Wednesday 30 May 2018

The Nightmare of Existence

I switched on the radio (6Music obviously) and John Hilcock was  "Frontier Man" by Gruff Rhys and the first line I heard I took as the title of this post.

Yesterday evening was spent in A&E at the RVI being seen by an excellent doctor who reassured me that I was suffer4ing from a major muscle pull in my left upper arm. It does feel like my who shoulder joint has been massively bruised, it's fine at rest but hurts when I try to raise my arm. So it's a case of painkillers and hoping it does get better. I always believe if there is pain it's a sign that something is amiss and needs to be dealt with, which is why I went to A&E last night after work as it had been getting worse over the weekend.

I'm sorry this is a boring post as I have nothing newsworthy to say, although this week I have two upcoming gigs Bad Pollyanna on Friday and "Always A Star, Never A Shadow" on Saturday so lots to look forward to.

Anyway this week on the walks I have been listening to Pink Floyd's "Division Bell" and I've also watched the film "Hawking" so naturally it's got to be be"Keep Talking" from that album. To often we find it easier to not talk that to make the effort and meet people and talk. At the very least you can pick up the phone and talk to someone.

So that's the thought or thing to do today:


Monday 28 May 2018

The Numbers Universe

I'm currently reading Simon Singh's "Fermat's Last Theorem" which I picked up after reading "The Mathematical Secrets of The Simpsons" and it's probably the first book that I've read where I immediately reference the footnotes and appendices as soon as they are referenced in the book. I'm not sure what my fascination with numbers is but I do enjoy exploring the concepts to some of the ideas may cause people to say so  "So What?".

The value of Π (Pi) for instance is essential to be right for all sorts of calculations and engineering constructs. The mechanical clock would not work if Π were not adhered to and more importantly neither would the wheel.

Fermat's Last Theorem is basically:

In number theory, Fermat's Last Theorem (sometimes called Fermat's conjecture, especially in older texts) states that no three positive integers a, b, and c satisfy the equation an + bn = cn for any integer value of n greater than 2.

And a lot of people will say "So What?" to that but it is an intriguing puzzle that certainly fires my imagination and Simon Singh's presentation of the story certainly keeps my interest up at 100% as it's mixed in with a whole slew or other theories and conjectures taking in Pythagoras, Euclid and of course Andrew Wiles who finally proved the Theorem.

I've also installed Grammarly to see if it can improve my blog writing. It has spooted the odd mistake but also has flagged the theorem an + bn = cas an error so I will see how this progresses. Though this post seems relatively free of howlers.

One of my favourite TED talks ever is a twenty minute talk on prime numbers by an Australian DJ, Adam Spencer. And Grammarly just flagged up an error then so it's just proved it's worth.

Cat Stevens (Yusuf Islam as he is now) released an album in 1975 called numbers which was in a nice package which is not available digitally but I will close this post with "Banapple Gas" from the album.

Sunday 27 May 2018

Can We Fix It? - YES WE CAN!

Today I visited the new Star and Shadow Cinema for the first time, which has moved to a more open location that it's previous home behind The Tanners' pub, and is just as easy to get to as well as being directly on the 1 and 32 bus routes. Although I walked up from The Tanners it is only five minutes from the road that runs onto Byker Bridge so is very accessible.

It's also home to the Fix It Cafe  which I visited today and chatted with people both fixing keyboards, computers, clocks and things that I didn't recognise. My friends Hedly Sugar Wells and Jonathan Wells Lee were both there fixing things and helping with the cafe and socialising and making people welcome.

It is a great space but obviously needs people in there to help and keep it going but it really does bring people together with a great sense of community. This is the very beginnings of what will be an absolutely wonderful experience.

There will be films , music , socialising , food , cake , drinks , and a coming together of like minded spirits.

One of the prime movers in the crowd funding of this project was my great friend Craig Puranen Wilson who we lost recently, and next week it is home to a celebration of his inspirational life "Always a Star, Never A Shadow"  , one of the many future events inspired by his life and keeping the spirit inspiring us to do more. I've included an unusual video of Women in Revolt in civvies at The Soundroom in Gateshead.

Anyway it was a wonderful hour I spent there and suggest to get on down there when you can, and great place to  put a smile on your face for so many reasons.

Here's looking forward to next Saturday and many many more after that.

Saturday 26 May 2018

Here It Comes

It's 11:30 on Friday night before the Bank Holiday Weekend. Normally I'm in bed asleep but for some reason I am fairly awake. Again I wasn't going to write anything tonight but I then thought I'm still awake and writing this will take me into Saturday Morning.

I'm looking forward to the Liverpool vs Real Madrid Champions League Final as it might actually be worth watching. Betfair are offering 5/1 for Mo Salah and Christiano Ronaldo to score, and I think there is a pretty good chance of that happening, but Iwon't be putting the house on it.

The last couple of days I've listened to a couple of albums two or three times, the first was Genesis "Wind and Wuthering" which was the second album without Peter Gabriel but their final one with Steve Hackett and it was after this that they became very AOR/MOR and this, in my opinion, was their last consistently good album. They still could produce some killer songs, "Abacab", "Driving The Last Spike", "Mama" to name but a few but "Wind and Wuthering " consistently excellent and even on repeat you don't think of stopping iit or skipping songs, even "You're Own Special Way" is fine and "Afterglow" is a wonderful finale.

The other album is Blue Oyster Cult's "Spectres". While not totally consistent, this is maybe because of the absolute killer songs that pepper the album. The heavy metal lyrical perfection of the opener "Godzilla" is amazing and that is followed by their own "Born To Be Wild" anthem "The Golden Age Of Leather". Add to this "Fireworks", "RU Ready To Rock"  and "Nosferatu" and you know this is a class album that should be in your possession.

Thursday 24 May 2018

The Case of The Mutilated Chessboard

Still not thirty pages into Simon Singh's "Fermat's Last Theorem" and he throws in another conceptual gem of a problem apparently first propsed by a guy called Max Black in his book "Critical Thinking" in 1946. It sounds like the title of an Agatha Christie or Sir Arthur Conan Doyle novel (who incidentally met up in Sky Arts' "Urban Myths" series here). The Wikipedia entry for the Mutilated Chessboard problem is here but basically it's this

"Suppose a standard 8×8 chessboard has two diagonally opposite corners removed, leaving 62 squares. Is it possible to place 31 dominoes of size 2×1 so as to cover all of these squares?" 

Here's The Problem

... and basically it is actually impossible because each domino must cover a black and a white square and the board is left with thirty of one colour and and thirty two of the other. There are conceptual solutions but you cannot solve it in reality. Itn the book this was introduced when talking about the concept of mathematical theory against scientific theory. Science always has doubt because it is based on observation whereas mathematics demands absolute proof and until that happens it's always just a theory.

So suitable music for this, Elvis Costello's "Watching The Detectives" , something from "Chess" but I'm going for Jefferson Airplane's "White Rabbit" as it mentions a chessnoard and it is sucjh a perfect piece of music. Enjoy your Thursday everybody.

Wednesday 23 May 2018

Packing Plastic

This is the 1600th post on this blogm, thought I would just mention that.

Last Friday I decided to order a copy of "Under Dubwood" by The Dubwood Allstars. I can't remember where I heard this first, probably 6Music, but I had been listening to it on Soundcloud, but the song disappeared from there although the account is still there.

I followed the link to the website and ordered the single on vinyl, the third repress here on the Caught By The River site (it's not available on Amazon), I have recently really got into reggae and ska on vinyl through the home cinema sysem with subwoofer on reasonably loud.

"Under Dubwood" is a mix of Richard Burto reading the introduction to Dylan Thomas' "Under Milk Wood" backed by King Tubby and John Holt's "Ali Baba" as backing (see below and here). "Under Milk Woood" contans some amazingly eveocative phrases such as "Starless and Bible Back" (appropriated for thitle of a King Crimson album.

Anyway the point I was making is that the single was dispatched as well as an MP3 link, and on Saturday I went out , thinking that a seven inch single would fit through the letter box. On returning hope the was a  note from th epostman telling me that they couldn;t fit it through the letter box, so I had to go and collect it on Monday morning from the local depot. I then saw why it would fit through, a sturdy close on twelve inch package, so light I wasn't sure there was anything in it, so I opened it to make sure it was in there and it was. I told the lady in the Post Office about it and she wrote down the details to check on Youtube.

The thing is the service from Caught By The River was ultra excellent and efficient, but surely a little less packaging would be greener and more economical, but what the hell, I now have a wonderful piece of vinyl in my collection and here's the proof on Instagram.

Have a brilliant day everybody.

Tuesday 22 May 2018

Anvil Music

Twenty pages into to Simon Singh's "Fermat's Last Theorem" and I'm finding out how Pythagoras determined the principles of music based on mathematics with the helm of a couple of blacksmithsand the simple defintion of perfect numbers and the spin offs from that. This is twenty pages in. Three hundred pages to go. Will I finish it? You bet I will, I just finished Bob Dylan's "Tarantula" so any book directly after that will be a breeze.

I think everyone should take a stab at "Tarantula" and try to avoid throwing it through the window or lighting a fire with it. I enjoyed the dense but sparse volume.

Yesterday I was feeling extremely demotivated, not wanting to work, walk or do anything, feeling in a very black mood for some reason. Today I tasked byself with some hefty mathematical work and it ended up taking most of the day pushing my PC way over the edge of it's capabilities but eventually getting what I wanted in the end.

Then I felt like actually setting up some meetings o sort some improvements to working practices. The problem is that very often things are not a one off and have to be maintained, and most people are not really interested in aftercare.

Any way given all the talk of music and anvils we can only have Steve'n'Seagulls' cover of AC/DC's "Thunderstruck". Watch the video and you know why.

Good night and God Bless. 

Monday 21 May 2018

& the lumberjacks are coming

It's the final few words of Bob Dylan's "Tarantula" described as Bob Dylan's only fictional novel although if you think of fiction you tend to expect a coherent storyline, Reading "Tarantula" is like looking at a Picasso or Dali, I was thinking Pollock too but maybe that's too free form, maybe Stockhausen and Zappa too. "Tarantula" has recognisable sententences and even chapters with titles that make sence, but it's the dense mix of text interspersed with poetry forms , and those paintings are like that , you can see the forms even though they may be bent out of shape, cut up or re-assembled.

Most of Dylan's songs are far more coherent than "Tarantula" and some have reasonably straightforward narratives, if sometimes slightly surreal, some songs are lists, streams of consciousness a la Dylan Thomas, so a lot less challenging than "Tarantula"  although sometimes Dylan's voice does grate on people, so if you want an easier introduction to his songs check out The Byrds "Sing Dylan" compilation.

My next book is Simon Singh's "Fermat's Last Theorem" which I have mentioned before and is a heftier tome. You know this book is importent when you have read twenty pages and are on Page 3 (foreword and preface!!) and the calculations in the Apeendices will probably be essential to my appreciation and understanding of it. Simon Singh is also an excellent and accessible writer, you couldn't include "Tarantula" in the latter.

Another beautiful Monday morning so I will leave you with The Byrds covering Bob Dylan's "Chimes of Freedom"

Sunday 20 May 2018

Cynthia Size A

It's been a restful weekend although I copped out and didn't get to The Late Shows but did get a copy of The Concert For Bangla Desh put together by George Harrison on Vinyl from Vinyl Guru. Spent a bit of time walking would town getting some essentials and forgetting about others. Put a brit of grass seed on the lawn to hopefully address the less grassy bit and made my first smoothie in an absolute age with some oranges and apples and frozen smoothie mix, ginger and milk. I'm sure it was very healthy and it tasted dead refreshing.

I don't follow recipes in smoothie making or cookery, just throw things in and hope for the best and it usually comes out good. The worst results are usually just too much so I have to despose of what I can't eat. At least when you are cooking, or making from reasonable fresh stuff you know it's not overloaded with sugar and salt.

I picked up an acoustic guitar today and ran through a basic "Big Muff" (John Martyn & Lee Perry) and was surpised that I knew all the chords but not all tehe words to "Ziggy Stardust" and "Rebel Rebel". Acoustics are so easy to pick up and do things with, although my electronic keybord is quite easy too, but I'm not as dextrous on that as guitar but I can still make some noise with it.

My son in law mark soldered together a synthesiser kit I got for Christmas, he is very impresive with sort of anything mechanical, electronic or computer based, but while the synthesiser is less capable that a Stylophone it is great fun to play with now that it's working.

Cynthia Size A was the name give to Hi T Moonweed's (Tim Blake) synthesiser of Gong's "Flying Teapot album just in case you were wondering where I stole that from.

Friday 18 May 2018

Enlightenment Is Music You Need A Flashlight To Hear

Not one of mine, but a line from one of the poem sequences in Bob Dylan's "Tarantula". It caught my eye and my mind went into so overdrive trying to figure out what he meant by that and trying to rationalise how it fitted into reality and failed miserably, but, again, that's the point orf art and poetry and writing and music and theatre and film , it's meant to stimulate you and make your mind work and think. I haven't a clue what it means, or maybe I have an inkling but it means that my mind is switched on and functioning.

The weekend Newcastle hosts The Late Shows which is a series of events running into the night and I think I will slip out for an hour or two on Saturday. There is the Vinyl Guru's collaboration "Never Mind The Punk 45" with Gallagher and Turner which reminds me very much of a wonderful book celebrating the same DIY art work which I think it's call Punk:45 but it's downstairs and there are a few such books which are wonderful to browse through (I still prefer real books to ebooks even though I do possess a Kindle), but enjoy seeing the artwork. Punk had a wonderful DIY style which has been subjugated in the digital age due to the ease and simplicity and effectiveness of digital image processing.

So I could actually include a video of The Bok's "Happy Birthday" which Rabid Records were going to put out as a single before they went bust. When we spoke to them they asked us which studio we had used. We said "Studio?". It was recorded direct to cassette. The video I did is here, and the rest of the demos are on Soundcloud here.

Anyway I will leave you with The Damned's "New Rose" which was the first punk record I bought. Mye and my mate Dave Topping, who was guest drummer with The Bok, ordered it from a record shop in Chorley and his was missing a chip from the edge, so effectively unplayable , but mine was OK, as he lived a lot nearer the shop than me he just waited for a replacement to be ordered.

It's Friday, the weekend is here, and the sun is shining. Have a great day everyone.

Thursday 17 May 2018

Some Words

This has just come from saying goodbye to a dear friend recently and what tends to happen to us at gatherings and events wher you meet up with people you care for and like being with but don't see that often. I am not a poet, but the narrow visual form of a poem can make for simple easy and effective reading. I am still working my way through "Tarantula" by Bob Dylan and that is not easy reading but has grabbed my attention with it's stream of consiousness ramblings and semi-stories. Anyway this sort of sums up my feelings after these events. If it has a title it's "Hi"

Great To See You
Absolutely Lovely
It's Been So Long
I've Been So Busy
Not A Minute To Myself
What Have You Been Up To?
I Know
We must meet up
Maybe a Concert
The Theatre
We Must Do It Soon
Next Week
Or After The Bank Holiday
At The End Of The Month
Or Next Month
We Should 
We Must 
We Will
Til Next Time .......

But We Seldom Do

We should really make more of an effort to keep in touch with each other, it is far too easy to let it drift but we can make this happen, so let's do it. I'll leave you with a Roy Harper song "Forever", which I have always loved, and love to share this with you.........

You Can Guru, You Can! - Visiting Vinyl Guru?

You know what they say about buses, well it's not usually true of record shops, but the take off of Vinyl sales kicked off possibly by the rise of Record Store Day seems to have sparked that in Newcastle.

I noticed Beyond Vinyl while wandering around the Clayton Street / West Road area where Kazbat's Den  and The Star and Black Swan are located and was well impressed. They have plans similar to the excellent Pop Recs in Sunderland.

On Record Store Day I recommended Beyond Vinyl to Kirsty and Mark as Mark is into Vinyl, and she phoned me to ask where it was as they had just come out of Vinyl Guru. I asked them where that was and they told me and was shocked because I was completely unaware of it. So that's two  new vinyl record shops in Newcastle and if you rope in Empire Records / Long Play Cafe which has been around for twelve months or so that is three new vinyl stores in Newcastle to sit alongside RPM, Reflex and Beatdown, though I still miss Volume and Hitsville USA.

Anyway I finally got to visit Vinyl Guru yesterday and the guy was friendly and knows his stuff. They have a growing selection of new and second hand vinyl, one piece that I am very tempted by but managed to resist. They have a complete section for Bowie stuff and lots of vinyl related artwork and accessories. This means you have two excellent vinyl record shops within two hundred yards of each other.

They are also invoved in a Punk Art Exhibition "Never Mind The Punk 45" with Gallagher and Turner at The Late Shows in Black Swan this weekend so they are not a one trick pony.

The title comes from "The Hare Who Lost His Spectacles" interlude from Jethro Tull's "Passion Play" the excellent follow up to "Thick As A Brick". I was surprised to find a video for this on Youtube so thought I would include it, it is rather silly but some of the music is excellent.

Newcastle now has a healthy number of excellent Vinyl shops as well as a brilliant music scene and is one of the many reasons I stayed when I came up in the late eighties. Things have changed and a lot of those have been majorly for the better.

Tuesday 15 May 2018

Mary,Mungo and Midges

The weather has been wonderful but one of the annoyances is the clouds of midges that I run into when I am walking, that end up in your eys, nose ears, hair and you feel like you have been infested with nits. I'm enjoying the uplift that the sun gives me but maybe not so much the visitations and close contact of the insect population. You can sometimes avoid them , usually by stepping out into a road but cars are usually a bit more dangerous than a midge.

I stole the title from the children's TV series "Mary,Mungo and Midge"a childrens TV series which I was aware of but never watched , but the title has obviously stuck with me, and exercising my naturally tangential nature now I have mentioned midges for the Midge part of the the title I have to link in the other two characters.

Obviously Mary was a major character in Philip Pullman's "The Good Man Jesus and The Scoundrel Christ" as she was the mother of the main protagonist and is a very big biblical character.

Saint Mungo (real name was Kentigern) was an apostle of the Scottish Kingdom of Strathclyde in the late 6th century, and the founder and patron saint of the city of Glasgow, and Saint Mungo's is a  charity that helps the homeless and unfortunately we still need them in th etwenty first century due to western society's avarice and worsip of money.

But actually I am am going to leave you with Mungo Jerry, Ray Dorset led seventies rock and roll jugband unfortunately generally onlty remembered for the seventies misogynistic / sexist "In The Summertime" and Ray's sideburns. I loved them because they brought out their records as EPs so you got four or five songs on your vinyl and there was a lot of fine stuff like "Alright,Alright,Alright" and "Baby Jump" but I will leave you with my favourite at the time "You Don't Have To Be In The Army To Fight In The War" . They are a band worth looking into if your band wants something to cover.

Enjoy the good weather and avoid the midges my friends.

"They grab you by the collar and throw you throughthe door,
You Don't Have To Be In The Army To Fight In The War"

Sunday 13 May 2018


I've just finished "The Good Man Jesus and The Scoundrel Christ" by Philip Pullman and in the afterword he says he thinks that people should have their own interpretation of a book, though some authors such as William Golding say there should only be one interpretaion of a book.

Personally I think this is true of all art , be it books , paintings, sculpture, installations or whatever. Often people dismiss art because "anyone could do that". For something to have value as art, the artist has to submit is as art and it has to have an effect, and that is any effect whether it is positive or negative. If you are affected by a piece of art then it has served it's purpose.

I've been mentioning inspiration and certain things this week have caused me to write posts and this is another one that has been caused by something.

When I was in Helmsley's Cut Price Bookstore I was looking for someting to buy (although I don't need any books at the moment, but when does that ever stop us buying a book) and I saw a copy of Bob Dylan's "Tarantula" and I resisted it, and left the shop, but then thought no, support local business and go and buy it. So I did.

I may have had "Tarantula" before but can't remember reading it (though that doesn't mean I haven't read it), and last night I opened and read the explanatory first page, which seemed good, this was followed by some publisher blurb about "Chronicles" , and incidentally I caught a bit of "No Direction Home" on Sky Arts which I got as a birthday present and still haven't watched, and it was quite amusing see supposedly Novocastrian folk fans dissing his electification with plummy home county BBC accents. I think that needs watching soon. Some people cannot accept change even if it benefits them, and while we need constants and conformity we also need evolution and progress.

Anyway I hit the first page of "Tarantula" proper and was hit with a block of stream of consciousness text, with no paragraphs and little punctuation and quite a few ampersands. It hit me like a brick wall. I first thought there is NO WAY I can read this. It's only 116 pages but in my mind was 116 brick walls.

I've read shorter novels, JG Ballard's "Running Wild" is only 110 pages but is a brilliant read, Ballard is my favourite author by the way. Paul Gallico's  24 page "The Snow Goose" can be read as you listen to the Camel album that was inspired it, you can finish it in forty odd minutes.

I will not be finishing "Tarantula" that quickly, though once you start reading the are interlude windows to an alternate parallel narrative which may or may not actually have a story. The book has had an immediate effect on me and I am enjoying it, and this is how all art should affect you.

I'll leave you with something from Camel's "Snow Goose" but do check out these books and then create some art yourself.

Saturday 12 May 2018

Miss Prince?

The double meaning in the post title is deliberate. In the mid seventies I got an album "The Book of Invasions" by Horslips. That album didn't leave the turntable for two weeks, and it kept all my other music off the record player. This was before I had a walkman so music wasn't really that portable, but if I had had one that would have been taped and on continuous play.

I wrote about "Dirty Computer" two posts back in my PAINT DRAW WRITE post about my friend Nicky's Event Exhibition.

This week I took delivery of "Dirty Computer" by Janelle Monae and I have been impressed by here previous output and to be quite honest this is more of the same, except even better. The opener , the title track fades far too soon and is a surprising duet with Brian Wilson supplying heavenly backing.

Every song you want to keep playing but when the next one starts you know you want to hear that.

A lot of this is in a similar realm to Prince so if you miss Prince Janelle can be your Miss Prince , but for me she is Janelle Mae and amazing visionary artings.

Song like "Pynk" and Screwed are pure single entendre but absolutelty great songs. "Make Me Feel" is "Kiss" rebuilt and reimagined by Janelle.

Today I watched the"Dirty Comuter [Emotion Picture]" which is a film to accompany the album and features all the music from the album and is very impressive, very female power orientated and with impressive setting and some great American calssic style hover cars in the "Pynk" and "Crazy,Classic Life" sections and there is a a wonderful line:

"Mansplaining - I fold 'em like origami"

I know my friend Craig Puranen Wilson / Sheena Revolta would have loved this, but we said farewell yesterday.

Watch this film, it is 45 minutes but you will want to watch it again and then get the album. I really need to listen to something else but at the moment this will not move from my player. I think you may find the same.

Friday 11 May 2018


Probably the main reason for writing on this blog is as a diary so I can record things that happen and that I want to remember.

Although I have written one post about our great friend and inspiration Craig Puranen Wilson here I want to record some memories from what was a wonderful day today. I reconnected with Bethany, Andrew and Katie and and hugged Krista for the first time since Craig left us. I hadn't intened to write this but part of me wanted to remember today permanently.

I came with Ange and Andrew and we were not sure if we wald all fit into the Chapel for the service. We did do and I didn't get to meet up with Sophia and Nicky but shared hugs with Jon, Hedley and Bethany remembering why we were there.

It was a humanist celebration of Craig's life and his achievements including books, bands, music and travel and his work with the Comfrey Project that helps refugees and asylum seekers, and if you want to help visit their site for more information. There was a collection box at the service so Craig and Krista are still helping.

There were emotional readings and Bethany sang two songs beautifully, "Wild is the Wind" and "Jerusalem", accompanied by Kit Haigh (Thanks Jon and see his Art installation at Art In The Barn) which garnered emotional responses.

There were tributes and readings and at the end the Ramone's "Sheena Is A Punk Rocker" was played and the congregation joined in very vocally before finishing with tumultuous applause.

After saying goodbyes we met up at the Cumberland Arms although I couldn't see anyone I definitely knew until I spotted Jon Lee's pink "Hello Kitty" socks, and realse Hedley and Jon were there along with Andrew and Michael.

A beautifully emotional ceremony and was so happy to see Krista laughing at the end as we all sang Sheena out.

I just felt I had to write this down. If anyone wants their name removing let me know, but it's a small way of remembering what happened on the day we said goodbye to someone who will never be forgotten.


Last night I went to the opening of PAINT DRAW WRITE an exhibition and event  which the first solo one by by friend Nicola bringing together elements of words, poetry , art and photography with live readings by people including a poet I met and chatted to Richard , and the excellent Arch 16 Cafe.

This is the intro written by Nicola to gove you and idea, but the exhibition is running til the 20th June so there is plenty of time for you to vist:

"Paint Draw an exhibition of pictures and poems celebrating the way in which people express their innermost selves via the creative arts."

 I loved being able to walk round enjoying the images and spending time reading the words on the wall and will no doubt drop in again to take in the experience once more.

It also brought a lot of people together to see something new, I was talking to a skateboarder when I got there and found out that they have skateboard themed gathering.s

The Arch 16 space is airy and open and ideal for this sort of exhibition, there is space to show images and I did take a quick instagram video which is here. 

I was decided to write a Haiku for this to keep in the spirit of the event:

Paint, Write, Draw, Enjoy
Create, Share and Experience
You Know It Makes Sense 

Nicola worked with my friend Craig who we say farewell to today (my tribute is here  and here is a post which touched on one of his great exhibition which he colloboarated with Nicola on), and this os just one example of his insrirational legacy., and I am looking forward to many more.

While there I was talking with Richard about the brilliant new Janelle Monae album, and the song "Make Me Feel" which reminds me so much of Prince's "Kiss" so that is the song I will use for this post because thais whole thing made me feel great. I've also included the Dirty Computer Emotion Picture a 45 minute video to accompany the album, well worth taking your time to watch.


Wednesday 9 May 2018

Walk #TenAlbumsInTenDays #2- #9 - Camper Van Beethoven - Tusk

This morning I have a routine hospital appointment at The Freeman and the weather is still good so I am going to walk it. The problem is that the route doesn't really have any buses so if I am running behind time I haveto walk faster, and that's not really a bad thing as I do want to keep my steps up and this will definitely do that.

I was discussing the best Fleetwood Mac album and a lot of people go for "Rumours" but mine is "Tusk". When it came out in the middle of the seventies punk explosion an AOR "dinosaur" releasing a double album (the ultimate self indulgence) did not bode well for a good response from critics. The NME made it album of the week and it was noted that the Warner executives probably saw their bonusses going up in smoke when they heard it. The songs are all killiers and Lindsey Buckingham's out there genius along with the songwriting and voices of Christine McVie and Stevie Nicks backed my the rock solid musicianship delivered an indespinsible brilliant album.

The songs are so go good that when Camper Van Beethoven were stuck in a remote cabin, they recorded and released their take on "Tusk" and, while not as polished it is still an outstanding album with a mad ten minute take on the title track which is what I will leave you with.

One song "Honey Hi" has a lot of car horns and shouting and this was very disconcerting as I was trying to cross a four lane road intersection while listening to it. Who knows what will happen today.

Right off on my walk to the hospital, have a great day everybody.

Monday 7 May 2018

Remake #TenAlbumsInTenDays #2- #10 - Blue Oyster Cult - Extra Terrestrial Live

A friend of mine, Bill has nominated me for a third #TenAlbumsInTenDays and because I have an eclectic taste in music and a reasonable amout of friends I will be able to complete the third lot.  I had listed Hawkwind's XIn Search of Space which is a great trip album but the cover by Barney Bubbles was and still is a wonderful vinyl package. The Hawkwind Log is the most sought after part of this package and can jack the price up by close on a hundred pounds but you can download it and print your own here. If this infringes copyright and you are the copyright owner please contact me about it.

Today has been hot again but I went for a walk and decided to give Blue Oyster Cult's ETL (Extra Terrestrial Live) a spin. I'd always regarded this as an inferior addition to their live canon of the superlative "On Your Feet or On Your Knees" and "Some Enchanted Evening" and it came after "Fire Of  Unknown Origin" and essentially was a potted history to date and included a cover of The Doors' "Roadhoad Blues" (also covered by Status Quo).

While the album starts out similar to "On Your Feet or On Your Knees" with "Dominance and Submission" , the sound is excellent and viciously dirty. The first huge surprise is "Doctor Music" which in my opinion was the ruinous opener to "Mirrors" but here is an excellent live work out. THe album's take on Godzilla and ETI are so good that by the time the album closes with "Don't Fear The Reaper" it is just another brilliant song.

This is the first time I have listened to this in many years and I have been missing a brilliant if fairly short live album from a truly great heavy metal band. I will share ETI with you as it is one of my favourites with an absolute killer riff and brilliant metal lyrics.

I've just discovered that the Columbia BOC Boxed set which did cost me about fifty quid is now selling for over a grand on Amazon.