Tuesday, April 21, 2009

This New Record Is Literally Quite Good

Jose Roberto Bertrami: Brilliante (Far Out Recordings, 2009)
Bertrami is a member of Azymuth. This is from a record he's just made that, and I quote, "mixes 60's soundtracks with 80's grooves", which, in reality, means it's like the sort of superbly produced test-card music that used to be played if something went tits up before The Love Boat. If I'm honest, that's my favourite music of all... More of this sort of thing here.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Hello Old Thing, Hello New Thing: 41

Bert Jansch: Baby Blue (Charisma, 1975)
From Bert's - Bert! Why aren't there any pop stars called Bert anymore? - second album for Chrisma, this is a blatant stab at radio friendly niceness. It's so 1975 it actually hurts, but in a good way. From the Maggie May-like intro, to the Motownish piano, it is a work of sunshine, cheese-cloth 'n' flares wonder. Bert's voice may not be to all tastes, but the sentiment is one we can all love. "Strollin' down the high street, I see passers by, shopping at the markets with flowers you buy..." Actually, that doesn't make any sense, does it? But, no matter when the tune is this lovable. This is from a reissue of an album called Santa Barbara Honeymoon. The new, extended version doesn't exist on the intersquizz yet. But it's due out in June.

Balmorhea: March 4, 1831 (Western Vinyl, 2009)
I've only just picked up this Balmorhea record. When I say "picked it up", I mean take it off the shelves where I keep all the bits that come through the door every day, and actually play it. And I really like it. It's a little like Epic45 - *sighs* - if they came from Death Valley rather than Staffordshire. So it's almost completely instrumental, mainly acoustic, impressionisist folk-a-doodle-do a-go-go. They also have the crucial element of reminding me ever so slightly of the Red House Painters which means I sort of love them a lot already. Classic emotional transference. Sad, really. Anyway, this is from an album called All is Wild, All is Silent which is out end of June. I'm really doing the serious plugging today, eh?

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Home Made Easter Truffle Eggs

If you've got two long weeks off school to fill, these eggs are easy for kids to make and they taste nice.
Makes 12
200g dark chocolate
200g milk chocolate
400g sponge cake such as Madeira or marble cake, made into crumbs
100g rasins, sultanas, dried blueberries or cranberries
50g chopped nuts or dessicated coconut
To decorate
Dessicated coconut, cocoa powder, finely grated dark or white chocolate

Break the chocolate into pieces and melt in a heatproof bowl over a pan of gently simmering water until smooth. Str in the cake crumbs, fruit and nuts.

Chill for 30 minutes then mould into 12 egg shapes.

Scatter some coconut, cocoa or grated chocolate onto a plate and roll the chocolate eggs in it to coat. Line cardboard egg boxes or egg cups with circles cut from greaseproof paper and sit in the eggs. Can be stored in the fridge but are best eaten at room temperature.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

New Music That's Also Quite Good

Meanderthals: Bugges Room (Smalltown Supersound, 2009)
Sound the jazz alarm, this is, literally, delightful. Literally in the sense that it fills me with delight when I play it, despite it simply being a recording of some blokes in a room somewhere banging bits of wood and twanging wires and so forth. What's good about that? Well, perhaps lots of things. More of this sort of thing here.

Adam Franklin: Two Dollar Dress (Second Motion, 2009)
When I listened to this I thought, 'Oh yeah, who's this johnny-come-lately, noise-pop, shoe-gazing type?' Then I looked at the sleeve and realised it was the same Adam Franklin who was The Chap from Swervedriver. So, you know, I can forgive him a lot of stuff. This is, literally, good. I'm not crazy about the whole record, but there are some songs of notable quality on it. And this is one.

Faze Action: Danaes' Journey (Word And Sound, 2009)
Simon and Robin Lee are brothers. Brothers who've recorded together for years and years and years. Does this strike anyone else as sort of strange? Could you bear to be in the same small room as your brother or sister for years on end? I mean, I love mine dearly, but there are limits, right? Anyway, this is - hello! - heavenly, if not downright cosmic disco of the tremendously good variety. More of this sort of thing here. Memo to Faze Action - get some new pictures done, innit.