life, music

How to get out of a music slump. Or not.

My music stats have been appalling lately. Appalling as in I’ve barely listened to music at all.

Well, by comparison. 1 day 11 hours total for last week; in the words of Dustin, it’s not enough.

There is a reason though. I’m not as excited about music as I have been. I know there’s a pattern, I’ve been around for a long time, I’ve observed it. I’ll have periods where I listen to music basically 24 hours a day (sleeping is a waste of precious time that could be spent listening to NIN!), and then there are periods where I can barely stand music at all and I’ll prefer to listen to people talking (radio, TV), maybe I can stand a wee bit of Iain Morrison but that’s it.

I’m trying to coax myself back into the part of the cycle I prefer, the listening to lots part, by listening to a lot of old faves.

For example:

The Mission; Never Again. How can you not love The Mission? Even with that horrendous art work that passes for the cover of the album Masque.

Depeche Mode; Stripped. Usually everyone’s favorite, which I’m only just starting to get. Not that it was ever bad, I just wasn’t obsessed. Before.

John Cale; Darling I need you. From the Fragments of a Rainy Season record, which, by the way, is finally available on Spotify! If there is one John Cale record you need in your life, this is the one. It’s basically Cale playing all of his best songs on the piano. Now if that hasn’t got you sold I don’t know what will.

Still wondering WHY he’s spent most of his career doing, well, not this.

Nine Inch Nails; Sin. A live version I can’t get enough of.

Recoil; Jezebel. Recoil’s Liquid is such an underrated album. It includes 5 of my all-time favorite tracks.

HIM; Killing Loneliness. You know how I love pop metal.

LOTS of Within Temptation. Part of me thinks this is one ridiculous band, but the music they make, it’s a 100% match for me. Go-to for workouts. If I did workouts. Obvs I don’t. I just lay around on my couch all day. Snack on things high in sugar and fat.

Sinéad is a fave:

And yes, in terms of my feminist challenge this playlist (not only this excerpt) is pretty much a complete failure.

I have no excuses. Except for all other culture I consume is by and about women. Doesn’t that count?? (No it doesn’t.)

 

There is not a chance in hell this strategy is going to work. In fact, I predict it will get worse still before it gets better. Because that is the pattern. One can only wait.

I hate waiting.

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life, movies, music

One more time. With feeling

I’ve been waiting and waiting for the release of the Nick Cave documentary One More Time with Feeling.

You wait and you wait and then it’s finally released and you find that the only place to rent it digitally is on iTunes.

I hate iTunes.

I hate iTunes because I once made the mistake of trying to rent something from them. It basically didn’t work because of their lack of information on how it works. It didn’t work because APPARENTLY you need a certain amount of free space (WHO KNOWS how much??) to be able to rent from iTunes.

Why. Does. It. Not. Stream? WHY? I rent movies on my iPad all the time; the only time it doesn’t work is with iTunes.

So me and sis get another iPad to rent the damn thing, it has more free space, but no account so we had to set that up. We try to see how much free space is needed, doesn’t say. We’ve got a good 4 GB free. Apparently also not enough.

In the end, sis had to get her computer, install iTunes and create a new account. I’d say it was worth the hassle because the film was good, only, how can something as well-established as iTunes be this difficult to use. HOW? Unacceptable.

As for One More Time with Feeling…I fear I might be biased. I love my Nick Cave documentaries. The Road to God Knows Where is a favorite for sure. (I’ve downloaded it, bought it on VHS and later on DVD, so you know, love.)

I’d like to argue that One More Time.. must be objectively good because my sister really, really enjoyed it. This was her second viewing and she doesn’t even like Nick Cave much. She likes the odd song, but seems fairly uninterested in seeing him live. Which is saying something.

On the other hand…2 minutes in and my brother who was also present declared that it was a load of crap and went home.

Clearly, he lacks references. Clearly, he hasn’t seen Nine Inch Nails’ Closure. I love NIN and all, but that documentary shouldn’t exist. It’s bad. By comparison, One More Time… is a straightforward and extraordinarily clear piece of work.

I would, say in general, documentaries tend to be a bit messy, a bit unclear. But I mean there are levels of hell.

Usually, I don’t like it when they include interviews in documentaries. For many reasons. The stupid lighting and backdrop, the stupid questions, the equally stupid answers (i.e. I’m no fan of the controlled circumstances). None of which is true in this case. The interviews seem spontaneous, natural lighting (by a table next to a window, in a car), the questions, whatever they are, allow for answers that discuss life, that discuss how we view death and grief. And I know it’s not fashionable or popular, but I like Cave’s bleak outlook, his pessimism, his version of and now people go back to work. Because you have to go back to work.

I feel as if the reviews of One More Time… have been slightly off the mark. They’ve made it out as if this is a sad film. That’s not how I understand it. Grief is there and it’s a topic of discussion but I wouldn’t say that’s what it’s about. It’s about recording Skeleton Tree. It’s about going back to work. It’s about having a new understanding of the world as a result of trauma. Or that’s my reading.

I love it that it’s in black and white. I love the way they’ve included the music; such a relief to get nice clean studio versions rather than noisy live recordings. I love it that it was something for me and sis to discuss, that it was open for interpretation.

It did make me want to see the songs off Skeleton Tree played live. Because why wouldn’t it? It’s a beautiful album.

But.

The gig in Sweden is at the Globe. I mean really. Nick Cave is that big now? He’s moved from Annexet to the Globe with this record? I don’t believe it for a second. That and it’s not an appealing venue. Despite there being seats (yes HI I’m old).

How I ever get to any gig ever is nothing short of amazing.

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music

On my wish list

I just got tickets to see Architects in June, so this year is saved, but it’d be kinda neat if the following could be arsed to come around these parts:

Northlane. Saw them last year when they opened for Amity Affliction. Needless to say, they were brilliant. And they just released a new album this morning, so it shouldn’t be completely impossible??

Casey. Again. Saw last year, was quite impressed. Because they’re quite active on social media they’re always on my mind. This social media thing, it truly is brilliant PR, they don’t even have to talk about their music, just make sure we keep thinking about them. Maybe Brighton this time?

Russell Brand. Yea, yea, he’s not a musician, but he is touring. Been before and it was lots of fun. But it was also Glasgow. No type gig sucks in Glasgow. Exception confirming the rule: Proclaimers.

Glasvegas. But to be fair, I’d settle for a record release date. Or you know, some news? Anything?

Editors. I have no excuse and am probably sick in the head. Just not a festival.

HIM. I love HIM but never been to see HIM, that’s just wrong. They’ll be touring this year and from the looks of it they’re going just about everywhere except here. And to Glasgow in December. That is where I draw the line. One cannot be going to Glasgow in December. Also it’s sold out so that’s one thing I don’t even have to consider…

Nine Inch Nails. I hear they’ve booked a couple of dates in the US. Is it too much to ask they also swing by Europe? I could expand “these parts” to include Berlin. For NIN anyway. Actually…Berlin’s current gig selection is looking pretty good already. So maybe Berlin regardless?

Was thinking that I’d just not go anywhere at all this year, to save money for wallpaper and such. But I am so easily distracted. Who needs wallpaper when I could go to Oslo to see Architects? I mean twice in a year, that’s…also not enough?

Greed. Such greed.

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life

I have a lot of questions #1

Should I give the new NIN a chance?

Should I get more shelves for my books? Options: get rid of books, or do some other sort of rearrangement?

Are there really no bands for me to see in 2017??

How do I get out of a dinner at Köttmagasinet (The Meat Storage I guess?) for the head of department next week? WHAT HOW WHY did the other vegan OK this??? Can I lie???

Why is it that ONLY when I’m running dangerously low on tampons I do bleed sans extra hormones? It stopped being funny AGES AGO.

Pea protein – WHY? Does it work with anything??? Least favorite protein powder of ALL TIME.

Travel – skip it this year and prioritize reading?

Minimalist makeup routine – HOW?? I need instructions.

Does a Twilight marathon require wine?

I’ve restarted my computer FOUR TIMES. Why is my home directory still missing??? Moreover, why can’t I save shit from Ladok if it’s missing???

How come not more bands use mailing lists? I’d love emails about when bands are going on tour or putting out a record straight into my inbox. Like Neubauten. They tell me all important things. I’ve signed up for a bunch of other bands. Fat lot of good that’s done.

Related question: how come no gig organizer EVER gets what kind of music I like? Have I ever received a single email about a show I’m actually interested in? NO. And I’ve subscribed and subscribed…

Watched the David Bowie documentary about his last 5 years in life; WHY do they insist on this docu format? A) not a documentary, B) boring people relating boring things. The interview feature, in a studio setting, it’s always a sign of a shit documentary. A L W A Y S. Hör doch damit auf! (My German, it’s so great.)

If I cast Spotify to a TV, why does it not scrobble??

Should I freshen up my hairdye already or hold off a bit longer? Say until I’m doing something?

And people say you stop asking questions as you grow older. It’s simply not true. They’re just of a different nature. And less verbal. Because you already realized ages ago no one has any answers for you; out of evil, ignorance, or plain not fucking caring.

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spotify
music

New additions to my playlist

Jonathan Johansson – Vem av alla. Off of his new record Love & Devotion. So catchy I like it against my will. Also worth listening to: the first track on the record, Bull City (personal favorite).

Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross – A Minute to Breathe. Off of the Before the Flood soundtrack. It’s very pretty.

Philipp Poisel – Erkläre mir die Liebe. German singer-songwriter. I want to claim that this is so typically German, as in, why don’t we make this type music around here?

Roddy Hart & the Lonesome Fire – Berlin. Fave track off of the new record Swithering. I desperately hope it gets a video. I guess you could check out Violet which is the first single form the record. But really, do go give Berlin a listen over at Spotify.

Casey – Fade. That band I saw in Glasgow who opened for Burning Down Alaska/Being as an Ocean. Made it into my most frequently played playlist. Shame singer cut his hair tho?

Novelists – Souvenirs. French metalcore. Who thought that was even a thing.

What’s in your playlist?

xo,

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challenge, music

100 day song challenge #65

You know when you go to bed and you just know you’re not going to sleep?

Haven’t had that for quite a while now. Until last night. I have to say tho, this no sleep business, seems to get better the older you get. I got a total of just under 3 hours of sleep; I’m not that tired really. I look tired, obvs, and my eyes are in a constant state of weeping (goodbye makeup, goodbye! we’ll miss you!), but other than that, eh, my body seems to just not care at all.

With this in mind, it seems like the perfect time for:

#65 A song you play when you can’t sleep

I don’t know about you but for me, when sleep is just not happening I’ll have music to keep me company; it can’t be used as some sort of sleep aid.

Since no sleep was my normal state up until a few months ago, I complied a playlist; it’s mostly instrumental music, and mostly soundtracks: Robin Finck’s NOCT, Tindersticks’ Trouble Every Day, Yann Tiersen’s Les Retrouvailles, Joe Hisaishi’s Hana-Bi, Philip Glass’ The Hours, a few tracks off of the Gentlemen soundtrack by Mattias Bärjed (in love with his piano skills) and the Cirkeln soundtrack.

But also, what I listen to depends why I’m not sleeping. If I’m not sleeping because someone is snoring, In Flames or Architects are a given. Their music is like a wall of sound nothing can penetrate. So if nothing else, it at least manages to decrease annoyance levels.

But that’s not usually why I’m not sleeping.

So let’s go with a track off of the Cirkeln soundtrack; Mountains Crave by Anna von Hausswolff.

Her first couple of releases, Singing form the Grave and Track of Time, I absolutely loved at the time, but with the exception of this track, I don’t get what she’s doing at all anymore.

Patiently waiting for it to start making sense. If I can change my mind about With Teeth, I can change my mind about anything.

 

xo,

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