Autumn displays to mend your heart

I had an unbelievable summer, full of love, fun, laughter, holidays, seaside fun, late nights, new experiences and general rad times. Still, I always knew once September hit things would get tough, but I didn’t know how bad! I got a real case of September Sadness – the kind that drags and swipes at any happy thought you try to hold onto. The kind where you lay on the bed, celiing gazing, just wondering what on earth will shake this awful feeling that everything good is over and nothing will ever recapture the magic of the past. Feeling so sad, so lonely and lost that gets just boring to carry that around with you day in day out let alone to tell anyone about…Well, nature has a way of healing, and nature has restored me in the shape of Autumn.

So it’s not just rushing through the calender until Christmas, it’s just taking it slow experiencing the changing season – the leaves of course give a spectacular display in the forests I go to. The cooler weather feels refreshing, the gloves and scarfs make their first expereince like an old friend to hold onto and snuggle onto. The hot chestnut man in the city wonders the city streets tempting you. Blankets to watch cozy films at night. Fires. Star gazing in warm jumpers. Hot chocolate at bedtimes. German mountain herbal tea in the mornings. Hot water bottles. Filling the house with silly autumn displays – letting the kids go crazy putting fallen leaves and twigs and pinecones and acorns and conkers and endless blackberries and apples all over the house.

I feel refreshed again, ready now. Music and books make me happy again. I’m reading Jack Kerouac on the road the original scroll. Oh my goodness. It’s breath taking the way Kerouac can knock you out with a sentence. It’s sad and it’s beautiful and hopefull at the same time. This original scroll is crazy, no paragraphs, not really any grammer. Just words and words, and it’s a lot more raw than the published version. Parts of it dealing with sex and drugs shock me, but I’m easily shocked…I’m so happy this scroll was published, in many ways it’s even better than the published on the road.

I’ve also just finished the always fantastic Anne Tyler’s “Saint Maybe”. It’s been said many times, but she’s such a great writer. She writes about family life and all it’s craziness, and the hopes and fears and damage we do to each other. Like her other works, it’s brilliant and I’m always reccomending and sharing her books with everyone. Saint Maybe is the book you need in your life.

My list of records I want to buy is getting ridicilouslly long, but I’ve put a few down below for you to listen to if you feel so inclined. The beths are a super cool group from New Zealand and there new record is contagius fun. Maya Hawke is a famous actor’s daughter but also a really cool songwriter. Remember sports I’m seeing in a couple of weeks, which I’m super excited abou, and they’ve just released a new EP. Wild Pink keep on putting out interesting and atmospheric records, this new one is no exception. Pixies keeping it real with this really grungey record about as far away from Maya Hawke as you can get! Finally…for fun….I just heard a really interesting interview with Geoff Farina, the guy from Karate and it reminded me what a cool band they were.

Stay focused. Don’t drop too many leaves.

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regret regrets

One of the most brilliant writers of the 20th Century was Stefan Zweig, I don’t think anybody could express emotion or instability as well as he did.He did some crazy things in life, and there’s a thrilling biography out about him you can check out here if you’re looking for a szmore obscure story, here’s a throwback to something I wrote in my old days of magazine journalism

He wrote a novel called, in English, “Beware of Pity”. This has now been made into an a super intense razor sharp play that was performed in London last week. Sadly I couldn’t get to go, but the live steam is still up for a few more days. If you want to watch the grandmaster of intensity you can do so here. I doubt there will be a better or more powerful play out all year.

Then there is my favourite modern British writer Gwendoline Riley who has a new book out called “First Love”. If you’ve not heard of her before, you need to go to your local library or book shop and ask for either “Sick Notes”, “Cold Water”, or “Joshua Spassky”. A trilogy of brilliant short but addictive novels. She writes like a lonely British version of Holden Caulfield fighting against a world you’ll never understand. You can listen to her  here  talk about her
new book.

Talking of Salinger…New biopic  “Rebel in the Rye” is out at the Sundance film festival. People say it’s predictable and dull. Still, people say a lot these days.

Finally, by far the best new band I’ve heard over the past year is Wild Pink. They have a new album out, released last week. You can listen to their radness below playing a couple of
songs.

 

 

EP / Cassette of the Year

Processed with VSCO with c2 presetUber-hip and occasionally annoying Thurston Moore said something silly this year like “I only buy tapes these days”, and of course that’s a ridiculous way to live, but it’s true there are an awful lot of amazing bands that only release things initially or on cassette. A few years ago I’d be scoring tapes at little charity shops getting over excited by a copy a early 7o’s Elton John tape for 25p, whereas I get things now like the new julie ruin album and twin forks on cassette and hardly ever pick up old stuff on tape anymore.

So, it’s no surprise that the best EP of the year is out as a download and on cassette too. It came out in October and by it’s a little New York band called Wild Pink. The title may not be the most exciting (4 songs), but the songs are. Calming, instinctive and soft. It’s reflective beautiful music, and that’s where I am right now, and I think where a lot of people are after all the craziness. “Don’t let the fear of losing me keep you from moving on….I’m the one that goes away”. Poetic daydreaming songs for daydreamers. What more do you want? Not only EP of the year but a close contender for track of the year too, to find out who gets that title come back in a few days.

 

 

 

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