This is actually the second version of this particular installment of my “weekly” update column. I only needed to add a few images in order to finish one I wrote earlier in the week. However, I got busy and forgot about it. I decided to scrap it and start fresh.
Thus, this will be a very brief update.
I taught my final high school lessons for the school year on Friday. The students take their final exams (invigilated by Thai teaching assistants) next week. The end of any term is rife with cancellations and extra activities not to mention having to finish preparation and assessments in time. I believe my M3 students are more stressed than usual due to this being their last year at this particular school. They are all moving to different schools next year, breaking up a group that has been together since their Lower Primary (and Kindergarten, in some cases) days.
In addition to teaching the last weeks of classes at the school, I have been busy with a new business course and preparing activities for a Kindergarten open house. The writing my articles for A Stamp A Day has occupied most of my evenings and two recently become “all-nighters”. While I enjoy putting together the articles each and every day, I am looking forward to my upcoming planned hiatus. I will reach post #1000 later this month and I plan to take at least two weeks away from the blog. I am contemplating going from a daily publishing schedule to an “occasional” (at least weekly) format. Time will tell….
I have created two videos recently, neither of which is a photo slideshow (that last 40-minute affair was way over the top!). The first was the result of a happy accident. I was going through a few old external hard disc drives searching for something else entirely when I came across a long-unfinished project. In January 2007, I had flown to Bangkok with my then-wife and a British friend of mine met during my TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certification course. We had floor tickets for Eric Clapton’s concert there, a tour that featured a setlist drawn heavily from the Layla album with a great band including guitarists Doyle Bramhall II and Derek Trucks. I took a fair amount of photos during the concert but I also shot more than an hour of video. I put all the clips together and uploaded the full video to YouTube this morning. As far as I know, there isn’t any other footage of that concert circulating among collectors.
I have become quite enamored of Annie Clark (AKA St. Vincent) recently. I’d sort of become aware of her from the 2012 David Byrne (of Talking Heads fame) album called Love This Giant and had seen some of the video clips from the ensuing tour (loving their versions of “Naive Melody (This Must Be The Place)” and “Road to Nowhere” amongst others). However, I never came across ANY of St. Vincent’s albums or live work until perhaps two or three weeks ago. The more I see, the more intrigued I become. While I have my definite favorites, I have not found much that I truly dislike. Her music keeps evolving (as does her appearance) but the bottom line is that she writes truly interesting lyrics, is a powerhouse on guitar, and really knows how to put on an exciting live show.
In trying to introduce the music of St. Vincent to my friends, I found that a certain order of video clips worked best whether I was showing them to my Thai friends or Western colleagues. I usually start off showing them an early solo performance of “Dig A Pony” by The Beatles followed by a clip or two from the David Byrne tour, a February 2014 French TV appearance of four songs, and then a festival performance from Paris in 2014. If they are interested, they can find the Masseduction era and 2019 Grammy performance on their own. Anyway, as many of the clips are buried within full concert videos, I could not create a YouTube playlist giving just the “introductory course” videos so I began editing my own compilation. After doing some work on it, I decided it would be easier to present in a strictly chronological format to truly show the development and confidence Annie has gained over such a brief period of time.
I just finished editing the first part which runs for just under 25 minutes. I feel this is a good length to give just a “taste” and I am quite pleased at how it came out. Volume 1 covers the period from 2009 through the beginning of May 2012. I have yet to upload it to YouTube (copyright concerns) but have begun work on a Volume 2 (mostly covering the David Byrne tour and the French TV appearances of 2014). I think I enjoy this sort of video compilation much more than making the photo slideshows, even if I cannot show them on a site like YouTube. In lieu of that, I present the first St. Vincent with band video I ever watched (and I still enjoy it immensely; although some of the performance may seem somewhat “weird”, it does grow on you with repeated viewings and you cannot deny the guitar solos!). This is from show called “Album de la Semaine” that aired on CanalPlus in France on February 19, 2014; I have been trying to find the full performance which included another four songs but the 19 minutes of this video is a perfect introduction to Annie Clark and St. Vincent.
See you next time….