Friday, November 30, 2012

Isolation ended by mystery reconfiguration...

Playlist
Big F Car - Souvenirs of Pop
Paul Desmond - First Place Again
Bob Dylan - The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan
Bryan Ferry - These Foolish Things
Ryan Adams - Rock'n'Roll

A frosty morning...



Another day of much walking...

This new view of the cathedral on the way into town...


After making the reconnaissance trip to Fopp yesterday, today it was time to make the purchases...

Unfortunately, later on I realised two errors on my bill...

It turned out I hadn't actually purchased enough to warrant them having honoured their £5 off when you spend £50 offer - it only looked that way because the young man behind the counter had scanned two of my book purchases twice...

So a second walk to Fopp ensued, carrying back everything I'd bought earlier...

I explained matters, bought a few more things to get up over the £50 mark and it all worked out in the end...

So all family presents other than those for Anne and my mum now purchased and ready for wrapping...

I am early this year...

A very long walk from Fopp to Wester Coates to take the bus and, for the second day running, total walk was over 7 miles...

Back home for another excellent "Terminator : The Sarah Connor Chronicles" followed by a purchase for myself today, a Paul Desmond two in one set of albums from 1957 and 1959 - tasty - including one which had impressed Anne and I a couple of weeks back at The Bakehouse after our portrait gallery visit...

Once Anne returned from Friday Zumba with Lynn, we found the internet was down - so some mucking about trying to reconfigure the system - to no avail...

"Have I Got News For You" accompanied by a superb paella from Annie's fair culinary hand, then back to the PC - don't really know what I did but around 11 the net was once more obtainable...

Funny how isolated you feel when you know you can't just log into the world wide web...

Some tasty Ryan Adams ended what should have been a night spent working on the recordings made this week but spent instead being sidetracked by the net problem...

Not to worry...

It's not even December and Xmas is under control...

November away...


 Highlight of the Day : Xmas shopping / return of the net...

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Smurfs are blue...

Playlist
Big F Car - Souvenirs of Pop

Soundtracked again by the proposed sets for the end of the year covers gig...

A frosty morning...


To Fopp at lunchtime to suss out presents for the extended family - even down to the boyfriends of step-nieces...

I love Xmas...

In the evening back along Princes Street with chums Raymond, Tracey and Alan, during which walk we were entertained by a fireworks display to mark the switching on of Edinburgh's Xmas lights and the opening of the Xmas Fair...



We were joined at the Balmoral Hotel by further chums Gary and Colin to take part in a quiz run by a South African bank with which Crispycat has some investments...

Good views of the city...



A very entertaining evening during which your correspondent excelled in a solo fingers on the buzzers round, quashing all opponents with answers involving Smurfs, Cub Scouts, MI5 and Sigmund Freud...



Indeed our team won the event by just one point - just as well I knew that Paul McCartney is the only unbearded Beatle on the cover of Abbey Road...

A team effort all round though - for instance I would never have known Gavin Hastings once played American Football, Alex Ferguson managed St Mirren or have recognised the theme tune from "Crocodile Dundee"...

A reminder on the way out that Xmas is coming...



A long walk to Wester Coates carrying alchohol based winnings and other goodies was rewarded by both the number 26 and the airport bus whizzing past as I was around 30 seconds away from the bus stop...

Luckily, just as this happened, Annie, on her way back from seeing "Skyfall" in Dunfermline with chum Michelle, called to see if I needed a lift home...

Indeed I did...

We ended a late night with tivo'd "Fresh Meat" and "Big Bang Theory"

A good day...

Highlight of the day : Buzzing the buzzer...

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The moon and Mars...

Playlist
Big F Car - Souvenirs of Pop

A frosty morning...


Bright and sunny by the time I took a walk through Princes St Gardens at lunchtime...


...spotting this entertaining wee fellow...


...beneath the castle...


In the evening, with Anne off to Tynecastle to see Hearts thrashed 4-0 by the supported-by-flare-wielding-knuckledraggers, Celtic - I walked over to Keith's under a bright moon...


...accompanied in this pic by the Planet Mars, just to its right...



...to meet up and concentrate on arrangements on various songs...

Another well spent and extremely enjoyable four hours...

Thankfully, a lift home from Jamie...

Highlight of the Day : Musicking...

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Robots and music...

Playlist
Godspeed You! Black Emperor - 'Allelujah! Don't Bend, Ascend
The Bad Plus - Made Possible
Big F car - Souvenirs of Pop

Post another excellent episode of "Terminator : The Sarah Connor Chronicles", the majority of the day was spent editing and tweaking the rehearsal recordings from last night...

Meg the Black Cat helped out...


...as only she can...

Highlight of the Day : Musicking without playing...

Monday, November 26, 2012

Learn, then play...

Playlist
Big F Car - Covers

With tonight's rehearsal in mind, the recordings from last week soundtracked the day...

Down to Keith's for 7:30...

Between then and around 11:40, with Keith due to rise at 4;£0 tomorrow, we managed to work through all 45 songs on our revamped setlists...

A few of the songs from our last outing have been dropped and almost twenty new ones are being learned...

Almost all were recorded tonight with the exception of four or five, where the tape ran out...

Only one song was deemed unworthy of inclusion...

Here are the guys not in action...





My popularity was not high upon arriving home after midnight having forgotten my house keys...

I had to phone Anne from outside the back door, waking her up...

The exec Producer questioned why we need to rehearse for so long and so often...

Sadly we need to learn how to play the songs before we play them...

Highlight of the Day : Rehearsing...

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Partial memory loss...

Playlist
Various - Righteousness
Various - Sharp Shades and Fingersnaps
Various - 'Round Midnight
James Blood Ulmer - Music Speaks Louder Than Words
Frith - Eleventh Hour
AGF & Craig Armstrong - Orlando Soundtrack
Bi Kyo Ran - Live Vol 4 King Crimson Covers
Schlammpeitziger - Collected Simplesongs of my Temporary Past


Well now, it's next Saturday as I write this and I don't remember much about what I did today...

However, given that I only managed a couple of miles on the walking front and I know I walked down to Anne's mum's house for the family tea, while Anne drove, I suspect I spent much of the day at the PC ripping and listening to yesterday's purchases...

I remember too we watched episodes 3 and 4 of "The Killing III"...

At Anne's mum's niece Kitty was her usual mischievous self... 


...as was her brother Olly...


Their dad, brother-in-law Bobby's musical taste has recently come more into my kind of orbit in many respects and so I will be selecting items from my collection which might pique his interest... 


Whikle we are both "in to" Godspeed You! Black Emperor, I don't think we will ever agree on The Pogues or Asia...

Tonight he advised there is a possibility he and a couple of chums may well attend the end of the year gig at the Kilted Pig...

Highlight of the Day : The walk to Anne's mum's house...

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Railtime...

Playlist
Various - Super 70's Rock
Various - Righteousness
Various - Sharp Shades and Fingersnaps
Various - 'Round Midnight
James Blood Ulmer - Music Speaks Louder Than Words
Frith - Eleventh Hour
AGF & Craig Armstrong - Orlando Soundtrack
Bi Kyo Ran - Live Vol 4 King Crimson Covers
Schlammpeitziger - Collected Simplesongs of my Temporary Past

More work on the setlists and lyric/chord sheets and e-mailing covers colleagues first thing...

Then, soundtracked by the likes of Queen, Free, Mott the Hoople and erm, Lynyrd Skynyrd, off to the podiatrist...

Chuffed that recent weightloss was noted - easier for Helen as she only sees me once every eight weeks or so...

Also noted I forgot that yesterday was the 7th anniversary of the big ankle break - starting to recede perhaps at last...

Back home for breakfast then some rehearsing of the covers I will be singing...

Over to Loanhead to drive mum, in her car, continuing with the 70's soundtrack, many of the artists on which mum recognised (Roxy, Reed, Cockney Rebel), to Paisley for a visit to schoolchum Pat who has just sold her big old house and moved to a groovy flat in the centre of town...


...which looks onto the draughty old abbey...


A chat and lunch then into Glasgow for Anne and I on the train, my first visit to Gilmour St Station since I was a lad of around 6 going down the coast on holiday...







Ten minutes and we were at Central Station...

To Fopp, where three Blue Note compilations comprising seven discs, were obtained for just nine quid, along with Ingmar Bergman's classic, "The Seventh Seal", which will no doubt languish on a shelf unwatched for a few years...

An uneventful visit to Missing then to the Tron and, on the recommendation of Count Brodski, I sought out a new to me shop, Monorail...

Good discoveries in their second hand section - an Ulmer disc for £5 going on Amazon for around £40, a 2CD set of string quartet based Fred Frith music, from Craig Armstrong & AGF the soundtrack from the play "Orlando", the premiere of which we attended back in 2010, a King Crimson covers album by a Japanese trio recorded live in 1977 and a collection by hitherto unknown krautrock revivalist Schlammpeitziger from Cologne...

By the time I emerged, it was getting dark...




A look around some art related places in the vicinity...





...before meeting up with Anne and heading to "Once Upon a Tart" for coffee and cake...



...and looking at my new CDs...


...while Anne relayed footie scores - 0-0 for Hearts against nearby Motherwell, another win for Queens, 2-0 against Ayr and, surprisingly, a defeat at home for Celtic at the hands of Inverness...

Back to the train and to Pat's...





...for more chat and a light tea before heading home...

After the car swap, back to ours for ripping, listening and, finally, tonight's "Merlin"...

A busy day...

Highlight of the Day : A new record shop...

Friday, November 23, 2012

Another previously unknown difference...

Playlist
Various - Proposed Covers Setlists
Glenn Gould - Bach Harpsichord and Viol da Gamba Sonatas
Marillion - Sounds That Can't Be Made
The Move - Message From the Country
Loudon Wainwright III - Album III
Loudon Wainwright III - Older Than My Old Man Now

This morning, to my mum's to take her to "The Pain Clinic"...

Not some kind of torture chamber, rather a consultation as to how the huge amount of pain she suffers every day, despite already being on various different drugs, including morphine, might be further alleviated...

A good visit...

A nice lunch thereafter at The Steading by the ski slope, one of mum's favourite haunts...

Back home, working on the covers set, choosing songs and ordering proposed setlists to suggest to my colleagues...

Revamping many of the songsheets re changes made to keys etc to better allow reasonable singing to take place...

A pile of paper printed off...


Suggested setlists and rehearsal dates mailed to said chums for comeback - we play again on Monday...

In the evening, whilst Anne watched TV, I surfed and, having stated yesterday that there is not much on the net re our record shops which we ran from 1991 till 1998, I was delighted to find this article by Dave Bidini of Rheostatics in the Canadian National Post mentioning a day which seems to have had an effect on both our lives...

Dave came in to Reptile Records in St Mary's Street, to promote the band's gigs at the University on the Edinburgh Fringe and the new Rheostatics album "Introducing Happiness", giving me a free copy...


This is a quite brilliant album and can be picked up quite cheaply around the net - hugely recommended...

Anyway, Mr Bidini bought a few tapes...

Now, I discovered Rheostatics that day and have been a total fan ever since...

In turn, although I never knew it till today, 18 years later, Dave discovered both The Move and Loudon Wainwright III via our shop...

Yowsa!

Downloaded the album he reviewed in his article, as well as one from 1972, a big favourite of chum Rory Macrae back then - although Rory was unable to persuade me and the Forsyth twins to forgo T Rex and Chicory Tip for the Incredible String Band...

Still couldn't even now, although I do thank Rod for turning me on to Roy Harper...

Highlight of the Day : Discovering another previously unknown difference...

Thursday, November 22, 2012

A previously unknown difference...

Playlist
Various - 75 Original American Rock'n'Roll Anthems
OMD - Megamix
Marillion - Sounds That Can't Be Made

This morning, walked down Crispycat Hill to Tesco for exercise and to get some shopping..

Not too much to get but, given I was on foot, I took my trusty small rucksack...

With everything purchased...


...I managed to get it all in the sack except one box of catfood and the bread...

I walked up the road in the rain and, back home, put the sack on the scales - 24lbs - this is only 5lbs more than the weight I have lost over the last few months...

To be able to pick it up and feel what I was carrying around without really being aware of it, was a good affirming occurrence and the challenge goes on...

Post breakfast, we watched the excellent French comedy, "Hors de Prix" (Priceless) - which is very muchly recommended by me and by the Exec Producer... 


I was particularly taken by the jaunty jazzy main theme, "Generique" by one Camille Bazbaz (great name)...

However, the soundtrack seems quite rare, copies on Amazon going for around £100 - so the search is on...

In the afternoon  listening to all 75 tracks on a 3CD set of rock'n'roll classics purchased at Tesco for just three of your English pounds...

Favourite track? "To Know Him is to Love Him" by The Teddy Bears - of which I am also partial to the Bay City Rollers' 1974 cover, a staple at teenage discos at the time I recall...

Also on TV this afternoon, a charming documentary, "Sound It Out", about the record shop of the same name, last remaining one on Tees-side...

Took us back to our days behind the counter at Reptile Records - about which there is precious little on t'internet...

In the evening, for no particular reason, some champagne... 


...before walking down to the Zoo and visiting Cool Jade, where, coincidentally, Anne was this very night one year ago while suffered the onset of my achilles problem...

Very tasty food indeed...


...partially walked off by the trek back up Crispycat Hill...

Another good day...

Highlight of the Day : A previously unknown difference...