Tag: Jools Holland

Random notes of no importance

Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill!
Is it wrong that I’d really rather Ollie killed the mice rather than bring them into the house to play? It’s one thing picking up a dead mouse, quite another to spend 20 minutes chasing a live one round the living room at 3 am.

Melody Gardot & R.E.M.
After catching her appearance on Jools Holland (and as a side pondering, does anyone refer to it as “Later… with Jools Holland”? No, it’s just “Jools Holland” innit) I listened to some samples from her album and promptly purchased it.

Listening to it I can picture her onstage persona, sultry jazz singer, and I wonder if that impacts how I engage with her music?

It was the same after I saw R.E.M. a couple of years ago, their last couple of albums had largely escaped my notice (to the point that, for example, I’m still not entirely sure on which album the track “Lotus” can be found), and I was a bit non-plussed… until I heard the tracks live.

Yet after the gig, re-listening to those same tracks now is a different experience.

Yeah I know, nothing startling but it’s been on my mind.

That and the fact that R.E.M.’s new album, Accelerate is rather stonkingly good.

Power out
All of a sudden the screen went blank, the music fell silent, and the power LEDs faded. We’d had a powercut.

“Bugger” he exclaimed in annoyance.

Actually he said “ohh fucksticks” because he was rather cheesed off having spent 30 minutes carefully crafting a newsletter entry. Then hope made an appearance for he had used Google Docs and Google Docs autosaves every now and then and maybe, just maybe, he hadn’t just lost all of his work.

And then the glimmer of hope widened, the websites he’d been using for research were opened in Firefox tabs, perhaps it will have saved them as well.

Lo and behold it was true. Google Docs HAD saved all of his changes, Firefox DID remember which tabs he had open.

Ahh the joy of the righteous, I KNEW I used web apps for a reason.

Mind you, it still amazes me that GOOGLE Docs don’t allow you to send the documents by email… I’m sure they have an email client as well… right?

Financial Ponderingmentness
Between oil prices rising, and the credit crunch … er… crunching, I’ve been taking stock of our financial situation. It’s not that bad, although the looming remortgage will impact it in one way or another.

I’m tempted to go through the remortgage process myself, following the Moneysavingexpert’s guide of course, but wondered if anyone else had done the same?

Bye bye TOTP

We hadn’t planned to watch it but we happened to flick past just as the show started and sat there, engrossed, for the entire hour. I occasionally put up with Steve wossisname if I stumble across TOTP2 as I like the mix of music, and the last ever Top of the Pops felt a bit like that. I wonder if it would’ve been better served by mixing in more older or alternative music?

Ultimately, whilst the charts are largely dominated by the singles that have been well marketed, there is still room for a Top of the Pops that covers the ‘buzz’ music. After all most people in the industry tipped the Arctic Monkeys to be big around summer last year before many people had heard of them, so why not have a program dedicated to that?

Ohh yes, that’ll be Later with Jools Holland then, or is it? I enjoy Later… but some of the acts can be a bit hit or miss, even the ‘legends’ that he gets on. Each to their own I know.

I’m glad I caught the last ever TOTP. Like most people of my generation it was a huge part of growing up, and I think it’s purely a victim of the changing cultures and wider accessibility to new music. Kids today. Don’t know they’re born!

They won’t have to sit, finger poised over the pause button, to tape the charts. They won’t hear a song for the first time AFTER it has entered the charts, and I’m not sure that’s a good thing.

For starters, where are the superstars of tomorrow? The entertainers? Have the times when a handful of bands and solo artists rise to the top left us? Or are we resigned to a future where the ‘long lasting’ music stars are those that manage to release three albums?

Anyway, I’d like to say thanks to TOTP. You influenced me more than I possibly realise and, as Sir Jimmy Saville turned the lights off, a little bit of history died.

P.S. Somehow I missed that version of Gnarls Barkeley’s Crazy, how ace was that!

The Milk-Eyed Mender

Joanna Newsom – The Milk-Eyed Mender @ Amazon.co.uk

You always remember something unique, and it was on “Later with Jools Holland” that I first heard Joanna Newsom. Sitting with her harp, performing The Book of Right-On, the rhythms of a late night jazz bass underlined the classical sounds of the upper reaches of the harp with both taking back seat to that voice. So let’s get that out of the road first, Joanna Newsom’s voice is unique, piercing, nasal and yes at points reminds me of her highness of weird, Björk. Once you are accustomed to that you then have to contend with the harp being used in a pop/folk/jazz/rock landscape and that’s all before you get to some very very good songs.

The combination of the voice, the harp, and the songs, all meet to produce a wonderful sound, delicate, fragile and haunting all at once yet carrying moments of power and emotion. This is definitely an album for quieter times, contemplating life through the claret in a glass with the rain percussing the windows.

It won’t be for everyone but if you like to think you have eclectic music tastes I’d give it a listen, I keep coming back to this album and the more I listen to it the better it gets.

Pop Music

Carey talks about music and I can relate to a lot of what he is saying. One thing I’m eternally glad for is the fact that I live in the UK and our music scene is quite happily contrary on many fronts. My bench mark is usually the “Later with…” Jools Holland series. If they make it on their then they are OK with me, even if I’m not really “diggin’ their scene man..”.

I’m glad we have the Macy Gray’s (she’s mad ain’t she), Marilyn Manson’s (he is the devil you know) and yes, even good old Ozzy (former people’s enemy number one, once bit the head off a bat, etc etc) to remind us that true music isn’t something that is manufactured on an assembly line. That’s about the only line I draw to be honest. The age we live in is one of marketing campaigns, global sales and spiralling moral codes.

And then, along comes a song. Take Coldplay’s new single. Absolutely glorious, delightful on the ear. That’s true music. It means something (as Carey said).

Right I’m off to listen to some Pearl Jam, no Radiohead, no PJ Harvey, no the new Eminem album, or maybe Pink’s album, hmmmm am I selling out? Yes I think I am, one thing I’ve come to realise over the last few years is that I am a lot more tolerant of the Britney’s and Shakira’s of this world than I once was. I was once villified for not liking “I just called to say I love you” by Stevie Wonder – the man is a genius but that song… pop tripe and WAY beneath him, at that time he was the man, everyone loved Stevie. These days I listen and label these songs as they are “Harmless Pop. Background annoyance at worst.”

So there you have it, the Philosophy of Music by Gordon McLean.

Resolved

Still here. Still having ISP hassles.

Can’t believe it’s almost December, past the initial Harry Potter rush ( advance screening for us!), and past some family issues. Still stuck a bit with nothing much progressing, and already putting things off until the New Year (by which time I will no doubt find another excuse).

To preempt this, my resolutions are:
1. lose weight.
2. win the lottery (thus allowing me to buy a guitar and piano, get a new PC and highspeed internet access, and not be bothered about switching jobs).

I am happy though… really… Ohhh and Jools Holland gig on the 8th December ! Woo hoo!