On my radar: Dave Stewart's cultural highlights

The musician and producer on Greil Marcus's writing, the wonder of Anthony Bourdain and the web's best arts magazine

Dave Stewart is a musician, record producer, songwriter and photographer, best known as one half of Eurythmics. Born in Sunderland in 1952, Stewart began performing in his teens, securing a record deal at the age of 18. In the late 1970s he formed the post-punk band the Tourists, and when that band split in 1980, he and singer Annie Lennox formed Eurythmics, going on to sell almost 80m records worldwide. Since their split in 1990 Stewart has collaborated with numerous other artists (including Terry Hall, Paul McCartney and Bono) and has had several successful solo projects. Two years ago he and Mick Jagger formed the supergroup SuperHeavy (which also includes Joss Stone, Damian Marley and AR Rahman). His album Lucky Numbers is out on 7 October, and Ghost the Musical is on a national tour until March 2014.

Thomas Lindsey

Thomas Lindsey.
Thomas Lindsey. Photograph: PR

There is a lot of old and current music I could talk about, but I thought I should take this opportunity to talk about a singer no one has yet heard of, tomorrow's music rather than today's. Thomas Lindsey is an unknown singer who I genuinely believe will be hugely important. He has a voice that borders on the ethereal one minute and massive power the next. It's tinged with sadness, but also a feeling of hope, rather like Sinéad O'Connor, or Nick Drake, or even Nina Simone. It's very beautiful and very emotional. I got him to send me some of his songs and instantly fell in love with the voice. He is from a small town in Louisiana and I got him to fly out and do a support slot before my show and he blew everybody away. He had never been to a major city or ever flown in a plane before so it was a pretty daunting experience but he was amazing.

Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown, Season 2

Anthony Bourdain.
Anthony Bourdain. Photograph: PR

It's ostensibly a cookery programme, but what I love about it is him – Anthony Bourdain, a chef who travels the world truly immersing himself in other cultures. He is fascinated not just by food, but by the people he meets, their ways of life, their customs and traditions. You get the sense with him that he believes that another culture's food is almost like their language, and to understand both properly, you need to understand the people and their culture and fall in love with that. He's brilliant with words and extremely well read. He is the reverse of the macho, misanthropic chef throwing his weight around – the diametric opposite of Gordon Ramsay.

Mystery Train by Greil Marcus

Greil Marcus
Greil Marcus. Photograph: Ulf Andersen/Getty Photograph: Ulf Andersen/Getty

I'm rereading this, Greil Marcus's history of rock'n'roll. It's an incredible, beautiful book that puts the work of great artists in the context of other arts, particularly literature. It was written in 1975 and is hugely optimistic in the sense that you get the idea that he believes music can change not just people but the world. And music has done that. It did that for me, and I still really believe it has the power to change the world.

Silver Linings Playbook

Silver Linings Playbook - 2012
Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper in Silver Linings Playbook. Photograph: PR

I love this film. It is an independent movie that got a fairly modest release, but has won a number of awards. It's a love story concerning two people with bipolar disorder who fall in love. Everyone around them warns them their relationship isn't just doomed but dangerous. What appeals to me is that I have always liked outsiders, people regarded as wayward or even crazy. Many of the people I've had the most fruitful, creative relationships with have been considered difficult or even nuts by others, and I have often been warned against them. And yet, as I say, some of the best and most rewarding experiences of my life have been with people on the margins. Maybe it's because I am a little that way too.

Kehinde Wiley

Artwork by Kehinde Wiley.
Artwork by Kehinde Wiley. Photograph: PR

He's an artist who lives in New York City, but I went to see his work at a gallery here in Los Angeles after a friend of mine showed me one of his paintings. He's a brilliant renaissance technician. He places his African-American subjects entirely out of context, wearing sneakers, track pants, tank tops, and team caps but within the visual language of classical European portraiture. I bought a piece of his titled Jonathan I. I own quite a few paintings by my late friend Eric Scott and years ago he did a series of African tribes people set within Picasso-like blue line paintings; they have a similar feel to Wiley's work. I suppose I'm drawn towards these juxtaposed worlds in art, music and life.


Online mag selvedgeyard.com. Photograph: PR

This is supposedly a blog, but really it works as one of the greatest online magazines about popular art, fashion, music and photography ever produced. It's about people, places, products, clothes, photography, painting, anything that interests the guy behind it. So you'll have an item on the day Elvis met Led Zeppelin, followed by something on Sharon Tate's modelling career, then an article on photography, or a photographic piece about classic motorcycles. They did this immense item on Japanese tattoos which I spent hours looking at. It's utterly eclectic, and proves that if you commit yourself to a vision without compromise you can create great things.


Ben Marshall

The GuardianTramp

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