Thursday, 12 November 2009

Holy mountain magic men

I'm going off MOJO magazine a bit but I still think the cover cds they do are good and they’ve put me onto a few great bands. Nicole Willis and the Soul Investigators for one. And the Wooden Shjips for another. They featured on a cd entitled, rather tenuously, “In Search of Syd”. Their track was “SOL 07 Pt 1” and I liked this so much that I listened to it (alternated with one of the other tracks) all the way through a 220 mile car journey (rough calculation: about 13 times). I followed this up by buying their album which I don’t think has a name but which starts with “We Ask You To Ride”. It’s very good but not quite as frazzled as “SOL 07”. When I was buying it I thought I’d check out what else their label (Holy Mountain) churned out and this is where I found Daniel Higgs.

Like his label mates Higgs is a hairy fellow. I would say he’s moved quite a bit further out from psych rock though, his album “Magic Alphabet” is just him playing a jew’s harp – I’ve only listened to samples of it and I’m not sure I’ll buy it but I love the fact that he’s done it. I doubt he gives toss but I think it's a shame that his psychedelic banjo music is unlikely to ever trouble the charts or radio stations, despite being hypnotically catchy. The only downside: I find his vocal style a bit…Old Testament? Which is something I’m rarely in the mood for and so my favourites are instrumentals. Like this:

Daniel Higgs: Leontocephaline Rhapsody

Leontocephaline, I would imagine, means something like lion-headed. And I will use this most slender of prompts to relate what is probably my proudest crosswording moment, when I (correctly) got the word dolichocephalic in the Times crossword. I have absolutely no idea how I knew this word.

Wooden Shjips: SOL 07 Pt 1

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