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Author Archives: adam

Storytelling in popular music: three key songs

Lily Allen – Not Fair From the same album as her mournful ballad ‘Fuck You’, ‘Not Fair‘ is about Allen’s relationship with a man who is kind, mature, and in most ways respectable, but not very good at sex. It’s adapted, I believe, from a Tolstoy short story. ‘When we go up to bed/you’re just no good/it’s such a shame’, as ...

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David Bowie’s Young Americans: A Retrospective

No one does re­invention quite like David Bowie. After moving from cosmic folk­rock to trashy glam in the early­ 1970s, his next move would be his most shocking yet. Confounding his loyal disciples in 1975, he re­emerged as a smooth­ operating practitioner of Philadelphia soul with the album Young Americans. True, the transition had been coming. Embarking on the second ...

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Why you should care about… ECM Records

‘ECM is the nearest thing music has to a cult’, the Observer claimed in 2006. I believe I’m a member. I’m not the kind who sells his house and goes to live in a commune run by the supreme leader, who turns out not to be supreme enough to provide proper food or sanitation; nor am I the kind of ...

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Album Review: Will Butler – Policy

Arcade Fire’s Will Butler, younger brother of frontman Win, is soon to release his debut solo LP Policy. Famous for his spontaneous stage antics and multi instrumentalism, Butler is without doubt an intriguing and entertaining character. One minute he’s prancing around stage bellowing at the top of his lungs whilst smashing a hand-held bass drum, the next he’s teaming up ...

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Troy on Troyfest: We speak to one of the men behind the festival

“Way back in 2005 me and my best festival buddy Dave were at Glastonbury. After a particularly special evening on cider at Lost Vagueness we talked about how good it would be to have a mini festival for a big birthday party. We were just thinking a field, a marquee, one band, a DJ and loads of our mates. Six ...

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