Bethia Beadman’s first attempt to find a backing band didn’t quite work out. By a twist of fate, one of the flyers she left all over the London Underground found its way into the hands of Courtney Love. Beadman didn’t find her backing band – but she was recruited into Hole. Days after meeting Love, Beadman was in LA, rehearsing for a world tour, living on the Phil Spector estate, in the house where John Lennon spent his lost weekend.
Now, following the release of her latest b-side, ‘Music’, Beadman – once described as a cross between Maria Callas and Ziggy Stardust – is set to release her intimate and confessional studio album, Into The Peace. Music can sweep you away, make you make bad decisions, and like the best artists, all Bethia’s life experiences have ended up in her voice – languid, velvety, with a resonant cloak of darkness.
As for her playlist, “I’ve always had the sense that you can hear the moment in the melody when the author has gone through the eye of the needle whilst writing the piece, shifted perspective, seen a rainbow – and that’s what allows the listener to experience a similar transformation. A song can get a person into trouble and it can redeem. Round and round they go. I’ll pick up with trouble.”
1. Sun Dial – ‘Theme From Psychomania’
“I’m partial to a standing stone or two. Here’s the opening sequence of 1972 British biker film Psychomania.”
2. The Handsome Family – ‘Far From Any Road’
“’Far From Any Road’ by the Handsome Family is a song chosen by T-Bone Burnett as the theme for Southern gothic detective show True Detective, which is how I heard it. The vocal line wanders up and down with precision, the placement of notes on a knife edge.”
3. The Carpenters – ‘Solitaire’
“Her oh-so-real heart-breaking self – here’s Karen Carpenter singing Neil Sedaka’s ‘Solitaire’. Many think this to be Karen’s finest vocal performance. “Her recordings must be preserved and guarded. Imagine losing that voice to history. Would be like the loss of the Library of Alexandria.” (Someone has commented beneath this YouTube clip.)”
4. Lou Reed – ‘The Bed’
“Lou Reed made a living mixing trouble and transformation, albums titled ‘Transformer’, and ‘Magic And Loss’. But, Berlin (1973) is probably my most listened to album. It provides an exquisite remedy of notes in ‘The Bed’. When the lyrics have scraped the floor, the angels come at the 11th hour in a spooky melody surrounded by echoes, “I said, oh oh oh oh oh oh, what a feeling”.”
5. Nick Cave – ‘And No More Shall We Part’
“It was replaced for me by Nick Cave’s ‘No More Shall We Part’. Not until two and a half minutes in does the title track break, so it’s all about the build up… Until, “Lord stay by me”, followed by super sexy phrasing for, “I’ll never be free…” Just as I’m there thinking I don’t want to be free, there’s a twist in the lyric – “If I’m not free now.””
6. Diamanda Galas – ‘Let My People Go’
“When I saw Diamanda Galas at the Barbican, I felt she kept it brewing for the whole gig – a lesson in delayed gratification – right up until the encore when she broke into this…”
7. Sharon Van Etten – ‘One Day‘
“Sharon Van Etten writes great songs with effortless lyrics. My favourite song is ‘One Day’ from the second album, which has a thorn of a melody, just about held together by lo-fi jangly guitar.”
8. Neil Young – ‘The Needle And The Damage Done’
“Neil Young’s opening riff to ‘Damage Done’ skips along with an unbearable lightness of being.”
9. Leonard Cohen – ‘Anthem’
“Leonard Cohen: One Glastonbury, when it was all over, we stayed in the camper until we’d listened to his entire works. I seem to remember Phil Spector produced ‘Memories’ being especially funny at the time, but for the purpose of the theme, here’s his well-trod track that says it in a line, “There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.””
10. Alice Coltrane – ‘Journey In Satchidananda’
“Lastly, the transcendental Queen of harp who is Alice Coltrane. Gone Beyond.”
‘Music’ is out now. Check out the new video HERE.
You can listen to all Ask the DJ playlists on the FMS Magazine Spotify CHANNEL.
Find Bethia Beadman’s playlist below and HERE.