Listen: A+E – Graham Coxon
Coxon’s 8th solo record A+E was released earlier this year, and if it hasn’t won enough awards to fill an ambulance by the end of it I’ll have to cut off my own ears. Anything less than high accolades would mean my hearing is obviously defective beyond help. Sometimes records just show up in your life at the perfect moment. This one came about at a point where I was so tired of feeling like I was just walking around in a bleak haze, existing only because of a repetitive thumping in my chest. A+E showed up and converted it into noise. Fuzzy, grimy, angry, brilliant noise. On many of the tracks there’s a deep, driving bass layered with drum machines, argumentative guitars, synths, and repetitive vocal lines. In parts it’s quite dark, aggressive and cold. But with Coxon’s talent for pop hooks and melodies sneaking in to bring some light, there’s still going to be a few flowers blooming in the post apocalyptic wasteland. Don’t be mistaken; it’s not a record that’s going to pull you into a depressive funk. You’ll dance, but you’ll be scowling while you do it. But I think why I find it so listenable is the delight I get in the picking up of new sounds and whole new feelings throughout songs I’ve had on high rotation for months.
The stand-out track right now is Meet and Drink and Pollinate, which feels like the musical equivalent of trying to find some meaning or even a hint of worth and joy as you buzz about in an instinctive robotic production line to continue the cycle of misery. Stick it on repeat, the joy is definitely there to be heard.
This Byliner Kindle Single is something I have no doubt Hornby fans will love as a quick read on the bus in the morning. With a familiar cynical humour we get to hear of the problems encountered when you’re divorcing an over-sharing newspaper columnist and you happen to be a bit of a bastard. How are you meant to cope with suddenly becoming a trending topic on Twitter and with indiscretions going viral to your own mother’s friends? Not to mention the possibility of sex with a new partner being ruined before it even happens.
I enjoyed it as something to have a quick steal of quiet time to myself. The big shame here is that Hornby has some really great ideas to explore, and characters in a situation that could be fleshed out very easily in longer form. While enjoyable as a short story, it simply feels far too unfinished and, consequently, unsatisfying at the end. Still, it’s only a couple of bucks, an easy read, and 15 minutes of a guaranteed lack of eye-contact with your fellow public transport weirdos.
Watch: Would I Lie To You?
The ABC has finally started showing UK panel show Would I Lie To You (WILTY) at 9:45 Wednesday nights. I believe they’re showing series four (of six) and highly recommend you try to catch it. I’m a bit of a UK panel show addict but I have to say WILTY is one of my absolute favourites. It’s something you’ll go back and re-watch and (lucky for the ABC) is a concept that doesn’t get weighed down on needing to be current or topical, so is just as enjoyable years after first airing.
I think having comedians David Mitchell and Lee Mack as opposing team captains each week is part of what has made WILTY so popular. The dynamic they’ve built often creates some sort of ridiculous outburst (usually from David due to Lee’s gift at being incessantly frustrating) as the panellists try to lie their way to victory. If you miss out on viewing it on tv/iView or find yourself suddenly addicted and needing a bigger fix, all episodes are usually lurking around somewhere on YouTube. Here’s a taste of David O’Doherty on the show trying to convince everyone that he needs to see a hypnotherapist to cure his addiction to hypnotherapy.