Monday, November 17, 2008

A Death in the Family

It is necessary for us to go to Geelong for a few days to say our goodbyes to Adrienne's mother and to try to come to terms with the new reality.

Obviously, this is an unfillable hole, and there are, for now, more important things than sitting in front of a computer typing words about music.

But we will be back.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Song of the day

"M' Bifé Blues", by Amadou & Mariam. Do not listen to this song while driving. It has an underlying clicking sound that is maddeningly like the sound of your car's indicator. You will find yourself, every few seconds and against all rational thought, squinting at the dashboard to see whether the indicator has switched itself on. You will keep doing this until the song finishes. On the road to Canberra airport, which is presently loaded with enough hazards as it is, this is quite a dangerous thing to do. Curse you, Manu Chao.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Song of the day

"Machines", by Lothar and the Hand People. It comes from 1968. Not that you could tell by listening to it. It starts off like a latter-day Tom Waits song, with clanking percussion. It somehow morphs into the sort of herky-jerk you might associate with, say, the early scrabblings of the post-punk brigade. (I'm thinking of Snakefinger.) The singer at times comes across like Peter Garrett when he was a singer and not a politician. All of which is to say, you will have no idea what it sounds like until you hear it.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Song of the day

"So Far Away", by Love Is All. This song, which I have heard several times to no great effect, has suddenly grabbed me. It might the the time of the day (late afternoon). The mood (melancholy, as always). Or the music itself. The Cat's Miaow-ness (and Marine Girls-ness) of the guitar. The fragility of the voice. The fleetingness of the whole endeavour. The unexpected stripping away of the godawfulness of the original song (by Dire Straits, and never was a band name more apt).

All of the above.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Song of the day

"Black Sweat", by Prince. Because, in the end, black sweat is what it took. But look what it achieved: the keys to the White House. (Are they gonna change the name of that place now?)

I suspect I'm not the only person outside of those United States to have gotten a bit emotional when the California votes came in and the numbers on the BBC web site crawled slowly, inexorably, and magically upwards until they hit the fabled 270. And then again, except more so, during Obama's victory speech. Being from the wrong hemisphere and not a watcher of television news programmes, I haven't heard much of Obama's speaking voice, but, man, he is a real orator, isn't he? In fact, I doubt that a speech anywhere near as powerful as his on election night has been delivered anywhere since, let's see, a few months before I was born. (Yes, it's the "K" word.) You were left with the feeling that America, and hence the world, is, for the time being, in good hands.

Whether, in eight (or four) years time, he will have turned out to be just another politician is a question that obviously can't be answered today. Nor should it even be asked. For now, the sun is coming up again.

(Probably now some fucker will assasssinate him, or he'll get inoperable cancer, or something. It just seems too good to be true.)

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Song of the day

"The Quiz", by Hello Saferide. "If I fall, would you pick me up?" We don't always need complexity in what we listen to. Sweden saves the day again.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Song of the day

"Holy Dance", by Tetsu Inoue. Fifteen minutes of bliss. I haven't heard ambient music this "exciting" (a relative concept) since "Music for Airports" (which, as I think you already know, I rate as highly as I would rate any other record I have ever heard, of any genre, from any time). It has that record's ever so slight edge of veiled menace, while, also like that record, never taking anything away from its sterile beauty (listen, and you will realise that those two words are no zero-sum game).

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Hey, I just thought of something

"Emperor Tomato Ketchup".

"Imperial Wax Solvent".

Notice anything?