liv: alternating calligraphed and modern letters (letters)
[personal profile] ghoti_mhic_uait and a bunch of other people are doing a 30 day music meme, and it's really interesting to see people's choices! In some ways music isn't a big part of my life, so I might struggle with this one, and anyway I'm not going to commit to posting every day for 30 consecutive days, but I thought I'd give it a go.

The first is A song you like with a colour in the title, so I went for White winter hymnal by Fleet Foxes. I don't always love the kind of very blurry musical style that Fleet Foxes go for, but I got really fond of this song a few years back and it's one that always raises a smile when it comes on shuffle.

People are generally linking to YouTube, and I'd never actually seen the accompanying video for this one before. It's kind of a cool claymation thing, so I'm glad I searched it up.

Embedded video )
liv: alternating calligraphed and modern letters (letters)
Which is the kind of thing I not only don't do, but never have done. Only [ profile] ghoti wanted me to go to a Blue Öyster Cult gig with her and although they claim they're always on tour they are not so very young any more and their only UK gig was Ramblin' Man Fair. So we decided to attend the fair, and in fact had a great time.

not very successfully pretending to be cool )

So yes, I'm really too boring for rock festivals, but it was fun to pretend for a few days that I'm the kind of person who travels across country and sleeps in a tent (albeit a posh tent) and stands around in muddy fields in the rain to hear bands I like.
liv: alternating calligraphed and modern letters (letters)
Back in England, back to work – exams season starts in earnest today. Also back to an official presence on LJ, after a six year gap. So, hi, LJ folks! There will probably be more noodling about this shift later, but for now:

what I did on my holidays )

Basically I really want to go back in time twenty years and tell my teenage self that she'll grow up to be the sort of person whose friends invite her to goth festivals, as a brief break from a grown-up life with a proper job. That she'll be able to wear the goth clothes she's just starting to pine after, and that people will think she looks good rather than ridiculous. And she'll come home to loved ones. I find it quite hard to believe that the past two decades have been so good to me, really.
liv: alternating calligraphed and modern letters (letters)
I feel like I'm turning into a terrible old fogey when it comes to music. I mean, not that I was ever at the cutting edge of fashion, but I used to at least recognize some current stuff. long-winded description of my problem )

Recommendations of actual music always welcome, of course. I really appreciate people who do share music on their journals, like [personal profile] oursin and [personal profile] seekingferret and [personal profile] ceb. But what I'm really looking for is recommendations of how to music in 2015. How to discover new music, how to do music in a modern social media context, recommendations of places to go to look for recommendations. And how to buy music once I've discovered it. Any suggestions appreciated!
liv: alternating calligraphed and modern letters (letters)
[personal profile] ephemera asked about seasonal music. (And a bunch of other things, but unfortunately I'd filled all my December slots before getting round to those ones.) And I found it an interesting and thought-provoking question, so let's see.

culture is complicated )

And I suppose there's no reason why I shouldn't listen to carols at other times of year, since I'm not listening for religious reasons anyway. But somehow I like spending the dark days of the year listening to ths particular style of music when it's at least approximately seasonal.

[December Days masterpost]
liv: alternating calligraphed and modern letters (letters)
So [personal profile] sfred asked:
what would your eight Desert Island Discs be? (Optionally, also pick a book and a luxury item.)
I'd been meaning to do DID ever since I saw [personal profile] hollymath's excellent post on the topic, and then I wasn't sure I wanted to do it in December because it's the kind of thing that takes thought to do well. But I'm going to give it a go anyway, it's not going to be as polished as it would be if I hypothetically actually went on the show, but I'll have a go at 8 pieces of music.

my musical tastes are embarrassingly conventional )

[December Days masterpost]
liv: cartoon of me with long plait, teapot and purple outfit (Default)
[personal profile] angelofthenorth asked for Music - that make you think of people

play on )

Anyway, rather than embedding individual YouTube links, I've put most of these on Grooveshark. I think I've checked most of those that they are the original versions of the song in question and play correctly, but Grooveshark is always a bit random.

[December Days masterpost]
liv: alternating calligraphed and modern letters (letters)
[personal profile] ceb asked: What kinds of music do you enjoy and what do you get out of them?

music musings )

[January Journal masterlist]
liv: A woman with a long plait drinks a cup of tea (teapot)
I just bought my 1000th song in mp3 format (Vienna Teng's Whatever you want). This seems a good excuse to talk about buying digital music.

nobody will be surprised to hear I hate DRM )

This is pretty grim for actual musicians, and not that promising for consumers. I'm just hoping that capitalism will prevail, and the desire of millions of people like me to find a way to spend money on music we like, in convenient format, will create enough of a demand that the market will act to fill it. There are traces of it; the fact that it's even possible to buy plain mp3s from mainstream distributors like Amazon and iTunes is a promising sign. But it is very weird to find myself in the position of being almost forced to steal things because nobody will sell me them!


Oct. 25th, 2009 10:14 am
liv: A woman with a long plait drinks a cup of tea (teapot)
It's quite weird getting a lift to Cambridge, leaving work at 5 o'clock and finding myself in Cambridge three hours later, with no intervening hassle! It was almost as if I teleported from Stoke-on-Trent with its shabbiness and its rolling English countryside setting, to this alternate reality full of Mediaeval buildings and ludicrously young people in gowns and / or evening dress.

yay lovely people )
liv: methane on Mars, labelled "squeeee!!!" (squee)
When I first started expressing vague thoughts about coming to New York this summer, [personal profile] redbird bought a ticket for me for the VNV Nation concert. I've been looking forward to it for ages and it totally lived up to my expectations!

bouncebouncebouncebounce )

Yeah, I know I have 2 weeks' worth of reviews and blog posts backed up, but I needed to write about this while the memory of that emotional intensity is still fresh.
liv: cartoon of me with long plait, teapot and purple outfit (Default)
SA invited me to hear Noa, an Israeli singer she introduced me to. I wasn't totally convinced I like her enough to be worth seeing live, but I wanted the excuse to spend the evening with SA, so I agreed.

fusion music done well )

I am very glad indeed that I let myself be persuaded into attending, because she's really special live. Now I need to get to sleep, because I am going to Germany straight from work tomorrow, and haven't packed or anything. I'm very, very excited about spending a weekend doing Progressive community building stuff in Berlin. Of all places; the conference looks exciting in its own right, but with that factor I just have to be there.
liv: cartoon of me with long plait, teapot and purple outfit (Default)
Wednesday night I went to the most amazing concert ever ever ever!

too much raving to call a review )
liv: cartoon of me with long plait, teapot and purple outfit (Default)
[ profile] redbird and some friends have set up a blog to collect songs that portray healthy love. This is a fun game; I think there are more songs about breakups than about happy relationships, but even among songs that are supposed to be positive, there is a lot of sexism, stalkery possessiveness, co-dependence, deeply back-handed compliments and other such junk. So, can you think of any songs which describe a relationship you'd be willing to aspire to?

My suggestions: Nothing else matters (Metallica); Independent love song (Scarlet); Hey there Delilah (Plain White Ts); When I was a boy (Dar Williams); and If I could save time in a bottle (Jim Croce).

I'm making a playlist of some of the suggestions, but as usual it's pretty random what is available at any given moment.
liv: cartoon of me with long plait, teapot and purple outfit (Default)
VNV Nation are fantastic live. Just real artists, wow.

concert review including girlie stuff about clothes )

Oh, and I have no voice left at all, cos when there was no room to move I was screaming instead of jumping!
liv: ribbon diagram of a p53 monomer (p53)
I've spent this week learning how to be a better microscopist. microphotography )

Not a particularly major event, but something to note: Making Light posted a link to kd lang singing Hallelujah. If you haven't heard this already, you really should; it's the first time I've been motivated to find software for saving YouTube videos (though really I only want the soundtrack, the video is just of a concert at Sidney Opera House). I am a purist about that song; I care too much about Leonard Cohen's original to like most covers. And I don't generally like kd lang all that much. But this performance is seriously awesome. And then there was some discussion about Cohen covers and I found out that the Jennifer Warnes cover album Famous blue raincoat has been rereleased. And it's even on eMusic, so now I have a copy of Warnes' duet with Cohen himself, Joan of Arc, where she sings Joan and he sings the fire. [ profile] rysmiel played it to me when I was in Montréal in 2005, and it is just about the most emotionally powerful song I have ever heard.

On the planning front, well. I tend to stress about travel more than is really required, and in this case I'm not nearly as pre-organized as I would like to be. However, I have booked all the travel from here to London via Finland, Estonia, Germany, Holland and briefly Belgium, and all the accommmodation I need at the stopover points. That's the important thing. I reckon once I'm in England I can be flexible and if some of my planned meetups don't work out, well, it's a pain that I don't get to see people I'd hoped to see, but at least I won't be stranded. And I haven't planned what I'm going to do in any of the cities on my whistle-stop tour of northern Europe. But if I'm only going to be in each city for between a few hours and a day and half, I think I can get away with just wandering around and soaking up the atmosphere, rather than going to specific Tourist Sites. (I have to do it all on a 64Mb camera memory, which should be an interesting discipline, as apparently they no longer make the cards that fit my camera.)

Not connected to anything else at all, but while I'm posting, have a link to the writer Catherynne M Valente's thoughtful and personal essay on porn.
liv: cartoon of me with long plait, teapot and purple outfit (Default)
Back when I first started blogging, there used to be a thing called "Friday Five" where you would answer a series of five questions as a way to generate content when you couldn't think of much else. I never did this Friday Five four years ago when it was doing the rounds, and for some reason it popped up into my brain recently. I think it's because I've been expanding my music collection a bit via emusic, and because the listy format appeals to that part of my brain.

playlists ) Five songs you're really digging right now
  • Hem: Radiation vibe
      I heard this on Pandora just before it was blocked to US only, and the singer's voice grabs my heartstrings while the melody is really catchy.
  • Catie Curtis: People look around
      I don't normally bother with songs about US politics, but Curtis' voice made me sit up and take notice, and then I realized that the lyrics are very clever too. Another Pandora find.
      If they can keep us fighting another endless war,
      How many tears before the truth cannot be ignored?
      And the truth is bigger than these drops of rain, falling,
      Falling in the ocean
  • VNV Nation: Chrome
      Both Judgement and Matter + Form are on emusic, to my great delight. I love both albums, probably the most recent, Judgement, more as an album but some of the tracks on Matter + Form from 2005 are absolutely sublime. I thought Futureperfect was great until I heard these. It was [ profile] rysmiel who introduced me to VNV Nation.
  • Peter and the Wolf: Killing Time
  • Modernaire: Faites tes jeux [sic]
      I've been scouring [ profile] j4's and [ profile] blue_mai's journals for music recs, and those are the two tracks that have grabbed me most just now. There are several others though, so thank you both.
I'm not a great believer in pressuring people to do memes. If you like this one, you're very welcome to it. I think I probably picked it up from [ profile] darcydodo, but I filled it before going back to look up the details so my memory wasn't precisely accurate. The same goes for some of the lyrics, they might be a bit misheard or misremembered.
liv: cartoon of me with long plait, teapot and purple outfit (Default)
There is a fantastic early music festival going on at the moment. They seem to be defining "early" music to include baroque, whereas I would have used to the term to cover pre-Bach material. But that's ok, because I like baroque as well as early.

concert reviews )
liv: cartoon of me with long plait, teapot and purple outfit (Default)
So, Levellers gig. Not an easy one to review; I bounced and bounced and bounced and screamed until I was hoarse and relived the emotions associated with most of the past fifteen years and sweated and bounced and it was loud and a lot more primal than verbal.

babble )

All in all, a brilliant night, and thanks so much to [ profile] ploni_bat_ploni for agreeing to come along to a concert of a group she didn't previously know.
liv: cartoon of me with long plait, teapot and purple outfit (Default)
Verdict: Very cool, really quite subtle and intricate.

Reasons for listening to it: I already knew some Joy Division (thanks, Russian M), which I'm fond of, so I thought I might sample some more.

How it came into my hands: Library

detailed review )

I think I might look out for a copy of this one to own.


Miscellaneous. Eclectic. Random. Perhaps markedly literate, or at least suffering from the compulsion to read any text that presents itself, including cereal boxes.

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