Following on from The Swell Season‘s 2006 self-titled debut album and the film that grew out of it, Glen Hansard (pictured above, extreme left) and Markéta Irglová released a second long player last year. Strict Joy was the title of that album and its release followed on from the low-budget success of Once (2007) and their subsequent Best Original Song Oscar for Falling Slowly in 2008. The duo are still gigging and recording and have just released an acoustic version of Candi Staton’s disco classic Young Hearts Run Free. You can download it for free at Levi’s Pioneer Sessions site. It’s the second in a series of a dozen free downloads that will be available over the coming weeks from the site and will also include tracks from She & Him, The Shins and Dirty Projectors. You just need to provide your email address and a few details and a link to the mp3 will appear moments later in your inbox. Here’s another cover of a pop hit that Glen did a few years ago with Colm Mac Con Iomaire (pictured above on the right of the frame)
The current season of Later with Jools Holland concludes this week and goes out with a bang. Half of the dozen acts from the previous two weeks hailed from New York City and that trend continues as two of this week’s guests are also based in the Big Apple. Earlier this year, Vampire Weekend (pictured above, bottom middle) followed up their strong debut album with Contra. MGMT (top middle) are a duo based in Brooklyn, NY and are comprised of Ben Goldwasser and Andrew VanWyngarden. Their Oracular Spectacular album contained the hit singles Electric Feel, Kids, and Time to Pretend. Congratulations is the title of their recently-released second album. Crystal Castles (top left) is a Canadian electronic duo made up of produced Ethan Kath and singer Alice Glass whose self-titled second album has just been released. Also from Canada, Metric (bottom left) is the name of a four-piece fronted by Emily Haines, who is also a member of Broken Social Scene and performs as Emily Haines & The Soft Skeleton. A year ago, Metric released their fourth album, Fantasies. Corinne Bailey Rae (top right) is a singer-songwriter from Yorkshire who graduated with a degree in English Literature from the University of Leeds in 2000. Her self-titled debut album was released in 2006 and its musical blend of soul and pop made it a commercial and critical success. Its follow-up, The Sea, was released last year. In two weeks, Tom Jones (bottom right) will turn 70 and he has spent nearly half a century singing other people’s songs. Yesterday, I gave you his version of a Bob Dylan song that appears on his upcoming Praise & Blame album. Below you’ll find the 1988 cover of Kiss by Prince that he did with The Art of Noise, along with Corinne Bailey Rae taking on The Raconteurs, Vampire Weekend doing Fleetwood Mac, and Metric’s version of a track by The Strokes
Bob Dylan is about to go on the road again and over the next six weeks he’s going to perform 25 shows in 36 days in 17 countries all over Europe. He begins this Saturday in Greece and finishes up in Limerick on the Fourth of July. I presume Bob is still in the States at the moment as today he celebrates his 69th birthday. The picture above shows a younger Bob with an equally younger Mick and Keith from the Stones. Below, Mick Jagger does his best Dylan impersonation as The Rolling Stones take on Like a Rolling Stone. The other songs are performed by two of the guests on the final episode of this season’s Later with Jools Holland and I’ll put up a post about that tomorrow. In the meantime, here’s Tom Jones taking on a song that appeared on Dylan’s Oh Mercy (1989) while Metric from Canada make the grade with their duet on Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright
I’ve got some good news for fans of Bob Dylan in Ireland who can’t wait for his Fourth of July gig at Thomond Park in Limerick. The night before will see Clonlara, Co Clare play host to the second instalment of Bob Fest. The event takes place on the grounds of the Anglers Rest public house and will feature a number of local and national bands paying tribute to the music of Mr Zimmerman. The shindig is being organised by a Limerick musician named Keith Forde and he promises a “relaxed, chilled out atmosphere” with poetry and visuals to go along with the music. For those who’d like to make a night of it, the organisers are providing free camping at the site. You can find more information at Bob Fest 2010′s MySpace page. Please note that this event has no connection to the Bobfest 2010 that also took place in Co Clare a couple of months ago. A few years ago, Bryan Ferry became yet another artist in a long line who have released full albums of Dylan covers. I’d like to dedicate this version of Positively 4th Street to Mr Forde as we both count this song as one of our favourites by Dylan. Good luck, Keith!
Image courtesy of The Review Crew
Just like last time out, half of the acts on this week’s Later with Jools Holland hail from the Big Apple, including two based in Brooklyn who both have two albums to their name. Earlier this year, Yeasayer (pictured, bottom left) released Odd Blood while White Rabbits (top middle) released It’s Frightening a year ago. Alicia Keys (bottom right) grew up in Manhattan and will be singing songs from her fourth record, The Element of Freedom (2009). Macy Gray (top right) shares a similar musical style to Keys and has one album more to her name. Jeff Beck (top left) was already a star before most of tonight’s other guests were even born. He was a contemporary of Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page, but never achieved the same levels of success or public fame as these and other guitar greats. His skills were much more appreciated by his fellow musicians, however, and he has always been in big demand for session and collaborative work over the years. Emotion & Commotion was released last year and includes a mixture of classical works and standards with vocals provided by such singers as Joss Stone and Imelda May. The Creole Choir of Cuba (bottom middle) is composed of descendants of Haitian immigrants to Cuba and they perform music that originated in Haiti that contains elements of other Creole-speaking nations from the Caribbean. And now, some choons
Bob Dylan’s Thomond Park gig on July 4th is going to be a big day for music lovers in Limerick, but it’s going to be an even bigger one for a one lucky local act. It hadn’t been officially announced when I wrote last week that Alabama 3 had been added to the list of support acts for the day. The organisers of the the event, Aiken Promotions, have since confirmed that Alabama 3 will join Seasick Steve and David Gray for what promises to be an interesting lineup. They have also revealed that the opening act will be drawn from a shortlist of five unsigned Limerick acts who’ll perform at Dolan’s Warehouse at the end of June for the chance to appear on the same stage as Bob. The competition is being organised by a local newspaper and radio station and you can find more details at the websites of The Limerick Leader and 95fm. Fair play to Aiken Productions for giving this opportunity to a local band and well done to the local media for giving the gig some free publicity
The current season of Later with Jools Holland is halfway there and features another international selection this week. I first came across Crowded House when Don’t Dream It’s Over was a hit in 1987 and the band from the southern hemisphere had even more success when Woodface (1991) yielded a number of hit singles. However, Temple of Low Men, their second album, is my favourite of theirs. The group disbanded in 1996 while Neil Finn (pictured above, second from left) pursued a solo career. They reformed again in 2006, minus founding member Paul Hester who had taken his own life a year earlier. Intriguer is the title of their recently released sixth album. Next up are three New York-based acts. The National are led by singer Matt Berninger (far left) and he also writes the songs. They’ve been going for a decade and made the breakthrough with their Boxer (2007) album. This is Happening is LCD Soundsystem‘s third and, it seems, final album. Essentially, the band is the baby of New Yorker James Murphy (middle) and its sound draws from such apparently disparate influences as punk and dance. The previous album, Sound of Silver, was a critical and commercial success and includes one of my favourite songs from the last few years, All My Friends. Kelis (second from right) hails from Harlem and is on the show to promote her new album entitled Flesh Tone. Tracey Thorn (far right) was a founding member of the duo Everything But the Girl and has sung backing and lead vocals on songs by many other bands, most notably Protection by Massive Attack. Love and Its Opposite is the title of her third and latest solo album. Like Thorn, the sixth and final guest is also from England. Pete Molinari plays a mixture of country and blues and his third album will be released next month. Pete was a late addition to the show and I found out he was on only after I had put the above picture. So, if you want to see what he looks like then you’ll have to tune in to the show or go to his website. Here are a few songs by three of the acts appearing this week
Christy Moore turns 65 today, traditionally the age of retirement in Ireland. However, it’s highly unlikely that he’ll be hanging up his guitar and bodhrán for a while yet. In his early twenties, Christy decided to withdraw from a career in banking to become a folk singer and has become one of Ireland’s most respected and popular musicians over the last four decades. He’s been a solo performer for most of his career, but the man from Kildare was also a founding member of Planxty and Moving Hearts, two influential groups from the early seventies and early eighties respectively. Throughout his solo career, his repertoire has drawn upon a combination of sources: traditional music; songs by established and unknown songwriters; and his own distinctive material. Like most folk singers, he has sung love songs as well as songs about key issues of the day: emigration, unemployment, alcoholism, war and, frequently, marginalised peoples. He has also sang in a lighthearted way about the building of an airport in rural Ireland, alcoholism (again) and the Irish football team’s adventures at the 1988 European Football Championships. Exactly one year ago, his most recent album release, called Listen, knocked The Fame by Lady GaGa off the top of the Irish album charts. From that album, you can listen to his take on a song written by Roger Waters as a tribute to former Pink Floyd member Syd Barrett. Happy birthday, Christy!
Image courtesy of christymoore.com