There was a favourite song amongst Elvis Costello’s B Sides I came across in an excellent compilation called Taking Liberties that came out in the early 80s. ‘Hoover Factory’ was a short tribute to the Art Deco magnificence of the building that catches your eye as you drive into London from the west. Elvis’s song never really had a chorus as such but landed on the line ‘It’s not a matter of life and death, but what is?’
This sprang to mind as I approached The Blog on an afternoon of high political drama at home and abroad. Art has a way of tucking itself into unusual historical moments. The recent discussions of the Birth of Modernism throw up some interesting anomalies. I particularly enjoyed a wander round the park listening to ‘The Rest Is History’ by Tom Holland and Dominic Sandbrook where they throw in these great titbits like the opening dinner to celebrate the new age in 1922. Picasso, Stravinsky, Proust and Joyce all attended…except that Joyce was late and drunk and he and Proust spoke only of truffles. Sometimes everything does not quite fit in where one imagines it should be.
Will this week, for example, be remembered for the end of a Prime Minister or the beginning of the end of an era defining music streaming service? I suspect it may prove to be neither. I’m also praying it doesn’t become the week a European War commenced.
There’s another story brewing which has interested our Nashville correspondent. It concerns the streaming service that dare not speak its name and it’s not the story you think it is. Bill DeMain, our man in Music City, will be joining me on this week’s Another Country to explain how the age of streaming may have led to the age of Crowd Funding. Bill will also bring us some Nashville News and his usual country tip which, I can almost guarantee, will become a regularly played artist on the show.
I’ll also bring you some great new things. Listen out for Ali Sperry, Anna Ash and Cody Johnson. I’m also very excited to be playing the great new single by Lola Kirke which may become a 2022 favourite. You’ll hear some new cuts from the Brothers Osborne and Old Crow Medicine Show. We have Hayes Carll doing Bob Dylan and something great from Charlie Rich. It all starts at five past eight on BBC Radio Scotland and it’s an FM night as there’s football on the Digital Feed. Join me if you can.
That’s nearly it for this week except to say that you may have seen, this is going to be a busy old year for me. I look forward to seeing you on the road somewhere in the UK or Ireland in September and October. If you’ve not seen my news you can find it on my social media pages or on this link.
Finally, I’m really pleased to be sitting in for Mark Radcliffe on BBC Radio 2’s Folk Show this Wednesday. Join me if you can to hear some great music from this year’s Celtic Connections.