Soundtrack to the Week

sensual world

Kate Bush, The Sensual World (1989)

Not one of my favourite Kate Bush albums, but it’s grown on me in recent years. Top track: ‘The Sensual World

lost in space

Aimee Mann, Lost in Space (2002)

I absolutely love this album. The songs are sad, but for some reason I find it comforting. Top track: The Moth

boatman's call

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, The Boatman’s Call (1997)

So much bellyaching about various relationship breakups on this album. Love it though, except for ‘Green Eyes’. Top tracks ‘Lime Tree Arbour‘ and, if I really want some misery, ‘Where do we go now but nowhere?’

cowboy junkies

Cowboy Junkies, 200 More Miles: Live Performances 1985 – 1994 

I first came across the Cowboy Junkies through the track ‘Me and the Devil‘ which was on the soundtrack to teen angst movie Pump Up the Volume (1990).  I thought they were so cool and my local library had this on CD, which was a surprise. Later, they turned out to be the first band that I went to see with my girlfriend – mainly because Mary Gauthier was also playing, but hey.  Top track: Sweet Jane.

nocturnes

Uh huh Her, Nocturnes (2011)

Fun lesbian electronica. Top track: Another Case 

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Soundtrack to the Week

Lanegan

Mark Lanegan, Blues Funeral (2012)

Swampy, dirgy, kind of synthpoppy rock. What a voice.

Black Francis, Sven fngrs (2008) and Frank Black, Frank black  (1993)

I had a Frank Black afternoon the other day. Sven Fngrs is dark and punky, while Frank Black is more of a surf rock album.

murder

Johnny Cash, Murder (2000)

I always play this at the beginning of winter.

Soundtrack to the Week

blackenedair

 

 

 

 

 

Nina Nastasia, The Blackened Air (2002) 

Chilly beauty for the beginning of November.

ladyhawke

Ladyhawke, Ladyhawke (2008) 

This is a lot of fun. It energised me while I was cleaning the kitchen.

massiveattack

Massive Attack, Blue Lines (1991) 

I hadn’t listened to Blue Lines for a long time.  It threw me straight back to my second year at university. We lived in a grotty, damp student house, but we had cool music.

bluevalentine

Tom Waits, Blue Valentine (1978) 

I tend to think of myself as preferring later Tom when he’s banging on pots and pans with bones, but then I listen to Blue Valentine and think yeah, it’s perfection.

 

wyatt

Kristin Hersh, Wyatt at the Coyote Hotel Wyatt at the Coyote Hotel (2016) 

Love everything she’s done and I think this is one of her best.

Hot Summer Evening Mixtape

Soundtrack to the Spring

Until recently, I’d have said that The Red Shoes was my least favourite Kate Bush album. I hadn’t listened to it for years. Then Lily and Big Stripey Lie  scrobbled on my last.fm account and I completely changed my mind. Maybe The Red Shoes resonates more as you get older. It’s a complex, mature woman’s album, exploring themes of self-determination, resilience (Rubberband Girl), creativity (The Red Shoes), and spirituality.

Well I said, “Lily, oh Lily I don’t feel safe
I feel that life has blown a great big hole
Through me” And she said
“Child, you must protect yourself
You can protect yourself
I’ll show you how with fire”

My partner got me listening to Cris Williamson’s classic of feminist, lesbian and women’s music, The Changer and the Changed (1975). Williamson has such a beautiful, soaring voice. ‘Waterfall’ (0.00) gives me chills and you can just hear them playing ‘Sweet Woman’ (12.51) for the slow dance at the end of the lesbian disco in the 1970s. You might like to compare the original ‘Shooting Star’ (21:15) with the Butchies cover. Williamson has developed a more solidly country sound in recent years. Fringe (2007) is awesome too.

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Soundtrack to the End of Winter

The last couple of months have been quite challenging, as well as cold and dark, so I’ve been looking for music to accompany cups of tea and introspection.

I love Joan Baez’s Gone from Danger (1997). All except one of the songs were written by younger artists (Dar Williams, Sinead Lohan) and Baez brings a rich maturity to the material. As you’d expect, there’s a political undercurrent, with songs about immigration, child abuse and environmental issues, but it’s all comforting somehow.  The collector’s edition features a live bonus CD of performances in which Baez is joined by some of the songwriters.

I’ve never really been into Dar Williams. This may be a British thing, but the extreme earnestness of her lyrics makes me feel a bit uncomfortable.  However, I’m getting beyond that and Promised Land (2008) is growing on me.  Apparently this is one of her more poppy albums and frowned on by some fans of her earlier, more acoustic sound. I have no opinion on that at this time.

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Winter Mix Tape

These are some of my favourite songs to play during the season. It’s rather a sombre list, not because I feel unhappy at this time of year, but because I like the winter to be a time of inwardness and reflection.

Martha Wainwright, Proserpina
Thea Gilmore, Cold Coming 
Janis Ian, In The Winter
Kate and Anna McGarrigle, Winter Lady
Kristin Hersh, Winter
Bjork, Frosti 
Kate Bush, Snowflake
Thea Gilmore, December in New York

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