Monday, June 12, 2006

Dharma Bum

Oh my, how embarrassing. I'm really rather ashamed of that last outburst. Sheepish, even. In this morning's warm, bright light it became even clearer how much I overreacted. Sigh. Yes, I was inconvenienced, but also had some very pleasant interactions with folks that I otherwise would not have had. Bad FiL, you should know better...

Many thanks to Colin and Monsieur Le Woof for their kind and helpful suggestions on how to soothe the seether. A big shout out also goes to my Bodhisattva Of The Week, Bishakh, for reminding me of the Dharma. Don't worry, Dear Readers, I'm not going to get all mystikal and wind-chimey on yo asses. But over the past couple of years I have found the Buddhist teachings in which I have dabbled rather helpful and practical in dealing with tough emotional situations. So for those of you so interested or intrigued, let me point you here, here, here and here. There, it's over.

And finally, a big thank you and much love go to my Darling Son (intrepid beyond his three years) and Dearest Father-In-Law for locating that which I had misplaced.

Anyway, on to what I originally wanted to share with you. This past Saturday Darling Daughter performed in her very first proper ballet recital, and it was a treat to watch. Dearest Wife and I were sooo proud, while Darling Daughter was sooo excited to be onstage. She and her troupe of fellow six-year-old ballerinas did a charming little number to that Ooh La La song from the cartoon film Anastasia. Oddly, however, the programme said they were supposed to be woodland nymphs - we failed to see the connection. Indeed, the show, captivating as it was, was most curiously scored; one group of ten-year-old jazz dancers performed to, and I kid you not, Nine Inch Nails's "The Hand That Feeds", while another posse hi-stepped to The Sweet's "Ballroom Blitz." Stonking, but most peculiar.

Nine Inch Nails - The Hand That Feeds (buy here)
The Sweet - Ballroom Blitz (buy here)

In other news, I have recently found myself at the receiving end of a stream of flattering e-mails from bands and their various impresarios offering up CDs and mp3s along with sweet words encouraging me to post them. The initial rush and reverie of hubris ("Moi? A bellwether of taste?? How grand!") very quickly gave way to an equal and opposite snapback reaction that I was simply a marketing channel, a mere billboard to advertise wares ("Hah! I won't be their capitalist stooge!!") Eventually sanity prevailed and I figured I might as well try what was put in front of me (as, indeed, we exhort the children to do). If I don't like it, I don't have to eat it...

Well, one of the tidbits I did try and quite like was a track by Black Fiction, a band out of the San Francisco area. "I Spread The Disease" is indeed a rather infectious, yet pleasant, dose of shambolic noodling with vocals that ordinarily would be way too 70s falsetto for my liking. Very appropriate for pootling along the coast in your multicoloured VW camper van.

Black Fiction - I Spread The Disease (visit here and here)

Dear Readers, I've also recently been playing on ye olde Victrola a monstrously good ditty from Brighton arty types, Shrag. "Pregnancy Scene" is full of starkly jagged guitars, shouty vocals, righteous lyrics, and spoookily wobbly, thereminesque keyboards. Most delish. They have a Myspace page, but I find their Fotolog and this here interview much more fun. Though they've been around for a few years, their output has been teasingly spaced out. However, they will be iminently releasing "Pregnancy Scene" as a double-A side 7-inch (how quaint!) with "Mark E. Smith" (yes, a song about that one) through the Rough Trade singles club. They are good, oh yes they are.

Shrag - Pregnancy Scene (umm, gave you all the links I have up above...)

Finally, you may have noticed I redecorated. The pea-green seemed so refreshing at first, but ended up making me nauseous in a Linda-Blair-Exorcist kinda way. Ah, impermanence. So simple indigo it is, redolent of dawns and dusks and vast oceans...

And so to sleep I go...