The New Cue #254 January 20: David Crosby tribute, Låpsley, The National, Art School Girlfriend, Sleaford Mods, Fenne Lily, Nuria Graham, Eddie Chacon
20 January, 2023
It’s Friday again, time for another bumper edition of your favourite music newsletter The New Cue. Other music newsletters are available too but it’s not even worth looking into, they’re all rubbish. You’ve got everything you want right here, which is why if you don’t already you should mosey on down to the button below and press Subscribe Now. For £5 a month, which we haven’t put up since we launched because we’re proper decent folk even though £5 in 2021 is worth about 34p now, you can get full access to every future edition of TNC plus the 252 editions that we’ve already done. 253! That’s my favourite number, what are the chances?
Now, onto today’s shenanigans. In light of the sad news that David Crosby has died, we’ve decided to revisit an interview Niall did with the Byrd and legend of sweet melody and verse. That’s open for everyone to read, then behind the paywall we’ve got synth-popper Låpsley telling us about her new record, a full range of Recommender picks and Young Fathers on the influence of Massive Attack. Definitely worth more than 34p! Here’s a playlist to listen along:
We’ll see you on Monday, when we’ve got a mammoth chat with outsider-pop icon and ex-Felt and Denim man Lawrence about his new record.
Enjoy the edition,
Ted, Niall and Chris
The Last Word with David Crosby
We lost a great this week, but what a legacy David Crosby leaves behind. The Byrds and CSNY singer-songwriter made music right until the end and was juggling a few different bands in his final years, including one that he formed with his son James Raymond. He also mastered the art of the Twitter putdown and he was still posting prolifically on his last day. What a ledge. I – hello, Niall here - interviewed him for Q’s Last Word feature a few years ago and he was excellent, sharp and funny and cosmically wise. At one point he told me off for interrupting him, which was fair enough, all I needed to do was ask a question now and then, shut up and let him roam. Here’s the full chat with him from 2018. You’ll be much-missed Croz. RIP.
When was the last time you cooked for someone?
Yesterday. I made scrambled eggs with cheese and onions and fried ham, sliced off a real ham. I’m not a good cook, I don’t do anything impressive. I can make breakfast and that’s about it. My wife is a really good cook, so there’s no point in me trying to be a real cook. I work for her and she tells me what to do. She loved the breakfast - because she didn’t have to make it!
When was the last time you stopped yourself tweeting something?
Last night. I’m not really very good at censoring myself. I tend to shoot my mouth off. If I say something, that’s actually me. I do shoot my mouth off on there but I did think about something I was gonna say and thought it was too unkind, so I didn’t say it. I don’t mind being pretty out-front about most of the things I think. I’m a very opinionated guy and people know that, so I don’t mind it. It’s been quite a while since I tweeted something I regretted. I try to be careful. I don’t filter my opinions. I filter whether I’m being kind of not. I try not to be deliberately unkind, unless I’m talking about somebody that deserves it, like the President [Trump], he totally deserves it, or Ted Nugent deserves it, or Kanye West deserves it. I’m perfectly happy to be unkind to them. They deserve it.
When was the last time you took an illegal drug?
Well, pot isn’t illegal in California so it’s been many years. When it’s legal, there’s no pressure. You stop worrying about the cops. In California, we all like it. The last guy in America that doesn’t like pot is our Vice-President or Attorney General.
When did you last speak to Bob Dylan?
Maybe a couple of years ago at the Grammys where he read that incredible speech, oh God that was funny, it made me laugh, I loved him so much. We said, “hi, how are ya?”, that kind of thing, we’re friends. He’s a really strange wonderful guy, he’s got a great sense of humour and he likes being mysterious a little bit but he’s fun, I like him a lot. He’s a very bright cat. He likes me cos I don’t butter his toast, I don’t tell him how wonderful he is. He likes that.
When was the last time you were clean shaven?
It would’ve been in prison, in 1985. It felt awful, I was going to prison, in Texas, how bad could it be? Certainly not fun. It turned out to be a great thing. It got me free from hard drugs which was really a very difficult thing to do. It took a year in prison to do it but it worked. I knew what prison was gonna be like – it was tough, but not impossible. The hard part was kicking the drugs, that’s a really awful thing to have to do. But it happened, it just took a while.
When did you last go sailing?
Just before I sold my boat. Probably two years ago now. I haven’t been able to go sailing since then cos it hurts too much. I really miss it badly. I wish I hadn’t sold it. I don’t know if you know this, but they don’t pay us for records anymore over here. It’s streaming, they don’t pay us. They pay, like, 0.000000 something, you know? Tiny. So that cut my income in half and I couldn’t afford to keep the boat up anymore. Them stealing my music and making billions of dollars off of it without paying me is the specific reason that I lost the boat. That’s why I’m so pissed about it.
What was the last song you heard that you wish you’d written?
A song of Jason Isbell’s called If We Were Vampires. It’s a fantastic love song. It’s not about vampires, it’s about love. It’s a stunning love song. Jason Isbell is a very talented guy. The first time I heard him sing it I fell in love with it.
Who was the last politician that you liked?
Barack Obama. Wonderful man. I met him several times, I like him, I’ve spoken with him, he’s a great man. You walk into it and you think, ‘it’s the President Of The United States’ and you are in awe of him because of the office and then he is so real and so completely down-to-earth and so intelligent and so good at communicating that you forget all of that stuff and you’re immediately friendly and immediately want to talk to him. If I could have spent another 20 hours just talking to the guy, I would’ve happily done it. He’s a brilliant man and has a great sense of humour. To go from somebody that good to somebody this bad is a really humiliating thing. Boy, it’s very embarrassing to be an American right now.
When was the last time you said to someone, “well, back in my day…”
I generally try to avoid the old codger approach! But I’m sure I have said it. I don’t remember when though…
When was the last time you heard one of your songs on the radio?
It happens fairly often, there will be something on there. The first time I heard one of my songs on the radio, it was when we cut Tambourine Man and we got it on KRLA, which was the big station in LA. We were driving down the street and it came on and we pulled over because we were so thrilled, it was the first time we’d heard it on the radio and they played it and then they played it again. They played it twice in a row, it was that good. We couldn’t believe they had done that and we were jumping round on the sidewalk. We were freaking out.
When was the last time you spoke to Stephen Stills, Graham Nash or Neil Young?
Oh, it’s been over a year now. It’s quite a while. A whole lot of money for a whole tour would probably break the ice. It’s really up to Neil. It’s always up to Neil, always has been, always will be. It’s fine. I can’t sit around and wait. I’m busily making music as fast as I can. I don’t have much time so I’m working pretty hard to get all I can in while I can.
When was the last time you lost your temper?
Probably a couple of weeks ago. I try really hard not to do it man because I become an instant asshole. I lose it pretty badly. My biggest pet peeve? The President Of The United States.
I can’t remember the time I loved a song immediately as much as I’m into the new single by Art School Girlfriend. Titled A Place To Lie, it’s a perfect mid-January pep, all moody chord shifts, murmuring strings, icy vocals, strobing synths and a garage-y beat giving the whole thing its sense of uplifting energy.
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