COVID-20 — THE SEQUEL

Following the runaway success of COVID-19 — The Album, Viral Records presents a new collection to spin away your blues. Enjoy another story in song titles!

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COVID-20 — THE SEQUEL

 

SIDE ONE

Get closer     —    Linda Ronstadt  (1982)

Hold me tight     —     Beatles  (1963)

Source of infection     —     Van Halen  (1988)

Fever     —     Peggy Lee  (1958)

Turn on the news     —     Hüsker Dü  (1984)

Corona     —    Minutemen  (1984)

Call the doctor     —     JJ Cale (1971)

Quarantine     —     Payfone  (2015)

 

SIDE TWO

Isolation     —     Joy Division  (1980)

All by myself     —     Eric Carmen  (1975)

Only the lonely     —     Roy Orbison  (1961)

Sick as a dog     —     Aerosmith (1976)

Doctor! Doctor!     —     Thompson Twins  (1984)

Take me down to the hospital     —     Replacements  (1983)

I want a new drug     —     Huey Lewis & The News  (1983)

Too late I’m dead     —     Korn  (2005)

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Vinyl Connection says: Enjoy music in private. Wash hands before handling anything. Be kind. Stay at home.

This is a simultaneous post at Lonely Keyboards and Vinyl Connection

COVID-19 — THE ALBUM

Here is a bit of humour I posted at Vinyl Connection. A story in song titles.

Although it is music-centred, it occurred to me that an interest in popular music was not really a prerequisite for engagement. All the songs/titles are actual recordings by the named artist.

It went down well enough that another ‘volume’ is in preparation. You have been warned.

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COVID-19 — THE ALBUM

 

SIDE ONE

Iron Maiden ……………… Virus

Richard Thompson …… Keep Your Distance

The Police ………………… Don’t Stand So Close To Me

The Tubes…………………. Don’t Touch Me There

Nirvana ……………………. Stay Away

Warren Zevon …………. Splendid Isolation

 

SIDE TWO

Vienna Teng …………….. I Don’t Feel So Well

Wishbone Ash …………. Doctor

John Lennon ……………. Isolation

The Beatles ………………. Misery

The Modern Lovers …. Hospital

Bob Dylan ……………….. Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door

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Vinyl Connection and Lonely Keyboards hope you will wash your hands regularly, stock up on records (and reading matter) and only engage with Side 1 of this album

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Watch out for COVID-20 — THE SEQUEL

In stores soon (though you won’t be able to visit them)

 

 

ALL THINGS MUST PASS

I’m sitting on the verandah railing of a rambling wooden guest house in hilly Warburton. Rich smells from the surrounding bush push against a pervading odour of serene decay. Once a retreat for Melbourne’s genteel, now ghosts whisper along the wooden balconies and sigh like puffs of dust when morose teenagers throw themselves onto faded sofas.

One of those teenagers is me. Despite the chill in the air, I prefer the verandah to the communal lounge. The dim light and musty carpets of the interior depress me but more importantly, I stand a greater chance of glimpsing Kirsten by lurking on this semi-sheltered thoroughfare. Not that I’ll speak to her if she wanders past. For starters, she’ll be with one or more girls and thus surrounded by an impenetrable field of femaleness that my wistful glances simply fade from like breath on glass.

It is day three of this Year 10 German camp. The time has passed slowly, and quickly. Soon we’ll be packing and taking a bus back to school. And I haven’t managed a single interaction with Kirsten in either Deutsch or English. No wonder I’m morose. No wonder I’m sitting, shivering just a little in the damp Winter air, hoping for one more chance to not talk to a girl who probably hasn’t even noticed my intense, meaningful glances. 

I did try. Yesterday morning I ordered Speck und Spiegelei in a voice loud enough to carry to her end of the table. There was a titter, but I don’t know who. This morning, in an act of heart-tingling bravery, I approach her group and looking more-or-less straight at her, or at least her toast, I said Kafee? with an upward inflection that surely demonstrated my passion. Surely.

Back against the solid verandah upright, one leg is crooked nonchalantly on the ledge while the other dangles over the garden, I’m gazing poetically into the middle distance and wondering how long I can stay in this position. Sounds of my room-mate packing are a reminder of time passing, of opportunities fading. He smuggled in a small transistor and has turned it up a bit louder this morning, reasoning that he can scarcely be sent home early at this stage of proceedings. I reach down into the garden and pluck a daisy. The radio starts playing George Harrison’s “My Sweet Lord”, the strummed guitar and plaintive melody fills me with something, but I don’t know what. I really want to see you, really want to be with you. Frowning, I pluck a petal. It takes so long, my Lord. Another petal flutters onto the weathered boards. She loves me, she loves me not. She loves me, she loves me not. Yeah, yeah, yeah. A tiny snowstorm of teardrop shaped petals. Kirsten appears at the end of the verandah, walks the uneven boards to her door, three before mine. She fumbles with the handle, but doesn’t look up. 

Really want to see you, really want to see you.

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The music theme of this post continues at Vinyl Connection

IN SEARCH OF SPACE

Space. The initial frontier.

Have you sometimes lost sight of your writing? There were times during the past three months when I simply forgot the existence of Lonely Keyboards. Yet as I sit here now I clearly recall the joy of beginning this second blog-that’s-not-always-about-music, and the thrill of engaging with a new audience. As it turned out the audience was not always new; some friends travelled across from Vinyl Connection, revealing different aspects of themselves from the world of music blogging. Often what was shared was more visible, more vulnerable, more human. I cherished those moments. It’s one thing to high-five when someone’s taste in music confirms your own good judgement, but it is quite another to breath deeply into another’s confusion, or struggles with creativity, or experience of grief and loss. 

Not that there has been an absence of writing: the weekly (sometimes twice-weekly) posts at Vinyl Connection keep me tapping away and spinning records most days. My fondness for connected series—currently the birth of progressive music—means I regularly feel impelled by a sense of completion to push out another missive. Sometimes that internal pressure squeezes the enjoyment a little, but I do it anyway. It has become a habit. And habits take up space.

A new writing gig began recently. Paid work. Writing album reviews for an on-line retailer. Someone said, ‘Bruce, that’s your dream job!’. Maybe it is; still too early to tell. But one thing is certain, adding another track of music writing onto the weekly playlist of activities has led to an increase in output. And a corresponding decrease in space.

Little time for reflection, then. 

Reflection. The the space where creativity swirls and ideas puff into existence.

What brought this into focus was happening across a newspaper column by a writer I knew, years ago. I enjoyed the piece (which was about celebrating the moment) and looked her up on social media. In no time an electronic connection snapped ‘on’, we’d exchanged email addresses and I had located her blog. Wondered whether she would find my blog. What’s that about? Establishing credentials? Sending a selfie? Found myself reflecting that Vinyl Connection is mostly straight music writing these days. The river of memoir-music stories may not have run dry, but it has slowed to a trickle. I kind of shrugged to myself. ‘It is what it is’. Then I remembered Lonely Keyboards, recalled the intoxicating (but scary) high after Goodbye Piper was picked up; the steady, inevitable decline of interest as I steadfastly avoided most return-follows, the settling in with a small but engaged readership who seemed interested in the inner experiences of writing and life… 

We reveal different personas in different settings. Both blogs are ‘me’, and neither.

Sometimes if you put yourself into a certain context, that will close a circuit inside you. Lenny Kaye once said, ‘Pick up a guitar and see who you become’. Maybe writers could say, ‘Start a blog and see who you are’. Who you are today, at least. Conduct an assay of your inner mineral deposits via qwerty. Test the quality of the interior air with a canary keyboard. Could be methane, could be gold.

But first you have to make the space, and be in the moment. Maybe even turn off the music for a bit, and listen.

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