After a time we decide to catch our breath on a bench beside a modest, mottled statue. An old vaudeville performer, according to the inscription etched into its stunted plinth, his likeness cast with an outsized suit and a cheesy, performer’s grin. ‘I know him,’ you say. ‘Well, I know of him. A sad story, as are many. His act consisted of small, half-spoken ditties – little more than poetic fragments set to whatever orchestration he could pick up along the way – but his lines were littered with strangely maudlin sentiment: There’s gonna be some trouble…a whole house will need rebuilding…’
‘Did you ever see him perform?’ I ask, and you smile ruefully, as if snagged by a memory.
‘No, no I didn’t. I think he must have expired long before. Condemned after the matinee, perhaps; his final bow requisitioned by a bloated liver in a Morecambe boarding house.’
There’s gonna be some trouble… we both understand the implication; no acknowledgement is required. I look up towards the fake, stilted sunlight, then across again at the vaudevillian, and the longer I study him the less I begin to care for his expression. If a tarnished monument can possess something as personal as a demeanour, then his suggests a pawing unpleasantness. A sly, ingrained tilt, as if he’s due to clamber from his pedestal and denounce us for what we really are.
The long-list for the second Scottish Album Of the Year award was announced earlier today. Some grand records, below. Some I’d heavily suggest running rapidly away from too, but that’s the nature of these kind of things. And whilst award ceremonies are generally poppycock, this particular one does at least have pedigree in the winner’s circle (Aidan Moffat & Bill Wells won last year). Plus – the keen-eyed amongst you will have noticed LGM’s album of 2012 hiding in the nominations:
Admiral Fallow – Tree Bursts In Snow
Auntie Flo – Future Rhythm Machine
Calvin Harris – 18 Months
Dam Mantle – Brothers Fowl
Django Django – Django Django
Duncan Chisholm – Affric
Emeli Sandé – Our Version Of Events
Errors – Have Some Faith In Magic
*** Human Don’t Be Angry – Human Don’t Be Angry ***
Karine Polwart – Traces
Konrad Wiszniewski & Euan Stevenson – New Focus
Lau – Race The Loser
Meursault – Something For The Weakened
Miaoux Miaoux – Light Of The North
Paul Buchanan – Mid Air
PAWS – Cokefloat!
RM Hubbert – Thirteen Lost & Found
Stanley Odd – Reject
The Twilight Sad – No One Can Ever Know
The Unwinding Hours – Afterlives
Below the words: another of those records I’m sent for review on a regular basis. And there’s so many good intentions, even as this (electronic) pile swells toward something unmanageable. Do keep sending though!
This track – by Sheffield band Rehearsed Living – benefits from layers of synth straight out of ‘Just Like Heaven’, which is always guaranteed to grab my attention.
Rehearsed Living / Miles