The night after playing at the East Village Arts Club I woke up to a beautiful blue-swept spring day in Liverpool last week. Stepping out of my hotel I saw this on pavement at my feet. Suited the day perfectly.
News — In Full
As some of you know, my new song 'Nathaniel' was inspired by a commemorative sign I saw by the side of a road in Oregon last year. I was struck by the its stark, emotional simplicity. Having researched the story I'd found out it was erected following the death of a local boy in a car wreck. In the song I contrast its impact with our seeming current social obsession with 'secondary grieving' - the way we can make vast public shrines and send flowers and toys to complete strangers following moments of tragedy that often have nothing directly to do with us.
Having regretfully not taken a photo myself at the time, I found this great photo of it on Flickr by Austin Granger called 'For Nathaniel, Tillamook, Oregon' and I hope he doesn't mind my reproducing it here, and nor do the family members behind the story.
Rain. Saturday. A mixtape. 38 mins.
Michael Chapman / The Last Polish Breakfast
Blitzen Trapper / Below The Hurricane
Hans Appleqvist / Jag en gök
Desertshore / Pollen Hinges
Neil Young / Will To Love
Van Morrison / Beside You (Acapella)
White Magic / Katie Cruel
Talk Talk / New Grass
Bert Jansch / Running From Home
Mixed with additional found sounds, field recordings, additional original synth, space echo
This is a non-commercial, non-profit mix. If you like any of the artists featured, please seek them out and buy their music.
Whenever I read books with lots of references to music I often wish there was a place to go to listen while you read, so with this in mind I decided to create a soundtrack for my new book, 'Romany and Tom'. From one of the first jazz 78s my dad ever bought in the late 1930s, through his own big band sound of the 50s, to the low-slung slacker 70s and the post-punk energy of my teens, the playlist covers almost all the mentions within the book. Almost two hours to get lost in, covering almost fifty years of music. And if you haven't managed to get the book yet, here's a link to try a few chapters out. Hope you like it. (Don't forget to log into your Spotify account to listen direct from this page. Not got Spotify?)
(The photo on the pinboard for this post is my dad with his quintet at Quaglinos in 1957)
I took this moments before my final show of 2014 backstage at Le Poisson Rouge on Bleecker Street in New York.