There is a mystery behind Brains SA; what exactly does it stand for? Among those who know, it is universally revered as skull attack. I’ve reasonably fond of it, but tonight, perhaps, I finally understood how it came by it’s moniker.

After getting home, following several pints, I was suddenly struck by a desire to listen to Jimmy Sommerville; there is, of course, no sanity or logic to this at all, but there you have it. Now, of course, his pop sensibilities are well known, but I remember, like a folk memory hidden deep in my brain, “For a friend” released shortly, perversely after “Never Can Say Goodbye”. No dancy pop tune this, but an elegiac ballad to a friend lost to the virus of the 80s. I think I only heard it twice before it disappeared; but I remember it was wonderful.

A quick search of spotify led me to his latest collection, digital only, called “Suddenly Last Summer”. The most bizarre, wonderful collection of songs, covers, with an odd twist. “Hanging on the telephone” as folk ballad; “Hush” with a mandolin solo.

I have my own ideas and opinions about the future of music. And as a sometime, occasional performer myself, I do care about musicians. I want them to be earning a living. I don’t know if Lily Allen is right, or whether the internet will be the death of middleman, to the benefit of us all. But, for myself as a consumer, the ability to gain instant gratification, to listen to such strange, marvelous music that surely I would never have remembered to buy, even if it had been available in a store has to be great thing. I don’t know for sure how musicians of the future will make money; but, I live in hope. Are there enough people like my, acting on a strange impulse, to make it worthwhile. But musicians have something to sell, something that people value; there must be a business model hidden in there somewhere.

The record companies and Pop Idol, well, that’s a different issue. Few people will mourn their passing.

SA, indeed.

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