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 months since Darlene died, and yet when I come across her words, such as those lingering on old Facebook posts, I’m surprised every time by how palpable the love is in them — more potent now by far than when they first appeared. I’ve never experienced this before. I’ve heard others talk excitedly about … Continue reading Accidental presence
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
One movie ... every night ... for the next year ... Two pretty confronting movies the past two nights: Amour and Amy. Both of them devastating, and both very similar in their depiction of the slow degradation of health and life and love. The first is a French movie, superbly written, acted and directed, that … Continue reading Back to black: Amour and Amy
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