Sunday Whatever

011Cor, it’s all go here.  the last few weeks have been spent moving house and sorting out all the attendant woes that go with it.  I’m almost done, the internet is working, the new sofa’s being delivered on Thursday and I have a lovely new base of operations in an old mill overlooking a canal, a wood, and nothing else.  It’s beautiful by day, wonderfully dark and star-strewn by night and I have yet to find more than one shop.  Very strange screechy noises outside when the sun goes down too.

It’s all a bit re-energising though and I’ve pretty much already written as many things in the last 10 days than I have in the previous 6 months (either here or elsewhere – see below the fold for details), and hope to keep up to speed certainly over the next four weeks when there’s a fair old pile of stuff going on.  in the meantime, thanks for still reading and thanks also for the kind words posted around the web, it’s hugely appreciated.

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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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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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Sunday Whatever

010It’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.

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Sunday Whatever

061A bit of a confused bag this week, as it’s been a bit of a confused week all round.  I seem to have amassed quite a collection of things during the past fortnight that I have yet to even listen to let alone consider writing about.  Add to this ongoing internal arguments about technology (which I was hoping to externalise months ago but didn’t.  Oops) and a general intellectual collapse when the sun came out, and I’m left with a convoluted excuse for not doing any work.  Hopefully much to come over the next week or two, if I can just sit down and relax for long enough.

 

 

 

 

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Sunday Whatever

029

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”.

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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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Sunday Whatever

noIt’s probably about time for me to admit that I haven’ the faintest idea what I’m doing with this blog.  After over three years, one would have thought that I would have settled into some sort of happy little groove, but I haven’t really.  If anything, this is all going backwards – and much I should probably blame poor writing for this, the little graphic at the top-right of this that has appeared on the Facebook Page that accompanies this site recently should also shoulder a good chunk of it too.

This blog is tiny, and I guess I got lucky at the start of the life of whatever this is when one or two posts started to get passed around and retweeted… I even managed to garner a few comments on posts (albeit about 50% negative), and traffic was uniformly high, certainly higher than anything I could have expected from miserably scribbling away.  And then this happened on the site where most networking occurred.

Facebook is a business (even more so now it’s gone Public) and businesses need money, but in its voracious desire to hoover up every cent from everyone and by treating piddly little sites like this with the same approach as they do General Motors, Coca-Cola etc, they’ve strangled all sense of community.  Because every view is now so precious to everyone, bands and artists are now so focused on pleading with their fans to comment, like share and retweet every snippet of info, they’re not noticing so much when people do say something about them.  Especially when things can’t be soundbitten down into a meaningless arbitrary score (“This record was the soundtrack to my losing my love and my subsequent descent into drinking and drugs, so I rate this 8/10!” – and this record exists but I’m buggered if I’m going to tell you which one it is), it does sometimes feel now that everything’s getting a bit insular and territorial now, and that does nobody any good.  Word Of Mouth is just as important for blogs such as this as it is for the people that blogs such as this write happily and freely in favour of – it means that there is an outlet of positivity that they haven’t had to pay or beg their fans for, and this symbiosis also requires participation, otherwise that $10 per day to get one’s musings out there starts to look worryingly inevitable…

 

So why continue, if it makes me so angry and despondent at times?  Because sometimes it’s as good an outlet for my pettier, nastier side as it is for my enthusiasm and joy.  And as I don’t spend time here writing about what I think are bad records (because I don’t buy bad records as a rule, it’s kind of a waste of money to do so), I need a slightly different target to vent my spleen .  And when I hear that someone has bought something, or even just taken the time to have a bit of a listen, based on something that’s been written here, I can’t explain just how good that feels.  On the rare occasion that a conversation is begun that sends its participants off to a record store on the basis of something that someone said, it’s brilliant.  When artists take the time to pass something on or even get in touch, it’s a fantastic feeling and I am so utterly grateful for every single time that I see something of mine appearing on Facebook or Twitter or on other people’s sites and messageboards.  Hopefully I can keep bungling away here until the pendulum swings back towards a relationship that’s much closer to “us” than “them”.

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