Friday 31 March 2017

Do You Boho?

It's the last day of March, the day before April Fools Day and for one thing or another, well actually reading "Tom Waits on Tom Waits", the word Boho came up again. There was a passage titled "Boho Blues" which I thought sounded like the title of a Tom Waits song. Waits himself cuts a bohemian figure, raggedly stylish with immense talent as an artist and actor, probably one of the people who can make smoking look cool (my opinion is that a fag in the moth usually makes people look like an imbecile, friends excluded of course). It turns out there is no "Boho Blues" by Tom Waits, at least I can't find a copy and I do have most of his output in my collection.

Boho also means to me a certain style almost gypsy , arty, and life affirming and my eldest daughter Juliet is a wonderful example of that , and Kirsty my youngest is certainly into the arty and exploring the unexpected and unexplored , I remember her wanting albums by The Pixies and Rage Against the Machine for her birthday. They are both anything but average and make me so proud.

The term applies the my favourite hotel in the whole world , La Rosa at Whitby, if you want Boho, spend a few nights here or just visit for one of their many events. Amanda and all the staff fit in perfectly, I'm surprised it's not been commandeered for a film or TV series like say "Desperate Romantics".

The other week it was Kirsty's birthday and we wen to the wonderful Bohemian vegetarian restaurant in Newcastle , check out their web address here. It's I Love Boho! Again the food and staff are awesome and they sell second hand vinyl too! The music played is consistently excellent, and the atmosphere is well ... Bohemian.

Then that took me back to Joni Mitchell's "Hissing of The Summer Lawns" and the song "The Boho Dance" and Joni Mitchell certainly artistically was in the Bohemian Groove progressing from folk to jazz and making it sound wonderful.

Anyway , it's Friday night, and the weekend has started, if you like Boho be Boho , but have a wonderful time and enjoy yourself.

Wednesday 29 March 2017

Ten Thousand Steps Underground

I'm still nowhere near a hundred percent, but am still hitting ten thousand steps dail, and reading and being inspired by Tom Waits. I remember buying "SwordfishTrombones" on the back of "In The Neighborhood" , putting it on and being totally shocked by the first song "Underground" , and that is shocked in a good way. This was something like a mephistophelean take on The Dwarves Marching song from Disney (which he covered for real on the album "Stay Awake") The only artist who was anywhere near this was Captain Beefheart, so to have another singer who could to this was totally mind blowing for me.

This post is going to be short because I am tired and probably overdoing it physically, but I actually managed to do something at work that amazed me, and hopefully it will make one or two of my colleagues happy. That's assuming it still works tomorrow.

Anyway I am feeling totally drained but will leave you with more Tom Waits.

Sleep well my friends

Tuesday 28 March 2017


After doing the 15000 Step Challenge that finished on 20th of March I said that I wanted to maintain ten thousand steps a day. On Sunday I decided to visit some Roman Ruins in Benwell a little video here and a photo montage here) .

Despite living here for fifteen years, I had never been despite knowing about it and being so close to the line of Hadrian's Wall (which I helped light up in 2010 - so I've included the video of that and there's a lot of articles on it such as this on the BBC).

Anyway I've managed to go off on a complete tangent.

After the Roman Ruins, I needed to do more steps, but suddenly felt like I was walking through treacle, walking became very difficult, and I was on Nunsmoor and nowhere near a bench or housing. I had completed my steps but was feeling close to collapse, feeling like I'd been kicked and battered, aching limbs like when you get 'flu', and feeling queasy and worried I was going to throw up. I was not feeling good.

I eventually got to a bus stop where Fiona met me, where eventually a bus turned up and then I got home and went straight to bed. I slept and drank a litre of fizzy orange and then I was OK to watch some TV and have some soup.

The following I thought I maybe have to give it a rest, but it was foggy and I thought I may get some good pictures, so thought I would walk over Nunsmoor and took this video here. That meant that I still hit 11K steps yesterday so my idea of giving myself a rest didn't happen. The thing is, I do need to exercise and lose about 30Kg (I weigh 106Kg) , and am thinking maybe on Sunday I became dehydrated.

So today I will walk in again, well part of the way, and hopefully hit my 10K steps which is about 5 miles.

The music in the video is "Shining Light" by Ash , which is my daughter Juliet's favourite band.

Have a great Tuesday everyone

Sunday 26 March 2017

The Twenty Three Hour Day

No there's a title for a science fiction story. It makes me thing of F Paul Wilson's "Nightworld" the final book in The Adversary Cycle where the days start getting shorter than they should be or "The Eighty Minute Hour" by Brian Aldiss where during the workday timepieces are slowed down by the controllers then at nights and weekends timepieces are speeded up. Sound familiar to anyone.

So today we just have twenty three hours to cater for daylight saving or whatever you want to call it. We do get it back later in the year , so that hour is but in a temporal savings account (but we don't get paid interest, much like a bank).

Yesterday was weird, I have things to do , and want to do things but just couldn't actually bring myself to get anything done, or rather that's how it felt. It was like a feeling of nothingness and emptiness inside, like my get up and go had got up and gone , leaving me bereft and empty. I always try and think of positives but yesterday was not feeling positive at all.

The think is, I had had a brilliant night on Friday seeing lots of friends I hadn't seen for ages as well as The Coyotemen and King Salami and The Cumberland Three , although I was feeling extra tired so didn't last the whole night.

This has been fairly full and intense but we've been rewarded with some excellent weather for the weekend.

ON the positive side I put in train some stuff that needs doing round the house, did some shopping for fruit and kept up my ten thousand steps a day. Last Sunday I had to do fourteen thousand steps but hit nineteen thousand. I don't expect to do that today but I do intend to hit ten thousand steps.

I also managed a couple of films on catch up TV and now I've managed to write this and it's only just turned eight of the clock (new time.

One other chore this has caused is that I have eight analogue watches , add to that the cooker, light programmer, heating control and three analogue clocks and that's a few timepiece adjustments I've had to do. As I said last night I could do with today being 72 hours to give me time to do things at leisure, but there's only sixteen of the twenty three hours left, the first seven hours used up by sleeping and writing this.

Anyway the weather is gorgeous again,I need to shower, get up , get papers, walk five miles and have a wonderful day. I found an excellent live version of Haircut 100 doing Fantastic Day for you to enjoy.

You have a fantastic day too my friends.

Friday 24 March 2017

No-one Sings XXXX Like XXXX

It's funny how reading a book can inspire you to write something. I'm still on "Tom Waits on Tom Waits" a part where he's disparaging, to say the least about covers of his songs ("Ol' 55" by The Eagles and "Heart of Saturday Night" by Jerry Jeff Walker. Then I started thinking about covers of songs and even why people start making music.

Everyone starts playing because they hear someone else, since the invention of radio that has been every westerners kick off for making music, and as radio spreads it will be everyone's starting point, if they are going to play, although records and TV are also other sources.

I remember an advertising line that said "No One Sings Dylan Like Dylan" , but lots of people covered Dylan and improved on the original, thing The Byrds' "Mr Tambourine Man", Manfred Mann;s numerous covers "Mighty Quinn" being a big hit, and when they transformed into Earthband they targeted Bruce Springsteen with "Spirits In The Night" and "Blinded By The Light" though still revisited Dylan with "Father of Day, Father of Night" , and then there is probably the best ever Dylan cover, Jimi Hendrix's "All Along The Watchtower".

I still love te Dylan originals, but it took me a long time to appreciate them, but all the songs above are improvements on the originals in my opinion, but I do believe no one can out do Tom Waits on a Tom Waits song. Rod Stewart did justice to "Tom Traubert's Blues" and "Downtown Train" and to some listeners they will be better that the originals. I like both but prefer the Waits versions.

Cpvers are generally how musicians and bands start before moving on to write their own stuff, which hopefully will be better than the stuff they were covering . The Beatles and The Rolling Stones started off with covers (and the last Rolling Stones album was all covers) , but that gives bands a good starting point.

Some bands are happy to continue doing that, and they usually find a appreciative audience for mainstream covers.

Anyway that's a lot on my opinion of covers, I will leave you with the Jimi Hendrix cover of  "All Along The Watchtower".

Good Night my friends.

Thursday 23 March 2017


Why 23:29? The figure just came to me. I don't know why, but I am still reading "Tom Waits on Tom Waits" so maybe that has something to do with it.

Anyway on Monday I finished the Step Challenge and decided I wanted to keep up ten thousand steps a day. The weather has been against me but I have hit more than ten thousand three days running and I am sure I can do it over the next three days.

Tonight I met Kirsty and Mark and Fiona in Bohemian for Kirsty's birthday tea. We had some amazing food and enjoyed company and the excellent atmosphere. We talked TV, film and music and Sparks' "Number 1 Song In Heaven" came on, (the music in Bohemian is always excellent) and Kirsty said she had never heard of Sparks , and it was my fault , cos I am her dad, I mentioned some classic Sparks songs to no avail, but they are now another band for her to discover. I had said that in my opinion they are probably the most innovative and excellent band going, and have put out some amazing music including collaborations with Franz Ferdinand (FFS) and Faith No More.

Then I found out that The Coyotemen are active once more and playing Think Tank? tomorrow night, so that means one last gig night before the end of March.

This means I have been quite active for the last few weeks and intend to keep up the pace. I will find a reason to walk at the weekend, and I will leave you with another Sparks song , "The Rhythm Thief" from "Li'l Beethoven"

Enjoy and sleep well my friends.

It's 21:04

Wednesday 22 March 2017

... And Then It Rained

I'm looking out of the window at pouring rain. It held off while I finished the Step Challenge and got my fence and decking fixed, so I am happy about that, but when you have to go to work, or even just go out, seeing the rain come down like this is not incredibly appealing. We were told that we would have snow, and given how cold it was yesterday , I was not to surprised about that, or wouldn't be surprised if it did happen.

The sky is a uniform grey and the rain is falling in a heavy drizzle, you need a decent umbrella or a waterproof hat or hood. It's not blowing too much which is a small mercy, but I was hoping to walk into work but give the state of the weather it may be a bus journey today.

I'm just listening to 6Music and they're telling me about this year's 6Music Festival  and you can watch the live stream featuring among others, Depeche Mode and Sparks (two of my favourite bands)  on your big telly if you are not actually there.

So basically that's more semi sedentary action for me this weekend , while it might not improve my health it will definitely improve my well being.

OK I shall set off to get to work by fair means or foul and leave you with some Sparks from the time they met Giorgio Moroder ... The No 1 Song In Heaven , have a good day and stay dry my friends.