It’s that time of year again, weeks of preparation blown in a matter of days as an orgy of food, fun, frolics and festivities engulfs us.
And why not? It’s been a hard, long year and you have to let off steam every now and again….
….so the presents have been opened, the house is ready for guests, we’ve invited too many people for Christmas Dinner so we’re a chair short, food and nibbles are all over the place (but can’t be touched until the first person arrives) and we have a stack of AA batteries just in case.
The perfect time for a really quick festive post.
Another Christmas At Home / Merry Xmas Everybody / Teenage Christmas (2009) – Vinyl
I bought this when it came out simply because I wanted to hear their take on Slade’s yuletide staple (aka Noddy Holder and Jim Lea’s pension provider) “Merry Xmas Everybody”. I like it in a laid back kind of way but after a while the monotony of the stomping drums tends to get to me………
The gem here is the A side “Another Christmas at Home” which is actually more of a paean to the nightmare that is enforced Christmas with family but delivered in such a way that you don’t realise this until you actually pick up on the lyrics.
Busy, busy, busy time at work means that I’ve been away from the keyboard…….but today I’ve found a brief period of time (in-between getting the house Christmas ready and prepping for work tomorrow) to chuck a few words down.
So (besides work) what have I been up to?
Saw Caro Emerald in concert…..more of that in a future post
Learnt that I’m marvellous at karaoke in my mind but that video seems to tell a different story. I’m certain that my singing “In The Ghetto” with the Divine Ms W, or my contribution to “Spice Up Your Life” with the Vivacious Ms N and Crazy Mr A were much better than the evidence suggests……….
Numerous meals out, discovered a number of new bands to add to my ‘must see’ list (have I talked about Brunt before? Don’t think so, I’ll rectify soon) and decided that I really must make the trek to Café Oto at some point to check the place out.
Interestingly it was talking about Café Oto (whist waiting for the damn work printer to do its thing) that reminded me that I needed to write about this CD as the Regal Ms H mentioned that she was looking to get into Jazz.
I’m not certain about Jazz, it seems to be a genre that doesn’t invite newcomers, you need to know the secret and ‘get it’ before you’re welcome in. I’ve tried listening before and, whilst I might enjoy the spectacle of it live, I can’t get a handle on all the aural noodling around that flows from the speakers.
So with this in mind at the start of November I decided to try a backdoor into the world of Jazz through Miles Davis. I knew his reputation and I knew that on “Bitches Brew” he had redefined aspects of it by using instruments more readily associated with rock music (e.g. electric keyboards and guitar). Maybe, just maybe, this would help me ‘get it’….
And to a certain extent it worked. This is no rock album by anyone’s definition, the improvisation, changes in tempo and the sound of different instruments playing off of each other can only be Jazz, but it has given me the way in.
Some of it I don’t get –
“Pharaoh’s Dance” is a lot (and I do mean a lot, it’s 20 minutes long) of noodling to my ears
But most of it I do, my standout tracks –
“Bitches Brew” 27 minutes long but there’s a theme running through it that my unjazzified mind needs and appreciates hearing
“Spanish Key” for me the most accessible piece – probably because it’s the closest thing to a structured rock track on the album
I know that I’ve a long way to go, as I try to understand what the hell is going on, but at least this shows me that there is a way through and hopefully, one day all will become clear…….