Play For Today: special summer bonanza edition Part One

  It’s been ages since I’ve posted a playlist, so I thought I’d change the format slightly. Background: I write about music a lot for various publications, but as a music journalist I also receive hundreds of promo type emails every week and, when something…

A Conflict of Ghosts

  2019 is (to me at least) one of those times when the zeitgeist feels like an actual entity, less the ‘spirit of the age’ and more an actual ‘time ghost’, a baleful Lovecraftian presence whose unseen influence poisons the atmosphere of the era, insidiously…

birds & murderers; raptorama

As I write these words it’s the first day of summer and I’m sitting in my study (sounds pompous, but ‘room full of books and records where I work’ is less economical), with Atom Heart Mother playing, looking out at a beautiful sky of quilted dove-grey clouds…

Enter Title Here: unblocking

Four months without a post is long even for me and this very irregularly updated website. It wasn’t intentional and normally I probably would have at least filled the gap with a couple of playlists or something, but the fact is I’ve been experiencing something…

11 June 1936: The International Surrealist Exhibition

Thursday, June 11th, 1936. Ominous context; the previous week, Mussolini had authorised his troops to kill prisoners taken in the war that followed Italy’s invasion of Ethiopia. Shortly thereafter, Haile Selassie, Emperor in exile, would appeal to the League of Nations against the Fascists, but…

Weekly Update: Complicated Comforts

For a variety of reasons, it is being a slightly stressful, sleepless time, so I’ve been looking at things that are, in a variety of perhaps complicated ways, comforting or soothing (to me). I suppose comforting because it can be a relief to have one’s…

Belated weekly update: If You Want To Feel…

So, I’m taking far too long faffing with the more (relatively) substantial things I’ve been working on, so in the meantime I will try to reinstate the weekly updates. Just to stop the whole thing becoming too repetitive, this one is in a very slightly…

A Reading of Orwell (and others) in 2017

  I started writing this thing about George Orwell ages ago, but never got it finished, but suddenly it seems possibly relevant, so here it is, still not in the final form intended, extremely long-winded, but hopefully fairly coherent. I should also point out that…

Ride On A Golden Wave: Uriah Heep’s …Very ‘Eavy …Very ‘Umble

Very ‘Eavy …Very ‘Umble (Vertigo/Mercury, 1970; Bronze shortly thereafter) This year (2016), BMG begins an extensive reissue campaign of releases by one of the original Spinal Tap-influencing ‘rock dinosaur’ bands, the mighty Uriah Heep. Along with an anthology, the first of these releases is, logically…