Week from Monday 3rd October 2005

I did the CARBOOT SALE this weekend, as I went in search of MORE seedydisk storage racks. Just a couple would have done (although you can never have too many. You probably CAN have too many CDs, but that's another matter!). But then I saw a stack of SIX of the buggers and the chap said that he wanted just 50p for the whole lot, so what can yer do?! I also spotted a rather delightful example of the East African harp-lute called, I believe, a NYATITI, but the canny stallholder knew it to be worth at least £50, so I didn't try for it. I DID however find a CD of one of the REAL WORLD RECORDING WEEK compilations, which just happens to feature a performance on said instrument (a £2 format upgrade - I already have this album on cassette!). For a further 25p, I acquired a mid-eighties KEVIN AYERS album I didn't know existed, but which is rather nice in a Laidback-Mediterranean-Evenings-Blissed-On-Red-Wine sort of a way.

GRATUITOUS MAGIC TWIT GAME

You are no doubt familiar with 'Never Mind The Buzzcocks' and their occasional "Indecypherable Lyrics Round", where the teams try to make head and/or tail of popular songs of the past, sometimes achieving comedic effect.

You may also have come across the term 'MONDERGREEN' to describe a misheard lyric - this, I understand, derives from an old folk tune containing the line 'They laid him on the green...' being misinterpreted as 'The Lady Mondergreen...'.

Well if, like us, you are able to listen to this music we call 'world' with irreverent ears, you will realise that the fun to be had with a misheard stanza or two can be multiplied tenfold, when the real words are not even in your native language! We call this game, for reasons that I shall not go into here, SKELTON TWINNING.

Longtime listeners to the Kershaw shindig might remember the song that sounded like "Roy Castle in Haiti" (was it by Coupé Cloué?).

Some other choice examples that have been known to cause childish snickering include the Dissidenten/Lem Cheheb classics 'I'll Bring Me Tuba' and 'I See A Video Of A Dog', Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan's 'Ali Ali The Bus Conductor' and 'I Saw Him On My Telly, Bwana Calling All The Amputees'. The reggae world has brought us Burning Spear's 'Marcus Garvey Wears Underpants' and Prince Far-I's 'Reggae Music - Spend Your Days Like A Monkey'. How we thrilled to Rizwan-Muazzam Qawwali and their delightful 'Babar Sat On Me Car Keys' and I swear that during one of their performances, I also heard the qawwali boys declare that 'Everybody should have a submarine...', as well as informing us that 'Baby's had a home-made doughnut' (or was it a 'Hovis doughnut'?)... Rachid Taha is still doing the one about 'Mehtoub The Anchovy'... 'I Gashed My Knee Near Aldershot', claims the singer in Tinariwen...

...and flamenco singers do seem to mention llamas a lot, don't they?

If you have spotted any similarly amusing examples, then do let us know, via the magic of e-mail (or gob onto our website). Our team of experts will have to check them for validity and snicker-factor before inclusion.

SHELFY just stuck his head 'round the door on his way somewhere, excited about his various musical PROJECTS, though evidently still finding his way in [what is to him] the exciting 'new' world of four-track digital recording. I handed him my "WORKS IN PROGRESS" disk to see what he can come up with... I've been listening to some of the WEIRDER repertoire of THE BEACH BOYS over the last few days, as a case study in "HOW IT WAS DONE". It's amazing what they used to be able to do with just a four-track and one good ear! But whenever I listen to TOO MUCH of Brian and the lads, I get stuck with voices in my head for weeks afterwards (albeit highly harmonious ones!). By the same token, I've also had a HEAD FULL of R.E.M. - I've just finished converting all of my old radio/concert tapes of the chaps into MP3s and compiling them all onto one little shiny thing, much as I did with my Genesis and Zep live material. Phew! After that little lot, if I never again hear yet another version of "Losing My Soddin' Religion", it'll be too soon!

Week from Monday 10th October 2005

...so this week, I thought I'd start "collating" my live gigs 'n' sessions by the lads of PINK FLOYD. You could argue that it's unnecessary to have several versions of "Dark Side Of The Moon" or "Echoes" gathered together in one place, but "Phooey!" say I.

I've bought a ticket to see THE KATIA LABÈQUE BAND in Brighton at the end of November. Not only will it be interesting to hear what [the former?] Mrs John McLaughlin is up to these days, but on this [Contemporary Music Network/Radio 3-commissioned] tour, her usual trio has been augmented by violinist VIKTORIA MULLOVA and none other than HENRY THE ART COW-BEAR himself, FRED FRITH, with his own unique six-string stylings.

Speaking of JOHN McLAUGHLIN, which we were, a bit... I noticed in the Radio Times a half-hour slot in this coming Friday's BBC FOUR schedule that just says "THE MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA". Could this be the legendary Beeb "In Concert" show from around the time of the "Inner Mounting Flame" elpee? Or is it an all-too-brief rockumentary? Either way, I can't wait to find out!

Week from Monday 17th October 2005

...and I'm thrilled to find that it was indeed the former! I've only waited - oh! what? - thirty three years to actually SEE this, although an audio recording of it was long ago gleaned from "THE GOLD LAMÉ TAPES" and is a TOP FAVE! I have now watched it several times and listened to it several more! Why, I'm listening to it now!

The popular teen combo ASH are totally unknown to me, being purveyors of the kind of Glasto-headlining, indie-Brit-brat guitar-based rawk to which I would never bother to give the time of day. Derivative, unimaginative, AND I bet they wear hooded anoraks in the middle of the summer. However, when the periodical known as "COMPUTER MUSIC" runs a competition, inviting their readers to remix one of Ash's little ramalama-strumtunes for BIG BIG PRIZES, well, who could resist?

Derivative? I should cocoa! I don't know much about these things, but isn't that "New Rose" by THE DAMNED? Of course, once in the hands of ace mixmaster SKY LARKIN, their own mothers wouldn't recognise the tune anymore, it now sounds like an unholy collision between THE FUTURE SOUND OF LONDON and FLYING SAUCER ATTACK. That'll learn 'em! Whether it's the sort of thing that the group and/or magazine will find, er... appealing is open to question.

What know I of this "COMMERCIAL" of which you speak?

Week from Monday 24th October 2005

I spent a couple of late nights doing some more WEBBOTASKS for the ACCLAMATION DELIUS' HiDeffoTellyBiz (all this Hi-Teckery makes one type in some kind of NEWSPEAK!). There's a link below if you're curious.

The weather has come over all AUTUMNAL (or, if you will, TORRENTIAL) and like clockwork, the BRENT GEESE have arrived to grace and graze the sports fields of old Gosport town.

Shelfy is pleased with himself, as he has completed his first ever "MY LITTLE FOUR-TRACK" song, which he claims is like a meld of noodlesome SAN FRANCISCO and KRAUT-ROCK stylings. I look forward to hearing it - I can feel another "STRUMPFEN" project comin' on! A Note For The Uninitiated: "Strumpfen" (meaning 'trousers') was the 'band-name' we used when we pretended to be 1971-vintage Kraut-Rockers, for a JULIAN COPE-esque dabble into the genre. Rather like an "ETHNOLOGICAL FORGERY SERIES" in reverse, in fact!

Week from Monday 31st October 2005

As I type this, the orifice is wafting in the ambient textures of ROBERT FRIPP's latest SOUNDSCAPES seedydisk [purchased on a whim because I just happen to see it on the "new releases" shelf in Reflex Records]... the musical equivalent of a big cuddly toy bunny made of angora and the perfect soundtrack to a winter's hibernation.

Over the weekend, there were quite a few tasty nuggets for us lovers of FAR OUT SPACE MUSIC on the BEEB-MEDIA. Don Letts' and Jez Nelson's documentary on SUN RA was on BBC Four. It was called - natch! - "Brother From Another Planet" and was a treat from start to finish, but it WAS mainly cobbled together from bits of the "Space Is The Place" film and other stuff that I recognised from previous docs. Radio 3 had the first part of a new "Jazz File" on DON CHERRY, which prompted me to listen to an early ORNETTE COLEMAN QUARTET album immediately afterwards... Mmmm, nice! THE FUTURE SOUND OF LONDON took over the airwaves for a couple of hours on "The Six Mix" (and chatted amongst themselves all the way through it - this could be seen as either a radical new form of RADIO ART or very off-putting, depending on your mood at the time). JAH WOBBLE was expected to be doing a session on KERSHAW's SHINDIG, but I haven't got round to listening to that yet. Nor have I listened to this week's FREAK ZONE, all of which was stuff from the legendary "NURSE WITH WOUND LIST" (which I like to think is Stephen Stapleton's version of "THE GOLDEN BANANA AWARDS").