Mania

ma·ni·a

[mey-nee-uh, meyn-yuh]

–noun

1. Excessive excitement or enthusiasm; craze: The country has a mania for soccer.
2. Psychiatry: manic disorder.

My personality is about as far as you can get from manic. I don’t mean by that that I don’t enjoy things, but my enthusiasm is almost always contained. There are, however, two exceptions to this. The first is gambling. I don’t gamble, or rather, I don’t gamble very often. The reason why is that I can become quite cavalier about it. I chase losses like an idiot. I’ve never lost a significant amount of money – not a ‘month’s rent’ or ‘food for the kids’ amount – but I have gone somewhere with a budget of say a tenner and thanks to the glories of chip and pin technology walked out forty or fifty pounds worse off. And then comes the sick-in-the-stomach feeling when I think what I could have done with that £50 instead of blowing it in the heat of the moment.

The second exception is music. I have these episodes every so often where I discover an album or a new band and I become quite literally obsessive about them. Not in a teeny-bopper, let’s chase the Beatles around parked cars type of way. But what I will do is relegate every other CD I own to the rack in the living room and I’ll listen to my new find over and over and over. I’ll seek out every bit of information I can find on the band in question. I’ll bang on about them to anyone who will listen. It’s quite tiresome really. Luckily, it only happens every now and again. The last one was about seven years back. John Frusciante (the guitar player from The Red Hot Chilli Peppers in case you don’t know who he is) started releasing some solo material. He played right into my hands. I bought the first record and loved it, then found out he planned to release one per month (YES, one PER MONTH) for the better part of a year. Needless to say, I bought them all. I listened to them until they were almost worn out. I bored everyone I know to tears. And although I’m not really a Springsteen fan, for god’s sake don’t mention Darkness on the Edge of Town to me because you’ll find yourself slipping into a coma – I am really that enamoured with that one album. And all the outtakes from that album. And the history behind that album. You get the idea…

Anyway, it’s starting to happen again. I reviewed this album by a new German band called Get Well Soon for Amazon Vine about three years ago. I loved it at the time, I thought it was great. But something must have derailed my usual descent into obsession because I then kind of forgot about them. However, I was looking back over my Amazon reviews the other day and my review for their first album was obviously there in amongst them. I dragged the CD out, blew the dust off it and stuck it on in the car. It’s just as marvellous now as it was back then. Then I made my first mistake – I googled them. Found they had two more albums out. Found they had a free EP to download. You can see where this is going, right?

I didn’t have a Blog when Frusciante mania hit. Unfortunately for you, I now do. Because I’m going to hijack it today with this:

And this…

And even this…

Be warned, I may be bugging you about these guys a bit more over the next week or two. I apologise in advance. Then I’m on holiday for a fortnight so it might burn itself out.

You could help me actually, give me a hand to get over it. You could tell me you think they’re alright, or even that you might buy one of their records, or at least download their free live EP which is available here. Who knows, I might then consider my unbridled enthusiasm to have served a purpose and then may actually be able to shut up about it all and move on with the rest of my life…

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