Friday 29 June 2018

A Prison, A Garden, A Country Singer, A Snow Goose and A Camel

A far longer title that the post itself. Today I will be going up to Scotland and the other night I listened to "The Prison" by Michael Nesmith and the concept was that you read the book that comes with the album and the album is a soundtrack. The music stands on it's own but on the train up I am going to read this while listening to the album.

The general consensus is that Nesmith is a far better musician thatnauthor but that's a moot point as far as I'm concerned.

He followed the concept of "The Prison" up with "The Garden" which I am going to order after writing this very short piece. I'm not going to analyze or even tell you the story of these because I actually don't know. When I get back and have listened to both and read both books I will follow this up.

This concept was also used by Camel with Paul Gallico's "The Snow Goose" which I know a bit more about because I have done the read / listen thing with this, set in the wild, desolate Essex marshes and is an intense and moving tale about the relationship between a hunchback (Rhayader) and a young girl (Fritha) who nurse an injured bird and Rhayader's involvement in Dunkirk. It is very short and very moving and takes about the forty minutes which can be soundtracked by Camel's album based on the book. A fuller synopsis is available on Wiki here.

The weather is hot, England have been beaten, and the weekend is here so have a great Friday and a great weekend and do try to investigate these albums and books.

However I am not going to choose a song from the albums but another Michael Nesmith song "Some of Shelly's Blues".

Have a great day.

Thursday 28 June 2018

Turn This Crazy Bird Around

I switched on the radio this morning and that line came out of the speakers sung by Joni Mitchell singing "This Flight Tonight" from her album "Blue". I think my first introduction to this song was hearing Nazareth's excellent heavily rocked up version with Manny Charlton's ghostly guitar solo which I bought as a single, but was on their album "Loud'n'Proud".

Soon after Judas Priest did the same to "Diamonds and Rust" penned by Joan Baez on their "Sin After Sin" album although it doesn't have the intensity of the Nazareth cover.

But these are two iconic songwriters covered by two iconic metal bands and it is an excuse to play these songs.

These albums haven't been on my playlist as I have a few more racked up to listen to but last night I listened to "The Prison" by Michael Nesmith which I will dedicate a future post to.

A couple of weeks back I bought some vinyl on albumwas "Electric Warrior" by T. Rex with it's incredibly cool cover, and it came with a download code. Surprisingly I haven't got it on CD, so I decided to download the album and was surprised that it was in WAV rather than MP3 format resulting in significantly larger files but without sound loss. One of te songs was like 24Mb for a two minute song. That is 2.5 times the capacity of my first hard drive computer which I got from my friend Chris Brough. How times change.

Anyway enjoy all this, I'm off to Scotland for the weekend.

Wednesday 27 June 2018

Walk On Gilded Splinters - #TenAlbumsInTenDays #3 - #9

I do find it amazing the amount of music that I have available to me, but I do keep going back to revisit old albums, but because they still sound incredible today. "Gris Gris" by Doctor John was something I missed in my teenage years but once I heard it's hypnotic gumbo voodoo tunery it's an album that has never left me.

I'm also doing  #TenAlbumsInTenDays which gives me another excuse to revisite enjoy and write about this stuff.

Similarly Captain Beefheart's "Trout Mask Replica" is another amazing epic piece that I did pick up as a teenager much to the chagrin on many of my Led Zeppelin / Bowie toting friends. This was several steps too far for them, as would have been "Gris Gris".

Rumour has it that Beefheart took the Magic Band into the desert and learned them to play from scratch. The album combines so many musical elements that if you don't approach it with an open mind you will not be able to appreciate the eclectic mix of brass, woodwind, free jazz, sea shanties, blues, garage rock and pure avant-garde. It is truly an experience and again, once you're in there you are truly in. You will never forget or fail to appreciate this masterpiece.

The back to the New Orleans Voodoo of Doctor John, The Night Tripper in full regalia for "Gris Gris". One song "I Walk On Gilded Splinters" has been widely covered by such luminaries as Cher, Marsha Hunt, Paul Weller and Humble Pie but that is just the grand finale of an album of seven amazing and hypnotic songs.

So really that has to be the song I leave you with but check out both these albums and the other versions of the song, you may love them.

Tuesday 26 June 2018

A Wolf In Babylon

God it's hot, but I'm not complaining , it keeps the power bills down and makes walking into work pleasurable. Unfortunately I have to remain fully clothed so as not to frighten any living creature in my vicinity, so I am enjoying mytime at home where I can be on my own and therefore don't have to concentrate too much on my appearance.

After listening to Edgar Froese's "Aqua" I decided to put on "Wolf City" by Amon Duul II complete with it's winged sphinx cover (see here)designed by Falk U-Rogner, the band's keyboard player ,  From the opener "Surrounded By Stars" this album does not have a dud moment. The lyrics my be a little out at times but English is not their primary language and when they sing in german on "Deutsch Nepal" they sound supremely confident. I played it through twice and could have kept going, but I do realise that I can put it on whenever I want.

I then put on it's predecessor, "Carnival In Babylon" and at first I wasn't too taken with it. It's more pastoral in feel and while I think all the songs are in roghly 4/4 time the introduction of tablas and eastern percussion draws you into it. On the second play I was rehooked all the songs just held me and I could just listen to both these albums for a very very long time.

These are just two albums from the excellent Amon Duul back catalog and after "Vive LA Trance" they seemed to lose their way, but hit back remarkably with their last release "Duulirium"

So I've gone for "Deutsch Nepal" with some Ralph Bakshi animation which may be from his "Lord of The Rings", powerful stuff.

Sleep well.

Saturday 23 June 2018

Real Head or Artificial Head?

Been slightly worried as a few nights I've been so tired I've had to go to bed at nine. I'm up at six most mornings, sometimes earlier so that should give me nine hours sleep which should be more than enough, but I was under the impression that the older you got the less sleep you got.

Today I wasn't feeling exactly energetic but for one reason or another I've ended up doing 18K steps, the most this month, which i sjustover six miles. Included in that is mowing my lawn and trimming some of the wild edges of the garden resulting in a full brown bin.

Yesterday I listened to "Aqua" by Edgar Froese with it's artificial head recording and while it sounded fine, I wasn't exactly blown away. The title track consists of running water with some electronic sounds weaving in and out and eventually this becomes hypnotically excellent, great music for walking theough green parks to and just the sort for relaxing your mind. I was impressed enough to order the Edgar Froese "Virgin Years" and stick my copy of "Aqua" on Discogs here.

The thing is there's lots of other songs and pieces that have made better use of stereo options and one of the best is still "May This Be Love" from Jimi Hendrix's debut "Are You Experienced" apparently used in the film "Singles". Stick on your headphones and experience this for your self. YOu dontneed an artificial head for this, a real one will do just fine.

Enjoy my friends.

Friday 22 June 2018

My Artificial Head

Apparently, yesterday was the Summer Solstice, the longest day, and the days get shorter from now on until the Winter Solstice. F Paul Wilson's "Nightworld" has a premise where the days keep getting shorter in the culmination of his "Adversary" series which started with "The Keep" which was made into a film directed by Michael Mann and featuring Sir Ian McKellen which is worth a watch although not a classic.

It turns out that TangerinDream did the soundtrack and my last post was German rock orientated, and caused me to load a lot of German rock on to my phone to listen on my walk to work. One of these albums was Edgar Froese's "Aqua" his first solo album outside of Tangerine Dream and at the time it used an "artificial head" recording process developed by, among others, Gunther Brunschen, more of which you can read about here.

It was supposed to give a more realistic aural experience but was more of a marketing point, but you had to listen to this recording and in the end it was just a decent electronic record.

I am tempted by the Froese solo box set though I actually have a copy of "Aqua" and I will be listening to it on the way to work today.

The sun is shining the sky is blue so should be a good walk in.

I am always surprised how so many different things can be related, but again that's part of the rich tapestry of life. Have a brilliant Friday every one.

Thursday 21 June 2018

Dancing With Lemmings #TenAlbumsInTenDays #3 - #2

I think my first exposure to Amon Duul II was hearing "Race From Here To Your Ears" on a UA compilation, "All Good Clean Fun". There was a lot of good stuff on there such as Man's "Daughter of The Fireplace" but this album made me want to hear the albums that the individual songs had come from and hearing "Race From Here To Your Ears" (Part of "Restless Skylight Transistor Child" that made up side two of th eoriginal albumthen seeing the cover of "Dance of the Lemmings" (or "Tanz Der Lemminge" which I think is the correct German original title)

 The album also drew me into what was loosely termed Krautrock but also made me realisethat music could sound much different to our normal western blues and rock and roll concept of rock. From this I went on to Tangerine Dream, Can, Kraftwerk and Faust as well as other less well known bands and all these now how a place in my music collection.

These days people equate German Music with Kraftwerk, and while not wanting to diminish their importance there is far more to German rock and progressive music than them, but they deserve their success and recognition.

So with that I will look out on the very light night sky of the longest day.

Sleep well, tomorrow is Friday.

Solstice Song

The sky is blue, there's not a cloud up there, and this morning when I went into the shower I was hit by the heat of the sun before I switched the shower on. IT's also the Summer Solstice so it's the longest day of the year and looking outside it looks like we are going to have a gorgeous and long day with many hours of daylight.

There are lots of things happening and am tempted to a couple of events tonight which are in the town centre and really with the fact it's th elongest day I should take advantage of the extra daylight that we have, although I also have Los Coyotemen at The Globe tomorrow night so this does look like being quite a busy week, but all the more enjoyable for it.

Weather is still very warm, but that is a plus, cold weather is fine as long as you can find somewhere and some method to actually warm yourself up.

I am combing my memories to think of an appropriate musical piece to go with this post, maybe something druidic and arcane, maybe some Julian Cope or Incredible String Band. "Painted Chariot" is leaping at me though I have already used it for my  #LikeNoOther series here. I'd also forgotten that Julian Cope appeared in my second ever post here which was a short overview of my exposure to Krautrock because Julian had produced a book with the same title on the subject.

In the end I've gone for "Parlipap" by Spirits of The Sacred Grove, so enjoy The SUmmer Solstice.

Wednesday 20 June 2018

Enjoy The Melodic Sunshine With Numbers #TenAlbumsInTenDays #3 - #1

I've been listening to a few albums recently and tonight I put "Enjoy The Melodic Sunshine" by The Cosmic Rough Riders on the player. I've written about this album before and while it is not super consistent it does contain some excellent gems of songs. If you buy the super deluxe download you get forty songs for less than eight pounds which is great value for your money.

From the opening pastoral "Brothers Gather Round" which may not have been out of place in "The Wicker Man" apart from it's not as unnerving before hitting you with the beautiful but disturbing "This Gun Isn't Loaded" before returning to the soporific mood with the excellent "Glastonbury Revisited".

The album continues in this vein hitting highs with "Revolution(In The Summertime?)" but it's that opening triumvirate of songs that really nails it for me. I've also been nomintedfor another #TenAlbumsInTenDays by my friend Asher so this will be the first one on this list. I'm going to have to be careful not to repeat my album or people nominations.

Anyway, I am still doing the 340K steps a month to ensure a million steps every quarter but was wonderfingwhy as I got towards the end of the month I could hit my monthly target witout hitting my daily target of say 11.5K a day. It's simply that I often surpas the daily requirement and thhe surplus build up of steps means I have to do less to maintain the daily average. Hardly a perfect explanation but I have ten more days walking, 87K steps to hit 340K for the month, so 8.7K a day will do it. Of course I will try to maintain my 11.5K a day so should end up with a healthy surplus at the end of the month.

So I will leave you with the excellent "Revolution(In The Summertime?)" before I hit the sack. Enjoy your Thursday tomorrow my friends.

Tuesday 19 June 2018

Dreaming Again

Just woken foorma fairly intenses horror story dream and I can't remeber a thing about it, just some incoherent images that may or may not have been there. I obviously dealt with it fine as I am just about to get up, take drugs, shower and get to work, but part of me does want to remember what the dream was about. I'm reading Neil Gaiman's "American Gods" so maybe that's something to do with it, and watching England vs Tunisia  last night where you know the technology is there and supposedly being utilisedto ensure fair play and once again cheating and gamesmanship rules the day, although for a change didn't result in victory.

Anyway once again we have an absolutely beautiful day and that means a walk to work and listening to music. Recent albums have included the first three Jimi Hendrix albums and Bowie's "Blackstar", the eponymous opener I still find absolutely jaw dropping and that along with "Lazarus" would be a reason to have the album if the rest of it were blank, and it isn't. I'm currently listening to Bob Dylan's "Shelter From A Hard Rain" semi bootleg which I originally bought because it contains a duet with Joan Baez on Woody Guthrie's "Deportees (Plain Wreck At Los Gatos)" and the playing is a bit shambolic but in a good way and the song selection isbrilliant, so this does get a lot of plays.

Yesterday I met some friendly cattle on the walk and posted a little film on Instagram but it can be a little awkward when you are trying to film, photograph, walk and make sure that you have an escape route. Evidence here.

I'm looking forward to seeing Los Coyotemen this Friday at The Globe which means I am getting off my arse and actually getting out. A friend of mine posted on Facebook that he doesnt have enough hours in this week, I feel I don't have enough hours in my life but maybe that is because I'm nauturally lazy but actually want to do things.

My friend Sophia alerted me to the Charity single "The Fall Of Emperor Less" by Dave King so I've included it in the list below and there's furter info here, there's no full length Youtube video, so we will go with Bowie's "Blackstar".

Have a good one.

Sunday 17 June 2018

Little Pockets Of Hope

It sort of brings me down that money is often the most important thing in people's lives often because of the way society has been allowed to evolve. It's still better than barter, although barter does involve actual goods and services.

In recent months I have lost friends, seen friends affected by Alzheimers and Depression, thought deeply about how people must be in such a dark place theythinkabout taking their own lives, to stand and think "I do this and everything ends, that's it", even thought of everyday situations thinking my god, if that happened I could be very hurt or worse.

I think of the five injections and twenty tablets a day I take to keep myself here, added to that contact lenses and lots of other little things and in the end thinking "doing these makes it possible for me to enjoy life, and to feel good."

Yesterday I went to the Mean Eyed Cat where they were selling Coffee and Cake to raise money for the Alzheimer's Society and when I shared my Instagram Post to Facebook it asked if I wanted to add a charity donation button to my post whis resulted in a number of donations from friends. Something actually useful from Social Media possibly instigated by the #Alzheimers Hashtag here . This was organised by friends doing things to help others, and it makes me so proud to have friends like that, they know who they are.

Earlier this week my friend Jon invited me to see Rahul Kohli a brilliant Indian Geordie comic but the bonus on this night was the very funny Turkish Geordie Louise Young, and also Gazza, Paul Gascoigne turned up as well. He had a great sparring session with Rahul, and Gazza has had some very bad things to cope with but it was great to see him on Tuesday.

Then I was in No 28 on Friday and saw someone at the bar, and thought "I'm sure that's Louise Young". I'm a devil for thinking I know people and it not being who I thought it was so often I don't say anything and then they wonder why I supposedly blanked them. Anyway I didn't get a chance to tell Louise how much I enjoyed her set on Tuesday so I went up, expecting it not to be her, but it was, and had a great chat with her and th eguy she was with, so that was another high point this week.

The thing is there are always ways to make things better, and if things are not good for you PLEASE ask for help, and people will help if they can , even if it's just supportive words.

So go out today, give some change to a homelss person, phone a friend, as it's Father's Day phone or talk to your dad, visit a neighbour, do something that  lifts you up , watch or ignore football, listen to some great music, make yourself feel better.

One other thing, the most important person in your life is YOU, because if you are not 100% you cannot be there for those that matter to you.

And this post gives me an excuse to share The Beatles' "Help" which I loved from the first time I heard it.

Friday 15 June 2018

Does Playing Vinyl Increase Your Appreciation of Music?

I've probably written about this before, but was talking with my son-in-law Mark , and daughters Juliet and Kirsty yesterday at an early Father's Day pizza meal at the excellent Dat Bar and Mark and Kirsty were talking about the clarity they got from listening to certain records (the "Blade Runner" soundtrack was an example), hearing things they hadn't noticed before. This is on probably a near perfect set up.

My own set up is a GPO turntable with a Samsung Soundbar with subwoofer which I also use for DVD Audio which also can sound incredible. A particular incredible recording is KirngCrimson's "In The Court of The Crimson King" that sounds incredidle on DVD Audio through a DTS system.

But back to the vinyl premise.andI have witten about it before including a post about the evolution of Music Media here  and all of my vinyl posts are here. and there are a few.

When you play something on vinyl you don't tend to skip songs , especially on albums. This is why I preferred singles when I DJ'd as that meant you knew exactly where you were and didn't risk getting the end of an album track or missing the start of another one , although that did happen more than I'd like. This meant I did have a fair collection of rock and roll and also introduced people to a lot of "B" sides and it was remarkable how many pepleonly listened to the "A" sides often missing some absolute corkers, Bowie's "Queen Bitch" and "Holy Holy" spring to mine and The Rolling Stones "Let It Rock" and "Bitch" which backed "Brown Sugar".

These day I buy vinyl for the whole package and was surprised to see that Velvet Underground's eponymous debut had the "Peel Slowly and See"  yellow banana skin that was missing from by CD box of the same name.

While enjoying the often excellent artwork and covers, I put an album on and it always plays through to the end. It is also great to enjoy the beautiful picture discs with the mandala effect on Curved Air's "Air Conditioning" or the hypnotic Vertigo Swirl which I am still amazed at. It's like you are about to fall in to a three dimensional time tunnel.

Sometimes these albums contain books and incredible fold outs which often don't translate well into CD (Although I do have some excellent CD packages that are beautifully put together).

However a vinyl album seems lest disposable that digital media and makes you feel you have something. The size also gives designers space to work, and  the laser etchings and holograms are more amazing enhancements that couldn't be done on CD and I am still amazed that they have been done on vinyl.

For Father's Day I was given "Exile on Main Street" by The Stones and "Strange Days" by The Doors.

There will be no remote skipping when I listen to these albums and I will enjoy every minute. I thought I would treat you to Black Sabbath's "Paranoid" to show you the Vertigo Swirl.

Enjoy your Friday.

Wednesday 13 June 2018

Another 13

It's the 13th of June, this is the 1613th post, I've just passed page 13 while reading Neil Gaiman's "American Gods" so there's a lot of 13s occurring today. I'm off to Leeds for a course which could be "interesting".

Last night I saw Rahul Kohli at The Stand who describes himself as the "Newcastle Brown Male". My mateJon had recommended him so we went via The Mean Eyed Cat. Rahul started the show, the Paul Gascoigne showed (cue joke about him mistaking Rahul for Raoul Moat) then there was and excellent Turkish Geordie warm up act Louise Young, who was worth the price of admission alone, before Rahul's show. If you get the chance to see him or Louise you should definitely go along.

As I'm going to Leeds we'll have something from The Mekons, their excellent second single, as they were formed at The University of Leeds and are still going. This is still one of my favourite songs.

Anyway it's a gorgeous day and I now need to get off to the stations, so have a good day everybody.

Tuesday 12 June 2018

Meli Fluence

It's wonderful how one unrelated thing can lead to another giving causality to discovering things that you didn't know were there and generally enhancing your quality of life. On Staurday I visited Kazbat's Den where someone told me about Stay Free Records which I hadn't heard of, and when I got there I saw signs for Meli Cafe on the third floor, which I hadn't heard of, but is where Whistler's Cafe used to be.

I had a quick nip in and spoke with the manager who was very welcoming and told me what they were up to with lots of vegetarian and vegan options, as well as great views over Northumberland Street, This is an excellent selling point of the place which has a lovely light and airy feel to the place and is worth visiting for the views alone.

On Sunday I returned and this time tried a cafe latte and some lemon / coconut came which was lovely, and I manged to scam the best seat in the place after a couple cvacated it. The guy said people always try and gram that seat. My instagram images of my visit can be viewed here and their cups don't have handles but still look cool.

Look Mum No Handles

So definitley get yourself down there to enjoy this wonderful place, It's above the antique centre in the Alley opposite Haymarket Metro next to boots and near Sergeant Pepper's.

In other news I finished "Fermat's Last Theorem" by Simon Singh and while I had been reading it ten or twenty pages at a time, at the end I couldn't put the the thing down so that last fifty pages done in one sitting. This is a book about a mathematical theorem that is actually exciting, not the theorem , the book.

Next up is Neil Gaiman's "American Gods" which should keep me occupied for a while thanks to my friend Lyndsey and that has started very well, although I have seen the TV series so I have some idea of what might be coming.

I was trying to think of some Greek Music and basically was stumped , I suppose I could have gone for Aphrodite's Child, Vangelis, Yanni, Demis Rousos or Nana Miskouri but decided on the fictional Greek island of Navarone immortalised by The Skatalites.

Saturday 9 June 2018

Stay Free

I thought Iknew Newcastle, well the record shops in Newcastle. Today I was in Kazbat's Den talking Donna Summer, Giorhio Moroder, Human League , Black Sabbath and the las who was in tere said his favourite record shop in Newcastle was Stay Free. I'd just been to Beyond Vinyla and this week I discovered 586.

"Where's Stay Free"?" Quoth I
"Opposite Haymarket Metro, down the alley next to Boots, in The Antique Centre" Quoth He (Roughly)

So I wandered off across down before it got swamped with Blaydon Racers and Ed Sheeran fans. (I love Ed Sheeran as a person but find his music leaves me unmoved)

Anyway I tracked down Stay Free and wandered upstairs , also seeing signs for Meli Cafe which I visited briefly, and was well impressed with the warm welcome, interesting Greek Menu and incredible vies of Northumberland Street. I will be revisiting soon.

Then I wandered into the Antiques Centre and straight into Stay Free which has a great selection of Vinyl , so great wall displays and is most reasonably priced. A record shop is good if you walk in and can immediately find somthing to buy, I managed to get two items . A 12" single of "Boops" by Sly and Robbie and "Should I Stay or Should I Go" by The Clash backed by "Rush" by Big Audio Dynamite II.

Tony the owner is great to talk to, and knows his stuff and is very helpful and the couple of customers who dropped in liked it too. This is another gem of a record shop I have found so below is my up to date list of record shops in Newcastle:

plus spectial mention to Oxfam at Jesmond ( I used to work there briefly and the manager Katie knows her stuff , Pop Recs in Sunderlan and there are record shops in Durham, Hexham and Gosforth,  and if you are pushed HMV is not bad for a high street shop.

Please comment with any I've missed.

So really there's only one song isn't there?

Friday 8 June 2018

I Feel Love

There is a flying ant on the outside of my window pane, and the sky is a uniform grey. It is a Friday morning and 6Music is celebrating women in music with "Hear Her Day" with female-dominated playlists and female  DJs. However due to one thing and another I had to leave this unfinished, but I can now write about what I wanted to write about.

I keep thinking that my vinyl collection is close to complete and then there's always just one more thing, these one more things have included Cat Stevens' "Numbers" for the overal package and book as well as being a decent album, "True Colours" by Split Enz which I didn't know was actually laser etched, I have the single "History Never Repeats" that looks amazing when it's playing and I am looking forward to seeing the album, you don't get that with a CD or MP3 do you?

The third was going to be the Patrick Cowley Megamix of Donna Summer's "I Feel Love" all 15 minutes of it on 45rpm vinyl but even I shy away from paying twenty notes for a single. The thing is you can download Donna Summer's Greatest Hits (26 songs) for four pounds so that's what I did, and then ordered a double promo remix vinyl set for fifteen pounds so hopefully, that will satisfy me.

When "I Feel Love" came out in the mid-seventies for the rock and rock and roll cognoscenti, Disco was a dirty word, but me and friends were into German psychedelia and Giorgi Moroder's metallic rhythms on this single made a lot of people listen, who would have normally dissed Disco.

It turns out that the sound was stumbled on accidentally with the note on the synthesiser being played twice with the slightest delay resulting in an amazing sound. This was perfectly complemented by Donna Summer's voice and is perfect for remixing as it's both skeletal but more than powerful enough to stand on it's own. It's similar to the guitar delay favoured buy Pink Floyd and U2, and also the accident in the drum machine pattern that resulted in New Order's "Blue Monday".

So I managed to find the Patrick Cowley Mix on Youtube so I will leave that with you to enjoy.

Enjoy your Friday.

Thursday 7 June 2018

Clock Mathematics

I was completely unaware of (or had forgotten about) the concept of clock mathematics. We all use it every day and when used in applied mathematics it can apparently be very useful. Basically its working with a  limited series of numbers which rill over when you get to the end. So an example that we may use every day is that if you say that you will see someone in four hours at eleven o' clock you both know you will meet at three o' clock. Therefore 11 + 4 = 3 not 15 because after 12 we roll back to 1. Apparently it's useful in Elliptical Theory. This is another concept that I have been (re) introduced to in Simon Singh's brilliant "Fermat's Last Theorem" ,and another reason why I love reading books.

As I'm writing this the sun has really come out and it's looking like a definite walk into work today.

Yesterday I put Half Man Half Biscuit's "Trouble over Bridgewater" and it has some great titles that maybe the songs don't quite live up to such as "Uffington Wassail" ,  but "Irk The Purists" is good and then I got hit with the absolut classic "Gubba Lookalikes" which is followed by the excellent "Mathematically Say" but then we are hit with the totally brilliantly funny "With Goth On Our Side" plagiarising Bob Dylan's "With God On Our Side".

The opening line is:

"Oh my name it is Dai Young"

And that is a brilliant play on words when the song is based in Wales and it's subject matter.

But I will share "Gubba Lookalikes" with you before I set out for work.

Wednesday 6 June 2018


On the third floor of Commercial Union House on Northumberland Street among a lot of wall art is 586 Records. It's been there four years and I didn't even know it existed. A record shop in Newcasle that I knew nohing about.

586 is the Area code for Macomb County, Michigam and a song from the New Order album "Power, Corruption and Lies". I spoke with Tony the owner who was extremely friendly and pointed out the Dub and Reggae section when I said that was what I was looking for, nothing in particular but Dub does lend itself to vinyl I also looked through the Disco 12" singles but while there were a few that piqued my interest I was looking for Giorgio Moroder or Motorik based music and couldn't see anything obvious.

I then cam across "From The Makers Of" a three LP Status Quo best of in a Blue Metal Box. It turns out it's not particularly rare (yet, although it seems to have been reissued in a box so my metal tin may be a collectors item) but it is a very impressive pack with a decent selection of excellent early Quo songs tracing their progression from psychedelic pop through their excellent three chord rock and roll phase up to "Rockin' All Over The World". I still love "In My Chair", "Down The Dustpipe" and "Gerdundula" so well impressed with picking that up.

The shop is light and airy and you walk past a lot of wall art as you move up to it.

This is yet another record shop in Newcastle, so now I'm aware of these in the town centre:

plus spectial mention to Oxfam at Jesmond ( I used to work there briefly and the manager Katie knows her stuff , Pop Recs in Sunderlan and there are record shops in Durham, Hexham and Gosforth,  and if you are pushed HMV is not bad for a high street shop.

Please comment with any I've missed.

So do we go for something by Status Quo or 586 by New Order? Quo win this time.

Tuesday 5 June 2018

Frontier Man

I was going to call this post "Manic Depression" but I thought that it might lead people in who might think it might provide insight into the condition, but of course it wont be, but then Chris Hawkins played "Frontier Man" by Gruff Rhys from the new album "Babelsberg" and that has already provided "The Nightmare of Existence" title a couple of posts ago, and therefor has to be the featured song today. It is a definite grower with gorgeous lyrics and a wonderful video. The album has been ordered.

"On The Frontier of Delusion,
  I'm Your Foremost Frontier Man"

What I was going to say is often the way I tend to do things is either I do lots of things at once or else just fall into a lethargy. Maybe this is just a way of recharging batteries for the next burst of creativity. LIke this weekend two gigs, a Steampunk Fair, three blog posts on Sunday but I still didn't mow the lawn.

It  doesn't mean I'm depressed but I remember Spike Milligan talking about the condition saying it was either the black dog or 100 mph creativity. This sounds similar to Bipolar where you are high / low (I think). I'm sorry if I seem to be trivialising this, I'm definitely not.

Manic Depression is also a great Jimi Hendrix song from is debut album "Are You Experienced" , which is another reason why the title came into my head, so that is one to cue up for a relisten. Anyway it still looks cloudy out there and a little cold, but it is time to set off for work, and hope you have a great Tuesday.

I'm still confused as to why generally MP3 downloas are more expensive than the CD (which comes with a free download) although "Set Fire To The Stars" is a tiny £1.79 for twenty three songs as opposed to a tenner for the CD. Whatever music is still incredibly good value for money.

When Pink Floyd's "Wish You Were Here" was released it cost £3.25. I was on the dole at the time and my JSA was £3.25 a week. So if albums had kept pace with JSA you would be paying £80 for the ne Gorillaz album.

Think on that.