It has to be said that the mood has been pretty heavy lately. Just as we have been picking ourselves up following the death of Syd, we are knocked down again by the sad news of Arthur Lee's passing. For people like us, for whom music is a central part of life, this can be hard to deal with but the best we can do is shed a tear and turn back to the songs. Following Syd's passing I couldn't even bring myself to listen to him. Thinking about his life and the fact that he is now gone just made me too sad. Recently, however, I've been playing 'Piper At The Gates of Dawn' once more and spinning the solo albums and Syd is making me smile again. Thanks, Roger. I'm anticipating putting Love on the stereo any day now and cracking it up high and flying with Arthur and chums once more.
We always have the music. Two other musical reasons to be very cheerful are coming our way soon. Firstly, mid-August sees the release of the new Lambchop album, Damaged. I've only read one review so far but things are looking good. Of course, as far as The 'Chop are concerned, I wouldn't care what any reviewer says anyway, they are always worth listening to. It's rumoured that the album was recorded in the aftermath of Kurt's marriage breaking up and follows a period of ill-health for Mr. Wagner. I don't really know how true any of this but I'm just hoping Kurt is feeling good about the future. I can't wait to hear the album.
The end of August sees the release of the very long awaited new recording by Bob Dylan. Five years after the awesome Love & Theft, Bob has finally dragged himself off the road and into the studio long enough to allow us to hear some new songs. Dylan has admitted that he finds the writing doesn't come easily anymore but, having heard clips of all the songs on Modern Times, I'd have to say that things are looking good in Bobworld. Rave reviews have already been posted by MOJO and Uncut, magazines that normally know at least a little about good music and BBC Newsnight Review largely gave it the 'thumbs-up' as well. The overall feel of the album isn't a million miles from Love & Theft, with Bob as the Old Testament prophet, looking on the state of the world with a wild smile, mad eyes but some love in his heart as well.
Full reviews of both Damaged and Modern Times to follow. In the meantime it's time to enjoy the rest of the summer. Peace and Love.