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Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

I’m a big fan of miserable music. There is always a risk of sounding like an angsty teenager saying that and it’s also not the only music I like by any means, but I do love a well done down beat record.

I like most records that create some sort of emotional response (unless it is mild confusion, wondering what all the fuss is). I think it may be that sadness is easier to get across through music than other emotions. This does make it particularly good when a song effectively gets across other emotions, although this particular post isn’t about those songs…

I recently got the album by Aidan Moffat and Bill Wells, Everything’s Getting Older. I’ve not actually got any Arab Strap which is probably something I should correct, although I do have ‘I Can Hear Your Heart’ by Moffat which is a fascinating glimpse into a life (real or imaginary, I’m not too sure). Everything’s Getting Older came out last year and was critically very well received, winning Scottish Album Of the Year in June this year.

I gather that most of the music is created by Wells and played with a few other band members, with Moffat writing the lyrics and providing the vocals, mainly consisting of spoken word rather than singing.

I think the most famous track is Copper Top, a lonely monologue mediating about death and our journey towards it. Sounds like a laugh eh? It is however a really interesting piece of music / poetry that is as beautiful as it is bleak.

Another standout track is Glasgow Jubiliee. This is a brilliant song about characters from various walks of life, all linked together though seedy encounters and filthy infidelities, with Moffat himself cropping up during the sordid story.

Aidan Moffat and Bills Wells are performing in the Dundee Contemporary Arts at the end of this month so I’ve got my ticket and I’m gonna head down to see how the album translates to a live performance. I’m really looking forward to it and I’ll post my own little review about it after I’ve been!

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I had a week off recently as my girlfriend had her half-term holidays (she’s a teacher before you get worried) so we decided to get away for a bit. Our initial plans of a sunny getaway soon faded but we thought going back to my home county of Derbyshire to stay with my parents would be a  fun, if slightly damper alternative. It would also give me a chance to have a go at driving again, as I hadn’t driven for three whole years and I was worried I may have lost my already admittedly shaky driving ability.

It turns out I can still drive which is a relief, and it meant we could explore places in the Peak District I’ve not been to for years such as Bakewell, Chatsworth and Castleton. I did take my camera but I was mainly using it for general snaps as I don’t have a compact but whilst exploring Peveril Castle I did manage to get a shot I was very happy with.

On my return home I also had a little treat waiting to help ease me back into working life. I bloody love the Mountain Goats so I was always going to get their latest album and it seems very good as usual. The other one is January Songs by Darren Hayman (Hefner frontman). This a collection of 31 songs, with one written each day during the month of January 2011. You can read more about it here. Obviously with this sort of concept the quality will inevitably be variable but in general I’m impressed at how good most of the songs are. I’ve always loved his lyrics and many of the songs on the album capture the beauty of seemingly mundane details that I find so interesting. Also each album cover is hand drawn by Hayman himself so this album I own is truly unique which is pretty nice!

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