Sheesh, what a week. They can take away our services, they can hit our pay packets, they can make us work til we drop: but hey there’s still music! Especially the stuff that gets your feet tapping, your head nodding and indulging in a little feelgood shimmying. Dance til the end of time and all that…
So let’s go back, way back, for a record that the burd literally played to its scratchy death in her yoof. One of the many 45s inherited from the parents, this was a firm favourite. It might seem a little tame now but I guarantee it will make you want to get up and do the twist or something….. Enjoy.
There’s only been one new album on the burdz decks (itunes for the young reader) this week. The Wants is one of those rare beasts: an album without a single weak track, that you want to listen to from start to finish, over and over again. It’s a definite contender for next year’s Mercury prize, and it might just propel the Phantom Band – a Proto Robofolk sextet based in Glasgow apparently – to stardom.
But only if they sort out their marketing. Nothing on Youtube, their own website not yet updated, no streaming tracks on their MySpace page. Oh and they appear to be on tour in the US just as the album is launched at home. What’s that about?
Thank goodness then for Any Decent Music who have this track available and the whole album to download. It’s also on emusic (you need an account but I’d heartily recommend it) and through other usual outlets.
You might think that Burns died tragically young, so spare a thought for Robert Fergusson: dead at 24 with only one slim volume of poetry published. But what a legacy, and what might have been, had he lived. There is now a statue outside the Canongate kirkyard to Fergusson but it took a while.
We’re not that great at treasuring our treasures, we Scots. No historic heritage too important to be bulldozed, no artist too brilliant to be sneered at, or worse ignored, no natural resource too unique to be sold off to the highest bidder. When will we learn?
Fergusson was centuries ahead of his time, as his poem Braid Claith shows. A critique of society’s obsession of looks and wealth over thought and substance, it is remarkably resonant for our times, what with our obsession with celebrity culture and willingness to bow the knee at any flash harry throwing money around. A verse here, then follow the link for the wonderful whole.
Braid Claith lends fock an unco heese,
Makes mony kail-worms butterflies,
Gies mony a doctor his degrees
For little skaith:
In short, you may be what you please
Wi’ gude Braid Claith.
…. something blue
We’ve got plenty to be blue about right now, so maybe it’s about time we adopted a bit of an attitude, a Latin American attitude to be exact. A colleague originally from Argentina once opined that we could learn a thing or two from her fellow folk. They had seen so much trouble, political and economic, over the years that people had a fatalistic but also joyously irreverent attitude to strife. A live for today approach to everything that insists the future will take care of itself. Spend now, shrug later. Seems like sound advice to me.
So this weekend treat yourself and your loved ones to a big night out. And before you go, enjoy the humour and irreverence of this little ditty. You might want to chant it to teenage offspring…
Thanks to Mad Mackerel for the original introduction to the tune and the band, the fabulously monikered Katherine Hepburn’s Voice.