The Old Masters Still Have It

Old, but not in the way

In his song Nothing on My Mind, Paul Kelly (53) said, “I never did one damn good thing ’til I was over thirty.” Well, everyone in this post is well over thirty and doing some pretty damn good things. Dedicated to the old guys that have still got it, believe it or not there are a few of us still around. Maybe I’ve taken notice of these older guys because I just had a birthday and I’m feeling mortal (unlike when I was in my 20’s and was immortal), but it seems like there are a number of artists, as they have aged have remained relevant and engaging with their music.

Wire (Colin Newman: 54,Graham Lewis: 55,Bruce Gilbert: 61,Robert Gotobed:57) comes to mind, these guys are all pushing 60 and are making music that is nearly as good as what they made in their 20’s and just as good as what they made in their 30’s. If you didn’t pick up Read & Burn 3 last year it’s well worth it, 23 Years Too Late from that ep was my favorite song of last year. The band will be releasing their 11th album on 7 July, it’s called Object 47, because it’s the 47th record in their discography, of course.

Mark E. Smith (50) is another of these guys that just keep ticking, the guy just does not let up. He’s got a new Fall album and an autobiography to boot. The new Fall album is called Imperial Wax Solvent and it’s out next week. He’s got a new set of musicians (surprise), as the Americans who backed him on Reformation Post TLC are gone. I don’t think they were sacked, they just had other things going on, as in their own band. Imperial Wax Solvent is decent as far as Fall albums go, but it looks like the real entertainment lies in MES’s autobiography. The Guardian published an article of excerpts that had me laughing out loud more than a few times. Here’s his take on foodies:

It’s a strange phenomenon, people discussing their lunches. Kids used to do that at school. But now I’ll get on the bus, or I’ll be sat in the pub, and all I can hear is people discussing the contents of their guts or the meal that they’ve got in their heads: “I had some nice tomato sauce last night with chips.” I don’t know why they’re telling you this.

mp3: The Fall – Wolf Kidult Man (from Imperial Wax Solvent)

Excerpts from the autobiography: Guardian Article (Extracted from Renegade: The Lives and Tales of Mark E Smith)

The next gentleman is Robert Forster (50) who I recently wrote about so I won’t go into much detail about his new record. Except to say that it’s out next week on Yep Rock. I came across this really good article written by, non other than the man himself. In it he goes into depth about the creative process he and Grant McLennan had fallen into at the start of writing songs for the next Go-Betweens album, how it drastically changed and how the solo album came about.

The Times article: Former Go-Between Robert Forster pays tribute to his mate with Evangelist

Another older gentleman Jarvis Cocker, (44) has recently said he’s gonna have another record out by the end of the year. Apparently he’s got a few songs written. I’m guessing he’s gonna have Richard Hawley (40) on it again, but only time will tell. In the meantime you can check out this video of one of the new songs

Video: Jarvis Cocker – Girls Like It Too (live in Argentina)

Edwyn Collins (48.) has been recovering from a cerebral hemorrhage he suffered back in 2005. Last year he put out his sixth solo album, Home Again which was recorded before the hemorrhage. He’s back to the point where he can play live again, and from the reviews I’ve seen he’s quite capable. Roddy Frame (44) of Aztec Camera has been accompanying him, which makes these shows even more enticing. The Vinyl Villain has an excellent review of a recent gig in Edinburgh. I’m resigned to the fact that Edwyn will not likely cross the Atlantic again to play, but reading this review makes me want to splurge on a plane ticket. Here are the rest of dates for you lucky people in L’Angleterre.

04-24 Newcastle, England – Northumbria University
04-25 Manchester, England – Manchester University
04-26 Leeds, England – The Cockpit
04-29 London, England – Shepherds Bush Empire

The last bunch of old guys are Sloan (Chris: 39, Andrew: 40, Patrick: 38, Jay: 39), who surprised a lot of people recently by announcing the release of their brand new record Parallel Play. I thought that their last one, which contained no less than 30 songs, might have cleared the vaults, but that is not the case. The new record is shorter, but from the sounds of it just as good ans Never Hear the End of it. Since everyone in the band writes songs, they split it up pretty evenly here, everyone contributes 3 with the exception of overachiever Andrew who has 4. He’s the oldest, so that’s probably why he got the most.

mp3: Sloan – I’m Not a Kid Anymore (from Parallel Play and quite appropriate for this post)

buy: Sloan – Parallel Play

One comment

  1. jordan · September 9, 2008

    cool pic. love it
    hope you do more

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