Dig Your Own Hole

Updates aren’t very frequent, mainly because the Uber-Ultra-Secret Project is currently eating my life. I don’t know if it’s the lack of anything major to distract me (both in a positive and a negative way) or if it’s simply that I’m becoming obsessed, but it’s certainly getting very difficult to not work on it. I’m feeling the need to write as a compulsion which, to be honest, kind of new for me – I’m usually exceptionally good at finding excuses not to, but at the moment I can barely be stopped. I’ve got some proofreading coming up this week, which is going to help take my mind off things for a while (structure is sometimes very, very useful), and I’ve worked out that with all the money I’ve got coming in, I can currently survive up until the beginning of July – admittedly, that’s on a damnably tight budget and not really having anything that closely resembles a ‘life’, but it’s also meaning I can do things like my work on the Secret Project, and that I’m not going to have to go and get a horrible day job quite yet (My fingers are remaining crossed that this doesn’t end…). So for now, this is me- poised at my keyboard, and typing like the very forces of hell are right behind me.

On a musical note, I’ve actually been able to pick up a stack of CDs in the last month or so for extremely equitable prices (the highest price I paid for any of them was £3) – I’ve notched up Pet Sounds by The Beach Boys (which is possibly a little too retro for my tastes), Neon Bible by Arcade Fire (big, epic, passionate and doomy, it’s widescreen rock that’s a long way from the kind of middle-of-the-road nonsense that currently pollutes the airwaves), Ta-Dah by Scissor Sisters (which I think has to be officially labelled as a disappointment – I love their first album, but this is very samey, and I’ve yet to make it all the way through without getting bored), Pretty Odd by Panic at the Disco (exceeedingly Beatles-esque and very good fun, but it’s not quite varied enough to work as a Sgt. Pepper take-off – once I get beyond the halfway point, all the songs start sounding the same), The Black Parade is Dead! by My Chemical Romance (A Live album which is pretty good, and I’m developing a bizarre soft spot for MCR, slightly helped by the fact that the comic book MCR frontman Gerard Way is writing – The Umbrella Academy – is damn good stuff), Dig Your Own Hole by The Chemical Brothers – (A massive, huge electro album that’s epic enough to excuse the couple of tracks that are really just burbly filler – climactic track ‘The Private Psychedelic Reel’ is like a galaxy-warping cross between ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’ by the Beatles and the ‘Through the Stargate’ sequence from 2001: A Space Oddyssey), Greatest Hits Volume 2 by Madonna (Nowhere near as good as The Immaculate Collection – also covers a much smaller time and shows that between Vogue and the ‘Ray of Light’ album, she really didn’t do much of note. It was £1.50, that’s my excuse…), Speakerboxxx/The Love Below by Outkast (an absurdly sprawling double album that’s far too long and simultaneously shows everything that’s both right and wrong with US hip hop/R+B – the comedy interludes get wearing, and there’s a bit too much jazz noodling on The Love Below, but there’s also some genuinely brilliant stuff here, and Speakerboxxx is a fantastically listenable rap album crammed to bursting with hooks. I liked this a lot more than I expected, and if they’d sliced it down to one album it would be downright amazing), and Parade by Prince and the Revolution (An album that has the bad luck to be the ‘soundtrack’ to Prince’s bloody awful movie Under The Cherry Moon – especially annoying since it’s an absolutely brilliant album, showcasing exactly how good a musician Prince was back in his mid-Eighties glory days (and, I would say, how much better he was with decent collaborators. Things weren’t quite the same once Wendy & Lisa jumped ship and the ‘Revolution’ ended).It’s the kind of album that runs the gamut of almost every available style, and among the camp funk and gorgeous pop (this is the album where you’ll find ‘Kiss’), there’s also ‘Sometimes It Snows In April’, an absolute heartbreaker of a ballad that once again persuades me that melancholy strikes a strong chord with me at the moment…). I think that’ll be enough to occupy me for a while…

3 thoughts on “Dig Your Own Hole

  1. We must talk music when next we meet. Most of your list is either (a) stuff I like or (b) stuff I reckon I might like, and I want to know more about (or, ideally, hear). ‘Dig Your Own Hole’ is permanently up in t’garret as writing music; in fact I like it to much I named a starship after a track on it (no, not that one, obviously, that would be a silly name for a starship … unless I was writing in the Culture, of course).
    Still not sure how much help I can be with the sekrit projekt, as I’m currently neck-deep in my own, but I’ll keep you informed.

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    • Honestly – don’t panic about the sekrit project if you can’t do it. I’m feeling a bit more confidant about it anyhow (and have actually ended up doing some pretty significant changes in the last couple of days – hey ho…). I’d hugely appreciate your input, but I won’t hide in the corner in a sulk if you genuinely can’t do it.
      Definitely up for a music talk – and glad to hear some of my list intrigued you. I do like having relatively eclectic music tastes, and taking a gamble on stuff is often really good fun (especially when it’s only costing you £3) – the Arcade Fire album is actually the first time I’ve bought an album without hearing any of the tracks – I’d heard plenty about it, but I decided to take a punt on it and it turned out well. I’m presuming your starship name was either Setting Sun or Piku? (Although I can’t help feeling that however Banksian, there are some great potential spaceship names on the Dig Your Own Hole tracklist).
      Hope recovery from the lurghi is proceeding well.

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      • I reckon I will have time for helping in ye project, but it’ll be a couple of weeks before I can be do much. When and if I’ll check with you for the latest version.
        I got a (dodgy) copy of the Arcade Fire album after seeing them on the TV coverage of Glastonbury , which we watch every year from the comfort of our living room, after having first laid in a supply of scrumpy and hidden the loo roll to give at least a faint air of authenticity.
        The ship name I stole is ‘Setting Sun’.
        I’m now pretty much recovered thanks – in fact I’m having a weekend away and am typing this from a living room in Lancaster (yes, further north than you, even!)

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