In my post yesterday I received a Christmas postcard from Foxtails Brigade. It had come from San Francisco, so being late was not really an issue. Foxtails Brigade are a really interesting band who play small venues, coffee houses, even people’s houses. When they were raising funds for their last album if you donated $1,000 they would do a concert at your house (not in the UK of course) and for lesser sums things like hand decorated light shades, bet Paul McCartney doesn’t have to do that. Their interesting mix of instruments creates a ‘chamber’ sound and the vocals of Laura Weinbach have a quality that reminds me of Kate Bush. My friend Liz said to me once, that non-objectifying usually sensible men of my age go all odd when talking about Kate Bush, it must be the eyes and the dark hair alongside the voice, Laura has that quality. Their track Don’t Look Down appeared on my What Tim’s Been Listening To 2012 compilation with a link on my website, that’s the best way to hear/see what I mean – https://sites.google.com/site/timdiggles/you-tube-links-wtblt-2012.
A band like this would not have been available to me until a few years ago. I found them through a link to another band via a site, Fingertips, which reviews free and legal MP3’s, which put me through to a recording studio and a radio station. I was intrigued by the band name and thrilled when first listening to them.
In the late 60’s/early 70’s when I first started buying LP’s and watching bands there were few ways of finding new music available. Radio 1 had a list of around 40 singles they played, the John Peel show offered an alternative but the radio I had was a tiny transistor and it made many bands sound like The Chipmunks! Later on TV we had OGWT which caused much discussion at the art college, but was once a week and no recording facility if you missed it. We would read about bands but many kept to their own region and of course there was always luck. I saw David Bowie without realising it just before Space Oddity; Genesis were the opener for Lindisfarne and knocked us out; Taste were just one of 10 bands at an all-nighter in Buxton. Much of what I first bought was from listening to the LP’s other students brought in to play in the Art School Common Room – Zappa, King Crimson, Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Black Sabbath. My brother was keen on soul and I loved to listen to Motown and the whole Northern Soul scene.
Now, like all of you, I have access to singers and bands that would have been impossible to hear before. I think it is great, I love to find new music, new ways of expression. I also feel it is great when artists have continued to develop such as Leonard Cohen, Kate Bush (mind wobbles a bit), Scott Walker and now David Bowie. It is truly remarkable how they all keep finding something new from just a few musical notes!
Today’s photograph is bit of painted brick wall and snow. Lightly snowing, chilly, 11.50am.