Song of the Week: “De Futura” by Magma

by Douglas Cowie on 4 October 2019

Each Friday I pick a song–new, old, borrowed, blue–that’s been on my mind and in my ears, and write a short post about it.

This is “De Futura” by Magma:

Tonight I’m going to see French prog masters Magma live. I don’t know a lot about Magma, but my friend Warren knows everything about Magma, and my friend Warren loves Magma, and when your friend loves something that much, you should go along and find out what it’s all about. If listening to “De Futura” makes you want to listen to and find out more about Magma, why not check out Warren’s show on Resonance FM? The show itself is about French underground music more generally, but last week he did a Magma special.

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Each Friday I pick a song–new, old, borrowed, blue–that’s been on my mind and in my ears, and write a short post about it.

This is “Spirit World Rising” by Daniel Johnston:

Earlier this month, the wonderful and unique songwriter and performer Daniel Johnston died. It’s hard to say much more about the passing of someone who made such fragile, beautiful, sad, uplifting music than it’s sad, because it’s sad. Last week I was reading Original Rockers by Richard King, which is a thoughtful and lyrical memoir of the author’s time working at Revolver record shop in Bristol, though in fact, the book is much more than that brief description implies. In any case, the book ends–spoiler alert–thus:

From a recess in my mind that this journey to Revolver had unlocked I heard the opening chords of a song, ‘The Spirit World Rising’ by Daniel Johnston, which I had played incessantly within these four walls so many years before. At that moment I felt that the spirit world had risen in a ghost dance and we were moving together, in time.

Songs and books mark moments in time, but they also move with us, change shape with us, reshape us and our moments in time, as we go, with them.

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Song of the Week: “Just What I Needed” by The Cars

by Douglas Cowie on 20 September 2019

Each Friday I pick a song–new, old, borrowed, blue–that’s been on my mind and in my ears, and write a short post about it.

This is “Just What I Needed” by The Cars:

I love The Cars, and this is probably my favorite song by The Cars. RIP, Ric Ocasek.

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Each Friday I pick a song–new, old, borrowed, blue–that’s been on my mind and in my ears, and write a short post about it.

This is “Wichita Lineman” by Dick Slessig Combo:

“Wichita Lineman” was written by Jimmy Webb, and made famous in its original recording by Glen Campbell. It’s easily one of the most beautiful popular American songs of the twentieth century. Earlier this week I stumbled onto this 43-minute version of it by Dick Slessig Combo, a group made up of musicians better known for their work with other groups. It’s a wonderful thing to behold: a very slow, instrumental interpretation of a song pretty much everybody knows, and which affords an opportunity to listen to it new, and to notice, stripped to its basics and stretched far beyond its original time, just how elegant the song really is. I also found this interesting blog post from 2015 about Dick Slessig Combo’s version of the song.

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