– muses

Damn muses. No wonder Tanya Donnelly and Kirstin Hersh had so much trouble with them. So saying, helped them produce some amazing stuff, together and especially solo. Belly, were amazing.  Actually, I know their stuff solo far better than I do together. Tanya Donnelly is the one who doesn’t get a look into as often as she should. I think she’s the one who is bipolar, too, though it might be her step-sister, Kristin Hersh, and so it is. Donnelly’s album titles are great too, very evocative. Or maybe it is just the songs that can be found upon them. I see she released an album in 2004 and 2006 – CD-less years for me again. I’ll have to hunt them down.

Below is the only video I can get off Beauty Sleep. My favourite was and is The storm – the phrasing, lyrics and voice are great. This song, Keeping You, is good, too, but I wish there were a few more videos up from the album.

Ooh, I just found ‘The Storm’, but it’s an amateur vid, live, so not great sound and all. But thanks to Cathoderoy for posting it, and many others.

Can it be
Can it be the storm has passed
I’m not finished yet, I’m under construction
You can peek behind the curtain if you want
(2.26 mark)

Belly, too

Take your hat off, boy, when you’re talking to me… A friend sent me a copy when I was first in Japan in the early 90s. I listened to it over and over. You can actually download (for free) the tracks from Tanya Donnelly’s website. Bless.

As for the Breeders, apparently Donnelly was with them pre-Cannonball. loved Cannonball, but grew tired with the rest of the album, and they seemed more of a Kim Deal (Pixies) Kelly Deal gig. Though I know I don’t have the background knowledge that a lot of you will have out there.

…and Kristin Hersh and Michael Stipe with Your Ghost. I know there have been many other gorgeous songs, but this still lifts me/ gives me shivers when I hear it. The official version has been silenced on Youtube. I’ll leave you to hunt it down. Well worth it, especially the juxtaposition of the two voices.

I only ever had Tanya Donnelly’s second album, BeautySleep, and I gave it away in the great CD sweep of 2003/4. You can hear a tiny bit of the album version of Storm here as well as a good review. I gave it to a singer, so I guess that was something. Bought a copy for another singer for her 21st.

At a garage sale I had I sold a lot of CDs. A guy who worked for the Mundaring Weir Hotel, and who was one of those dreaded ‘eastern staters’ from Melbourne, took all of the Ben Harper, or a fair few of them. I love his first three CDs, kind of liked the fourth, haven’t really seriously bought any since, though I dip into them every now and then.

Here’s Ben being all gentle on Please me like you want to. Jack Johnson is accompanying him, but I don’t think that Harper needs him, but it’s still pleasant. A friend criticised it for sounding like Sweet Home Alabama, and he’s right, but I like that song, too.

I had a live in Japan CD which had his brilliant (to my mind) version of Voodoo Child. Though a friend of mine was never convinced. Harper can definitely work his way around a dobro and guitar, though. The CD opens with Voodoo Child, I think, and it is not exactly peaceful listening for the tranquil Mundaring Weir Hotel. In fact. It’s kind of reminiscent of the Paul Weller track at the end of this post, followed by FreakPower, who used to be Norman Cook’s band before Fat Boy Slim. Their two albums are really worth checking out.

The CDs were all $5 or thereabouts. With a winning smile he said, Why not throw this one in for free? Why not indeed. Because, perhaps, I liked it. But I’ve always been easily persuaded. I should have kept it. Anyhow.

On the CD was also  the amazing bass-player Juan Nelson, who not only being fat, is phat with old school (that’s how Ben Harper usually acknowledges him, with the old school comment) know-how and cred. I’ve seen the two of them perform a few times, and it seems the bass solos are spontaneous, which originally, they may have been, but over time, I think they’re just too complex to not be practiced. Wonderful, though.

This final Harper song is the one that featured on Rebirth of Cool phive, which also included the Weller and Freakpower track, along with Massive Attack, Portishead and Tricky. It’s a great compilation, and when I listened to it in 1995 it was my first introduction to Harper, and to the above acts, apart from Weller, I think.

This is the second version of this post. I lost a lot of it last night 😡 . Sorry that it is a little disjointed. And to all the children from this site, I haven’t forgotten you. Just very busy of late. Guess the muses are leading me by the nose. It’s all brilliant, too, apart from what I actually publish on the blog, right? C’est la vie, the energy is enough at the moment. Oh, and if anyone reads this, I know there is a blatant error above somewhere, but I can’t spot it at the moment…if you’d be so kind as to guide me.

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2 Comments on “– muses”

  1. i like ben harper, thanks for a new one. wonderful haunting voice. and the juan nelson bass solo wound me right up! the others were also nice but didn’t seem to suit my mood this night. i’ll come back round later for another listen. ((##))

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