Friday 30 December 2022

Force for good

James and I stayed up into the wee small hours on my birthday talking about all sorts of stuff - road trips, foreign train travel, football, politics, beer and, of course, music. His recent Best of '22 roundup had been gratefully received only a few days earlier and was therefore a good convo starting point (and prompted many subsequent rabbit holes to fall down). I'll post a link to it below.

I sometimes forget that when James was growing up at Medd Towers just how many hundreds/thousands of hours he must have spent listening to his OM's record collection; it was kind of inevitable, therefore, that much of what was played in his formative years  at the dinner table/in the car/on holiday would eventually trickle down and shape his own taste and, by inference, his future record collection. 

One album that used to live in whatever car I was driving at the time was Adrian Belew's Salad Days. It came out in 1999 so James would only be nine when he first heard it and I reckon he knew every song on it within a handful of weeks. Fast forward to 2022 and Belew can be found five or six songs into James' playlist joining forces with Todd Rundgren on Runt's Space Force album that came out a couple of months ago. Rundgren has collaborated with some other big hitters including Sparks, Thomas Dolby, the Lemon Twigs, and Weezer's Rivers Cuomo, to name but a few, and produced one of his most coherent albums in a long time. 'Puzzle' with the aforementioned Belew kickstarts the record and reminds me of something Andy Partridge and XTC may have cooked up in a parallel musical universe. 

Todd Rundgren with Adrian Belew - Puzzle (2022)

Here's the link


  1. James has clearly had a very thorough and happily eclectic musical education. Your work here is done, as they say!
    Happy New Year to you and all the family. Here's to plenty more good times in 2023.
    - On the subject of Todd Rundgren, do you like anything by Nazz? I prefer that period to what I've heard of his later stuff, it fits the '60s psychy/soully sound ('Open My Eyes'/'Hello It's Me') I really like. Talented man (understatement, methinks)

    1. He's had one hell of a career - on both sides of the glass - and is still going strong today. The Nazz stuff is interesting because it's a dreamy/trippy sound that probably sounds just as good now as it did back then.
      HNY to you too!

  2. Great post, John. It's not immediately apparent that being marinated in my music collection has had any positive benefit for Lady K, but I hope later years will be kind! My folks had a very limited record collection when I was growing up but it instilled an unconditional love for The Mamas & The Papas, for one!

    My introduction to Todd Rundgren was via one of my earliest album purchases which he produced, Forever Now by The Psychedelic Furs. I kept spotting his name after that and took more of an interest in his wider career. Never a dull moment with Todd though I've not kept up with his recent output.

    I hope you had an enjoyable New Year's Eve, John - thanks for the last year of words, pictures and music, here's to an even better 2023!

  3. Thank you for your kind words, K. In the words of Mama Cass, you've got to sing your own kind of music; that's all we can do.

  4. We had a CD player in the living room when DD was growing up and her musical tastes were informed by what we played. Then everything went digital..., and she started to hang out in her bedroom all the time..., and discovered her own music. I miss those childhood days but she's still pretty open-minded about music - always a good thing.