5/5: Talk Talk, Cloudland Canyon, Tanakh, The Dead Texan, and Brainwaves 2008… for real

Mark Hollis’ music is something nearly everyone is familiar with even if they aren’t conscious of it. His work in Talk Talk led him to popular success and exerted a fairly substantial influence on a number of musicians, earning him a place among the most influential musicians of the last 20 years. Talk Talk’s evolution, due largely to Hollis’ influence, is a surprising one. They started as a Duran Duran clone, producing several hits that fit the 80’s new wave aesthetic perfectly. The music was formulaic early on, but Hollis’ voice was unique and the band enjoyed introspection more than most contemporary acts did. In 1984 Talk Talk began to move away from the synth-pop sensibilities that formed them and released It’s My Life. The single of the same name was eventually covered very poorly by No Doubt. Talk Talk’s original is full of character and color. It’s a far cry from the average new wave hit. Other singles from that album demonstrate the band’s desire to move into more complex compositional territory. Just a couple years later the band released The Colour of Spring and cemented the fact that there was more to them than catchy hooks and a handsome voice. It’s on this album that Hollis first began to move away from pure pop sensibilities and implemented various musical styles, ranging from “world music” to odd-ball pseudo-jazz and near-ambient balladry. Talk Talk eventually released The Spirit of Eden and Laughing Stock, two records that shaped the way underground rock would sound well into the new century. I often wonder if any band will ever perfect their Talk Talk impersonation, but so far the imitators can’t hold a candle to Hollis’ subtlty (including Radiohead).  After Talk Talk broke up members of the band went on to form various bands of differing sorts, but Hollis alone continued the final “Talk Talk sound” and released a self-titled album in 1998. Since then… nothing.

I had two calls right at the beginning of the show concerning Cloudland Canyon. Not much from the band is available online, but I can point you in the direction of Kranky’s website and the band’s official website. Their newest record, Lie in Light, was just released and is receiving plenty of positive press.

Tanakh has so many musical associations that I can’t even begin to count all of them. Ben Chasny from Six Organs of Admittance, Ned Oldham of The Anomoanon, Mic Turner, and Pat Best of Pelt are just some of the musicians associated with this Jesse Poe-led project. Over at Tanakh’s Myspace page is a video interview in addition to several free music samples.

I also had several inquiries about The Dead Texan. Adam Wiltzie of Stars of the Lid and Christina Vantzou are The Dead Texan, a joint audio-visual project that has only one release of which I am aware. Southern Records has a small write-up about the project available and Brainwashed.com plays host to a free video from the band. The self-titled album was released as a CD/DVD combo and is still available from Kranky. The various whale sounds and water samples were from the Hildegard Westerkamp and not The Dead Texan.

Last up is a Brainwaves 2008 REMINDER: Brainwaves 2008 is coming up and this is the lineup:

Meat Beat Manifesto
Stars of the Lid
A Place to Bury Strangers
Little Annie
The Reformed Faction (of Zoviet France)
Andrew Liles and Jonathan Coleclough
Nmperign feat. Jason Lescalleet
Marissa Nadler
Glenn Jones
His Name Is Alive
Gary Wilson
Boduf Songs
To Kill A Petty Bourgeoisie
Baby Dee

Individuals willing to volunteer their time to this festival will be allowed into the festival for free and will probably get the chance to meet some of the musicians involved. Brainwaves 2006 was an enormous success and had more than just a few surprises up its sleeve. You can expect a number of surprises from the 2008 show, too. The festival lasts three days and is likely to feature some great great videos, a DJ set or two, and more merchandise than you can shake a stick at; check out the website linked above and get ready for what will be the best show in Boston all year long.

Thanks for listening! Talk to you next week.


download – Laughter 5/5/2008 – Hour 1
download – Laughter 5/5/2008 – Hour 2

01. Talk Talk “Happiness is Easy” from The Colour of Spring (1986) on EMI

02. Cloudland Canyon “Dambala (Excerpt)” from Silver Tongued Sisyphus (2007) on Kranky

03. Windy & Carl “A Dream of Blue (Edit)” from Through the Square Window (1999) on Ochre/Blue Flea

04. Ken Ikeda “Yume” from Merge (2003) on Touch

05. Faust “Why Don’t You Eat Carrots?” from Faust (1971) on Rer

06. Keiji Haino “Affection (Excerpt)” from Affection (1992) on Modern Music (P.S.F.)

06/07. Ghost “Overture (Excerpt)” from Overture: Live in Nippon Yusen Soko 2006 (2007) on Drag City

08. James Blackshaw “Celeste Pt. 1” from Celeste (2008) on Tompkins Square — originally released in 2004

09. Last Days “Saved By a Helicopter” from These Places are Now Ruins (2007) on N5md

10. Tanakh “Mashah” from Villa Claustrophobia (2002) on Alien 8

11/12/13. Hildegard Westerkamp “Beneath the Forest Floor” from Transformations (1996) on Empreintes Digitales

12. The Dead Texan “When I See Scissors I Can’t Help but Think of You” from The Dead Texan (2004) on Kranky

13. Labradford “Midrange” from Labradford (1996) on Kranky

14. Tangerine Dream “Mysterious Semblance at the Strand of Nightmares (Excerpt)” from Phaedra (1987) on Virgin — originally released in 1974

15. Wauvenfold “Stab” from 3Fold (2002) on Tiger Style

16. Vangelis “Blade Runner (End Titles)” from Blade Runner (1994) on Atlantic

17. Monos “Slowly Fading (Excerpt)” from Generators (2005) on Die Stadt

18. Sun Kil Moon “Harper Road” from April (2008) on Caldo Verde


One comment

  1. […] are two of the most searched terms on Laughter. Lots of people try to download the show from May 5th of 2008 (on which Talk Talk was featured), but because I used Mediafire back then, that show has been […]

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