Now We Are Five: The 6 Days From Tomorrow Guide to Buying, Playing and Storing Music Properly.

Back in 2010, I was in a bad way.  Some days, I still am.  Such is life.  One day, I decided to try to do something about it by putting things in order and perspective in the only way I knew how to do without the presence of other people, by letting my record collection tell my own story through the way that I listened to other people’s music and how that coloured in my own experiences, whether mundane or catastrophic.  Nobody was ever going to see it, I’d get all my ducks in a row once more and I’d probably go off and do something else in a few weeks anyway.

I don’t think I realised how much I’d enjoy it.  Yeah, some of the reminiscence was horrible (and still is), I’ve probably exhausted all my major milestone things (except two, and with reason) and it didn’t really help much anyway to the point that I rarely do any soul-searching on here any more.  But things are made to change, and I’m still here five years later with a subscription to renew.  Hi.

 

To mark this occasion such as it is, I have decided to get drunk and mess about a bit, because if none of this is any fun, we may as well all bugger off right now.  And what better way to have fun than to get angry about dumb listy articles about how you should collect, cherish, maintain and otherwise fetishise the way you enjoy listening to stuff…

 

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Mark Lanegan – A Thousand Miles Of Midnight

tmomBack in the days where people weren’t too fussed about genre labels, when experimentalism regularly hit the high points of the charts and when nobody really gave much of a stuff how much records weighed, remixes reigned supreme.  These were mostly shuffled off to the margins of b-sides and exclusive 12″ singles, but there was the occasional album of rejigged and reworked music for our pleasure.  Remixing was all over the place, some remixers became more venerated than the people who employed them, and then it all seemed to tail off rather quickly, or at least vanish underground to a place where most people couldn’t find them, except for the very determined.  The occasional gem bobbed up to the surface (the Soulsavers’ sublime take on Starsailors’ Four To The Floor being a prime example), but it all went quiet as some remixers went back to being DJs, others started making their own records from scratch, and others carried on messing about for diminishing audiences.  This record is a celebration of decades of messing about with other peoples’ stuff.

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Best of 2014: 40-31

017I have absolutely no idea when I’m going to finish this.  Usually, I try to get it all out of the way as close to this side of Christmas as possible, but that’s not going to happen I don’t think, especially as I have a couple more things to park here & elsewhere in the meantime.  Never mind, the whole point of these things is to take in the whole year, even if in this case it ends up being the fiscal one.  And more importantly for me, it’s about getting it right in my own head rather than rushing to be first or making sure that the ‘right’ people get namechecked.  It’s all about what feels right, and at the end of the year where such a thing seemed largely impossible on any number of fronts, it’s nice to be calm and reflective about the whole thing finally.

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Not The Mercury Shortlist 2014

I could really just post the intro blurb from when I did this last year as it’s pretty much exactly the same thing…

Is anyone really that bothered about the Mercury Prize anymore?  Named after oh hang on, this is the intro blurb from last year.  Sorry.  Nice to see the Jazzers getting back in again to this year’s list, but it’s still a bit same old same old in order to try to look a bit edgy.  Then again, pickings are slim this year anyway so it was a tricky thing to pick stuff I’ve liked from what’s already been mentioned, suffice to say that I hope Anna Calvi wins it (whatever “it” is now), and congratulations to Damon/Royal Blood/East India Youth on being whoever the judges decide what mood they’re going to be in this year.  It’s an increasing irrelevance now though, especially given that it’s been moved from a time specifically chosen in midsummer because nobody bought records then to a time when every publication will be publishing their Fourth Quarter results (formerly known as “our favourite records” before it became a 3-monthly thing).

But I started doing this back whenever I can’t be bothered to check, so here we go again.  It’s not been a great year so far for British Music.  Indeed, the most exciting thing about it so far is that after next month, it’s a distinct possibility that artists such as Teenage Fanclub, the Vaselines and the Bay City Rollers will have to be reclassified as World Music.  I love you, Scotland.  But I understand why you want to leave me.  Still, I managed to cobble together a few records that I liked and would possibly qualify if any of them could have been bothered enough to pony up the initial 200 quid to enter this silly competition that only seems to be of interest to people biffing on about why someone wasn’t nominated.

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Sunday Whatever

071Sometime during the last couple of months when the hinges fell of this blog (and myself), I made a bit of a discovery.   I’m doing all of this wrong.  What I should be doing by all accounts is to spend more time saying that I’ve written something (or, in many cases, copy/pasted a press release) rather than sitting down thinking of what to say.  And if that’s the wrong way of going about things in the current climate of “look at me and give me traffic” music blogging, then I’m happy to be such a halfwit for not joining in.  6 Days From Tomorrow was never truly written in order to be read (I rarely read it myself, so I have no drive to make others do so.  But thanks for reading anyway, you’re more than welcome here), it was done as what I thought would be a private thing to get my thoughts in order when other attempts failed, and it’s not doing a very good job of that either!  That it’s become something else entirely from whatever I originally set out to so is a source of occasional pride, and that I’ve managed to gain such little victories without recourse to “You won’t believe what has done, it’ll blow your mind” clickbait shenanigans or paying neither Facebook nor for the privilege of spreading the word feels like quite an achievement in itself.

So, whenever I write something, I park it on the 6dft Facebook Page and the 6dft Twitter thing (although I have to say that this is a very underused feed and my personal one is much sillier), and I park it there once.  I tried the “ICYMI” thing last week that everyone else does (which some proper sites do several times a day) and felt such an absolute wretched tart for doing so that this will never happen again.  This doesn’t mean that I am averse to Likes, Shares, Favourites Retweets and other such word of mouth if someone gets to read any of this and feels strongly enough to do so, and in fact it remains a thrill to me whenever someone takes the time to do so, but I’m not doing any of this cobblers in order to be at all popular.  I’m doing it to keep my own ducks in a row.

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Sunday Whatever

005Things are going a bit slow here at the moment, largely because things are far too full-on elsewhere.  There’s a definite disparity in the work-life balance here, and that can never be seen to be right.  So while I try to address that, this week shall be mostly comprised of EPs and quiet things as that’s all my attention span can cope with while all else goes mad around me.  This whatever also reflects the lunacy of the past couple of weeks, but I’m sure it’s nothing to worry about and nothing that a bit of a sleep can’t remedy.

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Sunday Whatever

weblogoHope  you like the new look of the place!  There’s still much tinkering to be done as I had to put in a whole new theme at very short notice when it turned out that the one I’ve been using for the last four years didn’t want to play, and I’m not 100% sure about the one I chose in a moment of “that’ll do for now” late on Friday night, but it’s certainly something to build on over the next few weeks or so.

What I am 100% sure on is the new logo and banner.  Nick Rhodes at Switchopen has produced some beautiful art for the likes of Mark Lanegan, Soulsavers, Ed Harcourt, Queens of the Stone Age and so many others, and now his work adorns the top of this page.  I can’t begin to tell you how thrilled I am that this happened at all and how happy I am with the result, especially after it puts a happier hat on the end of a rather sad few weeks.

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Singles Night

Yes, it's the same photo as last time.  I'm tired.

Well, crikey.  This is the second of these, which technically makes it a series or something.  Woo.  It’s something I should make more of an effort with though as I am very fond of singles, relegated as they largely are to novelty items instead of the towering make-or-break powerhouses they once were.  And now that the UK charts are going to factor in streaming media when compiling the charts, these little chunks of music are under even greater threat than ever.  Pretty soon if we’re not careful, Record Store Day will be the only place that we will be able to purchase singles in graspable form, and we all know how bloody expensive that gets…

It’s not all doom and gloom though as the below doingses illustrate – and I’m happy to report that I am having to be on the lookout for another 7″ box because mine is full to overflowing (and there’s nothing at all funny about that statement), so there’s plenty of people still willing to give it a bit of a go.  And it has to be said there’s more than a couple of digital noteables as well out there.

 

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Nobuo Uematsu – Final Fantasy VII Vinyl

ffviiWont as I am to occasionally delve into the nerdier recesses of the CD shelves, especially during this time of year when there’s not much out and finances don’t stretch to having a bit of a gamble. This one, timed as it is, ticks a few boxes in 6DFT towers as it’s not only one I’ve felt like writing about for a while but also appears here in the form of a recently reissued vinyl selection as well as providing grist for the ranting mill with regard to the current vinyl market.

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Sunday Whatever

002I was supposed to have posted this last week, but it ended up a bit glum.  So after letting it simmer for a bit before deciding whether or not to post it, I’m glad I didn’t and have deleted the entire above-the-line bit and started again.

It is a weird time for 6 Days From Tomorrow and for me – being out of work redefines priorities and shifts perspective (the latter, somewhat uncomfortably), which means that the times where I’m inclined to sit here and rattle off a load of drivel are fewer as well as the funds required to buy stuff to do the aforementioned drivel-rattling.  This isn’t the most expensive pastime in the world (although, certain formats dictate that it can be), but while the immediate future is a bit unsettled, I have to cut my cloth accordingly.  Never sure what that idiom meant, but there you go.

All of which ties in rather oddly with something I’ve been pondering this week.  At this very moment, I am waiting for a pre-ordered record (or two – there was a bit of a mixup) to arrive from the US.  After tracking it from Seattle earlier in the week, it left San Francisco on Friday to I know not where, because it’s not arrived yet.  I was a bit grumpy about this, as I’d paid for it ages ago and I’m really looking forward to it, and I’m not alone in this grump after reading elsewhere.  This is where I kind of stopped in my tracks though – when did punctuality become so important in all of this?  When did expectation overrule anticipation?  We buy into this stuff not for a scheduled date, but for years ahead of us.  Tomorrow I’m off to a record store (Piccadilly Records in Manchester, if you must know) to see what’s there and not worry too much about the bill, which’ll make a nice change in the current climate.

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