Cover Versions: Karen Dalton’s Same Old Man by Mark Lanegan + Shall Be Released: Gargoyle by Mark Lanegan

Double whammy today, with a total of four songs on Saturday’s post. First off is following from yesterday’s post, my fave cover of Karen. Which was done a few years ago now by another fave singer. Mark Lanegan, only just appearing now after 250 posts. Yeah, I’m up to that much posting/blogging. Released as a 7″ vinyl for record label Light In The Attic 10th year anniversary in 2012. Here we have the two youtube clips of the cover above and the original below but off course if you’ve got the 7″ you flip it on your own record player. I’ve just cant help myself to then thrown in the lyrics too.

Same Old Man lyrics

It’s the same old lady, hanging out her wash
Standing in the rain, wearing a mackintosh
Same old lady standing in the rain
Even the thought of New York was going insane

Hey little leaf, lying on the ground
Now you’re turning slightly brown
Why don’t you get up on the tree
Turn the color green the way you ought to be

My mind is failing and my body grows weak
My lips won’t form the words I speak
I’m floating away on a barrel of pain
New York City won’t see me again

The same old man, sitting by the mill
The mill turns around of its own free will
I’m certainly glad to be home
New York City continues all alone

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So the second bit of the Saturday’s post start here:

Well, somehow I missed this news about Mark’s new album but now two track are already out. Both Beehive and Nocturne are just above from the album called Gargoyle which will be released 28th April, if you are like a didn’t know well now we do and it’s a ten track album. It’s got collaborators with Josh Homme, Greg Dulli and Duke Garwood too and what follows is basically all we know about it:

Early in 2016, Mark was at home in LA, working on some ideas for what might turn into his next album when he got an email from a friend, an English musician named Rob Marshall, thanking Mark for contributing to a new project he was putting together, Humanist. The pair first met in 2008, when Marshall’s former band Exit Calm supported Soulsavers, who Mark was singing with at the time. Now Rob was offering to write Mark some music to return the favour: “I was like, Hey man, I’m getting ready to make a record, if you’ve got anything?’” Mark recalls. “Three days later he sent me *10 things… !”

In the meantime, Mark had written ‘Blue Blue Sea’, a rippling mood piece that he thought might be a more fruitful direction for his new record. “It’s almost always how my records start,” he explains. “I let the first couple of songs tell me what the next couple should sound like, and it’s really the same process when I’m writing words. Whatever my first couple of lines are tell me what the next couple should be. I’ve always built things like that, sort of like making a sculpture I guess.”

Within an hour, Mark had written words and vocal lines for two of the pieces Rob had cooked up at Mount Sion Studios in Kent and pinged through the virtual clouds to California. Rob’s music fitted perfectly with the direction Mark had been pondering: in essence, a more expansive progression from the moody Krautrock-influenced electronica textures of his two previous albums, ‘Blues Funeral’ and ‘Phantom Radio’. Eventually, Rob Marshall would co-write six of the songs on the new Mark Lanegan Band album. “I was very thankful to become reacquainted with him,” Mark deadpans.

The remainder of the album was written, recorded and produced by Lanegan’s longtime musical amanuensis Alain Johannes at his 11 AD base in West Hollywood. Everything was done and dusted within a month, unusually fast by Lanegan’s recent standards. “I definitely feel like I’m a better songwriting than I was 15 years ago,” he says. “I don’t know if I’m just kidding myself or what, but it’s definitely easier now to make something that is satisfying to me. Maybe I’m just easier on myself these days, but it’s definitely not as painful a process, and therefore I feel I’m better at it now. But part of the way that I stay interested in making music is by collaborating with other people. When I see things through somebody else’s perspective it’s more exciting than if I’m left to my own devices.”

While sharing roots with its two predecessors, on Gargoyle there’s a significant up-shift in the swaggering powerlode of such keynote songs as Nocturne and Beehive, while the lyrics’ tonal palette is more varied. The album title comes from a lyric in Blue Blue Sea – “Gargoyle perched on gothic spire” – and was chosen for its hint of self-deprecation. “I’m most proud of the songs that are atypical to stuff that I’ve done in the past” says Mark. “So I really like Old Swan, because it’s an expression of positivity, which is completely anti-anything I’ve done before!” He laughs. “Y’know, I haven’t played this record for too many people yet. I played it for Greg Dulli, who played on some of it, and he was like, ‘Wow, I had to listen to it twice – it sounds like he’s having a good time…’

It’s been a long journey travelled, not always easy, but in 2017, at the age of 52, Lanegan’s got the look of permanence about him. Like that gargoyle on the gothic spire….

Gargoyle tracklisting:

1. Deaths Head Tattoo
2. Nocturne
3. Blue Blue Sea
4. Beehive
5. Sister
6. Emperor
7. Goodbye To Beauty
8. Drunk On Destruction
9. First Day Of Winter
10. Old Swan

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New photo of Mark by Eric Gabriel

So after finding about his new album I’m pretty excited about it. I really have to say Mark pretty right on when he’s saying he’s a better songwriter now than then. I remember seeing the Screaming Trees at one of the very first Big Day Out fest here in Perth, well it was down at Freo really. Anyway they smash up the drum kit at the end of a mid-avro set but seeing Mark playing with just an acoustic guitar playing opening for Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds a few years ago and doing pretty almost hour set too, it was just amazing and raised the bar for the main act to top it. That was about five years ago and in that time I’ve been going back and seeing what I’ve missed out since the late 90’s. I love both the band albums and more solo albums, having a couple different things going on seem to keep it fresh. I’ve got to write much more about Mark on my blog so this is just a little intro because I’ve not yet so stay tuned for more, real soon! Who else loves Mark?

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