Driving to London late at night, trying to stay awake, listening to Radio 1. Lots of solid male artists who have clearly been listening to a lot of Stormzy. And then the first (or maybe the second?) female artist of the show gets played, and it’s like it’s from another planet, and I immediately say to myself Who the fuck is this? And why do I not have their album yet? Continue reading

Elise Trouw is obviously not the first person to discover a loop pedal, nor the first person to play many instruments on one track, but still, to me, what she does feels new.

And perhaps part of that is because tracks built up entirely from loops can often get boring very quickly, whereas her ‘loop’ music videos actually have momentum. They are so skilfully arranged, and as much about the performance as the music.

I sometimes find it fun to watch musicians really shred — to play incredibly fast, with incredible precision. But I actually find what Elise Trouw does more impressive than that, because she just makes it look absolutely effortless. It sounds like she is performing with a rock-solid band behind her. And I know that if I tried to do something like that I would just fuck up take after take after take…

Current Favourite Thing:
Also, I mean, there’s two ways you can try to deal with very young musicians who are extraordinarily precious. You can be consumed with bitterness, or you can try to vicariously enjoy the youthful enthusiasm. I defy you not to do the latter when watching this video:

As far as I’m concerned, travel TV with a good host is pretty much as good as TV gets.

And most of my favourites have been under some other pretext. In the 80s and 90s Michael Palin retraced the journey in the book Around The World In 80 Days. I love love love Andrew Graham-Dixon’s ‘the Art of…’ series for BBC4. And for Anthony Bourdain, perhaps the best travel TV host that I’ve seen in the last 5 years or so, the pretext is food. In many ways his most recent series, Parts Unknown, did with global cuisine what Jonathan Gold did with LA cuisine: showed how it can give you a different appreciation of cultures other than your own. He goes to Myanmar, Columbia, Libya, the Korean quarter of LA…

With Bourdain, who tragically died just a few months ago, I get the sense of a guy who spent lots of years trying to fit into a macho environment, but was now sick and tired of it, and serious about being a curious and compassionate human being. Continue reading