Monday, 30 November 2020

Physical Book or EBook on St Andrew's Day

p> I am currently reading two Clive Barker books , "Imajica" (my favourite ever book) and "Coldheart Canyon" (rather excellent) the former on my Kindle Fire the later a hardback edition . The former I'm only a quarter through (though this is the biggest ebook I have ever read) and the latter I am 90% through though it's half the size of of "Imajica" but I still find physical books easier to read than ebooks although ebooks are very convenient.

With a device like a Kindle you can carry a library with you and if you have an internet connection you can add to that very easily , but it must always have power, but that does allow you read in the dark, but reading is dependent on the device having power and working.

ebooks are great for reference books of any form as they allow you to easily search and can be updated and annotated, though you can do the latter with physical books. 

Both formats have their benefits and I benefit from both, although I have added to my ebook library with numerous free volumes which I have yet to read , whereas with physical books I think I whether I have somewhere to put them (I don't but that never stops me).

Today is St. Andrew's day and I have a feeling that Scotland will soon be leaving UK much to the delight of the Scots and Little Englanders, so maybe we will go for the excellent "Little Britain" by Dreadzone.

Sunday, 29 November 2020

Leaving The Devil's Country

On my walk on this foggy Sunday I noticed a few cars with a full set of flat tires and two tire outers that had come off something. I would think that if you can't be bothered to keep your tyres up then get rid of the motor rather than sit and let it rot. The cars were all fairly neglected and soften used as a dump for detritus that they had decided not to bin.

Coming to the end of "Coldheart Canyon" and the Devil's Country has served it's purpose and has now unraveled and been taken apart by Lilith and the ghosts and there is still seventy pages left in the book , which has been rather excellent. The Devil's Country is almost a McGuffin as the story could have been told without it, but it's the only part that really stuck in my mind from the first time I read the book.

But the finale now has me wondering what is going to happen next, which is always a good thing when you are reading a book.

So it's a long time since Thomas Edison invented the phonograph in 1877 , that's not last century, it's the century before last, and I have been enjoying a lot of vinyl over the weekend , and for some reason Cozy Powell's "Fance With The Devil" comes to mind with the riff lifted from "Third Stone From The Sun" which my friend Harry Clark reckoned was lifted from the "Coronation Street" them, listen to them all on the Amazon links below and see what you think.

Saturday, 28 November 2020

Positively Negative

 For the first time in a long time the temperature was negative this morning, according to my Google Pixel -4˚ Centigrade , there was ice on the car windscreens, and it was inviting me to go out for a walk. I did go out tonight and it was 3˚ Centigrade but actually felt quite warm , and it was 7˚ higher than this morning, but we are not in December yet and I'm not sure if Autumn has become Winter yet , although this tells me that the seasons start o, the appropriate Solstice and Equinox days so Winter starts in about three weeks time on the 21st of December.

Normally by this time I am in bed but need to use the alarm on my phone to get me up tomorrow and it was down to 20% so thought thought I would pen a few lines while it charges.I have also watched the second "Borat" movie which is enjoyably subversive and working my way through American Horror Story:Freaks which is excellent but essentially a tragedy about exploitation, when I finish it that will be up to date on all released series of the show.

Some of the music has been rather good although seventies and eighties classics sit oddly with the fifties timeframe of the series, but go well nevertheless.

So musicwise I have been listening to Thin Lizzy , Stats Quo amd Curved Air on vinyl so will go with "The Rocker" by Thin Lizzy which has one of the best blockriffs (that's a riff played with chords rather than notes) you will ever here. Listen and enjoy Thin Lizzy from their Decca years.

Friday, 27 November 2020

Classical Ruination

I said this year I wouldn't post as much, last year it was over a post a day, but this is post 188 so that is still and average of a post every two days, although some gaps between postings have been bigger than that , and obviously this is a post straight after yesterdays post.

I've listened to a chepo compilation called "Rock Instrumental Classics: Volume 3 - The Seventies" which barring Edgar Winter's "Frankenstein" , Electric Light Orchestra's "Daybreaker" and "Apricot Brandy" by Rhinoceros , is made up of funk and pop. There is "Rock and Roll Part 2" by Gary Glitter (and yes Paul Gadd , is an evil , vile person quite rightly behind bars, but should that stop us from appreciating the work of the rest of the band and his cowriter Mike Leander?) which it compares to "Tusk" by Fleetwood Mac , in that there's no real tune just a relentless sound with primeval calls and is still, in my opinion and impressive pop record , but I hope Gadd's royalties have been sequestered to help the sort of people the vile man abused.

Anyway in the songs on th ealbum are "Joy" by Apollo 100 a take on "Jesu Joy of Man's Desire", one of my favourite Bach pieces , "Also Sprach Zarathustra(2001)" an jazz take on the Strauss piece by Deodato , and "A Fifth of Beethoven" by Walter Murphy , all of which are more than enjoyable , especially the Deodato one. That's three classical lifts on one single disc compilation.

Manfred Mann's Earthband got permission from Gustav Holst's estate to use the composer's theme from "Jupiter" in "The Planets" suite in their single "Joybringer" . Keith Emerson with The Nice and Emerson Lake and Palmer plundered the classics  impressively over the years , with Mussorsky and Copland featuring highly in the band's repetoire.

Lots of pop songs left classical themes and melodies , Pachelbel's "Canon" reappearing so many times in the charts in various guises.

I've hardly scratched the surface on this, but will leave it here for now.

Thursday, 26 November 2020


"Coldheart Canyon" is a lot more interesting that I remembered, though I am down to the last hundred pages now, and don't have a clue how it is going to finally end.

I'm quite surprised it's a week since my last post, although I've kept to my promise to post less this year than I did last year, and I think I may end up with around two hundred posts.

Though I've lived in Fenham for twenty years , there's still lots of places I've never visited and one is the Moorside Allotments Association shop , who sell gardening related stuff and other things and I finally visited them this Sunday morning past, and bought three jars of their home made jam, one of which was Gooseberry which I have not had for years, and certainly not homemade. I think my great , but sadly missed friend Chris used to call Gooseberries Goozlegogs , which I think is a great word, though it generally seems to be Goosegogs an the internet. If you live in or near Fenham it's well wort a visit , though only open Saturday and Sunday ten til 12.

So I've been listening to a lot of music this week as always and am wondering what to share with you, I would like something gooseberry or jam related and I suppose a gooseberry is the one who make it a crowd so for some reason the song that has sprung out at me is "The Uninvited Guest" by Marillion, which is a wonderful song and a good one to share as Friday draws ever closer.

Friday, 20 November 2020

Listen Now

We often do things that may become monotonous if they are seemingly long tasks. I like walking , but the nature of walking means it takes time , and in this lockdown often the paths I take are repetitive. It's the same with work, you often have to do repetitive tasks or do tasks that require repetition.

Although your mind needs to be on the task it also wants (or mine does) something to break up the repetition , and I find listening to music is a great way of making repetitive things fly by. I had been walking but not listening to music and this week (because it's cold and my headphones keep my ears warm) I goy out the headphones and have listened to Roxy Music and Janelle Monae , and given that it's only 2°C outside I will need them today.

Workwise , working from home, enables me to listen while I do work , and share what I'm listening to on my Instagram channel. My Rhino box sets (when they came out it was roughly five albums for a tenner) have provided a lot of listening, recently that has been Grunge , Jean-Luc Ponty , Cockney Rebel and De John,

Each day I don't know what I am going to listen to , and this actually means I am not listening to the radio , but sometimes your own choice is a good thing to trust . During th eseventies there were two instrumentals that I loved , one was Deodato's take on Richard Strauss' "Also Sprach Zarathustra" the the theme from Stanley Kubrick's "2001" , and  Roger Williams take of Bach's "Toccata" used as the them to "Rollerball" in 1975 , so I will share both of those with you , which you may or may not enjoy on this cold Friday Morning.

Tuesday, 17 November 2020

So Why Vinyl?

Seems like a fair question. I once said that CDs were the McDonaldisation of music, MP3 and digital music even more so. All of a sudden album content became irrelevant. See this post from 2015 for more thoughts. 

We see people doing mixtapes and playlists but anyone can list some songs or drag a couple of MP3 and share them , or share a bloody Spotify playlist, but there's hardly any personal investment and the chances are that the person receiving the said item will look at it and not bother listening to it. The iPod generation , or is it iPhone generation often don't even listen to whole songs let alone an album. 

I once watche da bit of the X-Factor and the act covered the Moody Blues "Nights in White Satin" (a five minute song) which was cut to ninety seconds for the performance, so I wasn't impressed by that.

Digital media is great for when you are walking and this morning I was listening to the non album disk of  "The Thrill of It All" by Roxy Music and "Sultanesque" came on, one of my favourites. It's a Bryan Ferry composition , five minutes of drone sound and was the "B" side of "Love Is The Drug" , and I used to love putting it on pub jukeboxes much to the annoyance of most of the clientele , but it is a great piece of music and a great example of Ferry's adventures in tone and sound, "South Downs" is another similar piece. I am thinking of buying th evinyl single because I like it so much.

So "Why Vinyl?" . Well thanks to the persuasion of my friend Marek at RPM I have a wonderful retro reconditioned record player, and when I listen to an album apart from providing a warm deep bas backbone to the music, there is no skipping or resequencing songs . You listen to the album , well at leas a side of it , and that is twenty minutes or so, which is long enough but not too long.

CDs are up to eighty minutes and digital streams can never end , so vinyl lets you listen in manageable chunks an dthe only choice you have is what to put on.

It is my preferred listening medium these days, although I listen to CDs and digital when I work from home , and digital when I am walking. 

So I will share "Sultanesque" with you as the sun goes down on this November Tuesday.

Saturday, 14 November 2020

Imperfect Memory

Two thirds of the way through "Coldheart Canyon" and I do not remember it going like this. Huge chunks of it are like a newish book to men. That's the benefit of my imperfect memory, I forget things which means I can reread books and enjoy them as I did the first time round.

I suppose the same can be said of films and TV series, I generally remember overall part of the narrative and major incidents and occurrences, but they can still surprise me , so I can revisit and enjoy time after time.

I wrote that my hard drive had died, but I couldn't find an ethernet connected disc and thought I would just have to link via the USB connection on my router and access my content via that. My Kindle wouldn't connect but I found that my phone would, which was useful. Today I discovered that the ES File Explorer app on my Amazon Kindle could not only see the drive but also play content from it , so as the only disks I have is a backup disc (1 Tb) and a second backup (500Gb) , I have now ordered an 8 Tb one. I can't connect my DVD player up yet , but that's hardly an issue as if I want to watch something I can put them on a stick and watch them

As I write this I am listing to "No Parlez" by Paul Young , which is a bit of a curates egg , good in parts. Joy Division's "Love Will Tear Us Apart" and Anthony Moore's "No Parlez" are week takes on th ethe originals , but Paul Young has an excellent voice and loved him with the Q-Tips (but not Streetband) , so I found a live take of "Some Kinda Wonderful" which is quite impressive.

It's always good to revisit the good stuff

Wednesday, 11 November 2020


This is post 2345 on sevendaysin and I am not sure I would ever reach this number or keep posting for this long. I started here on the 18th of February 2007 and am still doing this now. I chose Echo and The Bunnymen's "Never Stop" because it is a great record and appropriate for the point of this post.

The thing is in life we do things that seem to never end (apart from the obvious Grim Reaper scenario) , such as washing up , cleaning , working , and watching TV and listening to music , plus walking and lots of other thing.

The thing is if you break things up into manageable chunks you can then enjoy the success of each finish point you define.

While working from home I have listened to several CD box sets which I don't think I could have done even walking to work. I have just finished the Electric Light Orchestra box and, apart from "Discovery" , I would rate all of the albums, although the first five are my favourites.

I have Joni Mitchell and Leonard Cohen boxes and they are being lined up for my next plays. Having a CD player to hand , plus the discs i sa great convenience, but it means I am not listening to much Radio 6 for a change as certain DJs I thing would be more at home on Radio 2 , so I don't feel I am mising anything.

So that's post 2345 , and basically I will never stop with this here blog.

Tuesday, 10 November 2020


This is post 2344 , the next will have it's number as the title. We really can't do without numeracy, although politicians are fine without it. The number in the title is the dimensions of the video above. I thought this may be a good starting point for a post , but it's not really, I can't think of anything else to say about it , so I will mention the music that I have been listening to this week.

I started with some Roxette Greatest Hits then PJ Harvey "The Hope Six Demolition Project" , followed by Prince "1999" (which was released in 1982 so more numbers there, and in the PJ Harvey title) , and this was followed by Kate Bush "Director's Cut" which three CDs consisting of "The Red Shoes" , "Sensual World" then reworkings of songs from those albums, it is a very illuminating listen.

My latest is an Electric Light Orchestra box , which  does trace their fall from pioneering musos to prepacked pop purveyors. They are responsible for my second favourite album ever "ElDorado" and Jeff Lynne is a purveyor of some extremely muscular riffs on the earlier albums ("Ma-Ma Belle" and "10538 Overture") , he also revisits The Move's "Do Ya" which is possibly his finest moment , on "A New World Record" which is when they hit paydirt and the fall began.

I'm currently up to "Face The Music" and not sure if I will finish the whole box, but the first five albums are worth the price of admission, maybe on the next post we will find out how far I got.

Monday, 9 November 2020

On Pins

To get to this point I had to enter a PIN for my computer and password to get to this site, I also had to enter a PIN for my phone as well (though that's not related to this). When I was at Littlewoods in 1980 we had to use a swipe card and enter a pin. These days it's often just a swipe card, even for payments, so if someone picks up your card they can use it.

I still maintain that the only safe place for a pass key is in your head. People extol the virtues of password keeper systems, but come on , would you give your house keys to a nameless entity, and what if someone cracks the password you use for that.

Then there's fingerprints and retinal scans, a friend of mine emailed work telling he'd sanded off his fingerprints so couldn't get into his iPhone , so what could he do. I think there was a work round but again corporations are always supposedly saying they are increasing security by making things less secure. How often do websites and Google suggest them remembering your password? So if someone walks up to your computer and you are not logged out they then have full access.

Also too complex passwords are no good because people write them down, I see so many people go into notepads to get their password for whatever they are accessing , so I know where THEY keep their passwords.

The other thing is more that four passwords, is a security risk, because people start to write them down.

My passwords are variations on unmemorable phrases like say fishandchips or kilburnandthehighroads , though needless to say mine are nothing like that.

As I mentioned Kilburn and The High Roads (Ian Dury's old band)  , I found this live take of "Vidiot" for you to enjoy, though it was only ever performed live, I have been unable to find a recorded version.

Saturday, 7 November 2020

Here Comes The Sun

Waiting for the Election Results in the USA is like watching a very slow sunrise , we have had four years of darkness in the USA (and ten in the UK) but it looks like things will start to take a turn for the better in the next week or so. I keep checking the news feeds and nothing seems to have changed with lots of childish "not fair" whinings from the the "we won you lost , suck it up crowd".

Today's early morning fog has burned off and it is now a very bright day.

This week, thanks to working from home , I have worked my way through the first seven Bruce Springsteen albums , his five disc live 75-85 release and more surprisingly the Blue Oyster Cult Columbia boxed set , which is an excellent listen. I think it is one of th ebiggest boxes I have and certainly the largest one I have listened to end to end.

There are lots of high points but the jewel in the crown is the final album "Imaginos"with a Lovecraftian libretto ,  an (unused) intro (to "Astronomy" by Stephen King  which reads thus:

The Soft Doctrines of Imaginos: A Bedtime Story for the Children of the Damned

From a dream world paralleling our Earth in time and space, The Invisible Ones
have sent an agent who will dream the dream of history. With limitless power,
he becomes the greatest actor of the 19th century. Taking on many disguises,
he places himself at pivotal junctures in history, continually altering its
course and testing our ability to respond to the challenge of evil.

His name is Imaginos.

It's worth following the links if this is tempting to you.

So I'm not going to share any version of The Beatles "Here Comes The Sun" but the "Imaginos" version of "Astronomy" , listen and appreciate. I found a "Wild King" mix which grafts the Stephen King intro the "Imaginos" version. Apparently there was some issue with Albert Bouchard around the release of the album , and he has released "Re-Imaginos"  which is on my to buy list, and songs like this have decided me to track more of his solo work.

Monday, 2 November 2020

Into The Devil's Country

Finally , nearly halfway through "Coldheart Canyon" we get to properly find out what "The Devil's Country" is about. It's been a great read getting there , covering lots of stuff I had forgotten about ,but now I am there. I probably won't tell you what happens but I do recommend the book.

This incidentally coincides with my first time in the office (just to clear my locker so they can rearrange floors) since lockdown began. I just emptied my locker and was in and out in less than ten minutes, ironically coming back home to actually start work.

I did walk into work and saw some amazing skies , and the moon was also very clear, the days are getting shorted and it is dark by five pm so my walking my be curtailed although today and yesterday have been fine. The problem is when I work in the office I always go out for a lunchtime walk , but at home I just tend to work through.

Today's listening has been the first official live Bruce Springsteen plus his first two studio albums , which has been another rather good listening day , with some great songs, and this time no repeats.

So music wise we'll go for "Devil's Sidewalk" by Graham Parker , although Neil Young also has a song with the sleep well and the dark nights draw in people.

Sunday, 1 November 2020

Hello November

Today I will see my grand daughter , Alexis ,  for the first time so a walk over to my daughter and son in law's will do for my step count on the day after Halloween. Although there are grey clouds scudding across the sky it is a pleasant walk across the central motorway skirting Cow Hill through the Town Moor.

Last night I bought a tub of sweets for Halloween , but due to lockdown, of course , there were no groups of kids out so I have a tub of chocolate to myself that will obviously go down very well. Today is All Saints Day or All Hallows Day or Hallowmas (hence the day before was Hallow's Eve or Halloween) , although this is another Christian theft to replace the Celtic festival of  Samhain. While I know lots of good people who are practicing Christians , the history of Christianity is one of total control of the populace and that permeates society today cherry picking the constantly rewritten Bible to forward their controlling agenda.Jesus would not be pleased and I could see a thieves in the temple scenario ensuing if Jesus returned.

Now who'd have thought that Jello Biafra would cover a song by two ex members of Mungo Jerry. Paul King and Colin Earl left Mungo Jerry to form the King Earl Boogie band and penned and released "Plastic Jesus" which Paul King must have raked in a lot of royalties from the myriad covers, so I've included two versions. The Mojo Nixon / Jello Biafra is available for download but the King Earl Boogie Band original is only available on the Dawn singles collection (at the moment £1.29 on Amazon) . Have a wonderful day everyone.