Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Centred again...

Playlist
Mahler – Symphony No 5
Adams – Violin Concerto
Reich – Music for 18 Musicians
Various – Best 100 CDs of 2008 (MP3 CD)
Cloudland Blue Quartet - Soundingfall

Up late but had enough time to rip the new Mahler disc to the Classical jukebox to allow it to soundtrack my journey to the dentist...

Later on today, the Exec Producer advised no difference in the look of my teeth – despite the discomforting poking, scraping, prodding and polishing which took place...

Hey - look what’s happened to Princes Street...



Damn the tram...

To HMV post work again – this time on the look out for yet another new pair of walkman headphones – the ones I got from Amazon (probably only about six weeks ago) are causing the sound to be stronger in the left ear than the right – very annoying indeed...

Found a pair of Maxells, reduced from £12.99 to £7.99 with wee jewels in the bits that stick out of my ears...

Flashy...

With the biggest in ear rubbery things, they do provide good sound, albeit at 25/25 on the old volume control...

Sounded good on the bus home...

I walk past this wee birdhouse everyday – unoccupied as far as I’m aware...



Nice tree on the way home, just round the corner from Crispycat HQ...



Cooking tonight with Anne – Cajun Chicken – no pics I’m afraid – very tasty though and accompanied by a cold crisp bottle of Pinot Grigio...

Last night’s Corrie double bill and Saturday’s “Robin Hood” entertained, before I retired upstairs to write up the last three days whilst listening to the new running order experiment for “Soundingfall” and while Anne watched a new girly programme with the lady who used to be in Corrie and the man who was excellent in “Between the Lines” but nothing much since....

Thought about tweaking again the lyrics for the new song and re-recording the vocals...

Still some work to be done on a few of these 13 new songs – and I’ll post up the latest when I deem it “ready”...

That’s it...

Highlight of the Day : Headphones replaced – music centred once more...

Monday, March 30, 2009

Shameful settee...

Playlist
Cloudland Blue Quartet – Soundingfall

Today – trying to work out a new running order for the upcoming new LP...

To HMV post work to pick up a disc I saw the other day but didn’t have the requisite £3 in cash to purchase, Sir Charles Mackerras and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic’s reading of Mahler’s 5th...

However, I didn’t even remove it from the bag and you might see it in amongst the “stuff” on the bed-settee of shame (erm, just because it has all my rubbish on it, not because anything shameful happened there)...



How many pairs of defective headphones will I keep?

Spent a couple of hours re-writing and re-recording yesterday’s new song, “They Broke the Door Down”, before enjoying “Law & Order : UK” and “Stewart Lee’s Comedy Vehicle”...

Then “Newsnight” and then sucked into the first episode of the first series of “The Wire” – which I have on DVD from chum Spike – a fact which the Exec Producer reminded me of as she appeared half way through, bleary-eyed, to order me to retire...

Highlight of the Day : Working on a new song and enjoying enjoyable TV...

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Broken door...

Playlist
Lambchop – Damaged
Glenn Gould – Mozart/Schoenberg Piano Concertos

Up late – even later since the clocks went forward...

To the shops for provisions – back before Anne awoke...

A breakfast prepared by me – never as good as Anne’s culinary arts but it sufficed...

Anne planted her new flower purchased on Friday – while I worked up a new song – tentatively entitled “They Broke the Door Down” - another song of hopelessness, cruelty and despair...



Ideal CBQ fayre...

In the afternoon – we enjoyed the DVD of “The Incredibles” – quite astounding animation – so lifelike – apart form all the superhero stuff of course...

No crying today though...

More work on the new song – more TV – bed...

So it goes...

Highlight of the Day : Writing...

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Fruity, cheesy, cakey...

Playlist
Various – Last 50 Jazz Albums on Shuffleplay
Pet Shop Boys – Yes
Marillion – Happiness is the Road
Red Garland Quintet w/ John Coltrane – Dig It
Various – Flaming Lips: Late Night Tales
Various – Les Plus Belles Chansons du Siecle
Various – Les Plus Belles Chansons du Siecle Vol 2
It Bites – The Tall Ships

Early morning updating this while listening to a new playlist on the jazz jukebox, the last 50 CDs acquired...

Out for a late breakfast to Patisserie Florentine even though I was still feeling a wee bit off colour after last night’s strange affliction...



Lovely daffodils nearby...



Walked down into the main drag at Stockbridge and bought a CD in the Oxfam shop, a fifties classic from Red Garland & John Coltrane and a few things to take to Jon and Ali’s tonight from here...



Back home, rearranged “the shelf” to provide a new view...



Lunch, then the DVD of “La Vie en Rose” – the story of chanteuse Edith Piaf – an excellent film, even though much of it seemed to have been shot in some very dark rooms...

Tears at the end from the big man I must confess...

Led me to read up on the wee lady on the net – I hadn’t realised the tragedy and strangeness of her life or that she was actually only 48 when she died, even though she looked about twenty five years older – she certainly packed a lot in...

Found some songs I have by her in the collection on a couple of French 2CDs sets – then, looking at guitar tabs for those and some Jacques Brel songs, led me to work up a new wee chord sequence which may or may not become something...

Drove down to Chateau Impossible around seven for a very tasty dinner – including possibly the best fruity cheesy cakey thing I’ve ever tasted - with hosts John and Ali and John’s twins Jo and Livvy, now almost 14 and veritably shooting up tallness-wise...

Post dinner, we retired to sit around this lovely wood-burning fire...



Great to be in the company of someone who is as curmudgeonly as I am with John pontificating about airport security and university education etc etc – he has some great ideas and I recommend his blog here for almost daily entertaining reads...

The Impossible Songs are off to Germany soon to record some songs for what will hopefully be a new 2009 album...

Good discussion about why we keep doing it and our underlying knowledge that nothing will ever come of it but that we must keep going...

J&A are to be married in around a year’s time so we had a good laugh going over the possible scenarios and ideas for wedding mementos...

We’ll see how it turns out...

With the clocks going forward, by the time we got home to bed it was almost 2 am...

A good entertaining day...

Highlight of the Day : Ali’s Fruity cheesy cakey thing...Mmm...

Friday, March 27, 2009

In the flesh...

Playlist
Hank Mobley – Quintet
Lou Donaldson – Lou Takes Off

My two new jazz purchases soundtracked my day...

This evening I was off to a dinner in aid of the The Willow Foundation, founded by ex-Arsenal goalkeeper Bob Wilson and his wife, following the death of their daughter 10 years ago - it offers fabulous once in a lifetime days to terminally ill people aged 16-40...

Bob related the tale of one of their most unusual – a young lady aged 33 wanted to return home from hospital for one last Christmas with her husband and three young children and open her curtains on Christmas morning and see her kids out playing in the snow, with a snowman, a Santa, snowballs – the whole thing...

The charity set this up – with a Coca Cola truck transporting the necessary snow from the mountains of Scotland down to Portsmouth on the South coast of England...

The lady died a month or so later...

The dinner was organised by Arsenal Scotland Supporters club, with whom the Exec Producer and I travelled to Sunderland last year and with whom Anne enjoyed the Newcastle match last week...

Our table was hosted by my colleague Barry – here he is with me in Starbucks as we tried to sober up a wee bit before arriving at the venue, having partaken of a couple of drinks with the Exec Producer, post the work-a-day slog...



The caramel waffle biscuits were good as you can see...

A good night was had by all, with entertaining speeches and a lively Q&A from Bob Wilson and, the captain of the 1971 double winning Arsenal side, Frank McLintock...

There was the ubiquitous auction of various football related stuff, days out to Premiership games etc etc...

Your correspondent put a bid in for this painting created by Thierry Henry kicking a paint covered ball against a canvas – best lot of the night to my mind – but it went for three times what I could afford...



Late on, after not drinking too much and feeling inexplicably a bit under the weather, I had to call on the Exec Producer to perform a very rare taxi role and bring me home while the rest of our table went “uptown”...

Back home, I was cheered by a bottle of Drambuie delivered earlier today to Crispycat Towers addressed to Cloudland Blue Quartet – a very kind gift from old school chum and recent convert to the CBQ cause, Mr Steven Black – “to help keep the vocal chords lubricated”...

Meg the Black cat tried her best to get into the very narrow box it came in...



Cheers Steve!!

Highlight of the Day : Boyhood heroes in the flesh...

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Yes, no, maybe, we'll see...

Playlist
Various Composers – 20th Century Classical Music
Pet Shop Boys – Yes
Fairport Convention – Same
Hank Mobley – Quintet
Lou Donaldson – Lou Takes Off

Soundtracked today by the new 20th Century Music Podcast while "The Rest is Noise" continued to be read and enjoyed...

First visit of the week to Fopp and I was on a mission for the Pet Shop Boys album...

Couldn’t fund the expanded version, which contains a few remixes but I was happy with the “normal" version...

Of course I couldn’t just buy one CD...



So, also into the library at Crispycat Towers, came two cracking late 50’s jazz titles from Blue Note – Lou Donaldson’s “Lou Takes Off” which, if you’re familiar with Lou’s better known work, comes as a pleasant change, in that it’s basically a four number blowing session which absolutely burns at some points...

Also, Hank Mobley’s “Quintet” – another tour de force of ensemble playing featuring some stellar contributors...

And I took a chance on the debut LP from Fairport Convention, by whom, until today, I’m pretty sure I had nothing (save perhaps a track on a compilation here or there)...

This LP features Judy Dyble as female vocalist (i.e. pre-Sandy Denny) – Judy featured in a very early line up of King Crimson (or very late line up of Giles Giles and Fripp) and took lead vocals on the demo version of “I Talk to the Wind” on the “Young Person’s Guide to King Crimson” compilation released at the beginning of the bands first “interregnum”...

Suffice to say - it's not folk (which, from my PoV is no bad thing!)...

While I ripped all these to the jukeboxes, Meg the Black Cat was getting up to some mischief in the LP cupboard...



On TV tonight the first in a new series of “The Big Bang Theory” followed “My Name is Earl” in an hour of top notch US Comedy, plus "The Graham Norton Show” which featured the Pet Shop Boys playing their current single “Love Etc”...

Having listened to the new album together tonight pre goggle box goggling, this is one of the stronger tracks on the LP which, on first listen is not as good as their last, “Fundamental”...

Hard to believe it's only their ninth "real" album in a 24 year career...

Our Thursday night staples of “Question Time” and “This Week” ended the night...

Highlight of the Day : New PSB, New Big Bang...

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Communication and entertainment...

Playlist
Various – Rock & Pop Jukebox on Shuffleplay
Peter Bjorn & John – Writers Block
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah – Some Loud Thunder
Various – Strange Country
Various Composers – 20th Century Music Podcast

Slept like a log and woke to a lovely day, sun-wise – though still cold and windy...



Home made soup sustained us in the evening while we watched “Coronation St” and taped episodes of “Not Going Out” and “Law and Order”...

Communication...

A call from Count Brodski re a rearranged get-together soon...

A call from Creeky Cobblers re a visit to Depeche Mode in December...

A complimentary e-mail from an old school chum who recently stumbled across my works on t’internet and is enjoying a couple of my albums...

Confirmation of a visit to Chateau Impossible this weekend...

More entertainment...

Girls Aloud’s new video for my favourite track off their latest album was premiered tonight on Channel 4 – another top ten hit beckons, I hope, for “Untouchable”...

The vid has touches of “2001 A Space Odyssey” about it – which is weird as, last thing, I created a new podcast of early 20th Century classics inspired by my current read “The Rest is Noise” by Alex Ross – and it opens with the opening music from that very film, Richard Strauss’ “Also Sprach Zarathustra”...

You can find it over on the podcasts blog...

Highlight of the Day : New Girls Aloud and chum communication...

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Blue not grey...

Playlist
Various - Compilations Jukebox on Shuffleplay
Tangerine Dream - Albert Hall 1974
21st Century Schizoid Band - Official Bootleg Vol 1
Death in Vegas - Satan's Circus
Bob Marley - Legend
New Order - Peter Saville Exhibition Soundtrack

Couldn't sleep...

Woke at 4 am - listened to the jukebox and up at 5...

Did some updating of the Crispycat Website - thought I ought to get it a bit more up to date considering I'm about to pay my annual fee for hosting...

Lunch with colleagues Michelle and Anne in honour of Michelle's 33rd birthday...

On the way home tonight the weather was horrible - windy, rainy, overcast sky...

So, upon arriving home, I was surprised to find that this pic of the sky I took looks blue rather than the grey i could see at the time...



Tasty canneloni for dinner tonight followed by some listening - a King Crimson offshoot CD very kindly supplied by Sid Smith - the book's on its way tomorrow Sid!!

Then the Death in Vegas disc purchased on Saturday - it seems the track which persuaded me to buy is the best thing on it - still, a good mix of electronica and krautrock nonetheless...

Upsatirs to allow Anne to watch the last in the series of "Mistresses" in peace...

Enjoyed some classic Bob Marley as I typed and surfed...

Should really have been along unveiling some new songs at Out of the Bedroom but was a bit knackered after my early wake up...

Last thing, downloaded a rare New order recording befrore enjoying a repeat of "Big Bang Theory" and subsequently calling it a night...

highlight of the Day : Updating...

Monday, March 23, 2009

Recreation...

Playlist
Various – Rock & Pop Jukebox on Shuffleplay
Various – Pet Shop Boys: Back to Mine

After discovering yesterday that the Cubase Bundle for “So Long Kid” had been accidentally wiped, I started re-recording tonight while Anne was out at her Keep Fit class...

After an hour or so, the lead vocals and a couple of backing vocals were restored, though I’m not 100% happy with the recreation – even though it’s only really to allow a re-mix to be created...



Later I will add the guitars...

On TV “Law & Order : UK” and “Stewart Lee’s Comedy Vehicle”, his take on the world of TV included a hilarious visual definition of Channel 4 and E4, entertained...

Highlight of the Day : Stewart Lee’s Comedy Vehicle...

Sunday, March 22, 2009

The golden section...

Playlist
Various – Fabriclive 23 : Death in Vegas
Various – Time Machine : A Vertigo Anthology
Various – Island 1967-72 : Strangely Strange But Oddly Normal
Various – Velvet Goldmine
Albinoni – Complete Oboe Concerti
Miles Davis – My Funny Valentine
Various – Compilations Jukebox on Shuffleplay
Enter Shikari – Take to the Skies

Up at six and immediately into the project of providing individual wav files of the last three CBQ songs completed (“I Believed You Said We Dreamt”, “So Long Kid” and “Non Industrial Catastrophe Blue”) to mix-meister Craig, re possible remixes...

Turns out he’s off to Israel for a week, so no rush – but I discovered the Cubase Bundle for “So Long Kid” has been inadvertently wiped from the hard drive (I think I must have accidentally deleted the sound files in a space-purge) – so that will need to be recreated – some music work for me this week...

Ripped, and uploaded to the Compilations Jukebox, the 3CD sets of vault trawls from the Island and Vertigo labels...

Breakfast, then mum arrived for our trip to Glasgow to take part in my mum and dad’s chums since 1964, Lex and Moira’s Golden Wedding...

The journey was soundtracked by the soothing sounds of Mr Albinoni’s Oboe Concerti – chosen especially, as my mum can make these journeys a nightmare with her incessant advice as to what lane I ought to be in and what speed I ought to be doing...

Wasn’t too bad today though, as we left 90 minutes before the celebration start time and so I was able to tootle along nicely without too much maternal input...

The lunch was at “The House for an Art Lover”, which sits in the splendid setting of Bellahouston Park, having been built in accordance with a competition entry by Charles Rennie Mackintosh found amongst his papers after his death...





The sign as we entered was perhaps taking their efforts to avoid litigation a wee bit far...



Here are said small gaps...



The guests started to assemble....


Mother and Exec Producer about to partake of more champagne far right...

There then followed a quite superb three course lunch....









....during which the pink champagne and wine was flowing and we were suitably entertained by, firstly, Lex & Moira’s next door neighbour with some classical tunes followed by a lady jazz singer who hailed from the Isle of Arran, the latter being a delightful surprise for her parents arranged by daughter (and my childhood chum) Lindsay...

Coincidentally, Arran is where Lex & Moira discovered jazz...

The happy couple were grooving to the laid back jazzy sounds in their giant Mackintosh chairs...



Here's Miles Davis' version of "My Funny Valentine"...


Coffee, with another neighbour’s home made tablet, rounded off the meal, as we retired to the reception area of the house for catch ups and general chatting...

It was good to catch up with Lindsay and husband Guy, whom we know these days mostly via our respective blogs...

Meanwhile, my mum was having a right old blether with one of the old guys in attendance....



The Exec Producer and I felt like parents waiting for our kids to leave the school disco...

We bade our farewells, made a brief visit to the walled garden...



...then zoomed back along the motorway ensuring everyone was home in time for the grand final of “Ice Dancing on Ice With Celebrity Ice Skaters”...

I took some time to sort out some recently purchased CDs, while listening to Miles Davis' 1964 concert recording of “My Funny Valentine”, having been inspired by the earlier rendition from the Lady of Arran – I know there’s no place in jazz for vocals, but that particular song was quite enjoyable...

I watched the skating too, for my sins – although my viewing was soundtracked by psychedelic sounds of the late sixties, some tasty reggae and some mighty progressive rock, all provided by the compilations jukebox...

A downbeat visit from next door neighbour Fiona later on – her wee terrier dog, Tia, is having to be put down tomorrow evening, as she’s riddle with cancerous tumours, the poor wee beastie....

Tia came into the house and had a good wee snoop around – Meg the Black Cat retreated upstairs...

As if the dog scenario wasn’t enough stress for Fiona, her husband’s in hospital too - not good times for her family...

And so the day was rounded off with “Match of the Day 2” before a reasonably early turn in at 11pm with the mental metal sounds of Enter Shikari on the phones...

Highlight of the Day : A well-deserved celebration...

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Solitaire's the only game in town...

Playlist
Bob Dylan – The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan
Family – Bandstand
Free – Free
Queen – Sheer Heart Attack
Various – Strangely Strange But Oddly Normal
The Lindsay String Quartet – The Art of the Lindsays
Various – Fabriclive 23 : Death in Vegas
Lambchop – Damaged
Peter Bjorn and John – Writer’s Block
Siouxsie and the Banshees – Join Hands
Enter Shikari – Take to the Skies
Death in Vegas – Satan’s Circus
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - Same
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah – Some Loud Thunder
Kiss – Kiss Gold
Yes – Tales from Topographic Oceans
Various – Velvet Goldmine

Up before six and listened to some music while surfing the net...

A relaxed breakfast at home and then grooving to the sounds of the Island Label 1967–1972, until a phone call just after nine – I’d forgotten about my podiatrist appointment and so, off we dashed...

Post feet sorting, we drove to the town centre and visited the Costa Coffee in Waterstone’s in George Street, where I had a chilled latte...

Tasty...

Then, we walked along to the east end and the Exec Producer was off to Waverley to catch a train to Newcastle with Chris with a Ch for the visit from Arsenal...

It’s six months since we all made the trip to Sunderland to see the Arsenal but I wasn’t up for it this time...

Instead, to Fopp, where I bought some presents and partook of a few new CDs and DVDs...

Collected the car and drove home in the sunshine...




Watched “Velvet Goldmine”, one of three DVDs procured – entertaining but hardly earth shattering - the music though, was top notch...

Created and uploaded a new podcast, which features tracks from most of today's purchases, while Queen of the South lost a two goal lead and a penalty in stoppage time to draw 3-3 with Livingston in Dumfries and Hearts made a recovery from 2-0 down to earn a 2-2 draw at Castle Greyskull, home of the Hun...

Meanwhile no goals in the first half at Newcastle, with the home side missing a penalty – by full time though, Arsenal ran out easy winners, 3-1...

Cooked my tea again – a concoction involving groundnut oil, an onion, some runner beans, a tin of tuna, a tin of tomatoes, soya sauce, cayenne pepper, chilli flakes and, erm gravy powder...

Delicious...

Listened to the new purchases before driving into town to collect the Exec Producer from the return train..

An enjoyable day for her by all accounts – she was most impressed with Newcastle by day (but not by night) and with the huge stadium at St James’s Park – she had to climb 7 flights of stairs to reach her seat but ended up having an excellent view of proceedings...

Back home, the game was one of which we saw the highlights on “Match of the Day” before retiring...

Highlight of the Day : Just bumming around on my own...

Friday, March 20, 2009

Self portrait time...

Playlist
Various – Rock & Pop Jukebox on Shuffleplay
Various – Cloudland Blue Podcasts

With Anne out again tonight, this time on a Mother’s day inspired cinema visit (“Young Victoria”) and dinner with sister Jane and her mum, I made a rash decision to go for drinks with colleagues Kris, Gary and Keith and ex-colleague Ian...


L-R: Keith, Gary, Ian, Kris - Four Lovely Boys

We were joined by Gary’s partner Barry and several of Kris’ friends, one of whom owns the bar Amicus Apple, outside of which we stood, enjoying the late evening sun whilst quaffing bottles of Becks...

This found me on the Airport Bus later this evening (only 7:00pm mind you) looking rather the worse for wear (..and, erm, taking photos of myself)...



I then spent a couple of hours lawling on the settee muttering at people on the TV to stick their nonsense where the sun don’t shine, matey...

Finally got myself together and retired upstairs to finish off the posting of the podcasts of “one track each from every CD I acquire” and the conclusion of this coincided nicely with Anne’s return...

Sparks on Jonathon Ross singing “I Can’t Believe That You Would Fall For All the Crap in This Song”....



...rounded off the day nicely...

Highlight of the Day : Spring drinks with the boys...

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Podcast city...

Playlist
Rodrigo - Concerto de Aranjuaz
Stravinsky - The Rite of Spring
Bartok - Concerto for orchestra
Grofe - Grand Canyon Suite
Bernstein - West Side Story Symphonic Dances

Continued reading "The Rest is Noise" and used my 5CD Box Set of 20th Century Classics as a soundtrack...

Spotted this nice building today, basking in the spring sunshine...



Back home and cooked tea for one, as Anne was out at Northern Ballet's "Sleeping Beauty" with chum Debbie...

Salmon fillets, new potatoes, runner beans and a tasty wee onion hit the spot...

Then, created a new blog for podcasts...

As regular readers will know, I buy loads of CDs - this new blog will feature podcasts of ten tracks each, the intention being to feature at least one track from each CD I acquire...

So far there are seven podcasts up on the site taking us from 1 January this year to now : Cloudland Blue Podcasts...

Anne returned home with tales of an excellent evening, including dinner at Mother India...

We enjoyed "This Week" before retiring...

Highlight of the Day : A new blog...

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Three days and a preliminary evening...

Playlist
Cloudland Blue Quartet – Soundingfall
Various - Rock & Pop Jukebox on Shuffleplay
Richard Strauss – Also Sprach Zarathustra
Richard Wagner – Der Ring des Nibelungen
Richard Strauss - Don Juan

A lovely bright crisp morning...



...and I took the opportunity to walk in to town from Haymarket along the back streets...





Had to make my way to Fopp again at lunchtime to get the Alex Ross book I resisted yesterday...

Started reading it on the bus home...

Lovely home made soup from Anne nourished us..

“Coronation St” and two taped “CSI”’s entertained before I retired upstairs for more reading accompanied by some of the featured music from Richards Strauss and Wagner...

Hopefully I can keep at this one – I haven’t finished a book in ages...

Discussions with mum's friend Moira re the latter's upcoming Golden Wedding and with collaborator Sutherland re remixes of recent tracks...

That's about it...

Highlight of the Day : New book encourages me to listen to late 19th and 20th Century Classics...

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Non industrial catastrophe blue...

Playlist
Music Music Music - Everybody Digs
Archie Shepp - Four For Trane
Cloudland Blue Quartet – Soundingfall

To Fopp at lunchtime on an errand to purchase another copy of the Impulse book...

Managed to not buy anything else but was sorely tempted by Alex Ross’s “The Rest is Noise” for a tenner...

Rather than heading along to Out of the Bedroom tonight for my fortnightly three song outing, the evening was spent reworking what has now, with the slight lyric re-write as I come to understand what I might have meant when I wrote it on Sunday, become “Non Industrial Catastrophe Blue”...



Music also reworked slightly after consultation with composer of the basic electronic track, Mr Craig Sutherland...

And here it is (hopefully) for your enjoyment...

Non Industrial Catastrophe Blue (5:16)


Other than an entertaining repeat of “Big Bang Theory”, that’s it...

Highlight of the Day : Another song finished...

Monday, March 16, 2009

Third time lucky, kind of...

Playlist
Cloudland Blue Quartet – Soundingfall
Various – Favourite Singles of 2008
Various – The House That Trane Built
Various – Tracks from CDs Acquired So Far in 2009

To the Infirmary today for the results of the MRI scan which so un-nerved me four weeks ago today (can’t believe how fast time’s going these days)...



Bad news...

After having had 2008 free of surgery following ops in 2006 and 2007, I now require a third shoulder op and am back on the old waiting list...

The likely date will be late May/early June I think...

Can’t say I’m looking forward to it, even though I know exactly what to expect re the op, the pain, the post op physio, the long recovery period etc etc...

It’ll be worth it though if I finally get my right shoulder to be as pain free as my left one....

Tesco on the way home for some tomato and red pepper soup and tiger bread as lunch, then some more jazzing before Anne went off to keep fit, leaving me to enjoy some music acquired so far this year, whilst writing up this and the previous two days...

Later, some tasty salmon fillets with new potatoes and green beans will no doubt entertain, as will “Law & Order : UK”...

It seems I’m not the only one at Crispycat Towers in need of medical attention, as Meg the Black Cat’s continuing shower tray drinking may be the sign of something not good...

And so the wee one will be visiting the vet this week...

Update:

The green beans were replaced by lovely garden peas and I forgot about the tasty carrots...

"Law & Order : UK" did indeed entertain as did the first in a new series, "Stewart Lee's Comedy Vehicle" which became my highlight of the day, if only for his riposte to anyone who asks "Stu, have you read the latest Harry Potter book?"...

His reply?

"It's for children, I'm a 40 year old man. Why would I read a children's book? I have read the collected romantic poetry of William Blake however, so Fuck Off!!"

Brilliant...

Highlight of the Day : Stewart Lee's Comedy Vehicle...

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Blast from the past...

Playlist
Cloudland Blue Quartet – Soundingfall
Various – The House That Trane Built
The Killers – Day and Age
ELP – Compilation for my Dad

Up at six and spent till around 1:30 in the afternoon working on the new song, which is currently entitled “Non Original Catastrophe Blue”...



E-mailed it over to Craig and await his feedback...

I’ll post it up once we’re “satisfied” with it..

Spent some time leafing through the book I bought on Friday re the Impulse label, whilst enjoying the previously purchased accompanying compilation...

Late afternoon, out to my mum’s house to visit said mum and up from England Sister Pam...

Sister Sheila was also in attendance and a right old blether was had...

After Sheila headed off, we ordered a Chinese takeaway which I collected and we all enjoyed...

While the ladies watched “Ice Dancing on Ice With Celebrities” I popped upstairs and fired up the computer I had around ten years ago which I subsequently gave to my dad...

It's only got 1GB on its hard drive!!

I found an Emerson Lake and Palmer compilation I’d made up for my dad ten years ago, after he expressed an interest in their early works...

As I sat there enjoying the music, eventually the screen saver came up – it was a message from my dad, who died nearly six years ago “Thanks to David and Anne for all your hard work!!” it said, presumably re our help in trying to teach him how to use the PC...

Always an uphill struggle...

Wonder if he knew I’d finally read it all these years later?

Funny that we'd spent some time at the dinner table retelling tales of his various encounters with "spiked" drinks and the hilarity he'd inadvertantly provided us with...

Back home, Anne watched the results of the “Ice Dancing on Ice With Celebrities” while I did nothing of any import...

“Match of the Day 2” ended the weekend...

Highlight of the Day : Time with the family...

Saturday, March 14, 2009

EP knows best...

Playlist
Cloudland Blue Quartet – Soundingfall
Various – Strange Soul
Various- Strange Folk
Various – Strange Jazz
Various – Strange Country
Various – Strange Hip Hop
Kiss – Kiss Gold
Eels – Meet the Eels

Up early with a busy day ahead...

First off, ripping all the CDs bought yesterday and giving them a listen...

Then, working on the new CBQ piece e-mailed to me by Craig Sutherland...

Managed a melody line before having to get ready for a trip to Murrayfield re today’s rugby, Scotland v Ireland...

Meanwhile Anne was off to fife to meet up with some workmates to watch the Hibs v Hearts derby on TV – and she was also tasked with cooking a big curry for sustenance...

I was off out with colleague Michelle and we arrived at the stadium around two for the first of (probably too) many free drinks...



I’ve not drunk whisky since the late 70’s but enjoyed two tall glasses of The Famous grouse with Ginger Beer – probably sacrilege to real whisky drinkers but the only way it’s palatable to me it would seem...

Then a three course meal and “entertainment” from some rugby people – a lady who apparently covers it for the BBC and an unfeasibly tall ex-player, “Doddie” Weir...

The red wine was flowing during the meal and at 4:40 we made our way to our seats in time for kick off...



The game was actually quite good – exciting and entertaining and Scotland didn’t really get the thumping everyone was expecting...

However, by the end of the evening, Scotland, Hearts and Queen of the South were all languishing in the hall of defeat...

I wasn’t that worried though as more red wine was available along with a G&T and an unsolicited pint of lager had been consumed during the second half...

The consensus at our table was that I ought to replace Frank Hadden as Scottish coach so that I could use the secret weapon that rugby seems to have forgotten – the drop-kick specialist...

Why insist on battling away to no effect trying to score a try and conversion for seven points you’re probably never going to get, when all you really need is an expert kicker who hangs back a bit, gets the ball at every opportune moment and just pops it over the bar for three points on the board?

Simple...

A lift home from Michelle’s boyfriend Billy saw me languishing on the settee in my suit rather the worse for wear but, somehow, enjoying some Kiss and Eels videos when Anne arrived back...

I insisted I wasn’t drunk but I think the Exec Producer knew better...

Highlight of the Day : The rugby event...

Friday, March 13, 2009

Funny sad...

Playlist
Cloudland Blue Quartet – Soundingfall
J R Monterose - J R Monterose
Various – Strange Soul
Kiss – Kiss Gold

Aargh to Fopp today and went a wee bit crazy on the old purchasing front...

Did still manage top keep the £ : CD ratio pretty low though...

£22 : 10 CDs + 2 DVDs...



Also £4 on the story of jazz label, Impulse – which is supposed to be £20 and sells in HMV at present for £12..

Remember, HMV owns Fopp...

If I’d bought this lot through Amazon it’d have cost me around £90...

Of course if it had been £90 I wouldn’t have bought it...

This is how a bargain becomes a “Reilly” – i.e. a bargain which you would not ordinarily have bought at the real price...

In the evening, to the hip jazz sounds of J.R. Monterose, we enjoyed our first Red Thai Chicken Curry for a good while – tasty as ever...

Then, six hours of the emotional roller coaster ride that is “Comic Relief” – which I would normally avoid like the plague but the line up promised to include many of my favourites...

Well, most of the night was less than funny – and I’m including the sketches here – obviously the between fun films were harrowing...

The little boy, Paul, just 12 months old who slipped into a malaria induced coma and died in front of the cameras...

And a second young boy, 8 years old - same age as my nephew Oliver - who was born HIV positive and contracted TB, eventually succumbing to ravaging disease last November – those images will stay with me for a long time...

Elbow's short piece, "Puncture Repair" from their album "Leaders of the Free World", following the first of these films, touched the spot...

Elbow - Puncture Repair (1:48)


The only sketches which entertained were French & Saunders’ “Mamma Mia” piss-take, Ricky Gervais & Steven Merchant’s piece, Catherine Tait’s old lady ripping up her cheque for £1,000 and Armstrong & Miller – oh and the fat bloke from “Gavin & Stacey” coaching the England football team...

A big thanks to everyone concerned for not setting up a Scottish show with Jackie Bird to which we would have been relocated with annoying regularity...

On “Comic Relief TOTP”, Franz Ferdinand and Oasis entertained – two bands which I don’t really like - and strange to see It Bites' smiley, bouncy left handed bassist playing behind Take That...

The ongoing stupidity of the Great British general public was confirmed once again however, by the song which apparently went straight in at No 1 this week by someone called Flo Rida (geddit) – weak...

As for the rest, well with two years to write these sketches, you’d think it could be a bit funnier – Little Britain’s two sketches were frankly cringe inducingly dire...

However, notwithstanding the crapness of the majority of the entertainment on show tonight, the two films mentioned above, moved me to donate for the first time ever to a charity telethon – I hope my Crispycat Dollars will bring some respite and hope to someone somewhere...

You can donate here : http://www.comicrelief.com/

A malaria net costs £5...

No pressure...

Normally I won't donate to these pleas for money for the simple fact that the people haranguing me are "celebrities" who I personally feel are a tad overpaid for what they do - for example Jonathon Ross earns around £2M a year under his current BBC contract...

Kudos however to the anonymous donor who gave £6M to the cause - I just hope he/she ticked the Gift Aid box...

Highlight of the Day : Being reminded of just how lucky I was to be born in the UK...

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Ham and cheese...

Playlist
Cloudland Blue Quartet – Acoustic Setlist 2008/09
Cloudland Blue Quartet – Soundingfall

A commiseration lunch today with gambler extraordinaire Spike re yesterday’s debacle...

A small but very tasty steak and gravy pie with mushy peas, chips and gravy at Berts Bar...

In the evening, while Anne was out with Lynn, I worked on the piece e-mailed through from Craig last night and, after around three and a half hours work, I had the makings of another new song, “So Long Kid”...



I’ve posted it up, but I imagine there’s still some work to be done...

So Long Kid (6:18)


After that, off into town to pick up the girls and take them home...

A productive night...

Then, as I e-mailed the song back to Craig, his next idea was to be found in the inbox...

We’re on a roll...

Highlight of the Day : Working on my music...

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Box consideration and loss...

Playlist
Soft Machine – Seven
Soft Machine – Bundles
Soft Machine – Softs
Soft Machine – Alive and Well in Paris
Various – 66 CDs Acquired So Far in 2009

A change at lunchtime today as I wandered up Lothian Road, past the Lyceum Theatre...



...to Classical Music specialists, McAllister Mathieson Music...

All very nice and inspiring, great ambience, lovely CDs but nothing in the way of bargains which took my fancy – and the Haydn Symphonies Box Set is £60 compared to HMV’s £50..

Wait, I tell a lie, they had a 150CD box set of Haydn’s complete works on Brilliant, which I’ve not seen elsewhere, for £99...

My plans for possibly buying this with the gains of a “sure fire” bet on a horse at Cheltenham were scuppered when the nag fell away in the final stages, taking my £20 note with it...

In the evening, home in daylight for a change and these jet-trails graced the sky...





Cooked with the Exec Producer, producing a superb meal of steak, mushroom, onions and fries with a nicely nippy pepper sauce...

In between watching taped “Not Going Out” and “Law & Order”, I gathered together one track each from the 66 (!!) CDs acquired so far this year, with a view to creating some new podcasts...

The day was rounded off nicely by the arrival in the inbox of a cracking new piece from Creek buddy Craig for me to work on as a CBQ song, under our new collaborative partnership...

Tasty...

Highlight of the Day : Cooking with Anne, new track arriving...