Monday, February 28, 2011

If cats had opposable thumbs...

Playlist
Tangerine Dream - Ricochet
Tangerine Dream - Encore
Tangerine Dream - Logos
Tangerine Dream - The Seven Letters From Tibet
Tangerine Dream - Starbound
Tangerine Dream - Silver Siren
Tangerine Dream - Transsiberia

Another month away...



A Spring day...



Soundtracked, initially, by classic live LPs from "the Tangs"...

Was surprised by the second album in the "Encore" set - this must be the first time I've listened to it properly for a long time but it's really got some off the wall stuff on there and is every bit as good as the glorious trio of "Phaedra", "Rubicon" and "Ricochet"...

To FOPP at lunchtime to have a CD replaced due to not realising I had it already - and so Mingus' "Blues and Roots" was replaced with Miles Davis' last LP, "Dingo" - although I've not heard it yet due to another new acquisition...

On the way home, a new camera was purchased - a Nikon S3000 - and I'm getting to grips with it...

It replaces the trusty but goosed Samsung - whose veiwscreen now permanently shows this view...



I think this must be the fifth or sixth compact camera used to document matters here over the last 6 years (happy birthday coming up in 5 days time)...

Back home and the long awaited 10CD Box of late period Tangerine Dream had arrived from Amazon...

With Anne off to keep fit with Lynn, I commenced a marathon listening session and must say I was pleasantly surprised by the distinct lack of expected cheesy pish...

Having now listened to five of the ten discs, I am enjoying what I'm hearing (erm, perhaps apart from the singing on the "Dante" based disc - as with jazz, there is no place for singing on Tangerine Dream music)...

I cooked dinner - the standard chorizo based pasta...



Tasty...

We watched a Tivo'd "Glee" - probably the best episode of the series so far - it actually progressed some storylines...

Capital Models' guitarist, Gus Bolton, uploaded a video clip of Friday's session to Youtube - "Dice With Death"...



...which I enjoyed...

Highlight of the day though, was the ad launched tonight for Cravendale's "filtered" milk (whatever that means) - featuring a man imagining what might happen if cats managed to evolve to the point where they had opposable thumbs...

Meg the Black Cat makes an appearance...



..but has obviously been worn out by the intensive filming schedule...



Late on, the kitchen lights went out - whilst teetering on a small ladder, I carefully removed the glass fitting and replaced the bulb ...

Then, in what seemed like slow motion, as I tried to replace the covering, I saw it slip from my hands and fall past Anne to the floor and smash into smithereens...

Hmm, so that's a wee project for the weekend...

Lights out - almost literally...

Highlight of the Day : Cravendale Cats advert...

Sunday, February 27, 2011

The blind photographer...

Playlist
Various – Natural Progressions
Various – Bleeker Street
Neu! - Neu! 86
Neu! – Neu! 4
Ultravox – Philadelphia 1979
Kraftwerk - Radio Bremen 1971
Donald Byrd - Thank You for FUML (Funking Up My Life)
Depeche Mode - Touring the Universe
Tangerine Dream - Live 1968-1975
Tangerine Dream - Ricochet
Tangerine Dream - Encore
Tangerine Dream - Logos

Up around eight and spent an hour tidying up and doing the dishes from last night whilst enjoying some prog rock from 1975...



Once Anne surfaced, we breakfasted at home...

She was off over to Fife today to watch Motherwell v Celtic (2-0) and Arsenal v Birmingham (1-2) in the Carling Cup Final with chums Chris-with-a-ch, Ferret, Fonz and Vicky...

Bad day at Black Rock for Celtic and Arsenal loving Chris...

Meanwhile, I was left to my own devices and spent much of the time putting more CDs into plastic sleeves, making it to the end of the Rock & Pop A-Z...

New discs, courtesy Count Brodski, soundtracked part of this exercise...

Lunch, however, was soundtracked by what can only be described as surely the worst Donald Byrd album ever released? "Thank You For...FUML" - a travesty...

Around 6 the call came to drive to Fife and pick Anne up and, an hour and a half or so later, we were back home tucking into a tasty curry...

A call from sister Pam (doing well and still enjoying being at home) prefaced an evening of TV - with Tivo'd "TV Burp" and "Law & Order" prior to the sixth of eight episodes of BBC1's sci-fi series "Outcasts", which continues to entertain, although the guy from "Ugly Betty" is annoying in the extreme...

Something happened to my camera at some point today - the vewscreen is goosed but it still takes pics - I just can't see the subjects...

Here are the flowers Penny and Alan brought yesterday, taken blind...



Not to worry, to bed with Tangerine Dream in the cans - I recall hearing only the first few minutes of the first track...

Highlight of the Day :  Hearing Pam sounding so upbeat and happy...

Saturday, February 26, 2011

He's a liquid...

Playlist
Joe Zawinul – Money in the Pocket
Capital Models – 2011 (Set 4)
Charles Mingus – Changes One
Carole King – Tapestry
DJ Hell – Munich Machine
Viotti – Violin Concerto 23/Sinfinie Concertanti
Peter Gabriel - Ovo
Various – Natural Progressions
Various – Alice Cooper Desert Island Discs
Sumner McKane – Hunting for Salamanders
Amy Millan – Masters of the Burial
Various – Milano Jukeboxes 2007-2010

Up at the ungodly hour of 4:50 to work on last night’s recordings...

Meg the Black Cat had found a new perch (ok with my help)...



By eight thirty, I was able to e-mail my colleagues to advise them the work was completed and the tracks were up both here (see yesterday) and on the Capital Models site...

Out with Anne at 10 to Patisserie Florentin...





...for a tasty breakfast - then to the Fishmonger for provisions for tonight’s visit from Count Brodski and Penny...

While Anne chose choice fillets of Sea Bass, I popped into the Oxfam Muisc Shop and bought a disc I’d seen a few weeks ago...

I had an idea it might be by DJ Hell and, on having checked a couple of weeks ago, this was confirmed...

It was still there and, with £3.99 falling into Oxfam’s deserving coffers, the disc was carried off into the bright morning sunshine...





Back home, Meg the Black (and Brown) Cat enjoyed the self same sunshine in the back garden...



...while I moved the pile of discs to be worked on, out of general site...



...and tidied up the back room and continued with the "putting CDs into plastic sleeves" project...

 

The postie brought two recent purchases from e-bay, Peter Gabriel and Viotti, both of which were listened to and enjoyed while I “worked” (still no sign of the Tangerine Dream box yet though)...

Meanwhile Anne updated me on the scores - Queens thrashed 3-1 at home to Dr Prog's Dunfermline Athletic - the goals including a scorcher of a shot by Queens' own Bob Harris - unfortunately into his own net..
Earlier Hearts had drwn nil-nil away at Aberdeen...

Late on, I listened to Alice Cooper’s Desert Island Discs and created a CD containing said broadcast, prefaced with full length versions of each of the Coop's chosen tracks - a nice wee compilation featuring The Yardbirds, The Beach Boys, The Who, Laura Nyro, King Crimson, Jane’s Addiction, The Paul Butterfield Blues Band and Bob Dylan...

Meanwhile Anne had prepped the house for Alan and Penny’s arrival...



...and so I drove to Castle Brodski to pick them up and bring them back...

Brodders gifted me some new music from exclamation marked bands Neu! and (the original) Ultravox! to add to the three discs already acquired today...

Much beer, wine, gin and whisky was consumed over the course of the evening and Anne did her Masterchef bit, providing us with very tasty sustenance...



We got progressively more drunk as the evening wore on...

 

...until, eventually, a taxi was summoned around 2 am and we waved our guests off into the night...

A good day...

Highlight of the Day : An evening spent with chums...

Friday, February 25, 2011

Men in grey cardigans pt 2...

Playlist
Capital Models - 18/2/11 Set 2
Miles Davis Quartet - 1963-1968
Joe Zawinul - The Rise and Fall of the Third Stream

To FOPP at lunchtime and an offer on Atlantic jazz...

As you know I cannot resist these "get-'em-while-you-can" offers from my favourite music emporium and so nine of these CDs were purchased - three each by Keith Jarrett and Charles Mingus plus discs by Roland Kirk, Miles Davis and Donald Byrd...



Just for good measure and, again for just three of your English Pounds Sterling, Carole King's 1971 classic "Tapestry" was also partaken of...



Of course, I had to have a look upstairs and a "two LPs on one CD" set by Joe Zawinul was the final purchase, as a further three squid left the wallet of your correspondent...



A call from sister Pam mid afternoon found her in great spirits and reporting not having felt this good since the whole ordeal began...

She is getting out for walks and ensuring a healthy eating regime...

Chums have reported make up being applied and hair being spiked and 50th birthday celebrations in a couple of years time being planned - some quite excellent positivity...

No time to listen to my new CDs tonight (apart from Zawinul in the cans as I hit the sack) as it was the second of the two planned sessions by my old band, Capital Models...

This week we were joined by original drummer Jim Park to form a quintet which, prior to tonight, had not played together...


l-r : CBQ, Keith, Gus, Jamie, Jim

Jim brought along a fine assortment of percussion and he and his replacement back in 1980, Mr Keith Apter, provided both drumming and percussioning, as we played through 15 songs adding one to the 14 we managed last week...







Jamie, bassist and instigator of this reunion scenario, had insisted I took along the trusty 31 year old Yamaha CS5 synthesiser tonight, last used on the 2010 CBQ LP...

And so the first set, which lasted an exhausting 72 minutes, included some widdling and farting about on this old machine...

Sadly though, my efforts were of little value to the proceedings and it was soon abandoned...



It will not feature if we ever play live...

A break for coffee and a chat...

We talked about what we were doing and seemed to conclude that, although doing this was a blast, the likelihood of us ever playing live again was remote...

Guitarist Angus is the most reticent to take to the stage, having not performed live for 30 years and feeling no great inclination to do so again...

And we thought about all the hassle of doing a gig...

The bubble was kind of burst...

Nonetheless, we returned to the room and, like last week, the very enjoyable second run through was a huge improvement on the first - I've posted it up on the Capital Models site and you can also listen in on the player below...

There are of course a few bloopers throughout the set!



Post the clear up and with Gus off home to Bonnyrigg, the remaining quartet of singer, bassist and drumming duo retired to the Corstorphine Inn for a drink and chinwag...

While a gig, perhaps just one gig, is not entirely off the agenda, it will be a struggle I think to convince Gus it's worth doing...

And so no further rehearsal room bookings are in the diary but we may get back together in three weeks or so and see where we go from there...

Hell, we may even write some new songs...

Back home, I started the task of transferring tonight's recordings to the hard drive, learning from last week by just leaving it running, doing nothing else on the PC and just enjoying some TV with Annie and Meg the Black Cat...

Another good day...

Highlight of the Day : Playing with the boys again...

Thursday, February 24, 2011

We are the robots...

Playlist
Easy Star All Stars - Dub Side of the Moon
Various - Fifth Jukebox on Shuffleplay
Gentle Giant - memories of old Days
Brian Eno - My Squelchy Life
Neil Young - Prairie Wind

Up at 6:30 and to the Royal Mail depot to pick up a package which they were unable to deliver yesterday...

At first I thought it might be the Tangerine Dream Cheesy Pish Box Set but it turned out to be the fifth Creative Jukebox...

The seller had not removed their music from it and so a goodly number of albums entered the virtual collection...

A nice evening tonight...



...as I went in search of a suitable card for nephew Andy's 25th birthday tomorrow - this time next year he will be half my age...

I decided on a robot...



..then made my way to the bus...







Back home, a Chinese takeaway accompanied a Tivo'd "Law and Order", before I returned to the great "putting illegal CDs into plastic sleeves" project...

A dent has appeared....



..and some small amount of progress is being made...



Did not speak to sister Pam today but she knows she can call me anytime...

However, late doors, pics taken by chum Suzanne last night, just before they left the Royal Free, arrived in the inbox...

A nice improvement in the 29 days since I left her sleeping...



Ended the day transferring the newly acquired music from the fifth jukebox to one of the external hard drives...

Highlight of the Day : Free music...

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Upside down...

Playlist
Tangerine Dream – 1970-1983
Joe Henderson – Black is the Colour
Joe Henderson – Black Miracle
Joe Henderson – Black Narcissus
Allan Holdsworth – Sixteen Men of Tain
Trans Siberian Orchestra – Night Castle
Anathema – We’re Here Because We’re Here
Dave Brubeck Quartet – Time Out
Dave Brubeck Quartet - Countdown : Time In Outer Space
Dave Brubeck Quartet – Time Further Out
Joe Henderson – Inner Urge
Joe Henderson - Page One

Fell asleep to the sounds of Tangerine Dream early this morning but was unable to listen again first thing due to run down batteries in the old CD walkman...

A wet day initially...

Some arty pics thereof...





Joe Henderson soundtracked the trip into town and part of the trip home too...

Brilliant music...

Prog rock Willie popped me another two burns today – just as I am removing them from my collection...

The god-awful Trans Siberian Orchestra – a travesty that this gets anywhere near being defined as "progressive metal"...

Let's just say Dream Theater it ain't...

And disappointing to see ex-Alice Cooper guitarist Al Pitrelli to the fore...

Maybe it’s just the hundreds of singers on the two disc set but it sounds like a bad West End musical (if there can be such a thing as a good West End musical)...

Anathema were much better...

Couldn’t face another night of transferring discs from jewel cases (what am I going to do with all those empty jewel cases?) to plastic sleeves...

I didn’t make much of a dent in the pile last night...



Ripped the new Dave Brubeck discs to the hard drive and enjoyed snatches from some of them before returning to Mr Henderson’s Blue Note classics...

Sister Pam finally arrived back at her home around 6:30 tonight after 43 days in the Royal Free Hospital...

A long call with her – things are undoubtedly tough for my wee sis’ but she is determined and strong...

Now she has a wee break of ten days or so before the next part of her treatment begins – and a few days after that, Anne and I will spend a long weekend with her in Hemel...

Looking forward to that...

Highlight of the Day : Pam home at last...

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Succumbing to stuff...

Playlist
The Bad Plus – Covers
Jackie McLean – A Fickle Sonance
Jackie McLean – Destination Out!
Jackie McLean – One Step Beyond
Tangerine Dream – Ultima Thule
Asia – Aura

A bright morning...



A morning view not displayed that often before, as far as I can recall..

I have been on e-bay recently for the first time in a while and I have succumbed to “stuff”...

A new jukebox (my 5th) is on its way, the cheapest thus far at "just“ £22 for 30GBs - a re-organisation of my music is beckoning...

A 10CD box set of late period Tangerine Dream which is likely to be full of cheesy pish is also on its way...

And, today, two further packages are being readied – one containing a disc of violin sonatas by Italian contemporary of Mr Mozart, Mr Viotti (never heard of him before today) and one containing Peter Gabriel’s “Ovo” – of which I have a “burn” in the big pile awaiting switch into plastic sleeves...

This evening this task started - here is a demonstration of the space saved by the first 56 albums (A-C in the “rock & pop” category)...



On TV, A new series, “Silk”, impressed and was followed by a good episode of “CSI” on the Tivo box...

Meanwhile Queens came from behind to lead bottom of the league Stirling Albion 2-1 at home, only to lose a goal with two minutes to go...

Finally, what news of sister Pam?

Well, she received confirmation tonight that she will be discharged tomorrow...

Her antibiotics treatment is complete and the neurosurgery team are happy with her condition...

She had a fresh MRI scan carried out this morning re her upcoming radiotherapy, along with a new mask re the treatment...

A new treatment plan has also been carried out and Pam starts concurrent Radiotherapy and Chemotherapy on Monday 7 March at 1pm - she has opted for afternoon sessions...

Anne and I will visit soon...

So, from tomorrow night, Pam will be back in her own home at last...

A big thank you to everyone who has sent their best wishes over the last three months, she needs our support too over the months to come...

Highlight of the Day : Pam’s release confirmed...

Monday, February 21, 2011

Weeding out the burns...

Playlist
Capital Models – The Music Box 18/2/11 (Set 2)
Brian Eno – The Lovely Bones OST
Madredeus & A Banda Cosmica – Castelos Na Areia
Miles Davis & John Coltrane – Complete Recordings
Dave Brubeck Quartet - Essential
Dave Brubeck Quartet – Time Out
Dave Brubeck Quartet - Countdown : Time In Outer Space
Dave Brubeck Quartet – Time Further Out
Dave Brubeck Quartet – Time Changes
Dave Brubeck Quartet – Timer In

Post number 2,251...

Continued work on the new CD storage reduction project first thing before a trip to the docs, where I was advised I have a viral, rather than a bacterial, infection and so nothing can be done, it must just run its course and should be gone in around another week...

In FOPP at lunchtime a wee bargain – a five CD box of Dave Brubeck for £5 - I had one of the albums already and a “burn” of another but three for £5 was still a bargain...

Back home, they soundtracked an evening of reorganising my CD collection – removing all “burns” and integrating purchases made over the last year or so...

Still not finished but here are the CDs from my collection which are illegal copies and which I will now move from jewel case to plastic sleeves to save room...



Around 750 of 6,000 or so...

Mind you, I have been burning my own CDs since 1998...

Elsewhere, “Outcasts” continued and was better than last week – the story is developing nicely...

Good news too from sister Pam – a discharge from the Royal Free is finally in sight – she is due tomorrow to have a scan carried out and new mask made and plan determined for her radiotherapy and chemotherapy...

Her six week stay in hospital is nearly over - the next stage of her fight is about to begin and we are all remaining super-positive re the outcome...

Her bravery is astounding...

Highlight of the Day : Pam nearly home...

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Making space...

Playlist
Various – Natural Progression Box Set
Capital Models – The Music Box 18/2/11 (Sets 1 & 2)
Cloudland Blue Quartet – Splinterheart
65daysofstatic – We Were Exploding Anyway
65daysofstatic – Fall of Math
Various – Sid Smith’s Podcast from the Yellow Room XXXVII
Incredible String Band – 5,000 Spirits or The Layers of the Onion
Thomas Dinger – Fur Mich
Cloudland Blue Quartet – Over the Blue and Gold
Jon Hassell – Dream Theory in Malaya
DAF – DAF
Various – Beatnik Jazz Anthology
FFWD- FFWD
Steve Howe – Portraits of Bob Dylan
Argent - Argent
Argent - Ring of Hands
Argent - All together Now
Argent - In Deep
Argent - Nexus

Up at 7:40, listening to prog, writing this, listening to Friday night, listening to my last solo LP, waiting for Anne to surface...

Bummed around doing nothing of any import...

Lovely rye bread for both breakfast and lunch...

Tried to sing the 10 or so Capital Models tunes not covered on Friday night – not great...

Still feeling under the weather – the doc’s surgery beckons tomorrow as I just cannot shake this...

While Anne worked in the garden, I lazed about listening to an old LP...



To Anne’s mum’s for tea – including this exciting raspberry pavlova...



I was called upon to explain the origins of the use of the mellotron in rock music and the fact that Haagen Dasz is a made up name...

Back home started a project to free up some space in my CD storage – to remove all burned CDs from the collection with a view to replacing their jewel cases with plastic sleeves...

They made quite a pile...


“Match of the Day 2” rounded off the weekend as usual...

To bed with Argent in the cans...

Highlight of the Day : Starting a new project...

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Not so silent, sadly

Playlist
Capital Models – The Music Box 18/2/11 (Sets 1 & 2)
Various – The Beatnik Jazz Anthology
Japan – Quiet Life
Brian Eno – The Lovely Bones OST
Fran├žoise Hardy – The Best of Fran├žoise Hardy
Neu! – Neu! 75
Various – Natural Progression Box Set

Up at 6:30 and to the PC to transfer last night’s recordings to the hard drive...

Of course being rather impatient, I was working on other stuff too – with the result that, when I listened back later, the transfer was riddled with glitches...

A quick dash to the library with an initial burn in the car – not too bad (notwithstanding the glitches – which consigned the disc to the bin)...

Back to work on my return...

A call to sister Pam – almost at the end of this latest phase of her ordeal and should be released from the Royal Free at some point this coming week...

Sounded good and in high spirits – her internet link to the outside world has buoyed somewhat...

Some baking with Anne – blueberry muffins for this afternoon’s visit from Brodski and Penny...



To Anne’s mum’s with a new TV for her kitchen - Meg the Black Cat remained behind to guard the newly baked muffins...



Unfortunately, we couldn’t get a strong enough signal via a portable aerial so had to abandon the project...

Anne brought me home and then set off to Tynecastle to see Hearts beat Dundee Utd 2-1, the victory being sealed with a last-action-of-the-game penalty save...

Meanwhile Queens tanked Morton 4-0 in Greenock...

Back at Crispycat Towers, I re-transferred all the recordings from last night to the hard drive and created two CDs, one of each set, uploaded the second set and added the "album" to players on this and the Capital Models blog...

Alan and Penny arrived around five, bearing gifts of lovely rye bread and red wine and we enjoyed coffee and cakes just as Anne arrived back from the football...

At six, it was into the Cloudland Blue Mobile and we headed to Glasgow for tonight’s screening at The Arches of “Silent Running” with its soundtrack re-scored live by Manchester favourites, 65daysofstatic...



A quick intake of sustenance at nearby “Chopstix” prefaced the gig/film...



Brodski took advantage of the offers at the merchadise stall...



“Silent Running” is one my fave sci fi films and the band did it proud – I’d like to hear their soundtrack on CD...



Their timing was perfect and the dialogue was entirely audible apart from a couple of short scenes...





The screen though, really wasn’t big enough – I’d have preferred to have seen it in a cinema with the band in “the pit” – just to get fully surrounded with the spectacle...

And, of course, the usual bugbears of cinema/gig audiences these days were to the fore – continual coming and going to the bar and the toilets and chatting and laughing – just what is wrong with these people?

The journey back to Edinburgh was soundtracked by Neu!’s recently re-acquired classic “Neu! 75” – top stuff...

Dropped Alan and Penny back at Castle Brodski...



Before tonight’s Tivo’d “Harry Hill’s TV Burp” brought a good day to an end...

Highlight of the Day : A trip to Glasgow with the Brodskis...