I got an email yesterday from Tubitek, the record store here in Porto, informing me that the two newly reissued David Sylvian albums, Blemish (2003) and Manafon (2009), had arrived, along with the new Dry Cleaning album Stumpwork (2022). So the plan was to get up for the early Liverpool game, get down to the shop and come back to watch some other games later, didn’t happen. First of all, Liverpool lost to Forest 1-0. It’s not good, last week Liverpool beat the champions, but this week they lost to a team that is struggling at the bottom of that table, it seems that Liverpool are struggling this season too. Everything in a wet busy city took forever and there’s always Match Of The Day so no need to rush home. It’s Saturday, I try and make it my day off, football, records, a walk, a coffee, a general easy browse without responsibility, and switch off because tomorrow I have to switch on.
It was busy down there, despite the rain, and despite it being late October, tourists are still coming. I heard French, Spanish and Italian spoken in the street today and there are obviously German and English people in abundance as well as Americans and even some Portuguese. In the psychedelic city psupermarket we talked to a French couple who were just here for the weekend, it was a good excuse to practice French, you learn so much more when you are actually speaking the language to a native of the country. One of the biggest problems of being English is the number of people who speak English. Even people who swear they don’t speak English speak English, it’s a problem for those of us that want to learn other languages. Like Olivia you have to be really disciplined, her level of Portuguese is outstanding.
At the record store, I also picked up the new Arctic Monkeys album, The Car (2022), and a whole lot of excellent CDs that were just 5€ each. There were too many to list here and although people might say, why buy a CD when you can stream it? Well, there are booklets and clever artwork and despite the physical presence not even being close to the grandeur of vinyl, there are the extra tracks that didn’t fit on the vinyl version. I read somewhere that there hasn’t just been an upturn in vinyl sales but in CD sales too. If only the stereo system would come back instead of the one speaker system, the computer system, and the phone system. I‘m not so much of a fan of listening to music on headphones, I like the comfy chair in the middle of the speakers’ system.
Whenever it rained we seemed to be in a shop and there was only mild spitting when we were out in the street. I didn’t get to use my posh umbrella from the accountant’s office. The umbrella is so posh that it is also a parasol, it’s actually designed for rain and sun. Even though it’s black on the outside, it’s silver on the inside which must be some kind of heat retracting material, quality, the super-rich are having a ball even with their umbrellas. I suppose there are extremely expensive bottle openers, high-quality pencil sharpeners, and top-notch sick bags.
On the way down to the city, one of the ladies of the day was sitting on the steps inside the usual doorway, we exchanged hellos and I wondered about business on a day like today. Still, I wasn’t cold till later and only put on an extra layer on the way home and even then I was shedding before we reached our front door. We’d picked up some takeaway sushi on the way home, for me, that means avocado rolls, I never tire of avocado even though I was in my twenties before I even tried it. This is why you have to travel, haha.
Music today has been The Doors – Live at the Isle of Wight Festival 1970. I hadn’t heard it before and was intrigued as much by the quality of the recording as by the performance of the band – then I realised it was a video too but enjoyed it as music rather than as visuals anyway. I didn’t start with this album, I was listening to the L.A. Woman sessions box set and although it’s also intriguing, a lot of stop-starting for the same song makes you crave hearing a finished version, whether it be the final version or an early version, rather that than stopping halfway through all the time and starting again. It’s interesting, so I would buy the 100€ 4 LP box set version on the same day as the pencil sharpener and the bottle opener if I could.
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