Friday, July 12, 2013

Cool stuff from the WFMU heavily played list

I've been out foraging for new music, and, as usual, the best stuff is over at WFMU.

My plan was pretty simple: find a video or soundcloud or bandcamp for the first five artists on their list.

It worked out pretty great.

Here are Deux Filles...

The music is extraordinary, and also the backstory is pretty intriguing. Deux Filles was a conceptual project from soundtrack composer Simon Fisher Turner and producer Colin Lloyd Tucker (who were both briefly in a predecessor to The The, remember them?). Anyway, they made up this band out of whole cloth, constructing a really elaborate, tragic biography. to quote Discogs:

"The short, mysterious career of the aptly named female French duo Deux Filles is bookended by tragedy. Gemini Forque and Claudine Coule met as teenagers at a holiday pilgrimage to Lourdes, during which Coule's mother died of an incurable lung disease and Forque's mother was killed and her father paralyzed in a grisly auto accident. The two teens bonded over their shared grief and worked through their bereavement with music. However, after recording two critically acclaimed albums and playing throughout Europe and North America, Forque and Coule disappeared without a trace in North Africa in 1984 during a trip to visit Algiers, where Forque had lived from birth to the age of five. Theories from abduction and murder to a planned disappearance to spontaneous human combustion have been floated, but in the ensuing years, not a trace of the duo has turned up except for a mysterious letter purportedly written by Coule claiming that the pair journeyed to India on a spiritual quest, only to meet with further hardships. Indeed, the short and terribly unhappy lives of Forque and Coule are at the root of the small but fervent cult following the mysterious duo have gained since their disappearance, not least because the placid, largely instrumental music on the duo's albums betrays no hint of the sorrow that framed their personal lives."

All false, but a kind of art in itself.

Second up is a compilation from the Soul Jazz Label called TV Sound & Image: British Television Film & Library Composers 1956-80: Volume One, which is exactly what it sounds like, but also awesome.

Here's the lead-off track, "Condition Red" by Barry Stoller, which is from the soundtrack from The Sweeney. Puts that Mission Impossible theme right in its place, don't you think?

You can stream clips from the rest of the album here.

I'm going to skip William Tyler's Impossible Dream in third place, because while I love the album and will probably shoe-horn it into my 2013 top ten somewhere, I've already blogged it and reviewed it and this is about new music...or at least new to me.

This next thing is from the Blind Shake, out of Minneapolis, a noise-punk band best known, if they're known at all, for their work with 1960s visionary Michael Yonkers (I interviewed Michael Yonkers for Dusted a few years ago, and it's a very interesting, very sad story. Check it out if you're intrigued.)

But this's very Wire-y and just kind of awesome.

Free Music Archive: The Blind Shake - Garbage on Glue

Okay, I've got to do some work today, so let's finish things off with Molly Drake, a jazz-pop singer fromn the 1950s who just happened to be Nick Drake's mother.

Here's what her bandcamp has to say about a new release of her music from Squirrel Thing:

Squirrel Thing Recordings, the label behind the mysterious lost recordings of Connie Converse, is proud to announce the release of Molly Drake—a self-titled collection of never-before-heard songs recorded in the 1950’s at the Drake family home, and lovingly restored by Nick Drake’s engineer John Wood. According to Joe Boyd, legendary producer of Five Leaves Left and Bryter Later, “this is the missing link in the Nick Drake story.”

Molly Drake is a comprehensive first look at a singular and sophisticated artist, whose influence on her son’s celebrated musical style is undeniable. The CD features a custom letterpressed jacket, family photos, and a biography by her daughter, Gabrielle Drake.

Much like her son, Molly Drake’s music is at once beautiful, charming, dark and pensive. The easy elegance of her lyrics belies their deeper themes of regret, memory, dread, and the sublime, crystallized as only a poet can. Her performances are intimately staged in the family sitting room, and perfectly complemented by her own piano accompaniment.

You're curious, right? Have a listen.

and that's it for today.

One side note, I am taking my son, Sean, to Providence, RI tomorrow to audition for the national tour company of Book of Mormon...he sent them a headshot and resume as a lark on Thursday night and got an invitation to audition about 20 minutes later. (He must look like a Mormon!) We are all kind of giddy, but also expecting nothing at all from it. My son has the most interesting things happen to him. I feel privileged to be along for the ride (or, to be more accurate, the drive).

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