Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Billy Connolly

Someone emailed me to ask about the Billy Connolly Bafta event at The Fruitmarket in Glasgow the other night. Here's what I replied:

"Billy Connolly was a very special affair. It was relatively slow paced (he's 70 now). A seated interview with clips of films throughout. He seemed almost a wee bit nervous/melancholic on occasion but the stories and memories just flowed and he got into his stride before long: Richard Burton and priests in confession and touching a snake at Kelvingrove Museum when he was a boy, shopping  with Robin Williams and Michael J Fox, thinking Judi Dench fancied him, being the only person with a Glasgow accent in a film ("it's like a joke: this Glaswegian walks into a film..."), watching an Orange Walk band performing Any Dream Will Do on Argyle St., etc, etc.  There were questions from the floor including a guy from The Gorbals who told him that The Crucifixion changed his life.

When he got the BAFTA Scotland Lifetime Achievement award at the end he stood centre-stage and spoke about how much it meant to him that this was from Scotland, that it almost broke his heart and "it hits me somewhere I live". And then his hands shook and he teared up and it felt like most of the room did the same."

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Cartoon Glasgow

I know. I'm on fire.

Stuff I have liked recently:

Searching For Sugarman....

Promo video for Bob's Duquesne Whistle

The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists!

Ringo's drum track for "Something" (!!)

Also - the Paralympics Opening Ceremony; Looking UP when stoatin' about Glasgow; My portable record player working again; Boston "More Than A Feeling" (it came on the radio - which further reminded me of how it was used to great effect in The Sopranos); "Tell Them Who You Are" about Haskell Wexler; and, och that's enough for now. I'll leave you with this...

Sunday, 19 August 2012

I know, I know...

...I blog too often. Don't worry I'll get bored with this soon enough.

Anyway. Things I have liked in recent times:

Danny Boyle's Olympics Opening Ceremony;

Usain Bolt's schtick;

Writing a Xmas song;

Getting a wee bit better on the piano;

Philip Glass live in Glasgow (he performed this);

Philip Glass's Dracula with Kronos Quartet live in Glasgow;

Antoine Duhamel;

Pixar-Disney's Brave (not just because Julie Fowlis sings in it - but it helped);

Julie Fowlis on the BBC Review Show;


@Glinner on Twitter;

TFC gigs in Norway (there's talk of recording a new album - I'm keeping my eyes crossed);

Scottish Opera's Tosca;

Getting some of my music in the Baby Cow show "Starlings";

A sneak preview of a work-in-progress song from the forthcoming Heidi Talbot album produced by John McCusker - get ready, there is a song on there that reminds me of hearing Laura Cantrell for the very first time;

Woody Allen documentary;

Screening of the Wrecking Crew and Q&A with Denny Tedesco;

News that Bob Dylan is releasing a new album;

Beach Boys Do It Again (ahem, the original version);

Oh I heard a joke: It's not safe to walk the streets of Venice. Ta dah! Och, please yerself;

Is this Tom Waits' best song? I forget all about it and then every once in a while it sneaks up and pounces on me;

And finally, we can't be pals if you don't like this (those wee snare drum re-entries - jeez Louise!):

Later, 'gator.


Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Is it 4th April 2012 already?

Being A Brief Collection Of Ruminations On Such Things That Do Generate The Release Of Endorphins

So Randy Newman at Glasgow Royal Concert Hall a wee while ago was exquisitely dandy. Man, "I Miss You" and "Losing You" could tear your heart out (not literally, but still....). My highlight, however, was right at the beginning of "Jolly Coppers On Parade". Earlier in the day I had handed a note in at the stage door to say welcome to Glasgow, Randy;  Wha's like us?;  etc., and to request that the maestro might play this song and dedicate it to Tracyanne from Camera Obscura cos she is learning it on piano. Well dang me if a few songs into the second half didn't he tickle out the opening JCOP notes and mutter, "This is for Tracyanne who's learning it - all 6 chords of it".

So it's not often a Norwegian band covers one of my songs. The Dahlmanns have recorded "Dumb Me Down". You can hear my old pal Michael Shelley giving it a spin on wfmu, New Jersey here.

Here is a Spotify Playlist of 5 x Italian Opera Songs that I have welcomed onto my radar in recent times.

Got my ticket for Philip Glass in Glasgow next month. Never seen him before. Say, what do you get if you cross said maestro of minimalism (or, and I paraphrase, 'music with repetitive structures' as he'd prefer it) with Sesame Street? The answer is  this...

What else have I been enjoying? Um, Mark Gatiss interviewed by Mark Lawson...Desert Island Discs...The Moth podcasts...Oh! and I watched the first three Leone-Morricone-Eastwood spaghetti westerns recently. That was a blast. So here's a lovely wee clip to sign off with.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Is is 22nd Feb 2012 already?

Hello. Happy New Year. What have you been up to?

A-huh...yes...really?...Oh...Absolutely....Well, good for you!

Me? Oh, this and that.

Here are some things I have recently liked:

"A Monster Mess" animated cartoon (warning - suitable for family viewing):



Also (I am nuts for this!):

I read this powerful book....I recorded a panpipes version of a Phil Collins song for a top secret project....I discovered how to make chicken kiev (something like this)...I saw great shows at Celtic Connections especially from Julie Fowlis and also from Emir Kusturica's No Smoking Orchestra...I subscribed to Tape Op (at last)...I was given some copies of Filmish by Edward Ross and dug them...caught some excellent offerings at the Glasgow Short Film Festival...made it through about 40 minutes of the new Muppets movie before my three year-old son expressed his desire to go home citing the reason "I am too old for this...".

Well, that'll do for now.