Posts Tagged ‘ #showertune ’

#showertune: ‘ophis le serpentaire’ by vincent geminiani

remember nostalgia?

boring, wasn’t it (like this overlong post)

given that i’ve come to the end of the project that had been keeping me from reflecting too much on the future, how old i was getting, or the fact that life was steadily moving on and becoming serious without me being ready, at the moment i’m coping with the terror of these realisations by means of romantic remembering.

as i’m sure you all know, nostalgia literally means home sickness [from the greek νόστος (homecoming) and ἂλγος (pain)], and was originally coined in the 17th century to describe what was thought to be a serious medical condition. the condition was also referred to as mal du pais or mal du Swisse, due to its apparent prevalence among Swiss mercenaries who (emotionally and physically) pined for their Alpine homes whilst fighting on the various lowlands of what are now Italy, France, Belgium and the Netherlands.

isn’t it interesting that as well as the fact that homesickness is no longer thought of as either serious or ‘medical’ (except perhaps in extreme cases, where it probably be counted as a symptom of wider mental illness), nostalgia has come to mean a wistful remembrance of/longing for the past? what was about place, has become about time.

despite the fact that my studies and understanding of history have (i hope) been usefully guided by the notion expressed in the famous opening line of The Go-Between by
L. P. Hartley – “The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there” – and that both ancient experience and modern physics point to intimate connections between time and space, i think something valuable might have been lost in the transition expressed by the shift in the colloquial meaning of nostalgia.

however globalised the world becomes, however easy travel and communication become, i don’t think, as humans, we can have story without also locatedness. as such, i feel it is not only necessary to talk about how great all the 60s/70s TV programmes that i used to love as a kid were (for it is these that have recently exercised my nostalgic juices), but also to speak about Edie and her house.

Edie was my next door neighbour growing up. She was a short, brash, thick-black-frame-spectacled, late-sexegenarian cockney, ensconced in our small, remote corner of West Cornwall. given her passion for London, she should have been more out of place, but she embraced the difference like a fish not only out of water, but sunbathing.

the porch that had been added onto the front of Edie’s otherwise-identical-to-ours house was filled with Mills and Boon books, piled high flat on their sides. she called everyone ‘babe’. before I was deemed old enough to have a house key, when my mum was at work, i used to go round to Edie’s after school. we didn’t talk that much, but when we did, i practiced charming her in the way i liked to do with adults.

her lounge was dominated by a thick, white-tassled rug which carried on its back a gilt-legged, glass-topped table with a scalloped edge. she sat in a high-backed green armchair, positioned so that it shielded the wooden TV cabinet from the afternoon sun. i sat to her left on the rug and placed my orange squash on the table, matching the fluting around the bottom of its glass tumbler to the curves that ran the table round. always.

we used to watch Countdown and 15 to 1 together, and then she’d put on children’s programmes for me and retire to the kitchen table to drink tea and smoke. despite the fact that it killed her Tom, smoking was Edie’s favourite hobby. that and cards. and erotic novels. sometimes we’d play cards – she taught me stud and draw poker, brag, cribbage, rummy, whist and even bridge and newmarket. some of the games we played properly, some of them she just explained to me because you can’t play them with two.

mum would usually get back mid-Blue Peter, but on some days she’d be late. at home, the once firm no-TV-during-meals rule had been relaxed in about 1990. the downside was that mum insisted on always watching Neighbours, then The Six O’Clock News, then Spotlight (shonky local news). as such, i liked the days when she was late – Edie didn’t care for the news and let me watch Thunderbirds while she smoked.

very occasionally mum would call Edie to say she was going to be unusually late, and ask whether she could make my tea. it was during one such occasion that it was suggested that at 6:30 we watch The Man From U.N.C.L.E. on BBC 2. i didn’t know what it was and had never ventured to watch it at home, but was immediately transfixed. Edie told me that she’d watched it when she first got a TV in the 60s, and that she liked the dark-haired one (Napoleon Solo played by Robert Vaughan). Edie was never really one for too many details – surprising, given the books she read.

once i’d been given reason, and courage, to watch one old programme that i didn’t know, i started to watch more, and it turned out that there was lots of 60s/70s TV that i loved: Mission Impossible, The Avengers, Ironside, The Prisoner, The Saint, Hawaii 5-0The Invisible Man, Batman, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, the list goes on and on. soon enough, i was videoing these programmes and watching them the next day instead of the kid’s crap.

when i was 11, my mum gave me a key so that i could let myself in when i got home from big school. i was pleased for the flexibility – i could get out of my uniform straight away for one thing – but i missed going round to Edie’s. sometimes i’d go anyway. that was fine with her.

one of the things i now realise about the TV programmes that i discovered because of Edie was that almost all of them contained the kind of music that i now love: Lalo Schiffrin, Quincy Jones, Morton Stevens, Jerry Goldsmith, Walter Scharf, Henry Mancini, Alan Moorhouse, Alan Hawkshaw, Alan Parker (all the Alans), Ron Grainer and many more gave these shows their edge by means of jangling brass, running baselines and rasping drums, often all at the command of deliciously strange time-signatures.

today’s #showertune doesn’t come from any of the programmes above, or any at all as far as i know, but it is beautifully evocative of precisely the right mood and sounds to me like bits of all their soundtracks blitzed in a blender and served over french ice.

as such, it’s dedicated to Edie Collins, who eventually moved back to the South East and is now probably dead.

it’s Orphis Le Serpentaire by Vincent Geminiani

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#showertune: ‘qualified’ by dr. john

1001, 1002, 1003

oh, hey there, i wasn’t expecting company. i was just doing my daily work out – wednesdays it’s arms and back. ohh, that’s a deep burn. i can barely lift my right arm (‘cos i did so many). i don’t know if you heard me counting, but i did over a thousand.

as most of you are probably aware, yesterday i had the mark back for that big piece of homework i did (the one that meant i had to take september off blogging). anyway, suffice to say that it turned out ok in the end.

lots of love and thanks to all of you who supported me and helped me through.

i hope you’ll grant me one day of self-endulgent celebration, and as such, today’s #showertune is Qualified by Dr. John

(NB. rejected options included
Dr. John – Baldhead, Dr. John – Make Your Own Bed Well and
Dr. John – Morgus The Magnificent – all genuine tracks)

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#showertune: ‘the truth’ by handsome boy modelling school

well, weld, welm

what do we have here? it seems that Advent Sunday really lived up to its billing, by seeing the advent of a whole new era of global relations. i haven’t experienced that many days following which i was aware that the world had profoundly changed:

> 9th November 1989
> 11th September 2001
> 4th November 2008

… but although yesterday will likely not go down as one among of them in many people’s minds, it probably should. thousands of pieces of raw intelligence data chronicling the American empire’s thoughts on/responses to the world as it stands – totally undeniable, totally unedited and made totally available.

even as an advocate for truth, justice and accountability, it’s difficult to know quite how to react to such an unveiling. it really is an apocalypse of biblical proportions – the beast laid bare.

while some of the initial headlines are not exactly of the sort that will astonish many people:

> the Russian government has links with organized crime
> a member of the British royal family made some inappropriate remarks
> the closing of Guantanamo has been a mirky process
> Afghanistan is a political mess

… plenty more shocking truths will no doubt surface as a result of the data leak.

in the meantime, today’s showertune is The Truth by Handsome Boy Modelling School feat. Roisin Murphy & J-Live
(i know we already had Coffee Cold, but this tune just seemed to apt to pass up)

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#showertune: ‘you give me what i want’ by laura vane

… and it was all a dream (or was it?)

right, that was #storytime, next up #showertune.

today’s premium cut goes very much out to the one i love (the truest). The Dr is swamped with work right now and struggling beneath the weight of a ton of undeserved crap. however, she is maintaining righteously, and is still the most lovely thing to me.

interpreted (regardless of the original intent) by virtue of an appeal to ‘want’ as being synonymous with ‘lack’, here is You Give Me What I Want by Laura Vane & The Vipertones

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#showertune: ‘sunday kind of love’ by etta james

happy birthday to you

happy birthday to you happy birthday dear my lovely friend Siâââââân happy birthday to you

sorry i didn’t wrap your #showertune, but i hope you like it, it’s Sunday Kind of Love by Etta James

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#showertune: ‘fortune favours the bold’ by tm juke

tell you what

i don’t know about you, but i feel just brilliant.

at the beginning of last week i felt a bit like i was on the verge of struggling to keep my financial head above the economic crisis waters, but this week, thank you to the lord, saints and all the angels, it turns out that, like Ireland, actually i’ve never had it so good.

what a weight off my shoulders.

i’m yet to get an exact handle on how all the good that i’ve never had it so actually relates to the practical issues of still having less money coming in than i need and so forth, but, psychologically, i have been unburdened.

accordingly, today’s shower was a liberated affair, ably accompanied by Fortune Favours The Bold by TM Juke and the Jack Baker Trio

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#admin: #showertune lives …

Dear You

as you might know, recently YouTube got together with all the major record labels in a huge, boardroomed evil lair and decided that despite the fact that the blogs and other video sharing platforms has been directly responsible for the successes of several now well-known acts, they would make it increasingly difficult for people to embed and share YouTube content that is subject to a copywrite claim (which, with regard to the ‘property’ of the majors, is basically done automatically as part of the recognition algorithms built into YouTube upload).

there was a first phase of this over the summer, which in the end didn’t seem to come to much, however the latest round of spoil-sporting and in-the-foot shooting came into effect last week. as you may have noticed, one of the upshots of this has been that the majority of #showertunes have stopped working.

i did consider burying #showertune in a memorial garden, but to be honest i was furious that not only had she been killed, but her life’s work was now useless, given that it consists of a host of links that no longer give rise to sweet music, but instead just a notice that says
YOU CAN”T DO THIS, YOU FOOL, GO TO YOUTUBE ETC.

the incident made me realise that due to its reliance on YouTube, the #showertunes catalogue (of which i am unjustifiably proud) has always been a hostage to fortune, and that it was all my fault. as a result, i have decided to keep the dream alive, and not only will #showertunes now be hosted on our own servers, but i have begun the lengthy process of uploading all the existing tunes and relinking them to their new homes – hopefully you should already be able to play all the ones currently on the first two RQT pages.

please bear with us as we go about this tedious, but ultimately pointless yet liberating work, and if you feel, given the amount of effort you know goes in, that you should probably get round to telling more of your friends about the magic that happens in this sleepy little corner of the interweb, then we would bloody love that.

thanks ants. thants.

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