Day 178 – One more album

Having enjoyed The Universal Want from Doves since it came out last week, I’m now already really looking forward to Future Islands new album As Long As You Are, due out on the ninth of next month.

Just look at the passion in this performance. Incredible.

And suddenly there are four contenders for the top three spots in the 6000 miles… Album of the Year. To be fair, I’d love it if there were a few more too. Considering the disaster that 2020 has been, the music has been pretty good.

Well, it’s not like the musicians had anything else to do…

On Quizzing

Last night went… “ok”.

Sure, we lost the quiz by one point, but we only had 4 players against everyone else’s 8 (thus less chance of crowdsourcing a correct answer), and we finished ahead of several (or more) other teams who clearly were nowhere near as good as us, and several of which were full of unpleasant old white people.

It was one of those evenings where the majority of our 50:50 decisions didn’t work out for us. It happens. But it was still annoying. Irritating. Infuriating. Exasperating. Infuriating. (We did well in the Thesaurus round, by the way.)

Bad luck aside, we did noticeably fall down on one tough round: 1970s music. There was a clear, gaping hole in our knowledge. Obviously, we can’t know everything, but one this particular round, we could have done much, much better.

This morning, I decided to do something to remedy the situation, so that next time we could win the quiz again – as is the tradition when we play quizzes.
I opened up a Spotify playlist full of the top hits of the 70s and set my brain to Learn Mode.

Exactly 12 minutes later, I decided that losing a quiz by 1 point (or actually, however many points) was far preferable to putting myself through listening to anything else from those ten years. I don’t like not knowing things, but in this particular case, I’m so very, very happy to make an exception. My god: I swear that I was the only good thing to come out of that decade. 3652 days of exciting musical opportunity and all we got given was Fleetwood Mac, Elton John, Neil Young and the god-awful ABBA.

It’s fine; I’ll pass, thanks.

And I’ll proudly wear my “yes, we could have done better in that round” badge when scoring 2 out of 5 on crap music next time around as well.

Everything Else Has Gone Wrong

Not another lament on the current state of South Africa.

No, the latest single (and title track of the new album) from London band Bombay Bicycle Club:

Interesting single take video featuring the speedy demise of lead singer Jack Steadman.

Apparently, music is our only salvation. But I’m not going to try to analyse the deeper meanings hidden in here; I just like the track.

 

Go find it – and a lot of other great stuff – on my Inspired By 6 Spotify playlist.

2019 wrapped – My Spotify

Spotify has let me know which artists and songs I listened to most this year. I’ve been VERY protective of my algorithm, so it’s delightful to note that neither Ed Sheeran nor Taylor Swift made it anywhere onto any playlist.

My top five were:
Death Cab For Cutie, Seafret, Dry The River, New Order and First Aid Kit.

Reasonable.

My top genres were:
Indie Rock (obvs), Electronica, Britpop, Chamber Psych (eh?) and Rock.

Ok.

And my top five songs were:

Atlantis by Seafret
Song for a Seagull by Teleman
Time by Angelo de Augustine
Please Don’t Die by Father John Misty
and this: Apocalypse by Cigarettes After Sex

This is a very fair representation of my 2019.

Which is better?

Aside from contracting toxoplasmosis in my local supermarket, I also had my hair cut yesterday.

In the chair behind me, a client was having an earnest discussion with his barber as to which musical act was the better:

Local sax-based, electro-house-jazz duo, Goldfish:

…or Paul McCartney.

You might not have heard of Paul: he was mildly successful 50-odd years ago with some other guys.

But despite that historical fame, if we’re going to base success on, say, the number of times the act in question has played at the Kirstenbosch Summer Sunset Concert series, then it’s Goldfish that clearly come out on top.

At least that’s what Mr Haircut was trying to tell us.

Next week, I go to a garden centre to try work out which writer is better: veteran 16th century playwright William Shakespeare, or E.L. James, who gave us the 50 Shades… series.

I’ll probably be looking at how many times they have each done interviews on American late night TV talk shows as my deciding criterion.