1. Rick Astley + Blossoms + The Smiths = Heaven Knows I'm Never Giving You Up
If you had told 17 year old JO’B, as he moped around, heartbroken by the demise of The Smiths that 34 years later he would be going to this, he would have laughed at you.
If you told him that this was infinitely preferable to seeing Mozzer playing the same songs because he’s now an islamophobe, he would have had you sectioned.
But the world is a strange place. It’s all true. And I have got tickets to this and am STUPIDLY excited! I do hope we get the joy of hearing Rick sing "I'd like to drop my trousers to the world, I am a man of means, of slender means"....
As you were.
My old colleague Mark pointed out that seeing a set of Smiths songs means Morrissey will get some royalties. Now, as is documented elsewhere on this site, I have no wish to give That Alarming Man any money while he advocates for Islamphobic and anti-immigrant parties like For Britain.
So chatting to my friend Simon, a new concept was born - 'Morrissey Offsetting", like carbon offsetting. I'd love to be carbon neutral and very my best. I will definitely hereon be #morrisseyneutral hereon.
I will be making a donation to a charity tackling Islamophobia and will also make a donation to the Refugee Council. As @David_Brunt put it...."Tough on Morrissey. Tough on the causes of Morrissey".
2. Johnny F***ing Marr!
Clearly on a "The Smiths trip" this week (I am listening to Barbarism Begins At Home as I type this). Johnny Marr is back, Back, BACK next week and we are seeing him Thursday at a sold out show at the Electric Ballroom, Camden. Stupidly excited and loving the new single, Spirit Power and Soul.
Johnny Marr's new EP, Fever Dreams Pt 1 is out 15th October 2021 - you can pre-order it here.
The lovely Mrs JO'B bought me two new books this week, Great Lost Albums and A Seat At The Table.
The former is a look back at the great lost (and completely made up) albums, including Bob Dylan's collaboration with Liberace, Coldplay's IKEA Sessions, including Conscious Uncoupling (See Leaflet for Details), Kraftwerk's hastily deleted Christmas album, I Wish To Return This Item...and many, many more...
The latter is a series of interviews by Amy Raphael with women who work across the music industry about learning to speak out, #MeToo, social media, queer politics and the subtleness of everyday misogyny.
4. Britney Spears
The Guardian has this week listed the 30 greatest songs by Britney Spears, reminding me of what a pop powerhouse she is. I hope she gets through all her legal troubles, which seem outrageous to the casual observer.
But back to the list - how can ANYONE think Toxic wouldn't be number 1 (it's a lowly 4 in this list). It's a genuinely perfect pop song!
5. New Albums - Lorde and Big Red Machine
I made another flying visit to the splendid Casbah Records in Greenwich yesterday, before heading into town and picked up two fabulous new albums.
Lorde's Solar Power is chilled, summer pop - scaled back, less over dramatic than her previous material. It's a definite case of "less is more".
Meanwhile, How Long Do You Think It's Gonna Last? by Big Red Machine is the side project of Bon Iver's Justin Vernon and The National's Aaron Dessner. This second album includes guest appearances from Anais Mitchell, Taylor Swift, Sharon Van Etten and Fleet Foxes. Fabulous stuff so far.
Great new music on both counts, well worth a listen.
See you next week, stay safe, x