2016: A Year In Pictures

The more accurate title of this post would be 2016: The Year I Waited Nine Months to Post My SXSW Pictures, since that is where 99% of these shots are from. The remaining 1% are from New Year’s Eve 2015, taken too late to be included in last year’s round-up.

So, yeah, anyway, here they are, better super late than not at all, I guess?

Here’s the one from NYE:

IMG_9730 The Molly Ringwalds, Biloxi, MS, NYE 2015

SXSW was, by turns, glorious and exhausting. There is so much music, and so little time, and so many people. I was pleased to be there – to have been invited to be there, given the honor of a place on a panel, because honestly, otherwise, I would not have gone – but I did not really feel like I was among my people until the third day, when I walked into a grimy punk bar far from the main (festival) drag. At that point I was also so tired and people’d out I was about ready to just lie down on the (disgusting) floor and let the sea of noise wash … Continue reading

The Longest Day in History, David C Clements


After a several years of fits and starts and bits and pieces, David C. Clements has at long last released his first official full length record. It’s called The Longest Day In History and it’s mostly new material – I say mostly because some of the previous fits and stars (Oh Child and Hurricane) are included.

The short version: it’s lovely, and if you’re into folk and singer-songwriters you need to jump over to his bandcamp and snag it right now.

The long(er) version is: these songs make me homesick for the pit, for people jammed in to a small space but still clapping and singing and stomp-swaying, caught up in the rush of music and lights, to happy to do anything but dance. And for the same crowd, quiet and hushed during the slower songs, letting familiar chords expand and swell and break their hearts all over again, the way they like best.

Here are the two songs he has up as teasers:

I’m Still Alive, and … Continue reading

My Dear Mother, David C. Clements


There are certain metaphors I abuse. Most of them are nautical. One is lepidopterological: I tend to think of musicians in the studio as caterpillars in a chrysalis, or, more accurately, in a cocoon. And fans as the tenders of these cocoons, sitting outside, waiting for a sparkly wing to emerge.

David C. Clements has been in a cocoon for a very long time, and yesterday, a delicate wing popped out: My Dear Mother, his first EP in two years.

Four songs, two new (My Dear Mother, When We Go), one alternate version of an earlier tune (On The Border), one interpretation of a Neil Young tune (Philadelphia), all collectively a teaser for a record coming early next year.

The whole thing is awesome – the new/old version of On the Border is slower, but more expansive; there’s some muscle to it, now – but here are the two new ones:

My Dear Mother, the title track, and an excellent introduction to his style, i.e. catchy shuffle-sway … Continue reading

Gary Lightbody and The Assembly, This Is All That I Ask of You

Long ago in a galaxy not THAT far away – i.e. 1999-2000 – I worked in tech PR1 and pitched people as speakers for TED talks2. That was when TED talks were only given in one place! Now they are everywhere!

This is an excerpt from a TED talk given by Gary Lightbody of Snow Patrol at Stormont Parliament in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The subject of his presentation was the way the music scene in the region has flourished during the last fifteen years of peace.3

To illustrate his point he gathered up several musicians – David C. Clements, SOAK, Silhouette and the Wonder Villains – to write and perform a song.

If you like it you can buy it, and all of the proceeds will go to the Northern Ireland Music Therapy Trust.

This is all that I ask of you: Gary Lightbody and the Assembly at TEDxStormontThis is all that I ask of you: Gary Lightbody and the Assembly at TEDxStormont
Watch this video on YouTube


1 This was when the internet still kind of had training … Continue reading

Fanmix: Warren Ellis, Gun Machine

Fan mixes: collections of music created as both soundtrack and illustration for other works, usually works of fiction, intended as both appreciation of and enticement to read the work of fiction.

This one is for Gun Machine by Warren Ellis, who is author of, among other things, Transmetropolitan and Crooked Little Vein, and is NOT the dude who plays music with Nick Cave.

Gun Machine is a murder mystery set in New York. But not the New York you usually see on cop shows; the Financial District, which is older and darker. Down there you’re off the grid. The streets are narrow and twisty and reality can be very thin. Depending on how the wind is blowing off the water, it does feel like you could walk around a corner today and stumble into the 17th century, 1926 could be tomorrow and 2018 was last week.

“Off the grid” would actually sum up the book as a whole. It is also bloody, startling, deeply lonely, occasionally bitingly funny, like watching my own city from the wrong end of a telescope, a complex puzzle, and very, very good. If you pick it up, be sure to both read and … Continue reading

shelf-reading at bandcamp: county antrim

Shelf-reading has two purposes: one, to make sure everything is in its right place; and two, to discover works you would not necessarily have though to look for, left to your own researching devices.

I decided to take purpose #2 and apply it to Bandcamp’s tagging system, generally, and the Irish music section, specifically. I then decided to use the counties of Ireland (North and South), arranged alphabetically, as a framing device for the experiment.

I begin today with County Antrim, which contains Belfast, which has large, thriving scene, so this time my selections do skew dramatically towards one geographic location.

I’ve also noticed that, as one would expect, artists from further out in the countryside have drifted Belfast-ward, which muddies the waters a bit. With one exception (David C. Clements) I’ve tried to confine myself strictly to artists who have tagged their work “County Antrim.”

Without further waffle, here is what I found that I liked, drawing both from Belfast as well as the county at large:

I last wrote about Mr. Clements back in January. Since then he has added five songs, one of which I haven’t yet extracted from Bandcamp’s clutches (a … Continue reading

Love You Through The Storms: David C. Clements, The Longest Day in History

The Longest Day in History [free Bandcamp download!], an EP from David C. Clements (formerly Captain Cameron) and contains only two songs. But they are stunning beautiful songs.

The first song is called Hurricane, and it is full of lyrical gems. It’s also a six and a half minute showcase for Clements’ magnificently supple and expressive voice.


Hurricane by David C Clements


The second song, Not Sleeping, is tiny bit more uptempo than Hurricane but no less compelling. Here is a video of him singing it at at Love Lounge, recorded by Pigmint:


David C. Clements – Not Sleeping – Live at Love Lounge from Pigmint on Vimeo.


And then there’s also his cover of Lana Del Ray’s Video Games, originally recorded live on the BBC Radio Ulster program Across The Line. I have a lot of deeply complicated feelings about that song, but his rendition has sunk its claws into my brain-meats and I cannot stop listening to it.


David … Continue reading