Key's avoidance of any situation outside the House where he may be challenged is a pattern, doubtless a strategy and definitely a disgrace. And he gets away with it.
Oh yes, God, Prince. Something will go wrong. Bound to.
There's this of course.
He was actually a first rate writer of prose. It seemed to come more naturally than lyrics. Some mag I've forgotten commissioned him to write a series of science fiction short stories a while back and they were great. In a style of course, but that was his modus operandi. They'll be buried on the internet somewhere but I'm damned if I can find them.
He was rock's first European. And has there ever been a better collaborator? Someone should have hit him up for an instruction manual because he was the gold standard.
It's funny, I'm no superfan and I haven't cared much about his actual music since (bloody hell!) Scary Monsters, but I was quite shocked and even a little upset when I heard. He was supposed to be always there. I mean, he's from the future isn't he?
Aside from the usual suspects (Jamie, Courtney, Kendrick etc) I'm boostin':
Hop Along "Painted Shut" (the normal setbacks, but Frances Quinlan feels 'em)
Angel Haze "Back to the Woods" (virtuoso)
Ashley Monroe "The Blade" (Nashville and proud of it)
Carly Rae Jepsen "Emotion" (purest pleasure)
Grimes "Art Angels" (outreach at last)
Mbongwana Star "From Kinshasa" (afrofuturism is the best futurism)
Donnie Trumpet and the Social Experiment "Surf" (fluid)
Shamir "Ratchet" (droll)
Vince Staples "Summertime '06" (stone cold)
Miguel "Wildheart" (luurve, but also love)
I'm done in halfway through "Hello". I give you the incomparable Carly Rae Jepsen on the matter:
Courtney Barnett was terrific when she played Bodega a few weeks ago. While I enjoyed the Split Peas EPs fine enough I wasn't prepared for the thematic and dynamic onslaught of the album. And all of that thrust was delivered live. Being the thick end of a three piece is a burden and a half and she just nailed it. I had no idea she was such a great guitar player.
I hope everyone's booked for Kate Tempest in January. We're seriously privileged to have her here.
God's a left hander! Who'd have known it? That is God isn't it? Or is it Virgil? I can't tell them apart.
I'm so glad we can have a laugh about the rugby now because, you know, there was a time......
looking at you right now, advertising creatives
Er, that would be me. It's actually one of the pleasures of the job believe it or not. Time was no respectable musician would have been seen dead associating with advertising but it's a different world now.
It's about more than just licensing of existing material though. I don't know why it doesn't occur to more creatives to commission the bands they love to write for the occasion. Artists like it because they get to do their actual thing for proper money without shopping their personal stuff. They also get a pleasing kind of anonymity that allows them to drop their guard musically.
I've worked with Sean, Barry Saunders, Rhian Sheehan, Don McGlashan, Phoenix Foundation and heaps of others and never had a moment's attitude or a bad tune from any of them. The only thing you have to remember is that you're not hiring some "versatile" professional. You're tapping into someone's sensibility and you have to want what it is they do. You're effectively casting them like an actor.
By the way, there's a lot of ire directed at streaming but I think two things should be remembered. 1) It works for listeners. 2) If we're pointing the finger about lack of income, don't assume it's Spotify. The record companies are right in there with their snouts in the trough and they're not revealing anything about their agreements or payment structures. David Byrne is onto this and I hope he gets some results.
I just looked up (evil) "Dust in the Wind" on YouTube - 44 MILLION views! Hardly any comments in English though. Something's happening here etc.