After too much toasting and Budvar I drove home (over the limit I'm sure) to be admonished by upety emailing mates who'd kept buying me that afore mentioned beer... I know, I'm a feckless pillock and could have knocked a pram pushing granny into oblivion but... the shackles of friendship. Home, contrite and chastened I just kept going, Di's away for the weekend so I was in bad company; myself and a bottle of 18 year old Glenlivet. This King of Tipples always gives poise and dignity to my dishevelment. I played cool jazz (Ketil Bornstad's balmy 'Floating') and then scanned the channels in search of something intense with subtitles. Last night it was 'Beat' Takeshi's 'Yatoichi', the story of a blind swordsman/masseur (I kid you not). Not the usual Yakuza blood fest; this had laugh out loud humour and... tap dancing. I then found Sergio Leon's 'For a Few Dollars More' and marvelled at its unbridled brutality. Tarantino eat your heart out... This has one of the great villains in El Indio and some dastardly henchmen; particularly Klaus Kinski whose face Lee Van Cleef keeps striking matches on. Klaus dares him to do it again to which Lee deadpans "I generally don't smoke 'til after I've eaten; why don't you come back in five minutes." Classic. Speaking of which, I then tentatively made my way up to an empty bed and lost consciousness to Classic FM; I can only sleep with the radio on when Di's away; a throwback to college days.
Anyway; this ramble leads me to sunday morning. Up early, the coffee's on and I'm looking for something to play; something easy that won't hurt too much. Lacking the will to think too hard I reach for the bleeding obvious; Joni Mitchell's 'Blue' and know immediately that I've made the right choice.
Once I get over that initial irritating edit (who chopped the front off the first chord?) I'm immersed in Joni's "chords of inquiry." I pick up Michelle Mercer's 'Will You Take Me As I Am'; a dissection of Joni's 'Blue' period and I'm transported into the world of wonder and melancholy that this pioneer of songwriting has made home turf. The blackbirds outside are going bonkers; always come to life when Joni's on; maybe they recognise a kindred spirit in that flighty, unfettered voice...
But what to play next?
This gets me thinking about the perfect sunday morning album.
There's got to be gentle melancholy involved; no iPod shuffle allowed; this is a disc that must be played in sequence. Something not too challenging; the aural equivalent of sunday slippers; something that comfortably eases me into the day.
This'll be my sunday post for a while.
Why not listen with me? Then make one weekly recommendation yourself and I'll reciprocate...
So, this week's post 'Blue' album is...
Nick Drake's 'Five Leaves Left'.
I know that it's a bit obvious and will try to go more off piste with future choices, but on this particular morning I'm in need of a sure thing...
All of Drake's 3 albums are sublime; this is the one that resonates for me.
I'll post a track but try and hear the whole thing if you can; if you already own it you'll know that it's worth revisiting.
Calmed, my thoughts return to Ches and his (as yet unnamed) grandson.
It'll be christening presents next.
Bugger the teddy; he might not appreciate them for 16 years or so, but he's getting 'Five Leaves Left' and 'Blue'. I can't think of a better way to start his record collection; his sundays will be blessed.
Ah, 'River Man'; bliss.
Bacon butty, another coffee, even the babbling blackbirds are silenced and listening...