Week from Monday 5th October 2009

I did a second remix of REUTER & BODDY's "Dervish". This is the one I prefer. There now remains VERY LITTLE resemblance to the original track, even though EVERY sound one hears originated with the 'stems' provided. My WARPAGE is total. But I think, therefore, it is more characteristically MINTY!

The LONG-awaited forty-first disc from the DGM 'CLUB DES ENTHUSIASTES' finally popped through the letterbox, having been pre-ordered as long ago as June. The WHOLE of the 1973 KcrimKoncert from Zurich's Volkshaus has now been pieced together by Stormy and the team. Only bits of it had emerged previously on "Starless & Bible Black" and "The Great Deceiver". As we all know, ANY King Crimson between 1972 and '74, regardless of recording quality, is worth hearing at least once! As this show was [mainly] recorded by a proper mobile studio set-up, the quality is pretty damn good. Nice to hear those 'improv' segments in their proper context, at last - and the version of "Cat Food" is extraordinary! Meanwhile, I've been purchasing some of the BRIAN ENO back catalogue (eye-eee, the bits that I don't have on seedydisk already), as downloads from the 7digital concern and I've been having 'ONE OF ME CRAZES' for the music of the yodelsome Dutch fusioneers FOCUS.

Week from Monday 12th October 2009

As business was picking up for a while last week, some SERIOUS SHOPPING is called for! Off to Southampton with you then! I am in need of a new 'BUM-BAG' to keep my bulging wallet safe and dry during those all-important rambles (the old one is falling apart, its rubberised lining parched and turning to crumbs). My computer is in desperate need of a new MOUSE (the cursors have a mind of their own, while clicking on buttons and windows no longer has the immediate effect one would hope for). Needless to say, I must do my round of the JERRIDY SHOPS... and I also visit the UK's last remaining record retailer to purchase my copy of JAKKO M JAKSZYK's "The Bruised Romantic Glee Club" now that it is finally back in the shops... [More on that later, I shouldn't be at all surprised... when I have composed my thoughts on all things Jakkoid, I shall post something on the blogjournal. But I will have to LIVE WITH the album for a while before I express an opinion more lucid than "WO-OH-WOW-E-OW-YOWEE!!"]

Both my remixes of "Dervish" have met with approval and are now available for FREE DOWNLOAD via the DiN Records website. I suppose I really should listen to the original now (and some of the other remixes), just to find out what they SHOULD have sounded like!

Week from Monday 19th October 2009

I swore to myself that I wouldn't... but it just called out to me from the rack in HMV... I now have a copy of the remastered/repackaged/reissued Anniversary Edition of KING CRIMSON's seminal "Red" album clutched in my sweaty paw. I don't actually have access to a 5.1 sound system, of course, so I don't know if the Surround mixes are as jawdroppingly groovy as people have said they are. But the new 'LossLess' stereo mixes are an infinite number of times better than the old Virgin/EG seedydisk that I have been listening to previously. There is a generous quota of "bonuses" on this issue as well; sometimes these things are not all they're cracked up to be - but hey! This IS the KCrim we're talking about here! Nice to see that French telly footage (freaky video FX and all!) on an 'official' release at long last.

Monday, and I'm just dashing into town to get a new cartridge for my LAZYPRINTER. I've been "paperless office" for so long now that the printer hardly gets switched on at all these days. So it's long overdue for a fresh tankful of soot. The last time it was used was to print out a recipe for CHOCOLATE BEETROOT CAKE for my mother. It was then that it occurred to me that it has been RUNNING ON EMPTY for well over a year! You can do that with lasers, of course, unlike those inkjet guzzlers that empty their cartridges almost instantaneously.

Our American Correspondent has been a particularly BUSY BUNNY, what with the pressures of work and all those hoedowns to attend to, so she hasn't been terribly chatty of late. But over the last few days, we do appear to have struck up a strange conversation about crayons.

Week from Monday 26th October 2009

Shelfy has been unable to get his LINE 6 TONE-PORT (the USB interface box that connects instruments and microphones to the recording software of your choice, via its Gearbox virtual amp/effects rack) to work with the new household AppleMac, so he has decided to buy a newer model and has passed the old one on to yours truly. At first, I wasn't sure if it would work with MY 'new' peecee either, but a download of the latest Windoze drivers, and several attempts at configuring them to work properly, got me there in the end. At last, for the first time since I built the said 'new' peecee, I can plug things into the pooter and HEAR WHAT I'M DOING! I haven't used it for anything "CREATIVE" yet, but I set up a Gearbox patch, allowing for some reasonably clean copying of old tapes into the digital medium, and I've spent a large part of the weekend doing just that to some old "Jazz On 3" tapes.

As a "FEE" for the Line 6 box, I've given Shelfy an online lesson in HOW TO CREATE A TILED BACKGROUND for his webpages (one does take it for granted that everyone - or at least, every "graphic designer", or at the VERY least, anyone who considers himself a dab-hand with Photoshop - would know how to do these tiny wee things!). Oh... and he has also received my old swapsy copy of "RED".

Uh oh! Here comes the COMPUTERY STUFF... Every week, 'round about this time, I kick back and listen to the HARRY SHEARER "Le Show" podcast... except that currently, entry to the website is via a flash screen advertising his new downloadable 'single'... and the button you click on to enter the site proper doesn't appear to work... No... wait... on second thoughts, it might be just an OPERA thing! (My bookmark for "Le Show" just happens to reside on my Opera browser rather than my Firefox one). Some FlashyJava things work with Opera and others don't. The "VISIT FULL SITE" button now seems to work in FIREFOX, although I'm pretty sure that it didn't LAST week. Flash, eh? Don'tcha just love it!?  [HOT TIP: If you ARE having this problem, try typing "www.harryshearer.com/index", rather than just "www.harryshearer.com". You will land on a text-only 'Page Not Known' screen, which will then allow you to select "Le Show" and all the other pages from there.] ...Talking about FlashyJava things - Ever since the SpaceMonkeys introduced the new statistics "Dashboard" to our profiles (or is it since they synchronised with TW*TTER?), my "Mood & Status" updates have stopped working properly! Ho and indeed hum! 

But as Shelfy puts it, "STATUS IS FLATUS!"

This week's BOOK CHOICE is "Musicophilia: Tales Of Music & The Brain" by OLIVER SACKS, the neurologist who brought you "The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat". It appears I suffer from EARWORMS (ohrwürmen?) - that's what you call it when you listen to The Beach Boys, or some such, and you have little fragments left behind in your brain, causing days of overwhelming, tapeloopy torment:-

   "Sometimes normal musical imagery crosses the line and becomes, so to speak, pathological, as when a certain fragment of music repeats itself incessantly, sometimes maddeningly, for days on end. These repetitions - often a short, well-defined phrase or theme of three or four bars - are apt to go on for hours or days, circling in the mind, before fading away. This endless repetition and the fact that the music in question may be irrelevant or trivial, not to one's taste or even hateful, suggest a coercive process, that the music has entered and subverted a part of the brain, forcing it to fire repetitively and autonomously, as may happen with a tic or seizure..."
   (Chapter 5 - "Brainworms, Sticky Music and Catchy Tunes")

Everyone gets 'em to some extent. In neurological terms, Sacks likens them to the afterimages you get from staring at a picture on a screen for a long time. It has been suggested that this is a relatively modern phenomenon, which could only have existed since the advent of RECORDED (therefore REPEATABLE) music. My own 'earworms' often have a four- to five-day time delay. If I listen to a lot of something at the weekend, then by Thursday, a tiny chunk of it will resurface and start circling. But it is usually possible to block them out by listening to music of a completely DIFFERENT kind. Having enjoyed a televised KRAFTWERK show in full hi-fidelity >>>S-T-E-R-E-O>>> last weekend, I will almost certainly have an infuriatingly catchy riff or two stuck in my brain by now, ready to pop out at any time - just as soon as I stop listening to the jazz stylings of BILL BRUFORD, TIM GARLAND or TRILOK GURTU!