Gold Day Update

So, just thought I should mention that we’ve now raised over £200 towards Depression Alliance UK.  It’s not much, but it’s something and I cannot thank the artists, and all you folk who have bought the music, enough for your support.  The more people buying the tunes the more money and awareness we’ll raise.   So please spread the word or, if you’ve not bought the music yet, buy the music.  Every little helps.  Even if, like many, you only want to buy one or two tunes, that would be great.  You can find all the tunes here.

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Linkous, Smith, Chesnutt Update

Some of you may remember that a while back I started a project to raise money for Depression Alliance UK.  Basically, I asked various artists to record a version of a song by either Sparklehorse, Elliott Smith or Vic Chesnutt.  All 3 artists suffered from depression which ultimately resulted in them taking their own lives.  Tragic losses to music and music fans everywhere.  Many wonderful artists contributed to the project and it can be downloaded in full for the price of £7 for the lot or £1 a track HERE.

So far, the project has raised approximately £180 for the charity but I am keen to raise as much as I possibly can for this important cause.  So, if you care, if depression has affected your life in some way, or even if you just want to help out cause you like the songs then please, please, please go to the bandcamp page and download the music.  Even downloading one track is a big help.  Every pound counts.  To all of those who have downloaded the music, a massive thank you.  To those who have not, please do so.  And thank you.  Enjoy.

Apologies!!!!

I have to make an apology to anyone trying to download things from The Steinberg Principle bandcamp page at the moment.  Basically, paypal decided that I was a charity organisation – which I am obviously not – and decided to suspend my account until I provided them with more information about the charity that I represented.  Obviously, the answer to that is simply go and change your status on your profile to something else – which I did.  However, paypal did not pick up on the fact that I had and as such the current situation is that I called them and I’m waiting for them to lift the restrictions on my account.  Until that point, it is unlikely that people will be able to download tracks for the project, for which I can only apologise.  I know a lot of people are keen to buy tracks, especially the latest one by The Unwinding Hours & RM Hubbert so I am sorry – normal service should be resumed shortly.  In the meantime, do pop over to the bandcamp page and check out all the tracks by all the kind and wonderful artists who have contributed so far.  Thanks and apologies once again.

Depression Alliance UK project update

So I thought I’d just do a quick post to remind everyone about this project I’ve got on the go to help raise money for Depression Alliance UK.

People affected by depression,  are not ‘just’ sad or upset but have an illness, which means that intense feelings of persistent sadness, helplessness and hopelessness are accompanied by physical effects such as sleeplessness, a loss of energy, or physical aches and pains.

Sometimes people may not realise how depressed they are, especially if they have been feeling the same for a long time, if they have been trying to cope with their depression by keeping themselves busy, or if their depressive symptoms are more physical than emotional.  It is a very serious illness and impacts on lives everywhere. 

Elliott Smith, Vic Chesnutt and Mark Linkous were all musicians who suffered from depression and ultimately sucumbed to the disease.  In an attempt to raise money for Depression Alliance UK I asked musicians from across the world to record and submit a cover version of a track by one of these artists.  Each track would be made available to download at a cost of £1 per track with all proceeds going to Depression Alliance UK.  To date you can download tracks by:

Lotte Kestner, Burnt Island, Kieran Naughton (Deserter’s Deserve Death),  Sleepingdog, Small Town Boredom, Rob St John, There Will Be Fireworks, Luke Joyce (The Gothenburg Address), Glissando, Rivulets and Pink Pills.

A track by The Unwinding Hours & RM Hubbert is due to be uploaded soon and there will hopefully be more submissions as well.  If you are a musician and were touched in some way by one of these artists, please do get in touch as I’d be keen to have more submissions for the project.

And please, please, please.  Download a tune.  Even if it’s just one of the tunes.  It’s still an extra pound towards the charity.  You can find all the tunes here  Enjoy.

Smith/Chesnutt/Linkous Update

So, the Smith, Chesnutt, Linkous charity project has been going on for a while now and has been doing ok, I guess.  So far I’ve raised about £70 for Depression Alliance UK.  Given that the tracks are only £1 to download, and given that paypal take a cut from each sale, regardless of where the money is going, it’s not a bad start I think.  However, I am keen to get it out there to more people and to raise as much money as possible for my chosen charity.  It is hard to get people to part with their pennies though, and also to make more people aware of the project.  The response of musicians has been really interesting.  I’ve had some amazing artists contribute to the project and since it started have had others approach me to ask if they can still submit music.  The answer to this is, of course, yes.  There was never any time limit placed on the submission of songs.  In addition, people waiting for all the songs to be bundled together before they buy should be aware that this might not even happen.  I’ve not decided what to do once all the submissions are up.  Hopefully I’ll get some more uploaded this weekend.  So please, at this time, if you want to support the project and buy a song – do it now!  It’s all for Depression Alliance UK and it’s all in remembrance of three wonderful artists who left our world all too prematurely.  You can download all the tunes so far here.  Please do!

Flirted With You All My Life by There Will Be Fireworks

Last year There Will Be Fireworks produced one of the best debut albums by a Scottish band for a long long time, in my honest opinion.  Unsigned, they still managed to shift over 1,000 copies of this record, which is no mean feat believe me.  In fact, it’s quite astounding really.  Ask any unsigned musician.  Shifting 1,000 records is a dream.  The Kays only got 500 records pressed and even shifting those won’t be easy.  So as you can see being unsigned and shifting over 1,000 records is pretty awesome.  I was delighted when they agreed to be involved in this project and I have to say when they decided on this track their enthusiasm for it was really infectious.  It is an amazing song and just like Lotte Kestner the guys have done a brilliant version of the song.

What I love about this project is that there were no restrictions on the songs you could do.  I don’t mind if people do the same songs as one another because the results will most likely be poles apart – as this and Lotte Kestner’s version of the song show.  Both are wonderful but both are so so different.

I could talk about the music of Vic Chesnutt all night.  ‘At The Cut’ is a truly wonderful record and ‘Flirted With You All My Life’ is as poignant and emotive a song as could be possible given the circumstances.  It’s actually very creepy and sad to be honest.  It’s such a massive ‘fuck you’ to death that it seems hard to take in that not long after it’s release Vic Chesnutt succumbed to his fight against depression.  Like so many others do.  That’s why it’s so important that you help this project and support Depression Alliance UK.  I know it doesn’t seem like much but it’s only £1 to download a track from the project.  You can download them all here.  And all the money raised will be going to Depression Alliance UK to support them in their efforts to support those suffering from depression.  So please, take a minute, listen to all the tracks up so far and if you like anything that you hear do download it and donate to the cause.  Every penny is appreciated.  In the meantime, check out the wonderful There Will Be Fireworks here.  Once again check out the work of Vic Chesnutt here.  Enjoy.

It’s A Wonderful Life By Rob St John

Edinburgh folk will know how wonderful a musician Rob St John is.  For many years we were lucky enough to call him our own.  At the end of last year he moved off to Oxford to continue University but if we are really lucky Edinburgh will have more Rob St John shows, and soon.  I do believe an album might be in the pipeline, but in the meantime he was kind enough to get involved in this project and record the title track from Sparklehorse’s 2001 record ‘It’s A Wonderful Life.’   This record is probably my favourite Sparklehorse record, though it’s a toss up between this and ‘Vivadixiesubmarinetransmissionplot’.  Anyways, Rob kindly took the time to explain the thinking behind his submission:

“Sparklehorse were a band that seeped slowly into my life.  In 2006 I was living in a rambling, ramshackle old flat on Forest Rd in Edinburgh, with (amongst a rotating cast) Rob Waters – who plays as The Great Bear, and subsequently harmonium in my band.  His copy of “It’s a Wonderful Life” was a regular player in the kitchen: a dense, dark, cryptic but uplifting soundtrack to my terrible cookery.  We went to see them play at The Liquid Rooms around this time, leaving inspired by the washes of crackling electronics, found sounds and indecipherably beautiful orchestration.  I recorded a version of the title track of this LP quite hurridly and with no production gloss (my recording skills scarcely stretch past the RECORD button), changing chords and harmonies a little.  Thanks to Euan for putting together this project and supporting of a worthy cause – I hope you enjoy the track.”

So yeah, if you’ve never checked out the music of Rob St John then do so here.  If you want to download his version of ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’ then do so here.  Please remember that all money received from downloads will be given to Depression Alliance UK.  You may not think that it’s a lot to contribute just £1.  However, if everyone were to buy at least one of the tracks from this project then it would make Depression Alliance UK a whole lot of money which would be used to help tackle this serious illness.  Please help.  You can download Rob’s and all the other tracks so far here.  Enjoy.

Maxine (Dreamt For Light Years In The Belly Of A Mountain) by Small Town Boredom

Small Town Boredom are Fraser McGowan and Colin Morrison.  Fraser is one of my best friends in the world and I don’t know anyone with a more extensive collection or knowledge of Sparklehorse.   He’s a constant support to me and is the man behind the recording and mixing of my solo ep as well.  He’s a super guy and a wonderful and under rated musician.  Small Town Boredom’s debut record ‘Autumn Might Have Hope’ is a highly under rated piece of music and the yet to be released follow up ‘Notes From The Infirmary’ is truly as good a record as I’ve heard by any Scottish artist in a very long time.  The sooner it is out and the sooner Fraser gets the credit he deserves the better.  His solo project Caught In The Wake Forever is also simply stunning.  And when you hear his solo stuff, the Sparklehorse tune that Small Town Boredom chose to cover will come as no surprise whatsoever.   ‘Dreamt For Light Years In The Belly Of  A Mountain’ is the title track and album closer on Mark Linkous’ last official studio record as Sparklehorse.  It’s an instrumental.  It’s dark, it’s brooding and it’s quite beautiful.  When Fraser sent me the track I had to have a chuckle to myself at his choice.  It really is the perfect track for Small Town Boredom to have chosen.   It’s about 8 minutes of ambience splattered with bleeps, clicks and static, which all add to the overall impact.  There’s something so affecting about this tune.  I’m pretty sure that no matter what,  Mark Linkous could capture beauty in a jar and put it on display for all to see.  I love this version of the track.  So please, check out Small Town Boredom here.  Once again, check out Sparklehorse here.  And please support Depression Alliance UK by downloading the track HERE.  You will also find all the other contributions to date at this page.  Enjoy.

Saturday by Sleepingdog

It’s time for another Mark Linkous number in the tribute project, this time in the form of the quite simply stunning Chantal Acda aka Sleepingdog.  What a lot of people don’t know is that Chantal and I have started the early stages of a record together. We’re going under the moniker Nine Threads and we have a few songs that we’ve been passing to each other.  She recently took one of my ideas and turned it into a sublime little number.  It had some idea of where it wanted to go, but her voice and ideas gave it direction.  She’s a truly brilliant musician and if her new stuff is anything to go by (I’ve had a sneak preview) she is going to become very well known and very popular very quickly indeed.

Anyways, our project all kind of came together as we bonded over dEUS and our grief and sadness at the news of Mark Linkous’ death.  Unlike most people involved in this project Chantal had the pleasure of meeting Mark Linkous and I believe they too bonded over their love of horses.  So it’s very fitting that she chose such a beautiful song to cover for the project.  Taken from his debut record ‘Vivadixiesubmarinetransmissionplot’ this song is just simply beautiful.  I cannot describe how much I love it.  So I’ve included a video of him playing it live to accompany this piece.

In the meantime, you should check out Sleepingdog here. And come along and see her in Edinburgh and Glasgow on 2nd and 3rd June when she plays the Roxy Art House and Brel respectively, with me for support.   Also, check out Sparklehorse here and download the song HERE.  Please support this important project as we try and raise money to support Depression Alliance UK.  A massive thank you to everyone who has contributed so far.  Come on people.  Buy the tunes.  Your support is appreciated.  Thanks.

Most Beautiful Widow by Kieran Naughton (Deserters Deserve Death)

You know, sometimes people make it very easy for you with a project like this and write everything that needs to be said for you.  Keiran Naughton is guitarist and singer in Deserter’s Deserve Death and also an excellent young sound engineer.  He contacted me to ask if he could be part of the tribute project and of course, there was never any doubt he could be.  This is the first Sparklehorse cover of the project and a fitting way to start.  I’ll just leave Kieran to say a bit about why he chose the song then and let you guys get on with downloading it.  I hope you do.  Remember all the money is going to Depression Alliance UK to help raise awareness of this often forgotten but alway serious disease:

Deciding on a track to cover by Sparklehorse for me was a no-brainer, this track is the one song that I always go back to every time I pick up an acoustic guitar.  The song is one I hold dearly and one I could never do justice but felt like the right thing to do.

I first heard the song when a friend of my older brother sang it to us in our kitchen, I was hooked, for my next birthday I asked for the album, it didn’t leave my Discman for a good few months, I think I was about 14.  Sparklehorse were a turning point for me and my musical taste, up until then I’d been almost exclusively into grunge and American punk music, after Sparklehorse came Radiohead and Mogwai and Godspeed -I could go on.  I stopped wearing Nirvana hoodies and ripped jeans and was more vintage T-shirts and cardigans with cords, I have a very fond memory of these times back home, it’s always summer for some reason.

I remember seeing Sparklehorse at Leeds Festival in 2001 on my own because none of my friends were interested.  I was befriended by a group of loud liverpudlians who sat down next to me, I think they took pity because I was by myself and shared their weed and cider with me.  When the band eventually came out I remember thinking how tall and scruffy Mark Linkous looked.   Years later, and a lot less intoxicated I saw them again at the Liquid Rooms on their ‘Dreamt For Light Years’ tour, the album seemed to be a return to form in my opinion, Linkous’ guitar playing really came through on it and as a album was a lot more upbeat than the previous work…..almost…..happy, well as happy as you can get with a Sparklehorse album.  But like every Sparklehorse album it’s his lyrics that got me, it’s always his lyrics.

‘Most Beautiful Widow In Town’ from the first album quickly became the swan song at the end of every mixtape/cd I made, back when people still did that.  For my version I felt I was going to have to change it somewhat as no cover could ever compare to the stripped back original.  I dunno, I wanted to make my version almost a celebration.

You may hate it and think I’ve ruined a great song, I don’t care, for me recording it was the right thing to do.

Mark Linkous rest in peace.

Many thanks to Euan for organising such a thoughtful project.

Kieran.

Please check out Deserter’s Deserve Death here.  Mark Linkous and Sparklehorse here.  And download the track HERE.