I don’t care much if Rage Against the Machine are Christmas Number One

I can’t remember when I last had any idea who was in the Top 40, or when I last listened to the radio, or when I last paid any attention to the ‘new releases’ section in HMV. Christmas Number One isn’t something I’ve concerned myself with for a very long time. As far as I’m concerned, if you’re paying attention to this stuff then you’re just feeding the problem in which popular music consists pretty much entirely of shit.

We’ve got the Internet now, people. If you want to find good new music, just go out there and look for it. Start with Last.fm and see how you go from there. Who cares what genre it is, or what label it’s on, or whether it’s ever going to be in the charts? If you like it, just find it and buy it. Do your own thing, stop caring about old-fashioned concepts like the Top 40, and then you’ll be supporting the artists who really deserve it. Let the bloated, sick, over-hyped, X Factor-polluted world of popular music disappear up its own arse and die once and for all.

Seeing Depeche Mode live

Over the last few days, various friends have kindly presented me with opportunities to see Depeche Mode live. Since I regard Depeche Mode as almost certainly my favourite band of all time, you’d think I’d have jumped at these opportunities. However, I haven’t.

This is mainly because the Depeche Mode that I loved came to an end after Songs of Faith and Devotion. Alan Wilder left the band at that point, and I haven’t really loved any of their albums since (with the possible exception of Playing the Angel, which I do rate pretty highly).

When I first watched the film 101 many years ago, the sight of Dave Gahan doing his rock god act in front of three guys playing synthesizers and hitting metal objects with hammers was truly momentous for me. That’s the Depeche Mode I fell in love with: the dark, electronic, industrial pop band, complete as they were; not the band with ‘real instruments’ and extra musicians onstage as they are nowadays. It’s a source of painful regret for me that I never saw Depeche Mode live around the time of Music For the Masses / Violator / Songs of Faith and Devotion.

(Another problem is that, when Depeche Mode come to London, they only seem to play at venues (the Millenium Dome, the Royal Albert Hall) which are problematic for people who suffer from vertigo, as I do.)

If Alan Wilder rejoined the band, and if they decided to play at Wembley Arena using only synthesizers (and metal objects with hammers, plus maybe the occasional bit of guitar or piano from Martin Gore), and if they weren’t going to play songs from any albums since Songs of Faith and Devotion, then I would pay pretty much any amount of money to go and see them. But, sadly, I don’t think that’s likely to happen.

More Google-related things

Gosh. Google do seem to be churning things out at quite a rate. Firstly, they’ve officially made Chrome available for Mac at bloody last. It seems lovely and fast – even a bit faster than Safari, I think – but at the moment it’s too rough around the edges for everyday use. Also, how would I sync my Chrome bookmarks across multiple Macs? Well done to Google, though, for making it easy to choose at least a couple of alternatives to Google for the search provider.

Secondly, they’ve implemented a form of real-time search. Here is an example of this, as posted by realremotegoat. Personally, I’m not keen to see my results being pushed down the screen by a stream of mindless tweets from Twitter. If I want to see mindless tweets I’ll go to Twitter, thanks, not to Google. I’m sure there must be a better way to do this.

Google might actually be evil, it turns out

For a while I’ve been been mildly concerned about the amount of data Google collects, but I’ve always been willing to trust that they wouldn’t be likely to do anything particularly untoward with that data. Up until now, that is.

So, I’m not going to stop using Google just yet, but as of right now I’m significantly reducing my usage of their services, and I’m making sure I’m not logged into Google unless I absolutely need to be.