Week from Monday 3rd November 2008

Farewell then, JIMMY CARL BLACK, gone to hunt that Great White Buffalo in the sky...

It has become a habit for me to TAKE A LONG HIKE on Monday morning, come rain or shine... Since acquiring my TiVo-style digi-box, I find I'm SAVING UP a lot more telly for weekend/daytime viewing, as I can't generally concentrate on anything 'heavy' after dark. My weekends can be effortlessly filled watching entire crime drama series in one sitting. So I'm usually in desperate need of some serious yompage by Monday! This morning, I also got to push a sack trolley around, delivering boxes of printed matter to our friendly neighbourhood insurance people.

I've been following the US Presidential race (or what has been dubbed "INDECISION 2008") with some interest... especially from a SATIRICALLY COMEDIC point of view. Jon Stewart's "DAILY SHOW" is now automatically saved onto my digibox (albeit a day or two later than it airs in the States). However, my weekly fix of "THE COLBERT REPORT" has been cut off at the source. For reasons best known to them, Comedy Central no longer lets UK browsers watch the video streams via their website (something to do with the fact that the show goes out on the pay-channel FX-UK over here. Blame that Rupert Murdoch!). First it was just the whole episodes that were barred, now it appears to be the clips as well. Meanwhile, More4 condensed the co-hosted election night show into an hour-long special ("the whole show with none of the boring bits"), shown here the following day. Hilarious. And I always thought that Americans don't 'get' irony. 

They saw me coming... If you sign up to the official FOCUS mailing list, they send you a confirmation e-mail, with a link that says "Click Here For Your Free Bonus Download". What is it? Only a ruddy DRUM SOLO, that's all!! Gee thanks! (...still, it might come in useful for sampling!).

This morning, I had a long telephone conversation with Shelfy (whilst pacing up and down NAKED - I was just preparing for a bath!). Having established that the STEEL BAND PROJECT website is going nowhere at the moment (Will it ever? Do I care anymore?), he outlined his plans for a words-and-music project based on his "BLUE WAILS ON BLIT STREET" novella. He wants to get different SpaceFriends to narrate the various chapters, maybe re-writing some of it to suit. I volunteered my services to read the 'Jazz Katz' chapter, as I've already had some previous practice with that one. I've been advising our Louisiana correspondent EVIL DEMENTED BUNNY on how she might record her narrative contributions into the computer. She has been recruited to play MISS NERYS BISCUIT (we presumably couldn't get Renée Zellweger?). Meanwhile, I have also got an idea how we might be able to do "CHUCKLETOWN EAST OF JAVA" after all this time.

I went back to the doctor today, to see what she has concluded from all those 'health checks' I was subjected to. The bottom line is, there is nothing wrong with me that shedding a few pounds couldn't fix. Well, DUUURRRHHH!

Week from Monday 10th November 2008

Ghastly weather is upon us, so I spent Sunday afternoon with Peter Jackson's characteristically 'epic' CGI-a-thon version of "KING KONG", as well as doing a bit more 'digitising' of old music. Did someone say it has even been snowing in the Midlands? Now that the bonfires are out of the way, the BRENT GEESE have claimed their rightful place on the sports fields of old Gozzy town. So that'll be Autumn then.

Midweek, and the weather has changed AGAIN, such that a nice WALKIES is possible. I set the Odd-Pod on "shuffle" so I got an interesting mixture of Italian prog (Alusa Fallax, Area), neo-western swing (Dan Hicks & His Hot Licks), West Coast noodling (Grateful Dead) and Kentish noodling (Soft Machine's Third), to fill the ninety minutes it normally takes me to walk to the other end of the Gosport peninsula.

THE HUMAN NAIL has been in touch, because his peecee is not behaving itself again. EVIL DEMENTED BUNNY has finally added KEN DEAD as a SpaceFriend. I've just started reading RALPH STEADMAN's "The Joke's Over: Memories of Hunter S Thompson". Various volumes of "HOT TICKLES" are on the seedyplayer.

It has long been my opinion that KING CRIMSON could do no wrong during their string of German dates in late-March/early-April 1974... that this was the pinnacle of achievement for all things KCrim (although the dratted tape ALWAYS ran out prematurely, somewhere in the middle of "Fracture"). This has now been further confirmed by my latest choice of DGMLive download, the night of the 31st at Pforzheim. The 'improv' that sets up "Exiles" is quite breathtaking; the "Starless" ranks up there with the best; it is always welcome to hear an (all too rare) outing for "The Great Deceiver". Easily worth $9.95 of anybody's money!

Week from Monday 17th November 2008

Oh dear, it's Wednesday already... What with word-processing some fascinating articles about HIGH-DEFINITION TELLY technology and (arrrggghh!) trying to come up with 'new' CHRISTMAS promo ideas (The standard solution: Put SNOW all over it!), I'd plum forgot the diary again!

I've started dipping into the bulging DVD-R-full of JAPANESE NOISY BUGGERS handed to me by the HUMAN NAIL (who, by the way, is still fighting with an untamed peecee). I was immediately drawn towards the ACID MOTHERS TEMPLE (etc etc) collaborations with the Gongmeister Poetron himself, DAEVID "Daft Alien" ALLEN. Spaceehhh! I shall next investigate what they got up to in cahoots with krautkosmischerockers GURU GURU.

A midweek trip to Southampton, where I visited the CITY GALLERY to view an exhibition called "Robert Bevan & The Cumberland Market Group" (early twentieth century, quasi-post-impressionism; a bit too 'CHOCOLATE BOX' for my taste), perused the MEAGRE-STORES and JARRIDY SHOPS and went for a walk over the Itchen Bridge to Woolston, where I found several more JARRIDY SHOPS to peruse.

This week, I've been having a (Freak-Zone inspired) craze for some other krautkosmischerockers: AGITATION FREE have provided my 'travelling choons of choice', while TANGERINE DREAM suit those relaxing moments in between.

Shelfy is in the process of relaunching/rebadging the long-since abandoned "ART DOZER" MySpacePage (can't for the life of me remember what all THAT was about!), under the new nom de loon "RABID SOW REJECT". It should serve as a sort of overflow for his own RSR page, and as somewhere for the "Tales From The Winged Eyeball" material to live. At least I THINK that's what he's up to...

Week from Monday 24th November 2008

...meanwhile, he's somehow got the idea that EVIL DEMENTED BUNNY and I are also 'up to something'. I've done nothing to convince him otherwise. Tee hee hee hee, MISCHIEF! Actually, my relationship with Bunny is thus far limited to my giving her technical advice and our discussions about Shelfy's curious definition of the term 'vegetarianism' (a staple diet of chips and cakes)...

...when, of course, as any fool knows, the ULTIMATE IN VEGETARIAN JUNK FOOD is the Marmite & Mashed Banana Toasty (preferably made with lightly grilled pumpernickel bread). Num yum!

I've just received my complimentary 'autographed' copy of the RENALDO & THE LOAF remix album "The Music Is Taboo". Why? Because I'm on it, that's why! It's providing the (rather unsettling) office ambience as I write. Though I do say so myself, my version of "Absence" stands up quite well in context. As soon as Mr Loaf has made the album available to the public as a download, I shall link 'n' blog about it on my 'Space.

And on the day that I sent an e-mail to STUART MACONIE (to tell him about the HUGH HOPPER benefit, amongst other things), I found a copy of his immaculately-titled "Cider With Roadies" in the library sale for 70p.

In the early hours of this morning, I uploaded Shelfy's posters to the new STEELBAND PROJECT website. The actual work took no more than five minutes. The corporate kerfuffle involved to make it possible has taken nearly two months...You see...

These are the things that 
drive my WORKWORLD:
  

These are the things I'm 
frequently UP AGAINST:
   

CRAFT;
PROCESS; 
STRUCTURE; 
PURPOSE;
input>throughput>output
FOCUS; 
order;
efficiency;
attention to detail;

IDEAS
come INCREMENTALLY
but are acted on
IMMEDIATELY

LOGICAL POSITIVISM*;

...And, yes! PEDANTRY**!

the NEBULOUS;
the half-baked, half-formed, half-assed; 
the fickle, the fleeting;
the UNFOCUSSED;
Dithering & Indecision;

"MAKE IT UP AS YOU GO ALONG"; 
"THROW IT AGAINST THE WALL
AND SEE WHAT STICKS"; 

'WE DON'T KNOW WHAT WE WANT
(but could we have it by Wednesday?)'
and/or 
[too many] 'IDEAS', without an ability to communicate
 those ideas in any meaningful way;

People with "AIMS", but with no understanding
of how those aims might be achieved.    

The above model, in my experience, constitutes what is, nowadays, [laughably termed] the "CREATIVE" process. It is ultimately non-productive. Yes, I'm well aware that I harbour the paranoid delusion that I'M RIGHT AND THE REST OF THE WORLD ARE IDIOTS - (*LOGICAL POSITIVISM: holding the belief that subjective arguments not based on observable data are meaningless. **PEDANTRY: The habit of mind or manner characteristic of a pedant. Excessive attention to detail or rules [often without having a true insight]. Ostentatious exhibition of scholarship.)

ART has its place in the world, but not in BUSINESS. I cannot WORK in ART, I can only PLAY. There IS a happy, immoral CONSULTANTLAND out there, where people are PAID for IDEAS and OPINIONS. I wish I lived there, but I don't. I am only paid for RESULTS. For me, DISCUSSION is an obstacle to WORK. Discussion is what certain 'professionals' do IN LIEU OF WORK to justify their being there. Discussion is not itself WORK, because I don't get paid. To do my job, I need REAL TANGIBLE DATA that I can then PROCESS into pleasing RESULTS. The "CREATIVE" act only has meaning for me if I can eventually say "There! It's done! Cough up!".

"Things could have been so different. But that's life..." (Steak Wrist)

This morning, I await Shelfy's arrival so that we can pay a visit to OOR WULLY to discuss the 'other' ongoing webbojob. Now, I 'GET' Willy, he's a technician! 'INCREMENTALLY' I've been gathering 'DATA' for his website with my usual 'ATTENTION TO DETAIL'. Only thing is, I got so caught up in the minutiae that I left my memory sticks plugged into his computer, with no way of retrieving them anytime soon! Not to worry, I can always use my ODD-POD as a portable hard drive, to carry jobs to the printer (it's also time for the EMPORIUM OF HAIR chrimbo rush!).

It has been suggested that I 'suffer' from some kind of OBSESSIVE/COMPULSIVE DISORDER. This is, of course, quite true to some extent. But OCD folks often have an IRRATIONAL compulsion (the WEIRD kind, where people have to line up all their pencils in a straight line, or have to circle the room five times before opening the door). My frustration with chaos is LOGICAL:- in order for Function X to happen, Function Y has to be present and correct first.