1. mediander:

    In memoriam Lauren Bacall: the moment that made her a star.

    (Source: youtube.com)

     
     
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  4. wendyjames:

    FAREWELL TO LOVE

    I’m a harmony and backing vocal girl… I love harmonies and backing vocals… and I love it when my voice sings to my voice, the texture blends and becomes very full, very pure. Whether it’s Bacharach and David (all their wonderful songs with Dionne Warwick) but especially so for me their original soundtrack for the movie ‘Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid’, in particular ‘South American Getaway’, or Keith Richards in his song ‘All About You’ on The Stones ‘Emotional Rescue’ and for my song, ‘FAREWELL TO LOVE’, my harmonies and backing vocals evoke June Carter Cash and the Carter Family, Loretta Lynn, and Patsy Cline.

    There are so many different kinds of harmonies… there are Motown harmonies (think Martha & the Vandellas ‘Jimmy Mack’) Soul Harmonies (think The Five Stairsteps ‘Ooh Child’), Northern Soul Harmonies (think The Orchids ‘Gonna Make Him Mine’), Funk Harmonies (think George Clinton’s Parliament ‘We Got The Funk’), Rock n Roll Harmonies (think The Rolling Stones ‘Happy’), Gospel Harmonies (think Sister Rosetta Tharpe ‘Up Above My Head’), Blues Harmonies, Be-Bop Harmonies, Dixieland Big Band Harmonies, Pop Harmonies… think of the Beach Boys! think of the Mamas and Papas! I could go on for days! Transvision Vamp’s super-hit ‘Baby, I Don’t Care’ is a home-run because of the harmonies and backing vocals! (*and the infamous Guitar Riff). All these different styles of singing and writing have a slightly different choice of harmony note, you can go up a third, a fifth, an octave or a semi-tone, a seventh… and then there are always the divine Country Music Harmonies… especially beguiling when sung in bitter sweet voice of a strong women who’s been done wrong!

    On this song ‘Farewell To Love’ my singing is one lead, one harmony… it’s a naked song, it’s all melody and only needed one light and sincere and simple touch, the harmony weaving in and out of the lead vocal, sometimes meeting it in unison and then diverting off into undertones and overtones and it’s own beautiful thing. More often than not (on other songs on my new album ‘The Price Of The Ticket’, or remember ‘King Hoodlum’ from my last album ‘I Came Here to Blow Minds’), I will sing 4 or 5 parts and double up each of them… it’s the Phil Spector approach… a bona-fide wall of sound. It’s one of my favorite times in the whole process of recording an album, putting the harmonies and backing vocals on. Sometimes I’ll have the idea in my head already from weeks of playing the song at home before recording and the lines will just naturally suggest themselves to me, in fact I’ll start singing harmony lines in place of the original lead, or, in the studio, I’ll just sing shotgun, go to the microphone, run the song down and see what happens. And oh… when you hit the sweet spot, it is Eureka!

    But… this song comes with a twist… the rhythm guitar I play is a little light skip reggae style… I wrote the song traditionally strumming out a cowboy rhythm but I started to feel, anticipated, that by the time Jim and Glen and Lenny played their parts my guitar would be taking up too much constant space sonically and I needed to free up some silence for them to express their parts in, so I played around with it, and found that an easy little reggae skip did just this, even improved it, moved the rhythm along. When I was recording it I kept the first verse really simple (a down hit and an up hit) and on the second verse a little more elaborate and on the third verse a combination, just skipping, really letting my body flow into the song and decide the impulse, just natural. So you can almost imagine this song being played as a shanty spiritual in Kingston, Jamaica as well as you can at The Grand Ole Opry, Nashville, Tennessee! Meanwhile, Glen said it reminded him of a Beatles song!! (which one, I cannot remember) but the harmonies and the melody seemed to suggest The Beatles to him, so I guess we all carry our own set of musical references! which suits me fine!)

    Lenny Kaye plays the most wonderful (chorus echo) guitar melody in answer to my rhythm guitar, weaving in an out of it with simplicity and precision and as always with the perfect touch. I cannot express how well Lenny Kaye understood and played all these songs on ‘The Price Of The Ticket’ with his guitar and soul, something one imagines as a musician of course, but I could not believe my happy good fortune when it was actually happening! Every choice he made was the choice I needed. And Glen! I’ve mixed Glen Matlock’s bass up loud on this song because it just sounds like he’s in his own skin, so easy, so effortless, it sounds like he’s enjoying every note! I watched him across the live room as we tracked it, and he was just bobbing along, eyes closed, really in a good place! when I listen back now I always think to myself “Man, Glen’s bass line is So Good!!” And James Sclavunos! wow… it’s awe inspiring when you play with musicians of such high calibre. Jim sits behind his drum-kit, king of his domain, and plays so instinctually, a little brush, a little skip, the beats, the milliseconds that make a song groove high, he builds, he drops down, he holds you breathlessly waiting and then he releases a rush, he is the conductor, he is the guide, he takes you with him on the journey of the song, he is in charge. I overdubbed a little Wurlitzer keyboard part, echoing Lenny’s guitar melody line, bubbling under, soft, gentle, soothing and inviting. That’s all. That’s all this song is, it doesn’t need a single thing more. It is perfect.

    Lyrically… well, yeah… sure, it’s a ‘get-out-of-town’ missive to a tiresome would-be suitor! The useless waste of time listening to someone go round in circles under the impression they’re saying something different to every time they’ve said the same thing before and the response is “Get out!” But there’s a little philosophy in there too… I say you can’t be an asshole all your life and then think you can buy back some character at the end. When it’s done, it’s done. You try and be a good person, generous in heart, mind and actions, and don’t waste time on people that detract well-being from your life instead of adding to it.

    Wendy James - Vocals/Rhythm Guitar/Piano & Keys
    Lenny Kaye - Rhythm and Lead Guitar
    Glen Matlock - Bass Guitar
    James Sclavunos - Drums

    LYRICS:

    Take your belongings
    And get out before dark
    I guess you can’t help
    Being what you are

    You just hang on
    To what you got
    But you can say
    Farewell To love

    You came here
    For absolution
    You’d like to be set free
    For what you’ve done

    You think punishment
    Will set you free
    That’s why you’ve come
    Farewell To love

    Good Luck, Fool
    Nothing’s true
    In your cock-eyed world
    You can’t buy back your life when it’s finished

    You wanna know something honey
    I’m gonna busy myself elsewhere
    When you’re Belly-Empty, Hollow-Hungry
    Don’t come see me all dreamy with temperature

    Ain’t no in-between
    Listenin’ to you come clean
    That time is done
    Farewell To Love

    Copyright Wendy James 2014

     
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  6. (Source: hadrianestou, via lepoulpe14)

     
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