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Thursday, February 28, 2008

Jackson C Frank, among other things.

Current mood: peaceful

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Before starting properly (this blog goes on for a while) I feel the need to point out Dronevolk.  It's basically a movie about four bands in Belgium involved in the wierdfolk scene.
English subtitled trailer here.
The DVD should be out some point next month.  Maybe not to everyone's preference but hopefully someone reading this will like it.


Jackson C. Frank has been a musical obsession of mine for a good few years now, and even in the past four or five years I've been enjoying his music I've noticed a huge (long deserved) leap in his fanbase.
People that have and are covering his music are generally people that I respect, but its amazing to see the sudden surge.  Here are some I've come across.
Firstly the early few...

Nick Drake
Bert Jansch
Paul Simon
Sandy Denny
John Renbourn
Tom Paxton
Dave Cousins
Fairport Convention

I don't think I'd be wrong in saying Al Stewart as well, but can't remember.

Then there was The Counting Crows.

Now in the past couple of years there seems to have been a bit of a resurgence of interest in his music.  This was possibly since Vincent Gallo included him on his 'Brown Bunny' soundtrack, maybe because of him appearing at the end of Daft Punk's 'Electroma' film, or maybe its because the 'Tanworth-in-Arden' demos by Nick Drake were released on a recent box set.  But then again, maybe people have begun to see sense and have found an appreciation for his amazing music.  In a few cases I'm sure the musicians have just come across him, much like myself, but no doubt the upcoming flurry (well, two - that I've noticed) of covers have some link to the Nick Drake re-issues.

Simon Joyner included a cover of 'The Visit' on his covers box set 'To Almost No One' and Novi Split had a cover of 'Blues Run The Game' on his myspace page a good six months back.  Coming up though Colin Meloy (of The Decemberists) has done a cover of 'Blues Runs the Game' that will be included on the vinyl version of 'Sings Live!' and Malcolm Middleton has covered 'Just Like Anything' for his 'Sleight of Heart' release.

Part of me loves this and wishes Jackson were still alive to see it, and it means that my 7" of 'Blues run the game' may actually go up in value - not that I'd ever be willing to part with it - but the other part of me wishes he remains relatively anonymous.  There's no family that royalties will go to
(to my knownledge at least - his child died very young and I don't believe he was married when he died), only than the record label, and its always nice to have a band or musician that you can have to yourself, isn't it?

Well, I put his music to you now so that you may admire him instead of the musician covering it. (be sure to check out some of the cover project stuff as well)

He was a shy, modest man about his music, but listen to that voice and the beautiful guitar.  Amazing.
I don't know how regularly he played live, but unfortunately barely any footage has appeared, only in a BBC4 folk documentary, and even then it was about a 20 second clip.


Ok, some other stuff.  Don't know what though...

Ah, ok, this DNA database proposal.  Been driving me insane lately.  How can people seriously be saying, "you shouldn't mind if you don't have anything to hide"?  Are these people sheep or drones?  Really can't work out which.  We're an innocent until proven guilty society, not one where you have to prove your inncence before you're even informed of a crime.
Also, what's to stop, say, a hairdresser from taking a few select hairs after a shift and then planting them on someone they've attacked?  Or maybe someone taking a cigarette bud and leaving it close to a murder?
Nothing is full proof, and apparently there have already been 1,500 mistakes made using the database with only 4.5million people on it, so multiply that figure by about 15 and surely it becomes rather useless?

Every solution created and used in this country with crime in mind is not preventative, its for retribution.  Granted you can't stop all crime from occurring, but why do our civil liberties have to be taken away from us?


Got to feel sorry for Prince Harry for the recent media coverage.  Got to give a lot of respect to him though, not many people in his position in this day and age would do the same.


Why have people only just turned on their thoughts on Hillary Clinton?
I said somewhere recently that I couldn't imagine anyone worse for US President, and that was a bit of an exaggeration, but still, out of the people left in the race(s) I do think she would be the worst option.  She's so annoying.


An interesting story arrived on yahoo this morning about someone getting a four year sentence for texting whilst driving (read here).
Ok, she hit a cyclist who subsequently died, but if you read it you will have read that the cyclist jumped a red light.  Now I'm all for people not getting hit by cars and the roads actually being safe, but was the car driver actually more in the wrong than the cyclist?
Had the cyclist survived the driver probably wouldn't have received such a lengthy sentence, but if that was the case I would bet my money on the driver receiving higher punishment, which I don't think should be the case.  Understanding traffic lights is the most basic part of being a road user yet constantly you see people on bikes flouting the law and jumping them.  If they really want less people to be hurt from cycling accidents, tell them how to use the roads sensibly, otherwise I do feel that they sometimes deserve to be hit.


Some musical recommendations:

Teenage Cool Kids
Natural Snow Buildings
Beggin' Your Pardon Miss Joan
Lightning Strike Lightning


Is there really going to be an 'Arrested Development' movie?
I would love another series - although I do like the way the third ended - but a movie?  Would it work?

Oh, and whilst on the subject of tv, who on earth at Channel 4 bought the rights to 'The Big Bang Theory'?!  Quite possibly the worst programme I've ever watched.

'Prison Break' also had a poor ending.  Would the alarms going off in a museum not mean some kind of lockdown rather than everyone having to be evacuated?

'Neighbours', I once again urge you to kill off Ringo.  This (with the anorexia or whatever it is) is the third or fourth opportunity to do it, take it.
Its a crap programme though, don't know why I still watch it.  Even more annoying now its gone to Channel 5, although the channel as a whole is improving.

Word is BBC want to get the rights to the Champions League soon.  That would be excellent, but please don't make Mark Lawrenson commentate it.  He comes across a lot better in the studio rather than negative and sarcastic comments for 90 minutes.


Been trying to put together a few songs again lately, still useless at lyrical content and rarely feel satisfied, but I'm slowly taking the view of having some kind of structure to the music and then semi-improvising lyrics over the top.  For example, one piece I just haven't managed to get to a state where I'm happy with it.  The guitar is good enough, based on a basic Bm to G progression but then expanding and elaborating, but then I'm happy with the lyrics to the end of the first line, "there once was a little man, he was my son" (sounds a bit lame from just that line I know), but then expanding and going in all directions from selling him to the Queen to allowing him to be killed by kidnappers - happy ending songs are dull.
Then there's one about a Priest being falsely accused of using one of his Sunday schoolers as a catamite.  Got four lines for that one and half a solo.

Just can't seem to get a grip with lyrics unless they're off the top of my head.  When I sit down and think, 'I've got to write this' I can't do it.  Then when I improvise something good I can't remember it.  Logically recording the improvisations to tape would be the sensible thing to do, but no doubt when I play them back I wouldn't be as happy with it as I was when playing it.


Anyway, rambling on, and seeing as no one will have got this far its rather pointless continuing.
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