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I just get released from being in the hospital for over a month(blood clot in my leg), and the first thing I hear is that the singer from

one of my favourite bands from the past 10 years, Trish Keenan of Broadcast, passed away today.

I should be ecstatic to be out of the hospital yet all I can feel is epic sadness. :boohoo:

I was fortunate to catch them live the very few times they played in town.

If you haven't fallen under Broadcast's spell, you probably won't care about this news, but I gotta hope that I am not the only Broadcast fan on this board.

Here's the pitchfork article...scroll down to check out some of their songs via youtube clips; Come On Let's Go and Before We Begin being two good ones

to start with.


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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks Knebby :)

While I am a rationalist, and I realize death comes to us all, and it seems so arbitrary that one death should

move us more than others...well, that's just the way it goes, particularly with artists.

Yes, I suppose the shootings in Arizona should have upset me more. But....

And while Don Kirschner and Captian Beefheart were legends in the musical world, the fact remains that they were

both getting up there in years and for the most part had left their musical interests behind.

But Trish was only 42, and Broadcast was a still-functioning band...so the sadness comes from not only losing

her, but also all the music we will never hear that she would have created in the future.

That is why the deaths of Jimi Hendrix, Duane Allman, John Bonham and Ian Curtis crushed me more than the passing of

Elvis Presley, John Lennon, George Harrison and Don Van Vliet.

Anyway, life rolls on...and right now I am concerned with a musician friend of mine who just had a heart attack...so no time to

dwell on things you can't control.

But I am bummed that so few people seem to have heard about Broadcast. Seriously, they made some pretty nifty records.

If you, in any way, like bands such as Stereolab, Portishead, or The United States of America, Broadcast is right up your


I suggest starting with the cd's "The Noise Made by People" and "HaHa Sound".

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  • 6 months later...

Seven months to the day later...and I am STILL GUTTED. Oh what future gorgeousness we were deprived of when the world lost this talented songbird. I weep for you, Trish Keenan. I shall spend the rest of my life trying to turn on as many people as I can to your band, BROADCAST.

Some clips should soothe me...

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Thanks Melanie...very comforting of you. :friends:

So, have you heard of Broadcast before...whaddya think? Have I converted you yet?

I have not heard of them before today and ummm...i will have to take time to listen to their work first before giving you a definite answer.


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Broadcast also did some cool intrumentals...when dubstep comes up with anything half as cool as this, then I'll sign on...just vibe on the sheer delicious groove on this track:

More atmospheric groove...it ramps up and shifts gears around the 3-minute mark:

How can anyone not like this? It breaks my heart...

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Broadcast also did some cool intrumentals...when dubstep comes up with anything half as cool as this, then I'll sign on...just vibe on the sheer delicious groove on this track:

More atmospheric groove...it ramps up and shifts gears around the 3-minute mark:

How can anyone not like this? It breaks my heart...

This is good music. I had not heard it before, I am glad to hear it now.

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Thank you rokarolla!!! Your post made my day! For that was my intent with this thread, along with memorializing Trish; if only one person gets turned on to Broadcast through my posts, well, that is ONE MORE than yesterday!

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Thank you rokarolla!!! Your post made my day! For that was my intent with this thread, along with memorializing Trish; if only one person gets turned on to Broadcast through my posts, well, that is ONE MORE than yesterday!

I'll tell you what I think is their most striking quality. They know how to record atmosphere, therefore their recordings are atmospheric. I like their taste in sound for sounds sake. the **Dead Poet...*song was my favorite. I surfed over to Nancy Sinatra/Lee Hazlewood on u-toob cause I thought I heard the structure of "some velvet morning". Nice turn on, bro.

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I'll tell you what I think is their most striking quality. They know how to record atmosphere, therefore their recordings are atmospheric. I like their taste in sound for sounds sake. the **Dead Poet...*song was my favorite. I surfed over to Nancy Sinatra/Lee Hazlewood on u-toob cause I thought I heard the structure of "some velvet morning". Nice turn on, bro.

I'm asuming you're referring to "Poem of Dead Song"? Yeah, it was Trish's voice and the atmospheric quality of their music that first drew me...and the sneaky groove on some of their songs. They are clearly in that line of bands that stretches from The United States of America, The Free Design and Velvet Underground in the 60s to later bands like Stereolab, High Llamas and Portishead.

Question for you rokarolla, do you still purchase cds or do you download your music song by song, rather than by album. If you want, I can recommend which albums to begin with...and I will periodically post some other bands in the Broadcast-like vein that you might enjoy.

In the meantime, here's some other particularly atmospheric tracks from Broadcast:

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Frankly, I recommend all of their albums: "Work and Non Work", "Noise Made by People", "HaHa Sound", "Tender Buttons", "The Future Crayon" and "Broadcast and The Focus Group Investigate Witch Cults of the Radio Age".

And sometimes it is best to start at a band's beginning, so you can see how their sound progresses. Here's a few from Broadcast's first release, "Work and Non Work" from 1997.

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Very enchanting music, Strider. Would combine good with a romantic candlelight evening and a bottle of red wine to vibe up the mood. Thanks for posting this, even though it is sad to hear that this beautiful woman is no longer with us


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  • 5 months later...

It's 13 months to the day of Broadcast singer Trish Keenan's passing...so I've been reminiscing again. I was so gutted for a while that it was hard for me to even read many of the tributes people had written about her. But now that time has passed, I finally have gotten around to reading some and am posting a couple of the better ones here. These really get to the crux of what made her special and why she is so missed.

Unlike the ones who die through their own self-destructive behavior or from old age, Trish was plucked from us so randomly and so young, that it seemed a cruel hoax. One day she gets swine flu in Australia and the next thing you know, she dies from pneumonia.

This first one is from a site called Quietus. Five of their writers contribute their own tributes to Trish.

A Tribute To Trish Keenan

The Quietus , January 17th, 2011 09:16

Quietus writers Abi Bliss, Christina McDermott, Frances Morgan, Jude Rogers and David Stubbs remember the late Broadcast singer.


Last week, The Quietus was deeply saddened to hear that Broadcast singer Trish Keenan died from pneumonia after contracting the H1N1 virus in Australia. Broadcast released their first EP The Book Lovers in 1996, they went on to release four studio albums: 2000's The Noise Made By People, 2003's Haha Sound, 2005's Tender Buttons and their 2009 collaboration with The Focus Group, Broadcast and the Focus Group Investigate Witch Cults of the Radio Age. Warps statement about the death of Trish Keenan can read here. Our thoughts are with all of Trish Keenan's friends and family, as well as everyone at Warp Records. Below, our writers recall their fondest memories of Broadcast - whether personal meetings, records or live appearances - as a tribute to Trish's memory.

Jude Rogers:

I remember exactly where I was when I first heard Trish Keenan sing. I remember the cold room, the worn curtains, the beige, threadbare carpet, everything transformed by this pure, clear voice beaming its way from the speakers, like a channel of light. I remember the song too, 'The Accidentals'. Cutting through the air like a sound from the future, but also, at the same time, a message from the past. Freezing me, stunning me, taking over me whole.

To me, Trish Keenan's voice was like a folk voice – simple, unadorned, not about her, but about the song. It was like the voice of Shirley Collins sent to outer space, blessed of a stark, lucid truth that slowly crept through your bones. It was the voice that set me on my way to discover so much of the music I love – the ghostly loveliness of The Radiophonic Workshop, the innocence of library music, the beauty of The Ghost Box label, the psychedelic gentleness of one of her band's favourite groups, United States Of America, whose only album was released a few months before Trish was born. Now, her voice makes me imagine a little girl with long hair growing up in the suburbs of England in the 1970s, a country full of dread and unease, eerie children's literature and public information films. And then I remember that she is gone, and how the real memories of her, by those who knew her and loved her, are not mine to tread upon.

So I go back to what I remember. I go back to that little student room in Oxford in 1999, that CD bought in Shifty Disco in Broad Street, its soft, red cover, my eyes opening wide. I go back to the little demo tape I made singing 'Come On Lets Go' for a boy who said I couldn't sing well enough to be in his band. I remember the time I took to fall in love with Tender Buttons,, before it owned me completely; I remember buying Haha Sound for my boyfriend, and how we both fell under its spell. I go back to the last times I saw her and James perform, in 2009 – firstly at the Shunt Vaults, deep under London Bridge, then at the Vortex in Dalston, playing the soundtrack they had made to a film by Julian House. Being frozen again, stunned right through, by what Trish could do, by the path she had set us on, the worlds she had made for us.


Frances Morgan:

Broadcast released their first seven-inch single in 1996 on small Midlands label, Wurlitzer Jukebox. The two songs, 'Accidentals' and 'We've Got Time', would reappear on their Work and Non-Work compilation, but I first encountered the band via this minimally packaged record, which I bought in Rough Trade soon after its release. As you do sometimes, I remember all the incidentals of the purchase – the bright Saturday; the walk to the shop through Powis Square, the location of Performance; what I was wearing – but I can't remember where I had heard about Broadcast, and what led me to buy their record.

It was likely their connection with Stereolab that I'd read somewhere; but even entirely on spec, I can see why the cover appealed to me, because it still does. Stark black, with a series of abstract white lines cutting through like radio waves but organic, as if chopped by scissors in a school art class, it had the appearance of both imagination and functionality, a test pressing imprinted with the romance of a not-so-distant, warmer, weirder past.

'Accidentals' is a musical term for a note out of place, a rogue sharp or flat that isn't in the main key signature of a piece of music and whose appearance prompts a momentary change in colour. Broadcast's 'Accidentals' is full of such moments, although they're as textural as well as tonal. The song revolves around a jazzy, waltz-time pattern that lilts like a pendulum under a high, wavery keyboard line and the slow, low tones of Trish Keenan's voice. "And you will not see or try to believe when there's no guarantee," she sings, and there's a swell of hazy strings and some interference and everything bends out of tune for a second, like a warp or a wrinkle in time. The song morphs further, with a ghostly inversion of the main theme, a faint guitar, a key change, before settling back into its gently rocking self. There's very little vocal on 'Accidentals', yet it's Keenan's coolly delivered, hermetic verse that give the song its odd feeling of mediumship and time-slip. It is as if she – and we – have discovered the music at the same time and spun a personal narrative around it.

At the time I preferred 'We've Got Time'. Again, the instrumentation follows a simple, pendulum-like pattern, monophonic synths chiming in one-handed mirror-riffs. It's organic and elegantly clunky, with an echoing vibra-slap somewhere in the mix and a martial snare drum towards the end. The focus of the song, though, is Keenan's vocal, sharper and more fragile than the disassociated chanteuse on the flipside. Recorded almost untreated, no forgiving effects, she entreats in a slowly climbing, sombre melody, almost hymnal in the chorus: "We've got time to work it out. We've got what numbers cannot have."

I hear the song now as a classic psychedelic love song, reminiscent in parts of the 1969 White Noise album, An Electric Storm, that Broadcast I'm sure had heard in '96, but I hadn't. In 1996, 'We've Got Time' just seemed the perfect soundtrack or even metaphor for the way I was moving through life, through the resonant new city I had moved to and the awful waiting-room of the late teens. There are various ways of navigating loneliness and isolation and mine was basically to assume a constant state of fiction and mystery. Every old film, abandoned building, strange sound or compelling pop song confirmed my suspicions that there was something else there, a story to search for and excavate. That it was all, at some point, going to happen for me, but that in another dimension it already had.. Broadcast's tales of ordinary magic picked at these enticing, sad layers of past and future, real and not-real. They made me feel a lot better.

Often elegiac, almost always dealing on some level with the vagaries of memory – deeply personal or collective or some mixture or both – as a band they remained very much in the present tense, productive and committed, so I feel a bit strange presenting them as so much a part of my own memory-swamp; yet, while I have most of their albums to hand, it was 'Accidentals/We've Got Time' I reached for when I heard that Trish had died last Friday. The record still sounded good, after 15 years and many house-moves; ageing vinyl suits Broadcast well. I played 'We've Got Time' to my husband, who'd never heard it before, and found that I still couldn't really explain it, or them. "I remember buying this," I said, and that was about all I could say.


David Stubbs:

I only met Trish Keenan once, interviewing Broadcast a few years ago for one of the big monthly magazines when Broadcast were reduced to a duo. It wasn't going to be a large feature and Trish was conscious of this, chiding me in a good-humoured but heartfelt way, as the nearest representative of the music press to hand. The last time Broadcast had been interviewed by said magazine it was a 500 word job. Now it would be again. When, she asked me, were Broadcast going to make the leap to two page spread status, and then eventually become cover stars? It was never going to happen, sadly, not because Broadcast didn't merit that sort of coverage or celebration, but because we lived in decreasingly curious pop times.

The coverage of Trish Keenan's tragic death at just 42 in the BBC web pages and broadsheets, reflected, between the lines, a comprehension gap, a distant and vague apprehension of just what this "art pop singer from Birmingham" was about. Despite the enormous esteem in which she was held by those who knew her, by those in the know, you felt that for some news outlets, the story was more about swine flu than it was her. This is surely doubly sad. Broadcast were denizens of a 21st century underworld, increasingly disregarded by the mainstream in a way that previous generations of rock and pop mavericks were not.

I only met Trish Keenan once, didn't have the privilege to get to know her properly and can only envy those lucky enough to have done so. The Trish I knew was the "Theoretical Girl" who was the arresting focal point of Broadcast. For all their strength, however, as super-confidently self-conscious practitioners of linear, chic, pulsating, analogue, spectral neo-pop, rising to crests of neon throbbing Krautrock intensity it was with 2009's Investigate Witch Cults of the Radio Age, their collaboration with designer Julian House aka The Focus Group that for me they enjoyed their greatest success. It was an eggs-meets-bacon moment, a veritable Piper At The Gates Of Dusk.

Trish Keenan had spoken in interviews about her interest in the paranormal, in a way that, as an increasingly ardent rationalist, makes me wince a little, as it generally does when my favourite groups wax in a similar "more things in Heaven and earth than are dreamed of in your philosophy" vein and the inner David Mitchell is compelled to retort, "No there aren't." But in the fantastic, waking dreamland realms of music, the paranormal isn't just permissible, it's a desideratum.

Of course, the album's very title, suggests if not outright satire of the occult, a strong indication that it's conscious it's dealing in the stuff of the fictional. That said, this is an album whose sonic matter is a layered mulch of very real, if vanished things, "incidental" music in the strongest, most happening sense of the word, its aural aromas a Proustian spice of a world obliterated in an imaginary, Threads-style nuclear holocaust circa 1983. House's contribution is a backdrop of spliced library music, faded, monochrome detritus – the bleak cawing of crows on 'Let It Begin/Oh Joy', the frantic rattling of doorknobs and alarm clock on 'A Séance Song' - a meticulous pebbledash of distressed, grey-bleached details, intimating the lingering traces of a lost era of cathode transmissions, public information films, of MLR James ghost stories starring Michael Hordern.

Crucial, however, was the pop structure imposed by Broadcast, amid all this fade-in and fade-out, this tidal back and forth of magnetic tape - refried, psychedelic swirling organs a la Rick Wright in early Pink Floyd on 'The Be Colony', moments of kinetic lucidity as on the swerving, bustling 'Ritual/Looking In'. Most significantly, it's the sound and spectacle of Keenan herself. There are intimations of the little black haired girl in Bagpuss grown up, of the distant, jet black haired ghost in The Innocents, but she transcends all such comparisons, rising in vertical, Doric splendour from the mix like a High Priestess of Hauntology, with a sort of mock (but not mocking) solemnity on 'Make My Sleep His Song', an apparition, almost holographic, not so much a pop presence as a pop past/presence.

All of this is an attempt to describe the "unreal" or ethereal Trish Keenan, her pop self, a highly intelligent, consciously wrought construction. As for Trish herself, her death is cruel and untimely indeed – to have been snatched from this world so suddenly, so quickly, so arbitrarily, leaves those who knew her not just grieving but angry, angry at life for being so fragile, so easily and pointlessly lost. We've been robbed of Broadcast's future, if not, thankfully, their past and presence.

Past, present, future – Trish Keenan and James Cargill always understood the relationship between all three. They hark back to a halcyon pop era when "the future" was often represented in the form of outer space, glistening and unvisited apart from the odd, lonely Sputnik craft, waiting to be occupied. Today, a different sense of "outer space", and future musical travel into that space, obtains. It's no longer empty. It's chockfull of detritus, rusty, decommissioned hulks, cacophonic with the radio transmissions of over half a century of popular culture, travelling ever outward - all that has been Broadcast. This was the space through which Keenan and Cargill would have continued to swerve and negotiate, feed off, allow to inform and inflect their thrilling pop permutations. How sad that Trish can't travel that way any further but how grateful we are for what she's left behind.


Christina McDermott:

Back in 2000, when I was 17, a boyfriend who was significantly older and wiser than me handed me an album. 'Here,' he said. 'Stop listening to all of that bloody Belle and Sebastian crap, and listen to this. You'll like it. Honest'.

He was right. I switched it on and was plunged into the kind of music that sounded like the lost theme to a pulpy television series from the 1960s. Big squelchy Moogs and icy atmospheric synths. The sound of an urban future, or at least someone's idea of it. And through it all, a lone female voice shimmering amidst the darkness, haunting and bold - a focal point in the gloom creating kaleidoscopes of colour in my teenage brain.

The band were Broadcast, the album The Noise Made by People. I switched it on my stereo, and it never really left it again. For an entire year, I would listen to it religiously whilst travelling to sixth form college in Hulme, letting it provide the narrative to my days of studying for my A Levels in high rise grey buildings in one of the greyest areas of a grey city. I'd stick my headphones on whilst bouncing on the 86 down Oxford Road, and would pretend to myself that I was the heroine in a film noir, and this album was the soundtrack to my soon-to-be glamorous life. 'Come On Let's Go' the soundtrack to the scenes where I was mucking around with my boyfriend in his bedsit in Levenshulme, 'Papercuts' for his inevitable betrayal, the achingly beautiful 'Echoes Answer' for all the moments I'd hang out of my bedroom window smoking a illicit cigarette and dreaming of the glamorous, mysterious black clad woman I wanted to become, much like I imagined Broadcast's singer – Trish Keenan – to be like herself. Not the most original of ideas, I know, but then again, 17 year olds aren't renowned for being the most original of creatures.

What I loved most about The Noise Made by People was all the different avenues it led me down in terms of my musical tastes. It led me to discovering the Gallic wonder of Stereolab, and François Hardy and the inspirational brilliance of Delia Derbyshire and the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, and spending many happy Saturday afternoons in second hand record shops attempting to find records which contained abundant Moog solos.

As time went on, the boyfriend who introduced me to Broadcast dumped me in the way that boyfriend's so often do, and numerous albums replaced The Noise Made by People on my stereo, although it was never totally brushed out of sight. Indeed, I remember having to replace it on more than one occasion after I lent my copy of it to more than one 'friend' who loved it so much that they decided to keep it for themselves. However, Trish Keenan's startling voice, and the influence her music held over me in my formative years remain with me to this day. I feel a certain sadness that I always meant to see Broadcast perform live and, for a number of different reasons (most of them due to my own incompetence), never got round to doing so. Now, I never will. RIP Trish Keenan. Thanks for the memories.


Abi Bliss:

I saw Broadcast play live three times.

The first was in Cardiff in 1996 where, as a gauche fresher nervously anticipating my first reviewing assignment for the student paper, I arrived at the Stereolab gig at the time indicated on the ticket I was clutching. I hoped I wouldn't be too late to catch the support band, whose song 'The Book Lovers' had been whirling near-nightly through Mark Radcliffe's radio show like an underwater waltzer.

An hour or so later, Broadcast came on and revealed themselves to be much more than just Stereolab's introverted younger siblings or the canny 60s pastiche artists that 'The Book Lovers' had suggested. The band's aesthetic was still raw, brittle and somewhat awkward and Trish Keenan was its focal point. Resembling the kind of heavy-fringed mannequins that stared balefully through dusty boutique windows in the town where I grew up, she was both a channel for the uncanny and deeply human, an ordinary girl making herself extraordinary with a secondhand dress and a cool, still voice that seemed like the only way she could imagine singing should sound.

I saw Broadcast again in 2002, having noticed they were playing La Belle Angele on a night when I was staying in Edinburgh. Now a trio, what they had lost in band members they made up for with a quiet confidence. Trish was afloat on a rainbow sea of projections: science films and found footage, the colours dancing across her face as though she was externalising some inner synaesthesia. The venue burned down shortly afterwards and in my mind I always imagine that a stray fragment of that vivid, bejewelled pop was to blame.

The third time was late in 2009 at Manchester's Deaf Institute, when the band, now a duo, had just released their supremely bewitching collaboration with The Focus Group, their longtime visual collaborator Julian House. Although Trish eventually stepped into the spotlight for a obliquely seductive 'Corporeal', she and James spent the first half of their set at opposite sides of the stage, deftly coaxing oscillators and drones into a hypnotic, gloriously malevolent soundtrack to the Op Art swirls and flickering tree branches of House's film Winter Sun Wavelengths.

I couldn't wait to see what they'd do next.

Live photos by Maria Jefferis of www.shot2bits.net.

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This next one is such a melancholy song...these lyrics always affect me...

My room's too small for parties

Too spacious when you're lonely

So books can make us friends

That's as long as we're reading

Turn the lights out when you're leaving

I want to watch the car park empty

It's easy when they're strangers to wave goodbye

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Here's another touching tribute to Trish from New York Magazine:

Remembering Trish Keenan, the Extraordinary Singer for Broadcast

By Nitsuh Abebe NYMAG.com January 14, 2011

It’s amazing how sad it can be to wake up in the morning and find your corner of the Internet swathed with MP3s and video clips and chatter about one of your favorite bands. It’s like that telephone call in the middle of the night: You know something bad has happened. And if you’d just been reading (and worrying) about the singer of said band being in the hospital, you can guess what it was.

That person, this morning, is Trish Keenan, lead singer of an English group called Broadcast — owner of one of those singular voices that doesn’t strike you as anything so legendary, until you realize how perfectly it’s lodged a particular feeling in your head. Maybe it seems strange to write about Keenan here; I didn’t have nearly so much to say about the deaths of a few musicians who were probably more important, or at least better known. (Say, Captain Beefheart, or Ari Up of the Slits.) There are two differences, though, and they both leave me sad. One is that, by various accidents of taste and timing, Broadcast were always important to me, and plenty of others — more, it seemed, with every passing year. They’d managed to grow from a stylish late-nineties curio to a band that was always pressing in rich new directions, whether they were swimming in highbrow experimental waters, making evocative pop music, or — at their best — managing both at once. That’s the other thing: Keenan’s death comes, sadly, in the middle of a still-vital career, maybe even one that was at a turning point. Broadcast’s last LP release was in the fall of 2009, and it was one of those experiments; it was named album of the year by The Wire, a magazine devoted to left-field music. But the band had a habit of circling around pop — spending a few years in the laboratory, playing with sound, then making a gorgeous, melodic, inviting album out of all the odd things they’d discovered. I was looking forward to what they’d do next.

But, as early reports have it, Keenan picked up the flu while traveling, developed pneumonia, and died early this morning. Some of us will miss her a great deal, and be glad for what music we have.

So who are Broadcast? Scroll down to the videos embedded below. They started off as a five-piece band in the mid-nineties, with a sound that was both alluring and, at the time, fashionable. They were one of a few acts cobbling together something “futuristic” from bits of the past: old organs, jazz drumming, sixties folk and psychedelic music, beatnik cool. They had arcane influences, like an old psych band called the

and “library music” — which is to say, the kinds of experiments with technology and sound that used to happen at institutions like the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, and those odd tones people of a particular generation mostly remember from wobbly old educational filmstrips. The music conjured a certain mood, and the mood invited far-fetched descriptions: Hey, imagine an old sixties Twilight Zone episode where someone winds up at a smoky club in the future — this might be the sort of act that would be playing! Over time, the band lost members, started making impressive pop songs out of http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YhvN-lEPCsI, and eventually, in 2005, now down to just a duo, released my favorite record of theirs: Tender Buttons, a collection of blocky, buzzing keyboards and careful, bewitching songs. (It’s not their most immediate: That might be 2003’s Haha Sound.)

Throughout, Keenan’s voice was one of the richest things Broadcast had going for them. It’s like an anchor: No matter how spare, abstracted, or foggy the music ever got — even to the point where it was just geometric sound-shapes floating by in the background — there was this still, methodical voice in the center, peering out at you. (Something about Keenan’s voice always sounds like she’s looking you dead in the eye, even though she tended to sing

standing very still.) The voice has been described as deadpan, precise, lilting, haunting, ghostly, the sound of “innocent elegance,” a “drone,” and plenty of other things besides. Who knows: It has a certain effect. It seems to be calling out to you from some other place. It has no vast range or showy skills or amazing expressiveness, but it’s warm and even and you know whose hands you’re in. On some songs, Keenan sounds cryptic and oracular, as if she’s calmly telling the future. On others, like “Michael A Grammar,” it’s more like she’s taunting or teasing, trying to talk someone into something. In one interview, she described some of the band’s tracks as “nice little classroom folky songs,” and the dreamy image that conjures — some late-sixties schoolteacher singing softly in a hushed, institutional, blank space — captures exactly the kind of grace she brought to some of this music. For instance, “Tears in the Typing Pool,” the first of the songs below.

It always feels a little silly to get too aggressively bereaved about the loss of a musician you liked — a person whose work you felt connected to, but never in the least knew. Still: Read over interviews with Keenan, and you see a thoughtful, dedicated, curious person, the kind of artist who cared enough about what she was doing that she’d actually set herself writing exercises. (One song a day, a song in a half-hour, that sort of thing.) She’d begun writing poetry and fiction, as well, and given the wealth of ideas and emotions she brought to Broadcast’s songs, I’d always wondered where that might lead — what might happen if she reached the age where music became a hassle and it was more attractive to sit down with a pen. But the work we do have from her is, for some of us, memorable enough, and well worth visiting.

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  • 1 year later...

Three years ago today I came out of a long hospital stay to the terrible news of Trish Keenan's passing at the young age of 42...of a flu of all things. Trish was the singer of the band Broadcast, formed in Birmingham, England in the mid-90s. Whenever I get into discussions with friends about who our favourite bands are, Broadcast is one of those bands, especially if we are talking about the last 10-20 years. As for all-time, Broadcast and Stereolab are wrestling each other for a spot in my Top 10.

But that's not important. What is important is the music that she and Broadcast left us in her short time here...and the ineffable sadness I always feel that her voice was stifled and we lost the gift of any future music from her. No, Broadcast isn't Led Zeppelin. They are not a blues-rock band, or like any of the other bands you hear on typical "classic rock" radio. They are more in the indie-electronic-sound-collage-Stereolab-Portishead-Velvet Underground style. But, they share some traits with Led Zeppelin's approach...the sense of groove and the exploration of sonic possibilities. Broadcast can be trippy, yet also down-to-earth. Their music, like Zeppelin's, can put you in a dream-state, where you are not so much as hearing notes but colours. Sometimes the dreams can be nightmarish but then Trish's calm voice will return to soothe you and bathe you in its warmth and beauty. That's one of many things that I loved about Trish and Broadcast...she never oversang. She didn't unnecessarily turn a one-syllable word into a twenty-syllable Greek tragedy, as so many current singers do.

In this thread, I left off at Broadcast's second album, "The Noise Made By People". So today I am breaking out their third, and possibly my favourite album of theirs, "HaHa Sound"...released in 2003 on Warp Records, one of the more interesting labels of recent years.

Colour Me In

Before We Begin

Valerie (Inspired by the Czech film "Valerie and Her Week of Wonders")

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