I took the test and apparently my reading speed is 462% better than the national average ( I assume that’s the USA but I could be wrong)
Early in the morning I watched the final episode of the current series of Fringe on my laptop, listening on headphones
I prepared lunch - fennel risotto - and put on the One from the Heart soundtrack by Tom Waits with Crystal Gayle on the CD player as I worked. I loved the film when it came out and think the music is some of Waits’ best. He writes surprisingly well for a woman’s voice and Crystal Gayle sings with conviction.
We then went off to another tango class where we danced to several unidentified pieces of Argentine music.
Back home my wife put on her Young, Gifted and Black CD of ska and reggae, while she made the evening meal.
I went to bed early and put my iPod on as I drifted off, listening to the last three tracks from The Harrow and the Harvest by Gillian Welch. This was my top album of 2011 and I was delighted to see her and Dave Rawlings play in the Autumn of last year.
This year’s music diary project has been a (minor) revelation for me. Last year I was still suffering from depression, spending most of my days on the couch, listening to music on my laptop through earphones. I would obsessively monitor my music consumption for the project.
This year the majority of music I’ve listened to has been in social situations - at home on the CD player, at work, at tango classes, in the pub - and I haven’t worried obsessively about what tracks I’ve listened to. It’s a reflection of the improvement in my mental health and therefore an encouragement.
Who knows, maybe next year I’ll be playing in a band
I really haven’t been paying as much attention to my music consumption this year compared to last year.
Around midday I listened to Zuma by Neil Young and Crazy Horse for the first time in ages. I’m pretty sure that this is the first NY album I bought, way back in the 70s. Along with On the Beach it remains my favourite music by him. Back in the late 1970s I sang with two friends who played guitars and we played a lot of CSNY stuff. They both veered towards the CSN side of things while I latched on to Neil Young. I even wrote a song called Suburbia Calling in a Neil Young style that we used to perform. I think I respond to the balance between control and chaos in his music although for a while I lost interest in him.
Today I was struck by Danger Bird from the album in particular, and made it my new choice over at Thisismyjam. As I commented there, it sounds a lot like a post-punk record - with booming bass, discordant guitar and wayward vocals.
In the afternoon we went to visit a pub/restaurant attached to an architectural salvage yard just outside of Oxford. The food was great and they had an iPod on shuffle which played an eclectic selection of tracks. I recognised:
Remember (Walking in the sand) - Shangri-Las
Homosapiens - Pete Shelley
Heywèté - Tesfa Maryam Kidané (from The Very Best Of Éthiopiques album)
On the way home I put the radio on and caught a couple of tunes
I’ve Gotta Woman by Freddie KIng
Fat Bottomed Girls by Queen
Back home we watched the Danish/Swedish cop show The Bridge which features as its theme tune a ballad called Hollow Talk - sung in English by a Danish band called Choir of Young Believers - and that was it for the day.
posting this next day due to a busy evening
No music that I can remember during the day
I put on the CD of Kirsty McColl’s Kites while eating our evening meal but my wife found some of the lyrics too depressing so that came off after two tracks.
Instead I put on A tribute to Jack Johnson by Miles Davis - no offensive lyrics but not bland either. The two tracks are wonderfully urgent and kinetic.
We went off to our Friday night Tango class where we seemed to listen to two pieces of music over and over as we learnt a new routine.
Afterwards we went to the pub with some of our fellow dancers. There was music playing but I couldn’t hear much above the noise apart from Lets go Crazy by Prince and the Revolution. That was the first Prince recording I owned, bought as a single in 1985, and I’m always glad to hear it.
Back home I watched Community on my laptop and caught the theme tune for that on my headphones.
random snatches of music today:
Around 7am I listened to a Youtube clip of Pure Space by Unicorn Kid that was posted on Tumblr. A strange haunted video of 21st century Dickensian hipsters tripping through what looked like an East European city.
Listened to the radio in the car on the way to the cinema in the evening - Sweet Dreams by the Eurythmics.
Watched Avengers at the cinema which featured various bits of music ‘by Alan Sivestri’ apparently. I enjoyed the film although not quite as much as the hype suggested I might.
Later I went to pick up my wife from the station and listened to the radio again ‘Cuz I luv you’ by Slade - sounding fantastic. Caught the start of another track by Fossil Collective? before switching it off.
The annual Sunday Times Rich List yields four very important conclusions for the governance of Britain (Report, Weekend, 28 April). It shows that the richest 1,000 persons, just 0.003% of the adult population, increased their wealth over the last three years by £155bn. That is enough for themselves alone to pay off the entire current UK budget deficit and still leave them with £30bn to spare.
Second, this mega-rich elite, containing many of the bankers and hedge fund and private equity operators who caused the financial crash in the first place, have not been made subject to any tax payback whatever commensurate to their gains. Some 77% of the budget deficit is being recouped by public expenditure cuts and benefit cuts, and only 23% is being repaid by tax increases. More than half of the tax increases is accounted for by the VAT rise which hits the poorest hardest. None of the tax increases is specifically aimed at the super-rich.
Third, despite the biggest slump for nearly a century, these 1,000 richest are now sitting on wealth greater even than at the height of the boom just before the crash. Their wealth now amounts to £414bn, equivalent to more than a third of Britain’s entire GDP. They include 77 billionaires and 23 others, each possessing more than £750m.
The increase in wealth of this richest 1,000 has been £315bn over the last 15 years. If they were charged capital gains tax on this at the current 28% rate, it would yield £88bn, enough to pay off 70% of the entire deficit. It seems however that Osborne takes the notorious view of the New York heiress, Leonora Helmsley: “Only the little people pay taxes.”
Michael Meacher MP
Labour, Oldham West and Royton
It took me a long time to listen to music today.
I listened to the radio in the car at around 4.45pm - Steve Wright was the DJ on Radio 2 and he played two female singers in a row: Emili Sandé singing Next to me and Paloma Faith with Picking up the Pieces. Both sounded a bit meh if truth be told.
When I got home my wife put on the Young Gifted & Black compilation CD of ska and reggae while she made the evening meal.
After the meal I put on Revolver by The Beatles. I’d wanted to hear it again after it featured on Mad Men.
Then my wife put on Young Gifted & Black again
..and that is all
I didn’t listen to much music today - again reflecting a generally positive change in my lifestyle compared to last year
I heard no music until around 4.15pm when I could hear the sound of the Big Band rehearsing at the school where I am currently working. I can’t remember what they played but they sounded fantastic - with drums, electric bass, piano and brass working together. They’ve won national competitions in the past so it was a treat to hear them.
When I got home I eventually checked into Tumblr. I played a Youtube clip of ‘I love it’ by Icona Pop and liked it so much I played it a couple of times more. I like this kind of bass heavy dance music with snarky female singers. I made it my new Jam over at Thisismyjam. Listened on headphones.
Later I downloaded ANOTHER Grateful Dead track from a link on my Dashboard - this time ‘Dark Star’ from 1982 and listened to that. It’s OK but, again, not as good as versions from the late 60s and 70s. I started listening to the Dead as a teenager and then lost interest in my 20s. I got a CD by them in the 90s and now I’m taking advantage of the many audience recordings available online to dabble in their music again. I tend to like the spacier end of their repertoire. Also listened to this on headphones.
My wife put on the Tango CD again while we ate our evening meal. I listened a bit more carefully than last night but still can’t tell you what was what.
And that was that.
“Once, a little boy sent me a charming card with a little drawing on it. I loved it. I answer all my children’s letters — sometimes very hastily — but this one I lingered over. I sent him a card and I drew a picture of a Wild Thing on it. I wrote, “Dear Jim: I loved your card.” Then I got a letter back from his mother and she said, “Jim loved your card so much he ate it.” That to me was one of the highest compliments I’ve ever received. He didn’t care that it was an original Maurice Sendak drawing or anything. He saw it, he loved it, he ate it.”
— Maurice Sendak
:/ He will truly be missed. My childhood wouldn’t be the same without him :’(
Monday 7th May
I’ve listened to less music than I thought I might, given that today was a holiday:
I began by listening to ”Better than you” by Rye Rye ft. M.I.A. on my earphones connected to my laptop. Jonathan Bogart had posted the track to his Tumblr and I respect his taste enormously. I like the song for its cartoon like energy.
Next was the theme from Mad Men and a significant 60s song which I won’t name to avoid spoilers, but will say that the juxtaposition of music and imagery brought a tear to my eye. I watched an online stream of the latest episode with my wife.
Later in the afternoon I downloaded and listened to a live recording of the Grateful Dead playing China Cat Sunflower > I Know You Rider from a 1982 concert. I love the harmonies on these songs, although I prefer the 70s versions. Earphones/laptop again.
Later on my wife played an assorted selection of Ska and Reggae on the CD player in the room next door followed by a CD of Argentine Tango tunes which we bought yesterday from a 70+ year old Argentine Tango teacher who led a Tango class that we go to. It was refreshing to hear some unfamiliar music, selected by someone else - and not have to pay too much attention to artist and title.
…and that’s it.
So far I’ve listened to less music this year compared to last. I’ve listened to more music in the company of others rather than on my own - and I’ve not been so OCD about recording what I’ve listened to
As with last year, you write down what you listen to from now until Sunday.
Last year I enjoyed reflecting on what I listened to and in what circumstances - mostly on my headphones. It prompted me to listen to music more socially and to listen to more new music.