Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Albums For Life: 104: Peter Bradley Adams: Leavetaking

This is probably the most unremarkable album that will appear on my list; there is nothing great about it other than the fact that it may well be the perfect duvet album; the audio equivalent to crumpets with unsalted butter, eaten with a steaming mug of Heinz Tomato soup.
Sometimes you know just what you need; something unchallenging; a salve to help ease the furrowed brow.
I first heard of Bradley Adams through his previous band Eastmountainsouth, whose self titled debut must be the perfect Sunday Morning Blue album
Leavetaking is more of the same but, with just one voice, it's a more focussed, downbeat affair; a winsome but winning combination.
Soothing, subtle and very... nice; perfect cardigan music.
So that's 'perfect' used 4 times so far... nothing too spectacular; just finely formed; illustrated here by  'So Are You To Me' (which also features on 'Eastmountainsouth') and the charming 'Song For Viola' which sounds like the... perfect soundtrack for long lingering shots of a dancing Tesco's plastic bag.

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Albums For Life: 105: XTC: Nonsuch

Seems a lowly spot for this to appear but I must warn you that anything between here and my top 30 could really feature anywhere on the list.
I've followed XTC since they started out in the late 70s; saw them gigging their debut with 'Statue of Liberty' and other spiky songs of frustration. Their post punk thrash was always infused with devilish humour; underpinned with an obvious lyrical intelligence, not to mention an ear for a great melody.
Who'd have thought that once Andy Partridge had retreated from live performance and got the perfect pop of 'Black Sea' out of his system that he'd would go on to produce such pastoral classics as 'Mummer'Skylarking', 'English Settlement' and 'Nonsuch'.
Word had it that he was going slowly bonkers in rural parts; although anyone who had the gumption to outwit the acidic Todd Rundgren, throwing him off the 'Skylarking' sessions, must have retained some of his city smarts. Andy seems to be holding it together on this 1999 interview from Bay TV, where a resplendent Partridge does his best to make the color brown look cool...

And on to 'Nonsuch'; this box of delights starts thumpingly with 'Peter Pumpkinhead' and works its way inexorably towards the set's highlight; the baroquely beautiful 'Wrapped in Grey'.
People always talk about XTC's Englishness as though it were an inbred weakness. I say God bless the eccentric Englishman that is Partridge.
Long may he potter away in his Swindon garden shed, come studio; conjuring heavenly words and music.

"How coloured the flowers all smelled 
As they huddled there in petalled prayer"

Word has it that he gets depressed; head dropping at his unfathomable anonymity. I doubt that Andy has the bulbs to ask for patronage, so let's hope that the afore mentioned Arts Council (see yesterday) sees fit to help keep this unsung songwriting genius's head up, smelling the daffodils and dahlias.

Monday, 29 October 2012

How Lloyd Keeps Himself Off the Old King Cole...

Here's an interesting venture.
Everyone knows that there's not a lot of money around the music business these days; if you want the swimming pool it's gigs and t-shirts rather than CD sales.
Surprisingly The Arts Council have never courted me; I've had to pay for every album I've ever been involved in; recording and manufacture; a hole happily self inflicted, but a hole nonetheless that I'll surely never dig myself out of. And nonetheless (is it really just one word?) with new recordings in my sights I've started looking for small change down the back of the sofa again; so far revealing a 5 franc note, a blue button, some Bombay Mix and a piece of gum (Airwaves); so that's the rhythm section sorted...
When it comes to self-funding Lloyd Cole has come up with an enterprising idea; he's advertising for pre-orders of an album that's still in his head. 
Pay before November 20th and you'll get the album in the early summer of 2013.
It's a limited deluxe edition of 600, each copy going for $100.
Steep, but he'll throw in the p&p for free.
That'll give him a recording budget of $60,000.
We can expect strings and maybe a gong then...
I know that, historically artists have benefited from lofty patronage but... is it me or is it all a bit whiffy?
I'm not sure if it's sharp thinking or sharp practice.
Any thoughts?
My thoughts are that I'm thinking of doing something similar.
For just £100 each, 600 of you would receive a deluxe package including a cassette of my pre-demo 'ladeedaings' lifted straight from the 'QuickVoice' Ap on my iPhone.
The album would also naturally be named after you (guaranteeing you a 'longest album title' entry in the 'Guinness Book of Records').
It'll be something like 'A Cappella Jones Hums Hearty in his New Car (Vol 1) for his special mates:' followed by a load of blokes' names.
You would also get a stylish, ironically 'lo-fi' brown paper CD cover, lovingly designed (free of charge) by Bazza and hand folded by either myself, Di or Bazza. The hand titled audio CD itself would arrive once the cheques have cleared, the title is confirmed and I've had time to see what kind of motor I can get for £60K. There's not a lot about in that price range with decent acoustics...

Meanwhile, if you're interested in being one of Lloyd's 600 'Executive Producers' go to:
Here's what the young entrepreneur has to say for himself:

"My last album Broken Record was partially financed by fans who pre-ordered the deluxe limited edition, and the regular album.

I am trying it again.
This time it will be much simpler - only the deluxe limited edition version will be available for pre-order. And it should be clear to those of you who choose to pre-order it that you are basically executive producing the album, and I thank you in advance.
This pre-order will be available from today until November 22. I need to know what my budget is before we begin recording. 600 will be for sale. After November 22 we will not accept pre-orders.
The design of the deluxe edition has only just begun in very abstract terms, but the concept is simple. It will be small and beautiful. It will not be a box. It will contain 2 CDs. One will be the album, the other a bonus CD of outtakes which will not be available any other way. Each copy will be individually numbered and will come with a matching card addressed to you personally, with thanks from me, signed by me.
The CD sleeve will not be signed. It will be shrink wrapped and untouched. We will pack the cards and CDs here in Massachusetts and all orders will be shipped from here. Shipping to anywhere is included in the price. Please let us know who you would like the card addressed to.
The album - it will be all new material. It will be at least 80% written by me. Maybe 100%
Recording begins in Los Angeles the week after thanksgiving. Fred Maher, Matthew Sweet and I will record basic tracks. We will work Blonde on Blonde style. I will not be making demos. I will arrive with complete songs that I can play on guitar and we will go from there. I'm excited.
I will complete the album in Massachusetts and New York.
I expect the album to be for sale in late Spring / early Summer 2013. The Deluxe edition will ship two weeks before the album is officially released."

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Sunday Morning Blue: A Song for Katy: I've Got a Plan: My Friend the Chocolate Cake: Finn Brothers: Won't Give In

Katy, my younger sister, has been dreaming of emigrating to Australia for years. She'd been struggling to get a 'shoe in' from a distance so took the brave step of selling up and going down under to try and get herself set up in situ
She had a visitor's visa and had a year to find herself a sponsor. Well, with days to spare she's succeeded. I won't go into details; private obviously;  I know that my parents have been concerned about her (as indeed we all have); she's been sticking her chin out on her lonesome and, although it seems that she has found some great friends in Oz, I'm sure there have been some lonely moments for her.
Those Aussie mates gave her a celebratory party last night, complete with a poem (see below), a crown and a flag. 
Here she is shaking her maracas.
So, I want to dedicate this Sunday Morning Blue to Katy Jones, now an official resident of Melbourne, Australia.
The first ditty is from The Finn Brothers, the self explanatory 'Won't Give In'. It's also for her mates down under; seems that (almost) everyone she loves is there.
The second song is from a fellow Melbournian, David Bridie. 
Seems that, just like Katy, he too had a plan.
Well done Katy. 
Go sister, go...

She started out with a mission
To call Australia Home
It was her true ambition
To stay put and no further roam

Faced with challenges a plenty
She faced them one by one
And slayed them all but gently
Until there was just one

There were men who offered their house to stay
And some that offered their hand
But she shook 'em off and said
'I'll do this on my own terms thanks!'
And fled to South Morang!

And with the help of friends and strangers
(Zorro too apparently)
All her hard work finally paid off
And shouted 'Victory!'

For her bravery she deserves a medal
And having now completed her task ...
It's time to get out your maracas Katy

And have yourself a blast!'

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Albums for Life: 106: John Hiatt: Bring the Family

In the early 1990s Miracle Mile played a session for Bob Harris at the BBC's Maida Vale studios. It was our 2nd visit there; first time we were produced by a familiar looking gent in a flea bag of a sheepskin coat who turned out to be Dale 'Buffin' Griffin, the ex drummer from Mott the Hoople. He was a nice guy who did an ok job for us. (Sad to report that he's now struggling with Alzeimers.)  For our 2nd visit we had a nameless, faceless producer; I'm having trouble remembering anything about the session other than the fact that this guy welcomed us by telling us that he didn't really like bands and that he much preferred working with individual singer-songwriters; he told us that his favourite recent session was with an American legend and proceeded to play us some lovely roughs by John Hiatt and then a few album tracks. This was new to me; I loved the voice and sought out the particular album that this producer raved about. I was initially confused as I was searching from an album that was issued with two covers. The one I was was shown at the BBC was the cover eventually rejected; of a family of ventriloquist's dummies which for me is a stronger image than the stock head shot that was eventually to become the album's cover.

Anyway, I ramble and digress, once I found 'Bring the Family' it has been close to me ever since; a cracking set of songs perfectly produced and beautifully underplayed by a simple line up of Ry Cooder (guitar) Jim Keltner (drums) and Nick Lowe on bass. The grooves are fantastic; witness the infectious 'Memphis in the Meantime' for example. But it was the slow tunes that caught my ear; this was the sound of a drunkard drying out and reveling in his regained consciousness; reinvigorated and thankful; recognizing the mire that he was stepping out of. There's a damaged beauty in those bitter sweet recognitions that gives the ballads an authentic integrity. Here are performances of 'Have a Little Faith in Me' followed by 'Lipstick Sunset' which, on the album, has one of the great slide solos.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Happy Birthday Di

It's Di's birthday today.
Why not go to her blog at
and wish her a happy day.
We've just been out for a pub lunch and a walk by the river and a swing in a swing and, as you can see, Di still swings like a young 'un.
Me? I could get in but had trouble getting out...
On the walk we found a boat that we thought we could do up and live the intrepid bohemian river life in.
It's got promise, no?
Now, onto the evening which promises curry and brandy and a cozy listen to the remaster of Peter Gabriel's 'So'; a present that she doesn't know she has yet (until she reads this). And I believe there's some footy on the TV later; it's either that or 'Three Colours Blue'. The birthday girl will probably get her way and we'll have to suffer the piggin' Champions League again.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Albums For Life: 107: Kate and Anna McGarrigle

"Never had the blues from whence I came
But in New York State I caught them"

On the back of my recent 'Lovesong' from Martha Wainwright, I dug out my copy of 'Kate and Anna McGarrigle', the Canadian sisters' eponymous debut from 1975.
It sounds terrible; reedy and thin.
The riches within are worth enduring the audio for, but it's the production and mastering that stops this from featuring in my (more considered) Top 30.
I'd waffled on in my last 'Albums for Life' choice about Elton John's faux Americana. This album seemed to be the real deal; about as authentic as you could get; although by rights I guess I should call it 'Canadiana'. The self penned songs sounded like long lost Stephen Foster compositions; there was something timeless in the strained delivery and close harmonies that made me think that I was tuning in to a couple of sirens who were wailing ancient prairie truths at me.
The album sold on the back of 'Heart Like a Wheel' which Linda Ronstadt had a huge hit with, but it was another song that got me; it was the first time I can remember being poleaxed by a lyric; yup, 'Talk to Me of Mendocino' reduced me to a wobbly mess. And it's always the unlikely lines; here it was the archaic 'never had the blues from whence I came..."
It's surely one of the most heartfelt paeans ever written about homesickness:

I bid farewell to the state of old New York
My home away from home
In the state of New York I came of age
When first I started roaming
And the trees grow high in New York state
And they shine like gold in Autumn
Never had the blues from whence I came
But in New York state I caught them

Talk to me of Mendocino
Closing my eyes I hear the sea
Must I wait, must I follow?
Won't you say "Come with me?"

And it's on to Southbend, Indiana
Flat out on the western plain
Rise up over the Rockies and down on into California
Out to where but the rocks remain
And let the sun set on the ocean
I will watch it from the shore
Let the sun rise over the redwoods
I'll rise with it till I rise no more 

Talk to me of Mendocino
Closing my eyes, I hear the sea
Must I wait, must I follow?
Won't you say "Come with me?"

I found this lovely version of the song from a recent 3 disc collection 'Tell My Sister', which I've just ordered from Amazon. Happily the first two CDs are much improved versions of the debut and its fine follow up 'Dancer With Bruised Knees', lovingly remastered by the great Joe Boyd, plus a 3rd disc of previously unreleased material.
I have followed that alternate take with film of the sisters in performance, taken from the first series of the excellent 'Transatlantic Sessions'.
Same song.
It's worth listening to twice.

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Lovesong: Martha Wainwright: Proserpina

"Come home to mother, come home to mama now."

In 2009 Kate McGarrigle was aware that she was dying.
She had the strength for one last show at the Royal Albert Hall in London for a benefit concert. With her children Rufus and (a heavily pregnant) Martha she sang a song.
That song was 'Proserpina'.
It was the last song she'd ever write or perform.
Kate died two months later.

"We all knew it would be her last concert," Martha has said. "My mother wrote that song with one foot in the world she was heading to, and with the full knowledge of where she was going."

Martha has now recorded the song for her new album, 'Come Home to Mama'.

"I recorded it at a time when I thought, in some way, if I could just sing like her, and if I closed my eyes and I conjured it up enough, that maybe when I opened them she would be back in the room. 
It was one of those stages of disbelief at the beginning, when someone has died. I sang it like she sang it, because who would want to change that?"

Here's the video of Martha's version (both the song and the video were done in one take).
I've followed it with the original performance at the Albert Hall.

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Albums for Life: 108: Elton John: Madman Across the Water

I'm doing this count down in synch with David Ashley over on Cathedrals of Sound. Unusually for me, I seem to be getting a bit ahead of the game...

Whenever I hear this album I can smell rotting apples...
Let me explain: Long before the tiaras and tantrums, before he was knighted and became a right royal twat (it's official) Reg could write a tune. On Madman he harnessed Bernie Taupin's sepia tinted lyricism and somehow managed to convince us all that he was rooted in 19th Century Americana. Paul Buckmaster's grandiose strings and the thump and lump of a now regular rhythm section of Dee Murray and Nigel Olson (augmented by new member, guitarist Davey Johnson) provided a focussed yet widescreen sound that suggested something important was happening; maybe even a concept...  And there were guest appearances from stellar players including Rick Wakeman (who knew a thing or two about concepts), Chris Spedding, Herbie Flowers and Terry Cox, plus Robert Kirby (best known for his string arrangements for Nick Drake) directing the Cantores in Ecclesia Choir for some brilliantly misplaced pomp on 'All the Nasties'. 
Elton might have made better albums ('Goodbye Yellow Brick Road' and 'Captain Fantastic' are, for me, his artistic peak) but it was Madman that captivated me; there was an intense, ripe undercurrent of darkness within that never really bore fruit; but what was unrealised was still tantalising enough for this, once spotty, herbert to buy into. The whole thing had an audio panorama that had me sold. I defended its ambition defiantly with my boarding school buddies in the 6th form lounge; they saw it as pretentious tosh. They were right of course, but even now, when I hear Elton warbling about tepeeswarlords and red suns, on the over reaching but well intended babble of 'Indian Sunset', 
I still get the whiff of rotten apples that haunted my freshly stocked wooden tuck box, and remember the excitement of not quite knowing what lay within... 

Friday, 19 October 2012

Albums for Life: 109: Calexico: Feast of Wire

Feast of Wire is a pretty faultless set; it has the sultry feel of the soundtrack to some modern western drama that the Coen Brothers are yet to make from a Sam Shepard novella.
The creative crux of the band, John Convertina and Joey Burns seem to be a productive couple; there's a lot of Calexico to listen to, alongside their off piste productions for the likes of Iron and Wine and, recently, on Amos Lee's fine 'Mission Bell' album.

Let's start with 'Sunken Waltz', first track on the album...
I posted 'Black Heart' from this set on Monday; a fabulous piece of musical noir. I've featured another version here, recorded live with a full orchestra in Vienna.
The intriguing 'Not Even Stevie Nicks', is followed by the excellent Mariachi of 'Close Behind' , then finally, the otherworldly beauty of 'Woven Birds'. 
They call it 'desert rock' and it's easy to hear why... 
Stick me on the M40 with this and I could believe that I was driving the dusty roads of some Southern State, with a bottle of mescal between my knees, heading towards some dodgy liaison, just south of the border, down Mexico way....

Albums for Life: 110: Maria McKee: Life is Sweet

There's an excellent series over on the fine Cathedrals of Sound blog where blogmeister Davis Ashley is counting down through his favourite 150 albums.
Invariably short on original thought I've decided to do likewise here; trying to choose albums that have inspired and moved me. It'll be a journey and a reminder for me; a search for music that resonates with my enthusiasms and nostalgic baggage but that still features in my everyday life. So; there'll be a few quirks and offcuts then; rather than focussing on the obvious classics that are often cited but probably seldom listened to whilst stuffing a goose, sharpening the bread knife, dusting the moose head, cleaning the pool or disciplining the kitchen staff... ('OK Computer' anyone?)
David's rules are simple and I'll abide by them; only one album per artist, no compilations.
I'm not going to review the albums in depth, just give a little insight into why they initially floated my boat and still do so.
Di is threatening to do the same thing but seems to be looking over my shoulder, nicking my notes. She's been banished to the headphones in her search for something of her own and is currently wailing along solo voce to David Gray's 'White Ladder', gushing about his 'twitchy drummy beaty thing'; it's going to be a long 110 days... I'm not sure if she'll jump in at 100 as a footnote here or over on her own site:

Kicking things off; in at 110 I've gone for Maria McKee's 'Life is Sweet'.
I saw her live with Lone Justice and was smitten. When she went solo I was indifferent to the MOR ballads, but there was something... unhinged... behind those beautiful eyes that compelled me to follow her progress. Butter wouldn't melt but I'm not sure that it was butter in her mouth...
This girl had energy to spare and was patently bonkers but channeled her... erm... spunk perfectly on the album. Sure, there were the ballads that exposed her beautifully but there was drama akimbo too. Did she want to be a female Bowie/Ziggy?
I remember reading that McKee's zestful live dynamic had inspired Deacon Blue's 'Real Gone Kid'. And 'bonkers' is perfectly summed up by this live rendition of an album highlight; the brilliantly titled 'Absolutely Barking Stars'.
I've followed it with a performance of the title track.
There's that look in her eye again...
I'd love to have her a round for tea but I'll definitely be hiding the bread knife...

Monday, 15 October 2012

Lovesong: Giant Sand/Calexico/Iron and Wine

My recent jaunt at Aarhus had me reaching for my old Giant Sand albums.
Di was so taken with them that she brought their latest 'Tucson' which is a sprawling work of wonder from which I have posted 'Out of the Blue'.
2000's 'Chore of Enchantment' always struck me as a complete album, warm, witty and... erm whimsical; it also contains my favourite Howe Gelb song 'Shiver'.
The muscular drumming on that album of John Convertina also had me hunting out my Calexico albums, choice cut is the scary 'Black Heart' from 'Feast of Wire', which is set here to fairly raunchy visuals from Martin Scorcese.
This then led me to Iron and Wire's collaboration with Calexico, 'In the Reins', where the Burns/Cavertino production adds some muscle to Sam Beam's winsome doodles.
It all makes me want to eat chilli and drink tequila and it's only 9.49 in the morning...

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Sunday Morning Blue: Neil Diamond: I Am I Said/Dusty Springfield: Son of the Preacher Man

I know, I know, "no-one heard at all, not even the chair" is invariable cited, just behind Sting's line about Nabokov, as worst profound lyric ever, but then Diamond resolves everything with "leaving me lonely still" and all is forgiven.
Pronted by Toronto Tim's recent raving about the 'Moods' album I invested in 'Gold', 41 of Diamond's finest (infested with the inevitable live tracks that often pad out these collections).
There is another one in the series on Dusty Springfield (best name ever) which is a fine thing also.
I think that Diamond would regard himself more as a broody, intense writer rather than the exuberant singer that Springfield was, but both remind that, although it's the power of the voice that is paramount, it's the little imperfections (or quirky lines) that catch the ear.
Their back catalogues are blighted by bad choices and moments of lamentable MOR, but when all of the nonsense is filtered out (one man's classic is another man's clunker I know) what is left is pure, controlled, sublime performance.

Bernard Rudden: The World is Illusion

Yesterday Di and I went to Hampstead.
We had our first date there 26 years ago and took a little trip down memory lane; essentially shopping with empty pockets (just as well as I was nearly talked into buying an anti-aging grapefruit serum @£69) and then on to lunch at the Holly Bush pub, which hasn't changed a bit in a quarter of a century; probably the same beer mats; seemingly the same pastry on the beef and mushroom pie.
Our real reason for the journey was to see the opening of an exhibition, 'The World is Illusion' by the brilliant photographer and film maker Bernard Rudden.
I first heard of Bernard through his connection with the Blue Nile. In 1990 he made the documentary 'Flags and Fences' which followed the band on their American tour.
More recently Bernard has made videos for selected tracks from Buchanan's 'Mid Air' album.
The current exhibition 'The World is Illusion' is best described by Bernard himself:

"One day I took a picture of a moon like shape on the wall. It was broken and crumbling and revealed another wall behind it. To me it seemed that this was the Earth or the Moon I saw and behind it was brick and behind the bricks something else; yet another layer; another layer of reality. I believe that images are born in sensation... When I look into the viewfinder of the camera I realize that this frame I see is interdependent with so many other factors. The image is made up of so many things we don't normally see. For me, when the photograph is taken it 'dies' to reappear in an entirely different moment and place. When I look at these again, I am the viewer, I see objects made of light, secret messages can be deciphered anew, and trees cast themselves on walls; nature's shadow sage for a giant theatre show. It is important to be 'really in it' because it will never be the same again. This thought fills me with a real sense of wonder; something magical happens..."

If you're in North London why not pop in to the Zebra Gallery on Perrins Court, to witness Bernard's beautiful images in the raw; something magical for sure.
The exhibition runs until November 15th.
Meanwhile, I have included a three of Rudden's evocative 'Mid Air' videos below.

Saturday, 13 October 2012


Anything Blue Nile-ish seems to get a little attention around here it seems...

Nashville based Alt-country/folk/roots solo singer/songwriters (Matthew Ryan & Neilson Hubbard) teamed up for this 2005 one-off musical detour which they admit was  inspired by their mutual love of... Blue Nile? 
It appears an odd proposition, but somehow it all works. Dark, sensual, laid-back, and a little gritty; it all ends up sounding vaguely like a dirtied-up Blue Nile. Both solo artists are worth checking out, but their combined talents mesh beautifully here. 
This CD requires some patience but the hooks dig deep. 
A solid late-night listen...
Note: US release features accompanying videos on DVD and an enthusiastic version of Blue Nile's "Stay" as a bonus track.

Warning: First video is a bit creepy...

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Lovesong: Swell Season: Low Rising/Love Don't Keep Me Waiting

Glen Hansard is a much under rated singer and writer.
He came to my attention as the singer with Irish band The Frames, purveyors of fine moments but wildly inconsistent albums.
You might recognize him and musical partner Marketa from the low budget movie 'Once' from a few years back. The soundtrack of the album is a fine thing; it was all very angsty in a Damien Rice kid of way. The twosome perform as The Swell Season. 
I love their 'Strict Joy' album from which 'Low Rising' is taken.
'Love Don't Keep Me Waiting' is from Hansard's recent solo album 'Rhythm and Repose'.
Nowt wrong with a bit of angst but these two videos show him a little more chipper; sprightly even.


Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Lovesong: Beth Orton: Something More Beautiful

Beth Orton always had a fractured voice; her habit of putting an 'h' in front of every vowel always had me yelling 'nooo stop' at the speakers in the same way that my dad Terry still yells at the screen when the newsreader mispronounces 'advertisement' or says 'You and I' instead of 'You and me'...
On her new album 'Sugaring Season' she seems to revel in her voice's fragility and... it's lovely; something more beautiful indeed. The pastoral strings on this are perfectly imperfect too...

Monday, 8 October 2012

Lovesong: Dry the River: No Rest

Every so often an album comes along and stops you in your tracks.
'Shallow Bed' by Dry the River has me hitting 'replay' time and again.
It is powerful and gentle; it's the bastard son of Elbow and The Fleet Foxes that I'm sure rejects its parentage.

It's the little things for me; no need to explain; although at the moment it's the way the singer pronounces the word 'curtains'.
I suggest that you look for your own moments.
Here is a signpost...

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Sunday Morning Blue: Songs from the Deep Forest: Duke Special

From "Wake Up Scarlet' through to 'This Could Be My Last Day' this could be the perfect 'Sunday Morning Blue': a little heartache; a little vaudeville, all wrapped up in the sweetest melodies.

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Paul Buchanan: Some Sort of Surrender: The Quietus Interview

I've just come across this excellent interview.
Blue Nile singer Paul Buchanan and journalist David Peschek get teary-eyed discussing mortality, love and Mid Air, his first solo album- and his first release in 8 years...

"Some of the lines don’t refer to memories of my own, childhood memories – but that’s not what is interesting about them: what’s interesting is what we’ve got in common. The only thing that’s left is sacrifice. Sacrifice. That’s all. The only way I can see towards it now is surrender – absolute surrender: surrender to your own inconsistencies, your own cowardice, your own weaknesses, to concede them – and take that as your starting point... See that loser there? Give him that piece of paper. Give him that line. Give him that song. Make him bump into those other two guys in the street. Make that happen."

The Quietus Interview

There's also a great session that Paul did on Nic Harcourt's 'Morning Becomes Eclectic' show.
It's from way back in 2004 but, off the back of 'Mid Air', the acoustic approach resonates.

Friday, 5 October 2012

Paulo Coelho 'Manuscript Found in Accra'

I don't want to come over all pious but I just read this.
(Yup, it's been a quiet day.)
This is from Paulo Coelho's novel 'Manuscript Found in Accra'.
Interesting that we often assume that our sensibilities are modern.
I wonder how many of us would have bits of this wisdom tattooed on our butts if we weren't so... sensitive?

§ Even if you were to study your own life in detail and relive each moment that you suffered, sweated and smiled beneath the sun, you would still never know exactly when you had been useful to someone else.
A life is never useless. Each soul that came down to Earth is here for a reason.
The people who really help others are not trying to be useful, but are simply leading a useful life. They rarely give advice, but serve as an example.
Do one thing: live the life you always wanted to live. Avoid criticising others and concentrate on fulfilling your dreams. This may not seem very important to you, but God, who sees all, knows that the example you give is helping Him to improve the world. And each day, He will bestow more blessings upon it.

Manuscript found in Accra