Thursday 30 January 2014

Singing Ticket Barriers and Coyotemen

A very quick one this . Chris Hawkins on 6 Music mentioned a singing ticket barrier at Canary Wharf and the fact that Ritch Ames had spliced the barrier with Blur's official video for Song , and very good it is too.

Tonight the Coyotemen play their supposedly final gig at Brewdog in Newcastle, so I will do a review on Spoongig tonight.

I know a short post , but enjoy the video and have a great day

Wednesday 29 January 2014

A Question of Balance

I think this will be short. I've finished my first book of the year, started on the second , both by Stuart Maconie incidentally and started making inroads into the TV backlog on BBC iPlayer on my phone. How do I do this?

Basically book on way to work, means I feel I've done something worthwhile and learnt
ed something and made an effort, then coming home I watch stuff on the TV (well my Samsung Note 2). Having said that I do need to fit the TED talks in there somehow as there are a few that I really want to check out, but I will find time somewhere. There are 24 hours in a day after all.

Only one song give the title of the post. From the Moody Blues album A Question of Balance.

Tuesday 28 January 2014

Australian Surprise

It'sa couple of days after Australia Day , and I wasn't going to post, but my youngest daughter's partner sent me this video of a totally amazing Australian artist Xavier Rudd. I've never heard of him and was amazed and shared the video on Facebook , which lots of people then shared, obviously as impressed as I was.

I'm not very good with wind instruments and still can't get much out of my didgeridoo  , but I am still stunned by this. His web site is here.

SO just a short post, but that's the thing about the blog, is it should stay here for as long as I want it, so I can always come back and find it , and my friends can also come and enjoy it too.

I think some purchases may be in order

Music Is A Roundabout

I haven't bought a CD this year, not because of any particular reason but I've not had the opportunity. This weekend I'm in Whitby and there are two record shops there so the chances are I may pick up something there.

I was checking the new releases and it's amazing the longevity of some bands and musical collectives. In the fifties and sixties artists would have some singles with an aim to becoming an "entertainer" such as Bruce Forsyth or Des O'Connor, they've both made a few albums as well.

I noticed a new Penguin Cafe album, the band now fronted by Arthur Jeffes , eon of Simon who sadly died and bands didn't , as the Who suggested, "die before they got old".

Som bands stay there , new bands join and old ones drop off, but the composure of the musical roundabout is forever changing. People often look to their youth and stick with that, and if it makes you happy then that's fine. I go with the premise that 95% is rubbish ,, but the 5% is still a hefty chuck of decent music to get your teeth into.

I thought The Longpigs "On and On" was appropriate for this post. Oh and I checked that link and there is an excellent looking compilation available.

Have a fantastic day everybody.

Sunday 26 January 2014

If Less Is More, Think How Much More More Will Be

A quote from the series Frasier made my Doctor Crane. Last year was my highest number of postings since I started blogging. The first year (2007) I did six posts , last year it was 244, roughly two every three days, swollen by three months where I set myself a task of doing at least one post a day. My most prolific month was May 2012 where I posted 37 times.

Last January I posted 14 times and this is my 16th post so far this year. So really the more I post , the more I get to say and get to record. It's also therapeutic, although I try not to post about things that annoy or upset me, just things that inspire me and make me feel good, so I often include TED talks and songs that I really love.

I just went to TED and saw the talk above and , as usual , I've downloaded it because it just interests me. Enjoy the rest of the weekend

Saturday 25 January 2014

TVOD and Australia Day

This week I've used my traveling time to just read, no catch up TV , no TED talks , just reading. I don't know if that's calmed me down or not , but the benefit is that you can read and listen to music simultaneously. That's two things you engage with at the same time.

You can't watch TV and listen to music at the same time without losing track of one thing or the other.

This doesn't meant that TV or TED  is bad, it just means you have to watch and listen , whereas a book the whole of the experience comes through your eyes leaving your ears to engage in aural stimulations.

Itn other news I've been reminded it's Australia Day tomorrow which is a great reason to celebrate and that in turn reminded me it my dad's birthday in two days time. So that's an excuse to reproduce my Australia Day playlist from a couple of years back which you may or may not enjoy , but there is certainly a lot of great music come out of Australia. I still remember ordering The Saints "I'm Stranded" on the EMI Import print sometime around 1976, and it still sounds brilliant today.

Australia Day 2012 by Mike Singleton on Grooveshark 
Oh and the wonderful Tom Ravenscroft did an Australia Day special which you can listen to here.  I've downloaded to my phone to listen to this week.

Friday 24 January 2014

Wake Up Time

OK this will be a short post after my last post that was longer than the short post I expected it to be. It's the final day of the week , so just another 11 hours to get through until I get home. I was just wondering , including traveling time, what is the average person's time away from home due to work and do they feel adequately rewarded for it? I do know there are people who have two and eve three hours each way commutes, which if you then add on eight hours at work, and take away six hours for sleep leaves you with four hours of the day you can call your own. Yes you can do that for a short period of time but it should never become the norm.

Anyway I am not wishing my life away but it is really good that it's the last day of the week and I'm looking forward to enjoying this weekend. For a song I was toying between David Bowie's cover of The Easybeats' "Friday On My Mind" (which was the first Australian global smash it I believe) but decided to go for the Cure's "Friday I'm In Love" just because I love it more !

Thursday 23 January 2014

Bagpuss On The Bed With Glasses

This will be very short, but I am going to keep posting , just because I can. I came home tonight to find Bagpuss had got glasses, courtesy of my cleaners (APM). It really cheered me up. I'm still reading Stuart Maconie's "The People's Songs" which is also making the train journeys fly by enjoyably. Sometimes you have to talk the calm and peace where you can find it.

Bagpuss On The Bed With Glasses
I saw one of these Facebook maxims that essential said live in the present , if to concentrate on what has happened you will stagnate and if you concentrate on what might happen you will worry and get yourself down, so if I wake up at night I just enjoy being warm and cosy in bed , and I deal with things when they need dealing with. I'm actually finding it very therapeutic , so will keep it up.

Had a nice lunch today for a friends birthday (which was yesterday) and tomorrow at work we'll be giving her a cake. It is really nice when good people can find something to celebrate together..

Anyway it's time for bed now, and I am going to enjoy my sleep.

Actually it's turned out to be quite a reasonable post, I was expecting it to be one or two lines, but it's amazing what you can do when you know friends are looking out for you and caring for you , and that makes you more positive in your outlook and able to deal with things and keep a smile on your face.

Well this looked like it had crashed, so I took a copy of the raw page and saved it just in case, but it seems to have saved now , so think it may be a good time to go to bed now.

Tuesday 21 January 2014

Burned Out

Not posted much recently and realised I hadn't even read a book this year, so I started the new Stuart Maconie tome and am surprised how relaxed it makes me feel on the train. I've watch a lot of TV recently and maybe that is stressing me out, though the fact that you don't really have to do anything may be having some kind of weird adverse psychological effect. Maybe BBC's iPlayer is not the cure all or whatever I thought it was. Yes it is very clever and useful, but no use if it just eats up time that can be better and more usefully spent doing other things.

I also listened to the Steve Miller Band's Greatest Hits while reading , which was a sort of double good whammy and hence the brilliant song that I've chosen for this post.

Saturday 18 January 2014

Sleeping With The TV On

I don't if I need to be worried, or I don't know if I should be just happy. I'm actually watching more TV on my phone thanks to the fact that BBC iPlayer allows downloads on my Samsung Galaxy Note2. This week I've watched various music related progammes, and the first episode of the new series on BBC3 called "Uncle", which I found excellent. I've downloaded a few duds, but iPlayer allows me to catch up on the way to and from work.

My problem is that I feel I'm watching less TED talks and reading fewer books. I haven't  read a book so far this year.

Handsome Dick Manitoba
I suppose the simple solution is just to pick a book and start reading it, but it is just another thing I can do while I travel. I can also watch other channels' downloads as well but BBC2, 3, and 4 provide enough excellent quality programmes to keep me going. I can also load films onto the phone and it does have a couple of eReaders so I can actually read book on the phone if I so wish.

The title is taken from a Dictators song (lead singer Handsome Dick Manitoba!) so I have to include that don't I.

Books On Board

Lots of Books
Paddingto Flare
And there's More
The last couple of times I have been to Paddington I've noticed a lovely bookshop on a barge walled Word on The Water. Follow the link to find out more as they are on Facebook.

There's a lot more pictures and some really good links there as well. A really interesting Facebook pages, although if you like books you are bound to like it!

As you come out of Paddington Station you see the barge and books right in front of you, and spoke to the owner who is a really pleasant guy. While the canal has lots of barges, it's brilliant to see something like this that makes you stop , and look and want to talk with people.

I was actually in a rush to get a train and ended up missing it because Word on The Water is so interesting in an area dominated by faceless offices and chains like Marks and Spencer and Tesco.

So although it was a long day yesterday, that was a bright unexpected end to a really good visit to London. Have a brilliant weekend everybody, I certainly will.

And they want more!!

Wednesday 15 January 2014

The World Is Full of Wonder


Blue Dragon
Today have have watched two amazing TED talks, one showing some amazing nature photography and the other about 64 year old Diana Nyad who has done the impossible and swum the hundred miles between Cuba and Florida. The talk is here. Then I was directed to this amazing use of 3d Printing here. , and other amazing example here.

It is truly amazing what technology and willpower can bring into being.

The Diana Nyad talk was particularly inspiring because she acknowledged that although she did the physical swimming there is no way that she could have done that without the team of thirty people supporting her.  She still spent over fifty hours in the water, not allowed to touch the support boats or to rest, threatened by sharks and box jellyfish , having to swim at night in total darkness because the light attracts predators, and this was her fifth attempt at it , having been told that it was impossible.

The thing is in all our lives we can succeed if we get help and support from the people we care about and we know care for us, no matter how impossible the task or situation might seem. And as Diana states "Never Give Up" , you never know what could happen if you don't try , you know , you might just succeed!

So there's nothing happened on the horoscope front although I won a small bet on Monday night , lost a small one on Tuesday night , but didn't care because Preston won 3-2 against a decent Ipswich side in the FA Cup. So some good things have happened.

I hope good things happen for you!

Monday 13 January 2014


It's the 13th day of the year and also the 13th day of the month and some people regard 13 as an unlucky number. It has been ingrained into me that it's unlucky , but there is no logical reason for it. Numerous reasons are given such as Judas was the 13th guest at the Last Supper (well they all made up the 13 so anyone could be designated as the 13th one) and bakers used to always add an extra loaf to batches of a dozen in case one wasn't up to scratch. Well given in most cases that all the loaves would be fine doesn't that make 13 actually lucky for the recipients?

I's like seeing magpies , one for sorrow and two for joy , but it's all about interpretation. Missing a bus could be the the "sorrowful" event and catching one could be the "joyful" event. It's just how you choose to look at it.

It's like horoscopes, those wonderfully ambiguous, snippets of promise, given to us by the snake oil merchants that call themselves astrologers. Here's one of mine for today, I'm Libran by the way and that supposedly makes me a balanced personality:

"Once again, your dual nature pops up -- but this time, it's making life sweet! You can see both sides of every issue, and you can also find new ways to bring your people together. Have fun!"

Hmm, well that's clear as a thing that is not very clear. We shall see how sweet life is today and I will post tomorrow and see how I can fit events to prove that this was true (that should be easy ).

I always encourage positivity in myself and others, but that doesn't cause things to happen , but it will drive you towards instigating thing that will be beneficial to yourself. If you can be happy , and positive you are more likely to be confident in your decision making then either reap the benefits of the correct decision or easily deal with the fall out from an incorrect one. Always look for the positives in a situation.

Anyway there can only be one song for today, can't there? Stevie Wonder on Sesame Street does it get any better than that?

An addendum to this post, nothing in my "dual nature" manifested itself, nothing I did made life sweet , though lot's of communications received did that, and I didn't get an opportunity to bring people together that I was aware. Monday was a day much like any other, but if I do notice any horoscopes that come true I will say.

Sunday 12 January 2014

Mr Cave's A Window Cleaner Now!

Woke up this morning (sounds like a blues song , doesn't it), and the pavements outside were white and the skies were grey. This week is going to be busy again with trips to London and a concert at The Sage to fit in, but it's only by doing things that life is interesting.

This afternoon 6Music played an excellent Nick Cave song that I hadn't heard before that seemed appropriate for the apparent inclement weather which we may soon be getting.

This weather , short days and lack of sunshine doesn't make for the greatest of inspiration.

Also I seem to be downloading a lot of TV to my Samsung Note via BBC iPlayer , which is fine but this eats into the time I should be reading or maybe watching TED talks , although it does leave more time to do things when I am at home.

Anyway still lots to do, but wanted to share this great Nick Cave song , and hope you are ready for the week ahead.

Saturday 11 January 2014

Celebrate Good Times

No particular reason , apart from it's the weekend. It's colder than usual and this song came into my mind, by a band signed to ELP's Manticore label, PFM (Premiata, Forneria Marconi named after an Italian bakers, a bit more exotic than say The Warburtons or The Allied Bakeries!)

The skies here are very clear and cars are iced up, so in theory it may get a bit cold, but this is Newcastle so the temperature does dip every now and then.

I've also been alerted to the fact that the magnificent Dick Gaughan is playing the Sage next Thursday, so I think really I don't have the option to miss that despite the fact that I have to go to London the following day. Dick Gaughan has one of the most distinctive voices I've ever heard as well as being an excellent composer, guitarist and performer

Friday 10 January 2014

Missing Things

I often want to post things when my post reaches a significant number, but I've just missed by 666th post and this is number 668.I've been absolutely shattered this week and am looking forward to a weekend to unwind hopefully.

I'm well aware that I haven't blogged for a couple of days and have been pointed in the direction of this blog which is most amusing , it's called French Yummy Mummy and think that anyone with a sense of humour and a modicum of intelligence will enjoy it. I certainly did.

Anyway I think I'll just post the Iron Maiden song , two posts too late. Enjoy and have a brilliant weekend

Sunday 5 January 2014

A Mere Skirmish With My Left Hand ... and Other Stuff

I am right handed, but it's amazing the sort of things you need your left hand for. Late last week I flayed part of my left index finger with a potato peeler, which was very painful. But simple things like washing up, showering, washing, shaving became very difficult as plasters were washed off skin was caught and bleeding and pain ensued, not nice.

Anyway I have managed to smooth it off so it wont catch and I don't need a plaster on it.

It other news Rough Trade have opened a major record shop in New York (see here), and it is reckoned that there will be a major renaissance for record shops which is great news. They were always a great place to socialise and discover new stuff, and we're lucky in Newcastle that we still have some decent ones such as RPM and Reflex.

Eusebio 1966
Sad news in the deaths of Phil Everly and Eusebio, but the older you get the more these things seem to happen. We still have recordings and memories of them. Pity I don't have a video of Eusebio goals set to an Everly Brothers song though I'm not sure which one it would be, maybe "Walk Right Back".

Anyway enjoy the rest of the first weekend of the new year.

Saturday 4 January 2014


Got a taxi home last night and David Bowie's "Space Oddity" was playing on the radio. It's nice to have something decent playing while you are going home. The taxi was an ABC one , who are my preferred taxi in Newcastle.

We were talking about favourite tracks and "Life On Mars" and "Changes" were mooted , though my favourite is probably "Station To Station". I said that I couldn't argue if anyone put forward "Heroes" as his best song , and the driver remarked that that song has Bowie, Brian Eno and Bob Fripp all bringing stuff to the table on that one , and it doesn't get muche better than that.

Any I hope you all have a great weekend. Enjoy yourselves.

Wednesday 1 January 2014

12 From 13 in 14

12 from 13 fto start 14 by Mike Singleton on Grooveshark

These are just a dozen songs that caught my ear during the year. They are all part of my collection and would heartily recommend to give them a listen.  It's on a Grooveshark Playlist so hope you can play them.

My favourite of the year though was Public Service Broadcasting's Spitfire.

Enjoy the rest of New Year's Day everyone.

First Post Of 2014

Well I suppose I have to do this. I can't not post on New Year's Day can I. I've seen some great friends today, and it's funny how sometimes people worry about how the appear or sound, and they're my friends they are always wonderful to me. I love all contact with my friends and people I love.

Two niggles Google's controlling idiocy means I can't access my accounts via my Blu-Ray player as it's an "unknown device" but there is now no option to allow device to access my accounts. Then my Samsung Note has given me a 700 Mb Software Upgrade. My first  desktop had a 10 Mb hard disk (thanks for that Chris Brough, at the time that was an immense amount of storage, now it would just about hold an MP3 of Led Zeppelin's "Stairway To Heaven" or Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Free Bird") , but it was the first device I had at home that didn't need a floppy disk or cassette to start it. How times change. My phone is installing the update as I type.

So it's almost two in the morning and it's probably the best idea to see this update out , I need to because I have Wallace and Gromit in "A Matter of  Loaf And Death" on my BBC iPlayer, amongst other things.

So have a brilliant day and may your 2014 absolutely wonderful.