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w/e 2021-06-20

A big week for Phil-noticing-there’s-new-music-he-likes, with new albums from st. lenox, Fightmilk and ME REX.

Most of the 52 tracks on the latter “are 32 seconds long, performed at 120 bpm, in 4/4 time, & in the key of Bb,” the idea being you can play the album on shuffle. Hard luck vinyl lovers! I expect there have been other things like this but the only one I can think of is Matt Irvine Brown’s Music for Shuffle. Anyway, it’s the album of the three I’ve played the most so far, and I like it, so here’s some:

I’m looking forward to going to gigs again one day. Keeping an eye out for gigs was simpler in London, compared to living somewhere where no one will come. Initially I thought I’d still go to London, use a gig as an excuse to visit at a particular time. But it’s a long way! So why not Cardiff or Bristol or Birmingham? All of them less inconvenient, relatively, than London.

§ This week we spent a sunny day removing all the logs from the log shed — whose leaky roof we repaired a while back — and then we re-stacked all the logs back in, roughly sorted by order:

A photo of a large logshed full of logs, sort of sorted according to size

That’s about 2m tall so, what with the other four large piles of big logs-that-need-chopping, and the pile in the garage, we have a lot of logs to burn. Sorry air quality, but all of them come from fallen or lopped trees in the garden and I don’t know what else one would do with them.

§ While doing that I had an idea in my head which I tweeted a few days later, some “content” which did well in terms of “engagement”:

A chart of two axes: libertarian to authoritarian, and liberal to conservative. In each quadrant is a portrait of a character from The Good Life. Barbara (libertarian, liberal), Tom (authoritarian, liberal), Jerry (libertarian, conservative) and Margo (authoritarian, conservative).

For anyone too young or too un-British, these are characters from 1970s BBC sitcom, The Good Life.

Thankfully the dozens of replies were nearly all approving and lovely. Only a handful of people had unnecessary disagreements about the labelling of the axes or their orientation. Sorry men, I just googled and copied the labels from the Nolan Chart, so take it up with that guy’s ghost? And only one man said, “Aren’t jokes supposed to be funny?” which, in Twitter terms, is a roaring and positive success.

It was interesting to see the level of, oh kill me now, engagement. The first day the number of likes grew steadily up towards 100, mostly people I know at some level. By the next morning they were around 500. During that day they shot up to around 1980. And then that was pretty much it, with odd laggardly likes dribbling in over the following day up to 2000. It’s no Barnard Castle (20.5K likes) or Jesus Christ (15.8K) but still pleasing for some yes-I-crave-validation reason.

Thankfully, when I installed the latest version of the excellent Tweetbot a while back, it turned off all my Twitter-related notifications, so now I don’t know if someone’s @’d or DM’d me until I open a Twitter client. Bliss.

§ We watched the second season of Mystery Road this week, the Australian police/detective drama, which was OK but not as good as the first, and not only due to the lack of Judy Davis. The narrative was lacking in comparison, but, still, alright. Fascinating, Phil.

§ We also watched the one-off Together which I really liked. I can’t remember the last time I watched 90 minutes of telly that made me laugh, cry and be angry. The set-up, with the two characters talking both to each other and to the camera that, for some reason, was in their home, was slightly odd but I soon forgot about that.

Both Sharon Horgan and James McAvoy were great and the dialogue also seemed to work well — writing and delivering scripted lines so they seem like natural speech is so difficult and they did a much better job than most things you see. It’s obviously different in style but this and Bo Burnham: Inside would make a good post-lockdown double-bill. Not sure I’d be up to watching both in one go though.

§ That’s about it. I hope your jab progress is going well. We’re getting there.

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