Wednesday, 25 March 2009

If uPnP is the answer...

... then I'm not sure I want to know what the question was!

The question - of course - is how I get music onto my N78.

But, a diversion today from the world of mobile devices, and a delve into the world of popular music. After a few months of relatively sparse gig attendance, we've got a few interesting tickets lined up for this summer. Pet Shop Boys, Bruce Springsteen, Blur, AC/DC and even Michael Jackson feature in my diary for the summer months this year.

The Michael Jackson was an obvious one to me. Someone like Michael Jackson has, somewhere in him, the capacity to put on a fantastic gig. Regardless of the other weirdness and controversy around him over the past few years, there was a time when he produced some amazing music and put on some amazing concerts. Time may have changed him in some respects, but he is still the same person who wrote Thriller and produced the album Dangerous, and to my mind, 75 pounds is a small price to pay for the chance to see him recapature that genius. And it's not an enormous sum of money to lose if he fails.

Talking of pop music, I bought the latest album by Pet Shop Boys the other day. Well, I guess in the interests of honesty I should say that it was bought for me - but that's unimportant :-)

The album has been produced by (and co-writted in places with) Xenomania, the Brian Higgins collective of perfect pop producers. I read a review of the album yesterday which claimed that you couldn't discern the Xenomania influence on the music and couldn't disagree more. The driving pop beats behind some of the tracks couldn't have come from anywhere else other than Xenomania.

That's not a complaint, by the way, merely an observation.

But despite the obvious influence of Xenomania, the album is undeniably Pet Shop Boys. It's pretentious in a slightly self-mocking way and contains lyrics of the most improbably ingenuity.

I have a slight sense of disappointment though that they called a track Pandemonium and missed the trick to make it more pretentious by spelling it Pandæmonium...

As an aside, I actually prefer the latter spelling anyway...

One of the things that Pet Shop Boys have done throughout the years is to set themselves up for weird rhymes. They were never afraid to end a line with "Crimea" or to invoke the simply divine pairing of "elephant" and "supplicant" as a rhyming pair. But the all time prize for weird rhyming in my music collection has to go to Dolly Parton (yes, really!) for a track on Backwoods Barbie which opens with the line "My heart is as heavy as an anvil" as the first half of a rhyming pair.

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