Going For A Song: ‘Call it Dreaming’

Iron & Wine – Call it Dreaming

After an album (2013’s Ghost on Ghost) and a couple of collaboration albums (Sing Into My Mouth and Love Letter For Fire) which left me nonplussed, I’m looking forward to the release of the new Iron & Wine album Beast Epic, after hearing ‘Call it Dreaming’, the first song taken from it.

The song, for me, encapsulates what Iron & Wine do, which is to create this intersection between a world we recognise and a world summoned up by the words of Sam Beam and the music of the band.

 

Quietly Quietly

I missed Detectorists (written and directed by Mackenzie Crook) when it was first shown in 2014. The BBC are currently showing the first series again and I’m glad I’ve caught it this time around. It’s a show that doesn’t try for massive laughs; it just goes about its comedy in an understated way. It shares a similar tone and pace with The Trip¬†and, for those who remember it, Sean Lock’s 15 Storeys High. I’m hoping it’ll be like the former rather than the latter when the question of a third series comes up.

Going For A Song: ‘Jerusalem’

Paul Robeson – Jerusalem

I’ve always liked the song ‘Jerusalem’ – William Blake’s poem and Hubert Parry’s music set in harmony and perhaps in a little tension.

I heard this version by Paul Robeson when listening to the Radio 4 Programme Soul Music. In this episode dedicated to ‘Jerusalem’ one Pamela Davenport is interviewed. She talks about her Dad, a former mill worker in Manchester, and his relationship with the song:

To my Dad, ‘Jerusalem’ was not anything to do with ‘Land of Hope & Glory’ or ‘Rule Britannia’. It was to do with people’s lives, people who work hard day in day out; and sometimes they don’t get the justice, the wages, the rights they should do.

There are calls now and then for ‘Jerusalem’ to become the English national anthem. I don’t think I’d object if those calls at some point were ever to be seriously considered.

Participation: Are You In Or Are You Out?

Conversations are moving more and more into Facebook. In order to continue to participate, I’d have to accept Facebook’s philosophy, which includes the idea that third parties would pay to be able to spy on me and my family in order to manipulate what shows up on the screen in front of us

You might view my access to musical instrument forums as an inconsequential matter, and perhaps it is, but then what is consequential about the Internet in that case? You can replace musical instruments with political, medical, or legal discussions. They’re all moving under the cloak of a spying service.

You might further object that it’s all based on individual choice, and that if Facebook wants to offer us a preferable free service, and the offer is accepted, that’s just the market making decision. That argument ignores network effects. Once a critical mass of conversation is on Facebook, then it’s hard to get conversation going elsewhere. What might have started out as a choice is no longer a choice after a network effect causes a phase change. After that point we effectively have less choice – Jaron Lanier

This is one of the points made by Lanier in his book, Who Owns The Future?, that has stayed with me. Mainly because it’s a point I feel I’ve had most first-hand experience of, particularly recently.

Facebook is a platform that seems to divide people into those who do have a problem with it, those who don’t or think the situation “unwinnable”, and those who are (more or less) pragmatic. But putting this aside for a moment, I’ve been looking for alternatives to participation off Facebook; looking for those places elsewhere where the conversations can be had.

Micro.blog seems promising, which then led me to the IndieWeb. But in the short-term (and other suggestions are most welcome) it seems just checking blogs, websites and, if you’re lucky enough, finding events to attend is the way to go. So I guess I’m nor in or out, but just hoping to participate in another way.

 

 

Going For A Song: ‘Emotional Rescue’

The Rolling Stones – ‘Emotional Rescue’

In an interview with Stuart Maconie about a compilation, English Weather, he and Pete Wiggs had compiled, Bob Stanley was asked if they were trying to evoke a certain period with the songs they had chosen? In reply he said the day after the 60s; before the 70s knew what the 70s were.

A song like 1980’s ‘Emotional Rescue’ (and Dylan’s ‘Jokerman’ [1983] comes to mind also) evokes for me, if I can adapt Stanley’s phrase, the day after the 70s; before The Rolling Stones (or Dylan) knew what the 80s were. However, where Stanley means his positively, I don’t necessarily.