Sunday Morning Coming Down

When I last posted something by this morning’s artiste, I was less than complimentary about the film to which he had provided the title track.

Until that point, I had never heard of Sturgill Simpson, and if I’m honest, I had assumed he wasn’t a real Country performer. Rather, because I was so disappointed by the film in question, I thought he was some made-up dude, an extension of a joke the film director was making that I really didn’t understand.

Wrong!

The other day on Twitter, somebody that I follow (I can’t remember who, or I’d give credit) mentioned how great his new album Sound & Fury is. So I investigated, and it really, really is.

This isn’t from that album, it’s from 2016’s A Sailor’s Guide to Earth, and it’s a cover version, but bloody hell it’s good:

Sturgill Simpson – In Bloom

More soon.

Here I Am

My one great regret about writing this blog is that I no longer seem to be able to keep up with reading all that my blogging peers have written recently.

People I have shared flats with will testify that it used to be the case that once I got home from work, the first thing I would do would be to fire up my laptop (or PC as it was at the time), and check in on all my favourite folk, see what they’ve been up to and what they’ve been listening to.

But for the last couple of years, this routine has fallen by the wayside. Instead, every month or so – and often, not even that frequently – I’ll swoop by all those that I know, or who have commented here, or who contributed to The Chain back in the day, to catch up with what’s being going on with them. And hopefully pick up a few tips about tunes I don’t know about.

Over the last week, I’ve tried to rectify that, and found that many of my blogging buddies have been going through some hard times of late, and I feel terrible that until now I’ve not provided the same kind of support as they did to me, when I was taken ill last year, and then when I lost my best friend earlier this year.

Back before I started blogging, I didn’t realise the importance of leaving Comments on blogs I read, so I never left one. Not one.

But having been through some hard times myself and received such kind messages, I can tell you how much it means to know there are people out there – that I’ve never met and probably never will – who are decent, respectful and supportive. As one of my greatest allys has found recently, it’s so easy to forget in this world of online existence, where trolling and unpleasantness is often the norm, that there are far more nice, honourable people out there than there is the opposite.

This isn’t a pathetic plea for more comments here, this is an apology to all those who have commented and to whom I’ve not reciprocated until recently, when it’s way too late.

I wish I knew how to end this post. I’d love it to be something inspiring and uplifting, but I fear whatever I do will just come across as glib.

So I figured I’d embrace that. So here, by way of a truly shonky bit of clippage recorded so long ago that Tim Lovejoy still had hair (but was still an irritating twonk), is Alan Shearer doing what he does best: singing Labi Siffrie songs:

Hopefully ths won’t come across as pompous or self-important, but maybe it’s better way to sign off with a tune:

Adam Green & Binki Shapiro – Here I Am

More soon.

50 Not Out

You can insert your own joke about that being a better score than most of the England Cricket Team managed over the summer here, if you like, but I’m not going there.

No.

For when I was a young man at college, so monumental was my nicotine and Snakebite consumption, a fellow student bet me that I would be dead by the age of 30.

Well, open up your wallet Paul, wherever you are, and cough up some dosh, for I’ve only gone and smashed that. For today I reach the grand old age of 50.

And what am I doing to mark this momentous occasion? Well, celebrations began last Saturday when my old mate Richie and I went to a gig together – more of this later.

Tomorrow, I’ll be heading off to Destination Unknown to a holiday home booked by some of my chums for a long weekend of…well, drinking, probably. I know nothing about what lies in store for me – I only had the town revealed to me last weekend – but I have received some texts making subtle enquiries such as “What’s your favourite type of crisp?”, and “If you could only drink one kind of cider, what would it be?” and, perhaps most worryingly, “In your opinion, what are the best Status Quo/Chas’n’Dave songs to sing-a-long to?”

I know I’ve made that sound like I’m not looking forward to it, but I really am. I don’t get to see my bunch of buddies anywhere near as often as I like, and I know they’ll be pulling out all the stops to make sure the weekend goes with a bang.

As for the big day itself, well, I’ll be going to work and trying to cover up as many of the corners I’ve cut recently and hope that nobody notices or complains before I’m back in work next week.

I’m writing this on Thursday night, but I’m pretty sure that my transition from late-40s to early-50s will go pretty much like this:

Heck, that’s how I feel most Monday mornings.

I’m sure you don’t need telling that clip is from 1981’s still-brilliant-after-all-these-years An American Werewolf in London. I mean, even if you’ve never seen the film you could probably work it out because it’s written right there for you.

But don’t trust your eyes too much, because it also claims that the legendary first transformation scene is soundtracked by Creedence Clearwater Revival’s Bad Moon Rising, which it isn’t.

Regular readers will know that particular song has a special meaning for me, because that was the record that UK Pop Picers put at No 1 in the Hit Parade on the day I was born, 50 years ago today. And they will know this, because I’ve posted it pretty much every year on this day since I started writing this blog.

Still, managed to pad it out a bit this time, eh?

Creedence Clearwater Revival – Bad Moon Rising

By the way, I’ve never really decided whether I should consider it ironic or prophetic that was the best selling single in the UK on the day I made my first appearance. Perhaps it’s not for me to comment.

Anyway, as I’ll be away this weekend, there probably won’t be much in the way of activity on here until I get home, unless I manage to get my shizz together and write some things in advance. Don’t hold your breath though.

There will be more, soon, however.

N.E.W. R.E.M.

Okay, not technically new, but definitely previously unreleased.

With all proceeds going to directly to the Mercy Corps’ emergency response efforts in the Bahamas following the battering that the north-west islands endured at the hands of Hurricane Dorian, which caused widespread destruction and left 76,000 people homeless, Fascinating is available to stream for free on the band’s Bandcamp page, or you can purchase it for a minimum of $2.00 (at the time of writing that’s £1.60).

The song first appeared on the original master of 2001’s Reveal but was cut at the last minute (amazingly Chorus & The Ring kept its place), and was re-recorded for 2004’s Around The Sun album, but it was deemed not to fit there either. Many will know that Around The Sun is generally considered to be their worst record, so you can maybe find some hope in that.

And Fascinating is really lovely, and would have provided a much-needed boost to either of those albums.

You should give it a listen (and preferably buy it too):

R.E.M. – Fascinating

More soon.

I’m Not Too Keen on Mondays

Pretty sure I won’t be the first in the blogging world to post this tune this month, and I imagine any radio DJ worth their salt will already have given it a spin, but hey, what the heck: it’s a stone cold classic and just what’s needed to get yo’ groove on of a Monday morning:

Earth Wind & Fire – September

More soon.

Sunday Morning Coming Down

I was quite saddened to read yesterday that Sheryl Crow has announced that her current album, Threads, will be her last.

If they weren’t already converts, anyone who managed to catch her recent Glastonbury performance can only have been persuaded of Crow’s pedigree.

Personally, I’ve been a fan ever since I first heard today’s tune, another delve into my days as serial cassingle purchaser. It’s a joyous devil-may-care tale of daytime barfly drinking, with pithy observations on life, men, and the life in men:

More soon.