The Bonus Track: Songs from kids' stories, prog-rock poetry and an album biggie from Haim

A sideways look at the world of music

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The Independent Culture

Lyrics? child’s play!

From the box marked “The Simple Ideas Are Best” comes this, from a couple in Nashville called Austin and Sara Atteberry, he a guitar player, she a staffer in a children’s hospital. What the couple noticed was that kids in hospices, homes, and hospitals have a wealth of stories, while songwriters often seem to find lyrics the hard bit. So they created, which gives the kids’ stories to aspiring songwriters to set to music. At its best, the project sounds like the album Sufjan Stevens has always threatened to make. Sample “July 14th”, based on the story “The Day My Dad Died” by Sheldon (nine).

To boldly go

Not content with giving the world his notorious The Transformed Man in 1968, William Shatner, aka Captain Kirk, has now set his spoken-word poetry to a prog-rock backing on his latest (and fifth!) album, Ponder the Mystery (due out next month). Thousands of aspiring musicians can’t get arrested, but Shatner gets to do this. Ponder the mystery, indeed. Listen here

Lapps of honour

Virtuoso musicianship doesn’t always translate into something you’d want to hear but there’s something mesmerising about the guitar playing of Ben Lapps. He’s been doing YouTube vids since he was 12. He’s 19 now, and you can watch him do his thing below.

Skum as you are

This Thursday sees the UK premiere of an unbelievable true story about 1980s US rock band SKUM, memorable mainly for the fact they couldn’t actually play. Watch the trailer:

Next week’s biggie …

Kevin Harley reviews Haim’s Days Are Gone. Watch the video for new single “The Wire”: