Week from Monday 6th April 2009

I ordered my ticket to the GRYPHON reunion concert at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, but it took some doing! The still rather quaintly underpowered South Bank website lets you go through all the rigmarole of ATTEMPTING to buy your ticket online, only to present you with a screen that says something along the lines of "Sorry, the website is busy at the moment. Why don't you phone or write to us instead?". So, after several attempts, I DID phone them, only to be met with a recorded message that says "Did you know you can also buy your tickets via our website?". Sigh... Eventually, I spoke to a PERSON who sold me a ticket, having first reassured me that I haven't, because of the malfunctioning webbo, accidentally bought three already. I've just been researching the etymology of the archaic word "MUSHRUMPS".

On Wednesday, I got a bank statement, to find that I HAD been charged for all those tickets I'd "FAILED" to purchase online. I immediately phoned the Box Office helpline, who assured me I would be entitled to a full refund, once I sent back any tickets accidentally issued to me. I would humbly suggest to the South Bank webmaster that he tries to find a way to inform future customers that the online service is "too busy" BEFORE they fill in their credit card details.

More tracks have been laid down for the SKULL PAGODA album. We have proceeded forth to cover the SECOND Roxy Music album as well. We'll try to get both albums on one disc, although some of the tracks of late are getting a bit more... expansively drawn out, shall we say? I did "The Bogus Man" in the style of CAN, complete with a throat-lacerating Damo Suzuki impersonation, while "Editions Of You" switches between a country waltz and full-on drum 'n' bass. So far, only Binky's version of  "Do The Strand" sounds ANYTHING like the original song.

My little Transatlantic Literary Circle with EVIL DEMENTED BUNNY (Can two people FORM a circle?) turned to the subject of MARK TWAIN. I was disgusted, but not entirely surprised, to find that Gosport's [No-Longer-Fit-To-Call-Itself-A-Library] Discovery Centre had absolutely NOTHING by or about Twain, except for an entry in a guide to American literature. Fareham's 'Still-A-Proper-Library-Just' had a biography of Mr Clemens, which should make good reading, but of his short stories or essays - ZILCH!

Week from Monday 13th April 2009

Easter Bang Collar Day... Reading the biography of MARK TWAIN (AKA International Man of Missouri)... The film "A MIGHTY WIND" (the, if you will, folkumentary from the team that brought you "THIS IS SPINAL TAP") was on TV last week, so I watched that a couple more times... Listened to a number of  MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA recordings (some beloved of old, third generation Gold Lamé Skeleton tapes) via the WOLFGANG'S VAULT streaming site... Prompted - nay! inspired by something that Bunny wrote, I started a new MySpace photo album of "THINGS CALLED MINT". Good quality doggerytypes gratefully received...

Today, I'm listening to the krautrocksoulband stylings of XHOL CARAVAN (that's right, I'm STILL dipping into the MERVYN archives). I've done myself a "Best Of " seedydisk for my travels.

'Tis the time to fill in one's TAX FORM... It has always been a source of MIFFAGE to me that they make YOU pay for the postage to send it back to THEM. It's doubly miffing now that our postal charges are based on envelope size as well as weight. Am I the only one who applies CONSPIRACY THEORY to the fact that the envelope they give you to send the form back in, is now slightly too large for it to go for the price of a normal letter? And you're not allowed to fold it, oh no! So it costs TWICE as much as it would have done! A nice little additional source of revenue for the Revenue, methinks!

Week from Monday 20th April 2009

I didn't QUITE achieve my goal of accumulating a THOUSAND FRIENDS on MySpace before my birthday... But I did get back all the extra money I'd 'accidentally' paid to the Queen Elizabeth Hall. So that's alright then. I downloaded a thirty-day trial version of THAT SOFTWARE THAT'S ALL THE RAGE, the one that turns your photos into comic strips to put on your blog (quite often featuring Worcestershire rabbits or bald, moustachioed bass players). It's just a bit of fun really, and I'll probably get bored with it LONG before the thirty days are up...

EVIL DEMENTED BUNNY has once again come up trumps and provided a delightful vocal performance for our "version" of "THE BOB (MEDLEY)". Being unfamiliar with the original (which, of course, doesn't matter in OUR world!), she improvised(?) a melody of her own(?), thus injecting a shot of fresh MUSICALITY into something which might otherwise have been mere racket. And possibly still is, but who am I to judge? She also provided two SPOKEN renditions, so samples from all three takes have be added to the collage. Why, it ALMOST sounds like a SONG now! I have not seen Binky lately, as he has been entertaining his Germanic chums, but I can't wait to see his little face when I play it to him.

Week from Monday 27th April 2009

The nice weather lasted through the weekend, so I went for a Sunday yomp via the CAR BOOT SALE (a term, incidentally, that I've just had to explain to my American chum, along with a brief definition of MARMITE). Just as I thought I would be coming home empty-handed (nothing to tear me from my readies), I came across some huge bran tub-like boxes of ex-stock CDs which lacked their packaging. So I squatted on the grass and systematically sifted through them, playing the exciting game of "IDENTIFY THE MYSTERY ALBUM BY ITS LABEL ALONE", until I found my choice of THREE FOR A POUND:- two CAN albums, "Ege Bamyasi" and "Inner Space" and PORCUPINE TREE's "Fear Of A Blank Planet". Each worth 33-and-a-third-pence of ANYONE's money! Should be no problem to glean the missing sleevenotes and cover pics via the interwebthing.

All of the recording has been finished for "THE ROXY MUCUS PROJECT", which is now attributed to THE MALE LA LA'S, for reasons best know to his Binkiness. I shall 'live with the album' and do some tweaking over the weekend, just as soon as I've finished encoding the 'Tempest' documentary for Bunny.

I'm just listening to this week's "LE SHOW", featuring an interview with DAN BAUM, the author of "Nine Lives: Death & Life In New Orleans". Worth checking out. This week is New Orleans Jazz Festival week. I cast an envious eye over the event programme and drooled a lot. I have recommended to Bunny that she should, if she gets a chance, witness the SOUTH AFRICAN GUMBOOT DANCE first hand! Like all good festivals, there's so much going on and you can't be everywhere at once.