Saturday, February 19, 2005

Muses on Music

Saturday 18 February 2005.Muses On Music
Been preoccupied.A little.Trying to compile a music survey.To choose 5 singles.Intolerably difficult.Somewhat problematic.Totally pointless and of no real consequence.Perhaps.But it did get me thinking and encouraged me to re-read Nick Hornby's "31 Songs".
He describes his relationship with music thus"Sometimes very occassionally songs,books,films and pictures express who you are perfectly.And they dont do this in words or or images necessairly; the connection is a lot less direct and more complicated than that."
Indeed.Ive been wondering what factors determine whether one song makes the top 5 while another tune gets discarded.Is it the associations and the fact that it retains memories beyond its 3 minute length?Do you take into account its durability though as Hornby says"a 3 minute song can only withhold its mysteries for so long".Do you factor in the number of times you play it on a weekly or monthly basis?or count or discount the fact you play it to cheer yourself up or motivate or inspire or even use it like an emotional blanket and wallow in some musically assisted depression?
Then again should I care my final choices will be met with ridicule or derivise snorts.Obviviously not.One mans Dylan is another mans Prince.How can you defend or put into words something so deeply personal.Needless to say its taking longer than I imagined to whittle it down to 5 singles.

Literature vs Pulp Fiction
Some books like some music remains with you.You return to them.Weeks or months later.You marvel at a certain phrase or word choice.You wonder how the author came up with that combination.Ponder,even read it aloud, examining it like some precious stone or painting.You even shamelessly drop it into conversations whether its appropriate or not!
Other books less well crafted and roughly hewn are consequently less memorble and require less effort to read.You consume them as you would fast food and they produce the same short term satisfaction.Again theres a parallel with pop music which the eminently quotable Mr Hornby states"nearly all of it trashy,repetitive,slickly produced,inane,and juvenile."
Like most things in life a healthy balance of pulp and well-crafted literature is essential.
The odd fix of Clancy,Grisham and their ilk lets one appreciate more weighty authors.I cant deny I derive enjoyment and relaxation from so-called airport bookstore writing.A constant diet of Dickens or Woolf would blunt and dull my appreciation of their skills and my enthusiasm to devote the required concentration would similarly decline.

Random Thoughts
While Im all in favor of the convenience and ease of downloading music via the internet I dont think the thrill of finding some lost treasure buried deep in the bowels of some decreipt shop can be dismissed easily.Browsing in a cd store last weekend I came across the latest offering from ex Talking Heads frontman David Bryne.I wasnt looking for it specifically.In fact I doubt if Id have found it on the internet.
Not only does downloading lack any real social interaction but Id rather have something physical I can hold and take home to play rather than some digital zeros and noughts stored on my hard drive.Still try and tell that todays generation.. I sound like a dinosaur!

I realised the other day I havent really written anything in detail about my current employment so this lapse shall be the subject of several bytes in the near future....

Monday, February 07, 2005

`Willows Are Never Broken By The Snow` (Ancient Japanese Proverb Nobody Knows)

7 February 2005 Monday
February 3... Setsubun.Supposed to be the start of Spring in the traditional Japanese calendar.Of course it coincides with the coldest week of the year weatherwise.We had snow Wednesday.About 5cm.Just enough to be irritating.Trains were delayed.The balcony was covered in a thin layer of powder snow.My cacti sulked.

Random Thoughts.
Went out for dinner this week.Out by subway for 20minutes into the depths of Nagoya.One of the outer most suburbs.Complete with its own Gap, English schools, supermarkets and coffee shops.
Which got me to thinking..Where does one take girls who work at Starbucks for coffee?
Me: You wanna go for a coffee.?
Her:Duh thats original havent you noticed Im working as a slave for 800yen an hour serving overpriced mediocre lukewarm bean dust in paper cups ?

(sigh... probably wasnt going to work anyway)

During the week I watched the classic western "The Big Country".Gregory Peck`s character was nicknamed "The Dude" on account of his fancy clothes by one of the uncouth tobacco chomping cowboys.I wonder if the character in the Coen Brothers movie `The Big Lebowski` is a nod to that movie..a kind of homage of sorts.

Ive been parking my bicycle besides this old battered blue womens bicycle for the last 3 weeks or so.Its been carefully locked and has another chain and lock tethering it to the metal gate.It doesnt appear to have moved since I first noticed it.
How did it get there?
Why is it still there?
What happened to its rider? Was it stolen?Is it abandoned?
To be left.Collected by some zealous city worker .To end its days rusting.In North Korea.Where it will no doubt be sent to spend its final days.