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The life and times of james Hart: his family, his music, life in Luton and his occasional escapes onto the internet.

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Sunday, 29 January 2006

first gig of 2006 and free things!

Stars In BattledressI went to my first gig of 2006 yesterday - David, half of the fine Jude, invited me to see his new favourite band at the tiniest venue I have, or possibly will ever have attended. Downstairs at the Betsey Trotwood is a room about the size of a fairly large lounge, where forty or fifty of us bundled close together to watch Stars In Battledress play. They're a pair of brothers - one a classically trained pianist, and the other a talented guitarist and singer. Considering it was only the two of them, they made the most amazing polyrhythmic and convoluted sound, underneath ethereal harmonies. To have been within about five feet of them, as we were urged forward to let the latecomers see, made it incredibly intimate, both men being at floor level, and shorter than me... more like a musical session, and at a reasonable volume.

For my own recollections, I cheekily captured a few moments of the music that they made here (1.8 MB MP3) but their full first album can be heard at their record label's homepage - House Of Stairs.

Work has been incredibly busy of late, although I think, since I've been a supervisor, that has persistently been the case. I'm finding it somewhat frustrating at the moment, if anything because the day-to-day job is fairly straightforward, but there are myriad ways of improving it, which involves change, and change is hard to implement, even when the principles are sound and agreed.

I have, however, decided that 2006 will be the year I - in some shape or form - perform live. On Friday, I'm getting together with the two upstanding founders of Jude to discuss songs that we should bring to the unwary public, and hopefully this will beget some regular rehearsal.

Then there's the podcast that I'm collaborating on - it's slowly coming together for an inaugural publication.. added to the rigours of family life, I think there's plenty going on. I haven't been bored since I was about 13, and it's not likely to be the case any time soon.

2006 has already brought more gadgets, too - my iPAQ has bluetooth, and I found a handy GPS receiver at kaali.co.uk for under £50 that I could buy with money I received for Christmas. It turned up the next day, and two of my colleagues were impressed enough to buy one, too! How I got around without SatNav before, I really don't know. Well, I do - I don't think we've been on holiday in the last few years without at least one wrong turn!

Most of the software I've seen, though, only really deals with driving navigation; it would be really useful to have an application for PocketPC that can be used for walks in the country and the like...

When I was pointed at a rather amusing (or terrifying, depending on our point of view) exposé on a harmful substance I discovered a rather marvellous invention - the Klein Bottle - a glass 3D 'immersion' of a 4D mobius strip. Or something. I imagine shipping would be prohibitive, but it would make a great gift!

Enough from me, for now, I shall leave you - as always after an epic and long-awaited blog - with a little cluster of neat and handy things.

Links of the day:

Posted by james at January 29, 2006 10:00 PM

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