Day 400 – Marking milestones

It’s 400 days since SA embarked on its Coronavirus lockdown. Back then, we weren’t even allowed out of our property.
Since that day, we’ve been through two fairly horrendous waves of Covid-19, several alcohol and smoking bans, beach restrictions, economic disaster, and a stuttering, non-starting vaccination programme. Currently, our R number – marking the progress and pace (or not) of viral infections in the country – is sitting at 1.03, meaning that we’re ever so very slightly on the wrong side of where we’d like to be, but equally, that things aren’t nearly as terrible as they have been or could be. And that R number is currently being fuelled by minor outbreaks in the Northern Cape and the Free State. Touch wood, with the major centres doing ok at the moment, we’re still not seeing any sign of the expected Third Wave. Long may it continue.

Which does make one wonder why there’s still a midnight to 4am curfew.
Not that I had any plans for that particular period.
Other than sleeping.
Which is allowed.

Another milestone today: our wedding anniversary. The day each year when I sit back and reflect upon just why Mrs 6000, very much of Champions League standard, is still happily existing in my Sheffield & Hallamshire County Senior League¬†Second Division company. I’ve no idea either, but I’m very happy that she still seems content with my muddy, clod-hopping, somewhat makeshift agricultural style. Not much skill, but a whole lot of effort. As the actress said to the Bishop.
We’re going out to celebrate at a very good restaurant this evening.
But we’ll be back before midnight, Cyril. I promise.

I have spent much of the day painting. Not in any artistic sense, more in the “I’m not old enough for this Antique Cream to seem anywhere near acceptable in my house” sense.
I’m obliterating it all with brilliant white. Or rather, I was, until I ran out of paint. Very frustrating.

Soundtrack to my endeavours was provided by The Streets. I went for their Spotify catalogue, which has loads of live stuff, remixes and collaborations. Really nice trip (no pun intended) down memory lane, and one which culminated in me singing Fit But You Know It to the somewhat bewildered beagle.

A proper highlight of a milestone day for all concerned.

Day 379 – New Music

I know that music posts don’t always go down very well on here. Different strokes for different folks and all that.

But if you are looking for something new to listen to, here are a couple of suggestions from 6000 HQ:

How about some New Dad? Their latest one, Slowly – following on from their desperate cry against the horrors of depression I Don’t Recognise You – is wonderful alternative indie, almost shoegazy stuff.

Hear more of their stuff on Spotify.

And then The Lathums (it’s a short, sharp A, ok?). Their new one Oh My Love is so new that the video only premieres later today. More indie, but a bit more folky indie. Think The Coral or The Farm, a touch of Arctic Monkeys or maybe even a bit of Doves.

Short and sweet. [Spotify]

I’ve been compiling a Spotify playlist of stuff I have enjoyed in 2021. It doesn’t have to specifically be from 2021 (and indeed, much of it isn’t), but if I hear something and I like it, it goes in.
Both these songs have made the grade. I mean… obviously.

You’ll want to click through on this link.

Please enjoy and share, should you be that way inclined.

Day 370 – Vivaldi reinvented

I mentioned yesterday about my love of unusual cover versions of songs. And then I was introduced to Andre Antunes, via his heavy metal accompaniments to Trump’s televangelist friends Kenneth Copeland & Paula White.

Those are good (especially the Copeland one), but it was this version of Antonio Vivaldi’s Winter that caught my eye… er… ear.

Again, this might not be to everyone’s taste (Mrs 6000 has already moved on to “more important stuff” and some people didn’t even click through at all), but if you can take a step back from your anti-loud music prejudice and remember that the early 18th Century original is meant to represent the icy maelstrom of whirling winds and freezing blizzards:

To tremble from cold in the icy snow,
In the harsh breath of a horrid wind;
To run, stamping one’s feet every moment,
Our teeth chattering in the extreme cold

…then this is actually a perfect piece to cover in this style. Spring probably wouldn’t work at all.

And just watch those fingers. Absolutely incredible. An amazing talent.

Day 367 – Festival

It’s been a while since I went to a music festival. A long while. And while I love to listen to music, there’s nothing quite like proper live music with one act after another, weeing in horrific portaloos, and – optionally – sleeping in a tent.

6Music would love to be having their annual festival at the moment, but for some weird reason [checks notes] – apparently it’s the coronavirus pandemic – they can’t. So they got loads of musicians and bands into empty studios across the country and got them to play live sets as if there was a crowd there.
No, of course it’s not quite the same as a real festival, but it’s still a whole lot better than nothing. There’s some jazzy stuff (that pianist!), some electronic stuff, some happy folk rocky stuff, some just plain weird completely indefinable stuff (cool song, but I just don’t think that it works live) and some indie rock stuff.

That electronic stuff link is Bicep’s Apricots. It’s not my favourite song of theirs: they’ve done much better songs recently, like the dreamy Saku, but you have to just watch it for the lighting alone. So completely simple, so symmetrical, to straightforward… but wow. So massively effective.
You just want to be there, like a lucky pillar of blue light.

The whole youtube playlist is here, and is being added to, daily.
And if you just want to listen without pictures, check out the more comprehensive playlist on BBC Sounds.

Day 347 – Prizes

I’ve mentioned Afrikaans singer Bok van Blerk on here a few times, after Bok van Blerk mentioned me in his email list even more times. Those days thankfully seem to have passed now, but it seems that Bok continues to enjoy his high-end celebrity lifestyle, even if he doesn’t tell me about it quite so often.

Here’s the latest from him:

Yes, it’s in Afrikaans, as is most Bok van Blerk-related stuff, so let me help you out with a touch of translation. This is a competition whereby you (and a friend) can win a fun long weekend away. That’s pretty cool, but it’s also pretty ordinary. But this long weekend away will be fun because you will spend it fishing with well-known singers Adam Tas and… yes… Bok van Blerk.

Did you miss the opportunity to spend a few hours skateboarding with Ed Sheeran? Wish you could enjoy an afternoon playing Laser Quest with Elton John? Or did you feel sad because the chance to take on Miley Cyrus at crown green bowls was something that you could only dream about?

Well, hard luck. I can’t help with any of that.

But you (and a friend) do still have the chance to go on a long (fun) weekend fishing with well-known singers Adam Tas and Bok van Blerk. OK, it’s not quite stand up paddleboarding with Madonna, but times are tough.

The entry form is here. Good luck.