Issue #33, December 3, 2003
| Issue #33, December 3, 2003.|
* Subject: Re: www.heathernova.us , issue #31 All headers
* Subject: RE: www.heathernova.us , issue #31 All headers
* Subject: Re: Surviving the storm All headers All headers
Date: 12/3/2003 19:26:20 +1100
Subject: Re: www.heathernova.us , issue #31 All headers
I reckon your email answers your questions ,
gotta love that amazing substance captured in the gloria gig download , with heather talking it's like blow me away. you sorta get transported there.its the heather live in concert thing, nothing compares and all that energy we put in listening warm and fuzzy's the energy of heather live how can you capture that in a studio? the crowd's consciousness flowing through, and the relationship with you and heather.
so we thought we kinda knew what storm would be like, but it's not, it's totally different. and like all heather albums it's totally different from other heather albums this was my first listening, I'm still floating in the gloria gig my brain was wired to the gloria gig I get the package from amazon.uk the special edition so excited I rip the parcel open I stare at the cover , it's in black and white, cool I pop the cd on the music doesn't sound right, bugger oh no, I know why i listen to it all the way through it's quite beautiful but you don't hear the band just heather's voice
I listen to it again, and again, then the music settles in it's exquisite storm starts off slow it sorta sways into beautiful and gets kinda more beautiful, reflective and thoughtful kinda like it's black and white cover, a graceful beauty, anyway it somehow takes me to another time, somewhere heather has been I don't find any of the songs really sad, just beautiful
her vocals romance the heart and by the time I get to, you left me a song, im totally gone , it's all so good evcrytime I like the whistle (I sometimes think of kill bill ), it's my australian sense of humour ,
all I need, is my fave at the moment. , i think :0,
storm, it is all, so good open my heart and let heather blow through ,
Issue #31, December 1, 2003.
> * Subject: Surviving the storm
> Date: 12/1/2003 00:37:42 -0500
> From: "Colin
> Subject: Surviving the storm All headers
> There haven’t been many things I looked forward to as much as the
> release of Storm,
> and the prospect of being blown away by Ms. Heavy Weather, unrestrained by
> record-company tinkering. So why was I so disappointed when I actually
> heard it? Everyone
> else (except Kevin. Hi Kevin) has had only good things to say about
> Storm. Actually, after multiple
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Date: 12/02/2003 11:10:15 +0000
Subject: RE: www.heathernova.us , issue #31 All headers
Subject: Surviving the storm
>Date: 12/1/2003 00:37:42 -0500
>Subject: Surviving the storm All headers
>There haven’t been many things I looked forward to as much as the release of Storm, >and the prospect of being blown away by Ms. Heavy Weather, unrestrained by >record-company tinkering. So why was I so disappointed when I actually heard it? >Everyone else (except Kevin. Hi Kevin) has had only good things to say about Storm. >Actually, after multiple listenings, the disappointment is mostly gone and I’ve come around
> to really - "liking it" isn’t quite right - you don’t just "like" Heather’s music. Perhaps it’s
> more accurate to say that the songs have taken hold of me. Apart from a couple of >criticisms of the music that I’ll air in a minute (perhaps provoke some hate mail?), I’m >beginning to think it’s one of the best things she’s ever done. Possibly the best. Time will
You could put STORM onto the shelf in the same space as HEATHER FRITH and GLOW STARS.
>Why was I disappointed when I finally heard Storm? First, it was probably inevitable, after
> hearing live recordings (that fabulous Cologne concert, with Heather’s voice richer and >fuller and more expressive than ever, and the band really together) of some of the new >songs, that the album would be a let down.
You had an expectation then, as we all inevitably have with our favourite artistes releasing new records.
>I haven’t heard a single live recording by Heather that doesn’t deliver more impact than >the studio version of the same song (even when she flubs a line or her voice cracks). Her >studio recordings are more controlled, more restrained, perhaps less immediate even >though they’re more polished. And I really overdid listening to the Cologne concert.
Overdo listening to Heather?!?! the thought of it.... Have you ever "over"-listened to Glow Stars, Oyster, or Siren?
All you've essentially done is listen repeatedly to one live snap-shot in time (the Cologne concert), and it's gone "under your skin"...
>I had ten weeks in the far north, brooding on (amongst other things) how unfair it was to >be stuck on a job in the Arctic when what I really wanted to do was go to the UK and >catch a couple of Heather’s concerts (I had the tickets ready and all). Sometimes I played >it 3 or 4 times a day. So of course the studio versions of those songs sounded ..... wrong,
> when I finally heard them.
The studio versions sound different, to what can be achieved live.
>Second, the subject matter of the songs (the ones that she didn’t sing in Cologne) took a > good deal of getting used to. We all know that Heather’s songs portray scenes and events >from her life (she’s said it often enough now), and she does it with an honest, >straightforward quality that avoids coyness, self-congratulation or narcissism. This is what >makes her music so unique.
>But there are moments when you think "I wish she hadn’t told me that".
Although she writes from personal perspective, what you have to realise, the songs are about her life AND the life around her. Not every song is about HER specifically, but perhaps her reaction or attitude towards what's happening >in her world<. For example, "Drink It In" isn't about HER, but her brother, who she obviously cares an awful lot about, otherwise you wouldn't have had such an emotionally-charged brilliant song.
>One of the things that I really like about this mailing list is that we don’t gossip, so I’ll shut >up about this now.
Without conversation, or gossip, there would be no mailing list...
>My actual criticisms of Storm (and they are minor compared to the good things):
>Mercury rev: Good choice of band, but I don’t think the right choice for Heather.
>Their music is totally non-commercial (good) and original (good) but what it lacks for me is >.... excitement. It’s too cerebral. Critics may like it, and musicians may like it, but it doesn’t >do it for this audience (that’s me). It’s hard to imagine those guys getting a crowd >jumping.
I've not heard much Mercury Rev, but what I have left no impression on me at all, either musically or lyrically; HOWEVER, that was a long time ago, so my impression doesn't count for anything. However, "The Divine Sparks" with Heather Nova, have managed to create an album of sheer beauty for my money...
>There are parts of the album where I seem to feel Heather’s melodic line is pulling the >rhythm behind it, giving a sort of lethargic feel. There’s probably a technical term in music
>for this. Only on "river of life" and "fool for you" does the band feel tight (as jazz musicians >used to say).
You've basically gotta work at it. All good music, it seems to me, requires an effort, otherwise, it simply goes over you the first time round, and you don't bother again.
>Mixing and production: I first listened to Storm on a modest stereo (our good one was >trashed some time ago and that’s another story) which usually does a fair job, but the >music sounded "thin" and I could hardly hear the bass at all. Since then I’ve listened to it a >lot in my car (10,000 km in the last 3 weeks) and it sounds much better. Car stereos >have extra bass amplification because road and wind noises tend to drown out low >frequency sound, but even so I have to crank the bass up to maximum to get Storm to >sound full and rich.
My first listen to STORM was sat in car, on a long country road, with the dark evening fast turning to black, in Edinburh, Scotland. After one listen only, I felt emotionally satisfied.
>Also, Heather’s voice sometimes sounds thin, almost girlish. Again, turning up the bass >frequencies adds some depth, but not quite enough to match the tones that she projected >in Cologne this year. In the past, she has sometimes done "thin and girlish" to create a particular feeling, but I get the impression this was not planned, but was the fault of >whoever was at the mixing console, not realising that most istening is not done on very >lavish sound systems. Perhaps it is and I’m the odd man out. Well that wouldn’t be >anything new.
I don't have any lavish sound systems to play with, but STORM sounds bloody good on what I play.
>What’s good about Storm? Here goes:
>I think I’ve rambled on too long here. Should I scrap this and try to be more concise? Oh >what the hell, I’ll send it and let somebody tell me I’m full of crap, over-analysing things >that are best left un-analysed. Goodnight all.
A good ramble Colin.
A last observation I'd like to make, is that STORM could quite easily refer to the "inner storm" we all have to endure sometimes, in terms of our emotions, as we progress through life.
For me, STORM is a work of genius.
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Date: 12/1/2003 20:15:41 +0100
Subject: Re: Surviving the storm All headers All headers
and hey Colin!
other than that, it is good to see somebody posting something and something that they gave some thought to..(and you obviously gave a lot of thought to that letter!)
you know, i had thought that perhaps everybody here had died or was
taking a vacation to have a baby (:-) or something...
and as a matter of fact i have been listening to Storm quite a bit recently too, mostly as a result of getting a literal "flood" of bootleg concert recordings in the mail here lately and after thinking about your post ... and i sorta wonder if it would make better sense for Heather to just sell live only albums. Her first official release (and not counting the Heather Frith LP), after all, so I understand it, was "Blow" and at nine tracks, you could hardly call it a "single" although at the time i think it was called that.
And sure, the studio albums do have their place (in "quieter" moments, i suppose) but i like hearing the live ones so much more.