Third Light Home New October Show takes in Scott Walker and New York

He was 40 when he recorded it, and it’s tempting to think of Scott Walker’s Climate of Hunter as his mid-life crisis album, but then again you could argue he was making mid-life-crisis albums well before that, in his twenties. Damon Krukowski certainly views Climate of H through the lens of ‘late style’ in his piece in The Wire magazine’s new anthology of writing about Scott Walker; and Ian Penman makes a convincing case for a reappraisal of Scott’s middle years — or, rather, there are far worse ways to spend a wet autumn afternoon than luxuriating in the strings and mellow moods of Til the Band Comes in or The Moviegoer. In a former life I was involved in getting this book off the ground — so hands-up to a partial conflict of interest — but there is some great writing in the anthology, and Rob Young supplies an insightful overview to the whole of Scott’s career — his arc away from the mainstream towards the avant-garde — which is as good a place as any to check out all the records and periods of his recording career I’ve failed to get into the programme (ie a lot). Quite a bit has been made over the years of Scott’s ‘awkward’ or even ‘excruciating’ appearance on the Tube in 1983 to promote Climate of Hunter. I didn’t think it was so bad: he comes across as slightly nervous, but immensely agreeable, and Muriel Gray doesn’t deserve the opprobrium that appears to have been heaped on her too

Here are a couple of other cool Scott W youtube clips (I love how he enters the tv studio through the arch — all very relaxed):

And this one for some nice photos and because I love the record:

A trip around the numerous fine record shops of Manhattan and Brooklyn reminded
me of the greatness of one of the maxims of Seeks Music: eclecticism rules. In  just about every record store there’s a big box near the front labelled up  ‘Just Arrrived’. In it can be anything, from new-in second-hand titles to  just-released vinyl. That distinction between second hand and new doesn’t seem so crucial in New York; ditto strict demarcation by genre. Why not file Bill Fay next to Patti Smith, next to the No Neck Blues Band, next to middle-eastern beats, electronica, modern jazz, banjo music from the 1890s and Mississippi blues from the 20s. I don’t know, maybe it was simply because I was on holiday, but somehow record shopping in New York felt far more inspiring and surprising than here in dreary old Britain . . . As Scott would sing, ‘It’s raining today . . .’

Listen to the show here.