Lili Haydn — Lili
(Atlantic 83027-2, 1997, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 1999-01-01It was February when I bought this on a whim, and it only took a few listens for me to revise my Best of 97 list to include it. Lili Haydn is a violinist of great talent. She’s apparently been doing the rounds as a session player for years, but this is her first release under her own name, and it’s an amazingly self-assured and unique collection. Stylistically it runs from ethereal vocalizing with quiet accompaniment to thunderous jagged electric riffs, from pretty pseudo-classical instrumentals to Middle Eastern warbling over crashing rock guitars. Through it all, her expressive violin adds an emotional grounding. At various times on the disc I find bits of Kate Bush (a light vocal touch not afraid to growl), Led Zeppelin (the interplay of bass-drums-guitar), Nirvana (the contrast of soft and loud),and even Gentle Giant (some great wah-wah violin). As a further bonus, the lyrics are quite good, covering topics from homeless teens and child abuse to hopeless relationships. The thematic suite consisting of “Baby,” “Mama,” and “Daddy” provides a central core to the album. “Mama” in particular, with its poignant portrait of a woman in an abusive relationship (“Mama, why do we go back for more even when we’re curled up on the floor from blows that we’ve endured?”), provides a kind of catharsis that moves even someone who’s never been near a similar situation.
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more
Help MoonJune Bring Great Music to Life – Like many music lovers around the world, we’ve been thrilled and amazed to hear the recordings that have been released by MoonJune from sessions at La Casa Murada in Spain. Such label stalwarts as Mark Wingfield, Markus Reuter, Asaf Sirkis, Tony Levin, Dusan Jevtovic, Vasil Hadzimanov, and many more have gathered in various combinations at the studio to produce some of the most creative music in recent years. Now, label head Leonardo Pavkovic is offering a compilation, La Casa Murada - MoonJune Sessions, Volume One, as a fundraiser for upcoming sessions. » Read more
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more
Scott Walker RIP – Noel Scott Engel, better known as Scott Walker, was one of the most intriguing and enigmatic musical figures in the second half of the 20th Century. His strange career started with The Walker Brothers, an American pop group that featured no one named Walker and no brothers. After moving to England in 1965, they had a series of hit singles. Scott's solo work started with Scott in 1967. Starting in the 80s, his work took an increasingly avant-garde turn. » Read more