The Necks and the BBC SSO

When I have seen the Necks play they have always made me reconsider what music is and what it is for (both as a listener and a player) in a way that I have always found really cool, and I had that same experience this time but also with the symphony orchestra within that territory that is being redefined - it is redefining roles and expectations and demands on people (including audiences) and certainly orchestral musicians. It is fascinating to watch their body language and so many levels of meaning. And the bottom line was there were many moments where the orchestral element sounded really cool and to me it was a real sonic success. I saw Butch Morris doing his conducted improvisation with jazz musicians and really enjoyed it and I really enjoyed this too. That there will likely be very mixed opinions on it absolutely comes with the turf but for what it is worth that was mine!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p05274dq

How to not be an Arsehole by an Arsehole

I am working on accepting and admitting that I am at times an arsehole.

An arsehole who denies he or she is an arsehole is a much bigger arsehole and much harder to be around.

An arsehole who accepts he or she is an arsehole and takes responsibility and apologises (without needing to be asked) when he or she is an arsehole is hardly an arsehole at all.

So by admitting and accepting that you are an arsehole you kind of stop really being an arsehole.

It is known as the arsehole/not an arsehole paradox.

That is it.

(This post on Facebook was the origin of Arsehole Force!)

Rats vs Ashes

 One of my passions is cricket......This is 100% true:

I was dawdling at the pub last night having played bodhran at our weekly thursday night folk music session intending to get back home for the start of play in Adelaide Ashes Test match. My mate Iain MacLeod, the ex-Shooglenifty mandolin player (and the only other person in the pub who gives a toss about cricket cos we are in Scotland) asks "who won the toss?"  I go on OBO ( a live cricket score website) on my iphone a suddenly see 1) Katich the australian opening batsman has been run out 4th ball so they are 0 for 1 and then suddenly at that moment it updates and they are 0 for 2 and Ponting their captain and best batsman is out for a golden duck ie first ball! Me and Iain shout and hug each other (in a manly way) in the pub and I leg it off down the street back to my house (nb it is minus 10 degrees and Pathhead is covered in snow). My wife, Gina, is Scottish but came to OZ 4 years ago with me to see the Ashes and we were at the Gabba and Adelaide test matches. She follows the cricket a bit. Having been there last time it means a lot to see England go back and compete like this.

I am running down the street (a bit tipsy it has to be said) in a kind of drunk manic dreamland. I run in the house kind of expecting TV to be on and her watching the game. I run in. She shouts " We've got Rats!".

I didn't really listen. I shout " Australia are 0 for 2!" and look at her expecting an outburst of wifely empathetic joy.

She shouts "We've got f***ing Rats!"

I shout "Australia are 0 for 2! Eh? What?" She screams - "WE'VE GOT F**ING RATS!". Starting to notice...

She screams - "WE'VE GOT F**ING RATS! YOU DRUNK *$!&". Starting to notice  lack of wifely empathetic joy.

We had rats before many years ago and it was really bad - they kind of drove Gina and the kids out of the house while I was away working - and so the news fires deep protective neanderthal warrior instincts within me.

These compete in my drunken brain with the euphoria and gobsmacking excitement about Australia being 0 for 2, plus the disbelief that I missed it. I am completely overwhelmed - what to do - and then we realise the TV is down ( snow on the aerial!!).

I spring into action, my wife yelling at me pretty much the whole time. I am kind of ignoring her continuously although knowing that I will pay a price for it later. First I get the TV on (go outside, climb on outside boiler in 3 feet of snow, slip and fall off, get back on, reach up with pole, bash snow off aerial). Go back in and twiddle leads on the upstairs landing. 

I am aware of wife now screaming "TV is back on" with a "so this is more important than the rats obviously” tone. Then I find out it is 2 for 3 (ie 3 Australian batsmen out for 2 runs) - WTF - what is happening! my brain is truly churning.

Then I go up into the attic with a rolling pin while Gina is screaming 'Don't go up there!' - she wants me to sit quietly and listen to the rat noises. My hindbrain (with that kind of unrealistic decision making caused a) being male b) being pissed and c) by watching the Bourne Identity too many times (and identifying innappropriately with Bourne)  has obviously decided to just decisively sort the rat problem as quickly as possible so I can watch the cricket.

“Simple plan.Kill the rats. Then watch Cricket.” says my hindbrain.  I totally ignore her again. I go up there looking to bash in the rat skulls before another wicket falls and then remember from our last rat infestation that rats hide when approached by noisy large men with axes or other objects. Come down.

Gina goes off to bed in what I took to be a “you are a twat” huff. I sit down and watch the game till 5 am with the sound of rats merrily running about in the attic and in the walls behind the plasterboard. Happy days.

Got up after 2 hours sleep and kind of semi-grovelled to wife and went out and got anti rat stuff. 

So now Me vs Rats is on as well as England vs Australia. There can only be two winners. Game on.