Tuesday, January 26, 2010

...Not just the drummer...

Broadcast by Channel 4 on April, 2009, this is a wonderful short film about Pop music - not, as Paul Morley is quick to point out, the pop music predicated disingenuously by the likes of Simon Cowell - but Pop music like Buzzcocks, like The Smiths, like Dusty Springfield...

Monday, January 25, 2010

No more tiny tears...

'Falling down a mountain.'

Released imminently on the wonderful Constellation/4AD labels, the new album from those otherworldly tunesmiths, Tindersticks. 'Falling down a mountain,' follows in somewhat hallowed footsteps, but, no doubt, follows them well. Always a pleasure to hear from, and finally hear, new material from Stuart and the lads.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

'I'll rise with 'til I rise no more.'

'But I held my breath, kicked my feet
And I moved my arms around
Moved my arms around.'

Kate and Anna McGarrigle were rightly held in the highest regard by fellow members of the song-writing confraternity - witness the line-up of music making luminaries on their 1975 debut album - and the myriad cover versions since of many of the featured songs.

More than anything, they had an innate ablity to make the commonplace seem magical - the music they made and the words that tempered their compositions will stand the test of any time.

Thanks Kate.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

...All we really need is Neil...

'Protest song'

Neil Innes was 65 at the beginning of 2009 - and we missed it.

It's almost impossible to adequately contextualise Neil's contribution to comedy/comedy songwriting. His groundbreaking work with Python and the Bonzo's was merely a precursor to his finest work - on the criminally underrated 'Rutland Weekend Televison,' and, in 1978, 'The Rutles,' film - possibly the greatest mo-vie ever made.

Neil Innes - you're a bloody genius!

Friday, January 8, 2010

..a small, good thing...

Vic Chesnutt was a one off. He first came to prominence in the early 1990's - early albums introduced a wicked sense of singularly dark humour allayed to a formidable songwriting sensibility that few of his contemporaries shared. His recent passing leaves a not inconsiderable void - there are few musicians who appear willing or sufficiently adroit to lay bare their souls with such honesty - as an artist, Vic rarely, if ever, gave less than one hundred percent of all of himself. And for this gift of all gifts, we should be eternally grateful.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Protect me from the bad...

Jonathan Carroll's latest novel - his thirteenth, which is scary in itself, sees him covering somewhat erstwhile ground. There is a poignant familiarity between this novel and his earlier, 'white apples;' itself one of the defining literary moments of 2002. Carroll resembles Neil Gaiman in his ability to create multi-layered worlds inhabited by multi-faceted characters, who seem to drift seamlessly from one page to the next, from one book to the next - something inherently unusual in contemporary, non-genre fiction. Jonathan Carroll, like Gaiman; like Venasque, like Calliope...You will want to read all of his books. And you will want to read this one.

'The ghost in love.'

...brand new Cadillac...

It's almost impossible to ignore the beginning of 2010 without celebrating Elvis Presley's upcoming 75th birthday - last seen, Clydey Clyde's fried ham and ham house on 51st and third...Elvis Presley was, and always will be, the pre-eminent figure in twentieth century popular music - Sinatra and Beatles fans can look away now. His influence is even greater now, than it was yesterday. We at TWAT! are proud to acknowledge this fact by appropriating one of his least well known songs - Vern Godsall and Bobby George's 'Long black limousine.'
Now where did Charlie put my scarves and my water?

'Long black limousine