Thursday, 24 April 2008

S13-14: Thomas James - 15 Years / Belle & Sebastian - Simple Things

"I don't exist in usual places."

Two tracks on the blog today, simply because I missed yesterday's. No big deal as I would have had nothing much to say about the last track, except that I found it here and that it's nice, which as we all by now know is hardly a compliment. More a thinly veiled disinterest. Still, with only two samples, however, it is difficult to get much of an impression of the artist. * I think this is especially the case in instrumental piano music. It didn't grab me, so I guess it's not for me.

I don't have a lot to say about today's artist either, though for quite different reasons. This is the peril of such a systematic blogging technique: you don't always have oodles of knowledge to spew forth about the chosen topic for the day. As it is, however, I'm sure most of you probably know more about Belle & Sebastian than I could claim to. As much as I like their clever lyrical wordplay and their seeming simplicity of composition, I can never recall going out of my way to listen to them.

Of course, I have a lot of music to listen to and tend to dart about a little haphazardly around my collection (except the past couple of days when I have been listening almost exclusively to Do or DIY on WFMU, compiled by People Like Us). I have, however, taken to listening to albums again over the last two years; more than I ever did even when CDs were the dominant format. I can't remember the number of tapes I recorded songs onto, re-recording over and over until they wore themselves out - all for my own personal use.

Belle & Sebastian have always been, in my mind at least, a band for the summer. I am more an autumnal type with wintry leanings, preferring The Divine Comedy's earlier work over the pop drivel of their latest album. One interesting fact I can tell you is that Arab Strap, the band after whom the album (The Boy with the Arab Strap) was named, were not so happy with the tribute claiming "there's a limit to putting someone else's name on an album". Arab Strap are now defunct, though both Aidan Moffat and Malcolm Middleton are still active, both with an album release this year. Those who wish to know where the original Arab Strap took their name from should take a look here, then scrub their eyes with soapy water.

See, I can talk away and never get to the point where I get down to really discussing an artist or even the particular songs posted**, but the point of this blog is to allow the music to provide the destinations. The route I take remains entirely up to me and these are but early days. What I have done on this occasion to mask my ignorance of one of the great bands from over the wall is to garnish this entry with myriad links to websites where you can get a lot of free music to sample if you look around. I shall also, as is my current modus operandi, leave you with these two MP3 offerings:

Download: Thomas James - 15 Years (from FreeSoloPiano)
Download: Belle & Sebastian - Simple Things

A video for Simple Things does exist on YouTube, so here it is:

Thomas James's official website
Belle & Sebastian's official website
Buy The Boy with the Arab Strap: Amazon UK | US

*I'd previously typed "Excet" here. God only knows what I was trying to say before I got distracted and went off to edit another paragraph. I never tend to write in a direct top-to-bottom fashion.

**The song actually provided me the quite wonderful lyric for which I went out looking for picture opportunities to accompany. There were a few oddities I spotted in my excursions, the favourite of which graces the top of the entry. Unless somebody can tell me how to add a 'jump' to my blog entry, however, these others shall remain in the picture bin for possible use in future entries.


confliction said...

What kind of 'jump' do you need?

The only kind i know of is the hash operand suffixed to the href hyperlinking. Instructions are as follows but without the unnecessary spaces.

First you need to 'anchor' the text or image that you wish to 'jump' to.

< a id='label'> destination < / a>
Where label is the shortcut name that will henceforth suffix the hash.

Then, to jump to this anchor you can use either:

< a href='#label'> link < / a>
< a href='url#label'> link < / a>

And for quite clever time saving you can link within a website merely shortening the url to '/extension' where extension is the sub-directory within the website the link is currently on. Then suffix with the hash as necessary.

Is that what you're looking for?

confliction said...

Sorry... for clarity in the 'anchoring' - destination is not a url or whatever, it's just the text or image placeholder < img src='etc'> that you wish to anchor.

Eiron Page said...

I mean the code that hides some of the entry so that one must click on a link to read the rest of it. Like LiveJournal's lj-cut feature.

confliction said...

Ahhh... i was trying to think of a clever way of combining some HTML but i'm afraid i don't know enough.

Try W3 Schools HTML walkthrough/resource.