Thursday, 21 June 2018

Solstice Song

The sky is blue, there's not a cloud up there, and this morning when I went into the shower I was hit by the heat of the sun before I switched the shower on. IT's also the Summer Solstice so it's the longest day of the year and looking outside it looks like we are going to have a gorgeous and long day with many hours of daylight.

There are lots of things happening and am tempted to a couple of events tonight which are in the town centre and really with the fact it's th elongest day I should take advantage of the extra daylight that we have, although I also have Los Coyotemen at The Globe tomorrow night so this does look like being quite a busy week, but all the more enjoyable for it.

Weather is still very warm, but that is a plus, cold weather is fine as long as you can find somewhere and some method to actually warm yourself up.

I am combing my memories to think of an appropriate musical piece to go with this post, maybe something druidic and arcane, maybe some Julian Cope or Incredible String Band. "Painted Chariot" is leaping at me though I have already used it for my  #LikeNoOther series here. I'd also forgotten that Julian Cope appeared in my second ever post here which was a short overview of my exposure to Krautrock because Julian had produced a book with the same title on the subject.

In the end I've gone for "Parlipap" by Spirits of The Sacred Grove, so enjoy The SUmmer Solstice.

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Enjoy The Melodic Sunshine With Numbers #TenAlbumsInTenDays #3 - #1

I've been listening to a few albums recently and tonight I put "Enjoy The Melodic Sunshine" by The Cosmic Rough Riders on the player. I've written about this album before and while it is not super consistent it does contain some excellent gems of songs. If you buy the super deluxe download you get forty songs for less than eight pounds which is great value for your money.

From the opening pastoral "Brothers Gather Round" which may not have been out of place in "The Wicker Man" apart from it's not as unnerving before hitting you with the beautiful but disturbing "This Gun Isn't Loaded" before returning to the soporific mood with the excellent "Glastonbury Revisited".

The album continues in this vein hitting highs with "Revolution(In The Summertime?)" but it's that opening triumvirate of songs that really nails it for me. I've also been nomintedfor another #TenAlbumsInTenDays by my friend Asher so this will be the first one on this list. I'm going to have to be careful not to repeat my album or people nominations.

Anyway, I am still doing the 340K steps a month to ensure a million steps every quarter but was wonderfingwhy as I got towards the end of the month I could hit my monthly target witout hitting my daily target of say 11.5K a day. It's simply that I often surpas the daily requirement and thhe surplus build up of steps means I have to do less to maintain the daily average. Hardly a perfect explanation but I have ten more days walking, 87K steps to hit 340K for the month, so 8.7K a day will do it. Of course I will try to maintain my 11.5K a day so should end up with a healthy surplus at the end of the month.

So I will leave you with the excellent "Revolution(In The Summertime?)" before I hit the sack. Enjoy your Thursday tomorrow my friends.

Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Dreaming Again

Just woken foorma fairly intenses horror story dream and I can't remeber a thing about it, just some incoherent images that may or may not have been there. I obviously dealt with it fine as I am just about to get up, take drugs, shower and get to work, but part of me does want to remember what the dream was about. I'm reading Neil Gaiman's "American Gods" so maybe that's something to do with it, and watching England vs Tunisia  last night where you know the technology is there and supposedly being utilisedto ensure fair play and once again cheating and gamesmanship rules the day, although for a change didn't result in victory.

Anyway once again we have an absolutely beautiful day and that means a walk to work and listening to music. Recent albums have included the first three Jimi Hendrix albums and Bowie's "Blackstar", the eponymous opener I still find absolutely jaw dropping and that along with "Lazarus" would be a reason to have the album if the rest of it were blank, and it isn't. I'm currently listening to Bob Dylan's "Shelter From A Hard Rain" semi bootleg which I originally bought because it contains a duet with Joan Baez on Woody Guthrie's "Deportees (Plain Wreck At Los Gatos)" and the playing is a bit shambolic but in a good way and the song selection isbrilliant, so this does get a lot of plays.

Yesterday I met some friendly cattle on the walk and posted a little film on Instagram but it can be a little awkward when you are trying to film, photograph, walk and make sure that you have an escape route. Evidence here.

I'm looking forward to seeing Los Coyotemen this Friday at The Globe which means I am getting off my arse and actually getting out. A friend of mine posted on Facebook that he doesnt have enough hours in this week, I feel I don't have enough hours in my life but maybe that is because I'm nauturally lazy but actually want to do things.

My friend Sophia alerted me to the Charity single "The Fall Of Emperor Less" by Dave King so I've included it in the list below and there's furter info here, there's no full length Youtube video, so we will go with Bowie's "Blackstar".

Have a good one.

Sunday, 17 June 2018

Little Pockets Of Hope

It sort of brings me down that money is often the most important thing in people's lives often because of the way society has been allowed to evolve. It's still better than barter, although barter does involve actual goods and services.

In recent months I have lost friends, seen friends affected by Alzheimers and Depression, thought deeply about how people must be in such a dark place theythinkabout taking their own lives, to stand and think "I do this and everything ends, that's it", even thought of everyday situations thinking my god, if that happened I could be very hurt or worse.

I think of the five injections and twenty tablets a day I take to keep myself here, added to that contact lenses and lots of other little things and in the end thinking "doing these makes it possible for me to enjoy life, and to feel good."

Yesterday I went to the Mean Eyed Cat where they were selling Coffee and Cake to raise money for the Alzheimer's Society and when I shared my Instagram Post to Facebook it asked if I wanted to add a charity donation button to my post whis resulted in a number of donations from friends. Something actually useful from Social Media possibly instigated by the #Alzheimers Hashtag here . This was organised by friends doing things to help others, and it makes me so proud to have friends like that, they know who they are.

Earlier this week my friend Jon invited me to see Rahul Kohli a brilliant Indian Geordie comic but the bonus on this night was the very funny Turkish Geordie Louise Young, and also Gazza, Paul Gascoigne turned up as well. He had a great sparring session with Rahul, and Gazza has had some very bad things to cope with but it was great to see him on Tuesday.

Then I was in No 28 on Friday and saw someone at the bar, and thought "I'm sure that's Louise Young". I'm a devil for thinking I know people and it not being who I thought it was so often I don't say anything and then they wonder why I supposedly blanked them. Anyway I didn't get a chance to tell Louise how much I enjoyed her set on Tuesday so I went up, expecting it not to be her, but it was, and had a great chat with her and th eguy she was with, so that was another high point this week.

The thing is there are always ways to make things better, and if things are not good for you PLEASE ask for help, and people will help if they can , even if it's just supportive words.

So go out today, give some change to a homelss person, phone a friend, as it's Father's Day phone or talk to your dad, visit a neighbour, do something that  lifts you up , watch or ignore football, listen to some great music, make yourself feel better.

One other thing, the most important person in your life is YOU, because if you are not 100% you cannot be there for those that matter to you.

And this post gives me an excuse to share The Beatles' "Help" which I loved from the first time I heard it.

Friday, 15 June 2018

Does Playing Vinyl Increase Your Appreciation of Music?

I've probably written about this before, but was talking with my son-in-law Mark , and daughters Juliet and Kirsty yesterday at an early Father's Day pizza meal at the excellent Dat Bar and Mark and Kirsty were talking about the clarity they got from listening to certain records (the "Blade Runner" soundtrack was an example), hearing things they hadn't noticed before. This is on probably a near perfect set up.

My own set up is a GPO turntable with a Samsung Soundbar with subwoofer which I also use for DVD Audio which also can sound incredible. A particular incredible recording is KirngCrimson's "In The Court of The Crimson King" that sounds incredidle on DVD Audio through a DTS system.

But back to the vinyl premise.andI have witten about it before including a post about the evolution of Music Media here  and all of my vinyl posts are here. and there are a few.

When you play something on vinyl you don't tend to skip songs , especially on albums. This is why I preferred singles when I DJ'd as that meant you knew exactly where you were and didn't risk getting the end of an album track or missing the start of another one , although that did happen more than I'd like. This meant I did have a fair collection of rock and roll and also introduced people to a lot of "B" sides and it was remarkable how many pepleonly listened to the "A" sides often missing some absolute corkers, Bowie's "Queen Bitch" and "Holy Holy" spring to mine and The Rolling Stones "Let It Rock" and "Bitch" which backed "Brown Sugar".

These day I buy vinyl for the whole package and was surprised to see that Velvet Underground's eponymous debut had the "Peel Slowly and See"  yellow banana skin that was missing from by CD box of the same name.

While enjoying the often excellent artwork and covers, I put an album on and it always plays through to the end. It is also great to enjoy the beautiful picture discs with the mandala effect on Curved Air's "Air Conditioning" or the hypnotic Vertigo Swirl which I am still amazed at. It's like you are about to fall in to a three dimensional time tunnel.

Sometimes these albums contain books and incredible fold outs which often don't translate well into CD (Although I do have some excellent CD packages that are beautifully put together).

However a vinyl album seems lest disposable that digital media and makes you feel you have something. The size also gives designers space to work, and  the laser etchings and holograms are more amazing enhancements that couldn't be done on CD and I am still amazed that they have been done on vinyl.

For Father's Day I was given "Exile on Main Street" by The Stones and "Strange Days" by The Doors.

There will be no remote skipping when I listen to these albums and I will enjoy every minute. I thought I would treat you to Black Sabbath's "Paranoid" to show you the Vertigo Swirl.

Enjoy your Friday.

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Another 13

It's the 13th of June, this is the 1613th post, I've just passed page 13 while reading Neil Gaiman's "American Gods" so there's a lot of 13s occurring today. I'm off to Leeds for a course which could be "interesting".

Last night I saw Rahul Kohli at The Stand who describes himself as the "Newcastle Brown Male". My mateJon had recommended him so we went via The Mean Eyed Cat. Rahul started the show, the Paul Gascoigne showed (cue joke about him mistaking Rahul for Raoul Moat) then there was and excellent Turkish Geordie warm up act Louise Young, who was worth the price of admission alone, before Rahul's show. If you get the chance to see him or Louise you should definitely go along.

As I'm going to Leeds we'll have something from The Mekons, their excellent second single, as they were formed at The University of Leeds and are still going. This is still one of my favourite songs.

Anyway it's a gorgeous day and I now need to get off to the stations, so have a good day everybody.

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Meli Fluence

It's wonderful how one unrelated thing can lead to another giving causality to discovering things that you didn't know were there and generally enhancing your quality of life. On Staurday I visited Kazbat's Den where someone told me about Stay Free Records which I hadn't heard of, and when I got there I saw signs for Meli Cafe on the third floor, which I hadn't heard of, but is where Whistler's Cafe used to be.

I had a quick nip in and spoke with the manager who was very welcoming and told me what they were up to with lots of vegetarian and vegan options, as well as great views over Northumberland Street, This is an excellent selling point of the place which has a lovely light and airy feel to the place and is worth visiting for the views alone.

On Sunday I returned and this time tried a cafe latte and some lemon / coconut came which was lovely, and I manged to scam the best seat in the place after a couple cvacated it. The guy said people always try and gram that seat. My instagram images of my visit can be viewed here and their cups don't have handles but still look cool.

Look Mum No Handles

So definitley get yourself down there to enjoy this wonderful place, It's above the antique centre in the Alley opposite Haymarket Metro next to boots and near Sergeant Pepper's.

In other news I finished "Fermat's Last Theorem" by Simon Singh and while I had been reading it ten or twenty pages at a time, at the end I couldn't put the the thing down so that last fifty pages done in one sitting. This is a book about a mathematical theorem that is actually exciting, not the theorem , the book.

Next up is Neil Gaiman's "American Gods" which should keep me occupied for a while thanks to my friend Lyndsey and that has started very well, although I have seen the TV series so I have some idea of what might be coming.

I was trying to think of some Greek Music and basically was stumped , I suppose I could have gone for Aphrodite's Child, Vangelis, Yanni, Demis Rousos or Nana Miskouri but decided on the fictional Greek island of Navarone immortalised by The Skatalites.