First listen: Rachid Taha, Bonjour
As if one of those BASIC programs that print “Hello World” was the ur-text for a civilisation. My Arabic isn’t as good as my BASIC, so I don’t know how dippy the lyrics are, and there’s no Steve Hillage to provide hard rock clarity. As the title would lead one to believe, this is Frenchier than what I’ve heard from Taha in the past. Folkier, too, if your...
50 favourite albums 2010
1. Robyn, Body Talk 2. D.O. Misiani & Shirati Jazz, The King of History 3. Darren Hayman & the Secondary Modern, Pram Town* 4. Kanye West, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy 5. Dual Identity 6. God Help the Girl* 7. Ladyhawke* 8. Playboy Tre, Liquor Store Mascot* 9. No Age, Everything in Between 10. Adam Lane, Ashcan Rantings 11. Cornershop, Judy Sucks a Lemon for Breakfast 12....
99 Lives 2010
The National, “Bloodbuzz Ohio” Robyn, “Hang with Me” Jay Electronica, “Exhibit C” (2009) Mika, “We Are Golden” (2009) D.O. Misiani, “Giko Piny” (197x) Alicia Keys, “Try Sleeping with a Broken Heart” (2009) Youssou N’Dour, “I Bring What I Love” God Help the Girl, “God Help the...
Every time I see a few seconds of Glee I can’t believe how bad it is. And I liked Camp!
2010 faves, #7: Youssou N'Dour, "I Bring What I...
What I said at the time: With a thirty-year discography behind him, how far up the list of greatest male singers? I have him at four, with a small chance of overtaking Armstrong but none of surpassing Green and Sinatra. At this rate he might as well run for president. (3rd best song by 4th best male singer = #7 for year. It is math.)
Invisible Stories: Some of the books I read this... →
invisiblestories: The Age of Wonder, by Richard Holmes (Vintage), in which Holmes proves himself yet again to be our best chronicler of the Romantic age. The Herschel family chapters are particularly vivid. Also the ballooning stuff, everyone loves balloons. Some of the connections drawn between the science and literature of the period are unrevealing (the connections are real, though) but this...
2010 faves, #9: Tin Huey, "Slide"
There wasn’t really a chance that post-punk would embrace post-Coltrane jazz: the chops required were a prohibitive barrier to entry. Forget what could’ve been and enbrace what was: a minor expansion of harmonic possibilities; no giant steps but a hell of a drunkard’s walk.
Interim top ten
Nicki Minaj ft. Eminem, “Roman’s Revenge” Ke$ha, “We R Who We R” Against Me!, “Because of the Shame” The Thermals, “I Don’t Believe You” Sia, “Clap Your Hands” Professor Green ft. Ed Drewett, “I Need You Tonight” Corinne Bailey-Rae, “Paris Nights/New York Mornings” Roisin Murphy,...
Brad streams Netflix sometimes: Antichrist
I don’t know if Dafoe and Gainsbourg are any better than Lars’s previous leads, but their performances mean more, because this time he means it, he really means it. You might think it’s claptrap, but Lars is so sincere it’s touching. Perhaps the art gets in the way, but without it we wouldn’t have the Talking Fox of Pain, worthy of the best Simpsons Halloween...