My trainer is an ogre and I’m his guinea-pig. Or, his lab rat at the gym. What else could explain the torture he subjects me to every morning? Pull-ups, push-ups, presses of different kinds, squats, deadlifts…. till everything becomes a blurry haze and my body feels as if someone’s put it through a sugarcane juice maker. Of course, I willingly do his bidding—in what you could call a valiant attempt at postponing the sag of age with the help of a quotidian dose of extreme physical discomfort. It would be unfair to blame my trainer for what I go through every morning because the poor chap is only trying to help me do what I’ve signed up for. But it is a tough proposition: he is an insistent coach, firm and no-nonsense, but that alone is not nearly enough to see me through my workouts. For that I have to reach out for music. Read more
“But let’s talk about you for a minute, with the vomit at your gullet, from a half bottle of vodka that we’d stolen from the optic. On the back seat of your car because it wasn’t safe to start it, you were ‘far too f***ed to drive’ were the words that you imparted. And the woolen dress that clung so tight, to the contours of your body. And the dead grass stuck to fibers from us rolling in the layby, were passed to dog-hair blankets that protected the bench seat covers, and a crucifix was hung from rear-view mirror by your mother.” Read more
As I write this (and roughly a week before you read it), the mother of all music festivals is underway at Austin, Texas. It’s the South by South-West festival, commonly referred to as SXSW, and has been on for the past 23 years. In 1994, in addition to music, SXSW included film and interactive media conferences and has now become an important fixture on the world’s film festival circuit. But it is the music that is at the core of SXSW and what really excites me about this annual festival that happens in March. Read more
The first Sigur Rós album I heard was Ágætis byrjun, which means ‘an all right start’ in Icelandic. Sigur Rós are an Icelandic band that plays a genre of music that is classified (by those who love to classify such things) as post-rock, minimalist, ethereal music. I found Sigur Rós’s music mainly downtempo and soothing but also sad at times. I heard several of their albums, including the curiously named () (released in 2002), Takk (in 2005) and Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust (2008). That last title translates into ‘with a buzz in our ears we play endlessly’. Nice, isn’t it? I don’t know why, but the band’s music sometimes reminded me of a huge, widescreen film where the camera is static and the visual is of a wide open landscape.