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Tony Grist

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Shopping, Murder Ballads And The Two [Jul. 5th, 2008|09:54 am]
Tony Grist
1. If we drive into Ashton we can go to Lidl- which is cheap- then just down the road to Sainsbury's to buy all the things that Lidl doesn't stock.  We're back to trying to live on a budget. As I wrote last time we tried it, budgetting can be fun if you treat it as a game of hunt the bargain. My biggest, little, personal triumph yesterday was finding a pack of frozen fish- from the Sainsbury's Basics range- four portions of pollack in batter, very nice too- for a ridiculous 99p. 

For a week or two we were getting our fruit and veg from the Asian supermarket in Glodwick. Fantastic value for money. Last week we drove by and the windows were boarded up. According to the Advertiser it was an arson attack. No-one knows why- or if they do, they aren't telling. 

2. I like Nick Cave. But maybe he's getting a bit old to be still banging on about murder and the Book of Revelations. His littlle concert with the Bad Seeds on the BBC last night took him to the edge of self-parody- and maybe over the edge. What I took to be the recent material- like a song about a guy in a long black coat with a red right hand- seemed written to a formula. You're forcing it now, I thought. So how about a nice, little middle-aged, love song? If Red Right Hand is one of the classics I apologise. But when we got to what I recognised as the bona fide classics- Mercy Seat and Stagger Lee- the passion seemed real again. How does an artist step down from a persona as vivid as Cave's? Does he bother? After all, look at Mick Jagger; if you go on pretending to be seventeen for decade after decade there comes a point when people stop laughing and pointing and start to be in awe. But then I was thinking about Alexei Sayle- one time alternative comedian- and how half way through his career he seems to have decided being famous was bollocks and he'd just jack it in. I admire him for that.

3. As the TV commentator said, There are Two Men at the top of the game- and then there are the Others.  The Two, of course, are Federer and Nadal. When the Others are playing amongst themselves they can look pretty impressive, but put them up against either of the Two and they get swept away in straight sets- which is what happened to poor Andy Murray. Really, the first two weeks of Wimbledon were a bit of a charade; It's not as if we had any doubt which two players were going to be in the final.

The women's game is much more open- or so we thought- but the ease with which the Williams sisters cruised through, brushing aside players with higher ranking, suggests that here too there's a gap- an almost impassable barrier- between the Others and the Two.

[User Picture]From: halfmoon_mollie
2008-07-05 12:31 pm (UTC)
There was about a minute yesterday when Rafa didn't look so good. And then it passed. Andy Murray was rather gracious AFTER he was defeated. During the match, he certainly showed off his potty mouth.

One of the things I ALWAYS liked about Bjorn Borg was that he let whomever he was playing - Johnny Mac, Ilie Nastase, Jimmy Connors- have their temper tantrums and shouting matches and so forth. He stood at the other end of the court and waited - and then usually made mincemeat out of them. Focused. Rafa Nadal is focused.

(Mr. Borg was at the French Open and is in attendance at Wimbledon, looking very distinguished and gracious) He was one of The Two in his day.

And you know, I hope Mr. Federer wins this year. I like them both very much, but Roger has a record to break. Nadal is SO young, his time will come.

There I go again, taking over your lj.

(I won't be able to watch the match this year! I'll be away!!)
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-07-05 03:36 pm (UTC)
Borg was- and is- extremely cool. I was a huge admirer back in the day.

It's great to see the old champions wandering round Wimbledon, doing commentary and giving interviews. This year we've had Borg, McEnroe and Becker all putting in an appearance on the BBC.

I've just watched the women's final- great match- and the camera made a point of picking out Bille Jean and Martina in the crowd. I reckon the Williamses are definitely up with those two now.

I agree about Federer. I'd very much like him to see him carry off the record.
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[User Picture]From: arielstarshadow
2008-07-05 03:18 pm (UTC)
Red Right Hand came from the Let Love Live album, which was produced in 1994. I've personally always liked RRH, but that's the awesome thing about music - there's something out there for every person's tastes. :)

Mercy Seat was part of Tender Prey, which was 1988, and Stagger Lee is, I believe, Nick doing a cover of someone else's song.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-07-05 03:29 pm (UTC)
Ah, so I'm way out there- which kinda destroys my thesis. Never mind. I still think Red Right Hand is too gothic for its own good.

Stagger Lee is traditional folk- it exists in multiple versions- but Cave's version is so thoroughly his own, so completely worked over, I reckon it counts as an original composition.
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[User Picture]From: arielstarshadow
2008-07-05 03:33 pm (UTC)
I could be completely off-base, but I always got the impression that there was some self-parody in RRH. That it was supposed to be "over the line" (again, I may be utterly wrong).

I'm glad my memory was correct on Stagger Lee - I know I've heard at least three or four versions over the years, though I can't remember from whom. I've never heard Nick's, which is probably a shame.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-07-05 04:03 pm (UTC)
Cave's version is on Murder Ballads- an album I love.
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[User Picture]From: daisytells
2008-07-05 05:37 pm (UTC)
Life on a budget is an adventure. I am glad that I am not the only person who believes it to be fun. It's a challenge and every little victory, like your four pieces of fish, is what adds in the fun element. Every time I go to the pushcart market I thumb my nose at supermarkets and Whole Foods stores. I come home with a wagonload for about twelve dollars USD.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-07-06 08:32 am (UTC)
That's right.

It's about making the most of what you've got. You can be miserable with a fortune in the bank and happy with very little; it's all about attitude.
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[User Picture]From: karenkay
2008-07-06 07:52 pm (UTC)
I've been thinking about this post today--I stupidly turned on the TV about 4 hours ago, and I've been hooked on the men's finals. There was a rain delay at some point, so they showed part of the women's doubles last night. The Williams sister completely dominated and won. One of the commentators said he'd like to see the Williams sisters play Nadal and Federer. I agree!

Federer is very good, and in the fifth set, seems less tired and more in control than Nadal. But they are so incredibly evenly matched, it's amazing.

I keep reminding myself that I don't even like tennis (which I don't). There's just something so compelling about this.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-07-06 08:39 pm (UTC)
Well, that was the longest men's final in history. What a match!

I really thought Federer was going to win. He seemed to have the edge mentally. But they were both brilliant.
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[User Picture]From: karenkay
2008-07-06 08:43 pm (UTC)
YES! Honestly, in the end I think Federer just got a bit more tired. Nadal seemed exhausted through most of the match, while Federer seemed fine, and then just sort of lost it.

Even though I have a lot of other stuff I need to be doing, I am glad I watched this.
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