(I know, I know. More Glen Hansard. Sue me.)
(I know, I know. More Glen Hansard. Sue me.)
The problem with music today is that it lacks these haircuts.
I’m going to have to think of something to rename this section in a couple of months, as I will no longer be studying!
In the mean time, though, this is the first Late Night Study Tunes post from my new apartment (!!). My selection of music is still a bit limited here, as I don’t really have Internet yet.
I mean, I do have internet (because I’d die without it), but uni is paying for it, and I get the feeling they don’t want me streaming hour after hour of music from Spotify, which is what I’ve used to listen to music since my laptop died last year. Although I did transfer over my library to my new computer (which is still at my parents’ house as it’s too big for my apartment), I decided it was time to break up with iTunes, and I haven’t been able to find a suitable replacement that works well with an Apple computer and a Samsung phone… especially seeing as my iMac steadfastly refuses to recognise my phone as a device (a known fault between iMacs & the Samsung Galaxy Note II — one that I wish I’d known about in advance!).
So. I have the music on my iPad, which hasn’t been updated since June 2012, and the 30 or so albums I’ve put on to my phone. Slim pickings for someone who listens to music all day, and is always at the mercy of her flippant musical desires.
Today is a good one, though. Today is Portishead.
Portishead might be the perfect band for every occasion. Perfect when you’re sad and need to be uplifted, or when you’re sad and want to wallow. Perfect when you’re having a quiet drink with friends, or entertaining a special someone over dinner. Perfect for when you’re studying. Very perfect for when you’re studying.
I saw them a couple of years ago at Belvoir Amphitheatre. I think that venue may have been made for Portishead; the bush setting on a beautiful still night really complemented singer Beth Gibbons’ eerie vocals. I say every show is amazing, but it was really fantastic to see Portishead live, as they’re another band I just kind of assumed that I’d never get to see in concert. It was a brilliant show.
Here you go. Have some Numb, from the album Dummy.
Back to work.
I’ve been listening to some great stuff tonight. Random playlists I’ve found on Spotify. Playlists by people whose taste in music I like. Jazz. Classical. Glitch. I don’t normally listen to music in playlist form, actually, as I really enjoy the journey inherent to the album format and generally always prefer to listen to whole albums.
I was suddenly overcome by a desperate urge to listen to an album that I haven’t laid ears on in many years: Orgy’s debut (and, what I thought until tonight was their only) album, Candyass.
It turns out there are others. I’m probably not going to rush to listen to their other work. However, this album, Candyass. Oh my god, I played it to death as a 15 year old. I got Candyass from my parents for my 15th birthday, and in retrospect, it’s up there with what might’ve been one of the most awkward gifts they ever had to buy for me. I cringe at the thought of them going into a CD store (remember those? It was probably Beat at Karrinyup) and buying a CD called Candyass by a band called Orgy for their 15 year old daughter.
The only purchase that was probably more awkward was when they bought me Marilyn Manson’s autobiography The Long Hard Road Out of Hell for Christmas the previous year. Good god. Sorry, folks. I turned out okay, didn’t I? (Definitely going to listen to Marilyn Manson next.) I also had the 1998 Family Values Tour
DVD video. I watched the shit out of that thing until it broke. I need to pirate purchase a copy of it. You know, just in case.
Incidentally, I accidentally wrote ‘Marilyn Mansion’ before, so I Google imaged ‘Marilyn Mansion’ hoping to find something ridiculously funny but this is the best I could do:
Back to Orgy. Orgy were (are?) a band populated by a bunch of glammed up, androgynous men, singing about all kinds of salacious sexual lyrics in a genre of music variously described as alternative metal (hah) and death pop. Even at the time, it felt like they were too old to be dancing around in platform heels and Urban Decay make up (they were, once, official endorsers of the brand. BTW, amazing brand. Their Naked & Naked II pallet? Amazing). And they were: frontman Jay Gordon was 31 when Candyass was released.
Old enough to know better.
But pseudo-heavy music was kind of glam at the time, so it was probably okay. The Y2K-induced end of the world was fast approaching, so why not wear platform heels and latex and make up?
The band were most famous for their cover of New Order’s Blue Monday. I can’t even remember what my favourite song on the album was, but this – Stitches – was the other big single, if I remember correctly. Have fun! Stay pretty.
This song, First Day Of My Life, by Bright Eyes, is one of the most truly beautiful songs ever written.
I’ve only ever really had one chance to see Bright Eyes, when they supported REM way back in the day. I hate seeing bands I like as support acts to other bands I like, especially when those bands are as big as REM, because chances are most of the crowd doesn’t know the support act and it doesn’t make for a good vibe, y’know? I mean, I have vague recollections of people around me yelling for Bright Eyes to get off the stage (but then I feel like people would be too well behaved at REM to do that? It was a very long time ago).
Super cute video clip, too. It even managed to melt the heart of this love-sceptic over here. (Wait, what? You heard it here first: Little Miss Single-For-Three-Years thinks love is a sham!)
Last Tuesday evening I flew in to Melbourne to see my favourite band in the world, The Frames.
I spent Wednesday eating delicious breakfast, drinking too much coffee, drinking ciders on a rooftop whilst re-reading Neuromancer (as you do), and catching up with my best friend, who happened to also be in the city.
That night, I went along to the gig all by myself, sat in my seat 7 rows back, and cried my way through almost three hours of one of the best show I’ve seen.
And then, at the end, during the last song, the entire band – there were probably 12 people on stage – picked up their instruments and went to play at the back of the theatre.
Then they took their instruments out in to the lobby, and continued playing there.
Then they took them out on to the street, and played there. And here I was. Just a few metres back, in a crowd full of strangers all singing along to a Leonard Cohen cover. It was wonderful.
The photo, no doubt, is crappy. My phone has a great day-time camera, but at night it’s a bit rubbish. But, that doesn’t matter. It’s the fact that it happened and I was there that matters the most.
Edited to say: They didn’t play Revelate, my absolute favourite song in the entire world, but they did play Fitzcarraldo, which would be one of my other favourite songs. It’s off their second album of the same name from the mid 90s, and I always think it’s a bit of a privilege to see the old songs performed live, so I was very happy.
As you know, I am a student in my final weeks of thesis writing. Holy what?
Many moons ago I bought a ticket to go see my favourite band in the entire world, The Frames, play in Melbourne on Wednesday 20 March 2013. (The gig is being touted as Glen Hansard with The Frames, but that’s kind of silly seeing as he is a member of The Frames, so let’s just say I have a ticket to go see The Frames).
The Frames are one of those bands that changed my life the very second I first heard them. At the time, I was working at JB Hifi and could buy CDs at obscenely low prices (think, like, $8 per full length album, as opposed to the $20-$30 retail that was standard). I’d kind of half heard The Frames on Richard Kingsmill’s show 2000 (yeh, that long ago) on Triple J, and their album Set List somehow popped into my line of vision one Saturday at work, so I bought it.
On the drive home – only a five minute drive – I put the CD on. The first song on that live album is the track Revelate. I remember thinking the band was good. I liked their sound.
And then, a few minutes into the track, there is a violin solo that absolutely broke my heart. It sent shivers up my spine the first time I heard it, and has done so every time I’ve heard the song since then. I listened to that song on repeat again and again, sitting in the driveway of my house, and every time I got in my car for weeks after.
Almost every time that friends have let me take control of the music in the past nine years, that version of Revelate has rung out through the speakers.
When I bought the ticket to go see The Frames in Melbourne next week, I expected that I’d be finished my PhD by now, and have been working consistently to afford the flights. I haven’t, of course.
But last night I dreamt that I went, and I woke up this morning knowing that I had to go. I’d looked at flight prices last night and of course, because Jetstar are f***ing dicks the prices have gone up by $50 overnight, but I just booked to fly out on Tuesday afternoon and back on Thursday morning.
And on Wednesday night, I will be sitting in Row F at Melbourne Recital Hall to see my favourite band in the world for the second time.
Last time I saw them was at Fly By Night in Fremantle in 2004. They’ve been to Perth once since then, supporting Bob Dylan, but I refused to pay in excess of $150 to see my favourite band as a support act, surrounded by an audience who didn’t give a shit. It would be like seeing Bright Eyes supporting REM all over again, only much, much worse.
I’ve waited nine long years for this and I’m so excited. Their Sydney show from a few days ago is up on YouTube, and I have a place to stay thanks to my wonderful ex/friend (not as dodgy as it sounds — we’d already broken up last time I saw The Frames in 2004, nothing suss going on there), and although it’s a totally irresponsible thing to do, I think it’s a good decision to have made.
I have been an absolutely rubbish blogger lately.
However, I’m being an excellent student, so that counts for something.
I also ended up making some pretty great cupcakes:
I don’t know how they managed to be so awful the first time, and work out so well the second, but I did something right as these are pretty amazing, if i say so myself.
Life is good. Last week I went to see George Clinton live in concert. It was hectic. This week I’ve got Paul Kelly & Neil Finn, which I expect will be significantly less hectic. I also ate heaps of ribs at Hippo Creek. That was pretty rad in itself. Only then I felt too sleepy for George Clinton. Food followed by gig is always a bad choice.
In between, I have been writing writing writing writing and not much else, but getting there, and that’s the main thing. The sooner it’s done, the sooner I get to do something else (like actually apply for some of the jobs that I routinely browse when thesis is doing my head in, or move to some of the cities that I keep looking at housing websites for, or take some of the holidays I’ve been plotting in my mind for the past two years).
i am done with my graceless heart
so tonight i’m going to cut it out and then restart.
it’s hard to dance with the devil on your back
so shake him off.
Today I’m going to finish a chapter. Today I’m going to finish a chapter. Today I’m going to finish a chapter…
So I’m turning to one of my favourite albums for motivation and inspiration. I really, really dig A Perfect Circle’s Mer de Noms. It was on constant rotation in my car CD player for about five years (back when I used to [a] own CDs and [b] listen to them in my car. Oh MP3s, how you changed everything).
I am a pretty massive fan of anything Maynard James Keenan does (but let’s not talk about Pusifer, who are rubbish). Tool are one of my favourite bands. I haven’t been as generally enthusiastic about everything A Perfect Circle did, but that’s possibly because I thrashed this album when it first came out, and for years afterwards. The same thing happened with Tool’s Undertow, but especially AEnima; I spent so long listening to those albums that it actually took me years to appreciate the two that followed. (Fun fact: I was 12 when AEnima was released. Woah!)
I really, really dig Mer de Noms. It’s the perfect mix of guitars and melodies and anger and beauty. That’s about as eloquent I can manage with my descriptions at the moment. You try reading existential philosophy for two weeks straight and coming up with anything better.
I hate posting a link to a video that was the lead/biggest single off an album because I feel like you (whoever “you” even are) will be like oh, she doesn’t really like the band, she just likes the single. But fuck it. Judith is just a really fucking cool song, and I run this city, so here it is:
Riddle me this, though: Why do so many women play bass (rather than other instruments) in bands? I feel like it perpetuates this idea that women are less accomplished/skilled/etc in rock bands, so they play bass because it’s “easy”. (I can’t play bass so it can’t be that easy. Then again I also can’t rock climb, so…)
It annoys me that she’s wearing heels, too, because it just doesn’t look comfortable, but I really enjoyed Maynard’s long dark wig phase, so I suppose that balances everything out.
In other somewhat related news, I’m going to see Tool in Melbourne in April. Yay! We got terrible seats (seats! blech!), but it should still be rather good. The trade off is that I’m no longer going to Coachella. With where my thesis is at, it would’ve been incredibly irresponsible of me to go traipsing around the world for a month, so I’m just going to the UK for a conference and then for a little mini-break in Paris. I sold my ticket to a lovely lady from Philly, and she seemed pretty happy, so all is well. I’ll get to Coachella one day.
On a side note, given that I also have a ticket to see Glen Hansard in Melbourne in March, I think the sooner I move there the better. Perth, you’re alright, but good lord. Get some gigs, please.