Friday, May 18, 2007

FDF Volume 1: Issue 55: Beth Orton - Trailer Park

Album - Trailer Park
Artist - Beth Orton
Key Players - Beth Orton vocals and guitars.
Produced By - Andrew Weatherall

Release Date - October 1996

What caused me to blow off the dust? - In some bizarre twist I saw her name mentioned at LEAST 3 times, on three different blogs, none of which are "music specific".

Overview - This is the solo debut album from Beth Orton. The particular release earned her nominations for two BRIT Awards (best British newcomer, best British female), and the Mercury Music Prize in 1997.

FDF Comments (aka the songs)
- "She Cries Your Name" fades up with violins and cello before a solo plucked acoustic guitar welcomes her voice. It should take about ten seconds to fall in love with her sound. This was the only "officially" released singe from the record. It was co-authored by William Orbit (he worked with Madonna on "Ray of Light). Its a pretty song that is lead by the acoustic guitar and Ortons voice really shines. The guitar and violins mesh well together as a cello fills in the sound as it begins to fade. "Tangent" follows and is one of the longest tracks on the record at just about 7 and a half minutes. "Don't Need a Reason" follows and the acoustic guitar work once more shines on the track. The vocals are strong and haunting, Beth has that power to move you and this track is a great example. "Live as You Dream" is the shortest track on the record at just under 3 minutes. Its got a very quick, vibrant feel, something we had not seen up to this point on the record. The tempo of the song is very similar to "Franklins Tower" from the Grateful Dead (for better or worse). If you are familiar w/the Dead and that sound, check out the download section and let me know if I am off base. The lyrics are delivered quickly and, as noted, the music follows suit. "Sugar Boy" has a slow intro of acoustic guitar and a clacking of drums. By the chorus a "fuller" sound grows but the vocals remain at the forefront. "Touch Me With Your Love" is one of the longer tracks on the record and opens with some keyboard, it slowly fades up and the vocals are spoken for a bit before Beth sings them. Musically is slow and has a haunting feel. Upon really listening to the lyrics in pans out to be a pretty song. The double bass work is great on the track as well. "Whenever" has a nice feel as mandolin and a dulcimer are played. Still its a strongly lead acoustic guitar track. Beth does a lot of pitch shifting on her vocals on this track that add a very nice touch. "How Far" is eight tracks in, and the first track to list an "electric guitar". It is not a driving over the top guitar part but your ears up to this point will be locked in to the acoustic, which is still present. It blends great with the piano on the track. "Someone's Daughter" is one of the strongest tracks on the record. Musically its the most fun track on the album. Your feet will be tapping and you'll probably grow a big smile as the song progresses, by the first chorus, if you have not heard Beth before, you will honestly wonder why you have never heard her. Outstanding track and the bass line just grooves. It is a perfect song for a sunny day (or any day really). The legendary and now infamous producer, Phil Spector was involved on "I Wish I Never Saw the Sunshine". It is a far cry from what Spector was known for as a producer but none the less breathtaking. A true solo acoustic track feel the vocals are crisp and clear. How this song has not landed on some romantic comedy (or Grey's Anatomy) is beyond me. "Galaxy of Emptiness" is the 10 minute album closer and it starts off feeling like it will be an instrumental track. About 3:30 in there are some faint "do do's" and then about 3:45 she delivers the first lines. The song lacks somewhat of a direction and gets a little experimental. Listeners to this point may wonder why this was chosen, but it does close out the album.

Where are they now? Beth released Comfort of Strangers in the US in early 2006. She will be doing a tour during the month of July in the US. You can check out some tour dates on her official web site

FDF Personal Comments (aka the Live experience) - Even working at a radio station in the Boston area that played Beth Orton's music (and her visiting the station on a few occasions while I was employed there) her live show is still something I have yet to bear witness to.

FDF Overall Take - Beth has been making music for well over ten years now and is "finally" starting to get some attention here in America. Her hardcore fans may disagree with that statement but she is far from a mainstream act. Deep down they love "knowing about her" but all of them would like to see her get the success she deserves. Most of her music you want to sit and take it in all by yourself. Its a perfect record to put on after most of the guests have left a party and you just want to hang out and chill. This is a perfect record to start with, and each of the following records offer great moments, each worth listening to again, or purchasing for continual spins.

Some links:
Official Site
Beth's Myspace Page
Beth Fan Page

Curious? Check out some MUSIC!

*favor this week* the blog gets a good amount of hits but no comments. I know it sounds grovelling but I am curious, how did you find the blog? where are you from? do you like the songs, the content of what is done here. Is it too much, too little? just a few comments can also be critical it will only make it a better site to visit. Thanks.

*************MP3's REMOVED ON JULY 20,2007 1:50PM ET********************
She Cries Your Name
Live as you Dream
Someone's Daughter **my strongest suggestion**

All tracks taken from "Trailer Park" of which you can buy here
here and even here

This weeks bonus download:

Beth Orton
Sodre Teatern, Stockholm Sweden
September 19, 1999

This is an A+ sounding show. It might as well be commercially available.

This show has been removed...

Disclaimer - For the most part songs listed you can find on iTunes or your local cd shop. The idea is to give you a little taste of the music. Please support the artist buy purchasing some of their work. Songs are posted for about 1 week but can and will be removed at the request of the artist, band, band management etc. If you are one of those persons contact me via the email link in the profile and they will be removed as soon as we are made aware of the request.

Friday, May 11, 2007

FDF Volume 1: Issue 56: Hoodoo Gurus - Mars Needs Guitars!

Album - Mars Needs Guitars!
Artist - Hoodoo Gurus
Key Players - Clyde Bramley - bass and vocals, David Faulkner -guitar and lead vocals, Mark Kingsmill -drums, Brad Shepherd - guitar, vocals and mouth harp.
Produced By - Charles Fisher

Release Date May 1985

What caused me to blow off the dust?
- Just needed a pretty bare-bones rock record..and *POOF* there it was.

Overview - This is the second album from Australian rock band Hoodoo Gurus. The band would gain moderate success with tracks from each of its albums. If you were a fan of alternative music in the mid eighties there is a good chance you heard this album more than once.

FDF Comments (aka the songs) "Bittersweet" fades up with a very "chiming" guitar sound. The drums line is not overly complex but they are hit with much force. The harmonies in the chorus show that this band is more than just power chords. "Poison Pen" is the longest track on the album at just over 4 minutes, this bands knows how to get in and out of the tunes. Rolling bass and floor toms open up the track. The band gets raucous at the end with cymbals crashing and harmonica all locked in a groove. "In the Wild" follows using some of the same formula of the last two tracks. The guitar work is punchy and the lyrics are sung quickly. The guitar has a cleaner ring to it while holding some "twang" as well. "Death Defying" is a standout track. A little slower than the previous track, but no less hard hitting the bass line really gives this track the solid groove it sets along. The dual guitar parts matching on the verse are a nice touch. "Like Wow -- Wipeout!" one of the first tracks I'd play for a new fan of the band. It uses the similar drum line to the surfing track "Wipeout". The chorus is a lot of fun, what do you sing the "ahhhs" or the lead vocal track? "Hayride to Hell" has a very rock-a-billy feel. The guitar lines are plucked cleanly and quickly as the drums fall into a march tempo. "Show Some Emotion" - we are hitting some real "poppy" moments by this point. A wonderfully catchy track with crisp playing (if that is even a word) and the band is really gelling at this time. "Other Side of Paradise" is a track you'd swear you heard before even upon first listen. It uses perhaps some of the cliched moments from 80's alternative rock. Sympathetic vocal tracks, one guitar chopping, one guitar swirling above and all of it being held down with a tight rhythm section. "Mars Needs Guitars" is sung by Brad Shepherd. A few weeks ago FDF looked at the Hindu Love Gods and this very track could have landed on that record. Shepherd has a very Zevonesque sounding voice. Per the norm the track is very "bottom heavy" with hard hitting drums. "She" wraps up this very "sonic" yet "poppy" album. The drums are the highlight of the track as the tom-toms get a heavy pounding as the guitars solo around it.

Where are they now? - Bramley left the band in 1987. The band broke up in 1998 but would reform occasionally for benefit concerts. Beginning in 2004 Dave, Mark and Brad played together more often. The band just wrapped up a brief US tour and and are rumored to be working on new material slated for a 2007 release.

FDF Personal Comments (aka the Live experience)
- Even though the band toured extensively somehow they ELUDED me in a live setting. My older brother caught them live on a few occasions and said he never saw a drummer hit as hard as Kingsmill.

FDF Overall Take - A terrific record both then and now. It took me ages to find this on cd (albeit a few years ago now) and its a record that got played a fair amount on cassette tape. Even at the time it might not have been looked at as a ground breaking record it is what it is, a very strong, hard hitting pop record.

Curious? Check out some MUSIC!

Inside the liner notes of the cd the band wrote - If you enjoyed this album, please help the band: get your friends to buy a copy and not tape yours. A little ahead of their time eh? With that in mind I'll just give you two tracks...just as a taste.

***********MP3s have been removed July 20, 2007 2:00PM ET********************

Death Defying

You can buy it here or here

Additional Links
MySpace Page
Official Band Site

Disclaimer - For the most part songs listed you can find on iTunes or your local cd shop. The idea is to give you a little taste of the music. Please support the artist buy purchasing some of their work. Songs are posted for about 1 week but can and will be removed at the request of the artist, band, band management etc. If you are one of those persons contact me via the email link in the profile and they will be removed as soon as we are made aware of the request.

Friday, May 04, 2007

FDF Volume 1: Issue 55: Public Image Ltd - Compact Disc

Album - Compact Disc (or Album/Cassette) depending on your format
Artist - Public Image Ltd. (P.I.L)
Key Players - John Lydon -vocals.
Produced By - Bill Laswell and John Lydon

Release Date - February 3, 1986

What caused me to blow off the dust? I read an article recently about one of their live shows in which the band taunted the audience from behind the stage for close to one hour. Lydon has always been very quirky (and some might say annoying). PiL was a band that always seemed to be moving forward. This is just one of a few records that could be reviewed but the cast of uncredited band members make this all the more "curious" for a re-listen.

Overview - This is the fourth studio album from Public Image Limited, or PiL as they are commonly known. Front man John Lydon, former lead vocalist for the Sex Pistols formed the band and began to work with some of the finest musicians of the time on PiL albums. Lydon said that when he was in the Sex Pistols there was weak playing and bad gear, something he never wanted to repeat on future records. For this album Lydon felt it was basically a solo album with a series of guest musicians. As we go track by track you'll be astounded to see who was used.

Special note: The site fodderstompf proved to be an invaluable tool for getting a lot of this information.

FDF Comments (aka the songs) - As we break down each track I will include the players on each track. Lydon was the vocalist on all the tracks so he will only be listed if he did otherwise. Bernard Fowler sang back up on every track as well.

Track by track break down:

"FFF" - opens with heavy guitars and drum and Lydon's opening line "Farewell my Fair weathered Friend". Rumors circle this track is about founding PiL member Keith Levene. The track is drum heavy through out. The are some backwards vocal workings that fade directly in to the next track.
Steve Vai - Guitar, Nicky Skopelitis - guitar,
Bernie Worrell - Organ, Bill Laswell - Bass, Tony Williams - Drums

"Rise" - if there were ever a "well known" PiL song this would be it. Opening with the bass drum/snare intro from Williams this would be the "anthem" for PiL for years to come. Immediately catching is the swooping bass line from Laswell. During live performances Lydon would encourage the audience to scream along the lyrics "Anger is an Energy!". The song follows a pretty similar pattern but builds with urgency as it progresses. This is the first track you hear the guitar work of Vai stand out. A blistering solo about half way through before a few pounding beats on the floor tom send it back to the verse.
Steve Vai - Guitar, Nicky Skopelitis - Guitar, Ryuichi Sakamoto - Fairlight CMI Synthesizer, L.Shankar - Electric Violin, Bill Laswell - Bass, Tony Williams - Drums

"Fishing" is the first of a few tracks to feature Ginger Baker. His presence is immediately felt. The guitars crunch behind the heavy drum line. During the track there is a portion where a light keyboard layers over before Vai again sets off on a terrifically played solo. Its a tad over the top, but it's almost what you need and expect from a virtuoso of the instrument. Steve Vai - Guitar, Nicky Skopelitis - Guitar, Ryuichi Sakamoto - Fairlight CMI Synthesizer, Bernie Worrell - DX 7
Bill Laswell - Bass, Malachi Favors - Acoustic Bass (check out the image on that link!), Ginger Baker - Drums

"Round" opens with chatan and drums and Lydon repeats "round" a few times over. This is the first "slower" song on the album. The drums and guitar are still prominent in the mix, and heavy but it’s a little more basic in its four four time. There is more a dueling guitar solo at the outset between Vai and Nicky Skopelitis until Vai takes over.
Steve Vai - Guitar, Nicky Skopelitis - Guitar, Bernie Worrell - Organ, L. Shankar - Electric Violin, Bill Laswell - Bass, Ginger Baker - Drums, Aiyb Dieng - Chatan

"Bags" folds back into the mode of a heavy drum intro layered with a strong bass line. Vai is the lone guitar player on the track and continues to shine. The synthesizer is more "up" in the mix and it has a lighter feel, although Lydons trademark snarl is present.
Steve Vai - Guitar, Ryuichi Sakamoto - Fairlight CMI Synthesizer, Bill Laswell - Bass
Malachi Favors - Acoustic Bass, Ginger Baker - Drums

"Home" follows with a very similar feel to the whole album. A heavy, yet basic, drum line kicks off the track. This track had the least number of performers on it for the entire record. The organ work from Worrell adds a great touch and the track doesn't stray from the formula that has worked to this point.
Steve Vai - Guitar, Nicky Skopelitis - Guitar, Bernie Worrell - Organ, Bill Laswell - Bass, Tony Williams - Drums

Closing out with the epic "EASE" it takes over a minute to "get there". The slow keyboard intro slowly grows until Baker kicks it all in to gear. The musical influences in this track are numerous. There is a dueling "sitar" solo at two points on the track and the second one leads in to the final solo laid down by Vai is the finest solo he does on the album. Clocking in at over two minutes it is slowly faded with the whole track, who knows where it might have gone. This was a no brainier to add to the downloads. If you are a guitar player (or like guitar in general) check out the final few minutes of the track. Perhaps I "lack taste" but this solo to me is A+ stuff.
Steve Vai - Guitar, Ryuichi Sakamoto - Fairlight CMI Synthesizer, Jonas Hellborg - Bass, Malachi Favors - Acoustic Bass, Steve Turre - Didgeridoo, Ginger Baker - Drums

Where are they now? - In 1993 Lydon declared the band to be on an 'indefinite hiatus'. Lydon did release a solo album in 1997 and the year prior he agrees to a re-formation and tour with the Sex Pistols. (they did it again in 2003). In 2005 the Sex Pistols were inducted in to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame but they did not attend the ceremony.

FDF Personal Comments (aka the Live experience) - In checking things PiL made my list of shows four times. The first was March 21, 1988 at the Worcester Centrum opening for INXS. On July 10, 1989 PiL was in an "opening band" slot again but this time it was sandwiched between the Sugarcubes and New Order. A few months later (October 7, 1989) the band played the Orpheum in Boston. It was a "neon stage" as props and the like were painted in bright colors and highlighted by black lights. The final time was at Avalon on September 9, 1992. What stood out the most this evening was the fact the band opened with a Lydon (and thus vocal-less) version of Led Zeppelins Kashmir. It was spot on and quite frankly John would have ruined it.

FDF Overall Take - The list of band members is astounding and nobody gets a mention anywhere in the liner notes (barring writing credits). For a music stand point alone this is a terrifically underrated album. Some of the tracks have a very basic or "generic' feel to them but overall the listen is rewarding. Lydon also said that while recording a vocal track on this very record Miles Davis came in and played horn behind him yet they never used the track from's RE-ISSUE TIME folks!

Curious? Check out some MUSIC!

**MP3's have been removed*** 6/20/07 11:15am ET****

Ease my pick..check it

You can buy your own copy here or here if you so desire.

This weeks bonus download...

Public Image Ltd.
Crawford Hall, UCLA Irvine, CA
September 26, 1992

- great quality - "liberated bootleg" under the name "Acid Drops"

This has been removed..

Disclaimer - For the most part songs listed you can find on iTunes or your local cd shop. The idea is to give you a little taste of the music. Please support the artist buy purchasing some of their work. Songs are posted for about 1 week but can and will be removed at the request of the artist, band, band management etc. If you are one of those persons contact me via the email link in the profile and they will be removed as soon as we are made aware of the request.