Things 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.
I 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.
Well, it was kind of inevitable that I would get around to this one at some point and, thanks to the reissue vinyl boxset malarkey, I now have an excuse to do it. The timing is a bit weird as far as this site is concerned and given the obvious comparisons between this artist and the one on the previous page, but it’s pure coincidence and (as I hoped I put across the other day) any correlation is superficial and circumstantial anyway.
The other thing that’s a bit strange as far as I go is that, of the three records that he made, this is one that has the least obvious emotional connection for me. Bryter Layter was the first one I heard which is something that carries its own strange resonance, and Pink Moon… well, Pink Moon is Pink Moon to me. I had always listened to Five Leaves Left as this odd little thing that doesn’t fall into any of the boxes filled by the other two, and I think I’m starting to understand why.
It’s all getting a bit overwhelming at 6dft Towers. On top of the pile of things I’ve yet to listen to, there’s more stuff on the way along with a couple of books and what appears to be my first gig going-to of the year. Yup, in August. It’s been a strange and hopefully forgettable 2013 in that respect. I did have a couple of plans for a themed SW this week, but I’ve simply not got the time to do either of them just yet as I do that thing where I try to get ahead of myself but just end up tied in knots and finishing nothing.
That said, it’s been a great last few weeks for the site. Dynamics may well have changed in the time since 2010 in the manner in which hobby sites like this are read, passed around and interacted with, but there’s life in the old dog yet with a whole host of retweets, page sharing and a good old-fashioned “thankyou”, which doesn’t really affect stats or things like that, but is quite simply nice and something that I never expected to happen when I began. So that’s all rather sweet and I’m glad of it.
Best Laid Plans, and all that. The current default setting here at the mo is “try to do something, then knock something else together as quickly as possible because Plan A has just gone a bit wonky”. The pic to the left of this scribbling is the majestic, erm, majesty of the planet Saturn which looks stunning through the telescope but more than a little bit smudgy when I employ a camera. Ah well, I know what it is and that’s the main thing. Other plans that have gone awry (including the arrival of cloud-filled skies at night no matter how clear and lovely it is during the day) have been scuppered by time and work constraints, so I hope to start doing the thing I was hoping to do last week, next week – or maybe alternate that with this on Sundays. I’m waffling.
And if things go vaguely (or at all) well tomorrow, I’m planning on liveblogging the Tomorrow’s Harvest Listening Party starting here at about 20:45 BST. Would be fun if you popped by, so it’s not just me hitting “update” every 10 mins, typing ridiculously fast and looking for alternate words for “ethereal”.
A bit of an unintentional coincidence this week came in the form of stumbling across this curious release (seemingly a 2011 edition given wider distribution on this past Christmas Eve) the same day that I pre-ordered a vinyl reissue of a record made by her son. So with that in mind, this was an irresistible purchase.
Nick Drake’s legacy has been remarkably well-preserved, with decisions made about what gets released and when made with the utmost care by his estate and with the support of seemingly everyone he ever came into contact with during his short life. It has to be said that this has all been done perfectly, with great consideration taken over the way that his songs (and, by extension, his story) have been put out and kept in the public’s grasp by sparing releases, well-chosen licensing and – thanks to Joe Boyd – ensuring that things are kept on shelves so that forty years on, people still get to truly discover Nick’s music by a form of quiet, polite, persistent suggestion rather than overt marketing blah.
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.
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.
I’m writing this in a bit of a mood, to be honest. I was flattened by a migraine yesterday so missed the first of two shows at Jodrell Bank (last year’s show with the Flaming Lips was a stunner), and overnight we had a month’s worth of rain in one go, so tonight’s gig with Paul Weller is cancelled. Ah well, maybe next year…
On the plus side, my “I’ve got a record player again!” epiphany is paying dividends, to the point where the “From the Past” section (and the section why this whole malarkey exists) is going to suddenly and oddly expand with each “I don’t remember owning that”/thing that’s never been reissued or digitised. If I ever get round to it, a “stuff out of the attic” section may or not appear soon. I’ve got to get it all transferred over to the compy first, so this may not happen any time soon and it won’t be very highbrow, given some of the shockers up there…
Only 5 whatevs this week, I’ve got ironing to do before the football and a shopping list for the attic.
I think I sort of enjoy doing book reviews, although I’m almost entirely positive that I’m doing them wrong. I can’t do them in the same manner that I do with records (put record on, type, stop typing when record ends, put the kettle on) as I’d be here all week, so I rather worryingly have to rely on memory. Fortunately, this particular tome is rather short (which probably tells its own sad story) and full of very memorable and poignant passages and pages.
I was immediately drawn to this book upon reading a press review last month. Not only is the artist a particular favourite of mine and his Pink Moon album one of my favourite ever albums (and a strange comfort at times, if a little frightening at others), but the way that the author begins this story is something that has a bit of a resonance with the reasons for me doing all this in the first place.