This is a thing. I’ve spent an hour or so down this YouTube rabbit hole, and it’s a bit fascinating. What on earth would Jamal AKA Jamal get out of Sweet’s Ballroom Blitz? Quite a lot, it turns out, and, to his great credit, he doesn’t say you guys twice every sentence like some of them do. You’re welcome to join me down the rabbit hole.
All good fun until somebody gets hurt… 🙂
Not according to Edith search function. I’d never heard of this lot until I stumbled on them, can’t remember how – it was last night and it was a different world then – and I’m in love. The two perfectly matched voices, the quiet, stripped-back instrumentation, the understated yet powerful songs – soothing balm for the soul. I’m in love.
They describe their music as secular gospel, which is as good a definition as any. They’ve been going for years, but I’d never come across them before. See what you think.
I keep reading about how people in lockdown are learning foreign languages, writing novels, learning to play the trombone, building extensions and so on.
Not me…my achievements are more modest, but I’d still like to share them with you.
1. The magnetic soap holder kept falling off the bathroom wall because the sticky pad had lost its stickiness. It is now screwed to the wall. 2. I have trained myself to wash up after every meal, not every two days or so as previous. This is very good for morale. 3. I have cut my own hair. This was not good for morale, but at least it’s something I’ve never done before. 4. I listened to Dylan for an entire day. 5. I got ‘squinted’ for 221 points in Scrabble. 6. In some ways this is the most exciting…I have curated my bookmarks. Don’t know about you, but my bookmarks were an unholy mess, stretching back over years and several computers – bookmarks for road trips that never happened, long-dead DIY projects, ISPs and telcos that I left years ago, those bookmarks that Apple hands to you when you fire up Safari for the first time, several near-identical toolbar folders, » Continue Reading.
I was looking through an American recipe website today, and found myself getting, yes, unreasonably irritated by the various ways in which US culinary language diverges from ours. For instance: broil = grill heavy cream = double cream broth = stock cilantro = coriander (and yes, I know cilantro is Spanish) Kosher salt = salt frosting = icing ground beef = mince minced garlic = crushed garlic There are more, no doubt.
As I say, totally unreasonable – I know what they all mean, and it’s by no means the only way US English has diverged, but it still nurdles my nadgers.
In these days of lockdown, what are you unreasonably irritated by? Do tell.
This is an excellent read, and very persuasive. Not massively comforting, mind…
I was Ballard’s editor for a while in the 70s, including Crash and High Rise, and I’ve never quite got over the sense of unease.
Was going to post this on the triple-hamper How are we all doing? thread, but it might get lost there, so…
I love having my savage breast soothed, and I love watching orchestras doing what they do close up. The Berlin Philharmonic have made all their concerts free to watch on their website. Perfect. You just need to register using the voucher.
I doubt this’ll get me a hamper, but so be it. I suspect we can look forward to a series of increasingly demented posts from stir-crazy self-isolators confined to quarters…
I’ve spent all afternoon listening to a 4-hour Spotify playlist of the music of Francis Poulenc (1899-1963). In keeping with my congenital Francophilia, I’ve always loved French music, though there’s a certain sort of honking French tenor that sets my teeth on edge. (None of that here though.) But I really fell for Poulenc when the Brisbane choir I was in performed his Gloria, with a children’s orchestra, a teenage soprano and a 90-year-old conductor. It was one of the most intense musical experiences of my life.
Poulenc’s music is endlessly inventive; you sense he was a man of both bottomless sensitivity and puckish humour. He can be ethereally beautiful, he can be whimsically jaunty – sometimes he makes me laugh. He can be both in the same piece. I find his music immensely comforting, and I can use some of that right now. I have a memory of some love for FP round here at some point, so perhaps this will hit the spot.
Here’s ethereally beautiful.
Lurking down the side of my Spotify home page I’ve just rediscovered no less than 9 playlists I made of Word cover discs, year by year, 2004-12. I have no memory of making them, but they’ve got my nom de groove on them, so I suppose I must have done. Too much time on my hands, obviously…
Lots of good stuff obviously, and an interesting snapshot of what the Hep and his Hepcats thought we ought to be listening to. Fill your boots.
Links below, it’ll take some time to paste them all in, and then it’ll need to be modded, so here’s something soothing from 2004 in the meantime.
The last surviving member of the great John Coltrane Quartet, and a great pianist in his own right, has left us. Jase from Sales would probably have a view about them reforming in heaven, but in the meantime, feast your ears on this.
Year: 2019 Director: Sam Mendes
“From the director of Skyfall” yells the poster and the trailer, which is true but not the point.
The story is simple enough, though I won’t go into much detail because it’s hard to avoid spoilers (steer clear of Wikipedia and the trailer, come to that). Two lance-corporals are given the job of slogging their way over nine miles of what may or may not be no man’s land to deliver a message to a Colonel who is due to lead his men over the top in the morning to chase what he thinks is the Germans in retreat. In fact, it’s a cunning German tactical withdrawal and he’s leading his men to certain death.
The much noted “one continuous take” is a bit of a misnomer. What it actually means is that there are no cutaways back to base, or back to Blighty – the story starts at A and continues uninterrupted to Z, where it ends. The action of the film takes, at a guess, 12 hours, so QED. No matter, it’s a brilliant, continually absorbing and gruelling two hours. There were times I just wanted it all to stop, thoroughly gruelled, not » Continue Reading.
Those of us who are that way inclined can probably agree that Billy Strayhorn was a genius. He became Duke Ellington’s main muse at the age of 23 and collaborated with him for the rest of his life until his early death at the age of 52.
My favourite Strayhorn song, and in my top ten favourite songs altogether, is Lush Life. Top instrumental version is Coltrane’s, top vocal, Ella Fitzgerald or Blossom Dearie, can’t decide. Strayhorn wrote the song, music and lyrics, between 1933 and 1936. That’s 18 to 21…those chords! Those lyrics!
Now this has surfaced – the very first recording, Carnegie Hall on November 13, 1948. Strayhorn on piano, Kay Davis on vox. Another magnificent version to add to the collection. Do give it a listen. H/t to Richard Williams, who retweeted the tweet.
Two titans gone on the same day – they managed to be both funny and hugely brainy.
Here they are talking to each other.
I was listening to Garnett Mimms and the Enchanters this morning, as you do, and I had a sudden I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue moment, You know…
‘Please welcome Mr and Mrs Garnett Mimms and their delightful daughter South.’
Any others? Don’t have to be soul singers…
Get yourselves over to Beverly Hills on Friday and grab something from Walter Becker’s truly EXTRAORDINARY guitar, amp and pedal collection. Choose from 22 vintage Gibson amps, or grab yourself a reissue Gibson Melody Maker for $100-300. Or a uke for $50-100. Or a Japanese Strat he played on stage $300-500.
He liked a nice Strat or Les Paul, sure, but what’s super-extraordinary is the literally hundreds of custom made guitars, often half a dozen or more from the same maker, and the commercially made guitars from manufacturers you’ve never heard of. And the pedals…as you might expect, he was a bit of a pedal freak.
Do not enter the catalogue if you have somewhere to be any time soon.
Been knocking up a nut roast for the tinies, their mum and dad, and me and the missus if we’re lucky, and my thoughts turned to cooking music. It’s got to be something I know and love, with no sudden skronking or other unexpected surprises that make me cut myself or bring Mrs thep running to remind me that we have neighbours above and below. But it’s not always that simple. Why? Here’s a technical interlude (can safely be skipped if not interested).
The wifi in my not very big flat is a bit flaky at its farthest reaches, which includes the kitchen. (Sometimes the wifi on passing buses is stronger.) So I’ve installed a mesh network, which has solved the problem triumphantly. But the Sonoi (One in kitchen, Beam under the TV) are still on the original network, which makes controlling the One in the kitchen with my phone a chancy affair – sometimes it just gives up. For some reason, however, controlling it with Alexa works fine every time. So complicated curating is out, the routine is, ‘Alexa, play x’, where x is a single artist or album.
Back to the original question: it has to be » Continue Reading.
Some absolute toerag has stolen and trademarked the Bonzos’ name, the name they have been using since 1960-whatever, and they’re no longer allowed to use it. All perfectly legal apparently. Said toerag is now suing them for illegal use of their own name.
They’re crowfunding to fight it, a most worthy cause. I’ve lobbed in some GBP, and it would be good if all like-minded Bonzoids did the same. This aggression will not stand, man.
Full details at the link.
I doubt this will winkle H P Kurtz out of his Mekong hideway, but whatever.
I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve posted this extraordinary 1962 waxing on here, most recently on the Pre-Beatles tunes thread, and not one bastard has ever to my recollection ever even admitted to listening to it, much less go Wow Mike, that’s amazing.
And it is amazing – the ethereal vocals, the unexpected chord progressions, the energy, all seem way ahead of their time. There’s more than a touch of Jefferson Airplane about it. I bought it when it first came out – one of about 12 people to do so, I suspect – and it still haunts me.
The group cut the two sides as demos for Joe Meek, and then tried them on Norrie Paramor at Columbia. The story goes that Columbia had a choice between the Beatles and Jill and the Boulevards, and may just have made the wrong decision…
Anyhow, it was the only single they ever made and the group went from obscurity to semi-obscurity and back again in no time.
Ladies and Gennelmen, I give you And Now I Cry, by Jill and the Boulevards, the » Continue Reading.
…in which our hero displays a hitherto unsuspected talent for Cockney hoofing.
This popped up on Twitter yesterday, and I thought I’d bring some innocent merriment into your dreary lives in honour of Blue Monday, apparently the most depressing day of the year – a perfect day for the Maybot to present a Plan B that bears an uncanny resemblance to Plan A.
The entire movie is available to stream on Amazon Prime. Caution: may be subject to the law of diminishing returns.
Feels important to let everybody know that Mr thep headed south to, among other things, beard (er…) Mr Wells in his lair. He met the completely charming Mrs Wells, Mr Wells’s legendary music collection, and Mr Wells’s collection of unfeasibly large barbecue tongs (barbie not pictured). Lunch was taken, including fresh not-fucked-up-on-the-barbie-by-Mr-thep whiting, and drink. Speakers were dragged into the back yard, and a good time was had by all, after which Mr thep got on the plane, still smelling faintly of fish.
If you’ve never been driven round Melbourne by Junior Wells while listening to Junior Wells on the car stereo, you haven’t lived.
If like Mr & Mrs thep you were hard up in the 90s, chances are you took out a bank loan or remortgage to try and put things right. Chances are, unless you were less whimperingly grateful than we were, you were mis-sold PPI.
So far, so obvious. I’ve been watching all the ads from people hoping to help you reclaim the hard-earned while hoping to seize a chunk for themselves, but thought the bank (Lloyds in my case) would try to wriggle out of it somehow. Then one day I thought what the hell and got in touch with Lloyds.
Next thing that happened was the arrival of a huge sheaf of forms asking for information I had no hope of finding. So that’s that, I thought.
Next thing, a cheery bloke from Lloyds rings up. We haven’t had your forms back, he said. I told him why. Everybody says that, he said, and proceeded to walk me through some simple questions: address of relevant property, rough time scale (mid-90s was enough) and so on. It was obvious from the way he was talking that I had a case: ‘So I expect you did this, or that, didn’t you’ » Continue Reading.
So I bought tickets ages ago for what promises to be a splendid theatrical show featuring the wonderful Karine Polwart and her beautiful songs.
Inevitably we are now not double- but treble-booked on that night…Stables aren’t interested in swapping the tickets for another night, so I’ve bought 2 more for the Friday night. Have a look at the links and PM me if you’re interested in going on the Saturday. With add-ons tickets are about £30 each. Not looking for face value, but a contribution to the destitute publishers’ whisky fund is always welcome.
Harsh but fair.
I have been asked to let you know that the Spooky Men are doing a short tour over there – I think they’re afraid nobody has heard of them. Of particular interest to @nickduvet and @black-celebration (I hope): St Matthew in the City, Auckland this coming Saturday. A splendid time is guaranteed for all.
The rest of you: as you were.