Week from Monday 4th June 2007

As Bob Marley once sang, "We're German, I hope you like German stew..."

At the latest count, RABBIT SHOW REJECT has 224 'friends' and has been described as "A TRUE MARVEL TO STUMBLE UPON". Which Is Nice. There's still some way to go before equalling ROBERT FRIPP's 7218 'friends' (and THE MARS VOLTA's 217464!). Then again, judging by some of the dozy, misspelled, incoherent ramblings some of these artistes' 'friends' have posted, they are not people one would like to 'befriend' in REAL LIFE. If there is a text equivalent of MONOSYLLABIC GRUNTING - and there definitely is! - then these be they.

As part of my ongoing HONING PROJECT, I spent much of the weekend sorting through the "Scary Snakes Box" from under the bed, filing away old photo albums and 'editing' all the old PRE-DIGITAL diaries (i.e. chucking out all the useless pages full of TV listings, phone messages and scribbled reminders, keeping all the fun stuff) for storage in a posh new box (acquired at a bootie for £1). Eventually, some of it will be typed out and added to these pages - so watch this space for "THE TIBWORTH PAPERS"! And, taking a page out of LUAKA BOP's blogbook, I thought I could include some recipes:-

Festival-Style Japanese Tempura
2 med onions
1 green pepper
¼ pound of large mushrooms
1 pound cod or haddock fillets
Oil for frying
Batter Mix (1 egg, 4 ounces plain flour)

"At last the Secret Sauce Formula"
3-4 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon sherry
¼ pint beef or chicken stock
1 lemon cut into wedges

Peel and slice onions into rings. Wipe mushrooms. Cut pepper in half, remove seeds, cut each half into 4 pieces lengthwise. Skin fish, pat dry, slice into cubes. Put all sauce ingredients except lemon in saucepan and bring to boil. Keep sauce warm. Make batter: Break egg into measuring jug, add pinch of salt and beat lightly with fork. Make up to half a pint with cold water and gradually beat flour in to form a thin batter. Heat oil to 370 degrees on candy thermometer. Dip fish cubes into batter and fry a few cubes at a time until golden brown. Drain on kitchen paper and keep warm. Repeat with remaining fish and vegetables, maintaining oil temperature. Arrange battered fish and veg on a large serving dish, giving each person a bowl of sauce. Lemon slice for dipping.

Our phone service has now been 'switched over' and I await the arrival of our new ADSL modem doobry. I've been unplugging all the communication devices that clutter the underneath of my desk and tidying them up with the aid of a new surge protection plug board 'tower', hereby christened the DALEK. At the moment, I still don't know if THIS DIARY will have a new home 'online' anywhere, but I keep writing it anyway, as well as typing up and adding choice items from "BEFORE THE DIGITAL AGE".

Week from Monday 11th June 2007

FRANK ZAPPA has released a new album this week - Yes, I know he's been a bit quiet lately! It's a double disc recording of a complete 1980 concert in Buffalo, New York. So, naturally, there is a picture of a bison on the cover. That's the only comment I feel able to make at this juncture because, at time of writing, I haven't actually listened to it yet! Rest assured, the first disc is already nestled in the portative seedydisk player ready for BUS LISTENING.

Meanwhile, I am reading again "The Negative Dialectics Of Poodle Play", BEN "Out To Lunch" WATSON's rather thorough analysis of ZAPPA's art in a Freudian, Marxist, Adornoite, post-everything context ("Demented scholarship"... Matt Groening).

Come Tuesday, 'tis finally time for our ANNUAL DELIVER-A-THON One Day Tour de Hampshire. Shelfy's overheated French van provided the transport (The cabin heater is jammed on full because the device to switch it off is broken! It'd be nice and cosy in the Winter, but in June?!) In-flight entertainment is provided by an ODD-POD full of strange German people. OF COURSE we got lost a couple of times. That's all part of the fun! I'm planning to do my ISLE OF WIGHT trip on Thursday, but the weather is threatening to change...

We now have a reliable internet connection again. On the one hand this is a boon, what with not having to worry whether you will get any sort of connection to speak of. On the other hand, I don't have any webspace anymore (and I can't get into the StuporNet ftp site to clear out the existing content. The online version of this diary is forever frozen in time sometime early in May). And trying to get the e-mail running smoothly is a TOTAL PAIN when you have to use internet webmail to communicate. I think[?] I've now sorted out Outlook Express's settings so that we have incoming AND outgoing 'client' e-mail, albeit with two different servers. We shall see.

It's nearly time for GLASTONBURY, the disgusting spectacle which embodies the TOTAL YUPPIFICATION of festival culture as we KNEW it. And where Glastonbury leads, others have followed. In the twenty-first century, weekend festivals have got about as much to do with 'counterculture' as Henley Regatta, Glyndebourne or Ascot. They are PLACES TO BE SEEN. Muddy fields have NEVER been the best places to appreciate music, but then MUSIC is no longer the 'point' of festivals, they are the stuff of the 'Mail on Sunday' colour supplement and the digital media. Like the i-Pod, the festival ITSELF is now a FASHION COMMODITY. Bread And Circuses...

I'm off to the Isle of Wight but, on this occasion, it's just 'to get the job done'. I'll save the FUN DAY OUT bit for another [sunnier] time... Actually it turned out to be an okay day weatherwise; a big muggy, but it didn't rain until I got back to Ryde - yes! that's right, I decided to walk back after all! I naturally browsed the charity shops of Old Ryde Town while I was there, finding desired seedydisk items by TALK TALK and BO HANSSON.

The planned 'FUN DAY OUT' will involve my purchasing one of those all-day 'Rover' bus tickets and doing a grand tour, hopping on and off buses along the way and taking in bits of the island (mainly the western end) that I've never been to before, at least not that I can remember.

Meanwhile in the land of RABBIT SHOW REJECT, Shelfy is delighted that his favourite practitioners of the 'WHIRLY-SPACEY-DUBBY-TRANCY' genre, KNIGHTS OF THE OCCASIONAL TABLE, have also expressed admiration for "Twenty-Five Minutes In A Warm Spoon".

Week from Monday 18th June 2007

I e-mailed Supanet to ask them to remove my stray diary pages from their FTP site, seeing as they won't let me do it myself! Whether they will respond to an e-mail remains to be seen, but I'm certainly not going to PHONE the technical helpline at premium rate! The upgrade to an ADSL line has, of course, meant completely reconfiguring my security applications for added SAFETY as well. But, on balance, it IS a boon.

This weekend's MAIL ON SUNDAY came with a free PETER GABRIEL seedydisk ("Thirteen! Thirteen!"), a promo for his summer concert schedule which finds him playing at several festivals in the Europe area, including Hyde Park, The Eden Project and WOMAD's 25th Anniversary. It is to his credit that the disc stands apart from the usual 'thrown-together-from-old-video-soundtracks' efforts that are normally given away with the Sunday papers. Gabriel ("Thirteen! Thirteen!") has already released a couple of 'Best Of's AND a singles collection, not to mention several concert videos. So it was nice to see that the freeby features some alternative versions and 'rarities' that fans MIGHT NOT already have (like the B-side to "Sledgehammer" and the ROBBIE ROBERTSON remix of "I Have The Touch" which was used in the John Travolta movie "Phenomenon") and some ORIGINAL cover 'art' (looks like a fluorescent orange figure with a sea-mine for a head and castors for feet?). The publishing royalties (the papers have to PAY to put these things on their covers, you know!) are to be donated to one of Gabriel's ("Thirteen! Thirteen!") charitable concerns. For once, the paper's normal claim that this is a "Exclusive Collectors' CD" is not a hype.

I've just got to the hilarious section of "THE NEGATIVE DIALECTICS OF POODLE PLAY" in which Watson compares Zappa's "Apostrophe(')" to Shakespeare's "King Lear" and Plato's "Phaedo". Indeed.

I've started to assemble material for when THE PEDANTIC PEDESTRIAN hits MySpace sometime in the 'off-season'. It'll be something to while away those winter months when things start to quieten off again. I intend to include music which will be 'exclusive' to the page (alternative versions, remixes an' ting) rather than to just slap on the usual old squit in its existing form. As "Twenty-Five Minutes In A Warm Spoon" has been such a runaway hit, I've mixed a new DUB version of it ("Dub Inna Warm Spoon", obviously). I am approaching the page as a total PROJECT/OBJECT - a 'composition' if you will - with all music, words and images being planned in full before I commit. But hey! that's just me. The success of RABBIT SHOW REJECT has demonstrated that MySpace is a worthwhile THING TO DO and is indeed THE FUTURE OF ROCK & ROLL.

Week from Monday 25th June 2007

The LONGEST DAY has come and gone and of course the weather has gone all "GLASTONBURY" on us.

I've had a couple of days of VINYL SIGN making (the most stressful of jobs - there's so many opportunities for things to go wrong, all the way through the process), so I decided to RELAX with a bit of SPONTANEOUS CREATIVITY. I thought I'd have a go at that POP VIDEO lark that everyone's banging on about. I dabbled with various video tools, turning my "ZERO GRAVITY ZEBRA" animation into a video accompaniment for Shelfy's "Nantucket Flea Ride" trancework. At over nine minutes in length, it might be a bit big for his MySpace, but I ended up with a CD-Video that SHOULD play on one's domestic DVD player (well probably not mine - it's a bit fussy about home-burned stuff). I shall experiment further to see if it is possible to compress the file size down a tad without TOO much loss of quality.

I'm now going to find out what the LATIN for "Say No To Reality" would be (I think it's "Resistere a Realta" in Italian, but my grammar might not be up to scratch?!). The best I could come up with is "NEGARE VERITAS" ("Say that the truth is not"?)

I finished reading "THE NEGATIVE DIALECTICS OF POODLE PLAY" again. Next, I might have another stab at "FINNEGANS WAKE". But first I have to read, from cover to cover, a Classic Rock Magazine 'special edition' all about THE PROG (riddled though it be with typos and inaccuracies).

This week's EXCLUSIVE TRACK (recorded for possible MySpace inclusion) is a STRUMPFEN remix of "Nineteen Dorian Racquets". A 'vocal' mix (LOTS of voices all over the show!!) of this was featured on "Tales From The Winged Eyeball", but originally it was an 'instrumental' din called "HE'S GOING THROUGH HIS DORIAN MODE... HE MIGHT GO ATONAL IN A MINUTE", a tribute to Rabbithole Sam's CRAIG HEARN character.