Not always what it seems…

Look, I know that you’re all ready and waiting for something big after my refreshing break at Fancourt, but I need to let you in on a long-held secret here. The lifestyle of a top blogger isn’t always as exciting as you might imagine.
Sure, there’s the jet-setting up and down the country, the trips abroad, the glamorous wife and the copious volumes of red wine, but to balance that out, there has to be a certain degree of mundanitude as well.
For example, tonight, I’m going to be moving some furniture around so that my carpets can be cleaned tomorrow. And no, there are no euphemisms in there at all. Literally, I am moving a couple of couches so the guys can wash the floor covering underneath them. With two small kids and a whole heap of building work, they certainly need the attention.

But every cloud has its silver lining. On the plus side, I get to move into my new study too. The walls are up, the ceiling is done and the desk is there. In an amazing show of foresight, Mrs 6000 even managed to organise some of those special holes with the plastic edges so you don’t have wires hanging everywhere. True, I’d have preferred them in the desk, but it’s surely the thought that counts.

Once the “plumbing in” of all the electronica is completed, I can then get round to listening to some loud music and tonight’s offering may well be the bizarre – yet brilliant – sounds of Werk 80 II by German Goth legends, Atrocity. There’s something strangely captivating about Alexander Krull’s voice doing their industrial metal-style cover of Bronski Beat’s Smalltown Boy.

atrocity

Rumour has it that Alexander is rather proud of his luxurious mane – and checking it out – who wouldn’t be? In the image above, he has even had a couple of saucily-clad minxes super-imposed on the picture, but you were so busy looking at his hair, you never even noticed, right?
That’s how confident he is of the enchanting, mesmerising, hypnotising effect of his hair. It’s powerful stuff.
Strong, lengthy, well-maintained Teutonic hair. Big hair.

[Hint: one of them has a bare bottom. A slightly greased bare bottom. On the left. Got it yet?]

Regular readers will probably just suggest that I threw that picture in precisely because of the saucily-clad minxes. Apparently, I have a record of occasionally publishing gratuitous saucily-clad minx pictures.

Do you have a problem with that?

Are The Killers coming?

I had a whole heap of people in a very brief frenzy with this post:

Capture11

But – whatever the comments said and however dysfunctional the Computicket link was, that post was based on at least some small degree of truth, as iAfrica states here:

It all started with an entry on the Computicket website listing The Killers performing at a Cape Town wine farm during December.
The event, discovered on the ticket booking website on Tuesday 11 August, revealed that the ‘Human’ hitmakers were playing at the Val De Vie Wine and Polo Estate on 6 December, with bookings set to open on 14 August.
A source at the venue confirmed she had also heard news of the forthcoming show and we are currently awaiting confirmation of the event details.
However the event was removed from the Computicket website later on Tuesday.

We live in hope. It would be a stunning venue for a stunning band.

Patience is all that is required. And of course, the RSS feed for this blog – because we’ll keep you posted.

Musical matters

Thanks to the wife Skypeing friends in the UK, when I came to use Harold this evening, I found the chunky Skype headset still plugged in. Bonus.
Whilst I look pretty daft beneath said headset (but there’s no-one here to see me anyway), it provides surprisingly good sound quality and since I don’t get as much chance to listen to decent music as loudly as I would like to, I’m taking the opportunity to get reacquainted with Koosh’s favourite man, Jared Leto, and his 30 Seconds to Mars cronies.

This in turn brings back memories of My Cokefest and that in turn reminded me of Koosh’s heartfelt plea to her readers to not join the Facebook group concerned with objecting to those local residents who complained about the noise of this years event. Still with me?
I was going to show you that post, but she’s deleted it. Shame.

My wife, 5 months pregnant and a self-confessed hater of “shouty music” spent 12 hours in the burning African sun that day, listening solely to “shouty music” and humouring me as Matt Bellamy dissolved me into a quivering jelly of raw emotion.  Such is love. Unconditional love. (Me and the wife, not me and Matt.)

Or so I thought.

It turns out that there was (at least) one condition. A biggie. And yes, in exactly a fortnight’s time I will be at Grand West Arena watching (and – sadly – listening to) James Blunt. Through gritted teeth, I admit that it could be worse. But not even my wife, despite her bizarre musical tastes, would stoop so low as Sicky Dion or we wouldn’t be married.
“Are you a Sicky Dion fan?” was usually my second question to any eligible young lady, right after “So, do you come here often?”. Best to get those awkward and embarrassing things out of the way as soon as possible.
So there you have it. James Blunt. I wonder if I can sneak my iPod in?

Meanwhile, I’m sat here waiting for my download of MGMT’s brilliant Oracular Spactacular to complete. Specifically the Flaming Lips/Polyphonic Spree-esque Time to Pretend with its übercatchy keyboard riff. Here, in a Fleet of Worlds stylee, is the video for your perusal. Enjoy.

P.S. If you have 102MB of bandwidth to spare (i.e you’re not in South Africa), a hi-res copy of this video is available here (right click/save target as). Awesome.

How did I miss Richard Hawley?

One of the most difficult things about emigrating is keeping up with things back home. Sure, you want to embrace the new lifestyle and the culture of your new home, but that doesn’t mean that you should completely lose touch with the land of your birth.

And thus, when I find myself watching Sky News and finding out about a musician I’ve never heard of – the surprise nominee for the Best Solo Male at the upcoming BRIT Awards – and he’s from Sheffield, I know I’m letting it slip a bit.

Richard Hawley is 41 years old* and has been working in music for years as a session musician for the likes of REM, Gwen Stafani, Nancy Sinatra, All Saints and Arctic Monkeys.
His first solo album came out in 2000 – long before I left the UK, but he’s achieved little commercial success. His albums to date have all had a Sheffield reference to them, including his 2007 offering Lady’s Bridge, promoted by the release of special edition Henderson’s Relish bottles. Too cool.

But it was his comments on Sheffield’s steel industry that made me laugh. He, like me, gets a little depressed and nostalgic when he goes to Kelham Island Museum. As he points out:

Working in Sheffield’s steel industry was a job that had dignity.
Can you see there being Call Centre Museums in 30 years time?

“Look, that’s where your dad plugged ‘is phone in”
“I can remember, me laptop used t’ sit rate ‘ere”

No, because those jobs don’t have dignity. No-one wants to remember them.  

As for the music – Roy Orbison meets Jarvis Cocker, Morrissey and Nick Cave. Perhaps a little Country/Folky/Pub Crooner for some, but it’s worth a listen anyway. Plenty to watch and listen to on YouTube.

I won’t mention his taste in football clubs. He has none.

* so getting on a bit… (P.S. Hi Ant! *grin*)