Music

Daily Visual 31.08.15: Van Morrison Down On Cyprus Avenue

Today was Van Morrison’s 70th birthday, and he celebrated the occasion by performing two concerts on Cyprus Avenue, the leafy street in east Belfast made famous by his 1968 album Astral Weeks. The street provides the title for ‘Cyprus Avenue’, in whose anxiously surging seven minutes a man waits desperately for a glimpse of his ‘lady’, a fourteen-year-old girl with rainbow ribbons in…

Daily Visual 27.08.15: Tyler, The Creator Banned from the UK

On Monday, Tyler, The Creator announced the cancellation of four imminent tour dates across the UK and Ireland. The rapper, producer, and former leader of the Odd Future collective was due to perform in Belfast on Tuesday night, in Dublin on Wednesday, at the Leeds Festival on Friday, and at the Reading Festival on Sunday. DUE TO CIRCUMSTANCES I WONT…

Behind the Song: Animal Collective – ‘Summertime Clothes’

Animal Collective’s eighth studio album, Merriweather Post Pavilion, was released in January 2009. The album had been recorded over the course of one month the previous February, at Sweet Tea Recording Studio, the 24-track studio with a large control room in Oxford, Mississippi. For the record the band sought out producer Ben Allen, desiring his low-end expertise, and valuing both his…

Daily Visual 20.08.15: Voyager 2 and the Golden Record

On this day in 1977, the Voyager 2 space probe was launched by NASA. It was developed as part of the Voyager program, which saw two identical probes sent to study the outer Solar System and eventually interstellar space. The unmanned crafts – each weighing 721.9 kg at launch, with a power of 420 watts, and communicating by means of…

Themes and References in Joanna Newsom’s Sapokanikan

Yesterday Joanna Newsom announced Divers, her fourth studio album and her first since 2010’s beautiful and generous Have One on Me. Divers is due out on 23 October on Drag City. Accompanying this revelation, she also unveiled the video for the album’s first single. Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, ‘Sapokanikan’ shows Newsom strolling, striding, and sashaying through the streets of New York City. ‘Sapokanikan’ is…

Daily Visual 10.08.15: Joanna Newsom Announces Divers

Today Joanna Newsom announced Divers, her first record since 2010’s triple-album Have One on Me. Divers will feature arrangements from Newsom alongside Ryan Francesconi, the multi-instrumentalist who played on and arranged much of Have One on Me; Nico Muhly, a classical composer and member of the Icelandic collective Bedroom Community, who has worked previously with Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, Antony and…

Culturedarm’s Songs of the Month (July 2015)

These few days, taken upon the passage of one month into the next, really serve to consolidate and enhance Culturedarm’s Songs of the Month. What I listened to and thought about most musically in July incorporates the Georgia Sea Island Singers, MC Brinquedo, Tink, Future, Dolly Parton, Jackie Wilson, Aristophanes, Robyn, Dr. Dre, Schubert, and Fritz Wunderlich. * * * Bessie Jones…

In Performance: Nina Simone – ‘I Loves You, Porgy’

Of all the standards comprising the Great American Songbook, few can have inspired such vital and diverse renderings as ‘I Loves You, Porgy’. From its embrace by jazz singers numbering Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald, the piece went on to spur Nina Simone’s career in 1958. It played a prominent role in the music of Bill Evans: with an acclaimed performance at the…

Jolie Holland at The Basement, York

Last night Jolie Holland played at The Basement in York. A small and low-hanging room with a bar attached, located underneath the City Screen Picturehouse, the venue – which once seemed to focus on comedy, with intermittent appearances from across the more marginal performing arts – is showing renewed vigour as a place for foreign cinema and international music. It was…