This unusual album sleeve came to my attention on Altered Zones. By following the link, you’ll find all the information and you can listen to a sample. I liked the bright-but-faded colours as well as the futuristic rambler look. Maybe I’ll adopt it next season…
I watched some interviews with Billy Mackenzie and the lack of respect he was afforded was disgraceful. His vocal range and the way he used it still sounds quite shocking to me today. There’s a seam of alienation that runs through the smooth funk and white soul music of The Associates. Club Country makes it all sound so fun.
Recently, I attended a lecture by the poet Paul Muldoon where he discussed the subtle subtexts and influence on their work contained within the letters of fellow poets Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell. Bishop lived part of her life in Brazil and this poem about a local festival was key to Muldoon’s analysis of her work. I, like Lowell, thought it was magnificent; a poem of fire and restraint.
The Armadillo by Elizabeth Bishop
for Robert Lowell
This is the time of year
when almost every night
the frail, illegal fire balloons appear.
Climbing the mountain height,
rising toward a saint
still honored in these parts,
the paper chambers flush and fill with light
that comes and goes, like hearts.
Once up against the sky it’s hard
to tell them from the stars –
planets, that is — the tinted ones:
Venus going down, or Mars,
or the pale green one. With a wind,
they flare and falter, wobble and toss;
but if it’s still they steer between
the kite sticks of the Southern Cross,
receding, dwindling, solemnly
and steadily forsaking us,
or, in the downdraft from a peak,
suddenly turning dangerous.
Last night another big one fell.
It splattered like an egg of fire
against the cliff behind the house.
The flame ran down. We saw the pair
of owls who nest there flying up
and up, their whirling black-and-white
stained bright pink underneath, until
they shrieked up out of sight.
The ancient owls’ nest must have burned.
Hastily, all alone,
a glistening armadillo left the scene,
rose-flecked, head down, tail down,
and then a baby rabbit jumped out,
short-eared, to our surprise.
So soft! — a handful of intangible ash
with fixed, ignited eyes.
Too pretty, dreamlike mimicry!
O falling fire and piercing cry
and panic, and a weak mailed fist
clenched ignorant against the sky!