Category Archives: Music

slow club

I found this lovely duo while listening over at 8Tracks (check me out!) and I just can’t get enough. I would try and describe them but it’s already been done – all too well.

“Could they be the UK’s answer to The White Stripes? Charles and Rebecca are Slow Club. They hail from Sheffield and are a sort of one man band. Only with two people. He strums guitar and sings and she plays drums and all sorts of weird instruments, like water-filled glass bottles, spoons and the back of a wooden chair. And sometimes an organ called Miles. Not something you get to see and hear every day. The effect is rockabilly and somewhat folksy but thankfully their songs are fairly jolly affairs without a bit of teenage angst in sight.”
[The Independant On Sunday]

“In a city still jam packed with derivative monkey bands, Slow Club stand out. Call them ‘folk’ if you must, but songs such as ‘Sunday’ and future single ‘Me and You’ are so gut-wrenchingly beautiful that the term sells them short. No, singing percussionist Rebecca and guitarist Charles are more than folking troubadours, they’re a musical revelation. Tonight in a jam-packed theatre ‘Sumer’ is pure heart-bursting pop, propelled by odd absurdist chair and table thwacking. Equally brilliant is debut single ‘Because We’re Dead’; imagine Nico playing with Bob Dylan if they were raised in Sheffield. Don’t call this club Slow, call it special.”
[NME Radar Gig Review]

But don’t take their word for it; listen yourself! Here’s a song they did for Bandstand Busking.

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itzhak perlman and me


He came on stage with those arm supports that aren’t quite crutches but definitely more than walking sticks. The audience watched in half-awe, half-pity as he slowly staggered across the stage. The concertmaster trailed behind holding his own violin in one hand and nervously clutching Perlman’s Stradivarius in the other. Finally reaching centre stage, Perlman laid his walking sticks aside, stepped onto the platform, loosened his bow tie,  rescued his violin, smiled at the conductor, and started playing. His posture was horrible. His shoulders slouched and his left hand flattened on the fingerboard as if permanently glued there. His hair was frazzled and entirely uncombed. And for the duration of the piece he never, ever looked at the conductor or any of the orchestra for that matter. In appearance, he was the worst soloist you could imagine.

But just listen to him play.  It was as if he was playing for himself, or perhaps a secret lover, injecting so much emotion but all within his own world. His eyes were closed for most of it leaving the audience free to stare and stare and – in my case – drool. (Even members of the orchestra were ignoring their music to gaze in awe.)  The intonation was perfect (as was to be expected) but so were his dynamics and double-stops and impossibly high shifts.  It was surreal.

If you haven’t heard of him, I’ll give you a taste. This is the piece I’m playing for my RCM exam this year. (And I have great confidence that it will sound nowhere near as good as this version.) I digress.

Now, prepare to be amazed.

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ipod needs some love

I am becoming alarmingly attached to my ipod, to the point where I shriek every time it falls to the floor. If I had any money I would invest in a case. Which do you like best?

Clockwise from top left: Barely There case, Converse case, Birdland case, Leather Lace case, Creepy Hands case, Roses are Red case.

Check out I Make My Case if you want to design your own (or even just to see some really cool  graphics).
P.S. Anyone want to donate to the “I Need a Case” fund? I would really appreciate it (as would my scratched up ipod).

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sondre lerche

Just discovered songwriter/guitarist Sondre Lerche! Very impressive! Quick facts: at age eight, he began guitar lessons and soon started singing regularly at local open mic sessions (though underage). By 16, he had signed a record deal with Virgin Norway! (And what have I accomplished before my sixteenth birthday?) Now 27, he has just released a wonderful new album titled “Heartbreak Radio”. Love the mix of acoustic guitar with cello, deep drums with violin. Hope you enjoy!

I WANNA CALL IT LOVE
Sondre Lerche and the Faces Down Quartet

Image from here.

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coeur de pirate

In the mood today for Coeur de Pirate, an up-and-coming singer from Quebec. Half the time I have no idea what her lyrics mean, but I find her songs soothing nonetheless. French is such a poetic language, don’t you think? Check out her hit, “Comme des Enfants”, below:

Image from here.

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freedom!

Today, this is what I felt like doing. I was finally finished with exams, work, and the seemingly never-ending stress of the past month. However, instead of embarrassingly leaping into the air with celebration,  I calmly came home and sipped a cup tea. But my reserved composure couldn’t last……a song kept running through my head. Akon’s annoyingly catchy song “Freedom” refused to go away and soon I was humming and singing aloud. (Not my usual choice of music, but perfect for a day like today.)

If you are willing to risk the continual mental playback, listen below:

Thanks to my brother for introducing me to this Akon guy.

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k’s choice


The great Belgian band, K’s Choice cannot be missed. Visit their official website here and check out the lyrics to one of their brilliant songs below:

20,000 Seconds by K’s Choice

20,000 seconds since you’ve left and I’m still counting
And 20,000 reasons to get up, get something done
But I’m still waiting
Is someone kind enough to
Pick me up and give me food, assure me that the world is good
But you should be here, you should be here
How colours can change and even the texture of the rain
And what’s that ugly little stain on the bathroom floor
I’d rather not deal with that right now
I’d rather be floating in space somewhere or
Worry about the ozone layer
And it’s almost like a corny movie scene
But I’m out of frame and the lighting’s bad
And the music has no theme
And we’re all so strong when nothing’s wrong
And the world is at our feet
But how small we are when our love is far away
And all you need is you


Kina Grannis has a wonderful cover:

Picture from here.

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