Archive for the Sir Richard Bishop Category

Sir Richard Bishop – The Freak of Araby (Drag City) 2009

Posted in Music, Sir Richard Bishop, Sun City Girls with tags , , on October 2, 2009 by noisenoisenoise

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When  I was looking for a video to embed in this post I came across this little nugget from a  show he performed in Baltimore this year. Live, Bishop’s music reaches that moment of ecstasy that makes his take on middle eastern raggas pretty amazing. What a pity then that this record blows. Seriously, the Freak, barring a couple of exceptions,  is dull as shit.  The idea is great but  the execution is sterile, boring and much of it amounts to ethno-muzak. I really wanted to like this, I really did and I know it is rare for me to dislike a record openly on this blog because usually  if I don’t like it I just won’t post on it. But I feel like I’ve gotta warn people about The Freak of Araby, it’s not as good as his previous work  it just sounds like cafe music or even worse music for the local old people’s belly dancing/flamenco club and that is never a good thing.  Bishop always had form for loving a good spaghetti western soundtrack but in the past he turned up the freak level rather than play it straight. This is dinner party music I’m sorry to say. In any event enjoy him doing his thing live, in fact I hope he re-records The Freak of Araby live because I’ll line up for that one big time. Unfortunately my copy of  this one is going up on ebay.

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Sir Richard Bishop – While My Guitar Violently Bleeds (Locust) 2007

Posted in Music, Sir Richard Bishop, Sun City Girls with tags on July 15, 2008 by noisenoisenoise

Oh Lord this is good. I’ve just come back from a weekend away in the mountains with the kid, the long suffering partner, and three friends with extremely questionable music taste (for Australian readers think Cat Empire). Unfortunately for them and fortunately for me, the  only music available while we consumed fucking abysmal Queensland wine and ate exquisite local cheese was the tunes on my ipod broadcast out of one of those flash Bose Sound Docks. It was a tricky audience and I had to tread carefully. Yo La Tengo and Shins were no brainers, I got away with some Ramones (mainly because my two year old sings the  chorus  “The KKK Took My Baby Away” and that kid is freaking cute) but the  real surprise was the  nods of approval at putting this tremendous avant garde, improvised guitar record on. I thought it was a bit of a stretch when I first queued it up, but reflecting on the sublime ethno-improv, acoustic guitar workout there is no wonder it was so popular. 

It has all the  qualities of what makes the  Sun City girls (Bishop’s first band) such a fantastically exciting band to get into. I’m always a bit dubious of the whole improvised mantle but this  has certainly put those fears to rest. 

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