Happy New Year (Part 1)

I’ve always loved New Year’s Eve more than I loved Christmas.

For me, the two events are very different beasts: Christmas is a time for family, New Year is a time for friends.

Over the past few years, going out on New Year’s Eve has happened less and less frequently, to the point where I know that tonight I will be home alone, having a wee drink or seven, and trying to avoid watching the bloody Hootenanny (which I’m sure is very entertaining, but – recorded in October – it’s the last bastion for lonely folks as the year ends, not something I care to admit to: I’m alone but not lonely, thanks very much).

I’m perfectly happy with this, by the way. I’m in my 50s now, but for much of my 40s I really couldn’t be arsed with going out on New Year’s Eve anymore anyway: it’s too expensive, you have to wait an age to get served at the bar, and generally there’s nowhere to sit (fellow over 40s will appreciate this more than anything else), all the good seats having been snaffled up hours ago by those annoyingly young people and their seemingly unlimited disposable income.

Since I moved to That London just over eleven years ago now, my NYE nights have been predominantly spent alone – one night out in Camden in my ‘Freshers’ year (really enjoyable, but bloody rammed), a couple of nights at friend’s house parties, a house party that Hel and I threw which I wrote about here and indeed here (which, Hel tells me, was ten years ago tonight, which it must be, as Hel is wrong even less frequently than me, if such a thing is possible).

Being at home alone on New Year’s Eve means there’s no peer pressure: I can go to bed whenever I want, drink as much or as little (yeah, right) as I want, and I don’t have to pretend to be impressed or excited by fireworks. Tonight, for example, I will be continuing to unpack following my recent decanting from my flat. (Yes, I have been back almost a month. No, I haven’t finished yet. I’ve had a bad back. And a cold. Not forgetting I am, essentially, a lazy sod.)

What I’m trying to say is that I quite like being at home on New Year’s Eve, and if you are too, then welcome. You’re really not alone.

Of course things were different when I was younger, and I would often be met with bemused looks from friends when I announced that I preferred going out on New Year’s Eve to going out at Christmas.

There’s a few reasons for that; firstly, New Year’s Eve is unburdened by any religious connotations. Secondly, many will have been lounging arojnd at home for a few days, and will emerge, batteries recharged, and frankly desperate to get away from their families. And thirdly, back then there was the promise of a midnight snog.

The occasions where I didn’t get lucky far outweighed those when I did, of course.

I hope this doesn’t come across as creepy or spark a #MeToo movement against my blog, for I was (I hope) always a perfect gentleman – but this song pretty much sums things up:

LCD Soundsystem – Drunk Girls

More (very) soon.

Where Are Your Friends Tonight?

In case you were wondering, there won’t be an edition of The Chain this week.

When I decided to revive it and moved it back to Wednesdays, I had over-looked one thing: Champions League football.

My team, the mighty Tottenham Hotspur, are back in the competition again this year, so tonight I’ll be chewing my nails watching the game, and will again every time they play until – just to save any of you making the joke – they get knocked out at the end of the group stage again, like they did last year.

Anyway, in the meantime, a tune! I imagine that many people were delighted when they heard that LCD Soundsystem had decided to return from their enforced retirement and start recording and touring again. I’ve listened to the new album and it’s okay, but nothing on it has really leapt out and grabbed me just yet.

So instead, this, from their “Sound of Silver” album, a track I think is probably their finest moment, which given some of the wonderful songs in their back catalogue, is saying something:

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LCD Soundsystem – All My Friends

More soon.

Late Night Stargazing

Ordinarily, I’m very wary of a band announcing that they’re quitting, and then a couple of years later making another announcement that they’re reforming again.

But when the band in question is LCD Soundsystem, I’m more than happy to cut them some slack.

Here’s the first track I ever heard from their second album, Sound of Silver, a bleepy, throbbing, downbeat classic:

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LCD Soundsystem – Someone Great

More soon.

How to Do a Cover Version

And whilst we’re at resurrecting threads I previously dropped, how about this one?

Anyone who has caught Hot Chip live in the last couple of years (an elite group amongst which I am unable to count myself, but I saw the Glastonbury footage when I got home…from Glastonbury. There was a clash, ok?? Super Furries or Hot Chip – you know which way I’m gonna swing) will have borne witness to the genius that is their version of Broooce’s “Dancing in the Dark”. And now, here it is:

hzAhCn Hot Chip – Dancing in the Dark

and here’s the original:

A_-Front Bruce Springsteen – Dancing in the Dark

I believe it is obligatory in blogland, having mentioned “Dancing in the Dark” to post the video, which features a pre-Friends Courtney Cox being dragged on stage to dance (badly) with Broooce (also dancing badly). What are the odds of that happening, huh? Here it is: obligation filled.

But wait! What’s that at the end of the Hot Chip version? Isn’t that the sound of one James Murphy and his LCD Soundsystem collective’s finest moments? Why yes, it is, and here’s all 7:37 of the glorious original:

LCD_Soundsystem_-_All_My_Friends_cover_art LCD Soundsystem – All My Friends

And while we’re at it, here’s Franz Ferdinand’s version of the same glorious song:

LCD_Soundsystem_-_All_My_Friends Franz Ferdinand – All My Friends

More soon. Possibly.