Today: The late Ian Curtis was born in 1956 – 56 years ago

From Wikipedia:

Ian Kevin Curtis (15 July 1956 – 18 May 1980) was an English musician, best known as the lead singer and lyricist of the post-punk band Joy Division. Joy Division released their debut album, Unknown Pleasures, in 1979 and recorded their follow-up, Closer, in 1980. Curtis, who suffered from epilepsy and depression, committed suicide on 18 May 1980, on the eve of Joy Division’s first North American tour, resulting in the band’s dissolution and the subsequent formation of New Order.

Curtis was known for his bass-baritone voice, dance style and songwriting filled with imagery of desolation, emptiness and alienation.

Joy Division were an English rock band formed in 1976 in Salford, Greater Manchester. Originally named Warsaw, the band primarily consisted of Ian Curtis (vocals and occasional guitar), Bernard Sumner (guitar and keyboards), Peter Hook (bass guitar and backing vocals) and Stephen Morris (drums and percussion).

Love Will Tear Us Apart:

Album of the day:

Other July15:

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The Best Songs: Racing In The Street – Bruce Springsteen

Racing in the Street is a ballad written by Bruce Springsteen, it was originally released on his album Darkness on the Edge of Town (1978). The song has been referred to as Springsteen’s best song by a number of commentators. I think it’s at least in the top 10 of my favourite Springsteen songs.

Darkness on the Edge of Town version:

“…And “Racing in the Streets” is still perhaps the best Springsteen song ever.”

– Rolling Stone magazine

Like so many times, before and since, the car is a symbol of freedom in Springsteen’s universe. Driving a car gives you the ultimate feeling of freedom in this world.

The song begins with two friends fixing up an old car. The story is made believable through Bruce’s attention to detail, he seems to know what he is talking about, “I got a ’69 Chevy with a 396, Fuelie heads and a Hurst on the floor”.  The two friends needs the car to go racing, to earn money from street racing. As the story is told, they go from town to town and win easy money. They’re like cowboys in the old west, riding where the work is, no strings attached.

Live version from The Darkness Box, 2009:

The protagonist/the racer and his friend Sonny hasn’t stopped living, even if they have ordinary day jobs. They come home from work, get cleaned up and starts living, they go racing in the streets.

Continue reading The Best Songs: Racing In The Street – Bruce Springsteen

Today: The late Lee Morgan was born in 1938 – 74 years ago

From Wikipedia:

Edward Lee Morgan (July 10, 1938, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – February 19, 1972, New York City) was an American hard bop trumpeter.

From Allmusic (Steve Huey):

A cornerstone of the Blue Note label roster prior to his tragic demise, Lee Morgan was one of hard bop’s greatest trumpeters, and indeed one of the finest of the ’60s. An all-around master of his instrument modeled after Clifford BrownMorgan boasted an effortless, virtuosic technique and a full, supple, muscular tone that was just as powerful in the high register. His playing was always emotionally charged, regardless of the specific mood: cocky and exuberant on up-tempo groovers, blistering on bop-oriented technical showcases, sweet and sensitive on ballads. In his early days as a teen prodigy, Morgan was a busy soloist with a taste for long, graceful lines, and honed his personal style while serving an apprenticeship in Art Blakey‘s Jazz Messengers.

As his original compositions began to take in elements of blues and R&B, he made greater use of space and developed an infectiously funky rhythmic sense. He also found ways to mimic human vocal inflections by stuttering, slurring his articulations, and employing half-valved sound effects. Toward the end of his career, Morgan was increasingly moving into modal music and free bop, hinting at the avant-garde but remaining grounded in tradition. He had already overcome a severe drug addiction, but sadly, he would not live to continue his musical growth; he was shot to death by his common-law wife in 1972.

Bassist Bob Cranshaw played on Lee Morgan’s immortal “The Sidewinder.” Here, he remembers the session, and offers his thoughts on the great trumpeter, who died tragically at the age of 33:

Album of the day:

The Penguin Guide to Jazz selected this album as part of its suggested “Core Collection” (with a crown) calling the title track “a glorious 24-bar theme as sinuous and stinging as the beast of the title. It was both the best and worst thing that was ever to happen to Morgan before the awful events of 19 February 1972.” The album was identified by Scott Yanow in his Allmusic essay “Hard Bop” as one of the 17 Essential Hard Bop Recordings.

Other July-10:

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Look out for: The River Has Many Voices

This is The River Has Many Voices according to his bio:

The River Has Many Voices(TRHMV) is  Matthew Payne, a singer/songwriter who lives and writes in Dripping Springs just outside of Austin, TX at his ranch house of 126 acres set in the Texas hill country. It is the land where he grew up and it is where he calls home.

Matthew Payne worked as a high school English and Creative Writing teacher for five years. Though incredibly proud of his time there, he decided to leave this work and pursue a life of writing and singing.

There’s a thousand on fire (not released):

It was then, living in a small ranch house, in a span of a month, that he wrote and recorded the tracks that appear on this debut album. Having written for years,
he has developed a musical catalogue much larger than any one album and this comes through with his live shows. He plays many clubs and coffeehouses around
Austin, and some festivals, including Old Pecan Street Festival this fall.

 

Barton Creek [EP]

Barton Creek is a collection of songs integrating harmony and acoustic melody from genres of Folk, Country, Pop, and Americana. The lyrics take the most
importance and involve various topics, including death, love, and living with both of those powerful forces.

As EPs go it’s a long one, it clocks in at 41 minutes. And it is 41 minutes well spent. The six songs are full of optimism, longing and loss.

It starts off with For Emily, a sweet love song with a hypnotic accoustic guitar riff over Matthew Payne’s husky voice. The Harmonies on the choruses are just beautiful. The Lyrics are bittersweet, as the love affair now seems over, but it’s still a  song that praises Emily in a very profound way. I love it.

Continue reading Look out for: The River Has Many Voices

Focusing on Bob Dylan & related music