The first time I heard Devendra Banhart, I remember thinking that there was something ineffably creepy about him. I loved "Oh Me Oh My. . .", but it felt an eerie, almost malign record, and the impression was compounded at his first London show, supporting Michael Gira. Banhart didn't seem dangerous, exactly, but his otherness was somehow disturbing, as well as compelling.
I remembered to bring in some Lee Hazlewood this morning, so we're starting the day with "Requiem For An Almost Lady". John Robinson, our Reviews Editor, just told me how he once received a "hate fax" from the great man, after calling him, affectionately, a "prickly old bastard" in a live preview.
It's been a couple of months since I wrote about Robert Wyatt's excellent "Comicopera", which still isn't out until October. In the meantime, one of Wyatt's old sparring partners has sneaked under the wire ahead of him. Kevin Ayers, of all people, has a new album out at the start of September, and it's rather good.
I haven't done one of these playlists for a week or so, and there are plenty of interesting things that have arrived here in the interim. So these are the records that have put us off work on the next issue thus far today. I'll be writing about a few of them over the next few days, apart from one which sounded pretty dull and which I won't mention here to try and retain the, y'know, positive vibes. . .
It's just occurred to me that, for the past week or so, a lot of the stuff I've been writing about has been by either female singer/songwriters (PJ Harvey, Linda Thompson) or splattery noise/drone bands from the States (Cloudland Canyon, White Rainbow, Magik Markers).
"Is Michael Bay the Devil?" Screams the headline on a 1998 Entertainment Weekly article that's currently posted on Michael Bay's website. Certainly, there's a large number of film critics out there who seem to hold the director personally responsible for pretty much everything that's Wrong in movies.
A surprising lack of indignation over at yesterday's Bob Dylan vs Mark Ronson blog, where everyone seems to have responded to the "Most Likely You Go Your Way (And I’ll Go Mine)" remix with commendable restraint.
Apologies, first, that this isn't my usual film blog, but I was pretty shocked to read in a tabloid newspaper this morning that self-confessed "technophobe" Elton John would like to see the Internet shut down for five years -- "to see what sort of art is produced over that span."
Much wringing of hands and righteous indignation in Dylanworld today, as Mark Ronson's remix of "Most Likely You Go Your Way (And I’ll Go Mine)" is unveiled at Dylan07.com. Outrage and accusations of sacrilege, I imagine, will be the first responses of many of you.
Yep, I guess it's that Ecstatic Peace time of the week again. Today's offering from Thurston Moore's imprint - maybe my favourite label of 2007, certainly the one I've written about most - is the jamming new album by Connecticut's Magik Markers.
Such has been the drooling media focus on Kate Bush this week, it might be tough to imagine British music journalists listening to anything else these past few days. I'm not, in fairness, exempt from the hysteria: here's...