Somethings Never Change
For me the past year was one of those non years where we did not get to shout and bawl or make our noise anywhere to the extent that we live for. One of those standby years I suppose. It was also one where a huge metallic cloud - one like I have never known - seemingly drifted in mid way through and just could not be moved. More of that some other time.
Other people's music as always was still fundamental in giving me the kind of joy unavailable anywhere else. Bruce Springsteen and Arcade Fire lifted me yet again to the place that feels so good that inevitably it becomes the only space I want to inhabit. I wish I had seen both of them live when they rolled over Europe recently but it was not to be.
AF in particular impress me so much. Their effect supersedes my normally apt enough ability to explain.
Springsteen - an evergreen - stands alone in many ways as the present great American storyteller and really is without comparison. If you want to argue about that then go argue with Steve van Zandt!
It was Charlie Burchill who first introduced me to the world of Bob Dylan. It was during the period in our lives when we were keen to listen to all and whatever music came our way as we begged, borrowed and stole records from wherever we could. Charlie at that time, described Dylan as a poet and a prince - a musician and songwriter that lived apart from the pack. It made me so curious to discover more about Dylan. He was young at the time but evidently Charlie even then knew what he was talking about. Nothing has changed on that count and I have been fascinated by Mr Dylan ever since!
"I'M NOT THERE' is a newly released film that revolves around the music and the mind of Bob Dylan. It was a surprise to come across it, it really is very good. Truth is that I rarely like movies/bio pics about musicians and usually avoid them at all cost - even if they are about deserving icons like Johnny Cash.
More a mosaic than a film and intriguingly like much of Dylan's lyrics, it is anything but conventional.
What it does however is capture the very bitter/sweet soul of early Bob Dylan. All in all it made me want to think about the life of a musician as well as the effect of songs and songwriting. That has to be a good thing. Right?
An interview with record company boss and producer Jimmy Iovine was also something that gave me a bit of a recent kick start.
Jimmy produced our Once Upon A Time album and they don't come smarter than him in my opinion. Although something of a legend, Iovine within his heart has somehow managed to retain the thrill of the amateur.
Understandably there has been so much doom and gloom over the last year regarding the entire music industry as we once knew it - which really does seem to be finally disappearing in front of us. Nevertheless whether you are a wet behind the ears music enthusiast, or a hardened and bruised artist that has already been round the block so much that you are permanently dizzy - Iovine goes the distance in reaffirming how great the gift is that enables anyone to make music. Listening to Jimmy really gave me a lot to think about, just as it did when we worked together throughout two glorious months in New York during what was my most favourite recording sessions.
And all that talk of being around the block leads me to remember with some great feeling that this month marks the anniversary of Simple Minds first ever gig some 30 years ago. I will write more about that memorable night a little later, but in truth it is still very difficult for me to contemplate that a whole 30 years on from our initiation that I would spend the early days of this new year still considering how and where we might want to take our music as a next step. Somethings never change I guess, and long may it continue to be like so!
Happy New Year!
Pas eu beaucoup l'occasion d'aller au cinéma depuis la naissance de Mathias, et dans ce contexte, I'm Not There m'a fait beaucoup de bien et aura certainement stimulé le Jim
qui, some things never change, confesse un certain manque d'inspiration ces derniers temps
saint and sinner