Day 21 (but actually Day 162) – Musically conflicted

Yesterday evening, my son asked me how many blog posts I had written on here. I had a quick look at my back end (careful now) and was able to give him an exact figure.

It’s 5236.

[audience gasps]


Of those 5236 posts, 5230 have been published and are available for your reading “pleasure”.
Two more are sitting in drafts: one for legal reasons and one because it’s a test for a new app/plugin which I might try sometime in the future.

And then there are three posts which I have marked as private because I changed my viewpoint(s) on the contentious issues therein. Yes, I could simply delete them, but sometimes it’s worth (privately) revisiting and reviewing how you felt about something in 2009 and how you’ve matured and educated yourself in the intervening period.

Beagle-eyed readers will have done some rudimentary calculations and worked out that we’re still one short.

This can like to be that post.

I wrote it on April 16th – 21 days into our lockdown here in SA. But I never published it. If you go back to look at what I did publish on Day 21, you’ll see this:

I have no idea why this rather ordinary piece of writing and this rather ordinary photo managed to usurp my original planned effort. But it did.

As described above, there are a few good reasons for why the posts that you can’t see are where they are.

This one… not so much.

And so, for no other reason than to tidy up my drafts folder, here’s what I wrote about in my post for Day 21 of the lockdown. Just look at the first couple of lines.

Nothing has changed, has it?

Anyway, please enjoy it.
But watch out if you’re a fan of bagpipes. They don’t come out of this well.



Everyone’s fighting about hydroxychloroquine, face masks, Trump and lockdown.
Online is not a pleasant place to be. Except here, of course.

Or is it?
Because I’m about to share some really good music that’s arguably been ruined by the worst instrument in the world.

But has it actually been ruined?
The jury’s still out, because the song is really, really good and the worst instrument in the world has at least been through a bit of a production process and isn’t (quite) the usual horrific squawking sound like a seagull being sexually violated that bagpipes (yeah, I said it!) usually are.

As you can see, this is Conor Oberst back in his old guise as Bright Eyes, and this is just a beautiful story of a guy giving in – against his better judgement – to his ex-lover. It’s not clear if the ex-lover brings the surprise bagpipes, but that would make his (already likely flawed) judgement call even worse.

If the bagpipes bit was done on a synth, I’d be much, much happier. Completely at peace with continually listening to this and adding it to my Spotify playlists. Because otherwise, it’s lovely.

As it is, I’m having to limit the number of repeats in order not to drive myself up the flippin’ wall each time the Middle 8 comes around.

Day 149 – Sunday morning, 4am

I don’t generally do much of Sunday morning. You may say that I am wasting the best bit of the day, but “wasting” is a very subjective term, and if I have the chance to grab a nice, warm, cosy lie-in in winter – well, I’m not going to object. It is after all, “the day of rest”.

So it would have to be something very special to wake me up at 4 o’clock on a Sunday morning, and yet I actually do find myself tempted by this…



If you are reading this and thinking that I’m hinting at a suitable birthday present, thank you, but please don’t. I’m really undecided on whether this is a thing I want to do – I mean, it is something that I want to do, but whether I’ll feel that way at 3:55am that day… mmm… I’m less sure.

And then there’s the rest of the family. I mean, you spend all that money ($15 = R39,000,000) (ish) and you get up at 3:55am and then you listen to a concert on headphones so as not to wake the kids and the (probably bewildered) beagle?

I’m unconvinced.

That said, “their only show of 2020″… And the new stuff is really good

Plenty to think about. And plenty of time to think about it.

Day 133 – New Future Islands sounds very much like old Future Islands

And this is a good thing.

More of bands I like doing more of the things I like, please.

NME agree:

Musically, they haven’t meddled with the formula they’ve been nurturing for a decade. The songs are built around Gerrit Welmers’ rippling synths and William Cashion’s propulsive basslines. And Herring’s still determined to plough all of his rawest emotions into the lyrics.


And more of the bands I don’t like as much, changing tack and doing things that I do like.
That would make the world a better place.

Set in and around a suitably post-apocalyptic Baltimore, the video for For Sure actually left me a bit cold, but as mentioned above, I’m loving the music.

Apparently, BTV, they were playing several new songs, so this looks good for a new album some time soon – it’s been three years.

Fingers crossed.

Day 117 – A new challenger approaches

Baxter Dury had the 6000 miles… Album Of The Year title all wrapped up for 2020.

Then came lockdown, and the effects of lockdown. I know that feeling.

And suddenly, a new challenger approaches: it are Doves, with their first new release in 11 years.

And the first two tracks from The Universal Want are very special. We’ve already had a look and listen at Carousels. Now, here’s Prisoners:

Sure, two tracks out of ten doth not a summer make, but the signs are very good, aren’t they?

Now firm date for release just yet, but I’m looking forward to this in exactly the same way that Baxter probably isn’t.

Day 93 – about Glastonbury (1)

(1) because there’s another Glasto-based post coming tomorrow…

I’ve already mentioned that it would have been Glastonbury Festival weekend in the UK, were the Glastonbury Festival going ahead this year.

The Glastonbury Festival is not going ahead this year. However, the BBC are doing their best to make it happen – virtually – and I have heard of many people using that coverage and living the dream by camping out in their gardens doing “Glast-home-bury” (but with the luxuries of a shower and a flushing toilet available just through the back door).

If I’d tried to do that today, I’d not be in Kansas anymore. It’s rather breezy here today. Like gusting to 100kph breezy. I might still try and find some waves to ‘tog later if the rain eases off though.

I digress. Often.

Back to the thing about Glastonbury. Mark Radcliffe and Jo Whiley are living the festival dream and camping out at Worthy Farm anyway – from where they are presenting some of the BBC coverage. Mark shared some images of their spot and the Pyramid Stage and they’re properly surreal.

Bear in mind that there are supposed to be 90,000 people stretched up this hill in front of the stage.

Not just a small herd of cows. (You can see the BBC Airstream caravan over on the right there)

If you’ve ever been to Glastonbury, you’ll know just how early those cows will have to have got up in order to get a place that close to the stage. Although, I’d have thought that they’d all congregate at… The Udder Stage.

Thank you very much. I’m here all week. Try the veal.

I’m going to consider wrapping up warmly and consider venturing out into the rain and the wind with the flappy-eared beagle. I have to admit that I’m not hugely keen on the idea though, and I’ll definitely be the more enthusiastic of the two of us.

More tomorrow, should I survive.