Week from Monday 1st November 2004

Once again, the future of Western 'democracy' is in the hands of good ol' boys called Jethro or Billyjoejimbob, who think that EYE-RACK is somewhere in YURP and probably believe that they must choose between the candidates Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jon Bon Jovi. Anyway, it looks like you're in for another four years of "MAHFELWA MERKINS".

I've finally got around to listening to the rest of the "CHICK COREA LIVE AT THE BARBICAN" material that has been broadcasterized on "Jazz On 3" over the last couple of weeks. All of it, 'Elektric' and 'Akoustic', is top-hole stuff, but I particularly warmed to the Latinesque TOUCHSTONE set.

Avert your eyes, oh Shelfy, 'cos here come the computer "CHATRUMINATIONS"... I had a bit of a kerfuffle with CorelDraw today: It kept crashing everytime I tried to print the latest batch of engraving jobs. The printer blew a fuse. I re-installed Corel, I re-installed the printer; still it would 'FATAL ERROR' at me. Then I tried printing some other pages. It worked just fine. I tried printing the new page again. It crashed. Grasping for straws, I tried removing an old drawing of a pigeon from the page. It worked this time! CorelDraw 11, it would seem, takes exception to some of my drawings originally created in version 8. I can just see the news reports in all the PC magazines now: "MAJOR COREL PANIC TRACED TO ELDERLY PIGEON".

Week from Monday 8th November 2004

The LONDON JAZZ FESTIVAL starts this week and a free t-shirt arrived in the post. It wasn't the complimentary ticket to see ANTHONY BRAXTON and CECIL TAYLOR that I had been hoping for, but it's very nice anyway... Also landing on the doorstep were two "new" releases on the ZAPPA FAMILY's 'VaulterNative' label: "Joe's Corsage" is greasy teenage R&B from the (VERY) early Mothers (excellent quality for the vintage and jolly good fun), while "Joe's Domage" is a little more 'heavy', being (iffy quality) rehearsal tapes from the Grand Wazoo/Waka Jawaka era. I have listened to it on headphones, so that I can hear all the chat and background stuff. It's a fascinating 'study aid' for understanding [the creative process behind] the albums that followed, but it's probably not one that you could play very often! I suppose you could put it on and TRY TO play along with it, if you're so inclined.

There was a CAR-BOOT SALE at Bay House School in Gozzy on Saturday, but it wasn't very big and there was nothing worth having. I spent Sunday afternoon rebuilding some stereo headphones from a bag of bits under the bed.

"THE FREAK ZONE" delivered big time this week, with (most of) the legendary Peel Session from MAGMA (twenty-six minutes of "THEUSZ HAMTAAHK"!) as well as lengthy chunks of HATFIELD & THE NORTH's "The Rotters Club" album... There was also an overview of the ridiculous TYRANNOSAURUS REX, but I ignored that in its entirety.

I've arranged an 'appointment' to 'fix' SHELFY's PeeCee at long last, but it he may have left it too late - it sounds to me like the hard-drive may have died. We shall see... Quelle surprise. Shelfy phoned to 'cancel' the 'appointment'. I suggested he learns to love his AppleMac. He and PeeCees just don't get along.
I've got a pile of custom XMAS CARDS to finish folding by hand. Doing this way means that more money from the job goes into MY pocket and not the printer's!

Week from Monday 15th November 2004

The latest release from the KING CRIMSON "Club des Enthousiastes" arrived at last: Seventy-nine minutes of clattering instruMENTAL PROJEkcT THREE, recorded live, in front of nearly a dozen startled audients, in a club in Austin, Texas! Talking of Texas, on Saturday, THE TIMES gave away a free copy of Wim Wenders' classic "PARIS, TEXAS" on deeveedee, but I haven't got 'round to watching it yet.

Uh oh! Here comes the annual TUMMY BUG! I'm on a strict diet of herbal tea and yoghurt and keeping away from anything acidic. By Friday, I'm feeling proper ropey.

Shelfy came into The Cupboard, just as I was indulging one of my crazes for early (i.e., proper) GENESIS - the timeless, majestic splendour of "The Fountain Of Salmacis", as it happens. As he is still sans-PC and not bothering to let me do anything about it, he just wanted to look at the diary (which is a bit scanty this week, I must admit!). I've been busy[ish] with work, plus I've been adding new material to my FRANK ZAPPA and KING CRIMSON databases (the list-obsessive music collector's hi-tech equivalent of the bus-spotter's dog-eared notebook).

Week from Monday 22nd November 2004

I was RIGHT POORLY throughout most of the weekend, so I spent it in bed. The deeveedee of "Paris, Texas" didn't play on my machine (this seems to be a feature of "FREE" DVDs), so I watched "APOCALYPSE NOW" instead. I also watched the Michael Caine classic "THE FOURTH PROTOCOL", in which he plays Michael Caine as usual.

"THE FREAK ZONE" had a questionable "Mavericks" feature on FRANK ZAPPA, prompting THE PEDANTIC PEDESTRIAN to leap into action (I wouldn't let it lie!). There was also an interview with BILL NELSON (mainly about BEBOP DELUXE) which I didn't hear at the time, because it coincided with THE SIMPSONS. The featured album was "You" by GONG. All's well with the world.

In between workies today, I have updated the PICK O' THE YEAR list for 2004. REGLEER readers of this diary will probably have guessed what most of them are already. May I once again remind Gridlers that you are invited to submit lists of your own FAVOURITE THINGS of the year, century or indeed millennium - They don't HAVE to be lists of a musical bent either!

Meditate on THIS for a while! JOHN COLTRANE's "A Love Supreme" album is forty years old this year (recorded, in fact, on the 9th December 1964, when the rest of the world was going apeshit about guys who made "Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!" noises). There was a rather good documentary on Radio 4 to mark the fact... I subsequently realised that it's also forty years since ERIC DOLPHY's "Out To Lunch" came out as well!

I got paid for some BIGJOBS, so I treated myself to a new (MP3-compatible)CD WALKPERSON. Now I can take my NUGGETS "jukebox" with me everywhere (Eleven-and-a-half hours on one seedydisk!). Just think - now I can listen to THE FAR CRY on the bus!

Week from Monday 29th November 2004

There was a RECORD FAIR at the Southampton Guildhall on Saturday (there was also a Whitesnake concert, but we won't mention THAT!). I met THE HUMAN NAIL leaving the Solent Suite just as I arrived, his pockets stuffed with lots of LOUD THINGS. He says there are already 'naughty recordings' available of this week's out-of-reach TOM WAITS gig, tickets for which were changing hands for over a grand on that e-BAY whassame! I stuffed MY pockets with one or three items of PROGGERY (including the FRUUP anthology I'd been seeking - Imagine, If You Will, An Irish Camel?!), a FUNKADELIC disk for a mere 3 and [a promo version of] one of MICKEY HART's PLANET DRUM albums for just 2! The latter proves to be jolly fine BUS LIS'NIN'...

I finished my GENESIS PROJECT: Now that I've acquired nearly all of the (pre-1977) Genesis back catalogue on seedydisk, I'd decided to put the "BEST OF THE REST" (concert tapes, related odds'n'sods) all in one place. I've ended up with over seven hours of Genesis-related B**TL*GS gathered together [as MP3s] on one disk!