Tag Archives: Her Name Is Calla

Moving On…

But just before I do… I think it’s important for me to acknowledge that apart from the unfortunate comment (as discussed in my previous post), my communication with Contraphonic was completely polite and respectful.

Also, my bemusement over it should do nothing to stop anyone from checking out either Fringe, or any of Pillars And Tongues’ work for that matter. On that note, do yourself a favour and go check out Oaky (doting, in late summer), an alternate version of the track Oaky, which appears on The Pass and Crossings, plus an additional track. It’s a free download, so there’s no better opportunity to see for yourself what I’ve been raving about all this time (if you haven’t already).

In other news, I was a little saddened to read the other day that Her Name is Calla members Thom Corah and Michael Love have now left the band… Sad for me, mostly, as it means I’ll never get the chance to see HNIC live with the line-up as I came to know and love them – not that it was anything other than the faintest of possibilities anyway, but now there’s no possibility at all, so the sense of finality is doubly saddening.

In saying that, the most important thing to say is how glad I am to have discovered (for lack of a better word) their music when I did. The Quiet Lamb may be – as its name would suggest – a quiet achiever, in that not nearly enough people are aware of it, but (in my very humble opinion) it’s one of the greatest albums of the decade… So, Mike and Thom will be missed, but I’m sure their contribution both to HNIC, and music in general, will continue to be cherished and influence music for years to come. All the best for their future endeavours, and I guess this means changes are in store for Her Name is Calla, too. Looking forward to it.

I’ve nothing in the way of tribute, so I’ll let the music speak for itself. Here’s one of my favourite tracks from The Quiet Lamb. I never get tired of listening to this, or any of the other tracks on the album.

PS – There’s just 7 days left on their Indie GoGo campaign.

And now for some good news… My favourite Aussie band, Adrift For Days, are heading back to the studio to record the follow-up to The Lunar Maria, with a prospective release date early 2012; which makes me all kinds of happy. The Lunar Maria is a name-your-price download over at Bandcamp, with a limited edition CD version also available, so go check that out while I wait impatiently for album #2.



Things Of Interest

Just a quick note to update a few things…

First, the good people at [sic] Magazine recently posted an interview with yours truly about the Two Hands label; which you can read here if you want to know some of the reasons behind the decision to launch the label and what our goals are. Much thanks goes to [sic], and Rob Gannon for that.

Second, you know I love Her Name is Calla, and while I don’t have a ghost of a chance to see them live any time soon, I’ll be pledging my support for their tour campaign currently being run via Indie GoGo so’s I can at least nab one of the postable perks. Check ’em out, discover an awesome band (if you haven’t already), and drive me mad with jealousy if you go see one of their shows.

Last, a recommendation I should have made already… Back in March 2009, I picked up the rather good Daytrotter Session by Golden Ghost. It took me a while, but I recently bought the album the session songs came from. RIYL Dark Dark Dark, Lotte Kestner, The Sandwiches, Bad Braids, Tiny Vipers.


May’s Swag: Free (& Legal) Music Downloads

Looking at that picture, I’m not sure why I insist on pictures of bags to accompany these posts. I’ve seen some strange and weird ones, but this Foundling design by James Piatt wins the WTF Award for coming with accessories to customise the bag in order to represent various famous, deserted babies; including an open window for MJ’s son. Why did I choose it? I dunno, I guess I just like to share everything that makes an impression on me. Shake your head and move on to the awesome music below.

Quite a few single tracks up for grabs this month (including the Graveface previews I mentioned the other day).

Her Name Is Calla – Long Grass (Live at Left Bank Leeds)
Acoustic/Folk | 10MB – 192 kbps MP3
A lovely (albeit hushed) live rendition of Long Grass.

Adrift For Days – Along The Moon River/The Leech (Live at The Pony)
Blues/Doom/Psych | 12MB – 320 kbps MP3
Two live tracks from the ever-awesome Adrift For Days, available individually via Bandcamp.

Moby – The Day (Orchestral Instrumental)
 Ambient/Downtempo| 8MB 320 kbps MP3
More free stuff from Moby, with a lovely classical instrumental version of The Day, in exchange for an email address (as before). Get it here.

From Oceans to Autumn – The Flood/The Fall
Post Metal/Instrumental | 45MB – 320 kbps MP3s (+PDF files)
One of the latest additions to the Silber roster, with these two tracks being offered by way of an intro to the band. Recommended for those that like label-mates Irata, or anyone who likes energetic, instrumental music. Grab them here.

While I’m talking about free stuff from Silber Records, one thing I’ve never mentioned is their  mini-comics, which are pretty much exactly what the name suggests: comic books the size of a matchbox. You can buy printed copies of issues as well as the first 10 issues of Lost Kisses on DVD, but many are also available free to download.

Erma – Erma
Folk/Blues/Jazz | 64MB – 320 kbps MP3s
A very nicely done folk album with blues and jazz elements, available from Bandcamp as a ‘Name Your Price’ download. Recommended for those who like Basia Bulat and Joan as Police Woman.

Radiohead – 20 Best Cover Songs
Best as decided and ranked by Stereogum, which is where you can go get these tracks. Not that I have any arguments to enter into how/why this list was decided. Each one is available to download individually (except All For The Best, as it’s a charity single available through iTunes). Lots of Neil Young covers – I personally recommend the collab with Sparklehorse (RIP), with the cover of Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were Here (which is the only track out of 20 I already had, I just thought I’d mention). Go grab them here.

Harvey Milk – Live at Spiro’s in Austin, TX on 3/14/2008
Stoner Rock/Doom/Metal | 61MB – 256 kbps MP3s
6-track live set from the above show, and a great way to introduce yourself to the slow, heavy and loud sound of Harvey Milk or a nice addition to their albums if you already have. Available from Free Music Archive.


30 Day Music Challenge: Day 11 – A Song From My Favourite Band

Her Name Is Calla – Wren

“It’s a big, old world”

I’d really like to maintain some kind of diplomacy and insist I don’t play favourites, but if you look at my tag cloud I think it’s pretty obvious that I at least favour a select few. There are other artists I listen to just as much, if not more, but it’s an undeniable fact that they’re the one I talk about the most.

I chose Wren (from The Heritage) because it’s a song I really like, but rarely see mentioned by others when they talk about their favourite HNIC songs.

As it turns out, this post is timed almost perfectly with a free sampler that went up on their Bandcamp page yesterday, featuring tracks as chosen by fans via Facebook and an exclusive demo version of Hideous Box / Hidden Body. More that 45 minutes over 6 tracks, it’s the perfect way to get a good overview of their discography so far.

Check it out here.

And while I’m at it, I may as well let you know that Denovali are now taking pre-orders for the new 3-track 10″, Maw. Watch/listen to the video (made by Calla’s Adam Weikert) at YouTube, and/or buy here.


Mixtape, Moving Pictures & Maw

Depending on your time zone, this would either go in yesterday’s post, or you’d have to wait a whole month to hear about it (here). Since I heard about it this morning, and I didn’t want to tack it on to yesterday’s post, I figured everyone else should know about it now, too.

The label Skrot Up, whom it should be well known I have a certain fondness for, have just released a mixtape featuring 16 of the label’s artists. The mixtape is available to download in MP3 format, either as individual files or two extended MP3s, to give you that cassette experience. You can download it over at Redefine Magazine, and – as they say – it “should serve as a great introduction to a label that is constantly releasing artful, challenging electronic, experimental, and psychedelic lo-fi music“. Indeed.

The tracklisting is as follows:

  1. Tongue And Teeth – “Just Dogs”
  2. The Secret Society Of The Sonic Six – “Bump Sonically Speaking”
  3. Balaclavas – “Sick Pants”
  4. Rape Faction – “White Boy Uptown”
  5. Grem – “Closer”
  6. Kid Romance – “Not Your Persona”
  7. Florene – “Capital”
  8. Grave Babies – “Ghost”
  9. High Marks – “Revenge”
  10. Dharma – “Dark Magicks”
  11. Wicked Crafts – “Thought Of A Present”
  12. After After After – “Radiation”
  13. The Darkest Love – “Your Turn”
  14. Chevalier Avant Garde – “Loss”
  15. Puberty – “By A Car”
  16. Passion Party – “Untitled”
In other News…

While I’m here, I may as well let my fellow Her Name is Calla fans know about a couple of things, if they didn’t already. First, the unfortunately failed attempt at a live, acoustic loungeroom session has resulted in the recording of a few tracks currently available to watch on YouTube. (I am convinced that if I hadn’t gotten up at 4:30am to watch it, it would have gone on without a hitch – nearly every time I tried to get rid of the ads onscreen, the feed cut out simultaneously 😮 ). Anyway, you can watch Tom and Sophie perform lovely versions of With Eyes So Full of Sparks of Love, The Long Distance Runner (the hidden track at the end of The Heritage) and Kate Bush‘s Running Up That Hill.

From today, they’re also previewing the tracks from the upcoming 10″ release, Maw. Over the next three Mondays, each track will be up on SoundCloud for 24 hours. You can see the artwork for it, too.

Today it’s the title track, Maw. Check it out here.



Theme Songs for Favourite Things – Films #2

Her Name Is Calla – Condor and River


Favourite HK New Wave Period Action – Once Upon A Time In China

That might seem like a fairly narrow category, but if I simply try ‘favourite Hong Kong action’ the choice becomes impossible, and considering the vast amount of genres within the HKA film industry, this makes things much more simple. (Romance was easy, action was hard – way too many favourites). That being said, this comes pretty close to being my  favourite film of all time (I admit to watching it over 50 times since I first saw it  over 15 years ago), so perhaps the heading of this post is a little irrelevant anyway.

The theme song was a definite challenge, too, but before I get to that…

OUATIC (1991), directed by Tsui Hark and starring Jet Li, is semi-fact and fiction. It tells (part of) the story of Wong Fei Hung, who was something of a real-life Chinese folk hero. I have no idea how many films have been made about him, but let’s just say there’s a hell of a lot – Kwan Tak Hing alone starred in a total of 99 films as Master Wong.

If you watch the trailer above, you’ll hear the theme song for the film. I should note that the piece of music used for that comes from a Ming Dynasty (1368-1644)  folk song called Under the General’s Orders – the adapted version is called A Man Should Better Himself. This song – and the music of it – is not just the theme of the film, but has been long-since adopted as the theme song for the man himself, and decade’s worth of films about Master Wong have used it. It is a piece of music that is instantly recognisable and immediately associated with Wong Fei Hung. Below is an instrumental version.

I actually love that piece of music, and have a version on CD with none other than Jackie Chan providing the vocals.


A hero walks alone...Just one of many examples of the stunning cinematography

Before I saw OUATIC, I had seen a handfull of Jackie Chan films and thought they were pretty darn good. After I saw it…a veritable obsession with Hong Kong action cinema was born. Throughout the 90’s, I collected around 400 films on VHS, right up until the introduction of DVDs, after which the release of HK films in Australia virtually screeched to a halt (funnily enough, this happened to coincide with the 1997 handover of Hong Kong to China – a cause for a little unrest in itself within the HK film industry, but that’s a different subject entirely). The film has everything you could possibly want – beautiful cinematography, jaw-droppingly good fight choreography, despite the obvious use of wire-work (thanks to the legendary Yuen Woo-Ping, probably familiar to most others as the choreographer for the Matrix trilogy), drama, romance, tragedy… There’s pretty much nothing it doesn’t give the viewer in an exciting, dynamic, captivating and impressive way.

There’s a bunch more I’d like to say about the film and its history in general, (read: I wrote several other paragraphs and realised this was getting far too long), so on to the theme song I’ve chosen. As mentioned previosuly, this is not an attempt at giving the film itself a new theme song, but an attempt at finding a song that epitomises some other qualities – very difficult in this instance because, like everyone else, the music and film are pretty much inseperable in my head.

If you’re familiar with either, the theme song may be looking a bit odd. Along with the reason already mentioned, this was the hardest challenge so far because all of my immediate picks were themes from other films, which I wanted to avoid. What I did want, was something that I could draw certain similarities to. Condor and River, in terms of subject matter, has nothing in common with OUATIC, but it is an epic, breathtaking and thrilling piece of storytelling that is not only one of the band’s finest moments, but a masterpiece of the genre itself. Translate that to the film, and Jet Li, and it’s spot on.

Admittedly, I also wanted to avoid picking a song by someone I never shut-up about, but 4 out of 5 ain’t bad…



Things To Take With You On Your Holidays

My second-to-last order of business before the 25th with a quick couple of things I wanted to mention while I pack my bags and head out for a beach holiday over Christmas (in which circumstances equals: chance to stare at the sea intermittently while I work on a few things to bring back). Along with a few other things I’ll be talking about soon, you can be sure I’m taking the following along with me…


First up is the reissue of Urchin by Inga Liljeström. This album has been on my wish list for quite a long time (we’re talking years), so I was thrilled to discover Groovescooter have recently released a special edition with bonus tracks. I haven’t yet heard most of the tracks on this album, but I adore Elk in some ways I can’t speak about without the post being marked as containing adult content.  You can check Urchin out here. (I honestly don’t know if Groovescooter ship internationally, but it can’t hurt to ask if you like what you hear). For just one of the reasons why Inga is one of very few female artists that can get me all quiver-y, take a listen to All Of This from the album Elk).


Now on to the  live EP by Her Name Is Calla, recently released via Bandcamp. It’s no secret how much I like this band, and I would dearly love to see them live one day. In the absence of that opportunity, however, this is certainly the next best thing. The EP contains three tracks from the set they played at Denovali’s Swingfest back in October, and I can only guess at the magic the audience would have been witness to after listening to the half-hour+ they’ve made available here.