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Location: Seattle, Washington, United States

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Last night I dreamt of Coldplay...

Last night I dreamt of Coldplay..

It’s worrying, but this morning I woke up with that da-daar da-daar dadidy daar in my head.  I have no idea whether it’s their latest single or just something which has been receiving heavy rotation of 6music recently.

I’m not supposed to like Coldplay & yet it’s all I want to listen to today…  

When I say “not supposed to”, I should go into a little more detail; I hated yellow, I got told by many around me how fantastic Parachutes was… It hated it.  It was bland a full of (what I considered to be) emotionless contrived & all too visible ‘emotion’.  It felt fake…  I am aware that I am no musician, so yes I did agree with all the “it is far better than anything you could do” statements I heard, but still I hated it…  

There is no denying that I do have that not uncommon but unfortunate reaction which prevents me from allowing myself to like things which I am told that I should like.  But in this case I was sure that it was my own judgement which made the decision.

I believe that people have the choice to listen to & like what ever the choose, we’re not all the same blah blah blah etc etc…  But it surprised me how, what seemed to me, to be bland fakeness has taken the hearts of the musical mainstream.

I did like the cover and title of the second album, and (to my shame) decided that it was not going to be anything that I like, and therefore to this day I could not say that I have listened to even a track from it.  I’m sure I hate it anyway… There’s nothing like a bit of blind musical prejudice… Yay…

Then X & Y came out…  Wank title, wank cover, so (having not listened to this either) I decided it must be a wank album.

Yet last night I dreamt of it.

And I blame the BBC, I blame 6music; for giving me a music channel which I actually enjoy listening to.  

For years I have listened a lot of radio, I don’t watch TV, but I do have Radio 4 (nd in recent years Radio 7) as an almost constant companion…  Yay for Radio 7 it’s like Radio 4 for days where you want to pretend the real world has stopped happening…

Radio 4 is the one thing that I have missed about the UK whenever I have spent a longish period out of this country.  (Luckily the internet now means that I can listen from anywhere in the world, now if only their listen again schedule could be quite as nicely set out as R7’s to allow a complete day’s worth of time-lapse listening, rather than having to select the actual programmes…  But that’s another matter..)

So my aural pleasure has been provided mostly by either R4 or my own choice of music, (comprising of old favourites, random CDs that I like the look of or bands with some association to bands which I already like (recently Myspace music seems to be a bit of goldmine). Etc etc).  Choice has meant that I have been able to write off stuff that I have made a snap decision to not like…  

Yet 6music is changing all that…  Tom Robinson’s show is great, I listen on a daily basis & because of this I listen to Steve Lamacq’s show too; Steve Lamacq is now growing on me.  I now find myself ‘liking’ bands such as the Arctic Monkeys, a band who I would have steered clear of simply because of their new status as unlikely media darlings.  They play me stuff that I haven’t chosen and now I find myself waking up wanting to listen to Coldplay…

I’m afraid that, although I have a huge music collection, there is music out there which I decided not to enjoy which I now am not going to be able to live without…

Sitting here on a Sunday morning wanting to listen to Coldplay & thinking that I could pop over to Sainsbury’s and buy a copy, is not a situation I wanted to be in…  Not only am I thinking about listening to stuff I don’t want to like, I am thinking about buying music from a fucking supermarket…  bah…  My life is changing…

I cannot do it…  

Happily it’s just occurred to me that Jenny Owen Youngs’  wonderful ‘Batten the Hatches’ cd is sitting in the player (last week’s $15 well spent).  

All I have to do is press play to get bathed in stuff that sounds (to me) like proper music with proper emotional sensibilities (and a nice bit of cello accompanied swearing on ‘fuck was I’ (which is available for a free download from this page on her site))

(check out Jenny’s Myspace or Website listen to the samples… If you like them then buy her album $15 via paypal includes delivery, bargain..)

Yay just one push of a button and I have been temporarily saved from coldplay (I have resolved to ‘give them a go’ at some point soonish, it’s only fair, but for now, it’s back to Jenny..)

“One, two, three…  
I still hate me, but there’s no-one else that I know how to be.  
Four, five, six,
Your body makes me sick, but don’t take it away from me just yet…”

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Blatant eBay toting...

Please feel free to buy some stuff from me…  

(There will be plenty more stuff finding it’s way here soon…)

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Remembering looking forward to becoming 'that' age...

Michelle wrote a blog musing about a friend's request for five things that you should do before you turn 30, I started to write a comment, but it turned more into a mini-blog in itself so it seemed like a good idea to post it here…

I can’t deny that the prospect of my turning 30 did add a few changes to my world…

I remember the moment well, there I was, 27 years old, picking avocadoes for a living in Australia (say living but… well… whatever), when it suddenly occurred to that in a few years I would be 30. An adult. A grown up. It worried me.

I had a reasonable degree and had never actually been unemployed, but it struck me that I had also never actually had a ‘proper job’. What I *had* done is devoted a few too many years to travelling to and living in some of the prettiest parts of the uk & the world in general; but this had done very little towards providing for my or anyone else’s seniority. Was it now time to think about settling?

Just one morning of thinking about reaching that ‘special’ age helped me to realise that at some point soon I would become both too old to settle down & too old not to…

So the decision was made that at the end of that trip (which somehow lasted for another six months) I would head home, get a ‘proper job’, buy a house and finally settle down. By my 30th I did have a proper job & within a month I moved into my own house, but was far from settled down.

It took precisely three years (and the re-intervention of someone special) for me to decide that it would be a good idea to sell the house, can the job and follow my heart again.

A year later and here I am thoroughly entrenched in some pretty firm heart following (even if it has temporarily taken the form of someone who is waiting for a few pieces of bureaucracy to be processed).

So five things to do before you’re 30

1. Stop living your life in the manner to which you have become accustomed
2. Get a haircut
3. & get a real job
4. Buy a house
5. Have a period of being miserable and wondering ‘is this sensible stuff right stuff to be doing…?’

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Which Tori Amos song are you...?

Today, I started to write something; but it came across as moping.

I figure that finding out which Tori Amos song I am will be far more worthwhile in the end... (so bye bye to the original post & yay for Tori Amos...)

Which Tori Amos song are you?

Happy Phantom

You're a playful spirit with an exhibitionist side.

Take the Test

Friday, January 06, 2006

Yay for Friday.

I'm so happy it's Friday, and double happy that it really actually totally is.

I'll explain, having had a bit of a busyish morning I went for my lunchtime walk into Birmingham (where I nearly bought lots of wonderful less than half price Buffy Lego/Kubrick-style action figures from Nostalgia & Comics, but that's a whole different story). While in N&C I realised that I had completely forgotten what day it was; well not completely as I was aware it was Thursday or Friday, but for the life of me I could now work out which. I really wanted to ask someone, but then realised how 'odd' it would be for a tired looking long-haired bloke walking up to you and asking that sort of question...

I just could not remember whether it was Thursday or Friday, my iPod was the only thing I had on me which told the time and (unlike my phone) was not out of batteries; however, as lovely as iPods are they fail to tell you what day of the week it is..

(Granted I could have looked at the calendar function but, as I never use that feature, it didn’t occur to me until I got back to the office…)

The whole walk back I was hoping that it was Friday, so obviously by the time I got back to work I had totally convinced myself that because I wanted sooo much for it to be Friday that it must be Thursday...

Yay for getting upstairs, opening an e-mail from my wonderful wife in which she was rejoicing the fact that tomorrow is indeed the weekend... (And for being reminded that in the UK we kinda live in the future, meaning that my weekend was due to be starting roughly eight hours ahead of her’s even though she will be finishing work earlier in the day that I would/did)

Happy weekend to all…


Sunday, January 01, 2006

New Year's Day...

New year’s day & we’re sitting here, with the School House Rock DVD playing on shuffle in the background, feeling quite sad, but putting a brave face on it.

Sunny is packing, packing for her return to Seattle tomorrow, and it’s horrible. I don’t want her to go, she doesn’t want to go… But go she must.

Months ago we did think that maybe my visas & stamps may be sufficiently progressed by this time to allow us to now be preparing to make the homeward journey together... Funny to think back to us worrying that maybe we wouldn’t be able to get a seat on the same flight over… Hmmm… I really hope that we don’t have to spend too much time apart.

The next few months are going to be hard… But the knowledge that it should only be a matter of time before we never have to be parted again will speed it by…

(Plus, she’ll be back at the end of next month, if only for a couple of weeks & only if I’m still to wait for a date…)

In the meantime here’s a nice picture of us from 1994, when we first met in Ironbridge..

My wife is wonderful...

(for those of you who have never been exposed to School House Rock, I’ll describe it at a later date. If you have a special American in your life, ask them about it.... Or of course you could pick up a copy from here or here)