messages from the past for the future

  Sitting down to write this, a month after breaking my leg and having to grapple with hitherto-unconsidered questions like ‘how do I usually sit on a toilet’? and a week before a General Election where my preferred of the likely outcomes is an unsatisfactory…

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…

Inevitably, the releases of the year, 2018

  It’s that time of year again; I’ve had to make some end-of-year lists for various places, so this will be a short-ish version. 2018, like most years, has been a year full of terrible and excellent music and mostly there’s no difference between the…

Believing in Them – old books, old eyes, new readings

  In Richard Linklater’s reputedly anti-nostalgic, but actually still quite nostalgic 1993 film Dazed and Confused, Matthew McConaughey’s Fonz-like character Wooderson articulates his Fonzhood in a way that – as far as I remember – the actual Fonz never does*: “That’s what I love about…

‘Cheryl Heard A Wet Thud’: Tread Softly by Richard Kelly

  There’s a moment in Peter Bagge’s immortal Generation X soap opera comicbook Hate¹ where a character says “That need to reclaim a dusty corner of your youth can be overwhelming at times” and even when I first read that in my late 20s, the truth of…