Friday, April 25, 2014

Flashback Friday: Get There by Bôa

In 1998, one of the strangest Animes ever produced was released: "Serial Experiments Lain". A description of this anime is beyond the scope of this flashback, so I'll just point you at the Wikipedia page if you're interested:  Serial Experiments Lain.  

Anyone who saw an episode of the show was immediately struck by the haunting opening theme "Duvet" by a band called Bôa.  

It turns out that Bôa was actually a British band, formed by Steve & Jasmine Rodgers - the son and daughter of legendary rock singer Paul Rodgers (Free, Bad Company, The Firm, etc.). The song Duvet was from their debut album "The Race Of A Thousand Camels", released on the small Japanese label Polystar.  

Due to the popularity of the anime, Bôa was subsequently signed to Pioneer, and re-released their debut album under the name Twilight. It was about this time that I struck up a friendship with them on their on-line message board.  Eventually, I traveled to England to meet them, and catch one of their shows. (Yeah - I know - I was young with a surplus of disposable income). 

Live - they were amazing. They played selections from Twilight and a bunch of new songs. Sadly, they were dropped from their label, but - they did eventually record the new songs and released the album themselves. This is the record "Get There". 

You can hear it here:  Get There by Bôa (Xbox Music)

Considering the relative youth of the band members, this is a very mature record. Highlights include Courage, Daylight, America & (especially) Passport.  

Sadly - this was to be their last record. Luckily, both Steve & Jasmine have started solo careers and their work is excellent.  Check out their work on Amazon/iTunes/Xbox Music.

So - give this a spin, and let me know what you think.

P.S.  Don't laugh - but here's a photograph of me at the show.  That's me in the center.

From left to right:  Lee Sullivan, Jasmine Rodgers, me, Steve Rodgers, Alex Caird.  This was taken around 2000 or so. 

Friday, April 11, 2014

Flashback Friday: Lost Sirens by New Order

In 2003 New Order started recording what would turn out to be their final album: Waiting For The Siren's Call.  It took over a year to record and at least £700,000 in production costs.

During these torturous recording sessions, they started recording new material during off moments.  They completed 7 songs, which they were going to hold for the next record.  However - long simmering tensions built up and the band split apart in 2007.

It took 9 years, but the 7 new tracks plus a remix of one of the original songs were released as the album Lost Sirens in 2013.

You can hear it here: Lost Sirens by New Order (Xbox Music)

This album is well worth the wait.  While many of the tracks on Waiting For The Siren's Call seem overly fussed over, the relative spontaneity of these tracks make them seem fresh and memorable.  Plus - the stripped down remix of "I Told You So" brings the song out from underneath the gloss of the original mix, and fits in nicely with the other tracks.

In the meantime, New Order have reformed without "lead bass" player/founding member Peter Hook and are touring the US this summer.  Peter is also touring - with his son - playing New Order and Joy Division classics.

Give Lost Sirens a spin, and let me know what you think in the comments below.

Also - if you want to compare/contrast, the parent album is also available on Xbox Music.

You can hear it here:  Waiting For The Siren's Call by New Order (Xbox Music)