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Tuesday, December 20, 2016

When I Fall In Love

Listen to the violins on this classic live performance by Nat King Cole of When I Fall In Love. The rallentando at the end is the stuff of fairytales. If it doesn't send shivers down your spine then you have no soul.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Big Thief - Paul

Oh the last time I saw Paul, I was horrible and almost let him in...

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Maggie Rogers - Dog Years

I'm the one to love you...

Monday, October 31, 2016

We was cripples all of us

Pushing down hard with his fists on the table-top he heaved himself up to where he was standing. For the first time we saw he wanted one leg. It was gone from the knee joint down. He was hopping sideways to reach for his stick in the corner when he lost his balance. He would have fallen in a heap if Brendan hadn't leapt forward and caught him.

"I'm as crippled as the dark world," Gildas said.

"If it comes to that, which one of us isn't, my dear?" Brendan said.

Gildas with but one leg. Brendan sure he'd misspent his whole life entirely. Me that had left my wife to follow him and buried our only boy. The truth of what Brendan said stopped all our mouths. We was cripples all of us. For a moment or two there was no sound but the bees.

"To lend each other a hand when we're falling," Brendan said. "Perhaps that's the only work that matters in the end."

Excerpt from "Brendan" by Frederick Buechner

Saturday, October 08, 2016

715 Creeks

This song.

Is perfection.

This performance.

Is better.

Monday, July 04, 2016

Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Land of Talk - It's ok

It's OK, is my song of the week. Try to listen to it and not stop and think about someone you love. If it has no effect of you, well fuck you, you have no soul.

Monday, June 06, 2016

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

This little piece of paper

Today I stuck my hand into the back pocket of my shorts and fished out this piece of paper. The way a magician fishes a colourful handkerchief out of a waistcoat pocket you were sure - as sure as you could be of anything - was empty.

Face down, the piece of paper looked like a receipt from some recent shopping expedition for asparagus or cheese or dinner.

I turned it over, impatient for it to explain itself. Why are you?

As I read, the poem unfolded itself, like an old man getting out of bed. And then the final three words. They stopped me racing through.

"You come too..."

My room creaked silent. It was a moment. I was ashamed. 

Ashamed that I had approached this little piece of paper as getting in the way, much in the same way I approach many other more important things as getting in the way of my day.

Like the audience watching the magician perform his handkerchief trick, I haven't the faintest idea how this little poem slipped its way into my life. Unlike the magician, I cannot, in the back room of some theatre with the stage lights now off, explain the magic away as illusion.

Or at least, I choose not to.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Part Christian, part pig

"I am a part-time novelist who happens also to be a part-time Christian because part of the time seems to be the most I can manage to live out my faith: Christian part of the time when certain things seems real and important to me and the rest of the time not Christian in any sense that I can believe matters much to Christ or anybody else. Any Christian who is not a hero, Leon Bloy wrote, is a pig, which is a harder way of saying the same thing. From time to time I find a kind of heroism momentarily possible - a seeing, doing, telling of Christian truth - but most of the time I am indistinguishable from the rest of the herd that jostles and snuffles at the great trough of life. Part-time novelist, Christian, pig.

That is who I am. Who you are I do not know, and yet perhaps I know something. I know that like me you wake up each morning to a day that you must somehow live, to a self that you must somehow be, and to a mystery that you cannot fathom if only the mystery of your own life. Thus, strangers though we are, at a certain level there is nothing about either of us that can be entirely irrelevant to the other. Think of these pages as graffiti maybe, and where I have scratched up in a public place my longings and loves, my grievances and indecencies, be reminded in private of your own. In that way, at least, we can hold a kind of converse. And there is always some comfort in knowing that Kilroy also was here."

- Buechner, The Alphabet of Grace

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

On Being a Comic Genius.

Last year, two great comedians published little self-promotional videos online. One was by Steve Coogan. One was by me. And I mean, I know what you're thinking: "But James! that's only one great comedian! Everyone knows that Alan Partridge sucks a big bag of awkward dicks! AH haaaa!" And I'm like, "Yeah I know!" I mean, he's only gone and bloody ripped me off hasn't he?

What's that you say?

Well, I published this in April 2015:

And here's me old mate Steve just ripping off not only my idea, but also my tone in October 2015:

I mean sure, his is... funnier, wittier, more self-deprecating, has better production values, and perhaps most depressingly, he looks less weathered at 49 than I do at 32, but still. Sometimes you just wish people had the bloody guts to at least send you an email saying, "Hey James, I am about to blatantly rip you off mate. Feeling awful. How can I make it up to you? Would you like a part in The Trip 3?"

Wednesday, February 03, 2016