The whole You Are The Quarry album is close to utter brilliance, but some songs stand out from among the others. In fact this one is, for me, the quintessential Morrissey song. A gut-wrenching ballad about a poor soul who has lost all hope of love (and, therefore, of happiness) and is resigned to remember that which he has lost “for evermore”.
This kind of song could easily get away from the singer and turn into some sort of Celine Dion-like piece of overly-sentimental garbage, but not with Morrissey, oh no. As usual, he pulls it off in great style and is able to bring all of those poor, wretched, tortured soul kinds of feelings to bear and make it all work like a charm. This, to me, is Morrissey at his finest.
And then there’s also the fact that lines such as “Drinking tea with the taste of the Thames, Sullenly on a chair on the pavement” or “Under slate grey Victorian sky” fill me with such a sweet sense of nostalgia that I cannot help but feel a desperate longing to get back to dear old London (so yes, the song is incredibly effective as far as I’m concerned, I do feel like going back to Camden. And no, I’m not English and I’ve never lived there). :-)
And now I do hope you forgive me the futility (you will, this is my weblog, remember?), but I really feel like transcribing the lyrics of this soul-tearing ballad.
There is something I wanted to tell you,
It’s so funny you’ll kill yourself laughing
But then I, I look around,
And I remember that I am alone,
The tile yard all along the railings,
Up a discoloured dark brown staircase
Here you’ll find, despair and I,
Calling to you with what’s left of my heart,
Drinking tea with the taste of the Thames,
Sullenly on a chair on the pavement
Here you’ll find, my thoughts and I,
And here is the very last plea from my heart
Where taxi drivers never stop talking
Under slate grey Victorian sky,
Here you will find, despair and I
And here I am every last inch of me is yours,
Your leg came to rest against mine,
Then you lounged with knees up and apart
And me and my heart, we knew,
We just knew,
Where taxi drivers never stop talking,
Under slate grey Victorian sky
Here you’ll find, my heart and I,
And still we say come back,
Come back to Camden
And I’ll be good, I’ll be good, I’ll be good, I’ll be good
Isn’t it just amazing that we have songs like this in our lives?
So I’m uploading some pictures to my flickr account and I decide to fire up my IM client to check if a friend is on-line to try and give her what will probably be one of the first “virtual rings” she’s had, right?
Then this other friend sees me on-line and asks me to call him on his mobile phone, which I do, but try as I may I can’t get through to him. Apparently his brand new phone is dead, he can’t make or take any calls.
Now the thing is that his girlfriend (who is near the end of her pregnancy) is away in some god-forsaken corner of the country and is expecting his call. She’ll be worried if he doesn’t call her and he definitely doesn’t want to do that to her.
So naturally I volunteer to call her but… She doesn’t know me (probably never even heard of me) and it will probably freak her out a bit if a total stranger rings her up saying that her boyfriend asked to tell her everything is OK, so we decide that I’d better call another friend of ours (whom she knows) and ask her to call the girlfriend explaining what’s up.
So I call the third friend, she calls the girlfriend, but the phone is unavailable and all she can do is leave a message in her voicemail.
A few minutes later the girlfriend calls my friend.
As it turns out, she was on a spot which had no coverage, but as soon as she got the message and checked her voicemail she immediately tried to call her boyfriend and, lo-and-behold, it worked!
Apparently my friend’s phone is just too darn picky about which calls to take!
Now who needs fiction and soap-operas with stuff like this happening in real life? :-)
(Oh and the original friend? Well, she wasn’t on-line. A shame really, she’s just the kind of person who would appreciate the humour if I told her what had just happened.)
During a brief excursion on my reference sites to find out what was going on this week, I came across a few things that piqued my interest (there’s a lot more going on all over Lisbon and elsewhere, this is just what caught my attention). I’ll probably not attend everything but I will try (and if I miss anything it probably means I had something better to do anyway). :-)
Wednesday there is the customary jazz session at Lux and this week the Santos/Melo Quartet will be playing there. I’ve never heard them play before and unless I can get an idea of their sound before then I’ll probably skip this one. (They’ll also be playing at the Hot Clube the previous night, but I do prefer going to Lux as the Hot Club is just too damn smoky for me. Yes, I know a jazz club is supposed to be smoky, but I really don’t like being forced to smoke other people’s cigarrettes in order to be able to listen to good music.)
Thursday Elle will be performing at OndaJazz. I’d never heard of the band before, but listening to the samples at their MySpace page I got the feeling I’ll probably enjoy it a lot (especially the cover geek in me. And the female-smooth-jazz-voice geek.)
Then, on Saturday, Bernardo Sasseti will be playing at Culturgest in what I think is probably the most unmissable event this week (although I was just about to miss it because of a birthday dinner of a friend, which got moved —thankfully!— to Friday!)
And finally, on Sunday afternoon there will be a tribute to Dizzy Gillespie at Jardim da Estrela, which is part of the Pleno Out Jazz series of concerts. I’m not sure who is playing this tribute, but then I already have an appointment at this time so unless it falls through I’ll probably miss it too. No biggie, though, I’ll just play my Gillespie records at home and pretend I’m at the park. Maybe… :-)
And that’s about it. As I said in the beginning, there’s lots more going on right now and this is but a small selection of candidates for my musical week. Lets see how it turns out in the end.
This was somewhat of a strange weekend…
Started out Friday evening when I was suppose to have the first sax lesson after the school vacation, which got canceled (the teacher is having a string of concerts on Friday evenings at the Casino do Estoril, so it is for a good cause), then I had plans for dinner with a couple of friends, which also got scrapped. Then I had a total of three concerts planned for that night (well, not planned exactly, but I did think about going to each one of them), but with nothing to do until it was time for any of them I was thinking about forgetting about the whole thing and going home to get some sleep (hey, it was a really rough week…)
And then another group of friends got wind of one of the concerts I was thinking about attending and we ended up making plans for “dinner and a show”, which did come to fruition.
But even that was weird because we’d all seen at the site that the concert was scheduled to start at 00h30 and so we had to burn lots of time at the restaurant and when we finally got tired of being there and went down to the venue it turned out that they had made a mistake on the site and the concert had started at 22h00! We still got to listen to half an hour of it, on the room next door, but I was really disappointed because I’d have loved to watch Donald Harrison play live and I have no clue when he will be back at Portugal.
Then yesterday I finally had the sax lesson and it rocked! We got to have the lesson on the big room, with the stereo, and basically we put on a play-along, the teacher gave me the “directions” about the song we were going to play and taught me the melody and after that we just played it through a few times and jammed a bit on top of it. Great fun!
The rest of the day was a bit more “normal” and I decided to bite the bullet and start to put all the papper work in order. I hadn’t touched my pappers since the divorce and the pille was getting so big it was scary, so I ended up having a nice(?) quiet afternoon/evening playing sokoban with piles of paper. Hey, it’s got to get done and I do feel better for having had a first go at it. Still need to buy binders and boxes for it all, though.
With the weekend drawing to a close, I decided at the last minute to go out to Guincho and watch the sunset and, as it turns out, this was an excellent decision.
Guincho is traditionally an extremely windy, cold beach with ice-cold water. But this evening there was only the slightest of breezes —and a warm breeze at that—, and the water was actually very nice. So nice that I got my jeans all wet, even after I had rolled them up. It was just so nice feeling the sea water in my feet while strolling along the beach, listening to good old Stevie Nicks and watching the sun burning down into the sea in one of the most amazing sunsets I’ve witnessed here (and I have watched quite a few of them since moving here three months ago).
Each day I’m happier with my choice of location to live.
Autumn is finally here. But as a friend reminded me Friday, this means that we’ll soon have yellow and brown leaves all over Sintra to go and photograph. Yay!
Há já bastante tempo que se sente o Outono. O mar já não é “mar de verão”, os dias são mais frios, mais pequenos, a luz é diferente, o sol não é sol de Verão, cheira a Outono, “sabe” a Outono…
Apercebi-me hoje (ai esta cabeça…) de que há uma boa razão para isto —o Outono começa oficialmente dentro de 3 dias.
Dia 23 de Setembro. Um dia especial de várias formas. Também é o dia do equinócio do Outono.
Normalmente gosto muito desta estação. Este ano não estava ainda preparado para ela.
Bolas. Lá vai ter de ser…
Just last week (Wednesday in fact) I discovered that Massive Attack were playing at the Coliseu. I don’t quite know how this could have slipped under my radar until the last minute, but I’m not complaining: I got to attend the show and had a rather enjoyable evening and that’s what counts.
I like Massive Attack quite a lot —in fact I own almost all of their albums— but I can’t say I love them. I like the way they sound but I do find it a bit… tiring after a while.
Having said that, I’m a sucker for live music and this is a reference group in my personal music history and background, so I didn’t think twice about going and boy, did it pay off!
As in most cases (where good music and good bands are concerned), I found them to be way better live than in studio.
They weren’t able to pull off a huge sound quality on this particular performance (I guess that kind of music requires a setup that must be ruinous to consider on concerts on such small venues), but even so the sound was really powerful and I think it worked great.
Also, the mood they created was really great even if, strangely enough, this was one of the few concerts I ever attended in Portugal where the crowd was not hugely responsive during the show. But then this kind of music does lend itself more to introspective listening than to heavy dancing or screaming, so all in all I think it went down rather well.
It was also a good thing that they played lots of songs from their older albums and had guests from their previous line-ups —Elizabeth Fraser (yes, her from the Cocteau Twins!) and Horace Andy— to sing a few chosen songs. I’m actually not sure what the current line-up of the band is, so there may have been more guest musicians in there.
So, in short, I had a really good time at the concert and it has definitely rekindled my fondness for the band.
It’s like I was saying a while ago to a friend, I’m still from an age when a band was either good live or it wasn’t a band at all, and Massive Attack passed the live test with flying colours.
Should they ever come back to Portugal, I’m definitely going to see them again!
I edited this post because I found out that it wasn’t Shara Nelson singing with the band, it was Deborah Miller. Still, the thought remains: what … a … voice!
Just a quick note to mention that after a break of almost 8 months, I’ve finally released a new episode of the Undercover Songs Podcast.
Episode 33 is up at the site and while it is not the most inspired one to date, I still think it is quite decent.
Check it out!
After last weekend’s sun extravaganza (a week ago I got to spend a whole day at the beach with some really fine weather, yay!), we’re back to business with less than stellar days and so it made for a more homely couple of days. Which was rather good actually, because I got to do loads of stuff around the house, even cook great food (a true “fada do lar” if you can read Portuguese) and, most importantly, I finished up a couple of projects I’ve been working on and which I’ll try to release in the next few days. After that I’ll finally have some time to devote to PyTalker (I hope…)
Last week I also discovered a new band (actually a one-man project) by the name of Moorlandt. Marado showed me a couple of songs —enough for me to order a CD— and I’m really glad I did order it. Very cool music, check it out!
The… thing (it’s not theater really, but I can’t quite define it) at Regaleira was very interesting and I quite liked it. I got to carry a huge standard for a while so what’s not to like? :-)
Still, the friends I went with told me about something similar they attended a while ago in Convento de Cristo in Tomar, where the troupe performed the story of The Name Of The Rose and on those premises it must have been awesome!
Now that school vacation is almost over I’m getting back to my saxophone classes this week and I’ll pay dearly for the slacking off I’ve been doing this past weeks. But even so, I can’t wait to get started again!
Tal como tinha planeado, fui há duas sextas-feiras atrás ver os Miosótis a tocar ao vivo.
Ora eu já tinha ouvido as músicas que eles têm no site para ter uma ideia de como seria a banda ao vivo e tinha expectativas altas para este concerto, mas devo confessar que mesmo essas expectativas foram ultrapassadas!
O facto de ter sido uma noite algo especial (e agradável) ajudou, claro, mas a banda em sí surpreendeu-me bastante pela positiva.
O som é muito bom, nota-se que a banda é coesa (embora aqui seja uma questão de opinião, a minha companhia discordou um pouco neste ponto) e o estilo fazia-me lembrar uma data de bandas e músicas mais antigas, tipo dos anos 70-80. Havia algo naquela sonoridade que me era muito familiar —embora eles tenham uma sonoridade muito própria e as músicas deles sejam bastante originais.
Ao ler a biografia deles percebi logo o que era: a banda existe precisamente desde o final anos 70, como banda de garagem, e apenas há relativamente pouco tempo começaram a editar os seus discos, inicialmente com composições dessa altura. Está explicado!
No final comprei o CD novo da banda, o Risco e depois de o ouvir algumas vezes em casa confirmo o que já me tinha parecido: os Miosótis são mesmo uma banda interessante, quer em estúdio quer ao vivo, e ouve-se a música deles com muito prazer.
E para finalizar tenho de admitir que o facto de a vocalista (para além de para além de parecer extremamente cativante e simpática) ter uma voz fenomenal também ajuda. Sobretudo ao vivo!
This coming weekend I’ll be performing a thorough cleansing of a Windows XP PC which, by the description that was made by the users, is probably filled with spyware and maybe even some viruses (despite the fact that it has Norton’s Antivirus suite installed and —I’ve been assured— religiously updated).
Now I know that this will most likely end up in a complete re-install of the system and since the users have dutifully been doing their backups to an external hard drive I should be able to just leave it at that but… The backups have got to be infected with some viruses so I will have to clean some stuff up no matter what.
Also, I would really rather not go into the fresh install thing because it will just mean a lot more trouble with all the apps they need.
So what I need is to find out what the cool kids are using these days to rid their PCs of the vermin. I haven’t done windows in ages (and I mean years thank goodness) so I’m really out of the loop here.
The last time I had to do something like this I found out an article entitled “How to fix mom’s computer” or somesuch but I can’t seem to find the article now and besides, it was a long time ago so it is probably outdated.
So in short, Dear Lazyweb, can you tell me what I should arm myself with in order to get all those nasty bugs out of the system?
Thanks a bunch!
Nuno ‘Lazy’ Nunes