Monday, December 30, 2013

1000 SONGS - DAY 304 SONG # 335

DAY 335: Music fom Zimbabwe - Tuku

Oliver "Tuku" Mtukudzi is probably the most widely known musician from Zimbabwe. I have loved his music since the first contact (sometimes in the 80ies). The sister of a dear friend of mine brought some records from Zimbabwe and I taped them and heard them over and over again. TUKU live! Later on, I bought some CDs by Mtukudzi in the local Weltladen ("3rd" world store run by some more or less idealistic people). Here is one beautiful song done by him, Ndakuvara (as I have no knowledge of Shona, I do not know the meaning of the word). Later on, for those who want to get more acquainted to Tuku, there is a video of his rendering of some of his songs on a KEXP session. It is great to listen to his explanations; my favourite one around 19:20: "In my culture the purpose of song is to give life and hope to the people, to heal the broken hearts, and you don’t get to sing a song when you have nothing to say” - an answer to the question whether he never makes up some "silly pop songs".

Thursday, December 26, 2013

1000 SONGS - DAY 303 SONG #334

Day 334: A Cats' Concert

Back in the 80ies, there was this little record-store in Vienna called "Katzenmusik" (caterwauling / cats' concert) that  had in stock all the records by those more or less weird "avant-garde" jazz/rock/noise/alternative or no category bands & musicians nobody else had in their shops (for good economical reasons...). The lady who ran it was slightly arrogant, as it seemed to me, more interested in keeping away customers out of the range of "normal people" than attracting new customers at all. I bought a bunch of records there, and one day, when I was going through the selection of "nobody wants to hear that"-records in her store, I found that one album by a New York group called "Details at Eleven", featuring Lin Culbertson's voice and composing skills. I was all like : "I am so excited that you also have 'Details at Eleven'  in your shop - one doesn't find that in any other record store in Vienna". All the store-owner gave me in return was a condescending look and "boy, normally one doesn't have interest in this kind of music at all". Struck me, as she obviously had. As far as I know, there has only been this one record done by Details at Eleven (I still have my vinyl copy at home). By clicking on the name, you can read Eugene Chadbourne's review of it. Seems that he is quite d'accord with the record selling lady from Vienna about the merits of that musical undertaking. Nevertheless, here is Marketplace from said album (write me if you like it...):

Details At Eleven: Marketplace from Lin Culbertson on Vimeo.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

1000 SONGS - DAY 302 SONG #333

Day 302: Another Song by 16 Horsepower

In one of the  earlier postings of this series (Day 25 SONG #45), I have featured two songs by 16 Horsepower, a band from Denver, Colorado, powered by the voice and lyrics of David Eugene Edwards, making use of (often: dark) religious imagery.  The band broke up in 2005, amongst other reasons, "spiritual differences" were named by the ex-members. Although I had promised to feature some songs by Woven Hand, one of the follow-ups of 16 Horsepower, in this here blog then, now, after completing the first third of the 1000 Songs (although, in reality, this first third contains ~666 songs, cover-versions and alternate versions included), I chose another one by 16 Horsepower, a song that directly speaks to all the dark ghosts bound in my soul:

High fiddle high fiddle low fiddle low
There's a ghost bound in my soul
High fiddle high fiddle low fiddle low
There's a cold blade on my crow*
A crooked in my walk a stumble in my talk
Is what I'm after little girl
Metal on the red overcast in head
I'm goin' down an feelin' ill

High fiddle high fiddle low fiddle low
There's a cold blade on my crow
High fiddle high fiddle low fiddle low
There's a girl that I know
You ain't never had one I don't believe you will
This is your season for standin' still
Metal on the red overcast in head
I'm goin' down an feelin' ill

See boys I've known her from way back
Back when she was dead
Tongues on fire spoke the word
Darkness left her head
Holy my other hand
That's a fuckin' joke
Like a steel cold knife on the bridge of strife
Were the words I spoke

*all the pages containing lyrics of the song I looked up have this as fourth line; but definitely, he sings something else (like: "there's a stone you fixed his crow" - but i do not really understand the words)

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

1000 SONGS - DAY 301 SONG # 332

DAY 301: One of my Favourite Albums

Lou Reed died recently; from a relatively young age on I have been listening to "Berlin", a kind of concept-album, telling a story about love & hate & addiction & loss & despair (the dark sides of life). In a way, a rather sinister story. The album features fine musicians (like the Brecker Bros., for example) playing great songs like "Men of Good Fortune", "How Do You Think It Feels", "Sad Song" a.s.o. Although there is much of what I do like out of the musical legacy of Lou Reed, many fine songs etc. on other albums he did that probably beat any track featured on "Berlin", this is THE album by Lou I think to be a masterpiece in its entirety, representing more than a collection of songs. I sometimes think that it has not got the appreciation it deserved for simply telling a sad, gloomy story. 
Here we go for  A GLOOMY ALBUM:

Monday, December 2, 2013

1000 SONGS - DAY 300 SONG #331

DAY 300: A Song by the Gourds 

I do not play squash and, although I do like Linus, I do not venerate the Great Pumpkin. In the field of my study of West African Religions, calabashes play some role in old cosmological ideas, in my garden, I grow my own cucumbers and courgettes, as well as red kuris, but musically, I prefer The Gourds, so called Alternative Country Band from Austin, Texas. 
Here is Gangsta Lean (and if you don't like it, f* ya!):