My eldest and his girlfriend are calf deep in the Somerset mud right now. Being a bit of a festival-phobe I'm not that jealous. But then I'm not getting to see Grimes or Mbongwana Star either.
On a more sober matter, I had a look this week at the music of Amjad Sabri, the qawwali singer that was offed by Taliban headbangers in Karachi on Wednesday. He's not as crossover-friendly as Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan but man he was a force. While these joy-killing Salafist pricks get headlines by destroying culture wherever they find it we forget that Islam is also a fountainhead of art. And Pakistani sufi mysticism is a big part of that. Sabri sang about God. That's what he did. The same God in whose name he was allegedly killed. For singing about God. R.I.P.
I always nursed a liberal atheist soft spot for the Sallies. They behaved like Christians rather than just talked like them. But the whole petition episode soured me and others on them for years. I hope they're suitably embarrassed about their role in enabling that kind of intolerance. I'd be interested to know what they think these days.
God I love her. She and Charlie Brooker haven't really made it to the telly here for some reason. Too pommy possibly? Thank Jeebus for the internet.
Best of luck to all concerned with Opportunity Knox. It's yeoman work and needs to be done.
Had tickets for "Sign of the Times" at Wembley in '87 and he cancelled. Aaaaaaargh!
Also, I've reminded myself that even the nightmare scenario might have been fun.....
I'd spent two weeks perversely ratcheting my Prince expectations down to zero. Honestly, I was mentally prepared for a 40 minute rendition of "Cloreen Bacon Skin". Turns out that left me in a perfect state to attend the best gig I'll ever see. Coming out my dear wife said "Well, everyone else should just give up." You kinda know intellectually that he's the most gifted artist of the modern era but to be confronted with the fact in a medium- sized auditorium is another matter altogether.
(Bloody hell Russell, sounds like it's past time to make a contribution to PA. Where do I go?)
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: