Quick Classic Review: Kathleen Edwards – Failer

Friday, July 20, 2012

ImageQuite a break, as I have been doing exams, moving and decorating and writing a few video game reviews over at Indie Game Bundles (not necessarily in that order), but I really wanted to get something on here before July was out, so here goes.

Nick Horny published 31 Songs, a series of essays on what music means to him, in 2003. One of the appendices of this book was a list of “Favourite Recent Songs”, those he had enjoyed shortly prior to its release, posted without comment. One of these was Kathleen Edwards’ One More Song the Radio Won’t Like. Via my own Task Engine some 9 years later, I found cause to pick up the album on which this song can be found, her 2003 debut Failer.

Country rock does not feature heavily in my music collection, but this is not what you might consider your typical country rock (for one thing, Edwards is Canadian). In terms of sound aesthetic, the closest artists I previously had in my collection to whom Edwards can be compared would have to be English ‘folktronica’ artist Beth Orton and US singer-songwriter Aimee Mann, fluctuating on a spectrum between the two (which would actually put her firmly in the category of folk-rock, so I clearly need a extra point to triangulate her between, which – sticking to my own collection – Tom Petty would have to provide).

Musically, there is a lot here to love. Lyrically the songs are, whilst brilliant, largely a mix of genre staples; untrustworthy lovers, heartbreak, indecisiveness and all that drinking to forget, leading inevitably to either a decision to turn it all around into something better or to fall further still. This is not as much of a criticism as it appears. There is enough going on in each song such that this feels more of a thread of cohesion running throughout the album, loosely holding it together. It never feels hackneyed or clichéd and, if anything, the album feels like it could easily be longer without outstaying its welcome.

Happily, with the release of Voyageur at the start of this year, there are now three other albums to explore, which I am quite likely to do. It will be interesting, as a latecomer starting at the beginning, to see how Edwards’ sound has changed as she has had time and opportunity to develop her sound and been met, so it appears, with ever-increasingly popularity.

Watch below the video for the song that led me here, One More Song the Radio Won’t Like, which features some rooftop juicing and what must be the most thoroughly grilled food of all time:

Purchase: Webstore | Amazon (UK | US)

Kathleen Edwards: Official website

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It’s a new dawn…

Sunday, January 2, 2011

A new manlier look for 2011.

EDIT: Sharebee used to be reasonably okay, but now it’s a disaster. I’m trying something new. Let me know if there are any problems with this service.

As it is the start of a year, I am sure I am not the only one dusting off an old blog and trying to make a better start of it. 2011 is going to be a task-led year, but to make it more appealing I am not forcing myself to do any more than I can handle and I have built an engine to decide the tasks for me. The first was to create a mixtape and, given that I so often put myself to shame with a lack of awareness of what is going on in the world of music in spite of being so well connected with music bloggers and musicians and myself a long-term radio presenter, I was keen to throw something together to show what I have noticed.

OFCK! Vol. 1 is a collection of the songs I have most enjoyed that I have played on the 2010/11 Autumn Term season of radio shows presented by Old Fridges Can Kill. I have tried to include as many songs from 2010 as possible, but there are a few older tracks in there as well. A few songs I really wanted to include I could not as they are not on the laptop from which this has been written and the mix assembled, but the playlist wound up packed to capacity anyhow.

So, allow me to present, without any further ado, OFCK! Vol. 1 (click the cover to download, via Sharebee Mirrorcreator):

Disclaimer: This collection is for sampling purposes only. If you enjoy any of the tracks, please support the artists behind them. If you own the copyrights for any of the tracks herein and wish them to be removed, contact me and I will make this happen as expediently as possible (usually within 24 hours).

A full tracklist with links to the artists can be found behind the jump.

Read the rest of this entry »


One week since you looked at me…

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

NUS PhotoThe irony, of course, is the more time you spend doing exciting things to make for exciting bjournal entries, the less time you have to actually write them. Happily for you, the reader, I have been busy this past week but not with particularly exciting things so you’ve not missed out on much. Before we talk about the tasking efforts of the past few days I should mention my new radio show on URY (University Radio York), beginning tonight at 11pm (GMT). My plan is to avoid the usual radio fare (which will not be too hard given I don’t actually know what the usual radio fare is) and, hopefully, play some things that are wholly unfamiliar to the audience. I have a couple features prepared, though more will certainly follow as the weeks go on. I would prefer to have a co-host, to be honest, but I’ve done radio shows and podcasts before without one, so it’s really a matter of getting back into the swing of it. Mostly, it’s nerves I reckon, which should be overcome during this first show. And I do know through experience that good preparation means the show is 90-99% done before you even get started.

The new Benrik book was released recently. A best of collection of the best tasks from all their books as selected by their readers, it’s a good place to start with life change. Plus, I am in it as both a contributor and, in form of actual photographic evidence, as one of the best of Benrik readers. This is a more ordered approach than my own, which has this past week seen me trying to have too much of a good thing, giving up shaving and pondering loafers.

The first of these tasks seems simple enough on paper to most, I’d imagine. The specific thing of which I was to have too much was alcohol, which they equated to 17 beers. I bought 18, giving one to the housemate who leant me his evil jester costume to wear into town last Tuesday, and got stuck in as early as possible on my mid-week rest day, figuring an endurance challenge would be better than trying to go at speed. In roughly six hours of trying, I managed only eight, not even crossing over the halfway threshold. I’ve never been much of a drinker (before getting to university I hadn’t had a drink for about three years), so it’s possibly understandable, but it does mean I am keeping up my pitiful rate of success.

Not shaving is something that will apparently draw attention to yourself. This is a fine theory when not at university where it seems most of the men are too lazy to do it even as much as once a week. As the task fell at the start of the month, a few of us in the house agreed to do the Movember thing (albeit not for charity, but if any of you do wish to make a donation, you can do so to the charity of your choice). A “before” image of sorts is above, a picture taken for my NUS Extra card; another photograph marking the “after” stage will be posted at the end of the month. I’m not really a hairy person, so don’t expect too much.

Finally, for the time being, I was told to wear loafers (or to come to terms with the fact that I never will). I thought about going out and buying a pair, as they’re easier to slip on than my current shoes and I don’t like walking around the house with nothing on my feet, such is the nature of student living. My physiotherapist actually wants me to invest in a pair of shoes as the hightop sneakers I am currently employing offer little support, but she suggests running shoes. I wanted some running shoes anyhow, so shall head into town on the weekend and get some. I have worn loafers in the past, so I can consider this a task done.

I am hoping for something a little more unusual to do, that might actually require a small (but not so small as this) amount of effort on my part, but for the moment I have plenty enough work to be doing. And that radio show, of course. My understanding is you can play shows back that you have missed, so I would be delighted if I had some listeners, even retrospectively.

Addendum: I can’t pick my next task at the minute as my computer is completely absorbed in ripping one of my oldest CDs. This one has grown a little tired, so I’ve got a programme fixing all the frames that haven’t come out quite right as it rips them, one by one. So far it’s taken almost 41 hours to rip and it’s working on the 11th track of 20.


Rolling out.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Eiron Page here, beginning yet another bjournal (I prefer to keep a web journal), the one which pretty much promises to be my last. If I can’t keep this one then there’s no hope for me and I should admit it to myself that I am not a writer and stop trying.

So, I’ve had this thing sitting about empty a little while waiting for me to write something. I’ve wanted to move here because Old Fridges Can Kill is a name I’ve been using for a while as a catch-all for my various projects (I call it my ‘production company’, even though it’s only me and I’m not all that productive at the best of times). Casting the Net will continue to be (or, at least, will resume being) my podcast on netlabels, though I may begin hosting it on the Internet Archive if I am able, but writing here will give me a little more freedom to explore other things, write about what interests me generally, waffle on about things going on in my life and point out things around the Internet that have captured my attention. I shall, much of the time, also endeavour to perform a task, selected via my own unique method from a database compiled from various books. I have made an effort to do the first of these to the best of my ability tonight: Ride Steel Dragon 2000, one of the world’s largest rollercoasters.

Now, I’ve never been a rollercoaster type of guy. I think I was put on one as a kid and it pretty much traumatised me for the rest of my life. At best I can go on those log flume rides, so long as they’re not too big, but that’s about it for me. I’ve been to theme parks a few times and simply wandered about taking it all in, without going on a single ride. I think it’s something about not being totally in control of my environment. At least, not enough that I can get out when I want (I’m not a complete control freak, but I do like an exit plan). Some people find it exhilerating. I find it quite unsettling. And not, as somebody who doesn’t mind being unsettled time to time, in a good way. Besides all of which, I occasionally get vertiginous simply looking up.

Happily for me, the chances of my getting to Japan this weekend to ride the thing myself were slim enough for me not to make a conscious effort to hurry over there, though maybe eventually I’ll bite the bullet and do it. Or die trying. One minute of potential terror should make for some wonderfully euphoric sense of having narrowly avoided death when (read: if) I do eventually walk away at the end or have my legs buckle in the attempt. So I found the best video I could of the ride from a POV perspective on YouTube. Below is that video:

In the days and weeks coming I shall make an effort to write up some reviews on album I’ve received over the past few months, as well as some other bits of writing I’ve been meaning to do, and get podcasting again. I will also try to do these little tasks, possibly even a bit more convincingly than this one, but it’s not bad for a first.