These end-of-year epilogues have become invariably sad affairs. Of course, I would prefer that it was different, but I still believe that they help me channel energies in a better way. Last year – in what I still believe to be my best ever contribution here – I said that structural positives had been offset by surface negatives. Now, the poles have changed.
More people than ever are still looking for a philosophy on life that offers any comfort. During the New Year, a time when we deliberately parse our minds for retrospection and hope, I thought about the paradox of interconnectedness: how, by superficially feeling closer together than ever before, we might never feel further apart.
Should Keane top the charts with Strangeland later today, they will swiftly follow Coldplay (and another of my dear charges, Erasure) into an exclusive list of British bands to have achieved a fifth consecutive number one album.
2011 was a story I don’t know how to tell. It’s a year that had so many structural positives, countered by surface negatives. Perhaps it’s best defined by what others have said.
A difficult anniversary is approaching, which has made me think a lot about personal relationships. Thus, I turned, as many have seen recently, to the virtues of music: as a companion, as a friend, and as a saviour. I invited friends to receive a song recommendation, all of which are listed here.
This place has never needed to be about me. It has needed to be about pieces of research that tell a good story; about events or developments that have some form of interest… Commemorating two years of Writing Privacy.
2010 has been, it seems, a sad year for many people. My own sad story has been punctuated with glimpses of light. End-of-year epilogues are so hard to write, but in the light of some illuminating and wistful hopes and dreams that have consumed me recently, I’d like to share some meaningful pieces.
Alphaville’s 20th anniversary celebration in Berlin in 2004 marked the best week of my life. Meeting the Alphaville family, seeing the band live for the first time, the adrenalin rush at meeting my idols: these created a unique kind of euphoria that will be difficult to find again. Six years later came a one-night return to Berlin for the launch party of the new album, Catching Rays on Giant.
[First featured in Noted, Autumn 2008] Since edited to become ‘Boys Don’t Sing’? Gareth Malone and UK Attitudes towards Music It is so easy to deride someone’s music taste or involvement with music without realising the consequences. The last few years have seen choirmaster Gareth Malone working in schools and communities in England to try …