This is my favorite LP of 2008. And not only because Runhild Gammelsæter has a PhD in Biology as I have, and is (was?) on topics not far from mine. And not only because she is one of the more charismatic and impressive female doomster, a sort of viking woman that came from her cold land (she's from Norway) to become the leading voice of Thorr's Hammer with Greg Anderson and Stephen O'Malley 13 years ago. No, but because her first (and last since there has been none since this one) solo album is one of the most powerful, strange, complex, biological and visceral musical piece never released in musical history. Honestly, this is not an LP to be listened to anytime anyplace, but this is an aural experience that will deeply move you if you are ready for extreme sensation and open to any unknown exploration of the dark nucleus of our most private fears. Yes, this is the album that seems to follow "Gog & Magog" from Peter Hammill's In Camera in 1974. Nothing here of the sometimes ridiculous doom folklore that I indulge to find interesting even if I am aware that it's quite naive and rudimentary. Runhild introduces us in the mud of the life cycle as painted it one century ago Gustave Moreau. Impossible to describe this music (especially when you're not a fluent English writer like me). All I can say is that I promise that you will find in this album things you are not used to find elsewhere. "Do you believe me?" would say Alex Harvey. Try it here.
Here's below a picture on stage I found on the net but I don't know if it was for a solo or a Khlyst concert, the group she forms with James Plotkin and Tim Wyskida.
When the time will come to vote for the best songs of the year, I hope nobody will forget this one by Morrissey, one of the most wonderfull he wrote since the Smiths disbanded. The metaphor is gorgeous and inspired. Similar to the old Smiths period, this is moving without being "niais" (sorry I did not find an English term for this word). I've not followed with much curiosity the career of Morrissey after Johnny Marr and him separated their ways, because it was hard to listen to his new material after such an achievement, but I was wrong and he composed some great tunes with superb lyrics even after. Only the stylish options often bothered me. But with Years of Refusal this year, something made it again for me. And the B-sides album Swords issued this month confirms that I'm still higly receptive to the songs and the voice of this man. This single, released at the beginning of the year, did not find the way to the top of the charts I thought it will find. It does not matter but it shows how the public taste got some dysgueusia these days. I must admit that the present 7" does not exist actually since it is the 2 CD version that contained both B-side tracks I post here, the single having a live version of the great Smiths "Death of the Disco Dancer". The lyrics of the B-side songs were found on the excellent passionsjustlikemine site here. The 3-song single is here.
I’m Throwing My Arms Around Paris. In the absence of your love And in the absence of human touch I have decided I’m throwing my arms around Around Paris because only stone and steel accept my love In the absence of your smiling face I traveled all over the place and I have decided I’m throwing my arms around Around Paris because only stone and steel accept my love I’m throwing my arms around Around Paris because only stone and steel accept my love I’m throwing my arms around Paris because Nobody wants my love Nobody wants my love Nobody needs my love Nobody wants my love Yes you made yourself plain Yes you made yourself very plain
Because Of My Poor Education. Because of my poor education I don't expect your invitation A ship lost inches away from the bay Because of my poor education I can't endure my situation This here is my bed and I must lie Because of this strange indentation I live my life without affection Kind-hearted, view me and say "Thank God that's not me" Once I was sure I had found my hero And I allowed myself to think so Reality is not real to me
Shame Is The Name. Shame is the name Shame is the name Shame is the name Shame is the name Hey boy - are you happy to be A dim-ass teen on the spree? You get drunk all day And you're sick all night Is this the sum of your life? What's your name, what's your name? What's your dreams, your goals Your ambitions and aims? He laughed and said Shame is the name He said Shame is the name Shame is the name He said Shame is the name Politician - can you listen To yourself for just once in your life? Because there's something you said To mean soldiers are dead Because the money you save Seniors are in their grave Shame is the name Shame is the name Shame is the name Shame is the name Shame makes the world go around Shame makes the world go around Shame makes the world go around Shame makes the world go around
Some female voices seem to talk to deep and untouched parts of our soul. These voices are not the sames for each of us. For me, only Billie Holiday, Melanie Safka and Mandy Morton have such a voice. But now, there is Lal Waterson. I wonder how I can have ignored her so long. It is true than when the 2 albums she released in the nineties were issued, I was not very curious of what happened in the folk area but I would have been touched by her grace even there. Then she died. Very soon after the second one. In 1998. God, what a waste. Thanks to the Unthanks for their cover of "At First She Starts" on their last LP (here). This made me listen to the original one, and my heart broke. Lal Waterson had a voice that shared some common points with the Melanie's one. But there is more despair and bitterness in it. Yes, she could be considered on a mid-point between Melanie and Billie Holiday. This fake single is only to provide an opportunity for the visitor of this blog to taste this voice and knows if his or her soul is touched as is mine. And you know I like to create virtual sleeves for fake records. So it allows me to satisfy my vice. But if you love it, you can find the album on several blogs such as the excellent "misha4music" here. And afterwards, do as I did: buy the album, I'm sure the money will be important for those who try to make her music lives since she died. One more thing. Lal Waterson composed her songs and here it must be said that she is a really great composer, with the same way to treat a melody than Robert Wyatt or Paddy McAlloon to my ears. Last, as Melanie, the wonderfully delicate guitar work behind her is from her own son, Oliver Knight. The mother & son love can provide really gorgeous records. (such was Crazy Love in 2002 for Melanie). The 2 songs I extracted from the LP to create this single are simply marvellous. I can't say there have been many as these in the past. Enjoy your soul here.
At First She Starts. First she starts and then she's startled.I see that light in her eyes. Didn't you realise you were a bird,At dawn when you woke with air in your throat. So far doe-ray-me. Sing to me loudly,Serenade me, Mess with the melody. Light and shade. All my eyes can see. Oh but you are the phrase at the end of the bar, a long and high refrain. Hanging around for the choir to strike sound, So's you can holler your joy and your pain
Flight Of The Pelican. We who dreamed young and were silent this autumn.In the last throws of an upstart old crow. Saw the flight of the pelican. Speak to me words don't give no fancy meanings, I never knew, I never knew, I never knew I was needing
We who dreamed young and were silent this autumn. I need the love peace brings. I need to feel easy in my need. I need to feel naturally greedy. I need the space for my feet. I need to feel safe while I sleep. I need the love peace brings and then I've no need. We who dreamed young and were silent this autumn. Your children's children's rights have gone.
Now an hommage to a man who sang "People Who Died" and who died last september. I wanted to make something here the day after he died, but many blogs did it so I found it unnecessary. But since I imagined that he would become the Steve Harley of the eighties when this single appeared, it seems to me not possible to omit this single after the Singles As & Bs from Steve Harley I posted 2 days ago. Jim Carroll was a poet. I can't judge if I like or not his poetry since poetry is not easy to appreciate in an other language than our native one. At least I know his lyrics talked to me more, much more than a whole Springsteen lyric book. And this song was a revelation for me. I hoped the album would be a gem but it was only a good one, not exceptional. No more to add. Jim Carroll had physically changed a lot in the last decade. Over was the time he was an adonis, a young and attractive rocker and charismatic writer. He looked more like a human spectre. Each of us must face physical entropy and to deal with it. We can try to attenuate some marks but some don't care and live what they have to live, whatever the consequences on their image. And then death comes. For each of us. Now Jim could enter in his song and become one of this doomed destiny he sang about. So long. Cry it here
People who died.
Teddy sniffing glue, he was 12 years old. Fell from the roof on East Two-nine. Cathy was 11 when she pulled the plug. On 26 reds and a bottle of wine. Bobby got leukemia, 14 years old. He looked like 65 when he died. He was a friend of mine. Those are people who died, died. They were all my friends, and they died
G-berg and Georgie let their gimmicks go rotten. So they died of hepatitis in upper Manhattan. Sly in Vietnam took a bullet in the head. Bobby OD'd on Drano on the night that he was wed. They were two more friends of mine. Two more friends that died. Those are people who died, died. They were all my friends, and they died
Mary took a dry dive from a hotel room. Bobby hung himself from a cell in the tombs. Judy jumped in front of a subway train. Eddie got slit in the jugular vein. And Eddie, I miss you more than all the others. And I salute you brother. Those are people who died, died. They were all my friends, and they died
Herbie pushed Tony from the Boys' Club roof. Tony thought that his rage was just some goof. But Herbie sure gave Tony some bitchen proof. "Hey," Herbie said, "Tony, can you fly?". But Tony couldn't fly, Tony died. Those are people who died, died. They were all my friends, and they died
Brian got busted on a narco rap. He beat the rap by rattin' on some bikers. He said, "Hey, I know it's dangerous, but it sure beats Riker's". But the next day he got offed by the very same bikers. Those are people who died, died. They were all my friends, and they died
This is a strange picture of Jim carroll I found on the blog of an American journalist (and a Jim Carroll fan) I forgot the link to. It has a ghost quality that perfectly fits the funeral atmosphere of this post.