Five for Friday – 8th March 2013

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Morning all, how are you doing this drizzly Scottish morning. Unless you’re not in Scotland. Bloody internet. Anyway.

I am the Jimmy Five-Bellies of meetings today. 11am, 1pm, 3pm, 5pm and then off to Henry’s for BAD FUN at six or seven, depending on when I can make it. It’s almost like having a proper job again. Ah well, at least I won’t be exchanging business cards or eating slightly dried out triangular sandwiches.

So, contrary to my usual habit of wasting most of Friday buggering about on the internet, I might actually be doing something productive today. Assuming you can call meetings productive, which might be a bit of a stretch.

Anyhow, here are five things I found interesting on the internet this week. Feel free to enjoy or otherwise, and please do chip in with your own bits and bobs in the comments section.

1. Adam Stafford – Imaginary Walls Collapse

The image at the top of the page is the artwork for the forthcoming Adam Stafford album Imaginary Walls Collapse, which will be out on Song, by Toad Records in early July. The illustration is by the exceptional Paul Ryding, and the song above is actually an off-cut from the record. You’ll have to wait until May to hear tunes from the actual album, but for now I am pretty excited about this. Also, as a first for Song, by Toad Records, we’ll actually be co-releasing this with another label – the splendid Kingfisher Bluez in Vancouver.

2. Museum of Endangered Sounds

A bit like the bing-bong-babong-fizzz-shrrrkle of early modems, there are certain sounds which just seem utterly integral to life for ages and yet we rarely ever notice them quietly vanish. This site is charming and nostalgic and a little bit sad. And if the guy who started it keeps it up for a while, and expands and maintains it, it could end up being a really rather fascinating archive of noises we never thought would go away, but then did.

3. Song of the Week: Secret Life by Mike Higbee

This rather natty tune is from Mike Higbee’s new album of the same name, which you can buy from his Bandcamp page here. It’s a rather stylised delivery, but nevertheless a song I have found to be increasingly infectious ever since I first heard it. A fine album too.

4. The WWF Sail Close to the Breeze

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I guess this is possibly rather old news for the Americans out there, but I only just found and umm… gulp. The point is extremely simple, that for all the horror of the 11th of September attacks in New York, just existing on planet Earth is a pretty dangerous business. As they say, our planet is powerful.

What interests me about this is that I was never too sentimental about 9/11. The IRA have killed more in ‘The West’ than Al Qaeda, and yet they are celebrated in large parts of North Western USA in particular, and of course, people die in their thousands for all sorts of reasons all the time, although usually from natural disasters.   100 times more people were killed in the 2005 tsunami, for example, than the 9/11 attacks, yet it doesn’t seem to have quite the same resonance in the popular imagination.

Yet even for someone like myself, someone who is pretty unsentimental, someone with no connection to New York, and someone with family caught up in the tsunami… still, fuck me even the image above is pretty shocking, never mind the video version below.

5. We Are Not Independent Thinkers. None of Us.

Mrs. Toad sent me this last week, and I think it’s rather interesting. I’ve always been fascinated by group-think, and how we all end up in these little consensus bubbles. I’ve even virtually fallen out with my folks by saying that they are completely wrong to condemn Germans as a nation for what happened under Hitler because we are pack animals, hugely capable of persuading our own brains of more or less anything, and that we have absolutely no way of knowing how we ourselves would react when faced with that kind of situation. No matter how self-confident we might be, I bet we would be horrified at how susceptible we would be to pretty much anything.  Because, as the link above shows, we are hugely influenced by the opinions of the people around us.  What a cheery thought for Friday. I might end with something funny, just as a sort of apology.

5 and a half. United Breaks Guitars

Is it cool to admit that I was introduced to this by our new accountant?

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