Monday, November 30, 2009

375...

Playlist
The Czars - Before...But Longer
Tangerine Dream - White Eagle
Tangerine Dream - Thief
Herman Van Veen - Die Anzieungskraft der Erde
Paul Linklater - Smooth Sailing and How
Return to Forever - The Anthology

A lovely winter's day and, at last, Princes Street is open again, even if it's only until January when the idiotic half a billion pound spend to replace the number 22 bus will restart...



At the Scott Monument, the annual Big Wheel facility is back in place...



At FOPP, a copy of 2CD "The Anthology" by jazz fusion maestros Return to Forever was picked up for £3 (upstairs a copy was spied priced at £16??)...

Back at my desk, prog hero Willie had left burns of the new Transatlantic, Beardfish and Guilt Machine for my pleasure...

Early evening, I was to be found at Mather's Bar in Queensferry St with said workchum Willie plus fellow workchums Spike, JY Johnny, Cocopops and the Debster plus Spike's partner in crime in various ventures, the wild haired Campbell...

Home by 8 to find Paul Linklater's triple CD had finally arrived from Canada...

Feeling not too bad I must say despite the indulgences (served by young Lee, erstwhile flatmate of nephew Craig) and enjoyed some tasty lamb mince and mashed tatties from the fair hand of the just-home-from-Keep-Fit Exec Producer...

"Flashforward" continued to annoy but Return to Forever brightened up the evening...

Highlight of the Day : More new music...

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Limey not lemony...

Playlist
Hawkwind - Spirit of the Age
Mansun - Six
Freddie Hubbard - The Body & The Soul
Ryan Adams - Rock'n'Roll
Bright Eyes - Lifted
Allison Moorer - The Ultimate Collection
Josh Rouse - The Best of the Rykodisc Years
Spirit - Time Circle
Billy Cobham - Spectrum
Hank Mobley - Poppin'
Various - Stax 50th Anniversary Celebration
Morse/Portnoy/George - Cover to Cover
Polar Bear - Polar Bear
Acoustic Ladyland - Last Chance Disco
Peri Urban - The Word/Forget About jim

Up far too early...

Listening to two albums, tracks from which came on via shuffleplay as I awoke - Mansun and Freddie Hubbard...

More listening then breakfast at home followed by "Strictly Come Dancing" from last night, some of which I confessed I watched...

Whilst doing so, I totted up how many CDs I've acquired so far this year (not counting items on the hard drive which may or may not be burned for posterity)...

370...

Which beats end November totals for 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008 hands down (323, 287, 334 and 300 respectively)...

...and is probably too many...

Anne went off uptown looking for Xmas clothes (came back with nothing other than Xmas cards four hours later)...

Learned one of the two Peri Urban songs he sang at Out of the Bedroom a couple of weeks ago - you can find them here and here...

I watched a John Wayne film "Island in the Sky" - it was ok - before driving out to visit my mum while Anne shopped unsuccessfully...

Mum was on good form despite being in pain due to having had to stop taking her painkillers re unwelcome side effects...

Made my way back home through the rain...



Sorted out my jazz CDs, with recent acquisitions being amalgamated with the general Jazz A-Z - classical still to do...

Tonight, we cooked a lemony (limey actually) chicken korma, from scratch, and very tasty it was too - although next time we may make more of the sauce as there probably wasn't enough to go round...



Mmm, mmm...

"Harry Hill's TV Burp" entertained as did the next episode of "Spooks", no details of which I can mention here as Sister Pam will be watching on Wednesday - suffice to say it was up the usual very high standards...

Wrote this up whilst enjoying Peri's songs again and some far out new jazz from Acoustic Ladyland and Polar Bear before "Match of the Day 2" then bed...

Highlight of the Day : Cooking with Anne and a wee bit guitaring again...

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Dissimilitude...

Playlist
Various - Recent Acquisitions on Shuffleplay
Cloudland Blue Quartet - Blend: The Best of CBQ 1996-2009
Various - Top 30 Artists on Shuffleplay
Various - Chilled Out Euphoria

A day of contrasts...

Up at 7 am and decided to reorganise my CDs...

Just the "rock and pop" section though, leaving jazz, classical and various artist compilations as they were...

This involved removing all single artist compilations and live albums from the general A-Z...

Anyway, you get the picture....

I spent three hours in the morning and three hours in the late afternoon to get this done...



In between times, I attended a funeral...

A brave man diagnosed with cancer in April who finally succumbed on Wednesday - a good send off from all his friends - I was there giving a lift to chum from the offices of "The Man", Wendy, as she knew him well...

For my own part, I'd met him a couple of times while freeing up his pension fund for him to spend before he died...

Then, I visited Peri Urban, returning the equipment which has been at Crispycat Towers since our gig three weeks ago, meeting Peri's mum and dad (and their greyhounds) for the first time - even though I've known Peri since 1984...

Shopping for lunch provisions then home to listen with Anne as Aberdeen beat Rangers...

As I continued the CD reshuffle, Anne kept me updated on the scores - Queen of the South (top of the 1st Division) were playing away at Airdrie Utd (bottom of the division) in the Scottish Cup...

Unbelievably, they lost 4-0...

And so Queens are yet to win a Scottish Cup tie since the glorious 4-3 victory over Aberdeen at Hampden in April 2008...

Meanwhile Hearts managed a rare win, 2-1 away at Kilmarnock - if they'd lost and a couple of other results had come through, they would have slipped to bottom of the league - as it is, they're now 6th on goal difference...

Sad new came through from Sister Pam in England that Sister Sheila's old black lab, Smudge was being put to sleep this afternoon...

He's not been well for a long time now and has had a good long life - a terrible day then for Sheila and family...

Here's a pic of the old fellow...



In the evening, a night out for a meal with Anne's family - we were supposed to have done this back in January but it just kept being postponed and postponed...

In attendance me, Anne, Jane & Bobby, Keith, Maureen and nephew Craig and Anne's mum...

We had a couple of drinks at Rick's Bar, having first tried Le Bon Vivant, the Thistle Bar and Cafe Rouge...

Coincidentally bumped into chums connected to "The Man", one of whom, Kathryn, was exiting the restaurant as we arrived and waited for our table to be set...

We all enjoyed a superb meal at the tiny and packed Cafe Marlayne, at which the wine was well and truly flowing and the chat was loud and boistrous...



Around 11:30 we headed home by taxi and, while the electric blanket heated the bed, enjoyed tonight's episode of "Merlin" on video...

A day of contrasts...

Highlight of the Day : A good night out providing a much needed lift to the spirits...

Friday, November 27, 2009

Is anybody listening...

Playlist
Various - Recently Acquired CDs on Shuffleplay

Not much happened today...

Returned to the offices of "The Man" by the dawn's early light...



Being soundtracked by recent purchases on shuffleplay highlighted just how much of this new music which pours into my life I have yet to listen to properly...

There are albums dropping off the 100 or so stored on "The Shelf" in the living room, to which I have plainly given scant attention, merely ripping them to the hard drive, loading them into a jukebox but not actually, actively, listening...

In the evening, between continued listening, I caught the last in the excellent "Armstrong & Miller Show" and Mr Armstrong hosting this week's "Have I Got News For you"...

That's about it...

Highlight of the day : Armstrong and Miller....

Thursday, November 26, 2009

A murder of crows...

Playlist
Various - Compilations Jukebox on Shuffleplay
Ryan Adams - Love is Hell pt 2
Acoustic Ladyland - Last Chance Disco
Ryan Adams - Rock'n'Roll
Broken Social Scene - You Forgot It In People
Sonya Kitchell - Words Came Back to Me
Bright Eyes - Lifted
Allison Moorer - The Ultimate Collection
Norman Lamont - CBQ Soundscape
Depeche Mode - Sounds of the Universe

A day spent lazing around - I wrote up the Alice Cooper gig, listened to the CD stash from yesterday and we enjoyed "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" on DVD this afternoon...

Blog buddy Norman Lamont has put a Soundscape Creating Machine up on his blog - and I spent a fair bit of time mucking about with this, creating a 24 minute piece based on his uploaded samples...

Then, to Fife this evening for a Pub Quiz, our team comprising the Exec Producer, her work buddy, Chris-with-a-Ch and your correspondent...

Firstly, to Chris' flat, where we met his new wee cat, Trevor...





To the pub, where we fared quite well considering we were the smallest team - we were pipped into third place due to lack of confidence at our first notion that Catherine Parr was Henry VIII's last wife and the Quizmaster allowing the answer "Roxy Music" for the artist performing the 1976 single "Let's Stick Together" - when everyone knows Roxy disbanded from 1976 to 1979 and it was Bryan Ferry...

That and of course mistakenly thinking that Whoopi Goldberg could ever have won a Miss Tennessee pageant...



Not to worry, home having been entertained, to Meg the Black Cat...



...where "Curb Your Enthusiasm" (the swan killer one), "The Thick of It" and "This Week" ended an interesting evening...

Highlight of the Day : Being the only person in the room who knew "The Cuckoo Waltz" was linked to Laurel and Hardy...

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Hero worship...

Playlist
Alice Cooper - 1969-2008

Up early and compiling a 2CD set of The Coop, with two tracks each from the 25 albums in the discography...



...for today we were off to Glasgow to see Alice Cooper's latest live show...

We hung around the house until around 1:30 then set off through the rain, arriving at Argyll St near the SECC around an hour later...

We parked and fought the strong winds to make it to the Gazelle Bar, where we enjoyed a tasty burger and coffee each for late lunch, which sorted us for the rest of the day eats-wise...

We moved the car closer to the station and took a train into Central Station, from where I took a wee trip round my usual Central Glasgow haunts - FOPP and Missing...

Picked up six CDs at Missing for a measly £10 - two from Ryan Adams, an Acoustic Ladyland, Canadians Broken Social Scene, young songstress Sonya Kitchell and a disc by Bright Eyes...

At FOPP Allison Moorer's Ultimate Collection joined my own collection for three of your British pounds...



As I left FOPP, a text came in from old chum and Alice Cooper afficionado Grant Henderson and we made swift arrangements to try and meet up at the gig...

Then, to one of our favourite spots, Bar Ten, where Weissbier, G&Ts and a creamy latte were enjoyed by your heroes, as we sheltered from the drenching rain...

We returned to Central for the two stop journey back to the venue and hung around in the foyer looking for Grant but he'd been held up on the motorway...

What a change from the Yes crowd last week who were predominately old fat bald guys with paunches - tonight there were all manner of attendees from young teenagers to people in their seventies - many of whom were sporting Alice Cooper make up and outfits...

We went to our seats and enjoyed (well at least I enjoyed) punky trio Man-Raze, featuring Sex Pistol Paul Cook on drums, for a very spunky set - destined to be completely forgotten once the Coop took to the stage...

See below for a blow by blow account of the latest outrageous stage show from this master of rock theatrics...

We left the hall with our ears ringing and managed this time to find Grant in the foyer...

Great to see him again - I've not seen him for I think around four years - he was as enthusiatic about everything as ever and is looking forward to returning here for Kiss next May...

Into the car and home, soundtracked once again by the Coop...



To bed, dreaming of over the top executions...

huighlight of the Day : What do you think?

Theatre of death...

Tonight, we saw the The Coop's latest tour, "Alice Cooper's Theatre of Death"...



If you're going to see the show and don't want to have the element of surprise spoiled, then look away now...

The stage was set up behind a giant curtain with a huge Alice Skull and illustrations of various methods of death - tonight there were to be four killings of Alice...





The show started with "School's Out" as the curtain fell to the ground to reveal the classic Alice line up of two guitars, bass and drums with huge "a" "l" "i" "c" and "e" letters suspended on the set...



His biggest hit was followed in quick succession by two more teen anthems (from a 61 year old!) "Department of Youth"...



and "I'm Eighteen" - featuring a crutch made from human bones...



Then, straight into (Alice never talks to his audience until the band intros in the encore) "Brutal Panet"'s "Wicked Young Man"...



...which featured the bloody impaling of a stooge on Alice's microphone stand...



Of course he had to be punished for that and so, into the straight jacket for "The Ballad of Dwight Fry"...



..and then, just five songs in, out came the guillotine and it was off with his head...





...but they can't kill Alice tonight and so he reappeared in hell for a maracas weilding rendition of "Go to Hell"...



...and the classic tongue in cheek rocker, "Guilty"...





Then it was "Welcome to My Nightmare"...



...as Alice was attacked by a group of zombies...



...including the first appearance of his daughter Calico as "Cold Ethyl", whom of course he had to treat rather badly and then serenade with his 1989 chart topper "Poison"...



Calico then reappeared as the poisonous nurse to kill Alice a second time, using a giant syringe to extract his lifeblood...





Singing "Welcome to My Nightmare"'s seldom heard "The Awakening", Alice came back to life in a mental asylum, the Renfield Nelson Asylum, named after his long serving assistant Brian Nelson, who died suddenly last year...

Alice hit the bottle to the title track from "From the Inside"...





...then, he was once again removed from the stage, this time by the asylum orderlies, only to reappear in a wheel chair...



As he sang "Nurse Rozetta", the titular nurse taunted him and sent sparks from her nether regions with some kind of metal codpiece type thing to which she applied a hand-held circular saw (I kid you not)...





Alice regained the ability to walk and sang two classics from the "Love it to Death" album to the wayward nurse, "Is It My Body" and "Be My Lover", while she proceeded to strip behind a screen...

With one of her stockings over his head, Alice made his way behind the screen and strangled her with the other...





And so, time for the ballad, "Only Women Bleed", sung to the lifeless girl...



For this latest misdemeanour, Alice had to be punished again and out rolled the gallows as his head was put through the noose to the strains of "I Never Cry"...

The nurse came back to life and kicked away the stand holding him up, leaving him dangling by the neck...



As Alice's lifeless body was wheeled offstage after this third killing, the band rocked out to an instrumental version of "The Black Widow"...



But he was back again, this time standing on top of a rather high set of stairs to sing "Vengeance is Mine" from his latest LP, "Along Came a Spider"...







"Devil's Food" followed, with rarely sung extra verses not featured on the original 1975 recording as Alice urged us to repent our evil ways...

But he tempted us during "Dirty Diamonds" by lobbing necklace after necklace of diamonds into the audience...



...and distributing dollar bills to the front rows from the end of his sword to the classic "Billion Dollar Babies"...



Of course, he just couldn't help himself and ended the song by decapitating said baby...





...and displaying the severed head on the end of his sword...

Time for one last punishment then and, as "Killer" rang out around the hall, an Iron Maiden machine was brought onto the stage and he was locked inside...



The mad nurse returned, took a run at the machine and launched the spikes through the villain's body, sending another waterfall of blood into the front row...



The entire audience, your correspondent included, sang along to "I Love the Dead" as, once again, Alice's lifeless body was taken from the stage...

...only for him to return for the quick-fire finale of hit singles "No More Mr. Nice Guy" and "Under My Wheels", while sporting a T shirt full of bloody holes...



The evening had gone by in no time but there was time for just one more song as the band returned to the stage for a reprise of "School's Out", featuring Alice tripping the light fantastic in shiny silver top hat, tails and cane...







What a showman, what a show...







Setlist:
School's Out
Department of Youth
Eighteen
Wicked Young Man
Ballad of Dwight Fry
Go To Hell
Guilty
Welcome To My Nightmare
Cold Ethyl
Poison
The Awakening
From The Inside
Nurse Rozetta
Is It My Body
Be My Lover
Only Women Bleed
I Never Cry
The Black Widow
Vengeance Is Mine
Devil's Food
Dirty Diamonds
Billion Dollar Babies
Killer
I Love The Dead
No More Mr. Nice Guy
Under My Wheels
Schools Out