Song, by Toad

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Friday Fives: 18th Jan 2013

Hello, thank you for turning up to welcome me back to the internet.  Between funerals and family business I’ve barely been on the internet since Christmas, but as of today things are going to get back to normal.  Well, they pretty much have to, as we’ve got a handful of releases coming up fast, and I have shit to do. So let’s get fucking moving, eh, starting with this week’s Friday Fives.

1. New Nick Cave video.

I’ll be honest, Dig Lazarus Dig didn’t really do it for me, nor did the latest Grinderman album, so I am not approaching this new album with what you would call total confidence.  Nevertheless, Nick Cave is one of my all-time musical heroes, and the new stuff sounds like it has a little more brood and swagger than the last couple of records – it seems more confident and sure of its identity somehow – so with a bit of luck my pre-order will be money well spent.

2. People are Getting Bored of Facebook.

Well, maybe that’s an exaggeration, but Facebook UK apparently lost about 600,000 users over Christmas, which suggests that the sheen has dulled somewhat, at the very least.  A lot of my pals have deleted their accounts, and were it not for the label and the gigs I would do the same thing.  Having a personal Facebook account really isn’t of much use to me, honestly.  For something which grew so very fast, it will be interesting to see how long it takes Facebook to die, whether it’s now or sometime much, much later.

3. Song of the Week: Hookworms – In Our Time

Hookworms are what is technically described as ‘fucking awesome’, and after a superlative EP they now have their debut album due for release on Gringo Records in February. You can pre-order it here, and I recommend you do.

4.  We Missed the Northern Lights Over Scotland Last Night

Rob St. John and I set out on an expedition to see the Northern Lights last night, after a tweet that suggested a massive solar storm would make them visible unusually far South.  An overcast night meant we were out of luck, but apparently Twitter user dougiebuster was a little better placed.  Lucky bastard. I am not the sort of fellow who sets life goals – I tend to stick to a plan of taking interesting opportunities whenever they arise – but for some reason the Northern Lights have got under my skin and I really, really want to see them before I snuff it.  Close, but no cigar last night, it seems.

aurora

5. Simon Beck’s Snow Art is Rather Awesome.

Seeing as how most of the UK is under a fair bit of snow today I thought I might post some snow art, made by a British artist called Simon Beck.  He made these amazing designs by trampling down fresh snow with his feet.  Rather than whingeing about it on Facebook.

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32 witty ripostes to Friday Fives: 18th Jan 2013

  1. avatar

    I wish people would get over with themselves with all this anti-Facebook snobbery bullshit.

    It’s not really a cultural thing that’s “hip” one week and not so the next, is it? It’s just the progression of communication methods.

    I can see a clear line from postal mail, to telegraphs, to telephones, to email, to Facebook (and the likes thereof)

    If you don’t want to use it, that’s fine, just like if you don’t want to keep a phone, that’s fine.

    But by opting in or out all you’re doing is adding or removing a method of people getting in touch with you. And it’s a hell of a lot easier to control who contacts you through Facebook than it is with the telephone.

    I personally leave the emotional angst about how cool Facebook is to tracksuit-clad teens, and just use it as a communication tool.

  2. avatar

    I just don’t really use it for anything other than promoting the label these days, so it’s little or no use to me.

  3. avatar

    Nothing important then?

  4. avatar

    If I was still an engineer, then I can easily see I might have deleted my account.

    Also, Facebook is entirely dependent on the herd. Once everyone signed up, it became really useful to have. If people start abandoning it, then it could become pointless just as quickly.

    I am not predicting its demise, just interested that it seems to have reached the point that instead of just getting an account because everyone has one, people now seem to be more likely to consider whether it has any actual, direct use for them.

  5. avatar

    To me it’s just as useful as a phone.

    And that’s not because I like to have a stream of comic memes in the newsfeed, it’s because of the genuine value in keeping in touch with people.

    Relationships are built on shared interests and the exchange of views, two things Facebook has always made very easy. I can see the problems with people using Facebook as a surrogate for engaging with people in real life, but I’ve always found Facebook has enhanced that experience, not replaced or falsely inflated it.

    I have good friends whom, for different reasons, I don’t see very often. It’s good to be able to drop them a link to something they’d be interested in. Yes, I could email them a link. Yes, I could phone them up and say “Have you heard about such-and-such?”. Facebook is merely an enhancement of that same experience.

    I’d be interested to see how the reported drop in user figures fits into the greater trend. Is it dead non-human accounts that the recent security changes have brought about. Is it a knee-jerk result to that overblown media story around Instagram photos and copyright?

    Is 600,000 a big proportion of total accounts registered in the UK?

  6. avatar

    I have known various people down the years (all, like, five of them or whatever) who’ve deleted themselves from Facebook in a fit of “it’s annoying and useless” only to meekly re-signup once it becomes obvious that it is actually quite useful. Which if you’re lazy at keeping track of people, it is.

  7. avatar

    Precisely, Steve.

    I’m comfortable with people picking and choosing whether or not to have an account, but – really – deleting your whole account in a fit of annoyance is like throwing your phone in the bin because the battery went dead.

    As a user you’re in control of your experience with these tools.

    If the experience has become annoying or boring, delete a few of the “friends” you don’t share anything with anymore, leave some of the groups that spam you, check your security settings.

    Basically, take responsibility for things yourself, rather than – like the proverbial bad workman – blaming the tool.

  8. avatar

    I actually find FB quite handy for keeping in touch with friends and family most of whom live further south.

    On the Nick Cave front i too was a little dissapointed with the last LP and what I’ve heard so far of the new stuff I’m also sure about but I know I’ll still buy it anyway, I just won’t be spending lots of money on any special edition vinyl with extra nonsense for 20+ quid. I may even have to go to Avalanch to buy it. Hope the shops been tydied up since I was last in there!!!

  9. avatar

    I agree that FB is handy for keeping a line of contact with people, even if you don’t actually read your feed much. It’s a bit like my first ever Hotmail address – I am not sure I will delete it because very old friends might still have it, even if they never use it, and because I forget what accounts I have opened using that email address as a sign-in.

    But as I said, on a personal level I really don’t use it for much these days. It’s possible that like Steve says, if I were to quit entirely I might reconsider really quickly. But I am not talking about a fit of pique or concern about spam or privacy, I just don’t use the thing.

    Wilf – I’d agree, I am not stunned and thrilled by the new Nick Cave stuff either, but I do like it plenty, and I am really looking forward to hearing the album. I didn’t buy the super-flash version though either.

  10. avatar
    COUNT VON BAKK

    I cant stand facebook band pages (Im not a fan of the tool full stop) hence why i’m on an independant music website reading about……oh. I’m with Matthew on this one, its useless to me especially since I got the twitter account.

    Hookworms on the other hand are brilliant and much more worthy of discussion (I have to make sure I write more on this than the facebook point haha) ; haven’t seen them live yet but am hoping to dash over to Leeds (from Manchester) at the end of feb for this album launch gig thing: http://www.songkick.com/concerts/15133529-hookworms-at-brudenell-social-club, their self titled EP on Faux/Gringo is awesome repetitive drone groove in the tradition of unfashionable seventies bands like Hawkwind and that, also had a split 7″ on Gringo which was not only blue but also brilliant.

    Cold Pumas are playing as well, i think Matthew reviewed their album last year, I’ve only just got round to listening to it properly and, after an initial period of it all sounding like the same song, have really started to enjoy it, check it out!

    Lastly, and some would say most importantly, when can we see some artwork for the next split 12″?????? And the beer!

  11. avatar

    The Cold Pumas album is awesome, as is the Sauna Youth one, and Sea Pinks and Hookworms and Water World… it’s been a pretty good year for hipster guitar music all round!

  12. avatar

    No great insight to be had here..I quite like facebook, but more importantly that Hookworms track is fantastic. That’s new music for the long drives to Scotland in February sorted cheers Matthew

  13. avatar

    Ahem. I would have thought that our new Split 12″ might be more suitable, you disloyal judas, you!

  14. avatar

    I’m not sure the portable Vinyl player would iron out the bumps across Rannoch Moor….once the car manufacturers sort out built in record players I’ll be back to the shop.

  15. avatar

    Some of the old in-car record players were truly awesome.

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  17. avatar

    Maybe it’s because facebook was available earlier to me than to many others, it has been so ingrained into my way of life that I can’t imagine NOT having it. If only for the keeping in contact with friends and old classmates. Also, occasional for facebook’s original purpose of being stalkernet.

    If there is one thing that makes me dislike facebook it is the constant pleas to ‘like’ facebook pages. When it comes from a large corporation level its annoying because there are often multiple channels of information and I don’t need to be following every single one of them. So no, I shan’t be ‘liking’ this thing on facebook if I already follow it on twitter. However, it’s worse when it comes from my friends who are attempting to start up a business or win a contest because I’m not going to like something if I don’t actually like it. Especially as ‘liking’ is tantamount to being forced to see it on my newsfeed. Especially if the business is across the country.

    Oh, since you’re the kinds of people to know this sort of thing… my parents are relinquishing their record player to me. What do I have to do to make sure it sounds good?

  18. avatar
    i are scientist

    1. Like others on here I’ve been a bit underwhelmed by the new stuff I’ve heard from Mr Cave, although he remains one of my all-time favourite artists and the first time I ever saw him at the Barrowlands is probably still one of my favourite gigs ever.

    2. I was a hilariously late adopter of FB and only joined this summer, it is useful for a bit of banter with people who live away (esp those with kids) but ‘ve not actually been on it since about September – I don’t really have anything against it, I just find it all a bit….much somehow. I’m actually thinking of starting an anti-social netowking site..

    3. LIKE!

    4. Arse. Never seen them. Always wanted to. There’s some email list you can sign up to (arorawatch?) which warns you when conditions might be good (sounds like the sort of thing Rob would be signed up to already)

    5. Looks amazing. I quite like snow actually.

    Sorry to hear about the funerals.

    Here’s some cute puppies to cheer us all up. The only time I’ll ever post a football story. Unless and until some match gets stopped by a load of kittens run amok..

    http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/blogs/world-of-sport/galatasaray-match-halted-puppy-power-112907300.html

  19. avatar

    They should definitely always have dogs at the soccer. It would make it so much better.

  20. avatar

    Tried to leave Facebook at Christmas and now back on.

    For too many people it’s the only way to get in touch. Wish I could delete my entire social history on their though.

    I mean half my comments on here are inane drivel, half the rest are regrettable posturing.

    Your average human proclamation is just not meant to be observable for eternity.

  21. avatar

    their/there, there forever.. deary me!

  22. avatar

    I’m pretty much down to lurking on Facebook. Much prefer twitter.

  23. avatar

    Yeah but Twitter’s a different tool for a different job.

    Facebook is mainly for keeping up with friends, and Twitter’s mainly for soapboxing at whoever will listen.

  24. avatar

    never seen or even heard of an in car record player..yup they’re awesome

    ebay here we come

  25. avatar

    Ducky…buy a bunch of old 7 inch singles and a second hand
    Rotel amp..they pretty much cover all bases for bugger all money.

  26. avatar

    I think I should get one of those in-car thingies for the van – it would be awesome for bands on tour!

  27. avatar

    Surely an 8-track machine is what you want for the van.

  28. avatar

    Or just a permanent busker sat in the back seat playing Oasis covers.

  29. avatar

    I should think that happens quite a lot when the bands are out on the road..

  30. avatar

    “Pig of Deaaaaaaaaath!”

  31. avatar

    I also just lurk on face book and that’s the problem. All the people I actually might like to talk to do the same.

    The people that post a lot are invariably the people I have very little interest in actually keeping in touch with. Maybe I should join 2010 and sign up for twitter.

  32. avatar

    Twitter is great, but it helps that I have a specific professional reason to be on it. If I was just poking around I can imagine I might find it a little boring.

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