Saturday, 31 August 2019

666


I've just passed page 666 in "The Illuminatus! Trilogy" and was expecting something apocalyptic or at least interesting , but barring Moses crossing the Red Sea there wasn't too much out of the ordinary barring a reanimated Nazi army rising from the bottom of a lake near a rock festival close to Ingolstadt which is fairly normal for that book.

I can only think of two other books that I've read have a page 666 that's "Imajica" and "Lord of The Rings"  and maybe of of Michael Moorcock's Corum collections. I suppose The Bible and Quran also have one.

666 is defined as "The Number of The Beast" and features in many biblical and occult writings and films. as well as being an upside down 999. Aleister Crowley modelled himself as The Great Beast and many metal bands such as Led Zeppelin and Iron Maiden , and jazz artists such as Graham Bond tapped into his legacy.

I remember visiting a youth club as a teenager and we brought records and one guy brought the "banned" "666" by Aphrodite's Child (featuring Vangelis and Demis Roussos" and I was well impressed with a lot of the album and have a copy in by collection. "Babylon" and "The Four Horsemen" are well worth tracking down. Click on the name for Youtube links. But we'll go with the more obvious Iron Maiden rampage on this Saturday morning.

Thursday, 29 August 2019

Quarter Of A Million


I've hit quarter of a million visits on the blog since it started, and while I don't write a lot on each post, fairly bite size chunks, it is an improvement on when I started. I have lots of friends who started blogs that have then lapsed, a few of my favourites that you see on the right hand side of this have not been updated for a hell of a long time. Often people write extremely long essay type pieces which  take time to put together (which often we don't really have) and then sometimes people see a huge chunk of text and it just turns them off, even though the subject or writer actually interest the reader.

I have been criticised for writing documentation at work, because there is not enough writing on each page (never for the actual content). The thing is white space actually draws people in because they see that they can read and take in what's on that page. I'm not sure about others but I find all my documentation useful because it's easy to find and take in what you need to know but that is just self recommendation.

"The Illuminatus! Trilogy" is severely blocks of non stop text, so very intimidating, but it has managed to draw me in and keep me hooked but that is a definite exception to the rule

Also while these blog posts might be seemingly slight on a computer browser, when viewed on a mobile device they become reasonably digestible articles, not too long but but not throw away.

So Graham Parker's "New York Shuffle" is playing on 6Music , and it's a brilliant reminder of the wonderful Graham Parker who is still making great music. Thanks for that Chris Hawkins.

New Targets? Well I can probably hit 320 posts this year, which will be another record and well within my grasp and unexpected as I was aiming for 200 posts this year. It is possible I may hit 300K visits this year but that's dependent on stuff beyond my control , also I'd like to see the Christopher Lee video hit 50K visits as it hit 30K this year.

Tuesday, 27 August 2019

Strawberry Disappointment


We all make mistakes. Sometimes we act on those mistakes, believing what we are doing is right, even though it does slightly rankle that you are acting on what you believe to be the correct course of action. That happened to me recently.

The Strawberry changed their menu. Instead of the black laminated card (admittedly past their sell by date) we got a printed couple of sheets on a clip board protected by a textured plastic sheet. This didn't look good. My worst fears were confirmed when their excellent Curry Top Chips had disappeared from the menu. Yes it's pub food , yes it's quick , and great value for money and it was always a quick lunch option and it was gone. I thought I have no reason to go back to The Strawberry because they don't have Curry topped Chips.

I relented because I couldn't actually remebery what was on the menu bar unspecified toasties and a fish finger butty. So I went in today, checked the new menu and right in the middle of the front page was the  Topped Chips or Baked Potato options. How the hell did I miss that. Yes the menu has had a slight revamp but it still has everything worth having so that definitely made may day, as The Strawberry is an excellent pub and their bar meals are excellent and great value for money.

The lesson to be learned is if something is not exactly what you want or what you think, go back and double check it, you may find you are mistaken and get the result you require more quickly.

Incidentally tomorrow the blog will pass quarter of a million visits, I know a lot are robots, but it's still a success to go with my Christopher Lee and Nick Cave slideshow.s

So the obvious song is Split Enz "My Mistake" a band I saw several times in the seventies who produced some amazing music.

Monday, 26 August 2019

2019


This is post 2019 in the year 2019.  This year my aim was to hit 2000 posts since I started blogging, I ended up doing that last month here.  I was thinking that maybe this would be another record posting year but this month posts have dropped off so it may or may not happen, we shall see.

Today has been a very hot Bank Holiday but that is nothing to complain about, though tomorrow is a return to work for a four day week.

Over the weekend I was completely cut off from music apart from listening on the train journeys to and from Scotland and was thinking I haven't played "Rain" by The Beatles on the new RPM record player.. The rumour is that Paul McCartney's bass on the original single was so heavy that it caused the needle to jump. I have a re released single but will try that before work tomorrow morning.

I've dipped back into the swirling currents of words that make up "The Illuminatus! Trilogy" and still finding it entertaining as I pass the three quarter level. Totally mad with probably some snippets of truth to be taken with large doses of salt.

So on the burning day I think "Hot Hot Hot" by The Cure from possibly my favourite album of theirs "Kiss Me,Kiss Me,Kiss Me" would be good to sign off with.

Thursday, 22 August 2019

Drinking Cherry Cola in Unmarked Cars


I don't know what put this into my head , possibly the fact that the BBC (and virtually all the media, see here) had reported that the outcome of the meeting between Angela Merkel and that dangerous clown Boris Johnson was that the UK had thirty days to sort out the brexit backstop when what she had said was a sarcastic comment that it might be thirty days or two years to sort out the backstop, but I cannot find any trace of that , all the media just mentions the thirty days, but really these days , generally we can't trust what's being said.

This made me think of when the BBC were so anti product placement that songs had their lyrics changed to ensure they weren't banned from the radio. One example was the Kinks "Lola" which was fine addressing gender fluidity in majorly homophobic times but Coca Cola was an absolute no no and had to be changed to Cherry Cola, the irony being that there is now Cherry flavoured Coca Cola (and lots of other atrocious flavours) , I wonder if "Lola" gave them the idea?

The when Mott The Hoople were going to call it a day David Bowie gave them "All The Young Dudes" which kicked off their singles sales bt was only approved when the line "And Wendy's stealing clothes from Marks & Sparks" became And Wendy's stealing clothes from unmarked cars"  although eventually the original words were restored.

Again the censors didn't like that but let though:

"But she never lost her head 
Even when she was giving head"

again addressing trans and sexuality in Lou Reed's "Walk on the Wild Side"  a hit single from the Bowie produced album "Transformer".

So I'll leave you to savour "All The Young Dudes" but seriously check out the rest of the songs.

Fifty Shades of Grey


That's the colour of the sky this morning. As you can tell I have not got that much to write about. Listening to Huw Stephens on 6Music but a lot of the music is just passing me by but was impressed by a new one by DJ Shadow (ft De La Soul) "Rocket Fuel" so some good has come of me switching on the radio this morning.

So basically it's go out , pick up train tickets , go to work and that's my Thursday.

I have ordered "Another Green World" on vinyl to complete my Roxy Music related collection (first album , "For Your Pleasure" and "Viva" all from Vinyl Guru in Newcastle) and they sound a lot better that I thought even with the slight paint mark on "Editions of You" (it was second hand and cheap and plays fine). It's amazing what watching a Brian Eno documentary can cause you to do, while it's not exactly advertising but it did influence me and "Another Green World" is coming via Amazon Prime.

There's a little Roxy on my Instagram posts here and here


So we obviously go with "Rocket Fuel" this morning.


Monday, 19 August 2019

Never Ending


This morning my alarm awoke me from a very vivid dream at a point where I was trying to get into a folk club for a gig but thought I had no money so I'd have to find a cash machine, but the person on the door tok my wallet and pulled out a fiver (the admission fee) and pointed out I still had a tenner left . This was the last bit of the fairly vivid dream which has now completely disappeared, barring the location of the folk club that was either near Amen Corner in Newcastle , somewhere in Edinburgh or Settle three disparate locations I know but all places I go often.

I think I've probably written more about "The Illuminatus! Trilogy" than any other book , and in form it reminds me of Bob Dylan's "Tarantula" which is a book that I will keep and reread. But the latest "episode" (the "chapters" are fifty to a hundred pages long so don't look for a text break although there are some images in book one ("The Pyramid and The Eye") but I'm working through "The Golden Apple" at the moment with around thirty pages to go before I hit the final book "Leviathan", but the latest "episode" manages to link in religion and mythology including Adam and Eve as Bavarian subversives and linking them to Kull and Conan characters brought to me by Robert Ervin Howard and portrayed in film by Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jason Momoa.

So it's a bright Monday Morning, and given that for people who read it's just a never ending journey, Limahl's excellent Giorgio Moroder collaboration for the title song of  the film "Never Ending Story"  (my girls loved it) would be appropriate.

Have a good one.

Sunday, 18 August 2019

When You Finish Reading A Book Should You Dispose of It?


It's just a thought I've had as books usually take a long time to read and often you are never going to reread the them. I'm currently reading "The Illuminatus! Trilogy" which is a grammatically odd title and at 800 pages I don't think I will reread it. The experience of reading it is enjoyable (for me) but would not be to everyone's taste, but it is a book I will never forget although I cannot remember everything about it because it does not have a storyline as such, things just happen. Also because it's such a big book it will make way for other books.

It can go to a friend or acquaintance who may want to try it or to a charity shop, it's irrelevant to me as long as someone else gets the chance to experience and enjoy it.

Certain books like "Imajica" by Clive Barker (my favourite ever book read two or three times and about a thousand pages)  and "Lord of The Rings" will certainly never go but others always might.

Some books stay because you can dip in and out of them and find enjoyment that way, and others are reference books and great for researching things, but some have, by their nature, to have a limited home shelf life.

Actually the shorter the book is, the less likely it is to go because a 200 page book is a lot easier to reread that an 800 page book, also stories are usually better to revisit than biographies and factual books.

Music wise CDs are is some ways dead in the water for me unless they are in a special package and I have a few of those, but this weekend I have sold four on Discogs for a combined amount of £50 so some people are still interested in the format.

So what should I leave you with. I couldn't think of a song but here's a short video of some amazing libraries. Remember not everyone can afford books, but libraries give everyone the opportunity to enjoy books.

Saturday, 17 August 2019

Double Dutch


Again I switched on 6Music  and "Double Dutch" by Malcolm Mclaren on the Radcliffe & Maconie show and it is one of the most uplifting records you will here. "Double Dutch" has (ironically) two meanings:


  1. unintelligible language. 
  2. the jumping of two jump ropes rotating in opposite directions simultaneously.


The second being the subject of the Malcolm McLaren song which is obviously included here. It is a Saturday so for people like me there is no work, but I am sure that I will find plenty to do.

Currently "The Illuminatus Trilogy" has veered into HP Lovecraft territory in which a protagonist stumbles into a church with rats running between pews and a rusted marble altar, it's not rust it's blood, so obviously not High Church.

That takes me to "Fleabag" which I finished watch ig last night, superb cast and writing and only six episodes in each series so I will continue with "Parks and Recreation" on the Amazon Prime subscription. I am quite surprised, but it's a good business modell to make money, how many people have Netflix , Now TV and Amazon Prime subscriptions but never watch them.

So time to get off now and wander round

Friday, 16 August 2019

Turtle Power


Switched on 6Music this morning and Chris Hawkins was playing "Gravel-Pit" by Wu-Tang Clan which for some reason reminded me of  "Turtle Power" the theme from the first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film, which was a surprisingly excellent song and the film wasn't that bad either.

My daughters Juliet and Kirsty were huge fans and the action figures were very difficult to get hold of, but I remember walking into Asda at Boldon just before Christmas and there were two huge baskets filled with the figures. Christmas was sorted, sometimes things do unexpectedly drop into your lap.

So it's Friday and this is effectively my diary entry to fine the Partners In Kryme song should ever want to listen to it, so just a very short post before I get off to work wondering if I've got that record, it's probably somewhere in my digital collection and that has just reminded me of a couple of streaming service surveys that i've seen.

Basically streaming music is being pushed in many forms , including podcasts and the like. The thing is when you stream music or video you have to remember that if you are not on wifi then you are using up or paying for your data and this is what the various communications companies are pushing. From an artists point of view the Spotify business model doesn't work but most of my friends are aghast when I say I don't have Spotify. Apple Music, Amazon and the rest will all devour your data.

I had a chuckle at the latest EE 5G advert advertising "Hannah" from Amazon Prime where Kevin Bacon says you can download it in seconds when the girl says she hasn't got time. If the network is that good why not stream, the data use would be the same. Also while you can download something in seconds it still takes 90 minutes to watch and generally it's better to watch on a big TV that a relatively little phone, I'd rather watch on a fifty inch screen than a five inch screen.

So now it's time for work.

Wednesday, 14 August 2019

2012


This is post 2012 ans 2012 was the year that the UK staged the Olympic Games with those amazing opening (mastered by Danny Boyle) and closing ceremonies celebrating the diversity and history of this country resulting is a racist tirade from the Daily Mail denigrating the Windrush citizens who came here and help rebuild this country after WWII , the article on their website was eventually pulled.

The celebrations included our NHS and industrial heritage and each of these ceremonies last a while but these days you can watch them on your big screens.

There is also a plethora of music featuring David Bowie, Queen , Muse and many, many more.

This post is one of those diary posts so that I can easily find this in the future. There was a great TV series on the BBC about the "preparations" which I can't find on iPlayer but I can find "W1A" that morphed out of it with much of the office comedy.

So enjoy your Wednesday and if you have eight hours spare get these videos on your big screen.

Hello Again Hot Chocolate


It's 4am on a Wednesday morning and I should be asleep but have been woken up by a tickly cough, so have made a cup of hot chocolate to coat my throat and hopefully get an hour's sleep before I get up for work.. Basically I have stuff running down into my throat causing the tickle and that's what's causing me to cough and wake up, but I am tired and want to go back to sleep. The hot chocolate is helping.

The other thing is that Feedburner has picked up the blog again so yesterday the blog overall got over 1,000 hits rather than the normal 50-100 jhits , so not sure if this is just a daily spike or if I will get another month like May and June which hit 20K and 25K respectively, it it does then the blog will hit quarter of a million visits by mid September as it's currently sitting at 229K so that would be nice.

The thing is chocolate and paracetamol are scientifically the best things for treating a cough as the chocolate coats your throat better than any cough medicine according to several articles such as this one although this one says not.

So "Sleepwalk" by Santo & Johnny, the inspiration behind Peter Green & Fleetwood Mac's "Albatross" would be suitable before I go and get a little rest before work.

Tuesday, 13 August 2019

Targets


For years I've been trying to get my weight below 100Kg and it just hasn't happened. While I have been making efforts I have not been forcing anything but at my last Diabetic checkup they prescribed me dapagliflozin (forxiga) which basically makes you pee out excess sugar and it seems to be working. Blood sugar reading are down in the normal 4-9 range and my last weight reading was 98.4 Kg and I have been sub 100Kg for over a week now which is good. Obviously the less weight you carry generally it's easier for you body to cope with.

The other thing was for my Christopher Lee slideshow to hit  30K views and that has happened, though I am quite surprised that it's not resulted in a single sale of the song, though Youtube probably redirects Amazon links so it gets the sale, and I think there's a lot of that goes on, but you cannot prove it and I cannot be bothered with investigating it.

Today looks like a summer's day after yesterday's rain which is good, although showers are forecast later.

So going with "Who Killed King Tubby" from "Hometown Hifi" by Screaming Target for obviously obscure reasons. Enjoy Your Tuesday.

Sunday, 11 August 2019

How To Win The Lottery and Make money on Scratch Cards


Basically don't buy them. It amused me that whet the National Lottery started there were lots of books on "How To Win The Lottery"  (surprisingly there are still lots of books on this, who buys them?)  and I've heard people talk about about how to win at scratch cards. Jordan Ellenberg wrote a book called "How Not To Be Wrong" and it contains a chapter on how to win on certain lotteries where there is a trickle down if the main jackpot is not won, but this requires a sizeable dedicated team and a lot of money to crack it. Remember that for each person to win £5 million on the National Lottery  more than 2.5 million people have to lose, yes you might win, but it is not very likely is it.

Today it is hot but raining and thing is in some ways that's not a great thing , because the water falls then because of the heat in evaporates filling the clouds with more water to rain down on us. The benefit is we don't have to water the garden but is a definite symptom of global warming.

Been listening to a lot of vinyl this morning while relaxing , Boston, Bowie , Brubeck and Split Enz , the laser etched disks still amaze me (on my instagram feed here), and the first side of the Boston album is close to perfect, I should really play the second side sometime, but it is twenty minutes of vinyl perfection.

So what should I share with you, I think we'll go with the best football song ever, "England's Irie" by Black Grape for the chorus lines:

"I live in a land of class hypocrisy, 
We're going to win the National Lottery, 
E I Adio, I don't think so"

Don't you think so?

Saturday, 10 August 2019

Like A Ping Pong Ball In A Wind Tunnel


I was trying to think of an analogy for "The Illuminatus Trilogy" and that came to mind. It's a loosely noir canvas but this ranges from  American location , proisons, hotels , big cities , small towns with secret societies to submarines and sunken cities and lands such as Atlantis and wars and fights with gangs and armies and societies featuring every continent of the Earth and even some extra terrestrial locations. The whole thing can change between paragraph , one line you're in a seedy New York hotel next you're a Yellow Submarine the you are locked in a southern tale before ending up on a small island off the West African coast.

I am about halfway through the book and despite incredibly long unbroken chapters I am finding it incredibly readable, though maybe others would not.

I'm selling a lot of my CDs on Discogs  but sometimes I hear things on the radio by bands I thought I didn't really listen to then think , no I'm not selling that. That's recently happened with Kate Tempest and Fat White Family , both well worth a listen.

The weather is still absolutely mad  but we still have to venture out. Ever since the leak (temporarily fixed)  I am now constantly listening in case it comes through again , but any regular noise such as a tripping tap or the ticking of a clock or watch can trigger the worry mode , and when you think about various forms of mental illness related to OCD and just somethings taking all of your attention and triggering anxiety , something that is everyday for me can be absolute hell for others.

If you do suffer in this way Matt Haig's "Reasons To Stay Alive" id a book that should be in your position . A friend of mine told me it saved his life.

So it's Saturday and yesterday I bought two vinyl records, Bostons' eponymous first album with has one of the most perfect AOR  vinyl sides ever, and the "Substance" Joy Division compilation and leaving JG Windows met Jonathan Wells-Lee and Hedley Sugar Wells and their young charge who were watching a twenty grans self playing piano in the window. Lovely people, and lovely meeting them for a quick catch up.

So we'll go with a live take of "Foreplay / Long Time" by Boston , showing that they could play taking in in progressive bombast and euphoric AOR . Enjoy.


Tuesday, 6 August 2019

JFDI


Many years ago when I was still being paid by the PPA , a team played a trick on their manager. In IT there is always a new "better" methodology and you hear word like "agile" , "structured" and many others , we used JSP and Bachman as well, anyway there was an article on JFDI and how it always delivered on time and fast. The manager said they had to sort out training courses in this methodology as soon as possibly (ironic considering what JFDI mens). I'm quite surprised at the number of toned down meanings of the phrase, and Nike dropped the "F" for their tag line, not surprising for a company that has never made any of it's branded products, they outsource everything.

So yeasted after god knows how long I had lunch at Snack Wallah with my friend Nicky Black (one of her many names) and we had a long catch up discussing art and Facebook bans and what we were doing and going to do. Also the fact that last time I saw her I mistook her for another friend, and this is the problem when you don't see people often enough. We always can find a reason to put something off til next week but we should really do things as soon as we can.

I need to go and visit my dad and his girlfriend , see my girls , and know that this will happen eventually but really we should have much more JFDI in our lives, and we will enjoy life much more.

So for no reason other than it's a great record and he was mentioned in the Brian Eno documentary "The Man Who Fell To Earth 1971-77" which I am watching on Amazon Prime , when Island put together the Ayers , Cale , Nico, Eno (unfortunate acronym) gig at the Rainbow  to celebrate the the signing of ex Velvet Underground members John Cale and Nico, I'll leave you with "Barracuda" from the album "Fear".

Sunday, 4 August 2019

Growly Night


There's thunder, lightning and rain. It's getting dark early. I'm amazed how accurate the weather information app is though I always look out the window to confirm what's happening . Another lightning flash , another roll of thunder.

Today when mowing the lawn there was a small short shower, but now we have the reall stuff. The positive is that I don't have to water the garden. Hopefully tomorrow I'll be able to walk into work without being forced to get a bus.

I wasn't going to post today but the image of "growly night" just seemed to be something worth capturing and recording.

My grandma used to say that thunder was the angels playing then pin bowling, which is a fairish analogy.

So given that I've nothing really to say I'll share an appropriated of music, "Night on Bare/Bald Mountain" by Modest Mussorgsky possibly rearranged by Rimsky-Korsakov and featured in Disney's "Fantasia" which he created to teach children about classical music and it is largely successful with stunning animation.

"Night on Bare Mountain" was also rejigged as "Night on Disco Mountain" on the soundtrack of "Saturday Night Fever"

So enjoy.....



Saturday, 3 August 2019

Anyone For Tennis?


This is nothing about tennis, which is a game I find generally tedious (I can't play or hit a return serve), although Wheelchair Tennis actually does command my total respect, I cannot play being reasonably fully mobil and these girls and guys do it from a wheelchair, how absolutely amazing is that.

The Bok had a song called "Tennis" but I don't have a recording of that, maybe I should try and recreate it, but this is just about the Cream song which is one of those Cream songs that is like nothing else Cream did and I like it and actually think it's good. There are others like "Pressed Rat and Warthog"(the "B" side) that are just plain silly, and I suppose lots of bands tried and keep trying completely different sounds to the point of taking on alter egos to either be able to play more intimate gigs aor see if it's just their name that sells.

"Anyone For Tennis" is the Theme from the film "The Savage Seven" (a biker film lost in time but available on Amazon.com) and was recorded during the "Wheels of Fire" sessions and released as a single and on the album soundtrack. It was written by Eric Clapton and someone called Martin Sharp

I don't know why I wanted to post this, possibly because I saw a "Best of Cream" (which doesn't feature the single) in Beyond Vinyl but it's Saturday , it grey , and it's the first day of the Football season, so all is reasonably good.

I keep looking at posts I've done and often notice spelling and grammatical mistakes and more and more I think I am being wrongly autocorrected rather than mistyping, or maybe I am just being paranoid. The latest was a post which had "their" instead of "there". Now given that I am a bit of a grammar stickler myself that is not a mistake I think I would make but autocorrect might.

I know it's short (this post) but see what you think .

Thursday, 1 August 2019

Realisation


Nothing deep, but due to my rate of posting from March this year , if I post twenty two times a month for the rest of the year then I will have another record year. I'm not expecting to do that though given this is my second post today you may not believe it.

The thing is the more you post , the more you feel like posting. I just wish I could get myself into gear with writing , and writing songs and recording them. I have all the tools so no excuse not to do it, just the extreme lack of discipline.

Today I found a couple more covers of Joy Division's "Love Will Tear Us Apart" by The Cure and "Ceremony" by Radiohead. I was completely unaware of these though the song has been covered by almost everyone but it still belongs to Ian Curtis.

These songs don't seem to have been officially released but they are on Youtube so you can listen fairly easily.

So enjoy them , I am off to my pit.