Unsung Figures No.8: Chris Spedding

Unsung Figures No.8: Chris Spedding

In the latest edition of our series looking at under-appreciated artists from the world of music we profile a British guitarist and singer more famous for his session work than his own records. You may not have heard of Chris Spedding but if you’ve been a music lover for some time chances are you will have heard him play. You may have even heard ‘Motor Bikin” – the closest thing he ever had to a hit – pop up on driving compilations or golden oldies stations. Having worked as a gun-for-hire with Paul McCartney, Nilsson, Roxy Music and Bryan Ferry, Read more »

Música en mi primer idioma: Café Tacuba

Música en mi primer idioma: Café Tacuba

México is a land of musicians galore, constantly supplying wonderful and innovative sounds and songs, but in the 1990´s there was a band who ruled undisputed over all others: Café Tacuba. The video that introduced me to the band was this one, María. Its the name of the band’s debut album, released by Warner Music México on july 28th, 1992. I remember it was such a different thing to what was making the rounds on MTV en Español at the time…I immediately loved it. Since the beginning, the band wanted to be faithful to their Mexican identity. The video stars Read more »

Prince: A Tribute

Prince: A Tribute

I don’t even know where to start. First Bowie, now this. Two bonafide musical geniuses gone already in 2016 and it’s only April. What the shitting hell is up with 2016? How do I feel? Shocked. yes; surprised, of course. Beyond that I haven’t yet managed to figure out what to think or what to say. So I won’t say much. I first remember becoming vividly aware of Prince when I heard, for the first time, the song ‘When Doves Cry’ on the radio. In fact, that’s one of those childhood musical moments that really stuck with me. I recall Read more »

Unforgettable Live Performances: The Beatles at Shea Stadium

Unforgettable Live Performances: The Beatles at Shea Stadium

The origins of concert rock or arena rock can be traced back to the band that gave birth to many more music related things: The Beatles. Their concert at Shea Stadium made Beatlemania tangible and showed the rest of the world the sheer force of the fab four. Help! – The Beatles (Live at Shea Stadium) On August 15th – 1965, 55,600 fans went to watch The Beatles play at Shea Stadium (The William A Shea Municipal Stadium, home to none other than the New York Mets baseball team). It would be the start of their second US concert tour,  which Read more »

Burning Out, Not Fading Away: Neil Young’s Rust Never Sleeps

Burning Out, Not Fading Away: Neil Young’s Rust Never Sleeps

We take a look at a classic concert movie which captures a moment in history where rock’s old guard was bumping up against the aftermath of punk… The late 1970’s were a strange time for the generation of rock royalty that had emerged so brightly from the previous decade. No longer the vanguard, the likes of Dylan, the Stones, The Who et al found themselves increasingly out of step especially when the twin explosions of punk and disco shook the cultural landscape to its core. Neil Young weathered that particular storm better than most. In part this was because Young Read more »

Música en mi primer idioma: Soda Stereo

Música en mi primer idioma: Soda Stereo

The Argentinean rock band Soda Stereo was the soundtrack for generations in the 80´s and 90´s all throughout Latin America, they were Latin rock´s first mega stars. Formed by guitarist/vocalist and Argentinean legend Gustavo Cerati (he deserves a solo post at some point), bass player Zeta Bosio and Charly Alberti on drums, the band was founded in 1982 and were clearly influenced by new wave music and bands like The Police, Television, Talking Heads and The Cure. This last band can be seen in their look, heard in their music and some people even considered Soda (as fans affectionately referred to them) a Read more »

Unforgettable Live Performances: Bob Dylan at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival

Unforgettable Live Performances: Bob Dylan at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival

Newport Folk Festival is an annual folk festival in Rhode Island, Bob Dylan played there successfully in 1963 and 1964, so no one expected what happened on July 25th, 1965. Mr. Tambourine Man (Live at the Newport Folk Festival. 1964) The Newport Folk Festival is a mainly folk oriented festival in Newport, Rhode Island. It was founded in 1959 as counterpart to the famous Newport Jazz Festival and it still going on strong today. In 1963 and 1964 Bob Dylan was a most popular draw playing to hugely appreciative audiences everywhere, but that was not the case for his performance in 1965. Read more »

Country: The genre, the artists, the playlist!

Country: The genre, the artists, the playlist!

For the third installment of our Genres series we take a look at maybe the most maligned but also one of the most popular musical forms of the 20th century. And yet whilst country music inspires all kinds of negative reactions in people if you’re willing to dig back through it’s history you’ll realise that if you find the right country it’s actually pretty darn great. As with our Blues and Jazz posts this is not intended to be a definitive history, something which would require a pretty hefty book, but rather a wilfully cherry-picked selection of the best, with Read more »

Genius at work: what makes a musical genius and why?

Genius at work: what makes a musical genius and why?

In the wake of the recent passing of David Bowie we heard the word genius being used over and over, but why was he a genius? How is such a thing defined? And is it an over-used word when talking about musicians? “A genius is one who shoots at something no one else can see, and hits it.” – Unknown Talking about music and musicians, or indeed any art, in a descriptive way is not always easy. Saddled with trying to express the inneffable writers quite ofen resort to prosaically throwing noun’s and adjectives around (such-and-such is a rising star/guitar Read more »

New Reels: “”La tarde me dio” by Centavrvs

New Reels: “”La tarde me dio” by Centavrvs

This weeks new reals comes from Mexico, Centavrvs explores traditional “corrido” music genre and combines it with electronic rhythms making us want to hear their entire debut album “Sombras de Oro” (Gold Shadows). “La tarde me dio” – Centavrvs The band has been gaining momentum and have toured around, played at festivals like ViveLatino,  SXSW, and have had success with their two EPs (Pacífico and Aniv de la Rev). Finally, musicians Demián Gálvez, DJ Rayo, Paco Martínez, Alan Santos and Carmen Ruiz release the album which by the way has GORGEOUS album art by Mexican artist Saner. The album not only mixes and samples traditional Read more »

Unforgettable Live Performances – David Bowie

Unforgettable Live Performances – David Bowie

I don´t think we have fully accepted the news of David Bowie´s death and I am certain we will never recover. I know the cool thing to do is celebrate his life and be happy he was here and my rational self knows that but my heart is in pain and I am also a bit mad I was not eased into this (though my rational self accepts that it was a private issue). In any case, I have to process and heal and grieve and all that so I thought a post on his iconic performances might help. Farewell Speech Read more »

David Bowie: A Tribute

David Bowie: A Tribute

We at MVD are huge David Bowie fans so naturally we were shocked and saddened to hear about his passing from cancer at the age of 69 this morning, coming as it does just days after his birthday and the release of his most acclaimed album in years. We pay tribute to one of pop music’s true innovators, and a legend without peer. Well there you go, even in his death David Bowie has managed to confound expectations, much like he did throughout the course of his utterly unique life. No-one saw that coming. We had heard intermittent rumours of Read more »

Música en mi primer idioma: Fito Páez

Música en mi primer idioma: Fito Páez

Pianist, lyricist, singer, songwriter, film-maker and novelist Fito Paez has been around for more than 30 years and influenced Latin American music and the collective consciousness of me and my friends. “Al final lo que queda es abrazarse, confiar en el otro, amar y dejarse amar en medio de la balacera que es la vida.” The quote translates something like “In the end, what we have left is to hug each other, trust one another and let yourself be loved in the middle of this shoot out that is life”. Tumbas de la gloria – Fito Páez I remember the first Read more »

Playing on and on: 3 of the best from Basement Jaxx

Playing on and on: 3 of the best from Basement Jaxx

As one of the world’s pre-eminent dance acts of the last 20 years Basement Jaxx have produced one gloriously catchy hit after another. They’ve also given us some pretty amazing videos and in this post we take a look at three of our favourites… Felix Buxton and Simon Ratcliffe met in 1994 in a pub in the borough of Clapham, in south-west London and bonded over a love of house music. Ratcliffe had already accumulated enough hardware for a small studio, and the duo quickly set about making tunes together, subsequently setting up their own label, Atlantic Jaxx, on which Read more »

The Commitments: Soul Music to lift you above the shite.

The Commitments: Soul Music to lift you above the shite.

“The Irish are the blacks of Europe. And Dubliners are the blacks of Ireland. And the Northside Dubliners are the blacks of Dublin. So say it once and say it loud, I’m black and I’m proud” Jimmy Rabbitte A movie and a soundtrack that took over the world in 1991, and that, 20 years later, would reunite the actors for a tour around Ireland and in the UK. The Commitments is a comedy – drama. Though I have to say that having watched it again to write this post, it is really hilarious. The movie, directed by genius Alan Parker, who Read more »