So, it’s been an eternity since I sat down and wrote something that wasn’t in someway linked to either Confucian views and values on show jumping, or a 20-page paper that delved into the minutiae of economic integration and cooperation in North East Asia. In a way, I’m glad that I won’t complete my thesis semester this spring, but will hopefully put it to bed after the summer. It’s a long story (hey, it’s a thesis, right?) and one that’ll save for another day.
After working through Christmas (yes, even Christmas Day) and into the middle of January, I’ve now had a couple of weeks off and I’m trying to batter into the ‘to do list’ that has been piling up since our trip back to Scotland last summer. Of course, I could have written to everyone that I said I would? Or, incessantly called family members, regaling them with stories about the ever decreasing temperatures in Korea, and that it’s getting colder every year? Or posted the photos from our trip? And then there’s the…well, you get the drift? Instead of doing any of this I’ve slept a lot (a good thing), tried to balance the sleeping with working out (with mixed results), read a ‘Jack Reacher’ novel (not too bad, and it beats ‘Fukuzawa’s “An Encouragement of Learning” for action and one-liners) and now working my way through Keith Richards autobiography “Life”. There’s been some guitar playing and some fiddling (can’t think of another appropriate verb) with my Zoom G2.INu effects unit (great for hackers like me with headphones). All good fun.
I caught up on TV shows that I liked (Homeland/Dexter) and downloaded some new ones that I ‘d read about (from Denmark), ‘The Bridge’ and ‘Borgen’, both of which are pretty good. In fact, in comparison to the quite dull (all that rain…) and snail-like pace of ‘The Killing’, both these shows were a pleasant surprise. However, a fair bit of time has been spent watching music documentaries and movies that have been cluttering up my hard-drive. With the exception of one, it was great just sitting back and getting stuck in, so to speak.
The turd in the fish tank (for choice of a better title) was a BBC documentary “Prince: A Purple Reign”. Prince, however bonkers he may be (always thought he’s make a great baddie in a James Bond flick) is a true one of a kind. This, like so many other cut-and-paste docs didn’t feature the artist themselves, instead relying on vacuous nonentities like Trevor Nelson to pop up and talk utter bollocks from time to time. I switched it off after 30 minutes. Probably less. Watched (and air-guitared) to this instead.
I also finally caught up with “It Might Get Loud”, a documentary about the guitar and guitar players, but not as we know it? Jimmy Page, The Edge, and Jack White (it was hard to find the balance between the talking time and the brass tacks of what the film was about – how they play) get all lyrical (if you’ll pardon the pun) about what the guitar means to them and how they get their ‘sound’. Not a bad watch, a bit patchy at times, and probably one for the purists.
As these are in no particular order, the last one on this list is one of those classic album documentaries – ‘the making of…’, and in this case “Black Sabbath – Paranoid”. Awesome! Great album, interesting anecdotal stuff, BIG riffs, no shoes, proper Brum accents, organic guitar sounds and plenty of cosmic, groovy tempo changes. You can find this, in its entirety on Youtube.