Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Keane and Mt Desolation

It takes so long from the time an album is announced to the time it is released. For me, lately, I try to hold off on listening to all the sneak peaks. I have found in the past that by the time the album is released, my excitement has waned.

For months, I have been hearing about Keane's upcoming release...actually it was over a year ago that I heard about K'naan recording songs with Keane.

I did watch the video for the first single Stop for a Minute when it was released, but I didn't listen to any of the songs until yesterday when I saw that the album was on iTunes for pre-order.

The video is SO good by the way:

I was quite excited knowing that new Keane songs would be entering my library in three weeks. I was also hopeful that they would be touring again. Seeing them six times so far still isn't enough.

Then this morning, I wake up to the news that Tim Rice-Oxley (the keyboardist and songwriter) for Keane has joined a supergroup.

The headline of Keane and The Killers forming a supergroup initially got me excited. Two of my favourites getting together? But it was misleading as I read on, it is only one member of each band joining a member of Noah and the Whale and a member of Mumford & Sons.

The article said that Mt Desolation would consist of Tim Rice-Oxley, Ronnie Vanucci (drummer for the Killers), Tom Hobden (violin player for Noah and the Whale) and Winston Marshall (banjo and vocals for Mumford & Sons).

However according to Mt Desolation's website, the band also consists of Jesse Quin: the newest member of Keane. It turns out that Tim and Jesse spear-headed this side project. They involved other musicians they knew.

Mt Desolation actually consists of:
Tim Rice-Oxley - Vocals, Piano
Jesse Quin - Vocals, Guitar
Andrew Lowe - Bass
Fimbo - Drums
John Roderick - BVs, Guitar
Pete Roe - Keys, BVs
Tom Hobden - Fiddle
Jessica Staveley-Taylor - BVs

and features:
Ronnie Vannucci - Perc, good vibes
Winston Marshall - Banjo
Charity Quin - BVs
Jayne Rice-Oxley - BVs
Francois Deville - Pedal Steel

So the mainstream media took some liberties in announcing that Keane and The Killers were forming a supergroup. The supergroup "features" Ronnie.

As excited as I should be at the prospect of a new band, when just recently I was saying that I needed some new music in my life, a line in the article burst my bubble.

"They will be releasing an album of country alternative songs later this year".

What? Country Alternative? Uggh.

A year or two ago, when one of my favourite singers, Ross Copperman teamed up with Heather Morgan to form a country duo: Roots & Wings, I said..."if anyone can get me into country music, it will be Ross".

Well, they didn't release any music and perhaps with Ross releasing an EP a few months ago, his own music became the priority.

So now, I will say, "if anyone can get me into (alternative) country music, perhaps it will be Tim".

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Guilty pleasures

I'm sure every music fan who is conscious of their music taste and feels they have a good grip on the quality dial of the music scene has at least one guilty pleasure.  

For me, it's Neil Diamond.  Although his earlier work and interestingly, his latest work is well respected, most middle agers / Xgeners likely heard Diamond during his sappy middle period (maybe his You don't Bring me Flowers duet with Barbara Streisand).  But I first heard Neil Diamond during a once in a lifetime trip to Singapore, Christmas 1975.  I had never been anywhere outside the UK when my family made this trip to visit my Australian uncle and family who were living in Singapore at the time. Therefore my memories of Singapore remain very vivid, the topical humid air, the exotic smells, 4pm rainstorms, new tastes and funnily enough, the sounds of Neil Diamond.  My uncle was a big fan of Neil Diamond and I recall sitting in his living room with all the windows open late in the evening, with family all around and hearing Diamond's classic live album Hot August Night.  

So today, an unusually warm (hot even) April day here in Toronto while the kids are elsewhere and my wife (not the biggest Diamond fan) is out - the windows are open, I'm taking a little breather and I put on my favourite tracks from Hot August night and I'm back in Singapore.

Also posted on my general interest personal blog.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Improvised jazz journey

A little journey I took while searching for some new jazz artists.

Improvised jazz journey Originally uploaded by PJMixer