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May 24th, 2005

Music.

The last couple of days have all been about music, really. I've been surfing radio channels in the car like a kid with ADD, trying to find something that's listenable. I haven't been lucky. I'm currently sitting on FBI, but since it's community radio, the ratio of presenters who say 'um' or 'ah' every three or five words will eventually drive me away, as it always does. there was an album purchase on the weekend, and this morning I read Nick Mamatas' (nihilistic_kid) article on lawsuits against file sharers, Meet John Doe It's worth the read, hence the link, though once again, I wondered what the adult film industry thinks about p2p networks. I'll look into it eventually, I guess.

And, today, there's a music meme going round, so here it is, with the questions of who did you get it from, and who do you think should do it, cut out. (For what it's worth, I got it from Jonathan Strahan, whose blog is syndicated in livejournal here coode_street.)

1. Total volume of music files on your computer.

I use my ipod to keep music. It's got 3428 songs on it, which is just over sixteen gig.

2. The title and artist of the last CD you bought.

Out of Exile, Audioslave.

3. Song playing at the moment of writing.

'Chemical Heart', Grinspoon.

4. Five songs you have been listening to of late (or all-time favorites, or particularly personally meaningful songs, or five songs you picked by simply hitting random).

I went with random (because I just added that option).

'TV Eye', the Stooges.
                    -Got to love the Stooges, back when Iggy Pop was wild and full of drugs and youth and making music that you could trust, unlike recent albums.

'Harvest Breed', Nick Drake.
                    -It's really a shame that they've made Drake's music part of car commercials now. Still, Pink Moon was a sweet, fine little album. He died early, which is though terribly unfair, kind of how I like my musicians. Most do not age well.

'Esquimalt Harbour', Set Fire to Flames.
                    -Actually, in all truth, the next song was Iggy Pop, from his American Ceasar album. But I felt that repeats weren't the idea here when you've over three thousand songs. Anyhow, Set Fire to Flames are a moody, fine bunch of musicians who record in abandoned barns and let the sounds seep into the album. This is from their first album, Sings Reign Rebuilder which didn't feature that, mind.

'Cut Your Ribbon', Sparta.
                    -Sparta's first album, Wiretap Scars, is just an excellent little punk-rock album. I love it. I didn't like their follow up, Porcelain, as much, but that's how it often is, I guess. This track is the opening for the first album, and it's just cool.

'Bridal Train', the Waifs.
                    -The Waifs are, actually, really fine live. Their studio albums aren't nearly as cool as their stage presence, though they do have a double live album, A Brief History, which is worth checking for slice of it. Apparently Bob Dylan thinks they're one of the best live acts going round, but what does that really mean, I ask you? Anyhow, if you're into the folk rock stuff with a bit of the Australian flavour and accent, the Waifs are for you. If you get a chance to see them live, do so.

Alan Moore.

This morning I read Rich Johnston's article on Alan Moore, but since then I've reread bits of it a couple of times as it is pimped around the blog community at large. After about the sixth time, I figured I should join the linking parade, but mostly because I want to recommend Moore's novel, Voice of the Fire, which is one of my favourite things written.

The reason I'm bringing this up is because Johnston's article mentions that Moore's next novel will be Jerusalem,  "a follow up to the recently reprinted Voice Of The Fire. Voice told stories set in Alan Moore's home town of Northampton, over 10,000 years. He mockingly told me, "I feel it was a little too cosmopolitan. So my next novel is set in just three or four blocks in Northampton, where I grew up. It's the most important historical area anywhere anyway.""

It's not the first time I've heard it mentioned, but since Moore makes mention that he is drawing the cover, the implication is that it is finished and will see print sooner, rather than later. Which is excellent news.

Voice of the Fire is the kind of book a lot of people wouldn't like because it begins with a cave boy with a limited vocabulary. The first line of the novel is, in fact, "A-hind of hill, ways off to sun-set-down, is sky come like as fire, and walk I up in way of this, all hard of breath, where grass colding on I's feet and wetting they." It's beautiful and demanding and I have nothing but respect for it as many authors would not begin a novel (much less a first novel) with such a difficult narrator. After the cave boy, it follows ten different narrators in different times, their stories connected by being set in Northampton, with the tenth narrator being Moore himself.

I'm not going to describe any more of the book, because I think you should read it. If my recommendations on this blog have ever directed you to something you haven't tried, now is the time to show some trust and go there. If your only experience of Moore's work is From Hell and Watchmen or one of his other graphic novels, then you're missing one of his few works where you, the reader, experience Moore's intricate and layered authorial voice without an artist interpreting it for you. Understand me, this is not a comment upon the quality of his graphic novels, for the majority of them are fine things and worth your money and time... but not one of them is like Voice of the Fire.

It will never be a movie, for which I am eternally thankful.