Well, week one is done - my first three official “Sounds Good!” newsletters are in the post, have been mailed to the inboxes of all paid subscribers. My thanks for all that have supported me in this new phase - this new journey.
Monday is for Movies and TV, Wednesday is books and literature and Friday is music (with a bonus playlist). Thats going to be the structure. Unless of course you really don’t like that structure. You can comment below with suggestions of what you’d like to read and when.
I thought I’d send out some weekend links and updates - and these posts will be free, so you can share them about if you’d like to promote “Sounds Good!” to friends and colleagues.
I haven’t written a lot of reviews over the last week or so - because I’ve been building up to these newsletters. But also because I am in two Fringe Festival shows this coming week in Wellington.
First up, on Wednesday, March 3 from 7-8pm at the Fringe Bar Ill be one of the performers in Comedy vs Poetry FACE/OFF - and that’s exactly what it sounds like. Poets and Comedians in a battle for the funny. A six-minute set by three different comedians and a six-minute set by three different poets. The audience decides who was best and funniest. Now this show is on right through the week from Wednesday’s opening night - with a different lineup each and every night. I am nervous and cannot believe I agreed to it. I also need to find something to read. That’s this weekend’s job!
And then from Thurs-Sat I am playing drums at Meanwhile Gallery (Willis St, Wgtn City) from 6-7pm as part of Ethersonic presents LENS_01 - I am not as nervous about this. But live musical performance with films and projections…what could go wrong? Well for a start it could and should be different every night. And it’s just Koha for entry. So tell your friends and come along.
I do want to mention though that the new album by Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio is a must. They had to very good records already but this is on another level. New drummer in the fold, the previous player was no slouch. But this really sits so beautifully in the pocket. Think Booker T and The Meters and when Harry Connick Jr is funky and the band Khruangbin. Just a stunning record.
Not everyone loves when Miles Davis went electric. But I certainly do. And this new lost recording featuring a Septet is brilliant. Worth your time.
If you love being the one in your group that introduces the old album no one has heard of then William Stuckey’s 1979 minor masterpiece, Love of Mine has just been reissued. And it’s a beauty. Backstory for days too: Created by a blind multi-instrumentalist. (I put a track from this on yesterday’s Something For The Weekend playlist).
There are other reviews over at Off The Tracks but the last I want to highlight this week is the brand new album (Ignorance) by The Weather Station. This is something really special. The first great album of 2021 I reckon. Sure to be on end of year Best lists. (I know, I know, big call, early days…) but I think of it as Natalie Merchant collaborating with The Blue Nile. I’m reminded too of Tracy Thorne’s brilliant solo album from a couple of years ago (quite possibly the very best thing she has done. Which I hope is saying something).
I’ve got so many books on the good and if you wanted to keep track of them I file everything over at Goodreads. I start my books than I finish but I’m okay with that. And if the book is good enough I’ll carry on with it. Currently I’m into a fairly decent Kate Bush biography (and off today to pick up two more Bush bios - so that’s a hint that there’s something on the way about Ms. Kate). I’ve also just started a new volume of poetry by Marie Howe. I learned about her by watching Billy Collins’ masterclass. This is my third volume of Howe’s poetry for this year. She’s fantastic. I also finally fully clicked with Collins and finished his brand new volume, Whale Day and Other Poems just yesterday. Some of his very best work. Loved it. I also finished a brand new graphic novel about David Bowie, specifically it’s about all the influences and moments that created the Ziggy Stardust persona. And it was so good!
I’m watching a movie every day I reckon - again I keep a track of them (or try to, there are so many from the past I’ve forgottten) over at my Letterboxd account - basically a Goodreads for film. From trash to highbrow and back again, that’s my model. This week I’ve been in King country, finishing off the new adaptation mini-series of The Stand (Amazon Prime) not as bad as many people seem to be saying, not as good as it should have been. Also rewatching The Shining, IT (the new one) and The Mist. I’m also lumbering through Breaking Bad (starting season 4) and wondering why I’m bothering (I saw S.1 near to its release, way back a decade ago or so and loved it). Seasons two and three feel dated and uninspired. I guess you just had to be there. Right place, right time TV. Sometimes shows live in the moment eh.
As well as the reviews above I’m right into the new Melvins album - a review will be on Off The Tracks this weekend, same with the latest archival release from Neil Young which is a live gig from the release of Ragged Glory. So we’re talking full Crazy Horse noise and feedback. Fresh from the can after 30 years of waiting. Lots of jazz too. Always. And a few new podcasts. The Alexei Sayle Podcast is my brand-new fave. He also films his bike rides around locked down Londo and shares those (with commentary) on a YouTube channel. Quite cool. And I have Adam Buxton to thank for that knowledge. The Adam Buxton Podcast is my appointment listening (along with Marc Maron and a few others) and I’m back up to date. Also right back up to date (after a break over the holidays) with the Conan O’Brien Podcast (almost always brilliant) and The Kingcast (more Stephen King!)
Top Five Longreads of the Week - always a great selection. Something for everyone
Sweetman Podcast # 256 - Jeremiah Ross (aka MODULE) - really proud of this conversation. A deep chat, maybe tough to listen to in parts. Mental health, musical genius, a “comeback” from a decade of uncertainty, hospitalisation, homelessness…so much in this conversation and I’m so grateful that Jeremiah felt comfortable sharing his story. Have had some strong feedback on this one already.
Emily Writes Weekly - my friend Emily Writes has her Substack newsletter right here and this week had some big news about more writing, including teasing future projects and introducing a weekly Substack chat session…
DisneyPlus (with Star!) - Disney needs to plug from me but if you didn’t know already the addition of “Star” makes them super strong in the fight against Netflix, Neon and Amazon Prime. Star is their adult content - lots of classic movies, TV shows - including a lot of great adult cartoons (all 10 seasons of Futurama for a start) and some compelling sports documentaries. Last night I watched 42 to One, those being the odds when rank outsider Buster Douglas toppled then king of all boxing, Mike Tyson. The sports documentaries now on DisneyPlus are insane. The 8-hour 5-part OJ Simpson doco is the best thing I think I’ve ever seen! And, hey, there’s a doco about Ric Flair. Woooo!
Apparently road cones are reaching pest-level in NZ?? - these beautiful creatures are best observed, well, via my Instagram page frankly but it looks like not everyone agrees.
Have a great weekend. Add your own must-see/must-watch-must-listen/must-read links below