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David Hughes "D Hughes Lanarkshire" (Lanarkshire, Scotland)
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All Aboard!
All Aboard!
Price: 11.71

5.0 out of 5 stars Ueno's guitar heaven!! Love it!! Aaaall Aaboeoeoerdd!!, 22 Sep 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: All Aboard! (Audio CD)
I'm not sure what to say, I'll write this quickly and hope you forgive its mistakes.

Oh Ueno! Of course (hate that phrase, what can it ever add, sorry) we love Saya, the beating heart of Tenniscoats That's been a big big bit of our love of Tenniscoats and their wonderful musical spirit. But tho we love that tremulous, pure, melancholy, feeling and--increasingly--resonant vocal (and, live, perfectly matched, with eyes, movement, body, spirit) and that amazing audience communication with its astonishing politeness (yes! really, that's the word), feeling, humility, generosity, etc (mono, garnethill, sigh...and...wow...), we can't forget that a lot of the power of the communication comes not just from the interaction between Saya and the audience but also from the interaction between the Tenniscoats duo: Saya and Ueno--playful, respectful, funny, affectionate, meaningful, musical...and part of the greatness of the shows is that..they're letting us in.

I've not yet written reviews for Temporacha--it's too emotional, it's my favourite Tenniscoats record, it's hard to write about--or Papa's Ear---such an amazing happy and emotional and layered record. But I keep listening to this, it's come with less fanfare than any of their other releases, was just sitting there on the Glasgow Mono shelves, and it just makes me want to say, quickly, how happy it makes you feel. And particularly fab in this 2013 Scottish summer and approaching autumn!

All aboard! The music's as happy as the cover, and as full of colour, line, shape and rhythm. It's incredibly electric, not in a rude way, and Ueno's electric guitar really is the star of the show--singing, dancing, playing, a joyously washy here, freaky and psychedelic there, following its own lines, leading you a merry beautiful wondrous dance. It's groovy and funky, it's a guitar heaven. Turn this one up very loud! Bass, drums and keyboards support, add colour and weight, and the vocals are great--but it's the guitar that sings best of all here.

A boat sailing on the sea. Blue waves, wonderful sea creatures, ever-changing skies and landscapes. Sorry for the lack of precision, but mainly I'd say just jump on board, watch out for the big wave, and set sail with this tender, strong, poppy, guitary wonder.

No bad tracks, the 9th is my current fave ('Dream is refreshing'; `not yet'...and...`thank you'), and it feels just right that vocals are shared on the 10th and final track. It ends with Uneno calling "Watch out here comes a big wave! All aboard!", and the final sung lines are:

Your week will see something change
Adventure afloat a creative sea
Returns to visit us again and again

This Sunday evening I'm listening, and thinking: what a great way to start the adventure that any week might bring.


The Lost Album
The Lost Album
Price: 7.46

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Totally unique one of a kind, 22 Oct 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Lost Album (Audio CD)
Born 1948, Lynn Ripley had her big hit at aged 16 with Terry, a self-penned `death-genre' song appearing months before the Shangri-Las Leader of the Pack. Superior follow-up Golden Lights (later covered by the Smiths) was a minor hit; and success was then over. In 1969 she released Mickey, an unsuccessful absolute soul pop classic, and then quit.[...]

Michael Hannah was recorded in 1973, base on a suite of songs dedicated to her then object of her desire, a model and actor. It's a hell of a story, with its echoes of A Star Is Born refracted through Romeo and Juliet and telling of infatuation, possessiveness, mental health, suicide attempts, violence, and death--you know, the usual crush-type stuff.

(The `facts' of the background are told in copious notes from an observer of the scene, himself in awe of the Michael and jealous and critical of Twinkle; some have objected to the `self-indulgence' of the liner notes, but they have an outsider's clarity--"my story is my story. Mick's will always be Mick's"; and they add an almost Gatsbyesque layer of meaning, thus allowing Twinkle and Michael to retain an element of mystery)

The music isn't dark. Much of it continues on from the pop brilliance of 1969's Mickey (also dedicated to Mr Hannah!), but even smoother. There's a mix of power pop, ATV arrangements, Lynsay DePaul, Barbara Dickson, nursery rhyme, jingles, and elements of English music hall--but full of great melody.

Lyrically, a cross between Morrissey and Victoria Wood, but stripped of sentimentality. Let none of the polished sweetness of the arrangements disguise a hard-headed honesty, as Twinkle traces the lineaments of her desire, including failure, disappointment, manipulation, obsession, envy and self-pity--her mellow, hard, clear voice communicates these sensibilities perfectly, maybe devoid (some would say) of subjectivity, but also (I would say) naked of the self-pity, special pleading and histrionics so beloved of love-song singers.

The long fading coda of Ladyfriend is a highlight. 'Turn around, oh turn around....'
Days swings between ominous loneliness and jolly despair
Caroline--a brilliant joyish `get lost' to that rival; 'one day before I die, I'm gong to write across the sky...'
Joanna--again, a dancing 'he's gonna be mine'
Jane--song to Michael Hannah's mother, chilling

It's like series of diary entries from someone who can't get who they want/need. Written and recorded almost as act of will on Twinkle's part. "I will write these songs, you will know how I feel, and you will come back to me" it was designed to make Michael come back, yet doesn't shirking her competitive jealousy, and in fact eventually acknowledges her loss; it actually becomes a farewell letter to her afflicted self and to the `love affair'..

After writing--but before recording--Michael Hannah, the forever silent object of this remarkable record, died in an aeroplane crash. Twinkle pledged to record anyway, in a daze. The recording was done. No-one wanted the record. Twinkle emerged from daze, but lost interest in its release. The last song hints at catharsis. The record, for its maker, has maybe served its purpose. 'Father, father, here comes Michael, of whom I told--you--long--ago...

'One day I will wake and see a sacred face...'

It's not a record to play every day. But it's a privilege to hear this great piece of artistry,


Tan-Tan Therapy
Tan-Tan Therapy

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a blessing, 7 Jun 2009
This review is from: Tan-Tan Therapy (Audio CD)
"Their starting point is pop songs, but with a staggeringly free approach: psychedelic folk tunes, complex instrumentals and short pop jewels side by side, everything is possible. A song can be performed in a myriad ways. Their interplay is angular and at the same time the most sensitive one has heard. A feeling of a music that constantly goes on" So said Johan Berthling of Tape, on the CDs release

"Found here is a fuller dynamic spectra and richer use of diverse sound elements than usually found in their live shows. Yet the album has a concise pop feeling to it, in a calm and multi-faceted way. The level of details and the different sound world is to a large extent due to the musicians of Tape, as they have been involved both in the production and the writing of arrangements on the record. To Tenniscoats' original setting, various horn instruments, double bass, zither, organ, glockenspiel and electronic instruments have been added" So said the label, on the CDs release.

There's not a lot to say about music this amazing. Those of us who saw Tenniscoats perform at Mono in Glasgow on Thursday there were witness to a special night of pop musical joy; and thinking about it gives this music now an extra lustre. The interaction between performers was singular, enchanting and harmonious; communication with the audience was generous, humble, spirited; a night of rapture and magic.

There is no pop that so mixes the beautiful, the sad and the wonderous.

Swedish collaborators Tape add colour and texture that enhance each song of Saya and Takashi. It could be easy to spoil the delicate pop of Tenniscoats. Tape add to the resonance, and it all holds together wonderfully well, it's all of a piece.

The sounds are melodic, plucked, percussive; rhythm like breathing; stillness of mornings and moon; water, spirit, feeling.

The music is extraordinarily intimate, of the heart, yet has the sweep of a sky full of stars.

The cover and photographs are autumnal, of burnished gold; the sounds have rain, wind, sunlight. Found sounds, low stringed bass, radio frequencies, precipitation, echoes--there is a soundtrack element. You may not understand Japanese, but you'll understand the sound and feeling alright.

Brian wilson, pop bjork, japanese girl pop, french pop, nordic sonics, top TV themes, some bossa groove...oh I don't know, it's both harder and softer than that mix makes it sound, it's more than that, and it's its own unique thing; and this sentence certainly indicates the failure of words to describe great pop.

I just want to sing out: this music is a blessing, and I'm glad I'm alive.


Also In White
Also In White

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars heart-breaking scottish classic, 29 May 2009
This review is from: Also In White (Audio CD)
This is the soundtrack of the story of your life. Those key moments--the soul, specificity, harmony, beauty, sadness, wonder and melancholy joy of your most astonishing and heartbreaking times.

They are not grand and melodramatic after all. They are low-key, wondrous, mysterious and just right.

To capture the heart's best moments you do not need sweep, extravagence or 1000 violins. You need this--the simple, the minimal, the grace, the stillness. Piano, trumpet, harmonica. There is no loneliness like this. It is beautiful.

The above words describe tracks 2-9. Each a snapshot, a captured moment of meaning that only music can express. Everyone will have different favourites from amongst these melodic minor-key instrumental gems. I don't wish to set anyone's expectations too high, though. If this record has greatness then it will be in the way that it might take you by surprise. It leaves me moved and amazed.

But the main tracks are bookended, in tracks 1 and 10, by two quite different tracks, the two longest tracks, and--in my own opinion--the best two tracks on the record.

D.A.D.E: a euphoric trubute to the future pilot? It builds, layer by layer, in something like pure joy.

Presentation Piece 1: the pianistic shuffle, then enter the trumpet, then the supporting brass; i wish it would never end; we're all different, it will bring up all the things we're glad we've after all not forgotten, imprinted in the mind and heart; it is a thing of great wonder.

The very best music is the hardest to describe.

You might not play this record all the time.

But I think there will nights in your life that you're glad to play this scottish classic.


Gok
Gok
Price: 11.48

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars we teach all hearts to break, 29 May 2009
This review is from: Gok (Audio CD)
I am sorry that this review cannot be more helpful. But there is lttle music like this.

It combines: 70s morricone, melancholic brass band, lonely jazz piano, devotional hymn, the high school orchestra at the end of the term but some of them can't play as sharply as usual because they weep inside at all the memories they feel they are leaving behind and because their devotion to each other makes them falter in a very human way, brian wilson beach boys, echoes of glasgow gaelic pìobaireachd ,the sadness and beauty of japanese harmony, lo-fi suggestion, minimalist snapshots of key moments; and more and less. It is that good, and better.

This record has fifteen tracks. Mostly they are instrumental; wells piano usually leads, melodic bass underpins, a variety of brass and woodwind harmonises. Some tracks have a japanese vocal, tremulous and affecting. Mostly, the music carries a melancholy vibe; sometimes it is jolly, but somehow in a reflective kind of way. Even when a tune is at its most simplistic nursery-rhymish there is a weird resonance.

Everyone will have their own favourites. Some tracks will make you smile. Some will break your heart, with an almost unbearable beauty. Many may do both at the same time.

It is brilliant.


Erotica Remixes Ep
Erotica Remixes Ep

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars i'd like to get you in a spin, 24 Sep 2007
This review is from: Erotica Remixes Ep (Audio CD)
In my opinion most of the music in Madonna's long career has been extremely unremarkable. Poor productions of poor songs. Until suddenly this weird high point with two fabulous songs: 'erotica' and 'justify my love', and their hot, glamorous, cheeky accompanying videos and maxi-singles.
The songs are dark, sleek, sensual, electric, human; they have desire, confidence, heat, need, funk. Here are all versions of erotica, and all of similar lengths. There is no stand-out mix:the interest is in the variety. The whole maxi-single stands just under 40 mins, and is far better value than the LP of the same name, where 'erotica' was far and away the stand-out track.
Let your imagination run riot, and these grooves will get you in a spin. Soon after it was back to poorer stuff for Madonna--until the recent peak again of 'Confessions': but that's another story....


Thunder, Lightning, Strike
Thunder, Lightning, Strike
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: 5.36

5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect pop, 23 Sep 2007
Not too much to add to some of the ecstatic reviews below; other than to say that the 'production' criticised below is well-nigh perfect. Live they are astonishing, and it is miraculous that the production captures some of that. Live, the songs can take on a more chaotic jamminess, but on record every song is of a perfect length.

This is pop music at its most wonderful and beautiful, so intensely of the moment that it equally aches with the joy and sadness of life.

It's a great tribute that every listener hears such different gems within this sound--I hear playground chants, tighten up, the friends of distiction, mo tucker, josie and the pussycats meets the velvet underground through a punk version of shangri-las blasting be young be foolish be happy out your car window on a gorgeous summer day as you drive with your gang and your girl and the cops'll never catch you as lonnie smith or beat at cinicitti play in the background. Sorry, no, that's not even the half of it.

What a plucking banjo! 2-4-6-8! Rocking your microphone! Ninja is a superstar, she is my heroine. The fragility of 'Hold Your Terror Close', and the perfect finish of 'Everyone's a VIP to Someone'. If you love music and cherish life, you must have it.

Dammit, it's happened again. Words fail me...


Cat On A Hot Tin Roof [1958] [DVD]
Cat On A Hot Tin Roof [1958] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Elizabeth Taylor
Price: 4.58

0 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 5 star shining for maggie but the rest disappoints, 23 Sep 2007
Elizabeth Taylor sizzles as Maggie, stunning as the positively itching 'cat on the hot tin roof' of the title. She is passionate and forthright and dominates all of her scenes, even with such a powerful cast; she burns with unfulfilled sexual desire yet her committment to the screwed-up and impotent Brick is moving.

Decent acting, including one of the most annoying families of all time battling for Big Daddy's affection against his favoured Brick and Maggie; but the whole thing gets over-wraught, over-heated, stagey, stilted and lacking in variation, anticipating nothing so much as episodes of TVs Dallas. 'Just stop all shouting at each other' you feel like moaning.

But Taylor, particularly in the first 30 minutes--has anyone ever worn a belt, a blouse or a slip so fantastically? That's where the stars come from.


My Beauty
My Beauty

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Breathtaking, 15 Sep 2007
This review is from: My Beauty (Audio CD)
You once were a big-shot pop star, but now you're down, depressed and in the wilderness, you're finished.
An old fan made food--Alan Mcghee--tracks you down and gives you an unlimited budget and a free-hand for the comeback of your choice.
You hire a giant orchestra and embark upon a covers record of all those songs that have meant most to you, reached out and somehow touched you, whether those songs be old, recent, corny or hip.
The advertising campaign you insist upon--the pink, the feathers, the stockings, your beauty--is judged one of the most disastrous of all time. The record is a complete flop; there are rumours about how few copies are sold; you are stoned off the stage in your only performance of it; the record company goes bust; you're back to square one.
Is this a joke? Was Kevin trying to be funny?
No way-it's possibly the most sincere record you will ever hear in your life. Kevin takes songs some of which had great original versions, some of which didn't, and makes them his own, makes them meaningful, makes them sing out in honesty, conviction, heartache, passion--and yes, beauty.
The Greatest Love Of All (never a good song) is mindblowing, is shattering--so personal, so moving, so real, from a whisper to a scream--this should have been the single and could have been number one.
Other highlights--Rag Doll, Getting Better, Reflections of My Life, a joyous Daydream Believer, This Guy's In Love With You.
"Bad stuff's over.." says Kevin on the angelic fade-out to Rag Doll, and you know he means it. Yet in some ways a different kind of bad stuff was imminent. But perhaps these things had to get out there before Kevin could grace us again with the fantastic 'to stop the burning' tour and the MySpace classic 'Joanna' a beautiful and wonderful song as good in its way as anything ever done.
Like Don't Stand Me Down, this record will live again (perhaps even with the 'permission-refused' brilliant version of Springsteen's Thunder Road re-instated)
Meanwhile, it's record Kevin should be proud of, and it's a record to cherish--it's a thing of beauty.


The Trial [1963] [DVD]
The Trial [1963] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Anthony Perkins

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Visually astonishing--but the nightmare's still real enough, 6 April 2007
This review is from: The Trial [1963] [DVD] (DVD)
This DVD can be picked up extremely cheaply, and that shows in the quality of the restoration, in particular the chopping of the ratio at the edges. At the same time....

All Welles movies around this time suffered from running-out-of-budget, makeshift location work and zero budget dubbing (with a variety of voices performed by Welles himself--see if you can spot them!), so some of this may be intrinsic to the film itself.

That quality does not ruin the film in the way that it almost did his masterpiece Chimes At Midnight (the worst sound quality of any major movie ever?), partly because of the themes of the movie itself--a small man lost in a shifting reality of inconsistencies, shady identities, where no appearances can be trusted.

It's a fascinating, if claustrophobic world. The movie was criticised for its excessive style--severe lighting, mammoth sets, extreme cutting, an array of tracking shots, long-shots, disconcerting angles, etc--but this all works to draw us fully in to the terrifying undefeatable beaurocratic surreal world that the main character tries to stand up against.

The ending seems poor--as if Welles was unsure how to finish it. But the meaning is in the experiencing of the film. The sets and settings are astonishing. This nightmarish beaurocracy is more relevant than ever. And Welles 'mistakes and failures' remain more thought-provoking, visually stimulating and enjoyable than a thousand other 'decent well-crafted' films.

So well-worth buying--until we see that perfect Orson Welles box set that us movie-lovers continue to dream about!


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