Tag Archives: slowdive

A few thoughts.

Cover of Ten Years After’s 1969 album, Ssssh

I didn’t have time to record a podcast this week, but that hasn’t stopped me from thinking about music.

  • A friend asked me about Slowdive this week. Fortunately for him, I already had a Slowdive playlist in Songbird. (Does this really surprise you?) So I burnt him a mix CD from that playlist just before Thurday’s rain. Diving back into the band’s dreamy catalog with light rain rapping upon the windowpanes was perfection. I can’t wait for him to hear this; it’s gorgeous.
  • I stopped at Half Price Books in Westport on Thursday and bought Stereolab’s Margerine Eclipse and ABC Music. Now, I’m on a serious Stereolab kick. Don’t hate.
  • I wish my wife wouldn’t have informed me Stars will be playing at The Bottleneck in Lawrence on October 9. We won’t be able to attend, as it’s on a weeknight. Oh, to see them perform “Ageless Beauty“!
  • My friend, Brandon Briscoe, stopped by yesterday, and I introduced him to the music of Ten Years After. I’ve always felt that the band’s lead guitarist, Alvin Lee, was the best of the British blues rock players. Since everyone and everything is on Spotify, I suggest you check out the band’s records Cricklewood Green, Ssssh and Watt. In that order.
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Episode 88: The Light on a Stranger’s Face

Halstead, jockin' my style.

Finishing the field experience for my master’s degree in school leadership had me pretty stressed out two years ago.  So Neil Halstead’s mellow show during spring break at the Jackpot Saloon in Lawrence came at precisely the right time.  (Although the timing meant all the college kids had fled for the week and only a handful attended, the quiet atmosphere fit my mood and the show.  Halstead didn’t come to rock, but to sooth us with melodies.)

This week, I focus on Halstead’s work.  As could be expected, a 25-minute podcast cannot cover everything an artist creates in 20 years, but I hope you get a glimpse of his genius.  He doesn’t bludgeon the listener with his cool artsyness, instead he relies on melody, songcraft to convince.  Enjoy.

  1. “Brigther” – Slowdive (Just For a Day | Creation | 1991)
  2. “Alison” – Slowdive (Souvlaki | Creation | 1993)
  3. “Who Do You Love” – Mojave 3 (Out of Tune | 4AD | 1998)
  4. “Seasons” – Neil Halstead (Sleeping on Roads | 4AD | 2002)
  5. “Kill the Lights” – Mojave 3 (Puzzles Like You | 4AD | 2006)
  6. “No Mercy for the Muse” – Neil Halstead (Oh! Mighty Engine | Brushfire | 2008)

Radio Free Raytown – Episode #88 (8/26/11)

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And the sailors, they strike poses…

I’ve been on a Neil Halstead kick this weekend, listening to his latest solo album three times and Slowdive’s Souvlaki once. This morning, I pulled out Mojave 3’s Puzzles Like You. What brilliant power pop! (Is “Just A Boy” a fantastic attempt at writing a Jetenderpaul song or what?)

I think I’ve come to the conclusion that Halstead must listen to exactly the same music as me, from shoegaze to power pop to soft acoustic stuff. (He did, afterall, rip the melody to a Damien Jurado song on his first solo record.)

Anyway, I was thinking about how great it was to see him in Lawrence during my spring break this year. It was a perfect performance, with Barclay Martin opening and only about 15 people in the audience. The highlight for me was seeing him do Slowdive’s “Alison,” one of my all-time favorite songs. (I was just sure he wouldn’t pull out any Slowdive songs because they’re so old. I guess I was wrong.)

So I stopped by Mojave 3’s website and found a live recording of him performing the song at his stop in Chicago on that tour. Check it out.


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