Week from Monday 6th October 2014

The documentary "GENESIS: TOGETHER & APART" made it onto our screens this weekend, presumably to coincide with the release of the all-encompassing retrospective triple-seedy "R-KIVE" (shoddy name!). I don't think I learnt anything NEW about the band's history from this, but it was most enjoyable all't'same. The film was notable for the fact that this was the first time that all FIVE of Genesis' main protagonists agreed to be seen in the same room for the duration of an interview. There were some telling snidey asides and daggered looks flying about. I also couldn't help noticing that this "history" chose to ignore that, in the intervening years before the "big reunion" tour, Rutherford and Banks had been working as Genesis WITHOUT Collins, bringing in a new singer and a new drummer. The "CALLING ALL STATIONS" period might never had happened, according to this chronology. The programme also seemed to paint out any of Steve Hackett's subsequent solo career, particularly failing to mention that he has been churning out all those "GENESIS REVISITED" albums and shows...

(Update: In a subsequent interview with "PROG" magazine, Hackett "slams" the documentary, confirming that they deliberately edited him out of the film. Apparently, he spoke at length about his solo career and involvement with Genesis' music, but they didn't use any of it, instead presenting what he calls a "biased" history of the band. Ah well, told you so. Clearly, no love lost there...)

DREAM DIARY... Lessons in how to draw the outlines around corpses for murder investigation purposes... you first learn how to do it with chalk and then work your way up to white tape... once you get REALLY good at it, it doesn't matter if the body is there or not, you can learn to do it without... I'm also seeing snippets of some HTML project on a repetitive loop. My brain obviously thinks this is important enough to keep reminding me, but it doesn't appear to be relevant to anything I'm doing in 'real' life...

NOTE TO SELF: Never express an opinion about the fickleness of technology, especially on G+ 'public' comments-boards. It's scary out there in "general population". HELL HATH NO FURY LIKE A 'PHONE-OBSESSIVE SCORNED. It's completely beyond my comprehension that any person would actually CARE so strongly about some iThing or other, that they would lob insults at another person who points out the folly of such behaviour. But I guess that's life in the twenty-first century for you...

I had a play with some more CC:PP material this afternoon. CC did a decent take of her "NURSERY ROOM BLUES" piece, so this has now formed part of a medley with the previously posted (and sickeningly commercial) "NOYZTOYZ". I couldn't resist sticking a 'noise' section in there as well, although it's no longer as long as it once was! There's also a massed choir of Loris* supplying the 'pad' behind the poem and some jolly convincing fake saxophones playing little snippets of "On The Good Ship Lollipop". Quite a production! Hey! It's almost as if it was all MEANT to go together! On top of this, I went back and did YET ANOTHER mix of the piano-accompanied recital "TWILIGHT". All of this is now UP THERE on the SoundCloud and it appears to have been favourably received by m'colleague...
* That's 'Loris' as in a plural of 'Lori', not 'Loris' as in the slow-moving primate. And that's 'slow-moving primate' as in a relative of the lemur, not 'slow-moving primate' as in the Archbishop of Canterbury with a limp. I think that's enough footnotes... Ed.
Week from Monday 13th October 2014

Shittin' miserable day, featuring shittin' miserable weather, with shittin' miserable things that have to be shittin' done. Shittin' miserable, I tells ya...

I know I swore (to myself, at least) that I didn't NEED to do another "CC:PP" album. THREE was probably my limit, before I started to repeat myself. But it looks like there WILL be another one someday, fans... because there's still new music being made that BECOMES "CC:PP". I guess I keep wanting to write SOMETHING, ANYTHING, in a futile attempt to match Lori's never-ending stream of productivity. BASICALLY WE CAN'T STOP OURSELVES! Sometimes the music inspires the poems, sometimes the poems inspire the music. Sometimes I find that there is music already there waiting for JUST the right recital to go with it. Sometimes the music comes with a piece of writing specifically in mind, and then I find that it 'works' just as well WITHOUT the words. And then, of course, there's that ever-present element of CHANCE that drives a lot of my creative process - "What would happen if I put THAT with THAT...?"

WINDOWS UPDATES, eh? They come along all at the same time, a bit like buses... None of them APPEAR to have any relevance to my own set-up, mostly being "security" updates to M!¢r0$oFt Orifice stuff that I don't use anyway. But I let the updater do its thing, in full knowledge that WinOptimizer will throw them all away again next time I do the springcleaning thing! In addition this week (and more important to me), FIREFOX got promoted to version 33, along with a new update to AdBlockPlus to go with it, and Foxit PDF Reader released a brand new version (not noticably different to the old one).

...and I've just learned that my "XMAS PRESENT" from the Burning Shed Concern is in the post... You have to love the fine folks at PARCELFORCE when they send you a notification text at 10.30 on a Friday night (and again at 7.30 on Monday morning just to make sure!)

Week from Monday 20th October 2014

I now have my own personal copy of the "STARLESS" box, but it's locked away in a cupboard until Xmas (a small gesture in the direction of "giving it a sense of occasion"). Meanwhile in the CRIMSON WAITING ROOM, there is a new STICK MEN album of LIVE IMPROVS (to be self-assembled from freshly purchased Bandcamp downloads), a 'missing' 1973 CrimShow from the DGM concern (also still to be turned into a CD), not to mention a bravely snuck illicit recording from the recently ended 2014 tour (I said NOT to mention it!?! Don't ask, shan't tell!). This lot should tide me over until Jakko has finished trawling through the multitracks for that all-important, hotly anticipated NEW KING CRIMSON LIVE ALBUM... which, it is hoped, we will get sometime NEXT year.

CC found an old animated GIF of herself, which appears to have put together by someone out of video stills. I offered to do a clean-up job on it: Disassembling it into its component frames; Cropping the pics and fixing the frame size; Painting out the living room background; Applying a judicious amount of 'intelligent blur'; Finally reassembling the whole thing as a NEW animated GIF, of a size that will suit her GooglePlus profile header. She is delighted with it. Hey! that's what I do! Some folks go to church on Sunday morning, while others watch sports. I work on my chums' graphics!

It's still well over half-a-year away, but ALREADY they've announced the routes for next year's GIRO D'ITALIA and TOUR DE FRANCE! Chris Froome has said that he'll probably give the Tour a miss this time around, concentrating instead on the Giro and the Vuelta. Other Cycling News: There was an in-depth documentary about the total git LANCE ANDROID on the telly last night. I recorded it for later. It'll probably put me in a really bad mood when I do eventually get around to watching it...

The One True Sign That Autumn Has Arrived - The BRENT GEESE have started grazing on the rugby fields... although Shelfy tells me they'd already been on our shores for at least a couple of weeks and had been spotted earlier on one of the moats.

On Thursday, in dire need of a LEGSTRETCH, I went on a (long and rather uncomfortable) bus journey to WINCHESTER for a wander'n'look around the charity shops and flea markets. Just looking, mind. I didn't spend any money, but I could easily have done...

Week from Monday 27th October 2014

As you may or may not know, this DIARYWEBBYBLOGGYTHING is nowadays usually created online and hosted by the COFFEECUP.COM concern. But I woke up this morning to find that they've just introduced a new style (colour-coded-for-syntax) HTML EDITOR screen on the site and I have mixed feelings about it... While it is ideal for editing snippets of code, it does NOT lend itself quite so well to THIS kind of 'creative' writing. It doesn't appear to be possible to make a paragraph 'wrap', which usually makes for a better word processing experience. At the moment, using it involves a lot of horizontal scrolling whilst typing. "PROGRESS": I realised that's so it works with those f***ing landscape touchscreens that everyone likes now. Some of us still TYPE using a keyboard and prefer it that way - I expect a page of text to scroll up and down as you read and write it rather than being forced to compose a paragraph as a single line of text disappearing off the edge of the screen in both directions, which is a ridiculous state of affairs. The new ONLINE editor is similar in look to BLUEFISH (the Linux code editor) rather than COFFEECUP's own offline editor, which I much prefer. I would hope that they could introduce a simple 'toggle' switch for word-wrap, the same as their 'real' HTML editor... but for now I've reverted to working offline in comfort (using CoffeeCup the old-fashioned way!) and then upload the pages to the site via their (also free) FTP program.

FAREWELL THEN, JACK BRUCE... The mainstream media are (almost by default) 'celebrating' the stuff he did with CREAM. But that for me was the LEAST interesting music he ever produced, in a long and fruitful career. I prefer to remember him by his slightly odd "SONGS FROM A TAILOR" album, or his work with the savage and spooky TONY WILLIAMS' LIFETIME, or the acoustic jazz he recorded in the sixties with DICK HECKSTALL-SMITH, or a number of shortlived jazz-rock group[s] he led in the seventies (some of them with JOHN McLAUGHLIN), or his contributions to CARLA BLEY's "Escalator Over The Hill", or his busy electric fretless on FRANK ZAPPA's "Apostrophe(')", or a spontaneous session he played with TONY OXLEY at the Crawley Jazz Festival, or...

Went for a very brisk Monday morning hike to the Health Centre, to drop off a prescription and to make an appointment for my "Come Back And See Me Again In Six Months Time" check-up (due for sometime in the middle of November).

Oh yes... this CoffeeCup is working MUCH better for me now! Once I'd set up the FTP app to specifically connect with my folders, it's a SAMPLE OF WEEWEE. No more having to log into the site to struggle with their new interface. I can write this nonsense without feeling that the apps are fighting back. I mean, all that 'WORKING ON THE CLOUD' lark is all very well for some, but for gawd's sake make the applications USER-friendly or it's counter-productive! (Side Bar: Have you noticed how much badly typed and unchecked writing there IS on that internet now?) Like a lot of today's "We Do It This Way Because We Can" technology, it's "ONE STEP FORWARD, TWO STEPS BACK" for the poor schmucks who have to use it (In this case, I mean the few remaining 'schmucks' who still care about good composition).
ROUGHLY ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY...

28th October 1978 - I went up to Wembley Arena (or was it still the Empire Pool then?) with a vanload of Brazilians to see an afternoon show by YES, "standing atop a giant revolving stage.". I was most taken by Alan White's plexiglass drum kit, every item of which was in a different colour. The BBC recorded the Wembley shows and beamed the whole thing on the wireless a week later. Those were the days!

29th October 1979 - SOUTHSIDE JOHNNY & THE ASBURY JUKES played at the Brighton Dome. We'd seen them earlier in the summer at Knebworth (supporting Led Zeppelin), and loved 'em so much that we had to go back for more of their special brassy brand of rock'n'soul! Asbury Park NJ comes to Sussex!

26th October 1980 - We saw THE POP GROUP and KILLING JOKE play a few songs each at a ANTI-NUKES RALLY in Trafalgar Square. The weather and the sound system were pretty dire, but the communal atmosphere was fabulous - "Atomkraft Nij Takt!", "Send Thatcher On A Cruise!" and all that. A day most memorable for MARK STEWART's gutwrenching rendition of "Jerusalem".

28th October 2003 - STEVE HACKETT and his jazzy new band played at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, probably my favourite venue anywhere. There's no such thing as a duff seat, the sound is fantastic and the band were on great form. I thought I MUST have "reviewed" this gig at the time (probably in the form of an open letter to Sniltweasel?), but I couldn't find it...

30th October 2008 - A bit of nostalgia for the old folks... FOCUS, MARTIN TURNER'S WISHBONE ASH and the GROUNDHOGS on a package tour, visiting the Portsmouth Guildhall. The "review" for this one IS within these very pages.
THAT BRITISH WEATHER, EH? WHAT CAN Y'DO? C'UH! This time yesterday, I was sat in the blazing sun, gazing out on the Solent, thinking to myself how it certainly doesn't feel like it's nearly November. Today, however... we got wind, we got rain, we got clouds a'grey. So I'm staying indoors and doing some "roughs". An appropriately sombre soundtrack this afternoon is provided by TANGERINE DREAM, jouer leur musique dans la cathédrale de Reims, merveilleusement enregistré par la radio française.

Jonathan Coe's "THE ROTTERS' CLUB" cropped up in 'conversation' recently, so I've been reading it yet again. "If you want to know EXACTLY what it was like to be an English teenager in the 1970s..." is how I recommended it to my American friends. I just rediscovered this delicious, genre-defining paragraph (which I'd highlighted in pencil on a previous occasion):-
"'There's a guitarist called Fred Frith,' Malcolm continued. 'Plays with a band called Henry Cow. Does amazing things with a fuzzbox. Imagine The Yardbirds getting into bed with Ligeti in the smoking rubble of divided Berlin.'"
Now THAT is sharp, well-observed writing, from someone who was definitely 'there'... On the subject of people who were 'definitely there', I just found a copy of ROBERT PLANT's biography in a charity shop (I'll be diving into that one just as soon as I've finished "Rotters")... and "PROG" magazine are having a poll for their readers to suggest THE BEST 'PROG' ALBUMS OF 1974. Well, in lieu of yet ANOTHER of those "It Was Forty Years Ago Today" articles, how's THIS little lot for starters? (and these are just a few that I happen to have in my OWN collection, in one form or another):-
* Allusa Fallax - Intorno alla mia cattiva educazione * Arti & Mestieri - Tilt (immagini per un orecchio) * Barclay James Harvest - Live * Be-Bop Deluxe - Axe Victim * Brian Eno - Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy) * Can - Soon Over Babaluma * Focus - Hamburger Concerto * Frank Zappa - Roxy & Elsewhere * Fruup - Prince of Heavens Eyes * Genesis - The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway * Gentle Giant - The Power And The Glory * Gong - You * Greenslade - Spyglass Guest * Gryphon - Red Queen To Gryphon Three * Hatfield And The North - s/t * Hawkwind - Hall Of The Mountain Grill * Henry Cow - Unrest * Isotope - Illusion * Kansas - s/t * Kevin Ayers/John Cale/Nico/Eno - June 1st 1974 * King Crimson - Red * Kraftwerk - Autobahn * Magma - Köhntarkösz * Mahavishnu Orchestra - Apocalypse * Man - Rhinos, Winos & Lunatics * Mike Oldfield - Hergest Ridge * Premiata Forneria Marconi - L'isola di niente * Refugee - s/t * Santana/Alice Coltrane - Illuminations * Shuggie Otis - Inspiration Information * Soft Machine - Seven * Steely Dan - Pretzel Logic * Strawbs - Hero and Heroine * Tangerine Dream - Phaedra * Todd Rundgren - Todd * Traffic - When The Eagle Flies * Utopia - Todd Rundgren's Utopia * Yes - Relayer