Showing posts with label Spotify. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Spotify. Show all posts

Monday 19 April 2021

Writing While Moving

 I’m am slightly in awe of the way we are becoming a TV watching proletariat. Though that’s a discussion for another time. I decided to see if I could do a blog post as I walked and this is the result. I hope my edits manage to make it readable

One of the problems with writing, walking, doing things they always take time.I was just wondering that out on my morning walk could I actually record this and use phone and Google Docs to record my thoughts.

I'm not sure if I can do paragraphs or how to actually make breaks but anyway this is going to be a stream of text which I can then take apart when I actually get home and you know so that we can actually see if this actually works.

I do write about music and that is a big part of my life. When the lock down hit last February or whenever I suddenly spent a lot of time and listening to 6 Music listening to radio and hearing what they had to play and share.

The I also you realised that my CD collection is too big. I mean I've ripped most of it to my network but when CDs are in boxes or even worse in an attic then you may as well just get rid. I've actually got a pile that I've for sale on Discogs now .I'm not looking for money as such, more just to make space ,and as I say, I've got a lot of boxes of CDs but what then happened is that whilst I listened to stuff through my Kindle fire and speaker system, I realised that my radio also had a CD player so I thought well I will listen to some of these CDs I've got for sale because it's very close, while I work.

Then I thought you know so even the ones I have on saleI will listen to those as well and it's progressed so that I spend my working day listening to music on CD.

A lot of people have actually said oh well you're not with the times. You should be using Spotify or a streaming service and yeah I can stream on YouTube or whatever the odd one, there are full albums on there they do get taken down.

I now listen to my CD collection as it  is very convenient and as I say I have lots of CD box sets and I do believe that my purchase of CDs a lot of the time it was more about supporting the artist then actually getting the CD and you know I've not listened to lots of my music.

I probably I have hundreds of thousands of tracks and I know this from ripping them to my digital store. I've also bought albums from Bandcamp recently by Edward II and Jordan Reyne because Spotify does not support artists. Spotify is flawed because there are a few people making a lot of money from it and artists not the ones. If you're an artist trying to break through you are not really going to make all that money you can't. I tried it and I got paid 0.00001 didn't get paid anything because he was too small to pay but basically Spotify make a lot of money.

A couple of years ago daft punk's random access memory what's the biggest selling album and biggest streamed album of the year and they got paid £13,000 . When you can see that the people in Spotify are all millionaires making millions from this it's not the artist who's getting the money.

I'm told that I'm behind the times and I should have a Spotify account and you can get it free with advertising whatever but it's a very bad model for the artists.

The model does not encourage new music.It’s alright it's just using what's there and if there was no new music produced ever Spotify would still go on it would be ok.It would still make money because shall we say the market the market has now got so much music.

 I mean we've got music from a couple of centuries and even just normal popular pop music is like 70 years of Music so Spotify has this huge amount of music for people to actually stream and listen as and when they want and it's convenience but I once actually said that CD was the McDonaldisation of music by its convenience you can actually skip tracks sequence tracks in the order you want make playlists.

The move to mp3 and digital even made that's more convenient and Spotify you don't even have to o that you just let Spotify choose what you want to hear and you know it's a perfect medium for people to actually or the corporations to decide what you want to listen to.

When I was with EE the streaming service was Deezer and I saw an advertisement for it and it was just it just chooses exactly what I want to hear no it doesn't it chooses what it thinks you should hear and that is my problem

I see Amazon suggestions and old you bought this so you might want to buy this which force you to actually do it like listen to it and decide it's not what I want or he might listen to it in here something and decide yeah if it's what I want but you know side of my preferred way is you know when I listen to the radio or walk into a record shop and hear something and think what the hell's that .

Luckily these days with digital radio you can find out what you actually playing with online lists or it shows you on the actual DAB player and the DJ usually tells you.

When I was a teenager when you heard something and then the DJ didn't say who it was or it because they said at the beginning of the song in you came in like 20 seconds in then you know it was a little more difficult and that happened so many times with me where I heard things and I'm going like what the hell is that you know.

Today we've got you got things like Shazam which will recognise music most of the time so you know and then you should have it and then you can actually get it from wherever so there is no need for it for my old site apart from a legacy thing where people wanted to hear know what the music was so many years ago and such an advert you know but again it's just like people who want that it's so few now that the sites not worth maintaining all I've got it on Facebook and if I see a decent advert I will put it on there because the advert will be on YouTube and it's it is one of those things that even with adverts these days there are very few that are worth noting and again if you want music on your device then you got it

So the first song that made me start the Song of The Salesman site was a Guinness advert that used “Burke’s Law” by Prince Buster so I will signoff with that. Though I can’t find it so we will share “Guaglione” by PĂ©rez Prado with the fabulous Dancing Man advert.

This has been mostly spoken into my phone and recorded by Google Docs so I will blame that for all my mistakes.

Tuesday 2 March 2021

March On .. And Support Artists

I don't buy much music these days, my collection is huge and I am selling a lot of CDs I bought on Discogs. I've written previously that I have bought albums because I think I should have them . The good thing about this is that the artist get's supported from the initial sale , although subsequent resales don't actually benefit the artist although often money I get from Discogs sales does by music. This week, although I don't need it I have ordered an album by Deodato and singles by The KLF and Roger Williams on vinyl. 

The albums I have for sale I have in a stack next to my desk and I actually listen to them to see if they are worth keeping. I think one or two have made me think "Why the hell did I buy that?" but most ate worth listening to. I am currently listening to a five disc budget reggae compilation called "The A To Zion" and it is rather good but it's still for sale.

Other's like "Meet The Humans" by Steve Mason (ex of the Beta Band) were so good that I pulled it from the store. I have the attitude that if you put something in a box or drawer that that's it , it's not going to be played, but yesterday I was listening to a Randy Newman box and after the five excellent discs of his Americana I remember I had a couple in the "N" box , and next to those two was an NWA compilation , so three discs for that box actually got played yesterday.

The main reason I am writing this is that I got a missive from Jordan Reyne on Bandcamp about her new album Chapter Zero  . Jordan does not put her music on leech like streaming services like Spotify or Apple Music that make a fortune for their owners but pay the artist a pittance. I cannot see how the model can properly work, but for almost all artists it doesn't so if you share a Spotify playlist with me you go down in my estimation.

Ever since I saw her opening for The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing at Think Tank? (see here) six years ago she has remained the most impressively original artist I have ever seen or heard. She is also a very approachable person , and her set that day was so stunning that I bought three CDs on the spot. So a new album is always an essential purchase , and buying from Bandcamp ensures that artist gets fair recompense for their work.

I am looking forward to hearing the new album and you gat a digital copy of all her work here for about thirty quid. Not only is she a musician she puts together videos for her songs on her YouTube channel here. You will be impressed.

Though it's the opener from here last album "Bardo" , "Then They Came For You" shows her video creation skills off, and is a song for our times.

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.

Wednesday 26 August 2020

Just Support Art - - #AnimalAugust #18

Working from has got me listening to CDs again. I did start listening digitally , and because my record player is downstairs , vinyl is not an option. I am listening to CDs that I have probablty never played but felt I needed in my collection, so I am slowly working my way through th eBruce Springsteen "Sound Stage" 15 Cds of radio broadcast , plus today there have been a couple of Yes albums and a couple bt Stomu Yamash'ta .

I usually start the day with a bit of 6Music and then drift into the CDs.

I bought a lot of my music because I felyt I should have it and should support the artist , so yesterday I was listening to "Coconut" by The Archie Bronson Outfit. I don't know what possessed me to buy the album , whether it was a recommendation or I had heard something , but it was a great listen, and I also feel good that The Archie Bronson Outfit will have gor a decent chunk of the CD sale rather than the 0.000001p they would have got if I had listened to it on Spotify.

Other art forms require our support as well , however we do it , by either buying the art , paying an entrance fee or donating , or ideally from taxes , so artists don't have to worry when they are next going to eat.

Art can take many forms and all of them need our support, however we can, so buy , support , go and watch. We need art.

Continuing with #AnimalAugust (I am surprised I hav posted 18 times this month already), I am going to go with the beautiful "Beeswing" by Richard Thompson , one of my favourite singers , songwriters and guitarist.

Tuesday 12 May 2020

Stream Girls

I'm not sure why , maybe because I'm a sexist , male chauvinist misogynist , but I find some of the phrasing and vocabulary of Lauren Laverne and Mary Ann Hobbs a bit grating and pretentious with "down with the kids" descriptions of certain musical pieces , however I'm OK with Craig Charles and Shaun Keaveny coming out with similar things.

It doesn't stop me listening to their music though , and they are far better that the dross available on commercial radio and  other BBC stations and today Mary Ann Hobbs had a guy on discussing the state of streaming. Now as you know I will not have anything to do with Spotify because it's an unworkable model and today I found out something more about the model that makes it even worse.

When you (or the person who's giving it your free) pays Spotify or whoever their monthly fee this is what happens. They take their cut and then the money goes into a big pot. It is the paid out to artists based on the the number of streamed songs they have. So what that means ids that you may have a a predilection for Egyptian and Iranian folk and listen exclusively to that music. Which is good for you but not the artist. Why? Because the money you may is split based on all streamings so if Ed Sheeran gets a million times the streams your artists get , then he will get that chunk of your subscription and the artists you listen to get next to nothing. So basically Spotify is even worse than I thought.

So a big , big thank you to Mary Ann Hobbs (and possibly Lauren Laverne) for illuminating me on this. They are extremely good and I can put up with the bits that niggle me. Here's my last post on the situation and to go with this I will share "Stealin'" by Uriah Heep , in my opinion a great record  with a vague connection to the situation.

Friday 17 April 2020

Music While You Work ... at the touch of a button

One of the things about working from home is that I was listening to 6Music a lot , and my inherent laziness means that unless a CD is with reaching distance I don't play it , but I have an app on my Kindle Fire called BubbleUPnP that wirelessly links to my digital collection (which Alexa can't / won't do , in fact it won't even play the music I have bought from Amazon , every time I ask it says I have to use Spotify which I won't on principle) so I've linked my Kindle Fire up to some Altec-Lansing speakers and now can play music at several touches of buttons and screens (I love how so many things are sold "at the touch of a button"). Here's an example on my Instagram channel.

I've discovered that my digital collection is missing several of my Captain Beefheart album so I need to excavate them from the box that they are in to add them , specifically "Clear Spot" and "The Spotlight Kid". "Trout Mask Replica" and "Unconditionally Guaranteed" are on there but there are a lot that need ripping from the CDs I have.

I am torn between sharing "Grow Fins" from "The Spotlight Kid" (with it's four / five note riff and incendiary harp sound) and "Orange Claw Hammer" from "Trout Mask Replica" (which was an unaccompanied sea shanty style , but I have one with musical backing, which I will share at some point but I found one with Frank Zappa on guitar) so I can't decide so will go with both , this Friday morning.

Thursday 9 April 2020

Je M'Ennuie

No, I'm not bored ( je m'ennuie is French for I'm Bored in case you were wondering what I am on about)  but I think others might be in this COVID-19 Lockdown. On my Discogs store I sell a CD maybe once every two weeks but this week it's more than one a day. I think people are getting bored and browsing Discogs and buying CDs , a sort of online retail therapy. It's good that people actually buy music as opposed to getting a Spotify subscription, alth I suppose buying from me doesn't really benefit the artist, but it is helping people get through the Lockdown.

In my last post I said how good "Crocodiles" by Melt Yourself Down was , and they had a great conversation with me on twitter although  Melt Yourself Down is a great name for a song and reminds me of "Melt The Guns" by XTC , but Crocodiles is a great name for a band. Anyway I am gonna be pursuing their music much wither but the sax riff on "Crocodiles" is something else, it could almost be classic Van Der Graaf Generator (unusually for a rock band they had no bass and no guitar in their early incarnations but still managed some of the most impressive music you will hear).

So I'm going to share "I'm Bored" by The Bonzo Dog Band , because I am sure that is hitting a lot of people at the moment, but a litle good music can definitely dispel the ennui and we drift into lockdown Easter, and on Amazon I've just seen a Cheese Easter Egg!!

Thursday 28 November 2019


Today people often try and share Spotify playlist with me. I don't contenance Spotify, it's not my inner Ron Swanson but the fact that it's not a business model that rewards almost all the artists who are on it's available catalogue. I suppose the other thing is that as a teenager if I wanted to share music with friends it required recording records in real time, at first recording via microphone and later when I got a job a music centre which recorded directly from the radio.

I didn't realise that the compact cassette first appeared around 1965 (comprehensive Wiki history here) , I thought it was a Sony invention because of the Walkman which allowed music on the move.

To create a cassette you had to record in real time, the playlist was just the initial plan, even when MiniDisk and CD superseded cassette it was still real time although CD recording speeded up significantly but there is still the production and labelling of the CD to do.

In October 2016 when I was 59 I  started the #ALifeInNumbers  which ran into November that year and I've referenced often since I did it. I haven't burnt a CD for ages and am not sure if I can use iTunes to create playlists (I'm sure you can but it's such bloatware that it is more about trying to make me buy things that actually play music), I may try that soon and then I need to print the CD label (as I still have a printer that can do that!).

I have just remembered that I can use Youtube to create playlists such as this two song ska one here , I used to do mixes on Grooveshark but their model wasn't sustainable, but I am going to investigate Youtube further.

I was going to list some significant records for me to pad out this post but here are a few, and maybe I will create a playlist at some point:

  • Abba - The Visitors & Happy - The Carpenters , two of my mums favourites that I still love
  • Lights Out - Jerry Byrne & Sea Cruise - Frankie Ford , two that remind me of my missed friend Chris who we lost to lung cancer
  • Negativeland - Neu! , I was shocked when my dad asked me if I had this record asthis was way out of his comfort zone
  • All Along The Watchtower - Jimi Hendrix , if I only could have one record this would be it, Hendrix playing , Dylan's words
  • Hound Dog - Elvis Presley - apparently the first record I ever liked (aged 3)
  • Jig A Jig - East of Eden - The first single I ever bought
  • Come On - Chuck Berry - one of the first songs I played and sang live and I would be condent of doing it now
  • Egyptian Reggae - Jonathan Richman - The first instrumental cover I played live
I could go on and on but I'll stop and share "Happy" by The Carpenters (incidentally the title of my favourite Rolling Stones song , and they - the Stones - covered Chuck Berry's - Come On).

Enjoy this very rainy Thursday.

Sunday 8 September 2019


On twitter I keep seeing a poll for what is the best streaming app, Spotify , Amazon or Apple Music (or whatever it's called this week). There are lots of other similar more genre specific apps like Pandora, and people often want to share their Spotify playlists with me.

I don't do Spotify or any other music streaming service. Someone makes a lot of money from streaming and, unless you're Ed Sheeran or Adele, it's not  the artist. Daft Punk's "Random Access Memory" was the biggest selling album of that year and they made about £13K from streaming which might have paid for a lunch break.

People often like the "if you like that you'll like this" option, but that is so open to abuse, and let's face it payola has been around since records were first sold.

Most people listen on mobile devices and the unseen cost for that is streaming uses data, so if you are not on free or unlimited wifi you network provider can start coining it.

Also if you expect your streaming service why not listen to a radio station and trusted DJs and shows. The last I heard artists got paid £50 if their song is played on the radio. I don't know if it's the same now or the same on all stations but it's a damned sight better than streaming rates.

Also given that often today's youth can't listen to more than 20 seconds of a song how do you remunerate for part streams? Many years ago Peter Gabriel was involved with a company call "WE" who's plan was to set of a system where you paid a nominal small fee to listen to a song. I objected to this as if I like music I want to buy a single or album and play it in perpetuity.

Youtube seems to be OK, it's generally free with on ads, and I don't hear artists complaining about it so they must be getting adequate recompense or you would see music being continually pulled. However video uses a lot more data than music does so this can be another money spinner for mobile phone companies.

I done several posts related to this (click on the first Spotify link to see) but this is my own history of recorded music and this talks on how music should be rewarded.

Last week I heard Sam Fender for the first time, yesterday I ordered his debut album and this is about how I heard it on the radio.

If streaming is your bag that's fine but I will stay with radio, visiting record shops , gigs and enjoying music I buy.

Friday 16 August 2019

Turtle Power

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

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

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

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

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

So now it's time for work.

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. The Never Ending Story - My Directory
  2. The Never Ending Music - My Music Directory
  3. The Never Ending Poetry - My Poetry Directory
  4. An Owl In A Towel - A Beautiful Book by Lesley and Cheryl
  5. Three Reasons Why I Love Settle - Scaleber Force, The Hoffman Kiln and Castlebergh Crag

Friday 24 May 2019

I Played A DVD

I am definitely becoming lazier and lazier. Also while I have a large CD and digital music collection, there are big chunks of it I have never heard and probably never will. It's similar with DVD. This week I have actually taken the DVD from it's place on the shelf, switched on the DVD player and switched the channel on the TV and actually watched  the films. The two I watched were "The Golden Compass" which was excellent but has been on the shelf unplayed for ten years, and "Fight Club" (adapted from Chuck Palahniuk's novel) which has been there for even longer. Both these films are excellent, and I should have watched them years ago, but apathy and laziness has meant that despite knowing how good these are ("The Golden Compass" was the film of the first book in Philip Pullman's "His Dark Materials" series which is coming on TV from HBO and BBC).

I don't know if this is just a digital malaise, because my vinyl collection is always played when I purchase anything and I often share things on my Instagram Channel , but when you buy digitally it is so easy to put it on one side for later, and after a week or so it's forgotten about. If anthing gets put in a box or a drawer then thats usually it. I still listen to music digitally from my network and on my phone, but still eschew streaming services such as Spotify or Amazon as to use them without wifi means that your data gets consumed fairly quickly, so I load albums from my network to my Google Pixel which I may upgrade to a Pixel 3A in the future.

So one of the good things of being in the digital world is that I can share suitable music with you as I post entries on this blog, but I do think digital storage has turned us into magpies , buying things that we don't actually use or properlay appreciate. With that I will share "Digital" buy Joy Division with you with an excellent video taken from the equally excellent film "Control".

Tuesday 12 March 2019

Older Than The Internet

Today is the thirtieth anniversary or the World Wide Web as we know it, and it came into my head that my two wonderful daughters are both older than the Internet, which obviously means that I am as well by another twenty five or so years. I was born just as rock and roll really hit with Buddy Holly, Elvis Presley and Chuck Berry.

A  definition of the Internet comes from the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C):

"The World Wide Web is the universe of network-accessible information, an embodiment of human knowledge."

Tim Berners-Lee came up with the protocol for accessing the Internet as we do today and can be read about via the W3C link above. This is a development of Arpanet (Advanced Research Projects Agency Network developed by the US Defence Department), and had been put forward by many artists and science fiction writers.

The Who's "Lifehouse" project (which was scrapped and salvaged as "Who's Next") posited a population connected by "The Grid" so in some ways this was an inevitable development, and now we are are connected by mobile devices and computers and smart devices.

People install "smart devices" in their home such as Amazon's Alexa , but that is a step too far for me even though I have a Kindle that has Alexa on it, although it has never been able to answer a question that I have asked it and cannot play my music, apparently only able to access Spotify playlists, and I don't touch Spotify.

I wasn't going to write anything until I saw the anniversary on Google, so I am going include a Chuck Berry song performed by Buddy Holly which you can listen to and watch thanks to Tim Berners-Lee's development of the US Defence Department's prototype.

Have a great Tuesday.

Monday 31 December 2018

Possibly Last Post Quiet

Walking to work this morning was very quiet, almost deathly silent. I wasn't sure whether there were any buses running until I hit the third bus stop and there were people waiting and then a bus went in the other direction.

It is New Year's Eve so most people will be getting ready for parties and socia;lising and joining together, but through laziness and apathy I wont be. I find a lot of gathering become very cliquey and if you are not in with a group of people then you get the worst kind of loneliness , the one of being the outsider in a crowd of revellers.

There are times where you just want to be alone and I wouldn't expect anyone to be bothered on my behalf because it's my choice to stay away.

This also gives me a chance to catch up on films and TV and to read and to record things on this here blog although I think there are maybe half a dozen people who read it now, but even when the vistor numbers flatline I will keep on writing because essentially this is for me and it is under my control.

There is also a chance I will do a last last post before midnight hits and then we start of 2019, which is another year of opportunity for some, and hopefully we can become a more caring society.

We have seen HMV going under again and find it ironic that people bemoan that kids will never know the joy of browsing for records. The fact is HMV is a chain and when it held power it looked to to take out the competition, especially small local independents. I find it ironic that lots of people who are involved in local and independent business (especially arts and music) who are bemoaning this but suddenly become blind to local music shops and venues, preferring chains, Spotify and big venues.

It's like saying I'll never be able to watch comedy again because Michael McIntyre is no longer touring. When your choice of product is narrowed to the ones all over the media it destroys the grassroots.

I'm sorry if this seems a bit ranty but a perferct piece of music for this is The Mekons "Where Were You?" which probably applies to most of us in most situations.

So if this is my last post for 2018 Happy New Year.

Sunday 21 October 2018

Did Digital Nearly Kill Music ... And is Vinyl Bringing It Back To Life?

Three years back I wrote a history of music media in a post here, and at the weekend I nipped into Vinyl Guru and got talking with the lady in there about how when you buy vinyl you feel you have actually got something. You have sleeves, booklets and picture discs. I'm sure I did a post that said CDs were the McDonaldisation of music, all of a sudden you could skip songs , program the order , and the CD jewel cases are not something that look good, though they are very functional.

MP3 became even more dismissive of musical content, and a lot of the iPod generation can't even listen to a full song. When you wanted to record a tape for someone it had to be done in real time, even from CD, but now it's all Spotify and Deezer playlists which, lets face it can be done in thirty seconds, although a well done one can take time to put together.

These days I see a lot more people browsing the vinyl sections of shops and Newcastle now has a lot of shops where you can buy vinyl and this post has a list of them. One thing is there don't seem to be that many impressive covers such as Jethro Tull's "Thick as a Brick" newspaper cover, or Hawkwind's "In Search Of Space", although "Space Ritual" is a available in it's full six square foot fold out. I was in Reflex and noticed  "Faust Tapes" was £25, when I bought the original release it was 49p !

Vinyl provides more than just music, and the shops often provide coffee and food while you browse. People still complain about the cost of music, but remember if albums had kept pace with inflation you would be paying £80 for an album.

When I was in Vinyl Guru I spotted a 12" copy of Biko by Peter Gabriel, which I mainly wanted for the "B" side "Shosholoza" which I don't think is officially available digitally, but I found this lovely rendition of it for you to enjoy.

Tuesday 21 August 2018


The sky is a uniform grey (or is it gray), surfaces outside still are covered in rain / dew, the lawn is finally looking very well but is obviously too we to be mowable and I am drinking decaffeinated coffee as I write this. I've taken the Grammarly spelling  / context checker off because it became too intrusive and was slowing down my typing everwhere. Maybe I should prepare my blog posts in Word to ensure  that it's reasonably grammatically correct and the spelling is correct.

It's my sister Yvonne's birthday tomorrow, which I knew was coming up, but last night my dad said he was worried because he couldn't remember how old she was going to be. I told him she probably wasn't bothered and she would just love a card.

It is amazing how you can miss words out but it still makes sense to you , but to someone else it may look as though you don't know what you are talking about.

I'm not sure if it's raining outside, so I'm not sure if I will be walking into work today.

This weather seems to create an oppressive quiet, though I will disperse that by leaving on my Donna Summer and Malcolm McLaren mix on my player. That's another thing, it now takes a minute to put together a Spotify / Deezer whatever playlist but in the seventies a live DJ had to do that in real time, then we got cassettes (I know there was reel to reel but they were hardly portable) and you could create your mixtape but a sixty minute tape took more than anhour to put together, and if you made a mistake it took even longer.

I'll leave you with Donna Summer's take on Jon & Vangelis' "State of Independence".

Have a great Tuesday

Tuesday 7 August 2018


This was going to be the third post I posted yesterday for #August50 ,which I think I've decided will probably be impossible without resorting to one line posts, which plenty of bloggers do. The other alternative is Vlogging but I doubt anyone would want to see me, and hear me talk, it's bad enough me actually rambling on in single words.

Today I don't want to walk into work, I don't want to mow my lawn, and lots of other things but they have to be done so I will attempt all of them. Obviously the black cloud is still floating aroundbut I don't have to let it cast it's shadow over everything.

I also need to change the music on my phone, although there's probably a lot more on there than most people have in their music collection because they now subscribe to Deezer or Spotify or Apple Music or Amazon Unlimited or YoutubeMusic and it plays exactly what the want to hear. Think about that for a second. Why not get a radio?

Music like BBC4 is a sort of bane of my life because you put them on and then you're happy to stay watching or listening until you are forced to switch off. 6Music has provided me with todays music, "Pool Hall Richard" by The Faces.

Enjoy your Tuesday.