End Times Undone

SIMON SWEETMAN
Last updated 10:09 13/08/2014

I wanted to tell you all about the new David Kilgour album today (well, you can click that link for my review). I don't think Kilgour has made a bad album - unless of course you're not a fan, then no amount of persuasion will do the job, right?

But if you're a fan you'll usually find something to hold onto - though he's made a small handful of really great albums and his latest is terrific. I started the week with the album on repeat - playing it over and again, so easy to just hit playDavid Kilgour and The Heavy 8s again as soon as it's finished, no ordeal working through this album. Languid and lovely and that kind of bottled magic that makes him a singular talent, he makes albums that no one else can make.

That wonderful nonchalance so crucial to the sound and delivery, half-songs flicked into the pot and served up suddenly, miraculously, as finished compositions. We're lucky to have him. I wanted to talk more about Kilgour's career outside an away from The Clean.

But then, I lost my train. And it won't come back...

I spent most of yesterday - along with most of Twitter and Facebook - thinking about Robin Williams. This isn't a film or TV blog, it isn't a stand-up comedy blog and I'm not about to shoehorn in references to Williams and music - his Beatles cover version or his stand-up albums released on vinyl and CD - as a way in here.

I've already written my tribute to Robin Williams, tried in some way to sum up what he meant to me - his best work was truly amazing. His story, ultimately, is very sad. And though I'll happily live in a world without any new Robin Williams movies the thought of him leaving this world, deciding that he had no other choice, that'll take a lot longer to understand - but I realised, when writing about Williams, and thinking about his impact, his concert film, An Evening With Robin Williams is one of the most important pop-culture experiences in my life. I've watched that more than almost any other VHS/DVD experience - save for The Young Ones (something I thought about when I wrote about Rik Mayall's passing recently) and the documentary Fleetwood Mac at 21 (something I think about whenever I listen to Fleetwood Mac).

These are things that I can quote from - still. Almost verbatim. In some cases I haven't watched them for two decades now but I still know every word, every frame, the soap-opera that was (and still kinda is) Fleetwood Mac, the surreal comedy of The Young Ones and Williams as firebrand/visionary/manic-genius hurling himself into his prepared routine and improve-moments, the audience caught in the blur of those worlds.Robin Williams

What was it about those three TV experiences that kept me returning? I'll never know - they just made my life feel a bit better I guess. They spoke to me - and wonderful stories and great humour in all three cases. For the story of Fleetwood Mac is of course stranger than fiction, mindboggling and bonkers and there's a lot of wonderful music there too.

I watched a really great Peter Gabriel DVD yesterday. And then a perfectly decent ZZ Top DVD. And then I slipped on the new David Kilgour album one more time.

The Herald ran an embarrassing tribute to Robin Williams where it was mentioned that he loved New Zealand.

Social Media blew a gasket as the echo-chamber got lost - this time deep inside itself - with all the news around various celebrities paying tribute to Robin Williams. Those same celebrities will be in tweeting wars about anything else by the time you read this. And the sad thing is so will I. And you. And anyone else.

And I'll never be able to watch An Evening with Robin Williams ever again. But I'll still know every word of it. It'll outlast Twitter and Facebook.

Another shrugged-off David Kilgour song should help...

R.I.P. Robin Williams


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