Monthly Archives: December 2015

Best of 2015

I’ve already posted my favourite world music, folk and jazz albums. Here are some other highlights of the year. Best experience at a gig. Sitting a few feet behind Bill Charlap at Ronnie Scott’s as he hurtled through “Cool” from … Continue reading

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Musée d’Orsay

A Sunday morning visit, June 2015.

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The defining feature of the GIA’s [Groupe Islamiste Armé] war was its ultra-violent methods. The terrorists did not simply kill people but turned the murders into a form of performance or ritual. As in the original War of Independence, throats … Continue reading

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The producer

My Times review of Peter Guralnick’s  affectionate but over-extended biography of  Sam Phillips, founder of Sun Records and mentor to Elvis Presley: The author of an acclaimed, two-volume biography of the King, Peter Guralnick ought to be the perfect choice … Continue reading

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Portrait of a nurse and child, c. 1850. From A Brief History of the Daguerreotype.  [HT @thegetty via @john_overholt]

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Britain’s last deep coal mine is being shut down: “The National Union of Mineworkers, which used to have more than 500,000 members, is left with just 100 following the closure of Kellingley.” What an incredible statistic. I couldn’t help thinking … Continue reading

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Google put a very clever graphic of Ludwig van B on their home page today in honour of his 245th birthday (or baptism, strictly speaking.) Schroeder would have approved.

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Of all the ways in which music has changed over the course of the twentieth century, the most fundamental was the shift from being something people played to something they consumed and from being part of a larger experience to being … Continue reading

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Christmas spirit

HT: @RothschildHan

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A Bill Bailey masterclass

My review [£] of the comic’s show at The Vaudeville. A 5-star night: When he is in philosophical mode, he muses on the difference between happiness and contentment and our very British habit of setting our expectations to zero. Politics … Continue reading

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