The Enigmatic Enya: “there’s no one else who is so successful about whom so little is known”


(via msn entertainment)

By Megan Riedlinger

We never thought we’d say this, but we have a new life hero and her name is Enya.

The reclusive and notoriously private 54-year-old singer was named the richest female musician in British and Irish history this month with a $132 million fortune. In additional to this coveted claim, The Sun recently uncovered some rare details about her fascinating lifestyle.

Enya is currently living her best life, residing alone in a massive castle in Ireland. The only other occupants of her home? The security team, staff members, and her cats…

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Jayhawks Ride Rocky Path to Reformation


(via AP) by David Bauder

NEW YORK (AP) — To a certain extent, singer-songwriter Gary Louris is fighting against history by reforming the Jayhawks.

“The precedent isn’t very good as far as bands putting out their best work late in their careers — in rock, it’s very rare,” said Louris, 61. “That doesn’t mean it has to be that way.”

The Jayhawks try to prove that point with Friday’s release of “Paging Mr. Proust,” a concise collection of melodic pop-rock with a few twists. The lovely “Quiet Corners & Empty Spaces” stands with the best work ever by the Minneapolis-based group that made an initial impression with early-1990s songs “Blue” and “Waiting for the Sun.”

No one can accuse the Jayhawks of living off past glory. In fact, their failure to achieve the greatness many had predicted became a defining characteristic and internal motivator. The band and Louris lived through their share of tumult…

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Phil Collins Recreates Original Album Covers for 2016 Reissues


(via twisted sifter)

Last November, legendary rock star Phil Collins began to reissue some of his most beloved albums as part of a collection called, “Take a Look at Me Now“. As part of the reissue, Collins teamed up with photographer Patrick Balls to reshoot all of his original album covers.

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Songs You May Have Missed #586


Joe Jackson: “Awkward Age” (2003)

Unlike say, Al Green or Lynyrd Skynyrd, there is no one Joe Jackson sound. He started out making critically successful, highly-caffeinated pop-punk with the Joe Jackson Band, but abandoned the style almost immediately to explore other genres. His Jumpin’ Jive in 1981 presaged the neo-swing revival and with Night and Day the very next year he seemed to be trying on Cole Porter’s songwriting shoes.

But in 2003 he finally reunited with the band that backed him for his seminal hit “Is She Really Going Out With Him” and his first three albums. While the results were mixed, “Awkward Age” seems to recapture a bit of the classic vibe and energy.

Jackson’s message here is meant to embolden someone (specifically a fifteen-year-old female) trapped in a less-than-cool life situation, reminding her that “we’ll all be fine” and the awkward age can be any age.

Bonus points for the phrase “Klingon beauty queen”.

Songs You May Have Missed #585


Clannad: “Down by the Sally Gardens” (Live) (1979)

William Butler Yeats wrote this as a poem, inspired by an older song, “You Rambling Boys of Pleasure”. It was set to music by Herbert Hughes.

Clannad is a family folk group comprised of three siblings and two uncles. They also spawned the solo career of another sibling whose fame eclipsed their own–Enya.

This song drips with the melancholy of unrequited love that is a hallmark of so many Irish traditional songs.

Video of the Week: Lenny Lipton Clears the Air About His Poem ‘Puff the Magic Dragon’

Despite plenty of circumstantial evidence to the contrary (Jackie Paper = rolling papers, “puff” = to take a puff from a joint, “dragon” = “draggin'” i.e. to take a drag, etc.) Peter, Paul & Mary have always insisted “Puff the Magic Dragon” has nothing to do with marijuana, but rather is a lament for the lost innocence of childhood.

Peter Yarrow was inspired to write the song by a poem he found on a typewriter, a poem written by Lenny Lipton and in turn inspired by an earlier poem, Custard the Dragon by Ogden Nash.

In this video Lipton reveals the poem’s origins and puts to rest the persistent legend that the song was written as a veiled drug anthem (although of course people will still believe what they choose).

Incidentally, the poem originally had an additional verse in which Puff found another child to play with after returning. But neither Yarrow nor Lipton have clear recollection of the missing verse, and the original paper Lipton left in the typewriter is lost.

Top Ten Best Lyricists of All Time–“All that legendary came from that one man’s head”


Tupac looms large among the all-time greats

Top Ten lists are a troublesome phenomenon at best. Usually an exercise in quantifying the unquantifiable and codifying the purely subjective, they are often assembled by hypesters and overly opinionated know-nothings rather than those with sufficient credentials to credibly carry off the task. (This, incidentally, is why this blog will be adding Top Ten lists as a regular feature.)

But once in a while the font of ignorance gushes so plentifully one can’t help to splash around in the intellectual muck a bit.

Such was the case when I stumbled on this post, entitled Top 10 Best Lyricists of All Time

I could nitpick the fact that the title itself is redundant–that either “Top 10” or “10 Best” would have gotten the job done–but I won’t mention that.

Rather let’s begin with the fact that no list of Top 10 (nor indeed Top 10 Best) lyricists of All Time should reach back only to 1962. That’s when the career of Bob Dylan, the earliest entry, began.


Kurt Cobain: a giant among lyricists

People have been making lyrics for quite a long time. The Great American Songbook is something that should be explored in at least some cursory way by those eager to suggest Tupac is among the ten best to ever pen a lyric.

Or perhaps these voters have heard the work of Lorenz Hart, Johnny Mercer and Sammy Cahn and know definitively that Kurt Cobain is superior to them all.

But the following less-than-genius-level quotes would seem to belie that possibility:

Eminem is the best lyricist ever, period. Killing rhymes and the beat is not something that Shakespeare could ever do! Never!

The Irony to all this was Lennon new he was superior to anyone else. His intellect was so far ahead, no one can match him in this department. His vision, leadership, creative ability was to advance and mostly misunderstood.

For those who may not know, Lennon and McCartney were the writers of The Beatles. These men are definitely amazing lyricist. Their amazing song Yesterday, is considered one of today’s saddest songs of all time. I want that song played at my funeral. John Lennon also wrote songs independently. One of John’s most popular songs was Imagine. That song is one of the most lyrical songs ever.

(Roger Waters) should be number one, even no (sic) I’m a Jew how can you not love him.

The best lyricist ever born no one can give meaning to songs the way (Robert Plant) does just by making noises.

Bohemian Rhapsody… So I have to say more. All that legendary came from that one man’s head.

Enough said. Too much, really.

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