Week from Monday 6th August 2007

I didn't do THAT much walking this weekend as my ankle is still A-TWITCHIN' AND A-THROBBIN' from the last lot. But I did still walk to the library to check my messages... HERSCHEL KRUSTOVSKY has still not responded to my dub mix of his SINGING BUS DRIVER field recording (I think I may have scared him away!)... my MicePace can now wear its TEA APPRECIATION SOCIETY badge with pride... EEK-A-MOUSE is now a 'friend'... THE DARKENING SCALE has some new tracks... and one of Shelfy's 'interesting goth chicks' wants to be my friend...

ROBERT FRIPP has another long ambient piece available from DGMLive, ideal for sending me off to Magicland while on the bus home or on the train to an 'adventure' (and I've told him so!). 

The Autumn must be coming, because the first brochures advertising upcoming concert/tour dates have started to arrive. I've sent off my pennies to the Basingstoke Anvil for a ticket to see TARAF DE HAIDOUKS in November.

Some discarded MySpace Notes:
1971: Puberty and the discovery of the Joys of the Tape Recorder. Made a racket ... 1974: Art College and the discovery of all sorts of new things. Made an arty racket ... 1981: Lived the NWOBHM dream. Heard a lot of horrible rackets ... 1983: Johnson's Gridling Band. Made a racket but at least it was funny ... The mid-1980s: affordable synthesisers, affordable four-tracks. Made an '80s racket ... 1988: Mumbling Jack Unitroba: Made a cowboy racket ... 1990: Amiga computers mean that every home can have a 'Fairlight' (well almost) for under 500. Made a racket on floppy disks ... 1991: Adventures in the Folk Festival trade. Heard a lot of rackets made by people with fingers in their ears ... The 1990s: we had the run of a virtually-deserted Vicarage. Lots of rehearsal and recording space, lots of collaborating. Made a jamming racket ... 2000s: affordable PCs and affordable (ie free) software. Collaborating by e-mail. Made a hi-tech racket ... 2006: "Tales From The Winged Eyeball", made with a combination of Garage Band and some of Magix' finest demonstrated what WE can do with this technology ... 2007: So what's all this MySpace mullarkey then? Shelfy launched his RABBIT SHOW REJECT page, concentrating on the 'spoken word with musical embellishments' side of things. The PEDANTIC PEDESTRIAN page will focus more on the instrumental aspects of our ouevre...

I've now posted on the MicePace the ancient MUMBLIN' JACK UNITROBA 'hit' "Life, Laughs & Locoweed" (Shelfy has been on about it for months!), as well as a new version of my ambience-with-menaces piece "Salisbury". Shelfy meanwhile has had his "Mang Mang Screlt" recital (aka "Larry The Haddock") remixed by our chum ZEPHYR [fried/friendly/happenstance].

DAVID (The Darkening Scale) Janssen has sent me a disk, containing one of his tunes broken down into its component parts, so that I can have a go at REMIXING him...

Week from Monday 13th August 2007

...which is what I had a jolly fine weekend doing. I have put the results on a disk and they are jetting towards Rhayader as I write. I hope he likes it. I also included some fragments and samples of my own choosing, many of which are bits which didn't make the final cut for "TALES FROM THE WINGED EYEBALL". Hopefully these will inspire him to REMIX me in return! It has occurred to me that I may make use of some unused bits of Shelfy's 'voice-overs' to see how they would fit over one of his tracks - It seemed to work okay with the ZEPHYRFRIENDLY "Mang Mang Screlt" project.

MAJOR KERFUFFLE: M'[former] Colleague The Glass Lady has gone totally apeshit and has given me my marching orders with no prior notice. So I am currently without a proper basecamp for business purposes (and it's back to using the library computers to access the internet). Most of my gear has been hastily transferred to my mum's garage, but this here peecee is now residing in my already-over-cluttered garrett. I need the aid of our resident "white van man", Shelfy, to clear the rest of my stuff (most of which is probably destined for the council tip anyway) but he has injured his back, doubtless doing manual labour tasks for which he is ill-suited...

Now THERE's a name from the past... I got a MySpace FRIEND REQUEST from none other than Hampshire's Own 1970s Art-Rock Sensations, THE LESSER KNOWN TUNISIANS. I once danced on stage with them at a gig at Portsmouth Poly (Yes, that's POLYTECHNIC, Portsmouth, NOT so-called "University"!). For my efforts, I received a ticket to see Judas Priest at the Guildhall. I never did know whether that was meant as a booby prize or not... doesn't matter, because I lost it on the way home anyway. I also saw them play Fareham Tech (Yes, that's TECHNICAL COLLEGE, Fareham, NOT a so-called "6FC Centre"!) and I have a fuzzy memory of them playing at a private event somewhere out yon Wickham way. Comparisons could be made with Deaf School, Burlesque, early Split Enz and, certainly, Roxy Music. But, for some reason, it is their doowop version of The Ramones' "SHEENA IS A PUNK ROCKER" that sticks in my brain. Like most of us Art-Rock Dinosaurs of the time, they saw this new "PUNK ROCK" craze as a thing to be ridiculed.

I am only now getting 'round to listening to the Radio 3 'highlights' from this year's WOMAD MUDFEST (that I'm rather glad I didn't go to). Today's treats included BASSEKOU KOUYATE with his ngoni-driven workouts and [work permits having not been permitted, what was left of] ENSEMBLE SHANBEHZADEH and their Iranian dervish routines.

...So I find myself more and more actually working at the Library! I electronically picked up a fresh batch of stuff to do for the Wiltshire Bike Webbo. This will take me no time at all, but I can't upload the alterations from there (or here), I will have to blag the use of the printers' internet connection tomorrow.

I suddenly went to the cinema for the first time in... ooh, more years than I can remember, to see "THE SIMPSONS MOVIE". Well, name me another big Haaaleeewoood blockbuster movie in the last twenty-odd years that actually merits PAYING to go and see!? It is spectacular, with CGI panoramic shots that border on the three dimensional. And, of course, it's very very funny.

On Friday, I spent a few hours as a member of HAPPI SHIT PUMPKIN. I recorded my contribution to THE HUMAN NAIL's new concept, a tribute to Irwin Allen's Z-grade schlock-horror flick "THE SWARM". Throughout the course of an afternoon, we constructed a peculiar 'SUITE' of tunes, involving various 'world' musical stylings and a singalong number about the "CHEERS" character, Norm Peterson (dunno why). I played 'first-time musette' alto saxophone, Coral Sitar, prepared ukelele, hand percussion and the first guitar solo, as well as adding a couple of layers of vocals. Binky supplied a ready made drums 'n' bass track and played the second guitar solo. He has still to add a middle TELEPHONE CONVERSATION section (dunno why).

Week from Monday 20th August 2007

Hooray! 'New' KING CRIMSON product arrived this weekend, a CLUBDISK of the chaps tearing up Denver in 1972, released as a belated tribute to Ian Wallace and Boz Burrell. Come to think of it, as I currently have no SECURE way of buying DGM product, this might be the last one for a while.... the free downloads continue however, with another of UNCLE BOBBY's soundscapes, this time from the now-deleted 1996 album "That Which Passes".

I received an invite to attend a DYLAN BATES gig at a jazzery in London. I don't think I'll be able to make it, but it IS nice to be asked!

"HERSCHEL KRUSTOVSKY", having been touring with his klezmer group, took time out to send some comments about my remix of his 'Singing Bus Driver' recording. He agrees with me that it's a BIT rough, but I shall have another crack at it, if and when he can send me the ORIGINAL recording (WITHOUT his guitar overdubs, which did rather get in the way a bit). Meanwhile, elsewhere in MYSPACE, I spent an enjoyable hour dipping into some LAURIE ANDERSON [YouTube] videos. I accessed them via a posting on my bulletin board, which draws attention to her performance recorded at Noo Yoik's Lincoln Centre, earlier this year.

A couple of new DeeVeeDees have landed on my doormat: "Shadows & Light", the concert film of JONI MITCHELL's all-star 1979 band (JACO PASTORIUS, PAT METHENY etc) and the "Soundstage" concert by ROBERT PLANT & THE STRANGE SENSATION (not a million miles from their WOMAD set, as it happens).

In keeping with my new 'mobile' status, I've taken the plunge and bought one of those wretched TELEPHONE thingies. Of course, I don't have a clue how to use it yet, but I'm sure all will become apparent eventually...

I posted one of our [many] TEASET BODY REVUE audio-collages onto MySpace and I immediately got a message from my 'friend' Oop North, THE EMERGENCY LIBRARIAN, who raves about this sort of thing! Seems I'm fast becoming some sort of a GURU to certain members of the "BONK! SKREE! SQUIGGLY! PLINK!" electro-experimental community. Go Figure.

"Ah jes' doo whaddah doo!"

Shelfy has been dropping subtle hints that he wants to do a whole 'album' of "Teaset Body Revue/Review"-type music, which isn't THAT much of a challenge for me musically... but then, if folks are actually ENJOYING it, who am I to question public taste?

Week from Monday 27th August 2007

With that thought in mind, I decided that the world might be ready for some of my DIFFICULT ELECTRONICA, the so-called 'ballet music' that is (or was) "THE BUDGIE". This kind of RELATIVELY complex, jump-cut stuff lends itself very easily to my process of wave-editing and Magix-assisted cross-fading, so it was no trouble at all to produce an excerpt of MicePace-suitable length. The music selection on my page is now all WALL-TO-WALL NOSTALGIA, with two items of abstract computer music (Make An 'Eighties Noise Here), a beatnik cowboy song (from earlier still) and some vintage Vicarage BASEMENT MUSIC (Virtually Spanning The Decades). I look forward to receiving some interesting comments.

 "...Aug-Gust Bank Squalor-daaaaayy!" ...and I'm already suffering MySpace withdrawal (Tee hee hee... No, not really! Well, not much anyway...). It is customary on a Bank Holiday for me to spend the afternoon watching an episode of "STAR WARS" and a couple of PYTHON-related items... and, on this occasion, to finish off compiling this year's WOMAD MP3s onto disk.

I still haven't heard from THE DARKENING SCALE regarding my remix of one of his tunes. Perhaps it was a bit TOO radical (or maybe not radical enough) and I've scared HIM away (my approach to the art of the 'remix' is perhaps an acquired taste)?! Mr Scale did, however, send me a message asking if I wish to contribute something else to a new MySpace page, which has just been launched especially for remixes and versions of RENALDO & THE LOAF pieces. I will be delighted to have a go, but first I will have to further acquaint myself with the Loaf's work - I shall borrow a couple of their CDs from the Human Nail. Meanwhile, DGM launched a new MySpace page for THE LEAGUE OF CRAFTY GUITARISTS and, being fairly quick to respond, I was the very first 'friend' to post a comment on the page! So there.

Shelfy has a new WEBBO project for me to do, but I am awaiting THE BE-CANED ONE to hobble 'round to discuss the details.