Friday, November 30, 2007

Not on top of the weather...

Playlist
Earthworks – Earthworks
Earthworks – Dig?
Earthworks – All Heaven Broke Loose
Earthworks – A Part and Yet Apart
Earthworks – The Sound of Surprise
Girls Aloud – The Sound of the Underground
Girls Aloud –What Will the Neighbours Say?
Girls Aloud – Chemistry
The Album Leaf – Seal Beach

Bill Bruford’s Earthworks in the daytime....



Girls Aloud in the evening...



What more could a man ask for?

Except perhaps The Album Leaf on the way to and back from the Bombay Feast Indian Takeaway for my second curry in two days...

I paid the price however and am now considerably under the weather, most likely due to chilli intake and absolutely nothing to do with German lager, French Wine and G&Ts last night...

On telly “Coronation St”, “A Place in the Sun”, “QI”, “Have I Got News For You”, “Jonathon Ross” (Kate Nash is dreadful) and the last notes of “Later” – some ancient salsa band ferchrissakes...

Difficulty in sleeping...

Highlight of the Day : Despite the side effects, a lovely curry made before my eyes...

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Chalk and cheese...

Playlist
The Bad Plus – The Bad Plus
The Bad Plus – These Are the Vistas
The Bad Plus – Give
The Bad Plus – Suspicious Activity
The Bad Plus – Prog

This evening, out with fellow decade-working-for-the-same-The-Man, Margaret, young Kris-with-a-K and ex-colleague and BBQ thrower extraordinaire, Lorna...

And why not...

First stop The Hudson Hotel – to the bar there and three pints of lovely Loewenbrau Pilsner for your correspondent with a nice bottle of white for the ladies and some Stella and Jack Daniels for the K Man (not in the same glass)...

Suffice to say, I was feeling a little squiffy by the time we left and headed for the “new” Indian Cavalry Club just along the road towards Haymarket station – very possibly the most expensive Indian restaurant in the city...



The food though, was superb. The big fat CBQ partook of some minced lamb pakora followed by a minced lamb karahi (a bit of a theme there) while his companions had things which they enjoyed too – and two more bottles of wine...

After some lengthy post-eat chat, we struggled along to Thomson’s Bar on Morrison St where Lorna was introduced to the wonder that is Gin & Tonic...

Finally slumped into a seat on the bus home around 11:30, six hours on from the meet...

Anne advised she’d had some cheese on toast for her tea...

Reparations are due...

Highlight of the Day : An Indian with some chums

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

A tree and a bell...

Playlist
Grand Funk Railroad – Good Singin’ Good Playin’
Brown Eyed Susans – Afternoon Tea
The Flower Kings – The Rainmaker
The Move – Looking On
Suzanne Vega – Beaty and Crime
ELO – Balance of Power
Motorhead – Ace of Spades
Jewel – Goodbye Alice in Wonderland
Nine Horses – Money For All
Fennesz/Sakamoto – Cendre

A visit to my mum’s tonight – we should have popped out last week but, somehow, time passed us by...

The evening usually opens with a quick round up of local news, who's died (this time a 64 yr old neighbour from a heart attack in hospital whilst about to commence chemo for cancer) and what mum’s been up to – it’s usually out on a few evenings for meals with the various clubs and associations of which she remains a member, despite her ongoing immobility...

Then we ask about the family...

Sister Pam spends a good hour on the phone to mum every Sunday – she’s doing fine, as is her husband Tricky Dicky Richard who works on when he can, despite suffering for years from a terrible form of arthritis which afflicts his body with excruciating pain at regular intervals...

Pam’s coming up again for Xmas – Richard will stay in England to spend time with his mum who is undergoing treatment for cancer...

Then Sister Sheila and her family – my mum visits them for a meal at least once a week – Sheila has been a primary school teacher for decades – she used to love it but not anymore – the kids are horrible and out of control and teachers these days have no recourse to anything as regards discipline in the classroom...

Her husband Andrew loves cars and motorbikes while first son Andrew jnr is a DJ and musician (and co-writer of several songs with his old uncle David over the years) who spends time on the south coast of England visiting his girlfriend...

Second son Alistair is a plumber’s apprentice and will no doubt out-earn us all in years to come. He has a lovely long term girlfriend, Julie...

Both sons suffer from congenital deafness which appears to be worsening as time goes on...

Andrew jnr has a son of his own, Kerr, upon whom Sister Sheila dotes whenever possible – a shock at first, especially since Kerr’s mum was merely a “good friend” of Andrew’s when she became pregnant – they have never had a relationship to speak of – wee Kerr is now the apple of his Great-Grandmother’s eye...

Then coffee time – mum usually has some lovely biscuits or cakes to hand and tonight is no exception as she provides us with Christmas themed shaped shortbread – I partake of a tree and a bell...

Then a discussion re what’s good on telly at the moment, the ins and outs of “Coronation St” and “Spooks” and “Strictly Come Dancing”...

Then what we’re all doing for Xmas...

So, all riveting stuff as you can see...

I do sometimes regret that I don’t visit my mum as often as I should but once every couple of weeks seems about right to keep in touch and up to date with what’s happening – and Pam reads this blog and relays our info to her...

Families eh?



Highlight of the Day : A visit to my mum

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Heavenly music...

Playlist
UK - The Best of UK (CD-R)
Happy Apple - Happy Apple Back on Top
Il Giardino Armonico - Musica Barocca

Into town today accompanied by my own concoction of my favourite supergroup, UK...

Underwent my physiotherapy assessment. The lovely "Jo" gave me three new exercises to try and get me back on track and advised that she was very pleased with my post op progress...

She also warned me however, not to try and wean myself off the rather large painkiller doses I am still enjoying, as the pain will well and truly kick back in should I do so...

Home to the far out jazz sounds of Happy Apple - mmm, mmm...

Some lovely lamb tonight from Anne's kitchen followed by some Rangers and Arsenal football, neither of which was watched in its entirety as I retired upstairs to listen to the latest arrival from e-bay, a disc of excellent baroque music featuring J S Bach, Albinoni, Vivaldi, Marcello, Telemann, Pachelbel, Purcell and Handel...



Nice...

Even nicer as it cost just 25p plus 99p postage...

Then, highlight of the day - the latest BBC3 (one week ahead) episode of "Spooks"...

Oh yes...

Highlight of the Day : Spooks - again

Monday, November 26, 2007

The good and the bad...

Playlist
Cloudland Blue Quartet - Ersatzreal
Wings - London Town

Listened to my own album today for the first time in a wee while - editing out a few tracks to get down to a half hour set for a possible gig in the new year...

The usual quiet Monday night in this week - no heading out late on and driving through the rain to see some band in a cellar somewhere...

Came home to find our bathroom tiled as planned- looks good but we have no door on the room now as it requires some expert "planing" - something which is beyond me according to Anne (and me)...

Also awaiting my arrival the latest e-bay package, Wings' 1978 album "London Town"...



I think my sister Pam might have bought this when it came out but I certainly didn't - though I do have a soft spot for the singles "With a Little Luck" and the once-thought-by-me-to-be-dire-now-recognised-as-a-classic "Mull of Kintyre"...

Like many, if not all, McCartney's solo/Wings albums there is some absolutely dreadful stuff on here but at least one song ("I'm Carrying") is up there amongst the best he's ever done, Beatles included...

Of course this set me off looking for the McCartney albums I don't yet have and I'm afraid there are quite a few (8)...

The usual two Monday night episodes of "Coronation St" on tape were followed by Jo Brand's live at the Apollo with a very funny guest comedian I'd never seen before, Michael McIntyre - imagine, one day I might see Jim Park guesting at the Apollo...

Highlight of the Day : Discovering a new great McCartney song amongst a load of old cobblers...

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Another Sunday gone...

Playlist
Various – Jukebox Shuffleplay
Gentle Giant – Full Discography on Shuffleplay
Various – Albums of the Year 1973
Thelonius Monk Quartet with John Coltrane - Carnegie Hall
Sibelius - Symphonies

A late rise again due to getting to bed at 3am...

Did nothing today..

The dishes from last night...

Breakfast...

Watched “Robin Hood” – best episode so far...

Listened to Gentle Giant...

Collected Anne’s mum – she was coming round to watch Gretna v Hearts – much disappointment as the Jam Tarts could only manage a 1-1 draw after having a man sent off in 20 minutes...

Listened to the draw for the World Cup – good that the home nations and the Republic of Ireland have all avoided each other...

Scotland face Holland, Norway, Macedonia and Iceland while England must once again face Croatia...



Based on the current rankings, England’s group is slightly easier but both teams have a tough campaign ahead...

England (ranked 12) play:-
Croatia 10
Ukraine 29
Belarus 60
Kazahkstan 110
Andorra 174

Scotland (ranked 14) play:-
Netherlands 9
Norway 28
Macedonia 59
Iceland 89

In Scotland's group, every match counts...

In the other groups, results against whoever comes last won't affect the best runners up calculations when determining who goes to the playoffs...

Later, “Ugly Betty” on tape – realised our niece Kitty (age 3) looks like Victoria Beckham...

Updated my “Albums of the Year” blog to show my selections back to 1959...

That’s about it...

Another Sunday gone...

Highlight of the Day : Robin Hood

Saturday, November 24, 2007

A good November Saturday...

Playlist
David Bowie – Space Oddity
David Bowie – The Man Who Sold the World
David Bowie – Hunky Dory
David Bowie – Ziggy Stardust
David Bowie – Aladdin Sane
David Bowie – Pin Ups
David Bowie – Diamond Dogs
Roxy Music – Roxy Music
Roxy Music – For Your Pleasure
Roxy Music - Stranded
Roxy Music – Country Life
Roxy Music - Siren
James Jamieson - Precious
John Coltrane – Coltrane’s Sound
Thelonius Monk Quartet with John Coltrane – At Carnegie Hall
The Flower Kings – Space Revolver
Gallagher & Lyle – Breakaway
Genesis – Invisible Touch
Golden Earring – Seven Tears
Grobschnitt – Ballermann
Trace – Trace
Various – DJ Dave’s Part Bus Disc 1
John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapto
Deep Purple – Rarities
Lucy Kaplansky – Over the Hills
No-Man – Together We’re Stranger
ELO –Secret Messages
Various – Super 70’s Reggae

Up at 4:44 as I was unable to sleep – probably coming off the pills too soon...

To the back room with Meg the Black Cat to select more CDs to be added to the jukebox. From G to M I found there were around 200 titles which, in my opinion, deserve to be included...

Downstairs and read the headlines on teletext – all this time listening to the golden years of David Bowie and Roxy Music...

At seven I succumbed to tiredness and returned to bed, snoozing on and off before rising for good around 10:15...


The postie had brought a recent e-bay purchase (total cost less than £3) - Thelonius Monk and John Coltrane's long lost Carnegie Hall Concert from November 29 1957, a couple of days short of exactly 50 years ago...



Leona Lewis in 50 years anyone?

No, thought not...

Then, a phone call to Germany to my Godson, Ansem, whose 7th birthday it was last week...

He was glad to hear from me and we could just about understand one another – he was off to play in a football tournament today apparently..

I was advised by his dad, Jorg, that the boy was rather upset last week and was asking to come to Scotland to see me - saying he was "homesick for Scotland" - which is weird because he's never been here other than in his mother's tummy...

Then, to Tesco for provisions with John Coltrane on the headphones – followed by a lovely lunch of rye bread with Gouda and German Smoked and Peppered Salami in honour of the wee man...

“Football Focus” would have had us believe the world as we know it has come to an end and “the future of English Football hangs in the balance” all because of the team’s failure to qualify for Euro 2008....

To make matters worse, England have slipped a place in the rankings after the conclusion of the campaign (as have Scotland) and so will be seeded in the second spot of their qualifying group for the World Cup in 2010 – the days of “easy” groups may be over...

I spent the afternoon CD ripping whilst keeping one eye on the footie scores – Queen of the South were away to Peterhead in the Scottish Cup. Having already been dumped out of the other two cups in their respective first rounds, the omens weren’t good – but, in the end, they ran out 5-0 winners, with two goals in the last minute...

Whilst surfing around during the ripping session I came a cross this site via Pitchfork. It’s a studio in Illinois where touring bands stop off and record off the cuff four song sessions which are then made freely available for download – what a great idea...

In the early evening it was “Strictly Come Dancing”, with Aleesha streets ahead of the pack - then, we taped “Robin Hood” while I went to pick up Lynn and Ross who were coming round tonight for dinner...

The menu?
Anne’s home made pakoras and special chilli sauce
Anne’s home made Chicken Tikka Massala with nan bread
Luxury vanilla ice cream...



Very tasty indeed – much Indian beer and Chilean wine was also consumed and the night was topped off with coffee, mints and a wee G&T...

Many topics were discussed including children, fashion, the genie being out of the bottle re most of the world’s problems including Global Warming and, as ever Ross entertained with his stories of prison life – he is a warder - before they set off into the night around 3am to walk home...

A good day...

Highlight of the Day : A visit from Lynn and Ross

Friday, November 23, 2007

730 days on...

Playlist
Herman Van Veen – My Cat and I
Van der Graaf Generator - Present
Martin Tielli – Operation Infinite Joy
Martin Tielli - We Didn’t Even Suspect...

A quick drink with lovely ladies Michelle, Tracey, Gillian and Kim before home for a night in front of the telly with a Chinese takeaway, trying to wean myself off the painkillers...

On this day in 2005, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf became Africa's first elected female head of state and Liberia's first elected female president....



...and I broke my bloomin’ ankle – and there’s been pain almost every day since – firstly in the leg (and still occasionally to this day – the latest bout mid-afternoon – I do recall however being told it could be around two years until it was back to normal) then the left shoulder op and now the right shoulder op...

Of course I count my blessings that it’s all nothing life-threatening...

I am forty-eight-and-a-half after all and there are worse things I could be suffering from than what are, essentially, some sore limbs..

So, as last week, when it was an evening of the horrendous amateurish nonsense that is “Children in Need”, this week it was another slobsesh:-

“Coronation St” - an ok episode - I think one of the reasons I hate the David Platt character so much is because he's so ugly...

“A Place in the Sun – Home or Away” - watched it because it was on but it happened to feature the area around Salzburg where we holidayed in September 2005 - my big question? Where do these people get all their money? £200,000 budget for a holiday home?

“Have I Got News for You” - never really got going due to Anne Widdecombe's dreadful attempt at hosting...

“The Armstrong & Miller Show” - still very funny but possibly the weakest show in the series thus far..

“My Name is Earl” - still good but starting to flag I think...

“Comedy Showcase: “Kevin Bishop” - never seen this man before as far as I remember but some excellent sketches, some of which were as little as 5 seconds long...

“Jimmy Carr: Stand Up” - never seen his show before - quite low-key and potentially offensive -I enjoyed it a lot...

Then off to bed...

Highlight of the Day : Taking fewer painkillers

Thursday, November 22, 2007

The nature of the wire...

Playlist
Joe Henderson – Black Narcissus
Neal Morse - ?
Various – Whispers from the Forests, Screams from the Mountains

Popped into Tigerlily on the way home to advise they can stop looking for the jukebox thief...

Refilled my phone at Boots after standing in the 02 shop for ten minutes while people bought I-phones or some such other gadgets – they ought to have a separate desk for people who just want to top up their phones...

The girl in Boots couldn’t keep her face straight as she handed me the free “£2 off Haircare Products” voucher that came with my top-up...

Anne reprised her steak a poivre dish of last week – Mmm, mmm...

Then, as Meg the Black Cat had made herself comfortable on me, I was reduced to watching a Gok Wan episode on tape followed by a bit of “Holby” and the start of Jimmy McGovern’s “gritty” series “The Street” – this week about two demolition workers having an affair while living in a rundown hotel near the demolition site – not good...

Retired upstairs to update this – been rather lazy this week...

Enjoyed the latest free CD from The Wire whist typing – Swedish (mainly) instrumental music – mostly quite beautiful, sometimes just a wee bit too weird - but hey, that's the very nature of The Wire...


“Question Time” and “This Week” beckon...

Highlight of the Day : Anne’s cooking

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Ten years on...

Playlist
Neal Morse – Testimony
Neal Morse – One

Lunch with “The Man”, Yuill, Keith and Gary, to celebrate my decade of music funding by means other than music...

Started civilised enough at Time for Thai where I enjoyed some lovely hot and sour chicken soup followed by a beef thai green curry and a wee bit of ice cream. However, the four bottles of rose may have gone some way to lead to a return to the infamous Tigerlily where we spent the rest of the day reminiscing and getting progressively more drunk...

I’d hung my coat up on entry and so, at around 8 when I was leaving, I reached for my jukebox and found it missing. I won’t describe the whole situation but suffice to say it involved demands that CCTV footage be studied etc etc...

Of course I’d left it on my desk before heading out for lunch – I will apologise tomorrow...

Bus home – ran out of credit on my phone and spent a goodly time trying to phone 02 to find out how to top up using my Switch card – I believe this is impossible if you’re on a bus rather than in a retail outlet that offers phone top-up services...

Anyway, I then fell asleep only to awaken at the terminus on an empty bus with the driver about to set off back into town...

I jumped up, thanked him for his services, alighted the bus and stotted down the road to Crispycat Towers...

The England v Croatia game was on – it was just coming up to half time and Croatia were leading 2-0. At half time they replayed the terrible goal-keeping gaffe that was first goal. A couple of minutes later, Anne asked “What did you think of that terrible goal-keeping gaffe that was first goal?”...

“I never saw that” I replied...

Of course it ended 2-3 after England had clawed their way back via a very soft penalty and a quite brilliantly executed volley from (“he’s big, he’s red, his feet stick out the bed”) Peter Crouch...

Over the whole campaign I suppose justice was done but now we’re in for some prolonged wailing and gnashing of teeth and “how can it be a tournament worth its salt if the mighty England aren’t there”...



By the time “Heroes” came on I was doing not too badly thank you very much and managed to remain awake for the rest of the night – we watched “Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares” re a restaurant in Nerja, Spain which I’m very glad to say we did not visit when last there in March 2005...

Then, off to the land of Nod...

Much snoring apparently – though there is no evidence as far as I can see...

Highlight of the Day : Sadly, England got what they deserved...

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

No room for squares, man...


Playlist
Mark Ronson – Version
Hank Mobley – No Room For Squares

At home...
Anne delivered a copy of a Mark Ronson album rom Chris-with-a-Ch...
I always think of Mick Ronson...

Did nothing of any note except watch “Spooks” – and some would argue that that’s hardly noteworthy, but not me – I could watch “Spooks” 24 hours a day, seven days a week if they made it so...

Highlight of the Day : That’ll be “Spooks” then...

Monday, November 19, 2007

The future is live music, do you think...

Playlist
Rheostatics - Melville
Grand Funk Railroad – On Time
Marillion – Somewhere Else

Ten years ago today I took the first steps in the closure of Reptile Records...

A quiet early evening in watching “Coronation St” x 2 and “University Challenge” – with the preposterously dressed St Andrews team and a Mr Quelch from York...

Later on, out and met up with chum Gary at Bannerman’s – his best man was playing with his band, including the best man’s young Khazakstani wife...



On the way, delivered some CD orders to old OOTB mucker Jim Igoe for his new Secret CD website where he hopes to sell them.....

Gary, who also bought a CD, had advised the gig would start at 10 – in the event the group, Universal You, took to the stage at 11:20 in front of an audience of seven – soul destroying...

Had a very interesting chat with the various band members pre-gig though and they’re all very enthusiastic...

Their tuneful pop (with a Khazakstan twist of course) was well received but it remains to be seen whether a gig on a rainy Monday night in Edinburgh to a handful of punters is of any real value – you can find the band here...

Home around 12:30..

Highlight of the Day : A wee night out

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Seven...

Playlist
Various – Jukebox Shuffleplay
Black Sabbath – Past Lives
Various Composers – 100 Best Baroque
Django Bates – Winter Truce
Django Bates – Autumn Fires
Arild Andersen – Hyperborean
Canonball Adderly - Somethin’ Else
John Abercrombie – Open Land

Slept late before enjoying “Something for the Weekend” a very relaxed Sunday morning show on BBC2...

Then out on a mission to buy tiles for the bathroom – successful...

Home and lazed around watching TV – “My Name is Earl” and a one off comedy from the other night which wasn’t funny...

Tried to call Godson Ansem in Germany as it’s his 7th birthday today – unfortunately the whole family was out...

Here we are when we met in Germany back in June during Anne and my's visit to Documenta 12...



Tea at Anne’s mum’s – an excellent home-made curry...

Back home continued to add new albums to the jukeboxes...

Highlight of the Day : Relaxing

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Cruelty times two...

Playlist
Various - Jukebox Shuffleplay
Various - Jazz Jukebox Shuffleplay

Up early...

Meg the Black Cat decided to take over the computer, hijacking the comfy seat and leaving me on the uncomfy Ikea plastic stool...



A pretty lazy day...

Around lunchtime we had a visit from young chum Kris and his friend George who organised the work on my mum's bathroom earlier this year...

We are looking to have the bathroom floor at Crispycat Towers tiled...

A quick trip to Tesco followed, purchasing provisions both for lunch and for dinner...

In the afternoon, I snoozed on the settee with Meg the Black Cat on my lap while Anne listened to the build up to the Scotland Italy match...

We don't have Sky and didn't fancy the prospect of watching in a crammed pub and so ended up listening to the radio. More exciting somehow as you have no clear idea of exactly what's going on...

Of course Scotland lost a goal in the second minute but battled valiantly to keep their hopes alive. A second Italian goal was deemed off side but wasn't. A reasonable shout for a penalty for Scotland was turned down. Then, just over an hour in, Scotland equalised. The goal was offside but we took it anyway...

And so we were heading for a draw which would just keep us in it, with France having definitely to beat the Ukraine on Wednesday...

In fact, we had the better chances after equalising and might possibly even have won...

Then, right at the death, an unbelievable decision by the referee. He awarded a foul against Scotland when one of the Italiand clearly barged Alan Hutton off the ball...

And, of course, from the subsequent free-kick, the Italians scored the goal which put them and France through and Scotland out...

Cruel indeed...

Now, as anyone in Scotland will tell you, we don't hate the England football team, just the jingoistic coverage which takes it as a foregone conclusion that they will qualify for all tournament final stages...

This time, Israel had to beat Russia to keep England's hopes alive. And that's exactly what happened. Just as in the Italy game, a second-minute-of-injury-time goal won the match...

Now England need only draw with Croatia at Wembley on Wednesday night to go through. The Croatians have already qualified...

Come on England, I now you can do it - even though you have been mediocre in a much easier group than Scotland's...

"Robin Hood" was flowed by a wonderful meal prepared by Anne - sirloin steak, pepper sauce, fried onions, Portobella mushrooms, giant tomatos and thin crispy french fries...

Mmm, mmm....

And a cheeky bottle of red...

Kind of took the pain away....

Then "Strictly" on tape for Anne while I surfed...

Late on we watched the highlights of the Scotland game - looked even better than it had sounded - heads held high indeed and, apparently, up to 13th in the FIFA rankings last month, gaining 52 points on England who are now 11th...

Our lowest position since 1993 was 88th in March 2005 while England's was 27th in February 1996...



Scotland has only been above England once in all that time. In June 1995 the Scots were 21st while England were 22nd...

During this latest campaign the Scots have clawed their way back from around 60th to 13th with some terrific performances, notably beating France twice...

England on the other hand have had a pretty dreadful campaign but will probably still qualify by the skin of their teeth yet have fallen only from 9th to 11th in the rankings...

And rankings are everything when it comes to seeding in the qualifiers and indeed the final rounds - hence England's "easy" group and Scotland (placed 60th at the time) finding themselves in a group with both World Cup Finalists and a World Cup Quarter Finalist...

So I think we've done pretty well...

And I suppose I grudgingly hope England qualify - if only to see them fail and prove their truly awful sports media wrong yet again...

Highlight of the Day : Anne's cooking...

Friday, November 16, 2007

Talentless, money grabbing bastard...

Playlist
Cloudland Blue Quartet - Ersatzreal
Grand Funk Railroad - Good Singin' Good Playin'
The Move - Looking On

Spent the entire evening lying on the settee like the big fat lazy man I am, watching "Chidren in Need" even although I am not a fan of all night charity marathons...

The production values are just too amateurish and the heart wrenching films between the performances make me feel uncomfortable about the life I lead - which is the way it should be I suppose...

However, I resent being chided by multimillionaires to contribute...

The Scottish element was definitely better than it has been (though this isn't saying much), with their main skit, on who should lead the traditional newsreaders' dance routine, being the best part - Heather the Weather was particularly entertaining...

The Dr Who sketch was just ok - the oh so obviously miming Spice Girls were cringe-worthy and Boyzone looked frankly awful...

However, the absolute nadir, as usual, was "Sir" Terry Wogan...


(smug)

Just what is it with the BBC and this man?

Apparently he waived his "Children In Need" fee following criticism over his £10,000 payment for anchoring the show...

Hang on a minute...

He was to get a fee for "Children in Need"?????

Last year he received £10,340 for "presenting" (ruining) the show...

In 2005, he received £9,065...

The BBC (sorry, the license-payers) already pay him £800,000 a year for a daily radio show (that's what? two hours a day?)...

And he wants to take £10,000 from the BBC which could go to the fund for these poor unfortunate children?

Unbelievably, he's been receiving a "Children in Need" fee every year since 1980...

This is incredible - in fact it's incredible the fat talentless twat actually gets paid for anything he does....

He ruined early evening TV for years with his vacuous "plug your latest product" so-called "Chat Show"...

He should give back all his fees for "Children in Need" - if he wasn't on it, more people might watch and donate....

Jeez-oh, even I'd donate something if the BBC promised to sack this waste of space...

What a dirty fat money grabbing...(cont. P 42)...

Late on switched over accidentally to find "Later with Jools Holland"...

Mr Holland is another worthless annoying BBC presenter paid far too much for nothing by "us"...

Anyway, on that show, Stereophonics, with their motorik-beat song "Dakota" and someone called Estelle, a female rapper with a superb rhythm section, outshone everyone else - from the self concious tosh of P J Harvey to the annoying jumping-around-like-schoolchildren-who've-listened-to-too-many-Franz-Ferdinand-records of The Foals...

King Creosote was good but they just have that studied amateurishness which for me is such a big turn off - think Belle and Sebastian or Aberfeldy...

Unfortunately I missed Don Henley - fortunately I missed Robert Plant...

Highlight of the Day : Stereophonics cleaning my palate

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Fat man dancing...

Playlist
Various - Jukebox Shuffleplay
Happy Apple - Happy Apple Back on Top

Out this evening for a nice meal with Anne - for no particular reason...

We were going to go to a new place in town, Roti, which has been receiving excellent reviews and word of mouth but decided to hold that in reserve for Anne's birthday in January...

Instead we headed to nearby Ghandi where we dined earlier this year. Excellent...

Meal comprised a quick popadom (one each fried and baked to compare and contrast), flat vegetable pakora followed by chicken rogan josh for Anne and a strange but delicious lamb's liver bhoona for me. All accompanied by a bottle of French white wine...

Tasty..

Walked down Morrison St to Haymarket for the bus and waited a goodly half hour before it arrived...

I did the fat, arm-flapping, disco-dancer dance down the road from the terminus to the sound of the John Scofield Band's "Freakin' Disco" from their "Up All Night" album...

At home Trinny and Susannah told me how to dress...

The Male Dress Code gives tips for the following:-

Thin
Short Legs
Top Heavy
Beer Belly
Man Boobs
ThickNeck



However, they failed to provide advice for anyone who suffers from five of those "conditions" simultaneously...

Ended the night with the first in the new series of Jack Dee's "Lead Balloon", taped earleir on. Good to have it back...

Highlight of the Day : Lovely meal with Anne

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Back on top...

Playlist
Various - 50 of my Favourite Artists/Groups (Jukebox Shuffleplay)
Happy Apple - Happy Apple Back on Top
The League of Crafty Guitarists - Asturias
King Crimson - Last Skirmish from "Lizard" (Haskell & McCulloch only)

The doorbell at 7:50 am...

It is the arrival of the 30GB Jukebox...

Another machine for me to waste much time mucking around with..

To the infirmary this morning for my 4 week check up...

All fine and dandy - movement good but physiotherapy to commence as soon as possible to help things along...

I forget to mention the pins and needles again and the fact that, occasionally, if I try and touch my nose I miss by a goodly distance...

The pain will continue for another six months or so until my muscles and tendons start to fit in with, and become used to, the jaggedy space within, and the roughness of, the freshly shaved bone...

On my way out I take advantage of a "lung tester". Disappointedly in view of my oft breathelessness after climbing the stairs at Cripsycat Towers, I am advised my lungs are "within the norm" for my age, pop a quid in the box and head off...

Back home and another wee parcel has arrived - the newest album from Happy Apple - regular readers may recall I saw them a couple of times at the Edinburgh Festival earlier this year...



This is my fifth Happy Apple LP and it is a cracker, just like all the others...

In the evening I watch "Coronation St" but must draw a line at Ken Gwok, or whatever the man is called, and do so in order to retire upstairs for some mucking about and to-ing and fro-ing with tracks between the two jukeboxes and the hard drive and downloading a couple of tasty tracks from Robert Fripp's DGM Live website before re-joining Anne for another cracking episode of "Heroes"...

All in all a good day...

Highlight of the Day : New Happy Apple / "New" Jukebox

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

I could watch all day...

Playlist
Various - Jukebox Shuffleplay

Another quiet day...

No music work these days - I have some Creek stuff I ought to be giving some attention to but I remain "locked out" of the studio until I can work out how to reinstate my virtual dongle...

A night mainly off the computer (I am ready to start at "E" on the jukebox reorganisation project)...

Instead watched two "Coronation Street"s from last night, "Property Ladder" and "Gordon Ramsey's Kitchen Nightmares" before a quick 30 minutes at the keyboard re the upcoming holiday and then another sublime hour or so in the company of "Spooks"...



Tasty...

Highlight of the Day : Spooks - couldn't wait for it to start - never wanted it to finish

Monday, November 12, 2007

It's so quiet...

Playlist
Various - Jukebox Shuffleplay


A quiet Monday...


While Anne was at her keep fit, I continued with my "reorganise the jukebox" project, missing the Out of the Bedroom AGM due to lack of transport or, indeed, enthusiasm - once upon a time I was on't committee - the start of the slippery slope of being seen more as a facilitator or administrator than a songwriter or musician...



Watched snatches of the Reading v Arsenal game (0-3 it ended)...

Other than that, not much really...

Did start planning a wee holiday though, so that was nice...

Highlight of the Day : Holiday thoughts...

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Autumn Sunday....

Playlist
Various – Pitchfork Downloads
The Church – Various Tracks
Del Amitri - Various Tracks

Woke up this morning thinking it was Monday...

Relieved to find it was Sunday...

Here’s where Meg the Black cat spent most of her day last Sunday...



Like all cats, she is a cutie...

And here she is looking worried about how inebriated her “handler” is on Friday night/Saturday morning...


It was a lovely autumn morning...



It was also Remembrance Sunday...



Spent much of it clearing some space on the Jukebox by transferring all compilations from it to the external hard drive – I cleared 10.5GBs and removed over two and a half thousand tracks...

I also started the job of replacing them under the new rules – original studio albums only – so far A-C completed with D underway...

We drove to Café Citron this morning for a lovely bacon roll and coffee...

I had to snap the frontage of this Chinese takeaway opposite the café...



Tasty...

After a shopping trip to Tesco – our cathedral of choice – Anne was off to see Hearts thump Aberdeen 4-1 while I watched parts of the game at home whilst compiling some CDs for her work colleague, Chris-with-a-Ch and continued my Jukebox update...

On her return watched “Coronation St”, “Ugly Betty” and “Match of the Day 2”...

A good day...

Must dig out my box set of Sibelius symphonies – according to the Sunday Times “Culture” section, they’re really rather good...

Highlight of the Day : A relaxing breakfast with Anne on a lovely autumn day

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Wasted time...

Playlist
Asia – Asia
The Album Leaf – In a Safe Place
The Beatles - Rubber Soul
The Flower Kings – Rainmaker
Various – New Downloads from Pitchfork
Bryan Adams – So Far So Good
Jon Anderson – Song of Seven
Anger 77 – Allein im Flugzeug
Anger 77 – Keine Angst
Adam & the Ants – Hits
Anywhen – The Opiates
Craig Armstrong – The Space Between Us
Kate Bush – Anthology
The Beyond - Crawl

Another “wasted “ Saturday?

Well, let’s see...

Up at 8 and had the idea for a new time-wasting project – to go through all my albums and decide for each whether it ought to be on the Jukebox (it can hold around 1,300 albums)...

Then, check the Jukebox and see if they’re already there..

If not, rip them to a folder ready to be uploaded...

Of course, I’ll need to take albums off it too to make space...

So, by the end of today I’d finished selecting albums by artists from “A” to “F” of my “mainstream” collection (i.e. not jazz or classical), identifying around 320 albums which ought to be on the Jukebox...

I’ve now matched “A” and “B” against the content of the Jukebox and, of the 97 albums identified, 77 are already there and I have ripped 20 in readiness for uploading – once I’ve made room...

What else did I do?

I went onto e-bay and bought another (older model of the) Jukebox – half the size of my current one - in terms of space that is not actual size. As you can see, the aesthetics are not my main concern...



This will give me 90GBs in all...

Then, on the strength of listening to one of my filed-under-“A”-albums by The Album Leaf, I bought one of their CDs. I also put in a bid for the latest CD by Happy Apple...

Spent some considerable time too downloading MP3s from Pitchfork of new, so-called “cutting edge and trendy” music, going back to where I’d stopped last time on this project, which was mid-September, at which time I downloaded over 80 tracks, hardly any of which I’ve listened to since...

I really ought to do this on a weekly basis....

Anyway, today’s haul amounted to around another 60 tracks – almost 5 hours of new music - some of it really, really good; most of it I’ll be lucky if I listen to even once...

After today's session, my "Pitchfork" folder contains over 300 tracks...

In the afternoon, I monitored the QoS game – they went ahead at home against Morton after just 3 minutes but lost 3-1 – Morton’s first was scored by a former Queens centre forward, their second was a penalty and the third came with virtually the final kick of the ball...

Still 7th though...

In the evening, “Robin Hood” and “Match of the Day” sandwiched a taped “Ugly Betty” and some "Armstrong and Miller" and "Bottom" off YouTube...

Wasted time?

Very probably...

Didn’t even leave the house...

Highlight of the Day : Securing another Jukebox...

Friday, November 09, 2007

Jazz and fish (and beer)....

Playlist
Various - Jazz Fusion Jukebox Shuffleplay

On the jukebox today a compilation of the triumvirate of giants of Jazz Rock Fusion - Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return to Forever and Weather Report...







Tasty...

Also tasty was an evening of fish as I was wined and dined by a large American Company at Oloroso. Smoked salmon followed by fillet of sea bass. I didn't partake of any wine though, prefering instead probably far too much Edelweiss Weissbier...

A chocolate creme brulee rounded off things very nicely indeed...

Passed up on the chance to party on down at Tigerlily. Instead, chum Spike and I made our way along to the much more enjoyable Bert's Bar on William St and met up for a couple more G&Ts with Anne and her now ex-coleague Debbie...

Only when I crashed into a parked lorry whilst hailing a taxi to take Anne and I home did I realise how far gone I was...

An enjoyable evening nonetheless...

Highlight of the Day : A lovely meal at Oloroso

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Lack of culture...

Playlist
Alice Cooper - 25 Albums on Shuffleplay

Musicwise, an Alice Cooper day today...



Other than that it was hardly a day of high culture...

Watched Bayern Munchen v Bolton and Aberdeen v Lokomotiv Moscow then a taped "Heroes" - it's getting a lot better, just as it's coming to an end...

Later on, a dreadful edition of Question Time - there can only have been four questions and chairman Dimbleby allowed Home Office Minister McNulty far too much air-time - especially in relation to Police Commissioner Blair...

Of course the Home Office was stoutly defending him as an excellent police officer who has done much to protect London against alleged terrorist acts. However, the fact that he presided over lies regarding the shooting in July 2005 means he needs to resign for lying...

This travesty was followed by "This Week" then some teletext surfing - anything really to stay out of bed, where the shoulder pain is at its worst...

Highlight of the Day : The music of Alice Cooper

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Killer...

Playlist
Various - Jukebox Shuffleplay
Grand Funk Railroad - Born to Die
Alice Cooper - Prime Cuts (DVD)
Alice Cooper - Live in Montreux 2005 (DVD)
ProjeKct Two (King Crimson) - Heavy ConstruKction (Live 1998)
Bartok - String Quartets Nos 5 & 6

Ah tonight I really ought to have been over at the Glasgow SECC for Alice Cooper but I hummed and hawed about getting a ticket as the views and sound in that particular venue are just so bad...

Then I toyed with the idea of just going through tonight and paying at the door - but of course I can't drive right now and timings conspired to thwart me using any other mode of transport...

So, instead, with Anne out on the ran-dan with her chum Lynn (and having flatly refused to drive us through to Glasgow - "You've seen Alice Cooper hundreds of times" she said - "Twelve I replied", to no avail), I switched off all the lights and cranked up the DVD via the hi-fi and on the new extra big telly I enjoyed three glorious hours of the Coop...

I checked the setlist for the current tour - there's only one song in there I've never heard him play live before, although it would've been good to see him being hanged again...



Oh well, not to worry...

Awaited Anne's return accompanied by a blistering track downloaded from DGM Live followed by some Bartok string quartets - my late night listening being influenced by my leisurely reading of Robert Fripp's diary...

Highlight of the Day : Alice Cooper in the comfort of my own home...

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Hats off....

Playlist
Various - 70 Artists : Top Ten Tracks (Shuffleplay)
Grand Funk Railroad – Good Singin’ Good Playin’
Grand Funk Railroad – Born to Die
Andrew Hill – Compulsion!!!!!
Andrew Hill – Point of Departure
Roy Harper – BBC In Concert 1978
Various - Jukebox Shuffleplay

Arrived home tonight to find the last of my recent e-bay purchases awaiting me – the last Grand Funk album of the 70’s “Good Singin’ Good Playin’”, produced by Frank Zappa...

Suffice to say it rocks...

Its presence brought me to fetch the other ten GFR studio albums I have from the upstairs back room and, erm, look at them...

I do this quite a lot – take albums out and just look at them and then put them back again...

Anne made a lovely lasagne and we watched the first half of the Celtic v Benfica game before I left Anne to it and headed off upstairs to keep the old jukebox up to date with my recent purchases...

Strange how a team of such obvious superior footballing skills could fail to score...

Remembered I’d downloaded a Roy Harper concert on Saturday - so I unzipped that and took a listen – excellent – I love Roy Harper’s music but I don’t know why – I have that relationship with many people’s music...



Roy is one of my friends on Myspace – although, like most of my “friends” on there, I’m sure he wouldn’t know me from Adam...

This particular concert (broadcast in 1978 by the BBC) took me back to Genesis at Knebworth in that same year as Mr Harper appeared unannounced and played a blinding 30 minute version of “One of These Days in England” prior to the headliners taking the stage...

Happy days – when, if I was lucky, I might still have had 60 years to go – now it’s half that, probably less...

Oh well...

Late on, next week's "Spooks" on BBC3 made it all worthwhile...

Highlight of the Day : Has to be Anne’s mouth wateringly tasty lasagne...

Monday, November 05, 2007

Compulsion...

Playlist
Various - 70 Artists : Top Ten Tracks (Shuffleplay)
Andrew Hill - Black Fire
Andrew Hill - Smoke Stack
Andrew Hill - Judgement!
Black Sabbath - Past Lives
Andrew Hill - Compulsion!!!!!
Brian Eno - Empty Landscapes (CD-R)

I was certainly compulsed today when I visited FOPP and found an album from 1965 by Andrew Hill which has just been re-released on Blue Note...

Also bought a double disc of Black Sabbath live in the 70's...

Read the Hill disc's sleeve notes as I made my way home on the bus, whilst listening on shuffleplay to three of his other albums which currently grace the jukebox...

Top stuff...

Back home and Anne was off to her keep fit class - so, first, some Black Sabbath...

Never a great band really and this set is testimony to that (just as well it was only £3)...

Funny how some of the worst bands from the 70's retain some kind of mythology about them and are loved by "the kids" even today, e.g. Led Zeppelin...

Others meanwhile, whose music was far more inventive e.g. Yes, King Crimson, Gentle Giant, hardly get a look in any more...

After the first disc of the Sabbs (not that bad really) it was time for Mr Hill...



On first listening this was dreadful stuff - tuneless, irredeemable nonsense noodling...

Anne arrived home and we watched the very uninspiring Man City v Sunderland game then, as she watched "Doc Martin" I sampled Mr Hill again, this time on the headphones...

Brilliant...

I can't explain this turnaround in my interpretation of the music...

Inexplicable...

Watched a double bill of "Coronation St" and ended the day with some calming ambient sounds from Brian Eno on the first compilation burned on our previous PC back in 2001...

Drifted off into the Land of Nod, a happy chappy...

Highlight of the Day : New CD not as bad as I first thought...

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Even Stevens...

Playlist
Various – Jukebox Shuffleplay

A morning of some trepidation for Anne as she counted down to the 2pm kick off of the Edinburgh derby – Hibs v Hearts...

Again we breakfasted at home and I continued my project re changing the content of the jukebox...

We watched the first half of the game together. It was pretty exciting stuff with Hibs probably deservedly going in 1-0 at half time – at which point I retreated upstairs...

Just after the second half kick-off there was a shout from downstairs signalling Hearts’ equaliser...

And here it is being scored...



Of course, as was the case earlier this week against Celtic, I was allowed to watch the replay but banished upstairs again for fear of my becoming a hoodoo...

A 1-1 draw it was...

I completed the Jukebox Project and we headed to Anne’s mum’s for Guy Fawkes tea complete with fireworks in the back garden...

My arm was particularly sore today but I am soldiering on. I’m not quite sure if it’s better or worse than last year but, no matter what, I just have to get on with it...

“Match of the Day 2” was postponed at Crispycat Towers, as Anne watched “A Room With a View”...

Highlight of the Day : Hearts’ equaliser...

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Quelle surprise....

Playlist
Brown Eyed Susans – Afternoon Tea
The Flower Kings – The Rainmaker
The Move – Shazam
The Move – Looking On

Up to the sound of new CDs popping through the door...

T'was Canadian Power-Poppers Brown-Eyed Susans and Scandinavian Prog-Rockers The Flower Kings...

Enjoyed the latter whilst doing the dishes from last night and the former whilst breakfasting at home...

Decided to sort out the jukebox...

It has reached its limit of around 13,000 tracks (60GBs) and so I set up a method of saving to the external drive albums I’m taking off (in case I want to add them back at some point without having to re-rip the CDs in question) and adding to the Jukebox many of the last 100 CDs acquired...

Even working at this for most of the day on and off still left me with work to do tomorrow...

During the afternoon I was keeping an eye on the footie as usual...



Bottom of the table Queens were entertaining league leaders Hamilton at home. Hamilton scored in the first minute and there were no further reports from the game...

It was with some amazement therefore that, at full time, the score came through as 2-1 to Queens – I couldn’t believe it and couldn’t find anything anywhere to suggest either of these two goals had been scored...

It turned out the goals had not been relayed to any of the various reporting services – but the result shown was indeed correct...

Winning ugly, and via two own goals as it turns out, took the mighty QoS up to seventh...

In the evening, watched “Robin Hood” - probably the best episode so far, though that’s not saying much...

"Have I Got News For You" - v funny...

Last night's "Coronation St" on tape - with the unbelievable schizophrenic scriptwriting which allows everyone to side with the obnoxious David Platt against his sister possibly set to become the straw that will break the back of the camel on which I'm sitting and continuing to watch so far...

Again on tape, the best comedy of the moment, "Armstrong and Miller"...

And, finally, before hitting the sack, “Match of the Day” ...

All in all, a pretty uneventful Saturday to be honest, during which I didn’t leave the house once...

Highlight of the Day : Finding Queens had won when I thought they’d lost

Friday, November 02, 2007

Sera italiana del vino...

Playlist
Allan Holdsworth – Top Ten Tracks
Dar Williams – Top Ten Tracks
Alice Cooper – Top Ten Tracks
Brian Eno – Top Ten Tracks
Fripp & Eno – Top Ten Tracks
Herman Van Veen – Top Ten Tracks
Mick Ronson – Top Ten Tracks
Simon & Garfunkel – Top Ten Tracks
Sombre Reptiles – Top Ten Tracks
Cloudland Blue Quartet - Ersatzreal
Laura Pausini – Le cose che vivi
Laura Pausini – La mia risposta
Laura Pausini – Entre tu y mil mares
Laura Pausini – E ritorno da te
Laura Pausini – From the Inside
Laura Pausini – Escucha
Laura Pausini – Io Canto
Bocherini – Guitar Quintets
Albinoni – Complete Oboe Concertos
Premiata Forniera Marconi – l’album di PFM
Varius Composers – The Spendid rebirth of Italian Music
Pavarotti – Tutto Pavarotti
Vivaldi – Complete Oboe Concertos
Vivaldi – Adagios
T Rex – The T Rex Wax Co. Singles
Marc Bolan & T Rex – 20th Century Superstar
The Move – The Move
The Move – Shazam
The Move – Looking On
The Move – Message From the Country

On the jukebox, I’ve compiled top ten tracks by 72 of my favourites to give a 720 track playlist, which I enjoyed on shuffleplay mode...

Managed to fulfil some orders for the new CD including a wee walk along to comedian Jim Park’s flat to put one through his letterbox – listened to the album as I walked along and it still sounds pretty good...

Back home Anne was preparing for tonight’s visit from her brother an sister and their repective partners for the second in what will hopefully be an ongoing series of wine tasting nights at Crispycat Towers...

Here she is taking a well-earned rest whilst awaiting their arrival...



I was under instruction that only Italian music should be played tonight – so this comprised Laura Pausini and various classical composers with a little bit of PFM thrown in for good measure...

The wine, all of Italian origin, flowed in abundance (here's the debris)...



....while Anne’s lovely selection of anti-pasti and her home-made lasagne went down a treat...

The sweet comprised a very tasty chocolate tart with fresh cream and was followed by lashings of coffee, chocolate mints and even more wine...

Jane and Bobby left just after 11 to get home to their kids, while Keith and Maureen departed around an hour and a half later. I compiled a quick T Rex' greatest hits CD for Maureen before they left...

I think I can safely say a good time was had by all...

Highlight of the Day : Wine drinking evening...

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Shazam...

Playlist
John Coltrane – The Classic Quartet (8CD Box Set)
The Move – The Move
The Move – Shazam
The Move – Looking On
The Move – Message From the Country
ELO – All Over the World : The Very Best Of ELO

Another day under the weather...

Continued listening to the John Coltrane Quartet lifts my spirits however and two discs arriving from e-bay perk me up even further...

They are the 2nd and 3rd albums by The Move...

I wonder why I’ve never owned these before, given my fandom of Roy Wood, Wizzard, early ELO and late The Move...



Anyway, now I do own them and they are good – recommended even...



There’s a good quote from their one-time manager in one of the sleeve notes – "Without doubt, it was The Beatles, the Stones and The Move in that order in England."

I’m sure the Who and the Kinks might have something to say about that but, personally, I’d even go so far as to put the Move above the Stones, certainly if one’s judgement is based on originality...

For me it’d be:-
The Beatles
The Move
The Kinks
The Who
The Rolling Stones

Funny how they all have the old definite article heading up their group name...

In the evening a visit to my mum’s and, as has been the case on all recent visits, she is in good spirits and on good form which is cheering...

We discuss current favourite viewing and the state of the footie with Anne being such a fervent Jam Tart and sister Pam being mad on Tottenham Hotspur (great name)...

On a sad note she advises of the suicide of a former school-mate of mine, a pillar almost of the church community in Loanhead and married with two teenage children – the kind of man I’d expected to die in his bed of natural causes at the age of 93, not hanged from a tree at 47...

Funny how things turn out...

Highlight of the Day : The Move