All Work And No Play Redux

All Work And No Play Makes Loft And Lost A Dull Boy
All Work And No Play Makes Loft And Lost A Dull Boy
All Work And No Play Makes Loft And Lost A Dull Boy
All Work And No Play Makes Loft And Lost A Dull Boy

So here we are again. Pretty much two weeks of constant work, with a special highlight of being called back into the office at 11pm and not leaving till nearly six hours later. Fun. Mind you, it’s strange being in a huge office block at stupid o’clock, working alongside the cleaners (poor buggers, some of them using their short breaks to catch up on their sleep. Many of them work two or three jobs. If anyone wants to understand the real face of immigration, and how these people get abused by everyone around them, go and sit in any big office at 3am and see how hard these people really work, for very little money. They need all the help and protection they can get. Anyway, /rant).

And of course working stupid hours means very little time for music. I’ve got approximately 26 million records to listen to, comprising Mew, School of Seven Bells, Monsters Of Folk, The Flaming Lips, Volcano Choir and that effing sodding Warp 20 Box Set that’s undoubtably great but going to take about a week to get through. Notwithstanding all the other stuff that’s around, new tracks and Word CDs and the like. Then there’s records I haven’t even got yet but will soon, like Richard Hawley.

I think I’m going to invent some magic time machine that stops time around me and lets me sit there in peace, listening to all this fabulous new music. Then, I could flip a switch and everyone round me would suddenly come to life again. Great idea, eh? What do you mean someone’s already thought of it? Oh. Oh dear.

Anyway, this week I have mostly been listening to The Jayhawks.

They are a band that have always hovered on the edge of my conciousness. Always heard their name, vaguely associated them with some sort of easy/country-rock, never really gone out of my way to listen to them. But browsing through Amazon the other week, it did one of those “other people who bought this also bought…” and The Jayhawks new compilation was there. Hell, I’ll buy that, how bad can it be?

And it’s not bad at all. In fact, it’s damn good. Hailing from the Twin Cities, Gary Louris and Mark Olson make the kind of warm, emotional, heartfelt country rock sound so beloved of later bands like Wilco (before they went all arty). They never quite made it big, suffering from the usual misfortunes of many a great band, with founding members buggering off at just the wrong moment, but they are still around and touring, and amazingly for a band whose recording history spans 15 years, the songs at the end of the CD (it’s in chronological order – take that, The Best of Roxy Music!) are as good, if not better, than the ones at the start. And the song “The Man Who Loved Life” was played at Jeff Buckley’s funeral.

I wholeheartedly recommend you listen to the tracks below, then go out and buy the CD. Twice.

MP3: Blue by The Jayhawks

MP3: Big Star by The Jayhawks

Buy “Music from the North Country: The Jayhawks Anthology” (CD/MP3)

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