for the weak

Hi everybody! Grab yourself a cozy blanket and put the kettle on…Oh no, I am so sorry, for a moment there I thought I was a writer at “New Day” newspaper. It’s a UK newspaper that launched this week,  and I’ve bought a copy of issues. It’s umm, ok I guess. It’s ultra light with a lot of fun advice (“Smiling is good for you!”) and little quizzes  (“Did you marry the wrong person?”). It’s like a mix between Readers Digest magazine and spending a weekend with your oddball but harmless aunt whilst listening to Radio 1 newsbeat. Still I love newspapers so I suppose it’s a good thing, and I hope it works out.

Last night I watched “Amy“, the Amy Winehouse documentary. I’ve also been listening to the Elliot Smith “heaven adores you” soundtrack – more of him in a second… I’m also reading a bleak biography of a fantastic Austrian writer who killed himself (Stefan Zweig).  I’ve just been sent “love and mercy“, a  film about Brian Wilson I’m going to watch tonight.

Oh happy day…

No, but this is where life is for me. I’ve always being drawn to the broken, the weak, the outsiders, to people who don’t quite fit in, those who have broken families and broken hearts. People who try to make sense of the world with music, with words, with art. Sure it’s fun to tune into Absolute 80’s radio and dance around when I’m doing the washing up, but put on a Mark Kozelek record and life makes sense again. Somebody makes a record, makes a song and It feels real and pure, and I think it’s those moments when you can experience life for what it is, feel it’s presence around you, and you feel connected, if only for a moment, of yourself, the music and of the spinning crazy world around you.

So Elliot Smith…That sums him up,  and I’m really excited about a new tribute album “Say Yes!” out later this year with covers by J Mascis, Lou Barlow, Juliana Hatfield,  Mark Kozelek and Tanya Donnelly…who also has just reformed Belly, a really cool band from the 90’s!

 

And whilst we’re at it here’s a an original song

 

Last of all here’s a Belly song.

 

waiting for the day

The news isn’t really Brian Wilson related, although he does have a new record out soon and good to hear he’s sticking to his guns even if “fans” disagree (see his reaction here), but there are two other records due out soon that are worth a mention as both could well be the album of the year (so far it’s sun kil moons “Benji”)

The first is the singer of my little boy’s favourite band Dinosaur Jr. (in case you’re interested, his second is the fall, whereas at his age I only listJMascis-TiedToAStarened to my dad’s Queen and Michael Jackson tapes!) – the one and only J Mascis whose new album “Tied to a star” comes out on 25th August and you can hear on youtube a track below. His previous effort, 2011’s “Several Shades of Why” remains one of the best albums of the last few years and, along with Bob Mould, he’s an emo rock hero to more than the hipster reception class set.

The second one is a guy I’ve only just got into, after hearing some stuff on the radio. It’s Hiss Golden Messenger, with an intriguing title called “Lateness of Dancers” out on 9th September. He made a soulful video explaining the record which just about blows my mind, you can check that radness out below too along with some tour dates.

If you missed the Norah Jones Blue Note performance, here’s one last chance to watch her play with a trio of jazz superstars which was sensational, oh yes!

That’s enough, I’m all emotional after the world cup opening match, so can’t write any more except these 6 magical letters…. Brazil.

Hiss Golden Messenger Tour
11-07 Winnipeg, Manitoba – Winnipeg Folk Festival
15-07 Nijmegen, Netherlands – Valkhof Festival
16-07 Amsterdam, Netherlands – Paradiso
18-07 Suffolk, England – Latitude Festival
19-07 London, England – Bush Hall
20-07 North Devon, England – Somersault Festival
25-07 Carrboro, NC – Cat’s Cradle (Merge 25 Festival)
26-07 Winston-Salem, NC – Southeastern Center of Contemporary Art
01-08 Happy Valley, OR – Pickathon
28-08 Asheville, NC – Harvest Records Transfigurations II Festival
20-09 Montreal, Quebec – Ukrainian Federation (Pop Montréal)