Category Archives: Music

Third/Portishead

Cor that Portishead album is a cracking good listen.

No seriously, it will take you away, drifting you further and further downstream, sweetly manipulate your senses, before it begins punching you in the face and between the ears. It manages to represent an audiophonic equilibrium between two contrasting forces. The musical binary opposites that operate within Third are mixed into each other as is typical of Portishead’s trade mark style and Beth Gibbon’s vocals, but at the same time they are allowed room to breathe creating cohesive songs independent of what we expect Portishead to sound like. I am anticipating that Third to be doing the rounds in seven months time when bloggers start compiling their Top 10 lists, which is where the album should be. Third appears to be Portishead taking their sound and finally moving forwards without managing to sound static or dated, it just was such a damn shame it took them so long.

Machine Gun is the first single for the band off the album, and while I agree that it is a suitable choice, I can’t help but feel that the potency of its visceral sound coming straight after Deep Water on the album is somehow lost, that there’s all push and no pull. It still packs a punch but its more a dead arm from a sibling or an errant friend rather than the gang street bashing that the song delivers in the context of the album. But judge for yourself, here is the band doing their thing with Machine Gun live on Later with… Jools Holland.

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2007…

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Well that was a year and a half, or more, I know it wasn’t logically, but it certainly felt that way to me.

I feel like I should do one of those top songs/albums/books/gigs/film yearly reviews, but then I’d be here all night writing it and you’d be here all day reading it. Also I have been on holidays and who wants to update their blog when you’re off on holidays. Still on holidays, but hey I’m bored.

So here is a list of general things that have made my year.

Seeing Jarvis Cocker and Blonde Redhead at the Metro, but obviously not at the same time.

Watching the 3 best episodes ever of the new Doctor Who (Human Nature, The Family of Blood, and Blink) final series of Life On Mars, and anything with Dudley Moore & Peter Cook.

Falling in loving with the music of Ned Collete, The Basics, The National, Andrew Bird, Pikelet, LCD Soundsystem, Die! x 3, Sly Hats, The Bank Holidays, Blonde Redhead, The New Pornographers, Sunset Rubdown, and decent radio shows from Russell Brand, Adam & Joe, and Tony Martin with Get This, recently booted off airwaves, vile austereo network.

Seeing Ned Collete, Sly Hats with Guy Blackman, and The Basics at the Hopetoun Hotel.

Seeing Daniel Kitson’s C90, Tim Minchin’s Dark Side, and Bell Shakespeare’s production of Macbeth all at the Sydney Opera House.

Remembering just exactly why I love comics, musicals, and Jane Austen’s novels, although not necessarily in that order.

Hong Kong Disneyland!!! IN WINTER!!! Photos to follow. Only Euro Disney to go and I’ve been to them all, I’m not counting Florida Disneyworld. Pffttt!

A toast to happier times, many more gigs, and shows, and waking up to a better new year.

eeehaarrtt welcome in Blue Jaaaaammmm…

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Well, well, well, what can I say about Chris Morris’s BBC Radio 1 project in the late 90s, that honestly hasn’t been said a million times before and then some. Some people love it, others don’t, some people liked elements and others believed it to be a repetitive patchy sketch cop out.

I think it’s wonderful, repetitive and bloody funny.

Blue Jam is a audio projection of that fugue state you may sometimes find your-self feeling; somewhere between 3am, the absurd, not caring, and dreamy confusion. Cough syrup also gives off this effect as well. While drinking cough syrup and listening to Blue Jam feels like match between body and mind, I shouldn’t recommend things like that. After all my nan could be reading.

Sometimes labels tend to become relied upon too much, and Blue Jam is no exception, with “Dark”, “Sick”, “Cult”, “Surreal” being standard responses to this radio sketch show.

With its bleak monologues and sketches, mixed into and out of suitable “ambient” vibes with the softer side of 90s indie music. Think Eels, Massive Attack, Bjork, Beck, Beta Band, too many bloody B’s now. Written by Chris Morris (Peter Baynham, and Graham Linehan among others) and performed by Morris, Mark Heap, (the) Kevin Eldon, Julia Davis, David Cann, and Amelia Bulmore. Blue Jam was remade into a sketch show called Jam, which is still debatable in terms of quality- in some cases the radio sketches were literally transferred to the TV.

Personally Blue Jam, openned up my minuet points of reference, with its content, and mixed up “experimental” format. The first time I heard it, something just felt right, to put it simply, something clicked inside. Proves that once upon a time comedy and Chris Morris didn’t always take itself so seriously.

You can buy the official Blue Jam recording here.

Now if I know you, I can lend it to you, lord knows I’ve been trying to pimp it out to plenty of folk over the past few months with no takers, although maybe it’s my fault for talking Blue Jam up so much.

But if you want the full Blue Jam experience, music, warts and all; you can always download it off Cook’d & Bomb’d . Plus, they have a nifty introduction to the series, and some articles about the show.

TWO Thumbs Up to: Blue Jam, and frankly between you and me, the full version should be the only way you listen to Blue Jam with some headphones, making suitable WTF faces.