• Tag Archives Smoke Fairies
  • [Article 3403]Smoke Fairies

    Smoke_FairiesIt always seems a bit strange when a band goes eponymous some way into a career.  The usual way about things is to self-titlingly announce yourselves right at the start and then take it from there, wherever “it” takes you.  When it does happen though, it’s an eyebrow-raiser.  Why now?  Why this?

    It does all become rather apparent once attention is paid to what the Smoke Fairies have achieved with this record, that both expands their musical palette and brings an intangible feeling of a closer bond, which is rather nicely illustrated by the image on the cover – it takes two wings for one to fly, after all…

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  • [Article 3041]Smoke Fairies – Ghosts: A Collection

    ghostsThe full title of Ghosts: A Collection Of A-Sides, B-Sides and an EP From The Recent Past wouldn’t fit in the box I have at the top of this page to enter such things, so the least I could do was embolden it at the earliest opportunity.  And it’s a collection of which is as accurate as it is copiously-monickered, for it gathers a selection of early singles, plus what may or may not be some previously unreleased things from before their full debut album sprang forth.  This dual CD edition gives you, the consumer, not just the original Ghosts compendium but a whole extra disc featuring another nine songs from the archives.  And as it’s also a Thursday that sees this package hurtling through my letterbox, this post is being accompanied by a rather lovely wine.  Long/possibly made-up words and many things in brackets to follow/precede aren’t so much a startling prediction as a worrying inevitability.

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  • [Article 2755]Sunday Whatever

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    Best Laid Plans, and all that.  The current default setting here at the mo is “try to do something, then knock something else together as quickly as possible because Plan A has just gone a bit wonky”.  The pic to the left of this scribbling is the majestic, erm, majesty of the planet Saturn which looks stunning through the telescope but more than a little bit smudgy when I employ a camera.  Ah well, I know what it is and that’s the main thing.  Other plans that have gone awry (including the arrival of cloud-filled skies at night no matter how clear and lovely it is during the day) have been scuppered by time and work constraints, so I hope to start doing the thing I was hoping to do last week, next week – or maybe alternate that with this on Sundays.  I’m waffling.

    And if things go vaguely (or at all) well tomorrow, I’m planning on liveblogging the Tomorrow’s Harvest Listening Party starting here at about 20:45 BST.  Would be fun if you popped by, so it’s not just me hitting “update” every 10 mins, typing ridiculously fast and looking for alternate words for “ethereal”.

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  • [Article 2654]Record Store Day 2013 – The Records

    006Because, quite frankly, my previous post was basically me spending the thick end of 800 words about hanging about outside a shop, when the best bit was spent hanging about briefly (there was a queue behind me!) inside one as well.

    Yes, I bought some records.  It would have been frankly rude not to have done so.  I just wish I could have spent a bit longer rummaging in the racks, but that’s the joy of hindsight in the face of some of the best marketing for a band’s return that I can think of.  Anyway, instead of 20 seconds of Numbers Station-related guerilla hype, I bought a bunch of other stuff – and lest we forget, Record Store Day isn’t just for Christmas as much/most of the below stuff is still available to pick up instore without having to pay through the nose to flippers, and online from this weekend if it looks like it might rain.

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  • [Article 2496]Mid-Afternoon Compilation Saturday: Reason To Believe – The Songs Of Tim Hardin

    something to believeTry as I might, I don’t think that this will ever be a regular occurrence – in my defence however, Saturday is currently the one day of the week I don’t work, so I tend to sleep right through them nowadays rather than seek out fresh compilations to badly wax lyrical about.  Nice bit of serendipity today though, as this arrived today (ahead of Monday’s release – one of the benefits of buying direct from a label), I’m already awake and it’s far too cold to go outside and do anything anyway.

    I must admit I know very little about Tim Hardin, other than that his story is a troubled one and full of every cautionary pointer for any aspiring singer-songwriter to heed.  What I do  know is that he left a rich legacy of much-covered work, and that my own attraction to this collection was piqued by the wealth of artists lending their talents to this tribute.  A general rule of thumb (such a weird phrase to retain in modern language – look it up!) for me when buying non-charity compilations or tributes to unfamiliar subjects is naturally based upon the assembled artists and whether there are enough I like to warrant forking out the necessary; thankfully there is a veritable host of the familiar and the essential, plus a couple of others who I’d been meaning to give a listen to elsewhere and the remainder made up of interesting unknown quantities.  So this compilation should be tailor-made for this desk.

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  • [Article 2426]Best Of 2012: The Other Things

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    Only one part left to do, and the infernal list is finished for another year. I know why everyone else does theirs in committees now. Anyway, before I get things wrapped up and back to normal, I want to mention a few other related comings and (sadly) goings that made 2012 special for me.

    It’s been a genuinely odd year for the blog, although that was mostly my fault. Twice I went “sod this for a game of soldiers” and hovered over the delete button, and being flattened by Facebook’s policy of not letting my friends read what I’d written on my own Page unless I gave them money to allow them to do so (I will never, ever pay to advertise on that site, and I am overjoyed to notice that none of the artists, musicians, bands and friends of this site have given in and forked out) halved my readership, because nobody could tell when I’d written something. The site recently crapping itself and refusing to work (resulting in the ugly hack you see before you) hasn’t really helped much either.
    So I am grateful to various interventions in the form of a couple of strange appearances in the UK National Press, a continuing absence of anything better to do with my free time and especially the kind words of friends and visitors alike has kept 6dft (as well as myself in general) going, and going to the point where I have ended up up with just over twice the visitors of last year.  Which just goes to show that even Facebook’s Demented Ideas Department can’t keep a determined idiot from typing.
    Before I get on with the business of getting this blog’s Number One album typed up and finished (although I suspect it won’t be too difficult to work out), I’d like to do a quick tip of the hat to all the other things that have piqued my interest his year.

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  • [Article 2416]Best Of 2012, No.4: Smoke Fairies – Blood Speaks

    bloodspeaksGood grief, I appear to be back on some sort of track!  I suppose the thing is now I’m getting to my absolute favourites, I’m finding myself that little bit more eager to write stuff.  Also, I’m not suffering from Food Poisoning like I was the other week, and that does wonders for the old concentration levels.  Onto Number Four then, and one that has vague echoes of two records that little bit further ahead and a link to the next one along, so it’s nice that all the ones at the top have that little bit of spiritual commonality to them.  This is one of those times where as soon as I heard it was on the way, I was on tenterhooks right up until release day – partly because of the obvious stuff about the last one being brilliant so therefore I was looking forward to this one, but in a more general “what are they going to do next?” curiosity.

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  • [Article 2110]Oh, Go On Then – Alternative Mercury Prize Not Quite Shortlist

    I have to say that the real Mercury Prize shortlist this year is a bit of a disappointment this year in the respect that it’s a bit on the vanilla side.  Thankfully this means that everyone can get all in a strop about *their* faves not getting a mention, and this is the real spirit of the competition.  Frankly, I wouldn’t have it any other way from an award named after a telecommunications company that went bust in 1999.

    So, to join in with the doings, here’s an almost shortlist of my favourites that weren’t nominated keeping to a couple of mild criteria:

    • Released within the real prize’s qualification period (July 12 2011 – September 10 2012)
    • Artists involved are at least partly from the UK
    • Artists not actually shortlisted (although for the purposes of this list, only Richard Hawley – see below for comedy gold in 2006 – is omitted from this thingy)
    • Something from qualifying album is on Spotify, just to make it easy for me.  BTW, if you like something here or elsewhere on the various playlists, please buy it – no artist will ever make a living from the tiny streaming royalties they receive.

     

    Hope there’s something you like, or violently disagree with.

     

     



  • [Article 2044]Mark Lanegan Band – Wulfrun Hall, Wolverhampton 22/08/12

     

    Weeks off work tend to be the busiest times, don’t they?  After an unexpectedly long walk home from being dumped in slightly the wrong county after Sunday’s Afghan Whigs show, I find myself off down the M6 to a city I’ve been through before but never actually to, in order to see Mark Lanegan and his band yet again, in the company of friends.  I should point out that I ran into a couple of these friends in London on Sunday, with only enough time for the briefest of pleasantries and a mutually unsurprised “see you on Wednesday” as if people from cities at either end of the country meeting somewhere in the middle on a weekday evening was completely normal behaviour.  I’m rather glad to say that, as far as myself and my friends are concerned, it kind of is.

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  • [Article 1904]Smoke Fairies – This Is A Reflection

    Ladies and Gentlemen, I have a confession to make.  Until today, I had not owned a record-playing turntable for over a decade.

    I know.  Disgraceful.  But the truth is that when the last one died, it was when CDs were so utterly dominant that new ones came in but two flavours: the cheap and scary ones with a sanding disc for a slipmat and a roofing nail for a stylus; or ones that were very very very expensive.  But now that vinyl is making a bit of a comeback, I decided that it’s time to once more take the plunge and reinvest in one.

    And lets face it, they’re so much more fun.  Artwork that one can actually see, silly messages in the run-off groove, backwards messages that ruined the needle, and just something you can actually see playing (and even whilst not playing – it was possible for example to see which tracks on 80s Metal LPs were the ballady ones just from the difference in surface groove density), all of which go towards that organic, snobby nature of the whole thing that I’ve missed so much.  True, it’s tricky to get a Celtic Frost vinyl EP into the little slot in my car which makes CDs that little bit more necessary nowadays, but the bitterness remains from being lied to by Tomorrow’s World all those years ago about how indestructible (lies!), reliable (more lies!) and convenient (hmm.  I’ll concede that one) Compact Discs were, so I’m currently in the middle of a nostalgic wossname by going through all my old records – because I would never have been so mad as to sell these things I’ve been unable to play since the time when Joey Ramone still walked the Earth – and enjoying new ones, such as this gem of an EP.

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