Friday, May 27, 2011

When The Stars Go Blue



I've been banging on about Israel Nash Gripka in various places, and I shall continue to bang on about him, because his new album, is rather fucking good. If you liked Ryan Adams earlier work, you might like it, not that you should think he is anything like Adams, he isn't; he has a similar voice, but is very distinct. Actually, he is also similar in that he has no fear of changing tone and pace. It's magnificent, anyway. Don't tell anyone about him until I've had a chance to see him live. I don't want a bunch of lightweights turning up to harsh my mellow.

A couple of years ago, me and the Mrs and the kids and some pals and their kids stumbled drunkenly (only me and my mate were drunk, actually) into a tent late at night. It was a Friday night, and it had been a very long day, driving, putting tents up, drinking, watching ace bands. We only popped into the tent on a whim: we found that everyone in there was dancing and smiling and looking glad to be alive, and, soon enough, so were we, because Herman Dune were on, and lighting the place up. I mention it, because they have a new album out, and the Guardian is streaming it, for free, and it is currently lighting my kitchen up.

I passed a test today. It was an online test. It was ridiculous. I didn't read anything, didn't put any effort in, skipped every section until I got to the actual test part. Oo er, I thought, I need 80% to pass, maybe I should have read at least a couple of the modules. Didn't matter. Passed with 98%. Would have been a hundred if I hadn't inadvertently clicked the wrong answer on one of them. It wasn't a lark, it was a proper, work related test, which now puts me in a position of some distinction, and I tell you, it is a worthless test. Passing it signifies nothing. Don't tell anyone though, it might just drop me in the shit.

I mentioned the other day the dour Swedish thriller I started. It was Minds Eye by Hakan Nesser. It wasn't dour, it was ace, and it was great fun. I started at about 8 o'clock Wednesday night and had finished by 8 yesterday. I very rarely zip through books that quick, which shows how good it is; it shows that Scandinavian crime doesn't have to be bloated and in need of a good edit. It is a bit gloomy, but it is genuinely funny, in parts, and the hero and his subordinates are wonderfully droll characters. Written years ago, hopefully there is a whole back catalogue in translation. I put Nesser on a par with Camilleri, that's how much I enjoyed The Minds Eye.

I was going to say I won't post about the Blues again until August, but that would be ridiculous, especially as the European games probably start in July. I'm looking forward to an exotic trip to Neath, Besides that, I can't stop thinking about the fuckers anyway. I don't like Nick Hornby. I thought football was managing perfectly well before he stuck his middle class beak in. I can't begin to tell you the myriad ways in which his appalling book aggravated me. There is a moment in the even more wretched film of the book, when his lady asks him what is he thinking about, and he spouts some bullshit about poetry or philosophy. He then admits that he was thinking about Arsenal. That bit resonated. I empathised  with it
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