Friday, August 31, 2007

Just a bomb...

Playlist
Cloudland Blue Quartet – Deeperdown
Brian Eno – Remasters Promo CD
Pink Floyd - Echoes

Finished the Pink Floyd book – reasonably illuminating and, again, drawing me to their excellent music....



Once again the last day in August – once again my mum’s birthday – the last year has just flown by...

Anne and I drove out to Loanhead for 7 and picked mum up for a meal at the restaurant of her choice – The Steading on the outskirts of Edinburgh...

A couple of fine sirloin steaks were consumed by Mr & Mrs CBQ while mum opted for the scampi...

A lovely bottle of South African Gewurtztraminer accompanied the over-sized but enjoyable helpings...

Mmmm mmmm...

Sweets followed after a lengthy period of conversation, reflection and general letting out of belts...

Cassis for mum, ice cream with hot chocolate sauce for Anne and banoffee freezecake for me....

Oh yes...

Back to mum’s and we were joined by sister Sheila who proceeded to entertain us for a couple of hours with tales of her life in Penicuik with her husband, sons (younger one – apprentice plumber – under the floorboards collecting scrap copper to fund his spending money for a Cypriot holiday) and dogs (spaniel viciously attacked by neighbour’s cat, big black Labrador chasing off said cat, spaniel’s neurotic insistence on gaining entry to the downstairs bathroom)...

We asked if there’d been any more murders in Penicuik recently – to which the matter of fact response came “No, but a house had a petrol bomb through the living room window at three in the morning recently” – something got do with “taxi wars”....

Home at 12:30 am and falling asleep watching unfathomable baseball...

Highlight of the Day : Family get together

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Better than David Batty....

Playlist
Cloudland Blue Quartet – Doveloveshawk
Cloudland Blue Quartet – Ampersand
Cloudland Blue Quartet – Anotherhappyday
Cloudland Blue Quartet – Ersatzreal

645 days ago, I broke my ankle...

Tonight I returned to 5-a-sides for the first time since then, proudly sporting my Argentina top – bought back in 1998 to watch the match between England and the Argies which the latter won 4-3 on penalties after a 2-2 draw...



Glad to see it still fits...

My fears of suffering a heart attack within the first five minutes proved unfounded but my team (“Lights” – as opposed to “Darks”) went two-nil down “early doors” as they say in football-speak...

Then, sensation of sensations, I scored our first goal, meeting a cross from the left perfectly at the back post to hammer home from close range...

Then, further sensation of sensations, we won a penalty and I was elected to take it (sympathy vote I suspect). I despatched it forcefully into the bottom corner...

Although I was at fault for at least three goals from the opposition, due to general fat slowness and timidity re the possibility of breaking my leg again, at full time the “Lights” ran out 7-5 winners...

A few handshakes and a promise to return next week (when the game will revert to indoors and the hall where the great bone splitting calamity took place) and it was into the car and home for a quick turnaround and back out into the night with Anne to see old chum James Jamieson giving it his all in the featured slot at Out of the Bedroom...

We arrived just in time for the 30 minute set...

We wished Jamie could’ve played for longer as he only played around six songs and he has a great catalogue of excellent numbers...

I noticed he’d changed the arrangements of a couple of his older songs and, though these new versions sounded unfamiliar at first, the strength of the songs themselves pulled them through...



The rest of the night was of a pretty high standard with, as is usual for OOTB, a couple of exceptions...

Your correspondent played a single song slot with “I Rearranged the House”...

Around midnight we were speeding through the darkness to Tesco for bread for some late night beans on toast not having had any dinner earlier on...

Then we spent some considerable time trying to set up the new Setanta-ready Freeview Box but there is a problem with the reception and I fear the solution to this will require further outlays of cash...

Oh well...

Highlight of the Day : Returning to 5’s/James Jamieson live...

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The past is another country...

Playlist
Me - loads of stuff...

Spent today working on the 30 year anthology...



Went back to the drawing board regarding track selection and listened to hundreds of tracks, including stuff I'd forgotten even existed...

This instead of relying on the usual stalwart pieces...

A good day...

Highlight of the Day : Rediscovering my music...

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

24/7...

Playlist
Mahavishnu Orchestra – Birds of Fire
Cloudland Blue Quartet – Ersatzreal
Various – The World’s Greatest Trance

Reading List
John Harris – The Making of a Masterpiece : The Dark Side of the Moon

Continuing with the Dark Side book, I’m up to “Meddle” now and the beginnings of the songwriting for the album...

I decided to listen to the new CBQ album again today to try and decide if it’s finished or if I need to add anything...

Still undecided but we’re only a week away from September and the thirtieth anniversary of my first recordings so could it be the Anthology will come first or perhaps release both together??

Mum’s birthday on Friday so need to sort out a venue for the celebrationary meal...

Met with Macclesfield Craig for lunch and a good chat at Brown’s on George St – he really enjoyed his weekend in Edinburgh and I advised that Anne would soon be returning to Manchester, this time with her friend Lynn in tow...

All too soon he was off to do some shopping including searching for a tartan baby jumpsuit thingy...

Back home, “Archie McLean: The Forgotten father of Brazilian Football” told the story of a Scot from my hometown (Paisley) who made Brazilian Football what it is today...

“CSI : Miami” is suddenly reasonably watchable again...

Updated the diary whilst enjoying some absolutely cracking trance cuts...



...filling in the last five days – am I getting lax in my old age?

This is the 950th post apparently...

Even at just 10 minutes a post that’s the equivalent of blogging non-stop for a week...

24/7...

Highlight of the Day : An enjoyable lunch in good company..

Monday, August 27, 2007

Chance meeting...

Playlist
Pink Floyd – Dark Side of the Moon
Pink Floyd – Wish You were Here
Pink Floyd – Animals
Weather Report – Mysterious Traveller
Cloudland Blue Quartet – Deeperdown

Reading List
John Harris – The Making of a Masterpiece : The Dark Side of the Moon

Started reading the Pink Floyd book I bought on Saturday – as always with these things it made me want to listen again to the back catalogue, so a couple of albums made it onto the playlist...



Sid Smith’s excellent review of Weather Report’s “Mysterious Traveller” lead me to add this to the playlist and to recheck whether or not I’d yet collected all releases by the great triumvirate of jazz fusion, Weather Report, Return to Forever and the Mahavishnu Orchestra...

The result?
Weather Report 10/16
Return to Forever 5/8
Mahavishnu Orchestra 7/9
Total 22/33

Two thirds of the way there...

In the evening I drove round to Jamie’s to pick him up and we headed into town for the Out of the Bedroom Megamike...

In an amazing case of chance, Craig and Pete from Macclesfield/Stockport/Manchester, whom Anne and I went out on the town with during our trip in July to see the Blue Nile, turned up at exactly the same venue but to see the free comedy show in the basement rather than the music show on the 1st floor...

To celebrate their step dad’s 60th, they were visiting Edinburgh for a long weekend with the birthday boy and their mum to take in some shows at the festival...

A quick chat and a game of pool with Jamie then it was upstairs to the OOTB night...

Quite cleverly, the committee had split the evening into four hour long slots, each comprising 10 performers whose slot was chosen at random by picking a number from 1-10...

Jamie and I both chose the second hour and, since no one really knew when they might be called to the stage, a sizeable audience was guaranteed for all...

Jamie sang “The Morning After” while I plumped for “20/20 Vision”, once again playing unaided by printed music/lyrics...



Other notable performances on the night came from, Ian Sclater, Norman Lamont, Confushian, Spamborskee, John Lamb and Steven Carey...

Special mention for me must go to Lisa Paton, while Freeloadin' Frank, Tommy Mackay and Jim Bryce all (intentionally) brought much laughter into the room...

We left around midnight and sped home through the darkness...

Highlight of the Day : Playing one song...

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Singing (not) dancing...

Playlist
Cloudland Blue Quartet - Anthology 1977-2007
Purcell - Dido & Aeneas
Various – Last 100 Cds
King Crimson – 21st Century Guide (2x4CD)
New Order – Republic
Stamitz – Symphonies Vol 2
New Order – Waiting For the Sirens’ Call
Corelli – 12 Concerti Grossi

Reading List
Deborah Curtis - Touching From A Distance

Re-listened to the proposed Anthology - still not sure about this project...

Collated all the recording dates for "Ersatzreal" and started working on the cover...

Breakfast at home and then out shopping...

Sorted out the 100 odd CDs we carry around in the car - mostly compilations of one sort or another I've burned at one time or another for some forgotten reason (or another)...

In the afternoon, read the entire Joy Division book I bought yesterday - the one on which the film "Control" is based - an excellent quick read and gets across much better than the film just how humdrum life for the band was and gives a greater insight into the self-destructive personality of Ian Curtis...

Gave James Jamieson a call re arrangements for a performance we're doing tomorrow night - a "megamike" featuring around 40 artists playing one song each...

Then round to Anne’s mums to pick everyone up before we drove to the hotel where nephew Craig has just started working to subsidise his University lifestyle...

The plan was to surprise him with a birthday cake - of course he was far too busy (and still too hungover I might add) to particpate to any great degree...

Then to Anne's mum's for tea before I headed off for my last but one (Fireworks next Sunday) Festival evening....

An excellent double bill of opera...

First up was "Dido & Aeneas" by Henry Purcell followed by Antonio Salieri's comic opera, "Prima la Musica, Poi le Parole"...



I spotted Anne's cousin Alison playing the bassoon in the Scottish Chamber Orchestra...

Purcell's opera is probably the most famous early opera to be written in English...

"A powerhouse of emotion, it follows the doomed love affair between Dido, Queen of Carthage, and the Trojan prince Aeneas."

Great...

"Prima la musica, poi le parole" is...

"a comic opera of verve and effervescence in which a musician and a poet argue about the relative importance of their work in the creation of a new opera."

Yowsa....

And of course, once again, home in time for "Match of the Day"

Highlight of the Day : Opera

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Back in the old routine...

Playlist
Yes – Commercial Countdown (Jukebox Playlist)
Deep Purple - Anthology
Joy Division – Unknown Pleasures
Various – Very Best Euphoric Breakdown Dance
Sex Pistols – Spunk
Various – World’s Greatest Trance
Various – Tighten Up

To the podiatrist at 9:45 and, with usual nice lady Helen off on maternity leave, I was introduced to Lynne who will be “doing my feet” for the foreseeable future...

Very nice...

Then, leaving Anne to take the car home, I caught the bus uptown for the grand re-opening of FOPP. One of the two Edinburgh branches has been bought over by HMV...

Nothing has changed though, and I wandered around for over an hour with various items in my hand at various times, most of which I put back before plumping for three CDs and four books one of which came with a free CD....



A call to chum Craig who’s up in Edinburgh for the weekend with his family and we arranged to meet on Tuesday as he’s busy festivalling...

Then I walked to Cockburn St and visited an exhibition by John Stezaker at the Stills Photographic Gallery and, at the Collective Gallery on the other side of the street, an exhibition based around comic books...

The second FOPP branch has been turned into a fire sale shop for a tartan gift shop on Princes St which recently suffered a massive fire...

Up onto the High St and the last Saturday of the Fringe saw the place still packed and still full of people wanting to give me flyers...



Then on to Richer Sounds and, on the way back, I picked up some printable CDs for the upcoming releases and a scart adapter to allow us to tape from the Freeview box again...

Back home and Anne was engrossed in the footie – a thumping 5-0 defeat away at Celic awaited Hearts while the MIGHTY Queen of the South, notched up their first win of the season (1-0 v Livingston) to go 5th in the table – I’d be happy with that come next May...

Decided to load the Grand Piano programme webmeister and fellow Creeker, Craig gave me at the big Creek reunion a couple of weeks ago...

Of course I botched it up and now find I can’t access my Cubase system...

Maybe this is a sign that “Ersatzreal” is ready for release...

In the evening, out to the Playhouse to see the Trisha Brown Dance Company performing to pieces by Laurie Anderson, John Cage and Monteverdi...

“Set and Reset” to the music of Laurie Anderson and danced on a set design by Robert Rauschenberg was superb....

From the programme...
“The loose, lush movement of Set and Reset is mesmerising. Transparent cloths hang in the wings allowing the audience a view of dancers both off and on stage. The stage is bare and dark except for a large geometric sculpture hanging overhead on which a collage of black and white film clips are projected. An innovative work of real beauty.”

Quite...

Then “Present Tense” danced to the music of John Cage, during which we lost a few members of the audience...

Again from the programme...
“Raucous, relentlessly athletic, aerial partnering in which Brown’s dancers seem to ride and tumble almost suspended in space. John Cage‘s visceral score provides fitting accompaniment to this inspiring work.”

Oh yes...

And, finally, the Monteverdi piece, “Canto/Pianto”, a UK premiere...

“Canto/Pianto is an excerpt drawn from Trisha Brown’s acclaimed choreography of her own response to Monteverdi’s opera L’Orfeo. Brown achieved total integration of music, text and movement, creating what one reviewer from The Daily Telegraph called ‘as close to the perfect dance opera as I have ever seen.’ “...

Indeed...

And we had ice cream at half time...

Home of course in time for “Match of the Day”....

Highlight of the Day : FOPP back in my life...

Friday, August 24, 2007

Baroque’n’roll...

Playlist
Yes – Commercial Countdown (Jukebox Playlist)
Stamitz – Symphonies Vol 2

Tonight some lovely baroque music with the good Dr Prog....

Played by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and starring violinist Chiara Banchini and the 6’7” counter-tenor (dude sings like a lady) Andreas Scholl...


...we were delighted by the programme which included Concerto Grossi by Corelli, Geminiani and Scarlatti, and three pieces by Vivaldi, a violin concerto, a cantata and his famous setting of Stabat Mater...

Then, a quick dash to nephew Craig’s 21st birthday party where his entire extended family celebrated along with his friends from school and university including his girlfriend Allanah (our first sighting of her despite Craig having been with her for around 2 years)...

Since I was driving, I had the dubious honour of ferrying everyone home and making sure Craig’s presents left the venue and made it to a safe house for collection at a later date...

A good time was had by all and I even had a couple of jigs to the wonderful sounds of Girls Aloud and the Sugababes...

Highlight of the Day : Baroque’n’roll...

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Not quite...

Playlist
Yes - Commercial Countdown (Jukebox Playlist)
Various - Last 100 CDs

Here's Anne in the North Berwick twilight 367 days ago...



Another day off from the festival...

This should have marked my return to footballing but the game was cancelled due to lack of interest...

Maybe next week...

I was really looking forward to it, even though I may very well have keeled over and died in the first minute due to lack of preparation and being a fat unfit hobbling old tube...

To make up for the lack of exercise tonight, we had an indian takeaway and I lay on the settee all night watching "Holby", "Saxondale", "Still Game" and "My Name is Earl"...

Then compiled some pics to send to my Godson Ansem in Germany and wrote this diary up...

Tomorrow, Macclesfield chum Craig arrives for a long weekend in Edinburgh and I hope we'll be able to hook up with him at some point...

Lowlight of the Day : Footie cancelled :-((

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Courting disaster...

Playlist
King Crimson - 100 Minutes of Crim (Jukebox Playlist)
King Crimson - The Power to Believe
Various - Last 100 Cds (100 track MP3 CD)

This picture was taken two years ago today...



Anne was off to see Richard Herring tonight leaving me with plenty of time to do something constructive...

Instead, I played a couple of songs on my guitar, in preparation for a one song set confirmed today by e-mail....

On Monday night I'll be playing at a Fringe "Megamike" gig (34 performers in 4 hours) at Lindsay's in Brunswick St Edinburgh...

I compiled the fifth compilation CD of tracks from the last 100 CDs I've bought and also created an MP3 disc of those 100 tracks and listened to it on shuffleplay whilst watching Germany beat England 2-1 at Wembley...

I decided I'd play 5-a-side football tomorrow - the 21st monthiversary of breaking my ankle...

I picked Anne up from the bus stop down the road...

That was it...

Highlight of the Day : A possible return to football beckons..

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Pencil sharpener...

Playlist
Pink Floyd – The Wall
Adrian Belew – Side Three
Simple Minds – Real to Reel Cacophony
Joni Mitchell – Ladies of the Canyon
Trey Gunn – One Thousand Years
Alexi Tuomarila Quartet – O2
Various – Runeology 3

Dentist first thing and, once again I had to suggest to Mr Fenny (my dentist for almosy 40 years) that he put a poster from the film “Marathon Man” on his wall...

Owya!

My 20th day of festivalling over the last 26 days and the last before a couple of nights off...

Our last film of the Festival was “Year of the Dog”, written and directed by Jack Black’s writing buddy Mike White, who wrote the hit “School of Rock”...



Once again I liked this film – we’ve been lucky and haven’t picked any turkeys..

It was very low key, quite moving in places, funny in others but with an overall sense of sadness in its world...

Back home to "CSI : Miami" and a mountain of dishes, which I washed accompanied by the new free disc from The Wire, before writing up the last three days here whilst listening to Mr Tuomarila’s band...

In a way I’m glad of a couple of days off...

Highlight of the Day : A film about loving animals...

Monday, August 20, 2007

Biased towards Europe...

Playlist
Cloudland Blue Quartet – Ersatzreal
David Sylvian – Gone to Earth
Alexi Tuomarila Quartet – O2
Secret Machines – September 000

Back to the cinema tonight, this time to the Cameo, where I don’t think we’d been since the screening of my old friend Peri Urban’s cousin’s film made around five years ago, featuring none other than your corespondent, Mr CBQ, on bass guitar and general moodiness...

Music To My Eyes” – do have a look...

The track appears on my 2002 album "Ampersand" under the title "Synaesthesia"...

Anyway, tonight it was “gentle” British film, “The Waiting Room”. Described as “a Portrait of entangled London love lives”, the film has yet to win a distribution deal - tonight was the World Premiere....



Here are one, two, three links...

I liked it, but, like most British movies I see, I felt it should’ve been on TV rather than in the cinema...

Anne pointed out this was obvious bias on my part – had it been in French, German or Italian with subtitles, I would have raved about it...

She is entirely correct...

Weird...

Another two new CDs through the post from e-bay – I still have two more successful bids to appear and I am also in with a chance of another couple...

I have vowed not to buy any CDs in September – I will merely burn those currently stored on the hard drive...

Also, a further new CD free with this month’s copy of The Wire...

I immediately loved Secret Machines on first listen and will no doubt seek out their other recordings...

The finish pianist, Alexi Tuomarila, lauded in the sleeve notes by Brad Mehldau, is also excellent – another fine quartet find for the collection....

Tasty...

Highlight of the Day : Good new music

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Closer...

Playlist
Various – Tracks from the last 100 CDs I’ve bought...
Godspeed You Black Emperor - F#A#Infifnity
Godspeed You Black Emperor - Slow Riot For New Zero Canada
Joy Division - Still

Mindful of my discussions yesterday with Dr Prog re my CD acquiring habits, and the lack of attention I give to CDs once I’ve actually acquired them, I spent much of the morning compiling CDs featuring one track each from the last 100 CDs to enter the collection - with a view to providing me with in-car listening...

At two we set off for a marathon visit to the Edinburgh Film Festival. Rather than describe the action, I’ve provided links to reviews (why reinvent the wheel)...

First up was an excellent and very funny indeed “mockumentary” on the cult of Australian children’s dance troupes, starring the brilliant Ben Miller...

"Razzle Dazzle" is a small independent film shot in the main with a just couple of cameras and probably comprising a 50/50 split of scripted/improvised scenes, this was a joy to watch...



Next up, the big American blockbuster comedy of the Festival, “Knocked Up”. This was hilarious and probably my favourite film of the fest thus far....



Then a quick dash to take Anne home and back for my third film of the day, Anton Corbjin’s “Control” – the story of Ian Curtis, lead singer of Joy Division, who committed suicide in May 1980...



I was much affected by this film, telling as it did of a period which I lived through and remember like it was yesterday (1973-1980)...

I was left feeling very sad indeed by it all, remembering my own dismay on finding that Ian had killed himself and, rather selfishly of me, that he had stopped Joy Division...

Of course at the time, no-one other than those closely involved in the situation, knew all the circumstances surrounding the tragedy...

For younger readers, imagine the lead singer of the Arctic Monkeys (whoever that is) suddenly killed himself just before the release of that album they did that sold really quickly...

I'd disagree with the reviewer to whom I've linked - this film DID make me want to seek out Joy Division's music and listen again and so I drove home in a rather maudlin state and ended the day with Joy Division’s “Still” on the headphones...

A good day and a bit of history lesson too...

Highlight of the Day : Three great films in one day

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Love songs...

Playlist
Esbjorn Svensson Trio – Tuesday Wonderland
Jordi Savall; Le Concert Des Nations - Les Grandes Eaux Musicales De Versailles
Various – The Wire Downloads
The Divine Comedy – Fin de Siecle
Alvin Curran – Inner Cities
David Bowie - Sound & Vision
Das Synthetische Mischgewebe - Casual Praise of Domestic Calamities
Grant Green – The Main Attraction
Cloudland Blue Quartet – Ersatzreal
Sarah McLachlan – Solace
Sparklehorse – Dreamt for Light Years In The Belly of a Mountain
Michael Nyman – Film Music 1980-2001
Sarah McLachlan - Surfacing

Up at 1:15 am – that’s far too early – back to bed and up again at 6:30...

Downloaded around 60 MP3s from The Wire’s website (everything posted up there over the last 9 months – can’t believe it’s 9 months since I last looked there for MP3s)...

Whilst doing this, I copied the remaining CDs which I needed to return to the library today – I had a loose arrangement to meet up with Dr Prog there so that he could borrow the Miles Davis Box Set I was returning – along with that, of the discs I borrowed, particularly excellent was the 4CD Alvin Curran Box Set of piano music, “Inner Cities”...

Of course as is the way with a small black cat, Meg the Black cat had to help out with all of the above by snoozing in front of the computer...



Yet another new disc arrived from e-bay and it accompanied our drive to Patisserie Florentin for breakfast...

In the vein of the more hardcore clicks and cuts type “music” (it’s not really music, just noises) it’s unlikely to be played again...

After breakfast, I walked up from Stockbridge to the library where I handed back the 7 items borrowed three weeks ago and borrowed just three new ones – a 4CD box of music by Monteverdi, a 3CD opera by Vivaldi (though not the one I went to last Sunday) and a 3CD set by Les Arts Florissants of Rameau’s “Les Indes Galantes”, which I recall buying in Verona in the late 80’s but which was put into the stock when we had our shop...

Dr Prog was nowhere to be seen – but, once outside, I bumped into him in the street and we returned to the library for him to choose some stuff...

Then for a coffee and a spot of lunch at a little cafĂ© place just by the statue of Greyfriars’ Bobby...

I was due to get the bus home as Anne had the car this afternoon re her attendance of the Hearts match (a very disappointing 1-1 draw at home to supposedly lowly Gretna, while Queens lost again, this time away to Hamilton 1-0...aaargh!!)...

However the good doctor had the prog-mobile and we were heading to pick it up when we were flyered for a free comedy gig – so we thought “why not?” and made our way along...

3 Comedians for the Price of None” was an excellent hour long show which runs till 25 August and is heartily recommended – honestly, it’s very funny and I have no axe to grind in recommending it...

On the way back to the prog-mobile we had to pop into the Oxfam shop and I bought another 4 CDs (while the progmeister bought some classical stuff and some opera videos but passed up on Grant Green’s “The Main Attraction” for just 99p)...

Two discs by Canadian songstress Sarah McLachlan, a 2CD set of the best of Michael Nyman’s film music and last year’s Sparklehorse album made their way into the ever expanding CBQ CD collection...

On the way home I filled Dr Prog with regret as I played his passed-over Grant Green album from my Jukebox via his car stereo...

In the evening, I was off to see a French film in the festival while Anne was going with her friend Michelle to a colleague’s 30th birthday party...

They left just after seven and I spent an hour or so listening to music with Meg the Black Cat before heading out into the rain (rain all day today)...

After a struggle finding a parking spot I made it to the Filmhouse with 30 minutes to spare...

Tonight’s film, "Les Chansons d'Amour" ("Love Songs") was billed as a comedy/musical and, as this review says, started off fluffily enough with a jokey menage a trois scenario but things soon got a little darker...

All in all I enjoyed the film and this is probably a better review than the artsy fartsy one above...

I was enjoying the Q&A with the French director after the screening when I felt my phone vibrating and had to leave – it was Anne wondering where I was – I’d lost all track of time...

Walked back to the car through the rain and drove home to the delightful sounds of Ms McLachlan...

Ended the day with Richard Burtion and Peter O'Toole in "Beckett"...

Highlight of the Day : An unexpected Stand Up show with Dr Prog

Friday, August 17, 2007

Schwesterherz and sparkle...

Playlist
Laura Veirs – Year of Meteors
Del Amitri – Hatful of Rain : The Best of
Steve Reid Ensemble – Spirit walk
Billy Cobham - Alivemutherforya

The film festival beckoned again today as I partook of two films, the second in Anne’s company...

First up was “Schwesterherz” (rather strangely translated as “Twisted Sister” - some people thought I was going to see the eighties heavy rock band when I advised my planned movements for the evening)...

I won’t bother writing about the plot etc (see the link to a review below), suffice to say I enjoyed it, notwithstandin a few uncomfortable moments, but I thought it a lot better than this reviewer evidently did...

As I emerged bleary-eyed into the foyer Anne was waiting for me and we queued for the second film of the day, “Sparkle”...

This was the UK premiere of the film and was attended by the stars Stockard Channing, Shaun Evans and Amanda Ryan but, sadly, not Bob Hoskins, Lesley Manville or Anthony Head...

I really liked this film – I thought it much better than “Hallam Foe” and can’t agree with this reviewer regarding Shawn Evans, whom I considered to be a loveable jack the lad, reminding me of a young Paul Nicholas or a 1970’s David Essex...

Bob Hoskins was quite brilliant in his supporting role...



Back home, two more CDs had arrived, some hot jazz from two drummers, Steve Reid and Billy Cobham and I rounded off a good day with them on the old headphones......

Highlight of the Day : Sparkle

Thursday, August 16, 2007

The full monte(verdi)...

Playlist
Freddie Hubbard – Sky Dive
Stamitz – Symphonies Vol 1
Purcell – Dido & Aeneas

Managed to fit in two shows tonight and a pizza...

First to the basement of the Jekyll & Hyde pub for a free show, one third of which starred my old chum, drummer, accidental ankle breaker and stand up comedian Jim Park...

We’d not seen Jim perform since the end of January and he seems to have a new confidence in his delivery...

The crowd was small but appreciative and in a difficult setting for stand up (a strangely shaped space in the late afternoon without much aid of alcohol for the audience) Jim gave us a fine set...

You can sample his current show on his website by listening to the wav of a recent set at The Stand in Glasgow – where he was off to after his show today to perform at their “Best of the Fringe” night...

Good to see Mr Mark Dance again, albeit briefly. Mark is a legend in our five-a-side circles – mainly for his propensity for saying “this is rubbish” and giving up halfway through a game if he was losing and spending the rest of the time walking around moodily with his hands on his hips – or blootering the ball out of the park at Meadowbank onto the nearby railway line. A very nice guy though, and a big music fan.....

A swift pizza at a nearby Italian and then we walked up along George St and Lothian Road to the Usher Hall for Jordi Savall’s performance of Monteverdi’s Vespers...



A great performance with the second half possibly outshining the first. The performers moved around the stage and swapped places depending on the make up of each part of the piece being sung or played...

At the end, as they took their bows (at least 5 minutes ovation) many made their way outside to avoid the rush and ended up missing a lovely 5 minute piece written by Arvo Part...

Maestro Savall explained that he’d commissioned a piece from him on the theme of peace in the world but heard nothing back for almost a year – until the Madrid bombings, around a week after which, the newly completed manuscript appeared on his fax machine...

Back home, there was just time to watch tonight’s taped “My Name is Earl”, the middle episode of a three parter and, as ever, choc full of superb comedy...

And to listen to today’s CD – a selection of symphonies by Mozart’s contempory, Johann Stamitz – I love an 18th Century symphony or two...

And then, in preparation for the upcoming show, “Dido & Aeneas” by Purcell...

Tasty...

Highlight of the Day : Monteverdi

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Keep your enemies closer...

Playlist
Brian Eno - Songs (3xCDR)
Billy Cobham - Crosswinds
Adrian Belew - Here
The Tubes - Now
Brad Mehldau - Solo Piano Live in Tokyo
Erasure - Light at the End of the World

Crispy the cat - she would have been an implausible 23 today...



Through the letter box came Brad Mehldau's solo piano concert in Tokyo recorded in 2003...

I liked this disc on first listening but chose not to take it along for in-car listening tonight after last night's Django Bates fiasco with Anne. Instead, we were accompanied by the "safe bet" of Erasure...

Tasty...

We made our way to Tesco on the far side of town to pick up the new "Setanta Ready" Freeview Box and 150 empty CD cases...

After some confusion over the nature of our order, we bundled the stuff into the boot and drove up to Fountain Park for the opening of the Edinburgh Film Festival, with a screening of David MacKenzie's "Hallam Foe"...



I couldn't believe it - we had to actually queue to get in - we're not used to that as, normally, we will do our utmost to attend screenings at ungodly hours when there are very few other people around...

As we waited to get in, an assortment of misfits made their way to buses next to our queue - these were the great and the good who had attended the Premiere earlier in the evening and were now being whisked off to some after-show party or other...

The film was great but not earth-shatteringly, life-changingly brilliant (and, no, I don't have a list of films which I have found to be so)....

It was made all the more interesting to us as it was mainly shot in Edinburgh, using a combination of the two grand old hotels at either end of Princes St to act as the place of the title character's work...

I won't mention the plot in case you're going to go and see it but there was very little, if anything really, to fault it...

I was entertained indeed...

Tomorrow Monteverde and, perhaps, Jim Park...

Highlight of the Day : Hallam Foe

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

You live and learn...

Playlist
John Coltrane – Coltrane’s Sound
Roy Harper – Lifemask
Django Bates - You Live And Learn...(Apparently)
Soft Machine – Seven
Soft Machine – Third

As regular readers will be aware, I’ve recently taken to buying rather a lot of CDs from e-bay now that my dealer, Mr FOPP has been taken off the steets...

Over the last couple of weeks, the following have been delivered to Crispycat Towers at the rate of one, two or three discs a day...

Annie Lennox – Diva
Annie Lennox - Medusa
Jonatha Brooke - Careful What You Wish For
Chick Corea - Works
Return To Forever - No Mystery
John Cage - Sonatas And Interludes For Prepared Piano
Jonatha Brooke - 10 Cent Wings
Annie Lennox - Bare
Sigismondo D'india - Il Primo Libro De Madrigali
Josquin Desprez - Missa La Sol Fa Re Mi
Bill Bruford & Michiel Borstlap - Every Step a Dance, Every Word a Song
David Cross & Naomi Maki - Electric Chamber Music
The Story – The Angel in the House
The Story - Grace In Gravity
Alan Morse - Four O'Clock And Hysteria
Various - Downtown Does The Beatles Live At The Knitting Factory
John Surman - How Many Clouds Can You See
Jansen Barbieri Karn - Seed
Trevor Rabin - Con Air Soundtrack
Django Bates - You Live And Learn...(Apparently)

The latest of these arrived today...



As you will also be aware if you pop by on a semi regular basis, I maintain there is no place in jazz for vocals – why then did I buy this CD, when I knew it was jazz and that a vocalist was featured...

This was the question Anne also asked as we listened to it tonight after an abortive trip to a far away Tesco store to collect our new Setanta Capable Freeview Box which isn’t due to be in store until tomorrow according to the paperwork we had in our possession as we stood at the counter asking where our box was....

Anne declared the Django Bates CD to be the worst CD she’s ever heard...

I’m afraid that Django Bates is far too clever for his own good – I am a fan but, whenever I buy one of his discs, I am almost invariably disappointed with the content...

It’s likely that only his cover of David Bowie’s “Life on Mars?” will be heard again in our house (and only on headphones or when Anne’s out of earshot)...

Mind you the reviews at Amazon do make me want to return to the disc to explore what I must surely have missed on my initial listen...

In addition to the above, I’m also now waiting on these purchases to arrive...

Das Synthetische Mischgewebe - Casual
Billy Cobham - Alivemutherforya
Johann Stamitz - Symphonies Volume One
Secret Machines - September 000
Steve Reid Ensemble - Spirits Walk
Brad Mehldau - Live In Tokyo
Glenn Gould - At The Cinema

And I have bids in for the following...

Dennis Chambers/Bunny Brunel/Tony Macalpine - Cab
Poulenc - Chamber Music
Alexi Tuomarila Quartet - O2
Musica Antiqua Koln - Concerti Per L'orchestra Di Dresda
Rameau - Suites From Nais And Zoroastre
Acoustic Ladyland - Last Chance Disco
Esbjorn Svensson Trio - Seven Days Of Falling
Bugge Wesseltoft - Sharing
Salomon Qt - String Quartets In 18th Century England
Esbjorn Svensson Trio - Winter In Venice
Johann Stamitz - Symphonies Vol.2

If they are all successful, that will be 38 CDs in under three weeks..

Maybe it’s the hole in my being left by my atheism which forces me to buy so much music when I already have much more than I’ll ever be able to listen to before I die...

Anyway – on TV tonight – “Eastenders” with the sound down, Rangers v Red Star Belgrade (last minute winner for the Gers), “CSI : Miami” (at last a good episode in this new season), then last week’s “Heroes” on tape – I like this show...

Tomorrow it’s the start of the Edinburgh Film Festival and we’re off to the opening film...

I noted today in the Edinburgh Book Festival programme that Richard Dawkins is speaking on Sunday 19 August – unfortunately, I’m already booked in to see three films that day...

Oh well...

Highlight of the Day : Heroes and Soft Machine (not Django Bates)

Monday, August 13, 2007

Off on one again...

Playlist
The Czars – Before..But Longer
UK – The Best of UK
Transatlantic – Bridge Across Forever
Alan Morse - Four O'Clock and Hysteria
Trevor Rabin - Con Air OST
Rameau – Platee/Pigmalion/Dardanus Ballet Suites

Analysis of my listening habits from May ’06 to April ’07 has encouraged me to actually pick albums to listen to each day rather than relying on the Jukebox’s Shuffleplay facility and to try and avoid compilations in general...

It seems that, from the records kept (the “playlist” which heads up each days’s entry on the blog), in the first year I managed to sample 2,134 sources (of course some will have been played more than once, bringing the number of albums down from that figure)...

Suffice to say, I’ve not yet collated the stats for “most popular album” (and may well never do so). However, I can advise that, discounting compilations, I sampled the wares of 471 different artists in the year, of which just over 200 received just one play...

Indeed, only 40 were played 10 times or more...

The top 40?

Ah well, hang on (or scroll down)...

First (and these lists are all of course mainly for me)..

Top 20 Classical Composers...

Mozart
Haydn
Vivaldi
Beethoven
CPE Bach
Philip Glass
Schubert
Giuliani
J C Bach
Marin Marais
Satie
Albinoni
Bartok
Debussy
John Adams
Schnittke
Diego Ortiz
Dvorak
Handel
J S Bach

Top 20 Jazzers...

The Bad Plus
Miles Davis
Reid Anderson (of The Bad Plus)
John Coltrane
Jackie McLean
Brad Mehldau
Weather Report
Billy Cobham
Alan Holdsworth
Bill Bruford
Art Blakey
Mahavishnu Orchestra
Andrew Hill
Happy Apple
Return to Forever
Freddie Hubbard
Kenny Dorham
Lee Morgan
Bozzio/Levin/Stevins
Crimson Jazz Trio

Top 20 Prog Rockers...

Yes
King Crimson
Dream Theater
Gentle Giant
Neal Morse
Pink Floyd
Peter Gabriel
Rush
UK
Shadow Gallery
Spock's Beard
ELP
Flower Kings
Genesis
Tool
Muse
Porcupine Tree
Conspiracy
Frost
Godspeed You Black Emperor

Top 20 “Classic” Acts...

Alice Cooper
Uriah Heep
Brian Eno
Grand Funk Railroad
David Bowie
Pet Shop Boys
Paul McCartney
The Beatles
Bryan Ferry
The Tubes
Asia
Golden Earring
Barclay James Harvest
Mott the Hoople
Roxy Music
Sparks
The Church
Be Bop Deluxe
Hawkwind
Isaac Hayes

Top 20 Acts You May Not Have Heard Of...

Rheostatics
Mathilde Santing
Halloween Alaska
Laura Pausini
James Jamieson
Adrian Belew
Bonnie Prince Billy
Nine Horses
OSI
Rick Altizer
Sarah Harmer
Dar Williams
Impossible Songs
John Gorka
Susumu Yokota
Alice Peacock
Craig Armstrong
Francoise Hardy
Jakko M Jakszyk

And, finally, the overall Top 40 – in reverse order...

Vivaldi
UK
Rush
Laura Pausini
Halloween Alaska
Mathilde Santing
Golden Earring
Billy Cobham
Asia
Weather Report
The Tubes
Bryan Ferry
Brad Mehldau
The Beatles
Peter Gabriel
Paul McCartney
Jackie McLean
Haydn
Eels
Wetton/Downes
Pink Floyd
Pet Shop Boys
John Coltrane
David Bowie
Reid Anderson
Neal Morse
Robert Fripp
Grand Funk Railroad
Miles Davis
Gentle Giant
Brian Eno
The Blue Nile
Mozart
Dream Theater
Uriah Heep
The Bad Plus
Rheostatics
King Crimson
Alice Cooper
Yes

There you go...of course Cloudland Blue Quartet had to be disqualified due to bias....

Three additions to the CD collection today – a soundtrack by ex-Yes guitarist, Trevor Rabin, an instrumental CD by Spock’s Beard guitarist Alan Morse and some instrumental pieces from three operas by Rameau – a purchase inspired by the “On Danse” show we saw on Saturday night...

I’ve now increased my collection by 188 CDs in the 225 days of 2007 so far...

I am an idiot...

But not as big an idiot as people who believe in Astrology, Religions and Life After Death...



Highlight of the day was the first of Professor Richard Dawkins’ new series on Channel 4, “The Enemies of Reason”...

Of course, with me, he was preaching to the converted...

Ended the day buying a new Freeview Box for Anne so she can watch more football...

Then, writing this, Richard Dawkins’ own site took me to his interview on “Richard & Judy” which in turn led me to Penn & Teller on Youtube...

Do yourself a favour and watch these – in particular, the cross wearing Judy is obviously uncomfortable that her faith is rubbish...

The Bible is Bullshit..

On a lighter note – here’s one for foodies...

Highlight of the Day : Richard Dawkins

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Crazy Roland...

Playlist
Miles Davis – The Cellar Door Sessions 1970
Rheostatics – Final Concert Massey Hall Toronto 30/3/07
Miles Davis – Live Evil
Miles Davis – On the Corner
Cloudland Blue Quartet – Concrete
Grand Funk Railroad – 30 Years of Funk
Billy Cobham – Spectrum
Vivaldi – Opera Overtures
Les Arts Florissants – 10 Ans : Opera Musique

Up late (8am) finished off analysis of most played artists May 06 to April 07…

Breakfast at home then on the bike round to the Store for some essentials…

Round to sister in law Jane’s at 2pm for Aberdeen v Hearts on TV – much wailing and gnashing of teeth from the assembled Hearts fans during the first half until the equaliser right on half time…

Popped back to Crispycat Towers to collect my ticket for tonight’s extravaganza, then back to Jane’s for the second half...

Hearts on top but a 1-1 draw the final result – which is still better than Queen of the South’s defeat yesterday away at Dundee (2-1 but could’ve been 10-1 by all accounts) which followed on their being emptied out of the CIS Cup on Wednesday by lowly East Fife…

Have the wheels come off already? Is Queen’s good play going to be seen to have ended after 87 minutes against St Johnstone in the opening game?

Monopoly against nephew Oliver and I resisted the temptation to cheat, which, let’s face it, is always there when you’re playing against a six year old…

I won fair and square though and, unlike many a child, Ollie took it with good grace and is looking forward to our next game…

His quote of the day? “Granny, I think we need to mortgage something”….

Then to the Usher Hall for a concert version (i.e. no acting or scenery) of Vivaldi’s opera, “Orlando Furioso”…



Turns out Vivaldi actually wrote three operas around this story (in a letter written just before he died he mentioned he’d completed 94 operas – not all of them have survived to the present day) …

I was in the gods and could only see half the stage, I hadn’t bought a programme and so, not having researched it beforehand, I had no idea what it was about…

It was great though, good music and excellent singing. And, at half time, I moved to a seat right up at the back in the middle of the Upper Circle and had a perfect view and the sound was better…

It was a long haul though, over three hours with just a 20 minute break…

Back home in time for “Match of the Day 2” and then bed…

Highlight of the Day : Vivaldi

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Elephants on tightropes...

Playlist
Miles Davis – The Cellar Door Sessions 1970 (6CD Box)
Miles Davis – Kind of Blue
Miles Davis – Miles in the Sky
Miles Davis – Seven Steps to Heaven
Miles Davis – Sorcerer
Miles Davis – The Essential Miles Davis
Miles Davis – TuTu
Cloudland Blue Quartet - Ersatzreal
Marillion - RadiationEmerson Lake & Palmer - Black Moon
Sparks - Interior Design
Jansen/Barbieri/Karn – Seed
David Cross & Naomi Maki – Unbounded
John Cage – Sonatas and Interludes for Prepared Piano
Robert Fripp - The Society For Ethical Culture, New York 25/6/05
Konrad Wiszniewski - Konrad Wiszniewski
Jonatha Brook - 10 Cent Wings

Up at 4:38 - couldn't sleep so listened to some more Miles Davis...

Back to bed at 5:20 and then up again at 6:30 and worked on the stats I've collated re my listening habits from May 2006 to April 2007...

More CDs arrived from e-bay - David Cross and Jansen/Barbieri/Karn - it's becoming a daily occurrence now that FOPP is closed...

11:45 to "The Simpsons Movie" with Anne...

I love "The Simpsons" and the movie was great but probably not quite as funny as four episodes in a row would have been - there was a certain amount of sacrifice to the movie genre unfortunately...

Then to my mum's for a couple of hours to see how she's doing - answer? She's doing just fine...

Back home and Anne listened to the footie on the radio while I practised some songs (for no particular reason - I've been offered a couple of gigs during the festival but have had to turn them down due to my going to see others performing...)

After dinner and doing the dishes, we set off into town for tonight's show, "On Danse" at the Playhouse...



This was brilliant - the music of Rameau crossed with Modern Dance and huge Video Screens...

Ballet, contemporary, African and breakdance with a stunning backdrop featuring lions, giant bunnies, tightrope walking elephants and erm, naked trampolinists...

Rameau's rhythms were strangely ideal for the dance moves and the juxtaposition worked superbly...

Back home just in time for "Match of the Day" and the start of the new season - Anne is now a Sunderland supporter...

Highlight of the Day : On Danse

Friday, August 10, 2007

Sound & Vision and Miles & the Cellar...

Playlist
King Crimson – Lizard
King Crimson – A Young Person’s Guide to King Crimson (2CD)
David Bowie – Sound & Vision (4CD Box)
Miles Davis – The Cellar Door Sessions 1970 (6CD Box)

Lunch with Anne and her friend Michelle today uptown...

In the evening, playing through the tracks on the borrowed-from-the–library David Bowie box set which I don’t already have and transferring them to the hard drive...



Then a call to (and a pickup from) Bombay Feast...

TV tonight, “Holby City”, “Grumpy Old Women”, “Newsnight” and the first of three editions of BBC 2’s Culture Show take on the Festival, “The Edinburgh Show”...

Ended the day listening to the first of the six discs of the Miles Davis Cellar Door Sessions from 1970 – great stuff...

Highlight of the Day : A nice curry and a night in...

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Reunited...

Playlist
Cloudland Blue Quartet – Deeperdown
Creek – 1.0.0

The great Creek reunion of 2007 started in the back garden as we just sat around drinking beer and wine and “cordial”, with Anne and Meg the Black Cat, before going inside, where I presented the boys with their 10 year commemorative CD set containing all 100 tracks the group has recorded to date....



As Anne retired to surf the net, we did some more sitting around, this time in the living room, listening to parts of each of the four discs based on tracks that Alan, Stu and Craig particularly wanted to hear, while we formulated a plan to take the group forward and make some new recordings and, possibly, even play live...

We agreed that we’d work in groups of 1, 2, 3 or 4 members on new material and this could be done either in person or remotely using the internet...

My guitar playing was barred from the new set up, making the group entirely synthesised/electronic...

Having set the world of Creek to rights, we were rejoined by Anne to watch tonight’s “Still Game” before my trio of cohorts set out into the night with renewed vigour...

After they’d gone, Anne and I enjoyed tonight’s episode of “My Name is Earl”, which made it two nights in a row as we’d watched the repeat of last week’s last night after returning from the Paul Sinha show...

Highlight of the Day : A reunion...

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Seize the day...

Playlist
Mogul Thrash – Mogul Thrash
Family – Bandstand
King Crimson – Larks’ Tongues in Aspic
King Crimson – Starless and Bible Black
King Crimson – Red
Uriah Heep – Return to Fantasy
Uriah Heep – High and Mighty
Bryan Ferry – Let’s Stick Together
UK –UK
UK – Danger Money
John Wetton - Caught in the Crossfire
Asia - Asia
Asia - Alpha
Asia – Astra
Wetton Manzanera – Wetton Manzanera
John Wetton – Battle Lines
John Wetton - Arkangel
John Wetton – Sinister
John Wetton – Rock of Faith
Wetton Downes – Icon
Wetton Downes – Icon II

A John Wetton day on the Jukebox as news comes in that he’s had to cancel much of the current Asia tour due to a heart condition which may require surgery...

Mr Wetton has figured in several of my all time favourite bands such as King Crimson, Roxy Music, UK and Asia...

Final work on the Creek “1.0.0” 4 disc sets for tomorrow night’s meet up with “the lads”...

Tonight it’s back to the Festival, accompanied by Anne, to see Paul Sinha, a comedian we’d first encountered earlier this year at Jim Park’s Comedy Club...

In a roasting hot venue comprising three stuck-together storage containers (hey, it’s the Fringe you know – and at £3.65 for a bottle of cider, someone’s raking in the cash), the gay, asian, part-time GP, entertained a sell-out crowd for an hour with his anecdotal tales surrounding those moments in his life when he’d felt like “The King of the World”, not one piece of which was a repeat of the set we’d heard earlier this year...



Great stuff and, like Richard Herring and Stewart Lee, recommended...

I noted that all three comics we’ve seen this Fringe have extolled the virtue of living life to the full because this is all you get....

Death can come so suddenly and, as Sinha says, at any time we might well only be 5 minutes away from it. So we really ought to seek out more situations where we feel like the metaphorical Kings of the World...

How true...

Highlight of the Day : Yet another good night out...

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Night in...

Playlist
Neal Morse - ?
Spock’s Beard – V
Spock’s Beard – Octane
Flower Kings – Paradox Hotel
Vivaldi – Stabat Mater
Creek – 1.0.0

First night in for 11 days as I took an evening off from festivalling…

I had a hundred (well, a few anyway) other things to do but instead did the following:-

Fixed the phone lines by inserting a “splitter” where it was required...

Watched the majority of the Rangers European game on TV. The action was almost as dire as the commentary...

Listened to Vivaldi’s “Stabat Mater” in preparation for a live performance to be attended by your correspondent and Dr Prog later this month...

Watched the majority of “CSI Miami” before giving it up as a bad job as it was just too rubbish to watch...

Watched a bit of the James Bond film – don’t know which - before giving it up as a bad job as it was just too rubbish to watch...

Readied the 4 Creek CDs and covers for the Creek night on Thursday...



Surfed e-bay and YouTube till 2 in the morning - idiot...

The one highlight of the day was Anne’s best-ever to date lamb curry – the tastiest curry I’ve ever tasted…

Accompanied by a bottle of lovely red wine…

Tasty…

Highlight of the Day : Having a great cook in the house

Monday, August 06, 2007

Fish v footie...

Playlist
Miles Davis - Nefertiti
Chris Lyons - The Ill Tempered Klavier
musicmusicmusic - Macbeth
Happy Apple - Body Popping Moon Walking Top Rocking
Konrad Wiszniewski - Konrad Wiszniewski
Various - The Beatles Live at The Knitting Factory (not really the Beatles, just weird cover versions)

I was supposed to be going to see Richard Herring with Anne tonight - it's become something of a tradition for us come Fringe time...

This year however, money came between us. Setanta Sports the football televiser insisted that Hearts v Hibs take place tonight rather than Saturday, meaning that Anne had to forego the show, her love of Hearts trumping her love of Herring...

And so young friend Kris-with-a-k stepped in...

We had an enjoyable drink and banter in the bar before the show, quizzing the flyer-giver-outers as to what they normally did, how much they were paid etc etc before heading into the show...

It was great stuff - Kris had never even heard of Richard Herring but is now a fan - his dad had heard of him - I could be Kris' dad, I'm old enough...

The show was much less structured than any previous one I've seen and I think, in these early stages of the run, it was all the better for that, allowing Mr Herring to relax a bit more than usual...

Needless to say there were several side splitting moments and it is of course recommended that you get yourself along there at some point...



Elsewhere, bad news as Hibs managed to beat Hearts 1-0...

I watched the end of the game in a bar in the Grassmarket with Kris before taking him home and going to pick Anne up...

She was angry and disappointed at her team - or rather at whoever had chosen the team...

And her disappointment was compounded when I advised just how good Richard Herring had been...

And that was very, very good indeed...

Football eh?

Highlight of the Day : Richard Herring

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Not sunny...

Playlist
Bley/Peacock/Oxley/Surman - In the Evenings Out There
Chris Lyons - The Ill Tempered Klavier
Miles Davis - Miles In Berlin
Esbjorn Svensson Trio - Tuesday Wonderland
Konrad Wiszniewski - Konrad Wiszniewski

Look how lovely and sunny it was outside yesterday during the day - a day which I spent almost all of in front of the PC working on Creek stuff...



And much of today was hardly any different - except it was raining...

Up at 6:30 or so and just relaxed downstairs while Meg the Black Cat gambolled around in the garden - getting wet...

I listened to the whole of the Paul Bley CD I'd fallen asleep to last night - it was very relaxing - many of the pieces by this quartet featuring just one or two of the instruments - such restraint...

Then I returned to Chris Lyons, the young pianist who so impressed me on the first night of the Jazz Festival...

Then to work and I set about redesigning the cover for the Creek "1.0.0" 4 disc set...

So that took a good few hours....

I also tested myself re CBQ songs I can play and sing without referring to my chord & lyric sheets....

Nineteen...

I was surprised but must keep playing them if I am not to forget them...

Watched some telly - "Still Game" and "Hyperdrive" and "Heroes" all on tape then two episodes of "Joey"...

The rain kept us in all day until it was time for me to go to collect the Indian takeaway, before heading to the last gig of the Jazz Festival, the Anders Bergcrantz & Konrad Wiszniewski Quintet..

A really good show to end on - kind of classic "Late 50's/Early 60's Blue Note" sort of music which I really enjoyed (I bought Wiszniewski's CD)...

Amazingly, Bergrantz had only met the others in the band a couple of hours before they played - to me they sounded as if they'd been together for years...

Comedy again tomorrow with the brilliant Richard Herring's new show...

Highlight of the Day : One last jazz concert...

Saturday, August 04, 2007

From the jaws of victory...

Playlist
Bill Bruford & Michiel Borstlap – Every Step a Dance, Every Word a Song
Creek – 1.0.0 (4CD)
Sigismondo d’India – Il Primo Libro de Madrigali
John Surman – How Many Clouds Can You See?
Robert Fripp – Sound Sculpture Buenos Aires 8/6/07
Various – Music from Pitchfork
Various – Music from Destination Out
Jonatha Brooke - Careful What You Wish For
Bley/Peacock/Oxley/Surman – In The Evenings Out There

Up early and immediately to work on the 4th of the quadruple Creek 10th Anniversary set “1.0.0”, on which I did some preparatory work yesterday but did not mention...

A reunion is set for Thursday – we have not recorded since June 2005 and that was as a trio, Mr Brodie has not Creeked since late 2004...

We will discuss how, if at all, to take the music forward...

Out at 8:30 am for breakfast at Patisserie Florentine before sitting outside the optician waiting for Anne to complete a 15 minute visit re new lenses..

Then back home and back to work, with a quick stop for lunch, finally finishing the 4 disc mock up by around 2:30...

The football started again today and another roller coaster season for Queen of the South beckons – 3-1 up at home against St Johnstone with 3 minutes to go....



A 3-3 draw – Saints scoring twice from the penalty spot in the course of the game while Queens, in addition to scoring three, had one chalked off for off-side and missed a penalty of their own...

Then surfing through my linked sites whilst listening to new music – another two discs in the mail this morning, Jonatha Brooke from 2007 and John Surman from 1970 – both excellent in their own ways...

Finally got around to downloading Jim Park's set from The Stand in Glasgow on 24 June from his website - and very funny it is too - take a listen and, if you can, go along and see him during the Festival, his show runs from August 11-17 at The Jekyll & Hyde in Edinburgh. Called "The Free Mouseketeers", it also features Jo Romero & Clara Heimerdinger (probably not her real name)...

Also took more tracks from the Destination Out and Pitchfork sites - just in case I don't have enough new music to listen to...

Then out via bus to The Shore Bar at Leith to meet up with friends Lynn and Ross for a few drinks...



...followed by a meal at nearby Domenico’s - here's Mr Domenico and his head waitress...



A very tasty meal indeed – your correspondent indulged in a warm chicken and chick pea salad followed by sirloin steak in what must be the best pepper sauce in the world (possibly), accompanied by some excellent red wine...

Back to the shore bar where a jazz trio struggled to be heard above the clamour of the Saturday night drinkers and carousers...

A night bus back to Lynn & Ross’s, just 4 minutes by car from Crispycat Towers and (non-drinking) Lynn very kindly gave us a lift home...

Highlight of the Day : Another good night out...

Friday, August 03, 2007

Highs and lows...

Playlist
Cloudland Blue Quartet – Ersatzreal
Bill Bruford & Michiel Borstlap – Every Step a Dance, Every Word a Song

Met with Anne this evening for our visit to Stewart Lee’s new show “41st Best Stand Up Ever”...



A quick drink first and then it’s into the Udderbelly – an upside-down-cow-shaped auditorium sponsored by TV Channel E4, which Mr Lee takes a well deserved swipe at (the TV channel not the cow) during his 80 minute routine...

His show is funnier (in our opinion but what do we know Stu, we’re just the public- ha ha!) than the last time we saw him and is loosely based around his assertion that his mum thinks Tom O’Connor is a better comedian than him, despite Stu having been voted (by the public, so it is official) 41st Best Stand Up Of All Time...



His impersonation of his mum (and other third parties in his stories) called to mind his former partner (of “Fist of Fun” and “This Morning With Richard not Judy” fame) Richard Herring – whom I will see on Monday night – hoorah!

Are you a sardine? - Recommended...

Back home by 9 and a quick listen to the latest disc to come in the post, a selection of live recordings by jazz duo Bruford-Borsttlap, before being sucked in by “Holby” and “The Friday Night Project”...

The latter featured dreadful music from one Amy MacDonald – this year’s Sandi Thom methinks – someone somewhere must have done something underhand to get someone with this little talent onto channel 4 on a Friday night...

Highlight of the Day : Stewart Lee of course...

Thursday, August 02, 2007

One bad apple babe...

Playlist
The Bad Plus - Prog
Happy Apple - Please Refrain from Fronting
Happy Apple - The Space Between Our Companies
Ornette Coleman - Science Fiction

Third night in a row in the company of drummer David King...

Once again I was first in the queue for the evening's extravaganza, which I enjoyed from a front row seat...

The Bad Plus and Happy Apple joined forces to become Bad Apple, for only the second time...



Apologies for the rather makeshift composite above...

The first set was a bonus as, firstly, The Bad Plus took to the stage and played an excellent four song set comprising three older pieces, including an Aphex Twin cover and a brand new song....

Then, Happy Apple played another four songs, once again providing far out (man) jazz entertainment as only they can...

For the second set, the five musicians recreated a night a few years back when they were invited to play at a celebration for Ornette Coleman's birthday in the presence of the man himself...

And so we were treated to 50 minutes or so of Ornette Coleman material...

Mind-blowing, as they say....

As David King announced before the encore, Mr Coleman's music has had much to do with the development of both these bands and so it was fitting that the joint set should comprise his music...

A standing ovation was received from the full house...

One more gig to go before the end of the JazzFest but tomorrow night, it's comedy with Stewart Lee...

Highlight of the Day : Bad Apple...

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Happy equals good...

Playlist
Happy Apple - The Peace Between Our Companies
The Bad Plus - Prog
The Bad Plus - Suspicious Activity
Happy Apple - Youth Oriented
Annie Lennox - Bare
Happy Apple - Please Refrain from Fronting
Happy Apple - Body Popping Moon Walking Top Rocking

So there I was in true fanboy fashion, the only person standing in the "queue" to get into the Happy Apple show tonight, having bought the two of the four CDs on sale at the desk which I didn't already have...

Consequently, it was another front row seat for me for a mind-blowing show from this trio of expert jazzers...



Drummer David King displayed the same brilliance as he had last night with his other main gig, The Bad Plus...

Last night it had been pianist Ethan Iverson who was making between song announcements, however his dry wit and comedy comments were nothing in comparison to Mr King's tonight - he could have his own stand up show...

Bassist Eric Fratzke and master blower Michael Lewis on saxes complete the band and this was around 100 minutes of (mostly) far out improv style free jazz with the occasional slower, tuneful structured piece thrown in...

Or that's how it sounded but if you had the CDs already, you'd realise that every single piece which sounded as if it was being created on the spot was actually a note for complicated note recital of this band's wonderful recorded music...

Superb and indeed very tasty!!

Another great night and, tomorrow, I can't wait - The Bad Apple - comprising Happy Apple together with Mr Iverson and bassist Reid Anderson from the Bad Plus, playing together as a quintet for only the second time ever...

Of course Messrs Anderson and Iverson were in the audience tonight but I refrained from approaching them to say "I have all your CDs and I just love your music" - maybe I should have...

As an aside, more CDs have been arriving from e-bay at precisely the time where I have little opportunity to listen to them - since Friday, the collection has grown by 13 including "at gig" purchases...

Highlight of the Day : Happy Apple of course...