I listened Jack Rooke – Good Grief on my commute this morning. It is both funny and very moving. Its from the point of a 22 year old man who explores the loss of close family and the complexities of showing emotion as a young man in the UK.
After some sensible cajoling by my wife (having just reached the qualifying age of 50), I joined a football team a couple of weeks ago. A walking football team.
It is brilliant – fun, competitive, inclusive and skillful. But slower and with less vigorous tackling. Banter (I hate that term but you know what I mean) is mostly kind as befits the mature and wise nature of the players. We play for an hour and I can’t remember the last time an hour flew by as quickly as last Fridays game. I am seriously back in love with the game.
Any other walking footballers on the blog?
Made me chuckle like a brother.
Being a bit maudlin today, I was thinking of some of the musicians who had passed away this year. I had a look at Colin Vearncombe’s website and found this beautiful song. Thought it was worth a share.
Sad news for those that remember the mighty Faith Brothers. Billy Franks passed away on September 20th aged 60. I followed Billy on Facebook and he was energetic, funny and passionate until the end. He may not have been the biggest star, but he was a talented songwriter and kept on creating and playing until the end.
This is my favourite Faith Brothers song – Eventide.
Heard this for the first time yesterday. An intriguing title – Virtute The Cat Explains Her Departure but an even more intriguing premise – the thoughts of a dying cat. It’s a quite lovely song – moving and emotive.
The threads on music playing devices and iPod classics highlight distinct differences in attitudes to streaming and owning music. Some put sound quality above functionality. Some appear to have not been near streaming services for a while and perhaps don’t appreciate the progress in the last year or two.
I can’t remember the last CD I bought (but it was probably second hand, cost £1.50 and was made more than a year ago). I have virtually stopped buying downloads and am about to cancel my eMusic subscription after 6 or 7 years.
Apple music serves my purposes very well and with WiFi well on the way to becoming ubiquitous, along with cheaper than ever data plans, I don’t see myself buying any physical products anymore. In fact, if I did, it’s more likely to be vinyl than CD. And I don’t own a record player.
Most of this change has been in the last couple of years as my devices become more integrated and the apps become better at dealing with the process of streaming.
People seem to be less passionate about physical products for films and tv with Netflix, Amazon Prime, BBC iPlayer and the like not drawing the » Continue Reading.
Does anyone have any experience with an Amazon Echo? It looks like an intriguing piece of kit and the reviews are pretty positive. I’m tempted as it seems to be great to listen to podcasts, audiobooks and radio whilst having a large potential for other things as well.
Is anyone else tempted by it? Or is it just an incomplete gadget?
This is an appeal to the knowledgeable people of Afterword Towers.
I have a web domain that I use for our families email addresses. Mine seems to have been hijacked and people in my contacts list are getting spoof/spam emails with dodgy links.
I did think I fixed it by changing the password but it still seems to be happening. Short of turning off the email address, is there anything that I can do to stop this happening? I have the domain hosted on 1&1 but there doesn’t seem to be any thing in the FAQs to help me.
Thanks (and apologies to anyone who may have received spam emails about my new hairstyle).
As a balance to the Lurker thread, I thought we should have a thread where we replace a single word from a film title with the word “Mysoginist”.
I’ll start with Women on the Verge of a Nervous Mysoginist.
I went to see Paul Carrack last Monday. He reminded me of two rules that I have about music and songs as he managed to break both of them in one gig.
The first relates to flutes. I cannot think of a single song that has been improved by the addition of a flute. Before Twang retorts with a Jethro Tull rock a flute very nicely, I have to say that I haven’t heard anything by Jethro Tull that I like.
The second rule is whistling. It always strikes me as a sort of filler – one up from la la la lyrics (Into The Valley by The Skids is the biggest sinner here). It always feels so lazy.
Does anyone actually like whistling or flutes in their rock? Or does anyone have any other rational dislikes?
Guildford Civic Hall
I’ve always rather liked Paul Carrack – especially his singing. He has an effortlessly great voice. Mrs LB knows this and so bought me tickets to see him and his band at the Guildford Civic Hall (Well, its the Civic Hall according to my satnav, G Live to ‘ver kids and marketing professionals).
First, a word for the support act. Robert Vincent, a scouse singer songwriter in need of a haircut. Armed with a great voice, some immediately great, downbeat songs, he was excellent.
Then on the main show. Carrack, looking like Bono would if he aged gracefully, and his band launched into a Mike & The Mechanics number. I knew this much because it a) had two synths being played and b) had no showy off guitar solos. It was a good start – the man can sing and the band can play. The next song was jaunty enough – mid paced polished blues. The song was stretched to breaking point by a sax solo, bass solo (I’ve genuinely not seen one of these before) and then guitar solo followed by some piano solo. I got a little bit bored.
This set » Continue Reading.
I don’t profess to be totally clued up on the Julian Assange situation and I think that, by and large, there appears to be little public opinion on the case – maybe because nearly 4 years of staying indoors doesn’t make for particularly exciting news.
However, today’s ruling by the UN panel has got him on the front pages again and I’m bemused as to how the UN can come to the ruling they did. As I see it, Assange is wanted in Sweden to answer allegations of a rape. The normal extradition paperwork has been done so he will be arrested by the UK police and extradited to Sweden. The wrinkle (albeit a pretty smart move by Assange) is that he is not technically in the UK whilst in the Ecuadorian embassy so if he stays there, he can’t be extradited.
This is the bit I don’t understand – how can hiding in a building on what is, in effect, Ecuadorian territory be considered as arbitrary imprisonment? If he was stuck in Brazil (a la Ronnie Biggs) would the same UN law apply?
Can any of the smart people on The Afterword explain the finer points to me? » Continue Reading.
This is a lovely piece of television. Jenson Button follows in the footsteps of his father and tries out Rallycross with David Coulthard. Funny and touching and worth watching it just to here the pitch of Jenson’s voice after his first drive.
Don’t fuck about Buzz, let me in.
Oh. OK Neil.
Is anyone else watching Nashville? The country music industry provides a great frame for what is basically a high quality soap. Established stars coping in the new industry, young stars coping with fame, talent looking for a break and, the heart and soul of the series, an alcoholic singer songwriter who struggles with his place in the business whilst loving the music perhaps more than anyone else in the show.
So far, so formula. But the thing that makes Nashville rise above the normal TV drama is that the music is done so well. T Bone Burnett is the musical director and it shows with the songs being a key part of the show.
And it really makes you want to go to Nashville and visit the Bluebird Cafe and take in show.
Anyone else watching it?
It’s jolly good.
I’m slightly bewildered by the sheer number of VPN apps available and reviews all seem to be very mixed for most of them. I mainly want to be able to view Netflix, Sky Go and iPlayer when abroad either on my iPad or using airplay to an apple tv device.
Is anyone using a VPN app on an iPad that can give some advice on how well it works, how easy is it to set up and whether the free ones are any good (or really free?).
Does anybody have any experience good or bad with these? They may well be the way forward for my commuting. I do have a fear of looking a bit of a dick though (a bit more of a dick perhaps) so have a preference for the more subtle designs.
And can anyone remember the ones that Burt Kocain fellow raved about? Were they noise cancelling?