Well I’m In

What the … July 24?!

THE FRENCH DISPATCH brings to life a collection of stories from the final issue of an American magazine published in a fictional 20th-century French city. It stars Benicio del Toro, Adrien Brody, Tilda Swinton, Léa Seydoux, Frances McDormand, Timothée Chalamet, Lyna Khoudri, Jeffrey Wright, Mathieu Amalric, Stephen Park, Bill Murray and Owen Wilson.

The Genius Of Shane MacGowan

YouTube’s algorithms recently presented me with a Late Late Show installment featuring Shane MacGowan, along with a room full of famous friends, family and collaborators.

The tribute is framed as a sort of after-hours jolly at Tubridy Tavern. Pint glasses and candles are set on tables; in the backdrop looms an image of the Brooklyn Bridge (in reference to Fairytale, obviously).

Aidan Gillen recalls MacGowan’s music speaking to him when he was a young actor living in London. Glen Hansard remembers when growing up in Ballymun, the Pogues and Bob Marley were on everyone’s mix-tape (and duets on A Rainy Night In Soho with Lisa O’Neill). There are video eulogies from Bobby Gillespie of Primal Scream, actor Tom Vaughan-Lawlor and Paul Simon (apparently taping his piece on a golf course in the midst of a hurricane – so bravo for that).

I was surprised to learn that pneumonia and a fractured pelvis led to MacGowan’s sobriety in 2015. And even though he has teeth again, holy shit does he look (and sound) awfully fragile in his wheelchair at the tender age of 62.

Anyway, all this heaped praise reminded me of Hell’s Ditch, the only Pogues album I’ve ever owned. I’m getting reacquainted with it today and thought I’d share with you bastards. Enjoy or don’t.

Seen the carnival at Rome
Had the women I had the booze
All I can remember now
Is little kids without no shoes
So I saw that train
And I got on it
With a heart full of hate
And a lust for vomit
Now I’m walking on the sunnyside of the street

Stepped over bodies in Bombay
Trying to make it to the U.S.A.
Ended up in Nepal
Up on a roof with nothing at all
And I knew that day
I was going to stay
Right where I am, on the sunnyside of the street

Been in a palace, and I been in a jail
I just don’t want to be reborn a snail
Just want to spend eternity
Right where I am, on the sunnyside of the street

As my mother wept it was then I swore
To take my life as I would a whore
I know I’m better than before
I will not be reconstructed
Just wanna stay right here
On the sunnyside of the street

New Bowie EPs In 2020

As Stereogum helpfully explains …

It’s a little confusing, so bear with me. First, there’s an EP called Is It Any Wonder? featuring rare and previously unreleased tracks. That one is trickling out one song per week, starting with “The Man Who Sold The World (ChangesNowBowie Version).” It’s taken from a radio session that comprises the other new Bowie release, a limited edition nine-track LP and CD called ChangesNowBowie, which is coming on Record Store Day.

Here’s that first digital track, released yesterday on what would have been Bowie’s 73rd birthday.

A Christmas Miracle

Finally, an official, high-quality version of this video posted by a record label. I spent an hour one day looking for a good version for you bastards. Anyway, this song is further proof that you don’t have to be an amazing musician, you just have to have amazing songs.

Oh, and if I’m not mistaken, the Music Man StingRay bass was only a couple of years old when this video came out.

I just want a lover like any other, what do I get?
I only want a friend who will stay to the end, what do I get?
What do I get, oh-oh, what do I get?
What do I get, oh-oh, what do I get?

I’m in distress, I need a caress, what do I get?
I’m not on the make, I just need a break, what do I get?
What do I get, oh-oh, what do I get?
What do I get, oh-oh, what do I get?

I only get sleepless nights
Alone here in my half-empty bed
For you things seem to turn out right
I wish they’d only happen to me instead
What do I get, oh-oh, what do I get?
What do I get, oh-oh, what do I get?

I only get sleepless nights
Alone here in my half-empty bed
For you things seem to turn out right
I wish they’d only happen to me instead
What do I get, oh-oh, what do I get?
What do I get, oh-oh, what do I get?

I just want a lover like any other, what do I get?
I only want a friend who will love to the end, what do I get?
What do I get, oh-oh, what do I get?
What do I get, oh-oh, what do I get?

Well, let me tell you now
(What do I get?)
(What do I get?)
(What do I get?) I get no love
(What do I get?) I get no sleep at nights
(What do I get?) I get nothing that’s nice
(What do I get?) I get nothing at all, at all, at all, at all
At all, at all, at all ’cause I don’t get you