2004 music awards

It’s the time of year when thoughts turn to favourite music, at least for those afflicted (as I am) with Hornby’s Syndrome, an unhealthy desire to classify, evaluate and reduce great art to numbers and lists. I’ve not been on the ball this year, fROOTS has gone unread, I haven’t been hooked on any music lists. But still a few things seeped through to snag us. Not all 2004 releases, it takes me a while to catch up. Here are five:

Ojos de Brujo, Bari.

Album of the year in J-M land, these Catalans combine outrageously adept flamenco musicianship with hip-hop spirit to make music you can sing and dance to. Outstanding live; we missed them at WOMAD 2003 (though caught the TV coverage) but saw them at Glastonbury this summer. Should be due a new album soon, can it get as good as this’

Oi Va Voi, Laughter Through Tears.

Young Londoners take Jewish culture by the horns. 20-year-olds sound like octagenarian Rabbis as the Hebrew chants mix with beats, though in this case it’s only (real) drum and bass providing the rhythm.

Diana Krall, The Girl in the Other Room.

Always liked her voice, but a certain glibness turned me off at times. The tartness of songs co-written with Costello seems to be the missing ingredient. There’s real emotional depth here.

Jim White, Drill A Hole In That Substrate and Tell Me What You See.

How to describe this’ An ersatz Bob Dylan with a weedy voice and an obsession with the religiosity of Southern USA meets a swampy electro-blues soundtrack to produce some vivid sound pictures. Favourite track: Combing My Hair in a Brand New Style.

Damien Rice, O.

A dangerously populist choice, but D seems to be inhabited by a touch of the spirit of Van Morrison, while Lisa Hannigan’s voice and Vyvienne Long’s ‘cello are masterfully introduced.

Where’s my Honey

When Bruno the Bear woke up he was VERY hungry. He went to his cupboard to get some honey out. The cupboard was empty!

So Bruno went to find Harry the Hippo in the boggy swamps.
‘Hello Bruno’ said Harry.
‘Hello. Do you know where my honey is?’ asked Bruno.
‘Sorry Bruno, I haven’t seen any honey. Would you like an apple instead?’ said Harry.
‘No thanks’ said Bruno gloomily.
‘Well Georgina is bound to know where your honey is. Go and find her.’ said Harry.

‘Where is my honey,’ wondered Bruno and went to find Georgina the Giraffe in the African Savanah.

When he found Georgina she was munching on the leaves of a tall tree. Georgina had a very long neck; Bruno had to look up very far to see her.
‘Hello Bruno, where are you going?’ asked Georgina.
‘I’m looking for my honey,’ replied Bruno ‘Have you seen it?’
‘Sorry Bruno,’ said Georgina ‘I haven’t seen your honey. Would you like some leaves instead?’
‘No thanks,’ said Bruno, more gloomily.
‘Well go and find Lance then he’ll definitely know where your honey is.’

‘Where is my honey?’ wondered Bruno and went to look for Lance the Lion in the grassy part of the Savannah.

When Bruno found Lance he was chewing a huge slab of meat.

‘Hi Bruno,’ said Lance with his mouth full.
‘Hello Lance, have you seen my honey’ No one else knows where it is,’ said Bruno.
‘Sorry Bruno,’ said Lance ‘There isn’t any honey around here. Would you like some of this lovely meat instead?’
‘No thanks,’ said Bruno, getting even gloomier.
‘Well go and find Olivia. She’s bound to know where your honey is.’

‘Where is my honey?’ wondered Bruno and went to find Olivia the Ostrich in the sand dunes.

When Bruno found Olivia she had her head in the sand.

‘Hello Olivia,’ said Bruno. Olivia didn’t move. ‘Hello Olivia!’ he shouted. Olivia’s head popped out.
‘Hello Bruno,’ she said ‘I didn’t hear you there. What can I do for you?’
‘I can’t find my honey anywhere. Have you seen it?’ asked Bruno.
‘I saw some at your house yesterday. Let’s go back there,’ said Olivia.

So they went back to Bruno’s house but they still couldn’t find the honey they looked;

Under the bed.

In all his cupboards.

Under the table.

And even in the bookshelves.

But they still couldn’t find his honey!

Bruno went outside, sat on his favourite log and sulked. He reached inside the hole in the log and touched something. He brought the thing out.
‘My honey!’ he cried and started to tuck in.

Like Anne Robinson …

… Jordan-Maynard.org has had a major face-lift. Now using a web log format built upon Movable Type, rather than the oh-so-tired 1999 photo navigator. The intention is to spur more spontaneous updates from the whole family. The old format was horrible to update, though Tom gamely overcame the limitations when his football pages were in full flight. Sadly, this effort has now slipped, along with Southampton’s league position.

I have moved across a couple of Clara’s early contributions to give a sense of history (handily using MT’s back-dating facility), but I’m hoping she will soon add some of her more recent stories and poems.

A few credits to those who catalysed this metamorphosis: Heather, whose various sites amused and amazed me, while revealing the meaning of “web log”; Simon and Dervala, whose fine writing absorbed more time pre-Christmas than I could possibly afford; Neil, who generously provided templates that I merely recoloured and fussed over for a few days; Dunstan, whose nifty link presentation I filched. Not so much standing on the shoulders of giants, but trailing in their wake. Thanks!

About (2004)

Jordan-Maynard.org is a non-profit organisation dedicated to exploiting leading-edge technology in pursuit of procrastination. Child-rearing is a core activity, though not necessarily a core competence. While the organisation is engaged in onerous labour for much of the year, we do take pride in our cultural programme, especially the annual summer festival season. Members of the organisation have plentiful opportunities for national and international travel, yet still seem to yearn for more.

TomTom Jordan
Wildlife specialist, noted for his expertise in African antelope. Football trivia maven. His passion for Southampton FC is understandably dampened this season. Burgeoning interest in music; names Maroon Five and Orchestra Baobab among his favourite bands. Professional ambition: Rock star until 40, then football manager.
ClaraClara Jordan
Bookworm, seldom far from a fantasy novel. A poet of disarming honesty. Her artistic talent is a constant mystery to the rest of the organisation, none of whom know which end to hold the pencil. Her elegance in a swimming pool is likewise envied by the denser male partners, who lack her natural buoyancy.
CarolineCaroline Maynard
Chief Executive. Once thought ill-matched to the organisation’s culture due to incorrigible planfulness and self-discipline, she has adapted well since discovering genealogy. Flautist. Understands plumbing. Thwarter of the Evil Empire.
RobRob Jordan
INTP. Edits digital photographs and digital video at a tectonic pace. Employee #1 of the organisation’s commercial arm. Ambition: To win the Tour de France King of the Mountains jersey. Realistically though, a training regime comprising watching the Tour on TV, reading cycling web sites, and salivating over pictures of lovely old lugged steel frames on Flickr, is not going to cut it!