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Beyond Wine, featured
Last year, in the middle of lockdown, several readers asked me to do the popular “Ten Albums in Ten Days” challenge on social media. I am nowhere near organized enough to do that, but those messages planted a seed. So, in between major reports, I put together this list, with some context, written in the same vein as my article Ten Wines that Changed my Life from a few years ago. Every now and then writing about something other than wine is cathartic. I hope this article might provide something different to read over the holidays.
Whoever Sault is or are, there is no question that they have made a huge impact on the UK music scene and their refusal to promote themselves makes their music stronger.
Beyond Wine: Album Review of Floating Points, Pharoah Saunders, London Symphony Orchestra - Promises
I cannot write too much about Promises – it is something you really have to listen to and immerse yourself in, preferably late at night with the lights dimmed, preferably on vinyl on a high-end audiophile system.
The first time I heard of Dry Cleaning was when I caught Scratchcard Lanyard on BBC Radio 6, the title alone alerting me to something different, two unconnected words co-habiting a title that is totally meaningless and yet…scratchcard lanyard…yes, they belong together. It sticks in your head.
Beyond Wine, United Kingdom
I have been slightly obsessed with Brighton-based Black Honey for a while now. They have the whole package. Written & Directed is a step up from their impressive eponymous debut in 2018. Everything is bigger, louder and bolder.
It was via Bandcamp that I stumbled upon 19-year old Cumbrian-born but Leeds-based Amber Strawbridge, who goes under the moniker, Bored At My Grandma’s House. Great name, although one I cannot relate to because I always loved going to my grandma’s house.
Beyond Wine, Verticals & Retrospectives
Since time immemorial, I have argued, mostly in vain, that the 1971 is one of the great postwar vintages. To mark my 50th birthday, I gathered 50 tasting notes composed over the years to argue my case and celebrate the half-centuries of the wine and wine writer.
During the first lockdown, a friend/angel working on the National Health Service frontline asked me to recommend tunes to lift her spirits. I duly offered one song per day on my Facebook page so that everyone could marvel at my terrible taste in music. Given that we are back in lockdown and suffering the January blues, I decided to put my posts together for this article with just a little editing and updating.
General Interest, Beyond Wine, featured
Though 2020 was tumultuous, the virus failed to stop great wines, wonderful dinners, amazing music or classic TV. It made them even more precious - shards of light in dark times. Now that I managed to reach the end of the year, time to look back before looking forward.
The recently released Maze of Sounds shows that the 80-year old Nilovic has lost none of his touch.