Week from Monday 3rd October 2004

This week's bit of 'servicing' was on the trusty old FOSTEX 4-track Portapotty-Studio-Thingumyjig. One of its 'elastic bands' was slipping out of kilter and cassettes were getting trapped in the machine because the "Eject" button didn't.

A bit of a mixed bag on "THE FREAK ZONE" this week, which has moved to its new user-friendly' teatime slot. Now I can listen to it in real time instead of via 'The Xenochronous Shifting of Mischievous TEAC'. The featured album was CAN's "Tago Mago" (Hooray!), but there was also a feature on the tedious KINKS (Zzzzzz). A discussion on MARC RILEY's new show called - ahem! - "MINT" was taken as an excuse to play a track by THE FALL (Aaarrrrggggghh!) ... I was 'NAMECHECKED ON AIR', this time for my PEDANTIC PEDESTRIAN comments about last week's FAUST and TRIUMVIRAT goodies.

Oh what a surprise! My aforementioned anxiety about being forced to listen to the hopeless strumming of THE FALL over my Sunday tea has provoked an e-comment from SHELFY (you can't fool me by signing yourself "SCOOTER HENDERSON"!), who happens to think they are 'Fab'. Yes... well... Marc Riley was IN the band and even HE doesn't actually LIKE Mark E Smith! How do you expect ME to overcome this major obstacle?

Week from Monday 11th October 2004

Among the listening pleasures being had this week are the other-world harmonies and farmyard noises of BRIAN WILSON and his THIRTY-SEVEN YEARS LATE magnum-opiate "SMiLE" ...and a surprisingly good disc of STRAVINSKY's "Symphonic Works" that came with this month's "BBC Music Magazine" ('surprising' because I have been hitherto disappointed with renditions of Uncle Igor's stuff by BBC Orchestras) ...and the frankly-bonkers seventies progressiveness of Köln's own 'Emerschmitt, Lake und Palmerhausen', TRIUMVIRAT (Are they serious? Is it a pastiche? We should be told!)

BINKY finally sent his reviews of the PERE UBU and SONIC YOUTH gigs he attended, OOP DZAT LOONDIN. Oh, by the way, the Autumn is definitely here - the BRENT GEESE have arrived this week. And I'm wearing long trousers.

Week from Monday 18th October 2004

It seems I was too quick to dismiss BA CISSOKO as "fairly standard Guinean kora'n'balafon fare" when I shuffled past their set at the Village Stage at WOMAD this year. I've found a copy of their CD (for two pounds at a car-boot sale!) and it is rather splendid. For a start, what I thought I heard as a balafon is, in fact, a SECOND kora played through various guitar FX - that also was the source of the 'psychedelic' 'guitar' noises that I noticed when I heard further snippets of their set on the wireless. I must have caught them during a brief 'acoustic' segment, because most of their stuff chugs along in an ELECTRIC STYLEE, like THE SUPER RAIL BAND or ZANI DIABATE's SUPER DJATA BAND. Top stuff!

While at the KABOOT, I acquired some more storage boxes, as I've been having a clear-out of drawers at home and tidying up my workspace here in THE CUPBOARD IN GOSPORT. It was also time to wave farewell to my favourite Technics tape deck (So Good I Bought It Twice), which I was sadly unable to repair.

Some nice news in the post this week: G&S MUSIC is back! Yes, those ENTHUSIASTIC PURVEYORS OF ALL THINGS ZAPPA are back in business under new ownership and are now based in LIVERPOOL (a place where people "TAKE THINGS TOO PERSONALLY"). There is actually some 'NEW' Vaulternative FZ product a-comin' up. On the other hand, there are still an infinite number of (probably) unlistenable Beefheart recordings and, of course, dubious Zappa "Tribute" acts ("Bobby Brown" in Spanish, anyone? Thought not...)

Week from Monday 25th October 2004

The GHASTLY weather forced me to stay indoors all weekend and listen to GREAT RADIO: "Mixing It" had an interview with the oddball VAN DYKE PARKS on the subject of his involvement with BRIAN WILSON's "SMiLE" album; "Jazz On 3" had the first part of the CHICK COREA double bill recorded at the Barbican (which, admittedly, I haven't heard all of yet); Radio2 broadcast the R.E.M. 'secret' gig at St James's Church, Piccadilly; "THE FREAK ZONE" had lots of strange things as usual...

This morning, the world of music has an immeasurable JOHN PEEL-shaped hole in it. It's nearly a decade since I last listened to Radio One, but I have never known a time in my life when a conversation about all things musical didn't, at some point, contain the words "PEEL SESSION"...

I found a rather splendid little book about dAdAISM for under a fiver and just had to have it. As my aRT-hERO KURT SCHWITTERS said, "Invest your money in dAdA! dAdA is the only savings bank that pays interest in the hereafter!". On the other hand, [performance artist and honorary Talking Head] HUGO BALL put it much more succinctly: "gadji beri bimba glanridi laula lonni cadori, gadjama gramma berida bimbala glandri galasassa laulitalomini..." I think we can all relate to that, eh kids?