Since resuming eating pears I’ve become a bit fed up with buying a pear and it not being ripe enough to eat thereby marring my whole pear experience. If I can buy already ‘Perfectly Ripe Plums’ why can’t I buy the equivalent in pears? Why do I have to suffer this pear Russian roulette every time I buy a piece of that fruit?
Elvis Presley – Baby, What You Want Me To Do
But he’s picking up on something, he’s getting interested in something. What he’s getting interested in is the rhythm in the song; and suddenly, as if no-one has ever really heard that what this song is about is a certain rhythm; has nothing to do with the words, has nothing to do with the vocal, there’s no idea in it; it is a rhythm that is asking to be made bigger, to go further, and to become a thing in itself.
– Greil Marcus
Jason Isbell – Elephant
Jason Isbell is someone who I’d heard of through his association with the Drive-By Truckers, but had never heard any music by him. Then last year I heard his song ‘Live Oak’, which led me to the album Southeastern (2013). ‘Elephant’, like ‘Live Oak’, is a good indication of Southeastern as a whole: affective, never sentimental, crafted songs, which use country music as a touchstone.
Low – Always Up
My younger self would lament the fact, but due to the way I now find out about and then listen to music, new albums take their time to filter through to me, and I’m usually a year behind in my listening. This meant, when I started thinking about what albums I most enjoyed this year, I found the majority were pre-2018.
Bert Jansch – In the Bleak Mid-Winter
Merry Christmas all.
Smog – Palimpsest
This is not only because of the lyrics, but because in ‘Palimpsest’ Bill Callahan holds the listener, with a simple repeated guitar figure and the measured drawing out of his words, in a holding pattern as the winter holds; not terrifying and coldly, but careful and still; and together, always, with the anticipation of being let go.
‘Palimpsest’ is from what is, I think, one of my favourite Smog albums – A River Ain’t Too Much To Love.
I have seen Bob Dylan live. I wasn’t sure at first. I remembered seeing him perhaps at Wembley Stadium, because I had a vague memory of talking with my friend Tim as we made our way out of the gig. But I thought this might have been a dream, a false memory. But no, I was there. I found the ticket stub: