The Signal and the Noise

The Signal and The Noise
The Signal and The Noise, by Andrew Paul Regan.

I’d just like to say a few words of praise for Andy‘s new album, The Signal and the Noise. It’s not the first time I’ve said nice things about him, but it’s the first time since he’s been recording under his full name, rather than as “Pagan Wanderer Lu”.

I can say this for sure, though: The Signal and the Noise has finally dethroned my previous favourite Lu album, Build Library Here (or else!). It’s catchy, it’s quirky, and it’s full of songs that will make you wish that you were cleverer: so far, so good. I think that one of the things that particularly appealed to me in this album were that the lyrical themes touched on so many topics that interest me: religion and superstition, artificial intelligence, the difficulties of overcoming materialism, cold war style espionage, and cryptography/analysis… all wrapped up in fun and relatable human stories, and with better-than average running-themes, links, and connections.

One of the joys of Andy’s (better) music comes from the fact that rather than interpretation, it lends itself far better to being issued with a reading list. To which end, here’s a stack of Wikipedia articles that might help you appreciate this spectacular album a little better, for the benefit of those of you who weren’t lucky enough to have read all of this stuff already:

Oh; backing vocals, you’re too kind! But this is just another chapter in the story of my life.

The Omniscient Narrator

The final track’s a little weaker than the rest (the actual final track, not the “hidden track” bit), and I’m left with a feeling that this was so-close but not quite a concept album (which would have been even more spectacular an achievement), but these are minor niggles in the shadow of an otherwise monumental album.

Go get a copy.

By the way; I’ve got a spare – who wants it? Spare copy’s gone to Claire as an early birthday present. Somehow she failed to preorder a copy of her own.

Looking for an alternate opinion? Here’s a guy who didn’t “get it”.

Weekend

I seem to spend most of my time on this blog posting retrospectively about what I did on any given weekend. Will try to spice things up with a little more thought and debateworthy stuff in the future – I’ve got some ideas. In any case:

Friday was Andy’s gig – not as good as the last one I went to, but still a fab show (and, in particular, some great guitarwork this time around). Claire couldn’t come – she was in Gregynog on a Computer Science away-half-weekend (the replacement for what used to be the “second Aberdyfi weekend” that we used to have in the first year).

Saturday was Troma Night. Rory (visiting) and not-gay Gareth (recently discovered to be in Aberystwyth) came along, as did Claire’s friend Ruth, and a good time was had by all.

And, of course, Sunday was Geek Night. We played Hacker for the first time in ages, as well as a little Fluxx. Matt seems to be a huge fan of the latter – perhaps it apppeals to the mathematician inside him.

Oh, and: Yay!

Halloween In Aber

I’m a big bad wolf, it seems. And last night I, along with Little Red Riding Hood (Claire), Death (Bryn), Paul (Andy!), Judge Doom [barely] (JTA), Pinocchio (Matt), and Matt (not in costume… grr), went out to the Coopers Arms to see Pagan Wanderer Lu. And he was good – some songs I knew, some songs I didn’t: tried to buy a CD at the end but it was £3 and Claire and I only had a £20 note between us and he evidently hadn’t sold £17 worth (i.e. 6) CDs yet because he couldn’t give us change so he’s holding one for us. Nothing rhymes with ‘Aberystwyth’, by the way.

We didn’t stay for much longer, because by this point the room was very full and very hot (particularly with us all in costumes)… so we bailed and went for a sly drink in Scholars, before retiring to the flat to watch My Neighbours, The Yamadas. Which was good.

Hmm… what’s everybody else saying: