Sunday, 13 June 2021

Vegan is Fine for Everyone


 I was in the shower this morning (not an image you want in your head I know) and I read the side of my Lacura Shower Gel that I got from Aldi and it said "Suitable for Vegans and Vegetarians". Then I thought if something is suitable for Vegans then it is also suitable for Vegetarians. 

Although there are exceptions for allergic to reactions to certain foods that are Vegan (Nuts etc) no Vegetarian is going to thing I can't have that because it's Vegan , but a Vegan would have to check out something that is classed as Vegetarian to see if it is suitable for them..

Also someone who is an Pescatarian or an Omnivore should not have a problem with a product that is classed as Vegan (barring allergies), although religion could possibly come into it but essentially , if it's Vegan it is suitable for everyone.

I am lucky enough to live in Newcastle and we have a plethora of Vegan eating places, I'll add to this as I discover more but here's the list with links for you to explores:

Please let me know the ones I have missed.

Jack Monroe's Peach & Chickpea Curry
And here is the gorgeous Peach and Chickpea curry by Jack Monroe , click on the pic to get the recipe.

Yes this is a very short post , and I may expand it for my Vocal writing , but this is one of the things that I use this blog for. I was gonna share some appropriate music but remembered this TED talk debunking all the arguments against Veganism by Ed Winters.





Ed Winters talk is excellent because it brings in the "just because it's legal doesn't make it moral" argument ,well worth your time , and if you fancy some vegan recipes try the books below.

Saturday, 12 June 2021

Neglect


Since I started writing on Vocal , that has become my main creative focus. It has a slightly easier interface but posts need approval and have to be between 600 and 5000 words long. There are other caveats such as no religion and quite a few others. So I have a feeling that this year this blog will not be hitting anything like a post a day , although I will be beating my first few years posts.

This is just my second post this month and 85th this year and we are almost half way through 2021, but I have 40 posts on Vocal which you can see and read here.

I feel that a lot of my creativity has gone into the Vocal posts leaving nothing for here.

I also have not listened to 6Music for absolute ages, preferring random choices from my collection and my Discogs store. It is a Record Store Day , but I feel my vinyl collection has as much as I need. I've stated that often the idea of making a record special is coloured vinyl or a picture disc maybe featuring the band. That doesn't cut it for me.

I have a great vintage record player I got from RPM and that makes the vinyl sound awesome, and often it's the reggae that has the best sound, although everything sounds good , and yes there may be some surface noise but as the great John Peel said "Life has Surface Noise Mate!!"

So I will leave you with "Boops" by Sly & Robbie , a song I have digitally on CD and on a 12" vinyl single purchased from Stay Free records in Newcastle. Enjoy my friends.

Wednesday, 2 June 2021

Dixie Chicken


Today I have been listening to a lot of music , part of which was on a four mile walk that included posting a CD from a Discogs order to Connecticut in the USA, and decided to play a best of Little Feat , “As Time Goes By”. By the way this post was rejected for an unspecified reason by Vocal.


The first song on the album is “Dixie Chicken” , also the title track of their third album written by Lowell George and Fred Martin. The song itself is just very good but for me the piano lines just know over the perfection line by some way. They almost don’t go with the song but enhance it so much that Bill Payne’s lines just make you want to play it again , although a second Little Feat song always adds to the feast , and a whole album just really is perfect.


Little feat were probably one of the first multi ethnic bands , although to could also cite Santana and The Mothers of Invention, with Sam Clayton an integral part of the band.


Their songs are usually complex but you can sing along with them and all of Lowell George’s guitar work was planned down to the note. I always improvise and therefore often can’t repeat what I actually played but Lowell George was a nailed on musician.


After “Dixie Chicken” came “Willin’” a sparse acoustic piece from their first album but this gets better every time you hear it and Lowell George’s guitar work is wonderful.


Lowell George was always Little Feat’s main man and I learned about him from the documentary on Amazon Prime “Feats First” about his short life , and his lasting musical legacy , six Little Feat studio albums , one live album and one solo album.


The other thing is Little Feat were never a one man band Bill Payne and Paul Barrere were also mainstays and contributed songs , licks and vocals to the overall sound.


I have recently been listening to all their albums while I work and at no point do I ever wnat to skip a song, and even though “As Time Goes By” is a compilation , you could probably put any dozen Little Feat songs together and it would be an absolutely great listen. If you go to their website (they are still going) there is a jukebox on their site to whet your appetite.


Although they didn't move a great deal of music early on they are now regarded as a truly great rock band and it is almost impossible to pigeonhole them , yes they are very unmistakably American, possibly in a similar univers to The Band , they influenced a lot who came after , but their music still sounds fresh and contemporary.


I often hate people who say that music was only good when whatever, I know people who’s musical diet is British Rock between 1974-6 , or eighties power ballads or stuff like Heart or Smooth radio, but basically 95% is always rubbish and it’s up to us to find that 5% good stuff. Little Feat and a veritable gold seam and all their stuff is worth listening two , much like The Band. 


I am unaware of a contemporary equivalent but I am sure another will emerge and knock us off our feet so to speak.


So I suggest to listen to “Dixie Chicken” , thanks to YouTube it’s free to listen to , though you may have an advert to navigate , and if you like that I suggest to invest in some of their LPs, you will not be disappointed and please don’t use Spotify and it does not support artists. Buy music from the artist direct if you can , otherwise see if they have  a Bandcamp site.


Saturday, 29 May 2021

Copy Wrong

Almost every day when I log on to social media Facebook and Instagram have blocked a couple of old music share videos. I was under the impression that 30 seconds of a song was fine to use if it's not for commercial purposes but I shared some excerpts from the reissue of Led Zeppelin III and that was blocked immediately. It contained three twenty second snippets. I got a similar notice just as quick from "One of These Nights" by The Eagles. This time I submitted a dispute , stating this wasn't commercial , or disrespectful and may result in more sales. The videos have been reinstated but the owner can still have them removed. I recently wrote on this whole thing here.

There is an article on how confusing copyright is here.

I understand that you can't share whole songs , or use them , or snippets commercially , but what I am doing , in my  opinion , could be beneficial to the artist.

Most of the video are over six months old , and to be quite honest, I am not too bothered about that because social media is generally in the "NOW" and while the odd person might see and listen to the videos it's not worth my effort to dispute them. Also often I then get notices saying that the video has been reinstated as my dispute was successful , when I did not submit a dispute!.

Although I have not been writing much on here , I've had 14K page views so far this month , but I'm not too sure who is reading what. I once had a run in with YouTube over a Christopher Lee slideshow sound tracked by his version of "My Way".

I'll share one of the songs that were immediately banned that is fully available on YouTube , and that is the wonderful "Journey of the Sorcerer" by The Eagles , as used for the them to Douglas Adams' "The Hitch Hikers Guide To The Galaxy".

Friday, 28 May 2021

A Change


I have not been posting as much on my main blog , (that is this one), and that was my intention this year but thanks to me writing on Vocal my writing has actually gone up significantly.  The thing is there is no checking or approval needed on here and there is no need to hit a minimum word count so I can write as little or as much as I want and not have to  check whether it is OK for publication apart from my own visual and grammar and spelling checks.

With Vocal I do get paid for reads though it's a tiny amount but it is a different platform. The format is similar to how I post on here but I do write the initial post using Google Docs which I find a lot faster , more responsive and easier than Microsoft Word , and I am surprised on how slow Microsoft Office apps have become in general. They take an age to start, and sometimes decide to just freeze you out when you are in the middle of something. That is not very good.

I have just finished watching "The Haunting of Bly Manor" on Netflix and while episodes 1-7 were good I felt a little lost at times , but the final two episodes were amazing and the ending , if a little sad, was excellent. I now need to decide on what to pick up next.

I have just realised that my posts on here can be totally unfocused whereas Vocal needs them to be more to the main point to be approved. 

I am glad I have posted here and this morning while working have been listening to various things and the one that sticks in my mind is "All Through The City" by Wilko Johnson from the "Going Back Home" album on Chess with Roger Daltrey although it was a classic Dr Feelgood song , and I actually set and ran through the main riff and posted it in Instagram here, but will share with you.

Wednesday, 19 May 2021

The Devil Has All The Best Tunes

I am actually writing , well typing and not dictating, this draft article on my Google Pixel 2XL phone. Dictating gives me too much editing and fixing, but this is the first article I have done completely on the phone and am surprised that it is basically rather good. Not as convenient as a computer keyboard , but more than adequate and very fit for purpose.


While the title obviously refers to Christianity , this concept is prevalent 8n most religions, anything that brings us pleasure is wrong, and the right way is whatever the controlling body says is the way , hence subservience. We see it today when raising money for good causes ,where the very rich and powerful give nothing themselves but tell the "lower castes" to give and donate to help the less fortunate. Helping others is a worthy pursuit but when you think Jeff Bezis and Elon Musk could probably eradicate world poverty and not leave themselves short you see the issue I have. On a lesser scale Gary Barlow has evaded tax yet still partakes in money raising events (it gives him exposure) , but Mr Barlow is not "The Devil's Music" , far from it.


This article is very unresearched and is just coming from what's 8nmy head and my past experiences, so apologies for any glaring errors. It also contains a lot of my opinions and, despite what lots of people get on their high horses about, opinions and ideas mean nothing unless they are logically argued and backed up by facts. 


However a lot of what is going down here is not provable , I may say I think song A is the devil's music and song B isn't , that is my opinion and thoughts on the subject and you may disagree and since The Devil is not here to question I  have to assume and opine.


One of the earliest associations between modern popular music and the devil is that the blues singer Robert Johnson wet to the crossroads and sold his soul to the devil in exchange for being able to play guitar. Enough to damn him in the eyes of the church. 


Lots of popular music from the late 1800s which then became fused and influenced by and with African and swing rhythms would often implicitly and explicitly refer to ess ee ecks , an the "great and good" , were very disapproving of that.


This music often came from "the other side of the tracks" that was usually the black quarter , again you start to see the racist elements in the disapproval and terming of "the devil's music". 


During the wars soldiers were given time off for rest and recreation which is the same acronym as rock and roll , an African American label for that old ess ee ecks , and around 1951 DJ Alan Freed appropriated it for a musical style supposedly kicked off by Jackie Brenton's "Rocket 88" which , I believe also featured Ike Turner on guitar .


Crooners like Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra were also frowned upon in certain circles , though it was ironic that "Rock Around The Clock" by Bill Haley and His Comets and used as theme to the film "Blackboard Jungle"  sparked riots and wrecking of cinemas ,  but Haley was a middle aged man with a receding hairline leading a white western swing band , hardly the blueprint for the devil's music.


With media such as radio , television and cinema helping spread the word, or the sound , Elvis Presley , The Beatles and The Rolling Stones outraged many just by their existence , but they covered and were influenced by black music which gave a reason for certain organisations to attack them. When John Lennon said that the Beatles were bigger than Jesus that stoked record burnings and protests in the USA , though to burn them they had to buy them. 


The Stones "Sympathy For The Devil" was an obvious candidate for the devil's music.


Heavy Metal and it's various exponents took on Satanic overtones exemplified by bands like Black Sabbath , and then genres such as Black Metal and Death Metal.


Religious organisations also decided that playing records backwards revealed Satanic instructions and messages and this was cited when a young man committed suiced and Ozzy Osbourne's "Suicide Solution" was cited as the culprit, but you don't need to play that backwards and obviously the young man had other problems.


Also in this case Rob Halford of Judas Priest quite rightly said "If we could influence people using hidden messages , it would be BUY MORE OF OUR RECORDS , not  Kill Yourself."


There is so much good music and it is always progressing, it takes in all influences. 


If you listen to "Tubular Bells" it is an impressive and beautiful piece of music but was used (without Mike Oldfield's permission)  in the film "The Exorcist" so does that make it Satanic? I think not but anyone can put any interpretation on what they hear.


The thing is WE have the best music , because WE take inspiration and create music that can be described as how it affects us and others.


Tuesday, 11 May 2021

The Split

I have decided to stop posting my Vocal writing on SevendaysIn. I will continue posting on both platforms but this will be less focussed that the Vocal posts , and more just to record what is happening and to share music and links to books , and not to be too bothered about how many words I am posting.

This week is mainly not doing anything in Thirsk, and spending time away from work, although I have had a nice Whatsapp chat with my lovely boss.

The place I am staying is excellent and has a smart TV that is allowing me to watch whatever I want to, so I have re picked up "Better Call Saul". I find it amazing that now you can go on holiday and take the minimum of entertainment with you because ereaders mean you can take books on a device and it's the same with music and films and TV thanks to streaming services such as BBC iPlayer and All4, so I'm not short of anything to watch although I took an age to work out how to get rid of subtitles off iPlayer. You need to pause the program and then the subtitles icon appears on the pause screen.

So I'm not writing for Vocal so I can share the semi appropriate "Holiday Road" from "Nationl Lampoon's Vacation" by the genius Lindsey Buckingham. I call also reign back my posting on here although my Vocal posts may continue on an almost daily basis.

Sunday, 9 May 2021

More Writing

Another take away from me on writing on Vocal. As I have said I saw the original adverts for it saying that it would improve your writing discipline and I am always wary of claims like that, but willing to give things a try. A similar thing was with the NOOM diet plan which I eventually found too intrusive with the number of things that I was expected to take on, although I did take a couple of positive things from it and know people who are on the NOOM course and losing weight , but I found it too intrusive.


I was half expecting this from Vocal , but it just seems to be a supportive network and is full of articles about anything you need to know , a bit like the Internet search engines except that the articles are foul articles and not full of pop up adverts and misleading links.


I find the areas to post in is not always obvious and Vocal always manages to file them in a suitable area. I also find the tags not always perfect for what I have written about, but publishing is relatively simple.


The only rules that need to be followed is that your article needs to be at least six hundred words long and it needs to be readable. I once tried an article that I had done by dictating into my phone and it was, quite rightly, rejected.


I have been blogging for fifteen years on SevenDaysIn which I started as a travel diary but is has been taken over by my love for music and anything else that I want to remember. I do publish my articles there , as well as on Vocal as some readers prefer that platform and at the moment I get more visits there than I do here , but I have only been on here for less than a month, but published (when this is live) 32 articles.


This year I had said I would scale down my writing , but Vocal has actually caused me to write a lot more. The other thing is that my articles on SevenDaysIn were mostly around 250 words but obviously to appear on Vocal they need to be longer, so I have not only increased the number of articles I have written , but also increased the content of those articles and I hope the quality is still good enough for an audience to read.


I don’t think in all my time on SevenDaysIn I actually wrote about writing, but here I am on Vocal doing that.


So after this big preamble I now have a system that allows me to produce articles with interesting content in a relatively simple fashion.


I now do not type straight into the blogging interface. I did use Microsoft Word , but now have moved to Google Docs as it is fast , responsive , and lightweight and your documents are always available online, and it is free. I do find it amazing that with the processing power of our computers and devices certain software is so bloated with extra stuff it slows down the device to an unusable state.


When I have finished the article in Docs I choose a header video or picture for the Vocal story and paste the text in to give me the basic article.


When I was looking at Vocal articles I couldn’t work out how to put in links and pictures and videos into the article, but a little experimentation , showed me that if, at the start of a paragraph, I press an up arrow (sometimes twice) followed by the return key a plus sign (+) appears on the left hand side of where the cursor is and you can then add your link to enhance your article.


I had also seen text links and wasn’t sure how to do that, but if you select text you are given the option of changing it to a basic link , as well as a lot of other options.


I hope this points will help you if you are new to Vocal and I am certainly becoming more impressed with the interface and the platform.


As I am writing this I am listening to Fatboy Slim’s “Greatest Hits” and across the front it states “Why Try Harder?” from the cover guy’s T-Shirt , and really when we work we should be smarter so we don’t have to work harder, which means that after work we wil have energy for the things in life that we really want to do. I never knew until today that "Weapon of Choice" with the crazy dashing Christopher Walken video also features Bootsy Collins.


Incidentally I have found this piece easy to write and it has clocked it at more than 800 words. I recently read an article by Adrian Cruce about freelancing which stated the writer was paid $1.50 per 500 in 2001 which they rated a slave labour but now charge ten times that, but the rates still seem very low but that is the nature of the economy at the moment but hopefully we can change that.


You can read the freelancing article here


Saturday, 8 May 2021

I Read It In Books

I am constantly surprised at the number of people who do not not read books. They give excuses that they are too busy , they can’t concentrate and it’s easier to watch the film or TV series. I was saddened when my mother gave two sets of encyclopaedias to my brother and sister because she decided she didn’t like books. She taught me to read before I hit primary school when I was 4 , so she was well aware of how important reading was, and I am thankful for that. I also did the same for my daughters, much to the chagrin of some of their teachers.


Reading is a very useful habit and tool to have in your armoury to help you through lie. It can help you understand things , tell you how to accomplish things , although I mostly use it to go on adventures and to experience other worlds that are not my own.


As I have said people say they would rather watch a film , but that is the film makers take on that particular story and, especially since CGI became the norm, anything can be rendered on the cinema or TV screen, and that is no bad thing.


For instance “The Lord of The Rings” and “The Hobbit” films last about twelve hours altogether and people complain that Frodo or Aragorn was not how they imagined and places were not the same, but this was Peter Jackson’s take on the story, it was not Tolkien’s , or mine, or yours , it was his. 


Also despite the work that goes into making a film, the resultant film is about two hours long. Jackson managed to compress the six books of “Lord of the Rings” into three two hour films , but managed to spread the single book of “The Hobbit” over the same amount of film, therefore trimming a lot less from the original story. My friend Keith Mole also had a bit part in “The Hobbit” movies.


I suppose what I am working towards is saying that to enjoy a book you do need a decent imagination to be able to go where the words in the book intend to take you. There are, of course reference books and encyclopaedias that you will dip in to find facts  but I am talking about books that you will read start to finish, these are the ones that you need your imagination to be fully immersed in the experience. Maybe some people don’t , or can’t read because their imagination can work with what the book tells us.


We see lots of examples of people unable to watch a program, eat a whole meal, or listen to a song or an album from start to finish, and the thought of a book becomes a brick wall to them. Sometimes I see large books as a challenge, same with long pieces of music and long films, but I immerse myself and often find I do not want the book to end.


My favourite book is “Imajica” by Clive Barker which clocks in at around 1200 pages. I gave my paper copy to a friend and am revisiting it on my Kindle Fire, and I still love it when I drop into it and explore and experience the characters , places and events in there. As I write this I think I may get “Lord of the Rings” on my device and enjoy that in the same way. 


I am also revisiting the Adversary Cycle by F Paul Wilson which is basically six books at around 400 pages each , so the whop lot is twice the length of “Lord of The Rings”, and last rear I revisited some of the “Eternal Champion” books by Michael Moorcock which are usually trilogies or quadrilogies with each book 150-250 pages so a little shorter but still some wonderful adventures, although the only book that Moorcock wrote that resulted in a film was “The Final Program” which was “Eternal Champion” related but based on another Armageddon scenario.


The Philip Pullman series “His Dark Materials” was started as a film “The Golden Compass” but the American Christian right were against it’s anti religious sentiments so no more films were made , but HBO and the BBC came out with a stunning take on it, and although they are a TV series and have created a very believable rendition of the books for me there are many who don’t like it because it’s not their rendition.


So basically before you read a full book , prime your imagination before you take the plunge.


Thursday, 6 May 2021

WordsWith Friends, Tom Waits , Repairman Jack and The Adversary Cycle

 My last few posts have been more focussed on single item although this is more about where I am at the moment.


I had been playing Scrabble on Facebook with a few friends but it became less stable to the point of often not being able to play , and so I went back to Words With Friends which I had left about eight years back due to the number of pop up adverts that stopped me from playing, or at least slowed it down.


Although it’s on Facebook and requires a Facebook login for the phone version, if I tried to play it on Facebook it did not link with what I was playing on the phone. Again there were the adverts which I discovered you could exit early , but the worst thing was how the app drained the phone battery especially if you did not close the app when you were finished. Also loading the app was very slow but I could live with it, but I checked the battery usage and it would drop significantly when I was playing the game. I have a Google Pixel 2XL. The other was people who wanted to chat, some were actually fine, but most were trying to sell me bitcoin and forex stuff despite me saying I wasn’t at all interested, then there were people demanding my email and hangouts address so they could chat (I pointed out they could chat in the app) , but it was a final nail in Words With Friends for me. I informed my two Facebook friends who I played with and removed it from my phone, and the performance and battery life have improved no end.


The main battery drainage is my sharing video on Instagram and converting it using the excellent YouCut but I am fine with that , processing does take power.


I am intending to share this on Vocal but at this point this article is only half the required length so now I am going on to what I am reading at the moment. Also as I am writing this I am listening to the excellent “Bastards” the third disc of the “Orphans” set by Tom Waits and that has been my listening yesterday and this morning after his surprisingly good collaboration with Crystal Gayle on the soundtrack of the Francis Ford Coppola film “One From The Heart”, although with Tom Waits the unexpected is almost always expected.


I have just gone to cast my Local Council vote and the temperature is 1 degree Centigrade , cars and roofs are iced and there is black ice on the footpaths.


So Repairman Jack. I am reading “The Tomb” , the second book in The Adversary Cycle. It bears no resemblance to “The Keep” , the first book which was based in the second World War in Romania with two supernatural opponents , Nazis and Holocaust references , and it is an excellent read although the film was less successful , but a film has a limited time span to tell the story whereas a book can last as long as you want.


This is a rereading of “The Tomb” but it’s based in the eighties , dated by Jack’s Betamax collection and the fact he can live easily off grid in New York. Jack fixes wrongs. This book flashes between the British Raj and Sepoy rebellion in 19th Century India and 1980s New York with a Religious fundamentalist and some “demons” under his control. The “demons” are trained creatures and mortal, so not necessarily supernatural.


As yet there seems to be no link with “The Keep” , in particular the Adversary Molasar/Rasalom , but I’m only 140 pages in which is just over a third through the book, so there is plenty of time yet for an appearance. This is where not having a perfect memory is a benefit, I know the books are good , I know the basic overall story but the details are missing. Also F Paul Wilson is an extremely engaging writer and knows how to reel you in, or he knows how to reel me in.


I will no doubt add more as I work through the book , but it’s just the second of six books so I have a long way to go, and I’m not sure if Jack appears in all the books. I could research but I am happy just reading and enjoying “The Tomb”.


Monday, 3 May 2021

Writing on Vocal

When I saw the ads for Vocal , I was a bit wary although my interest was piqued. It posited that you would become more disciplined with your writing and therefore be able to write better and more often and maybe even get paid for it. Anything that says you can make money is another red flag, very often the first thing that happens is that you are asked for money, then you don’t make enough to cover what you have paid out and the only people who profit are the people that you have paid.


Vocal allows you to join and post for free and receive rewards but for $10 a month you get significantly improved rewards plus extras such as free entry to paid writing competitions where you can win up to $1,000 which is fairly tempting.


I am still on the free pass seeing if I can potentially start making money from this platform.


One of the main benefits is that your pieces are exposed to the membership and you are rewarded when they read them and that in turn makes you want to write more.


This year I was intending to cut back on my blog writing , but since I joined Vocal I have posted about 15 pieces since I started on the 18th of April.


Prior to joining I would write on my blog, each post being around 250-300 words, but Vocal requires a minimum of 600 words for an article so that is something that I need to be aware of when I am writing.


This was my first ever blog post on sevendaysin.co.uk on 18th February 2007:


Hello

This is just a start. Everyone seems to be blogging , so it’s just to set down some thoughts and observations.

 

The aim of the blog is to

  1. Tell you about my website

  2. Post articles on things

  3. Make comments on stuff that I've seen and heard”

So that was less than fifty words and for a long time I thought that was acceptable. 

Eventually it grew and my posts were usually directly into the blogger but with Vocal I realised I needed a new discipline , which I am following as I write this.

I tried actually dictating my posts but this required so much post editing and formatting , any time I saved, was lost getting the post into an acceptable format.

Next I thought I would use Microsoft Word so I could see a word count as I typed but it seemed slow and cumbersome to create the posts. I also like to include links to relevant products and an appropriate music video , as music is probably my most indulged with hobby as you would know if you follow my Instagram or Twitter channels @mikeydred96.

As I type this I am listening to a “Best Of” Spooky Tooth. Music often makes words flow from my fingertips and certainly makes writing easier, but others may prefer quiet.

Although isolation is best for writing , you cannot be totally isolated in life otherwise it is unlikely you could write about anything.

Even if you are writing fiction you need some form of inspiration , a Muse , contact and experience. These all provide inspiration for what you are going to put on your electronic page.

We are in a far better place for creativity than ever before. I am writing this using free online software and publishing on a free platform where others can read for free. 

Even if I didn't have a home and computer I could use a local library to put this together. That probably wouldn’t have been an option even ten years ago , although to be honest we could have done it as I have been blogging since 2007.

Google Docs, which I am using to write this while listening to “I Am The Walrus” by Spooky Tooth,  has a lot of helpful tools to make your writing easier , and the document is stored online so you can find it anywhere and it has just let me know I have it 675 words which is more than I need to actually submit this for publication on Vocal.

This is another thing , I would nether have thought about writing about writing before I joined Vocal, so it has instilled a bit of discipline in me that I don’t think I had before.

So I will finish this by sharing “The Weight” written by Robbie Robertson for The Band , covered by Smith on the “Easy Rider” soundtrack album but this cover is by Spooky Tooth.

Enjoy your day


Sunday, 2 May 2021

Copy Right?

This is essentially a diatribe on how copyright law is applied when you share on social media platforms such as Youtube , Facebook and Instagram . As yet I have had no issues with Twitter. The thing is I understand if the artist is not getting any benefit for my share , or I am being disrespectful, but where I can I share a link to buy the CD or digital copy.


Instagram and Facebook seem to be the worst, I was under the impression that you could share under thirsty seconds of a song , so I tend to keep the snips to 15-20 seconds although I make it up to minute long in the video sampling multiple songs. This is just like me playing a record for friends and saying “How good is this , take a listen and if you like it buy it”. I am providing the artist and therefore the record company and copyright owner with free advertising.


I don’t share the whole song , although I did in one instance recently “The Son of Noah’s Brother” by The Incredible String Band from “The Big Huge” is only seventeen seconds long. I have not had any problems with that share.


I will admit that more often than not companies are OK.. One of my most viewed Youtube videos is a slideshow featuring the artwork of Dr Faustus portraying the Nick Cave song “Red Right Hand” (the first piece of outside music used in the “X-Files” and later resurfaced in “Peaky Blinders”) in the style of Dr, Seuss.


I contacted Dr Faustus to see if he was OK using the art work but never received a reply , but I included a link in my Youtube post. I have not had a complaint from Nick Cave or his representatives and a lot of people seem to like it from the comments that I get on the post.


However in 2014 I was listening to 6Music and the DJ (which may have been Shaun Keaveny) mentioned that Christopher Lee was 90 and had been making heavy metal albums. I checked this out and was amazed to find that Christopher Lee was descended from Charlemagne , was a Nazi hunter , has appeared in more films that anyone else and much much more. Watch my slideshow to find out.


Anyway this got over 8K views on the first day and was pulled. It turns out it was Youtube and not the copyright owner , Charlemagne productions. I contacted them about it and they said they were fine with it but couldn;t do anything about what Youtube did. I was disappointed because Youtube would not reinstate it despite having the OK from Charlemagne productions.



I therefore uploaded it to my blog , which is part of the same organisation that owns Youtube and it stayed there. 


When Christopher Lee died I noticed some static copies of “My Way” on Youtube , so reloaded my Christopher Lee slideshow and this time it actually stayed up and has eventually become my most watched Youtube video. I am always wary of putting something on Youtube as often videos or slideshows take time to put together and you may publish it and then find it immediately taken down, although I do try to use more obscure music mainly with the aim of getting the music to a much wider audience.


Another thing is that often Instagram / Facebook videos are removed , sometimes years after the original post , then reinstated saying that my appeal has been successful . I never appeal because they never listen when I have appealed before. Also it’s not worth my time , but it's their club , it's their rules.


So I share because I want others to be exposed to good music and I think copyright owners should take this is into account because it will probably increase their sales.