A Star Is Born (Or Perhaps Not)

Something happened on my blog yesterday that has never happened before. This week’s Tuesday Tunes was the 107th in the series and I must have played upwards of 500 songs across the duration. Many of you have been kind enough to ‘like’ these posts and share your thoughts on them, but not until yesterday has one of the artists whose song I played got in touch. But now one of them has. I was hugely chuffed, and thought I’d tell you the story.

This was the comment I received:

And this is my reply:

Dax also did me the honour of following my blog, and after I left that comment for him I think I managed to fight my way through the deepest canyons of WordPress to return the compliment. He also reciprocated my subscription to his YouTube channel, though as I haven’t published anything on mine for more than eight years, and the few that are there are hardly in the Altman or Scorsese class of film-making, I doubt he’ll find anything of interest!

To refresh your memory, I played Dax’s excellent song Run And Hide in Tuesday Tunes 93: Run which you probably won’t recall was a theme I chose after being unwell for several days – yup, it was squitters time. It was well received by those who commented on it, so I’m playing it again for you:

I absolutely love this song! This is what I said when I played it before: This is the opening track on a 2011 album by Dax, entitled Beating Hearts And False Alarms. I came across the album in the days when I made much use of a site called Noisetrade, on which artists could offer for free tasters of their music. These could be singles, EPs or, as in this case, full albums, and were sorted by the site as being ‘for fans of…’. I don’t recall who they thought Dax was like, but I downloaded the album and have never regretted it – it is very good, and this track has been a favourite of mine since then. Dax – whose full name is Dax Penick – is a difficult guy to pin down. In my Apple Music library I also have an album by him from 2003 and an EP from 2010, but these were downloaded from Noisetrade and don’t appear to be available now. He has, however, been releasing new music since 2017 under the name Of Jagged Risings and this song is included on an EP from 2020 called Crooks. It’s almost as though he doesn’t want people to hear his music, isn’t it! Whatever he is doing, it seems to be working: I’ve found a website that gives his net worth as being $20m. Noisetrade, by the way, has been taken over by Paste magazine, which is continuing the Noisetrade role in offering free music via their website, if you’re interested.

Looking over Dax’s YouTube channel, which you will find under the Of Jagged Risings name, there are several other videos there of his great music, and I thought the least I could do is to share a few more of them with you. This first one is the second track on Beating Hearts And False Alarms, and like Run And Hide was also included on the 2020 Crooks EP:

Another great tune, and you can probably see why I enjoy the album so much. I mentioned in the first post that I got this from the Noisetrade site. That was in the early days after I got divorced, and didn’t have much spare cash to buy new music, so the site was a godsend to me back then. I have since removed from my Apple Music library many of the downloads I made from Noisetrade, but not this one: it is a keeper!

I’m not sure where this next one comes from. The video is dated 2008 but it doesn’t appear on any album I know of that Dax has been involved with. I still think it’s great, though:

The three songs I’ve shared so far have all been from Dax’s earlier catalogue. I thought I should give you a couple of more recently published ones, too. This is YWF, which was released as a single in 2017:

In case you didn’t spot it in the video, the title stands for ‘Young, Wild and Free,’ and I think the video goes well with that. It’s another good song, too.

The final one I’m playing is a video dating from November 2019, but don’t be fooled: it is another track from the Beating Hearts album, and it is equally as good as the others I’ve played from it. It was also included on Dax’s EP The End Of The World in 2010, and again on the Of Jagged Risings EP Radio Mind, which Apple Music says came out in 2011 while Spotify says 2017:

In his comment to me Dax mentioned that ‘there are still a few songs that need to be released.’ I hope he gets round to them, as I’d really like to hear more of his music. For now, though, you can find Of Jagged Risings on YouTube, Spotify, and Apple Music, and you can download some of these from the Noisetrade page on the Paste website. Hopefully there is more to come!

The title for this piece is a tongue-in-cheek reference to myself, and to my new found fame with real musicians in the rock world. In an ideal world it would also apply equally well to Dax: I hope the songs I’ve shared here give you an idea of just how good his music is. As always, I would welcome your thoughts on the songs I’ve played, but this time there is a twist: it might be worth bearing in mind that the man who made all of this great music may well see what you say, so be careful 🤣