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Walking up mow with a meever

Dash has been walking around singing Silverchair’s ‘Straight Lines’ lately (and when I say ‘singing’ I mean moaning a bit and getting the words all wrong) so I downloaded it for him and then called him in to give him his ‘surprise’. He then pointed out to me that he doesn’t have any “rock” music on a CD. Which is true. He has plenty of Wiggles, some Rolf Harris, some Play School and some dodgy Yank CDs that were 2 bucks at Big W.

So we sat down at the Mac and I assembled a play list for him, of his choosing, and burnt it to a CD. It goes a little something like this:

1. Straight Lines – Silverchair
2. We Will Rock You – Queen
3. My Doorbell – The White Stripes
4. Chasing Pavements – Adele
5. You Can’t Always Get What You Want – Rolling Stones
6. 1234 – Feist
7. Road Rage – Catatonia
8. Pull Shapes – The Pipettes
9. I Don’t Feel Like Dancin’ – Scissor Sisters
10. That’s Not My Name – The Ting Tings
11. Just a Song About Ping Pong – Operator Please
12. Do Ya – Peaches

I scrawled ‘Dash’s rock’ on the CD and now every time we go out in the car he dutifully and rather hopefully brings it out and places it on the front seat for me to insert into the CD player.

It could have been a LOT worse.


Football while doing the dishes

I am always looking for excuses to post about sport and usually I am waiting for some kind of connection to books or writers because after all, this used to be a book blog.

Today I found AS Byatt writing about Euro 2008 and I knew I had another excuse. If you love football go and read it. If you love AS Byatt go and read it. If you love neither read it. Who knew she was so enamoured of football? I loved the article, she managed to sum up so much about why I love football, how I watch it and how it becomes a part of people’s lives, even those that read books.

I haven’t been watching a huge amount of Euro 2008 because I don’t have pay tv and theĀ  highlights show on SBS is at a time when there’s homework to be supervised, shirts to be ironed and cooking to be done. When I do manage to sit down Dash always manages to put himself between me and the telly and/or sit next to me with his arm draped tightly around my neck while he proceeds to ask me one hundred questions about the game.

What team are you going for Mummy? And which colour are they wearing? And why aren’t you going for the blue team, because that’s your favourite colour? I am going for all the teams, then I am always happy. And what’s the score? There’s no goals, this is sooo boring, don’t you think it’s boring Mummy? And what are we having for dinner? And why did he fall over? Why don’t you like that one Mummy? Is this the Swans? Well, they’re red, why isn’t this the Swans? Oh yes, the ball is round. Was that a goal? It looked like it went in the net! When are they going to get a gooooaaaaallll Mummmmmmyyyyyy?

And on and on. Eventually I give up. I’ll start making dinner while keeping one eye on the football and Les and Fozzie (that good Lismore boy).

The thing that I have really enjoyed about this tournament is the podcast. The Guardian and Five Live have produced podcasts that I dutifully download every day and then transfer to my iPod. I listen to them while I wash up. I will forever associate James Richardson‘s voice with being elbow deep in hot soapy water. I’ll miss them all when it’s all over, which will be by this time tomorrow.

I think it will be the (boringbut predictably efficient) Germans but I do hope the (rather more exciting but unpredictable) Spanish prevail.

Listening to: sigur ros

You know when you have heard of a band but haven’t really spent enough time listening to them to make you uber-familiar? And then when you do accidentally listen to them you are struck down with dumbness because they sum up exactly where you at, at that particular point in time? And you wonder why in heck you hadn’t listened before? And to admit not knowing them backwards and forwards does serious damage to your music cred?

Well, that’s where I’m at right at the moment with sigur ros.

Where have you been all my life?

Listen to Hoppipola

Welcome back cricket

The season crept up on me this year. The weather turned sour last weekend and the temperature has struggled to get above 20 since. So when I realised today was the first day of the First Test and the ABC was streaming Kerry O’Keefe et al right into my laptop at work, I plugged in the headphones and I immediately felt warmer, more relaxed and I could swear I smelt a touch of 30+ SPF.

When I heard Kerry O’Keefe explain away his interest in a player’s large legs, because ‘he’s a legs man’ I felt a little interest spark. Cricket has won back my heart and summer, my lovelies, is just around the corner.

The frisson of excitement just hadn’t been here this year. For a number of reasons. Life has been a little frantic. There is the split Test program, with Australia playing Sri Lanka and India rather than the exquisite pain that is 5 tests against single opposition. We’re not playing the Poms and we don’t have the blood lust that we had last year after that horrendous Ashes series in England. We don’t have the need to avenge the sight of English people winning (and I say that on behalf of peoples everywhere, not just Australia). All we’ve got is a secret wish that Murali doesn’t dare break Warne’s wickets record on AUSTRALIAN SOIL.

And here, I come to the secret crux of my lack of enthusiasm: the effing huge hole left by S.K. Warne. I do love McGill and as much as I think he has attitude (unlike some of the more automaton fast bowlers) and was glad he got the nod today ahead of Hoggy, he just doesn’t turn the ball as much. Or at least make us think he turns the ball as much. The potential of last season, the revenge, the swan-songs, the possible records, it was all a little bit special and quite possibly it is unreasonable to expect another season to live up it.

So, after Day 1 of the First Test at the Gabba, at stumps, it’s Australia 3/242 with Hussey not out on 28 and Clarke not out on 5. The day perhaps has belonged to Phil Jacques who has struggled to get a place in the Australian team for several years, despite good domestic form. With the retirement of Langer last year and an absolute shitload of runs scored in domestic matches this season he has been given another chance. Today, in his third test in the baggy green, he reached 100, only to be stumped before troubling the scorers again.

I look forward to tomorrow’s day of play and I do hope that you will join me.

Surround sound

I did something I haven’t done for a long time tonight: I bought myself two CDs. Music in the flesh. Not just downloaded through iTunes. Or got from wherever. My grandmother gave me some money for my birthday so I went to the record store and ran my eyes over all the shiny cases. Ran my fingers over the ones I found attractive. And then handed over some not-so-hard-earned and took home two CDs wrapped in a brown paper bag.

When I got home I took out the sleeves and looked at all the glossy pictures and the lyrics all laid out. You forget the ritual of reading lyrics when you download music. You don’t get to see the banality of some music made flesh. (However, I usually subscribe to the Pulp theory of lyrics, as is printed on many of their albums: “Please do not read the lyrics while listening to the recordings”. They have a point).

That’s one thing that I do enjoy about digital music, I listen, and that’s it. I don’t read lyrics, I don’t see imagery, I just hear the music and that’s what sells it to me. I have found it strangely regressive. It feels like the (very) old days when I just listened. It wasn’t about image, or reputation, or sex. It’s about music. (I have been rather relieved though to see that my selections made on sound have still kept my taste on the respectable side, if I may say so myself).

NME cover

Of course, digital music is still force fed to us with images. Alongside the music video telly shows, now there’s YouTube. You can watch music videos whenever you want. You can see artists’ television appearances, interviews, the lot. And of course, they’re all on MySpace.

At high school I used to visit the newsagent every day waiting for the three-month-old shipped-by-surface-mail NME to arrive. I would feed on it, not having even heard many of the bands. I used to pick some that seemed to sound ok in print, get their recordings through no small amount of effort and fashion myself around them. There weren’t many that I picked out that I ended up detesting. I’m sure my parents had to repaint my room when I left, such was the amount of blu-tac I used to stick up NME covers.

My consumption methods have changed, but tonight when I walked out of the shop I still felt the same old thrill and I had to admit, watching your tracks download from iTunes just doesn’t have the same kick.

(Oh yeah, what did I buy? Jamie T and Amy Winehouse. I wanted Patrick Wolf too but didn’t see it).

Running the world

Jarvis Cocker has made his own way while Pulp is on indefinite hiatus. I was wondering if he would do this and I found, by happy accident, that he has an album out. True to form, there is a track called ‘Running the world’ which doesn’t appear in the iTunes listing for the album but I believe is a ‘hidden’ track. It’s not much musically but I’ve been listening to it because it makes me say ‘f**k yeah!’ and basically, that’s enough for me. And none of those other preening b**ches are going to say it.

It’s not poetry, but don’t go over the fold if you have an aversion to the C-word.

Read More…

The idea of a university

BBC Radio 4 is running a series called ‘The idea of a university‘ which can be listened to via the web. It is based on UK unis but still might be of interest to some.

Martha Kearney looks at how our universities have been transformed by six decades of expansion. Has our idea of what a university is for changed?

Cross-posted on Templatedata.
Via Information Literacy.