Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Music That Saved Me--Letter L

I first discovered Lick the Tins while watching that classic 80's  John Hughes film (wasn't every teen movie in the 80's directed by John Hughes??) Some Kind of Wonderful. It was the film where Molly Ringwald decided she didn't want to be his golden girl anymore and wasn't in it. It is not the best John Hughes film --that title goes to The Breakfast Club--but it certainly is a good one. There are some great lines in it and I was greatly enamoured with Watts the drummer girl played by the talented Mary Stuart Masterson. But the end of the film made my heart do a flip. I have always believed you should stay through the whole credits to see all the talented people who go in to making not a film. Not just the actors, but the crew as well. So I am watching the credits of this film and this amazing song came on and I fell in love. It was a Celtic rock rendition of Elvis' Can't Help Falling in Love With You. 
Listen to it here:
I adored Alison Marr's voice and slight lisp. I bought the album Blind Man Flying On a Horse and it is brilliant. There is this version of Hey Joe  that starts off like a ceilidh (traditional Gaelic social gathering combined with English folk dance) and ends with Jimi Hendrix.
Listen to it here:

Trivia: Lick the Tins was the nickname of a tramp that one of the band members often saw when he was a boy.

Love and Rockets
Another band that my boyfriend Tim T introduced me to. We both had such a crush on Daniel Ash. (he's the pretty one in the left with the red lipstick)
Image result for love and rockets band
They had a slippery kind of feel to their music--a lazy, languid, laid backness to the vocals but with 80's electronica. They had some mainstream success with So Alive but my favourite of their pop hits was No New Tale to Tell. I love the lines: our little lives get complicated. It's a simple thing. Simple as a flower and that's a complicated thing.  Just ignore the giant bees (WTF is that about?) and bask in the sexiness that is Daniel Ash and the slidey vocals of Love and Rockets (who were named for an indie comic book of the same name--not their penis as I suspect my mother would have thought)
Watch it here:
They also had a hit with a cover of the Motown classic Ball of Confusion. I had no idea it was a Motown song--but the words really resonated with me. I played it for my friend LeCrete who laughed her butt off and pulled out the Temptations album and played me the original. The song still is relevant today and L&R give it that 80's synth pop spin.
Watch it here:

Loreena McKennitt
Image result for loreena mckennitt
We were lucky to see her in concert a few years back in London where she had her troop of amazing instrumentalists (she herself plays piano and harp and accordion and they played all manner of things from electric violin to the lyra, the oud and the hurdy gurdy. Heard of any of those? Maybe not, but it was fascinating to watch) 

Many of her songs tell a story--she often sets classic poems to music. My first favourite choice is The Bonny Swans.  It is a murder ballad based on the poem Binnore. A woman is drowned by her jealous sister and is mistake for a swan and sold to a harper who makes a harp from her body and the harp sings the story of how she was murdered. There is a Grimm's fairy tale called The Singing Bone that is similar. 
Listen to it here: 

 My second choice is The Highwayman based on the poem by Alfred Noyes. I remember driving across town to play this to my dad I was so moved by it. 
Listen to it here:

My third choice is The Lady of Shallot based on the poem by Alfred Tennyson. This poem was the inspiration for countless Pre-Raphaelite paintings. Someone has helpfully put both the lyrics up and some Victorian paintings during the song. 
Watch it here: 

The Lost Dogs
The Lost Dogs were a Christian supergroup made of lots of people from alternative Christian bands--like the Christian version of the Travelling Wilburys. Breathe Deep was my favourite song by them. It is a list--you know how I love a list (think Jay Foreman's Every Tube Station and Mitch Benn's I'm Proud of the BBC which you'll hear under Letter M)--a list is just calling out to be memorised. 
It is a list of all the people covered by God's grace--and it is humbling. 
Listen to it here: 

Do you like songs that tell a story? Do you like songs that come in a list form?

1 comment:

  1. Lorenna McKennitt is amazing! Love her so much. If you like that you should check out Blackmore's Knight!
    Other L's for me. Live! Led Zeppelin, Letters to Cleo, and Liz Phair!