Euphonious Fridays – Lippy Kids


Source: SoundOnSound.com

When I picked up Massive Attack‘s most recent release Heligoland last year, one of the first songs that I immediately fell in love with was “Flat of the Blade”.  It features singer Guy Garvey.  I immediately fell in love with not only his voice, but the way he vocalizes the lyrics.  He’s an incredibly emotional singer.

Fast forward a little bit, and I finally decide to check out Garvey’s band – Elbow out of the UK.  The band’s been together for about two decades.  And I’m finally really just discovering them now.  I’d like to hang my head in shame for that one.
The band’s fifth studio album – Build a Rocket Boys! – was released in March of this year.  The name comes from a lyric in the song I’m featuring, ‘Lippy Kids’ – also the name of the working title for this album.  The song is so…pretty.  It’s subtle and unassuming and stunning and inspiring – all at the same time.  The song was apparently written in defense of the British kids who one might see hanging out on street corners, and one might consider a criminal simply because they did so.  In other words, street toughs.  All in all, it’s a lovely song and I highly recommend that you check out this band if you haven’t.  There is so much good music coming out of the UK these days that it hurts my head to think about it!
So thanks Elbow…now I’ve got to go and buy your back catalogue.  I’m going to be broke after my summer vacation with all the music I’m going to need to buy.
Enjoy!

lippy kids on the corner again
lippy kids on the corner begin
settling like crows
though i never perfected that simian stroll
the cigarette senate was everything then

do they know those days are golden?
build a rocket boys!
build a rocket boys!

one long june
i came down from the trees
and kerbstone cool
you were a freshly painted angel
walking on walls
stealing booze and hour long hungry kisses
and nobody knew me at home anymore

build a rocket boys!
build a rocket boys!

Here’s ‘Lippy Kids’ live at Blueprint Studios.  Gorgeous!

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Euphonious Fridays (Saturday Edition) – Childhood Song


Photo by Jakob Dall (Source: myspace.com/angumotzfeldt)

Yes…yet another Euphonious Friday has been pushed off to Saturday…ALMOST Sunday at this point.  It’s been a busy weekend and I’ve been enjoying far too much maple whiskey.  But I digress…

You might have noticed from my gushing about the artist I’ll be profiling from the Nunavut blog that I’ve kind of fallen in love with his music.  We were fortunate enough to get to see Nuuk, Greenland’s Angu Motzfeldt perform at the Alianait Arts Festival in Iqaluit this year, and there was no way that I was going to let him get away without picking up at least one of his CDs.

We got to see him perform live…and it was just him and his guitar up onstage.  His voice is reminiscent of Chris Martin from Coldplay, but I find him so much more engaging than that.  So many of his songs seem to be about his relationships with people or perhaps a specific person…I’m not certain.  But the lyrics are simple and honest and very pretty.

‘Childhood Song’ comes from Angu’s second full length CD Burning Blue Skies.  When he sang it live, he talked about it being something he remembered hearing when he was younger.  His voice just sings to me…which is appropriate I suppose.  But he seems like a very genuine artist, and that is something that really makes an artist more endearing.  Very humble…very happy to be sharing his music.  All around, he’s just a lovely musician and he is a very talented photographer as well.  If you like what you see/hear, I urge you to go check out his work.

Enjoy… 

I heard your voice the other day
I can’t get you out of my head
It’s the soundtrack to our souls
It’s the music to our story, untold

I couldn’t help smiling
And I’m singing out loud to hold on to you
My eyes couldn’t help watering as you hit my soul
But then you went away the next day
Childhood song where are you

Passing time in wonderland
We were just looking at each other, listening to each other
And whenever I fall you aways reach out your hand
You’re the only one who understands

It’s raining outside, but not on you
It’s cold outside, but not around you
It’s dark outside, but the light surrounds you
The sun has gone down, but it’s still shining on you

Unfortunately, a video does not exist for ‘Childhood Song’, but it is online to listen to.  Check it out…  You can also hear some of his other stuff there.
 
Here is the video for one of Angu’s other songs, ‘Red Lights’.
 

Euphonious Fridays – New Orleans Is Sinking


Source: ChrisD.ca

It’s Canada Day!  That really leaves no choice in the matter regarding who to feature for this week’s Euphonious Friday (especially since I missed last week – boo me!).  There can be only one band…the quintessentially Kingston, Ontario-based Canadian rockers, The Tragically Hip.  Despite the fact that the band is wildly popular within Canada, many around the world may not have heard of them, or know much about them.

Unfortunately, since I’m between volunteering at the Alianait Festival here in Iqaluit, and attending the second of four shows for the festival tonight, I won’t have much time to give you a refresher course on the band’s long history.  They’ve been around since 1983!  Just know that when it comes to summertime on the patio…you’ll probably hear Kim Mitchell’s “Patio Lanterns” and then you’ll hear the Hip.  They are mainstays at summer festivals and so many of their songs feature our home and native land in the lyrics.

It’s hard to pin down one of my favourite songs by the band, but I am definitely a fan of their earlier work.  Somewhere around high school, I sort of lost interest…after the album Fully Completely which I love.  The song I’m featuring today is off of Up To Here which was released in 1989.  ‘New Orleans Is Sinking’ is arguably one of the band’s most recognizable and “signature” songs.

Enjoy!

Bourbon blues on the street, loose and complete
Under skies all smokey blue-green
I can’t forsake a dixie dead-shake
So we danced the sidewalk clean
My memory is muddy, what’s this river that I’m in?
New Orleans is sinking man and I don’t wanna swim

Colonel Tom, What’s wrong? What’s going on?
You can’t tie yourself up for a deal
He said, “Hey north you’re south shut your big mouth,
You gotta do what you feel is real”
Ain’t got no picture postcards, ain’t got no souvenirs
My baby, she don’t know me when I’m thinking bout those years

Pale as a light bulb hanging on a wire
Sucking up to someone just to stoke the fire
Picking out the highlights of the scenery
Saw a little cloud that looked a little like me

I had my hands in the river
My feet back up on the banks
Looked up to the lord above
And said, “Hey man thanks”
Sometimes I feel so good, I gotta scream
She said “Gordie baby I know exactly what you mean”
She said, she said, I swear to god she said…

My memory is muddy what’s this river that I’m in?
New Orleans is sinking man and I don’t wanna swim

This is the official video for the song.  I highly recommend seeking out the song as it’s performed live on YouTube somewhere.  Gord Downie has been known to go off on a bit of a tangent in the bridge before the “I had my hands in the river” line.  My favourite version (and that of many) is known as the “killerwhaletank”.  Try to find it…

Euphonious Fridays – Last Goodbye


Source: Undertheradarmag.com

How do you narrow down a song to feature by one of your favourite artists?

You don’t!  You postpone the decision and choose another of your favourite songs.  And that in no way means that the artist I’m about to feature is not worthy of being mentioned.  On the contrary – this artist is arguably one of the most talented musicians of the 90s.  Jeff Buckley was a singer, songwriter and guitarist – and one that was taken from us far too early.  Moving to New York City in the early 90s, Buckley became a regular performer in the city’s East Village, covering artists from Led Zeppelin, Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Siouxsie Sioux and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan.  He also performed his own songs, and the combination attracted him a lot of attention.  In October of 1992, he signed a three-album deal with Columbia Records.

In 1994, Buckley recorded his first full length album, Grace.  It has been hailed as one of the top ten albums to be released in that year by several international music publications, and has received much critical and popular acclaim.  Musicians such as David Bowie, Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, and Bob Dylan have all listed Grace or Buckley as favourites.  The album includes a beautiful cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah”, the title track, “Lover, You Should Have Come Over” and the song I’m featuring in this post, “Last Goodbye”.

“Last Goodbye” is one of Buckley’s most commercially successful songs.  Originally entitled “Unforgiven”, it tells the story of a relationship ended.  I can tell you from personal experience that it’s a good “crying out loud” song for those bad days we all have in our relationships.  Or just for singing at the top of your lungs in the car on the way home from work.  Just beautiful.

Jeff passed away on May 29, 1997 at the age of 30.  He entered the Mississippi River at Wolf River Harbor as one of his roadies remained on shore.  The man moved several pieces of equipment from the shore to prevent them from being damaged by the wake of a passing boat, and when he turned around Jeff had disappeared in the water.  On June 4, Jeff’s body was recovered from the river.  The music world lost a great contributor that day…

This is our last goodbye
I hate to feel the love between us die
But it’s over
Just hear this and then I’ll go
You gave me more to live for
More than you’ll ever know

This is our last embrace
Must I dream and always see your face
Why can’t we overcome this wall?
Baby, maybe it’s just because I didn’t know you at all

Kiss me, please kiss me
Kiss me out of desire, baby, not consolation
Oh, you know it makes me so angry
Cuz I know that in time
I’ll only make you cry
This is our last goodbye

Did you say, “No, this can’t happen to me”?
Did you rush to the phone to call?
Was there a voice unkind
In the back of your mind
Saying maybe
You didn’t know him at all
You didn’t know him at all
Oh, you didn’t know
Didn’t know

The bells out in the church tower chime
Burning clues into this heart of mine
Thinking so hard
On her soft eyes
And the memories offer signs
That it’s over
It’s over

This is quite a lovely video actually.  The imagery is abstract for the subject matter – flowers, sparkles, images of people kissing – all interwoven with the band playing.

Euphonious Fridays – All The Things I Wasn’t


Source: Last.fm

The 80s were renowned for music’s transition from the disco era.  There were lots of synths…lots of fluorescents…and lots of big hair.  In the early part of the decade, a little known band was formed that bucked the trends of the day, and put out some good Canadian folk rock.  Emerging from Kelowna, British Columbia, two brothers and their friend choose the name of a very well-known book and movie that none of them had read or seen:  The Grapes of Wrath.  They signed with Nettwerk Records, arguably one of Canada’s most successful indie labels, released a series of albums throughout the 80s until 1989 when their most successful Now and Again was recorded.  They toured in support of the album with an opening act that you may have heard of:  a little known singer-songwriter named Sarah McLachlan.

On that album was one of the band’s most popular singles, “All The Things I Wasn’t”.  It is a song that has stuck in my mind since I first heard it, but I recently rediscovered it, and have fallen in love with it all over again.  Its simple acoustic melodies and emotional lyrics suggest the story of an unsuccessful relationship between a parent and a child; a mentor and a protégé.  It’s quite lovely.  The piano interlude always gives me shivers…

Due to litigations over the name of the band, they re-formed with minor lineup changes in the 90s as Ginger, again signing with Nettwerk.  After an EP, two albums and several years together, they disbanded in 1997, partially reuniting as The Grapes of Wrath in 2000 to release another album, before calling it quits for good in 2001.

However, music is often a stronger force than those with a gift for it can admit, and they reunited once again in 2009/10 to do perhaps a final round of touring.  It would seem that only time will tell if the band is truly finished gracing us with their presence.

Enjoy!

Hours of hiding, spent apart
The wall was all we’d share
About the closest you could get
About all I would bear

Don’t tell me all the things I wasn’t
Could have made this big a difference
To all the things you are

Years of listening, taking in
To one day take away
From all the guilt and pity I could
Barely keep at bay

Don’t tell me all the things I wasn’t
Could have made this big a difference
To all the things you are

The time apart, I’ve realized
The name’s the most we’ve shared
Unlike you there’s no way I could
Spend forever there

Don’t tell me all the things I wasn’t
Could have made this big a difference
To all the things you are

And a successful find of the video!  Hooray!