Showing posts with label Nadine Shah. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Nadine Shah. Show all posts

Saturday, 27 June 2020

The Inconvenience of Convenience

Last week I bought two albums "Two Sevens Clash (40th Anniversary)" by Culture  and "Kitchen Sink" by Nadine Shah (oddly being released digitally song by song) and after consideration decided to but just the digital version. I didn't buy the CDs because I thought I would be unlikely to play the CD but have played the albums several times since purchase , plus because of the convenience of my digital apps (BubbleuP'n'P and Windows Media Player) I have played several related albums forsaking my normal work soundtrack of BBC 6Music.

I often reckoned that the introduction of CD was a McDonaldisation of music (see my post of music media history from 2015 here) which essentially allowed you to store more music in a smaller place , skip songs , program the order and lots more and was stored in a digital format which does lose a lot of the original sound by letting only hear what we can / need to hear.

The thing is I think nothing of playing a vinyl album or single but digital discs are are now a chore , you have to find it , open the case open the player and then either play or select what you want to play. We have been conditioned to get want we want with a click or two. When was the last time you played a CD or DVD? We are all part of the "click" generation.

I am not sure it can go much further, ever song I share on this blog is on Youtube or Vimeo , and as I am writing this I have "Two Sevens Clash (40th Anniversary)" playing on Windows Media Player. When I go down I will listen to some vinyl or maybe watch something on my Tivo , Netflix or Amazon Prime.

Looking outside the cloudy sky is looking very ominous, more thunderstorms on the way.

"Two Sevens Clash (40th Anniversary)" by Culture is an absolutely essential reggae album, I think this is going on my phone to listen to when I walk.

Friday, 19 June 2020

#LikeNoOther #11 - Nadine Shah

I think this is #LikeNoOther #11 though I  may have missed one out as it's ages since I posted in this series. Nadine Shah has released a new album and the new album "Kitchen Sink"  (though just a thought Kitschen Sink would be a great album or book title)  doesn't let up.

Her music is not exactly danceable , but sounds like it doesn't conform to any norm. It has a highly percussive framework  which she and her band use to build the songs, and you finish every one thinking what the hell was that, I need to listen again.

Nadine , as far as I am concerned, falls in the same sprawling universe as all the other artists who have appeared in this series, but my immediate touchpoints are:

  • PJ Harvey
  • Siouxsie Sue and The Banshees
  • Captain Beefheart
  • The Incredible String Band
  • David Bowie
  • Ethiopiques
  • Tom Waits
There is a hell of a lot of original music around and it always amazes be that a combination of 12 notes can continually be moulded to give us something new and original. Nadine Shah continues to do that on every sone her and her band produces.

Watch and listen to the new single and your musical listening horizons will expand.

I've seen Nadine Shah twice and was very impressed both times. Her music is is as I've described and she has a very engaging stage personality as well so well worth going to see her, here are a couple of my reviews with some more video.

Thursday, 18 June 2020


Since the weekend the sky has been a uniform grey with mist almost to ground level. This has burned off for the last two afternoons revealing sunny blue skies, but my phone's weather app showed an icon that looks like waves , so I was thinking Tsunami? Flood? ... apparently it actually means hazy so that means I can rest a little more safely.

It's now after work and the sky is still grey. I will go out for a walk and visit a local Roman Temple, the weather is at least conducive to walking which is good. I've managed to keep my steps up this month.

Today I opened a pack of toilet rolls that I bought when lockdown started and everyone was panic buying, throughout this lockdown I have never gone short of anything , I noticed shops that have sold out but always found alternatives close by, while a lot of people I know were telling me how impossible it was to get things. The irony being they all own cars so in theory can go anywhere , whereas I rely on public transport and shanks pony.

Although my CD is slowly shrinking via my Discogs store I will be buying the new Nadine Shah album "Kitchen Sink" , here music is like nothing else , all the instruments are so percussive and she is one of the few artists who I have a complete collection of. I am also going to download the 40th anniversary version of "Two Sevens Clash" by Culture, I have the original in digital format so will do the same for the anniversary edition.

As this is named Hazy I will share "Hazy Jane" by Nick Drake.

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Snow, Laziness, Apathy,Lethargy and Ethiopiques

.. and it's cold. Back from Litton, and back to work . This is the part of the year where I thought my walking would take a hit, you can wrap up but sometimes the biting cold and wetness can get to you and you just want to get on a bus or get in and keep warm.

I don't know if it;s an age thing or my natural laziness, but I seem to find it increasingly difficult to do things that need preparation. This can be getting the laptop and mouse out the bag to do a blog post when I'm on holiday. Another is playing a DVD, you have to get up , find the DVD , take it out of the case, switch on the DVD player , tune the TV to the DVD channel, and play the DVD. It's far too easy to take the alternateive route and click a few buttons on the remote and play something on the TIVO, or on demand. Although strangely I still like  playing things on vinyl, and that is very incovenient and labour intensive.

Cooking is similar, I am alwasy tempted to chuck a frozen pizza in the oven, though last night it was mashed normal / sweet potato and bean burger which meant cooking but it was worth it. I still don't do ready meals, although part of that is that ready meals often take as long to cook as it would to prepare from scratch.

I like to be able to walk into a situation and start doing what I want to do, I don't like the preparation , so maybe I'm not lazy , just selective.

I am still hitting my rolling monthly million steps despite the weather, though part of the motivation for that is the fact it helps with keeping my blood sugar under control.

While on holiday I picked up a Best of Ethiopiques album , and I remember listening to some of this music and actually being frightened by it, it was so other worldly atmospheric, but disturbing. I corresponded with Nadine Shah about it, so will include "Yegelle Tezetta" byMulatu Astatke which is a great piece but I find there is a strage menace behind it. Have a great Tuesday everybody.

Friday, 8 December 2017

Snow and Wait

It's te last full day in Litton for this year, and we have had snow. At the sametime my Pixel XL is doing a half a gigabyte system update. In 1990 I was working on a DEC mainframe which was running accounts for a biggish company which had 4 Mb of memory, that's enough room for four minutes of basic MP3 music.

Prior to  that my Cambridge Lynx computer had 3K of memory, I'd bought it because it ran CP/M which was an early competitor for MS/DOS but when IBM came calling the CP/M guy was outflying his plane so Bill Gates got the IBM gig and the rest, well you know the rest, I'm writing this on an ASUS laptop running Microsoft Windows 10.

Did you know that Microsoft have a patent on the technology for SD card slots which apparently is why so many phones don't have SD card slots.

Anyway my walking has been hit by the weather, yesterday it was rain and hail and today it may be the snow, so I will have some catching up to do when I get back.

I've had a brilliant breakfast at High Nelly's in Tideswell, and finally found out that a Derbyshire Oatcake was basically an oat pancake, and they are rather excellent too. There's a picture of my breakfast here.

I'm listening to 6Music and today's Album of the Year choice is Tom Robinson's and it's Nadine Shah's "Holday Destination" which I pre ordered about three months in advance. I have written about it before and it's not cheerful but addresses a lot of current serious issues especially on the title track which I will include here.

Have a great Friday everybody, the weekend is upon us.

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Dark Mornings

I always try to be positive, but can't get away from the relentlessness of nature, this time the fact that as summer fades it's darker and colder in the morning. The good thing is that the light usually eventually comes but it brings with it more instances of the aptly named TLA, SAD. My only worry about this is that it may affect my target to keep up my rolling three month million steps following completing the Million Step Challenge, which I have to thank Fiona for getting me into (with first the 15K challenge then pointing out the Million Step Challenge) as it has improved my diabetic situation no end, so even for that one fact it is essential that I keep doing it.

As I have said I don't do regimented stuff, but walking gives me the opportunity to dynamilcally change what I do while still benefitting from actually doing the exercise to benfit myself however slightly. The problem is if it's dark , cold , windy and raining it might get a bit difficult, although since I started this I have only had one day where I have walked less than 3K. Apparently the average person walks about 5K steps a day , so that means a lot of people do a lot less than that as I do 11-12K a day, and a friends of mine over the last year has been averaging 30K a day (my most ever is about 24K).

As I've said before I cannot recommend Pacer highly enough to track my steps, which since I installed it has not had any problems.

Anyway tonight I am going to see Nadine Shah at The Sage, am tempted by a Cure tribute (Liquer) at The Doll at The Black Bull on Thursday and am going to see Nick Helm at The Stand on Saturday courtesy of my great friend Jon Raine.

It's still dark, but time to set off for work, so will leave you with "Seven and Seven Is" by Love, a raucous slice of garage punk (maybe not what you would expect from Love) which just came on the 6Music now, and I thought I know that that song , but what the hell is it. Now I know.

Monday, 28 August 2017

Listening To More Albums

While out walking today I listened to a couple of great albums. Actually prior to that I had listened to some vinyl, namely Nadine Shah's "Stealing Cars" a Tenpole Tudor album and Emerson Lake and palmer's take on Mussorgsky's "Pictures at an Exhibition" all worth listening to and you can see them here if you follow my Instagram Channel.

Nadine Shah's "Holiday Destination" features some amazing percussion driven songs recall Tom Waits and Van Der Graaf Generator, tackling todays issues. The title track written as a response to holiday makers complaining that their holiday had been ruined when refugees were washed up on their beach. If our country wasn't supplying weapons to various regimes maybe things like this wouldn't happe. However the album is highly listenable also tackling growing into "aldulthood" and reading the labels on food. Well worth getting a copy.

That was followed by "Listen To The Band" and early Mike Nesmith compilation featuring great country song after great country song and if you haven't heard them before you certainly won't forget them once you have.

Anyway it's time for bed and I will leave you with the title tracks of both those albums.

Monday, 15 June 2015

Why Pay For Music?

For years people have said this to me, and now there's a generation that has grown believing you shouldn't have to pay for music , films or anything really. It's a sad situation and a lot of it was casued by the greed of the already rich , when they saw how they could rip off their fans with the advent of CD (Elton John and Metallica I'm pointing the finger firmly at you). Also a little at Led Zeppelin with yet another round of remasters.

When music became digitally copyable (Is that a word) , it was the first time that everyday media could be stolen over and over again. Taping from the radio was always subject to interference and copying from vinyl had to be done in real time. But ......

Just because you can do something doesn't make it right ....

And just because a band is playing in a pub you shouldn't expect it to be free.

There's costs involved , they equipment , getting there , fuel and the graft put into to learning the music.

As for CDs , while recording can be done relatively cheaply and with digital distribution you don't need to risk a costly run of music that may not sell.

Spotify is not a good model for artists as it's based on a pay per play basis , so new artists , at the best, will just get exposure.

And this is what it means, every time you don't pay for something you are effectively shoplifting if
you don't have permission to take that item. Some artists give away their music and make their profit by charging a modest ten or twenty pounds for a gig . I have recently seen Nadine Shah and Du Blonde playing less than a tenner for tickets , having a brilliant night , and I bought their records too. In my small way keeping these people going. So this is really like the opening scene to Reservoir Dogs where the guy won't tip the waitress and the other guys take him to task, I'm one of the other guys.

So if you want to support music , get down to your record shop and buy some records, and get to see a band and pay to see them.

Would you work for nothing ? I think not ... so support music .

I thought the Smiths song was appropriate for this post.

Thursday, 2 April 2015

A Very Good Start To April .... Record Store Day Is This Month

Hot Chilli
I was going to do a post on Whitby when I got back from a good weekend on Monday but due to my extreme laziness. Whitby is brilliant , I love the place and I managed to restock my Howling Goth Chilli Sauce , visit lots of place , but got the slightly bad news the the Folk Devils shop is closing in a fortnight although they are continuing online which is very good. While I was in there they were playing some Ty Segall who I've heard great reports of , but not got round to buying , so I've now rectified that with a few other additions to the playpile.

That Building
Then yesterday and my Metro to Sunderland was redirected to South Shields requiring me to go there and take a bus to Sunderland. This meant going into places that I 'd not been for years and I noticed a Barclays Bank , which was handy as I needed to drop some stuff off so that was handy . I also noticed and incredible looking red brick building on Fawcett Street. At street level there's a CEX and some furniture shop, but above street level it is very impressive.

 When I went yesterday to the bank and to photograph the build I then noticed a new record shop opposite , Pop Recs.

Outside Pop Recs
Inside Pop Recs
I went in and it's very roomy and an excellent layout with a lot of vinyl , and a few CDs , settees a stage area and a jukebox, reminding of the new Rough Trade store in New York, which hosts live music.

It's run by Frankie and The Heartsrings , and I was chatting with the guy behind the counter who was telling about how they set it up when HMV shut down, and the fact that they'd had The Cribs and The Vaccines playing for free recently. The good thing about the place its that it has the space inside to support a live band. He also told me that the Red Building across the street was owned by Nadine Shah's family and that she was a frequent visitor to the shop. Nadine is a local girl and has produced two stunning albums so that was just an amazing coincidence.

Unfortunately I was in a rush so only had a short visit and didn't buy anything this time, but seriously this one shop is a reason to actually go to Sunderland. The people are friendly and you can also get coffee and a lot more there, another positive is that they obviously care about people and music , you'll know why when you visit.

With National Record Shop Day coming around in a couple of weeks (18th April)  this will be the place to be in Sunderland , you really should go.

So really it's been a great start to the month and the sun is shining , I hope your month goes as well as mine is going to do.