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Eight Miles High - shadows of echoes of memories of songs
j4
j4
Eight Miles High
It's not often you'll hear me say this, but everything is pretty cool at the moment.

Yesterday we went to this gig (also reviewed by juggzy), and I can't really add much to what's been said, except to say "Yes, that really is REM and Robyn Hitchcock, in a barely half-full 500-capacity venue, and I am going to stop being smug about it soon, but not yet, okay?" Robyn Hitchcock and the Venus 3 were ace: surreal in ways that undergraduates who overuse the word "fish" could only dream of, psychedelic in a way that didn't need the drugs, crazy and exuberant and sexy (and I'm not just talking about that fringe, though I would if you gave me half a chance, goodness me yes). We were right at the front, grinning and bouncing, they went out (as we thought) on a high note with stomping and clapping and calling for encores, and then! Suddenly on stage! All of REM! The whole shebang! Actual real live Stipe, ten yards away, flat-capped and grinning through thick-framed glasses, and not just a could-be-Stipe-or-could-be-a-sock-puppet three miles away on the main stage at Glastonbury! And at the end of the encore they played "Eight Miles High", and when they started the immediately-recognisable twingly bit at the beginning I thought they were just messing about, like playing the opening bars of "Stairway to Heaven" in a guitar shop, you know, but no! Eight miles high indeed, a gigantic build-up of sparkly guitar on walls of sound.

AND, before the gig we'd ended up in the same restaurant as Robyn Hitchcock, Scott McCaughey and Bill Rieflin -- as you do -- and decided against saying anything to them on the grounds that they were nice people and we didn't want to interrupt their dinner. After the gig I would have to revise that opinion: they are clearly lovely people, and I'm really glad we didn't pester them. There, now, you thought that was going to be a boring "and then I said 'hello' and he said 'uh, hi'" fangirl anecdote, but instead it was a heartwarming vignette of somebody making the right choice for a change. (The restaurant -- Oxford Thai on Cowley Road -- was, incidentally, great; sensibly-priced, sensibly-portioned, and extremely tasty.)

***

On Saturday, walking along Broad Street, we had a serendipitous encounter with spyinthehaus. It's a sign of how generally confused my sense of time and space is since moving to Oxford that it seemed perfectly normal to encounter him wandering around near his college, until I remembered that that was over ten years ago for god's sake when iPods weren't even invented. iAnythings, for that matter. Christ. Clearly the only cure for this sort of Tennant-worthy timeslip was a trip to the pub, where "just one drink" somehow became three-and-a-half pints of finest Old Ruin or nearest equivalent. Let this serve as a general-purpose apology for anything I may have said after the first two (anything before that is My Fault and I own the exclusive slash-fiction rights).

***

We have a wardrobe. This may not seem like cause for rejoicing, but when you've been living for nearly three months with all your clothes in suitcases/boxes/heaps, believe me, it is. I bought (by parental proxy) a wardrobe on eBay, my parents collected it and drove it up to Oxford, and addedentry and I assembled it on New Year's Day with only one broken fingernail (mine) and one Standard Issue Flatpack Argument (ours). And now it works! Like, you hang clothes in it and they don't fall down!

***

New Year's Eve (gosh, what a long time ago that seems) was spent at B-Movie, and you can even spot me and addedentry on some of d_floorlandmine's photos if you look hard. Owen's t-shirt flashed in time with the music, there were enough friends there that it felt like a party, and the music was bouncy in all the right places. Clubbing seems like a very sensible approach to the New Year thing, all in all. (Problem: a) everybody wants to have a party and/or go to everybody else's parties; b) late-night conversation + alcohol == maudlin guilt. Solution: circumvent the whole thing by DANCING A LOT.) We caught the Oxford Tube back by the skin of our teeth (banging on the door and waving our tickets as the bus stopped in double-red-lined traffic) and got to bed by 5 a.m., which is pretty reasonable for NYE.

***

And before that, Christmas. A lovely family Christmas, with good presents given and gotten, relaxation aplenty, fine food (including a really delicious pudding and a slightly peculiar nut-roast), and almost no arguments (except a bit of frustration when I tried to help with the tidying-up and only succeeded in badgering people beyond their badger-tolerance).

***

And finally! Bringing you bang up to date! Owen started his shiny new job today (in really quite pretty surroundings), and I even managed to get up in time to make him coffee and give him lots of fortifying hugs, before heading into work and actually having a pretty fair day of it myself. And then after work a lady from Freecycle came to take away our clothes-rail, and Chris (WINOLJ) came round to take away our over-door storage thing, and stayed for a coffee and a good long rant about proofreading and text conversion. More fun than it sounds, really.

I wish I could parcel up bits of all the good stuff and send them out to where they're needed.

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Comments
julietk From: julietk Date: January 8th, 2007 11:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hurrah for Fun!
camellia_uk From: camellia_uk Date: January 8th, 2007 11:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well I'm glad things are good for someone! :-)

You may be amused (or irritated) to hear that a certain parental type took it upon himself at the weekend to tidy the computer room on his own (inspired by your efforts no doubt), and it's looking quite tidy. Mostly involved chucking a load of empty boxes up in the loft though, so not much thinking-about-what-to-throw-out involved. Ho hum.

And hey, I like my WhineJournal, damnit... ;-p
j4 From: j4 Date: January 9th, 2007 11:41 am (UTC) (Link)
a certain parental type took it upon himself at the weekend to tidy the computer room on his own

Yeah, he mentioned. Sigh. I wasn't even trying to get them to think about what to throw out in the computer room -- it was just little things like "how about sorting this enormous heterogenous pile of junk into 'clothes', 'paper', and 'other'?" to make it easier to move the stuff around.

I mean, to be honest I don't care that much whether it's tidy or not; what annoys me is when they say "It's all such a mess, we can't get the carpets replaced / rooms redecorated / etc" but then never actually want to tidy it...

Oh well. Quite enough tidying to be done in my own house without worrying about other people's... :-/
bluedevi From: bluedevi Date: January 8th, 2007 11:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
Sounds like a fantastic gig; I'm getting increasingly annoyed that I was a mere two hundred feet or so from where it was happening, rather than *actually* where it was happening. Admittedly I was on a comfy sofa watching The Big Lebowski and drinking chocolate stout, and it was very nice, but still.
j4 From: j4 Date: January 9th, 2007 10:16 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm sorry we didn't think to prod you about it beforehand! I mean, I didn't know it was going to be that crazy, but Robyn Hitchcock is always good anyway. Can't promise any more seekrit-superstar coolness but there are lots of good gigs coming up that we're planning to go to:

Imogen Heap - New Theatre, Jan 21st (listen to her album for free here)

The Noisettes - Zodiac, Jan 22nd (listen to their myspace) -- they are going to be the next big thing! ... Maybe.

Patrick Wolf - Zodiac, Feb 2nd (more myspace) -- wasn't he the last big thing? In London, anyway? I don't know any more!

Can't remember who else is on the list but will let you know if I think of anything interesting! :) Worth signing up to the Zodiac's mailing list as they don't seem to put everything on the website (bah).
bluedevi From: bluedevi Date: January 9th, 2007 10:57 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, don't worry - I knew it was on and I'm certainly not sulking that I wasn't invited or anything emo like that, it's just a bit weird to think this random coolness was happening within line of sight of the door of the house where I was!

And it's you I was talking to about Patrick Wolf! I'm well up for that. I've got 6 Feb as the date, though.
j4 From: j4 Date: January 9th, 2007 11:21 am (UTC) (Link)
I didn't think you were being emo, but it'd be good to see you at more gigs. :-) Wish I lived within line of sight of the Zodiac! Admittedly the bus is quite good though.

Patrick Wolf - now I'm confused. His official website says the 6th but his 'official' myspace says the 2nd, and I can't find it on the Zodiac's website ... oh, hang on, I want 'Listings' and not 'Events'. Obviously. FFS. So Zodiac says the 6th. Thank you for letting me know about the confusion!!
taimatsu From: taimatsu Date: January 9th, 2007 11:47 am (UTC) (Link)
Yaaaay! Excitement!

I am due at a hen thing on the 27th, but it's in Oxford so I may be housewarmingable. I just have to find out when it ends.
rysmiel From: rysmiel Date: January 9th, 2007 02:45 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, yay good times in general. *hug*hug*hug* Miss you.
jiggery_pokery From: jiggery_pokery Date: January 13th, 2007 04:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
For every fangirl who does the right thing and tells the tale of the Robyn Hitchcock and the Venus 3 anecdote that might have been but wasn't, there's probably a fangirl who tells the tale of bumping into the whole of REM at the Hi-Lo Jamaican and making a nuisance of herself. The quality of the evening may well have been a rapid payback for your good karma!

Meg (from Athens, GA, like REM) is predictably jealous... :-)
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