799 – Imaginary Friend

Three weeks ago, the morning after the first real snowfall, my first view out of the bedroom window was greeted by the friendly smile of a snowman. Alas, in the evening he was already missing arms, and the next morning rain had reduced him to a small, indistinct heap of snow. Still, I’ll remember this smile as something that went into my heart.

I can’t see today’s snowman from the bedroom, but whenever I look out of the living room, I see him, waving his arm, wishing me a good morning or a good night, and – call me sentimental, call me senile (I’d sure have, years ago) – I like this snowman. Sometimes I wave back and smile.

The image is an HDR from five bracketed exposures, shot from the tripod with the Nikon 70-300 VR (oops, I failed to de-activate VR, but it does not seem to matter with this lens), tone-mapped in Photomatix Pro 3.1, blended with the original middle exposure, and then some usual stuff applied.

Sometimes I’m asked with incredulity “What? You don’t know the band XYZ??”, and it’s true, although they’ve produced mega-hits (is anything not mega today?), I may still have never heard of them. I don’t hear radio, I almost don’t look TV, I have no children, I don’t read music magazines. Years ago you found me browsing the shelves of music stores, but now I mostly buy my music through Amazon. Most music stores have closed anyway, or if not, they have fired most of their staff, and now display just the “mega-hits” of the current “mega-stars”.

It’s just as well. If something is really good, I’ll find it sooner or later. I found the Cowboy Junkies only 20 years after their inception via Bill Birtch, I find much by browsing lists and recommendations on Amazon, I find thing by chance, I get personal recommendations, don’t worry, instead of drying up, I have to restrict myself to not browse too much.

Catatonia is such a band that I found by chance, browsing the shelves of a local media store. Today’s Song of the Day “Imaginary Friend” is from their 2001 album “Paper Scissors Stone”. I bought it when it was new, forgot about the band, and only now, while looking the album up on Amazon, I found that they already broke up. Well, at least they seem to have been quite productive in their time.

I found no video, but Deezer has the complete song on some “Platinum Collection“.

2 thoughts on “799 – Imaginary Friend”

  1. On music: there have been a lot of gems in the music suggestions you have picked.

    One of the most difficult things I know is to recommend music to someone else, or to buy music based on the suggestion of someone else.

    Some years ago I relied a few time too much on the Amazon recommendations (five stars etc.) and bought music which was unbearable to me. (But excellent for the fans I guess.)

    Also, in music there seems to be a really “long tail” of excellent music, which never gets wider recognition. For example, in the SXSW 2008 sample collection there were a great deal of musicians I had never heard of but were a pleasure to listen to.

    A problem is finding a bit more marginal music than that available on Amazon, Emusic etc. — for example African music. Fela Kuti may be available, but not much more.

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