Lake Bell’s film In A World (set in the movie trailer voiceover industry) is a film with the kind of razor sharp wit, touching drama and perfectly-crafted filmmaking that I always expect to find in Woody Allen films, but somehow never do. I’m always surprised in Woody Allen films by the way in which his jokes, particularly his one-liners, hit you over the head. They always sound to me like he thought of them independently, and then crafted a scene around how to get as many in as possible.

I actually really admire Woody Allen as a filmmaker. His films look amazing. And he’s fantastically prolific, and always original. And don’t ask me about the child-molesting criticisms because I don’t actually care enough about him to be able to write about that with any authority.

But seriously, In A World is about three times better than the best Woody Allen film I’ve ever seen. Continue reading

You read that correctly. Giorgio Moroder, of Giorgio Moroder fame, has released a Giorgio Moroder cover of Tom’s Diner by Suzanne Vega, with none other than Britney Spears on vocals.

As you may know, I am something of a Suzanne Vega fan. So, if anyone should be calling the emergency services out to have a song pulled from a brutal car crash on this one, it should be me.

This cover version… really shouldn’t work. I mean, it really shouldn’t work. It very nearly doesn’t work. Continue reading

I’ve been meaning to recommend this 2010 album for ages. I can still remember the car journey when I was sitting in the back and had to lean forward and ask: ‘excuse me, can you tell me what the fuck this music is right at this very moment, if you’d be so kind?’

I’m pretty sure the track being played was ‘Riot Rhythm’. As someone who spent their formative years trying (and failing miserably) to record music that sounded terrifying heavy, it’s not that often that music just blows me away through sheer force of sound. But this was a way of creating that oh-my-god-the-speakers-are-going-to-explode that I’d never heard before. Although there are some great lyrics too, and a really good sense of angular but catchy melody.

This has definitely been one of my go-to albums for those “I must destroy the world, but thoroughly this time…” moods we all get.

Current Favourite Track:

Despite them doing HEAVY so well, my favourite track as always been the least heavy on the album: ‘Rill Rill’.

This month’s folky recommendation is the 2014 album Wide Awake by Joy Kills Sorrow.

And it appears courtesy of Spotify changing my music-listening habits and stopping me from listening to the same 12 albums over and over again.

Great songwriting. Great singing. And sort of developing a theme of recommending mandolin virtuosi

Current Favourite Song:

Fun though their cover of The Postal Service’s 2003 hit ‘Such Great Heights’ is, it’s actually the first track: ‘Was It You’.

I was looking on YouTube for Playford tunes*, and I stumbled on this.

Arranged and recorded by Bear McCeary, composer to the stars and general musician-at-arms for (amongst other things) the TV series Black Sails, which is kind of Pirates of the Caribbean meets Game of Thrones. I haven’t watched any of the episodes (I’m not sure how to get it in Ol’ Blighty) but it looks like a lot of fun.

The Parson’s Farewell has always been one of my favourite Playford tunes, and many many people have done versions of it. I’ve never heard a Hollywood version before. Continue reading