Tuesday, 8th March


If you have yearning for a stripped-back Pink Martini, or a Hall & Oates-sized hole in your musical life, or would even just like a slightly more flexible Rhiannon Giddens, then Lake Street Dive may be your new band of choice. Hipped to them by this, sent straight from the sketchbook of our worthy constituent and Woodstock Correspondent, John Cuneo, executed in his downtime between illustrating covers for The New Yorker. It’s inspired by their new single, “Call Off Your Dogs”. Here’s a live version from the Colbert Show. Dig the Jamerson /Fender bass stylings of the excellent upright bassist Bridget Kearney. Singer Rachael Price has a nice grain to her voice and is tasteful in the best sense of the word. The first clip I saw was this, a cute and sultry live take on “I Want You Back” on a Boston street corner.

…is that if Richard Williams has already written about something then writer beware. So I’m not going to write about either of these: Bill Frisell’s guesting on both Lucinda Williams’ The Ghosts of Highway 20 and I Long to See You by Charles Lloyd and The Marvels (I liked this more than Richard, I think, being no expert in Charles Lloyd). And now I can’t write about Ray Stevens’ “Mr Businessman”, one of the great anti-corporate protest songs of the 60s. We were having a conversation about the love of fairly obscure songs from the 60s in the South, and I was saying how much I loved John Fred and The Playboy Band’s “Judy in Disguise (with Glasses)”, and Richard said did I know “Hey Hey Bunny”, which I didn’t, but which is terrific. He then pulled out his iPhone and called up the lyrics to Mr Businessman. Spectacular. Read about it (and Bill & Lucinda & Charles Lloyd, too) here. And finally, am hugely enjoying the Tom Jones bio (written with Giles Smith, and recommended by Richard here), a bracingly honest look at a pop star life.

AeroDrums is their name, avoiding them is your game.

Barbara Ellen in The Observer: “Australian actress Margot Robbie has revealed how she confused Prince Harry for Ed Sheeran at a star-studded party that the royal had gatecrashed. Clearly, both men have red hair, but Robbie says that it was because Harry was “not wearing his crown”. Robbie also revealed that Harry was “offended”, which seems a tad rich. What’s Harry got to be offended about? As it happens, I’ve criticised Sheeran in the past and with just cause. His global success as a singing pyjama case, dribbling saccharine platitudes into the poptastic-sphere, means that the music industry is now obsessed with signing other highly lucrative singing pyjama cases at the expense of different kinds of music. Or, to be technically correct, at the expense of music…”

So this week it’s illustrators sending me illustrations, Mr John Cuneo swiftly followed by the estimable Marco Ventura, depicting Mr West as a religious icon for Rolling Stone. Captures well the slight truculence that always seems to attend Kanye. Now that he’s been outflanked by Kendrick Lamar, he seems in danger of disappearing into the fashion world’s luxe embrace.




  1. Further to Number One: Lake Street Dive… Did you see this, Martin, on NPR’s excellent Tiny Desk concert series, from a couple of weeks back? http://www.npr.org/2016/02/25/468117712/lake-street-dive-tiny-desk-concert

    • Thanks, Philip! I’m always slightly worried that if I look at one of the tiny desk concerts, I’ll lose a lot of the working day going back through their archive…

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