Tuesday, May 05, 2015

bus vibes #11 - sia and blur

hello there

well, another week, albeit a short one, at verk, and so it came to pass that i was to listen to vibes again this week. why no reading? i actually cannot, but we will go into that in some minor yet specific, look you see, detail later.

what did i listen to today? as it turns out, less of one that i wanted to; more of one that i was somewhat indifferent about. i shall elaborate as i go but, as you can possibly work out from the title, i seem to be going all modern and that. the more modern music i am experiencing is down to Google Play waving 3 albums a day at me for 99p. but, yeah, more on that as we go.

first off is someone called Sia, and her most recent album, 1000 Forms Of Fear. yes, the canary yellow used there as she is, i am led to believe, Australian. she's not quite the Australian i like, as she's not ever so happy go lucky as Kylie or Jason. my (considerably) better half likes her, though, and so i purchased it. for 99p.

i gave her a bit of a spin on that you tube thing before i bought. i must say it didn't sound like the sort of thing i would normally listen to, but the video which featured her absolutely battering that Shia Le Boeuf, or however he spells it this Tuesday, kind of sold me on her music. she seems to have some sort of Bronx / Brooklyn side of America yawl going on with her voice, which is kind of OK, but is not so much the classy Australian pop voice i was assuming to expect to hear her have.

what do i think of the album? sorry, but i don't have a f*****g clue. my ipod did that thing it does once in a while which is to refuse to play a whole album. after the first three tracks it seems to freeze up and reset itself. this has happened before, and is usually fixed by me re-adding the album. which i couldn't do on the bus. hey ho, the first two songs were pretty good at least.

here's a low quality snippet of one of them for you.

actually, i do have a clue. i was really enjoying what i heard, and so i am quite annoyed - for a change, yeah - at Apple. i think this will be getting added on once more to the ipod in the hope that i can hear all of it. strangely, it plays just fine on the ipod touch of my (considerably) better half, so maybe it is Apple making a judgement call; saying i am not hip enough to hear it all.

for what reason is it i am not reading on the bus? you can't really see it here, but i have once more a very nasty and sore eye infection in the left eye. yeah, pretty much a year after i last had one, as i recall. it's sort of functional, the eye, but scratchy and sore. also swollen and bruised looking, like someone has lamped me.

in the realm of fashion, quite a brave day today for me. i work fairly close to some docks, as a number of you are aware. and here i am wearing an anchor shirt and am walking around with a bit of a cheeky wink on the go. also, for some reason i decided to wear Brut. sadly, or perhaps fortunately, i did not attract any sailors or their intentions.

am i going to seek professional medical advice in regards of the eye? perhaps. for the moment i do not fancy the challenge of seeing a doctor just to be prescribed the ointment i have already got and have my (considerably) better half applying to it. also, it's the left eye, and it is a well known medical fact, i am guessing, that if you have ebola or scurvy or something like that then it is always the right eye that gets all knacked, nit the left one. i think, at the least. i will hold discussions about it with Spiros, although at the moment he is rather busy making several unsecured, fraudulent loans in order to be able to underwrite his lifelong dream of owning a scrapyard, which he thought of as being a good idea over the weekend.

back to music, then, and Blur's "surprise" reunion album, The Magic Whip. which, yes indeed, i purchased for 99p off of Google as part of their promo thing. more on that just now.

what do i think of the album? it is decidedly average at the best of times, and for the most part it does not get that good. it seems to meander, say nothing much, sounding neither new, "classic" blur or anything of consequence at all.

i understand it's exciting for many that the band have got back together. if to produce this album was the driving force behind that reunion, then it does not seem there was all that much of a compelling artistic reason to reunite. if a new album is some sort of means of covering up that what they are really interested in is a massive payday from a series of concerts, why hide it? you've kind of earned the right to just bang out the classics on stage and have the fans throw money at you.

the disappointing thing is that most of the songs - at least the first five - give great promise of being quite smart. a couple of minutes in, though, they go what i assume they meant to be "experimental", but is in fact better described as "art school wank". and Damon Albarn doesn't help.

yes, Damon is a much, much better singer than me. but he has three forms of vocal delivery :

* joke cockney - "mockney" - Camden Market barrow boy banter
* unrequited love-lorn teenager feeling sorry for himself
* pious, pretentious, self-anointed "generation spokesperson".

he gets away with it with the momentum of both the songs and the lyrics. that momentum, alas, is sorely lacking in most of this album. strangely, the last 4 or so songs are way better, and you kind of wish the whole album was more like that. well, i did.

now then, about this 99p business. granted, it was only available for 1 day, or if you like 24 hours, but i was surprised to see an album that was only released last week - with much fanfare and promotion - being offered this way. no, i would have not bought it if it was a penny more - the tracks played on that Spotify thing at verk suggested it was a weak album - but i would imagine many, many people did go and buy it at full price the week before.

there are those that say all download albums should be sold at 99p or thereabouts, for there are no production or distribution costs. valid points, maybe, but if the industry did that they would effectively kill the physical music industry once and for all. also, they would need to be damned certain that they would sell many, many copies of albums to justify the approach and cover the production costs. for everyone that would say yeah, i will buy it as it is "only 99p", there is another that will say "i might as well download it not legally and for free, because it is only 99p in value".

i note that the press has not got all up and down and slated Blur for allowing this new album to be available so cheap. perhaps U2 should have made Apple charge that Kanye Jay Cent bloke 99c for his copy of Songs Of Innocence and then there would not have been so much nonsense.

so, there we go. less Sia than i wanted, more Blur than i wanted. hey ho. tomorrow's music choice, assuming my eye does not collapse overnight? no idea. Jamie T, James B and the soundtrack for something called Furious 7 : Mission To Moscow are all recent purchases. might see if the ipod allows me to listen to at least one of them, i guess.

i hope your eye or eyes are finer and better than mine would seem to be at this stage!

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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