Thursday, November 30, 2006

Finally...

Playlist
Mozart – Complete works (String Trios)
Edgar Froese – Ages
Asia – Asia
Asia – Alpha
Dave Mathews Band – Stand Up
The Blue Nile – Tinseltown in the Rain (CD-R)
Wetton Downes – Icon II Rubicon

Second listen of the day (after some late night Mozart) is Edgar Froese’s double LP “Ages” which I remember first hearing on the John Peel show way back. I don’t think Tangerine Dream and their main man, Mr Froese, get enough credit for today’s burgeoning electronic music scene...

Uptown and to FOPP where I purchase a disc by the Dave Matthews Band. Why? You may very well ask. A co-contributor to the Rheostatics Message Board recommended them. And the CD is only £3 (with a bonus 5 song DVD to boot)...

Back home early to await the arrival of Dr Prog. He called me earlier in the day to advise the ProgMobile had been taken into the garage for repairs and was not going to be available for our trip to see Asia in Glasgow tonight...

And so I decided I would drive. My arm is still sore but needs must and it’s either that or a couple of expensive train tickets and a taxi to and from the station....

After a quick plate of Anne’s home made and excellent carrot and coriander soup, it’s off into the rain and wind. Other than discovering Dave Matthews is distinctly average, the drive is uneventful, if a little slow - and I can’t really operate the indicator lever...

Asia are brilliant I must say – we made our way to the balcony (unreserved seating) for the best possible view....

The drumming of Carl Palmer is to the fore tonight and I finally realise (after almost 25 years) why it is the early Asia albums are not just the pop music they seem to be. Palmer’s drumming could be simple and just keeping time but he fills almost every bar with some complex drumming manoeuvre or other...

John Wetton’s voice is superb and his bass playing spot on. It looks a bit weird though but the uninitiated probably don’t realise he’s shortly due for an op on his hand as he cannot even hold a plectrum. He has a pick affixed to his thumb and so plays like that...

Steve Howe’s guitaring is similar to his Yes style but here, appearing in a totally different context, continually shines. His solos are, at times, blistering and his dexterity beggars belief for someone approaching their 60’s...

And Mr Geoffrey Downes? His keyboard skills are unsung, his songwriting skills being more usually highlighted. Seeing him live though, makes you aware of his talent as a pianist, keyboard player, soundscapist and indeed backing singer....

So here we are – four exceptionally gifted musicians playing what appears to be fairly simple pop music but closer listening is rewarded by an unexpected complexity in the delivery of these songs which dominated the American mainstream charts in the early eighties...

If you’ve never heard Asia, seek out their first two albums especially (“Asia” and “Alpha”) or one of their numerous greatest hits packages doing the rounds – but ensure Mr Wetton is aboard for the best entertainment...

By the time we get back downstairs after the performance (and after Dr Prog has had a bit of a set to with one the bouncers regarding the latter’s rather boorish behaviour during the concert) there is a massive queue to buy a 2CDset of the gig barely 30 minutes after its end – technology eh?

I eschew the chance to purchase, knowing I can buy online later and I also pass on the quartet’s meet and greet as it’s already almost 11 pm and we need to drive home...

I do buy Wetton/Downes second outing as Icon “Icon II Rubicon” though and we partake of some lovely pakoras on the way out of Glasgow...

Back home just after midnight and Anne is watching “This Week" which features Rick Wakeman – I watch the remainder before retiring with Icon on the headphones...

Highlight of the Day : Asia – Live at Last

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Silver lining....

Playlist
Mozart - Complete Works (Sacred Works/String Ensembles/Canons)
Rheostatics - The Blue Hysteria
Rheostatics - Live in Fredricton New Brunswick 04/2005
Rheostatics - Live in Toronto 03/2000

This may seem like a negative post but it has a silver lining...

After yesterday's up, a disasterous start to today...

I forgot my new Bus Pass, just missed the Airport Bus which I usually take into town and, foolishly, decided on the "normal" service (No26) instead...

Of course it takes an absolute age to get into town (30 Mins - I timed it - outrageous - no wonder people still take their cars). It stops at what seems like every lampost on the way in...

Then, my battery on the Jukebox ran out and I had to listen to the inane mumblings of my fellow passengers, not to mention their sniffing, coughing, sneezing and, well, just breathing...

To cap it all, as I sat there in that Hell on Earth (public transport with no music blocking out reality), an Airport Bus whizzed past...

On the journey home, I took another 26 bus as it takes me all the way up the hill to Crispycat Towers (if I'd had my Pass I could've taken an Airport bus most of the way and caught the 26 only once it had disgorged the majority of its human detrita)...

And so I was packed in like the proverbial sardine, seatless and right next to the worst thing you want on a bus (other than someone who's inadvertantly keeked their breeks that is) a screaming baby...

Aaaaarrrrggghhh!!!!

I was forced to make my way upstairs to get away from it as the bus gradually emptied - but I could still hear its screams....

In a fit of what I was sure was bound to be fruitless desperation, I reached for the jukebox and, miraculously, it had gained just enough juice during the day from not being used, that it stuttered back to life and filled my ears with the wonderous sound of the Rheostatics once more...

But that's not the silver lining...

In the evening, a particularly tasty pasta from Anne was followed by "Oz and James's Great Wine Adventure", "Torchwood" and a taped "Coronation St" interspersed with more Mozart and Rheos including a couple more concerts downloaded...

And so, the silver lining is the realisation that I am lucky indeed, for the above is what passes in my world for a REALLY BAD DAY...

I count my blessings...

Highlight of the Day : Finding my Jukebox had somehow recharged itself just enough to block out the sound of a wailing child

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

WAM....

Playlist
Rheostatics – Live
The Blue Nile – High
Brian Eno – Another Day on Earth
Rheostatics – 2067
Rheostatics – The Blue Hysteria
Mozart – Complete Works (Symphonies/Concertos/Chamber Music)

Last night, after posting yesterday’s entry, I was leafing through the links on this site (as I do most days, so get updating your blog if you're on there!) and happened across a new link on the Rheostatics website – you may recall they are one of my top ten favourite groups and hail from Canada (as do so many good musicians)...

Anyway, the link led me to a site from which I am able to download Rheostatics demos, rarities and live concerts. Having never seen the band play live, and knowing they are due to play their last ever gig in March next year in Toronto, this site is a boon to me and I am downloading a concert as I type...

I love Rheostatics...

Anyway, I was uptown today looking around the shops for ideas for presents Anne might get me for Christmas. She will of course buy some stuff off her own bat but she likes to have a wee list of things I have my eye on....

Of course the only two shops I actually went into were FOPP and HMV...

I saw a few books in FOPP which I might like to own with titles like “Minimalist Apartments”...

In HMV however, I came across a 170 CD Box set – “Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - Complete Works”....



I bought it...

Never again will I have to purchase a Mozart CD...

I rushed home and counted how many Mozart CDs I already have. Around 70...

Still that’s 100 CDs I didn’t have before – and I managed to get the set at half the normal price HMV sell it at and, while that’s not that much less than I could have bought it for from Amazon, I believe it still to be a bargain – indeed I am enjoying it as I type (and download a Rheostatics concert) and I've just stuck the first "Piano Concertos" CD into my player - now, I must admit I already have a 9CD set of all Mozart's Piano Concertos...but not like this - this is on original instruments - superb!!

I really must recommend listening to the music of Mr Mozart - it is, for me, an exhilirating and life-enhancing experience...

And so this event eclipsed the rest of today’s shenanigans, which included “CSI : Miami” but, thankfully, not “Trinny and Susannah Undressed”...

Highlight of the Day : Buying the complete works of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Monday, November 27, 2006

From me to you...

Playlist
The Blue Nile – A Walk Across the Rooftops
The Blue Nile – Hats
The Blue Nile – Peace at Last
The Blue Nile – Rarities 1982-1996
The Blue Nile – High
The Beatles - 1

I responded to some junk mail the other day and, today, received a free copy of The Beatles’ “1” CD, containing 27 number one hits...

Very nice...

Other than that, it was cross between Limewire, “Coronation St” and “The Blue Nile” as I:-

Downloaded more tracks selected via various EMO US TV series...

Watched no fewer than 3 taped episodes of the UK’s best soap, in which tonight I had to feel sorry for Danny Baldwin and Cilla Battersby-Brown...

Listened to The Blue Nile’s almost peerless catalogue of music...

And a wee bit of the Fab Four too...

This is my 675th post. If I assume 30 minutes' work on each, and a 12 hours day, I have spent roughly a month of my life just keeping this diary...

Is it worth it?

Highlight of the Day : A free Beatles CD

Sunday, November 26, 2006

The Blue Nile II....

Playlist
Sarah Harmer – Sarah Harmer (CD-R)
Girls Aloud – Various tracks
Various –Music from “Dawson’s Creek”,”Smallville” and “The OC”
The Blue Nile – Tinseltown in the Rain (Best of CD-R)

“Slept in” till 8:40..

Then to the PC to burn a better version of the Sarah Harmer compilation...

And search for anything by Girls Aloud which I don’t already have...

I was inspired by their performance of their new single “I Think We’re Alone Now” on “Strictly Come Dancing” last night. Be aware that I did not watch this show – rather Anne advised me of the lovely quintet’s presence and I watched merely for the three minutes or so of their storming routine...

The song, in its original form as sung by The Rubinoos, was a staple at our St Mary’s Street parties in 1979/80. Many prefer the later, to my mind, inferior hit by Tiffany...

I garner a few tracks by the group but not their new single – their last, “Something Kinda Oooh”, is an instant classic to my ears and does make it on to the hard drive...

Anne vetoes a breakfast out of the house as we’re off tonight to see Paul Buchanan of The Blue Nile and will have a meal beforehand...

So it’s breakfast at home and I listen to the newly burned Harmer CD whilst I prepare it...

Thereafter we head out in the car (I’m still unable to drive) and I buy a couple of new pullovers and a scarf...oh, and a pair of slippers – ah yes the exciting life of a musician slash artist...

Back home and some of Anne’s lovely home made sweet potato and coriander soup – tasty...

Then she listens to the sport on the radio and I fire up Limewire and decide to search for people via the term “Canadian Female Singers” on Wikipedia and find a few which have had tracks featured on “Dawson’s Creek” – a programme I never watched but one which used music which is to my liking – so I searched based on that, then based on “Smallville” then based on “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” then based on “Due South” and, finally, “The O.C.”....

Also searched for “TV on the Radio”, a suggestion from Lancashire lad and CBQ fan, Craig Harding...

In all, I must have downloaded over five hours of music. In total, over the weekend, I have gleaned 167 tracks via Limewire...

In the evening it’s out for a nice pizza at Dario’s on Lothian Road and then to the Usher Hall for Mr Paul Buchanan...

An absolutely delightful and sublime performance – possibly better than when we saw him in Glasgow earlier this year. His performances happen so seldom that I had to grab this chance with both hands and we ended up in the front row of the balcony (sorry, Grand Circle) round at the side – the Royal Box of old, one might say...

The audience was just the type I like – a respectful silence during every song and rapturous applause at the end – there was also, as there has been at all Blue Nile/Buchanan concerts I’ve attended, a goodly amount of “banter” between performer and fans...

However, I have a question for the chap sitting behind me and to my left...

You pay almost £30 to see a performer, presumably one of your favourites, given the outlay and your proximity to the front, a performer who has been known to spend ten years away from the limelight...

So, do you:-

a) Ensure you have carried out all possible ablutions before the commencement of the set, whilst limiting your pre-gig liquid intake to a level which will not cause pressure on your bladder at some point during the all-too-brief performance or

b) You drink so much before the gig that you have to spend 10 minutes at the bog?

You’d think “a” wouldn’t you? Wouldn’t you???

What an idiot!

We listened to The Blue Nile in the car on the way home, extending the enjoyment, albeit artificially....

The evening was rounded off with a recorded “Match of the Day 2” following which I saved every photo on our hard drive to a DVD and burned a quick “Dawson’s Creek” type soundtrack, which I sampled in the comfort in my bed...

A good day...

Highlight of the Day : Paul Buchanan

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Downloaded...

Playlist
Gentle Giant – The Edge of Twilight
Various – Downloads from The Wire
King Crimson – Live at The Greek Theatre, Berkeley, California 1982
David Sylvian – The Good Son vs The Only Daughter
Barclay James Harvest – The Harvest Years
Various – Hits from the Early 70s (Downloads)
Sarah Harmer – Sarah Harmer (CD-R)

As is often the case after a night on the town, I couldn’t sleep and so was up at 4 am for some painkillers...

I grabbed my CD Walkman, went back to bed and listened to Disc 2 of a great compilation, Gentle Giant’s “Edge of Twilight”...

I still couldn’t sleep so got up at 5 and went downstairs with Meg the Black Cat and watched BBC News 24 with the sound down and subtitles on...

Finally gave in and fired up the PC at 6...

I downloaded some new tracks from The Wire’s website – I got a new CD with this month’s magazine but haven’t listened to it yet...

Then I went through all the tracks I’ve downloaded so far from their site and deleted over half for being, frankly, shite...

I surfed all the MP3 Download blogs I “favourited” over the last couple of weeks and acquired David Sylvian’s recent remix album – disappointingly the upload was done in mono but I can’t really complain...

Also grabbed a 2CD best of Barclay James Harvest from their initial career on EMI (1969-1973)...

Then I did for the rest of the day by downloading Limewire – everyone I ask these days re where they get their albums from, they usually say “oh I use Limewire” so I thought, “if you can’t beat them, join them”...

Spent a good part of the day downloading stuff – firstly some early 70’s singles I liked at the time but don’t have on CD – e.g. Jo Jo Gunne, Dave Edmunds, Blackfoot Sue, America, Anne-Marie David, Love Unlimited, David Cassidy, The Goons, Mungo Jerry, Status Quo, The Faces, The Rolling Stones, Alvin Stardust, Petula Clark, The Doobie Brothers, The Wombles (!!), The Crystals and Santana...

Then I searched for Rheostatics stuff and, in doing so, discovered a Canadian songstress by the name of Sarah Harmer and set about collecting around 25 tracks by her and compiling a kind of best of CD...

Telly comprised "Sky Sports News", watching the Clyde goals pile up against Queen of the South (4-0), “Robin Hood”, “Match of the Day”....

Stil struggling with the arm but it's gradually becoming able to be moved ever higher but with some considerabe pain...

Forgot to mention I got new, stronger painkillers on Thursday, and I also had my ingrowing toenail "done" on Thursday by the lovely Helen the podiatrist I see every so often...

Ah, it's great this getting old lark...

Highlight of the Day : Discovering Sarah Harmer

Friday, November 24, 2006

Excess...

Playlist
Uriah Heep – Very ‘Eavy Very ‘Umble
Uriah Heep – Salisbury
Uriah Heep – Look at Yourself

A Heep day today. Uriah Heep of course – an incredibly unfashionable band but, like Grand Funk Railroad, I’m afraid I just can’t help liking them...

A bit of a beano today too, with a slap up lunch at La P’tit Folie restaurant followed by excessive alcohol intake all afternoon and into the early evening...

I recall drinking the following beverages:-

White wine
Red wine
Bailey’s
Gin and Ginger Beer
Gin and Tonic
Schiehallion Beer

I also had a coffee latte with my desert, just to keep things on an even keel and some mineral water at some point in the proceedings...

Back home around 10:15 and caught “Not Going Out”, “Tonight with Jonathon Ross” and “Later with Jools Holland” although I did of course have to mute the TV when JH was talking his usual pish...not to mention having to do the same for a couple of the frankly rubbish acts on display...

Highlight of the Day : Some lovely food...

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Broken...

Playlist
Gentle Giant – The Edge of Twilight
Golden Earring – Moontan
Golden Earring – Switch
Golden Earring – To the Hilt
Uriah Heep – Very ‘Eavy Very ‘Umble

A call from Mr James Jamieson to ask if I fancy going to Out of the Bedroom tonight as it happens I do but can’t due to a previous engagement and the knowledge that Anne is a bit under the weather with a bad cold...

We discuss possibilities for future music making without my arm having to be used for guitaring and the possible inclusion of nephew Andy Wilson...

Out with chums Kris, Gavin, Gary, Keith and Colin for some drinks and canap├ęs at top Edinburgh spot Olorosso then to Tiger Lilly for a couple more drinks...

With Anne in mind I leave early and am back home just after nine, none the worse for wear...

The rest made a night of it, heading for home around three apparently...

Highlight of the Day : Anniversary of the big ankle break...

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Quiet...

Playlist
Shoenberg/Berg/Webern – Piano Music
Grand Funk Railroad – 30 Years of Funk
Golden Earring – Moontan
Gentle Giant – The Edge of Twilight

A quiet day today...

In the evening we watched “Coronation St”, “Holby” and “Oz and James’ Big Wine Adventure” which may become staple Wednesday night fayre for the next few weeks...

That’s it...

Apart from, today is the 365th day of my broken ankle...still giving me gyp...

Highlight of the Day : Would you believe, “Holby”?

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Look away...

Playlist
Grand Funk Railroad - 30 Years of Funk

Still listening to Grand Funk...

A very lucky win indeed for the potato pickers of old Glasgow town tonight versus Man U in the Champions League. Still, does Scotland's co-efficient no harm...

Didn't watch the second half as it clashed with "CSI Miami" but we switched over during a break just as Celtic were awarded the free kick that became a goal. Anne said "if we don't watch it, they won't score" - how wrong she was...

Saw Man U miss their penalty too - shocker...

At the end of the day though (to use a nice footballing cliche) it was good for a Scottish team to win...

Later, we watched this week's "Torchwood" - once again, better than the initial episodes but, really, still a load of tosh...

Highlight of the Day : Anne's pasta

Monday, November 20, 2006

Snoozing...

Playlist
Grand Funk Railroad - Thirty Years of Funk
Shostakovich - Cello concertos
Mozart - Violin Concertos

Back to HMV today and gave in to temptation, buying a 3CD set of Shostakovich's concertos - piano, violin and cello - whilst listening to the history of the MIGHTY Grand Funk Railroad on the trusty Jukebox....

Also purchased a new Ridacard to allow me to travel on local buses (maroon coloured only though) after having accidentally bent and broken my old one yesterday...

In the evening listened to the cello concertos while Anne was off at aerobics...

It was cancelled and she returned early putting paid to the listening session...

Instead we watched tonight's two episodes of "Coronation St" - in between the two, she surfed some Hearts related websites, while I stuck Mr Shostakovich back on...

Later, we listened to some Mozart together as Anne read the new Hearts related book, "Believe" which was launched today and, to the launch of which, our chum Alex (aka "Spike") was invited. He managed to procure an autographed copy for Anne - needless to say she was delighted...

As Anne read, I snoozed...

Highlight of the Day : Grand Funk Railroad

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Tinkling...

Playlist
Various - Now That's What I Call Prog Rock (Disc 1)
Jakko M. Jakszyk - The Bruised Romantic Glee Club (2 CD)
The Beatles - Love
Cosmic Jokers - Galactic Supermarket
Metheny Mehldau - Metheny Mehldau
Elbow – Leaders of the Free World
Gang of Four - Entertainment
Satie – Piano Music
Debussy – Piano Music

Spent a bit of time today printing covers for all the CDs I’ve recently burned and put them into boxes. Checked my last 100 CDs. 33 are CD-Rs. Perhaps it’s time for a rethink re my CD acquisitional lifestyle?

This afternoon, Anne went to Tynecastle for the Hearts v Rangers game. Hearts lost 1-0 to a late deflected goal...

I walked down to the main road and caught a bus along to Anne’s mum’s for the family tea which, tonight, was a Chinese takeaway, as several attendees had been at the big game and Anne’s mum had no prep time...

The food was good and everyone was surprisingly upbeat. I suppose they were all expecting to be beaten...

Back home we watched “Planet Earth” which this week was on jungles, their flora and fauna, with particularly spectacular shots of some birds of paradise and some particularly nasty stuff about spores invading the bodies of insects and, literally, eating them from the inside out until plants sprouted from their lifeless bodies and burst, sending ever more spores into the atmosphere....

In ant colonies, workers take any ants showing symptoms of having been infected and carry them far from the nest to avoid an epidemic...

Then “Match of the Day 2”, which was rather mundane by comparison...

I ended the evening with “The South Bank Show”, a very interesting edition this week focussing on the life and work of pop artist, Peter Blake, probably best known for having design the cover of “Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” by The Beatles...

Made me want to get stuck into some artwork again....

It’s been too long....

And, finally, some great piano music from Messrs Satie and Debussy to round off the day...

Highlight of the Day : The South Bank Show

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Kleidung...

Playlist
Tony Banks - Seven
J S Bach – Oboe Concertos
Various – Jukebox Shuffleplay
Elbow – Leaders of the Free World
Susumu Yokota – Lo Compilation (CD1)
Gang Of Four – Return the Gift
Metheny Mehldau - Metheny Mehldau
Cosmic Jokers – Galactic Supermarket

Burned 20 albums in MP3 format to 2 CDs for Dr Prog by way of thanks for the loan of the Haydn String Quartets set...

After breakfast, finally broke curfew and headed uptown on the bus with Anne...

Ended up buying some new clothes – a rarity for me – a jacket, a coat, three scarves and a hat – and of course some CDs – Elbow, Gang of Four and Susumu Yokota...

Then we had a late lunch – lovely burgers at the Cambridge Bar, accompanied by Weissbier for me and a large glass of Pinot Grigot for Anne...

Rugby tubes invaded the hostelry however and we left around 3 and headed for home, stopping off on the way for the lottery ticket (of course the statistic likelihood of me winning is almost zero as a boy from my class in primary school won over £8M last year)...

Right enough – two numbers...

In the evening we watched two episodes of a new (to us) show on Channel 5, “NCIS” then, later, “Match of the Day”...

In between times, whilst Anne watched “Strictly Come Dancing” and it’s subsequent results show, I downloaded and burned to CD, two more albums – the Krautrock classic form 1974, “Galactic Supermarket” by Cosmic Jokers...


...and a new duo album by Pat Metheny and Brad Mehldau – tasty...

Nodded off several times during “Match of the Day” and slept as soon as my head hit the pillow...
Highlight of the Day : Buying some new clothes…

Friday, November 17, 2006

Cancelled...

Playlist
Mozart – 100 Best Mozart
The Beatles – Love
The Beatles – Yesterday
Phil Manzanera – 6pm
Musica Secreta – Dangerous Graces
Lou Reed – Animal Serenade
Various – Jukebox Shuffleplay

Still didn’t feel like going anywhere – so it was, in a way, fortuitous when Dr Prog called mid-afternoon to advise that the Carl Palmer gig we’d been intending to attend tonight had been cancelled...



Did basically nothing today other than tidy up the MP3s for the “new” Beatles album by converting them to wav files and editing off the silences at either end of each track so that, once burned to CD the transitions run smoothly....

TV was a nightmare with the dreadful annual amateurish nonsense that is “Children in Need” hogging BBC 1 all night. Thank heavens for two episodes of “Coronation St” on ITV 1. Also recorded the film “Red Planet” for later viewing...

Highlight of the Day : Staying in due to pain, bad weather and cancellations…

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Recycling...

Playlist
Moving Sounds – Thinking About
Michael Honig – Departure From the Northern Wasteland
Steve Hillage – Motivation Radio
Grand Funk Railroad – Red Album
Steve Hackett – Wild Orchids
The Books – Lost and Safe
The Books – Thought For Food
The Books – The Lemon of Pink
Cream – Wheels of Fire
London Philharmonic OrchestraSymphonic Pink Floyd
The Beatles – Love
Lou Reed – Animal Serenade

A call from my mum advises of the death last night of my dad’s old friend and colleague, from cancer. In your 70’s, I guess that’s when it becomes “normal” for your friends to die...

I wonder how many funerals my mum attends per year these days?

Too many...

More downloading today and it’s getting dangerous...

I must try and only take stuff I may well have bought if I could find it. First two finds today are albums by Steve Hillage and Grand Funk Railroad. Then three albums by The Books, a band I’ve never heard before but whom I know Brian Eno holds in high esteem – so I take them...

Cream is a band I’ve never liked, or rated, but I give them a chance with “Wheels of Fire”, half studio/half live – and mostly it’s not too bad – the blues based numbers are the weakest but a lot of the studio album is pretty good...

The LPO’s “symphony” of Pink Floyd songs, mostly from “Dark Side of the Moon”, orchestrated by Jaz Coleman of Killing Joke, is a little disappointing and a good example of my downloading gone wrong....

Apparently, next week there’s going to be a “new” Beatles album on the market. I found it and had no idea what it was – thought perhaps a bootleg but it seems George Martin’s been working on it for two years, melding together pieces from the original master tapes to provide a soundscape of recognisable Beatles songs and other remix/medley scenarios – so I downloaded that...



TV in the evening included “Holby”, “The Catherine Tait Show”, “Question Time” featuring two greats, Boris Johnson and Robert Kilroy-Silk, and “This Week”…

Highlight of the Day : A “new” Beatles album…

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Gloopy...

Playlist
Various – Jukebox Shuffleplay
Wigwam - Being
This Mortal Coil – It’ll End In Tears
Trion – Tortoise
Michael Hoenig – Departure From the Northern Wasteland
Haydn – String Quartets
Tony Williams – Flying High

Finished off burning the 21 disc “Haydn Complete String Quartets” box set and it can now go back to Dr Prog....

Also got sucked into downloading albums for free from some MP3 blogs around the net and ended up with more music...

This Mortal Coil – a classic from the 80’s which contains two great tracks, both sung by Liz Fraser of the Cocteau Twins – Tim Buckley’s “Song to the Siren” and Roy Harper’s “Another Day”...

Wigwam – early 70’s prog from Finland – though I believe some of their members hailed from England (including the singer – which is always a boon for European bands who sing in English...)


Trion – a band I’d never heard of before. Their album sports a Roger Dean like prog-style cover. The music is entirely instrumental and features much mellotroning...

Michael Hoenig – one time temporary member of Tangerine Dream – he features on a 2 disc set I have of the Dream recorded live in 1975 at the Royal Albert Hall introduced by John Peel – his album is vintage T Dream like analogue sequencer synth stuff...

In the evening watched “Coronation Street” two episodes of “CSI” and one of “CSI : Miami”, all from tapes we made a while back...

Also had an Indian meal delivered. Just too gloopy as far as I’m concerned and so the search is on for a new supplier...

Highlight of the Day : Probably Wigwam and Hoenig...

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

It'll all turn out right in the end...

Playlist
Redstart – 5 Downloaded Tracks
Alice Cooper – Eyes Like Dirty Diamonds (CD-R)
Various – Jukebox Shuffleplay
Vivaldi - Cello Concertos
Dream Theater – Singles 1992-2005 (CD-R)
Can – Ege Bamyasi
Faust – Faust

Stayed in all day today – renewed pain in the shoulder did for me. Getting a wee bit down about it all but need to keep things in perspective and remember the length of time before the op during which my arm wasn’t moving properly and that it’ll take a good while to get back to “normal”...

Consequently quite a bit of TV today ”Everybody Loves Raymond”, “Will & Grace” and “Frasier” first thing and, later on, “The Simpsons”, the frankly weird “Heston Blumenthal” (who took an age and a couple of visits to Germany to make a piece of Black Forest Gateau which would take a round 10 seconds to scoff), “Trinny and Susannah Undress” ( I must stop watching that), “CSI Miami” and a little bit of “Horizon” (discussing the possibility of life on earth having started from extra terrestrial material – the conclusion – no evidence, just some scientists saying “perhaps life on earth started from extra terrestrial material”) and of “Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares” (he turned around a restaurant in Nerja – where we holidayed back in March 2005 just after I started this blog)....

Ended the evening with “Newsnight” which included a big piece on the current “crisis at Hearts” which seems to be over-occupying Anne’s mind at present...

I am a great believer in the adage “It’ll all turn out right in the end” and am now applying that to both my shoulder and Heart of Midlothian Football Club...

I also downloaded Faust’s first two albums, “Faust” and “So Far”. Weird...



Highlight of the Day : None really...

Monday, November 13, 2006

Olfaction, memory, Mozart and Creek...

Playlist
Various - Jukebox Shuffleplay All Tracks
Various - Jukebox Shuffleplay Classical Music Only
Vivaldi - Cello Concertos
Mozart - Violin Concertos

A quiet day today - went uptown and ended up in HMV struggling not to buy any CDs, despite not really getting to know the majority of the last 100 I've acquired and which sit on the living room shelf...

And so I rejected Shostokovich's "Chamber Symphonies", which are arrangements of several of his string quartets for a small string orchestra - I once heard the Scottish Chamber Orchestra play his Op 110a and immediately bought it on CD - lovely stuff. And today I also rejected a 3CD set of his Concertos, piano, oboe, violin etc etc...

What I did purchase though was a 4CD box of Vivaldi's complete Cello concertos by Ofra Harnoy and the Toronto Chamber Orchestra and a two disc set of Mozart's Complete Violin concertos...

Of course, before buying these, I should have checked at home to see if I already have these but I couldn't wait...

And back home I discover, of the 25 Vivaldi works I have only 3 or 4 already. And the Mozart?

Well it seems I already have a 3CD set of his violin concertos...

Not to worry...

I see from my records that I bought the previous set way back in November 1990 - I remember it well - it was from Tower Records in Glasgow - I worked through in the West at the time and Tower opened till midnight every night...

I would often spend a few hours browsing after work before driving home - I used to love the smell of the place....

According to Wikipedia, "Odor information is easily stored in long term memory and has strong connections to emotional memory. This is possibly due to the olfactory system's close anatomical ties to the limbic system and hippocampus, areas of the brain that have long been known to be involved in emotion and place memory, respectively"....



So there you go...

In the main, Tower's pricing policy was horrendous - (and got worse as time went on - I read recently that the Company has gone down the pan) but I would often pick up the odd bargain in their classical dept, which was on the top floor and more often than not, deserted...

Happy days...

Tonight Hearts can only draw away at Falkirk and there's a crisis as usual for Anne as their captain is dropped from the squad...

Two episodes of "Coronation St" air during the game so Anne watches and listens to the game on one earphone at the same time - she's dedicated...

And now some music news - this is, after all supposed to be the blog of a musician and artist i.e. me...

With Cloudland Blue Quartet in mothballs at present (due to no guitaring and no gigging - but with enough new tunes for the mooted 2007 song album), some new e-mail correspondence from fellow Creek-er Stu Cobley and discussions during Count Brodski's recent visit, point to a full blown Creek project early in 2007 - the first since our aborted EP of summer 2005 and our album in late 2004 (which is brilliant and which you really ought to buy)...

If you've forgotten what Creek is, I can advise that we are an "Electronic Improvisational Quartet"...

The last episode of the current series of "Spooks" was a cracker - I'm almost finding myself wishing my time away so the next series starts as soon as possible...

And I finish off the evening with some lovely Vivaldi and Mozart...

Highlight of the Day : Spooks - it had to be...

Sunday, November 12, 2006

A change is as good as a rest...

Playlist
Redstart – 5 Downloaded Tracks
Robert Fripp & King Crimson – The End of Time (CD-R DGM Live Downloads)
Various - No 1 Singles I Bought When They Came Out
Various – Now That’s What I Call Music (Nov 2005)
Phil Manzanera – 50 Minutes Later
Golden Earring – The Devil Made Me Do It (35 Yrs)
Alice Cooper – Eyes Like Dirty Diamonds (CD-R)
Neu! – Neu! 4

Up early today and printed all the discs I burned yesterday plus a couple which have been lying around for a few weeks – I have hundreds of CDs lying around the house with nothing on them to tell me what’s on them...

Then to the cinema down at the shore in Leith for the new film, “Starter for Ten” – which is recommended, but rather than spending £13 on it as we did, perhaps wait for the DVD?

Still, you can’t beat that “big screen experience” – especially when the cinema is as good as empty and there are NO children there...

I'm still unable to drive, so Anne drives everywhere, including to the cinema today - it makes a change to be able to sit and just look out the window and watch the world go by - I think I spend too much time in front of computer screens and not enough in the "real world"...

Back home by early afternoon and Anne listens to the St Mirren v Celtic game on the radio and e-mails a few pals while I sort of snooze on the sofa while listening to Phil Manzanera and watching “X Factor” with the sound down (probably the best way to watch it if you’re going to...)

The Alice Cooper compilation CD-R of the best bits of his last two albums (actually the entire 2 albums less just two tracks) I burned a couple of weeks back (on the occasion of “The Big Walk to the Shops”) entertains me early evening as I update the blog...

“How’s your sore arm, Dave?” I hear you cry...

“Not bad” comes the retort – though it’s still more painful than it was pre the op....

Sister Pam phones with the good news that she has a new job - same as the old job but in a different part of the overall group with whom she works - and a considerable payrise to boot!

Well done, Pam - drinks are on you next time you're up in Scotland...

Watched “Coronation Street” and “Torture”, er, I mean “Torchwood”...

Surprise, surprise, tonight’s episode was almost good – no joking about and a bit more “X-Files-ey” in content and execution...

I’ll stick with it, I suppose...

Highlight of the Day : Getting out the house again...

Saturday, November 11, 2006

All kinds of everything...

Playlist
Various Composers – Adagios for the 21st Century
Dream Theater – Singles 1992-2005 (CD-R)
Various – All That Jazz Top Downloads (Disc 1)
Cloudland Blue Quartet – The Acoustic Ersatzreal
Fehlfarben – 26 ½ 4 Track Radio EP
Haydn – String Quartets
Phil Manzanera – 50 Minutes Later
David Bowie – The Shadow Man (6 Early 70’s Demos)
Can – Ege Bamyasi
Joanna Newsom – Ys
Golden Earring – The Devil Made Me Do It (35 Yrs)
Neu! – Neu! 4
Redstart - So Far From Over
Redstart - One EP

“I genuinely enjoy all kinds of music - I don’t really have a preference, I feel like good music is good music...”

This is a quote from David King interview I was directed to today by The Bad Plus website – David is their drummer....

His comment struck a chord with me...

I thought I might go out today but the weather was rubbish again so I stayed in and spent far too much time on the net...

Purely by chance I found several sites from which I was able to download full albums for free – I’m sure this is entirely illegal...

I downloaded music by Phil Manzanera, Can, David Bowie, Joanna Newson, Golden Earring and Neu!...

Spurred on by the site where David King is interviewed, I found a new band I like (new to me that is) – Redstart....

David is not a member, but an ex-member of a group David is in (Happy Apple) is a member...

Anyway, they are good and I downloaded five excellent tracks from their site...

Anne was out and about most of the day while I was doing this...

In the evening we did the old computer/TV swap as I surfed while she watched “Strictly Come Dancing” and she surfed while I watched “Robin Hood”..

We watched the lottery draw together through our fingers as we’d forgotten to buy a ticket..

As usual, none of our, ahem, “lucky” numbers emerged...

Finished the night with the film “Johnny English” – hilarious in parts but ruined by the interminable ad breaks...

Highlight of the Day : Finding “free” music everywhere...

Friday, November 10, 2006

Mizzdrizz...

Playlist
Dream Theater – Score
Mozart – String Quartets
Haydn – String Quartets
Dream Theater – Octavarium
Paisiello – Piano Concertos
Dream Theater – Singles 1992-2005 (CD-R)
Jakko M. Jakszyk – The Bruised Romantic Glee Club
Johnny Griffin – A Blowin’ Session
Mahavishnu Orchestra – Birds of Fire

A better sleep again and a slight improvement in pain today – in fact I got away without taking any painkillers until the early evening...

Many thanks to everyone who's sent me best wishes re the arm - it probably seems worse from my descriptions here than it really is and pales into insignificance when I think of what other people are going through right now...

Anyway, this morning I finally got round to starting to copy Dr Prog’s set of Haydn’s String Quartets – 21 discs in all, and I've managed to burn 8 so far and to collect the cover/track info off the net to avoid having to scan it all...

After the last couple of days being spent mostly in the world of jazz, today it was mainly classical and prog-metal...

A true autumn day - miserable drizzly rain outside - and once again I stayed inside all day - other than a brief visit to Anne’s mum’s on Sunday, I’ve not been out of the house since coming home from hospital last Saturday...

In the afternoon, whilst surfing Wikipedia’s entry on Dream Theater, I came across a discography of their singles which lead me to burn a “Singles 1992-2005” Dream Theater compilation...

This really is a great band of very interesting and accomplished musicians...

While Anne spent a couple of hours on the Hearts' fans message board, keeping herself up to date with the latest rumours, I listened to the newly created Dream Theater disc, followed by an album I received in the post recently from Robert Fripp & King Crimson's webmeister, Sid Smith...

Sid writes reviews for a living and you can tell that when you read his very eloquent piece on "The Bruised Romantic Glee Club", a double CD by Jakko Jakszyk, here - for my own part I can advise this to be two excellent sets...

The first contains some fine songs and instrumental pieces from JJ, which tell stories from his life so far...

The accompanying second disc comprises, in the main, cover versions of songs and pieces he grew up with, including two covers of the mightly King Crimson and a couple by the band Henry Cow - probably the first time anyone's ever covered any of their songs...

Recommended for any prog fans out there - or even if you're just looking for some interesting music?

It features guest appearances from Robert Fripp, Mel Collins, Gavin Henderson of Porcupine Tree, Danny Thompson, Hugh Hopper from Soft Machine, Dave Stewart from Hatfield and the North, Level 42's master bassist, Mark King, and two more Crimson alumni in drummer Ian Wallace (also of the Crimson Jazz Trio) and Ian MacDonald (for his sins, a founding member of Foreigner). OK maybe I've over-egged the pudding there...

Get it if you can though...

The rest of the night was spent in front of the box, “Coronation Street”, “Tonight – Ryan Air”, “The Simpsons”, “Have I Got News For You”, “Not Going Out”, “QI” (x2), “Supertramp In Concert”...

This last comprised five songs played over 30 minutes and was originally broadcast in 1977. I remember selling bootlegs of the soundtrack to other students when I was at Edinburgh University at the time...

The concert was pretty poor I have to say – though I remain a fan of the 'Tramp...

Gave the piss-poor Jools Holland a body swerve and headed for bed to the strains of Johnny Griffin's classic "A Blowin' Session" which features John Coltrane and the superbly raucous in places Mahavishnu album, "Birds of Fire" - a tasty way to end the day...

Highlight of the Day : Staying in in the warmth while it was miserable outside...

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Sanguine...

Playlist
Various – Creative Jukebox (13,159 Tracks) on Shuffleplay

A better sleep again but no discernible improvement in the pain, which persists if I move my arm by more than around 35 degrees in any direction...

Consequently, I have only been able to do two of the five prescribed exercises. I called the physio to ask if this was normal and to express my worries about the immovable arm...

He advised that this condition was normal - more often than not caused by bleeding into the arm from the wound and general bruising. He reckons I’ll be lucky to note any really improvement inside six to eight weeks, hence my next appointment at the infirmary which is due six weeks from the op...

So no more guitar playing for me this year and we’ll need to see how the driving goes – looks like it’s certainly out too for a few more weeks at least...

But there is an upside. A bunch-of-flowers-bearing visit from my old school chum and musical cohort Mr Alan Brodie, who is also suffering at present, having had a nasty varicose vein removed from his left leg...

Over coffee and some lovely hob-nob biscuits, Alan, Anne and I set the world to rights, with particular emphasis on the state of Scottish Football – I am the only one of the three of us who can count two wins from each of our teams’ last two games...

While Alan’s here, my replacement Dream Theater triple live CD set arrives (the first one had discs 1, 3 and 3) and so I pass the faulty one to Al in a bid to get him into prog-metal. I also provide him with the 25 tracks double CD-R of brand new jazz which I burned yesterday...

In the afternoon, after Alan goes on his way, I return to surfing while Anne watches TV...

In the evening she’s off out to meet her friend Lynn for a meal up town leaving me to watch “The Avengers”, “Up Pompeii”, “The State Within”, “Question Time” and “This Week”...

Highlight of the Day : A visit from Count Brodski...

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Free jazz...

Playlist
Various – Free Downloads from “All About Jazz
Various – An Introduction to Free Jazz

Arm worse today. The pain is not in the shoulder though, more the upper arm which is very painful to move in almost any way...

A nice card from John and Ali of Impossible Songs arrives, wishing the pain away - hope it works soon...

Lovely porridge with raisins and strawberry jam for breakfast today...

Then we watched the DVD of “Dodgeball” which we bought a couple of months back. Very funny indeed – I love slapstick comedy...

Anne went off uptown shopping for the day and I downloaded more tunes I may never listen to again (or even at all, as it takes less time to download a tune than actually listen to it)...

I trawled a few “MP3 Blogs” which post up tracks for a few days or weeks before they disappear, presumably due to copyright reasons...

I burned a double CD-R set of 25 tunes downloaded yesterday from “All About Jazz” and also compiled a disc entitled “An Introduction to Free Jazz” from one of the MP3 blogs, “Destination Out”...

I’ve never really used the net as a source for new music but now have a couple of hundred tracks on the hard drive mostly from www.thewire.com and www.allaboutjazz.com ...

In the evening we watched Hibs totally outplay Hearts although they only won 1-0. Elsewhere, 1st Division leaders, St Johnstone, beat Glasgow Rangers 2-0 at Ibrox in the same competion...

So Celtic, Hearts and Rangers are all out – of course Anne feels this leaves the path to glory wide open for Hibs – but, on tonight’s display, she can have nothing to complain about...

Highlight of the Day : A jazzy day...

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Slipping away...

Playlist Various – Jukebox on Shufflepay
Bill Bruford – Earthworks Underground Orchesta
Various – Free Downloads from “All About Jazz”

A much better sleep last night and the arm seems to be on the mend....

However, I spent all day today waiting for the pain to kick in as it did late afternoon yesterday...

Croissants for breakfast and then we watched “The Royal Tenenbaums” (an excellent recommendation from Mr Cobley) until 11 when my mum arrived for coffee..

She was going to come this afternoon but I encouraged her to change her plans so that she could fit in a visit to an old friend whose husband (an ex-work colleague of my dad’s) was recently diagnosed with inoperable and quite extensive cancer...

He’s recently been admitted to hospital as it looks like his body’s given up and his mind has gone too....

It seems all the men-folk are slipping away....

Mum stays for lunch and we listen to a CD arrival, Bill Bruford’s “Earthworks Underground Orchestra” – which I think my dad would probably have liked and which Anne and Mum both declare to be “not bad”....

I surf the net, still waiting for the pain, while Anne pops out to the shops...

When she returns we catch the end of “Countdown” and all of “Deal or No Deal”, during which my old chum Alan Brodie phones...

He’s been laid up for two weeks after having had a varicose vein removed. Sounds like sore one. He’s at the doctor on Thursday so we agree he should stop by for lunch...

Then came the relapse and the gnawing, aching pain returned to the shoulder and arm....

To counteract this I took the tablets and we ordered an Indian takeaway then watched “Trinny and Susanna” as they tried to make a married couple look more compatable. He was 24, she was 42. He looked 16 she looked 50. Their work was indeed cut out for them...

In the end the couple looked slightly more compatable but a lot more at ease with themselves..

Arm pain receded a bit as we watched another convoluted episode of “CSI : Miami”...

As Falkirk beat Celtic on penalties in the CIS Cup (in which Hearts play arch rivals Hibs tomorrow night), I discovered over 600 free downloads at http://www.allaboutjazz.com/ and downloaded a first batch of around 30 MP3s, most of which I’ll probably listen to half way through and never again...

Highlight of the Day : A call from Mr Brodski

Monday, November 06, 2006

Kicking in...

Playlist
Cloudland Blue Quartet – Deeperdown
Various – Jukebox on Shufflepay
Jakko M. Jakszyk – The Bruised Romantic Glee Club
Isotope – Deep End
Francoise Hardy – Messages Personnels

Went to bed but ended up listening to music almost all night. Once the CBQ album (which is brilliant by the way and you really ought to buy a copy) ended, I fetched the jukebox, which plays for 60 mins before shutting down automatically. I recall restarting the machine at least four times and I also got up at 4 to take more painkillers...

In the morning, it seemed a big improvement had taken place and I thought I was well on the mend...



Late afternoon and evening though, the pain in my arm kicked in big style and the painkillers appeared to have little effect...

Watched two episodes of “Coronation St” and “Have I Got News For You” whilst applying an icepack...

A call from Mr Stu Cobley of Creek alerted me to the “Royal Tannenbaum” film, for which we set the video before retiring...

Glad to get to bed...

Highlight of the Day : A call from Cobblers

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Cosy...

Playlist
Jakko M. Jakszyk - The Bruised Romantic Glee Club
Dream Theater - Score
Wetton/Downes - Icon
Flower Kings - Paradox Hotel

Not much sleep last night awakened at regular intervals by the pain..

Lovely porridge for breakfast though - and pills...

Sat in the warm living room listening to music - including the first two acquisitions of November...

Around 5 to Anne's mum's for tea...

Fireworks for the kids...

Back home by 7:30...

Then "Corrie", a short look at the computer, more music, "Match of the Day 2", then bed at around 11, recording "Tosh Wood" and "Arrested Development" for future viewing...

Highlight of the Day : Anne's mum's strawberry pavlova...

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Ouch...again...

Playlist
Gang of Four - Damaged Goods (how apt)
Bread - The Guitar Man (it's not me)
Pet Shop Boys - Minimal (music listened to today)

Up at 6:30 but no breakfast as it was off to hospital for the op...

Arrived right on time at 7:30 and went through all the questions and paperwork...

Pre meet with the surgeon who advises the op has v high success rate but I should expect it to take around 6 months for my arm to recover completely...

To theatre at 9 but first to the anaesthetist's room, where he tried around 6 times to inject a nerve blocker into my neck...

Eventually he gave up and put me under, adding it to the general anaesthetic...

Came to around eleven and asked for permission to swear. It was fucking sore!!!

Post meet with surgeon advising all went well. Physio gives me five small exercises to do but only post drugs when pain will be at a minimum...

Still kind of woozy when Anne came to pick me up at five...

And the pain in the shoulder is horrendous - but to be expected when the surgeon has chipped away a rather large build up of calcium and then shaved away various parts of bone...

In a sling for up to two weeks and I have painkillers which I suspect aren't as strong as the ones I managed to get from the GP a few weeks ago...

I am cheered by phone calls from mum, sister Sheila, Anne's mum, Anne's sister Jane and my musical cohort Mr James Jamieson...

Managed to spill my food all down my front due to eating with one hand...

Very little prospect of much sleep over the next few days..

No driving for a while still...

No guitaring either..

Typing one-handed...

QoS won 2-0 again and are off the bottom of the table, so, hey, it's not all bad..

Highlight of the Day : When the drugs kick in

Friday, November 03, 2006

Not doing much...

Playlist
Various - 100 Songs for a trip to London
Barclay James Harvest - Another Arable Parable

A quiet day today - especially in comparison to yesterday's hectic schedule...

Notwihstanding this, I didn't get round to collecting my suspected Dream Theater package from the Post Office...

In the evening, Anne was out at the theatre to see Daphne du Maurier's "Rebecca" - a birthday present from the girls in the family to her mum...

At home I watched "Coronation St" and "The State Within", listened to some music and surfed the net.....

A quiet day, indeed...

Highlight of the Day : Not doing much...

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Pleasantly surprised...

Playlist Grand Funk – We’re An American Band
Various – 100 Songs for a trip to London
Barclay James Harvest - Another Arable Parable

Up at 5 and a taxi to the airport at 5:45. My flight was at 6:55 though we didn’t leave till 7:25 – still arrived almost on time at London City airport, 8:25 – then a taxi to Fenchurch St where I listened to three presentations on “the future”. Around 12:30, we walked to Tower 42 where we took the lift to Gary Rhodes’ restaurant on the twenty fourth floor for an excellent lunch. Then another brisk walk back to Fenchurch St, one last presentation and a cab back to the airport for the flight back to Edinburgh...



Anne picked me up at the airport and we drove home for me to have a quick change of clothes – then to the Queens Hall to meet up with Dr Prog and his brother for the Barclay James Harvest gig...

I went with an open mind and was very pleasantly surprised. Never the world’s most fashionable group, BJH nonetheless have a great back catalogue of material and, let’s not forget that, from 1968 to around 1973/4 they were “players” on the British music scene..

Highlight for me was “Mockingbird”, one of the first singles I bought back in 1972 (though it was originally released in ’71)...

Here they are in 1970...



The two guys on the outside, John Lees and Woolly Woolstenholme played tonight. The one with the curly hair, Les Holroyd has his own version of BJH of whom the fourth member Mel Pritchard, was a member until his death in 2004...

As an added bonus tonight, support was provided by Geofrey Richardson of Canterbury legends, Caravan...

Dr Prog hung around to chat and get some autographs but I headed home on the bus...

A long day

Highlight of the Day : Being surprised by BJH

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Everything is relative...

Playlist
Alice Cooper - The Best of the Alice Cooper Group 1971-73 (2CD-R)
Plus tracks from....
Bozzio Levin Stevens – Situation Dangerous
Shadow Gallery – Room V
Susumo Yokota – Grinning Cat
Halloween Alaska – Too Tall to Hide
Sparks – Hello Young Lovers
Muse – Black Holes and Revelations
Laura Pausini – Escucha
Eels – Blinking Lights and Revelations
Mogwai – Mr Beast
Echo and the Bunnymen - Avalanche
Mathilde Santing – Under Your Charms
David Gilmour – On An Island
Enchant – Tug of war

I think my Dream Theater Live 3CD Set must have arrived today but I wasn't here to sign for it...

I’m starting to get psyched up for the shoulder op which takes place on Saturday. I’m sure there’s nothing to worry about. And my problem is relatively minor compared to an acquaintance who is currently in the Western having today had a tumour removed from his brain...

Mr Alan Brodie too has recently been under the knife (he advises by text) – a leg op no less and he maintains he’s confined to barracks, though when I phone him I get his machine – perhaps he’s screening his calls...

Tomorrow off to London at the expense of current Manchester Utd sponsors, AIG – hopefully it will not turn out to be another champagne fest as I’m flying back in time to see the not so mighty though I am open to surprises Barclay James Harvest with Dr Prog...

A quiet night in on Friday beckons (perhaps with some Dream Theater in the background so possibly not too quiet - Anne will be out) and then to the hospital at 7:30 am on Saturday morning. I’d rather be going to Patisserie Florentin....

I abandoned my quest to save all MP3s I’m deleting from the jukebox to make space for some live, classical and compilation stuff and just started wiping albums, creating 2.5 gigs of space and adding 548 new tracks for my listening pleasure...

Telly tonight = “Coronation St”, “Holby” (now featuring “Bottom”’s Eddie Hitler aka Ade Edmonson) and, the very entertaining “Lead Balloon“, now also showing on BBC2 apparently...

Relatively early to bed as it’s up at 5, flying at 6:55...

Highlight of the Day : The Mighty Alice Cooper (Original Version)