Seven gems from Radio 3’s ‘Sound of Cinema’ season

It’s over. The ‘Sound of Cinema‘ season finshed last week. Most of the music has expired but there’s a ton of stuff that’s still available: 1. These really gripping Sound of Cinema downloads from Neil Brand (learn things, like just how badly Visconti carved up Mahler’s Adagietto for Death in Venice). 2. This glorious film… Continue reading Seven gems from Radio 3’s ‘Sound of Cinema’ season

The second-best book about twentieth century music

Everybody knows the best book about Twentieth Century music is Alex Ross’s The Rest is Noise but there’s another brilliant book set in the same period – Wilfrid Sheed’s The House That George Built, a history of the golden age of American popular music. It’s about the generations of American songwriters, starting at the turn… Continue reading The second-best book about twentieth century music

David Hepworth – a Q&A about curating music

It has been my privilege, over the last few years, to write a few pieces for Britain’s best music (and arts and movies and stuff) magazine The Word – including, a couple of issues back, an article about the curation boom (my articles about Wikipedia and archiving the web are on the web site). The… Continue reading David Hepworth – a Q&A about curating music

The XX on working together

6 Music ran a lovely series of programmes about this year’s Mercury nominees. They did a simple thing and recorded the artists introducing the tracks, describing the inspiration and the creative process for each song. It’s like watching a movie with the director’s commentary switched on. Superb night-time radio (and unimpeachable public service output –… Continue reading The XX on working together

Magazine masterclass

Right, I’ve been very busy with my new thing: I’m blogger in residence at the BBC. Honestly. It’s really cool. Follow my comings- and-goings at the special blog I’ve set up for the purpose at commonplatform.co.uk (the feed’s here). More about the whole thing here later… In the meantime, I just want to share with… Continue reading Magazine masterclass

Record label angst

If the last three generations (five years = one generation) of music industry executives had been contestants on The Apprentice they’d all have been fired by now. So many self-destructive manoeuvres, so many technological and commercial dead-ends, so little readiness to try stuff. And I speak as a supporter of the industry: I don’t believe… Continue reading Record label angst

Buy my old records!

I thought it was easy to sell vintage records on eBay. Evidently no one wants a 1985 Run DMC 12″, a White Vinyl Dollar single or a 1982 Grandmaster Flash 12″. What’s going on?

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Mid-century masterpieces

Another great big muscular 20th Century prom last night, with exceptional music from the old Austro-Hungary. I’m a sucker for this kind of ambitious, cerebral and passionate music: something dark and vital about it. Something to do with its origin slap bang in the middle of Europe during its most turbulent century too. These works… Continue reading Mid-century masterpieces

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