Saying goodbye to Daniel Johnston, who died this week, and thanking him for all he gave. Continue reading Go, go, go, go, you restless soul
Each month Your New Favourite Old Band features a band who been around a long time, long since split up and otherwise forgotten or unfairly overlooked by music history. This month, The Raincoats.
It was Kurt and Courtney who first introduced me to The Raincoats, although not personally of course. Kurt was a big fan of the band, wrote the sleevenotes for the re-release of their self titled first album and booked them as a support band for Nirvana when the band reformed in the nineties. Courtney’s band Hole, who were my favourite band in my mid-teens, covered ‘The Void’ also from that same debut album.
Ultimately though, I totally believe it’s possible to be a great parent and a great musician. Musicians have barriers to overcome that most people don’t have when it comes to parenting, and those barriers increase the more successful and well known a musical becomes. But all parents have challenges, some deal with them well and some don’t. Musicians are an interesting case, but not an exceptional one. Continue reading Can a great musician be a great parent?
I recently finished reading a book on conspiracy theories. Before you get worried that I’m going to start telling you that lizards were responsible for 9/11 or that the Bilderburg group are to blame for my poor mobile phone reception, I should point out that the book in question was David Aaronovitch’s ‘Voodoo Histories‘, which tries to both debunk a number of well known conspiracy theories and explain why they are so widely believed.
This got me thinking about musical conspiracy theories. You know the kind of thing. Paul McCartney is actually dead. Tupac is actually alive. Courtney killed Kurt. Now I think these type of conspiracies are too ridiculous to be given much time (although a friend who actually knew Kurt and Courtney a little completely believes the latter one), but there is a kind of lower-level conspiracy theory which is more insidious and damaging. This is the theory that gets bandied about every time a successful female musician is in a relationship with a male musician, that he secretly wrote all of her songs.The two cases I particularly remember from my peak music press reading years in the 1990s were Hole and Elastica.
Yesterday, whilst my daughter napped in the afternoon, I put on Nirvana’s ‘Unplugged in New York’. The choice of listening was not itself that significant, it was just that I realised it was the first time I had consciously chosen to put a particular album on at home since she was born. I had put music on to try and soothe her, I had put … Continue reading What are they tuning, a harp?