mon 17/05/2021

New Music Features

The Songs of Coronavirus and Lockdown Life

Thomas H Green

At the start of March an obscure alt-metal outfit called Cegvera released a concept album titled The Sixth Glare. The physical album featured the headline “DISEASE” alongside a photograph of a woman in a protective facemask, and the sleeve notes expand on the idea that, if we don’t tend to our environment, an illness will arrive to which the world doesn’t have immunity.

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Little Richard (1932-2020) - sexuality, spirituality and rock'n'roll's gospel roots

mark Kidel

The day that Little Richard’s death was announced, my friend the soul singer PP Arnold wrote on her Instagram feed, of a “sanctified boogie-woogie piano style that was just electric”. She went on, recalling first hearing the man’s undiluted craziness: “I loved it when he did that "ooo" thing after the “Tutti Frutti aw Rudi” bit that sounded like one of the high soprano sisters in church”.

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Now is the hour - 103 and trending: Dame Vera Lynn eight decades after her debut

Liz Thomson

Last Sunday evening I was making lentil soup (words I never thought I’d type) when Radio 4’s discussion of wealth, or lack thereof, gave way to a profile of Dame Vera Lynn. She was “trending”, her NHS fundraising duet with Katherine Jenkins of “We’ll Meet Again” having hit number one on iTunes. A mash-up of the song, in aid of West End artists, is to follow.

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Joe Boyd's Recording Heaven

Joe Boyd

When it comes to making records, I love deadlines. Embarking on an open-ended project, particularly with the infinite number of overdubs made possible by ProTools, is my idea of hell. Back in the Nineties, I once spent an afternoon combining vocal takes line-by-line into a master track for one song. That’s when I started to think writing books might be a better way to make a living.

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Jazz musicians adapt to the lockdown - 'Welcome to our world!'

Sebastian Scotney

Jazz people,” one commentator has written this week “are amongst the most adaptable of our species as life mirrors art and we improvise our way through – we're uniquely qualified to weather the storm.”

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A simple twist of fate - how a chance encounter with 'Joan Baez, Vol 2' 50 years ago led to a festival in Downtown Manhattan

Liz Thomson

We’ve all spent time considering our desert island discs, which is of course why the programme Roy Plomley devised one winter’s night in 1942 is still thriving. The choices are perhaps less favourites than music that takes you back to a specific moment in time, that reminds you of someone, or something, special.  

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theartsdesk in Brussels - jazz, openness and youth at the start of the cultural year

Sebastian Scotney

“Brussels – The Cultural Guide” for 2020 is a very substantial book. It consists of 212 tightly-packed pages in a quite small font. The message is that there is indeed a lot going on culturally in Belgium’s capital city.

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10 Questions for Techno Musician Carl Craig

joe Muggs

In the eight years since theartsdesk last spoke to Carl Craig, a lot has happened. He moved from his native Detroit for a sojourn in Barcelona (partly for ease of access to his summer DJ residencies in Ibiza), then recently returned.

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Is this Jimi Hendrix’s greatest posthumous release? Producer Eddie Kramer talks about a legendary live album

Tim Cumming

This week, one of the finest gems in the entire Hendrix catalogue finally sees the light of day in its full unedited glory – Songs for Groovy Children comprises all four sets from the Band of Gypsys New Year’s Eve 1969-70 residency at the Fillmore East in New York City.

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theartsdesk in Hamburg: Reeperbahn Festival 2019 review

Kieron Tyler

Hatari’s 10th placing in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest hasn’t done them any harm. Neither did ruffling the feathers of the European Broadcasting Union and host nation Israel with their stance on Palestine.

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