Sunday, 30 June 2013

'In Cassidy's Care': Friends of Miracle Mile Respond

As we await the official release of the album (July 22), some folk have ordered pre release copies. 
We hope that you can do an Amazon review for us after July 22.
They really do help generate sales.
Here are a few snippets from those  'Friends of Miracle Mile':

 - Listening now, ecstatically. F*cking BRILLIANT!!!
Played it five times in a row and still playing it...
It's great stuff... Current fav’ is ‘Sweet Nothing’ but it's hard to choose the pick of the bunch. Max

- Got my copy this morning and it's just brilliant; Miracle Mile's best music to date. It is a gorgeous album with words and melodies to die for… an astonishing piece of music. Nick

- It arrived this morning. It’s like you've never been away. Wonderful. Phil

- In the last months I had some arterial pressure problems. I have put on ‘In Cassidy's Care’ and there was a miracle! I have measured my pressure listening your music and by a miracle my pressure was in the RIGHT range already after the first track! Now I guess to need to listen your cd all the time... Ciao e graze!  Carmine

- Got it! Jaw dropping as usual for you guys! Massimo

- Great news! In Cassidy's Care arrived today. Played it through 3 times... classic Miracle Mile!!! Congrats & thanks Trev & Marcus - She's a real beauty! Toronto Tim

- You never disappoint. I think it's because you remain faithful to the idea that the song's the thing, and that stylistic genres are ultimately, not important. You just seem to do what you do, and if you and Marcus were stranded on a desert island you'd make a xylophone out of coconut shells and write songs on that. Johnny

- You did a great job, very intense, authentic, filled with beautiful ideas and catching musical lines, with extremely fascinating lyrics. And your singing is beautiful and sincere as well. This is the very result of a long unstressed and passionate work, that's what I feel. Congratulations my friend, I'm sure (and I wish) this CD will leave a deep mark! Francesco

- I’ve spend some more time with ICC - and musically each song quickly develops into something familiar. Creeping in as if they have always been there but a little different. Any human heart seems to me - at least for the moment - to be the main song. The one the other songs lyrically revolve around.
I like your way with words (I love you, goodbye) and it`s especially great when you get very specific and concrete ie: park bench brush teeth - prints on the windowpane and, of course, the song with the carpet with it`s fibers/patterns.
And the way you now include the spoken words in a song instead of seperate them - makes sense to me. Folmer

- Always amazed at how the quality of music remains at such an amazing quality album after album. I don't purchase CD anymore between Rhapsody and Spotify, but if one purchases one CD a year, it should be a Miracle Mile CD.
Thanks again for years of brilliant music.  Alan

Friday, 28 June 2013

Albums for LIfe: Marcus Cliffe

I asked Marcus for his 'Albums for Life'.

Here's his Top 20:

These are not necessarily 'Desert Island Discs' but pivotal to me as my musical milestones:

Goodbye Yellow Road  Elton John

Sunburst Finish  Bebop Deluxe 

Dark Side of the Moon  Pink Floyd

Night Train  Oscar Peterson

Jaco  Jaco Pastorius 

8.30  Weather Report 

Mingus  Joni Mitchell 

Back in the High Life  Steve Winwood 

A Few Small  Repairs  Shawn Colvin 

Scar  Joe Henry

Followed by (in no particular order):

Yellow Jackets  Yellow Jackets
Bop til You Drop  Ry Cooder 
Exodus  Bob Marley
I Am  Earth Wind and Fire
Stomp  Brothers Johnson 
Mule Variations  Tom Waits 
Aja  Steely Dan 
Apple Juice  Tom Scott 
Debut  Level 42 
Hour Glass  James Taylor

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

'In Cassidy's Care': Reviews: HiFi News

Thanks to Johnny Black for this great review.
It's in the August edition of HiFi News.
We are their monthly 'Album Choice', kudos indeed, as the mag is a music industry bible...

Shameless Self Promotion: 4: Toronto Tim Says: My Desert Island Discs

If you've been following the recent blog links you'll know that a few of us have been sharing our love of music in list form: 'Desert Island Discs' so to speak.
Toronto Tim (god bless him) has chosen to top his list with something familiar...

#1 - 'ALASKA' - MIRACLE MILE (2003)

Easy choice... However given the opportunity it would be a tie - Alaska + Limbo. I've always said that Limbo is the perfect album, but Alaska my first-love & the one closest to my heart. Note: My good buddy Eric's #1 desert island disc is Limbo, so were covering the bases!

It took me years to eventually break out of my paranoid shell, and plunge into on-line purchasing. Alaska's intriguing 30 second sample teasers on Rainsound/Amazon were the catalyst in my search for the elusive Miracle Mile. Also a bit of a life-changer. I'd alway detested that on-line chat/blog thing that my wife was so mesmerized by. But somehow I got sucked into it with Hissyfit, and I must admit to being very grateful as I'd probably have remained dormant in a cultural vacuum. Music has always been a passion. With the demise of record stores, formatted radio and general indifference to intelligent music, I really can't express how much I appreciate all of the sharing with kindred spirits meeting at Hissyfit & COS... keeping that passion alive.

We've already discussed at length how special Alaska is, and I don't want this to turn into a brown-nosing eulogy, although I'm sure Di's boy-friend wouldn't mind. I'll just say that fantastic musical magic emanates fom that infamous "Cinnamon Chair." I'm thinking it's probably due for a good cleaning or reupholstering by now...

David Ashley writes:
I went for Alaska as well although up until the night before it was going to be Limbo. Ask me today as me and the wife look through photos of our trip to californiyiia and it is Candids. I think it is a measure of the artist rather than the record when you have 2/3/4 lps jockeying for being the best.

Monday, 24 June 2013

In Cassidy's Care: Reviews: Elsewhere

Here's a lovely review of 'In Cassidy's Care' by Graham Reid, one of New Zealand's finest.
Graham is a respected Kiwi journalist who once wrote for the Auckland Herald and now runs a fine arts site 'Elsewhere'.
Read his review here.

Corsica Bound: Diary of Departure: 15

We're both up early, Di to clean the house, me to clean myself and  pack. We always stumble silently around 'Chez Diane' on our last day, so I put on some Ennio Morricone.
For breakfast we eat most of the remaining provisions and make up a food bag of what's left for our neighbor Marie Lucie. As I dunk crusts into my coffee, the stale bread reminds me of something I wrote on our last visit:

Yesterday's Bread

“Everyday but Sunday” she says
Glancing over my shoulder
As she counts out change
 Every day but Sunday
In the shadow of St Augustine
Crusts offered reluctantly
From the back of a crumpled white van

I am not yet 'of the village'
So have worked my way 
From the back of the queue

'Voila, you were lucky'
She draws a dark brown oddment
From within, then
Steps to her left
Blocking my view

I bound home with flour on my chest
To find you in the kitchen
Teacups brimful
Over your shoulder I see
The remnants of yesterday's bread
"Always leave a crust 
To show you're not in need"
Terry's chant
"Waste not, want for nothing"

I am my father's son
So every dawn we test our teeth 
On yesterday’s bread
Leaving the soft and the fresh 
For tomorrow

You hold me hopefully
As I picture pater
Tight lipped and wanting
Pressing broken teeth
Into the back of his smile

We ready the house for our absence during the summer.
- Secure the blinds and windows
- Turn off the gas in the kitchen
- Turn off the electricity and water supply in the downstairs shower room
- Lock the front door

As we leave the house I look to my right at what used to be our view of the mountain villages, now blocked by our neighbor's recent development. His front door is a fine, solid thing, engraved with musical motifs. 'X' is a talented musician. I remember the commotion when his grand piano was delivered to the house by half a dozen shirtless young men who grunted and groaned under the weight of the instrument while 'X' tutted and clucked, issuing directions from above. Once the piano was inside there was a brief silence before the playing started. 'X's house is floor boarded and the music reverberated from within and out over the valley. We reluctantly leant in, our resentments briefly forgotten.
It was a sad and beautiful moment.
We shuffle silently past our recently departed neighbour Titin's sculptures. 
They will grace the rocks outside our house long after we've all gone.

Titin was a good age and was seemingly rock solid, costaud, until the end.
We thought that he'd go on forever...

I think back to the morning we officially moved in to 'Chez Diane'. Di and our friends Gregg and Suzi stripped wallpaper whilst I went off tapping on neighbors' doors in search of a tin opener. Titin and his nephew had just returned from an early morning hunt and Titin dragged me into his kitchen and plied me with pastis. We drank until the bottle was empty and I stumbled home mid morning with a 'Ricard' bottle opener, no tin opener, and a seaside smile...
As we enter the square by St Augustine's church we look up to our right at the house of our English/Australian friends Janet and David who translated the village's ways for us when we first arrived. Janet and David worked in tourism and were massively influential in popularizing the island back in the 50s and 60s. Their children grew up in the house, went to the local schools and are as Corsican as it's possible for foreign blood to be. When we first arrived in the village Janet and David flitted between Paris in the winter and long summers in the house, visited by family and a whole host of quirky friends. Their children, now grown, are successful in the world of theatre and design, so there was always a bohemian aura permeating from within those walls.

These days, part from the odd visit from their kids the rambling house is sadly ever empty... Janet and David now rest in the cemetery above the village, but we still see them waving from the balcony, chuckling and chatting, chuckling and chatting...

At the airport I return the car rental, complimenting the 'Avis' mechanic on our car. 'You liked it?' he says surprised, scratching at his clip board, 'No one likes French cars. It's Renault. How you say? A piece of shit!'
As we board the plane Di gasps, turns and skips back down the steps, elbowing her way past the ascending flow of passengers. 
She's forgotten to kiss the Corsican earth, part of her ritual for departure. Di touches her fingers to her lips and then to the tarmac; lingering a little longer than usual.

Song of the Day: As we are returning to a much anticipated visit from Brian Lopez let's have him singing his own composition 'Love Comes Over You' from yesterday's favourite album, Giant Giant Sand's magnificent miss mash, 'Tuscon'.
It seems oddly appropriate given our unquantifiable intoxication
with this irresistible little island.

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Corsica Bound: Diary of Departure: 14

It's our last full day and we make the most of the weather, hitting the beach. We take a bottle of wine with us and raise a glass to the sand and sea which have helped to purge us of the anxieties of city life.
In the evening we head for the local mountain village of Calenzana, famous for being the starting point of the first leg of one of the great world walks. The GR20 is a 20 leg trek down the spine of the island, traversing the granite outcrops that bear testimony to the violent volcanic history that form the island's spectacular internal topography. There will be no such endeavor for us tonight; we are eating at one of our favourite local restaurants 'Chez Michelle' which specializes in Corsican mountain cuisine, roasted in a wood fired oven. The pizzas are spectacular, but tonight my mind is set; I'll be having the spectacular 'Agneau de lait au feu de bois', the restaurant's speciality. It's baby lamb, basted in local olive oil, herbs and garlic, served up with tiny salty potatoes, all roasted in that wood fired oven. Di's eye is on veal and goes for the day's specials which she reads as 'Trumpets de Veau', surely a fanfare for this delicate meat. The first plate arrives and my heart sinks. I get the whiff before I see what's in Di's bowl. Her 'trumpets' are actually 'trippettes':  'Trippettes de veau', veal tripe! No way is she eating that! Her shoulders do that shudder so I quickly offer to swap it for my lamb which has just arrived, smelling beautiful. I struggle with texture and taste whilst Di luxuriates in my divine dish. Insult to injury: she ain't sharing! When the lady's hungry she has no conscience. I'm offered up the odd stripped bone to suck on but my meal basically consists of salty potatoes and bread dipped in tripe sauce... joy!

Thankfully the deserts are substantial so I have Soufflé au Brocciu. Corsican Brocciu is the famous artisanal Corsican  curdled sheep's cheese. It's normally baked into Fiadone, a cheese cake which is made with eggs and lemon zest. My soufflé is similarly flavored and served up with a fiery glass of eau de vie which helps to burn the tripe taste from the tongue. The job's completed by a couple of espressos. We wander the moonlit streets for a while then head for home. We need to pack for tomorrow's early departure.
Ipod: Giant Sand's 'Tuscon'
Song of the day: 'Out of the Blue'

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Corsica Bound: Diary of Departure: 13

I have a predictable hangover and not a lot of sympathy from Di.
Copious cups of coffee and Keith Jarrett help to sooth my morning.
Our builder Dominguez visits for his last 2K and to admire his roof terrace. He changes the lock of our shower room that we’ll finally be able to secure. It takes him 10 seconds. ‘Un cadeaux’ he beams, proud that he’s done something for nowt…
Beach, then home to a rooftop sunset.
Supper is languine with a pork lardons and red pepper sauce; lots of basil and parmesan.
Sorry that I can't articulate more but it's hard to convey an ambience, particularly when I'm in this state of ennui. I love it here; dislocated, half wasted, half arsed, half way up our little mountain. I know that we need to change to grow but am fearful that we might be sacrificing a little corner of heaven to that vague principle...
At this moment I'm wondering why we're jumping ship; reminds me of a line one of my mates Trevor Smith came out with when we were on an ill fated sailing trip that took us from the beautiful island of Antigua south to its ugly neighbor Guadeloupe, 'We found paradise and we sailed away from it...'
Bed, book and brandy.
‘Ghostwritten’ is beautifully written but I need to slow down to get it. Not an easy holiday read; it’s full of sentences to savour, dwell on, re read… I must remember to start the holiday with the challenging reads and finish with the pulp. Next up, a coloring book and then 'Janet and John 1a'?
Anyone old enough to remember that series?
Ipod: Familiar fare tonight; The Blue Nile are on shuffle.
Song of the day: ‘Because of Toledo’.