It’s not that old and frankly I am astounded it managed to pass me by. Must have been weather-related. But Sufjan Stevens released an EP just before Christmas and it marks a real return to his roots. It is fabulously soulful, thoughtful, mindful, beautiful and every other kind of ful you can think of. All Delighted People? Well this one is at least. Try Heirloom.
There’s a wee group on Facebook called Darkness on the Edge of Town that I am honoured to be a member of. Set up by a few friends and acquaintances as a kind of safety valve for the posting of music that reflects their moods, their triumphs and tribulations, it’s truly wonderful. They do great theme nights, and even the predilection a couple of members have for all things Morrissey-related doesn’t put me off. I don’t visit and post nearly enough, but enjoy it all the same.
One of the founding members is a big Bruce Springsteen fan and in the week we bid a fond farewell to the Boss’s right hand sax man, it seems appropriate to post this. RIP Clarence Clemons.
Gosh, it’s all a bit downbeat and lo-fi so far huh? So let’s finish with a real golden oldie that’s bound to make you wanna turn your kitchen into a mosh pit. Another tribute, this time to Norn Iurlund’s latest all-conquering hero. It’s gonna happen? It sure did. And in grand style.
I am always (not so secretly) thrilled when a band follows little ol’ me on Twitter. Sad I know. And the least I can do is return the favour by plugging them here. So a big hand for the Alternates, a kind of alt-country combo that is right up my street. Though their debut EP is a bit more varied than that and I’m liking it a lot. Visit their Bandcamp page for a wee taster, and download the two free tracks from their website.
And equally chuffed when a Twitter pal introduces me to something new and then I get to share it too. So, a new band from Manchester for your delectation: WU LYF. Lots of influences, lotsa like lotsa bands you might know, but actually hard to pin down and a lot just like their little old selves. On the strength of this debut album, they deserve to go far. Oh, and no prizes for guessing why I like this track, Dirt.
Finally, I always mean to plug Daytrotter and invariably I forget. It hosts sessions by the tonne. Some from artists and bands you might have heard of, others not even I have an inkling who they are. But there are always some real goodies in there and plenty of choice. Beware though – only visit if you have an hour or two to spare. You might go in and never come out. From the new sessions, I’d recommend The Go Rounds, the Books, the Head and the Heart and our very ain Edwyn Collins.
Unlike most of us chippy Scots, I thought I’d embrace the idea of the Greatest show on earth happening practically on my doorstep. After all, it’s probably the only time the Olympics will ever grace these shores in my lifetime and thinking the chicklet might just be a sports star in the making, I was keen to show him what can be achieved.
So I applied for tickets. Six events over two days, some of them free like the bike road race at Hampton Court. And waited. Delight at the first email telling me I had been successful turned to consternation when I got the second missive telling me what I’d got.
One – yes one – ticket for the basketball. Now I didn’t really expect to get all the events I asked for, one would have done. But to only get one ticket, well that’s just ludicrous. Do the chicklet and I toss a coin to see who gets to go in and who gets to loiter outside for four hours? And I haven’t a clue how to return said ticket. So if anyone wants to go see some Olympic basketball next summer, toute seule, then drop me a line…
I’m hoping then for better success with tickets for the Edinburgh International Book Festival. I can’t recall ever being this excited at its line-up and I will be up at the crack of dawn on Sunday with the credit card at the ready. Top of the list? To take my pops to hear David Millar discuss his autobiography in the company of Richard Moore.
Don’t miss out – tickets go on sale on Sunday morning and are likely to be snapped up. Though there are 757 events over 17 days to choose from…
So, Monday I rushed home, cleared ridiculous amounts of toys, books and junk from chicklet’s bedroom, hoovered like a dervish and…. the man didn’t come to measure up. Pah!
Wednesday? I rushed home, cleared slightly less ridiculous amounts of toys and books, hoovered like a dervish and…. man number two didn’t come to measure up. Grrr….
What is it with tradesmen? Every other day, we hear of the plight of the construction industry and allied trades. Clearly not in Embra. Still.
Well, third time lucky. Tonight, I will rush home, clear more stuff from his room (it’s all to the good), this time I might even polish and hopefully man number three will appear, as promised, on Saturday.
Otherwise, the air really will turn blue.