Journal: June 2008 Archives

Chart-tastic

18 June 2008

eMusic is running a survey to try to find its subscribers' favourite album. Well, the best one that eMusic can supply, which narrows the field quite some way. But it means that, whatever the winner, it's not going to be some multi-platinum monstrosity.

With the help of iTunes Statistician and the power of memory, I came up with a list fairly quickly, although some things I could swear I got from the paid-for download site have since disappeared, which entailed a bit of rejigging.

On top of that, the number one is a bit of a ringer as I didn't get it off eMusic. However, the live album they put up on the service for free was the come-on I needed to try eMusic in the first place.

And the winner is: The Pixies with Surfer Rosa/Come On Pilgrim.

Followed by:

2. Twin Cinema - The New Pornographers
3. The Greatest - Cat Power
4. Walls - Apparat
5. The Life Pursuit - Belle & Sebastian

That is all.

Blowin' in the wind

9 June 2008

I've never really understood the point of leaf blowers. Even less so as I look out of the window today - in the middle of June - at a guy wandering up and down with a leaf blower in a street that does not have any trees in it.

In Sicily for a holiday in the second half of May, my girlfriend and I decided to go to Pantalica. It sounds as though it ought to be a South American heavy metal act but is an enormous, sprawling necropolis that dates back to the Bronze Age. From about 1300 BC, the inhabitants buried their dead in caves cut into the sides of the gorge cut by the Anapo river. They cut thousands of square holes in the cliffs and dragged the bodies of their relatives up to them, ultimately to be uncovered and shipped off to museums by archaeologists.

pantalcaves.jpg

You can get to Pantalica from two directions: Ferla to the west and Sortino to the northeast. The roads almost meet, but not quite. However, the Tom Tom satnav shows one stretch of road joining Ferla and Sortino by way of Pantalica. Before we got there, I assumed that there was a road there but it was no more than a dirt track for the section that ran down into the gorge and up the other side, as local maps show a break between the two sections of tarmac. This was on the basis that in all the stories of satnavs going wrong, most of the time the road actually existed. It just wasn't all that useful to regular motor vehicles.