How interesting, I thought, browsing the music info. I use Feedly – all the best people do, darlings! – to organise my RSSs and must-see places. Among these, I follow several music-related sites.

The current list of bookmarks includes Stereogum, Rap Radar, Pitchfork, Rolling Stone, Louder than War, Metal Hammer, Pretty Much Amazing… All suggestions received gratefully, by the way. 

Anyway, an article on Brooklyn Vegan was one of the places I saw that there was a new piece of music from Brian Eno, The Ship, out in the world. I’ve followed Eno kind of without knowing, being more focussed on the Roxy Music, or the Talking Heads, or the Bowie, or even the U2… There he was all along. For this latest work, he said he wanted to make ambient music with a vocal that was

untethered to a rhythmic grid of any kind.

Dutifully, I clicked on…


…but came up against a need to download the Spotify app… to listen to a 30 second clip? More clicking, increasing disgruntitude. Untethered to a rhythmic grid, I muttered to myself, spending the next three hours trying to find the track, trying to get the fix… trying to remember the login I had for Spotify when I last used it in 2010 or whatever it was.

This password blindness is increasingly an issue, given the proliferation of media requiring a log-in. While I love to do interesting security – inspired by this XKCD cartoon:

– there’s still only a finite amount of space in my head for this stuff.
Of course, I could use a password manager… but there’s a bit of me brain that feels I should be able to make more of an effort at autonomous functionality, rather than outsource all alpha-numerical processing to a device.

“Er, ‘speak_FR13ND’- then hit enter?

Sometimes, though, when setting up some new account, I suspect I have already passed “peak password”. I used to juggle tens of phone numbers mentally. Now I can’t remember eight characters I just thought of two minutes ago.

So anyway, and sorry Brian, but I gave up. Too much like hard work, intersecting with a rebellion against the newer bits of neural network that demand this input free and immediately. And, I mean, if 30 seconds is considered enough of a taster for a 21 minute track, I’m pretty sure this is some sort of electro-ambient crack Eno must be peddling. Maybe I’ll just wait to hear the record in a safe space with people I trust…

Maybe now I’ll just pop open Caustic and write an ambient track called Correct Horse Battery Staple.

6 Music, the BBC’s slightly left of centre radio channel, has been dedicating this weekend’s schedule to commemorating David Bowie. Long noted as a Bowie superfan (not a prophet or a stone age man), Adam Buxton has been back on the airwaves as part of the programming with this two hour ‘take on the great man’.

It’s well worth seeking out and giving some attention to, as it has many very funny bits in (Cobbler Bob…) and some intriguing lyrical exegesis from the late Dame David as well.

Bowie’s clarification of the intent behind Space Oddity – that Major Tom is not victim to mechanical failure, but deliberately cutting himself adrift – was a major (Tom) perspective shift for me. As happens from time to time, your world view can be altered by something you’d never considered. Purely on a ‘song itself’ basis, it’s such an important detail. The mournful ending is still there, it’s still sad, but for different reasons. In that light, of course, Ashes to Ashes holds even more resonance.

Anyway, as I write this I’m listening to Brian Eno recounting his and Bowie’s devotion to Derek and Clive during the recording of Low.


Derek Bowie… Of course! Suddenly it *all* makes sense.