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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Typhoon – White Lighter

TyphoonThere’s much being said at the moment of the Canadian Government’s decision to hugely increase the costs that visiting bands have to pay per member so that they can entertain folk.  In this current climate where it’s considered OK for people not to pay for an artist’s music because they all apparently become filthy rich out on the road the word increase is the educational one, as international touring (even just popping over a border or two) can be an expensive, not to mention beaurocratically labyrinthine, experience.  the reason I mention all of this is that this Portland act have a pair of shows booked in that wonderful country and, as there’s eleven of them in the band, it’s going to cost them a bloody fortune before a note even gets played.  Hopefully the negative reaction from music fans will change minds in the corridors of power, as this sort of thing has a tendency of escalating and before we know it, it’ll be so prohibitive for any act to play anywhere other than their own back yard that all the fun’s going to go out of it.

Anyway.  Pointless soapboxing out of the way, although it was a nice way to get the “blimey, there’s a lot of them” statement out of the way – this act is something that I wasn’t actually aware of until someone (who happened to be part of one of my favourite records of last year) happened to mention it, and I’m thankful that he did.

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Sunday Whatever

004Somehow, I have managed to amass 302 spam messages overnight.  Looking forward to reading them all, but sadly I can’t promise to reply to all of them.  I’m a busy man.  Of course I say busy, I’m looking forward to spending a night outside with a telescope and a cheeky bottle of red while staring at planets various and marvelling at the majesty of it all.  Unless it’s cloudy, in which case I shall just be getting drunk in the garden.

Going to try to Do A Thing this week that may or may not end up being a regular going-on – there seem to be a lot more singles and EPs floating about that usual of late, so I’m hoping to have a brief rummage through these on Wednesdays.  Other than that, it’s more general deck-clearing as there’s a couple of unlooked-for gems sat here to get out of the way before some more of 2013’s Big Guns start to show up and I find further distractions away from here.

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Best Of 2012, No.2: My Jerusalem – Preachers

Preachers

Hmm.  I was going to leave this until Christmas Eve, but sod it.  External influences have put me in an incredibly bad mood (someone who wants me to have a crap Christmas has at least in part succeeded, but hey ho), and I’m listening to this as a way of both dissipating, soothing and – as a somewhat guilty pleasure – exacerbating my current disposition.  Somewhat handily, this record manages to do all three rather well, so I’m sitting here alternating between sheepish, impotent grumpiness (rage doesn’t really become me) and a slightly stubborn “stop making me feel better!” vibe which I excel at.

So I’m really glad that this record is at Number Two in this little list.  Mostly because of all the above cathartic nonsense, but also because the post I wrote originally about this back on release was a terrible piece of prose even by my own unlofty standards, so at least now I get another go to try to come up with something a bit better.  Maybe.

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Sunday Whatever

I usually do these things when I’ve nothing else to do and want to keep my brain in some sort of gear.  This time, I’m doing it because I’ve got a pile of stuff on the go and I want to slow the grey matter down a bit, giving myself time to sit down and properly listen to the things I’ve already posted on rather than moving onto the next thing.

And I need to soak in much of the goodness of the last 6 weeks or so and clear the decks for the next month, as – after much nudging from others who have already started – the framework for the old End Of Year Doings has begun to take shape, and I don’t want to leave it all to the last minute like I did for the last two years.  I’m also determined to bow down to tradition and have just the one No.1 this year….  I do realise I’ve been going on about this bloody thing for a few posts now, but it’s one of those chores that alternates between huge fun and absolute misery and it’s always the fun that wins out.

Much to enjoy in the next two weeks where I dip into the backlog again whilst waiting for more goodies during the next couple of weeks for certain, including a soundtrack to a film I’ve not watched since I was a kid which terrified me at the time and I’ve not watched it since.  So, some good memories to be trawled from that then.

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My Jerusalem – Preachers

Well, that’s that plan knackered.  What was supposed to happen was – as I tend to enjoy doing with other such highly-anticipated titles – I was going to write about this particular record during its first playthrough.  I suspect that this approach is something that would horrify most artists, who would probably want the songs to bed in to the listener’s consciousness at every level, to be comfortable with everything that’s going on and to be able to slowly and eloquently describe the subject in a manner as to allow said subject to then use that prose to sell more copies.

But where’s the fun in that?

For me, the thrill in every new record is the fact that it’s NEW.  Stumbling through the unchartered waters of a whole new set takes on a life of its own – I don’t know if this is how everyone’s brain works, but mine looks for patterns of recognisable otherness in each new song that only occur to the deeper levels when confronted by the unknown, which is why sometimes my comparisons on here can be a little strange.  And all of those bits are lost from the second play onwards, as what was previously new and mysterious is now familiar.

Anyway, that’s what I was going to do.  Being somewhat floored by the first listen meant that typing anything over the top of it would have been plain rude.  Anyway, after that little insight into how this blog (sort of) works, on with this beauty.

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Sunday Whatever

I’m probably being a bit unpatriotic or something as I’m typing this as the closing ceremony to the (it has to be said, rather wonderful, once all the corporate nonsense was summarily buggered off) Olympic Games, but it’s on in the background and – as is compulsory with these sort of things – somewhat baffling.  As I type, Pyramid Head from Silent Hill 2 is on a bicycle.

It’s a bit of a strange one this week.  As usual, I’ve not done half the things I was supposed to do due to various awfulnesses, and work and more awfuls will probably put the mockers on much getting done this week too.  Still, it’s August and hardly anything is getting released – note to artists, labels and assorted associated lickspittles: We Have iPods And Things Now, we can listen to things and play outside!  Not at the moment obviously, it’s pissing it down.

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My Jerusalem Mother’s Day Sale 13th May

And now, a quick advertorial.

 

I don’t usually (ever?  Can’t be bothered checking) do this sort of thing, and it’s not even Mother’s Day in this corner of the Empire where I’m typing this, but the band in question are very well-regarded by this blog and the cause is a grand one…  EDIT: And since typing this, my sister’s partner lost his Mum this morning.  We’re all a bit devastated.

 

My Jerusalem are having a bit of a sale today, with all proceeds going towards research into Alzheimer’s – digital downloads are all available as a “name your own price” deal, so please mosey on over to their site for the opportunity to hear for yourselves why I keep banging on about them being brilliant, as well as raising a few quid for a cause that sadly affects more and more of us in one way or another as time moves on.

Also, popping over to the band’s main website and entering the case-sensitive code MOTHERSDAY will get you 50% off all the stuff available on there, all money again going to the Alzheimer’s Research Foundation, Fisher Center.

 

Please help to raise a bit of money, and give your ears a treat in the process.  Win-Win.

 

Sunday Whatever

It’s time to dig out the commemorative teatowels and give the posh spoons a bit of a buffing, as Sunday Whatever’s Silver Jubilee is upon us! Or upon me, at least. Anyway, hooray for a series that I just do to keep my typing fingers occupied at times when I generally can’t be bothered typing, and that has managed to crawl unconvincingly to 25 posts, all of which take me about five times as long to do as a normal one…

It’s been another strange week here, there’s been a couple of interesting bits and bobs that have appeared recently and the impending arrival of a month that promises to be very exciting indeed for me, with a couple of oddities out tomorrow, a couple of nicely-anticipated things the week after and then two of my most looked-forward to albums of the year out on the 21st. And to put the tin hat on everything, I’m going to be a bit rude and blow my own trumpet again and link you to this, where – after I said that I didn’t like doing book reviews! – a snippet of my review of this book is used as proper promotional blurb.  Considering this is just a hobbyist blog talking to itself for the most part, it will never not be a source of a constant mix of bemusement and pride when this happens.

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Best of 2011, 30-21

Hooray, past the halfway point!   Sort of, anyway – the top ten will be a lot more in-depth as befitting something or other, as tradition dictates.  Anyway, the futility of this sort of thing has become apparent today as there are things not on this list because they only arrived today, have yet to show up in the post or – in at least one case that struck me this afternoon-  simply because I forgot what year something was released in, only to discover it was this one.  Ah well, it keeps me busy and that’s the main thing.  Fortunately (for me, if not anyone else), I have a couple of bits & bobs to go on about before reconvening this, so I’m looking forward to a couple of days off…

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