Lockdown distractions.

Sarah and I have decided that we will do the ‘Film Friday’ alternate weeks now that we are both busy again. So you get something else from me instead this week, whilst Sarah does her Film Friday review.

Since last week I have coincidentally reached both my 1000th follower and the 4th anniversary of this blog.

The follower number seems to be pretty meaningless. If I look in detail I discover that many of the ‘followers’ seem to be fake accounts or bots. Plus I suspect it still includes those who have unfollowed for whatever reason. Certainly likes and comments are in the tens these days (my last post, a week ago, reached the heady heights of 13…) but these folks I regard as friends so I am content with that.

To be fair, the 4th anniversary is misleading too, as my blogging fizzled out after a few weeks in 2016 – I had no clue what I was doing – and was only revived after I had a bit of a breakdown in 2017 – almost exactly a year later in fact. So perhaps this is really my 3rd Birthday?

Congratulations if you got this far! Now to the real purpose of this post; to share things on Youtube etc that provided me with a lot of entertainment over the last few months.

Predictably the crises around the world have prompted a rash of charity singles. These two are actually rather good covers of songs I love anyway. The first was a chart hit here in the UK; a cover of Foo Fighters ‘Times Like These’ produced for BBC Live Lounge and featuring the Foos themselves (or at least singer, songwriter and nicest man in rock Dave Grohl and drummer Taylor Hawkins playing, it seems, a lava lamp….)

Whilst watching this, however, another treat popped up in my recommendations and is just so gorgeous, a cover of the Cranberries song ‘Dreams’:

Whilst catching up with my favourite band (Low) on Twitter I discovered that their friend and collaborator Gaelynn Lea has been live streaming sessions from her home. On this occasion Alan from Low joins her playing guitar outside her window:

And then this popped up in my recommendations…

Also thanks to Low’s twitter account I found this WP blog which gathers some great music: https://musicophilia.wordpress.com/2020/02/23/pith-and-echo/#comment-19979

A few months back I posted a song by Basia Bulat. Her latest album was released in late March and I love it. It is streamed on Youtube but I bought the physical product too:

For those of a more retro-rock persuasion – I offer The Shivas:

Apart from music there have been a good few laughs too. I discovered this wonderfully funny Canadian lady for example:

And the wonderful Tucker Budzyn is always a giggle:


  1. Wow! Thanks for this Darren. I love both Times Like These and Dreams, and these are fab versions.

    We discovered the Tiny Desk concerts only recently, and through them Gaelynn Lea. We’ve been listening to her all week, but I hadn’t found the concert with Alan Sparhawk, so thanks for that too πŸ‘πŸ‘

    I don’t know what I did for music recommendations before social media.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you Su and I am so glad you liked this!
      I recall buying a Murder of Crows album some time ago – Gaelynn and Alan’s official team-up- but now can’t find it in the heap of CDs! The Tiny Desk concerts have some gems – the Cranberries one is very good too coincidentally.
      Before social media my friends here sometimes asked how I found the obscure music I liked and I think it was just a case of carefully reading reviews in music magazines – avoiding the big full-page ones (for big name artists usually) and concentrating on the little single-paragraph ones. It was not possible to get a preview so I ended up buying some things I only ever listened to once!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. You sound so much like The Big T. He had to build shelves for his CD collection because it’s got so big. He’s not a reader of reviews (that’s me), but is a fan of student radio β€” and these days the internet stations.

        I am so glad we found the Tiny Desk concerts πŸ˜€

        Liked by 2 people

        1. No doubt you already discovered KEXP too Su??
          My CD collection is not huge but is in permanent disarray as Susan has found a reason to take them off the shelves 3 times in the last 2 years and pile them up in stacks. They still await my putting them back in order 6 months after the last timeπŸ˜‰πŸ˜‚

          Liked by 2 people

          1. Only through the occasional podcast or YouTube video. I’m really bad at searching out new music; I tend to rely on the good taste of my friends πŸ™‚

            I wouldn’t dare touch the CD collection! Even though it takes up prime real estate in the living room and we don’t actually listen to music on CD that much any more. Sigh.

            Liked by 2 people

  2. Congrats on the milestones (bots and breaks and all!) I’ve been wanting to do a similar post of random things I’ve enjoyed on the Internet. Happy to peek into your music world. Love Dreams by the Cranberries. Always happy to get music recommendations so am excited to listen through your finds. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Whew. I”m glad I’m not the only one who can’t keep up with a film Friday every week. Good idea to alternate… so many movies, too little time.

    Well, I’m glad you took a moment to acknowledge a blogging milestone (or two). It’s nice to remember your accomplishments, and I wouldn’t assume followers are bots necessarily! It’s work putting yourself out there regularly and maintaining internet relationships! But we do it for the fans, right? πŸ˜‰

    I like how Anna pretends to the video is frozen but the cat moves in the background – hahahhaa.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Lani. Not suggesting all my newer followers are bots. It is just that a large proportion of them, when I click on the link, lead me to an advertising site or empty blog templates.
      That said – you are right. I do not have the time to go out there and read many new blogs now. It was the mistake I made in 2016. When I returned in 2017 I made a point of going out there and finding like-minded souls rather than wait for them to come to me. And that really is essential.
      Her other videos are great too – she really is very talented.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Blogging is actually a bit hard because you have to find your “tribe” and this can take a while. I don’t know about you, but in the beginning when I was in my “expat blog tribe” it felt like everyone would drop off eventually. Sort of frustrating for a lifer like me. I mean, I love blogging and connecting with others.

        Liked by 2 people

  4. Hi Darren! I couldn’t listen to the first 2 songs in your post but that’s okay because then I listened to Gaelynn Lea and what can I say? I’m absolutely hooked!!! I can’t even put in words what I feel when I listen to her, it’s just breathtakingly beautiful. You know that feeling when you listen to a piece of music for the first time and it opens some kind of door in you, in your heart, brain and soul? That’s what just happened to me here. I feel kind of … I don’t know but it’s good. 😊 I haven’t reacted to music like this in a long time, I almost forgot the feeling. What a wonderful start to my day (yes, I know it’s late but I slept in πŸ˜‰)!
    I admit that I haven’t yet listened to the ones following her because I want to preserve that feeling of being in a bubble of delight. Thank you so much for that, dear friend! ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This comment makes me so happy Sarah. I am delighted! She has one of those voices that haunts you and is a hugely talented musician. The single song submission for the tiny desk concert absolutely floored me when I heard it. In fact I am going to listen again in a few minutes when I write my movie post! X

      Liked by 1 person

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