Archive for the '1. listen' Category

Do Your Thing

Sunday, May 21st, 2017

Do your thing
Be fancy-free to call the tune you sing

Don’t give up
That’s not the way to win a loving cup

Do your best
And opportunity will do the rest

Don’t give in
Capitulation is the greatest sin

Do what’s right
What’s right for you to do with all your might

Don’t regret
What might have been you might as well forget

Stand your ground
And while you’re standing there be duty-bound

Learn to wait
And while you’re waiting learn to concentrate

Make amends
All enemies I call potential friends

Calm your fears
And hope to cope at least a hundred years

Make your mark
If need be even make it in the dark

Mum’s the word
My sage advice pretend you haven’t heard

Moondog

Humble

Monday, May 1st, 2017

Leonard Cohen used to gather the members of his band and road crew together 30 minutes before showtime, and encourage a group recitation of a very humble Latin verse, “Pauper sum ego, nihil habeo,” which means, “I am poor, I have nothing.”

Fraser McAlpine

Miracle

Tuesday, January 5th, 2016

There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.

Albert Einstein

Yin & Yang

Monday, July 27th, 2015

In the dark street light
of Hornsey Lane Bridge
(aka Suicide Bridge)
a boy sits quietly
on the pavement

I tell the police

1/2 an hour later
in the bright lights of an underground train
friends laugh loudly
a ring appears
a guy proposes

I tell a friend

Very Good Italian

Monday, May 18th, 2015

I have a theory that deadlines are responsible for most good art. Deadlines are good because they stop you overcooking something. Albums that take years to make are like bad French food, where it has been so long in the preparation that everything is dead by the time it reaches you, whereas my dream of how to make music is like they make food in a busy Italian restaurant. They have fantastic ingredients and they do as little to them as possible. They just get them hot, put them together and give it to you.
I once took a band that I was about to produce, after they had made a laboured and complicated album, for dinner in a very good Italian restaurant, and I arranged with the restaurant manager to take them into the kitchen. So I sat them down to dinner and said ‘Now I want to show you how we are going to make your next record’, and I took them all into the kitchen and it was just chaos with flames, and cooks and waiters doing things really quickly. It was exciting.

Brian Eno

Exercise

Sunday, April 12th, 2015

Promised myself I would not let exercise be the first thing to go by the wayside when I got busy with Girls Season 5 and here is why: it has helped with my anxiety in ways I never dreamed possible. To those struggling with anxiety, OCD, depression: I know it’s mad annoying when people tell you to exercise, and it took me about 16 medicated years to listen. I’m glad I did. It ain’t about the ass, it’s about the brain.

Lena Dunham

Pop

Thursday, April 2nd, 2015

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Going out

Friday, March 20th, 2015

He came into studio and recorded this ballad. It starts with spoken word. Prince is speaking to Wally, a dancer in his crew. He’s telling him, “I want go out tonight and meet someone new.” He goes into this chorus. It’s beautiful, just beautiful. There’s a crescendo. The song gets huge. It breaks down. He says, “I’m not going out any more.” The background vocal arrangements, the expression of it was just gorgeous. Of course he played all the instruments. We finished recording the song and then Prince said to me, “Erase it.”‘ He said it very calmly. I could feel the fan in me screaming “No!” I said, “Think about it. Wait til tomorrow at least.” He reached over and hit record. He erased it. It was gone.

Susan Rogers

Moon Under Water

Tuesday, March 17th, 2015

My favourite public-house, the Moon Under Water, is only two minutes from a bus stop, but it is on a side-street, and drunks and rowdies never seem to find their way there, even on Saturday nights.

Its clientele, though fairly large, consists mostly of ‘regulars’ who occupy the same chair every evening and go there for conversation as much as for the beer.

If you are asked why you favour a particular public-house, it would seem natural to put the beer first, but the thing that most appeals to me about the Moon Under Water is what people call its ‘atmosphere’.

To begin with, its whole architecture and fittings are uncompromisingly Victorian. It has no glass-topped tables or other modern miseries, and, on the other hand, no sham roof-beams, ingle-nooks or plastic panels masquerading as oak. The grained woodwork, the ornamental mirrors behind the bar, the cast-iron fireplaces, the florid ceiling stained dark yellow by tobacco-smoke, the stuffed bull’s head over the mantelpiece — everything has the solid, comfortable ugliness of the nineteenth century.

In winter there is generally a good fire burning in at least two of the bars, and the Victorian lay-out of the place gives one plenty of elbow-room. There are a public bar, a saloon bar, a ladies’ bar, a bottle-and-jug for those who are too bashful to buy their supper beer publicly, and, upstairs, a dining-room.

Games are only played in the public, so that in the other bars you can walk about without constantly ducking to avoid flying darts.

In the Moon Under Water it is always quiet enough to talk. The house possesses neither a radio nor a piano, and even on Christmas Eve and such occasions the singing that happens is of a decorous kind.

The barmaids know most of their customers by name, and take a personal interest in everyone. They are all middle-aged women—two of them have their hair dyed in quite surprising shades—and they call everyone ‘dear,’ irrespective of age or sex. (‘Dear,’ not ‘Ducky’: pubs where the barmaid calls you ‘ducky’ always have a disagreeable raffish atmosphere.)

Unlike most pubs, the Moon Under Water sells tobacco as well as cigarettes, and it also sells aspirins and stamps, and is obliging about letting you use the telephone.

You cannot get dinner at the Moon Under Water, but there is always the snack counter where you can get liver-sausage sandwiches, mussels (a speciality of the house), cheese, pickles and those large biscuits with caraway seeds in them which only seem to exist in public-houses.

Upstairs, six days a week, you can get a good, solid lunch—for example, a cut off the joint, two vegetables and boiled jam roll—for about three shillings.

The special pleasure of this lunch is that you can have draught stout with it. I doubt whether as many as 10 per cent of London pubs serve draught stout, but the Moon Under Water is one of them. It is a soft, creamy sort of stout, and it goes better in a pewter pot.

They are particular about their drinking vessels at the Moon Under Water, and never, for example, make the mistake of serving a pint of beer in a handleless glass. Apart from glass and pewter mugs, they have some of those pleasant strawberry-pink china ones which are now seldom seen in London. China mugs went out about 30 years ago, because most people like their drink to be transparent, but in my opinion beer tastes better out of china.

The great surprise of the Moon Under Water is its garden. You go through a narrow passage leading out of the saloon, and find yourself in a fairly large garden with plane trees, under which there are little green tables with iron chairs round them. Up at one end of the garden there are swings and a chute for the children.

On summer evenings there are family parties, and you sit under the plane trees having beer or draught cider to the tune of delighted squeals from children going down the chute. The prams with the younger children are parked near the gate.

Many as are the virtues of the Moon Under Water, I think that the garden is its best feature, because it allows whole families to go there instead of Mum having to stay at home and mind the baby while Dad goes out alone.

And though, strictly speaking, they are only allowed in the garden, the children tend to seep into the pub and even to fetch drinks for their parents. This, I believe, is against the law, but it is a law that deserves to be broken, for it is the puritanical nonsense of excluding children—and therefore, to some extent, women—from pubs that has turned these places into mere boozing-shops instead of the family gathering-places that they ought to be.

The Moon Under Water is my ideal of what a pub should be—at any rate, in the London area. (The qualities one expects of a country pub are slightly different.)

But now is the time to reveal something which the discerning and disillusioned reader will probably have guessed already. There is no such place as the Moon Under Water.

That is to say, there may well be a pub of that name, but I don’t know of it, nor do I know any pub with just that combination of qualities.

I know pubs where the beer is good but you can’t get meals, others where you can get meals but which are noisy and crowded, and others which are quiet but where the beer is generally sour. As for gardens, offhand I can only think of three London pubs that possess them.

But, to be fair, I do know of a few pubs that almost come up to the Moon Under Water. I have mentioned above ten qualities that the perfect pub should have and I know one pub that has eight of them. Even there, however, there is no draught stout, and no china mugs.

And if anyone knows of a pub that has draught stout, open fires, cheap meals, a garden, motherly barmaids and no radio, I should be glad to hear of it, even though its name were something as prosaic as the Red Lion or the Railway Arms.

George Orwell

Puccini

Monday, March 16th, 2015

Puccini spent a lot of time being told he was sentimental. To which he muttered in Italian: ‘Who gives a fuck?’

Clive James