Saw a wonderful documentary on the flight back to the UK the other week called ‘When Amy Came To Dingle’, which captures her appearance in this enchanting Irish outpost. Filmed in 2006 as part of RTÉ TV’s ‘Other Voices’ series (which has also included Florence and the Machine, Ray Davies, Snow Patrol, Sinead O’Connor, Elbow and The XX), the programme combined an intimate live performance, before an audience of just 70 people at St. James Church, with a fascinating interview that highlights the singers’ influences, including Mahalia Jackson, Ray Charles, Thelonious Monk, Sarah Vaughan, Carleen Anderson, Soweto Kinch and The Shangri-la’s.
ARTIST: PAUL SIMON
LABEL: WARNER BROTHERS
This Sunday (5th February) at 9pm, you’re invited to share a listening session with some likeminded souls, wherever you might be. This can be experienced either alone or communally, and you don’t need to leave the comfort of your own home to participate. Full lowdown here:
Muhammad Ali, arguably the greatest sportsman of the 20th Century, and certainly one of its foremost historical figures, is 70 years old today.
As I navigated the winding country lanes on my way to the M5 from Minehead, where I’d been playing the Sunday night 1.00am-3.00am closing slot / graveyard shift at the inaugural ‘House Of Fun’ weekender, I was pleased to discover that there was a programme on the radio about the JFK assassination 48 years ago in 1963. Always a subject of fascination, this would help me whittle away half an hour of journey time as I weaved onwards towards the motorway.
Just wanted to make you aware of a project my former Invisible Players colleague, Don Letts, has been commissioned to produce, focusing on the clothing brand, Fred Perry, and its cultural relevance in the UK from the Mods in the ’60s to Britpop in the ’90s, and right up to date via their association with Amy Winehouse, whose designs for the brand continue to be released, with the full blessing of her family, following her untimely death last July.
With the recent ‘Astrid And The Exis’ piece came the realisation that this was, over 100 posts in, the first time I’d focused on a photographer. I thought I’d better begin to address this accidental omission, and pay more props to the still image, starting off with the controversial Tokyo photographer Nobuyoshi Araki, now in his seventies, whose medium ranges from global art galleries to the pages of readers wives type porno mags (which brings to mind what Alan Moore said about the difference between erotica and pornography being largely dependent on the income bracket of the buyer).
“In my work as an author, I traffic in fiction, I do not traffic in lies.”
Looking deeper into Folk and Country music has been a case of overcoming the final prejudice in many respects. These were always genres I shied away from, even though I’ve happily cherry picked tracks that I’ve liked along the way. I suppose I dismissed Folk as antiquated, and Country as over-sentimental, and although I’ve had a basic understanding of their roles in shaping popular music, I’ve never had the inclination to look beneath the surface. Until more recently that is.
Scott Walker is a proper artist. Born in the US, but finding fortune and fame in the UK, at the height of his Walker Brothers ’60s celebrity, with pop hits and screaming girls a plenty, he turned his back on it all to follow his own unique path, inspired by the music of Belgian born French recording icon Jacques Brel, who, in a strange twist of fate, he’d first heard at the flat of a bunny girl he’d picked up at the Playboy Club’s opening-night party in London.
One of my favourite things about Christmas is that it provides the opportunity for me to give an annual listen or two to what some would regard as Pop’s first concept album – the seasonal masterpiece, ‘A Christmas Gift For You’ (aka ‘Phil Spector’s Christmas Album’) issued on Spector’s Philles label, which was originally released at the height of the seminal producer’s powers (although, inauspiciously, on the very day JFK was assassinated – November 22nd 1963).