Thursday, 27 October 2011

Vulture: Adams; the First Man; Gabriel let down raises an eyebrow while Finn offers love

It's been a pretty barren week; no time for reading so I listened to the new Peter Gabriel album in my car as the engine exploded on the M40. After the high quality of last year's covers album 'Scratch My Back' Gabriel has used the same orchestral template to reinvent some of his best loved songs. Yet every time I hit 'play' I smell burning oil; maybe that's coloured my judgement but I just can't get into 'New Blood'; it's all a bit too sonorous and heavy.
I hope I'll learn to love it but at the moment I prefer the originals.
Ho hum...
I seemed to watch a lot of TV.
Too much I think.
I witnessed the French getting reffed out of the Ritchie McCaw show which was a borderline disgrace, swiftly followed by Man Utd's embarrassing defeat to City (1-6) then the now controversial QPR v Chelsea game.
He's a great defender but I always thought Terry was an unsavoury character.
Not my choice for national icon/captain.
It was all getting a bit ugly; but then I switched to Sky movies...
I re-watched 'Let the Right One In' and then the American remake 'Let Me In' which was surprisingly true to that brilliant original. Both are quite chilling with stone cold captivating performances by the two young leads; don't be put off by the vampire tag; this is fine film making.
On Later with Jools I was smitten by Lianne La Havas.
Have a look at this; a star is born methinks...

The best TV moment of the week by a mile was the Songwriter's Circle series on BBC4.
This one featured Neil Finn (his usual reliable quality) Janis Ian (a surprisingly good guitarist) and one of my favourite writers, Ryan Adams.
I was a big fan of his band Whiskytown and then his excellent solo debut 'Heartbreaker' from which the last two of these three featured songs are taken (although his best album I think might be the double; 'Love is Hell'.
His new album 'Ashes & Fire' sounds great but I'm still looking for the songs.
This one 'Dirty Rain' is pretty good.

You don't need to squint to see the quality of these other two though; both spellbinding performances as you can tell by the look on Mr Finn's face.
We have 'Come Pick Me Up' from Heartbreaker:

'Oh My Sweet Caroline' also from Heartbreaker (so buy Heartbreaker!)

You'll be able to pick up the You Tube links for the rest of the show which is brilliant.
Janis Ian is all nervous ticks and tension, but plays and sings beautifully, while Neil does that Finn thing with consummate grace and skill. It reminded me what a beautiful song 'Distant Sun' is.
On that record does anyone else get shivers when he sings "still so young to travel so far" and "I don't pretend to know what you want, but I offer love..."?

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