Treme – Season 1 (HBO series / DVD)
Worth watching just to experience John Goodman's slow burning, melancholic performance. Mesmerising. Oh, and the music! Set in New Orleans in the aftermath of Katrina, the team behind The Wire manages to transport you to the heart of this fascinating and vibrant place. Inspired casting all the way through.
Genius of Design (BBC series / DVD)
As much a history lesson as a design documentary, this insightful and entertaining BBC production manages to show the literally life-changing impact design has had and continues to have on our everyday lives.
Dial M for Murder – Alfred Hitchcock
Suddenly I found myslef watching a lot of Hitchcock – and I really can't fail to appreciate his precise and clever way of conducting a story. It's simply classy entertainment that has stood the test of time. And there are plenty more of his classics to choose from. Dig in.
Jamie Woon: "Mirrorwriting" (album)
Initially I was put off by some lukewarm reviews and a bit of too much hype surrounding this young gentleman. But then, after not being able to play much else than this record for a couple of weeks I was sold. This is an album, though not short of single potential, that works best listened to from start to finish. It really gets under your skin, with a dense and bass-heavy production. Yes, it is smooth but it's got just enough rough edges and soul to make it much more interesting than most popular music. Play it loud.
Kate Bush: "Directors Cut" (album)
She's back. Not with new material, though. These are re-workings of her own songs from "The Sensual World" and "The Red Shoes". The concept is not unlike what Joni Mitchell did with her "Travalogue" album but there is no orchestra involved here, making this is a much more stripped back affair. The 80's production sheen that defined the originals has been replaced by an intimate, soulful atmosphere.
You can't listen to her new versions of "This Woman's Work" and "Moments of Pleasure" without being moved. Really, really special.
Check out Alex Petridis' well-worded review in The Guardian.