Thursday, March 27, 2003

Had a very exciting package land on my doormat yesterday: one of my Japanese friends (Hi Kaori!) sent me a couple of CDs - the new White Stripes CD, 'Elephant', and a Yeah Yeah Yeahs mini-album. The White Stripes CD isn't out in the UK yet and the Japanese version has a different cover and two bonus tracks! And the YYYs CD is a Japan-only compilation of their first two EPs. Ooh, it was just like Christmas. Without the over-eating. Or the arguments. It wasn't really very much like Christmas at all, come to think of it. But both CDs are excellent: the White Stripes CD is no great departure from 'White Blood Cells' but has more humour (esp. the last track) and, it goes without saying, is deeply-imbued with the spirit of rock'n'roll (man) with a big dollop of the blues.

The YYYs are artier and punkier, although Butter says that Karen O can't sing: "She finds one note then sticks to it." That's coming from a Hole fan.

Also bought the new Placebo CD, from a very cheap website called Second Sounds. They've gone for a more electronic sound this time. The first five tracks are fantastic, esp 'English Summer Rain', but I think it peters out a bit in the second half. And there's something very annoying about the CD: it has inbuilt Copy Control software. This means that you can't copy it onto your hard drive. Now, I'm all for the record company fat cats protecting their profits (and I'm not being sarcastic; I always buy CDs by bands I like because I want them to get the royalties; if nobody buys their CDs they won't be able to release any more; I feel the same about books - I don't like to borrow from libraries and try to avoid buying them second hand because I want to support the publishing industry and the authors) but all I want to do is record the CD onto my hard-drive so I can upload it onto my iPod. I now won't be able to listen to the album on the move, and my love of Placebo is slightly diminished.

We've discovered a big plus-point about being an unemployed layabout. We spent an hour this afternoon playing tennis in the park. And we'll be able to do it all again tomorrow.

Our lunch with the BBC is all set-up. We're going to an extremly swanky restaurant called Gaudi. I was a bit worried that they wouldn't have anything for veggies, but I've checked their menu and among the disgusting foie gras and sweetmeats are a couple of fancy-sounding dishes: Gratined potatoes with truffles and smoked cheese. I need to find out what escalivada is... Ooh, just checked - it's a Catalan vegetable medley. Of course.