Linus
The promotional single for Charlotte Gainsbourg's new album - IRM - is called Heaven Can Wait, but I'm sure I'm not the only one who thinks that it will be pretty hard to wait for it to come out come next December. Her collaboration with Beck seems to have been very successful on this song. Let's all just hope that the rest of the album is just as good.

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Linus
Anne Briggs is quite the outsider in the folk revival movement of the early 70's. A wild spirit, or so it seems, she regarded the business of performing and recording as almost incidental and not all important per se.

Mistress of a singular voice, somewhere between the lament of a child and the weeping of a young virgin (don't mind me, I've been reading very strange things, lately), she somehow managed to put out enough material to influence the next generation of folk singers. Her first album was mostly an accapella affair, with Briggs' voice as the centerpiece. This track here than you can listen to below - Standing On The Shore - is taken from her sophomore album, The Time Has Come, and on this album you can already sense in a much deeper way that she was a non-conformist and someone that almost shied away from publicity and the whole music business altogether. Apparently, she never cared much for the money she could get from performing gigs.

I tell you, they don't make them like this anymore.

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Linus
I've been wanting to talk about Vashti Bunyan for a while now and the recent entry about Judee Sill gave me the perfect opportunity for it. So here it is.

What is it with me and artists with minute discographies? Here we are again, faced with a very interesting female singer/songwriter that has only put out two records in her lifetime. And the second one more than 35 years apart! Well, at least it's a great thing that her talents did not go unnoticed by the following generations of aural lovers. Championed by the new breed of New Folk artists, Bunyan has enjoyed a later life recognition that has only done wonders to her reputation as one of the most original and mysterious artists of her generation.

Her classic debut, Just Another Diamond Day, is worthy of belonging to any discerning music lover's collection, so pure is her voice and so exquisite the arrangements by Robert Kirby (of Nick Drake fame) are. But in this post, I wanted to call your attention to her sophomore album, the enigmatically named Lookaftering, a record every bit as haunting and original as her debut. I leave you with the track Against the Sky. Sit back and enjoy.

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Linus
This post is dedicated to one of our readers who called my attention to this very special lady's wonderful music.

I guess you can say that Judee Sill is the tragic american counterpart to Britain's Shelagh McDonald. Both released only two albums in their lifetime, both dabbled dangerously with drugs, both were extremely promising singer/songwriters in their own right, both ended their careers due to poor support from the part of their record companies who didn't believe enough in them and both are now revered, respected and reappraised and their music has suffered a long overdue reassessment that will never do them enough justice.

For me, what really stands apart Sill's music from McDonald's is that she was able to create a niche for her right from the start and the way she fuses folk with classic and rock is so effortless, it leaves you quite disarmed. On top of that, the deeply felt and often times spiritual/religious lyrics she infuses the songs with are the stuff only great dreamers are capable of. She really believed in salvation and redemption in the hollistic sense of those words and her music truly benefits from this aspect of her songwriting. For proof, I leave you with one of her most pure moments in song ever: The Kiss.

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Linus
This small incursion that I'm making into some seriously vintage music would not be complete without a mention to perhaps the maddest, quirkiest, most whimsical british band of all time: the Bonzo Dog Dooh-Dah Band, a.k.a. the Bonzo Dog Band.

Led by eccentric extraordinaire Vivian Stanshall, a major force in the post-modern whimsical world (if such thing even exists), they are to the music world what the Monty Python are to the movie world. This obviously means that they possess that rare gift of making people laugh whilst creating great art at the same time. This compilation is essential to understanding and comprehending just what made them tick and exactly why they are revered in Britain as belonging to a sort of music nobility, such was their legacy.

Part of their charm are the reinventions they made around old vintage classics of the popular sort and how they somehow successfully achieved grand notoriety with such material in a time when everyone was looking into the future for inspiration. Perhaps anachronism was the key, after all. If you've never heard them before and are curious to know how they sounded like, here's your chance now. I leave you with one of their all time classics: Hunting Tigers Out In India. Toodle-oo.

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Linus
I planned to post this video on last Halloween but that did not come through. I soon came to the conclusion that Nina Simone's spells are welcome any time of the year. I somehow know you feel the same way too. See you soon.

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Linus
If you lived in the 20's, this is the kind of music you'd be dancing: the Charleston. All flappers and It girls danced their little feet away to the infectious rhythm of these lively numbers. To be honest, they still possess a kind of timeless charm to them and that's one of the main reasons why I'm recommending this compilation.

As I said before, compilations are mostly hit and miss affairs and this one in particular is not the exception but when it hits the mark, it's a bull's eye. Besides, there's always one or two songs by an artist you've never heard of or paid any attention to that stands out from the rest like a sore thumb and makes you want to know more from those particular artists. And that's always a good thing in my book.

In this one, you get Fred Astaire, Josephine Baker, Sophie Tucker and Al Jolson, as well as some entirely lovable instrumentals courtesy of the more high-profile big bands of the time, so it's all good as you can see. And it also serves as a kind of testimony of the high-speed times they were living in, with new dance crazes and new stars popping up almost every week. It's no wonder this decade was named The Roaring Twenties! Take a listen to Al Jolson belting out Swanee.

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