It is the first Friday of a new month, and propitiously, also the first day of a new month. Please come in, help yourself to some chocolate from the Christmas Tree, pour yourself a suitable libation from the sideboard, gather round the roaring log fire and tell us all – what have you been listening to, watching, reading, or otherwise distracting yourself from …. all this ?
I think I volunteered to organise this somewhere deep in another thread, so here goes.
I suggest, as per previous years, that we post a top 20 with twenty points awarded to every number 1, down to one for every number 20. Any music newly released this year is valid, though I propose that live albums wholly or mostly comprising old material are included in any accompanying poll of re-releases. The poll will, as in previous years, close at 11.59pm on New Year’s Eve and results will be published on New Year’s Day.
Go on, post your favourites – you know you want to….
I was diagnosed with ADHD in 2015, when I was 51. My assessment went along the lines of that I-Speak-Your- Weight machine gag, where the voice says ‘One at a time please!’. Ironically, the penny dropped for me when I was attending a workshop for psychotherapists on ways of working with ADHD clients, run by the ever-so-good Dr Phil Mollon. I was writing a blog which was to be published after the workshop, and the main notes I made were ‘Oh fuck’ and ‘Finally!’ I wouldn’t be writing this if I hadn’t experienced an Executive Function meltdown earlier today, which resulted in aborting a train journey to visit my daughter in Bristol. I say Executive Function, because I reckon Executive Function Deficit Disorder is a better description for what does (and doesn’t go on). I wept on the platform at Three Bridges station this morning, because after a week of having to chop and change my route, there were further delays, and my ability to strategise, ie plan ahead was shot to shit. Some might be starting to sigh now, thinking ‘Yeah, no-one likes delays, we all have to adapt and cope. Fail to plan and you plan to fail. » Continue Reading.
Show of Hands, having decided to take an indefinite break from playing and touring together, wound up ‘Phase 1’ of their lap of honour selling out three nights at the Exmouth Pavilion. The venue has become the traditional local homecoming for the band at the end of their autumn tours in recent years, and it is always great to see the place packed out for the local heroes. It was bittersweet – the whole audience knew this may be the last time they will see SoH with the incomparable Miranda Sykes, so they savoured every moment of an evening that seemed to fly by far too quickly.
The first set consisted of the three either playing solo or in various duo combinations, whilst the second set was a triumphant run of some of their best known songs from their 30 odd years together. Miranda was visibly emotional towards the end of the show, and she graciously thanked Phil and Steve for the last twenty years when she has regularly played with them.
Show of Hands perhaps have never really had the recognition they deserved – whilst being very well known within what » Continue Reading.
What does it sound like?:
Here we have yet another comprehensive boxset, this time of ‘The MCA and Decca Years 73-84’ in Camel’s back catalogue. For the vast majority of those with an interest, this will safely encompass the period when the band caught their attention. That certainly includes me. I can’t comment on the ‘lavish illustrated book with essays and a poster’, let alone the 5 BluRay CDs that weren’t available to review, but that still leaves a whopping 27 discs in which to wallow.
This is made up of 10 discs of the original studio albums, from their eponymous debut through to Stationary Traveller. Straight away, I am wondering who this is for. Anyone with the inclination to shell out £177 for a boxset, is going to be in deep with the band, and is likely to have several of these albums already, so offering the dedicated fan to own duplicate copies without a hint (yet) of a remaster seems odd.
There’s a few demos, single versions and bonus tracks, each tacked onto the contemporary studio albums, which makes sense, as there’s precious few of them, so those extras would barely have made up a CD of their » Continue Reading.
I’ve read up. You got to advanced settings but I cant seem to get it to take effect. Also I just want to do this for one playlist only.
Palais, St Kilda Melbourne
The Cruel Sea’s swampy grooved third album The Honeymoon Is Over was their most successful. After touring with his other 90’s band the Beast Of Bourbon earlier this year, Tex and the Cruel Sea are doing a 30 year anniversary tour, sans James Cruikshank who died of bowel cancer in 2015. Tex has lost a lot of weight and is much more mobile than in his other shows over the last few years. Opening was all girl band The Wraylettes were fun but would have been nice if the lead gtr had better chops if you’re gonna do Link Wray stuff. You can usually see them for free at inner citty pubs so this was a step up. TCS band were great with things lifting with Delivery Man and the audience rising with Black Stick. A mate reckoned Cruikshank was missed ( Matt Walker did his parts) but I didn’t notice. We were 3 rows from the front and while great for getting the stage energy you lose the whole band feel and the sound is too separate. 10-15 rows back is my sweet spot. Annoyingly Dan Rumour’s guitar amp wasn’t working » Continue Reading.
Your favourite TV shows of 2023
No rankings – just a thread where you can tell your fellow AWers the TV shows you’ve watched and rated most highly during 2023 and they might like.
For the sake of brevity, with one or two exceptions I’ve excluded stuff I mentioned in the blog’s Best TV of the first half of the year thread (link at the bottom)
Once Upon a Time In Northern Ireland Best show of the year by some distance for me. Amazing to think that all of this took place about 100 Kms from where I now live
Beef Gen V
Diplomat Silo Last of Us Dark Winds
END OF THE LINE
Snowfall Succession Guilt
The Reckoning Boat Story Scrublands
Two Doors Down (Hard to see this continuing following the death of head writer, Simon Carlyle, Last series? Rain Dogs Colin from Accounts
The Glory Vortex
Mindhunter Barry Mr Inbetween
Bad Sisters Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared
HAVEN’T YET SEEN BUT WILL
Crowded Room Culprits » Continue Reading.
The kindle version of the brand-new and much-praised 2 Tone story by Daniel Rachel is going for 99p or 99 cents, depending on geography, on Amazon. Dive in. I have.
Aussie Pm Albanese is a music fan and did a bit of amateur DJing in his time. Here he is at the PMs desk rocking a Radio Birdman t- shirt. RB was a seminal Sydney punk band. Clinton played sax, Blair bass and Obama loved publicising his playlists. Gilberto Gil was a Govt minister.Peter Garrett of Midnight Oil was one. Youssou Ndour is one.if I go back Athol Guy of the Seekers was a State ( regional ) minister. Any others?
… apparently it happened.
Something is happening and you don’t know what it is, do you Kilgore Trout?
This probably has limited appeal here but I’ve set myself a challenge to post a Del Amitri song every day on my socials (Dave!) in the run up to Christmas along with a very brief synopsis of an imaginary Christmas advert it could accompany.
I’ve found 25 Del Amitri / Justin Currie songs that are perfect for a Del Amitri Advent. Songs full of that festive melancholy that suit Christmas TV ads. Christmas songs that aren’t Christmas songs but work as such.
Day 1. Don’t Come Home Too Soon. As a World Cup song for Scotland 98 it’s unique. Used in my imaginary TV ad as a young soldier leaves his family for his first tour of duty on Christmas eve it beomes something devastatingly poignant.
Spark Arena, Auckland NZ
I knew it wasn’t going to be a straightforward Kraftwerk gig when I discovered that each seat had a Kraftwerk whoopee cushion on it. The first song was an authoritative and squelchy Numbers. If you are unfamiliar with this, this piece involves numbers counted in different languages and in different voices over the phattest beat known to man – influencing god knows how many people in its wake. A tremendous opener that nearly silenced the fuckwit community.
As Numbers ended, Ralf Hutter silenced the other three and directed the spotlight onto someone in the audience. “Who farted? Was it you? (consults his laptop screen) …Andrea Smith in seat CC129?” The audience member, now on the big screen, squirms in an embarrassed way, hiding her face with the whopee cushion. Cheers ring around the arena.
Hutter, throws his head back and has a hearty laugh at her expense.
The shows moves through and the visuals, although frequently stunning, do seem very familiar. For example, Spacelab is accompanied by footage you would find cool at the Science Museum in 1983. I guess the retro-ness of this is part of the appeal. They are » Continue Reading.
Previously on Afterword Soundtracks ……
A couple of weeks back, it was European Film Day and I was curious to hear about your favourite soundtracks from European films.
There were many wonderful suggestions but it was very clear to me that we couldn’t leave it there. What about soundtracks from Hollywood, Bollywood and Studio Ghibli in Japan? What about films from Brazil, South Korea, Iceland, Brazil, the Faroe Islands, Cap Verde, Malta, Bhutan and Colombia? What about Albania? No soundtracks yet? I suspect @Gary will not be pleased.
And then there’s Australia and New Zealand. Mad Max, Picnic at Hanging Rock. (remember those pan pipes?) Romper Stomper. Flight of the Conchords! (not a movie but it ought to be!)
To get us started here are a few composers and songwriters who have contributed to film soundtracks. Some old favourites and some new names to me.
Ry Cooder, Joe Hisaishi , Hildur Guðnadóttir, Randy Newman, Gustavo Santaolalla, Nick Cave, A.R. Rahman, Johny Greenwood, Jordi Savall, Bobby Womack, Brian Eno, John Carpenter, Tom Waits, Nino Rota, Dimitri Tiomkin, Harry Gregson-Williams, Luiz Bonfa, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Isaac Hayes, Josef Van Wissem, Curtis Mayfield, Daft Punk, John Williams, Aimee Mann, » Continue Reading.
83. Ohhhh Thelma….
‘This utterly engrossing feast focuses on the ‘golden period’ of British jazz, when boundary-breaking and experimentation first broke through. Featuring large sleeve reproductions (both front and back), period reviews, historical overviews and vintage music press adverts, Labyrinth finally puts this music on the pedestal it rightly deserves’ – Jon Newey (editor, Jazzwise)
LIMITED EDITION BOOK NOW AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER!
BEAUTIFUL, EXCLUSIVE MICHAEL GARRICK COLD MOUNTAIN POSTER (REPRODUCING A LONG-LOST 1972 DESIGN) WITH THE FIRST 100 ORDERS!
Labyrinth is a massive hardback book, 375pp in length, printed on high-quality art paper, with an embossed cover and cloth quarter-binding, written by Richard Morton Jack (Galactic Ramble, Psychedelia, Nick Drake: The Life).
It celebrates over three hundred albums, offering detailed background info about each, alongside excerpts from original reviews and masses of high-quality images that reproduce their fabulous artwork and labels at near-full size. It also features a fascinating introduction by Tony Reeves (Mike Taylor Quartet, New Jazz Orchestra, Colosseum etc).
Covering abstract jazz, avant-garde jazz, serial jazz, free jazz, Indo-jazz, jazz-rock and more, it tells a story Britain should be proud of: open-minded and creative musicians pushing the boundaries of their art in the face of penury and indifference, and » Continue Reading.
EMF are back with “a call to arms with tolerance against the hate-myths of immigration. It features a very special guest performance by Stephen Fry.”
Odds of Christmas #1 are 50/1, which are the same as Sir Clifford of Richards, but much longer than Fairytale of New York.
Another one to add to yesterday’s toll of the deceased, I read that playwright and artist John Byrne has died at the age of 83.
He will be best remembered as the writer of Tutti Frutti and Your Cheatin’ Heart for television, but I also love his colourful artwork, You might know his 50′ tall Billy Connolly mural in Glasgow, or the album cover of the compilation Beatles Ballads. A decade or more ago I was thrilled to stumble on a sale exhibition of his more recent work in a gallery in Edinburgh and the life and joy of those paintings lives with me still.
What does it sound like?:
Peter Gabriel is an intelligent man who retains his curiosity about the world and how we all fit in it together. He remains passionate about nature and climate change, global inequalities, mortality, personal relationships and the redemption to be found in love. He enjoys cutting-edge technology, takes as much care of the visuals as the sound, is drawn to the tones and rhythms of non-Western music and is fascinated by psychotherapy and the possibility of a profound, emotional performance resulting in a kind of catharsis.
He began recording I/O more than twenty years ago, with the intention of following 2002’s Up by 2004. At one point, he had 150 songs on the go. He got waylaid by Womad projects, films, a covers album, string versions of old songs, soundtracks, tours and family illness. As he points out in one of the songs, time slipped in the mirror. To be fair, he only properly settled in a studio with a band in Autumn 2021 to work on 23 songs, then whittled down to twelve. You will have heard them all already. Each track has been released digitally on a full moon, and an alternative » Continue Reading.
What does it sound like?:
One of the great things about music is when you unexpectedly discover an album that completely takes you by surprise. 1988 is one of this records. It bushwhacked me. While I expected to like it, what I have found is that it goes well beyond liking. It has overwhelmed me and I love it madly.
It’s clearly an album that has passed most music magazines by, because it’s not in their top albums of the year, though I think it should be.
McKenna’s name is probably unknown to many readers here. I was aware of her for years because she is an artist who regularly popped up on Bob Harris’s radio programmes. She had never made too much of an impression on me. Back in 2016 she released an album titled The Bird And The Rifle. My wife was taken by something from it that Bob played and she bought the CD. Since then she’s got Lori’s albums as they have been released.
I then realised that maybe Bob had a point and she was worth listening to. I liked TBATR a lot as well as her last two albums; The Tree which came » Continue Reading.
Physical release label (and shop) Last Night From Glasgow have remastered the Trashcan Sinatras’ debut album, Cake. It only made number 74 when released by Go! Discs in 1990, and was then out of print for decades.
Midweek album charts have it at number 10, wedged between Elton John and Taylor Swift.
P.S. Q Magazine is back? Who knew?
70 – this one’s a shock. I found him to be one of the few honourable people in British public life in the last 20 years.
Was there a ‘Pete Best’ in ABBA? Indeed there was – well, actually, more of a ‘Jimmie Nicol’.* Inger Brundin is her name – she replaced Agnetha for a tour of Austria and Germany in 1973 and did a few TV shows with the gang. Here’s one, with a happy message.
* I’m sure you all know this, but just in case: Jimmie Nicol replaced Ringo for eight shows in a world tour in 1964 and too years to recover from the experience. I wonder what Inger did next? Maybe our friends in the frosty north, Locust and Fatz, will know…