Week from Monday 3rd April 2017
APRIFOOLSDY THE FIRST... King Crimson are bringing out a colouring book... Vulcan XH558 is being sold to an American consortium, who are going to restore it to flying condition... Porcupine Tree are to reform, with Sammy Hagar as frontman ("It's what the fans want" says Colin Edwin)... The Daily Mail Online is full of comments from people saying Hitler was probably a 'top bloke' (oh no, wait, that's just normal!) - The first of April is now the ONE day of the year when folks are CAREFUL to question anything they read on the internet!
FUNNY EARS... Is there a correlation between ear/sinus infections and EARWORMS? They do seem to intensify at this time of year. Or is it that I just been listening to and reading about too much GENESIS this week? I don't even have to LISTEN to a track for it to get lodged in my brain, I only have to have someone else MENTION it in writing and I can hear it as clear as day!
Suddenly there was POWERPOINTING. Lots of it.
DREAM DIARY... "Port Solent is definitely not built for walking!"... "Let's give it a bit of the old trunk punk! This magazine says [insert engine name here] would make a great project for January!"...
Week from Monday 10th April 2017
UP AN ATOM! This morning, I have an appointment with the DENTIST, I have to drop off a PRESCRIPTION at the Health Centre, plus I need to get fresh supplies of ANTIPERSPIRANT from the pound shop while I'm about it... The dentist is running very late, so I'm rather glad that I didn't wait till I got back home before having some breakfast, as is my usual habit.
Is it too early to nominate my "ALBUM OF THE YEAR"? Already a strong contender is the new [moody, glacial, abstract-expressionist, imaginary-soundtrack, not-really-jazz, a bit Scandinavian, sort of] KScope release called "PLANETS+PERSONA", from the former Japan and Porcupine Tree synth-wizard RICHARD BARBIERI.
'Tis the season of the year when I have to fill in my online SELF-ASSESSMENT TAX FORM and find out that pretty much everything I've earned this month has to go to the government as National Insurance "CONTRIBUTIONS". Once upon a time, this was done painlessly a little bit at a time, a few quid every month... but now, "to make things simpler", they whack it all on your tax bill as a lump sum! Rrrsssn frrrusssn ffffrrussn rrrussn rrussssn fffrrrusssn...
It's HEEEEEERE! The final release of the (first?) "NET PROPHET" album has now been lovingly preserved and made available for public consumption via Tim's BANDCAMP site. Tell all your friends! I've now discovered that the name NET PROPHET has already been taken for a South Africa business expo, some sort of accountancy 'solution' and an Irish firm of web designers (who have a VERY old-fashioned looking website of their own, not a good selling point!). We'll probably need a new name for the next collaboration, which may be expanded to include a PROPER REAL DRUMMER! I've submitted a few backing tracks for the 'RHYTHM TEAM' to have a go at...
Week from Monday 17th April 2017
A MONDAY ORF... so naturally I took in a CAR-BOOT SALE! I didn't come away with 'piles', but I did get a copy of DAVID BYRNE's splendid book "How Music Works" for just two of your English pounds (Sadly, NOT the fancy white leatherbound limited edition original, just the paperback!)
"THE MAN WHO CHANGED GUITAR FOREVER"... This weekend, we lost another great musician, the extraordinary jazz/rock guitarist ALLAN HOLDSWORTH. The list of artists who benefited from his unique voice goes on and on - Nucleus, Soft Machine, Lifetime, Jean-Luc Ponty, Pierre Moerlen's Gong, Bruford, UK - he never seemed to stay in any one band for long!
My birthday came and went, but I don't do birthdays anymore, so HAPPY PERFECTLY ORDINARY WEDNESDAY TO ME! Instead, on Friday, I took the advantage of a lull in the train strikes to do a big 'daze-out' to BRIGHTON. Usual 'routine': alighted from the train in Hove; did all of its many charity shops; wend my way to Churchill Square (where the HMV isn't), stopping at all the charity shops along the way; down into Ye Olde Laynes and did all the record shops there; generally looked at things and heard things and smelled things and felt all sort of bohemian and that... 'nuff said, I came away with 'PILES' for a ridiculously small outlay! RECORD STORE DAY? I don't need your stinking Record Store Day! I got mine in a day early, thus avoiding the daft queueing and all the hype!
Week from Monday 24th April 2017
IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER... Three CD-upgrades for SANTANA albums that would have originally been bought by me in the cassette-obsessed eighties (all post-prime and patchy in musical quality, but even the worst Santana album has its moments!)... a MARTIN CARTHY 'best of' which does exactly what it says on the tin and is well worth 49p of anyone's money... One of ROSS DALY's many albums of Cretan folk music, complete with its cardboard sleeve and informative multilingual booklet, all rather gorgeous, for which I paid a whopping 25p... ZAP MAMA's CD on Luaka Bop, because, well, it's on Luaka Bop, innit? ... The "Kaddish" album by TOWERING INFERNO, because I remember liking it a bit on "Mixing It" in the nineties and thought it worth a punt at under a quid... Unknown to me, but also worth a shot, a 'psychedelic classic' from 1968 by ANDWELLAS DREAM (On first listen, it sounds a bit too Beatles'n'Kinks for my taste, but it might grow on me)... The opportunity came to CD-upgrade the timeless ECM classic "Köln Concert" by KEITH JARRETT for under six of your earth pounds, so I had to... Plugging a hole in my WEATHER REPORT collection with the double "Live In Tokyo" for just under seven quid... Something else by that noisy bloke PETER HAMMILL for a couple of pounds... PAPA WEMBA's lovely "Molokai" album on RealWorld for a similar sum... Did I miss anything out?
I see a pattern emerging... it is once again Wednesday morning and I hadn't yet got around to posting anything in this here DIARYBLOGGYTHINGYWOTSIT...
Okay then... Last night, I stayed up late to watch the DAVID CROSS BAND playing at Butlins in Bognor Regis, on that funny digital channel VINTAGE TV. For the most part, their music lies firmly at the metallic end of the 'PROG' spectrum - lots of showy-offy weedlyweedly guitar shredding and stentorian vocals - so it's really not my own cup of tea in this day and age. But the second half-hour featured pretty neat versions of the KClassics "STARLESS" and "21st CENTURY SCHIZOID MAN". So that made it all worthwhile, then...
Strange goings on in the wonderful world of #ViewFromTheWalkies... One of the fields down the road has been covered in white plastic 'stripes', giving my customary 'exaggerated perspective' a distinct BRIDGET RILEY vibe. Twitterchums asked me "how I did it". I had to admit I upped the contrast a little to make it even MORE black and white, but it really does look like that!
I have a head full of YES again this week... a twittering about GRYPHON naturally led to talk about Yes' 1974-75 "RELAYER" tour, when the Griffs were the support act. Folks, I was there! Tim, our self-confessed resident YES-GEEK, seized on the topic of the show at QPR footy ground, which was filmed by the BBC for a "Whistle Test Special". The complete video is OUT THERE, of course, but although the pictures are excellent for the time, the accompanying audio is pretty messed up and 'UNFINISHED'. It's a weird experience to watch it. After a while, you mentally adjust to hearing only broken, disjointed fragments of music (which, I'm guessing, originate from a rather selective monitor soundboard 'mix'). Because you already know all the tunes, your brain starts DOING PUZZLES instead - 'JOIN THE DOTS' and 'FILL IN THE BLANKS'! It's a shame really, because it COULD have been one of the best Yes videos ever. It was certainly my favourite YesTour - You never forget your first time! (Hmm, a PROJECT! With another three-day weekend coming up, I might have a go at 'REMIXING' it.)
My new t-shirt that says "I MAY BE OLD, BUT AT LEAST I GOT TO SEE ALL THE GOOD BANDS" has arrived!
After taking care of a little Fridaybiz in Gosport, I hopped across to the Gunwharf branch of HMV for an hour's browsing. I didn't buy anything, but I did get to hear the whole of "FOREVER CHANGES" through a not-too-bad sound system while I was there (I had to curb my tendency to sing along!)