Monday, December 13, 2004

Lights Are Changing

The best busker I’ve ever seen was in the English city of Horsham. This old guy was armed with a $20 Casio style battery operated keyboard and was wowing the crowds of uninterested passers-by with his unique interpretation of Pulp’s then hit “Common People.” I gladly gave him 50p. Sadly, I’ve yet to experience the Mary Lou Lord busking experience, which apparently began on the London underground when she spent a year in the UK and still continues from time to time alongside real tours and sadly far too infrequent albums. You can only speculate how if Kurt Cobain’s life would have been different if his relationship with Mary Lou Lord had continued instead of him falling for Courtney Love but one thing that came out of their time together was Cobain introduced Lord to Kathleen Hannah, then of Bikini Kill who passed her demo tape onto Kill Rock Stars who released her first few singles and debut mini album. This led to a deal with one of those labels owned by a major, in this case Work who were part of Sony, but despite a bigger budget, a backing band, and a spot on that years Lillith Fair tour her first full length CD “Got No Shadow” didn’t win many new converts and coinciding with motherhood Lord took a couple of years off. Since then she has released two further albums, “Live City Sounds” and earlier this year “Baby Blue” recorded with and featuring several songs by long term collaborator Nick Solomon of the Bevis Frond. If you have a chance I would suggest her Kill Rock Stars mini album is the best introduction to Mary Lou Lord but at each point of her recording career she has perfectly meshed a punk rock sensibility, a joy of covering other people’s songs reminiscent of the 60’s folk explosion, and the talent to captivate with just her voice and an acoustic guitar.
To download today we have her Indie Rock "tribute" from the mini album, the homage to Alternative Country it evolved into from a radio session, and her take on Van Halen's "Jump"

Buy it at Insound!

The best Mary Lou Lord website can be found here


guanoboy said...

I saw her live many years ago...she was quite good, and her years of training playing on the corners made her a great performer...

haven't heard her in awhile...thanks for the reminder!

EJ said...

Thanks for pointing me to your blog, Steven! It's been quite a synchronous day in MLL-world, hasn't it? I encourage readers to check out my posting regarding her newest album, Baby Blue at Scenestars.Net for some additional MP3's you can listen to. Great choices, especially the Peter Blackstock-penned revision, "His N.D. World" (N.D.=No Depression)