Friday, August 28, 2009

Davy Graham

Four to hear:
Graham is sometimes credited with pioneering the adaption of 'world' music to Euro/American instruments. A problematic claim I suppose, but Maajun really is a fantastic track, innit?

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Today, Tomorrow and Forever

Here's Pete Molinari:

Local councils v journalists

I generally don't promote the work of my Super Ego blog to you, the readers of my Id blog (explanation here), but I think you might be interested in this post?

More NAMA

Here's why Ireland's proposed NAMA is such a big deal.

Just keeping you updated....

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A united Ireland?

Not any time soon, it says here:
“The Republic is engaged in a major struggle to maintain, within the EU and the euro zone, its economic viability and sovereignty. It is hardly the moment to press claims to the North which we have renounced, and, it has to be said, the advantages and flexibility of joining up with a small sovereign state in the present global turmoil are for the moment a lot less compelling today than they were two or three years ago.”

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Star hacks

An interesting question from Roy Greenslade: Do comment stars make a difference to newspaper sales? (Short answer: Roy thinks they rarely do).

The only example I can think of when I actually bought a paper I wouldn't do normally is - when in Ireland, and in a rural shop that doesn't sell the Irish Times anyway - I've bought the Irish Independent (a title I'd usually avoid) to read Kevin Myers.

He's exasperating, and after reading him for a while, I was a bit shocked to read a piece that had more than a hint of racism. But he's the only writer I can ever remember buying a paper for.

Nama / Back from Mayo

I've been sitting in County Mayo with my head even more switched-off than usual for the last couple of weeks, and I've been giving the papers and the blogs only a cursory glance.

I'm suffering from the usual PMD. It's as bad as it's ever been this year. This is probably the best photo that I took while I was there:



I did get hold of The Irish Times on the odd day, and there is an interesting story running over there around the proposed creation of NAMA.

The Irish Republic really is in a very deep hole at the moment, and there's a rare outbreak of grown-up debate happening over this, with an almost united front of opposition parties preferring Labour's proposal for a temporary nationalisation of the banks.

I don't have much to say or any useful links on this, but it's worth a look if you get a moment. You can start here and work back if you have the time.

Round Midnight

Olly posted this the other day - just seen it now.



Round Midnight is a fabulous piece - and though I'm pretty sure it wasn't composed on the guitar (Thelonious Monk wrote it on a piano, I'm sure) or with one in mind, it really works. It's those opening arpeggios, y'see?




'Four on Six' isn't on YouTube, or that'd be up here as well.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Don't underestimate Rupert Murdoch

Just off on holiday so I'll be a bit scarce around here for the next coupla weeks. Apologies to people who haven't had their emails replied to either. I've been really flat-out for the last few weeks.

I'll leave you with one quick unsupported thought. The majority of commentary that I've read about Rupert Murdoch's plan to charge for online content has been greeted with scepticism. A view that he may finally have made a commercial mistake.

I'd take a long article to argue it and I ain't got time to write it, but my conclusion would be different. I can't promise that it'll work, but I suspect that it will and that most professional journalistic commentators will be eating their words within three years.

If it does, it will underline the value of 'convening power' which Murdoch has in spades. It's a power that he should be stripped of for political reasons, but that's another matter altogether.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Peter Gabriel

A bit out of character for me, this one, but I love this LP. The video really works for the first one. The second track has Paul Weller in his unlikeliest role ever - session guitarist for Peter Gabriel:

Family snapshot.


And through the wire.

Four Taxpayers Alliance-related links for anyone who missed them

The comments threads here and here don't really leave the TPA with anywhere to hide. And here's two posts from Labour and Capital about their Tory funders.