Sunday, February 05, 2006


Public Sector Borrowing Requirement (PSBR)

After Friday's realisation that I was having a "bad hair day" which seems actually to have lasted all week, I decided maybe it was time to have a complete change for the weekend.

By that I mean stay away from the computer, do something different, don't blog and most of all try to enjoy myself. I succeeded on most counts, although a large chunk of yesterday evening was spent at the computer.

Now that Martha has her PSP (because her generous husband bought her one for her birthday) and is 100% addicted to Sims2 and Virtua Tennis, I decided to use the computer for something I've been wanting to do for a while.

Download porn...

Nah, just kidding! Were you worried?! Actually I've been hankering for some new mp3 CD's to play in my car and decided that I needed to upload some tracks into iTunes that I hadn't heard for a long time and commit them to a nice shiny CD ready for my drives to work this coming week.

Anyone who has seen my CD collection will know that this is not a task to be taken lightly. We've got boxfuls of CD's which used to fill 4 good sized CD racks, but have been packed away ever since our move last June. Ultimately I'd love to bang the whole lot into iTunes, but that's a task of mammoth proportions which I think I'll leave for when things are a little more organised. No, this time I needed to focus on a theme and stick to it, otherwise it would be a task I'd never complete.

Hmm, now how well do you guys think you know me? Any ideas what theme I went for?

Well, if you said Pet Shop Boys you've pretty much got it! In fact my main hankering was for old remixes of their songs which I rarely get to listen to simply because they'e on CD singles which unless you actually want to hear that specific track, you're never really likely to dig out.

So, I went to our third bedroom which houses all of our stored stuff and pulled out the box and one 3x2 foot CD rack both rammed full of Pet Shop Boys CD's. One by one I put them into iTunes, being selective about tracks rather than taking the whole CD content...whether that was a good idea or not, I don't know, but again I was trying to stay focussed. Four hours later I had commited just over 5 hours of music (a total of 49 tracks) and decided that was enough. Martha had long since gone to bed and I still had to commit these to a CD, but that waited until this morning.

Now, I don't know about you, but when I make a compilation CD I usually put so much time and effort into it, that by the time it's done I'm no longer interested in listening to it. This kind of happened today. This mighty 49 track playlist kind of stared back at me off the computer screen and I sort of lost the will to hear it. Fortunately I soldiered on, wrote it to a disc and went to my car to make sure it worked. I skipped through the tracks, hearing a few seconds of each intro just to make sure they were working OK, and suddenly it got me excited about the CD again. And what's more, it's got me excited about copying more of my collection to the computer...

I would love to get all of our CD's out now and copy the lot. Especially now that Martha has her PSP and may want to have some music on that as well, it would really be worth doing now. Where I'll find the time, I'm not sure, but we'll see...

For those also remotely interested, I find the Pet Shop Boys's remix catalogue makes an interesting timeline of how electronic music has progressed from the 80's to the 00's. Back in the days of 'West End Girls", "Opportunities" and "Always On My Mind" the remix was a pure and simple extension of the original song. So intead of a 4-5 minute song, you'd get an 8-10 minute epic which pretty much resembled the original. Now, if you love a song enough this is great, because you just get more of what you love!

This carried on until roughly the early 90's where I start to find Pet Shop Boys remixes started to get a bit weirder. They started to sound less and less like the original songs, and were more an expression of the DJ/remixer than the song. Imagine if you will Van Gogh painting his interpretation of the Mona Lisa and you might be some way to figuring out what I mean. You can hear aspects of the original in it, but the remix itself actually bears no musical resemblance to the original song. This is where I started to lose interest in the remix. If I like a song, the reason I want to hear remixes is because of it - I don't want to hear a totally different thing that is loosly based around it.

Unfortunately, this has been a continuing trend with remixed tracks getting more and more obscure, and I used to dread hearing them. However, it would appear that this is coming to an end. The last two Pet Shop Boys singles, "Miracles" and "Flamboyant" both contained "back to basics" extended versions of the original songs. And my God, they were excellent! It's just a real shame that, in between, there have been so many great songs, with badly missed opportunities to make some cracking remixes. It makes me want to learn how to remix songs myself, and go back and give it a whirl.

Anyway, sorry to those of you who lost interest and fell asleep half way through this blog entry...if you did find it remotely interesting though, please drop a's nice to be able to gauge what floats peoples boats when I blog.

Oh and for those who are wondering about the title, it's a funny from my school. In Economics class we were taught that PSBR stands for Public Sector Borrowing Requirement. One day our teacher was firing on the spot questions and asked the class what PSBR stood for. One boy (unbeleiveably not myself!) piped up "Pet Shop Boys Remix!" to hoots of laughter from the rest of the class.

Well, I guess you had to be there...

We were watching Vh1 the other night and when the Pet Shop Boys came on I thought of you! I told CCB," You know, Gabby is a big fan of theirs." I really did! I swear!
Stretch...yawn....rubbing my done talking about PSBs yet? No...ok...what did I miss? Guess I need to re-read.

Sorry Gabby - when you start blabbering on about them I get lost but b/c you're my friend I read it anyway! :) Glad you got your CDs in itunes and made your compilation CD - it would have sucked to have done all that for naught.
OGO - It's alright, I believe you!

SS - Thanks for reading....I think....another good reason to start a separate music based blog I think...
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