July 19th, 2005

And the bland played on.

The 6 Music strap-on social conscience is marginally more nauseating than I had expected, the 'life coach' appearing on the breakfast show is remarkably vacuous. At least the Phil(l)s are gently taking the piss out of it. However one of the trailers was on the lines of 'bored with your job, why not become a musician?' Now, aside from the probability of this not working, the last thing that the world needs is people who want to 'be musicians' rather than to make music. There seems to be a lot of this about at the moment.
There were a couple of insights along this line in this month's iWord magazine, Grace Slick said something about there being millions of people who want to be musicians now, whereas there were just 20 bands back then and they all knew each other and what they were doing and got plenty of work, whilst Brian Eno said that the depressing thing is that he gets sent lots of music which is 'kind of OK', and that 'really awful' would be much better.

I suspect that Garage Bland has much to blame for this. I blagged a sample copy of a book on Garage Bland from a friend who had a fine selection of review copies of Mac books, but recoiled in horror.

In many ways this was why I got rid of my synthesiser, that I thought I could probably produce semi-decent music with it but that actually I had nothing to say.

Having said this about there being lots of semi-OK music, I have a game I play with the free music CDs that come with iWord magazine. I listen to it with the aim of listening to at least one minute of each track and then allocate points as follows
1 - could not stand a minute
2 - stood a minute but gave up before the end of the track
3 - managed the whole track but would not want to hear it again
4 - would listen to it again and would possibly consider mentioning to other people (e.g. t__m__i )
5 - would seek out further music from the same artist / band

I usually do this in the car so am not able to make tasting notes, so I think I need a voice recorder or to do this at home. The average score per CD must be about 2, but then the music is a little too 'Radio 2' for my tastes (yes Virginia, there is clear blue water between Radio 2 and 6 Music - possibly not quite enough but it is there).

Not, you understand, that I have anything anyone being in music (or writing, software, making toast, whatever) for the money - just that in the case of music I suspect it isn't very good. In the case of writing I suspect that people who 'want to be writers' rather than 'to write' just don't write (I don't want to be a writer, I am also quite lazy so don't write very much, but the novel does have a bona fide plot now).

TV studies exam question

Your TV studies exam question for the day.
"With reference to Big Brother 2005, does Derek's belief that there is a mole in the house make him more or less suitable as leader of the Conservative Party? Is the level of paranoia a desirable trait for a politician? Show your working."

Remember, he could be out of the house, someone could apply for the Chiltern Hundreds, there could be a by-election, and he could be partly leader by the end of the year, assuming the good burghers of the town selected don't switch to the Lib Dems or whoever.

Next question

Having found that the Nokia Ring Tone is from the middle of Grand Waltz by Francisco Tarrega, the question is who chose it and why?

Book limbo

It seems to me that it is a long time since we have been in the state where of my 'big 3' authors, only one has an announced forthcoming book - Coupland with jPod next year. Both Gibson and Stephenson (yes, Virginia, despite my revisionism and lack of interest in the Baroque cycle he is still on the list) are still being described as authors of their last works rather than their next weeks - in the case of Gibson this was true even in the latest Wired.
At least the new Fforde is out, which came as a pleasant surprise to me as I had forgotten about it when I happened upon a pile in Blackwells.
Not as big a pile as the piles of Harry Potter and the Half Arsed Prince sitting rather forlornly I thought in Blackwells, Borders and Tescos. Despite its alleged enormous success I predict deep discounting.