Thursday, October 29, 2009

Music makes me happy (or 'time for a very conventional blog post')

I tried to count my passions the other day. They are few, and they are intense. On the other hand, they are myriad and they are shallow and transient. But a few endure, and one is music.

I love a more wide variety of music than most people. It sounds arrogant but I truly believe that. When most people say 'oh, I love all music', it comes with a caveat. 'Not that bloody rap music'. 'Not country'. 'Not dance/trance/techno/classical/jazz/gay shit'. But I love it all. Even the gay shit.

These are not my top five songs, just the first five that entered my head as I type this.

When The Saints Go Marching In - Louis Armstrong

Ok, I lie. This one probably is my favourite song ever (it helps that he describes his drummer as a 'little filipina boyyyy'). It also ties into one of my other enduring passions!

I have a huge hardon for dixieland, especially satchmo, who makes the most simple melodies so so great. Love that dude. His duets with Ella Fitzgerald are breathtaking.

Everyday I Have The Blues - John Mayer Trio

Of COURSE I got John Mayer in here. Those of you who know me (should) know he's my favourite artist. If you don't know why, then you don't know John Mayer. He fills my appetite for hardcore blues, hardcore guitar playing and seriously, seriously softcore pop. This one, from the live album 'where the light is' contains my second-favourite guitar solo of all time.

Keep an eye on his face when he plays, it's hilarious. And please ignore the terrible grammar in the title.

Little Secrets - Passion Pit

This band caters only to my love for pop. Also to my primal love for percussion mixed with high-pitched singing. That's why it succeeds: serious bass and serious treble, with a real trough in the middle. Their entire catalogue is superb (it's still small though...).

Strawberry Swing - Coldplay

Embedding's disabled and I can't be arsed figuring out how to finagle it, so click the damn link already. The video's neat, but the song is neater. If you don't like Coldplay, you won't like it. But then I don't care what you think if you don't like Coldplay.

Concerto For Orchestra Movt 1, Introduzione - Bela Bartok

I know, I'm trying to make myself classy by including a classical (um...not classical!) work. But I legitimately love this song, though I don't feel equipped to describe why in any great detail. Certainly not without more time and a bit earlier in the day, perhaps.

Monday, October 26, 2009


Someone recently asked me the age-old question of why the hell i do maths. Why should someone care about all of the useless crap I care about?

Do I care about it simply because it's for my qualifications? I don't think so, or I'd be doing something else. Mathematics is not something you choose to do for the glamour, power, or money.

Is it because all the people around me care about it, and I'm just mimicking them, like the new kid at school who pretends to like the same music as the cool kids and ends up loving it? Like the showbiz kid who's pushed into singing by his crazy parents and ends up needing the spotlight as much as his mum needed him to have it?

I hope not. But I can't truthfully answer this. Maybe I'm just part of a big club that happens to (barely) fund itself and make careers for its members. If it's the case, I'm not all that bothered: it's a freaking fun ass club to be in.

Is it because I was the smartest kid in the room all through primary school, and I need to hold onto that feeling? I *seriously* hope it's not that.

I hope, though, I'm in it for the fun of it. For the so-called `quest for knowledge', even if we make up the questions. The feeling you get when you beat Rubik's Cube for the first time, or solve a riddle and see how everything fits. That's mathematics. See the pattern, prove it's there. Find out why, if you can. Prove it.

If someone figures out a way to make it useful....good for them.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

an early night

There is nothing for the self esteem quite
so helpful as an early night.

Though sleeping early suggests a dearth of things to do tonight,
there's nothing on this earth so right
for making one feel in control
like everything is under control
as an early night.

For in the morning you may sleep
like today's Sunday, last night a late, late Saturday night,
but upon waking look at the clock to see it's not eleven, twelve, one,
but only seven
and the day has just begun.