Category Archives: Music

Too much content, too little time

I’m listening to the new Dinosaur Jr album – up there with their best if you like that sort of thing – and wondering how I’ll ever keep up with all the, for want of a better word, ‘content’.

I bought my first Dinosaur Jr album (Green Mind – ok, but not the best one to start with) in a mall in Florida in 1992. Continue reading

Must you hear this?

1001 Albums To Hear Before You DieThis year’s Father’s Day present was 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Handed over by Son1 with a knowing ‘well, you’d better get a move on then’, the door-step sized book goes from 1955 (Frank Sinatra’s In The Wee Small Hours) to 2013 (The Next Day by David Bowie).

As suggested listening it struggles with anything post-2000, giving you the feeling that either millennial music has yet to coalesce into a, more or less, canonical list, or that after 2000 the increasingly internet-driven music culture has diverged in so many different ways that consensus will be increasingly  hard to reach. Continue reading

In five or six years I’m really going to miss Music World

Visiting Kolkata every five or six years I have a handful of places that I’ll always make time to seek out.

It’s not a long list. Mocambo for food, Flurry’s for cakes or pastries, Oxford Bookstore for … well … books, and Music World.

So it was with sadness that I learnt this week that the wasting away of the high street music shop is not confined to the West and that Music World will shortly close (HT: Beth Loves Bollywood). Continue reading

Grabbing moments where you can

Chicago skylineChicago flagsMillenium parkCloud Gate or The BeanRiver architectural tourRiver architectural tour
River architectural tourJazz record shop, ChicagoElevated viewRiver architectural tourThe tallest of the tallJohn Hancock Tower
John Hancock TowerRiver architectural tour

Some Chicago pictures, a set on Flickr.

I don’t travel often for work, but when I do I like to make the most of my time in whatever new location I find myself – even if it means mostly seeing the outside of a lot of buildings. Continue reading

Review: See A Little Light – Bob Mould’s autobiography

The last year or so has unexpectedly proved a bumper time for Husker Du-related books, with first Andrew Earles’ book on the band and more recently Bob Mould’s autobiography, See A Little Light: The Trail of Rage and Melody.

Mould, guitarist and singer first in Husker Du and then in Sugar, has always been a somewhat reticent figure in interviews, happy to talk about the music but rarely giving away anything in public that might be considered personal. Continue reading

Repackaging my youth

In the past month I’ve watched Upside Down: The Creation Records story, started reading Luke Haines’ book on Britpop and received the deluxe reissue of Suede excellent second album Dog Man Star.

Add this to the recent 20th anniversary reissue of Nirvana’s landmark Nevermind and the ongoing R.E.M. reissue campaign and it all adds up to the repackaging of a major part of my youth.

Although it’s striking to be reminded that 20 years have now passed since I was 16 – and it really does seem like several lifetimes ago – I can’t say I mind the repacking and revisiting that accompanies the milestones of decades. Continue reading

Britpop and Luke Haines’ Bad Vibes

“Why is there a cabbage listing to headphones on the cover?

“Luke Haines is insane,” noted Son1 on seeing Bad Vibes: Britpop and my part in its downfall.

And perhaps that’s as apt a review as the book should get, though I would add that Haines’ ’90s memoir is also extremely, and bad temperedly, funny. Continue reading

The fragile promise of new music

I have been contributing to the destruction of the high street shopping for music on Amazon recently. Continue reading

Husker Du: The Story of the Noise-Pop Pioneers

Husker Du biography by Andrew EarlesAndrew Earles’ Husker Du biography is the first book to be dedicated to the Minneapolis trio who, between 1982 and 1987, set a high watermark in the development of American underground guitar music.

Their recorded output spans the lightning hardcore punk of Land Speed Record, genre-breaking double album Zen Arcade, noise pop of Flip Your Wig and ends with Warehouse: Songs and Stories, another double album.

But to date Husker Du has received a chapter in Michael Azerrad’s defining Our Band Could Be Your Life, passing mention in Gina Arnold’s enjoyable On The Road To Nirvana and that’s been pretty much it as far as far as printed spine-bound coverage of the band goes. Continue reading

A time when music blogs hit the spot

One of the things I love about this time of year is the end of year lists.

Roundups of books, films and, especially, music have always appealed, and mp3 blogs provide some of my favourites.

This year was all about option+click on these blogs. Continue reading