Archive for the ‘Lizzy Stewart’ Category

SOUNDTRACK: PHISH-Live Bait 5 (2011).

When this was released it was an astonishing free giveaway.  A mix of previously released and brand new recordings that spanned from 1987 to 2009!  Over 6 hours of music!  For free.

It’s fun to hear the really early stuff–like the songs that are from “Ian McLean’s Party at Connie Condon’s Farm” where the band is laughing with the audience (which seems like it’s about 100 people).  And when they invite everyone to another free part coming up.   This was back in 1987 before they had released their official debut Junta (who was taping all this stuff for them back then?  And with such good quality?).  But this one is especially fun because you can hear dogs barking during the quieter parts.

There’s also a big chunk of live Gamehendge material from Townshend Family Park in Vermont (circa 1989).  The middle block features the addition of The Giant Country Horns who play on “Flat Fee” and great versions of “David Bowie” and “Gumbo.”  I wouldn’t want the horns all the time, but they do add something to these shows.

Then there’s a jump to 1996 and a whole series of songs from shows at Loring Air Force base (through 1998).  There’s a 27 minute “Down with Disease” and a fun “Bathtub Gin.”  There’s then a bunch of songs from one show at the Big Cypress Seminole Reservation.

After a few year’s hiatus, they resume in 2003 back at Loring.  There’s a great version of “Waves,” although I found the “Mike’s Song” from this era kind of anemic.  And then, interestingly, there’s a “Split Open and Melt Jam” which is indeed, just the jam from the song and not the song itself.  “Suzy Greenberg” features Sharon Jones–it’s funny to me to hear r&b singers singing about a Jewish woman going to a neurologist. Fish, by the way has some of the funniest lines during the “forgotten my name bit.”  I’m also intrigued by the 2009 version of “McGrupp and the Watchful Hosemasters,” a pretty but kind of goofy song that dates back to 1985!

All in all, this was a very cool freebie to give to fans.

[READ: July 5, 2011] Five Dials 24

The newest Five Dials came as something of a surprise since Number 23 came out not too long ago and there was talk of the next issue being quite large.  But I like the small editions of Five Dials.  And this one is a cool, bite-sized nugget–a little fiction, an interview and an essay.  I have to assume this one was released when it was because it has a remembrance of David Rakoff, making this release rather timely.

…plus bear illustrations like you won’t believe by BECKY BARNICOAT (funny and dark drawings), LIZZY STEWART (beautiful pencil drawings) and NEAL JONES (blue bears). (more…)

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SOUNDTRACK: HELIUM-The Dirt of Luck (1995).

Mary Timony fronted Helium for a few years.  In that time she was recognized as something of a guitar wizard–not in her speed and flash, but in the weird sounds she conjured from the instrument.

She also had very peculiar musical sensibilities (these songs are quite odd) and a cool feminist attitude.  This album features the amazing song “Superball” (one of the best songs of the mid 90s–check out the video and watch the guitarist playing the strings with a screwdriver!  Man I miss the 90s) as well as a number of unpolished gems like “Medusa” and “Pat’s Trick” (the dual vocals are very cool and the dispassionate “oh oh oh” is very interesting, plus I love the lyric about “long-ass curly hair”).

Her singing style is often quite slacker-y, like in the opening of “Medusa”–she’s not always audible, and she often seems like a kind of buzzy sound more than a voice.   She sounds like she’s singing from very far away–seemingly powerful and yet quiet at the same time.

But combine that with the cool scratchy/noisy guitar sounds she gets and she’s pulling off a very cool combination (think Dino Jr without the hooks and killer solos).

Like “Baby’s Going Underground” features some crazy shoegazer guitar washes for most of its 6 minutes which really changes the pacing of the record.  There’s also the great “Skeleton,” a riff so cool that Sonic Youth used it for “Sunday.”

She also has a way with haunting melodies as on the piano  instrumental “Comet #9” and on “All the X’s Have Wings” which sounds very medieval. I think of Timony as a guitarist and yet there is there are lots of keyboards on the album too–mystical keyboards that are fascinating and seem out of character with the guitars, but actually work quite well.   But the prettiest song is “Honeycomb.’  It’s a sweet song with a wonderful melody.  It is followed by the ender “Flower of the Apocalypse” a guitar-based instrumental that is mostly feedback but is also surprisingly melodic.

Helium had mild accolades back in the 90s.  They released a couple of albums and then Mary Timony went solo.  It’s nice to have her playing now with Wild Flag.

[READ: November 11, 2011] Five Dials Number 21

This is the first issue of Five Dials that I was ready to read when it was sent to me (I’ve been all caught up for a while now).  So that’s pretty exciting!

I was tempted to say that i enjoyed this issue more than other issues, but I have enjoyed most Five Dials issues equally.  But this one is definitely a favorite.

CRAIG TAYLOR–A Letter from the Editor: On Turning 21 and Thinking About Rock Stars and Greece.
The magazine introduction jokes about them now being legal to drink in the U.S. and also about now being old enough to run for M.P. in England.  He also tells us about their “new” section Our Town, which has vastly expanded in this issue.  He also explains that there are many rock stars on hand to give the magazine tutelage (authors that the rock stars enjoy) and three short stories.  He ends with a notice that they have gone to Greece where they are gathering material for Issue 22. (more…)

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