everybody needs a tame ..

18 February, 2006 at 4:29 pm Leave a comment

(a) car mechanic, who won't rip you off by telling you you need to replace your steering wheel; (b) all-round electrician, plumber, builder and carpenter who can help you out when basic tools and ineptirude reach their limits; (c) computer consultant and (d) – most importantly – music expert, who has an encyclopaedic knowledge of what's happening and who, and can point you to stuff you ought to be discovering!

I'm incredibly fortunate in all 4, but none is as amazing as the guy who runs Action Replay in Bowness! His shop is a veritable treasure trove of any kind of music you might like – or learn to like. He's also an enthusiast who will spend hours talking about music, playing stuff, and his advice is pretty well infallible. He put me on to such delights as the Be Good Tanyas – required listening. He also dug me out some suitable non-sacred sacred music, which led to a fascination conversation about his atheism.

But the one to get is the new album by Neil Diamond, 12 Songs. Now when someone like Diamond produces Uncut's album of the month, something is happening. And the something is the producer, Rick Rubin. When Johnny Cash was washed up and had been dumped by everyone, Nick Rubin (who usually produces hard urban music) took him in hand and made him a legend before he died. And now he's taken Neil Diamond into the studio and treated him as new discovery, unencumbered by his past career, and made him produce the best album he's capable of. 12 Songs is the result – and one helluva result it is, too! Stunning!

And if, like me, you've got a nostalgic and embarrassed love of old songs like I am, I said, Holly Holy, Jonathan Livingstone Seagull … well, here's one to buy and play unashamedly!

Talking of blasts from the past, a close second is Janis Ian's new album, Folk is the new Black. Can't wait until payday now.

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Entry filed under: music.

the royal tour born to run

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