Things I’m Reading Thursday #17

Not really a “Things I’m Reading” — more of a “Things I’m Hearing”, this week. Just for something a bit different!

If you know me, you’ll know I’m very much into music. I recently talked about the poetry-reading lessons I’ve learned from musicians; my poetry is heavily influenced by song lyrics as well as literary works; I’m an obsessive collector of vinyl; I’m always on the lookout for mixtape buddies. I’ve even written a post or two here about the relationship between poetry and music. So I feel I can almost get away with listing music, rather than books, here this week.

(And the truth is, I haven’t been reading anything. Times have been rather tough the past couple of weeks — Boy and I broke up, term is ending in a spectacular dazzle of chaos and paperwork and pissed-off students, and I’ve had to find a new place to live. Sitting down with a book just hasn’t happened. Instead, I’ve been finding solace inside my headphones… and particularly in listening to brilliant lyrics, which almost counts as reading, right?)

First up: Elliott Smith. I know, I know, I’m late to this party. For years I dismissed this guy, because the only people I knew who liked him were obnoxious hipsters… but hey, I have been punished for my snobbery, because I now know how brilliant he is, and what I’ve been missing out on all this time. My favourite albums (so far) are XO for its bittersweetness, and Figure 8 for its quiet ferocity. The lyrics on Figure 8 are absolutely spectacular — so many lines I wish I’d written.

A brilliant, nasty little song.

And Pitseleh, my favourite from XO.

Next up, Dear Winesburg. This brilliant band is fronted by one Mr Chris Kreinczes, whose name you may recognise… he’s also one of the brains behind the South Bank Centre’s Global Poetry System project. Chris was kind enough to send me a copy of Dear Winesburg’s self-titled album, which I can highly recommend. Google the band and you’ll find bloggers and critics lining up to rave about the gorgeous lyrics… and I’m joining that queue. The sound is also pure, unique and lovely. My favourite tracks were “Awake” and “Beneath The Eaves” — handily, you can hear both at Dear Winesburg’s Myspace. There are more details on the album right here, and in the mean time, check these out:

Finally, I have to give a mention to Callel. This brilliant wee Edinburgh band have just been signed to Aardvark Records and they’re destined for stardom, undoubtedly. I’ve known lead singer Craig for a little while as we work together at the star-studded showbiz mecca that is Telford College, and this week I caught Callel’s acoustic show at Leithfest. Again, I can highly recommend the album, Body Discovery, and particularly love “Best Foot on the Ground”, which is also on Myspace. More right here…

Thank you for listening… I’m sure normal TiRT service will be resumed next week!

(Photo by The Tuckshop Community World)

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12 Responses to “Things I’m Reading Thursday #17”

  1. Rachel Says:

    Hey… sorry to hear about you and Boy. Really happy for the music variety. :) We’re all here, don’t worry. Take your time, get settled, mend.

    l, Rachel

  2. Mairi Says:

    I too am a recent conver to Dear Winesburg after hearing them on the SPL podcast. I have been obsessively listening to them on myspace, so thanks for the video links.

    Can I recommend 6 Music? I’ve been listening for years and it never fails to deliver (apart from John Holmes).


  3. Titus Says:

    Look after yourself.
    Great choices.

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