Personal blog and comfy corner of Lyra Rhodes: musician, cake aficionado, whinger...maybe just a place where I can stuff things (words!), rather than them falling down the back of the sofa

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Lloyd on Swedish Telly

Lloyd Cole - Period Piece... of course, the original video is better, this isn't his best performance, but it's the first time I've seen him on telly for many a year
The original video is always here http://youtu.be/YCBJ8BVy49w

So here he is last month on Swedish Telly

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

A Bit Of Love For Neil Finn

I was in a bad way in 1993. Not all that long out of University, I thought I could handle a job with a top company (Oracle). Many things happened. Some of them worked out. A lot of them didn't. A lot of them are a long story.
But I knew a couple of folks a bit, and they invited me to Crowded House playing in Manc, I think it was. I invited them to see Tori Amos (!) We both agreed, after her gig, that the latter was a terrible gig, so full of herself! (but these days, I quite like some of her stuff, back then she was just aping Kate).
But in my arrogance, I turned down the Crowded House gig.
They never went with me to a gig again.
So so stupid.
A few years after they'd (Crowded House that is) split up, I found my love for them.
"It's Only Natural", as Neil would say (no lols there).

This is his best album (although "The Finn Brothers" is pretty close)
Any album that uses an E-Bow is cool? Like REM! Look it up :-) :-)
This album had a US release, that was produced slightly differently, and had a different running order, and replaced a couple of duff tracks.
It really benefitted from that...I'm still a big believer in ALBUMS... and the order and feel of the tracks, it as a piece of production in its entirety, you know?
Bob Clearmountain also had a hand in some of the USA version (called "One All" as opposed to "One Nil" for the UK/Europe) that was released 14 months later!  Also in the credits is Mitchell Froom (married to Suzanne Vega a way back, and you'll see him on her albums),  and Sheryl Crow.  All good stuff, agree?
These guys credits...just speak for themselves.
But, then again, I'm one of those people that read the liner notes...
Do you?

So let's have some Neil Finn love.

Here's my playlist (why not?) :
She Will Have Her Way
Rest Of The Day Off
Say That Again
Driving Me Mad
Even A Child
Better Be Home Soon
Don't Dream It's Over
It's Only Natural
Four Seasons In One Day
Last To Know
Recurring Dream
You Can Touch
Disembodied Voices
Won't Give In
A Life Between Us

And I wish I'd gone to that gig.
Never did see them, or him live.
The Apollo in Manchester, I think.
I might be wrong.

So let's not forget that Neil is a master songwriter.
Never more so than in this company of Graham Gouldon (10cc) and Roddy Frame (Aztec Camera) on the BBC Songwriter's Circle programme I watched a few years ago.
Watch him tell the story of how he wrote "Better Be Home Soon" within 5 minutes of getting out of bed.

Saturday, 6 July 2013

Over The Bridge!

Ok, I'm gonna talk about songwriting a bit. Feel free to switch off! ;-)
I reckon that songs need a "Bridge".
"What is it?", I hear you ask? Or maybe not. We're in a virtual world, after all...
Well, if you read Wikipedia, it goes on about offering a "contrasting section" to the verse/chorus of the song. I tend to disagree, or add that I feel it offers an alternative viewpoint in terms of the lyrics... and quite often from a distance or a distance in time, a reflection...
The link below (NME website), gives quite a few examples of songs, and how important the Bridge (or "Middle 8" - used more in the UK I'd say) is to the song. I totally agree with their example of The Beatles "We Can Work It Out" and Lennon's "Life is very short.." Bridge/Middle8 line in response to Macca.
You know it?
Take a look.

Or for a more amateur example, take a listen to my "Are Ya Happy Now" (blog music section), where I whinge about "There could be hope in many places" as a response to the depression described in the verse/chorus lyrics. The only problem with it? Well, most songs with a regular structure involving a Bridge would have Verse-Chorus-Verse-Chorus-Bridge-Chorus-Chorus. But when I recorded that, it ran to more than 4 1/2 minutes! And I felt it was too boring, so cut out a verse in the editing, throwing in the Bridge after the first Verse/Chorus. The result is a satisfying 3 minute song, but it actually feels unbalanced, because I wanted to have a quite Verse1/Chorus and then a build up in Verse2, without the Bridge inbetween!

Having said ALL OF THIS, there are loads of songs that don't have a Bridge, and way many that don't actually have a Chorus either.
Quite often, a song sounds like it has a great deal of different elements, but these can be a "PreChorus" - simply something that hints that a chorus is coming, and builds musically to it, or even a song with only Verses.
The principle and important element (at least if we're gonna listen to it lol) is a "Hook" (ideally several of these), and a great Payoff of course is to hear the title somewhere in the song... rules are meant to be broken... in fact, there ARE no rules, rather, these are ideas, techniques, theories that we've all documented based on songs folks have written!

Here's also an interesting blog on song chord progressions, for the Bridge.

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

More than 6 inches please

Everything is getting bigger. People. Food portions. Cars. Phones.
Waiting in the dentist surgery the other day, she saw me reading a book on my Galaxy Note... "is that an eReader?", she said. I replied that it was a phone...
(I didn't use the word "Phablet" to her... I was too worried about the upcoming dental work...)

A couple of years ago, folks LAUGHED at such things... more than 5 inches was just... painful!!
But now... Everyone can't get enough. Neither can I. The Samsung Galaxy Mega? 6.3 inches please!
Or I might just wait for the Galaxy Note 3...
BUT NOT IF IT'S LESS THAN 6 INCHES! It just makes YouTube, books, web browsing, Facebook... everything better. I make most calls in the car, using a headset, I only occasionally look stupid putting it to my head.
I think that there's a reason that these are increasingly marketed towards women.
...because we carry a handbag/purse...so pockets aren't an issue...

And I can take the size...