Beth Orton - Shots of a variety of stars as they Celebrated the 60th anniversary of Allen Ginsberg's Howl with music, words and funny people which was held at The Ace Hotel Theater in Los Angeles, California, United States - Tuesday 7th April 2015
Beck's Song Reader might be a stroke of genius.
It is perhaps Beck's strangest album. Song Reader - the record made up entirely of sheet music - was played in full at London's Barbican Theatre on Sunday (July 7, 2013), with a huge cast of musicians including Jarvis Cocker, Franz Ferdinand and Beth Orton. This potentially had disaster written all over it, though reviews suggest the album was perfectly realised in the historic setting.
Song Reader contains twenty new songs, all publishing on song sheets. The tracks are scored for keys, guitar and voice though Beck's intention was for fans to elaborate and change the songs to their liking. As noted by the Financial Times' Ludovic Hunter-Tilney in his review, songwriter Ed Harcourt was given that job on the piano. He was accompanied by flugelhorns, ukuleles, drums and guitars. The veteran punk poet John Cooper Clarke read prose between songs while female vocal trio The Staves helped out on vocals.
David Smyth of the Evening Standard suggested the concert will have encouraged fans to have a go themselves, writing, "The songs Beck performed himself sounded the most predictable, with acoustic guitar to the fore, though a jazzy, catchy Do We, We Do would have stood out regardless of the singer. For those buying the book in the lobby, it was a case of do try this at home."
Continue reading: Song Reader: Beck Plays Album of Sheet Music At London's Barbican
A little help from my friends: Beck performs his latest 'Song Reader' album during an evening that saw performances from Franz Ferdinand, Jarvis Cocker, The Mighty Boosh, Beth Orton and Charlotte Gainsbourg.
Depending on the way you look at it, Beck's decision to release his last album in the form of sheet music was either incredibly innovative or unforgivably pretentious. Released in December 2012, Song Reader comprised of twenty songs in sheet music form as well as over one hundred pages of art. The idea behind the unusual decision was to let the fan become the composer, with many interpretations quickly surfacing online showing the versatility of the pieces.
Prolific Experimentalist Beck Invited A Host Of Artists To Help Him Perform Song Reader live.
This was all very well if you're a Beck fan with some degree of musical talent but for those hungering for the white rap of Odelay, the pop experimentation of Midnite Vultures or the sweet melancholy of Sea Change were left feeling a little bemused and perhaps even cheated.
Continue reading: Beck Summons An Army To Help Him Turn 'Song Reader' Into Music
Terry Callier has passed away at the age of 67. The soul and jazz singer is probably best known for the song 'You Goin' Miss Your Candyman' and with a career than spanned six decades, found renewed interest in his work after his collaborations with artists such as Beth Orton and Massive Attack. Caliier died last night (Sunday, October 28, 2012), after suffering from a long illness, according to The Guardian.
Callier was born in 1945, in Chicago, where he counted Curtis Mayfield and Jerry Butler amongst his childhood friends. In 1962, he auditioned at the legendary Chess Records and recorded his debut single, 'Look At Me Now.' Six years later, he released his debut album, The New Folk Sound Of Terry Callier. His career slowed between his 1978 album Turn You To Love and the 1990s, when he stopped making music professionally and instead became a computer programmer at the University of Chicago. As a new generation of artists share their love for Callier's music in the 1990s, there was a resurgence of interest in Callier's songwriting.
One of those artists, the British songwriter Beth Orton, paid tribute to Callier, who recorded with him in 1997. She has paid tribute on her Twitter page, to her former collaborator, saying "This was one of the best nights of my life. Such a privilege and joy- RIP dear Terry Callier," with a link to the YouTube video (below) of her performing live. A host of other artists and DJs have also paid tribute to Callier, including Gilles Peterson and Tim Burgess of The Charlatans.
Continue reading: Cult Soul Hero Terry Callier Dies, Aged 67, Beth Orton Pays Tribute
Here's a prime example of what happens when fascinating subject matter falls prey to inept filmmaking. Lian Lunson's Leonard Cohen: I'm Your Man is a frustrating mess, redeemed intermittently by a few solid musical performances and by the towering, erudite presence of Cohen himself.
Much of Lunson's tribute to the legendary songsmith is taken up by a 2005 concert featuring a lineup of international folk and pop artists honoring Cohen's music. I don't claim a close familiarity with Cohen's music, but it doesn't take an aficionado of it to figure out that several of the performances are overwrought, shrill, or just plain boring. Rufus Wainwright's nasally crooning and vamping reduce the wry humor of "Everybody Knows" and "Chelsea Hotel #2" into fey cabaret numbers. Elsewhere, Nick Cave's version of "I'm Your Man" by way of a Vegas lounge act deadens the senses, and Jarvis Cocker's stiffly delivered "Death Of a Ladies' Man" is god-awful. Aside from the default pleasure taken in knowing that you're hearing one of Cohen's songs, this is disposable material. All of it, that is, with the exception of Teddy Thompson's version of "Tonight Will Be Fine," Antony Hegarty's "If It Be Your Will," and Martha Wainwright's "The Traitor": Three performances that achieve the grace and soulful resonance of Cohen's music, so devoid in the rest of Lunson's documentary.
Continue reading: Leonard Cohen: I'm Your Man Review
Date of birth
14th December, 1970