Several times now I’ve been asked whether I would include a certain track in a mix, a prospect that unsettles me (you’ve been warned). I just find placing together a set of pre-selected tracks like a jigsaw uninspiring. A bit like filling in one of those self-awareness colouring books which is still sat un-coloured in my bottom draw. What’s more fun than slapping a bit of paint on the canvas and just seeing where it takes you? Unlike a show, interspersed with rambling chatter, a mix is more organic; a musical equivalent of Rorschach test and word association.
The image for this article features the staff of Space City!, a radical underground newspaper that was founded in 1969 and during 3-year-existence was attacked several times in drive-by shootings, car bombings, and one pipe-bombing. The inclusion was a result of recent reading and researching about sixties radicalism which began with The Holy Modal Rounders who feature in the mix. Although this isn’t intended as a radical mix, it does, to me at least, hold elements of radicalism in the approach of many of the artists…it also offers light for these dark times.
With this latest Lost in Transmission mix, that first slap of paint, which shaped much of the mix, was the 28-track album ‘An Idea of Everything’ by David Greenberger, Glenn Jones and Chris Corsano (it’s also the album cover used for the mix). Three tracks offer interludes, a word which really doesn’t offer any justice as their inclusion is driven by the fact that they are often powerful, funny and very deeply moving. The conversations read by David Greenberger are real, based on conversations he recorded in nursing homes, elderly centres, and meal sites. You can read some more of them on David’s website The Duplex Planet.
“David Greenberger meanders around America, lovingly collecting the life stories of old people like fireflies in a jar. In an America that seems increasingly dominated by amnesia, and the erosion of its history, it’s very heartening – and poignant – to hear these fragments of lives as they draw to a close. The matter-of-fact tone that David uses in these vignettes is partly what makes them so emotional.”
– Robyn Hitchcock
These pieces set the tone for what is essentially a very dreamy and escapist mix…the ethereal vocals of Brigid Mae Power are a perfect fit and a chance to offer a little glimpse of her new album The Ones You Keep Close. That album is released on German vinyl label Oscarson who are the second major thrust behind the shape of the mix. On the album, Brigid is joined by David Allred (upright bass, trumpet), Selah Broderick (flute) and Peter Broderick (drums, violin, guitar, keyboards, vocals). Peter appears again in the mix with You Know The Feeling from an Oscarson compilation album titled Oscarsongs. It was compiled and curated by David Allred who also performs The Dying Dreams of a Billionaire. David and Peter Broderick recently joined forces on Find the Ways which is released on Erased Tapes on 7 April. You can read more about it here.
Alongside these gems, we also have the pleasure of sharing the title track from Lisa Knapp‘s forthcoming album Till April is Dead – A Garland of May. Lisa’s version of ‘Til April is Dead/Hal-An-Tow’ was inspired by the Mystery Play in Helston, Cornwall. The album is sparklingly fresh and features eleven startlingly original versions of traditional songs. With a radiant interpretation of traditional folk, Lisa merges fiddle, hammer dulcimer and strings, with birdsong and sonic delights from the technological age. We strongly encourage you all to support Lisa’s Pledge Campaign to help launch the album. Visit here for more details: http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/lisaknapp
Bringing in some beats is music from the new EP from Dizraeli & DownLow (with Nathan Feddo) which was released on St David’s day…You can find Leroy Merlin EP on Bandcamp here.
Another perfect fit was an album that’s been getting a lot of play at FRUK HQ, so much so I’ve ordered a vinyl copy. That is The Gathering from Toby Hay which is currently one of our Featured Albums of the Month. You can read Thomas Blake’s review of it here which does more justice than I can possibly attempt here. This is followed by ‘The Long Way,’ a single from Co. Down singer Matt McGinn. It was written by McGinn, Gareth Dunlop and Kim Richey. It also features ‘Na Leanai,’ a family of very talented traditional and folk musicians and children of the renowned Sands Family of Co. Down.
There is a small injection of vintage comedy via those psychedelic folkies Peter Stampfel and Steve Weber as the Holy Modal Rounders with a live recording of Random Canyon from 1965.
Another personal favourite, Sam Amidon, makes a double appearance with Juma Mountain, the lead single from his forthcoming new album The Following Mountain which you can read more about it here. He appears again, accompanying Brooklyn-based San Fermin (Ellis Ludwig-Leone) on Shiver. The words are taken from the poem “Against Winter” by poet Charles Simic and the single is released on Downtown Records.
We also have tracks from the latest albums from Emma Gatrill (Cocoon) and DakhaBrakha’s (The Road). A revisit to the haunting Gull from Woodpecker Wooliams‘ The Bird School of Being Human (2012) just seemed to hit the mark.
I hope you get as much enjoyment out of listening to this as I did putting the mix together.
Lost in Transmission No.25 playlist
David Greenberger, Glenn Jones, Chris Corsano – Ted Lewis
Brigid Mae Power – Heart pinch
Lisa Knapp – Till April is Dead
Dizraeli & DownLow (with Nathan Feddo) – Dylan Thomas (ft. Boe Huntress)
Sam Amidon – Juma Mountain
David Greenberger, Glenn Jones, Chris Corsano – Seven Ribbons, Two Trophies
David Allred – The Dying Dreams Of A Billionaire
Toby Hay – Mayfair At Rhayader
Matt McGinn – The Long Way
Holy Modal Rounders – Random Canyon
San Fermin and Sam Amidon – Shiver
David Greenberger, Glenn Jones, Chris Corsano – Optimism Reigns
DakhaBrakha – Сhumak
Emma Gatrill – Eliza Harora
Woodpecker Wooliams – Gull
Peter Broderick – You Know The Feeling