New(ish) Polish Jazz!

I’ve just got back from a couple of weeks in Berlin, mostly work-related but taking in a bit of culture with Mrs Abahachi at the same time. The main event was the Berliner Staatsoper’s astonishing, disturbing and thought-provoking staging of Wagner’s Parsifal, which I’ve written about over on my regular blog (in the course of a general rant about May’s nonsensical vicarage values). However, when we saw that the Polish jazz trumpeter, Tomasz Stanko, one of my heroes, not only had a new album coming out this month but was doing a short European tour with most of his current quartet (Finnish pianist Alexi Tuomarila replacing David Virelles, but Reuben Rogers on double bass and Gerald Cleaver on drums present and correct), including a gig in Poznań (i.e. about three hours from Berlin), we seized the chance to visit Poland for the first time.

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Wilson Wednesday (or maybe Thursday) – Jackie Wilson

Da, da, da, da, da, Da, da, da, da, da,

Yes, Wilson Wednesday is back, and this week its time to turn our attention to the wonderful Jackie Wilson. And it would be remiss not to begin with Van Morrison’s great tribute song.


A two time Grammy Hall of Fame member, a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Member, and included on Rolling Stone magazine’s 100 greatest artists of all-time list, Jackie is an American soul singer-songwriter and performer. He was known for this high energy performances and was a master-showman.

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Best Cover Artists Ever?

Things are getting kinda tense around Gotham, so what best to put smiles on pusses than dumb Ramones (peace be upon them) tunes. Been a long time (years, probably) since i did a post for this sporadic series, and i think it’s probably not in dispute that the Ramones were fine cover artists. But it turns out not to be so easy to do fine covers of Ramones tunes. Some very good bands did some not very good covers in my wholly subjective opinion. Here’s a small handful that made my cut. Have fun!
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It’s Friday.  Good Friday.  I normally publish a post in the afternoon and I will today, if I get around to it.  But I’ve felt uneasy this morning and feel compelled to write something.  I’m not a religious person, but was educated at a strict Catholic school, so this time of year brings back memories of sorrow followed by celebration.  This isn’t going to be a lesson about the meaning of Easter, but perhaps my memories and my innate dislike and discomfort with conflict has urged me to add this post.  Sorry if I’m rambling.

Yesterday as the RR topic of the week launched over at the Guardian at 8pm UK time, it was clear pretty quickly there was a problem.  Comments with YouTube links were being modded, causing annoyance and frustration.  During the discussion, some harsh words were said – I’ll admit to agreeing with the general sentiment, but the words themselves were overly strong and perhaps unnecessary, although I don’t think they were targeted at anyone in particular.

How totally ridiculous and childish we can be sometimes – I hope I’ve not caused offensive or upset by agreeing with comments last night.  That was never my intention and I’m sure it wasn’t the intention of others either.

We are drawn to this site, RR and The Song Bar for our love of music – the end.  We visit the various sites out of personal preference, what works for us in terms of timings and technology – at the end of the day, we all love music; how it makes us feel, the memories it stirs, the joy it brings and the tears it invokes.  Music is the centre of this community, and without community we may as well just give up.

So, at this time when many of us celebrate new beginnings and forgiveness, I was thinking about reconciliation.  We are trying to keep this blog going and have seen some real enthusiasm and new energy around here in the last few weeks from contributors and commenters that use all the sites I referred to above.  It would be a shame for silly hostilities about nothing in particular to cause unnecessary rifts.  I would hate to see that happen.  I wanted to share an appropriate song, but my mind has gone pretty blank…there are two songs I will share though (not really about reconciliation I’m afraid), I’m sure you can think of much better ones than me.

I love the sentiment in this Mumford & Sons track, especially the line

But I will hope as long as you like, just promise me we’ll be all right.

And this week, after having been to see Mama Mia in London last week, my 11 year old daughter discovered Abba Gold.  She already knew many of their songs, but she now knows many more!  She has belted this one out while bouncing on the trampoline several times this week.  It seemed fitting to add it.

I’m really sorry about this nonsense ramble; I just dumped my brain.  If you can think of other more fitting tracks or have any general comments, I’d love to hear from you.

Welcome to Wilson Wednesday

Welcome to Wilson Wednesday

No, no, don’t worry, the Spill hasn’t just been sponsored by an international sporting goods manufacturer, nor have we been “cast-away”. (see what I did there???)

Rather, this crazy (and regularly absent) Spill contributor from down under was browsing through his music collection the other day and got to thinking about a large number of musical “Wilsons”. The Marconium already has six solo Wilson artists, probably countless more if we include band members, and that may be the tip of the iceberg.

So, as a semi-regular series, I thought each Wednesday that I get around to it, I will showcase a “Wilson” and open up comment/debate on that Wilson. There are of course obvious Wilsons to explore, and we will, but there will also be some more obscure ones as well. Hey, I will even take requests for Wilsons, and better still, happy for anyone else to provide a write up for Wilson Wednesday – you are all so much more musically knowledgeable than I am.

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