Friday, March 07, 2014

A to Z - I see the C

That goes way back - it's a saying from childhood from when we lived in Northern Ireland.

That's where I spent many a good year at primary school learning Stuff. But when we went out for day trips, it tended to be to the sea side. Also, when we visited my nan and grandad at holidays, we'd go by sea. So "I see the Sea!" was something reasonably rare but also marking things like holiday. I got my Rules Of Cricket "poster"* from one of these, it was on a visit to the Giant's Causeway maybe 30 years ago.

*(can't really call it a poster, it's woven out of authentic Ulster Linen)

Enough reminiscing, for now :-). I may natter more about the Ireland years at some point. That gives me an idea actually :-) Been struggling for ideas to write posts about lately. I don't believe in burdening people too much with my struggles, which seems to have been the theme lately. This week's been a struggle, I took today off work to give me more regenerating time. Not had much sleep this week - I dunno, I put my head on the pillow and can't find the Off Switch. So this week's been a bit of a struggle. I disappeared from a leaving run last night after feeling the first signs of collapse.

I feel a bit better today after hitting the crash stops yesterday, hopefully I'll be more back to normal by Monday. This part of the year is always a struggle for me, as the time between Xmas and Easter holidays catches me out. It is good to have people to grin at though, there's a certain person who's helped me out over the past few days and I'm sure she doesn't realise how much that little smile brightens my day.

Wait - when does the "I think of you every minute" thing step from cute into stalker territory ? Maybe when the thoughts step from thoughts and into something more persistent and unwanted.

I dunno - that's distracting me away from real purpose of post ... A to Z time again ! I'm almost through listening to all the C albums ... So what are they and what do I think of them ?

Katie Melua - Call Off The Search. Sometimes the songs don't do the voice justice but ... what a voice.

A Camp - their first album (A Camp) and Colonia. This was a band started up by Nina Persson as what she did next after the Cardigans broke up. There's some amazing songs here, with that trademark voice leading the way. Algebra (this song gets me from the very first chords) and Here Are Many Wild Animals are just 2 highlights of many. Nina Persson just brought out a solo album called Animal Heart, which is still good just not as inspired as the rest.

Ani DiFranco - Carnegie Hall 4.6.02 - This one is ok. It's not a favourite but there's some good, some bad.

Carpenters Gold - these have their fans and their avoiders. Avoider is probably the best word, they stir up unwanted memories in some and unwanted emotions in others. I just hear a remarkable voice that was lost to us far too early singing pure, beautiful songs.

Catatonia greatest hits - someone laughed when they saw this in my library. I'm a quirky guy and I like variation. So I'm drawn to these weird people with their distinctive accents, strange songs and funny lyrics. You know Road Rage and Mulder and Scully but my favourite is Imaginary Friend. Not many songs take a twist in the middle like that one.

Beth Orton - Central Reservation. Can't remember how I discovered this one, think it was an iTunes single of the week freebie. Good but not great but definitely worth a listen.

More Morcheeba ! - Charango continues their usual output. Again, it's just that bit different to what I usually listen to which keeps it interesting. I get bored listening to the same thing over and over again.

Soundtracks - there's a few of these in the C's :
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Danny Elfman at work
Company of Heroes - game soundtrack, makes me think of trying the game (Steam freebie from a while ago)
Civilisation V
Conan the Barbarian - the original Arnie film soundtrack by Basil Poledaris. It adds a sense of freedom to a truly classic film.
The Core - laughable sci fi film. I really enjoy this one. Perhaps it's the Kirsty Swanson as Astronaut factor.
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon - the film that brought foreign language back to popularity.
The Crow - tragic film, fitting soundtrack.

Classical :
Chopin preludes - there's some unforgettable melodies here
Classic ads, Classical Hits, Classical music for relaxation (all stuff acquired on offer and there's some true gems here)

Elaine Paige - Christmas ! Sickly sweet all the way but a lot of fun too.

Johnny Cash - the classics. Everyone has to have a bit of Johnny Cash in their libraries.

The XX with Coexist - not bad but a bit too manufactured compared to their first. Their XX album was that little bit different again, this one's a bit generic and forgettable.

Two collections - iTunes has an annoying bug - it's combined these two and I can't split them. Meh. Buddy Holly was another taken from us too early and the other collection is from Dusty Springboard. Here's two unforgettable classics : Son of a Preacher Man and Peggy Sue.

Sia - Colour the Small One. Again, what a voice. Highlights for me here are Breathe Me, Moon and Numb.

Norah Jones - Come Away With Me - yes please ! I would follow that voice anywhere. It has a purity, a weight, a clarity. You can close your eyes and it'll carry you away.

Dire Straits - Communique. Not so much with this guy, although Mark Knopfler's guitar playing makes up for his voice. He did albums as albums too. Whereas I thought Ellie Goulding's Bright Lights had some amazing songs on it, I didn't think it worked well as an album. Too much of the same in it. Dire Straits were another group that made albums where the sum was greater than the parts.

Madonna - Confessions on a Dance Floor. Madonna's albums all follow themes too and they tend to be very different between albums. This one is pure disco, with thumping electronic beats all the way through. There's stunning track after stunning track here and they all work well together. How High is one of my favourites here.

Texas - started listening to these again. They've made some cracking songs over the years and it was definitely worth getting the deluxe version of the Conversation for the live album on the second cd.

Enigma's Cross of Changes - good, not as good as MCMXC AD.
Tracy Chapman - Crossroads - may have to hunt down more Tracy Chapman.

Cults - Cults. They hide their voices a bit under the instruments. Lyrics are very strange. I like 'em. Here's Abducted.

And finally - one of the past, a truly golden oldie : Gloria Estefan's Cuts Both Ways. Again with the purity of that voice, with some Latin fun thrown in there too.

It's going to be a while before I get through the D's ... There's a bunch of Doctor Who soundtracks in there that will take a while to get through ! Guess I'll take that Wisely And Slow (little taster from the D's ...)

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