Deep congratulations, Ms Harvey. Few artists could boast to have such a flawless career, even more difficult nowadays. And it’s been from the very begining, and it appears it will be a lasting thing. On my behalf, thank you very much, honestly, thanks.
The song and film aren’t half bad either. It’s one of a series of short films made by award-winning documentary photographer Seamus Murphy to accompany all the tracks on PJ Harvey’s latest album, Let England Shake.
Read more about the project in an interview with Murphy.
Here are twenty songs from albums that were released twenty years ago. And now I feel old.
I tried to mix things up a bit but that didn’t really work too well. Hopefully there’s at least some semblance of a flow to it. That is after the admittedly rather slow start.
I highly recommend reading the background to this.
No debate about this, totally superb. Fullscreen is mandatory.
Track from the new Deerhoof album, mental and brilliant in equal amounts as ever.
Click the little play icons to, well, play the songs. Helpfully, they’ll also work as a playlist, so you only really have to click the first one. If you click the play icon whilst you’re on the main page of the blog, be aware that all audio files that are on the page will be added to the playlist.
I’ll try and do one of these once a month, and archive them in the music section.
“Cissy Strut”, Trinidad Steel Drummers
Even better than that, the first album by the Corin Tucker band has just been released, and she started a low key west coast tour on Thursday. A few more tracks below.
Apologies for the profusion of Pitchfork links, I do my best to avoid them whenever possible due to hipster fatigue but couldn’t find any alternatives right now.
Janis Lyn Joplin died 40 years ago today in the Landmark Hotel, Los Angeles. For more on her life and career, try the biographies and other extensive information at janisjoplin.com (official site), janisjoplin.net (unofficial), Wikipedia and allmusic.com.
Like Otis Redding, Joplin potentially had so much more to give creatively, effectively illustrated by the fact that while many have tried to emulate her, none have really come that close.
That they are able to try is testament to how Janis didn’t just open the doors to the male dominated world of rock, she blew them right off their hinges.
All the links below go to video or audio of interviews and songs, live wherever possible because that’s really what Queen Janis was all about.
“The thing about Janis is that she just looked so unique, an ugly duckling dressed as a princess, fearlessly so. Seeing her live was like watching a boxing match. Her performance was so in your face and electrifying that it really put you right there in the moment. There you were living your nice little life in the suburbs and suddenly there was this train wreck, and it was Janis.”
Shy “superstar rock lady“.
Spiritual descendant of Bessie Smith, queen of the blues.
World famous yet sadly lonely – “Onstage, I make love to 25,000 people – then I go home alone.”
Owner of one of the greatest sets of lungs ever known.
“I read a story about some old opera singer once, and when a guy asked her to marry him, she took him backstage after she had sung a real triumph, with all the people calling for her, asked, ‘Do you think you could give me that?’ That story hit me right, man. I know no guy ever made me feel as good as an audience.”
“I’m thrilled!! I can be Haight-Ashbury’s first pin-up“.
Janis Joplin, letter to sister
Texan ‘beatnik’, civil rights activist and infectious cackler.
[Amalie R. Rothschild]
“Janis was like an angel who came and paved a road white chicks hadn’t walked before. I began feeling proud to be her role model. When I heard her sing, I recognized my influence, but I also heard the electricity and rage in her own voice. I loved her attitude.”
“People, whether they know it or not, like their blues singers miserable. They like their blues singers to die afterwards.”
Wearer of extraordinary and improbable headgear. Much missed legend.
PS, I obviously couldn’t write this post without including ‘Piece of my Heart‘. Turn that one up to eleven.
‘After the Goldrush’ was released 40 years ago today. Here’s a short playlist with the original title track, an epic live version of Southern Man by CSN&Y and what’s still my favourite Neil Young cover version ever, Only Love Can Break Your Heart by St. Etienne.