Sunday, 25 March 2018

Brixton Radio

My favourite mornings in Brixton included waking up on Sunday, on the second floor of a suburban house, to the sound of soft rain finger-tapping on the window panes. First thing I would do was grope, sleepily, for the banged up radio (which looked like England in the 80s to me) and switch on something like BBC6. Through the crackles too deep to fix there came the sounds of "Remote Control" and "Last Train To Clarksville" and everything else I may or may not have known at the time. Still, I was too greedy to listen and kept changing the channel.

This was of course years ago, but recently it has all come back to me in the form of Paul Westerberg's 49:00 album from 2008. Delirious pop snippets ("Thoroughbred", fifteen seconds; "You're My Girl", twenty-seven seconds), genre-hopping very much insane, timeless tunes too precious to interrupt ("Kentucky Rising", "Outta My System"), noises beautiful and totally uncalled for ("Goodnight, Sweet Prince" is so charming and yet so out of reach), all-time classics ("Short Cover Medley") and all sorts of random transitions ranging from glorious to abrupt.

Most importantly, though, Westerberg's record is the perfect sound of a Sunday morning. It's rough, it's beautiful and - with another spin of a Brixton radio - it could be anything.