2/26/2004 12:26:00 AM|W|P|dan|W|P|Greendale, then. This was the album Neil Young put out last year. It was a narrative piece telling stories of the Green family, who all live in the small town of Greendale. Cousin Jed accidentally kills a cop, Grandpa dies of a heart attack while confronting a news crew and the teenaged Sun green becomes an ecowarrior. That's basically it, although there is plenty of other stuff in there (the Devil lives in the local jail, for instance). As well as releasing the record, Neil also made a film to accompany it, and that'w what we went to see last weekend as part of the Dublin International Film Festival.
It is fair to say that if Neil Young wasn't a millionaire rock star, then this probably wouldn't have been shown a continent and an ocean from it's California setting . It is very basically done - it is all shot on Super 8 (which looked particularly grainy on the huge screen of the local UGC) and uses amateur actors and members of Young's family to tell the story. The soundtrack is the Greendale album, and the actors lipsynch to Young's vocals. It sounds like a recipe for disaster, doesn't it? And yet...the whole is strangely charming, despite the obvious shortcomings. I think the key to success is Young's obvious love for his story. It would be easy to be snide and superior about a teenage girl's ecological passion, but this sixty year old rocker really does sound convincing when he sings "Be the rain you remember falling...we gotta save the planet for another day" and rails against corporate crime (there is a strong undercurrent of antiwar protest as well). it is more honest and sincere than a thousand Hollywood movies with a hundred thousand times the budget. Go see it if you get the chance.
I am blogging to:Explosions In The Sky|W|P|107772362804213339|W|P||W|Pemail@example.com/23/2004 06:15:00 AM|W|P|dan|W|P|I haven't updated for a while, so apologies to my loyal reader. I left you on the cliffhanger of being about to go to a Rapture gig, and I can now tell all. It was...quite good. I enjoyed the band themselves, particularly an absolutely scorching version of "House Of Jealous Lovers", but the venue was really bad - rammed shoulder with shoulder. I am pretty sure that it was oversold, or that a nice fat brown envelope made it's way to the fire officer that night. In a bigger venue it could have been a blinding night, but this was less than special.
Last week, I had the pleasure of being invited to the Brit awards ceremony. To begin with , I was pretty ambivalent about this. I begin to watch it on TV, and normally end up enraged by the pisspoor music on offer and embarrassed by my job. I thought it would be good to go and experience it in the flesh, though, so there I was in central London on a rainy Tuesday afternoon. Our party met in a hotel near Gloucester Rd and got a taxi down to Earls Court. Probably the high point of the day was our car being screamed at by the teenage girls outside, who clearly had no idea who we were but were pretty excited nonetheless. Once inside we walked up a red carpet past a crowd of photographers and flashbulbs and into the champagne reception (read: start of the free booze). Many, many glasses of champagne later, it was time for the ceremony. In real time, it is a lot less slick than it appears on TV, with a lot of time given over to set changes and Cat Deeley having to repeat her lines. Of the performances, I really enjoyed Outkast, Muse and The Darkness, and was left cold by Duran Duran (who only got the Lifetime Achievement award because the Rolling Stones turned it down. Now that would have been something to see) and positively repulsed by evil Jamie Cullum and Katie Melua covering "The Lovecats". Our table did have a limitless supply of Rioja though, so even that was bearable. A good time was had by all.
The next day I was at Gatwick, waiting for my flight home. I was bored and killing time until the gate was announced. As I walked along the endless corridors I realized that twenty five years ago I would have thought that this was the best thing ever. The six year old Dan would have been so excited to see all these planes. He would have been running about all over the place in a frenzy of aeronautical lust (inasmuch as his young mind understood lust. He probably thought it was something to do with Princess Leia). I wondered what he would make of his jaded and bored future self. He would probably have taken one look and run back to 1978 as fast as he could.
I bought a very good record in London, ostensibly for Esther, but since annexed by myself. If you'd told me that one of my favourite CDs of the year was going to be all acoustic songs sung in French by an Italian ex-supermodel who bore Mick Jagger's lovechild, then I wouldn't have believed you either. In fact I would probably have punched you. But "Quelqu'un m'a dit" by Carla Bruni really is a special record. Have a listen.
That'll do for now. Next time I'll tell you about Greendale and Byzantium.
I am blogging to:
|W|P|107748652587577447|W|P||W|Pfirstname.lastname@example.org/09/2004 12:14:00 AM|W|P|dan|W|P|We are going to see The Pixies! Our excellent friend Bill has got tickets for one of the Brixton shows. Very exciting stuff. The Academy should be a good venue to see them in - I thought that they may well have announced dates for Wembley Arena or some other hideous enormodrome. I am still annoyed that they are not playing Ireland other than as support to The Red Hot Chili Peppers, who are amongst my least favourite of bands. What is the point of doing a reunion tour which people have been waiting for for ages and then playing an already sold out gig as support to a band whose audience of idiots is going to hate you? Should be a special show though.
Explosions In The Sky were excellent on Wednesday night. The venue was suprisingly busy - when we rounded the corner of Eustace St, we saw a big crowd outside, and I was amazed to see they were all queuing to get into the club. It was crowded and hot inside, but we found ourselves a good vantage point and stuck to it. The band play long and complex instrumental rock. It has the same quiet/loud dynamic invented by the Pixies and patented by Nirvana, but extrapolated to the nth degree. (And when they are loud, they are very loud!). There was no communication with the audience - it would have been difficult with no microphones on stage I suppose - but the power of the music made for a very good night.
We'll also be seeing The Rapture on Tuesday. Having read some of the tour reports from previous dates, I think this one is going to be a cracker...
Central Park zoo in New York has gay penguins. Apparently one of them tried to hatch a rock once.
I finished a story earlier. I'll get it typed up later and give it to Esther to judge once final revisons have been made, but I am happy just to have completed something without falling prey to my normal over-critical self loathing!
I am blogging to: Death to The Pixies|W|P|107625393481323284|W|P||W|Pemail@example.com/06/2004 06:48:00 AM|W|P|dan|W|P|Nothing clever or funny today, I'm afraid, just sadness and frustration. Worshipping the Devil in the name of God.
Maybe tomorrow I'll tell you how good EITS were, and why I am sorely disillusioned with The Pixies, but not today.|W|P|107601783579003644|W|P||W|Pfirstname.lastname@example.org/03/2004 05:49:00 AM|W|P|dan|W|P|This is very funny
I am blogging to:The Sea|W|P|107575500765607794|W|P||W|Pemail@example.com/01/2004 06:47:00 AM|W|P|dan|W|P|I spent the evening going through the boxes of old tapes clogging up the spare room. Amid the piles of early 90s anarcho-punk rubbish (anybody remember Bender? Nah, thought not), I found some mixtapes I made for Esther years ago. Aw, I thought, I'm going to put one of these on. So I picked out one which looked like it was some late night cosy downtempo stuff (Julee Cruise, Marvin Gaye, Coldcut etc etc)and put it on. Now this tape was obviously an old one of my dad's that I had reused, and equally obviously I had not bothered to listen to the mix before I gave it to Esther. I was sat there looking at the PP boards and quietly enjoying the Michelle Shocked song that started the whole tape, when it came to an end. Ah, I think, what's next? (I am aware that this post is taking on a kind of nightmarish Ronnie Corbett "and then I said to the producer" kind of vibe, but bear with me).
What was next was ten seconds of hideously hearty men (probably with beards) singing sea shanties, before they clicked off and Lou Reed started singing about being a Coney Island Baby. We get to "and I swear I'd give the whole thing up for you" and it's straight into "ah ho ho ho around the Cape we go". Then Madder Rose. Then "and we saw a whale, ho ho ho". When she played it back, she must have thought I was mental. But she stuck with me regardless. Maybe she has a thing for aran jumpers.
I am blogging to:Massive Attack. And a bottle of rum.|W|P|107558637848753545|W|P||W|Pfirstname.lastname@example.org