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Sleephouse Radio Podcast

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15th September 2006

2:05pm: Anyone got a kazoo?
Sleephouse's extended summer holiday is almost over and I'll be back with a new issue in the near future. Here's a little something to keep you going until then.

Climbing gingerly on the back of the beast of hyperbole, last night I was fortunate enough to witness one of the best gigs I've ever seen in my short little life. It was I'm From Barcelona's debut London show and it was an absolute belter. I guarantee that unless you are a complete stone-cold-hearted bastard there is no way that you will leave their show without a smile on your face.

To the alarming operatic strains of Freddy Mercury's and Montserrat Caballé's 'Barcelona' I'm From Barcelona took to the stage in hail of enthusiasm, confetti and balloons and they just didn't stop until the whole of the audience was either on stage dancing or completely swept away in a tsunami of grinning good vibes. I can honestly say that I've never seen so many hearts melt and faces beam in my entire life.

Here's two songs from last night's performance.

'Chicken Pox'


'Collection of Stamps'


I'm From Barcelona have a few more shows in England coming up in the near future. Here they are:

Friday 15th September @ How Does It Feel To Be Loved?, Jamm, London
Saturday 16th September @ Rough Trade Shop, Covent Garden, London
Sunday 17 September @ The End of The Road Festival


You really need to see this band, and don't forget to bring your kazoo!

Buy their album too. Here's my review of it for Playlouder.com:

I'm From Barcelona: Let Me Introduce My Friends (Mute)

30th May 2006

7:43pm: Have A 'Little Heart'

Setting Up (Small), originally uploaded by sleephouseradio.


Hey there people! Well, it’s been quite a while, hasn’t it? Sleephouse 8 is coming soon, most probably later in the week. Apologies, but as I’m always telling you—I’m real lazy.

Until then, here’s hoping that this update holds you over. Sleephouse hasn’t been completely idle in the intervening weeks since Issue 7. No, my dear listeners, the summer’s here (almost) and I’ve been out and about. Since the last show I’ve taken in some excellent gigs from the likes of Black Mountain, The Pink Mountaintops, The Shins, The Gossip and Serena Maneesh.

I’ve been drinking heavily and abusing my body in a most grotesque manner, so last Wednesday afternoon’s genteel outing to see Mount Eerie was welcome indeed. Held at the hangover-accommodating hour of 1pm, and a free gig to boot ( though I contributed £3 voluntarily), the show’s venue was, inexplicably, but somehow fittingly, a beautiful old library in the London School of Economics. The very university where Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones was first taught the principles of penny-pinching on a grand scale, and from which he would ultimately drop out of, in order to, according to his professor, “form a skiffle band.”

And, though no pouty snake-hipped dancing was in evidence, the gig was a great little intimate affair, with Phil Elverum playing some of his lesser known stuff, in an attempt to not repeat anything from a set he had played at a show the previous evening. He was supported by Geneviève Castrée, who is the wonderful Woelv and Elverum’s partner. The show was put together by the excellent London/Northampton-based collective called Undereducated. They release records, put out zines and organise shows. Make yourself friendly with them at their myspace or their very own website.

Here’s a little bit of film I managed to catch, a performance of the song 'O Little Heart'. (Why doesn't Livejournal let you post the embedded youtube player? Weird).

And, in a further attempt to convert you to his cause, here’s my favourite ever Mount Eerie song:

Wooly Mammoth's Absence (MP3)

It’s taken from the Seven New Songs of Mt. Eerie EP. Phil’s website sells loads of goodies, and though this EP is currently out of print, the ever generous Mr Elverum has provided the whole thing for free download. All you have to do is go to this site (which seems to be down right now but I’m sure it’ll come back soon).

I’ll see you later in the week.

21st April 2006

5:27pm: Getting Lost In Translation
Issue 7 of Sleephouse is finally up! Check the blog for tracklistings and show details.

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After Issue 6 I received an email from one Rodrigo Oliveira about the Os Mutantes track that I played to showcase the Tropicalia exhibition at the Barbican and the Tropicalia album from Souljazz records. Rodrigo very kindly pointed out that the song ‘A Minha Menina’ was actually originally written and recorded by Jorge Ben. I wasn’t really aware of this (though I do remember that British band the Bees had also covered it a few years ago), so I was quite pleased to be able to hear the original version. I provide it here for your listening pleasure:

Jorge Ben: ‘A Minha Menina’ (MP3)

And after my incredibly inept pronunciation of the Portuguese language I was also very pleased when Rodrigo provided me with an English translation of ‘A Minha Menina’.

A Minha Menina (Jorge Ben)

Ela é minha menina - She's my girl
Eu sou o menino dela - And I'm her boy
Ela é o meu amor - She's my love
E eu sou o amor todinho dela - I'm all her love
A lua prateada se escondeu - The silvery moon has hidden
E o sol dourado apareceu - And The Golden Sun has appeared
Amanheceu um lindo dia - A beautiful day has come
Cheirando a alegria - Smelling happiness
Pois eu sonhei - 'Cause I dreamt
E acordei pensando nela - And woke up thinking of her

A roseira já deu rosas - The rose has blossomed
E a rosa que eu ganhei foi ela - And she is my blossom
Por ela eu ponho o meu coração - For her I put my heart
Na frente da razão - In front of reason
E vou dizer - And I'll tell everybody
Pra todo mundo - Everybody
Como eu gosto dela - How I love her
Pois ela é minha menina - 'Cause she's my girl
E eu sou o menino dela - And I'm her boy
Ela é o meu amor - She's my love
E eu sou o amor todinho dela - And I'm hers...

There we go. Quite enlightening, I think.

And if that hasn’t exhausted your desire for all things Tropicalia, then here’s a great YouTube performance from Gilberto Gil and Os Mutantes to shed even more light on the movement.

10th March 2006

1:02am: A Sad Start
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On Friday March 3 Ivor Cutler died. I featured a song from Ivor in Sleephouse Issue 5 where I wrote this of him:

Ivor Cutler performed his last show in Feburary 2004 at London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall at the grand old age of 81. Behind him stretched a life as magical and unconventional as any you’d care to mention. Cutler, the perennial outsider, was born to Jewish immigrant parents in Scotland in 1923. He went on to record numerous albums, perform a number of John Peel Sessions, be a teacher in an experimental school and also star as Buster Bloodvessel in the Beatles' ill-fated Magical Mystery Tour.

Cutler’s music is always playful, some might even dismiss him as a comedy act, but something about this curmudgeonly Glaswegian shines an enlightening seriousness through even his most unhinged and naive works. It’s as if the true nature of reality can only be glimpsed through a child’s kaleidoscope.


It’s an extremely sad loss for music, Ivor was a true original, and a man who I feel has always been poised on the periphery of my life. As a small child I would watch the Magical Mystery Tour over and over again, and my dad always tell me how great Ivor Cutler was. I largely ignored him and it wasn’t until university that I stumbled across Jim O’Rourke’s cover of ‘Women of the World’ and noting how great this song was, I made a mental note to explore Ivor’s work. Somehow I never did, and Ivor Cutler was again consigned to my personal memory hole.

Then last year, on a particularly dull Friday night, I switched over to BBC4 and caught the documentary Looking for Truth with a Pin. The documentary, telling the story of Ivor’s incredibly singular life, was revelatory. His unique personality and stubborn determination to stick to his principles, no matter how strange, blew my head off. Determined to not miss the chance again, I finally discovered Ivor’s music, and spent the entire weekend lost in his peculiar world.

Since then he’s been ever present on my stereo and probably will be forever. I’m sad that he’s gone but he’ll always continue to inspire me and countless others. His death seems natural, which, as far as death goes, is the best anyone can hope for. I’m sure he’s up there in the "Beautiful Cosmos" right now, a crotchety old man playing harmonium in the stars.

Jim O’Rourke: 'Women of the World’ (Eureka, Drag City, 1999)
Ivor Cutler: ‘Beautiful Cosmos’
Ivor Cutler: ‘Once Upon A Time’

And here’s a performance of ‘Shoplifters’ from the 1970s BBC program Old Grey Whistle Test.

Ivor Cutler @ Amazon
12:37am: An Introduction
Hey there, this is the first post of Sleephouse Radio Livejournal. I’ve set up this Livejournal and the all-new Sleephouse Notes Blogspot to deal with the overspill from the Sleephouse Radio Podcast. I’ll be updating this reasonably regularly with stories and mp3s that I can’t fit into the bi-weekly podcast.

The podcast will continue, of course, and notifications of new podcasts will also appear on this blog. Just imagine, Sleephouse Radio on your friends page!

To start with here’s some links to all the previous editions of Sleephouse Radio:

Issue 1

Issue 2
Issue 3
Issue 4
Issue 5
Issue 6

Thanks for your time. Hope you enjoy.
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