchester and not at the Royal Albert Hall).
The Neil Young bootleg recording of his concert at the Fillmore East in 1970 was widely circulating for decades, as well was the Bob Dylan bootleg: two artists at the peak of their musical power and artistic genius.

Now, the Neil Young and the Crazy Horse at the Fillmore East is out in the official way, as it was for Bob Dylan 1966 concert some years ago.



The sound quality is shocking great, and the devasting force, I'd say the brutal garage violence of Neil Young and his band in the mid of the flower power era, is stunning. "I shot my baby", Neil Young sing while everybody were singing that "music is love" and "put a flower in your hair".

Dark, raw and sonically scaring, this is Neil Young at his best.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

And the nominations are... trippin' the live fantastic!

My Morning Jacket is an incredible band, way much better on stage than in studio, tho. This live album is like mixing the late 60s Grateful Dead, the early 70s The Band and the early 90s Pearl Jam. Pure cosmic music.




T-Bone Burnett is probably the best american producer of the last 20 years, He is also a brilliant songwriter, tho his voice is not so good. Nevermind: this album is a festival of great songs, from rockabilly garage music to the folk tradition to 50s pop, and his production-sound is what Bob Dylan should try these days. Just amazing.

Monday, November 20, 2006

And the nominations are... B & B

Which, of course, stand as Bruce & Bob.

Two giants, two legends. Two albums that are, in fact, quite disappointing. While Bruce Springsteen is surely an interesting project, anyone who saw the Seeger Sessions Band in concert would agree that live, these songs are ten thousand times better than as they are in this studio version. I can only name the terrific "Shenandoah" as the really worthwhile track here, a majestic song that remind of the pure american spirit of group like The Band. The rest, after a while, is honestly a little too much of a school exercise.



And what can you say about Bob Dylan? He is the master. He is.... a man that cant do no wrong. Well, except that in what is his first album of new songs in five years he hardly wrote any song, maybe a couple, the nice Workingman's Blues and the interesting Ain't Talkin'. The rest was already written by a long list of bluesmen, old folksingers, even an old rock'n'roll glory like Chuck Berry. Even the lyrics it seems were already written by a XIX american poet, Henry Timrod, and even the latin poet Ovid. If you like it this way.... Not a bad album, not a masterpiece tho. Another school exercise.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Dio verrà a prenderti

God’s gonna cut you down: il linguaggio è – volutamente – estremo. Ma con argomenti così seri come lo sono Dio e la morte, è giustificabile, E poi è un linguaggio tipicamente americano, come profondamente americano era l’interprete del brano, e l’interprete del brano è uno che non amava scherzare. “Ho ucciso un uomo solo per vederlo morire” cantava da giovane. Lui è Johnny Cash, e questo – bellissimo – videoclip è il nuovo video in rotazione da pochi giorni su Mtv America (chissà se arriverà mai nella nostra stupidissima Mtv Italia).

Nel video appare una lunga lista di celebrità (36 in tutto) e il significato del filmato è chiaro: la redenzione è possibile (una volta, durante un concerto, Johnny Cash - che nella vita ne aveva fatte di cotte e di crude -, disse: “Se sono su questo palco stasera, è la prova che la redenzione è possibile”) anche per chi è stato all’inferno.

Infatti i protagonisti del video non sono stati scelti a casi. Sono tutti stati all’inferno: dall’ex eroinomane incallito (Iggy Pop) all’ex alcolista all’ultimo stadio (Kris Kristofferson), dalla super star di Hollywood caduta negli abissi (Dennis Hopper) alla rock star assoluta (Bono), alla donna che ha sofferto la morte di marito e fratelli (Patti Smith), quella che si è salvata dal cancro (sheryl crow) alla top model cocainomane (Kate Moss) a quello che si è fritto il cervello con l'LSD (la droga che doveva aprirci le porte della conoscenza...) come Brian Wilson, o la cantante Shelby Lynne, i cui genitori si suicidarono entrambi. E ovviamente Keith Richards, quello che ha un flirt con il demonio da tutta la vita... Gente che sa una cosa o due a proposito dell'inferno.

Appaiono due sole parole, qua e là nel video: “Redemption” e “Sin”, redenzione e peccato.
Sì, la redenzione è possibile: "Sicuro come Dio ha fatto il nero e il bianco, quello che c’è nell’oscurità ti farà anche conoscere la luce". Attento, perché alla fine della tua storia, Dio ti farà a pezzi. Nel senso che da lì non si sfugge, ci devono passare tutti e tutti devono fare i conti con Lui. Parola di Johnny Cash: "Puoi correre a lungo" canta "ma alla fine Dio verrà a prenderti".

dal Vangelo secondo Luca Cap. 3 : (parla Giovanni battista):
"Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire."

Sunday, November 12, 2006

avviso ai naviganti

Il sito dedicato al promoter Bill Graham - vedi link nella sezione link di questo blog - è stato aggiornato con una nuova sezione - http://concerts.wolfgangsvault.com/ - che trovate al link Concerts all'interno del sitos tesso, che permette di ascoltare in qualità perfetta più di 300 concerti integrali risalenti alla golden age del rock'n'roll, dal 1967 a fine anni 70.

La grande musica è tutta qui: chi ha bisogno di comprare l'ultimo disco di Damien Rice quando si possono ascoltare gli Who nel 1967 al Fillmore o The Band a Los Angeles nel 1974?

Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

That weird old America



The most common slogan used by the Democrats during this mid-term american election was: “The Republicans are not the real America. They are not part of the real people. Thye’re not close to the real people of America”.

Really?

Is interesting to note that, to win this election, the Democrats were forced to use as candidates many former Republicans and many Democrats that are against abortion or that are very religious (check Hilary Clinton speeches during this campaign). Why? Because, it seems, the majority of the Americans are still people who believe in certain “traditional” values as religion etc, as the two times victory of George W Bush shows.

Now, you might not like that, but it shows that the Republicans are “the real American people”, you like it or not. The real America is not the imaginary America that the New York Times propaganda is trying to sell from 40 years now, the “Sex and the City” tv soaps kind of America they like so much, the New York Times anti – Christian propaganda that not even the afghan talibans would do (check the recent New York Times attack to the Pope), an imaginary America they want so hard even if the majority of the Americans dont care about it.

Bye bye miss American pie?