Monday 31 October 2016

Author Author and No Coldplay - #ALifeInNumbers #42

Number 42. This is a really difficult one for me. I can think of a song called “42”, but it’s by Coldplay and I listened to it and it's Coldplay in limp chinned student mode. Having said that there are probably not all that many Coldplay songs I would countenance so really I don’t want to include it.

Because it’s 42 I want to include something related to The Hitch Hiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, because Douglas Adams told us that the answer to the Ultimate Question was 42 , that answer was of course 42, provide by the mega computer Deep Thought. The quest for the ultimate question… well read the books and you’ll find the answer.

A similar scenario occurs in another of my favourite books “Venus On The Half Shell” by Kilgore Trout.

Kilgore Trout is an author who is a figment of the imagination of the wonderful but sadly missed Kurt Vonnegut.

However this pseudonym was taken up by Philip Jose Farmer to write the book. All three authors are incredibly intelligent, have a healthy attitude to life and humanity, as well as a wicked sense of humour.

The premise is the search by the hero to find the answer to the ultimate question, “Why are we born to suffer and die?”. At the end of the book the hero gets to meet God and asks God the question. God’s reply: “Why Not?” One of my favourite las lines in a book.

Anyway I have decided, for number 42, to go with The Eagles “Journey of the Sorcerer”, because it is awesome and the theme to “The Hitch Hiker’s Guide To The Galaxy” which has as the answer to the ultimate question the number 42. And that is good enough for me.

Enjoy Halloween my Pagan and Wiccan friends.

Sunday 30 October 2016

When You Take You Eye Off The Ball - #ALifeInNumbers #41

Today something happened that shouldn’t have happened to me. I’m in a low connectivity area so I’ve been using my phone for tethering to give me internet access. I have a contract that gives me 4Gb a month which is usually plenty of data.

This morning I was doing a couple of blog posts and the laptop required what I thought was a routine update. Then all of a sudden web sites were not available. I looked at my phone and there were messages saying I’d used 80% of my data then all of my data. I thought my phone company have screwed up again, then I checked and saw that according to the phone it had used up all the data in background tethering.

So it wasn’t my phone company, but I noticed the iPad had connected, so that was the next thing to blame because Apple products are always downloading stuff in the background. So I bit the bullet and bought 10 Gb of data, and the download had finished then it said it was 50% complete.

I disconnected the tethering but the laptop continued to update itself, for the next two hours. It was that massive Windows 10 Update that happened on my desktop a couple of months back.

The thing is that I have experience of IT and mobile phones so I should have realised what was happening. But that is a lesson learned and it won’t happen again to me … I hope.

Though we cannot foresee everything no matter how much information we have at our disposal.

Anyway we hit number 41 in #ALifeinNumbers and the song I’ve chosen in #41 by Dave Matthews, an artist who doesn’t get enough exposure.

Here is some excellent guitar playing for you to enjoy, and for me to enjoy too. There are another 18 songs to go, in the sequence so we will hit the end probably in mid November.

Last month over 3,000 people visited my blog, that’s 100 people a day. It’s not a great number in the scheme of thing but given the number of visits I got for my first posts it’s nice to know that people return to look at what I have to say. So enjoy Dave Matthews and enjoy your Sunday evening.

The next one is 41 which everyone knows, because Douglas Adams told them, is the meaning of life.

U2 CAN BE "40" - #ALifeInNumbers #40

This is sort of a cheat to hit number 40 in #ALifeInNumbers, I’m writing in the same session as “39” and will post these two consecutively. Again for was peened in early, and it’s another song from a massive band, one of the few that could be considered bigger than Queen, that band is U2.

  In the mid-eighties I was working and Hygena near Goole. I remember Jasper Carrot posed the question on what inhabitants of Goole were called, but told a story of how he’d been and found that all the restaurants and eating places shut in the lunch hour. I couldn’t believe it, so thought I would investigate, and it was absolutely true. It may have changed, but you drove into Goole and the main road in ended in a roundabout that sent you back the way you came in.

 Anyway I went into Woolworths and got a sandwich and saw the new U2 album, the live “Under A Blood Red Sky” a budget mini album with a striking red cover. I got it home; side one was good but side two was amazing, culminating in the absolutely gorgeous “40”.

So that’s what you get here. Enjoy this my friends.

Getting Regal - #ALifeInNumbers #39

It’s quite amusing when you are suddenly in a place where the internet is a thing of mystery that people shun and pretend to never of heard of. The mobile phone is viewed with suspicion and a signal is a total Will O’ The Wisp. Still that’s a minor price to pay for staying somewhere quiet and relaxing.  The thing is that when you come away from home you tend to forget the odd thing although nothing essential. One thing was the spreadsheet with my list of songs for #ALifeInNumbers so I will be relying on memory this week although 39 and 40 were pencilled in very early.

Anyway I wondered if I would be able to hit forty posts this month, and this is number forty. I thought I would reach it easily but reckoned without being disconnected for the World Wide Web. I find it’s odd that the phone signal is no unreliable but the television signal is very reliable, and surely the travel through the same atmospheric ether.

Anyway we hit number 39 and again this was one song that I decided on and didn’t bother looking any further. In the mid-seventies a friend of my mums told her that a certain album was the greatest record ever made, and that ended up as one of my Christmas presents. The album was very good and every one was raving about a particular over the top piece which the band promoted with a suitably over top video on Top of the Pops taking it to Number One when the singles charts actually mattered. The song was “Bohemian Rhapsody”, the album was “A Night at the Opera” and the band was Queen. The thing I really liked about Queen is their total disdain for fashion and criticism and how they did just what they wanted. Generally I wasn’t a fan of Brian May’s guitar sound unless it got heavy.

But the song that hit me most from the album is the acoustic “’39”, standing out because of its beautiful simplicity in a very over the top setting of the album. So enjoy this under rated, under played Queen beauty. Enjoy your Sunday my friends.

Friday 28 October 2016

Copping Out With The Electric Light Orchestra - - #ALifeInNumbers #38

When I'm tagging posts I am sometimes very surprised at the things I've written about. Going back I find some very short posts , maybe about twenty words. The thing is a blog is a diary and sometimes you may not have much to say but still want to record it for one reason or another. Here is my first ever post that states what I wanted to do with this blog and I think it's grown a bit since then and now each post gets around fifty hits which is nice (though I don't know how many are robots). I love it that a core of friends visit and so are reading my thoughts and putting me right when I need it.

Anyway we  hit number 38 and this is one of the many cop outs as Dave pointed out, but this one was decided fairly early on, and it's an amazing record, which I bought as soon as I heard it. The Electric Light Orchestra was conceived by Jeff Lynne and Roy Wood to continue where the Beatles left off after "Strawberry Fields" and "A Day In The Life" which was rock and popular music where the orchestra became and integral part of the piece.

The Electric Light Orchestra are responsible for what is still my second favourite album ever "El Dorado" and that was after Roy Wood had departed but prior to them hitting paydirt with "A New World Record" and "Out Of The Blue"

Anyway the song I've chosen is "10538 Overture"  because it does contain "38". It starts with that huge descending guitar arpeggio / riff  (lifted by Paul Weller for "Changing Man") then joined by the muscular string section (led by a hirsute Roy Wood on Cello if I remember rightly).  So you can enjoy this , because this is what the ELO were formed for, but I think they lost their way after "Face The Music" The video is from 1972, and the masks are very worrying given that I've been watching the current series of American Horror Story (My Roanoke Nightmare).

Anyway this month has seen the most posts I've ever done in one month and there's still three more days to go. So have a great Friday my friends, the weekend is almost here.

Thursday 27 October 2016

Beatifully Southern - #ALifeInNumbers #37

Unbelievably there were a few options for "37" including "37½" from Soft Machine "6" , "37 Hours" by Kristin Hersh and "We Do What We're Told (milgram's 37)s" from "So" by Peter Gabriel, but I decided to go for "Straight In At 37" by The Beautiful South as I have always loved their playfully subversive pleasantness.

I had a far better night last night than the night before , sleeping well but finally throwing off (well almost) this cold. For the first time in a long time time I had a smoothie which included frozen blueberries from Aldi , you can see me making it here. So I definitely think that helped along with the drugs.

Have a great Thursday everybody, the weekend is getting nearer.

Wednesday 26 October 2016

Good Things Do Happen - #ALifeInNumbers #36

Today is a new day. After yesterday's traumas it's time to be positive once more, although there is The Walking Dead second installment next Monday and Preston play Newcastle again on Saturday, but at least they're on separate days and won't be after a day at work. I definitely need some comedy and music to lighten the mood and still have to write a review of the GOAT and Josefin Öhrn gig last week which was excellent, so that's what I need more of, though I am missing a Women In Revolt gig at the weekend , but c'est la vie.

Anyway number 36 in the series is the excellent "36 Hours" from The Bard of Salford, Dr John Cooper Clarke, the guy who helped bring poetry to punks in the 1970s and he is still doing it although he has done an album of covers with Hugh Cornwell here, which I am tempted by , just because it's a great pairing.

Anyway it's time for work and one of my favourite records has just come on the radio (6 Music of course) the beautiful "To Ohio" by The Low Anthem, which I will include because it is so lovely, then I found this collaboration with Emmylou Harris

See - Good Things Do Happen , you need to appreciate them.

Have a great day my friends

Tuesday 25 October 2016

Everybody Must Get Stoned - #ALifeInNumbers #35

Well today started out full of hope and tonight I feel totally crushed. While I was aware that the new opener for The Walking Dead was brutal, I still wasn't prepared for it . Then that was followed by Preston not putting up much resistance to Newcastle in a six nil defeat at St James' Park. Any Newcastle player's weekly wage is probably close to the value of the whole Preston squad but today was a particularly bad night at the office, not helped by a numpty screeching "send him off" at every Preston challenge and then "you're getting sacked in the morning" , though tomorrow is probably the repayment day on his Wonga loan.

Anyway  the song has to be Bob Dylan's "Rainy Day Women #12 & 35" , with it's refrain of "Everybody Must Get Stoned" . Dylan used to be difficult to track down on Youtube but I found a copy.

It's time for bed now, so enjoy yourself, for me things can only get better as we have Newcastle at Deepdale on Saturday. This time we will turn up.

Monday 24 October 2016

One Two Free Four - #ALifeInNumbers #34

A couple of years ago Pink Floyd took out a court injunction to stop albums being sold as individual songs. While I understand this for an artistic integrity point of view, when you are selling, the aim is to make money, and surely it is better to receive a pound or two for two songs that the buyer wants than lose ten pounds that would have been the cost of the album. They won the case but must have changed their minds because you can buy the songs individually now.

I do prefer putting and album on and listening to all of it , but digital music gave us the skip, repeat and program options  and these days there are people who cannot stay to the end on a three minute song. I remember watching an artist on X-Factor covering "Nights In White Satin"  by the Moody Blues which clocks in at 5 minutes , but the X-Factor version finished at well under three minutes. When I mentioned this to the person who cajoled me into watching it, they said "Yeah they do that with all the songs otherwise you'd get bored" which confirmed my preconceptions that X-Factor had nothing to do with music.

Anyway this was one of those songs that was penned in as soon as I thought of doing this. It's "Free Four" by Pink Floyd from "Obscured By Clouds" the soundtrack to La Vallee by Barbet Schroeder. No reason apart from I have always loved the song with it's slight acoustic riff underpinned my Rick Wright's menacing synthesizer, Roger Water's deceptively dark lyrics and some Dave Gilmour perfunctory heavy guitar.

So enjoy this, it's time to go off to work now. Have a brilliant Monday my friends.

Sunday 23 October 2016

In 78 Everyone Born In 45 will be 33⅓ - #ALifeInNumbers #33

Pure Pop
"In 78 Everyone Born In 45 will be 33⅓" was a very clever tagline for a Stiff Records compilation "A Bunch of Stiffs" . For  those who need an explanation singles play at 45 rpm and LPs play at 33⅓ rpm and the album was a compilation of singles released in 1978. That got me thinking again about numbers and measures, how inconsistent they are in certain areas . Imperial weight you have 16 ounces to a pound , 14 pounds in a stone, a hundredweight is 8 stone (112 pounds) , then a ton is twenty hundredweight.

For vinyl playing speeds we have 16 (usually for spoken word), 33⅓ for long playing albums , 45 rpm for singles and 78 rpm for singles prior to the seven inch and made out of shellac rather than the more durable vinyl.

I know it's #33 but I am choosing "33⅓" by Jesus and Mary Chain because every time I get the chance to include one of my favourite bands I will take the opportunity, and it gives you more decent music to listen to.

Saturday 22 October 2016

Thirty Two By The Back Door - #ALifeInNumbers #32

Colin Hodgkinson has always been one of my favourite bass players, and I first heard his cover of Robert Johnson's "32-20 Blues" when I discovered Back Door in the seventies . They didn't have a guitarist but Hodgkinson's bass playing mad up for that. This is a live performance and he still has it, probably the first time I have seen a solo blues piece played on the bass. Most of  Back Door's music was saxophone led underpinned by Hodgkinson's bass and are well worth checking out , they even covered "Dashing White Sergeant".

Anyway the weather outside looks grey and I have groceries to buy and friends to meet, so enjoy the rest of your Saturday my friends.

Copping Out With Lee Perry - #ALifeInNumbers #31

This is the first real cop out and there will be a few more before the end. It's 2 am and I have woken up with a horrible raspy dry cough, so what do I do? I make some milky hot chocolate and write a blog post. I normally post on a Friday but yesterday I was tired in the morning after going to see GOAT and Josefin Öhrn the night before which I will write up on Spoongig here and that should appear over the weekend.

Anyway the copy out is that I can't find a "31" song so the best I can do is "3 In 1" by Lee Perry and The Upsetters (or The Heptones according to the Amazon listing) and Dave Wright may point it out that this is a total cop out , but it's my blog, my sequence and my rules and I need to get back to bed. It's also an excuse to get Lee Perry in here so that's fine by me,  I'm just glad I'm not reduced to  X-Factor trash , although they tend to exclusively cover other people's stuff anyway so I would always have the original to fall back on.

Anyway enjoy this and by the time you read this I will probably be tucked up in bed. Have a great Saturday my wonderful friends.

Thursday 20 October 2016

Tom Waits at the Halfway Point - #ALifeInNumbers #30

Well this is just past the halfway point of #ALifeinNumbers and this is on of the prebooked slots with one of my favourite artists Tom Waits with "Sixteen Shells from a Thirty-Ought-Six" or "16 Shells from a 30.6" from the wonderfully named "SwordfishTrombones". If ever you think that the USA is down the drain Tom Waits is one of those people who restore your faith in the artistic brilliance that has come out of the States.

I found this great live take from The Tube in 1985 , absolute genius.

The first thing I heard by him was "In The Neighborhood" , still one of my favourite songs, his songs have been covered by lot's of popular artists such as The Eagles ("Ol' 55" which is penned in for number 55) and Rod Stewart ("Downtown Train" and "Tom Traubert's Blues [Waltzing Matilda]") and no doubt lots of other more mainstream artists.

Today is my friend Helen Morgan's birthday. Tomorrow is my friend Helen Morgan's birthday. I have two friends called Helen Morgan , one lives in Africa or New Zealand or somewhere, and one lives in Newcastle, their birthday's are one day apart.

Anyway I'll leave this as a short post, although Preston North End hammered Huddersfield last night so that's two of the top 4 dealt with , only Newcastle United (twice) and Norwich to deal with now and on paper we should be steamrollered. Dwight Gayle cost more than the whole Preston squad but we will see what the situation is in a fortnight.

Have a wonderful Thursday my friends, I am going to see GOAT tonight so going to have my mind blown. See you tomorrow.

Wednesday 19 October 2016

Palms Awakening and Two World Class Goals From Preston North End - #ALifeInNumbers #29

What do you do when it's 3:19 am and you feel wide awake. I've had five hours sleep so I am not exactly sleep deprived, but really it's two hours before I need to get up and three and a half hours before I can get into work. Yesterday I was working on a problem and kept running into brick walls but by the time I shot everything down I had the answer and had discovered something I could do with our data warehouse system (actually more like a data garden shed system but that's another story) which isn't documented and  may prove to be useless, but may also prove to be very useful.

It's great when you have days like that where you were looking for an answer and when you get it, you have several other pieces of beneficial information. That's what happens when you work in a supportive environment with great people, and most of my working life I've been able to do that. So I suppose one of the things keeping me awake is the fact that I can present these answers and move on to the next goal.

Anyway it's now 3:29 so it took me ten minutes to write those two paragraphs. I certainly didn't know what I was going to be writing about apart from the fact that it would be part of the #ALifeInNumbers sequence.

 Last night Newcastle United went top fo the Championship, tonight Preston North End play Huddersfield who were top on Saturday morning , on Saturday we play Norwisch, followed by Newcastle in the EFL Cup, followed by Newcastle in the League so starting last Saturday (when we drew 2-2 with Brighton although Sky are insistent Brighton threw away a commanding 2-1 lead, conveniently forgetting Preston scored the first goal and were in the lead in the match for longer than Brighton were). I won't be surprised if we lose our next four matches, but I won't be surprised if we win them either. I'm not a pessimist and I do expect the unexpected from Preston, under Simon Grayson we have been promoted via the play offs for the first time ever, seen our first Wembley victory since 1938, won a playoff final by the highest margin ever, and in two playoff semi finals at Deepdale seen two of the greatest goals you will ever see period. And thanks to Youtube  I can include them below.

It's now 3:41 am, so here's number 29 and what else but the wonderful "29 Palms" by Robert Plant. I've always loved this song and love Percy's solo work, and was amazed when a couple of years back he managed a double CD retrospective called "Sixty Six to Timbuktu"  and that came out thirteen years ago in 2003 so he has not been idle since Led Zeppelin released their last album.

So it's now 3:52 so I'm going to go back to bed and get a few more hours sleep. Hopefully you will be reading this after a good nights sleep.

Joe Garner's Goal:

Jermaine Beckford's Goal:

Tuesday 18 October 2016

Greeks and Pizza - #ALifeInNumbers #28

I must be feeling a bit better. I've updated Song of The Salesman and though about buying a VR headset which you can pick up for a few pounds these days , but I resisted for the time being.I also checked out Al Buco  in Old Eldon Square for lunch and had a pizza and drink for a fiver, great atmosphere and great value.

Anyway for number 28 we go to Vangelis and "28th Parallel" from "1492 Conquest of Paradise" , like most of his stuff you will be sure you have heard it even if you haven't . He's already appeared in this sequence as a member of Aphrodite's Child at Number Four.

Well it's time for tea so enjoy your Tuesday night my friends.

Another Bottling With "27" - #ALifeInNumbers #27

Yesterday Chris Hawkins mentioned this sequence on 6Music saying that they had already done it from 1 to 100 and back, but "27" like "26" was chosen due to lack of other options. Most of these songs are from my own collection, and I have to say I am not averse to a bit of Biffy Clyro and "27" is rather good so that's why it gets it's place.

The only 6Music top 100 I can find is here their 100 Greatest hits worryingly topped by Coldplay's "Clocks" which I do admit is one of their finer moments but gets topped by their collaboration with the Buena Vista Social Club on "Rhythms Del Mundo".

The problem with any listing like this is that the further you get from the origin, the more sparse the pickings become. There are still a lot of great songs to come, some which you will be able to predict, some where you will accuse me of bending the rules (my rules incidentally) too far, but I have not and will not put up any song I wouldn't happily listen to.

Anyway have a brilliant Tuesday my friends.

Monday 17 October 2016

Bottled It With "26" and Son Palace Discovered - #ALifeInNumbers #26

Today has been a weird day. I am absolutely shattered. I'm still hit with this lurgi but went into work, then came home mowed the lawn and covered the garden furniture. As well as working I got tickets for Goat at the Riverside on Thursday from RPM and was asked to review and push a new CD by Son Palace called Accumulations , so I have been busy and am ready for tea and TV.

As I write this I'm listening to the first track on the Son Palace album , "Joey and Mo", it shounds familiar making me thing thing of Neil Young and The Velvet Underground. The album is short, clocking at 28 minutes , but then so did the first Ramones album. It sounds like "Joe and Mo" is an instrumental and I like it a lot, I need to see if we have a youtube video.

The second track "Page To Pillow" has a pastoral feel, again a guitar based instrumental and the first two songs on this album warrant further investigation and listening.

Anyway the song for #ALifeInNumbers is "26" by Catfish and The Bottlemen who have produced a couple of excellent albums , but this only got in because it was called "26" but it is excellent. It's rock and it's good.

Up to track 3 of the Son Palace album "Feathers Like A Wild Beast", and now I am thinking Nick Drake and Pentangle, but loving the distant dustbin drum sound on "Experimental Move". Anyway if you want a copy get yourself along to RPM in Newcastle, it always amazes me that peopel come up with new music. Now listening to "Accumulation" , all tracks have been instrumental and this just has an eerie edge to it, but could be an out take from "Tubular Bells".

An album I would buy if I didn't already have it, it is beautiful. I can't find them on the net so get yourself down to RPM and get this beauty. I know this has been hijacked , but this album is beautiful

Sunday 16 October 2016

Chicago Bound - #ALifeInNumbers #25

In Transit
When I first started this my mate Andy suggested I could kill three birds with one stone by using Chicago's "25 or 6 to 4" , well I always loved the song and though it could do for number 25 in the sequence. Before they became wimp rockers Chicago (originally Chicago Transit Authority) were purveyors of muscular jazz rock slabs and this was an absolutely prime example, heavy on the brass and sharing a descending riff ans heard in Led Zeppelin's "Heartbreaker". I don't know who ripped off who but we all know that Led Zeppelin were not averse to uncredited borrowing of other people's material.

I remember Chicago's albums were just numbered although they brought out a four disc live at Carnegie Hall album which will cost you £100 on CD or a tenner as a download here, when a double album as considered stretching it a bit. Also I believe guitarist Terry Kath lost his life playing Russian Roulette.

I was never a big fan of the band apart from this single and when they hit their wimp rock phase they were way past their sell by date for me.

I suggest you research what I've told because it has all just come from my head so maybe needs taking with a pinch of salt, but enjoy this and if you want to really check out Chicago check out their early stuff and expect some serious brass. I found an excellent live take from 1970, and yes I would have gone and seen they , plus you get a brilliant guitar solo from Terry Kath.

Enjoy your Sunday night my friends.

How Many Numbers - #ALifeInNumbers #24

There are a hell of a lot of songs that feature the number "24" but there was only ever one contender for this. I often wonder about our temporal and up to 1970 monetary number collections.

Before we went decimal it was 2 farthings to a halfpenny , two halfpennies to a penny , then you had a threepenny coin and a sixpence and twelve pennies made up a shilling, known as a bob.  Then you had a florin (two shillings) a half crown (two shillings and sixpence), a crown (five shillings) before hitting the ten shilling note (today's fifty pence piece)  going up to the pond (twenty shillings) and the guinea (21 shillings, work that one out). I've probably missed out lots of other coins and number collections.

Then we come into time. Sixty seconds in a minute, then sixty minutes in an hour , that's all good and consistent. Then we have 24 hours in a day, seven days in a week , 28 to 31 days a month, 12 calendar or 13 lunar months in a years or 52 weeks or 365.25 days in a year, that seems a little inconsistent. I seldom speak of my employers, but when I was at Littlewoods time was tracked in deci-days, that is  one tenth of the seven hours and 24 minutes that made up the actual working day which works out at 44 minutes and 24 seconds per unit. It's one of those things where someone tries to merge two systems that are at odds with each other. Malcolm McLaren's "House Of Blue Danube" is an impressive musical example merging 4/4 rock / dance time with 3/4 waltz time featuring Bootsy Collins, Jeff Beck and the music of Strauss.

Half Man
Anyway back to my 24 choice . It's "24 Hour Garage People" by Half Man Half Biscuit from the album "Trouble Over Bridgewater" and while you can get the original version by clicking on the title , the definitive version was broadcast on Andy Kershaw's Radio 3 program in 2002  live from the Brampton festival and is available for download free here along with lots of other sessions and broadcasts.

This song about the drudgeries of a twenty four garage , and the fun you can have with people behind the perspex screen when they decide to be miserable narks , although working in a garage would send me into dark places I think especially if you got annoying customers, but really everybody has to play ball and work together to get the best of things out of situations.

Anyway enjoy "24 Hour Garage People" and if that's not enough check out "House of Blue Danube" before enjoying the rest of your Sunday.

Saturday 15 October 2016

Getting Biblical With Pink Floyd - #ALifeInNumbers #23

This morning it's grey and cold and it's like there's almost a sea fret over Fenham (which I believe is the highest point in Newcastle so we're unlikely  to be troubled by floods.

As a teenager I got of of a bootleg cassette record of a Pink Floyd tour , one of the songs "You Gotta Be Crazy" finished up as "Dogs" on the vastly underrated "Animals" album , the second song was monstrous, even on a second or third generation cassette bootleg, and that was called "Raving and Drooling" (see below for a very early airing) and that became "Sheep" which is the song featured for number twenty three in the sequence. Those two songs are available on the Experience edition of "Wish You Were Here"

Sheep? 23?  What the hell is going on here.

You know I like to go off on tangents and 23 was a problem number like 31, but while reading my Bible (you know that's a joke unless you equate The Bible with Google or whatever book I'm reading) I remembered that "Sheep" contains a take on "Psalm 23".. as you can see Roger Waters amended it slightly, but it would fit in with the other mindless violence in the Bible:

"The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want 
He makes me down to lie 
Through pastures green He leadeth me the silent waters by. 
With bright knives He releaseth my soul. 
He maketh me to hang on hooks in high places. 
He converteth me to lamb cutlets, 
For lo, He hath great power, and great hunger.
 When cometh the day we lowly ones, 
Through quiet reflection, and great dedication
 Master the art of karate, 
Lo, we shall rise up, 
And then we'll make the bugger's eyes water."

So this was an excuse to include another of my favourite Pink Floyd songs and provide you with ten minutes of brilliant music accompanied by images from the excellent black comedy "Black Sheep".

Enjoy your Saturday even more my friends.

A Slapp Happy and Henry Cow Challenge - #ALifeInNumbers #21

Love The Cover
There were a few options for number 22 notably "22" by Taylor Swift and "22" by the brilliant Lily Allen as well as 22 Dreams by Paul Weller , but I have stuck with "22 Proverbs" by John Greaves and Peter Blegvad , members of Slapp Happy and Henry Cow respectively , who produced so excellent challenging music in the seventies. I remember laughing at the cover of "Legend" and buying "Concerts" for the amazing line drawn cover.

I had read that Henry Cow had produced some of the most complex music committed to record but it certainly wasn't what I was expecting, although they were on Virgin Records this was not Mike Oldfield territory, you can see Henry Cow's influence in the music of The Fall. Slapp Happy were more influenced by 30's Berlin and the two bands collaborated on "Desperate Straights" and "In Praise of Learning". It was not a surprise that Greaves and Blegvad collaborated on "Kew Rhone" and drafted in Dagmar Krause on vocals for "22 Proverbs" and we have a live rendition here.

I don't think you will be up dancing for this and it may be a way of getting rid of unwanted guests, but I love this sort of stuff. It demands your attention, and let's face it, anyone who thinks music comes from iTunes or Spotify will last about five seconds.

Have a great Saturday my friends.

Friday 14 October 2016

Going Schizoid - #ALifeInNumbers #21

One of the problems with the early numbers in this sequence is realizing the good stuff I've missed. For 20 I could have had "20th Century Boy" by T. Rex, but "20 Flight Rock" by Eddie Cochran is still a great so that's fine. I have the songs mapped out to 41 at the moment with a few scattered between there and 59, and the original premise for 21 was "21" by The Eagles from the album "Desperado".

Coming home however the perfect, for me, 21 song came to mind, six and a half minutes of monstrous jazz rock that the Rolling Stones had to follow in Hyde Park in 1969, not other than "21st Century Schizoid Man" by King Crimson featuring the psychotic and psychedelic lyrics of Pete Sinfield, Greg Lake on vocals and Bob Fripp on guitar. This is still an incredible piece and it always amazes me. I bought the album "Court Of The Crimson King" on DVD to listen in full surround sound , and though it's close on fifty years old it sounds stunning. I managed to find the Hyde Park broadcast but the album should be in your collection.

Time for bed now, though this is not music to fall asleep to.

Thursday 13 October 2016

Life At The Top (of a building) - #ALifeInNumbers #20

This record was released in year I was born from the classic film "The Girl Can't Help It", I think this excerpt actually cuts something out of the middle as this clocks in at 1' 26"  and the recording I have are 1' 45" . "Twenty Flight Rock" is an Eddie Cochran classic with a comedic element based on a broken lift. Incidentally the first song in my sequence last year (Odyssey58) was the title track from the film by Little Richard which you can see here.

I remember working for Yorkshire Water Board in the 1980's and in one of my times there I was on the eleventh floor, only one lift worked and the clocking machine was on the top floor. I still waited for the lift, though one day there was a fire alarm and we had to walk back up, I had to take a rest around the seventh floor. The thing is they called out the fire brigade but due to the location of the building the fire engines could get near but couldn't actually deploy their ladders!.

Another thing was that if you looked at other buildings when the weather was windy you could see the building moving , a very weird feeling.

Another event was that the building was next to a big car park which was the ruined site of some demolished buildings, this was around 1985 and this has all been redeveloped, Every fortnight after signing on there were a couple who shall we say engaged in congress in a secluded corner of the car park , overlooked by Yorkshire Water Board's twelve story building. The thing is a lot of people on my floor rushed over to the window every time until a manager must have complained. On the last time I was called over to watch five pairs of police men and women converging on the unsuspecting couple. This was a police force who "didn't have the manpower" to investigate my car being broken into. That was the end of their liaisons.

Anyway back to the music, I am sure there are lots of "20" songs , but I can only choose one. When I hit "25" there are two that I want to use, but I can only have one, c'est la vie.

Anyway I think I am in a fit state to resume work, so will be going in tomorrow and the recuperating further over the weekend. Have a wonderful evening my friends.

Not Too Rolling Stoned - #ALifeInNumbers #19

Between now an 30 I have all my posts sorted. Number 31 is looking awkward as yet I can't find a song with the number 31 on the title or song but I will do , I have eleven posts to do this.

One of the things with these posts is that I want them to be songs worth listening to, and up to now I have a achieved that, but am aware I may get situations like with 31 where the only song is by Joe Dolce or Black Lace , in that case what would I do , but I will try and ensure that doesn't happen. I'm was thinking about putting this into an ebook but then again the blog is a sort of ebook anyway, and i am wondering how I would incorporate video into an ebook, I'm sure it must be possible.

Anyway we hit Number 19 , and for this I'm going for The Rolling Stones "19th Nervous Breakdown", a classic single that again should be in everyone's collection. It's archetypal Stones , instantly recognisable and while it's close on 50 years old it has more than stood the test of time and still sound contemporary and current.

My own situation is that I think I am improving, but last night I felt much better, but then went back,  but I am hoping to return to work tomorrow.

Wednesday 12 October 2016

Alice Cooper To The Rescue - #ALifeInNumbers #18

Today I took my first sick day in my present job. The lurgi I'm fighting hit me with a vengeance last night with coughing , headaches, runny nose , aching bones although I have been worse. I slept for 8 or 9 hours then I had a bath, took some lemsip,  ate , felt as though I was improving, now I am running a temperature and going through lots of tissues. While I do know I will feel better soon, I don't feel good now, so to business then bed.

Number 18 has to be Alice Cooper's "I'm Eighteen" possibly their most important song, the USA equivalent of The Who's "My Generation". When I say it's their most important that doesn't mean their best, but this song has amazing power, and addresses the transition from youth to so called majority. All of a sudden the rebellious youth has become what they are rebelling against. You should have all the early Alice Cooper albums in your collection anyway (here is a good way of doing that).

There may have been other "18" songs such as Pete Wingfields excellent "Eighteen With A Bullet"  but Alice Cooper is so far ahead of the pack for this one it was no contest.

Anyway I am hot headachey and I am going to try and get better.

Sleep well my friends.

Tuesday 11 October 2016

Stand Up There Are No Seed Drills Here - #ALifeInNumbers #17

My Stand Up Vinyl Courtesy Log Play Cafe

I didn't want to use Janis Ian's "At 17" , it's a fine song bit thought I would peruse my collection and
discovered an old Jethro Tull "B" Side "17" now available on the"Stand Up" CD and it is a very fine song. I just love it. This is one of the things about having a large records collection (it doesn't matter what media they are on, they are records).

I have a vinyl copy of "Stand Up" and that doesn't have it on, so you need to get it digitally or need to get a 7" copy of "Sweet Dream"

Anyway the 'flu' is being kept at bay by either my smoothies, paracetamol or both , but they (Boots)  won't let me have a 'flu' jab till I'm over it. Well they recommended I didn't have a 'flu' jab as is could make me much worse , so hopefully I will get sorted later in the week.

Right, time for work , have a brilliant Tuesday everybody.

Monday 10 October 2016

Sixteen Saltines - #ALifeInNumbers #16

Although I'm not feeling anywhere near 100% (they wouldn't give me a 'flu' jab) before bed I am gonna hit you with Number Sixteen. There are a hell of a lot of "Sixteen" songs from "!6 Candles" by The Crests and "16 Tons" by Tennessee Ernie Ford, (who I have featured before) to Sam Cooke, Ringo Starr and The Buzzcocks as well as Tom Waits (who is penciled in for number 30. There's also Chuck Berry and Iggy Pop and Michael Moorcock's Deep Fix.

So what do I go for , well what about "Sixteen Saltines" by Jack White. I know it's a bit off the wall but what the hell, it's a great song and worthy of a place in my 59.

Anyway , I am not feeling brilliant but I hope you enjoy this as much as I do.

Goodnight my lovely friends.

Getting Better (I Think) - Levelling The Land - #ALifeInNumbers #15

This morning I was expecting to feel not very good, but if I went to bed at 40% Feelgood Factor, this morning it's 70-80% . Although I am generally positive I wasn't expecting to feel that great. There's two things that I did yesterday, in the evening I had chocolate and paracetamol , but earlier for the first time in a few weeks I made my self a bespoke smoothie. Both of these may have actually helped make me feel better although I can't say for definite it was one or the other or both  or something completely different. I still have a bit of a runny nose but I do feel much better than I did yesterday, and ready for my 'flu' jab later on.

Anyway song number 15 is "Fifteen Years" by The Levellers which means I'm a quarter through #ALifeInNumbers . I love the Levellers though apparently my spell checker tells me it should be Levelers (One "L" not two "L"s in the middle). 15 Years is a great song and again there were other options  such as Eater's "Fifteen" or Snow Patrol's "Fifteen Minutes Old" , but really it's no contest.

Also there are another 44 slots to go although I am not sure I am committed to including Snow Patrol or Eater, but I am glad that the first part has been relatively easy.

Anyway I've made and drunk a smoothie this morning (orange, apple, pineapple, ginger, banana, blueberry and carrot)  will keep on with the drugs at work today and let you know how it's gone tonight.

Have a brilliant Monday everybody.

Sunday 9 October 2016

A Not Positive Post

I normally like to be positive and say good things, but at the moment I am suffering from 'flu' like symptoms, dripping nose , headache, sore throat , and tomorrow I go for my 'flu' jab. My only worry is that this might kick off ITP which has not hit me since the millennium. I'm also running a temperature. I feel like I have been kicked all over my body and all I have done today (apart from a lot of blog posts) is walk to Aldi and back (about 3 miles round trip) to get fruit and porridge for work.

So I am taking paracetamol and chocolate and I will beat this. Tomorrow is a 6 am start and I will be in work. I don't let these things beat me. Admittedly last time I had 'flu' I lost some weight and managed to work from home. The fact is barring time off for hospital operations I've forgotten how to call in sick, that's real, I don't think I have had a sick day since I left SSS in 2002 and then it was 'flu' followed by ITP followed by full blown diabetes which wasn't diagnosed for about a year resulting in me having a lot of time off.

Anyway it's reasonably under control now and I suppose I just don't like feeling physically run down. I am sure I will be fine in a few days

So what song should we have, at first I was going to choose something appropriate but I've decided to go with John Cale's "Bamboo Floor" which I love it and it makes me feel good. And when you don't feel good you need to do something to make you feel good and I am going to listen to that and then go to bed.

Sleep well my lovely friends, see you tomorrow.

Counting Down With Polly Jean #ALifeInNumbers #14

14 is the first time I couldn't off hand think of a song so checked out my collection and there aren't all that many songs hiding in there. I decided to go with "Sixteen,Fifteen,Fourteen" by PJ Harvey and John Parrish from the album "A Woman A Man Walked By" which incidentally I was playing earlier today.

There were a few others , "The 14th of February" by Billy Bragg, "14 Black Paintings" by Peter Gabriel and 14 Days by Nick Lowe as well as various numbered Classical pieces, but the PJ Harvey one was the standout for me.

Polly Jean Harvey is one of my all time favourite artists and she was a great friend of Captain Beefheart who she would speak to about her albums and projects to get his opinions and advice.

My cold is still annoying me but hopefully it will improve in time for work tomorrow. I have had chocolate and that has soothed my throat no end.

Anyway that is my fourth post today, I don't know if that's a record for me, but this will be my last today.

Enjoy your Sunday evening and I hope you have a great start to a wonderful week.

A Brush With Eastenders #ALifeInNumbers #13

I know I'm rattling of a few of these at the moment, 13 had a few more possibilities than 12 including "13" by Big Star and Johnny Cash , "Broken Heart (Thirteen Valleys)" by Big Country but I have gone for "V13" by Big Audio Dynamite (Mick Jones' post Clash combo) from the album "10 Upping Street" (not the greatest title Mick), but an album full of great songs including the excellent "V13". I love the use of soundbites in the Big Audio Dynamite songs, some of my other favourites being "Medicine Show" and "Bottom Line" from the first album, "This Is", and "Dial A Hitman" from "10 Upping Street" which is very funny but I don't know if they took that from a film or just recorded it themselves. It also contains the great couplet:

"We're The Band That Couldn't Shoot Straight
But We Aim To Please"

The other thing about "V13" is that wen it hits the coda it let's in the "Eastenders" Theme which is a fun touch.

I'm currently going down with a cold, nose dripping and throat feels like I've swallowed a pack of rusty razor blades making it difficult to talk or swallow, so Doctor Mikey's treatment id chocolate, ice cream and paracetamol, and we shall see how that goes.

I hope your Sunday is going wonderfully.

Bo Diddley's A Violin Player Now #ALifeInNumbers #12

For this one I was thinking of a cut from Spirit's classic "The Twelve Dreams Of Dr Sardonicus" , the title always intrigued me but but Spirit were never an "in" band in my teens for some reason. Eventually when I realised that I could listen to whatever I wanted I bought it and realised that I had been missing some amazing stuff , and in fact my all time favourite album "Future Games" is by them.

But I recalled a Bo Diddley instrumental called "Clock Strikes Twelve"  for it's great reverb drum sound , "I'm A Man" riff vibe and distinctly original guitar sound. Well no wonder that guitar sound is original because that guitar is, in fact, a violin. Did you know Bo Diddley played violin? Until reading up on the song I didn't , hardly an instrument you associate with blues or rock except as part of an orchestral backing.

I've always loved Bo Diddley's songs and playing and was amazed to find a band who you an see playing small venues , the wonderful Lord Rochester who play a lot of Bo Diddley songs , effect the rectangular guitar and are one of the best live bands you will see. They describe themselves as Scotland’s Top Rock n’ Roll combo? I wouldn't disagree. I've included a video I took of them at The Schooner a couple of years back playing "Layla".

I am enjoying writing this series because it does enable me to talk about my favourite music, although I know the coming weeks will be a lot harder, I do have a few mapped out ready to slot it , often classic by major artists, although I didn't think I could fit Thousand Yard Stare in then I saw the number 45 in one of their song titles so they will be on the list though that's 33 songs and posts away.

Anyway enjoy the rest of this summery sunny Sunday my friends, and enjoy "Clock Strikes 12", it's another song I love.

Eleven Moustachioed Daughters? #ALifeInNumbers #11

There was only ever going to be one Number Eleven and that is Eleven Moustachioed Daughters by The Bonzo Dog Band , a song I'm sure that everyone knows, or everyone that reads this will now know. I've chosen this excellent live rendition by Viv Stanshall's post Bonzo's band BiG Grunt (that's not a typo although it may have been originally.

 The Bonzo's started out as a bit trad jazz ut all the members had ideas about the direction they wanted to go, very involved in the TV Comedy "Do Not Adjust Your Set" with many of  the pre Python Monty Python team,

While I had heard them on "Do Not Adjust Your Set" and they had a hit single with "Urban Spaceman" I was amazed by the breadth and depth of their music when I put on "The Doughnut In Granny's Greenhouse" and the first track "We Are Normal" blew me away , normal this band definitely was not.

By the time you hit the last track on side two "11 Moustachioed Daughters" you realise that you havecovered a hell of a lot of ground with these guys, after the rock, pop , jazz, comedy and everything else the hit you with this rhythmic pagan chant which is both frightening and funny and you do want to hear it again and again.

I once heard that The Bonzo's were the UK's Mothers of Invention (originally Zappa wanted them to be called The Mothers but the record company forced the to add "Of Invention" for decency, don't you love marketing sensibilities) , and Frank Zappa and Captain Beefheart were hug fans of The Bonzos.

Anyway enjoy this, and your record collection should really contain a copy of "The Doughnut In Granny's Greenhouse".

Right it's six am on Sunday morning, it's dark. and I am going back to bed.

Have a brilliant Sundaty everybody.

Saturday 8 October 2016

Ten Tonnes Raining Down In The Autumn Quiet - #ALifeInNumbers #10

Today has seemed incredibly quiet, like the sound of traffic and everyday life has been muffled. And no I am not going deaf, it's just the heavy grey skies and falling leaves are the definite harbingers of autumn, and precursors to winter.

Anyway there were again a few contenders for Number Ten , such as Bruce Springsteen's "Tenth Avenue Freeze Out" and Kingmaker's "Ten Years Asleep" , and I got to thinking about songs I had missed that have now gone past such as Tom Robinson's "2-4-6-8 Motorway" and Van Der Graaf Generator. Mentioning Springsteen reminded me he's a shoe in for number 57 and I would like to include some Thousand Yard Stare if I can, but can only think of "0-0 AET" as one of their number songs.

Anyway I have chosen the awesome Royal Blood's "Ten Tonne Skeleton", one of those amazing series of two piece bands along with Black Keys, White Stripes and Gallery Circus, and I am sure there are many more, but not in my head at the moment.

Anyway it's time for bed unless you are staying up to watch the Grand Prix or you are in another part of the world, but I will say my goodnight my wonderful friends.

Friday 7 October 2016

What If Six Was Nine? #ALifeInNumbers #9

Again there were a lot of possibilities for this one, but before I go on about the music , I noticed that the nights and mornings are getting rather dark rather quickly, leaves are falling and it's getting colder. I went out for fish and chips tonight and had to wear a warm jacket, either I'm getting old or the weather is getting cold, or both. On the bright side it's Friday night and it's the weekend so plenty of opportunity for rest and relaxation but this is really about another form of R&R as you well know.

Anyway, as I was saying, there were a lot of thoughts going through my head for this one, for instance anything by Nine Black Alps or Nine Inch Nails, then there is Riot In Cell Block #9 by The Coasters or Dr Feelgood , Nine Feet Underground by Caravan as well as quite a few other songs. But when you have the chance to include The Jimi Hendrix Experience you have to take the plunge don't you especially with a song like "If 6 was 9" from Axis:Bold As Love as featured in the film "Easy Rider" starring Peter Fonda, Jack Nicholson and Dennis Hopper , with a cracking soundtrack which oddly replaced The Band's version of The Weight with a cover version by Smith.

Anyway enjoy this wonderful song and see if you can guess my choice for number ten. Sleep well my wonderful friends.

Thursday 6 October 2016

From Genesis To Eight #ALifeInNumbers #8

I always liked Genesis by Grimes, which led me to the song "Eight" which is perfect for this part of the sequence. An obvious one would have been The Beatles "Eight Days A Week" or David Bowie's "Eight Line Poem" (though Bowie has already appeared at number five) but I fancied the Baghdaddies "6/8 Song" but couldn't find a Youtube video of it, although it is somewhere in this concert here.

The Baghdaddies can often be seen busking or playing major festivals, I really haven't seen a band like them, sort of Klezmer but infectiously excellent.

Anyway "Eight" is a wispy ethereality  set on to of a threatening mechanical backing, the original is quite short but I fount this extended version that lasts all of three minutes. Grimes are definitely worth investigating and I'm glad to bring them into this.

Anyway this is a short post as I am quite tired after an intense day at work, then coming home and watching the finale of Wolf Creek and the "V For Vendetta" , that government is virtually here and I am finding it very worrying just dividing up the country between their corporate cronies.

Anyway less of that and more positivity, I love my friends and am looking forward to a relaxing weekend, and hope you are two. Sleep well my wonderful friends.

Wednesday 5 October 2016

Seven Times Seven - #ALifeInNumbers #7

There were quite a few possibilities for number seven, such as Neneh Cherry and Youssou N'Dour's Seven Seconds and Gary US Bonds' Seven Day Weekend but I decided to go back to my teenage years and revisit the "B" Side of Hawkwind's "Silver Machine" , "Seven By Seven", certainly not as commercial the "A" side but dreamily psychedelic awash with bubbling electronics and definietly very cool.

I am now getting away for the source so to speak and like every journey, each new step presents new challenges, also in this case at some point the next step may actually be impossible. I suppose in that case I could write something , or plunder Mozart who wrote at least 40 symphonies (we started with a classical piece).

Also thanks to my friends for suggestions although Manfred Mann's 5-4-3-2-1 is not going to happen unless I use it for 54 or 43. The song I thought I was going to use for 54 will actually be used for 41 , I wonder if anyone will work that one out. I am listening to that song now.

Anyway it;s time for bed now, enjoy yourselves my brilliant friends.