I thought the good Doc Volume’s thread titled Novella was going to be about novellas. Imagine my disappointment! (No offense, Doc. I mean that in a kind, caring and compassionate way.) Anyway, it got me thinking about novellas. I love ’em, me. How easy life seems when you’re facing a few hours’ profound entertainment with less than 100 pages that you can finish faster than it takes to endure a Mashavishnu Orchestra album. If only The Goldfinch had been a novella! My favourites? Ian McEwan’s On Chesil Beach is a goodun. As is his The Cement Garden. Fred Uhlman’s Reunion is lovely. Julian Barnes’ The Sense Of An Ending. And, of course, Breakfast At Tiffany’s. I fancy delving into another. Preferably fairly contemporary. Any recommendations, kind people?
Can I play Growin’ Up with you?
As you are all fully aware, I spend most of my time planning Moose’s funeral (invite only, I’m afraid). I had planned on playing the rather clichéd Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life as the flames engulf the raft, but it’s been ruled out in no uncertain terms by the deceased-to-be himself. Mr Bigpicture has suggested Fat Bottomed Girls as a possible replacement. I thought perhaps Body Talk might make a fitting obituary. Or Afternoon Delight was another that crossed my mind. But I’m sure that we collectively (by which I mean you individually) can “come up” with better.
A friend recently introduced me to the Mahogany Sessions youtube channel. It’s a real treasure trove of stripped back performances by great artists. Well worth checking out.
Teatro Forma, Bari, Italy
It’s a funny old world, where a young lad of Jacob Collier’s talent has fewer than 10,000 followers on Twitter and is playing small 100-seater venues like this, while One Direction are filling stadiums. Collier has the looks to be in a boy band, but he has way, way more talent. He might even be a genius. Quincy Jones has said of him: “I have never in my life seen a talent like this.” KD Lang describes him as “the most talented kid on Earth today.” David Crosby limits himself to the more prosaic “fucking amazing”.
We’ve all seen live sampling used to good effect before. Collier takes it one step further as he flits effortlessly from keyboards to drums to guitar to electric bass to piano to stand up bass to percussion, sampling as he goes round. And he plays each of them to a very high standard. Singing all the while. I’d found his singing on his Youtube videos a little too mannered. Kind of like a public school choirboy. But live it sounds much more sincere and involved, from gorgeous falsetto to bluesy baritone.
To compliment his » Continue Reading.
Afterword favourites Jedward have released a new single.
Whenever I tell civilians that I like Neil Young’s Little Wing I have to add that it’s not the famous Jimi Hendrix song. There are a couple of other songs (below) that fall into the same ‘no, not the famous one’ category. Can you come up with any more examples? Another song called Stairway To Heaven perhaps? An obscure song called Bohemian Rhapsody?
Year: 2016 Director: Ti West
In A Valley Of Violence has got 8 reviews on IMDB to date, four good and four bad. The bad ones criticise the story and the screenplay, comparing the story to the Keanu Reeves shoot-em-up revenge film John Wick (albeit as a Western). Which is fair enough. But the screenplay redeems it for me. It really turns the idea of classic tough guys on its head, showing them as people who really don’t want to get hurt, much less killed. The tough guys are Ethan Hawke and John Travolta, neither of whom fits the usual clearly delineated goodie/baddie stereotype. I was interested to see the baddest baddie is played by James Ransone, who I last saw having a fully explicit wank in the Larry Clark film Ken Park! Nice to see he’s gone on to have a proper career after such a courageously unselfconscious start. Also stars Doctor Who’s old assistant, Karen Gillan. Oh and the dog is brilliant.
Might appeal to people who enjoyed:
John Wick, Unforgiven.
Came across this today and thought some of you might be interested.
To promote his upcoming album Van is interviewed in The Independent by Ian Rankin. “Some people need to keep evolving, others wanna just repeat the same thing. I’m more prone to evolve” says Van. The video shows him playing some of his new songs, which sound great, but essentially no different to anything he’s produced over the last few decades. He also plays his 1964 hit Baby Please Don’t Go and talks about how much better things were in the past and his preference for analogue recording techniques.
This is more like it!
Year: 2014 Director: The Spierig Brothers
Based on Robert A. Heinlein’s short story “All You Zombies”. Our hero is a time travelling “Temporal Agent” who flits around preventing crimes. On his last mission he’s out to get “The Fizzle Bomber”. The criminal whose bomb disfigures him so badly at the beginning of the film that, post surgery, he looks like Ethan Hawke. 1992, 1978, 1945, 1963, 1985 are all visited in a complex time travel loop where no one is who they first appear to be. And of course Noah Taylor is the enigmatic supervisor of the whole shebang, time travel supervision being his forte (see also Vanilla Sky and Edge Of Tomorrow). If you can buy into the whole silly time travel thang (easy) and accept Sarah Snook could pass for a man (difficult) this is top notch sci-fi. And it’s free! On the youtube. Can’t go wrong.
Might appeal to people who enjoyed:
Vanilla Sky, Edge Of Tomorrow, Looper – but better. Blade Runner – but not as good (what is?).
Little late in the day but today, 20 April, is “Peter Tosh Day” in Jamaica.
Year: 2016 Director: Tim Miller
I really liked this movie. Everything a great Friday night’s entertainment should be. Thrilling, witty, original, sexy, camp and smart. All post-modern and meta and stuff. With loads of groovy references (Sinead, Wham, David Beckham, Basil Fawlty, Limp Bizkit and even, post credits, Ferris Bueller). The story is very standard kill-the-baddie-and-win-back-the-girl, but the dialogue is ultra-snappy. So much so that I’m already looking forward to seeing it again and finding bits I missed.
Might appeal to people who enjoyed:
Kickass, Scott Pilgrim vs The World, Ted.
Some interesting films on the horizon.
I’ve tried listening to some of the songs posted on the 90’s RnB thread, but find each one worse than the last! It’s surprised me a lot to find that there’s a whole genre of music that the AW likes and I don’t. I feel like Margot in The Good Life when she couldn’t understand why everyone else found something funny. I can’t understand why anyone thinks those songs are good, yet you all do! Golly! I don’t know what it is I hate about them (although the programmed beats don’t help). Perhaps I’m just stuck in the 70’s. (When RnB/Soul was GOOD! Oh yes.)
We’re forever posting youtube clips here. From well known songs that are unlikely to prompt anyone to press ‘play’ to obscurities that might well arouse enough curiosity to prompt a listen. So my question is this: What songs, albums or artists are you grateful to the Afterword for having introduced you to? (No need to remember or acknowledge individual posters, I see this more as a thank you to this place and everyone who contributes.)
I just came across this and found it both interesting and hilarious. Kevin Smith recounting how he got involved in making a documentary for Prince. I think AWers might be as entertained as me.
On a night like this In this great city The same skies these trees these passers by The whole calm romantic clumsy life
I’d like to go to Paris on the Seine ‘Cos Paris is a friend A proper friend of mine
“Has there ever been a better 4-album run than Juju, A Kiss in the Dreamhouse, Hyaena and Tinderbox?” asks wise old Jed Clampett in his Siouxsie thread. And it got me thinking… has there? I’m no Siouxsie fan (I only know the Greatest Hits) but I was sure there must be. Yet when I went to my iTunes to look I couldn’t find one! Not one! Imagine my surprise! Signor Clampett might be right after all, for all I know.
I found some three-in-a-rows (my usual faves of David Sylvian, Pink Floyd, JAMC) but any chronological, four-in-a-row package of studio albums is always shafted by an album I have reservations about.
I’m sure there’ll be the usual claims for The Beatles, Dylan and Bowie. They’d be, of course, predictable, boring and well wrong. I’ll have to check out that Siouxsie run now. Unless anyone has got any other four-in-a-row suggestions?
Jerusalem, eh? Apart from those who don’t, everyone loves it. Everyone. Well you’ve got to, haven’t you? Stirring, melodious, inspiring, telling the true story of how Jesus Christ hitched over for Glastonbury. It’s William Blake, it’s Pete Doherty, it’s cricket and scones and The Railway Children all in one. You can’t have a proper conversation about the national anthem without some ballyhoo drivelling on about it. But what’s the best version out there? Billy Bragg? Thora Hird? Some choir no one’s ever heard of? Do you have a favourite and were just waiting for someone better looking than you to start a thread like this? Please post your choice below. I came across this version by Jeff Beck and Don’t Call Me Dave Gilmour. I don’t like it. For one thing, where’s the words? And for another thing, it’s rubbish. Shirley, you can do better.
Any ‘pity posts’ gratefully accepted.
My old college mate Mark (what used to play geetar in fab 80s punk/funk combo The Larks, no less) sent me a link to his brother’s new album today. I don’t know his brother and was unaware he made music (he’s a very successful businessman) but I instantly fell in love with it. Very Meddle-era Floyd it is, which is exactly my cuppa tea. Had to buy it off iTunes and have been playing it non-stop since. I’m quite astonished at how good it is.
Another old college acquaintance, Phil (what plays sax in Jools Holland’s band, no less) says of the track Ambien & The Rockabye Zombie Puppet Show: “The track uses the prescription drug ‘Ambien’ as it’s starting point to invoke a nightmarish ‘Danse Macabre’. Introduced by a limping thump reminiscent of a Romero zombie dragging a broken limb, a recurring chord progression gradually emerges from a filmic post-apocalyptic soundscape, driven by a heavy Clash-style skank into an anthemic horror-show frenzy. The un-resolving chords roll round and round, and, like the protagonists of the song, seem doomed to roam the Earth forever. Finally though, the ‘zombie puppet-heads’ limp off into the distance in a chemical-induced haze. Love it!” » Continue Reading.
Has anyone mentioned yet that Vashti Bunyan’s last album is her best yet? Cos it is.