So I’m lying in bed, unable to sleep. Some years back. And I’m thinking about money. Not thinking so much as fretting. Probably panicking. So I go downstairs and for some reason stand in front of my bookshelf, looking up at the books I hadn’t looked at or considered or opened for a long time. … Continue reading Turmoil + soul = jazz
Yes, I felt an overwhelming wave of melancholy as PM Jacinda Ardern The Magnificent announced, in suitably serious tones, that the country would go into lockdown in 48 hours. I responded by racing out to grab two of the things I love most about living: 2kg of coffee beans (roasted by the maestro Stu Cross … Continue reading As Sting says, Driven to tears
It's been difficult to know all week whether I've been depressed or just perpetually hungover. Which seems like the perfect emotional backdrop for a new album release from The National. The National are my ultimate "do I accidentally take too many pills/just listen to some music" kind of band. My darkest times of the past … Continue reading I Am Easy To Find: A soundtrack to my latest long night
Bohemian Rhapsody was the first song I remember being aware of as a kid. I have a clear memory of us kids singing it in the schoolyard and making up lyrics because, clearly, no one knew what the actual words were. Those memories are filed alongside other powerful ones from the time: the smell of … Continue reading A Queen story: You buggers can sing harder than I can
I love my friends, believe me - I rarely say it though - For us they have their uses - But they also deal their blows - Daily I try to act more upon my dreams - How bright a soul forgiven bleeds - How bright a soul forgiven bleeds — Hothouse Flowers
On the evening of March 4, 1996, I picked up my old mate Al and we drove through Hungry Jack's for dinner before the Smashing Pumpkins concert in Perth, Western Australia, and I say to him, 'What did you do today?' You know, as you do. He says, 'I went and bought the Steve McQueen … Continue reading Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness: A Bullitt train to the 90s
Kamasi Washington's Heaven & Earth was already the album of the year for me, well before I walked into a record store on the weekend and saw a sign on the wall next to the album, saying there was a secret record hidden within the packaging.
I'm gonna try and find some half-adequate words to describe the power of sax player Kamasi Washington's music. I’m on a hiding to nothing though, because no words come anywhere close. Still, let's have a crack. It makes me move, body and spirit. I don't care how I look when I'm moving either. It's like … Continue reading Kamasi Washington and the glory of counterpoint
It must be more than thirty years ago that my interest in Nick Cave was first piqued by a music press article in which the author contrasted the Australian singer-songwriter with U2’s Bono. The latter was a Christian who seemed fascinated by darkness, while the other was the Lord of Darkness who seemed forever fascinated by the Bible and Jesus.