I Follow Rivers

Chris Lowe of the Pet Shop Boys reckons this is ‘that fantastic combination of beautiful chords with really great moving lyrics’. He’s not wrong. Summer bottled, compressed and stuck up on the internet (from back in 2011).

And in only a few hours time (12.05 precisely) I break up for the summer holidays. Fan-fucking-tastic.

It’s A Long Way To Go When You Don’t Know Where You’re Going

It’s funny- having not listened to any hip-hop for years, not deliberately anyway, I’ve been undergoing a bit of a phase. Some select tracks have found their way onto the portable mp3 player that makes my commute more fun. Gang Starr have two songs on it at the moment but having listened to them this week they could end up with a lot more. I loved at least three of their albums back in the day- Step In The Arena, Daily Operation and Hard To Earn. Gang Starr often managed a perfect blend of Guru’s easy flowing lyrics and DJ Premier’s beats and sounds, a stripped back, minimal, economic sound. This one is a really good example…

And from Hard To Earn…

A Long Way To Go

The Edwin La Dell lithograph up top, Woburn Urns, is about as un-hip hop as it gets. Juxtapositions- I shit ’em (as Reg Presley never said).

Time Marches On

The Lighthouse At St Agnes by Frederick Uhlman
I read an article about an exhibition currently on in Eastbourne recently and the pictures and story really caught my eye. In the middle of the 20th century Lyons Teashops were present in almost every town, providing a cup of tea, slice of cake and decent food. After the war, when decorating supplies were scarce, Lyons Teashops were looking shabby and in need of some care and attention. Lyons commissioned many of Britain’s top artists to provide prints to cover up tatty paintwork. The artists got a decent commission and a cut from each sale of runs of the pictures (1500 of each  were made). Today’s artists would be far too expensive and above themselves to consider such a proposition- but not the Art For All context of the late ’40s and early ’50s. What I like about them is the way they manage to be both fairly modernist in style while fairly nostalgic in tone and subject. The modernist impulse of post-war reconstruction coupled with looking back at a time before bombs fell out of the sky on a nightly basis perhaps. The exhibition is on now at The Towner Gallery in Eastbourne. I suppose it’s pretty unlikely I’ll find myself in Eastbourne between now and the end of September. 
Hastings by Edwin La Dell
The River Rother At Rye by Clifford Frith
Albert Bridge by Carel Weight

                                                         The Shire Hall by Lynton Lamb

                                                      Landscape With  Bathers by John Nash

Music? How about this, totally unrelated thematically and musically but maybe not philosophically- an epic piece of 1988 house from Marshall Jefferson (hiding behind the Jungle Wonz name). It does that trick the truly great house tracks did of being utterly uplifting while using melancholic chords. Time marches on.

Time Marches On (Club Mix)