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Shining Light On

It’s a pity to say that this legend is dead! He honored us with his one and only studio album entitled “Grace” although I have not quite had the time to listen to it completely I can say this of “Grace” (the first track I heard)  it blew my mind. I think it’s the first time since Jimi Hendrix to have encountered such a great guitar player and at the same time having such a gifted voice! Read More

One of the classiest best-dressed musicians in the UK scene is Pulp frontman Jarvis Cocker. Today (September 19) he turns 48 years old, we want to congratulate him on this special day for all his amazing work. It also happens to be the 5th year anniversary of the death of a very special friend of The Weird Fishes, hence we’ll take this opportunity to remember him with one of Pulp’s best songs ever.

 

Buddy Holly was born today, September 7th, back in 1936 as Charles Hardin Holley. Not only is he one of the most significant pioneers of rock and roll, but also, he is one of the major influences in music history. Having inspired musicians like Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, no one has had such an important career that lasted such a short time. Buddy Holly was around the music scene for only a year a half, after he died in a plane crash at age 22, but he was a great innovator in both music and style, making thick glasses look cool, a fashion that persists to this day. Ranked by Rolling Stone Magazine as #13th greatest artist of all time, today, we want to honor the fact that he existed with this commemorative playlist designed for the enjoyment of both fans and new listeners. Enjoy rock and roll, rockabilly and pop rock at their best. I have also included a video for “Peggy Sue” so that you can to enjoy his performance.

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Bot’Ox is Cosmo Vitelli and Julien Briffaz, their sound is impossible to describe, even they have said so: “Don’t ask, we won’t try to categorise the Bot’Ox outfit”. Back in 2009 they released a hot single entitled Blue Steel, the kind of song that makes you feel comfortable yet a little bit uneasy at times (most of their music provokes this feeling). A sort of dubstep rythm complemented by Anna Jean’s melancholic vocals will get you hooked from the very first listen.

Check out the rest of their tracks on their site right here.

Conner Youngblood is a 21 year old Yale student with a special affection for music, film and culture. A Dallas, TX native with a keen ear for merging folk sounds with a little bit of Dubstep (one of our contributors favorite “newly hyped” genre).

We want to shine light on a song he released last year entitled “Monster” in which he prefectly merges some of his favorite’s artists style. We recently read an interview of his for LFTF in which he states Bon Iver, Miles Davis and way too many dubstep remixes as his most played songs on his iPod, it looks like they paid off. Enjoy!

Not too long ago I was watching the film Nowhere Boy which is about the adolescent years of John Lennon. We are not talking about films here so I won’t say much about it except that what struck me the most was the part where Lennon is introduced to Screamin’ Jay Hawkins with the song “I Put A Spell On You”. I don’t think I had ever listened to that song before and I instantly fell in love with it. Like Lennon, I too, was completely overwhelmed by this artist.

“I Put A Spell On You” was released in 1956 and was definitely way ahead of its time. Even now, it will still catch your attention and may feel contemporary. Jay Hawkins was a blues artist that didn’t really do screamin’. However, all this theatrical aesthetic of shock rock was born one night his producer got him and the band really drunk. At first, the song was a romantic ballad, but during intoxication, Jay Hawkins performed very differently, with screams and moans and other sources of human sounds. The practice session was recorded and the next day, since he did not remember a thing, he had to listen to the drunken recording and learn to sing that way. Screamin’ Jay Hawkins was then born and went on to become such an eccentric character so early in his times, all thanks to booze.

He is considered to be the first shock rocker. ‘Shock rock’ is a term used to describe rock music that has shock value attached to it. Watch the video and you’ll know what we’re talking about. This all started when radio DJ Alan Freed offered him $300 to come out of a coffin during a performance. Afterwards, he included that plus many other elements to create his own persona. Whether directly or not, he has influenced acts such as Marilyn Manson, Iggy Pop, Alice Cooper, Black Sabbath and many others, possibly even Lady Gaga.

“I Put A Spell On You” is ranked #313 on Rolling Stone’s list of Greatest 500 Songs Of All Time, before Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were Here. The song is also part of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 500 Songs that shaped Rock and Roll.

Although he had a short career, Syd Barrett is one of the most influential musicians of our time. He is one of the founding members of psych-rock legendary band Pink Floyd, and helped define their sound and style. He only released two albums with the Floyd, two solo albums and several singles. However, he was a highly innovative guitarist and explored the sonic limitations by using feedback, dissonance, echo machines, distortion and other effects that hadn’t really been used before. He even played guitar through echo machines using a zippo lighter. His innovative techniques influenced other musicians such as Paul McCartney, Jimmy Page, Brian Eno, Pete Townshend and David Bowie to name a few.

On the other hand, Barret has mentioned Bob Dylan as one of his influences. The song we are sharing with you today “Bob Dylan Blues” pays homage to Bob Dylan; gently mocking his early public persona but in absolute admiration. This is not one of Barrett’s experimental songs. As a solo artist, his work was more simple and straightforward and this one particularly, influenced by Dylan, has only one acoustic guitar and no effects, which make it even more interesting. The song was recorded in the mid-sixties and released in 1970 although it didn’t gather attention and was forgotten. David Gilmour of Pink Floyd, kept the recording until it was released in 2001 in a Barrett compilation. This is a wonderful song with fenomenal lyrics about Dylan written by one of the great artists of the last century (before he lost his mind). Listen to the song and don’t miss the lyrics.