Saturday, 29 March 2014

Toronto Tim Reviews 'To the Bone'


Okay, I've had a couple of days to gnaw on "To The Bone"... 
The album title is apropos, and certainly a brave move considering the majority of MM/Jones discography tend to lean toward relatively polished & expansive productions, which I do happen to love. However, sometimes a change is a good thing. The songs at first had me wanting for more, but then after a few listens, I realize they contain all that is needed. Does that make sense? 

It's a subtle album then, not a lot of huge anthemic choruses, but a few tracks are already favorites... 

"Phil The Hat & TJ" is the perfect opener. A sweet, warm slice of nostalgic melancholy; memorable images glimpsed, but not stared upon...

"Pardon Me" recalls the stark beauty and honesty of Paul Buchanan's 'Mid-Air'. The opening line "Pardon me for this intrusion..." reflects exactly how I feel when I hear this one. So raw and personal, one feels like an eavesdropper. Intimate, concise and fully-formed...

"Some Kind Of Surrender" has a weird spaghetti-western Morricone intro/outro that still has me scratching my head, yet it's somehow become a favorite.

"Fireworks" is a corker, simply one of the prettiest tunes I've heard in a long while. A gorgeous waltz with a stunning chorus... "We will bring fireworks, to light up the sky. Our hopes and our dreaming, and dreams I deny... will light up the sky."

"To The Bone"... That singalong-drinking-song chorus is an ear-worm that won't leave my head, it's so bloody catchy. Not sure if I love or hate it! 

"Somewhere North Of Here" stands with the very best songs in the MM/Jones catalog. A perfect blend of brilliant melody/musical arrangement and intensely moving poetry. In the timeless tradition of "Hopeland", a hymn of hope, empathy, perseverance & love... 

"I will walk beside you, and you will know I'm there
And I will touch you gently, to comfort your despair
That you might go beyond me, and the permanence of fear
To where your guilt and sorrow will fade and disappear."

The outro that follows "You will find me standing, on the other side of fear... Somewhere north of here" with MC's church-organy keyboards, Melvin's heavenly pedal-steel,  and I'd swear there's a choir in there somewhere... then TJ's killer falsetto "Ooh-ooh... Ooh-ooh" gets the chicken-skin crawling and the tears welling. Whew...

"To The Bone" very tasty indeed! Once again, well done & Thanks boys...

Friday, 28 March 2014

Lovesong: Passenger: Whispers

'Everyone's filling me up with noise
I don't know what they're talking about
See all I need's a whisper
In a world that only shouts'

Well said that man!
Marmite?
I like Marmite.
This song is naive.
This song uses the word 'Twitter'.
I don't like naive songs that use the word 'Twitter'.
I love this song.
Naive and with a big old heart.
Just how I like my... humans.
I want to hug this man and grow a beard.
Just watch me now...

Sunday, 23 March 2014

A Plethora of 'Tims'. Tim's 50th & Toronto Tim Says: Tom Hickox: War, Peace & Democracy

I hate Karaoke! 
I always resist the call at parties. 
I'm supposed to be a singer right?
I'm not really a 'singer' though am I?
I'm a songwriter who sings his own songs in the controlled environment of a studio... but...
"Come on Trev, show us how it's done!" comes the inevitable call.
You can't win, folk expect and, I suspect, secretly bate their breath in the hope of a car crash.
So, I always resist.
Except... last night it was my good mate Tim's 50th birthday.
He'd reformed his school punk band 'The X Men' especially for the occasion.
Tim, Tim, Stu and ringer, 'Plinky Plonky Paul'.
I somehow ended up playing keyboards on The Specials' 'Message to You Rudy' as 'Plinky Plonky ' needed to do that trombone bit. He did it very well, and I kind of bluffed my way through the song; there were only 3 chords and it was in the key of 'C'. No black notes to bother...
The X Men trundled splendidly through a zestful set with muscularity and no little affection for their beloved Sex Pistols, Damned, Vibrators et al. Great fun as these successful businessmen rolled up their sleeves, rolled back the years and rallied against Thatcher and 'the system'. Anarchy indeed! Tim sprayed out some fine riffs, gurning, grinning; garrulously shooting from the hip with his sunburst Les Paul. Drummer Tim (shipped in from Norway) thumped away with grey abandon, making an orgiastic, organic din with his rubber drums, whilst singer and bassist Stu came over like a holy union of Paul Simonon and Eric Morcambe as he spread his legs wide and formed a solid foundation in that bopping basement, playing all the right notes but not necessarily in the right order. The high spot was a gusty, gutsy encore of The Stranglers' 'No More Heroes', which they grabbed by the throat and dutifully... strangled; 'Plinky Plonky's' airy arpeggios adding an oddly lofty musicality to the dynamic dirge. 
It's lovely to glimpse old firm friends re-engaging with the folk and folly they'd forgotten they loved. 
I think we'll call it 'Joy!
I'd have them at The Hat Club but I fear that we'd have to sand bag the place to protect us from the neighbors....



Next up was the dreaded Karaoke.
Tim dragged his lovely wife Donna on stage and they sweetly mugged their way through 'You're the One that I Want'; charming as John and Olivia. 
Then came the call. 
I resisted as best I could but... Tim presented me with a lyric sheet for The Kinks' 'Lola' in an unfeasible font with tiny unreadable text and... we were off. 
I thought I knew the song. 
Do you? 
Go on, give us the lyric then? 
Not so easily rendered or remembered eh? 
"I met her in a club down in old Soho..." and then, nothing. 
A blank. 
So I let Tim lead and decided that I'd just 'guest star' and flesh out the chorus. 
Easy. 
Sorted. 
But could I spell 'Lola'? 
Could I buggery! 
It's L  O  L  A
LOLA! right? 
I did 'lilo'. 'Loulou', 'lala'. 
Anything but 'Lola'. 
Tim then suggested 'Waterloo Sunset'.
'Dirty old river...' and then... nothing; a blank.
Tim avoided eye contact and pulled the plug.
I shuffled off stage to tumbleweed and bewildered whisperings from a nonplussed audience. 
Not for the first time, but definitely the last. 
Di took my hand and sympathetically whispered "you were rubbish!"
She did however profess the X Men as 'brilliant'.
Here are some clips of the band's performance. 
Something for you to rate her judgement of me by...

video

video

video


Meanwhile, this just in from our tertiary Tim; Toronto Tim who has just resurfaced from a 6 month sojourn in Florida.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Hi Trev, 

You're aware that I've been in the wasteland regarding new music for a few months. 
Trawling now and finding a few gems...
Your blog thing seems to be a bit sporadic these days... I'm sure you're exhausted after giving birth to another album; as well as dealing with neurotic Mom's...
Anyway, if you find the time or inclination I've cobbled together a minor entry for the blog if you deem it worthy. Please edit to your liking...
..............................................................................................................................

TORONTO TIM SAYS: NEW MUSIC: TOM HICKOX - WAR, PEACE & DEMOCRACY 

Only released last week, so I must confess that I've just ordered the actual CD. However, based on the couple of lovely tunes that I've been able to sample, Hickox's album appears more than worthy of purchase. 

First off, don't be led astray by the album title. It's not folkie political protest songs. No, this is mostly lush, piano-based orchestral music, wed to nuanced poetic imagery and sung in a husky North-London baritone in the vein of Nick Cave, Richard Hawley, Scott Walker & Leonard Cohen. There are a few modern touches added to the production... tasteful pedal steel and echoes of Brian Eno-style atmospherics. Hickox also bears a refined pedigree, son of the late Richard Hickox CBE, one of Britains most renowned conductors. He's also a very snappy dresser...

This is an ambitious, meticulous and imaginative debut, with smart storytelling that demands repeated listening. As Hickox himself says, “I am a great believer in the listener finding their own way. I have failed as a writer if there’s only one interpretation of the lyrics.” 
He's certainly a young artist to watch...

"Pretty Bride Of Russia" already rates as my favorite song of 2014 (thus far). Hickox sings from the perspective of a naive young girl looking to go to London: “I’ll learn to act and sing and make my father proud.”  Absolutely gorgeous...


"Angel Of The North" appears to be the "single" release, accompanied by an artsy video...
I don't expect to see it on MTV I'm afraid to say...

"Let Me Be Your Lover" is a "love song" featuring somber, moving lyrics very unlikely to make the pop charts: “Let us share a tombstone in a graveyard by the sea/ then let us hear the crushing in immortality/ let me be your lover, let me be your friend/ let me be beside you whenever it’s the… end.” 


WHITE ROSES RED:  

Visit Tom Hickox's website here: http://tomhickoxmusic.com/

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Lovesong: Beck: Morning Phase

Beck's 'Morning Phase' was our soundtrack on Saturday as we drove the coast road from Hastings to Beachy Head. We walked up the glorious South Downs and there it was; the infamous cliff edge that too many sad souls have stepped off.
Tiny crosses everywhere...
I didn't propose, so I didn't jump.
We sat and sipped as the sun set over the sea, surrounded by toy planes, kite flyers, people throwing themselves off the cliffs with wings strapped to their backs.
It was a lovely end to a lovely day; a day that inevitably ended in a mash up on the M25...
So we put this album on again and sunk back into our smugly snuggly heated seats.
This really is beautiful.
Don't listen to it too intently.
Just put it on and look at it from the corner of your eye for glimpses of true pastoral beauty.


Friday, 7 March 2014

'To the Bone' Available as a Hi Res Download From Linn Records

Linn Records have just made 'To the Bone' available as a Hi Res 96 bit download.
You can also get it from them as a download in CD and MP3 quality.
Click here to access and buy.
Of course, you could just purchase the CD pre June 16th release directly here from the Miracle Mile website.
Fill yer boots!

Thursday, 6 March 2014

'To the Bone' Jones: Available Now

My new album 'To the Bone' is available to buy now through our website.
Please click here to access the Miracle Mile/Jones store.
PayPal is the payment method.
Otherwise you could go old school and post your £10 cheques (p&p included worldwide, whatever)
Trevor Jones
18 The Green 
Wooburn Green
BUCKS HP10 0EF
UK

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Weird and Wonderful

You probably don't know this but I run my own music venue with Di.
The Hat Club abides within our local squash club.
We can just about squeeze 60 folk into the bar.
Tonight is a sell out!
Martin Stephenson plays.
I'm sure that you remember him from the 80's & 90's.
'Boat to Bolivia', 'Gladsome Humour & Blues' were never off my turntable back then; I saw him play many times with his band The Daintees.
Martin has just released his 41st (yup) album 'California Star' to much acclaim.
Anyway... this morning a copy of the monthly magazine 'R2' dropped through my letter box.
My band Miracle Mile have an interview within, courtesy of Jeremy Searle.
We also have a track on the free 'Unherd' CD that comes gratis with this fine mag.
And who do you think has the track before ours?
You couldn't make this stuff up!