The devastation in Japan has not left anyone untouched by the scale of the tragedy. There is widespread loss of life and property. Even though my columns are about music and its extensions, I would still like to hold a candle up for all those affected by the disaster. So as we sympathise and move on with our daily lives, remember it could be us too.
I would like to recommend a few songs today, so that you may use the time to reflect on the unpredictability of nature and respect our green planet for generations to come.
Cat Stevens’s Where do the children play (1970): A timeless song that talks about poverty and ecological disaster.
Joe Walsh’s Certain situations (1992): Joe is concerned about the state of the world in his last solo album, Songs For A Dying Planet. This one particular song talks about how one loses focus on the greater things in life.
Jack Johnson’s Hope (2008): One of the coolest songwriters of our time, with one of the coolest songs about being keeping the faith in our tomorrow.
Florence & The Machine You’ve got the love (2009): Short and sweet, this one says it like it is. So let loose now.
The Scripts’ Science and faith (2010): The two things that keep us oscillating between our human and spiritual existences, this song evokes a deeper sense of self.
Arcade Fire’s Ready to start (2010): From one of last year’s most amazing albums by a band that is as astonishing as they come.
Six songs to start your week with, all urging you to take care of all that you love and cherish…if I may say so.
English ReviewHere’s what you want on your iPod, recommends Luke Kenny
Going Out In Style
Born & Bred Records
Every once in a while you come across a band that becomes a revelation and, in this case, an absolute riot. Here’s the interesting thing about them. Even though the members are from Masachussets and true blue American, their music is distinctly Irish. These Celtic punk rockers sure know how to have a good time. And drag everyone along in their wake. This is their seventh studio album since 1997’s Do Or Die, and is a storytelling format record. Going Out In Style, tells the story of one Cornelius Larkin and his journey through life. Rip-roaring and rambunctious, this one is best enjoyed with gallons of Guinness. Most definitely lend an ear. Worthy sounds.
Bottomline: Listen up likewise
Collapse Into Now
RE.M are the sonical and lyrical equivalents of Charles Dickens. Both these artistes present a prolific and variated, yet cerebral opinions on the state of the human condition. To say that this is good or a bad or a great album is insignificant. Whether it will be a successful album commercially, is also unimportant. It is an REM album. And for fans, long standing and new ones alike, its a new conversation set. The music from the mind of Michael Stipe, is as unique and esoteric as it gets. Collapse Into Now encapsulates the REM sound perfectly.
Bottomline: Unfold into this
It takes great courage and assumption to release new material of a certain kind of songwriting to a generation that might not remember, or even worse, like the best hits of the past. As for garnering new fans, well like I said, it takes great courage. I have always thought of Roxette as a great singer-songwriter duo who captured the poppiness and the freshness of the Beatles in the grungy ’90s. But to try it again, almost ten years later does get a bit lackluster and dated regardless of how good your songs are. Considering the newage love their rock with a little bit of electronica thrown in, its a bit of a gamble. The rest is history. I rest my case.
Bottomline: This charm fails in my school
History Of Now
Asian Dub Foundation
Asian Dub Foundation have been one of the pioneers in bringing the Asian-Indian ‘undergound’ sound to mainstream ears. But they’ve done it while retaining their integrity and creativity. And with their heavy multi-cultural sound and socio-political lyrics, they have always remained one of the most important artistes to listen to. The issues keep changing but the angst remains intact. This is some heavy stuff to listen to, but not without merit. They recently performed in the country after years at the NH7 Weekender and then toured the city as well. History Of Now is upbeat and coherent to the brand-sound of Asian Dub Foundation, that their fans have gotten used to. No surprises, but what sound.
Bottomline: The geography of sound