Mount Fuji, a hawk and a small aubergine

January 2, 2008

Waki always asks me the content of my dreams on the night of the first day of a New Year.

A dream that includes either Mount Fuji, a hawk or a small aubergine is a sign of good things to come in the year ahead – presumably dreaming about a hawk flying over Mount Fuji with a small aubergine in its beak is the prophetic equivalent of a lottery win.

According to Japanese mythology, the jûzen, literally “ten goodnesses” are – one Red Fuji, two hawks, three aubergines (eggplants), the four gods represented by the nanten plant, five jumping carp, six gourds, seven gods of fortune, the eight-headed dragon, nine horses, Jizo of the ten virtues.

This year I awoke with a dream containing Mount Fuji fresh in my mind. That is all.


And so that was 2007

January 1, 2008

Music-wise Tuxedomoon’s ‘Vapour Trails‘, Tied & Tickled Trio’s ‘Aelita‘, Harmonia’s ‘Live ’74‘, Einsturzende Neubauten’s ‘Alles Wieder Offen‘ , CoH’s ‘Strings‘ and ‘Super Suprematism‘, the Threshold HouseBoys Choir offering and two Beirut albums all look set for longevity. Pop froth single of the year was Kate Nash’s ‘Pumpkin Soup‘ – a touch of Adrian Sherwood about it. Check the kawaii video at YouTube.                  Some very disappointing stuff from faves The Residents though – and I definitely bit off more than I could chew with the 12-cdr Throbbing Gristle ‘Desertshore installation’ marathon.

As ever I saw more films in December than the rest of the year combined thanks to the annual deluge of BAFTA screeners. Honourable mentions to There Will Be Blood, Eastern Promises, The Science Of Sleep, Paris Je T’Aime, The Band’s Visit and Lust, Caution.

Highlight of the year was unquestionably a short trip to Bruxelles for two 30th anniversary shows by Tuxedomoon – having been a fan for 28 of those years it was great to see them on the finest of forms. The other live highlight was Tinariwen at the Queens Hall back in April.

Holiday-wise I crammed in more than I could afford with trips to the Algarve, Bruxelles and Madrid.

And watching HMFC proved a bit of a trial – a 4-2 drubbing of Rangers at Tynecastle was the high point, but results and performances have been mostly way below even my ‘realistic’ expectations. Delighted to read on their website today that they’re planning to hire a manager with full responsibility for team selection and tactics. I fully expect better team performances and a swift exit from the relegation zone.