Archive for January, 2011



Mark Oliver Everett’s ‘Things the Grandchildren Should Know‘. A tome that’s been sitting on my shelf for two years, I wish I’d read it sooner. It’s both chuckleworthy and cry-into-your-palms sad. I’m spotting a trend with my recent reading material. I’m going to go back to Eels over the next couple of weeks now. The music doesn’t always do it for me, but he’s an extremely good writer, I’ll give him that much.

The BBC documentary about his physicist dad, ‘Parallel Worlds, Parallel Lives‘ is also worth watching. It’s on YouTube.


I think I might be taking my maiden trip to Kilkenny later this year for the city’s annual Rhythm & Roots festival. The long-running festival has a reputation for bringing in some very high profile artists before they’d ‘made it’ (Ryan Adams and Ray Lamontagne both played early gigs there).

The first names announced for this year’s event (April 29th – May 2nd) are John Grant (hurray!), Wilko Johnson, Mary Gauthier, Terry Reid, Frontier Ruckus, Stacie Collins and Little Miss Higgins.

Grant has gone into the studio to make an album with Swedish producer Kleerup, who’s known for his work with Robyn and Lykke Li. Those sessions may have interesting consequences. However, he’s also going to make another album with Midlake this September. Busy man!


I just finished reading this book. Whether you’re an Edwyn Collins/Orange Juice fan or not, it’s highly recommended. Written by his wife Grace Maxwell, it chronicles the journey that they’ve both undertaken since his stroke in 2005, and it’s one of the most poignant, inspiring books I’ve read in a while. The subject matter is undoubtedly sad, but in-between, there are big fat glimmers of hope and laugh-out-loud funniness. What’s more, it’s really wonderfully penned by Maxwell, who probably didn’t realise that she was writing one big love story when she sat down at her desk to start it.

I admired Edwyn Collins before his stroke anyway, but I think I admire him in a different sort of way after reading this.



So it’s nose to the grindstone for most people today (for me, yesterday – nothing like waking up to an email wondering where a feature that you should have filed a week ago is), but most of my Christmas – the part that wasn’t spent eating too much and drinking too much – was spent in a lovely lazy bubble of film- and TV series-watching. In general, most of my spare time is eaten up by music, so it was good to get some quality screen time in. Continue reading