Monday 29 July 2013

Top 102 Albums⁺ Minus Six. In Cassidy's Care

Top 102 Albums⁺ Minus Six. 
In Cassidy's Care - Miracle Mile

"Hope will be the death of me"

Regular readers will know Trevor Jones from his many comments on posts here and quite possibly from his own excellent blog at http://hissyf.blogspot.co.uk. Some may even know his music but not as many of you as should. His band, Miracle Mile, have released seven studio albums and a compilation since 1997. In Cassidy's Care is their eight studio album, and was released officially on July 22nd. I've had a copy for a month or so (bought here) and have been listening to it more and more.
My experience of this album began with a series of posts on Trevor's Hissyfit which grew into the short story In Cassidy's Care from which the songs on this album grow. The story tells of a teacher, Cassidy, who has moved to London from Connecticut, met his then future wife on a park bench to which he now takes his two sons when they are "in Cassidy's care", as he is now separated from his wife. His wife is called Amelia, calling to his mind the Joni Mitchell song. Indeed, detritus from the song are strewn through the story, from geometry to a cactus. Slanted and pointed.

Monday 15 July 2013

Top 102 Albums⁺ Minus Five - Plastic Ono Band

Top 102 Albums⁺ Minus Five
Plastic Ono Band - John Lennon

I remember where I first came across the idea of Primal Scream therapy as proposed by Arthur Janov. It was in an explanation of where the name Tears for Fears came from, in Smash Hits magazine, I think. I must have been intrigued by the idea as this has stuck in my head for many years. However the bands songs never seemed to live up to the idea although I liked their first single Pale Shelter. My guess is that Tears for Fears had come across the idea through John Lennon, who was Janov's most famous client. Lennon was a client of Janov's for some months in 1970 and although he broke off therapy the album which followed clearly accessed deep wells of feeling and remains one of the most powerfully emotional records in the 'canon'.

Thursday 4 July 2013


Troubles - J.G. Farrell
(Winner of the "Lost Booker' awarded in 2010 to novels from 1970 that had been denied a shot at the award because of changes in the dates for eligibility.)

This is the second book from J.G. Farrell's "Empire Trilogy' that I have read after The Siege of Krishnapur. It is just as impressive and I'll be keeping my eyes peeled for the third book in this trilogy, The Singapore Grip (or anything else by Farrell). Rather than follow each other in any plot driven way the books cohere thematically around the crumbling of English colonialism.

In Troubles we follow the journey of Major Brendan Archer from London to a massive old hotel on the coast of County Wexford, in Ireland. He is badly shaken by his experiences in the trenches during World War One and goes to Wexford to see Angela Spencer whom he met during a break from the war and believes that they became engaged. He is familiar with elements of the hotel and the life within from the stream of letters he received from Angela but is surprised to find that some things have been left out of the letters and that Angela is very serious and withdrawn. This is not what he expected. In fact so withdrawn is she that his decision to break off the engagement can't be carried out as he never sees her after the first couple of days. Her father Edward is a man being consumed from within by rage. He sees English rule as being responsible for whatever civilisation there is in Ireland and the rebellion as a damned impertinence.