One of the weird things about living in the UK is discovering all those musicians you sort of vaguely assumed were American are actually British.
For example, it kinda blew my tiny mind that The Beta Band hailed from Edinburgh. If High Fidelity had been set in the UK like the book was, maybe I’d have figured it out sooner.
Not to mention that Brits pronounce it ‘BEE-ta.’ When you’re not prepared to hear something pronounced like that, it adds a comical element to conversations. Although you have to be careful not to point it out, because some people won’t necessarily see the funny side.
Adele’s been getting a lot of flak recently for not joining a bunch of lesser mortals to ask a pointless question. Then it came out that she’d just donated her money to charity like everyone else (everyone who isn’t a celebrity, anyway) and people were slightly mollified.
The genius that is Radi-Aid is also starting to get more recognition. There’s not a Brit alive who doesn’t appreciate a good piss-take, and Africa for Norway takes the wind out of Band Aid’s sails beautifully:
Brits are realizing that it’s a cold, harsh world without Adele. Until she’s finished raising a child, the best the British people can do right now is Sam Smith, and he’s adequate only if you’ve forgotten what Adele sounds like.
Last summer I was lucky enough to see David Bowie is, a sprawling retrospective exhibition of everything David Bowie.
Earlier this month, a film of the exhibition was screened worldwide for everyone who didn’t get a chance to see it. The exhibition is also touring the globe, and is in Chicago right now.
And this week, Nothing Has Changed was released. It’s an excellent 3-CD box set of Bowie, and though it is a compilation album it’s a really good one. It starts with the new stuff and works its way backward, ending with Liza Jane, Bowie’s very first single.
How new is the new stuff? There’s one brand new track, which is all about that jazz:
For all that he’s in a museum, David Bowie is determined to keep creating and changing. Hopefully he’ll keep on delighting us for many years to come.
After living here for a few years, you get pretty good at talking about the weather. It’s the one thing you know for certain that everybody has in common.
It’s been unusually foggy here, and the limited visibility makes me think a little of horror movies and a lot of The Hound of the Baskervilles. Even the most prosaic of places becomes transformed by fog. You never know what might be lurking very close by, with you totally unaware.
Ingram Marshall’s Fog Tropes, from 1981, is an excellent way to experience picking your way along the moor in a thick fog without having to go out and do it.
Try to explain to a Brit that the only Blur song Americans know is ‘Song 2,’ (also known as ‘WOO-HOO!’ from that one car commercial) and they won’t believe you.
“What, not even Parklife?” they always ask.
Not even Parklife.
You might think you’re indifferent, but then you realize you’ve listened to it five times in a row.
Super Furry Animals are a Welsh band I didn’t discover until I moved here.
‘Ice Hockey Hair,’ from 1998, is my favorite song of theirs, and one of my favorite songs of all time.