A flutter on Friday 18 March

Something old…

With tragedy unfolding day by day in countries all over the world, it would be churlish for we Scots, safely tucked up in our democracy, our relative plenty and with our glasses half full in every sense of the word, to do anything other than suggest that we are okay.  But this song also manages to sum up how everyone in my ken feels about life right now.  Hang in there folks…

…something new

For reasons unfathomable to the burd, there are a number of bands wot follow me on Twitter.  A couple of “names” (sort of) but mostly obscure and unknown.  I’ve been meaning to give them a wee showcase on this here Flutter for some time and I know readers, all five of you, will appreciate my thoughtfulness.

First up, who couldn’t love a band from Knockentibber?  The Paraffins reckon they are “acousmatic”, whatever that means.  Some of their music is definitely more experimental than fully formed, but Cardboard Cutout caught my attention.  Next stop, San Diego for a little garage rock post punk from New Mexico Band.  I’m definitely warming to this band the more listens I give them – try Case Closed which is free to download from their website.

Then we’re off to Norway.  Yep you read it right – Wilfred is the band’s name and it’s possibly on the wrong side of the rock threshhold for the burd but I quite like the voice on this track.  Heading homeward, the Day I Snapped have been around for a few years now and if you like your indie guitar bands – and I do – then this will go down nicely.  And for something completely different, try Transmanta and Broken Glass

Epic 24 have featured before, as have Josh Schroeder and Meredith Adelaide.  But download a track from their Bandcamp page and 100% of the proceeds will be donated to the Red Cross Japan Appeal.  At the very least, Where are you and So it goes are well good value.

Let’s finish with another band to have featured here and in the burdz top 25 Scottish albums of 2010.  Mitchell Museum has a new-ish EP available to download free from their website and you can’t say fairer than that really.

Any new-ish bands out there who want a wee plug sometime, you know who to follow.  But please don’t think I’m the female equivalent of Vic Galloway – I’ve got fewer ear-rings than him.

Something borrowed….

Tonight is Comic Relief on the BBC.  As usual, the burd has failed to get the chicklet a red nose, breaking a promise in the process.  Bad mother.  And it ain’t because I think Comic Relief is a pile of pants. 

I really, really struggle with these -athons on the Beeb, particularly when they compete with other charities that have fewer resources available to them, and far fewer celebs lining up to help, to raise money for their good cause.  It really, really sticks in the burdz craw to see pious celebs slumming it and getting all emotional and begging us, the plebs, to give generously.  When actually if they all just paid their fair share of tax we could give to or invest hugely in our own – and most importantly, other people’s – needs. 

Comic Relief also trades in what is called “poverty porn” – using shocking images of doe-eyed children with distended bellies to persuade folk to dig deep.  It works but it leads to short term giving motivated by guilt and there is a lot of debate in the charity fundraising world about its long term efficacy.  Moreover, Comic Relief likes to set itself up as having no costs, that every penny will go to the cause, implying that giving to other charities is therefore less efficient, when the reality is that these other charities do not have the licence fee payer shoring up their admin and marketing costs.  Comic Relief has no costs because they are met by the BBC – folks, you’ve already given handsomely to the cause before you pledge!

Worst of all, it means we are guaranteed trashy TV for a night, with C list celebs, rubbish bands, worse comics and the inevitable visit from a London show troupe just after midnight.  Pah.

Don’t get me wrong – the money raised funds some fantastic work, both here in the UK and in Africa, but there are other charities out there doing just as good a job and just as deserving of your support.  Yes, the chicklet will get to go stripey to school today;  no, I won’t be posting a link to the Red One’s website.

… something blue

I’m surely not the only one to have had a wee greet this week at the selflessness of the Japanese nuclear workers who knowing that by doing their job and trying to prevent their plant melting down, they risk almost certain horrific injury, if not death.  But they have chosen to do it nonetheless because succeeding means saving their family, friends and countrymen and women.  Such sacrifice is humbling. 

Fratres by Arvo Part seems an appropriate tribute.  It’s 10 minutes long but worth every second.