Sunday, 31 January 2021

The Reality Cutter

It's that last day of January 2021 , and this will probably be my last post of January 2021. It is sort of strange to think that this will never happen again , not even in clocks and calendars are reset and we start again. It reminds me of seeing cloud formations or impressive skies knowing that if I don't capture them now with a camera then that will be them gone forever.

I've been wanting to write a book for decades and certainly have the tools to do it, and thanks to ebooks self publishing is now extremely easy via Amazon and others but every time I start , I hit a brick wall. This blog contains one short story contained in posts , but as yet this blog is my only publication. Hopefully I will do more. I have also included a few non-poems. These you can see by following the links

The title came to me as an idea for a story or book but not sure what it means or which way it goes , although I have a few ideas. The main concepts that come to mind are Philip Pullman's "The Subtle Knife" or the wielder of said instrument or films like Christopher Nolan's "Inception" or Duncan Jones' "Source Code". Duncan Jones remember came into this world as Zowie Bowie and is responsible for at least two must see films, the aforementioned one and the brilliant "Moon". The concept of the upside-down in "Stranger Things" also has flowed into my thoughts on this.

I thought I would do a google search on "The Reality Cutter" and you can see the results here , so it seems it's a reasonably original concept and maybe worth pursuing , although by posting this "The Reality Cutter" will drop into the Google search universe.

So what music do I share with you to illustrate this concept? The opening titles of "His Dark Materials:The Subtle Knife" I think fit the idea perfectly. If you haven't read the books and watched the film "The Golden Compass" which excellent , but the TV series does it better , you should really visit all these. 

Enjoy your last day of January 2021 (oo that sounds ominous doesn't it)

Thursday, 28 January 2021

Hopping In Puddles

Today is my dad's 86th birthday and he's still going strong . The problem is the older you get the less there seems to be to get you for your birthday. Personally I don't feel I need anything , and struggle to think of anything that I want. Maybe getting older means socks become acceptable. I got my dad a mug with a pictures of the world's oldest in use post box , as he is very interested in post boxes having installed hundreds.

Today I was out walking and the snow has gone but has left lots of big puddles and a couple of girls pased me and ended up traversing several , which I circumnavigated, and then remembered that the glascially beautiful "Hoppipola"  by Sigur Ros is Icelandic for "Hopping In Puddles" and it does sound like that's what it could mean.

It was used as the theme to David Attenborough's BBC series "Planet Earth" so I will share that with you on this very brief post.


Although we have not had snow, temperature have been continually less than zero for more than a week now, meaning that snow has not melted and pavements are covered in frost.

The temperature has warmed a little and though there was a flurry of snow , it's now just continuous rain, and still cold.

The BBC has just stated it's going to be a dry day , but snow and rain in Scotland (for the Scotland being anywhere north of Watford)

Music wise I listened to a lot of Lou Reed the other day , a 5CD set featuring "New York" , "Songs For 'Drella" . "Magic and Loss" , "Set The Twilight Reeling" and "Ecstasy" , and every album is excellent , all far outstripping the David Bowie produced "Transformer" his breakthrough solo album and often listed has his peak.

These five albums prove that Lou Reed solo was far from a one trick pony. "Transformer" contains some stunning songs (my favourite is "Vicious") but we will go with the opener from "New York" "Romeo Had Juliette".

Have a great Thursday everyone.

Thursday, 21 January 2021

Keep It Dark

 Although we are way past the shortest day (on the Winter Solstice) it is still dark in a morning although lighter in an evening. It's 8AM now and coming light but we will soon be implementing daylight saving again (slightly pointless in a 24/7 society) and will be back to even darker mornings.

This is another post that I started a couple of days ago and then have picked up to finish today. The weather has been dreich although last night we had snow again which you can see on my Instagram channel here.

I have been doing a work course in Power BI yesterday and today so not much time to listen to music, but yesterday I picked out a free copy of "True" by Spandau Ballet and wasn't too impressed , but luckily it's only thirty six minutes. "Lifeline" is good , but the rest is dross although the title track was successfully integrated into the excellent "Set Adrift on Memory Bliss" by PM Dawn.

Anyway the song I am going to share is the excellent "Keep It Dark" by fourth phase Genesis from "Abacab" which I believe was titled after it's chord sequence and is one of the many great songs they produced after Peter Gabriel left.

It's light now and it's 8:18am.

Saturday, 16 January 2021

Walking On Thick Ice

The weather has curtailed my walking. It is cold . It has snowed and turned to slush and them frozen , then rained and then frozen again , although the sun is now out and seems to be melting snow and ice. The temperature is up to 6ºC so nowhere near the -5ºC of the other day.

When walking , it's like you are on a think sheet of  ice that crumples underfoot so you are not skidding all over the place , although very often the cleared areas get a film of very slippy black ice.

A lot of the snow is gone but we shall see what tonight brings.

Musicwise I took delivery of a couple of 12" singles of "America:What Time Is Love?" by The KLF although I've seen a picture disc version but £40 is too much for me to pay. I shared a few plays on my Instagram Channel here. The record player I was cajoled into buying by Marek from RPM  has been one of my most impressively joyous purchases that I have made (you see it a lot on my Instagram feed)

I will share with you with the excellent "Walking On Thin Ice" by Yoko Ono (with John Lennon on guitar) as it fits with the current weather

Friday, 15 January 2021

How I Found Kraftwerk

Most people see Kraftwerk's music as machine music and came to them via "The Robots" or "Showroom Dummies" or if they think they are really cool "Autobahn" (one of the few non English big hit singles in the UK , the only others I can immediately recall are "Ca Plane Pour Moi" by Plastic Bertrand and "La Bamba" by Richie Valens & Los Lobos and incidentally Lou Diamond Phillips who played Richie Valens in the film "La Bamba" is rather excellent in "Prodigal Son" which also feature a brilliant scenery chewing Michael Sheen).

I came across Kraftwerk on a Vertigo sampler "Suck It And See" , with an almost vicious flute driven piece called "Ruckzuck" and it is still one of my favourite Kraftwerk pieces. Of course that was from their debut album and their sound became progressively less organic and more robotic / mechanical (and that is not a criticism , it is just the way they progressed) , to the point where they replaced themselves with robots on stage.

The reason Kraftwerk came to mind was because "Your Silent Face" by New Order (see last post) was based on "Europe Endless" by Kraftwerk the opener from "Trans Europe Express", which I have included her so you can listen to Kraftwerk where I found them and where they are now.

Thursday, 14 January 2021

Favourites You Didn't Know You Had

 At the weekend was talking about my favourite New Order songs and my top two I thought were "Temptation" and "Love Vigilantes". Fiona pointed me towards the Guardian's Top 30 New Order songs and I checked out "Your Silent Face" from "Power Corruption and Lies" which is absolutely beautiful, so that has joined my other two favourites , it's apparently a homage to Kraftwerk's "Europe Endless" which I will now have to check out.

When I was listening I thought the synth strings were familiar and think they were lifted for "Sunchyme" by Dario G , which also samples "Memory of a Free Festival" the closer from "Space Oddity" by David Bowie.

I am tempted to track down a 12" vinyl copy of "Your Silent Face" but it was not initially a single so that may be a no go (like "Love Vigilantes").

So a very very short post but I will share both songs with you so you can check them out.

Wednesday, 13 January 2021

Warm In Bed

Just at the moment that is my preferred place. Outside is dark and cold and wet. The recent snow was actually pleasant to go out in and make you want to get up but the current weather just makes you want to curl up in bed and stay toasty warm. 

Tonight snow is forecast and when i was out tonight an almost powdery rain was coming down. I was wearing a hat but didn't notice it til I got in and realised how wet my outer clothing was.

2021 is proving difficult for me to post on this blog , I don't know whether that's cos of lockdown or the fact I am not seeing people apart from family. 

I am listening to a lot of music while working from home, today has been mainly reggae with some Queen and Sisters of Mercy thrown in. I pick things out of my Discogs pile and am glad I kept my CD player as it's a little more hands on than streaming or even playing stuff on my network.

Reading wise I am reading "Left Out" about the self destructive nature of the Labour Party under Jeremy Gabriel Pogrund and Patrick MaGuire, the  sad thing is they could have taken the country forward but were more bothered about fighting among themselves and left the country to the destructive incompetence of the current government.

So what piece of music to share. Yes are known for their over complicated progressive music , and lots of it is very good but one of my favourites is a relatively simple but still clocking in at ten minutes pice from "Close To The Edge" , "And You And I" , the lyrics are often ridiculous , but it gives me goosebump every time I hear it and was once released in full as one side of a  single! Listen and see what you think.

It might snow tonight.

Sunday, 10 January 2021

A Snowy Interlude

It was dreich and depressing , then we had snow which was cold but pretty, and now the snow has gone and it's dreich and depressing the day before going back to work. 

Still is always good to try and find something positive and I have been listening to some great music and seen a surprisingly good film "Cold Skin" which sort of reminded me of William Hope Hodgson's "The Night Land" which I have not read for some years , replacing the pyramid with a lighthouse in the Antarctic.

Also have been trying to think of music that is in the same universe as The Moody Blues , and on album that came to mind was "Trespass" by Genesis. While "The Knife" is definitely too aggressive for The Moody Blues but all the preceding songs could almost be a darker Moody Blues.

So I will share "Dusk" with you from "Trespass" , appropriate for this time of year, and still a great song.

Friday, 8 January 2021

I Wanna Wear A T Shirt

We're in the first full week of 2021 , and I posted on New Year's Day, but haven't felt like writing since then. Part of this is the dreich weather we have been having which is not conducive to inspiration. It was Tuesday when I started this and really haven't felt like writing anything.

The thing is I am wrapped up but seriously just want to wear a T Shirt, it's a long time sing I seemed to have the choice.

Oddly I have managed to do a lot of walking although we've finally had snow and that has slowed my walking but increased the steps.

It's a first week back at work and now I am a home worker I think my main problem is not taking a break,

I didn't really want to continue this post and thought about deleting it but then thought I would just continue it.

I have been listening to a lot more music this week , but really need to start making it but am embarrassed to actually play anything too loud. At least with writing you don't make too much noise.

I have started the latest series of "Vikings" with one of the most impressive battles and death scenes I have see, that is sort of difficult to follow.

So what music do we leave you with at eleven o'clock on a frosty Friday night., "America:What Time Is Love" by KLF , seriously what else could I leave you with.

Friday, 1 January 2021

Could A Copper Comprehend?

 Wasn't sure if I was going to post on the first day of 2021 but the song "Fog on the Tyne" by Lindisfarne has been playing through my head and as I remembered the words I was thing what tripe they actually were from a logical position.

But that's not what it's about , they may have made sense to Alan Hull as he quaffed his next bottle of Newcastle Brown Ale but what he came up with was a genius tone poem , the words sound perfect together , and are great to sing, just don't think about what they are actually saying. I have often used the same argument about Abba and Rush , just listen to the music , fall into the song and enjoy it for what it is.

The song is very simple to play and great to sing along to, a fantastic live staple. Lindisfarne also did some complex and difficult to play songs (say the ghostly "Lady Eleanor") .

Today I wanted to have a walk out, the weather is still grey and boring but I managed to hit my step target trying to track down non existent Buck's Fizz (the drink not the Eurovision Song Contest winners).

So I will share the lyrics for you to peruse and of course you can listen to it above.


Fog on the Tyne

"Sittin' in a sleazy snack-bar suckin'
Sickly sausage rolls
Slippin' down slowly
Slippin' down sideways
Think I'll sign off the dole
'Cause the fog on the Tyne is all mine, all mine
The fog on the Tyne is all mine
The fog on the Tyne is all mine, all mine
The fog on the Tyne is all mine
Could a copper catch a crooked coffin maker
Could a copper comprehend
That a crooked coffin maker is just an undertaker who
Undertakes to be a friend
'Cause the fog on the Tyne is all mine, all mine
The fog on the Tyne is all mine
The fog on the Tyne is all mine, all mine
The fog on the Tyne is all mine
Tell the truth tomorrow
Today will take it's time to
Tell you what tonight will bring,
Presently we'll have a pint or two together
Everybody do their thing
We can swing together
We can have a wee wee
We can have a wet on the wall
If someone slips a whisper
That his simple sister slapped them down
And they slavered on their smalls
'Cause the fog on the Tyne is all mine, all mine
The fog on the Tyne is all mine
The fog on the Tyne is all mine, all mine
The fog on the Tyne is all mine
'Cause the fog on the Tyne is all mine, all mine
The fog on the Tyne is all mine
The fog on the Tyne is all mine, all mine
The fog on the Tyne is all mine"