Staring at my CD shelves the other night, trying to choose something to listen to (a hopeless task, because every time I settle on one I fast-forward through it in my head, meaning I’ve effectively listened to it already and have to find another), I realised that my approach to new music has taken on an alarming dimension. Where once I would have heard a new song and, if I liked it, perhaps bought the album, now I hear a song and, if I like it, ruthlessly hunt down everything recorded by that band ever. Like a junkie upping his dose to get the same hit, it now takes the complete recorded works of James to scratch the itch of “Just Like Fred Astaire” (and four years down the track I’m bloody close, with only Strip-Mine and two live albums to go). I’ve gone from one listen of the Manic Street Preachers’ Everything Must Go to having only one more to go until everything; from hearing about the end of Elliott Smith’s life to hearing almost everything he ever released in it. From the collected works of Nick Drake in January, to collecting the latest from the Bluetones and Space in February (both excellent, by the way).
And then, last month, something on the web reminded me of the Eurovision episode of Father Ted, and the song “My Lovely Horse”. Seeing and hearing that clip for the first time was one of my favourite TV moments of the ’90s; damn funny, and damn fine music too, all ninety seconds of it. Now I knew the band behind the song, and had another name to pursue in the relentless quest for Everything: The Divine Comedy.
South Uist, the Outer Hebrides, 24 April 2004.
(More to come.)
Names on emails caught by my spam filter over the past 18 months.
Zis ist Hardcore
We’ve tried to keep him in retirement. We’ve tried to ignore his pleas to return. We’ve even tried not to use the first person plural in our announcements. But in the end we couldn’t resist Doktor Komputor’s RSS.
The Speedysnail April Fool’s Day Kit
Stuck for tricks to play on this most important day of the year? Yeah, me too. Fortunately, I remembered this sign I saw in Dundee last Friday: