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The Broken Hut
Working my way up to a full-size building
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6th-Jul-2007 02:14 pm - I wept a little tear.

This is one of my great favourites, Come on up to the House by Tom Waits (from the Mule Variations album). The video is just perfect.

Never has the retirement of some fat, sweaty scotsmen meant so much…

Last night was Arab Strap’s final performance, at the ABC in Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow. Due to some rather awkward mishaps with transport, which I am entirely at fault for, we nearly didn’t make it.

We arrived towards the tail end of Don’t Ask Me To Dance, which was a shame as it sounded really good. I would like to have heard it from the beginning. I don’t think we missed much, though: when the song finished Aidan Moffat welcomed everyone to their “retirement party”. So we can’t have missed more than a couple of songs.

I can confirm, as the rumour mill has suggested, that they have been playing First Big Weekend and did so again last night. They released balloons onto the crowd at the line “…and then we went down the Arches” (which was changed to “the ABC”).

There was a fair amount of older stuff, and songs I didn’t recognise. There are a couple of albums in the middle of their repertoire that I don’t think I’ve even heard. It was all great though. Particularly New Birds (often a stand-out) and Packs of Three, which Moffat dedicated to his mum. (Read the lyrics if you don’t see the humour in that one.)

They kinda did (If There’s) No Hope For Us but without the vocal talents of Nicola MacLeod in the original (who I’d assumed was Jenny Reeve, oops) it didn’t have the emotional impact it could have. There’s No Ending was ironically as uplifting and joyous as it should have been, despite the ending it was celebrating.

They closed with a beautiful acoustic rendition of The Shy Retirer. They sold a 3-track with acoustic recordings of that, Pro-(Your)Life and Serenade at the merchandise stall.

Sad to see them go. I suppose I’ll start looking into their solo careers now…

Geek humour for the day comes to you courtesy of Raganwald and Uncyclopaedia:

  • Pop on some Gil-Scott Heron and sing along to The Revolution will Not be on YouTube.
  • When you’re finished with that you can get down to some extreme programming as we always imagined it would be — one-handed debugging while pulling off some nifty snowboarding moves. That’s the real ninja fu.
27th-Aug-2006 05:43 pm - Radiohead, Meadowbank Stadium

Tuesday. Meadowbank Stadium. Radiohead. Wonderful.

Truly fantastic set… as always during the pre-match analysis you have to ask, “what song will they start with?”. Well, we got it completely wrong since they started with Airbag, which was absolute magic. The crowd was full of idiots (I don’t know what it is about Radiohead gigs, but there’s a history of unfortunate injuries at their shows that would surprise you) and Thom Yorke even stopped mid-way through Morning Bell to have a good shout at the people in the front row who had obviously bought tickets for Slipknot and wandered in on the wrong day.

The stage backdrop had several large, irregularly shaped video screens which were used to project fancy graphics and stuff. During You And Whose Army? a disturbing fish-eye video stream of Thom Yorke’s face was distorted and split among these screens, rather like looking in one of those bathroom mirrors in the shape of several splashes of water (like this). He obviously thought this was a real hoot as he tried to suppress his grins and lean back to stare at the crowd. It was all really weird looking.

Support was from Beck and (I think) Deerhoof but I missed the latter because I was still at work. The doors opened at 4pm and even getting out at 5pm there was no chance of getting through the Festival crowds without a flying DeLorean or Ford Anglia.

Really oddly we met a whole bunch of people we know as we went through the throng at the exit gates: a good friend from university, his two flatmates and one of his friends from his PhD course. They invited us for drinks but we had to set off on the forty minute drive home. It sucks to not live in Edinburgh, and sucks twice as much during the festival.

6th-Aug-2006 05:07 pm - Put those damn sunglasses away!

I’ve just been listening to the current episode of the Coverville podcast, which focuses on U2. And I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s not the music that I dislike, it’s the band. All the covers on the podcast are really nice — but the covers done by U2 of others’ songs are awful.

Unchained Melody, you would think, would be difficult to do wrong: it’s an amazing song and almost universally loved. But those Irish twits manage to mess it up anyway. Emotionally empty and, if you listen closely, you can hear that ever-present The Edge guitar sound that Bill Bailey parodied so effortlessly.

1st-Aug-2006 05:58 pm - Music podcasts including Tom Waits

I was going to hold this off until I had more to add, but I couldn’t resist mentioning this while I had the link to hand.

Two music-oriented podcasts

  • The Roadhouse

    An hour long show with rare and new blues stuff. I’m not really a big blues person but sometimes you get too much variety with playlists. With this you’re never surprised by death metal and euro pop juxtaposed together.

  • Coverville

    This is the podcast that prompted this post. Not just because it’s a great show devoted to cover songs — which it is, and the guy does requests too — but because there was a Tom Waits special for his birthday. For those people who find Tom’s voice and style a bit abrasive and find it hard to fight through to the songs.

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