brightlywoven: Pickwick the dodo, one of a kind, hand made by my stepmum (dodo)
A terrible thing has happened to me.

My favourite grown up book store in Melbourne is called Readings. On my last visit there I bought a beautiful illustrated ABC for a child, a Leonard Cohen DVD for exactlyhalf (DVD of the concert we went to!), CD of the same for my dad, and the final installment of an Australian fantasy for myself (excellent series by Alison Croggan, a Melbourne poet. Plot is a trifle derivative, but the prose and characters are lovely, she has the opposite of race fail (and it's taken me this long to appreciate how great that is) and features some quite beautiful poetry/song) 
While I was there on a Tuesday evening it was full of all these urban looking people were drinking red wine from tumblers to celebrate the launch of a picture storybook. One such lovely person was one of exactlyhalf's oldest family friends, and being there was like a glimpse of heaven - books, music, red wine and lovely company.

Anyway, I've loved this store for a decade. And given the context of its being a bookstore, it's pretty obvious how the name should be pronounced, only...



The truly embarrassing bit? I teased exactlyhalf mercilessly the first time he did that on a visit home. I've done it EVERY SINGLE TIME I've referred to it. Oh the shame *exaggerated woeface*
brightlywoven: (booze)
 Late night memage from teh_elb. Tom Waits lends an air of melancholy and whimsy

Pick a musical artist whose discography you know fairly well. Using ONLY THEIR SONG TITLES,  try to answer these questions. Try not to repeat a song title.

ah she said she'd stick around until the bandages came off... )

brightlywoven: Pickwick the dodo, one of a kind, hand made by my stepmum (lalala)
 So on Friday night, it had been a very long week. 12 days long. And now it was nearly midnight and I had a 50 mile drive home. There was only one way to stay awake - singing. 

Iand there's reason to believe maybe this year will be better than the last )
brightlywoven: Pickwick the dodo, one of a kind, hand made by my stepmum (lalala)
 (our boiler decided to die, so I'm staying up while I wait for the hot water bottles and mini electric heater to make the bedroom habitable)

So last night [ profile] exactlyhalf , [ profile] loneraven , [ profile] shimgray  and I headed off into the wilds of Milton Keynes to see Mr Tom Paxton perform. You know you're driving to MK when google maps tells you to 'go through 20 roundabouts'. (We actually went through 21 - a roundabout too far - and almost passed Milton Keynes itself, which would have been tragic!).

what happens when you survive the 60's to live happily ever after )
brightlywoven: Pickwick the dodo, one of a kind, hand made by my stepmum (lalala)
Well it turned out my iPod picked unknown songs, but many of them are by favourites of mine, so recommendations follow with the identifications below

a wander through my iPod )
brightlywoven: Pickwick the dodo, one of a kind, hand made by my stepmum (biscuit)
For the first time in my life I'm a driving commuter.

It certainly has annoying aspects - the 2 hours lost from my day (especially that precious one between 630 and 730), the achey back from sitting down for so long, the road rage (if your vehicle doesn't go over 30mph, you have *no business* driving on a single lane A-Road with a limit of 60 during peak hour!).

I am however enjoying my driving music, since I am passenger free, which is loud, raucous, and (in the morning at least) sung along with. The afternoon trip involves slightly more frequent yawning, vigorous rubbing of the face and draughts of fresh air in attempts not to feel dozy.

Probably the nicest aspect is that I drive away from the rising sun in the morning, and away from the setting sun in the evening. So when there is a sunny dawn, or dramatic clouds and a little light, it can be quite spectacular.
brightlywoven: Pickwick the dodo, one of a kind, hand made by my stepmum (daffodils)
So, last night  [profile] exactlyhalfand I made pilgrimage to London to see Leonard Cohen perform in his first world tour in 15 years. It was the kind of night that changes things.

brightlywoven: (harriet)
We got home at 2:30 this morning from seeing Leonard Cohen's London concert. I'm just getting off to work. I will write a long review later today (which should justify the following statements), but right now, I must just say 2 things:

1. Squeee! OMG! OMG! <3<3<3 Squee!

2. Mr Cohen is returning for another series of concerts in November, and tickets go on sale today. If you missed out, or were put off going because it's an arena show, get your tickets today. This man is the stuff of legends.
brightlywoven: Pickwick the dodo, one of a kind, hand made by my stepmum (dodo)
After a fairly bad night's sleep (4 hours? Seriously?), I was cycling in to work this morning, listening to a Leonard Cohen tribute concert, and musing on how Nick Cave singing 'I'm your man' is probably one of the great moments in musical history (and how if I had to choose between Mr Cohen or Antony singing 'If it be your will' I would probably choose Antony, making it one of only two Leonard Cohen covers that I would choose over the original).[1]

Musing such muses I rode past many people in fluorescent yellow vests, then past some people in BioHazard suits with gas masks, past some police, and various official looking people. 'Well,' I reasoned, 'if I can't go up here someone will try and stop me.' When I got to the very top of the hill I saw the small sign 'exercise in progress'.

Which all goes to show how strong is the impulse to assume something is *not* my problem. If the apocalypse comes, someone better bleep me, because clearly, if left to my own devices, I will ignore it.

[1] Leonard Cohen concert is TOMORROW. Ask me how excited I am...
brightlywoven: Pickwick the dodo, one of a kind, hand made by my stepmum (Default)
I Missed the iTunes meme last time around, and so here is how I procrastinated going to the gym this evening 

brightlywoven: (huh?)
exactlyhalf and I wrote this little ditty. We felt that Mr M Bunter, that modest many of many talents needed a backstory. Preferably one he could sing, so here 'tis.

I've been a wild Bunter for many's the year
But I've changed all my ways now that Lord Peter's here.
He needs a good man since that hell that was War
So I never shall play the wild Bunter no more.

And it's no, nay, never
No nay never no more
Shall I play the wild Bunter
No never, no more

A serving man's life is more hard than you'd think
I can not deny that it drove me to drink
I fear I'm a drunkard or one of that ilk
For I slipped brandy into me warm bedtime milk

But it's no, nay, never...

While polishing silver one day, by and by
A fair lady's maid caught my wandering eye
We shared tender glances, some smiles and what's more -
I kissed that young maid behind the kitchen door

But it's no, nay, never...

While sitting one night with another man's man
He pulled out some cards, and then it began
A few pennies here, some shillings, a crown
My master would no more leave sovereigns around

But it's no, nay, never...

A shooting weekend at a country estate
The men they got drinking, they stayed up quite late
But dawn found me creeping back into the house
And inside my coat were three braces of grouse

I worked for a gentleman, lived down in Kent
But there my career took a bit of a dent.
I left town in a hurry, and amid some strife
I was found in the bed of my master's good wife.

But it's no, nay, never..

Was out on my own then just making ends meet
My only companions the scum of the street
We held up a stagecoach, 'twas for London bound -
Made off with some trinkets worth six thousand pound

But it's no, nay, never..

Spent months on the road then, avoiding the law
Then the Kaiser turned up for a bit of a war
We made some good sport with the rifle and gun
Till Peter went out to a ball from the Hun

So it's no, nay never... (go over the top!)
No nay never no more
Will I play the wild Bunter,
No never, no more
brightlywoven: Pickwick the dodo, one of a kind, hand made by my stepmum (daffodils)
We have had a magical night.

I remember when I first saw Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds play live, and was amazed to 'see' how the music was put together (for example, the striking of a long metal pipe to produce the high, ringing notes of doom in Red Right Hand). Tonight's concert was another such experience.

We went to the Royal Festival Hall for a long awaited concert by Tindersticks. Other than a one-off concert in 2006, the band has hardly performed live since the release of 2003's Waiting for the Moon. Since then there have been solo projects and rumours of dissolution, but half of the original band have now returned to the studio, with some new artists, to produce The Hungry Saw. Tonight was our first Tindersticks gig, and though we knew this was not entirely the same band who produced some amazing albums, anticipation was nevertheless high.

After a surprisingly bad trip to London (52 minutes to get from Gloucester Green to the park and ride? What?), and a frenzied dash through the underground to Southbank, we settled into our seats (in row 8!), me with a glass of rose in hand. The guest act was very good (Sarah Lowes), with some whimsical numbers and a multi-talented instrumentalist to accompany her. Then the main event began.

The number of chairs on stage had me dancing with excitement in the warm-up. Tindersticks' music is full of complex orchestration, and amongst the line up changes with this album was the loss of Dickon, the violinist. Without his lush, aching strings it would hardly be the same. So imagine my joy when no less than 8 bow wielding musicians slowly made their way onto stage. David sat at the keyboard and began to play a short melody. Two violinists joined in. Thomas and Dan (the new faces) on drums and bass, Neil on guitar and finally Stuart arrived slowly on stage and piece by piece the sound grew, changed, took on layers and depth. Cello, saxophone, trombone, glockenspiel. The band was here.

The set was mostly comprised of new material - the album was only released on Monday - and this was an amazing way to hear an album for the first time. The stage held 13 musicians, whose opening number showed the incredible intensity of the music they could produce, but this was a show of measure and restraint, now breaking out into freedom, now reining in. Sometimes it was just the drums and bass, providing a thrumming heart beat below the whispered intimacy of Stuart's voice. At other times the strings would join in to swell the melody, then in came brass as the frenzy and despair wrought itself. Trumpet and trombone added high, top notes of desperation, fading to a low moan as the energy ebbed.

Tindersticks is heavy stuff, but not without humour. An unexpected choice of old song to play was 'My Sister' - a woe-filled spoken word tale of the singer's sister who is blinded at five, orphaned at 12, crippled at 20 and dead at 32 - with some wicked dead-pan delivery. This is not one of my favourites (there are many competing for that spot), but I was astonished by the musical complexity behind the narrative that was brought to my attention by having it so in front of me.

And then, there was the incredible energy, the physicality of the performance. There is an exuberance to this band, even when singing about having the devil cut our your heart, or searching the world for the lost voice of a lover. A driving energy is provided by every single musician, so much so that I found myself short of breath after some songs. In others I was holding it, wondering just how long this song could hang suspended, held only by the gentle heart-break of a violin and the murmur of Stuart's voice.

When it was over, we walked to Victoria through a surprisingly balmy London night with the Carr sisters, who regularly worship at this alter. First or fiftieth concert though, we were all wowed, and somewhat saddened that this was no longer in the future for anticipation.
brightlywoven: Pickwick the dodo, one of a kind, hand made by my stepmum (camera)
As we approached Heathrow, the crew informed us that the UK has strict rules regarding the importation of 'meat and filk'[1]. So watch the contents of your music library when you travel!

Home now, we are attempting to become unpacked, ungrotty and to be people with a full fridge. Or at least one with more than a jar of jam and a can of coke in it.

[1] Disappointingly, this was later corrected to meat, fish and milk.
brightlywoven: (harriet)
We have tickets to see LEONARD COHEN!!!

This is *not* something I ever thought I would say. He's performing in London the night before [profile] exactlyhalf's birthday.
brightlywoven: Pickwick the dodo, one of a kind, hand made by my stepmum (camera)
1. Counting Crows' new album will come out next month. This is of the good. Was extremely jealous yesterday on hearing someone say 'Oh yeah, I went to Berkley, they used to just play gigs everywhere there'.

2. That entire subforms can be copied and pasted in Access. Wish I found this one out several thousand data entry points ago.

Oh and 3, that my iPod is out of juice. *hates silent data entry*

ETA: data entry zooms with new copy and paste ability. V Good. Unjuiced iPod replaced with youtube postings of live crows song. V.v good
brightlywoven: Pickwick the dodo, one of a kind, hand made by my stepmum (daffodils)
A glorious weekend, in which I
- had a most bracing walk throug the ice puddles to Godstow lock, learning on the way that the Perch 'aims' to reopen in summer
- Finally saw Serenity, while enjoying Wife Soup. Yay River!
- Enjoyed defeating dracula (even if by the end I was getting impatient to start watching Serenity
- Went to the gym twice
- Got my meringue making mojo back just in time for the banquet (mmm, chocolate pavlova roll...)
- Made the most awesome lasagne ever (I roasted my own peppers! I bechameled the hell out of a sauce!)
- Enjoyed the above with just enough cider and wine and good company
- Learned (if you can stretch 'the weekend' to '1pm on Monday) there will be a new Tindersticks album. Album AND tour. Am giddy with glee over this.

Now, back to work!

ETA giddy glee slightly tempered by learning DH has left the group, which means I'll never see him sing 'sweet memory'. *small sob*
brightlywoven: Pickwick the dodo, one of a kind, hand made by my stepmum (Default)
For any Damien Rice fans, here is an *excellent* performance of 'Elephant' from his last album.

There is a definite 'crazed hobo' look/feel going on here. Quoth exactlyhalf "I think the chance he'd knife you while you're asleep is less than you would estimate from watching this video"
brightlywoven: Pickwick the dodo, one of a kind, hand made by my stepmum (Default)
To aid me in making my career decision I'm using this helpful soundtrack:

I've 'sung' its praises to a few people already, so please do enjoy.

"Why do you need a stool sample if you think I'm just a nut?
Cause the answer's not in your head my dear - it's in your butt'

Oh, and for all you fanficcers out there, please do enjoy 'guy love'
(no porn or nasty visuals for the faint of heart)
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