It is my forty-second year as a heathen and I woke to the sound of gulls and lobster boat in the bay. There were no priests or mussels in a row. There were crows circling in the bare trees and snow like dirty socks in the ditches. The town was still sleeping under a spell of blue sky after so much ominous gray.
My birthday began with breakfast and water-birds skimming over the illuminated manuscript of the sea just as the loon broke its surface with a small vowel.
I am dreaming of a springful of doves rolling in with twig of green and sweet singers like Massive Attack and some fancy footwork from the Wedding Present’s George Best Plus. But no cold wind blowing out of the north like a bad case of Iron Maiden.
With its horns, an old-growth buck marveled at my birthday in the back of my garden, brown and lifeless under a parable of sunlight and the restrictive borders of dark shadows from the maples and oaks.
And as night splinters the woodiness of day, I can still hear the singing of the sea. The stars give me vertigo and I cut the cake until I’m left licking my fingers, left licking my fingers in the smoke of an already blown-out candle.
Heligoland by Massive Attack. After more than five years the boys from Bristol are back. The new album’s not as good as Blue Lines or Protection but it hits all the trip-hop highs. And it features a miasma of great guest talent, including the brilliant Guy Garvey from Elbow, Horace Andy, Tunde Adebimpe from TV on the Radio, Damon Albarn, Hope Sandoval, and Martina Topley-Bird who has worked with Tricky. It’s the sounds of the Massive for a new decade.
George Best Plus by the Wedding Present.The Leeds quartet are the brain centre of the indie scene. This album is cerebral as well as cheeky.
Sound of Silver by LCD Soundsystem. This band is a hybrid of the stylish new wave of the Talking heads, the Glasgow funk of Franz Ferdinand, and the shamanic beat of the Underworld.