Tuesday, July 13, 2010


I made a resolution for 2010 and I have to report I’m failing dismally.

Back in bleak mid winter when snow lay on the ground for weeks and the central heating was on round the clock, I declared that I would buy fewer CDs this year and concentrate, instead, on listening more to the music already in my collection.

Well, it’s partly true because I have trawled the shelves to listen again to some excellent sounds I’d not heard for years and years. Those that spring most quickly to mind include “Exile on Main Street” by The Stones, now re-released in some super-duper format, Rory Gallagher live, most of Gillian Welch (with no new release in sight), Ron Sexsmith (very under-rated) early Willard Grant Conspiracy, Lucinda Williams, Clem Snide, James McMurtry, The Black Keys, Nick Cave, loads of Neil Young – “On The Beach” in particular – and Steve Earle and dark Springsteen through Nebraska and Tom Joad plus a whole lot more such as The Smiths, Morrissey, Sam Baker and The Felice Brothers.

But, despite that resolution, I’ve added considerably to my collection, too, and I blame Mark Oliver Everett without a shadow of a doubt. And that’s because I am a very latecomer to the wonderful world of Eels. Don’t know why I didn’t pay him more attention as I thought “Novocaine For The Soul” was brilliant when I first heard it. But, I’ve made up for lost time and now have most of the Eels’ collection and, for good measure, I read his captivating autobiography, “Things The Grandchildren Should Know” in one sitting on a return rail journey between Glasgow and Dundee.

I thought not reading the review sections in magazines such as Uncut or tuning less often into internet music sites might curb the urge to buy but, clearly, that’s not been the case. I’m happily admitting failure.

As I write, I can think of quite a few CDs I’d want. In the meantime, here’s what I’ve bought so far this year – and I’d love to hear what you’ve been buying, too. Might give me some ideas, oh, no.

Eels - End Times

Eels - Daisies of the Galaxy

Bonnie "Prince" Billy - The Wonder Show of the World

Mary Gauthier - The Foundling

Primal Scream - Dirty Hits

Bob Dylan - Tell Tale Signs

Dave Rawlings Machine - A Friend Of A Friend

Johnny Cash - Ain't No Grave

Guy Clarke - Old No 1 / Texas Cookin'

Queens of the Stone Age - Songs For The Deaf

Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds – Murder Ballads