I like it Raw

Today’s guest post is from Charlie, a charming friend of Louisa’s. As she says so herself, she is surprised that Louisa asked her to do a post but as you’ll see Charlie knows what she’s on about. Not just through her music taste, but also through her film taste, Charlie has immediately earned our respect. She has a thorough distaste of Twilight! Yes, we may be a music blog which is open to any suggestions but when it comes down to films we have high standards! Along with this, Charlie freely admits to playing Left 4 Dead, which has earned her a place in most of our hearts. So, ignoring her criticism of our own music tastes, here is her post..

I did wonder why of all people Louisa asked me to do a guest blog, but did think that I am one of the few left in this world who have not fallen victim to Twilight, and therefore not meaning to sound harsh, but I have some taste. I am in no way obsessed with sparkly vampires, or werewolves, which probably makes the fact that the Twilight soundtrack has some really brilliant bands on all the more difficult to cope with… Or she could have asked me because I have quite a similar taste to her in some respects and will hopefully be able to fill her slot with the sort of music this blog is lacking, and I hope at least one person out there will appreciate it.So being a self-proclaimed lover for all things acoustic I’ll start with one of my favourite people, Mr Dallas Green, or as his songs are released under, City and Colour (regrettably it never even crossed my mind for some time why this was the name of his alias, Dallas being a city and Green being a colour is surely quite obvious, Charlie…). Some may know him from the Canadian band Alexisonfire, which is apparently post-hardcore, but I don’t really like lumping bands into a particular unknown genre, it’s much easier to just listen to them. Dallas is guitarist and singer for Alexis, but actually wrote and recorded a demo of his own stuff in 2000, a year before he started playing with them, and eventually released the album ‘Sometimes’ in 2005. The first song I ever heard by him was off this album, called ‘Save Your Scissors’.

His second album ‘Bring Me Your Love’ was released in 2008 and has a much more folky sound, using more instruments than his previous, such as the banjo and harmonica. Considering the work he does in Alexisonfire I love the vulnerability and honesty he shows in his solo music. I have various favourites, but the one that tops them is probably ‘The Girl’ from his second album.

Oddly enough one of my new favourites is a song I’ve only heard in badly recorded live versions and from a spontaneous playing of the song on the shoot for the song above, as it hasn’t been released or even properly recorded yet! (Ignore the dog at the start, or just enjoy its irrelevance)

Something I found out a couple of months ago that really did shock me, is Dallas Green was going to be supporting a few of the UK dates of Pink’s tour. Yes Pink, ‘U + Ur Hand’, ‘So What’ Pink. To this day I have no idea what the two of them have in common, and I still haven’t found anybody who likes both the artists, but I guess this was him getting out there in the UK in a way that made me the most jealous I have ever been of the people I knew going. I will see him one day even if it involves travelling to Canada!

I do have a love for extremely raw, stripped down versions of songs, as they are often the more honest and have true emotion in them that you often don’t find with recorded songs, for the simple reason they’ve probably sung and played the same thing about 10 times in a row already, and things get altered so much in the production. Some of my favourites include Damien Rice’s ‘Delicate’ live in Dublin, Bon Iver’s ‘Skinny Love’ on Jools Holland and this song I found on my many trawls through YouTube of Justin Vernon of Bon Iver. You can’t get much more raw than spontaneous acapella singing in a Paris hallway. (What is it with dogs and spontaneous live recordings?).

I shall end on someone who I’ve only recently been introduced to myself by my beloved music guru Will, recently being a few days ago but I thought he deserved a mention! Coincidentally he toured with Bon Iver in late 2008. I am talking about the Swedish folk artist Kristian Matsson A.K.A The Tallest Man On Earth. He’s been said to have quite a Dylan-esque sound, with that lovely rusty voice and stripped back acoustics. So far I adore him, so if you like this song from the most recent album ‘The Wild Hunt’ I’d definitely check out his other album and EP ‘Shallow Grave’ and ‘The Tallest Man On Earth’. I shall leave you with this song as I desperately need PJs and a brew, and bid you all a good day/night!

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