Monday 25 November 2013

Thats Mucked Up The Alphabetical-ness

You've got to have a system.
Marlon Brando, Suzanne Dando - thats how I remember it.
(c) Harry Hill

As has been mentioned in these venerable pages (?) before, the music collection is organised strictly by alphabet, with a sub-filing order of chronology.
And it works wonderfully.  If my eyes alight on the garish pink spine of the Sex Pistols "Never Mind The Bollocks", I know I'm only a few steps away from a Siouxsie and The Banshees album.  Similarly, if I am drawn to the chunky spine of Jeff Buckley's Grace (2 CDs and a DVD, yet its thicker than a double CD case), I know I'm in the correct area to find the Buzzcocks.
Anyway, you get the idea ... everything is in its place, easy to find, and all is well in the world.

But what does one do when an artist or band changes their name mid-career?
When Generation X became abbreviated to Gen X, with a slight bending of the rules, chronology and alphabetic principles can be applied.
When Madness became The Madness, this too was no issue as the rules are that 'The' is dropped to maintain order (except in the case of The The), otherwise the 'T' section would be massive.
The Tyrannosaurus Rex to T.Rex conundrum?  Simple.  The two bands are in effect the same band, so the chronology rule applies.
Joy Division and New Order? Although very similar in both (initial) sound and personnel are two different bands, so are filed under 'J' and 'N' respectively.

And then you got those who just go all out to confuse.  "Original Soundtracks" by Passengers, is effectively a U2 album appearing between "Zooropa" and "Pop".  But, it isn't 'really' a U2 album.  There is a whole different concept going on here, so that one is filed away from the others in the discography
And you can't have this discussion without mentioning the most notorious name changer in pop.  Prince/Squiggle/TAFKAP - fortunately I don't own any CDs bearing any of those names, so that particular headache is non-existent.

For the last year or so, I have been gradually building up the collection of John Wesley Harding releases, and discovered that he would be releasing/has released a new album in September 2013.
And now it's arrived, and he has returned to his given name of Wesley Stace.  So, my question now is do I file the CD under 'S' (as would be correct), or under 'H' with his other releases (or would seem chronologically logical)?
To quote the esteemed philosopher D P Gumby: "My Brain Hurts".
(I might file it under 'W' just to be awkward, but then the equilibrium in the universe may be disturbed, a time hole opened up and the last 25 years of history eradicated.  This means no-one may ever read this diatribe of kack flowing from my fingertips.)

The album itself is somewhat different  to his previous releases.  It is more personal and more mellow than previous releases, sparser in sound and giving a more intimate, close up feel.  And maybe it is "the shock of the new", but I think it's one of his best collections.

From the new album: "When I Knew"

Still don't know where to file it though.
"Is it important?", I hear you ask.
I think you can probably guess what my answer to that question may be.

Thursday 7 November 2013

Come On Brain, Don't Fail Me Now

Most of my music or DVD purchases are through Amazon (other on-line retailers are available), Record Fairs, Car Boot Sales and Charity Shops.  But, there is a certain indefinable "something" about spending a good couple of hours mooching around a shop unit stacked high with vinyl, CDs, books and sundry memorabilia.
And so today I vistied just such an emporium and began, idly flicking through a couple of the racks to see if there was anything new or interesting to be snaffled up.
And then ... complete brain failure.  I had no true idea what I was actually looking for.  My carefully thought out and planned list of "stuff" was no longer in my head.  It appears to have escaped somewhere between leaving the house and standing in the shop.  It's probably been left on the bus, although that is one item of lost luggage it may be difficult to reclaim.

And what's worse is that this is not the first occasion in recent memory that this has happened.
The solution?  Much like a boy scout, a policeman or a train-spotter, I have taken to writing everything down in a notebook, and rarely leave the house without said book or a pen (apart from tying a reef knot or polishing your woggle, this is one of the few "life lessons" that I gained from the Scouts).

Ladies and Gentlemen, I present, as a solution to my ageing and fading brain cells:

The Rigid Digit Book Of Knowledge

A grandiose name for a well thumbed, raggedy edged A7 size Notebook, bought i a supermarket for the princely sum of 59p.
The book now extends into it's third volume, and contains notes, scribblings and thoughts - stuff to do, phone numbers, the measurements of the space where a washing machine goes in the kitchen, a recipe for Steak and Kidney Pudding, and various car insurance or home insurance quotes.  (Note: I'm not that daft and the book does not contain any PINs or Bank Account numbers).
I suppose the next stage is to organise the pages better, so I can at least find what I jotted down in a moment of enlightenment, or desperation to remember.  Some of the stuff has even made it's way onto here.

Maybe it is just a factor of being 30-13 that short term memory is fading, and yet I can still recall the FA Cup Final Scores, and the team line-ups for each match since 1970, the names and order of all 31 Carry On Films, the catalogue numbers for all Iron Maiden singles and albums up to (and including) "Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son", and the words to Carter USM's 'Sherrif Fatman'.  Not useful information, I'll grant you, but there may come a day when this sort of knowledge may prove useful.
But for now, I need the support of my book to help me avoid the "Standing In The Shop Looking Like A Loony" scenario.
Hmm ... My Book - that would make a great title for a song.
Oh, it already has. And here it is:

The Beautiful South - My Book

The Beautiful South were formed by Paul Heaton and Dave Hemingway following the demise of The Housemartins.  The band was always intended to have dual vocalists, but following recording of the debut album Brian Corrigan was added as a full-time third vocalist.  The songs were strightforward, sometimes humour filled (albeit at times in a dark, black comedy style), often barbed and/or cynical commentaries.

If you haven't heard much of the band, seek out a copy of the two compilations "Carry On Up The Charts" and "Solid Bronze".
And if you still have some spare cash, invest in a copy of "Golddiggas, Headnodders and Pholk Songs".  OK, its a Covers album, but don't let that put you off.  The ecelcticness of the choices puuls you in ('Youre The One That I Want', 'Dont Fear The Reaper' and 'Blitzkrieg Bop', all done Beautiful South-stylee).