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Thursday, 30 April 2009

no (new) music may

I've decided to make May a month of "no new music" - I'm going to try my hardest not to buy any CDs, vinyl or downloads or any other form of sound carrier for the whole month. I'm using up my remaining eMusic credits as we speak so they don't go to waste (new Casiotone For The Painfully Alone album and "The Golden Band" by American Analog Set, for reference). Exceptions can be made for anything already ordered before midnight tonight, i.e. the new Idlewild album.

The reason for this is that it's only just sunk in quite how much music I already have - lost count of artist CD albums, but probably somewhere in excess of 3,000 as a conservative estimate, with singles, MP3s and a little bit of vinyl on top of that - and the total is ever growing. New purchases don't always get time to sink in and old stuff languishes. A month isn't going to make much of a dent on things, but hopefully I'll make some rediscoveries.

Over the last few months I've started a stupid-boy-project to get all my CDs onto the computer. When I was growing up I always wanted a jukebox, and this is my way to have it. I reckon I'm maybe about a third of my way through the albums, but have taken a break to do the singles to let me pack them away properly. To be honest this is making me question the point of the whole thing - should i, as planned, do everything to make it complete, or cherry-pick and have to go back later. At the moment I'm ripping stuff that I may never get around to listening to again!

The sheer volume of music is pretty staggering. Going back to that earlier estimate of 3,000 CD albums and assuming that there's an average of 12 tracks on each, then that gives 36,000 tracks. Rounding down my current daily plays of 54 to 50, then it would take 720 (nearly 2 years!) of normal listening to get through the whole lot just once. And that's a conservative estimate. I doubt pausing for a month will make much difference.

All the same, I know that my excitement for music is waning slightly at the moment. The excitement of having a new CD is long gone, mainly because I buy too many out of curiosity because they're cheap. Add on to that all the other music floating out there on the internet for free (and I just mean the legal stuff), then it just gets ridiculous, the notion of trying to keep up with everything new. I never thought I'd be someone who'd stop following discovering new music, but I really think I need a break! I just have no enthusiasm for checking things out on myspace or blogs, and to be honest maybe feel it's best that way, if only to retain my sanity.

Anyway, bit of a formless ramble but I'm done now. I'll report back on how I get on with things over the coming month, and we'll see if it helps any. There may yet be need for "Silent September"...

Saturday, 25 April 2009

bad lieutenant / post-new order

Not entirely sure how I feel about this, It's from what appears to be a post-New Order project involving Bernard Sumner, Stephen Morris and Phil Cunningham. I sounds like an acoustic version of what they were doing on the last couple of albums, with more than a hint of James.

It's pleasant enough, but I'll wait to hear some more from them, and hope they change the name too.

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

religilous [2008]

Just been to see Bill Maher's new movie "Religilous" at the DCA on a bit of a whim, and it was well worth it. For most of my life I've wavered between Atheism and Agnosticism (or Cosmic Bet-Hedging), a few visits to church in my first year of University only serving to encourage these beliefs. With this in mind, the film was already preaching to the converted. However, there was still plenty that was new to me as I've never been particularly active in my disbelief - I don't scour religious texts for discrepancies, I just can't bring myself to actually believe any of it. On the off chance that I do find myself in front of St Peter, I've always thought I'll just take my chances.

The movie itself takes the major religions (Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Mormon and Scientology for the most part) and pokes at their beliefs with simple questioning and humour. While it's unlikely yo change the mind of anyone who fully believes, it's still interesting to see him challenging the various groups - the bulk of the time is probably dedicated to Christianity. Interestingly, he gets the most sense out of two Catholic interviewees - a Vatican priest and the former chief astronomer of the Vatican. The latter makes the point regarding Creationism that there cannot be any science in the scriptures if they were written between 2,000BC and 200AD, and what we regard as Modern Science has only really been developing over the last 2-300 years - there's a pretty big gap in the timeline right there.

Maher ends with a call to all of the non-believers (13% of the US population, according to a survey) to speak out against all religion. With many Christians believing that we're in end times, and portions of Islam following an equally destructive path, it is indeed a scary thought that we could be wiped out all because of some daft superstitions.

It might be anti-religion-for-beginners for quite a few, but I thought "Religilous" was both entertaining and thought provoking.

Monday, 20 April 2009

first ride of the year

No exciting and new picture, I'm afraid. I did take my camera, but discovered after leaving the flat that the battery was dead. This one is from a previous trip round a part of the route.

Started off by going up by Strathmartine Hospital, as I'd not been up that way before. Followed the road round and ended up in Bridgefoot, so carried on up my normal route until I reached the turn for Auchterhouse. At that point I decided to carry on to Tealing out of curiosity.

Once I reached Tealing I saw a sign for the Tealing Dovecot and Earth House - maintained by Historic Scotland, so I thought it would be rude not to have a look. Wouldn't go out of my way to see it, but reasonably interesting all the same. The Dovecot was built in 1595 - an act encouraged by the authorities of the time, until they realised the pigeon population was out of hand. The Earth House is a gallery cut into the ground, dating from the Iron Age. At the time, it would have been covered with a thatched roof and likely used for storing food.

After this, I carried on to the road up ahead that turned out to be the A90 Dundee - Forfar. Not fancying my chances amongst the early-evening traffic, I turned back and headed back to Dundee by the first available turn off (signposted for Kirkton of Auchterhouse, if I remember rightly) and made my way along a fairly long stretch of nondescript road, passing the Strathmartine electricity substation. I'd already passed over an NTS (National Transmission System) pipeline, is there no escape from work?

My favourite bit was probably Emmoch Road, a nice long downhill section with a decent enough gradient to get some speed up. Quite looking forward to that again. The road came out at the edge of Dundee, not too far from home, so just followed the road round.

11.3 miles in total, not too taxing - wasn't particularly tired when I got home. Will probably go out that way again with the camera on a nice day.

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

annie - "anthonio"

Full version of the new Annie single "Anthonio" finally been online. I've been trying to make up my mind based on clips for weeks now, so this is A Good Thing. Produced by Richard X, and hopefully from a forthcoming album.