I was in the woods at End of the Road. It’s nice there, you’d like it. There’s a library, and a disco, and a large old bell that’s always mysteriously warm. Or at least there was a large bell. Someone stole it, I hear. Don’t know if they ever got it back. Anyway. I was there, in the woods. It was late at night, and dark, and I think it was wet, though I remember no rain. The Wilderness of Manitoba were gathered together in a half living room in the forest, singing amongst a crowd who existed only to hush each other and stand in some sort of quiet awe. That’s when I fell in love with TWoM. I’d just started the We Write Lists gigs – the Folkroom – and our first gig had been near empty, and noisy. This set was everything I hoped for the gigs – and what they have slowly become.
TWoM are magical. They lack the Paul Simon lyrics of Fleet Foxes, but instead are a band that seem impossibly natural – in two senses. They are, first, seemingly effortless in what they do. And what they do is so beautiful and so earthly that you kind of get the feeling you could plant a strand of their hair in the middle of some woodland and in twenty-eight years or so you’d return to find a fully-grown folk musician rooted deep below the top soil. We asked the band for a Six Albums, and they happily obliged, offering us a wonderfully in-depth look at their favourite music.
Bob Dylan – Nashville Skyline (chosen by Stefan) From the opening chords of “Girl from the North Country” to the closing crash of “Tonight I’ll Be Staying Here With You”, this is Dylan’s most focused album. His affected country drawl sounded so charming and effortless, and was matched perfectly by an excellent country band. The tunes are simple and fun, and the off the cuff duet with Johnny Cash (mistakes and all) is fabulous. I used to love putting this record on and just playing along, front to back.
Neutral Milk Hotel – In The Aeroplane Over The Sea (chosen by Stefan) The first time I put this record on I felt underwhelmed: Jeff Mangum’s voice felt strained, the acoustic guitars sounded poorly recorded and distorted, the horns were out of tune and there was a song about Jesus. A couple weeks later I put it on again and fell in love with those same things. The 8 minute masterpiece “Oh Comely” was apparently recorded in one take, at the end of which someone from the control room can be heard yelling out “holy shit”, which is exactly how I feel every time I come back to this very unpolished gem of an album.
Radiohead – OK Computer (chosen by Scott) I first came to this album through the video for the first single ‘paranoid android’. Muchmusic here, premiered the full, uncensored video ad after hearing the song for the first time, I immediately got on my bike and rode to Sam’s (Sam the Record Man) to buy the album. I’ll have to admit that the album was a grower, but it didn’t take long for me to completely get lost in it’s splendour. There were the singles, yes. Let Down, Karma Police, Paranoid Android; but to me it is the album tracks that really stand out. The sounds, the mood they create, delicately dark but still delightful. This record changed the way that I viewed music. It opened my ears to infinite possibilities and showed me that the best music will make you feel.
Gillian Welch – Time (The Revelator) (chosen by Melissa) This album never fails me. It’s funny because before listening to it for the first time, I didn’t consider myself a bluegrass fan but it opened my eyes to The Carter Family, The Louvin Brothers and other bands using banjo and close harmonies. Gillian describes, very well, the feelings you can have as a touring musician. I love ‘April the 14th, Part 1′ – “Was a five band bill, $2 show… and a girl passed out in the back seat, trashed, and there were no way they’d make even half a tank of gas” or in ‘Everything is Free’ – “Someone hit the big score, they figured it out that we’re gonna do it anyway even if it doesn’t pay”. Her voice and her honest lyrics are definitely what I hear and feel first but then David Rawlings’ soft guitar and banjo come in and then his harmonies that aren’t quite what I expect so I continue to be surprised every time I listen.
Smashing Pumpkins – Siamese Dream (chosen by Will) Although there are many hits and misses this band has sustained throughout time (as any long lasting band has), no album to me, was first to capture the pure rawness and angst coupled & contrasted with the dreamy & ethereal that this album did within its cultural period (‘grunge’ being the ‘zeitgeist’ here). We have the classic signature Corgan/Iha guitar fuzz interplay happening in songs like ‘Rocket’ and the earlier section of ‘Hummer’ that then explode into belted vocals & screaming solos in the later ‘Soma’ and ‘Silverfuck.’ There is the constantly emotive meter and pulse that Jimmy Chamberlin provides with D’arcy Wretzky in ‘Cherub Rock’ and ‘Quiet.’ And of course, there might be no greater pop sensibilities on the record lyrically speaking to the youth (or ‘mainstream’ of that time) than ‘Today is the greatest day I’ve ever known / can’t wait for tomorrow’ (‘Today’). But it isn’t any of these crucial elements that make the album so beautiful. It’s their hypnotic dream jams they lay on thick with the reverb & delays in the last section of ‘Hummer’ and intro/outro of ‘Mayonnaise’ or beginning of ‘Soma’ that are the closer. The combination of fender tele/stratocaster/mustang guitars fed through pedalboards that Iha and Corgan play at their most sombre within D’arcy and Jimmy’s perfect ‘heartbeats’ is what made this band, to me, who they are. Corgan has always had the ability to scream the way one does at their emotional melting point (‘despite all my rage’) and suddenly turn to melt you back with whispered lyrics (‘pick your pocket full of sorrow / run away with me tomorrow’) over the shoegazy walls of sound the 4 of them could always capture so well. It’s these moments that make Siamese Dream an album that is best listened to under a purple sky. I just find that contrary to their rock fuzz grunge persona, it’s easy to love them the most when they ‘disarm you with a smile.’
Joni Mitchell – For The Roses (chosen by Will) As her immediate follow up to the critically acclaimed ‘Blue,’ Joni had some proverbial and musical shoes to fill. But in her typical fashion, she followed her creative impulses first which led her to a remote cabin in the geographical landscape of British Columbia where most of the writing of ‘For The Roses’ took place. Somewhat known as a confessional about her departing romances with James Taylor, beyond that, I think this album is one of, if not the most vulnerable in her catalogue. In ‘Cold Blue Steel And Sweet Fire,’ she doesn’t hold back descriptions of the ugliest side of ones’ heroin use; “edgy black cracks of the sky / pin-cushion prick / red water in the bathroom sink” personifying the underworld with “the shadow of lady release” saying “come with me, I know the way / she says it’s down down down the dark ladder.” In ‘Lesson In Survival,’ we get to know her better; “I know my needs / my sweet tumbleweed / I need more quiet times / by a river flowing / you and me, deep kisses and the sun going down.” That’s the thing about Joni; you never have to ask her what she ‘really’ means!
On perhaps one of her best songs (though there are many) ‘Blonde In The Bleachers,’ she strips away any sense of romantic idealism when she sings “you can’t hold the hand of a rock & roll man very long / or count on your plans with the rock & roll man very long / compete with the fans for your rock & roll man for very long / the girls and the bands and the rock & roll man.” Love songs to me are always better if they’re about the one who got away and I’ve always admired her musical timing & ability to ramble, having it all come together so naturally in her playing style. I had a number of her albums on permanent rotate in my Toyota corolla a few years ago, but I’m pretty sure it was this one (and perhaps some of ‘Court And Spark’) that partially blew the speakers.
The Wilderness of Manitoba release a new EP, Orono Park, on Monday and bring their superlative folk to London for two gigs next week – one at Thamesis on Tuesday, and one on Wednesday at The Slaughtered Lamb.
September 23, 2011 No Comments
That’s me, myself and I up there. Stephen W. Thomas. Glastonbury. Apologies if I look grumpy, but that is a) my neutral face, so shut the hell up, and b) the result of 72 hours of exhaustion. 2011 was the greatest hits of Glastonbury – the year where the Eavis family brought back some of the most historic acts of the past 41 years. The Spirit of 71 stage presented us with bands who had played the festival forty years ago. The Park Stage relived two of the more legendary Glasto sets of the 90s with their ‘secret’ appearances by Radiohead and Pulp. And the weather provided us with memories of every extreme we’ve ever seen at the festival – the miserable rain, the toffee/fudge mud and the sweltering, sweltering heat. Let’s look back at 2011 through photos, and some stories of our… more interesting experiences.
We’d been wishin’ and a-hopin’ for weeks in the run-up to this year’s Glastonbury, but as the train drew closer to Castle Cary it was painfully obvious what was in store, the rain dragging itself staggered along the glass of the windows. Cue a weekend of lost wellies, over-priced ponchos and over-enthusiastic cheers whenever the sun came out. Which made Sunday very, very noisy.
Some bands, fortunately, are made for the rain – Bright Eyes drew a large crowd for his vaguely emo folk-rock, and angry songs like ‘Lover I Don’t Have To Love’ worked well in the cool drizzle come Friday afternoon. There was a suspicious amount of songs featuring the word ‘rain’ or some deriative scattered across the set. Either Conor Oberst was angling his set in a very specific direction, or he’s a bit of a miserable sod. Not our place to say, mind.
This is a cage. With a disco ball inside. Not that this is remotely evocative of Glastonbury’s stand on dancing – after all Kool and the Gang headlined West Holts on the Sunday. A day earlier Janelle Monaé had dragged a thousand feet from the mud as they stomped and twisted to tracks from her debut album The ArchAndroid and a cover of The Jackson 5′s ‘I Want You Back’ that sounded eerily like the original in many ways.
In fact, the best stage all round for dancing and moving and being a little bit surprised was West Holts. We’ve said it once or twice over the years (including in our mini review earlier in the week), but West Holts is the BBC4 of Glastonbury. The gang above are enjoying a much-welcomed burst of sunshine that came both literally and by way of Fool’s Gold, whose summery tones lightened the moods of everyone in the field on Saturday afternoon.
The biggest treats of Glastonbury often come from the smallest acts. Not the insect circus hiding in the Avalon film, but the unsigned acts making their way in the only way unsigned acts can – by playing bloody everywhere. The Worry Dolls, who we go on about endlessly on here played a storming set on Wednesday afternoon that resulted in an unplanned encore. That’s Zoe sitting above, tuning the ukelele on which she had learnt all of their songs the night before (a banjo had seemed to unwieldy for the festival). Twin Brother played the BBC Introducing stage Friday morning. Emily and the Woods stole some hearts with her humble Acoustic stage set – including a delightful ‘Single Ladies’ cover. Incidentally, catch The Worry Dolls at our Folkroom gig on July 20th. That wasn’t a plug. That was me doing you a favour.
I tell you with some certainty that this isn’t true. I trekked 40 minutes through the mud to Coach Gate A in order to bring you that info, but that’s just what I go through for you guys.
A lesson in festival journalism. It’ll take you just seconds to find shots of this year’s Glasto in which people are stranded in great lakes of mud, or covered in it as though they woke in a great silt lake. Do not be fooled, sofa-festivalists of the world! Though the mud was pervasive across the festival, it was stodgy and sticky mud, not big wet mud. The above shot is one of only three puddles or so on the whole site, and the girls walking through it are doing so purely for the benefit of a camera just out of shot. So, yeah. Class dismissed.
Some refreshing optimism as someone speculates on a special guest in the dance arena.
Laura Marling gets a bit of a bum deal during her set on the Pyramid stage.
Saturday at the festival, and some-time WWL contributor Rob has arrived onsite with a PR colleague also called Rob (who, for sake of ease, shall now be called Mark). The two are down only for the last two days in order to sort out some press for a few acts playing. Mark can’t quite get the pass he needs, so after we drop off their stuff in my tent, where we’ll all be sleeping for the remainder of the festival, he and Rob head off to try and arrange something.
Later on, Rob and I meet up and catch Coldplay’s set (which, much to our mutual surprise, is utterly engaging). Afterwards we head over to Shangri-La with another friend. We wander the sordid streets of the temporary city, jive in a jive bar and at half two we go our separate ways and Rob and I head back to our tent. We reach it around 3am, but Mark isn’t there yet. Fair enough, Glasto kept us out til 3, and the music will keep going til 5am. We fumble our way into our respective sleeping bags and drop asleep in no time at all.
When I awake briefly at 4am the tent is already vaguely lit by the half light of the pre-dawn hour, and I am relieved to see that our tent is filled to capacity, myself and the two other bodies, deep in slumber. I go back to sleep. By Rob’s own account, he woke up at half 5 and saw much the same thing. He fell asleep once more.
We wake around 7, and only Rob and I are in the tent. We reckon Mark must have gone of to do some PR work or something, but just to check if he’s left us a message we both switch on our phones. There is a message on each – the same one, sent as a joint text. It goes roughly like this:
“Guys – couldn’t get the pass I needed and couldn’t find the tent. Am driving back to London.”
We look at the bottom of our messages. 1:30am.
WE SPENT TWO HOURS SHARING A TENT WITH A STRANGE MAN.
I spent the last few days hoping that when I got my Glastonbury photos developed there would be a self-shot of our mystery man leaning of Rob and I, giving a massive thumbs up. He certainly had the chance – when we woke in the morning my camera was lying where he had been. Oh well.
There were rumours rumbling around the site all weekend. Arcade Fire were gonna play! (False) Pulp were gonna play! (True) Radiohead were going to play! (True) Prince was gonna play! (You had me going there, Sam…). My favourite rumour was that Marcus Mumford was the illegitimate son of the above fox. But then, I made that up, so I would like it.
And so that was our Glasto for 2011.
Two years til the next one.
July 2, 2011 2 Comments
So, we’re back from Glastonbury. Our clothes our muddied, our bodies resting after the best showers of our lives, and the world’s least likely tanline formed half way up our calves (courtesy of the necessity of wearing wellies in 30 degree weather). In the next week or so we’ll get our Glasto photos up on the site (we went retro with an analogue camera). Until then, enjoy a custom-made list of every single thought we had at Glastonbury this year. Don’t worry, there aren’t many. Mostly we were just trying to stay upright in the mud.
1. Travelling light is key. We had one bag, one tent, and eighteen sherpas.
2. They’re right when they say ‘It’s not the same without the rain’. It’s significantly better.
3. If we were to make a venn diagram where a red circle represented ‘Men who take their shirts off when temperatures hit twenty degrees’ and a blue circle represented ‘Men who could reasonably be described as ‘a bit of a dick”, all we would have is one purple circle.
4. Next time we are for-going tents in favour of bringing sheds.
5. This year’s festival trend is going to be woolly hats made to look like Sesame Street characters. We don’t know who came up with this, or spread it across so many vendors with such success, but they are clearly marketing geniuses.
6. Lemonberry is a better festival drink than any other. Lemonade with strawberry blended into it, and bits floating about.
7. Mumford and Sons are successful because they appeal to two major demographics: fans of well-made, beautiful folk music and people who like to sing loudly while holding a can of Strongbow in the air.
8. This works out very well for Mumford and Sons, but not so well for us. Our enjoyment of Fleet Foxes was dampened by three ‘blokes’ behind us who, whenever they got bored of sumptuous vocal harmonies, started shouting ‘IT WAS NOT YOUR FAULT BUT MINE’ at the top of their bleedin’ voices.
9. West Holts is the BBC4 of Glastonbury. You won’t always have heard of the artist playing, but they’ll always be interesting.
10. The BBC clearly know who the secret guests are before the festival: this year iPlayer was showing two ‘classic’ sets from previous festivals prior to the weekend kicking off. One by Radiohead and one by Pulp.
11. Shangri-La remains as scary as it is fascinating.
12. The walk people adopt in order to not fall over in Glastonbury’s sludge is not dissimilar from that of Captain Jack Sparrow.
13. As cynical as we wanted to be about it all, we ruddy loved that Coldplay set.
14. When Stornoway thanked the previous night’s headliners U2 for supporting their Pyramid stage opening slot, we laughed. When Dan Mangan made the same joke about The Chemical Brothers on the Other Stage, we still laughed. But only because he’s so bloody nice.
15. Our favourite sets were (in chronological order) by: The Worry Dolls, Billy Bragg, Stornoway, Emily and the Woods, Fool’s Gold, Elbow, Coldplay, The Low Anthem, Don McLean and his Amazing Twenty Minute Singalong to American Pie, Laura Marling, John Grant and what we saw of Bellowhead before returning to our tent and collapsing into a sunstroke slumber.
June 27, 2011 No Comments
The Royal Wedding is today. I don’t know if you’ve noticed. Across the country, millions of people are sitting down in front of their televisions to watch two people wed in a dingy cathedral with cool, moist walls while outside the sun shines on Spring blossoms and a gentle breeze rustles the trees. It’s also quite possibly the best day ever to visit Alton Towers. Just sayin’.
What everybody seems to be missing though is that this isn’t even the greatest wedding of the season. Next week, over two long spring days, we’ll see the marriage of sounds and satisfaction, as some of WWL’s most eagerly awaited albums of the year find release. The Leisure Society release their second album on Monday, and Fleet Foxes reveal theirs to the world a day later. This week’s Six Albums comes from Young the Giant, the third in a trio of loveliness finding release into the world this year. To celebrate their debut record escaping into the great unknown, we asked the band to take us through their favourite albums…
Sameer Gadhia (vocals)
Beach House – Teen Dream This is a gem of an album that I believe is way underrated. Probably among the elite best of 2010, and perhaps one of the better concept albums I have ever heard. One really gets that dream-like soundscape, complete with unexplained nostalgia, wispy visualization, and profound emotion. I experienced a relationship with this album, as it was a living, breathing organism. The memory of a person who will always exist, blood and all. The main highlight of this album is the amazing subtlety of its writing, which guised under the classification of left-field experimentalism, is actually beautifully crafted pop writing, complete with altering post-choruses and reflective bridge tags. A big highlight for me, as a musician, is that Victoria LeGrande and bunch can wholesomely recreate the album live. Recommended track: “Walk in the Park”
These New Puritans – Hidden Yet another album that didn’t receive much recognition till it received some deserved attention on several notable end of the year best 2010 blog lists. The combination between grunge metal and contemporary jazz is off-putting, eerie, and down-right brilliant. The best example of this is the stark dichotomy of the second track, “We Want War,” to the respite of “Hologram.” Hidden is one of those albums that one remembers the space they listened to it first time around. Almost as if the songs seeped into the landscape, cavernous and infinite. You also have to love the midi “sword slash” motif.
Radiohead – OK Computer An instant classic, OK Computer could possibly be one of Radiohead’s most influential albums for musicians and non-musicians alike. Personally, I love every Radiohead album in its own right, but OK Computer takes me to an ethereal place every time I hear it. From its opening track, “Airbag”, to well orchestrated tracks such as “Exit Music (For a Film)”, all the way to the albums closing track “No Surprises”, the album is simply beautiful.
Eric Cannata (guitar/vocals)
Broken Social Scene – You Forgot It In People This record is fantastic not only for the song writing it contains, but also for the tones and ambiance that were achieved in production. Although BSS is a Canadian group, the album feels at home with the waves and palm trees in southern California. The one-two punch of “Looks Just Like the Sun” and “Pacific Theme” is especially memorable.
Paul and Linda McCartney – Ram Although this album hasn’t received quite as much attention as those released subsequently, there is something quite revolutionary about the tones McCartney was able to find through experimentation in his country home. The record flows from quirky to sublime without skipping a beat, not only because of its fresh approach to certain established sounds, but also as a result of Paul and Linda’s playful interplay throughout the album.
Nick Drake – Pink Moon Nick Drake’s Pink Moon was his most stripped down LP and final release before his untimely death. Wrapped in surreal lyrics and haunted classical/folkie guitar Drake creates rich lucid world with only a few tracks. 40 years after its release Pink Moon is still a cornerstone for guitar students.
Young the Giant release their wonderful self-titled debut on May 2nd, and you’d be fool not to buy it. You aren’t a fool, are you? No. Didn’t think so.
April 29, 2011 No Comments
Treefight For Sunlight, a new signing for WWL’s friends at Bella Union, are nearly impossible to accurately describe. They make folk music, just about, but their vocals aren’t dissimilar from an unplugged MGMT, and they’re at least 70% as joyful as The Polyphonic Spree. And given that even the happiest bands normally only manage 24%, that’s something to write home about. But then, sometimes they aren’t happy. Sometimes they’re big, and brash, and a little bit explosive. There’s pretty much one constant with regards to Treefight For Sunlight, and that’s their endless excellence. Their Six Albums entry this week is kind of fascinating if you’ve ever listened to their music, because it plays out like music maths, and once you add all the influences together things start to make a little more sense…
The Beatles – Magical Mystery Tour Of course. Obviously, the influence is enormous since we’re all raised on these songs. It seems kind of dumb to write a lot about a Beatles record, cause, well you know… they’re The Beatles! But Magical Mystery Tour and Revolver are the ones we can agree on as our favorites and since Revolver is already on the list a bit further down, we chose Magical Mystery Tour. We think ‘I Am The Walrus’ and ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ are some of the best songs ever written and that doesn’t exactly count for nothing
Radiohead – OK Computer It’s amazing that this album was recorded in 1996. It just seems to have everything. Songs like ‘Airbag’, ‘Exit Music’, ‘Climbing Up The Walls’ and ‘No Surprises’ leave nothing to be desired. They are so complete in their expressions. Something that we think characterizes Radiohead songs is that they ALWAYS get you somewhere, you can’t help but get affected by their songs because they are so uncompromised. And of course something that need not be addressed are the stunning vocal performances by Thom Yorke.
Nirvana – Nevermind The brutality of both the way they play and the lyrics leave a very strong impression whether you want it to or not, when you’re listening to them at a very early age, which we did. They’re one of those bands people normally get during their adolescence and that really says something about the music. It confronts you with a side of yourself that can feel things differently. We thank them for helping us grow up.
Arcade Fire – Funeral A beautiful album. There is no getting around Win Butler’s talents as a singer, lyricist and songwriter. You get the feeling that he’s been somewhere in your mind, a place you don’t understand yourself, but yet he can sum it up in a sentence. Somehow it really gets you the first time you hear the words, “Sleeping is giving in”.
Povl Dissing & Benny Andersen - Svantes Viser Benny Andersen, a danish poet and composer and Povl Dissing, a danish folksinger made this album back in the 70′s. The songs are written from Svante’s point of view and they are fantastic stories of love, depression, homelonging, alcohol and death. Benny Andersen wrote a book, also called Svantes Viser, in which he tells the story of how he had once met Svante and struck up a friendship with him and as Benny tells Svante that he is a composer, Svante gives him some of the poems he’s written with the wish that he would give them melodies.
Animal Collective - Strawberry Jam The first songs we heard from this album were ‘Chores’ and ‘Peacebone’. We remember clearly how we were blown away when we heard them in Christian’s aunt’s summerhouse where we spent a few days making music. At the time, it sounded so weird to us, but so energetic and we were drawn into it because it sounded like nothing we’d ever heard before. The screams in the middle of everything, the melodies, the lyrics and just the way the whole thing was put together is amazing.
If you add The Beatles to Radiohead, divide by Nirvana, times by Arcade Fire to the power of Svantes Viser and add Animal Collective the answer you’ll get is Treefight For Sunlight. Their album comes out in February, and debut single ‘What Became Of You And I’ is available now as both a 7″ and download from Bella Union, and owning it will make you more attractive to the opposite sex. Or the same sex. Or animals, if that’s how you roll.
January 14, 2011 No Comments
1. Karen Carpenter
The voice behind The Carpenters always thought of herself as a drummer who sang, though she is much better known for her distinctive vocal work. Karen Carpenter was renowned amongst drummers for her ability to play, despite only starting with the instrument the year before she made her first recordings with her brother. Carpenter is an excellent drummer, and though the instrument is often underused in her music, she always managed to use it to put a stamp on The Carpenter’s sound beyond that of her stunning voice.
2. Levon Helm
Drummer for The Band, Levon Helm also provided frequent vocals for the group. In fact, Helm sang vocals on a great deal of The Band’s songs, usually providing drums at the same time. Which makes him rather ruddy impressive, in my mind. Since the demise of The Band as a recording group, Helm has recorded and released several solo albums, most of which are ruddy brilliant, and all of which are better than anything I could ever hope to do.
3. Dennis Wilson
The Beach Boys’ drummer Dennis Wilson was often under-used during the early years of the band, but over the course of the group’s music career he found increasing prominence amongst them. He came to co-write some of The Beach Boys better songs, including ‘Only With You’ and the magnificent ‘Cuddle Up’, on which Wilson also took lead vocals. His Pacific Ocean Blue was the first solo album released by a Beach Boy, and remains quite possibly the best amongst those that followed. On top of his musical output, Wilson even starred in the 1971 film Two-Lane Blacktop, which was generally considered to be pretty darn good. Which is nice.
4. Buddy Rich
Buddy Rich was a jazz drummer, and not much else. But he wasn’t just a drummer in much the same way that Alfred Hitchcock wasn’t just a director, and that Jesus wasn’t just a good little Jewish boy. Quite probably the greatest drummer of all time, Rich led his own band and made some of the most vibrant and exciting jazz recordings of the late sixties. His 1967 album Big Swing Face is effortlessly cool and demonstrates Rich’s phenomenal range as a drummer, as well as showcasing his 12 year-old daughter Cathy on a cover of Sonny Bono’s ‘The Beat Goes On’.
5. Jason Schwartzman
Schwartzman started out as drummer for the band Phantom Planet, who are best (and, let’s face it, only) known for ‘California’, the theme tune to American television show The O.C. Despite this relatively modest start to his career in the public eye, he followed in the steps of uncle Francis Ford Coppola and cousin Nic Cage and entered into Hollywood. He’s since appeared in a smorgasboard of indie brilliance, from Scott Pilgrim vs. The World to I ♥ Huckabees, as well as various films by the director Wes Anderson. He’s kept his toe in the musical waters though, writing with WWL favourite Zooey Deschanel on She & Him’s best song, ‘Sweet Darlin” as well as working on his own as Coconut Records.
6. Philip Selway
Bella Union’s own Simon Raymonde admits that of all the Radiohead players, Philip Selway was the last he’d have expected to have gone solo. Which is saying something, with Selway’s debut solo effort about to be released on – you guessed it – Bella Union. A world away from his work within one of the world’s biggest bands, Selway’s album ‘Familial’ is a softly-spoken folk affair that is equal parts stunning and grounded. ‘Familial’ is a wonderful record, and testament to the often ignored secret talents of the drummer.
August 19, 2010 4 Comments