On Audible for today only £1.49 Rock Stars Stole My Life!: A Big Bad Love Affair with Music by Mark Ellen
So Jim O’Rourke has slipped a brand new album in under the radar. It’s called ‘Simple Songs’ and I haven’t heard it yet but the blurb sounds promising.
If you don’t know Jimbo he’s an interesting chap – came out of the intriguing Chicago post rock scene along with people like The Sea and the Cake and Tortoise. I discovered this music genre about 15 years ago and as a lover of the Canterbury sound (see my previous blog) I think there is a bit of that DNA in there (although Im probably on my own with that theory) – but there’s something about the gentle vocals, obvious jazz stylings and occasionally songs with varied and complex sections but with melody to the fore.
Back to Jim – he is, to use that currently in vogue expression, a true polymath. He’s made acres of stuff that is pretty much unlistenable noodly avant-garde soundscapes; he’s made solo acoustic guitar instrumental records a la John Fahey and he was, for a fair number of years, a member of Sonic Youth. But he has also made a number of wonderful eclectic pop records which generally have titles taken from Nicholas Roeg movies » Continue Reading.
Recommendations for an iPod speaker dock. Friend has a Logic3 iPod soundbar thing that I really like the sound of. Don’t make them anymore. 2nd hand I’ve found one for 50 notes. It’s a 30w thing, just about right in a house with small kids.
Any recommendations for something good, around 100 quid, 30w or higher powerwise.
Ok, so he’s not quite at Borrell’s level yet, but it’s looking promising. Ladies and gentleman, Justin Young.
it makes me incredibly frustrated when people can’t see how honest I am and how good I am at writing songs
Sometimes I think I’m too clever to say anything interesting
Razorlight nearly won the crappest band poll we ran a few months ago, they are one of the most derided bands on the site, their cowboy period was a source of enormous fun, usually Andy Burrows is usually cited as the only good thing to come out of thier existence and Johnny Borrell is undoubtedly a difficult character to warm to… But and its a big but he cannot be all bad when he has come up with something as beautiful as this. I thank my iPod for this little musical surprise. Please allow yourself 3 minutes for this to wash over you, if it helps close your eyes and imagine your favourite artiste performing it Razorlight ” The House”
And as I run, a song runs through my head. Over and over.
I’m running down to the fields. We said we’d meet in the fields. Near the stream. We’ve been told not to go in the woods.
We scare each other with stories about Archie. He lives in the woods, they say. He killed someone, some people say.
“He’s harmless. But stay away from him” shouts my mum as I run out. “And, anyway, don’t go in the woods”.
Run into the sunshine. To the fields. To the stream. To the woods
I am not sure who’s coming. Tim’s coming. He makes me laugh so that’s good. Paul’s going to be there. And his sister, Caroline.
Why am I excited to be seeing her? Girls are silly. She cried when Paul scared her with his Archie story. I told him off. He told me off for telling him off. He had a point I suppose. She is his sister, after all. What’s it got to do with me?
I keep singing this song. We all like it. We sing along every time it comes on the radio.
We sing it in the fields. We » Continue Reading.
During his time, Football has become truly embedded as *the* global game. With an audience of billions and the active participation of tens of millions.
The same sponsors who now mimsy around like delicate ladies at a tea dance flooded money into the game because of its global reach and the ability to capitalise on its associated virtues of individual endeavour and team spirit.
The idea that Coca Cola and McDonalds and Visa should now wield some kind of moral arbitrage in the matter is vaguely nauseating.
The upside of the money that did flood in was the development of the game in some of the most deprived and underprivileged parts of the world. Blatter himself overseeing the creation of pitches and facilities in far flung parts of Asia and Africa.
The principle that a country like Russia or a region like the Middle East should not be entitled to host a World Cup is ludicrous. Football has been a force for good in many parts of the world and has played a part in social change. It should be allowed to continue this work.
And by the way, why shouldn’t Monserrat have the same voting power as, say, » Continue Reading.
I’m sure a lot of us remember Kate Mossman’s Word article about her teenage obsession with Queen. She has used this as the basis for a documentary on obsessive fandom, to be shown on BBC4 at 9pm tonight. More details here http://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2015/may/29/when-pop-ruled-my-life-preview
If you have an old Kindle you’d let go for an advantageous price*, could you let me know? My push-button model is starting to feel its age. Don’t want nor need anything flash, the more basic the better, as long as it still has a pulse. Thanking you rather presumptuously in advance …
(*Advantageous for me, that is. Punitive for you.)
I became an American yesterday. Properly took the oath and everything. (The reasons why is a long list that can essentially be distilled into ‘the love of a good woman’)
It was more emotional than I had anticipated, fueled by my only 4 hours sleep the night before. I knew in my heart that I could never give up where I come from, despite the words in the oath. But I was surprised at how committed I was to the idea of America and being an American.
The immigration folks seemed almost envious of the fact that people were actively choosing to do something they had been born into, and that was very affecting. My normally very rational girlfriend commented on how sentimental she is about the idea(l) of America.
I’m still not sure how I feel. I know I’ll be getting a tattoo of the Scottish flag; I may well get one of the U.S. flag too just to make it clear where I stand. But the whole thing really made me think about country and patriotism and why we can feel the way we do about where we come from.
I think I’ll reconcile to the » Continue Reading.
My question to Da Massive is this: what are the most successful Shakespeare adaptations, be they film or television?
For myself I have a soft spot for Branagh’s Much Ado About Nothing, Welles’s Macbeth and the recent BBC Hollow Crown series (Richard II, Hernry IV & V).
But what about Chimes at Midnight? Olivier’s Henry V or Branagh’s? McKellen’s WW1 version of Richard III?
I don’t know if this this has been mentioned on here, but this is sad news. Always been fascinated by ‘Death Discs’ and her’s was one of the best. And she was married to The Milk Tray Man!
An unusual flurry of activity in the Night’s Out section, including a post from me, reminds us that the warmer weather often brings more gigs, both indoor and outdoor, so who have you got lined up?
It’s looking like a folkie year for us, with Fairport, the one day Folk by the Oak festival and Carthy and Swarbrick in the next few months. To that list you can add David Sedaris, Carmen at the ENO, and, way off in December, a second Unthanks gig to follow up their Folk by the Oak appearance (Come on – it’s The Unthanks, Union Chapel, and Christmas – you have to make an effort to see that combination, don’t you?)
Sadly Richard Thompson has elected to play his London trio gig on the weekend that the Light and I are likely to be taking her daughter to the other end of England to start university, otherwise he’d be at the top of my list.
And you … ?
Off to see these guys tomorrow. If thrashing balalaikas, accordion, fiddle and stentorian vocals are your thing, with bottom heavy bass and drum underpinning, join me at the Rainbow in Brum. Should be a storm
This is lovely though
Here’s one that’s the bastard offspring of the Greatest Weakness thread. (My greatest weakness seems to be constantly starting new threads.)
In said thread we were talking about the stories that we tell or others tell about us as a way of consolidating our identity. @rubyblue commented very interestingly that we all aspire to a “stable personal narrative”. And to achieve that we tell stories to influence how others see us, and also how we see them.
Groups both large and small, also do this to strengthen the bond between the group members.
Families are doing this all the time, retelling dramatic or amusing anecdotes.
“Kids, do you remember the time that Mummy came home early and caught your granddad in bed with the Lithuanian babysitter? What a hoot!”
Groups of friends do it. DuCool and I and our mutual pals are constantly referring back to all the wild and crazy things that have happened at all the ambient-ethno-jazz-fusion gigs we’ve been to.
“Gregory Isaacs was due to come on at 9.00 pm. The venue was packed and the bar had no licence to sell alcohol. The Cool Ruler supposedly arrived at 5.00 am from Oslo » Continue Reading.
I have the enormous good fortune of having a neighbour who is a real jazz enthusiast who I tend to meet on the morning and afternoon school runs. It rally brightens up my day to have a brief chat about music with someone who really knows his stuff. Not only do I get the latest news about upcoming gigs, he also always has interesting suggestions of stuff to listen to.
This morning’s tip was saxophonist Kamasi Washington who is on the Flying Lotus label. If you like big epic jazz with some passionate playing and a BIG band you should give Mr Washington a try.
Groovy, jazzy Kärrtorp! It’s the Brooklyn of Stockholm, daddy-oh!
from Amazon. Couple of live tracks and remixes to interest existing fans.
Those daring young men at the BBC are planning some lovely Poverty Porn for us.
They will find “Britain’s Hardest Grafter” in a Hunger Games style show that pits low paid workers against each other, specifically targeting young graduates who haven’t found a job yet.
On BBC2 no less.
I want my licence fee back. This is not how things should be.
The Afterword-friendly band’s new album is streaming on NPR. Derivative? You bet. Locked in the seventies? Check. Fabulous? Spot on.
I recommended this book (great for film buffs) to someone and went online to get the web address to email to them. The band at the top of the screen tells me I bought it three years ago to the day. Spooky.
As if the imminent collapse of FIFA wasn’t enough, I have just managed to resolve an incredibly thorny and long-standing work issue which no one gave me any hope of succeeding with.
It has involved dozens of delicate phone calls, a lot of salesmanship and a good deal of careful diplomacy, but finally – finally – I have reached the promised land. This matter shall darken my desk NO MORE.
Below is some footage of me in the office this afternoon, celebrating the win.
Apologies for the bragpost, but I needed to share this joyful event with someone, and I’m playing it cool in front of my colleagues.
Anyone else got any mundane triumphs to share?
Hot on the heels of a contestant identifying a picture of Jimi Hendrix as Lenny Hendrix , comes this flipping gem that even the unflappable Richard Osman cannot help but openly laugh at
Gook splat. Gook gunk. Ankle deep. Blood seeping through his shoes. Try it on she said. Try it on she laughed. That gook kid. Gook dead. Blood seeping. Ankle deep.
American Tabloid is great. The Black Dahlia is very good. But all his novels are pretty much the same aren’t they? Stacccato. Sentences. Tight. Claustrophobic. No fluidity. Little grace.
Characters like his sentences don’t really evolve. Don’t grow. Have shade or nuance or subtlety. The men are all venal and corrupt and weak in ways various. All the women are tarts with hearts. Or good girls gone bad. They like their men tough and their sex rough. Then they die. At the hands of weak, venal, corrupt men. The cast of thousands becomes impossible to follow. Especially as they are all so similarly drawn. The hundreds of pages difficult to read. As it’s not writing. It’s typing. Page after page. Same shit. Over and over. I bought Perfidia, started to read it. Gave up. Page 162. I’m gonna try again. Some time. I know I will.
So is Ellroy any good? I sort of want to think he is. But is it boy music? Do we like Ellroy, the » Continue Reading.
FIFA corrupt? Who knew? Anybody else disappointed when it turned out that Sepp hadn’t been arrested, still hopefully there’s still time!