Chris Cornell: 1964-2017


I don’t know how to write this one. I just don’t. I know that depression is a terminal disease. If you are lucky, something else will get you first, but sometimes the depression will take you. I know this because bipolar disorder is a terminal disease. I have to actively fight to stay alive. Bulimia … More Chris Cornell: 1964-2017

Soundtrack of my Life: Ten Best Elvis Costello Songs


If I want some snark, some verbosity, some damn fine songwriting, I turn to Elvis Costello. There is something about how his songs play out. He’s fearless about genre (and occasionally language itself). And sometimes he shows up in the most random of places. Austin Powers cameo? Sure, why not! Host my own talk show* … More Soundtrack of my Life: Ten Best Elvis Costello Songs

Soundtrack of my Life: “Go Do” by Jonsi


Sigur Rós is my meditation music. So I’m well aware of Jónsi’s penchant for falsetto and ethereal prettiness.  But the reason that “Go Do” is my favourite Jónsi song is because it is so damn euphoric. Over a dominant percussive line, he tosses out line after line of optimism and support. “We should always know … More Soundtrack of my Life: “Go Do” by Jonsi

Soundtrack of my Life: “Goodbye To You” by Michelle Branch


When you love someone set them free. Over two years ago I met the most amazing person. I rarely meet people I can tolerate for longer than thirty seconds, so the fact I liked this person was a miracle unto itself. Yeah. I fell in love with him, breaking every single rule I set up … More Soundtrack of my Life: “Goodbye To You” by Michelle Branch

Soundtrack of my Life: “Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright” by Bob Dylan


As we are all very aware now, I love Dylan. So very much. But this song choice is basically coming down to this: It’s fine. It’s cool. I get it. Really I do. You win. I give up. And that is that.   It’s pointless to fight for something when it only seems to really … More Soundtrack of my Life: “Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright” by Bob Dylan

Soundtrack of my Life: “War In Peace” by Skip Spence


I started writing this before all the hell of November began, so I decided to finish it. I’ll write the 2016 year-end stuff next month and then that’s it until I find some sort of joy or purpose. When I discussed Skip Spence’s exquisite and underappreciated OAR, I mentioned a fondness for the broken and lost geniuses … More Soundtrack of my Life: “War In Peace” by Skip Spence

Soundtrack of my Life: “God Give Me Strength” by Elvis Costello and Burt Bacharach


There is a delightful and underlooked gem of a film called Grace of My Heart, directed by Allison Anders and starring the incomparable Illeana Douglas. Anders is a highly acclaimed independent film maker responsible for the amazing Gas Food Lodging and Mi Vida Loca, but my favourite is the still Grace, a film of warmth and tenderness filled with incredible … More Soundtrack of my Life: “God Give Me Strength” by Elvis Costello and Burt Bacharach

Soundtrack of my Life: “Reward” by Teardrop Explodes


I have talked before about the joy a great brass section can bring to a dreary existence. It works time and time again- hence the popularity of songs like “Crazy in Love”, “Move On Up”, and the entire career of Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass (never underestimate or write off Herb Alpert). But among … More Soundtrack of my Life: “Reward” by Teardrop Explodes

Soundtrack of my Life: “Lloyd, I’m Ready to be Heartbroken” by Camera Obscura/ “Are You Ready To Be Heartbroken?” by Lloyd Cole and the Commotions


Scottish twee. Yes, it is. Pure pop, with Tracyanne Campbell’s thin, girlish voice and the band’s chipper tempo hiding the darker, almost scornful lyrics that touch on myopic love and loss of identity.  Can you stay a girl while holding a boy’s hand? Do girls want to be protected like the Crown Jewels? Are you … More Soundtrack of my Life: “Lloyd, I’m Ready to be Heartbroken” by Camera Obscura/ “Are You Ready To Be Heartbroken?” by Lloyd Cole and the Commotions

Soundtrack of my Life: “Blake’s Jerusalem” by Billy Bragg


Here we are, on a Sunday morn, watching football instead of being in church. I don’t often go to church- being  single parent, I usually spend my Sunday doing various pieces of housework that need more than ten seconds of concentration and sleeping. Saturdays often belong to various appointments and groceries. I grew up with … More Soundtrack of my Life: “Blake’s Jerusalem” by Billy Bragg

Soundtrack of my Life: “What You Do To Me” by Teenage Fanclub


I discussed Teenage Fanclub’s Bandwagonesque here. The lyrics are twenty-one words repeated over and over on top of a sunny melody, topped with grungy guitars. They were so Big Star that it hurt. It’s a juvenile love song- “What you do to me, I know, I can’t believe, there’s something about you that’s got me down on … More Soundtrack of my Life: “What You Do To Me” by Teenage Fanclub

Soundtrack of my Life: “Into The Mystic” by Van Morrison


Someone on the web, in some comments section somewhere, recently criticised Van Morrison as a singer. Limited range, nasal tone, the usual things said when someone hates a singer. Now, the guy wasn’t totally wrong on those points- Van is nasally, and does not have a huge range. But Van is an amazing songwriter, and … More Soundtrack of my Life: “Into The Mystic” by Van Morrison

Soundtrack of my Life: “Cornflake Girl” by Tori Amos


1991 was when Tori Amos unleashed Little Earthquakes on to an unsuspecting public. A fiery red-head who could play the piano like it was her bitch, spawned from Debussy and Rachmaninoff and inspired by Zeppelin and Bowie, she unleashed a torrent of feelings on the universe. I will be speaking about songs from Little Earthquakes later- it is … More Soundtrack of my Life: “Cornflake Girl” by Tori Amos

The Song List Supplemental: Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds “If I Had A Gun”


First. I like Oasis. I consider them a lesser band than Blur or Pulp, but they were not so offensive as to put me off. Second. I think Noel Gallagher is a far, far better singer than Liam. Noel’s post Oasis project proves it. This album almost made my 2011 list. Third. I hate it when … More The Song List Supplemental: Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds “If I Had A Gun”