Week from Monday 4th August 2014

Doing some more little drawings and I'm listening to the CRIMSON PROJEkcT at the ZAPPANALE festival in Germany. It's not that great a recording and there's no big surprises in the set list, but it's a cracking performance! Why! even "Sleepless" sounds pretty good now...

Yeah, yeah, I know... What have I got against "Sleepless"? As I've blogmentioned previously, versions of "Sleepless" from much earlier in the year - e.g. Shepherd's Bush - were over-busy and a bit of a mess. A commercial slice of (relatively) uncomplicated eighties pop-funk, this song doesn't seem to suit (or indeed merit) the full-blown Double Trio format. Less is sometimes more.

It's COWES WEEK, so the Solent is a-flurry and a-flutter with mains'ls and mizz'ns, heads'ls, bo's'ns and cox'ns, missing vowels, alive alive westward ho! And some cockles. There'll be fireworks a-plenty by the end of the week, you mark m'words!

CC posted some acapella jazz vocals on her SOUNDCLOUD, which prompted a spurt of musical experimentation of my own. Every idea I tried sent me in new and unexpected directions, and I soon lost sight of the original... The vocal worked strangely well in the context of a whole-tone 'string quartet' arrangement... Trying out some new VST drum sounds, I ended up with a "drum solo" piece (unaccountably expressive and powerful - I think my computer wants to be NEIL PEART when it grows up)... set against some electronic bleeping which was arrived at by submitting the (now unrecognisible) vocals to some deviant processing... I woke up this morning with the thought that the voice might be 'XENOCHRONIZED' over last December's PROFESSOR FASTTROUSER piano piece... hmm... it sorta works... "QUIRKY - IT'S WHAT I DO!"

Week from Monday 11th August 2014

...well, clearly CC herself thinks that it 'sorta works', because both the 'string quartet' and 'Fasttrouser' versions have now appeared on her SOUNDCLOUD. I've created a CC:PP playlist, with a link to the BANDCAMP site, in the hope that somebody - ANYBODY?!? - will listen to (and even download) the rest of our stuff. It's times like this I really miss the 'proper' MYSPACE. This 'social media' lark now requires such an MASSIVE COMMITMENT OF EFFORT to get yourself noticed by other like-minded loonies... so much of the SPONTANEOUS FUN has been sucked out of the internet. Now it's all "Buy me!", "No! Buy ME!", "No! ME!!", "Hey! Over here! BUY me!" for the SQUINTY THUMBTYPE GENERATION.

I've been looking for some PLASTIC STORAGE BOXES to go with the ones I already have, but the shops no longer stock the ones I want. Yes, I DO realise now that I've said it... That is probably the most BORING sentence I've ever written in this journal. With scintillating stuff like that, I should really be on TWITTER.

Oh lawd... no sooner have I finished paying off the 'mortgage' on "THE ROAD TO RED" than I hear that there's yet another KING CRIMSON box set due out before Xmas! (How can I feed this addiction? Can I get it on the NHS?)

I got the storage boxes I wanted during a trip to Portsmouth...

WAKE UP!!! I also got the new album by the lushly psychedelic popsters ENGINEERS. I've been streaming this lovely thing via SoundCloud for the last couple of weeks, and I found it to be thoroughly LOVEABLE. But then I'm NOT of the generation who think that listening to music over the telephone is state-of-the-art - I crave a PHYSICAL, TANGIBLE, TOTEMIC seedydisk of it. I want MY music to shift REAL dust particles around a REAL room. Obviously, I was first drawn to this rockin' teen combo by the fact that they share a label with that STEVEN WILSON chap, but there the connection ends. They are pretty hard to describe really, but I'd say they are the bastard offspring of PINK FLOYD and SCRITTI POLITTI (Hmm, that's got you wondering, hasn't it?). Let's just say, as a LAVISH PROG-POP OPUS, it certainly pisses all over the new YES album!

Week from Monday 18th August 2014

In the continuing quandary of "CAN I AFFORD IT?" vs. "CAN I LIVE WITHOUT IT?"... I bit the bullet and pre-ordered the new KING CRIMSON box-set anyway, fairly secure in the knowledge that I will then own ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING recorded by the band during the golden years of 1972-74. Some of it twice. I don't yet know what the full contents of the box will be, but I THINK I can safely promise my bank account that'll be the end of it!

As for the ensuing forty years of kCriMusiK? I am almost glad to say I'm definitely NOT such a completist. It's the old "Who in their right mind needs dozens of near-identical soundboard recordings of 'Frame By Frame' and 'Elephant Talk' anyway?" chestnut. Much of the "KING CRIMSON: THE ADRIAN BELEW YEARS" repertoire offers far less scope for the kind of sublime spontaneity that the seventies bands could provide. A few 'FUNNY-NOISES' guitar solos do not an 'improv' make. A box-set from the eighties would just be redundant.

A very swift visit to Gozzy this week - I arrived only to find that the printers have taken a week's holiday!

DREAM DIARY... Cleaning out the cupboards, sorting out some bags of old shoes to go to the charity shops... One of the bags started moving and I realised that it was home to a family of RATS... I didn't have the heart to kill them, especially when one of them sat sunning itself in the window, wearing cute little dungarees...

SOUNDCLOUD (trying to keep in step with GoogTube, no doubt) have announced exciting new ways in which users can "monetize their content" (blurrgggghhhh!!!) They will also be "phasing in" advertising. What I always liked about SOUNDCLOUD is that it retained a certain EUROPEAN flavour, which has hitherto made it stand apart from the Silicon Valley mobsters. But now... Ho hum, here he come, Mr MEDIA CONGLOMERATE... and the music will gradually become less INDEPENDENT=ADVENTUROUS and increasingly MAINSTREAM=GENERIC... and phwoop! THERE GOES THE NEIGHBOURHOOD! DejaVuSpace. Oh well. That WAS fun for a while.

Meanwhile on the telly, they've told us that some of the Freeview channel numbers are moving yet again "to make way for new content" (probably even more of those vitally important shopping channels). I presume there must be some deeply TECHNICAL reason for them doing this, seeing as there already appear to be sufficient slots left unallocated...?

I'm having a bit of a CRAZE for the music of JEAN SIBELIUS today... There was a fine Proms performance of the gorgeous (and infuriatingly catchy) FIFTH SYMPHONY on the box last night (NB: All my previous complaints about BBC 'hack' orchestras do NOT, it seems, apply to the National Orchestra of Wales, especially if they are being conducted by Thomas Søndergård). This morning I dragged out my cassette of the Fifth (a fine old LSO recording from the seventies) for a repeat performance. I've also played some of the SYMPHONIC POEMS (Favourite: "The Oceanides"), by way of 'OFFICE AMBIENCE' as I go about my nerdly tasks... and I fondly reminisce about the Greek Islands with an Our Old Space friend.

This Week's Best Film Of All Time (Until The Next One Comes Along):- "BERBERIAN SOUND STUDIO"

Week from Monday 25th August 2014

DREAM DIARY... Walking around Gosport... except that the 'landscape' is somewhat twisted, so that you have to walk uphill to get to the watery bits, the harbour and creeks... At some point I decided to continue my 'explorations' on a borrowed milk float...

I did some real life walking over the AWE-GUSHED BANG-COLLAR DAY weekend, taking in a couple of CAR BOOT SALES. I didn't see anything to part me from my pocket money though. This morning, being Bank Holiday Monday Itself, it is, of course, raining and blowing.

Meanwhile, in much MUCH hotter climes, LA VUELTA A ESPAÑA is finally underway... ¡arriba arriba!

There's no LIVE coverage on our telly, just an hour of "HIGHLIGHTS" every evening at seven. That's the general idea anyway. But more often than not, if there's a more 'IMPORTANT' sporting fixture going on (usually one involving vastly overpaid young men fruitlessly kicking balls around), they broadcast the cycling late at night, or even in the early hours. I've now got into the habit of recording it and watching it over breakfast the next day, meaning I'm nearly a day behind 'REAL TIME' (so don't tell me the results!!!). Then again, I can't resist taking occasional sneaky looks at the 'live' text commentary on the website (which now looks spookily similar in design to the TOUR DE FRANCE site).

This week marks ONE WHOLE YEAR since I closed down the last of our MYSPACE pages and said goodbye to the silly misguided twerps forever. It seems much longer somehow. I wonder how they're doing without us?

DREAM DIARY... Anxiety dream! I'm climbing up ladders, on the outside of one of the tower blocks in Gosport... I'm not sure why we didn't use the lift, because we have pass-keys and everything... We have been allowed to dance naked on the roof of the building for a 'promotional video'...