I just finished listening to the Pet Shop Boys “The Parlophone Years” documentary/mixtape presentation at the BBC. It’s quite good and the interview bits run the expected gamut from informative to amusing to introspective, and you get bits and pieces of songs from nearly the entirety of their career. (They left EMI/Parlophone shortly before releasing their 2013 album, Electric.)
There are three main musical acts at the core of my library. Genesis (and most of its solo offshoots), Midnight Oil, and the Pet Shop Boys. Of those, only one remains active. What this documentary program reminded me of is that for basically my entire music-purchasing life I’ve been fortunate enough to get a new PSB record every so often, and nearly every time I’ve found something to enjoy about the new record. That’s a thirty-year-plus run of superb songcraft.
“Opportunities.” “Suburbia.” “It’s a sin.” “Left to my own devices.” “Always on my mind.” “Domino dancing.” “How can you expect to be taken seriously?” “So hard.” “Being boring.” “I wouldn’t normally do this kind of thing.” “Single.” “Yesterday, when I was mad.” “Closer to heaven.” “Integral.” “The Sodom and Gomorrah Show.” “Pandemonium.” “Did you see me coming?” “Love etc.” “Leaving.” “The pop kids.”
And that’s just selections you can hear bits of in the program linked above, to say nothing of, let’s say, “The end of the world” or “The Theatre” or “Metamorphosis” or “Up against it” or “To step aside” (look, Bilingual is an amazing album, okay?) or “Minimal” or “Twentieth Century” and so forth.
I feel like I’ve reconnected just a bit with one of the key threads woven into the fabric of my conscious life. Not a bad way to spend part of a day off, yeah? Yeah.
I’m back in the fediverse again. This time I’m not running my own instance. Though I tried. Boy did I try. I tried using the Docker method of building a Mastodon instance, which back when I was running the old ‘frell.co’ site was the preferred method (which of course I didn’t use when I built ‘frell.co’, ha ha). Oh, apparently that’s old hat and doesn’t really work anymore, great! I tried using the new official install instructions and… that didn’t work either. I gave up. (Which is a shame because I hoped to use a great domain name for it. Ah well. I’ll figure out something else to do with ‘earworm.me’ eventually.)
So I’m using someone else’s instance. We’ll see how it goes.
I’m still most active on Twitter but with every passing month it becomes more of a dumpster fire so having an exit strategy in place seems like a good idea. Here’s hoping it all pans out.
I ding 45 next month. This is just a reminder that if you’re feeling overburdened by money (thanks, Marcus) you can send a trinket or something my direction…
45 is a good number, right? That’s the RPM of a music single on a turntable! Right.
Recently, Kyla and I started entering our libraries of books into Goodreads. After a few days of that, I started wondering if there was something along those lines but for music.
And this right here is where that train of thought led me.
What you see there, as of this writing, is the result of plugging three or so shelves’ worth of information into the RateYourMusic system. Most of the editions were already there, I just had to pick and rate and tag. No problem! On the other hand… most of my Depeche Mode singles from before the Violator album are the 1988 German pressings, not the later 1991 “silver ring” motif versions. Very few of the 1988s were in the system, so guess who got to enter those all in?
Yeah, and I’d do it again, too. I’m weird that way.
At some point my whole CD shelf will be in there, probably by the time I’m done with my impending staycations this month…
Kyla loves the Guild Wars 2 MMO game. I mean, I like it too, but she likes and plays the game far, far more than I do. Which is fine, it’s good to have something fun to do.
In the game, one of the fantastical races are called Quaggans. They’re sort of little aquatic blobs with funny voices. Kyla bought herself a purple plush one to add to the stuffed-critter menagerie in the apartment.
Guess who received a grey quaggan for Christmas?
So, last weekend she took the Amtrak Cascades northward to visit folks for a post-Christmas kind of thing, leaving me alone. Well, alone if you don’t count the new grey quaggan, along with all the other stuffed what-have-yous.
I took this as an opportunity to post a silly little photo series on Instagram, which I’ve replicated for posterity in this gallery. Enjoy, won’t you?
Kylanath and I went to see that new War In The Stars movie thing. In a theater, no less.
My spoiler-free reaction?
I liked “The Force Awakens”, mainly due to how incredibly fun and engaging the new characters are. Also, it’s occasionally an incredibly pretty film, what with the panoramic backgrounds full of crashed Imperial Star Destroyers and what-not. (Be cynical on your own turf. I’m not immune to well-done nostalgia.)
On an almost unrelated note, one of the things I realized that I can do with this site is to tell you, dear reader, about things I like. Sure, this was always supposed to be a journal. (Was I ever good at journal-ing? Probably not.) But back while it was a more active web location, this site served the same function for me that Twitter does now: Quick thoughts, and links to stuff elsewhere on the Internets that I find amusing/informative/etc.
So. Let’s do more of that latter thing, the linky-ness. And to tie this back into today’s theme, I’m going to link to the Xanadu Cinema Pleasure Dome podcast’s website. This past Thursday they put up an episode all about the aforementioned new movie, and I agree with pretty much all of their reactions, so listening to them for an hour will give you a good idea how I feel. (I’m 100% less tipsy than they were when they recorded, mind you.) And if that’s not enough, I wrote a blog post’s worth of comment on their post. Ahem.
Be aware, if you haven’t seen the movie yet, do that first and then follow this link to the “KlaxOn! KlaxOff!” episode of the Xanadu Cinema Pleasure Dome. Enjoy, won’t you?