My favourite song of the year so far is a cover. The original is by Crooked Fingers, and I have never in my life heard of this band, which makes me wonder, and not for the first time, how many other beautiful, brilliant songs are out there hiding away from us. (I’m sure there are […]
Yesterday, it was my great pleasure to sit in a pub and drink with the legendary Noddy Holder, who was good enough to give a (terrific) performance in our radio sitcom ‘The Richest Man In Britain’. We are now nearly halfway through recording – which is one reason why I haven’t been blogging much recently […]
One of the things I like the most about my job is that, for various reasons, I get to see and hear and read stuff before everyone else. Why this should be quite so pleasurable I don’t know: it’s hard to brag, when the person you’re bragging to has invariably never heard of the book […]
The avant-garde goes primetime, in 1963: John Cale of the Velvet Underground on an old US quiz show called “I’ve Got A Secret”. Strange and brilliant.
The most listening fun I’ve had this Christmas came courtesy of the wonderful Oxford American magazine: the double CD attached to their tenth anniversary music issue contains fifty-six tracks of southern American music, just about every single one of which is a gem, and many of which I didn’t know. The South being the South, […]
Favourite songs of 2008: Make The Road By Walking – Menahan Street Band You Don’t Know Me – Ben Folds and Regina Spektor Great Expectations – Gaslight Anthem Chasing Pavements – Adele Cleveland – Luke Doucet Magic – University of Chicago Voices In Your Head Hang On – Dr Dog Did You Miss Me? – […]
One way of dividing the world is separating those who can quote Dylan lyrics and those who can’t. Be honest: in which camp would you have placed George Foreman, former heavyweight boxer? But here’s George, interviewed in Dave Zirin’s excellent book about sport and the left, ‘What’s My Name, Fool?’ “I was awakened by a […]
Living with Music.
It’s all over the internet so it must be true: I’m writing the lyrics for a Ben Folds album, which he’s recording in Dublin in December. I wasn’t going to mention this, on the presumption that it will never happen, but my writing partner seems confident enough to have talked about it already, and if […]
Charles Wheelan’s ‘Naked Economics: Undressing the Dismal Science’ turned out to be the book I was hoping for, a stimulating, smart, entertaining read for the innumerate. I was rarely in a position where I was able to disagree with Wheelan about anything, so I was grateful when he turned his attention briefly to the subject […]