I do heart Last.fm
. I don't use it all the time, as I have a big CD and small vinyl collection (not to mention the tapes) but I listen to Last.fm radio a lot at work -- 80s electronica when I'm trying to write something, Scandinavian post-rock when I'm trying to read something, other things when I'm just trying to shut out the noise and think. Some people can't work to music but I'm the opposite -- I think it occupies the restless, anxious part of my mind so the rest of it can focus on something.
But of course you get lots of other lovely Web 2.0 type stuff along with your music, and it was while listening to Damon and Naom
i tag radio that I discovered they were playing last week at the Luminaire
in Kilburn: a venue I have now been to twice and can't recommend highly enough. There's open parking after 6.30, there's a South Indian restaurant
that serves masala dosas just round the corner, and there are signs everywhere saying things like 'you've come here to listen to the music: if you want to talk to your friends go to the pub downstairs'.
Last.fm also lets you see which other last.fm'ers are going to the gig, which is good as you can then go and listen to their radio stations, but best of all it provides a Flickr machine tag for photos, which is a genius idea. I was right at the front and I did take a couple of photos
, but a) I don't really have the camera for it and b) I hate that thing that happens at gigs now where all you get is a sea of cameras and mobile phones pointing at the stage, like it's more important to record your experience of being there rather than just be there. And anyway, Damon and Naomi don't exactly put on a show, their magic is to be found in stillness and space. You need to involve yourself.
So I was rather hoping that someone else would take some photos and machine-tag them, and indeed someone did
-- the guy who was standing next to us, by the looks of the angles, and his photos are great, a lot better than mine would have been however many I'd taken. We should come to a citizen's arrangement that there should only be one person taking photos at a gig and they should put them up on the internet. Think how marvellous that would be.
Anyway, it was a gorgeous gig, and I was very thankful to have found out about it. Thank you, Last.fm.
But there are always drawbacks. We had people round for dinner on Friday. The kinds of people who know how to make an occasion. I don't exactly remember going to bed, but I knew when I woke up on Saturday morning that there would be chaos downstairs. I had memories of an impatient taxi driver, a struggle over the volume knob (with me on the side of caution, but *you* try arguing with J when he's had a few) and some headbanging.
And there was Last.fm still open, and able to inform me
that the last song we played was Ace of Spades, at 2 am. I'm not sure I wanted to know that.