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Portishead released a third album and I had no idea until two hours ago.

Please, the next memo, can I be included?

In case you've never heard of Portishead, they're a British band who, in 1994, released the album, Dummy, which is probably most well known for the track 'Numb'. Djae introduced me to the band, and I just got drawn in by the sound of the band, which was dark, and smooth, and like you were lying beneath sky at night, watching it all move. I describe the album like this because it's been twelve years, and it's only upon occasion that my Ipod skips to one of the tracks, but this is the feel I get, the time that my instincts tell me it would be best to listen to the album and fully appreciate it. The vocals on the tracks were provided by Beth Gibbons, who in 2002, did an album with Rustin Man, and which I never heard, but I remember being told about, some time after the fact (by Jon (underdogautopsy), if I remember right); but part of thing that struck me about the band was Gibbons' voice, the reedy, fragile quality of it, as if it were straining to rise above the sounds produced by Geoff Barrow and Adrian Utley, and as if it had to pierce through you to do that. It was beautiful, of course, but that was never the fullness of it--if it had just been beautiful, I would, I think, have forgotten about it. But I could remember that voice, that music, and if the second album, the self titled Portishead was not as strong as the first, it wasn't a bad album, and had its highlights, way back in 1997.

And then...

Then, a live album, Roseland NYC Live, which was nothing special, a rehash of everything they'd done, and I thought that they had called it quits. New music came, new music went. I bought an Ipod and put all three albums on there, and later took of Roseland for the space. Mostly, I didn't think about the band.

But today, a third album. Third.

It sounds--

Well, so far, it sounds pretty fucking cool, and excuse me while I lose a portion of the day to it.


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(Deleted comment)
May. 2nd, 2008 07:31 am (UTC)
i often find i got to skip stuff with lyrics for writing--i just get caught up in the words, you know?
May. 2nd, 2008 01:30 pm (UTC)
I've been writing to both Dummy and the eponymous second album a lot again recently. It's great background music for writing. Or doing heroin, I suppose. Or being in a spy movie.
May. 2nd, 2008 07:52 am (UTC)
Cool! I'm downloading it now. I had no idea either. It just came out like four days ago... I hated the second album. Hopefully I'll like Third more.
May. 2nd, 2008 09:37 am (UTC)
let me know what you think.
May. 2nd, 2008 08:26 am (UTC)
Machine Gun is awesome, haven't listened to the album a lot but was never a HUGE fan, so I guess I like it as much as I'd expect to. Not dissing at all - it's great stuff!

You're not the only one for whom it somehow slipped under the radar! Wonder why.
May. 2nd, 2008 09:39 am (UTC)
it seems pretty cool, so far, but i'll see how it goes.

if other people are like me, i suspect it slipped under the radar because they'd assumed the band had finished. probably the kind of thing that happens when it's ten years between albums.
May. 2nd, 2008 12:37 pm (UTC)
Wow. No idea myself, either. Thanks for the heads-up.
May. 2nd, 2008 03:23 pm (UTC)
i am but your humble servant.
May. 2nd, 2008 01:27 pm (UTC)
I've heard a few tracks and think it sounds great. I'm so happy to have another Portishead CD come about!
May. 2nd, 2008 03:24 pm (UTC)
it's pretty cool, i must say. much better than the second album.
May. 2nd, 2008 03:32 pm (UTC)
I like the second album quite a bit, myself.
May. 2nd, 2008 02:05 pm (UTC)
Third is not just a return to form. It's breaking new ground, too. I'm in love again.
May. 2nd, 2008 03:25 pm (UTC)
i dunno bout breaking new ground, but it's pretty damn cool. i've come to that consensus tonight.
May. 2nd, 2008 03:31 pm (UTC)
Maybe I should have said "breaks new ground for them"? Silence is a real departure. Not their typical take-me-to-the methadone-clinic rhythms.
May. 2nd, 2008 02:46 pm (UTC)
I will now celebrate.
And buy the disk.
May. 2nd, 2008 03:25 pm (UTC)

shame the album cover is real plain, tho.
May. 2nd, 2008 09:26 pm (UTC)
I always thought "Glorybox" was their most well-known song...
I had no idea! I love Portishead. How do I miss these things?

Thanks for the tip!
May. 5th, 2008 01:17 am (UTC)
Re: I always thought "Glorybox" was their most well-known song...
i am but here to help.

you might be right bout the song, too.
May. 4th, 2008 12:03 am (UTC)
This is what you get for not reading my column.

I'm listening to Third and liking it, though the drumbeat in Machine Gun goes beyond insistent and into nagging. Only the last song really reminds me of their earlier stuff, though Beth's voice (thankfully) hasn't changed much.
May. 5th, 2008 01:17 am (UTC)
you know i don't read, man ;)

yeah, i don't think i am as much a fan of machine gun as peter up there, but i'm cool with it, i think.
May. 8th, 2008 04:33 am (UTC)
Good to hear. I didn't like Machine Gun much but am curious to hear the rest, now I know it's not all like that.
May. 8th, 2008 04:51 am (UTC)
i've found that the song ends up sitting nicely in the album as a different spike to the overall tone, so it works nicely there. i do dig the whole album though--for what it's worth.

how you been, man?
May. 8th, 2008 04:54 am (UTC)
It's worth a lot. Will buy it and check it out.

I've been good. Too damned busy, though. Perversely (and perhaps futilely) I'm hoping that the PhD lark will actually result in things slowing down for a bit. One book in three years: luxury!

How about you? The blog is still wild and unpredictable, which I love. Is that a fair assessment of the rest of your life?
May. 8th, 2008 05:01 am (UTC)
well, right now i'm sitting on my back verandah in the sun, writing the new book, and watching me washing dry. if that sounds like wild and unpredictable to you, then yep, there you go :) othewise, just work. i look forward to being able to read some time soon, again.

phd, hey? if it's anything like my time, the first year you'll do shit all, then write it in a year and a half wondering why you bludged them first years :) do i ask what you're doing it on?
May. 8th, 2008 05:45 am (UTC)
Sounds pretty wild to me. :-)

I'm madly scrambling to get some books out of the way before really getting stuck into it, so yeah, not much actual work so far. But I'm pretty sure my exegetical work will be exploring the mutability of identity in the crime/SF crossover and realist crime in general, drawing comparisons and contrasts between Asimov in particular and my own work, leading up to the writing of my first straight crime novel. Sounds pretty dry, no?
May. 8th, 2008 06:25 am (UTC)

*blink blink*

sorry, man, i dozed off there for a moment. wanna repeat it for me?


anyhow, nah, man, sounds cool, especially the writing of the crime novel thing. good to see you're using the phd to do something different, too. way to be with it, i reckon.
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