CD Review: Beak> by Beak>

Beak>, a band from Bristol, England, released their self-titled debut CD just this month. The CD will be released in the States in November and it’s an awesome debut. The band is made up of Geoff Barrow (Portishead), Matt Williams (alias Team Brick), and Billy Fuller (Fuzz Against Funk). I decided I would listen to the CD without reading up at all on the background of the band. I didn’t want it to be tainted because the name Beak> intrigued me enough on its own.

I think this CD is quite the dazzler. I like the organ and weird pulses in Backwell. The chanting and bass in Pill are peculiarly affecting and the droning gloom of Dundry Hill really pulled me into the CD as an entire piece. And I feel like the CD is an entire piece – not just songs randomly put together by musicians who want to mess with the listener. There’s a haunted momentum to I Know and Iron Acton that I totally fell for and there’s more weird chanting in Battery Point with guitars frying along. Ham Green‘s pounding use of bass is exquisite. Ears Have Ears brings in more strangeness with unsettling tweeting sounds.

Perhaps describing something as odd does not appeal to you but I like music that tries something different. Every once in a while you want to be challenged pleasantly, right?

Beak> (Ipecac Records)

Photos: Noah and the Whale @ the Crocodile

Noah and the Whale headlined at the Crocodile on Saturday night and for the second time this they year blew my mind. I saw them in April at Chop Suey and found their music and performance to be equally passionate. So I was not going to miss them when they returned here. From the despairing I Have Nothing and Stranger to the joyful Give a Little Love and Love of an Orchestra, I can’t imagine anyone listening to the vocals of Charlie Fink, the band’s music and lyrics, and not being moved. I took some photos at the show:

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all photos by Dagmar

Photos: Jay-Z @ KeyArena

Hip hop icon Jay-Z played a sold-out show at KeyArena last night. Jay-Z is brilliant – there’s basically nothing this guy can’t do. He’s a songwriter, singer, producer, fashion mogul/designer, smart businessman, performer. . . he’s the total package. He demands devotion indeed. Jay-Z’s also a swanky photo subject and photographer Marcella Volpintesta got these beauties of him last night:


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Movies & Music: Peter Cook in Bedazzled

On no real regular schedule I am going to be writing a bit about music in movies – in any context I want. Any time I want. The first post on the site was about Ann-Margret’s scene in Tommy where she writhes around in beans. Perhaps others on here will offer some thoughts on movies and film – Amelia did so earlier with a piece on the Iron Maiden film, Iron Maiden: Flight 666.

I’ve seen Bedazzled (1967) several times and it made a huge impression on me as a kid. It’s funny, it’s stylish and it is such a great 1960s movie. Peter Cook plays the Devil and the part of the film that always got me is when the Devil (as singer Drimble Wedge) does a song called Bedazzled on a Ready,Steady,Go! type show. Cook’s delivery is so completely removed and uninterested that it, of course, gets all the girls’ attention (including the lovely Eleanor Bron from Help! and Alfie). Plus Dudley Moore is quite intrigued as well. I like how Cook singles out that one chick in the audience – you’ll see.

I don’t care
So you said
I don’t want you
I don’t need you
I don’t love you
Leave me alone
I’m self contained
Just go away
I’m fickle
I’m cold
I’m shallow
You fill me with inertia
Don’t get excited
Save your breath
Cool it
I’m not interested
It’s too much effort
Don’t you ever leave off?