Richard Dawson (raucous experimental UK folk racket w/ intense picaresque realness vox)

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Really hope this takes off completely. Not sure how. If tedious worthy dreck like Young Fathers is winning the Mercury, what chance does Dawson have, eh?

Anyway, this isn't about him taking off, this is about how his music is fucking astonishing & his personality one of the most performatively engaging I've heard on record

imago, Monday, 17 November 2014 20:48 (five years ago) link

Not seen him live, but the record is extraordinary. In all sorts of ways: people who like it will really, really, really like it; those who don't will simply be unable to make any sense of it, and I'm not yet sure which camp I fall into. It sounds like a stream of consciousness, both musically and lyrically. In many ways its a truer and more difficult form of alternative/outsider music than any noise or deliberately anti-melody record, because there are tunes and melodies here, they just seem all wrong - the notes, the chords, the progressions all seem wrong. Like a folk Beefheart.

Unsettled defender (ithappens), Monday, 17 November 2014 20:56 (five years ago) link

I've definitely mentioned him on here a few times as well. Seen him probably about half a dozen times in the last 3 or 4 years, I think the first time was just as The Magic Bridge came out and he's never been less than brilliant. From the visceral impact of Poor Old Horse the first time I saw him, to the pouring out of his heart in Wooden Bag, to co-opting folk standards like The Brisk Lad, to the sinister tragedy espoused in Ghost Of A Tree - which could also live on the creepy british tv thread in tone - I've always been rapt.

I wrote about Nothing Important on FB but can't find my post. I'll repeat what I said there though - The Vile Stuff is the distillation of his career to date and if he never does anything again that song will be enough.

the bowels are not what they seem (aldo), Monday, 17 November 2014 21:29 (five years ago) link

let's post it here, in fact

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GQVlNt6DAxY

imago, Monday, 17 November 2014 21:32 (five years ago) link

2:40 into "Nothing Important" and this is very easily going into the "I don't get it" file

the farakhan of gg (DJP), Monday, 17 November 2014 21:38 (five years ago) link

"The Vile Stuff" is completely obsessing me right now. Probably my favourite track of the year. (Evidently based in truth, as his teacher left a comment on his FB:

"Ha ha. I remember that trip to featherstone castle one of the highlights of my teaching career"

Also heard very good things about him as a live performer, from a trusted source. Hell, even his collages are good: http://www.richarddawson.net/collages.html

mike t-diva, Monday, 17 November 2014 23:51 (five years ago) link

I'm interested

i did it all for the 'nuki (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Tuesday, 18 November 2014 01:20 (five years ago) link

i've liked some of this guy;s stuff but i'm getting an icky jam-band feeling from that last youtube

I dunno. (amateurist), Tuesday, 18 November 2014 02:51 (five years ago) link

how many minutes did you listen for

after 2 or 3 minutes the vocals come in and it's completely gripping, imo

imago, Tuesday, 18 November 2014 03:00 (five years ago) link

i listened to the whole thing!

I dunno. (amateurist), Tuesday, 18 November 2014 04:13 (five years ago) link

I think this would probably appeal to folks who dig the Incredible String Band. I'm more on the Holy Modal Rounders' team, myself.

rushomancy, Tuesday, 18 November 2014 12:32 (five years ago) link

I can see tracks like Judas Iscariot and all the instrumental pieces on The Glass Trunk appealing to Derek Bailey fans. John Fahey fans might get a lot out of this too.

the bowels are not what they seem (aldo), Tuesday, 18 November 2014 12:37 (five years ago) link

Judas Iscariot is like a more deliberate Bill Orcutt

john wahey (NickB), Tuesday, 18 November 2014 12:49 (five years ago) link

Yeah, I can see that.

the bowels are not what they seem (aldo), Tuesday, 18 November 2014 12:58 (five years ago) link

Dammmm, just listened to Nothing Important on Spotify: "Judas Iscariot" an instrumental,justifies the Fahey and Derek Bailey comparisons right away, unselfconsciously; title track's vocals vulnerable, idealistic, tenacious, suggesting Robert Wyatt and Roy Harper; "The Vile Stuff" is a mighty tag-magnet for all of the above and RIYL ISB, the groove of solo Wino, Dredd Foole, and maybe Jandek (though I'm not a J-man fan). This track is or surely should be the one to get him on campus etc. radio. "Doubting Thomas" instrumental perfectly folds into its four minutes plus. The words haven't all registered yet, but I like the ones that have. Thanks ILM!

dow, Tuesday, 18 November 2014 18:17 (five years ago) link

Seems that this all comes from his own youngblood experiences (incl. listening to his records and himself), more than wearing influences on his sleeve. Though still working on his own unmistakable sound, own voice, as writers say.

dow, Tuesday, 18 November 2014 18:21 (five years ago) link

It sounds like a stream of consciousness, both musically and lyrically. In many ways its a truer and more difficult form of alternative/outsider music than any noise or deliberately anti-melody record, because there are tunes and melodies here, they just seem all wrong - the notes, the chords, the progressions all seem wrong. Like a folk Beefheart.

Description sounds like Kevin Coyne, in KC's more out there moments. But he doesn't sound like Kevin Coyne, more like Roy Harper gone weird.

Euripides' Trousers (Tom D.), Tuesday, 18 November 2014 18:37 (five years ago) link

Yeah, Coyne and Beefheart are in the same associative family tree, but actual sound closer to young Harper.

dow, Tuesday, 18 November 2014 18:50 (five years ago) link

Seriously one of the year's best records

Whiney G. Weingarten, Tuesday, 18 November 2014 18:52 (five years ago) link

i liked the first track on glass trunk with the letter so much but have cooled on him since then

ogmor, Tuesday, 18 November 2014 19:39 (five years ago) link

Oh yeah this is pretty cool. Like the guitar playing a lot.

grandavis, Tuesday, 18 November 2014 20:21 (five years ago) link

listening judas iscariot right now

good, but as a couple others pointed out VERY bill orcutt almost to the point of distraction for me sometimes

i did it all for the 'nuki (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Tuesday, 18 November 2014 20:39 (five years ago) link

I'm liking "Nothing Important" quite a bit.

EveningStar (Sund4r), Tuesday, 18 November 2014 20:42 (five years ago) link

huh ok now the next song is L@@K RARE OOP PRIVATE PRESS UK PROGRESSIVE WITCH FOLK VG++ ONLY 200 COPIES WERE PRESSED

this song is awesome

i did it all for the 'nuki (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Tuesday, 18 November 2014 20:43 (five years ago) link

also the first song was good, i shouldn't be backhanded, it was more "put together" than orcutt usually is and it's not like recalling bill orcutt is an easy task either way

i did it all for the 'nuki (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Tuesday, 18 November 2014 20:44 (five years ago) link

two weeks pass...

Richard Dawson 'The Vile Stuff' (Karen Gwyer Remix)

Listen to Karen Gwyer's hypnotic version of the song https://soundcloud.com/weirdworldrecordco/richard-dawson-the-vile-stuff-karen-gwyer-remix

"Nothing Important is driven by an ongoing conflict between entropic impulsiveness and an almost classical sense of beauty and order...Dawson's most ambitious and affecting composition to date." 7.8 - Pitchfork

"The 33-year-old Newcastle avant-troubadour has made one of the most unique singer-songwriter records in recent memory with the abrasive, vivid Nothing Important.” - Rolling Stone

The sinister lament that is ‘The Vile Stuff’ shows Dawson as a master of the minutiae of British storytelling as he charts the downfall of a group of students on a school trip, “downing Asda’s own-brand stubbies in the lad’s bogs” before succumbing to all sorts of transgression and calamity – fracturing skulls and cheekbones, stabbing screwdrivers through their hands and hopping into bed with their teachers. It’s a song as surreal as it is strangely relatable in its pitch-black humour and effortless conjuring of grizzly adolescent fantasy.

In her remix, Gwyer takes the song's ominous instrumental loop and tones it up into a muscular, sinister alien-club track reminiscent of her releases for No Pain In Pop.

Read a recent interview with Richard Dawson via BOMB Magazine (conversation w Cian Nugent):http://bombmagazine.org/article/2000044/richard-dawson/

dow, Wednesday, 3 December 2014 23:46 (five years ago) link

That's from dominorecordco.com, so's this

http://i2.cmail1.com/ei/d/36/889/699/csimport/RichardDawson-CROPPEDFORPR.151153.jpeg

dow, Wednesday, 3 December 2014 23:49 (five years ago) link

oh my fucking god this remix

imago, Friday, 5 December 2014 00:36 (five years ago) link

just found myself listening to this dude earlier today cuz he is supporting the ex next week. definitely pro him

♛ LIL UNIT ♛ (thomp), Friday, 5 December 2014 00:37 (five years ago) link

listened to him for the first time yesterday, siked to have a new person to listen to whose work I think is amazing

puff puff post (uh oh I'm having a fantasy), Friday, 5 December 2014 20:07 (five years ago) link

to me, this has some similarities to akron/family back in the day when they were really on top of what I believed to be an extremely compelling sound

puff puff post (uh oh I'm having a fantasy), Friday, 5 December 2014 20:09 (five years ago) link

listening to the back half of nothing important and oh man this guy

♛ LIL UNIT ♛ (thomp), Friday, 5 December 2014 21:50 (five years ago) link

maybe I need to go to both days of the the ex thing

♛ LIL UNIT ♛ (thomp), Friday, 5 December 2014 21:50 (five years ago) link

aah, i used to kind of know this guy from when he worked at alt vinyl in newcastle years ago, pleased to see him making a name for himself (or is it just on ilm . i saw him play loads of times about 5 or 6 years ago and he was always great but never got round to hearing any of his albums somehow (will rectify this). i remember being being quite taken aback when i first heard him singing, him being such a mild mannered, softly spoken chap.

Benny B, Friday, 5 December 2014 23:31 (five years ago) link

i`ll admit my memories of that time in the north east are getting pretty hazy, but i remember wondering at the time htf maximo park and the futureheads blew up when field music and richard dawson were sooo much better

Benny B, Friday, 5 December 2014 23:37 (five years ago) link

gosh how did a band whose calling card was a novelty 80s cover make a deeper impression on the public than this guy with his sixteen minute song about school kids getting drunk on 4x and stabbing themselves with screwdrivers

♛ LIL UNIT ♛ (thomp), Saturday, 6 December 2014 09:16 (five years ago) link

ha! well it was back when i actually gave a fuck about such things.

Benny B, Saturday, 6 December 2014 10:31 (five years ago) link

five or six years ago RD's music was much more quote-unquote accessible straight-bat folk-rock kinda stuff; afaik no-one took much notice until he started to get ~weird~

proper maoist (DJ Mencap), Saturday, 6 December 2014 11:21 (five years ago) link

So what a couple of bits I've heard reminds me of (so far) is some Harsh 70s..-era Dead C 'heavy' strumming. After five mins I can't be arsed.

xyzzzz__, Saturday, 6 December 2014 16:26 (five years ago) link

I dreamt about Richard Dawson last night.

In the dream the mainstream had decided to try and co-opt him and so he had been invited on TV wanker-fest Sunday Brunch with Tim Lovejoy and The Other One. It was a special summer edition which was outside and the invited "too old for Hoxton but we're going to pretend anyway" middle class twunt target market were having a picnic. To try and make him more palatable they had given him a completely inappropriate backing band and they started a version of The Brisk Lad that sounded a bit like Take That. Richard tried to destabilise things by picking up a saxophone (which he clearly couldn't play) and tunelessly honking over them after the first verse. The producers responded by turning up the backing to try and restore order. Richard then walked off the stage in amongst the picnickers and started ad-lining verses, but when he said he would split the stolen sheep "from maw to cunt" it got a bit much for the producers and it went to a black screen.

the bowels are not what they seem (aldo), Sunday, 7 December 2014 11:32 (five years ago) link

:D

someone not on phone pls repost to striking imagery thread asap

imago, Sunday, 7 December 2014 12:30 (five years ago) link

That should have been "ad-libbing" near the end, but autocorrect obvs.

the bowels are not what they seem (aldo), Sunday, 7 December 2014 12:37 (five years ago) link

AAAAAAHHHH

imago, Saturday, 13 December 2014 02:44 (five years ago) link

Just interviewed him. Lovely man.

Unsettled defender (ithappens), Monday, 15 December 2014 13:14 (five years ago) link

Spoke to him after the gig and can corroborate this

imago, Monday, 15 December 2014 13:34 (five years ago) link

three weeks pass...

this is great! how did i not hear it till now?

this is just a saginaw (dog latin), Wednesday, 7 January 2015 10:41 (five years ago) link

This should be right up my alley but I've never managed to get past the first couple tracks.

Dinsdale, Wednesday, 7 January 2015 11:44 (five years ago) link

there are only 4 tracks

London's Left-Wing Utopian Non-League Ultras Are Reclaiming Football (imago), Wednesday, 7 January 2015 13:50 (five years ago) link

I've listened to this about 4 times in the last 24 hours. Such expressive guitar playing. It makes me wonder what his guitar method is. He said in a Wire interview that when it comes to different tunings, he forgets what they are, but it definitely sounds like he's throwing in some interesting tunings in there all the same.

this is just a saginaw (dog latin), Wednesday, 7 January 2015 14:05 (five years ago) link

also everyone likes a guy who posts his posts to multiple threads

imo it is nothing short of the finest pastoralia the north of england has produced, its folk stylings tempered with something utterly seaborne & untameable. 'nothing important' is a preternaturally brilliant folk-prog exegesis on mortality for god's sake, yet it also feels…slightly improvised?

glad to have you on board, i really think this stuff is the most interesting & emotionally affecting music coming out of this country at the moment

― London's Left-Wing Utopian Non-League Ultras Are Reclaiming Football (imago), Wednesday, January 7, 2015 2:26 PM (11 seconds ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

London's Left-Wing Utopian Non-League Ultras Are Reclaiming Football (imago), Wednesday, 7 January 2015 14:27 (five years ago) link

The potato line in Shapeshifter is bugging me. They weren't introduced to the UK until 1586 or whenever, so how is one in this song. I have tried googling "Richard Dawson potato" to no avail of an explanation from the author.

Hey Bob (Scik Mouthy), Monday, 4 November 2019 13:45 (eight months ago) link

he did explain it somewhere - elements from all time periods are included by design. 'prostitute' has a prominent synth part!

imago, Monday, 4 November 2019 13:54 (eight months ago) link

Poet(ato)ic licence.

Michael Oliver of Penge Wins £5 (Tom D.), Monday, 4 November 2019 13:55 (eight months ago) link

Shapeshifters have also yet to be introduced to the UK

ogmor, Monday, 4 November 2019 13:56 (eight months ago) link

That's what you think.

Hey Bob (Scik Mouthy), Tuesday, 5 November 2019 15:41 (eight months ago) link

They've been on the throne since the turn of the 18th century surely?

Michael Oliver of Penge Wins £5 (Tom D.), Tuesday, 5 November 2019 15:51 (eight months ago) link

One's prime minister right now.

Hey Bob (Scik Mouthy), Tuesday, 5 November 2019 16:10 (eight months ago) link

giving his 2005 debut album a listen for the first time. found it in a charity shop for 50p a couple of years back and hadn't ever got round to playing it before. it's not especially good tbh, mildly eccentric in places but nowhere near as daring as what was to come. probably one for the sale pile i think.

the creator has a mazda van (NickB), Tuesday, 5 November 2019 23:29 (eight months ago) link

Part of me would love to hear it. But I know he's disowned it, so the other half of me wants to respect that.

Duke, Tuesday, 5 November 2019 23:35 (eight months ago) link

happy to share wavs or whatever if anyone is desperate

the creator has a mazda van (NickB), Tuesday, 5 November 2019 23:39 (eight months ago) link

God I thought I was on the politics thread for a bit and we were talking about Boris Johnson. I need sleep

doorstep jetski (dog latin), Wednesday, 6 November 2019 01:36 (eight months ago) link

two weeks pass...

saw him at the moth club earlier in the week. all the live versions very much more potent than anything on record. (i like the records but this was something else).

the song the almsgiver, which i hadn’t heard before, was where the gig really built into something wonderful for me.

god you get some pricks at gigs tho. chuckling away at his righteous anger or expressions of sentiment and pathos.

anyway it was excellent and made me want to go and see him again as soon as possible

Fizzles, Sunday, 24 November 2019 11:24 (seven months ago) link

I'd love to see him again live. Such an amazing performer and an all-round great, compassionate, funny guy.

Duke, Sunday, 24 November 2019 11:46 (seven months ago) link

This is his next London show I think: https://www.barbican.org.uk/whats-on/2020/event/richard-dawson-delight-is-right

john cage fighter (Matt #2), Sunday, 24 November 2019 13:03 (seven months ago) link

Yeah he's touring the UK. Fingers crossed he comes to Berlin

Duke, Sunday, 24 November 2019 15:21 (seven months ago) link

two weeks pass...

2020 is really connecting for me in a way the previous ones never quite did

Simon H., Monday, 9 December 2019 19:05 (seven months ago) link

I bought it and listened to it a few times. I feel a little bit like I'm rewatching a stand up routine sometimes though, as in the novelty of the storytelling wears off after a few listens.

YOU CALL THIS JOURNALSIM? (dog latin), Monday, 9 December 2019 19:31 (seven months ago) link

I still think Jogging is absolutely transcendent though

YOU CALL THIS JOURNALSIM? (dog latin), Monday, 9 December 2019 19:32 (seven months ago) link

yeah that might end up topping my tracks ballot

Simon H., Monday, 9 December 2019 19:35 (seven months ago) link

I bought it and listened to it a few times. I feel a little bit like I'm rewatching a stand up routine sometimes though, as in the novelty of the storytelling wears off after a few listens.

― YOU CALL THIS JOURNALSIM? (dog latin), Monday, 9 December 2019 20:31 

Crazy talk. It's not as good as Peasant but still amazing. One of my top five of the year.

Duke, Monday, 9 December 2019 19:37 (seven months ago) link

I read the lyric sheet as I listened to it the first time, so in a way that kind of revealed everything in one go. in a way I wish I'd listened to it a few times before doing that. the music is great of course, but sometimes I feel like I'm listening to tone poems, the music arranged around the words, which in itself isn't a problem but at times it feels like I could be reading a book of short stories. and once you know the twist in the tale, the impact is lessened. it's also a fairly depressing album. don't get me wrong, it's very much an amazing album. I just don't find myself willing to replay it very often

YOU CALL THIS JOURNALSIM? (dog latin), Monday, 9 December 2019 19:47 (seven months ago) link

He certainly has an odd way of scanning his lyrics, which sometimes leads to crammed sentences.

Duke, Monday, 9 December 2019 19:55 (seven months ago) link

this is finally clicking hard for me, or at least six of its ten tracks are. if it was just

Civil Servant
The Queen's Head
Two Halves
Jogging
Black Triangle
Fulfillment Centre

then it'd be up there with the others, but there's a slightly scrawny tail on this beast

Black Triangle especially is such a wonderful song and I've only just realised it - although Jogging remains the crown jewel

imago, Monday, 16 December 2019 07:52 (six months ago) link

For me the keepers so far are Jogging, Heart Emoji and maybe Two Halves, Fresher's Ball and Fulfilment Centre.

YOU CALL THIS JOURNALSIM? (dog latin), Monday, 16 December 2019 10:38 (six months ago) link

"Dead Dog..." is one of my favorites!

Simon H., Monday, 16 December 2019 13:53 (six months ago) link

Civil Servant is the only sub par song on this, IMO

Duke, Monday, 16 December 2019 15:29 (six months ago) link

three months pass...

nitsuh's thing in the nyt was great - https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/03/11/magazine/best-songs.html#richarddawson

just sayin, Thursday, 19 March 2020 05:19 (three months ago) link

Nabisco otm

Le Bateau Ivre, Thursday, 19 March 2020 09:09 (three months ago) link

I was supposed to be seeing him live in a few weeks. I'll just have to be patient...

Duke, Thursday, 19 March 2020 18:57 (three months ago) link

omg

he and his partner are attempting to make a mini-album every day

https://bulbils.bandcamp.com/music

strangely hookworm but they manage ream shoegaze poetry (imago), Wednesday, 25 March 2020 16:35 (three months ago) link

oh awesome

devvvine, Wednesday, 25 March 2020 16:37 (three months ago) link

I was meant to be seeing him tonight. Mini-albums, you say? That'll cushion the blow, nice.

mike t-diva, Wednesday, 25 March 2020 16:59 (three months ago) link

now everyone in the UK is out running every evening, Jogging is even more prescient

doorstep jetski (dog latin), Wednesday, 25 March 2020 18:11 (three months ago) link

Thanks for this !

Duke, Wednesday, 25 March 2020 22:51 (three months ago) link

so far it's all fairly ambient, but Mole (track 2 off the 3rd release) is a lovely standout with a bit more going on

strangely hookworm but they manage ream shoegaze poetry (imago), Friday, 27 March 2020 16:05 (three months ago) link

Today's long-form track, The Easter Bunny, is the first one since Mole that's properly grabbed me. A huge organ-and-guitar ambient wordless ballad

https://bulbils.bandcamp.com/album/15-the-easter-bunny

ban laggy jazzer (imago), Thursday, 9 April 2020 09:29 (three months ago) link

oh yeah this is real lovely, thanks for shouting it out

devvvine, Thursday, 9 April 2020 09:42 (three months ago) link

I must have listened to it at least 15 times since lj tipped me off y'day in teh slack. It's sermon for our elegiac times, an intimate, pastoral masterpiece.

Sonically the piece evolves into what sounds like the coda of A Silver Mount Zion's '13 Angels Standing Guard 'round the Side of Your Bed', a soft murmury wailing from the after life, mantra wise. To me it sounds crazy hopeful.

four weeks pass...

particularly after Dawson put the finishing touches on an album he’s been working on with brilliant Finnish metal outfit Circle

imago, Friday, 8 May 2020 10:21 (two months ago) link

lol just came here to post that

https://thequietus.com/articles/28221-richard-dawson-sally-pilkington-bulbils-interview

devvvine, Friday, 8 May 2020 10:22 (two months ago) link

otm

imago, Friday, 8 May 2020 10:35 (two months ago) link

Bless 'em. Their corpulent output has been too vast to digest in full, but a number of the Bulbis releases really hit the spot. Most notably, ty LJ, 'The Easter Bunny', a hymn for our times and then some.

Mole (off album 3), The Easter Bunny (15) and The Princess And The Frog (25) are the three standouts so far imo

imago, Friday, 8 May 2020 11:06 (two months ago) link

The element with Circle doesn’t feel so sad because I think we’ll get to it and it’ll be even better for it, so that’ll be good, but yeah, we didn’t get to play with Hannah Diamond.

need that dawson/diamond link up at some point

devvvine, Friday, 8 May 2020 11:09 (two months ago) link

three weeks pass...

More standouts:

Cherries (35)

and now Genie In A Bottle (40, just released) is sounding amazing too

imago, Monday, 1 June 2020 20:15 (one month ago) link

three weeks pass...

We're at #45 today, 'Darling', and it's aquatic ambient bliss. Cannot respect him and his wife enough for this extremely vast output. And it's free, people! Though he'd prefer it if you donate to Black Lives Matter, as per his Bandcamp.

The project is already of an intimidating size, I realise this, but more people need to hear the greatness of this massive project he's quitely building.

Scampidocio (Le Bateau Ivre), Friday, 26 June 2020 17:40 (two weeks ago) link

I was wondering if this was still going!

k*r*n koltrane (Simon H.), Friday, 26 June 2020 17:42 (two weeks ago) link


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