Saturday 28 March 2009

The Artistry of Mark Murphy ...

One of the main themes of the fifth issue of Your Heart Out was to do with discovering jazz music and in particular the works of Mark Murphy, how the ideas of punk and youth rebellion were turned on their head by discovering how art could improve with age.

So, working on the premise that not everyone on the planet is a devotee of Mark Murphy here is a quick mix of some of our favourite recordings the great man has made over the years. Naturally if this appeals then please go out and treat yourself to something from Mark's back pages. Rah! is a fantastic place to start.

Tuesday 24 March 2009

Sing a song of sad young men ...

If there is anyone who has been following Your Heart Out they will hopefully have noticed a number of names recurring and beginning to emerge as secret heroes of the text. Among those names are the composer Tommy Wolf and the singer/guitarist Davy Graham.

Well, those two names come perfectly together with Davy's heartbreaking rendition of Tommy's Ballad of the Sad Young Men. There have been many beautiful renditions of this song (Anita O'Day and Mark Murphy spring to mind) but there's something about this performance ... and if there were ever a song for our times then this is it.

In the first edition of Your Heart Out we made a passing reference to a clip on YouTube of Davy performing Cry Me A River in an old BBC documentary, which again is quite beautiful and can be found here. It's intriguing the way the Julie London/Barney Kessell version of this song had such an influence on the development of bossa nova in Brazil. Ah

Thursday 19 March 2009

... your heart out ... look sideways

The fifth issue of Your Heart Out is now ready to face the world and show off its latest moves.

So go ahead, download it for free, and find out what happens when you take the Main Ingredient, Motors, Malcolm McLaren and Jeanne Moreau, Milva and Morricone, Marilia Medalha, Letta Mbulu, Mark Murphy, Mixed Nuts, Moonshake, Ella Mae Morse, Marcia Griffiths, plot them on a chart and join the dots. It's a bit of an odyssey, but you'll visit some intriguing places along the way.

Just to be perverse we'll describe the cover, well sort of hint at it by saying it features Jeanne Moreau in Joseph Losey's Eva which has Tony Middleton singing the title song. The back page, though, features this Ken Boothe LP sleeve. What more do you need to know?

Tuesday 17 March 2009

Correcting the balance ... pt 2

While the finishing touches are being put to the fifth issue of Your Heart Out it seemed a good idea to share another of our mixes of lost treasures from the punk era and beyond. So you can download your copy of Times Are So Tough here, and enjoy some of our favourites from the Decorators, Ski Patrol, Visitors, Cigarettes and many more.

The accompanying photo is, I think, from The Face of the fabled Okonkwo twins who if I remember rightly put in an appearance in the equally legendary series of short stories which was published as The Outside of Everything.

Friday 13 March 2009

Infinite Sadness ...

One of the real passions in the world of Your Heart Out is Brazilian music, and so if you've been reading our back pages then it shouldn't come as any surprise we have a bit of a weakness for putting together mixes with that theme.

There was no real agenda in putting together this particular set of songs, but the way it's worked out is that the performances are by female vocalists, and the feel is sort of on the dark side. But then the soul of Brazilian music seems to somehow perfectly capture sadness.

So here's our Canto Triste mix, a selection of bossa and beyond, featuring Tuca, Maysa, Alaide Costa, Quarteto Em Cy, Elis Regina, and many more delights.

Tuesday 10 March 2009

So you wanna be a jazz singer ...

If you've been following Your Heart Out you'll know one of the recurring themes os our obsession with female jazz singers of the '50s and '60s.
And one of the things that we may have mentioned and which keeps us amused is putting together compilations of some of the extraordinary performances that came out of this era.
So we thought it would be fun to share one of these with you. Perhaps fun isn't quite the word because the Dark Days & Lonely Nights mix here is well ... Well, see for yourself!

Friday 6 March 2009

Correcting the balance ...

Leading up to the launch of Your Heart Out I was growing increasingly frustrated at the media and what it was doing to music, the incessant labelling, the facile compartmentalising. It wasn't a case of things being overlooked so much as being put back together all wrong. The focus on 'post-punk' being a perfect example. Life and music was far more mixed-up than the official histories would have you believe. So, utilising a very limited know-how of technology I started messing about putting together mixes of sounds from, roughly, 1979-1982. One way and another this led to the 'print' version of Your Heart Out.

So, to illustrate this train of thought I'm going to have a go at posting one of those mixes for you here. Here goes ... the sound of my youth from my archives.

The photo illustrating this post comes from a collection by George Plemper, who in the late '70s and early '80s captured life in what was roughly my part of south London. Being a school kid at the time, seeing these photos nearly 30 years on was rather like seeing ghosts.

Wednesday 4 March 2009

... your heart out ... for dancers

The fourth issue, with Michelle Mae and Ian on the cover, was going to be subtitled '... and so forth'. But that seemed too obvious. The alternative seemed preferable as there was a bit of a dance theme, and it was an affectionate nod and a wink to Kent Records. Was there ever a term as dumb as 'dance music' in the way it came to be used in the late '80s? Well, yes there was, but you get the point.

The point is we all dance in our way, in different places, to different things. And this issue featured some of the things we love to dance to the most. Jorge Ben, Georgia Anne Muldrow, the Mo-Dettes, Alice Clark and Catherine Ribeiro. There were detailed looks at the punk/disco interface, and Y Records, with all the tangle of connections that suggests. And lots of new sounds from Samia Farah, Fay Hallam/Trinty, and the new wave of beats and mischief makers like Ahu/Dolly, Paul White and Bullion. Ah, yes, have to confess got the MySpace link wrong for Bullion, so to make amends go there now to catch new sounds.

The back cover featured some very excited words about the performance of End Of Our Love by Chicca & Intrigo, so just in case you're sceptical ...

Sunday 1 March 2009

... your heart out ... and then again

With a still from forgotten French film De L'Amour on the cover, the third issue of Your Heart Out came out in January 2009 with a bit of a theme thing going on. A bit of a concept about concepts, if you like. It started with some thoughts on Janelle Monae and jazz singer Nancy Harrow's series of themed works, moving on to Gary McFarland who was no stranger to such things. Then a question of singing, with Johnny Hartman and Mark Perry, and songwriting with Slumber Party and Phil Ochs. There were overviews of the Tamba Trio and the Cup Of Tea label, and pieces on Brittany Bosco and Muhsinah whose new music was setting our imaginations spinning.

Funnily enough I didn't see this particular performance by Brittany Bosco until after the edition had been saved and posted. But wow! As it was we signed off on the back cover by saying we were dancing in our own way to the Bodysnatchers' cover of Too Experienced, which was on the flip of their second single, Easy Life.