I gratefully picked up a couple of charity shop CDs yesterday. I’m playing Up by R.E.M. as I pen these words. It’s funny how most of the much-loved Georgian collective’s recent work has passed this punter by as I worshipped the band’s first half dozen recordings. I confess I gave up a bit on Stipe and his chums after the blinding commercial success of Out Of Time and Automatic For The People when they mutated from vaguely underground, critically acclaimed hepcats into stadium-dwelling, unit-shifting superstars. Since that brace of mega-hits, I’ve enjoyed the New Adventures In Hi-Fi album and quite liked Reveal but regret that nothing by the group has been able to move this listener as much as Document or Lifes Rich Pageant or Reckoning. I’d never heard any of Up until yesterday apart from the single Daysleeper. It does possess a slightly anti-commercial sound and I am refreshed to learn that the wondrous Radiohead regard Up as a key influence on their peerless Kid A (still my very favourite Radiohead LP). Many of the tracks contain murky and understated electronic riddims and proffer a faintly uneasy listen – a good thing. I’m going to spin this blighter regularly this week. A grower, I reckon.
I also bought Massive Attack’s Mezzanine, a masterpiece by all accounts.
A wistful and forlorn glance outside offers a bleak vista of coldness and grey skies. I long for a hint of sun on the face and a gleeful peek at an azure horizon. I’ve been thinking about festivals today as an antidote to the wintry gloom. There shall be no