Late Night Stargazing

Sometimes, writing this series is very easy indeed.

All I have to do is write something about the song being beautiful, or magnificent, or gorgeous, and my work is done.

Tonight’s song is all of those things and more:

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Mercury Rev – The Dark Is Rising

More soon.

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Late Night Stargazing

I’m not really a fan of the whole Marvel/DC Comics movie franchise, but a month or so ago, I caught the trailer for Deadpool 2, thought it looked really funny and half-remembered a lot of people on Twitter banging on about how brilliant the first one was.

A week or so later, as I scrolled lethargically through the choices on Netflix I saw that the first one had serendipitously been added, so I gave it a go. And bloody loved it.

So this week I popped along to my local multiplex to watch the sequel, and loved it even more. As well as being action-packed as you’d expect, it’s incredibly arch, funny, often knowingly so, quite sweary, and with plenty of popular culture references thrown in to keep you on your toes. There’s also plenty of “breaking the fourth wall” moments, when Deadpool addresses the audience directly as the action unfolds at the same time. Think Miranda dressed sort of like Spiderman but wise-cracking like Bruce Willis in the Die Hard movies rather than just falling over and you’re somewhere close.

You don’t need to have seen any of the other Marvel or DC Comics movies – although I probably had a few references to them soar over my head – and you don’t necessarily need to have seen the first Deadpool movie to enjoy the second, but I’d say there are enough peripheral characters in both to probably make it worth investing the time in doing so.

And the soundtrack is bloody marvellous too, and tonight’s track appears at one of the few quiet moments in the film (which contains a simply quite wonderful pop culture reference which I won’t spoil here):

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a-ha – Take on Me (MTV Unplugged – Summer Solstice)

More soon.

Late Night Stargazing

I’ve been listening to, and loving, Tracey Thorn’s latest record, called, erm…well Record recently.

I first remember hearing Tracey and her frankly incredible voice way back in the mid-80s when she was still part of Everything But The Girl, long before they changed from being a predominantly acoustic duo to being (I hesitate to call them this still, it sounds like a real Dad terminology) a dance act.

This record in fact, which sounds as great today as it did back then:

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Everything But The Girl – Each and Every One

More soon.

Late Night Stargazing

I’m quite a happy drunk, I think.

Generally, when I get a bit squiffy, at some point or other I will probably sing, in that way that drunks do when they suddenly believe they’re much more talented than they actually are.

Luckily for most people, and unluckily for others (such as my neighbours, or former flatmates), I generally reserve such behaviour from when I’m at home. I’m not a show-off.

About twenty years ago,  I house-shared with a chap I knew from college and his girlfriend. She was the same as me, and Friday and/or Saturday nights would generally end up with us turning up the stereo and caterwauling along to a few tunes.

We both had a song which when we played it meant it was the end of the night, apart from the other’s song which would immediately follow. Mine was Costello’s version of Good Year for the Roses, which came on my iPod earlier today, reminding me of those nights, and of her song.

Which was this:

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The Velvet Underground – Candy Says

More soon.

Late Night Stargazing

Did I mention that I love The Wedding Present?

They’re without doubt the band I’ve seen more than any other since I first saw them way back in 1988, and now I manage to go see them at least once a year.

A couple of years ago, I caught them performing the album that tonight’s song is from – 1994’s Watusi – which is an often-overlooked gem in my book.

For those of you who think they’re a bit of a one-trick pony I urge you to listen to this and see just how utterly wrong you are:

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The Wedding Present – Spangle

Just plain heart-achingly gorgeous.

More soon.

Late Night Stargazing

I’ve watched some stuff while I’ve been resting.

One of the things what I watched was Seeking a Friend for the End of the World.

Here’s the plot: thrown together Steve Carell and Keira Knightley, your archetypal odd couple, who, faced with the impending apocalypse, go on a road trip together, the aim being to reconnect with important people from their past. Carell: an ex-girlfriend, Knightley: her family.

Knightley plays the cookie, vinyl junkie, who, when walking out on her boyfriend takes an armful of records with her.

The reason I mention this is because right here this is quite impressive attention to detail.

There’s a scene where Carell is alone in Knightley’s apartment, and he flicks through her vinyl collection.

Tonight’s record isn’t played, but you get a glimpse of it, and you (by which I mean me) find yourself nodding and agreeing that it’s exactly the sort of record that Knightley’s character would have owned, and you tip your hat to the researcher you insisted it was placed there. No songs from it feature on the soundtrack, it’s just there as an endorsement of the persona of its owner, left without comment for nerds like me to notice.

And notice I did, so here we are.

The album in question is The Magnetic Fields’ three disc opus 69 Love Songs, and this is probably my favourite song on it:

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The Magnetic Fields – I Don’t Believe in the Sun

If Nick Cave had sung this. we’d be tripping over ourselves to proclaim this, and the record as a whole, as genius. Which it is anyway. A must-own: go buy it if you don’t already have a copy.

More soon.

Late Night Stargazing

My visit to the cinema this week was to see A Quiet Place. More about this later, but for now, the only song to feature in the whole movie.

It’s a rather lovely moment when it does; real-life husband and wife John Krasinski and Emily Blunt are alone, and she takes one earphone out of her ear and places it in his.

And for a moment or two, the silence that envelopes the film, is broken, as their ears, and the cinema, are filled with this little beauty:

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Neil Young – Harvest Moon

More soon.