Friday, January 15, 2010

Falling Down Blue

Blue Rodeo remains one of Canada’s best kept musical secrets, despite having put out numerous albums since the mid-80s, and winning a handful of Juno Awards (Canada’s equivalent of the Grammies). It’s easy to see why the roots-rockers do not enjoy the same sort of acclaim as more illustrious Canuck rockers like Neil Young, Bryan Adams or The Band: they specialise in putting out songs about chronic heartaches, hard economic times, desolate country towns and other less-than-cheery subjects, all set to some of the most understated and bare-bones music ever committed to record. Here’s an example of Blue Rodeo’s subtle craftsmanship, the elegantly poised, lounge-jazz-influenced ‘Falling Down Blue’, which gets an appropriately low-key monochromatic video-clip treatment.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Jean the Birdman

A top-quality collaboration between two art-rock authorities materialised in 1993, when avant-pop stalwart David Sylvian teamed up with King Crimson head honcho Robert Fripp for the stupendously excellent ‘The First Day’ album. ‘The First Day’ was an astonishingly adept record that effortlessly redefined the boundaries of modern-day progressive rock, while laying down some purposeful, superior-quality guitar grooves and spacey, patented Frippertronics courtesy of Fripp, expertly blended with some of Sylvian’s most confident and upfront vocals. While this sort of masterfully crafted neo prog-rock possesses not an iota of commercial-chart aspiration, it does constitute a rare, wondrous gift for aficionados of the genre, not to mention faithful fans of both Sylvian and Fripp. Check out the intentionally kaleidoscopic, appropriately surreal video clip for the sole single from this historic partnership, the cerebrally rugged and funky pop-rock composition ‘Jean the Birdman’.