Friday, 27 February 2009
Wednesday, 18 February 2009
Tuesday, 10 February 2009
"I made conscious decisions to continue to write darker material, and I’m totally comfortable with that. There are certain decisions I could have made where I would have reached a bigger audience at several points of my career, and a lot of those decisions had to do with wanting to reserve the right to write songs that people die in. It was one of the things that was surgically removed from country music, and as a result it really lost its soul: it was from a country influence that we got those early rock and roll songs where people died, like "Leader of the Pack", but people aren’t allowed to die in country songs anymore. Come on, country music was always the one place where people were allowed to die!"
Friday, 6 February 2009
You can read my piece about the great Jacques Brel (who I've decided to henceforth dub "The Emperor of Death Pop" - let's see if it catches on) in today's Guardian. It features interviews with Marc Almond, Zach Condon, Neil Hannon, Gavin Friday and Teenage Fanclub's Norman Blake - but not Joan Wasser. Sorry Joan!
Thursday, 5 February 2009
Anyway, one song we discussed was "Just The Motion", which appeared on his knockout 1982 album Shoot out the Lights. The song depicts life as a journey upon a constantly restless sea, with no haven or harbour to be found. Here’s a short sample of the exchange:
RT: Life is surfaces and you’re subject to the storms and waves and ripples and all this disturbance; all the inconstancy. You have to dive down deep inside yourself where there’s a calmness and things don’t change. That’s what the song is about.
GT: There’s a real ambiguity in the lyrics: “Cause under the ocean at the bottom of the sea/ You can’t hear the storm, it’s as peaceful as can be.” It sounds suspiciously like drowning.
RT: Well, perhaps you have to drown – perhaps the answer to life is to drown.
Brilliant. You don't get these kinds of answers from Lily Allen, do you? The song is sung by Linda on the album, but here’s some footage I’ve never seen before of Richard performing the song solo. It’s extraordinary.
Sunday, 1 February 2009
"Those moments where Thomson steps into the narrative work really well
throughout Shot a Man in Reno, reminding the reader that despite the
dark subject, music is cathartic, fun, and liberating, and that our close ties
to it drive us to mix it up a little when something bugs us. For all the
research and interviews that went into the book, Thomson isn’t trying to write a
dry scholarly tome, so he has plenty of chances to include himself in the
discussion. And the book, already fascinating and fun to begin with, is better
for it..... The only real problem with the book? It’s a shame it couldn’t come
with a CD."