Sunday, August 23, 2015
This is what is being published, that first draft.
But when the New York Times is reviewing a book that has so much history you want to hear what they say...until of course you read it and realise your worst nightmare is reality and what they say about Go Set A Watchman makes you feel physically ill....for days...so much so you wish you hadn't ordered a copy to buy yourself.
Never have we had such an intriguing, intelligent, passionate, and interesting discussion at Bookclub, especially with such a large attendance. I thank everyone for their kindness and support (to me, for daring to suggest such a book), their passion, their love of literature, their dedication to talking about this book, and every other book we discuss. Despite the fact none of us really liked it, it was a thrilling discussion. How nice it is to sit at a long table with smart, feisty women, and discuss and debate such things. I feel blessed to call each and every one of them my friends.
I would love to hear more thoughts and opinions, so please feel free to share them if you please.
Thursday, August 20, 2015
I tend not to get caught up in what is going on storyline wise with the Ballet. So me it's costumes, costumes, costumes, the romantic music, and the strength yet lightness of these talented individuals. So much to take in, so much to sense, it's a privilege and a delight.
Sunday, August 9, 2015
I got this for Christmas and it's been sitting on my to listen to pile for ages. It is not great, but then I find covers of The Beatles, specifically McCartney songs never are. Sure there are some gems, but they are few and far between.
Why do so many good musicians fall over with these classic songs?
Some artists really ruin songs that would have sounded like a sure bet on paper, Billy Joel doing Maybe I'm Amazed, just awful and he gets a second go on Live and Let Die, which in my mind was already a bad choice, and then he whistled on it...whistled...on Live and Let die...really? Harry Connick Jnr singing My Love sounds like a match made in heaven, but it was beyond awful, he sounded off-key. It should have been a lifted, symphonic performance we all know Connick is more than capable of, but it was not.
Does The Beatles cannon scare people that much? Is it far more difficult musically than it sounds? Do people think they can muck around with perfection? The answer is probably times three!
Those that respect the melody and sing it as intended, but how they sing, make it work the best. Two perfect examples of getting it right are The Cure doing Hello, Goodbye, they sing it exactly as it is meant to be sung, but they still sound like The Cure and it sounds great. Alice Cooper (surprisingly - or maybe not - a huge Beatles fan) does a great version of Eleanor Rigby, same thing, sounds as it is meant to but still sounds like Alice Cooper.
There is a real clarity and crispness to a lot of McCartney's song, the guitar riff on Band on the Run for example, and in these covers the ones that mess up loose that clarity and turn it into murky, and somehow it doesn't work. It's fascinating and almost amusing to listen to...almost...cause technically it is sacrilege! When someone with a voice like Jamie Cullum makes a sweet tune like Every Night sounds dirgy and dark you know something is just wrong.
Def Leppard do well on Helen Wheels, Owl City lift Listen to What the Man Said beautifully, Perry Farrell kills on Got to Get You Into My Life, and The Airborne Toxic Event are great on No More Lonely Nights. The songs sound right, but not exact copies, and you can hear their own uniqueness over the musicality of McCartney. This is how they should be covered.
Then there were the versions that were almost carbon copies, but just don't cut it, because why bother? Corinne Bailey Rae does this with Bluebird, she should have brought an extra sweetness to it, but it never happened. It was technically perfect and she sounds good, but it was lackluster.
George Martin worked on a project with a range of songs being covered by unlikely people over a decade ago, and most of the songs covered sound good. But that is to be expected, if anyone knows how to arrange a Beatles song it is Martin. So why did this project, supposedly overseen by McCartney himself go wrong? Is he just too nice to say to people, you suck? Probably.
There had been some great covers of Beatles songs over the years, my favourites being Joe Cocker's With A Little Help From My Friends and U2's Helter Skelter. And a highly commended to Zoot's Eleanor Rigby. And I do love Roxy Music's Jealous Guy. There are probably a few more, but off the top of my head I cannot think.
What are your favourites? Or ones you cannot stand?
Sunday, August 2, 2015
Miss Fishers Murder Mysteries S3 - Is there anything Miss Fisher can't do? I wouldn't think so and what a great role model. It's always more about the fashion, the relationships, and the stunning attention to detail with the remarkable Deco sets than the mysteries, but that's what makes the show!
Glitch - I cannot begin to tell you how much I loved this unique homegrown drama. It's only 6 episodes and it's stunning, easily the best new series I have seen in a long, long time. Basic premise is a handful of people rise from their grave in a country town. The local cop and doctor find them, the cop's recently deceased wife is one of them. They are all from different eras and times, some being dead for over 100 years. It is played for real, as opposed to a fantasy, zombie type film. it's a drama/thriller with outstanding stories and acting, the production values are outstanding. It has you on the edge of your seat wondering what next, and is a little bit creepy. Why and how did this happen and what does it mean? I shall say no more!
Julia Zemiro's Home Delivery - great new series from Julia, she is such a natural, and interviewing interesting people like Jo Brand (oh I adore her!), Kurt Fernley, Alan Davies, Ian Thorpe, and Leigh Sales. Humorous and heart-warming, something for everyone.
The World of Post Secret by
Frank Warren Post Secret has been around
for a long, long time. It is Frank Warren's baby. People post him postcards
annoymously with their deepest and darkest (though sometimes light and amusing)
secrets written on them and he publishes them in book form. There was a website,
unsure it still exists, but I think there was some controversy surrounding it
and some trolling of the secrets. Anyway, it's always a thrill to flick through
these books and read what goes on in the deepest recesses of our
Post Secret has been around for a long, long time. It is Frank Warren's baby. People post him postcards annoymously with their deepest and darkest (though sometimes light and amusing) secrets written on them and he publishes them in book form. There was a website, unsure it still exists, but I think there was some controversy surrounding it and some trolling of the secrets. Anyway, it's always a thrill to flick through these books and read what goes on in the deepest recesses of our minds.