The surreal land of the Riot Grrrls

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“Let us arm ourselves. Let us show the men that we are not their inferiors in courage or virtue. Let us rise to the level of our destinies and break our chains. It is high time that women emerged from the shameful state of nullity and ignorance, to which the arrogance and injustice of men have so long condemned us.” Théorigne de Méricourt

“In my 20’s, a lot of people were like, ‘She’s so confident, she’s such a strong feminist!’ But that wasn’t how I actually felt. I felt really freaked out and unsure of myself. And I’m sure that made for great shows, because it was like I was falling apart in front of people’s faces.” Kathleen Hanna, Former lead singer of Bikini Kill

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Apologies

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Our apologies, dear readers, for our lack of content, craft and production for too long now. We are happy to announce a return to form at Musical Tears. We have some very interesting articles lined up…

Firstly, there will be a review round-up of the best new albums according to the critics. We are also going to start hosting some ‘classic’ music journalism, straight out of the vaults of history. Writers such as Nick Kent, Lester Bangs and even Hunter S. Thompson will be featured. The first two are remembered for their articles contributing to music journalism, the last for his contributions to journalism, counter-culture and politics in large.

We will be hosting these articles for you; they display a type of journalism that frankly, has been lost. This is partly due to the internet, the nature of journalism and the ever shortening attention spans of the 21st century public. Rock journalism used to be an obsessive affair; with long, detailed articles that take you to the heart of the music, that place you right into the centre of the action; right there with the band. These articles are usually highly entertaining as well.

We are sure there is still a market for these articles. We hope, dear readers you enjoy the fruits of our labour. The Hunter S. Thompson article is dedicated to the memory of Muhammed Ali, with his recent passing. It does not have much bearing on music, but alongside the article we will post songs that defined the age in which Muhammed was fighting, songs that were related to his struggle, his time and of course his ‘greatness’.

For now though, here are a couple of tracks we have been enjoying lately, and make sure to check back soon, as there are plenty more articles soon to be posted.

We have been a fan of Burial for a long time. Untrue was one of the defining albums of 2007. When the mood is right, and you’re in for a long-night-of-the-soul, or you’re just driving the deserted streets at night – especially city streets, Burial makes for haunting, majestic listening. Anyway, somehow this song completely missed our radar, but thank god we found it. It’s stunning. Like finding a long-lost friend. Its incredibly beautiful.
 


 

This is also a nice track that we’ve been liking;
 

 

Finally, we have been listening to The Clash in abundance. One of us in the office purchased a 2nd hand boxset Clash on Broadway. It’s fucking fantastic. Here’s one from our youth:
 

 

More on The Clash soon…

One for shits and giggles:

 

By the Doc

Flawless taste in music, he constantly keeps his ear to the street and knows who, what, when, where but not often why. He’ll keep you upto date and informed. Enjoys smoking herbal tea to get ‘high’.

The Lebanese Charm

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I was listening to BBC radio 6 recently and was enjoying Cerys Matthews Sunday show whilst attending to the delicate procedure of an eggs benedict, when I had to stop what I was doing. The incredible voice belonging to a Lebanese-French singer floated across the airwaves. It was startling; their was an ode to gypsy jazz singers from a long-forgotten france but the music was arabic and orchestral at the same time. It was something unique.

I scrambled to find out the name of the singer, my eggs benedict transformed to a lacklustre sagging soggy yolk; Bachar Mar-Khalife. He is a Lebanese composer and singer brought up in France after his family fled the civil war in Lebanon. His father too is a singer and well known composer, famous for playing the exotic oud.

Check out this article for more on Bachar, and watch the video – but as it says its NSFW!

The session with Cerys is a testament to BBC 6 Music’s continued excellence of finding diverse, beautiful musicians – and must be enjoyed; please listen and relish here.

The rest of this post is meandering so feel free to exit now, you read on at your own existential danger.

To compliment the music of both Bachar and father Marcel Khalife, it is essential that one reads One Thousand and One Nights, the arabic folk-tales that are an infusion of magic, mythical stories that will take you on a voyage far from the comfy suburban existence that too many of us exist in.

To venture down this path is to find a new existence and it is only with the unparalleled power of the subjective will to gain the essence of the existence of the earth and ‘god’ that permeates through every blackened heart, that we will finally find peace and sanctity. And here is the calling; culture. Culture from the shores of the arabian world can heal our wounds and sing lullabies in our ears, in a time where hatred towards the arabian culture is at its most frenzied, it is essential that we fill ourself with the riches this culture fostered; it may be aladdin’s lamp or sinbad’s voyage or it may be a greater discovery of the self through this world, ultimately it is the essence of forgotten worlds.

Find your incense, fill your brain with dreams full of deserts and mystical omens, and then lie your head on a jewel-encrusted pillow and listen to Bachar.

That’s it for now. Musical Tears, Tom.

Flawless taste in music, he constantly keeps his ear to the street and knows who, what, when, where but not often why. He’ll keep you upto date and informed. Enjoys smoking herbal tea to get ‘high’.

Two Year Anniversary

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Here at Tears we were shocked and surprised to discover that two years have passed since we launched. Since that time we have enjoyed a plethora of tunes; we have indulged in the highly erratic and trigger-happy lifestyles of music journalists – especially in regards to the late Tornado Rodgekums, of whom we still don’t know the exact details of his death, but we will say that he was a truly honourable man and a pig farm is no place for a piss-up if you’re holding a shotgun and wearing a leotard (considering the pigs hadn’t been fed for days it was a known certainty what was going to happen…) – but most of all we have seen there is still great music all about us and flowing through everyone of us. Whether you are a casual listener, a record producer, musician, DJ disseminating the latest tracks, or just the average joe who likes to blast radio one down the motorway; we are all touched by the brilliance of music – the visceral, beatific beauty of melodies that makes our heart beat faster, our spine-tingle and our head swim in an ocean of dopamine, we are glad to share our love of music with you.

So to crack on after that euphoria-tainted introduction (not currently under the influence of ecstasy – other mind-altering substances are available), what have we got to keep our dear readers enticed?

Well we must admit we have been lazy for awhile now, and our posts have been deteriorating. We will set to amend this asap, but also have new categories and subjects, some of which will be recurring. The review round-up is coming back with a blast. Watch this space. We’ll have interviews, monologues and myths. They’ll be plenty of new music, we’re gonna keep our ears to the street moreso than ever. And there will be new things; we are looking at doing some music book reviews and incorporating classic journalism into our blog. What I mean by this is, music journalism has changed rapidly over the years. As peoples attention spans have waned, the journalism became more action-packed, concise and packaged. In the heydays of Led Zep, rock journalism was long, detailed to the point of obsession and was almost a journey. We are going to be reprising some of that for those of you who like a long read to enjoy. It may take longer to read, but it’ll be so much more rewarding. Lester Bangs will be here soon…

We’re also gonna have some reposts of our favourite articles from the past few years. We have to feature a Tornado one after all.

So let’s air some new music for you all to enjoy, and take away the monday/tuesday blues…

(New music will also relate to new music to our ears, but is from the past, if that makes any sense?!)

Enjoying this lady generally, but nice mix,

These guys are just great, check out their session for KEXP here ;

Loving the new Beirut album;

yum yum

Till next time, keep your heads in the mean time.

By Tom Proctor

Flawless taste in music, he constantly keeps his ear to the street and knows who, what, when, where but not often why. He'll keep you upto date and informed. Enjoys smoking herbal tea to get 'high'.
Flawless taste in music, he constantly keeps his ear to the street and knows who, what, when, where but not often why. He’ll keep you upto date and informed. Enjoys smoking herbal tea to get ‘high’.

Ode to Cutting

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We’ve been a big fan of Uncut here at Musical Tears for awhile; good band bio’s, interviews, wide breadth of reviews and a passion for uncovering forgotten gems.

John Mulvey is one of their writers. He works intrepidly hard to find esoteric, little-known nuggets of joy, that we have appreciated greatly. He truly is one of the old school – no doubt devouring endless record stores for those rare oddities, and now of course with the advent of the internet, such mining can be done online. Just as with record store mining, the process is slow and arduous, taking lots of patience and the ability to sift through much crap – but the feeling of finding a rare beauty just as rewarding.

John turned us on to aquariumdrunkard – fantastic name, fantastic blog. Straight out of L.A it has great articles and a backbone of gorgeous sumptuous tunes, many of the funk/soul styling. Check out the mixtapes.

Recently, John has written a best of 2015 so far. Makes for a great read. We especially dug Aye Aye, who we’d never heard of. The song below is a screeching mesh of over-amped guitars and a spiralling harmonica line. Its ferocious – of those that have seen the new Mad Max, imagine if the guy chained to the amps with the flame-thrower also had a high-powered harmonica…

Enjoy the song and keep on keepin’ turned on… (also check out Uncut)

 

By Tom Proctor

Flawless taste in music, he constantly keeps his ear to the street and knows who, what, when, where but not often why. He'll keep you upto date and informed. Enjoys smoking herbal tea to get 'high'.
Flawless taste in music, he constantly keeps his ear to the street and knows who, what, when, where but not often why. He’ll keep you upto date and informed. Enjoys smoking herbal tea to get ‘high’.

 

Espanyol

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Cookery books deliver some of the best literature in the world. This is true. From a good cookery book one can get a sense of a whole new culture. A cookery book on the Mediterranean cuisine, for example, will give you a splash of that culture, little known insights, habits of the locals and of course, hopefully a good recipe or two.

It was from a cookery book I learnt Ras el Hanout, a popular middle eastern spice mix, stands for ‘Top of Shelf’ – literally indicating the best spices from the shop. When I went to purchase the spice mix I was a tad upset the owner located it from underneath a stack of other herbs and had to bend down to fetch it, rather than stretch up. Oh well, it still tastes delicious with chicken or in a curry.

Living in Espana for a period gave me a completely new palate. Tapas of course is widely regarded as a staple of Spanish cooking but it is truly Andalusian. Andalusia is the southern most part of Spain and a culture on to itself. The language is shaped differently this south. The Spanish language varies greatly from region to region, but it is particularly garbled in the mouths of Andalusia’s populate. They slice the words up, cut the endings off and talk in a direct staccato way. It is a dialect of its own. Of course, the Basque language in the north west of Spain is completely unlike anything else, anywhere.

I compare the Andalusian dialect to the Yorkshire accent here in the UK. Dropping the odd word or definite article “open door”, “Lets go ta Pub” etc. seems to be the closest replication the English have mustered.

Anyway, from the shores of Espana I learnt the origin of Tapas, so here it is:

Down in Andalusia it can get hot. Searingly so infact. The men would drink their beers at the bar or at tables outside. Flies would be a constant nuisance and would end up in too many beers. The solution: A small plate to cover the drink to keep the flies out and from there, someone started to put food in those plates. And the idea was born. Born from such a little act, Tapas has now come to be associated with everything Spanish. Or rather, whenever anyone thinks of Spain, Tapas crops up.

The music of Spain will be further commented on in later posts, as it is worthy of study. But here we must nod our heads to jazz. Miles Davis’s Sketches of Spain fills itself with the revolutionary splendour of the Spanish civil war. Fluglehorns and trumpets play the centerpiece of the album; an adaption of Joaquin Roadrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez (adagio), which is the first song and takes up at least half the album. We will serve up this splendid piece of music below for you to enjoy. Best sampled with Tequila, Tapas and a Hemingway book handy – For Whom The Bell Tolls a brilliant slow-burner on the realities of the civil war is a good place to start. The album is worth a listen, to its critics it didn’t even slightly resemble jazz, but in reality it is based on Spanish folk music and it is best placed underneath that stack of cards.

 

Enjoy folks

By Tom Proctor

Flawless taste in music, he constantly keeps his ear to the street and knows who, what, when, where but not often why. He'll keep you upto date and informed. Enjoys smoking herbal tea to get 'high'.
Flawless taste in music, he constantly keeps his ear to the street and knows who, what, when, where but not often why. He’ll keep you upto date and informed. Enjoys smoking herbal tea to get ‘high’.