Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Day 185: Know Who You Are At Every Age

Today's soundtrack: Cocteau Twins - BBC Sessions

Sound advice indeed for the birthday boys today and tomorrow, from today's cover stars the Cocteau Twins, about whom more later.

Spent most of today out of the house, finishing off yesterday's chores - but being a good son, I spent the first part of the morning slaving over the breadmaker, making a loaf of bread for my mum.

Showing off, basically.

Then it was off out, first stop the Post Office to post Son No 1's birthday card and to - finally - get my Latitude pics sent down to Simon. Got there in the end mate! I have such a busy life at the moment, as you'll appreciate...

Then back to Bathers, to collect my new tyres. Now I'm not one of those people who insists on using small independents to the exclusion of major high street chains, but it is nice to be able to support a small, long established local business - especially when they do offer a great level of service. I turned up, tyres were there, two guys working together replaced both front tyres, checked pressures in the back tyres and I was sorted and on my way within fifteen minutes. Coupled with a decent price for the tyres - still not cheap, but less than I've paid elsewhere - and I'll be back there next time.

After the tyre service, it was off to my folks, to drop off my nephew's birthday present (a new England shirt) and my freshly baked loaf, still warm from the oven. Naturally my mum had to cut the loaf for lunchtime sandwiches (method in my madness, you see!) and I came away with a big bag of home grown tomatoes, ready to be turned into soup of some kind (recipe tomorrow, foodies!)

Then back home to see what havoc, if any, the cat had wrought. Thankfully, no corpses or indoor interlopers that I could see. I think he saves up his naughtiness for the weekend, when Mrs W is around. He's good as gold with me!

And so The Cocteaus on the soundtrack today. Another group that helps put the lie to the notion that the '80s were a barren period for good music. Wispy, ethereal, unintelligible, but ultimately incredibly beautiful music with layers of guitars and effects, topped with one of the most idiosyncratic (in a good way) voices in popular music.

Today is yet another of my BBC session albums, but the quality is as good as on any of their wonderful studio albums. Cocteau Twins produced many good sessions for the Beeb, on Peel of course, but also for David Jensen and Richard Skinner, and this album perfectly complements their even more polished studio work.

Where to start with the Cocteaus? Probably 'Heaven or Las Vegas' is their most accessible album, although 'Treasure' or 'Head Over Heels' might be the better albums. The compilation albums are good, but really their albums sit better as complete works for me.

Here's 'Heaven or Las Vegas' - absolutely beautiful. And no, I've not a clue what she's singing about. And I don't care either.

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