• Tag Archives A Winged Victory For The Sullen
  • [Article 3189]Best of 2013, Favourite Tracks

    Albums are all well and good, but what of the individual songs contained within?  A silly question to be sure, but it’s a bit more complicated than merely going “well that was the best record, so it had the best songs on it” – that works sometimes, but not always.  Sometimes, a song in its right place in the context of its album home is a euphoric, emotional high; but remove it from its running order and the joy is lost.  Conversely, a song can be so big, bold and beautiful that it swamps the rest of the record to the point that it has to be removed and isolated to give the rest of it a chance.  In short, this list (in no particular order other than the one in which they occurred to me) has very little bearing on the wordy behemoth that preceded it.

    The following ten tracks I think (by happy accident) typify 2013 as far as 6 Days From Tomorrow is concerned.  They all trigger a response that goes beyond mere emotional; they make the heart beat faster or slower, they make arteries expand or contract, they make eyes mist up or a focus sharper.  It’s a strange thing to be talking about how the act of merely listening to something can evoke a physical reaction, and maybe this is just something that affects me.  If the latter is the case, then I’m the lucky one.

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  • [Article 2426]Best Of 2012: The Other Things

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    Only one part left to do, and the infernal list is finished for another year. I know why everyone else does theirs in committees now. Anyway, before I get things wrapped up and back to normal, I want to mention a few other related comings and (sadly) goings that made 2012 special for me.

    It’s been a genuinely odd year for the blog, although that was mostly my fault. Twice I went “sod this for a game of soldiers” and hovered over the delete button, and being flattened by Facebook’s policy of not letting my friends read what I’d written on my own Page unless I gave them money to allow them to do so (I will never, ever pay to advertise on that site, and I am overjoyed to notice that none of the artists, musicians, bands and friends of this site have given in and forked out) halved my readership, because nobody could tell when I’d written something. The site recently crapping itself and refusing to work (resulting in the ugly hack you see before you) hasn’t really helped much either.
    So I am grateful to various interventions in the form of a couple of strange appearances in the UK National Press, a continuing absence of anything better to do with my free time and especially the kind words of friends and visitors alike has kept 6dft (as well as myself in general) going, and going to the point where I have ended up up with just over twice the visitors of last year.  Which just goes to show that even Facebook’s Demented Ideas Department can’t keep a determined idiot from typing.
    Before I get on with the business of getting this blog’s Number One album typed up and finished (although I suspect it won’t be too difficult to work out), I’d like to do a quick tip of the hat to all the other things that have piqued my interest his year.

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  • [Article 1962]Sunday Whatever – Wordless Edition

    Well, not this bit, obviously.

     

    Hooray for 2-day weekends!  I’m absolutely knackered at the moment, something which is making me feel rather guilty after watching yesterday’s Olympics where someone who could barely stand up was apologising to an entire nation for finishing second, where all I’ve been doing is being alternately sat behind a desk and wandering round a warehouse for slightly longer than I normally would.

    That’s one reason for the general quietness here, anyway.  The other is that I’ve just been a bit fed up recently.  A couple of weeks ago, I was sat listening to a new record (which I shall not name) and found the experience so dull that I actually forgot that anything was playing at all from the halfway point until about 20 minutes after it had finished.  As it turns out, it was the fault of the record in question rather than my own frame of mind.  That said, I’ve been in such a position several times before and know full well that when I’m depressed, the last thing I want to listen to is people singing about how good or bad their lives are, or what they think the listener should do in order to either cheer up or feel worse.  Which is where the good old instrumental comes in, as they’re largely neutral, letting the listener sit there to either fill in the blanks or just have a few minutes of nothing to think about other than “well, this is nice isn’t it?”
    Hopefully later today there’ll be a more wordy Whatever, paving the way for a whole bunch of updates as soon as I can find the time to get a few words in edgeways…

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  • [Article 1662]Sunday Whatever

    Well, what a strange week that was.  Usually, popping down to London is the most stressful for this vaguely-panicked scribe, yet it turned out to be the most relaxed out of four jaunts around the country.  They were all well worth it though, it’s nice for me to occasionally realise that I’m not quite as antisocial as I tend to think I am, and running into friends old and new has left me with a warm, fuzzy feeling that will no doubt be completely obliterated tomorrow morning when I go back to work.

    Not entirely sure how many new readers I’ve gained this week (hi, fellow Grauniadistas!  Hope you find something worth hanging around for), I’ll probably lose them all again as this week I plan to put my feet up a bit, save for trying to think of something to do for this coming Tuesday as 6dft will be a whole two years old.  And, as the web-hosting types have already renewed my subscription, I have at least another year left in me.  Or at least paid for so I’d better make the most of it…

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  • [Article 1476]A Winged Victory For The Sullen – Manchester Academy 3, 14/01/2012

    And to think that I nearly didn’t go to this show.  For shame.

    In fairness, I had a decent enough excuse in that I seem to have had a succession of bad colds from around just after Christmas that pretty much only completely cleared up last night.  I had my fellow gig-goers’ best health in mind with this, as well as worrying about how what I thought an ambient, neo-classical show would sound with me unblocking my sinuses in the background.  As it turned out, quietness was not something I needed to take into consideration.  And my minor ailments paled into insignificance anyway, when it transpired that the headliners’ viola player almost wasn’t let into the country, so if they were going to go the extra mile to make the effort to show up, it would have been rude for me to have stayed at home…

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  • [Article 1402]Best of 2011, No.5: A Winged Victory For the Sullen

     

    Right, let’s see if I can get the right year this time shall we?  I’ve now changed the year in the title of the last one from 2001 to 2011, wish it was that easy to do my Birth Certificate…  Anyway, the plan is to get two of these out of the way today – partly because I didn’t do one yesterday due to a spot of cold-based bedriddening, but mostly because this one and the next are linked by personnel, style and neurology.

    I find it difficult to write about any artist or musical work unless the subject is playing.  Moods and feelings are easier stirred by what’s going on rather than what’s just happened.  This is an album where doing so is nigh-on impossible as it doesn’t so much require rapt attention throughout as subtly force it upon you anyway.  It’s also an album that exposes the ridiculousness of doing a list such as this as I’m not sure why it affects me so, why it sits here near the top of my favourites of 2011, or indeed why I so often sit listening to it as often and as bewitched as I do.  Although I have to admit that the synaesthetic lightshow that tends to accompany it is a bit of a help.

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  • [Article 1265]Sunday Whatever

    Whoops.  After caving in to repeated emails (and much spam, which has now changed from being mostly in Russian to being mostly in French), I caved in and tried to register this site as being a professional something-or-other, only to then having the registration rejected on the grounds of not being too serious in the registration process.  This cheers me immensely.

    That said, the appearance of these pages elsewhere on the internet (listed in the “Press” section, something which flatters and amuses me in equal measures)  done up to look a lot nicer than they really are.  So the dual bombshells of my hobby being read and redistributed by the various subjects of my postings (which I’m utterly chuffed to bits about) and people prodding me from all over the globe to take this all a bit more seriously has led to thoughts of a possible redesign.  Which, given my technical ineptitude and artistic “unfortunateness”, may well remain as thoughts.  Unless I get monumentally drunk one weekend and get the crayons out.

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  • [Article 1130]A Winged Victory For the Sullen – S/T

    I’m fond of ambience in pretty much the same way that I am fond of the environment.  I live there.

    To be in a physical space is all well and good, but the definition of a place’s character can be something far more interesting given the right combination of events, recollections and colour to bring everything to life.  And I use the word “colour” quite literally here, as this is the second album this year to provide that strangest of neurological gifts, the synaesthetic response.

    Synaesthesia is an odd fellow but it’s less rare than people think, as it’s generally something that passes unnoticed at times.  It’s basically a state where (and it’s been a while since I did* the bit about the physical part of psychology at A-Level) the interpretive bits of your brain send the occasional signal to the wrong bit, hence seeing colours etc.  Anyway, this is the second album this year that has provided an unexpected visual accompaniment and somewhat unsurprisingly, one half of the duo here came up with the first one as well.  Which is making this very difficult to type when the air is dancing in front of my eyes.

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