No records here, just me and mine with a bit of comics and rugby thrown in, so you may wish to skip to the ‘301 Down (Still)’ bit at the bottom, but if you’re as fascinated by me as I am you’re welcome along for the ride.
In the past I have taken stock every time the counter has clicked past a multiple of 100 records and here I am again, after a month where I just confined myself to bands beginning with ‘B’, it was an interesting little exercise and I looked at and played a few things I possibly wouldn’t have otherwise, but I can’t see myself doing it again. As usual the thanks go to all of you for sticking around and humoring my drivel with your likes and comments, it really does make the difference between bothering/not bothering when I’m brain-dead after work on a Monday night and you only have yourselves to blame for encouraging me.
This weekend I drove down to my folks in Llandeilo with both my offspring straight after work, as always we made a cool mix CD to entertain us/keep me awake – our note perfect a capella version of Pat Benetar’s ‘Hit Me With Your Best Shot’ is a thing of rare power and beauty, but our take on ‘No Diggity’ still needs a bit of work. I still can’t elicit more than a rolled-eye response to metal from my kids, but there are some signs that using soft-rock as a gateway frug may be working, cheers Night Ranger!
Apart from the sheer joy of spending time in God’s Own Country and seeing my folks, I had come down to go and watch Wales -v- Australia in Cardiff on Saturday* with my dad. As always we had a great time in a very relaxed city and a certain amount of Doom Bar was drunk. We also had the privilege of making a pilgrimage to a very special place, Spillers Records which I used to visit occasionally as a teenager, it is none other than THE OLDEST RECORD SHOP IN THE WORLD. Sorry but that needed to be put in capital letters. It was established in 1894. Yup, 119 years ago and still going very strong. Of course, I was far too overcome to do anything useful like a take a picture.
We also had high expectations of seeing a good win over Australia too – a real rarity. The portents were as good as the weather, a great clear, crisp day, supping our drinks outside, my spiritual home, the Millennium Stadium on the banks of the river Taff, we really thought we were on for a great win, despite the fact that Australia had beaten us 8 times in a row. George North scored a great try within 2 minutes of the start, to set us on the road to a mighty victory…
… that never happened. Ah well, sport’s a cruel beast, Australia summoned up their best performance in ages to beat us 26 – 30 and in truth, well as Wales played at points, it could have been a load more. It was a brilliant, brilliant match and Australia were just excellent, withstanding the pounding we gave them and replying in kind, but also adding an outrageous level of skill and attacking panache – Will Genia and Quade Cooper were just magical. Despite some questionable refereeing I have no complaints, Australia schooled us.
Obviously being the sore loser I am I have now declared war on all things Aussie. I swear to you by all I hold dear to me that I will not listen to a single AC/DC track until Thursday and if ‘Diamond in The Rough’ by Airbourne comes up on my ‘Jog, Piggy! Jog!’ playlist when I’m out running next week, I’ll only repeat it twice rather than the usual 5 times and I also vow not to drink any Australian wine until the weekend. Oh yes, that’ll teach them!
I have also been the recipient of two acts of generosity this weekend.
Firstly, my Uncle Jim following a lengthy conversation over the wonders of 1960’s American comics in general and the relative merits of Steve Ditko and Jack Kirby in particular a couple of months ago, has rather staggeringly given me 12 bound volumes of DC and Marvel classics, collected by him. I have barely taken it all in, there are all manner of gems such as Nick Fury Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D, The Shadow, King Kull, Deathlok The Demolisher, The Blue beetle, Captain Atom, The New Gods, The Demon and Strange Tales – amongst many, many more. They are all beautifully preserved and there are a goodly number of first issues in there too. As a long-time comics fan I am overwhelmed and so grateful he has passed his collection on to me to look after.
I have only just had a chance to dip into the riches on offer here but the Nick Fury ones, from ’68 are particularly psychedelic with some wonderful covers and one story I picked up on has an acid rock band hit by an alien ray which makes them try to take over the world – I’m guessing they get thwarted, but I really dug this particular panel after they had been thwarted and returned to normality by, big band jazz fan, Nick Fury.
I also returned home today to a copy of Cambodia Highball’s Odd Geometry, from my friend Mr J Hubner. Again, I was really rather touched by this space rock generosity, although I am saving it to brighten up my commute tomorrow morning, so I can head to work in a blissed-out state. Thank you again, Mr H.
So it’s all turned a bit like the end of my favourite Christmas movie** It’s a Wonderful Life, which the family 1537 always try to watch around this time of year, or as the divine Jimmy Cliff (almost) sang
Wonderful world, beautiful people
Australians are banned until Thursday
301 Down (still).
**and one of my favourite films period.