the niggleodeon (24/Sept/18)

I’ve never understood the DJ’s annoying predisposition for talking over intros and outros of songs played on their radio shows, they seem pathologically incapable of holding themselves back invariably blurting out any old brain-dead nonsense… they say that silence is anathema to radio and to a point understandably so being it’s a singular sense medium: aural… and all the better for it when compared with the increasingly confused bells and whistles that come with television now, so much so it sends the brain into meltdown … one of the few radio stations to get it right is BBC Radio 3 where DJ’s, or more appropriately radio presenters, allow the music to speak for itself and uninterrupted space in which to do it….. meanwhile other stations, more noticeably worse on commercial radio (don’t even get me started on what has to be some of the most grating adverts ever) where they rabbit away willy-nilly over intros, outros, sometimes even interjecting something botheringly banal in the middle, sometimes attempting to sing along, and always, always out of tune and out of time……  with particular reference to the songs often played the intro is often the key moment, its signature, where you know from the first few note or even note what it is and sets up the rest of the however many minute musical journey, and then in they swoop, motor-mouths engaged and liberally swinging a wrecking ball…… if a song required or an artist had wanted the DJ’s verbal diarrhoea overlaying their music then I’m sure they’d have mixed it in at the time…… same goes for televisions continuity announcers, what are they like!... bothering the end credits, but probably not get me started on these either…
beware! low-flying niggles coming in thick and fast!
…… music needs that moment after, to let it sink in, maybe reflect, pause to take a breath allowing what just been heard settle like pollen on a pond…… yet another symptom of the always-on culture, stimulated to level max 24/7… anyway, I won’t go on, though I realise I just have, and needless to say in the scale of things of things is decidedly trivial, but… but when so many of the big things are getting away from us the small things are all that’s left on which to cling……

© 2018 robert greig

smoke gets in my mirror (18/Sept/18)

they say “you’re only as old as you feel”… I’m in trouble then, because by rights I should be dead… unless I’m some kind of Methuselah… unquestionably past my ‘use by’ date and long beyond my ‘best by’… at least I’m recyclable and hopefully in the end I’ll prove to be more useful as compost… all’s not lost though, at least I seem to be coming back into fashion (again!) as I’ve just heard the latest clothing trend set to ‘explode’ onto the high street is to wear anything that doesn’t match but, and here’s the twist (not), ta daa!… in a way that appears like you haven’t made an effort, except that you have… could this be called post-ironic?… or ‘fake fashion’?… needless to say I’ve been doing unconscious mismatch for years, in fact decades, so it’s hilariously heartening to see that once again I’m at the vanguard of ‘cool’, it was the same when lumberjack check shirts made a ‘comeback’ proving that if you wait long enough and don’t keep falling for the cons and eye-candy changing your wardrobe every five minutes often at the expense of exploited workers in far-flung out-of-sight-out-of-mind countries it all comes around again, and again and again and… I’m just waiting for denim jackets to return to the catwalk… and look, even mobile phones are getting bigger again, so much so will have to start calling them something else, maybe laptops?…. so, there’s no such thing as a fashion faux pas, just ‘retro’ but if anyone falls for this stuff as being new then I think some of us can rightly smirk a justifiably wry grin…… ah yes, good old smoke and mirrors, always there when you need them…… even vinyl, as in records, it’s ‘back’!… apparently… though it’s never been away, just consigned to the world of the second-hand, charity shops and record fairs, but why pass up an excuse to reinvent the wheel, claim it as your own and charge an arm, a leg, a kidney, a lung and while you’re at it one hemisphere of your brain, after all you have a spare and clearly aren’t using both, for the privilege of buying it… again…… all part of life’s rich cultural mêlée I suppose, to feel relevant in this post-apocalyptic decay… oh yes, didn’t you get the memo?… the apocalypse has already happened, it’s just a bit of a slow-burner, after all, isn’t ‘slow’ also the latest go-to fad-fest so why shouldn’t there be a slow-apocalypse…… especially as there’s no shortage of zombies out there following the lemmings over the selfie-cliff……

© 2018 robert greig

made it (24/July/18)

hey kids!… you think being young is a bitch you should try being a grown up…… you think it’s rough now, you just wait, it’s nothing compared to what happens later when the excrement not only hits the fan but every conceivable other place, and it ever stops…… I once knew someone, called Malcolm, I can remember his name which is quite a feat, who at the tender age of 19 carried the firm committed belief that if he hadn’t made it as a musician by the time he’s 21 then he’d kill himself…… understandably to anyone reading this is may sound shocking and a bit melodramatic, which of course it was.. for starters he hadn’t qualified as to what he defined as ‘made it’, truly, what does that even mean, and as it luckily or unluckily as it turned out depending on your point of view his 21st birthday came around and went without a hitch nor anything decidedly terminal happening…… a sigh of relief maybe, though I think he then extended his deadline to his 25th but had wisely lessened the consequences if having not ‘made it’ by then which was to sell all his guitars and assorted musical equipment and abandon music entirely, which itself is extreme but at least less no-coming-back-from about it…… certainly he was being absurd, somewhat petulant, definitely selfish but I can understand the passion that perhaps drove such thinking, and he was a passionate guitarist, albeit not a particularly special or outstanding one which is probably why he never did ‘make it’ in music… as for whether or not he sold all his stuff I’ll never know as he dropped out of my orbit before that as time and people by then had moved on… in a strange twist to this tale the keyboardist of the very same band he was in and for which I was roadie and part time guitarist sold all his equipment lock and stock after some bizarre and decidedly questionable religious epiphany, but then he was also a strange fruit…… a reluctance to get older maybe, grow up, face maturity perhaps, although the whole maturity thing is somewhat misinterpreted, misunderstood and definitely misappropriated time and time again, so perhaps I’ll leave that one out for now, needless to say, yes it can be crappy being young, a child, a teenager, a twenties young-gun, entangled in the puberty years, the heartbreak years, the first love “boo-hoo, oh I will never love again years”, the expectation years, the worlds you oyster and anything is possible years but you wait, it’s all part and parcel of that inevitable decline into the grown-up years when things truly get messy and you can see whether or not you’ve ‘made it’

© 2018 robert greig