Thursday, December 30, 2004

Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood

Before I start, a couple of new links on the left which are well worth checking out.
Now...where to begin? Well, why not the start!
I don't think I mentioned my Christmas presents - superb they were. Brian Wilson's Smile, Belle and Sebastian's Tigermilk and Josek K's The Only Fun In Town (with the previously unreleased Sorry For Laughing included on the same CD). I'd be surprised if anyone thought anything other than: "Wow, what a fucking monumental addition to your record collection, Reidski!"
In fact, I'm listening to Smile as I write and it moves me to tears. And brings back memories of two of the greatest gigs I have ever been to - both Brian Wilson, both at the Royal Festival Hall. the first, a couple of years ago with Pet Sounds and the other earlier this year with the aforementioned unreleased gem.
I don't use the term genius for any old musical tom, dick or harry, but I do make an exception for Brian Wilson.
It's been a great year for music, methinks. I went along to some amazing gigs, anyway. I can't quite make my mind up as to what the gig of the year was, though. The already mentioned Brian Wilson at the Royal Festival Hall, perhaps? Richmond Fontaine at the Borderline, maybe? No, while those two were very close to being life-changing events, I'll plump for The Pixies at the Brixton Academy - a great venue for what was a totally mental night of musical perfection.
Some thought really does have to go into my album of year - I'll return to this one at a later date, I think. I would, however, put an early plug in for, predictably, Smile, but there are others in the form of the Futureheads, Richmond Fontaine, Modest Mouse, Steve Earle (which, unforgiveably, I don't have yet), the Zutons, The Libertines and, last but not least, a superb comeback by the Trashcan Sinatras. Talking of the latter makes me think of the award for luckiest bastard of the year. This is shared by The Scottish Patient (he got to see the one-off reformed Fire Engines as they supported Franz Ferdinand) and Ms Ardeelee, aka Life In Print, who got to see the Trashcan Sinatras about 10 million times over the last year. So, well done, those two lucky bastards.
Just finished a rather brilliant novel today. Leviathan by Paul Auster. I've now read around six of Auster's novels and would recommend them to anyone who can read. His writing is quite amazing. Leviathan is the story of a writer who goes off the rail a bit and then ends up being obsessed about the Russian anarchist Alexander Berkman. Berkman, as you can read at the link, was partner of Emma Goldman, who was another Russian emigre based in the US at the turn of the 20th Century. They were then exiled back to Russia in 1916. While both interesting characters, my interest in their story waned after the Russian people won their revolution, which left the likes of Berkman and Goldman to wank off into their personal bourgeois sunset together.
Apart from finishing of this great novel, I had a rather splendid day altogether - although this may change as the boy has just, at the time of 1.10am (yes a.m.) shouted down for a hot water bottle. So here I am back after making hot water bottle.
What was I saying....oh yes, great day. Three of the boy's old schoolfriends from his junior school descended on the house for the day, leaving the Reidski flummoxed as to what he should do. Then a thought came to me - Reidski, do nothing. I obeyed this order. The boys all then left chez Reidski this evening, which allowed me, 'er indoors and the boy to attend local Chinese buffet restaurant. This had been promised to the boy some weeks ago as a result of his marked improvement at school since the mid-term bad report incident. He really did take his time settling in to the big school, but, it looks as if he is now on the straight and narrow. Well, we'll see. Anyway, Chinese buffet food - you know that it is not high cuisine, but it is well tasty and, as for that Tsingtao, I like that very much.
I'm off to research the British Empire Exhibition of 1924, so s'yall again sometime.
Just before I go, the title of this blog was supposed to refer to my thoughts on the anti-war movement over the past few months and, in Britain anyway, how it got caught up in the most terrible sectarianism. I was also going to comment on the Tommy Sheridan resignation, being, in my opinion, the result of the sadly not defunct presbyterian (and other religion's) moralistic bullshit that still runs through the left in Scotland. I'll come back to both these issues at a later date.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Talking of Chinese buffets ... daughter and I, fresh from knicking spree at Harvey Nicks, found our favoured Italian restaurant closed for the holidays (to be expected of a family-run business, I realise) and so piled hungrily into next door Thai buffet all you can eat for a fiver place, only to discover that everything that we thought was meat, spied through the window, was in fact made of tofu - tofu duck, tofu lamb, tofu beef. Not bad, considering that disappointment, but how does one account for the £14.50 bill? I was to English to ask, but, really, £4.50 for one mug of Chinese tea and a coke, purlease.

4:08 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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I have a christmas gift site/blog. It pretty much covers gift ideas for christmas related stuff.

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6:41 pm  

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