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I’ve been on holiday for the past few weeks, here’s some music-related things to kill the silence

15/07/2011

Because a lack of updates is always a sad thing to see, even when we’re talking about a purely hobby-based thing with little (or so I think, I’ve never actually checked) audience or minor aspirations to be anything beyond a personal babblething. But yes, I’ve been visiting my family in Finland for the past lot-of-days and will continue to do so for another small-handful-of-days: here are some bullet points related to music things I have been experiencing here.

  • I went to Ruisrock, one of Finland’s bigger rock festivals. My second rock festival ever, my first being appropriately enough another Ruisrock (in 2003). I only visited the festival on Friday and, among other things, I 1) enjoyed the tragicomedy of the best part of the Carpark North gig being a remix medley of other people’s hit songs; 2) was disappointed by the rather dull and overtly bare-bones CMX gig; 3) got entertained by the Paramore set’s collective feel-good vibe despite the terrible music and annoying screaming teenager girls in the front; 4) managed to get in the very front row of The National set and acted like a stupidly giddy fanboy throughout the entire set, squeeing and singing along and awkwardly GROOVING TO THE FEEL of the spectacularly awesome set (apparently I was occasionally visible on the video screen. I’m glad I couldn’t see it myself). THEY PLAYED ABOUT TODAY!!!!!!! There may be a proper update about this later on when I get back to a proper computer instead of a laptop that’s awkward to write on and that WordPress is laggy on.
  • I’ve been spending a fair bit of money on music I can’t easily get in the UK. Nothing brand new but some stuff I’ve been wanting to get in physical format for a while.
  • Read a Kate Bush biography. Two thoughts. One, it’s amusing how the book, written after Aerial but before Director’s Cut unintentionally foreshadows the song choices for Director’s Cut, I now understand why most of the songs that got there were selected. Two, I wish biography writers would stop inserting their own opinions in a heavy-handed fashion in these books, writing them as if they’re a fact. It gets not only fairly annoying to read when things you love are apparently factually bad, but also means that the book itself stops being as informative as it could be when certain songs are passed with a mention because the writer’s not keen on them, and the chapters on albums are written in a very unbalanced fashion according to the writer’s likes (her early days and the first two albums take about half the book, while everything from The Sensual World onwards is treated almost like someone had pressed the fast forward button on the VHS).
  • I’ve been getting more in touch with my Finnish roots and, with the help of my father’s rather random music collection, got acquainted with one of Finland’s more legendary national music treasures: the incredibly ubiquitous Leevi and the Leavings. Imagine a Finnish version of Jarvis Cocker fronting songs with insanely well-done melodies and massively powerful yet simple hooks in soft jangle pop style. Quite liking it. Also quite shocked how familiar most of it sounds, even when you go beyond the big hits and generally massive songs (which make up around half of the band’s first 40-song best of collection which only tackles around half of their career). I may have just found something new to love. There may be further updates about this but probably not very soon.
  • I like checking out what’s hip and cool in the Finnish charts every time I visit this country. Nothing new and great I’d not have known before, but the rather cringy pop-rapper Cheek seems to have come up with an even worse song every time I visit this place. Can’t really imagine how much lower he can get but he seems to be full of surprises in that respect.

That’s about it. Proper updates at some point after I return.

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