Gray Days and Gold - May 2020

When the world is running down, you make the best of what's still around

Hello, friends! I hope you’re all doing well. Existential threat lunges from every headline, but Gray Days and Gold is here to whisk you away to a lovelier place for an hour.

Near the bottom of this post, the Appendix contains a little roundup of musical miscellany I’ve enjoyed lately. But first: lead me in with a count of seventeen, Mr. Stapleton, then wave your baton—it’s the sound of May on Gray Days and Gold.

Click here to listen

Gray Days and Gold, May 2020

  1. LAKE, “Roundelay” (2020) • Bandcamp • Amazon • iTunes

  2. Jon Brooks, “Fonn” (2020) • Bandcamp

  3. The Lilac Time, “Mayfly Too” (1999) • Amazon

  4. Orwell, “Rien Ne Pourra Me Rendre Sage” (2020) • Bandcamp • Amazon • iTunes

  5. Alexander’s Festival Hall, “On Peacock Island” (2019) • Bandcamp • Amazon • iTunes + his book Not From Above!

  6. Nap Eyes, “Fool Thinking Ways” (2020) • Bandcamp • Amazon • iTunes

  7. Le SuperHomard, “Springtime” (2019) • Bandcamp • Amazon • iTunes

  8. Marker Starling, “Drop and Pierce” (2020) • Bandcamp • Amazon • iTunes

  9. The Cleaners from Venus, “The Days of May” (2014) • Bandcamp • Amazon • iTunes

  10. Brendan Eder Ensemble, “Sing Your Heart Out” (2020) • Bandcamp • Amazon • iTunes

  11. Alex Rand, “Boyhood Places” (2018) • Bandcamp • Amazon • iTunes

  12. Jens Carelius, “Amur” (2019) • Bandcamp • Amazon • iTunes

  13. George Ogilvie, “Mid-Air” (2020) • Spotify • Amazon • iTunes

  14. Jack Sharp, “May Morning Dew” (2020) • Bandcamp • Amazon • iTunes

  15. Ben Osborn, “The Only Thing” (2019) • Bandcamp • Amazon • iTunes


COVID-19 isolation has got housebound musicians tackling projects for which they might not otherwise have found the time. Here are a couple of my recent favorites.

The Divine Comedy: “Outside”

From their respective homes, Neil Hannon and co. gathered in a virtual meeting space to record a lovely song called “Outside” (which had originally been slated for inclusion on last year’s Office Politics album). Click here to view it on YouTube.

Kevin Godley’s video archive

I’ve long considered Kevin Godley a musical treasure based on his years in the original lineup of 10cc, before he and Lol Creme left the band. But while I knew that Godley & Creme then had a third career as music video directors, I had no idea that they’d directed some of the most famous music videos of the early MTV generation: Duran Duran’s “Girls on Film,” Herbie Hancock’s “Rockit,” Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s “Two Tribes,” the Peter Gabriel/Kate Bush duet “Don’t Give Up”… the list goes on.

During lockdown, Kevin’s been organizing his video archive and sharing behind-the-scenes stories on Instagram. It’s hugely enjoyable to read his comments and then watch the videos on YouTube with new context in mind. Click the image above—his post about “Fade to Grey” by Visage—to visit his Instagram account.

My LP Wall, Coronavirus Edition

I maintain a display of nine LP covers on the dining room wall, an ever-shifting assortment to pay tribute to a certain artist or highlight all the releases celebrating, say, a forty-year anniversary. Since the Coronavirus lockdown began, I’ve been using the display to express the phases of the crisis. Here are the first two editions: the many moods of being stuck inside, and the world without us.

That’s all for this month; I’ll see you again soon. Take care and, as always, thanks for listening.

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