2019 the year the moon faded

It’s been the strangest year I’ve ever known, the moon we once shared all night has gone but fragments remain, giving me hope for better things in 2020….Meanwhile these are my highlights of 2019

Album of the YearRemember Sports “slow buzz” This little punk rock band blew me away in the spring when they released this album. It’s fast and upbeat lyrics about fighting back against failing love just completely blew me away.¬† I got it on cassette too which makes it extra special too. A pretty much perfect record, and easily a highlight of not just 2019 but the entire decade. Woah, it’s that good!

Film of the Year – The first half of the year I spent Sunday mornings at the town hall in Folkestone watching kids films, and then the second half I’ve been occasionally watching things that the postman drops off thanks to good old cinemaparidso. A couple of films I’m waiting to see, Marriage Story and Little Women, seem pretty rad, but as not seen them yet I’ll have to go for something a bit crazy. It’s this Hungarian film called Sunset, and it felt like a dream. I saw it in a little town frozen in time in Devon, and the whole night felt so wonderful and so warm. It’s probabbly not a Friday night fun film, but if you are stuck¬† watching it in a tiny arts centre in Devon with a few pensioners pushing 90 it can add to the charm.

Book of the Year – I’m reading the new John Le Carre, but too early to call that book of the year. It came out a couple of years ago but I really enjoyed Kim Gordon “Girl in a band” with it’s snapshot postcard entries of fragments of her life in and out of Sonic Youth.

Play of the Year – Again, so many good things I miss, but I did catch “Home, I’m darling” which was really fun. Also I have a cozy memory of drinking a whiskey at the balcony during the break, and watching a rather odd looking man climb out of a flashy sports car outside the theatre.

TV Show of the Year – Err, I guess I can’t say Neighbours can I? I need that liberal Melbourne lifestyle escapism these days more than ever. Apart from that, I loved both the Eric Clapton documentary Life in 12 Bars and the energetic yet sad life of Inxs frontman Michael Hutchence in Mystify. Both were shown on the good old BBC.

Concert of the Year – I saw Rural Alberta Advantage earlier in the year, and my heart was frozen in time and I lost all sense of reality just losing myself to their awesomeness, Fantastic concert, great great band.

Comic of the YearArchie Married Life 10 year anniversary. Need I say more?




tapes and tears

It may be 10 degrees hotter in Germany, but we’ve been enjoying the summer here in Hadlow Down. After all the trips and goodbyes of the last few months I’m relishing the prospect of spending some time with my wife and family. Once the primary school bells ring for the final time this year we’re off to France, but this is no place for holiday snaps, but I guess the new Conor Oberst video below got me all misty eyed.

I had a rare morning in Brighton this week, where aside from having a rad vegan breakfast, picking up a comic from the coolest comic shop around, I got the new tape from Bonnie Prinbpbce Billy which is all about the meaning of life and facing your own mortality. It’s heavy stuff and probably best I only have it on cassette where I can listen to it driving around the Wealden fields without bothering anybody else as tears fill endlessly up in my eyes. In related news, that old car is going for an MOT next week I’m hoping it all goes well because I’ll sure miss hanging out in dusty charity shops snooping through the 50p tape section.

I also joined a little poetry club next door. It’s fun, but as I’ve not written anything for years feel a bit hypocritical recycling old poems from 2008, but nobody knows and it’s all good. I might even write something again.

It’s not high art, but the big bosses at Archie HQ have killed old Archie off in the married life comic series, which doesn’t make sense to all us 30-something comic fans who got a kick out of Archie going through the same stuff we do. Can’t be bothered to go back to the teenage comics, that’s another world and I don’t care much for nostalgic (except back at home at my mum’s)

Ok, here’s the new Conor Oberst single. I keep going back to his album, which hits me pretty hard too like he did back in ’99 with Fevers and Mirrors. It’s rad and infectious and real, and few albums are like that these days seems to me. More soon.

Listening to Mark Kozelek and Desertshore

JD Salinger

Instead of roaring around the countryside, burning petrol, for my job I’ve been stuck up home these last few days, with a sick note from the doctor and three great books to get through. These books are all so brilliant, so inspiring that I’m going to list them here :

Salinger by David Shields and Shane Salerno

The Easter Parade by Richard Yates

Archie The Married Life: Book Three by Paul Kupperberg

Of all these books, the Salinger biography is the most incredible and fascinating biography I’ve read since the JFK one. It’s a huge book, I’ve already read 150 pages but he’s still hanging out with Hemmingwell in 1943, not yet crazy. He gets his heart broken from Oona O’ Neil who goes on to marry Charlie Chaplin, and the most surprising thing of all all his books seem to be based on events from his real life. I’m a little nervous to how this book will conclude, the authors warn early on what happened to Salinger will break your heart, how he turned out in the end. Destroyed, broken, angry, bitter, and just plain mean. Still, that’s all to come at the moment he’s young, addicted to writing and adventure, sensitive and funny distrusting of the big bad world. Too bad he couldn’t stay that way.

Anything by Richard Yates is always effortlessly cool, and Archie is my hero. His married life is insane though…Just saying.