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12 janvier 2007

Joseph Arthur : Nuclear Daydream

After being in the music scene for a decade with the help of Peter Gabriel and his label, Real World Records, Joseph Arthur has produced a disc of complex pop. It's the first album on his own label [Lonely Astronaut Records]. Arthur plays most of the instruments, pressing his seal into his signature sound. Equal parts modern electronic and bare acoustic, Nuclear Daydream

spans the pop and folk genres.

Arthur fuses gritty, acoustic guitar with synth and looping techniques to create multilayered compositions. One mood drifts into another with a dark edge. His use of theremin in "Electrical Storm" brings a sense of magic and infinity to the fold. Beginning with soft guitar and vocals, the song subtly fleshes out into an otherworldly, existentialist lullaby. Standout track "You Are Free" exhibits how the exceptional can be found in simple things, where Arthur's basic harmonies and lyrics haunt your ears well after the song ends.

While he channels other artists like Beck [on "Too Much to Hide"], U2, and the rhythmic swagger of Blur's "Coffee and TV" [on "Enough to Get Away"], Arthur also offers an original voice. On Daydream Arthur opts for diversity in his songwriting formula. He's not afraid to explore finer, soft sounds as well as heavy, thick tones. He embraces his falsetto just as openly as his natural baritone, and he keeps the instrumentation to a minimum. He does not feel a need to overfill everything, adding just the right amount of harmonica accents and simple drumbeats. What stands out is Arthur's versatile songwriting ability that ranges from the effervescent, Christian rock of "Don't Tell Your Eyes" to co-dependent love ballad "Woman."

11 janvier 2007

Come My Love, Listen To This...

Never mind that recent run-in with the vocoder on Love Cannot Bear. If you want to hear some real expression and soul coming from the direction of Robert’s vocal chords then cop your lugs around this one courtesy of Biff Uranus Blumfumgagne. Ah, Robert Fripp – the Benny Hill years. And of course it’s not Ernie wailing in the background but Peter Gabriel circa PG1 / 2 as far as I can tell. I asked the old goat about this one and the best I could get from him was “sounds like a man from Dorset reading words to a solemn song!” It’s a pity we hadn’t got our mits on this one last year as this would have been in my top ten records of 2006.

(merci à Alain11)

10 janvier 2007

Le Spectrum de Montreal, une salle mythique

Le Spectrum souffle 25 chandelles cette année. Si la salle continue d'exister, comme le souhaite Spectra, il reste que l'esprit et la chaleur du 318, Sainte-Catherine, son bar et ses murs étoilés, ce lieu ni trop grand ni trop petit, pourront difficilement être reproduits ailleurs.

Au coeur des spectacles intérieurs du Festival international de jazz et des FrancoFolies de Montréal, la salle de 900 places, ou 1200 avec des spectateurs debout, a vécu toute l'évolution de la scène musicale contemporaine, du rock aux musiques du monde, en passant par le jazz, bien sûr, la chanson et de nombreux autres événements reliés à la musique et à l'humour.

Existant auparavant sous le nom Club Montréal, la salle avait accueilli au début des années 80 un quatuor de débutants répondant au nom de U2 Acquise par Spectra en 1982, la salle a connu des heures de gloire. Dès 1983, même s'il remplissait déjà des stades,The Police est allé y enregistrer pour la télévision.

Le grand Peter Gabriel a choisi le Spectrum dans les années 90 pour répéter son spectacle Secret World devant nul autre que le metteur en scène Robert Lepage...

McKennitt’s worldly tapestry

Imagine the music that might emanate from an Arabian harem tent. Seductive, silky and hypnotic. Now imagine that tent is somewhere in the north moors of Glasgow, Scotland. Now imagine Peter Gabriel is the DJ for this otherworldly affair. At this point, you’d have a pretty good taste of Loreena McKennitt’s beautiful new CD titled “An Ancient Muse.”

McKennitt is a champion for the world music set in the much the same way as Enigma or Enya, but what separates her from the pack is the unique instrumentation that’s employed on every track. There’s no synth patches or keyboard trickery with McKennitt’s music. Everything is played on an eclectic assembly of instruments that’s as diverse as the worlds they come from. Tabla, bouzouki, nyckelharpa, and hurdy gurdy all make appearances somewhere in the mix. Even if the names are unfamiliar, the soundscape is still thoroughly enjoyable.

The CD begins in the normal fashion for McKennitt, with a wordless voice that stretches out across the audio spectrum. Through the album’s centerpiece, “Beneath a Phrygian Sky,” the Canadian songstress delivers the swirling stories that sound as if they were thousands of years old. And they probably are.

Loreena McKennitt’s greatest achievement remains 1997’s hugely successful “Book of Secrets” with its inescapable “Mummer’s Dance,” and nothing here rises quite to that level. But “An Ancient Muse” takes a similar journey with the choral effects of “The English Lady and the Knight” and Celtic ballads like “Penelope’s Song.”

Listening to this CD is like circling the globe without leaving your front door. From the cultures of the Himalayas to the romantic mysticism of old England, there’s no new roads to be traveled for Loreena McKennitt on “An Ancient Muse.” But the world is a big place and there’s no shortage of influences for this unique talent.

Randy Crawford and Joe Sample interpretation of Peter Gabriel's "Lovetown"

Randy Crawford and Joe Sample Are Feeling Good About New CD

February Release on PRA Records Marks Reunion of Vocalist and Pianist More Than 30 Years After 'Street Life' CD Launched Worldwide 'Literally' with December NASA Mission

On Tuesday, February 20, 2007 PRA Records will release Feeling Good, a new album from Randy Crawford and Joe Sample. This Tommy LiPuma-produced CD marks a return collaboration between vocalist Crawford and pianist Sample who first worked together more than 30 years ago...

...The lasting mastery of Sample's piano playing skill is evident through each of the album's 13 songs. From their interpretation of Peter Gabriel's "Lovetown" to the Latin-flavored "Rio De Janeiro Blue," to a modernly funky but also softened reading of "See Line Woman," Sample's work on the keys surrounds, highlights, and compliments Crawford's voice exquisitely. Some of the other covers chosen for this album include a seductive take on Billie Holiday's "Tell Me More and More and Then Some," a breezy run through "Everybody's Talking," the tune made famous by Harry Nilsson and the film Midnight Cowboy, and a heartfelt version of "When I Need You," written by Albert Hammond and Carol Bayer Sager. A special sentimental choice is "Last Night at Danceland," a song written by Sample and originally recorded by Crawford in 1980...

Autographed Fairlight Goes For $100,000

CMI signed by 44 well-known artists raises money for WITNESS

We brought you news of the forthcoming auction in December and now we can tell you the vintage Fairlight CMI keyboard, signed by 44 artists, received a winning bid of $100,000 US at the WITNESS Focus For Change Benefit Dinner and Concert in New York City on December 11, 2006. Proceeds from the winning bid will be dedicated to WITNESS, an independent non-profit organization dedicated to empowering individuals to use video technology to expose human rights violations around the world.

The WITNESS Focus For Change Benefit Dinner and Concert was held at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City and was co-hosted by WITNESS founder Peter Gabriel and actor Gael Garcia Bernal. The event featured performances by Paul Simon, Angelique Kidjo, and Kate Pierson and Fred Schneider of the B-52’s.

The Fairlight CMI Keyboard was autographed by 44 artists who brought the instrument to prominence in the 1980s, including David Bowie, Bono, Stevie Wonder, Herbie Hancock, Elvis Costello, Annie Lennox, Steve Winwood, Mark Knopfler and Sir George Martin. The Fairlight CMI was the world’s first digital sampler and featured other radical advances for the time, including a light pen interface and menu-driven GUI. It was used in numerous hits from the 1980s, including “Sledgehammer” by Peter Gabriel, “Thriller” by Michael Jackson, and “Rocket” by Herbie Hancock.

John Lancken, CEO of Fairlight had this to say, “The generosity of 44 Fairlight users to sign the CMI keyboard speaks to the importance of bringing human rights violations to the surface. It is an honor to have played an integral role in raising money for the WITNESS cause and Fairlight is proud that the CMI keyboard not only symbolizes a pivotal era in the history of rock and roll, but has now taken on an even greater significance.”

Gillian Caldwell, Director of WITNESS added, “As an organization focused on the use of technology to bring about worldwide change, WITNESS applauds the remarkable steps Fairlight has taken to support our cause through its own technological innovations. The impact of the Fairlight CMI on the music industry, and the recognition of that impact by the world’s most influential musicians, has translated into a major donation towards the fight to end human rights abuses.”

WITNESS uses the power of video to open the eyes of the world to human rights abuses. By partnering with local organizations around the globe, WITNESS empowers human rights defenders to use video as a tool to shine a light on those most affected by human rights violations, and to transform personal stories of abuse into powerful tools of justice.

Since its founding in 1992, WITNESS has partnered with groups in more than 60 countries, bringing often unseen images, untold stories and seldom heard voices to the attention of key decision makers, the media, and the general public -- prompting grassroots activism, political engagement, and lasting change.

About Fairlight:
Headquartered in Sydney, Australia Fairlight designs and manufactures media creation tools including digital audio recording, editing and mixing systems for standard and high definition audio post, broadcast and music production applications.

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07 janvier 2007

Graham Nash : Helpfully hoping still

Graham Nash is as passionate about political and social activism as he was when he met his musical soulmates, David Crosby and Stephen Stills, in 1968...

Graham Nash : "There are a lot of people doing good work - Peter Gabriel giving people cameras to document human rights abuses."

more here : [plus ici ] :,,21015816-5006024,00.html