Slow, stormy Sunday

The second keg of Neck Oil this month only held eight pints, but after that we went down to the late night iffy and bought a load of Special Brew and ordered a curry.

When I was writing about it last evening everything seemed quite sensible and it looked like we might just manage an early night – but then Shaun’s bro (sorry mate, can’t remember your name for the life of me) decided that drinking the neat Bacardi we resorted to wasn’t such a good idea, and that he wanted more beer.

We staggered off down the road, and as so often happens, the beer belly was shouting our for unnecessary curry to swill around in, so we got that too.

In the morning there were bodies on the floor, curry on the floor, fag butts everywhere, the cat smelled like he’d been eating curry, and the whole place stank of farts and fags. Nice. Manly. Student heaven.

But then Shaun started us off with some tunes to ease our aching heads, and despite everyone moaning, we all gradually made it to a vaguely upright position, and started the usual vying to be DJ, and naming that tune in its first couple of notes. My tastes are generally far too old for someone of my age and so unless he digs into his goth and rock back catalogue I’m usually pretty lost, but it’s fun anyway. I like the banter.

But most of all I love it when Shaun looks this messed up…

Shaun. Not at his best.

Boxing Day with Nick Cave

I want to take a while to muse on the power of music.

So much music is drivel. But I guess someone must like even the most dire stuff that’s out there, otherwise it wouldn’t exist.

Thousands of kids, most of them girls, probably, definitely even, get very excited at the thought of One Direction. Probably indecently excited. Yet I think there is more talent in my gran’s tortoise (OK, I know I don’t have a gran, and of the two I once had probably neither has ever even encountered a tortoise, but that’s not the point.

But I don’t like that light weight stuff.

I have a broad church of tastes nonetheless. I love some classical stuff, and then it’s the heavier end of the scale in general. Beethoven’s 5th is probably my favourite piece of music and that essentially has only four key notes, then everything else hangs off them.

Today though it’s Nick Cave.


I was a good boy and went around to the folk’s place for Christmas dinner, and the old girl did us proud. Dad and I went to the Eagle and Child for a couple at mid day, then home for a mountain of turkey and vegetables.

Mother was in bits because she forgot to put the spuds in, but blimey, it was a good job, we had far too much food even without them.

Today though I don’t intend to go out of the door.

Da gave me the best present he has ever pulled from the sideboard. A bottle of Ardberg whiskey. I can only think that someone must’a given it to him, and as he doesn’t touch the hard stuff.

I don’t care what the reason is, I’m delighted, and I intend to drink a lot of it today, while working back through St Nick of the Cave’s back catalogue, starting with Push The Sky Away and gradually moving back old album an hour.

Need to be careful, keep the water intake high enough, or I’ll be hungover for the rest of the year!

The fruits of my labour!

Friday night. Cash in pocket. And yet I’m not going out on the Toon.

I’m staying in with four cans of very cold Special Brew.

A curry from Adil’s down the street.

And my new speakers.

I was so chuffed with them that I decided to wait until this evening and have a proper listening session rather than just popping them on but not really appreciating them.

Most of the night is likely to involve the moody tunes of Mr Nick Cave, but first up is Indiana and her super sexy risque song Bound. I heard it last night and had to have it straight away.

And then there’ll be Mark Lanegan’s new album. It’s so mellow I’m not even sure that I’ll listen to it all straight away, I think it’s a gentle tone that I’ll need to gradually accustom myself to.

This is old man’s music and I know it, but don’t worry for the Dude. I’ll be on the hard stuff soon. Last nights Zane Lowe was amazing and thew up so much new music that I loved. I could spend all my labelling gains just on downloads. But I need to remember that what I need most right now is a great amp that’ll do justice to the speakers and the music. It’s all a bit compressed on mp3, but I’m trying to stay off css, just using vinyl and up to date.

My old man would be proud!

Down by Rain

Down By Rain.

Apparently there’s a classic film called Down By Law with the old gravel voiced singer called Tom Waits, who dad used to like. I thought it would make a great band name. And the fact that something similar already has a degree of cult status with older folk might help the mythical band take off a bit quicker too.

It came to me as I was trudging home from town having been completely soaked this morning and not fully dry by the time college had finished. It’s the sort of thing your mum might get angry at your teachers about if you were still at school. The weight of my winter coat, soaked again as soon as I stepped out of the college gates was what started the depth of melancholy that I sank to. But melancholy is a state I enjoy.

Down By Rain then isn’t a bad think. Just a low thing.

I wonder what they’ll play?

Rock blues I guess. Robert Johnson influenced (after all isn’t everything? I expect that even Jake Bugg says he was influenced by Robert Johnson, even though RJ probably died before young Jake’s grandparents were born. I’d like to think that they’ll affect the mood of listeners young and old, and perhaps to achieve the ‘across the ages’ feel we’ll never let them actually be seen. That’ll only be effective if we can somehow get them famous of course. Being a mystery band that no one has heard of will fall a bit flat.

I wouldn’t be in the band, I imagine myself as creator and manager, in the Malcolm McLaren type vein, but I don’t want to shack up with an old bat like Vivienne Westwood, no matter how cool she may be!


Downloading music from the internet could be dangerous

MUSICALI love music and downloading the latest popular songs from the internet is one of my favourite hobbies. Now that I have a new laptop with a huge hard drive, I can download as many songs as I want.

As many of my peers would understand, the only problem is that the legitimate download sites charge money for every song you download or a monthly fee or something similar. Sometimes you might be lucky enough to find a favourite song for download on a mainstream site such as YouTube, but you have to be quick, because those are usually picked up quickly and removed for ‘infringement of copyright’.

The so-called peer-to-peer (p2p) sites are a grey area. Technically a friend is within his or her rights if they give me an original DVD with music of a particular performer or group. However, if they upload it to the internet and I download it from there it’s not legal.

I am in no way encouraging anyone to break the law, but most people who read this will know just how many p2p download sites there are. I must admit I tried using one or two of them in the past and I might have saved myself a few quid, but I also picked up a malicious virus on my laptop, which I just couldn’t get rid of. In the end it cost me much more than buying the songs would have, because I had to go to a professional computer shop to have the virus removed.

As a compromise I’ve now signed up with a UK service called Intomusic. They’re heavily into alternative and independent music, which is fine with me and in many cases they only charge a few pennies for downloading a song. What I like is that they allow independent artists to upload their music and sell directly to the public, which is exactly what I will do one day, when I have my own band.

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