Photo of the Week
The picture above is of Salt Lake City in the 1950s that I found via my friend Dave Varley's delicious account. It's one of a dozen or so vintage photographs of American cities taken by a chap called Charles W Cushman that are posted on a forum about skyscrapers. I recall that buying booze in Salt Lake City is not straightforward.
News Item of the Week
"Laureate bemoans 'thankless' job" is a wonderful headline. In a surprisingly honest interview Andrew Motion has said that being poet laureate has been "damaging" to his work and moans that the Queen "never gives me an opinion on my work for her". He'll be spending Christmas in the Tower then.
Obituary of the Week
Farewell then Jack Weill. I hadn't heard of him either but do have much to thank him for. He invented the cowboy shirt. This is my favourite part of the Economist's obit: "When Reagan declared once that America had become a service economy, Mr Weil wrote to him complaining that “where I come from in southern Indiana, servicing meant when you took the mare to the stud.” Reagan gently pointed out to “Jack” that things were less simple in Washington."
Bob Dylan Item of the Week
The video for Bob's 'new' single Dreamin' of You is available to watch on Amazon.com. It's noteworthy mainly for featuring Harry Dean Stanton.
New To Me Music of the Week
My brother-in-law Kev emailed me during the week to ask if I'd heard of The Gaslight Anthem. I had not. They are four fellas from New Jersey who evidently are big Springsteen fans.
Funniest Link Forwarded To Me This Week
"Rod Stewart Apologises For 30 Years of Crap Music". Not before time.
Online Listening of the Week
NPR's World Cafe is streaming five songs by the brilliant Felice Brothers recorded live at the Philadelphia Folk Festival. Justin Townes Earle, who coincidentally we saw play with the Felice Brothers in Nashville on our honeymoon, recorded a Daytrotter Session this week which you can download in full.
Video of the Week
My colleagues Lucy and Sarah produced a great site for the Mercury Prize. You can see videos of all the nominees, both from Wednesday's award ceremony and from the BBC archive, as well as highlights of previous years' events. This is who I hoped would win, 2008's token folk act, Rachel Unthank & The Winterset.