After 9 years of intelligent, sometimes word-y, always informed and witty, usually opinionated, eclectic writing, podcasting, live events, sponsorship of Latitude, The Word Magazine is to close. I subscribed for several of those years, and still enjoy the banter on their excellent podcasts, and have eagerly anticipated the weekly emails since one of the first I ever received introduced me to the brilliant work of Kutiman.
But such is the current state of things that passion, good writing, and all that are no longer enough. The Word Magazine has been like BBC 6 Music for me, a source of frequent surprise and joy when I discover something I never would have without it. When I subscribed the magazine came with a CD of 15 or 16 tracks by different artists, covering any number of genres and styles. Selected by the magazine staff, it wasn’t all to my taste, but there were often things that were ‘interesting’, and usually things I wanted to keep. Occasionally there were real gems that have found their way into my collection, prompted me to buy new albums and become part of our whole family’s music.
So instead of mourning its demise, I’d prefer to celebrate some of the music The Word has given me. I wish its staff & contributors all the best. I hope they can continue at least some presence in podcast, email or event form. There isn’t anything like The Word, so I’m not sure how it could be replaced. But for now, just a small selection of how its made my life just a little bit better…
Kings of Convenience – Peacetime Resistance
I knew of this great Scottish band a few years ago, but the one album I owned had been neglected on the CD shelves, until I was reminded of their superb loveliness in November 2009. One of our family’s favourite chill-out/fall asleep tracks. More songs should feature the viola.
The Boxer Rebellion – Flashing Red Light Means Go
This band have been a genuine discovery for me thanks to The Word in October 2009. I’ve seen them at an intimate gig in Bristol, and their albums are terrific. Highly Recommended.
Speech Debelle – The Key
The first time I heard this I fell in love with the eclectic instrumentation. To say it rewards repeated listening is a massive understatement.
Stanton Warriors – Bushido
I’d never normally come across this style of music on my usual radio stations. Big beats that remind me of Fat Boy Slim, but better. Hannah loves this, and asks for it as her music of choice when we’re in the car. I’ve loved using track from The Word’s CDs to expand her musical experiences.
El Mariachi Bronx – Slave Labour
Another eclectic song the like of which I almost exclusively encounter through the monthly CD. Wonderfully simple, with some terrific melodic hooks. I like it even more now I’ve seen this video of the excellent singer and the deadpan band.
C.W.Stoneking – Brave Son of America
I’m not sure how a 30-something Australian can (or would want to) sound like someone from Louisiana in the 1920s, but he does. He appeared on the podcast and was fantastic.
The Candle Thieves – The Sunshine Song
Another skittish, beautiful song I’d never have experienced but for the CD. I love the sentiment in the chorus
You know we can’t stay young forever, but we can stay young for the rest of our days.
Roddy Woomble – A New Day Has Begun
I’ve written before about the immediate effect this had on me when I first heard it. If I’m feeling less than positive, or overwhelmed by what I haven’t done, this lifts my spirits. Something else to thank The Word for…