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AN IMAGINARY EVENING WITH MUSICIANS

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A guest contribution from xxxjim

DinnerParty-MAIN

Hey JC

This is a change from an imaginary compilation, but I’m pretty sure I could do one for almost every singer/band mentioned – now there’s a challenge!

Anyway, a comment made a while ago got me thinking. It was on a Wedding Present / Cinerama related posting and it was along the lines of David Gedge being someone that the commenter, paulb3015 would most like as a friend.

I know it’s never a good idea to meet your heroes but I still think it would be great to spend an evening in the company of these musicians. I guess they all seem quite approachable to me and the sort of people that have a lot of stories and would be fun to be around.

So I give you the eight musicians I’d love to spend an evening with, be it for a beer or two or a meal all round a table, shooting the breeze. Eight seems about the right number – enough that you’d get to talk to everyone but not too many that no one can hear what anyone else is saying. And it would have to be the right mix of musicians – not too many egos.

They are not necessarily my all time favourite musicians or my favourite bands – in some cases they are – I just think they are all interesting people. One thing a lot of them have in common is that they like to tell a story when you see them live – I know that it can be the same story every night but as long as it seems like it’s off the cuff, I’m happy with that.

I haven’t worked out a seating plan but obviously there’s be two seats reserved for Mr and Mrs Vinyl Villain.

Kristin Hersh

Her music has been a constant in my life since I was about 18 – I’ve kind of grown up with her. I’m not an obsessive fan but I do try and see her whenever she performs. One of only two famous people to reply to me on Twitter (not that I use it very often), which makes her an all round nice person. (The other one was David Gedge)

mp3: Kristin Hersh – Sundrops (from ‘Hips and Makers’ LP)

Colin Meloy

Because he seems like a good bloke – a lot of The Decemberists’ songs are stories and he spins a good yarn on stage so I’m sure there would be plenty to talk about.

mp3 : The Decemberists – The Rake’s Song (from ‘The Hazards of Love’ LP)

David Gedge

I don’t need to explain this one – I’m pretty sure that every reader of TVV would want to have a beer with David Gedge.

mp3 : The Wedding Present – Give My Love To Kevin (acoustic) (from ‘George Best (plus)’ LP)

Leonard Cohen

I thought maybe Prince would be entertaining but I imagine everyone would just sit there dumbstruck thinking ‘Bloody hell – it’s Prince’ and no-one saying a word. Either that or he’d play ping pong with everyone and thrash them. But I thought it would be good to have an absolute megastar at the table, and someone much older – and someone who has been a hero of mine since my art student days. He’d bring a touch of wisdom to proceedings and his fantastic gravelly voice. And you never know he might feed us tea and oranges that come all the way from China.

mp3 : Leonard Cohen – Slow (from ‘Popular Problems’ LP)

Viv Albertine

A year ago she wouldn’t have been a dinner guest but her memoir ‘Clothes, Music, Boys’ is great – the best music book I’ve read this year – better than Kim Gordon and better than Eddie Argos (seriously). And she seems like a nice person – and normal. And because I love this song which is one of my favourite songs of the year (even though it came out a while ago, it’s new to me).

mp3 : Viv Albertine – Confessions of a MILF  (from ‘The Vermillion Borders’ LP)

Gruff Rhys

Because he took a puppet around America to try and find a Welsh-speaking tribe of native Americans. And he made a powerpoint presentation about it. And an album. And he weaves it all into a great story. And obviously because he is a Super Furry Animal.

mp3 : Gruff Rhys – Iolo (from ‘American Interior’ LP)

Holly Johnson

The first pop star that I really idolized – about 10 years ago I saw him in a shop and I was too star struck to go and say hello. His memoir is also worth a read.

mp3 : Frankie Goes to Hollywod – Relax (7” single)

Nicky Wire

The second Welshman – he’d make sure that it wasn’t all back slappery and coziness. Plus, if all else fails we can talk about sport – and he can give my daughter tips on applying eyeliner.

mp3 : Manic Street Preachers – Europa Geht Durch Mich (from ‘Futurology’ LP)

Anyway, I hope you like it – and it’s the sort of thing that fits in well on TVV.

cheers

xxxjim

A HAUNTING TUNE FOR HALLOWEEN

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R-701044-1296084424From 1994 in which a lead vocal, a backing vocal, an acoustic guitar and a cello combine to stunning effect:-

mp3 : Kristin Hersh – Your Ghost

It was the debut single from the Throwing Muses main protagonist and she called in a favour from her dear friend Michael Stipe whose band were probably just about the biggest selling on the planet at that particular time.   It’s a song that caught a lot of people by surprise – aficionados of Throwing Muses were astonished at the stripped-back beauty and simplicity of the track while R.E.M.‘s newest batch of fans were left scratching their heads and wondering why Stipe would feature so prominently on a recording by a musician more or less unknown in commercial or mainstream circles.

I was thrilled to pick up a mint copy of the 12″ single in a second-hand store the other week for just £2.  I actually reckon that the person who bought it did so on the basis of the backing vocal in the hope (in vain as it turned out) that Stipe would feature on the other songs.  It certainly appears to be a more or less unplayed piece of plastic.

Three other songs make up this lovely release, one of them being a rather startling cover of a Led Zeppelin track (and as someone who is not a fan of the rock giants I’m prepared to say that Kristin’s version is waaaaay superior!!)

mp3 : Kristin Hersh – The Key
mp3 : Kristin Hersh – Uncle June and Aunt Kiyoti
mp3 : Kristin Hersh – When The Levee Breaks

Oh and the lyrics of the middle song of these three refers geographically to Canada and it was wonderful to hear the province of Nova Scotia being refered to as New Scotland. I often forget just how many people from my wee country made their way to the rugged east coast of Canada to try to carve out a new life for themselves.

Finally…anyone who enjoys autobiographies of any sort really should track down a copy of Paradoxical Undressing, Kristin’s brilliantly-written and very frank, moving, often disturbing and occasionally laugh-out-loud-at-the ridiculousness-of-it-all memoir of a period in her life when she suffering from a debilitating mental illness.

Happy Halloween y’all.