This post is what, in my trade, we call a ‘media-rich content experience’. (Then we wonder why nobody will talk to us at parties.) There are a few songs that have indelibly associated themselves in my brain with my trip – enjoy.

Turns out that Florence and the Machine can soundtrack pretty much anything, and I heard You Got the Love spilling out of so many shops and restaurants you wouldn’t believe. This track, however, made me want to stand on the top of one of those mini-mountains you get around temples in Japan, and belt it out at the top of my lungs. But, given the day-to-day variability in quality of my singing voice, putting that urge into action may have got me deported. (By the way, the recorded version of Drumming Song is a lot more dramatic, but the video is so interpretative-dance I can’t bring myself to embed it into my blog.)

Big hat-tip to Scott for turning me onto this Noah and the Whale album in the first place. I listened to it as the train started pulling through Australia’s Blue Mountains: imagine seeing these views for the first time, while this song fills your ears.

More views

I almost cried.

I sang this at karaoke. I swear I did. In one of those tiny Golden Gai bars with a bunch of strangers. (It was one of my better singing days, though even on the best singing day of my life I don’t think I’ll ever get near authentic Axl.) That was a fucking brilliant night.

This song shuffled up on Will’s plugged-into-the-car-iPod one day. I’d never heard of Okkervil River but now I rather love them.

Helen and Julian had tickets to see Eddy Current Suppression Ring (if anyone can tell me a better band name than this, I will buy them a pint) at Sydney’s renowned Annandale Hotel. The Annandale’s great – imagine a combination of the Camden Monarch (by which I mean the old Monarch, now the Barfly, rather than the current Monarch, which used to be the Wetherspoons pub. I’m old now) and the Bull and Gate. With even stickier floors. And sweatier. Even with a big fan for air conditioning. And a mosh pit of a size I’ve never seen in such a small venue. I’m fairly certain it was more to do with the band than the venue / general Aussie craziness – you can see from this video that the singer likes to crowdsurf, and the music’s all very blue-collar and young-man-jumpy – and Helen and me, who are both quite short and therefore went to the front, were right on the edge. As I say: fantastic.

And they stamp the inside of your wrist in Australia, rather than the back of your hand. Felt like having the six needles test done again.


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