Thursday, 5 December 2013

JosieJo's Great Big Pair of Tips

The JosieJo Show 10

Hello. This is The JosieJo Show number 10. It feels like a milestone for me so I'm going to do something different from the first nine shows. I normally present you with two tracks from two different artists. They don't have a common theme or even teselate into each other. You never know what you're going to get with this show and this time is no exception. I still have two tracks for you recorded by two different bands in two different genres, but here's the twist; they are the same song.
Not sure how you're going to feel about this, but it's the JosieJo Show – let's give it a go.

There is a band unlike any other. It's big in Korea, it's called Arco and it has some of the most wonderful and talented people I have ever had the pleasure to call my friends. Arco is Chris Healey, his twin brother Nick and my good friend Dave Milligan. Arco is named after a directive in music for string instruments to indicate to the performer that the passage should be played using the normal bowing technique. So it's the return to normal after a passage played in a different way. If you look the term up on Wikipedia in reference to music you get three definitions. One is the description above, one is a professional diploma for church organists and the third is Arco – a British slow-core band and it's this band that I want to introduce you to in this show. The songs are almost painfully quiet and they require – no they demand your attention. There is no hiding behind slide or rock guitars. Every note, word, pluck and pause is carefully thought out and in there for a reason. This makes for beautiful tracks that seem deceptively simple. The lyrics aren't obscure, they are what they are and speak of simple truths. It can make the tracks hard to hear because of their sadness, but when they speak to your raw emotion there is seldom anything more comforting than music that reflects that pain. I've seen them live several times and the audience is literally captivated by the stillness of the band and the soft quietness of the music.
There are a few tracks available as MP3s on Arco's website www.arco.org.uk and I can highly recommend “Perfect World” on there, but be careful how you enter that URL unless you want stainless steel straps. On Arco's website (I'll say it again so you don't get confused with buckles and safety glass) www.arco.org.uk you can also find links to the whole discography including the latest release “Yield”. When I say latest it was released back in 2010, but their whole back catalogue is worth a listen.
The track I'm going to play you is “Lullaby” and you'll see later on why I've chosen this track. It was the 11th and final track from the album “Coming To Terms” which was released way back in 2000 and that album has got me through many tough times in the last 13 years. “Lullaby” featured on the show Californication and it's easy to see how it could be used as a goodbye tune. This really is a beautiful track that is, undoubtedly, a lullaby. It's quiet, soothing and soft. However, when taken in the context of the whole album you can't fail to notice the slightly disturbing under current that suggests the passing of time. You can't help , but ask yourself if you really know the answer to the question “What does it mean to be loved?” Arco and “Lullaby”

So that was Arco and the tune “Lullaby” It's a good introduction to the band and a really good last track for a mixtape. My favourite Arco track is actually “Driving At Night” and it's like the law in the JosieJo household that the track “Happy New Year” has to be played in the very early hours of the first day of the year, just when the brandy is going down and the sun is coming up. That track is available as an MP3 on the Arco website and I highly recommend you go and get it for yourself. Links to all the bands I play on the show are available on my website www.josiejoshow.com and special links like the link right to the page with those Mp3s on it will be up on my Facebook page. JosieJo Show.
Now for the second track of show ten. Well it's the same song. “Lullaby” was covered by Arco's bass guitarist, Dave Milligan by his band The Penguin Party. It appears on their first album “See Thru Songs” and is completely different from the version you just heard. Whereas Arco are like floating through the quiet of falling snow on a dark night, The Penguin Party are sparkly, spangly power-pop who tell tales of quirky characters and drinking beer in British pubs. They are from Essex, England and as I said are headed up by Dave Milligan (gee whizz this is turning into the Dave Milligan show...maybe we should get him to do a show of his own...oh wait he does...that's Round At Milligan's. Go to my website for links to that. It's much longer than this and is packed with really really great music). The rest of The Penguin Party are Jake Milligan, Jan Black, Johnny Holburn and the mighty Gareth Hall on bass. I have played The Penguin Party on Show One, but I just thought that it would be an interesting exercise to play this version of the Arco track “Lullaby” right after the original. I think that this version really plays on that disturbing undercurrent of the track and the juxtapostion between the sentiment of the song “try and sleep now” and the loud, rip-roaringliness of the guitars is interesting and well just quite funny really.
So I ask you again “What does it mean to be loved?” This is the Penguin Party and their version of the Arco track “Lullaby”

Did I wake you up? Sorry. Are you any wiser at all? Never mind. You see two great tracks by two great bands. Normal service will be resumed next show when I will once again bring you two great tracks, but different tracks by two great bands or artists. Who knows what turn up next on The JosieJo Show. You'll just have to keep on listening and tell your friends. This year I'm doing an advent calender for my brother where I send him a different track every day starting on the first of December and ending on Christmas Day. Go on steal my idea and use the JosieJo Show for great ideas of tracks and bands you'd like to share. Thank you as always for listening.



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