The Royal Mail has issued a series of stamps commemorating ten British comedy greats. Who’s missing – Rowan Atkinson, Ken Dodd for example – and who’s lucky to be included – perhaps Lenny Henry?
A fourth novel in Steig Larrson’s series is to be published in August. Although it will continue the existing story, this is seemingly not the unfinished draft Larsson left, but a completely new book using the same characters but written by a different author. So it seems this series will now follow the path taken by the estates of other deceased writers such as Fleming, Christie, Wodehouse, Ludlum, Clancy in basically giving the green light to allow the money spinning ‘brand name’ to continue – for better or worse.
It’s almost upon us, so let’s have your Easter themed tunes….
Tonight’s the night, my weird Swedish sisters!
According to ancient tradition, this evening the witches of the north fly down to the island of Blågylla for an evening of magic, mayhem and merry-making with Mephistopheles.
Satanic smorgasbord, skinny dipping and diabolic disco.
The only problem is that it’s bloody snowing here. I thought yesterday was April Fools Day.
And whereas the hardened crones of yore would not miss this necromantic knees up for anything, I suspect that the modern Swedish witch is a tad more finicky.
“Nick darling, could we do the Satanic incantations on Skype this year? I’m having problems with my broomstick and I’ve got a new Ozzy DVD I just have to watch.”
That old black magic just doesn’t have the same appeal. Beelzebub may be on his tod tonight. And the pizzeria in Byxelkrok hasn’t even opened yet for the summer season.
Strange how what would have had you burnt at the stake 300 years ago is now an excuse to get more chocolate. All the small girls here are dressed as witches today and will go round trying to cadge some sweets. A bit like trick or treat. My daughter looked particularly splendid in » Continue Reading.
My heart leaps as I see the line-up for this years Summertyne American Festival; Choice of Rodneylou, Penn & Oldham, and Felice Bros on Friday night, Roseanne Cash on Saturday night, plus free outdoor gigs on Fri, Sat & Sun. The last of which features the fabulous Della Mae and also The Lost Brothers. What’s not to like there?
I hope this means the Dellas are playing a UK tour rather than just the one date they played last year at the Borderline, attended by your humble correspondent and reviewed on this very website. To me they just keep getting better and better particularly with the growing songwriting influence of flat picking starlet Courtney Hartman. There is a nice set of stopover videos on their Facebook page recorded at the homes of people who have put them up during their latest tour. The one of Courtney and lead singer Celia Boyd performing Lucinda Williams’ Jackson is just lovely and the one of Courtney flat picking with fiddler Kimber Ludiker is top notch, not least because of the none-more-bluegrass title of Possum up a Gum Stump
My current bête noire, can’t watch it, so here’s an alternative.
A number of people have tried to turn me onto the group Everything Everything in recent years to no avail. I instantly found them annoying in that “love/hate” way some bands generate as a first impression that stays with you. Their music sounded “interesting”, but in that distracted way whereby the part of my brain that was being engaged wasn’t the music itself but the ideas informing the music. They’re a band that definitely had some great ideas, some flashes of brilliance, some wonderful quirks, judders and ejaculations of ecstatic musicality that showed promise but rarely had they put out a song that pulled all the elements together, that created a sufficient momentum to break free of the gravitational pull of ‘style over substance’.
But now they’ve released the song Distant Past and I love it. They’re still annoying – it doesn’t help that the lead singer looks like Will Young auditioning for a part in Peaky Blinders – but it doesn’t seem to matter this time out. All in all quite a thrilling slice of alternative pop.
Sad to hear of the passing today of Cynthia Lennon.
Over a sociable beer a mate fixed me in a gaze and said “The sweet you can eat between meals…” and I automatically responded “without ruining your appetite…”. I haven’t seen or thought about this for 20 years, but there it was. We had a good laugh coming up with old ad catchphrases and finishing them for each other (possibly you had to be there…). But now I couldn’t tell you a single one – partly because I avoid them at all costs, but have advertisers lost the ability to embed their wares in your brain in short order?
Some classics here…including Elvis Costello’s Dad….
This made me chuckle. Any more amusing footage of our musical brethren?
I have a student examining attitudes of men to the various kinds of sex workers out there. So whether you have or haven’t engaged in this sort of thing, please contribute to this study. Please share the link on your own FaceBook pages and other networks; this will optimise the chance of our recruiting a representative sample of chaps.
Hi, just a quick reminder. If you want to share a link to another site in a blog post (other than a video or image) please copy and paste it into the box labelled ‘another link’.
That will make it ‘clickable’ so other readers can view the link just by clicking it.
If anyone is wondering why it’s set up this way, it’s because by default the site will strip out any code you enter in a blog post…this is to stop naughty hackers from trying to bugger the site up, so the only way to make Youtube, image and other links work is to have them in separate ‘fields’. Adding links to comments is easier, just paste them in after a carriage return. It’s just blog posts that are a bit fiddly for now.
I do try and fix links where I see them but it’d save me some time if you do it yourselves. I’m aware the current setup isn’t ideal and If I can find a way to make it easier to post I will.
There’s a plethora of duet albums these days. Most of these seem to involve one singer taking the first verse, another the second verse etc.
But how many songs can you think of where there are two distinct characters singing?
Very common in opera and musicals of course, but less so in pop and rock.
I’ll kick off with Ms Lauper and Howlin’ Pelle getting into quite a lively Xmas row where quite a few skeletons get thrown out of the closet.
This guy is very funny, as are the replies from, in this one Rick Wakeman. There’s also letters to other AW faves such as Andy P and The Duckworth Lewis folks.
Strawberry Fools day!
Tonight I am letting my freaky folkie flag fly! To be honest this is not an infrequent thing, but I felt like announcing it. So here is Jobs Tears by The Incredible String Band which, in my opinion, is one of the great underrated album openers EVER!
Palais Theatre, St Kilda Melbourne
Well this was the definitive curate’s egg. I’d seen Zac play at Byron a few years ago with a highlight being some duelling southern guitar with them on their Gibson’s and Bonnie Raitt playing some lovely slide, It was a wonderfully paced southern rock show. Not tonight. Fast out of the blocks with a medley including yawn Devil went down to Georgia and a not so good version of Cold Weather.Such a lovely song – pity. Ok. First show back on the road, maybe jet lagged: it’ll wind up methinks. But what a perpelxing setlist. A country rock number or one of their magnificent ballads would be followed by a cover and we’re not talking Hank Williams. Nirvana, Floyd’s Comfortably Numb with a good guitar solo but no David Gilmour and then, Lord spare me, Bohemian Rhapsody. Ok ,it was ok but Zac can’t match the high notes of Freddie (who can) -so why bother? This was a ramped up show ,big PA ,loud ,full on laser lights that were very effective when not shining in your eyes and a gun band. But how is a set list like that supposed » Continue Reading.
The 100 best albums of the 70s.
Thurs 4th June at Islington and Friday 5th at The Haunt in Brighton.
I am officially very very excited. Have just ordered two tickets for myself and my mate for Brighton (anyone been to The Haunt?) and have a weekend pass.
The latest album is ace by the way.
Following on from Bingo Little’s thread on album openers, how about on the best ever finales, the tracks that conclude an album with the maximum satisfaction?
I suspect The Beatles may feature but I’m going to nominate T. Rex’s Rip Off, the wild track that concludes Electric Warrior. I love its rampant rhythm and the parping sax, but the rhyming couplets, giving the listener a glimpse into Marc Bolan’s unusual mind, are what make it special. “Rocking in the nude/Feeling such a dude” is my personal favourite (somehat inexplicably, it makes me think of Rob C!).
Any better ideas, Afterworders?
Forget that line-up of multi millionaires who have just realised that they haven’t got all the money in the world yet and this silly talk of not listening to any new music for five years and have a look at some of the new albums that came out this week. After a whole two days of listening I think they are all pretty wonderful, and I’m finding it hard to say which is my favorite at the moment. So have a listen to the new Sufjan Stevens (very low key but heartbreaking and lovely), Godspeed You! Black Emperor (Speaker shaking compelling slabs of noise), Ryley Walker (fantastic new psych-folk which harks beautifully back to the 70s), The Soft Moon (Dark and doom laden), and a new edition of Jane Weaver’s The Silver Globe with a whole new album (The Amber Light) which is as good as The Silver Globe.
This October, The Emotional Toothpaste himself releases his (first) memoir/autobiography. Can’t wait. Make sure it’ll fit your stocking, pop-pickers and brace yourself for “Everyday He Writes The Book”-style headlines.