The Beautiful South – ‘Prettiest Eyes’
“Because if I’m singing about loneliness that’s the one word everybody in the entire universe understands,” he concluded. “How the fuck can you not understand something like ‘Prettiest Eyes’? I put my little placard up and it’s a placard for the lonely and the loved and the lost.”
Soon, I began to weep.
“Is it the gin?” wondered a sympathetic Paul.
“It’s not the gin,” I croaked, “it’s you! And your unmistakable truths!”I’m Not with the Band: A Writer’s Life Lost in Music, Sylvia Patterson
Belle & Sebastian – Sleep the Clock Around
In the summer, during its accompanying lockdown, I revisited all the early Belle & Sebastian albums up to and including the compilation Push Barman to Open Wounds and The Life Pursuit. That was the point, back in 2006, my attentions turned away from the band; and so, having the time now, I also caught up with the albums they made after then.
So this would explain why, when I opened my Spotify Unwrapped, they were my Top Artist of the year, but it still came as a bit of a surprise. Even more of a surprise was that ‘Is it Wicked Not to Care?’ was my favourite song of theirs; I’m putting this down to some quirk of the algorithm because that’s not the song I would have said, and why I’ve chosen ‘Sleep the Clock Around’ this week.Read more
Sam Baker – Pretty World
I saw Sam Baker in January by chance. It was AmericanaFest UK. My friend and I wanted a drink and Sam happened to be next on in the bar we wandered into. I didn’t buy any of his music that night, but over the next few months I bought his entire back catalogue. His music became the music of my summer.
Talking Heads – Once in a lifetime
It’s so familiar, so beloved, so immediately and everlastingly catchy, that it’s easy to no longer notice just how weird it is. As is often the way, while seeking to do their most self-consciously experimental work, the band fashioned their finest moment of pure pop. Has any magnificent pop song been quite so eccentric; has anything quite so eccentric become so magnificent a pop song?And the Heat Goes On: Talking Heads’ Remain in Light At 40
My summer wasn’t devoid of travel thankfully. There was a day trip to Deal, Kent; camping on the Isle of Sheppey; and a weekend in Newquay, Cornwall.
Deal pier (photo above) was impressive for the design of functionality over prettiness. The decent weather on the Isle of Sheppey, while the rest of the country seemed rain and wind, was much appreciated. And in Cornwall the tour of Healeys Cyder Farm with sampling at the end was good fun.
No improv shows, or rehearsals, on the immediate horizon. I might look to online improv at some point but still haven’t yet been compelled. I did do a couple of 5min stand-up spots and nearly had a third this weekend, but that got cancelled because they couldn’t guarantee a Covid secure show. Fair enough. That type of uncertainty is perhaps going to be the way all winter.
- Watching: Breaking Bad. I never watched it when the hullabaloo surrounded it and I’m struggling to see what all the fuss was about. It’s good, but not a patch on The Americans which I’ve just finished.
- Reading: Graceland, Chris Abani.
- Drinking: Red Wine. Barefoot Malbac or Merlot. A friend recommended the former. But both inexpensive and decent.