Saturday, 20 June 2009

Cool stuff

I know this blog is supposed to be about ‘the everyday, the banal and other important matters,’ but to be honest I’m a bit everydayed out at the moment. Maybe it’s just doing a lot of radio interviews where I’m expected to do a PR job on the everyday, to rebrand it and show people why it’s worth bothering with, like a geek with academic credentials. Sometimes I feel a bit like that French chap from EuroDisney brought in to talk up the Millennium Dome. But I’m not a door-to-door salesman for the mundane; I’m not a cold caller for the quotidian. ‘Hello, my name is Joe and our salespeople are in your area and we’d like to interest you in a defamiliarisation of your daily life, with absolutely no obligation … ’

The thing is, it’s not a zero sum game. Just because you’re interested in the everyday (and even this blog sometimes finds it a bit boring) doesn’t mean you’re not interested in the extraordinary. Just because you’re into the endotic doesn’t mean you don’t like the exotic. Occasionally even this blog likes to hang on the coat-tails of cool. So, as a little palate-cleansing sorbet before we hopefully return to matters mundane, here are a few things that I think are cool/romantic/moving/funny and are definitely not things you meet every day:

Kate Rusby singing ‘The Wild Goose’, beautifully:

Very clever sketch with Peter Cook and Dudley Moore:

Sufjan Stevens singing ‘Romulus’:

A silly song by the Flight of the Conchords:


  1. Thank you for these delights. I particularly like the Guardian's "precise lyricism - licked slightly with irony" description of your style.I really would like to see a film made of your book with the same touch as Crown Film Unit Productions which maybe at their best had something of the same touch exemplified at best by "Night Mail".Come on BBC4 or C4!I guess writing the script might be a pain for you so just take the royalties and let someone else do it.

  2. I enjoyed the songs. I had not heard of Rusby or Stevens before. I'm always intrigued (or nosey depending on how you look at it) as to why people like certain songs, there's often a story behind it, that relates to a person, place or memory - rather than 'just a good tune'. I have songs that when heard, transport me immediately back to Liverpool or Exeter, or that I associate with particular friends - and I know this is certainly not unique to me.

  3. The Rusby 'Lullabies'song is another gem. I also recommend for the extraordinary in life any Youtube moments of Judy Dench as Lady Macbeth in the Trevor Nunn production/ Count Arthur Strong and the opening to Glengarry Glen Ross with Jack Lemmon etc.

  4. I've just got back from watching the Harold Pinter play 'Old Times' at the Lincoln Drill Hall...and the play was excellent, but I'm whilst there I saw a poster saying that Kate Rusby was performing at Lincoln Castle this evening! I hadn't heard of her until reading this blog, and loved the You Tube clip....had I known earlier she was going to be at the Castle - I definitely would have gone to see her!

  5. Thank you for reminding me what a beautiful voice that Kate Rusby has. I suggest that Emma buys one of Kate's CDs for a start and then tries to catch one of her gigs.She is one of South Yorkshire's many talented artists and poets. I enjoyed the Peter Cook and Dudley Moore sketch which I had not seen before.

  6. Glad you all liked these clips - i'll put some more on sometime. it's the noughties equivalent of doing C90 cassette compilation tapes ...