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This archive will stay here - but you can find new posts (as well as this archive) at my new website which is at It's the new home for Stuart Eglin Online - including the blog, musings, and details of the publications and services which I have available. Take a look - it's worth a visit!

Friday, 18 August 2006

The Friday Playlist 2

Here are a few albums which I just can't stop playing at the moment:

1. Mark Hollis - Mark Hollis

I have been looking for this album for years. It is the only solo album to date, by the singer from Talk Talk. The later albums by Talk Talk before they split up took them further into the avant garde and painfully beautiful yet minimal sounds. This album continues that journey. The lyrics are sparse, the arrangements stunningly unusual. The use of guitar and piano fragments is haunting. I can't stop listening to it - and continue to muse over the lyrics and the overall atmosphere which is evoked by this music.

2. Thom Yorke - The Eraser

This new album by the singer from Radiohead could almost be companion album to the Mark Hollis one. Except that, where Hollis has a clear focus on acoustic instruments, Yorke uses electronics and laptop for his pre-occupations. The lyrics are similarly oblique. The voice is beautiful. Great voices in modern music always push forward without any sense of the self-conscious. There are some beatiful melodies on this album. Try the title track or 'And it rained all night' to see what I mean. Love it!

3. Clap your hands say yeah - Clap you hands say yeah

I really like this album, in spite of the first track which sounds like some demented circus act. Sometimes I wonder whether anyone ever says to bands, don't use that as the first track, otherwise people might get no further. This is the case with so many REM records - they begin with a 'difficult' track! Anyway, this album settles down into a great sound, somewhere between Talking Heads and Pere Ubu. They also sound very like The Arcade Fire on some tracks, in the way that they wind up through a track, gathering momentum. At times the singer Alec Ounsworth sounds unnervingly like David Byrne. It's an album well worth a listen, and I particularly like the fact that it is about the length of an old vinyl album. Too many albums go on for too long these days...

Other albums I'm listening to, that I have already written about:

4. The Open - Statues

5. Sigur Ros - Takk

Click here for Friday Playlist 1

Tuesday, 15 August 2006

Whenever she says she does

Here is one of the poems which I wrote back in March. I'm about to start writing again. This one stirred me to the page again, and it brought to mind the golden eagles I wrote about in the last post to the blog. The birds in this poem were flying in a massive flock around a railway station as I stood on the platform waiting for a train to arrive:

Whenever she says she does she does
But the light never shines above her head
The way it should – like a veil

I watch the birds, 1028 of them, fly overhead
Like one organism, flexing and changing shape
Creating a mass of darkness in a blue sky surround

The sense of menace is as real as
The sense of plenty that sometimes comes through
Just when I worry about things too much

When the light shines above my own head
I can sometimes pull it down and through
Then the warmth of it all is palpable

Here comes the birds organism again, fifth time around
With each circle of the town, I can feel a little more sense
Understand the way 2056 wings can make a unified sound

Like fingers beating on a microphone as a test –
Pulling patterns together that would be meaningless
Sense, connections, lines between – where the ends meet the means.

Saturday, 5 August 2006

Fly like an eagle

One day on this holiday we went on a trip through the mountains in Corsica. It is an island of great beauty, and real contrasts.

I stopped the car to take some photos of the mountains - one range looked like something out of 'Lord of the Rings' - and as I was taking the photos I noticed four birds soaring over the valley beneath me.

They were golden eagles, and were calling to each other. Their lilting cry was haunting, stirring to the soul. I remember being captivated by golden eagles when I was young, but never thought I would actually see them flying in the wild. It was an amazing experience.

It left me moved for several hours - their cry really pulled at something primeval within me.

A picture would have shown more than I can describe - but the photos show only landscape, not the birds themselves. I guess I need a better camera.