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Someone else may have put the 'M' in Manchester

Someone else may have put the ‘M’ in Manchester

Last week, there was an article in The Guardian which made reference to Williamsburg as being ‘The World’s Hippest Neighbourhood’. It was fortuitous timing, for on Friday night the claim on this title could not have been any clearer. The substantiation of the claim wasn’t based on the creatively hirsute twenty-somethings, or the skate-boarding dads. […]

That'll be Daughter. They're not like Macklemore.

That’ll be Daughter. They’re not like Macklemore.

One of the more surprising bits of feedback I’ve received regarding the freethinking movement came from a colleague of mine a couple of years ago. She attended one of the early freethinking nyc nights, and ended up becoming a regular ‘freethinker’. She came straight out with the feedback: ‘I now know the real James’. The […]

Radio 2 Listeners: I'm revoking your license to have an opinion

Radio 2 Listeners: I’m revoking your license to have an opinion

Now this is a tough one. The spirit of the freethinking movement is to encourage conversation about music, to encourage opening your mind to new sounds. To encourage an opinion. The problem is, sometimes the opinion seems so totally at odds with ‘what’s right’ that I have to hold my hand up. Here goes… Over […]

The Return of The Man Who Fell To Earth

The Return of The Man Who Fell To Earth

Welcome back, Dave. In a year with some pretty great releases in the first quarter alone, it’s perhaps to be expected that the lead singer out of Tin Machine would more than hold his own. Let’s strip back, past the hullaballoo (I’ve never used that word before, but it feels completely justified), past the column […]

Donald Byrd: class is over

Donald Byrd: class is over

It wasn’t entirely clear when the news started to filter through last week, but now mainstream news sites are confirming the sad news that Donald Byrd is no longer with us. The eulogies will be long, glowing, and full of praise for this jazz trumpeter who, through a long career, helped to shape music as […]

Terry Callier: An Extraordinary Joe

Terry Callier: An Extraordinary Joe

Well, thank God for that. As 2012 shuffles into the past tense, let’s just take a moment to reflect over the number of musical greats who suffered the same change of tense last year: Fontella Bass, MCA, Dave Brubeck, Hal David, Donna Summer, Donald ‘Duck’ Dunn. Honestly, it’s just too many – and I know […]

Latitude: the seventh edition

Latitude: the seventh edition

OK, I’ll come clean. While the summer has been more than a little hectic, I did manage to squeeze in Latitude. All very last minute, all very opportunistic. Despite the trenchfoot-friendly conditions, I’m chuffed to have made it. A festival with headliners including Weller and Elbow? Count me the hell in. Latitude is becoming firmly […]

Of magazines, Factory, and Cath Carroll...

Of magazines, Factory, and Cath Carroll…

I read an article last week that put forth – in surprised tones – that the main source for an introduction to ‘new music’ was the radio. I’ll be honest, this is no surprise to me at all. Whack on BBC 6 Music on any day of the week, at any time of the day, […]

At the close: London 2012

At the close: London 2012

It was a fitting end. Emotional. Riveting. Over 80,000 people all signing along to some of Britan’s top musical talent. No. I am not talking about London’s Olympic Closing Ceremonies, rather the alternative closing ceremony concert in Hyde Park – Bombay Bicycle Club, New Order, The Specials and the brilliant blur. From the cynical to […]

That London

That London

As I type this, I’m en route back to NYC from London. I’m leaving a country that’s in the midst of an awakening. London 2012. The Olympics. A nation feared that it would screw it up royally has realised that it’s actually quite good at stuff. Gone are the fears that London would come across […]