Showing posts with label King Crimson. Show all posts
Showing posts with label King Crimson. Show all posts

Wednesday 10 April 2024



I have never been to Berwick, but in the Stuart Maconie book "The Pie At Night"  we find out that it was a favourite place of LS Lowry although we tend to associate him with the North West. We also are reminded of the Jewish origins of Fish and Chips, among many other culinary delights which has given me the ideas to write a Vocal post about the eateries in the Grainger Market in Newcastle.

I am also reading "Carol" by Patricia Highsmith, a recommendation from my work LGBT+ book club, so I will have two on the go, and that is not a bad thing.

He is also an excellent writer and DJ and worth checking out in print or on the BBC. 

I recently discovered that my American Amazon Author page has a feed from this blog which you can see here. It only shows on the .com site but not on others. C'est La Vie.

The music is "The Night Watch" by King Crimson from the album "Starless and Bible Black" that takes it's title from a line from "Under Milk Wood" by Dylan Thomas, because the only Lowry related song is the appalling Brian and Michael song "Matchstalk Men"

Mike Singleton - Vocal Stories

I am not sure if you are aware of my writing on Vocal but these are a few of my stories if you would like to sample them:

  1. Barter Books - An Amazing Bookshop In A Railway Station In Alnwick
  2. The Plagiaristic Poetry Series - Poems Taken From Random-Themed Lines
  3. Another Raven - A Take On Edgar Allen Poe's "The Raven"
  4. The Cleaner - An Autism-Focused Christmas Special
  5. An Owl In A Towel - A Beautiful Book by Lesley and Cheryl
  6. Three Reasons Why I Love Settle - Scaleber Force, The Hoffman Kiln and Castlebergh Crag
  7. The Accidental Book - Helping a Great Vocal Friend Resulted In Me Publishing My First Book
  8. Call Me Les - A Great Friend and An Amazing Writer and this is her Instagram

Saturday 27 April 2019

#AprilSongs #27 Saturday Night's (Alright for Fighting)

I originally was going to choose "Book of Saturday" by King Crimson for this but I had got it mixed up with "The Great Deceiver" (this is an acoustic reinterpretation and is rather good but you get the idea) from "Starless and Bible Black" ( What a wonderful and perfect description of dark night from "Under Milkwood" by Dylan Thomas) but the two songs could not be more different, the former in my opinion being fairly insipid while the latter is a brass assault and brilliant album opener. They are both on Youtube so you can check them out.

So then I though well "Saturday Night's (Alright for Fighting)" is one of Elton John's best and maybe a little obvious, but has some great lyrics and one of my favourite couplets:

"I'm a juvenile product of the working class 
Whose best friend floats in the bottom of a glass"

I've found an excellent 1984 live take which shows how good Elton John can be. This is the final #AprilSongs Saturday song and the whole sequence will be complete on the first of May.

Last I night I went to see Half Man Half Biscuit at The Boiler Shop and it was an amazing gig at a great venue. I managed to meet two people who I knew but had forgotten. The first was Clare (I don't know if that is the correct spelling as there are so many ways to spell the name)  from the Glamorous Owl (and if you want to partake in one of their excellent ring making workshops you get 20% off on the site) and I managed to compound my ignorance by not realising she had the names of the band on her T Shirt. She was with Victoria (who now lives in Liverpool) and a very affable Anarchist who I have probably seen at the Black Bull.

The other person was someone I have worked with, but it must be at least fifteen years back, but he recognised me but we had about two minutes at the bar.

Anyway have an enjoyable Saturday, I am off to Edinburgh.

Sunday 24 February 2019

Early To Bed

Well it will be once I've written this. I've had a quiet weekend, though I expect my steps for February to be complete by the end of tomorrow. The weather has been a little warmer and soon it'll be time to release the lawn mower, a chore I really don't like doing , but it has to me done. It does amaze me the way that grass, bushes , flowers and trees grow with little more than sun and rain to feed them.

I've been playing Scrabble recently and while you always want to win, you really do need to get beat once in a while to bring you down to earth. I started playing with a lady who normally wipes the floor with me, and I know she has been through hard times recently but aware she is still active on the Scrabble circuit but I have beaten her twice (never happened before) although the third game looks like reverting back to type.

So I've been adding more CDs to my Discogs list and sort of realised that I buy stuff to support the artists usually. Sometimes I may not like the music, but almost always I listen music digitally or on vinyl, it's very seldom I actually play a CD although I do have quite few DVD masters and often listen to "Thick As A Brick", "In The Court of The Crimson King" or "Space Ritual" and the sound on these discs is amazing. I also managed to get hold of a copy of the Newspaper vinyl issue of "Thick as a Brick" from the Skipton Sound Bar so I can listen on DVD or vinyl or just the MP3 ( which I listen to quite often on my walk to work).

So I'll share with you a live take of "In The Court Of The Crimson King" before I hit the sack for tonight

Thursday 10 January 2019

Future Islands

Just a quick one about blog targets for 2019. Last year I posted over 300 times (with the aim of beating my previous highest year of 2017 with 264 posts. This year I want to take the blog over 2,000 posts since day one which means just over 200 required this year, that still requires around two posts every three days so i am going to have to find something to talk about. Given that I seldom see anyone these days it does give me an option to say things that people may or may not listen to, but it's always pleasant when someone mentions something that I have written about.

I'm  still reading "There Is No Map In Hell" and it reminds me of "Fermat's Last Theorem" in that it's almost a gripping adventure , with the will he / won't he on almost every page, getting more and more tense as you near the end of the book.

I've also been adding more CDs to my Discogs store here due to the fact that I play vinyl more than I play CDs and listen to most of my music via various digital platforms such as my phone and Kindle Fire and Home Network.

I have bought a hell of a lot of CDs without really getting to know them, but also some have only required a single listen and it's pointless having them boxed up doing nothing.

Anyway, this is post 1799 so I will share Motorhead's take on David Bowie's "Heroes", and it is more than up to scratch. I've seen King Crimson's take which is great as well, and while I am sure there will be versions that don't cut the mustard, this certainly does.

Friday is almost upon us.

Saturday 21 July 2018

Flexibly Free

Back in the sixties and seventies music was often promoted by giving away vinyl flexidiscs. These were'nt meant to last but were meant to give you a taster of something so you would buy the actual single or album and generate income for the artist and definitely the record company.

The thing is sometimes these flexidiscs contained exclusive music (at the time), I'm thinking Alice Cooper's "Slick Black Limousine" which was promoting "Billion Dollar Babies" and the interludes on the promo for the Rolling Stones' "Exile on Main Street". These were both NME freebies as it was my music mag of choice at the time. Both these were committed to cassette as soon as I got them, but were lost way back. They may be worth something now.

I recently bought a couple of flexidiscsfor Long Play Cafe / Empire Records in The Grainger Market and was surprised that the Adam and The Ants one had no track name on , but is their take on The Village People's "YMCA" called apparently "IMCA". Because the flexidiscs slip you need to put a couple of coins to stop the vinyl slipping.  The other was by Hazel O'Connor and you can see the details here. LAter sounds actually started giving away vinyl EPs.

But in the sixties we started getting loss leader compilations. At first I thought these would be very expensive, but they were very cheap and full of amazing music. Again these often contained music you couldn't get anywhere else, I'm thinking "America", Yes' ten minute take on the Siman and Garfunkel song and Led Zeppelin's "Hey,HeyWhat Can I Do" on the "Age of Atlantic" samplers.

The first one that I bought was Island's "Nice Enough To Eat" which introduced me to Nick Drake, Fairport Convention, King Crimson and many more.

In the disgital age Amazon used to give free downloads but that seems to have stopped but often artists make music available to download for free in exchange for an email address.

I suppose music is still effectively free to listen to on the radio and Youtube, but I do like to have the music and make sure the artist gets something from me.

Well I am looking out at the blue sky and sunshine and think its time to wake the neighbours by mowing my overgrown jungle of a lawn.

Today Fiona and Helen are doing a 26 Mile walk for MacMillan which you can track here and donate here.

Have a most enjoyable day

Friday 15 June 2018

Does Playing Vinyl Increase Your Appreciation of Music?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Enjoy your Friday.

Thursday 25 May 2017

Forced March II (Being Boring)

I got home today and had 8.5K steps on the clock. Google Fit seems to be working OK. Fiona is in hospital in Coventry and there is no phone signal, but the good news is that she will be out soon and won't miss our holiday. Hospitals are brilliant places but you never ever want to be a patient.However thanks to our brilliant NHS they diagnosed and sorted her, which really puts your mind at rest.

Have done loads at work and started on some lyrics for song that my friend Sarah wrote, just need to kick on with the home recording. That may happen this weekend.

I had no need to walk any further but thought I could maybe do another 2.5 K, the weather was good and so I set off. I got to the top of the road realised I'd left my bus pass (in case I wanted to ride back) and wallet at home. But decided to continue and wander round taking in a few streets that I've not been down before managing to hit over 11K again.

I apologise for writing about walking, as I do like to write about interesting stuff, but I suppose I have just been very boring over the last few days, but it's got to 10:30 and I haven't even found an interesting piece of music to play, then I found this recent take of King Crimson playing "Heroes" no Bowie , but Fripp is going strong, and forty years on it sounds amazing.

"King Crimson performed Heroes at the Admiralspalast in Berlin as a celebration, a remembrancing and an homage. The concert was thirty nine years and one month after the original sessions at the Hansa Tonstudio overlooking the Berlin Wall. This is released in the Fortieth Anniversary year."

Robert Fripp.

Tuesday 23 May 2017

On The Move

I'm Top 10
Rightly or wrongly, these days I probably listen to most of my music on the move. The is wholly due to my decision to walk 10K steps a day after Fiona had asked if I wanted to take part id a 15K step challenge. Then she told me about One Million Step Challenge to raise money for Diabetes research. Amazingly when I searched on Google two of my posts in the top ten, how long they'll be there I don't know.

Anyway, as usual I digress, but when I say wrongly  it' because I love listening to music either on my player in a room at home, preferably loud. I remember the first time I played "Court of The Crimson King"  by King Crimson on my home cinema system on the remastered DVD audio, I was stunned, the sound and detail was amazing (it still is), this was a late sixties album (admittedly by some top notch musicians) but this was a revelation to me.

When I was a teenager one Christmas I got Blue Oyster Cult's "On Your Feet or On Your Knees" and put it on my record player. I was so disappointed. This was one of the top heavy metal bands and it sounded , well weak. Then I thought,  TURN IT UP. I did , and I was blown away. My parents weren't too happy, so loud stuff like this had to be heard on headphones, or just when I had the house to myself.

I also love hearing music live as well and have recently seen The Coyotemen, Simon Wood, Staggerin' Jon Lee, Go Go Midgets, Brent and The Brads and next Sunday I am going to see my friends Sophia and Sophie debut with their band The Citrines here.

Anyway I've not really kept up the #ATuneaDayinMay , but given what happened last night, I'm going to put in New Order's  "Blue Monday", Manchester will bounce back. Just feel for the families devastated by the cowardly bullying attack.

Keep positive... don't let the bullies win.

Friday 14 October 2016

Going Schizoid - #ALifeInNumbers #21

One of the problems with the early numbers in this sequence is realizing the good stuff I've missed. For 20 I could have had "20th Century Boy" by T. Rex, but "20 Flight Rock" by Eddie Cochran is still a great so that's fine. I have the songs mapped out to 41 at the moment with a few scattered between there and 59, and the original premise for 21 was "21" by The Eagles from the album "Desperado".

Coming home however the perfect, for me, 21 song came to mind, six and a half minutes of monstrous jazz rock that the Rolling Stones had to follow in Hyde Park in 1969, not other than "21st Century Schizoid Man" by King Crimson featuring the psychotic and psychedelic lyrics of Pete Sinfield, Greg Lake on vocals and Bob Fripp on guitar. This is still an incredible piece and it always amazes me. I bought the album "Court Of The Crimson King" on DVD to listen in full surround sound , and though it's close on fifty years old it sounds stunning. I managed to find the Hyde Park broadcast but the album should be in your collection.

Time for bed now, though this is not music to fall asleep to.

Saturday 4 October 2014

Starless and Bible Black

I must admit that the first time I came across this ominous beauty of a phrase is when King Crimson used it as the title of one of their great albums. Of course it comes from the opening of Dylan Thomas' wonderful tone poem "Under Milk Wood" :

"To begin at the beginning: It is spring, moonless night in the small town, starless and bible-black, the cobblestreets silent and the hunched, courters'-and-rabbits' wood limping invisible down to the sloeblack, slow, black, crowblack, fishingboatbobbing sea."

Anyway, it perfectly describes the feeling of being here in Ampleforth in the middle of the night, but here it id perfect calm and very relaxing, though it was initially disconcerting when I first came as I tend to get a little unnerved in absolute  total darkness when you have no point of reference such as a chink of light through the curtains or late night taxis taking people home or the police helicopter chasing someone down the A1. In Ampleforth there is none of that, just calm and serenity, admittedly in the dark.

Actually the local Church clock auto chimes on the hour, or something does because as I awoke I heard three bell chimes.

Anyway after a good journey down, I found I'd managed to leave my contact lens solution at home (none to be found in Helmsley and about the only thing the loacal Post Office doesn't stock), then realised that I'd left my glasses at home, so once lenses are out the eyestarin gets a bit much for any reading or messing about on the computer, then I realised I'd left the DAB Radio at home (and we have 4!) so that's three things I've forgotten.

Anyway it's almost four in the morning now, so I am going to get back to bed, and leave you with the DubWood Allstars treatment of the intro to Under Milk Wood, which I have loved since Cerys Matthews played it on her 6 Music show. And if you want to watch the recent excellent BBC production, it's here:

Tuesday 5 June 2012

5.1 Vinyl ?

There's a lot of big boxes to celebrate anniversary releases , notably David Bowie's Ziggy Stardust and Paul McCartney's Ram.  Now McCartney's release is sort of OK , but if you want the 5.1 mix you have to buty the most expensive box , but you can buy the vinyl separately.

Bowie's box and the Station to Station release require you to fork out for vinyl as well if you just want the 5.1 mix. Pink Floyd have done similar thinks with their immersion sets.

5.1 sound is worth hearing if you have a home cinema set up but you should have to buy the vinyl version as well to hear things in 5.1.

Kink Crimson , Black Sabbath and The Talking Heads have released reasonably priced 5.1 mixes of classic albums without requiring fans to break the bank. So until the 5.1 mixes are available as a reasonably priced option my money will be staying in my pocket. I have the King Crimson , Black Sabbath and Talking Heads albums so I have plenty to listen to.

Friday 30 October 2009

Remastered Deluxe Derangement

Just checking the reissues this month and it seems that everyone is going overboard with 2 CD , DVD deluxe reissues of old albums. We've had the Beatles Remasters series , where the sound has been scrubbed up and CDs augmented with a documentary which is unfortunately in Quicktime format . Why they couldnt do it as DIVX so you can play it on your DVD player I dont know, Quicktime is part of the Apple Bloatware Empire.

I recently acquired "In The Court of The Crimson King" and "Red" by King Crimson which sound incredibly great on my basic 5.1 system. These are part of the King Crimson 40th Anniversary reissues:

While this is all very well these Deluxe Reissues seem to be becoming the norm rather than the exception, very often augmented by out takes which were deemed "not good enough" for the original release. So this poses the question - "Is this just andnother money grabbing exercise by the record companies?".

Probably , but it does give you the opportunity the hear stuff that would have been lost , and hopefully doesn't affect the production and promotion of new music , but I feel that shops and companies are more likely to push a Beatles reissue than a new record by , say , General Fiasco. And that's a bad thing!!