Broken Headphones

Nope, not a new band.  Just a consistent occurrence in my life!

I break headphones all the time.  It really is a giant pain.  Headphones were not designed to be used by me, I’m sure of it.  I think I must go through a set of headphones within a couple of months.  It’s never anything major, just that because they are always in my pocket the wires seem to fray, a loose connection is formed and all of a sudden I’m only hearing music through one ear – worse still is when the other ear is intermittent!  I’ve tried buying more expensive sets, but it really doesn’t matter the price of the headphones, because I am simply not careful enough and I end up damaging them in some way.  This always seems to result in the “one ear” phenomenon, which I absolutely detest.  I cannot cope listening to music in one ear.  It really bothers me.  It feels completely wrong and it actually freaks me out a little.  No, scratch that, a lot.  It freaks me out a lot.  It’s like frosted glass.  I cannot stand the feel of frosted glass.  Or it’s like wearing a watch or something on my right hand side.  I cannot bare it.  I feel imbalanced.  Everything to the left please. Yes, I know I am weird.  Especially given that I’m right handed.  Sometimes I feel like I was meant ot be left handed and just got it wrong.

Anyways, I just simply cannot listen to something in one ear, and it’s doubly bad if it’s the left ear that goes – then I’m just all over the place.  Needless to say, I have broken another set this morning and am now unable to listen to music at work.  Music is the only thing getting me through work at the moment, so to say I am gutted is a massive understatement.  I had a good few records to listen to today as well.  I just cannot do it though.  One ear is not enough.  It feels wrong.  I’ll just have to get to hmv as soon as possible and get another set asap, which I guarantee will be broken by March, if not before.  And the cycle will continue.

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A Tune A Day For 2011 #19

‘Goodbye, Dear Friend’ by Deertick, taken from last year’s ‘The Black Dirt Sessions’ because John McCauley’s vocal is brilliant and evocative and it’s an awesome song and record.

Dmitry Evgrafov – Lying On Your Shoulder

The first thing to say about this ep is, that if you like your classical music with a Russian flavour then you are going to really, really enjoy this.  Chris at Sonic Reverie writes probably my favourite blog out there.  He caters to my taste in music with the music he writes about and has alerted me to some real gems over the last year or two.  And, with his label, he has passed me some real gems too.  Released on Sonic Reverie Records this is not a record for those who don’t love classical music.  And though it will have a wide appeal I do think it’s a quite possibly a record for the pure classical fan.  What do I mean by this?  Well, I guess there is a distinction between modern/contemporary classical and old school classical.  I remember hearing purists complaining about Einaudi using laptops in his work and let’s face it, Einaudi borders closer to the old school than the contemporary.  Sure, he’s a contemporary composer, but he’s hardly a Library Tapes, Johann Johannsson or even Goldmund who immerse their work in technology, combining acoustic instruments and electronic equipment to great effect and crossing the divide of where classical electronic music collide.  Nope, this record is far more pure.  It’s old wordly and it is RUSSIAN.

This is not necessarily evident from the first notes of  opener ‘While The Glacier Melts’ but slowly and surely the piece builds and develops and as the strings enter the affair, the old quality and Russianness of the music becomes very evident.  It’s got character.  I know, I keep saying it’s old but I think I love this for precisely that reason.  I mean, I can imagine sitting in the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow, watching this work unfold on stage.  And make no mistake it’s a work.  Well, I wish I could imagine that as it looks like the most beautiful theatre, it would be an amazing experience.

Anyways, there is a beautiful coherence to this record.  A story unfolds as you follow the journey from beginning to end.  There is a drama to it all.  At times, it almost feels like it was composed with a specific story in mind.  Like Evgrafov is trying to tell a tale through the music.  A skill, which is perhaps often forgotten, and is one of days gone by, is the ability to tell a story through your music.  Evgrafov, for me, has achieved this with this work.  I can imagine this set against a play, or perhaps trying to tell the tale of a love that cannot be for instance.  I don’t know.  But this record creates imagery and stories in my head, and I think I love it for that very reason.  It’s not just stimulating my ears, but it’s inspiring my mind and making me think that in Dmitry Evgrafov, Chris may well have unearthed a fantastic talent because he is 17!!!  Yes, 17 years old and writing such mature and intelligent pieces of classical music.

It’s interesting to note that in his press release it earmarks Olafur Arnalds and Max Richter as influences.  I just don’t hear that.  I hear the influence of old classical musicians at work here.  I hear potential symphonies in the future.  I think this young man has a very big future ahead of him in the world of classical music.  He can play.  He can clearly compose.  I’d encourage everyone to go here and download this EP when it becomes available on 14 February 2011 because it is a simply brilliant piece of music from a very talented young man. Enjoy

A Tune A Day For 2011 #16

Mmm, had to think long and hard about this today because I’ve mainly been listening to new music, which I will be reviewing shortly.  However, since I had an e-mail in my inbox from David Moyes this morning when I got to work, I will go with ‘The Soft Place’ by The Scottish Enlightenment, which is a simply fantastic tune from their simply fantastic album ‘St. Thomas’.  Do check them out.

I’m Really Not Being Lazy…..

….it’s just that I have very little to write about at the moment.  I have been sent a couple of excellent records though, which should get reviewed in the next few days.  I just don’t want people thinking that this “Tune a Day” lark is all that the blog will feature from here on in!

I just think that when there’s nothing to say, it’s better to say nothing than to try and come up with some interesting things to write about.  So, you’ll just have to deal with my silence for now.  I’m sure it won’t last very long.  Just needing some inspiration and I’ll be back.

A Tune A Day For 2011 #14

Well, today it’s all about Radiohead.  Been listening loads to ‘Amnesiac’ and ‘Hail To The Thief’.  Today’s tune ‘Sail To The Moon’ is taken from the latter and is just a fabulous tune.  New record apparently may well happen this year.  Follow up to the fabulous ‘In Rainbows’.  Let’s hope that happens.