Sound & vision, August 2019

Posted: in JournalTagged: review

  1. Peaky Blinders” (TV series, S1 2013, S2 2014) So, so good. As if the characters, storyline and production value weren’t enough, the soundtrack is stellar. Nick Cave and Radiohead are ever-present.
  2. Dunkirk” (2017) Conflicted. The film is a technical marvel but I lacked connection with the charcters.
  3. Dirty Dancing” (1987) Rewatched. I’ll always have a soft-spot for this one from the days of VHS. Engrained in popular culture and still an enjoyable yarn.
  4. The Great Hack” (Documentary 2019) Chilling. Accompany this with Carole Cadwalladr’s TED talk for a concerning picture of how our democracy is manipulated by the powerful few.
  5. Toy Story 4” (2019) Masterful. I think I enjoyed this more than my 5 year old. There’s a wonderful sense of humanity at the core of these films. The quality of CGI blows my mind.
  6. Knock Down the House” (Documentary 2019) Depressing, though ultimately inspiring. Women in politics striving for change but being thwarted by the abstract concerns of party politics. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez‘s story bucks the trend to leave a sense of hope.

The digital age finally got the better of me this month as I reluctantly parted with my entire CD collection; hundreds of albums, steadily built up since buying my first at 16yrs old. Those brittle 5.59″ x 4.92″ x 0.39″ plastic cases fast became part of my identity, each with its own memory attached as I tumbled head-first into a world of musical discovery in my late teens and beyond. Listening habits have long since moved online though, where access to anything from that dusty old collection is now a mere few keypresses away. Seductive, instant, yet ultimately lacking that tactile magic. It was a big deal to say goodbye.

  1. A Go Go” (John Scofield 1998) New to me. Scofield has an impressive ability to keep extended solos fresh and full of interesting phrasing. The kind of playing I’ve been searching for to inspire my own.
  2. Aja” (Steely Dan 1977) Relistened. Mainly for the solo in “Peg”.
  3. Peaky Blinders” (Various 2013-) The focus has mostly been on revisiting songs from Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds. “Bring it on” has become a new favourite.
  4. Got Soul” (Robert Randolph & The Family Band 2017) That pedal steel playing is something else and worth the admission fee alone.
  5. Rejuvination” (The Meters 1974) Relistened. My kind of funk.
  6. i,i” (Bon Iver 2019) Yet to fully digested the album, but “Naeem” is a wonderful track that I’ve had on repeat.
  7. In Rainbows” (Radiohead 2007) One of a handful of CDs I kept for in-car aural pleasure. My favourite Radiohead album.

Two weighty reads from the book club I’m part of:

  1. Educated” (Tara Westover 2018) An incredible life.
  2. Man’s Search for Meaning” (Viktor E. Frankl 1946) A short but essential read. Incredibly thankful that we don’t have to inhabit a Nazi concentration camp to benefit from the wisdom and heart shared here.