Category: music


Charlotte Gainsbourg: The Operation

Charlotte Gainsbourg is an actress and recording artist and the daughter of Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg. The dark lyrics in this song belie the candy-coated production: very “Euroronic”. There’s a transcript below.  

The Operation

I want to explore you, I’m going to get under your skin so you can feel me running through your veins: I want to examine every inch of your frame, the pressure points that cause your joy and pain.

Our love goes under the knife, there is no room for doubt.

Now I’m inside you, my hands can feel their way further inside than I have ever been: now I can really mess around with your heart and fill it to the brim with broken dreams.

Our love goes under the knife, two lives may be saved.

And if I pull this off I’ll refuse the nobel prize, instead I will look into your eyes: if I pull this off your whole body will be mine and I’m prepared to work throughout the night.

Our love goes under the knife, nothing is taboo… here on the cutting edge of science.

Too much information. I feel I’m getting lost, absorbed into the fibre of your soul, deep within the abbatoir of your entrails, your insides, lost in you forever, far from home.

Our love goes under the knife, someone got too close.

Our love goes under the knife, the heart was rejected by the host.

Link Wray: Rumble

I met Suzanne outside the Hawley Arms in Camden in 1983. She had big sad eyes. I asked her what the problem was. Bridget was embarrassed. I was drunk.

“Why did you leave us?” she asked.

I said, “What do you mean?”

There were tears in her eyes. I lit a cigarette and offered her one.

“I haven’t smoked since Chinatown,” she said. Bridget shuffled her feet.

“Buy me a drink.”

I said, “Do I know you?”

“Two Barley Wines,” she replied, “buy me two Barley Wines and I’ll forgive you.”

“Forgive me for what,” I asked.

“I’ll have that cigarette after all,” she said, taking one from the pack. “Two Barley Wines… one for each of your dead children.”

God told me…

…that I’ve been neglecting my blog of late, so, to keep him happy, here’s a little snatch of a rather one-sided conversation about music I had with Jon Hilltown the other day:

‘I love it. Late at night I think about it. I slip a disc in it and I turn it on: it’s a darkness like velvet.

The low lights create highlights that shimmer. Then I cry.

So I drink and smoke and listen to the jazz and imagine it could be me making that beautiful music. All the time I know it’s Cloudy.

Nobody’s fooling anyone.

For twenty years she mixes that brass and breath and now it sounds like heaven.

The sax teaches her how to sing and the traps and the bass and that belligerent guitar unite and become her heartbeat. Then her rice-paper-voice-skin freezes beneath those lime-lights.

She is born for this. I am just a pair of ears.

I still feel her nerve-ends stinging like a high-hat shimmy, slightly but work-ably out of time. Her blood is air to me.

I recall her touch and it’s like being alive again but ever so secretively. And when the music is over I sleep and dream she still lives.

When I wake up I walk naked through the rooms and when I have searched every one in vain I make coffee. Then I dress myself and realise that I will always be a honey for the jazz bear.

Whether I am alone or with friends or with a lover or an enemy; whether in security or fright or in flight or at home or abroad…

I’m fish food. And the fish are all playing saxophones, guitars…

A Negro double bass player clinks some ice into a glass just before the dawn and endlessly, increasingly weirdly, I start to die.’

Alright God? Now perhaps you’ll f**k off and let us get on with our earthly (or otherwise) sins for a while?

To my mortal friends — Jon Hilltown’s story is coming soon to a book store near you.

Love y’all…

Amy Winehouse: ‘Rehab’ au naturel

This is Amy Winehouse, winner of this years Brit awards, singing her single ‘Rehab’ live, in what looks like someone’s front room.

The single’s great but this is awesome.

By the way, for those of you who don’t know, Amy is the daughter of a Jewish cab-driver from an expensive London suburb called Southgate. ‘Rehab’ is from her second album, Back to Black.

Run it…

John Munro: cool-vids

Some time ago I featured a great short film by John Munro called Oxford Circus. It’s so good I’m featuring it again.

I just love this. Check out the rest of John Munro’s catalogue here.

Billy Mackenzie

It’s ten years since Billy’s death. I met him a few times and liked him a bit but I don’t think I came close to knowing him.

Nobody did.

To the music media at the time he was something of a sacred cow, no-one wanted to say it like it was.

Reading between the lines and drawing on personal experience he was a spoiled brat, really. He never knew what it was he wanted but was always confident that he could get it and, when he couldn’t, he’d convince himself and everybody else that he didn’t want it in the first place.

He had a head full of music, a lot of charm and an ear for a lyric but he never mastered an instrument. His voice was interesting and had a good range but he faked the high register and socially he was a bit of a prat.

And then there are the musicians he ate up and spat out: guys like Steven Reid, for example, the guitar player who co-wrote a lot of his stuff but never received any credit.

But hey, this is Galloway the iconoclast talking (if I can dis God I can dis Billy), so, if you worshiped him or if his memory is sacred to you, if you want to think of him as a lost, tortured soul, a tragic genius, you go ahead, my friend…

I won’t disillusion you.

Sing it to the angels Billy and rest in peace.

Died 22 Jan 1997.

Happy Birthday Bowie

Celebrities are fellow human beings who are better than us because lots of people know who they are. Everyone loves celebrities.

Even those who claim to despise celebrities would, if they were honest, prefer to share a drizzly afternoon birthday tea with a 60 year old David Bowie than spend one more second in my revolting non-celebrity company.

Here’s a montage of clips from 1969 to 2004 set to a live version of “Heroes”. It was put together by someone called Mike T and I think it’s pretty cool.

Diana Krall: “A case of you” video

Some stellar but spare piano playing and a fantastic vocal performance on Joni Mitchell’s great song. Here’s to you Mrs Costello. She gave birth to twins on December 6. Congrats.

“Lie to me…”

I have no use for the truth. There’s a dead piano in my basement and I ain’t no undertaker.

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