There were dozens of others that could have easily ended up in that list, including...
Ilyas Ahmed - Arroyo Brethren of the Free Spirit - All things are from him, through him and in him
Milton Cross - Light in the west Goodwillies - Greenmachines for all the childrens
Rahdunes - Magick
Sloow Road - Sloow road
Twinsistermoon - Rivers of blood ending in the sun
and the latest love...
Kawaguchi Masami's New Rock Syndicate - Live in Japan 2007
Lots of odd ones this year to pick through and still a load more to hear.
If you have a list of favourites of 2008 please feel free to post a comment with them, always interested to find out what great stuff has been missed.
Someone provided me with a link to Garage Hangover at the start of the week. It's just a music blog with a lot of what I'd consider rather mediocre bands, but he certainly knows his stuff and it makes an interesting read. There was one really good song I found on there by The Top Shelf called 'Baby the world really turns'. Click the link and check the song out, really cool.
Then a couple of days ago a couple of new releases arrived from Palustre in Italy. Only got two ("V" and 12 Sounscrabbles of Pan Ku) of the four or five that were put out at the same time but they were both pretty decent. "V" was my favourite, but the Sounscrabbles release wasn't terrible, it was more the case of buying that for it's relation to Pan Ku (an alternate name for the Chinese creation God Pan Gu).
On the 11th something amazingly good showed up. James Dean, a now defunct Aussie emo band. Rather annoyingly the hole in the middle of the 7" was tight and would only just go onto my turntable - almost snapped it taking it off! - so ever since I've just had the CD in the CD player. Fantastic four tracks. Really shame they've split up and even more of a shame it's only limited to 103 copies. If you really want one you may still be able to pick one up from Hansei Records but ask him to put a bit of card in the mailer as mine just arrived in a jiffy bag - risky stuff. Also bought the What Price, Wonderland? / syn*error split from him which was a bit of a disappointment but again, not terrible. The James Dean record just completely overshadowed it.
Today two great CDs arrived. One was from an offshoot of MV & EE under the guise of The Bummer Road, the other was of Golden Jooklo Age. I wouldn't say it's the greatest piece Valentine & Elder have released but it's shooting up towards one of my favourites already. Apparently they have a new proper release at the start of next year called 'Drone Trailer' so keep your eyes peeled. The GJA CD is a self-released (on their Troglosound label) version of the recent Qbico LP. Missed out again on their LP by a matter of hours - and not willing to spend £20 on it from distros - and only just got this CD version. Really glad I didn't miss out, these guys are really good. In part they're a bit like MV & EE with a saxophone, but more messy, noisey and wild. Definitely going to be keeping an eye out for their future releases.
Anyone fancy starting a blog for out of print stuff? I'm thinking of getting one up and running but just doing like one or two posts a week.
On a different note, did anyone happen to catch 'Lemming' the other night on Channel 4? I have absolutely no idea what was going on after his dream... It seemed a really good film.
Before reading this you've probably already noticed the picture below so thinking about it, I will explain it in a second...
I lie, I can't explain it. It is the strangest logo I've ever come across for a clothing company. The other night I begun watching 'Transworld sports' - after the Highland Games! - and they had a small piece on Valentino Rossi. For the most part it was just talk about him and how great he is and how he wants to venture into Formula 1 and Rally car, but then they had a short clip of a press conference where that logo was plastered all across the wall behind. Gave me a good laugh at 4am though!
It's just bizarre (I hope you're seeing what I'm seeing).
Today I received a cassette, yet another bloody one, by Matt Valentine. Well he goes under the name Matthew Dell in this case and I have absolutely no idea what it's called. The only one I can find any info about on the net is 'Glorious Group Therapy' (later re-released under The Tower Recordings) but this one seems to have no existence what-so-ever. Stunning instrumental work and a real lost gem. Have had it on repeat all evening so I'm slightly worried that it'll wear out, will have to digitize it and upload it for all to hear.
Need to know the name of it!
There's a sale on over at Boa Melody Bar. As a result all of these have been purchased...
Acid Mothers Temple & the Melting Paraiso UFO - The Day Before the Sky Fell In Brothers of the Occult Sisterhood - Suppress (Detached) Orchestra (LP) Can't / Nipple Creek - split Eric Carbonara - This Maybe the End (3" cdr) Chora - Burn in Hell (3" cdr) Culver - The Psychic (3" cdr) Jerusalem & the Starbaskets - Dark Basket Samara Lubelski - Spectacular of Passages (LP) Mono - You Are There (2LP) Ilya Monosov / Preston Swirnoff - Two Recorded Works (LP) Rokkiryhima - Maailmanvoitto (3" cdr) Xochipilli - Aircqocces of the Arc Tones (3" cdr)
12 releases. Logic would be to think that it was a waste of money, but you know what? The total (including postage) is £34.40! Even if some of them turn out to be shit, that is an absolute bargain.
Diving Bell & the Butterfly & the wheelchair crash
So I just finished watching 'The diving bell & the buttefly' (or 'Le scaphandre et le papillon') by Julian Schnabel and now really don't know what to say. Absolutely amazing film. Watch it.
A brief synopsis: Real story about a former editor of Elle magazine (Jean-Dominique Bauby) who had a stroke and ended up being paralyzed from the head down. The only body part he could use properly was one eye - the right eye was sewn up. Despite that he went on to write a book (obviously with help) and this film shows his life post-stroke and small snippets of his life before.
Really interesting film and one that might get your tear ducts working. The only bad thing I can say about it is due to the subtitles coming up with different letters to the ones said, but that's only so we, the English speaking viewer, can have the English translation of what he's spelling out. Very minor flaw.
Please, go see it. Really want to read his book now.
Ok, now to explain the third part of the blog title, 'the wheelchair crash'. Did anyone else see this on the Paralympics? (fast forward to about 1:45) It's been the most controversial thing to happen this year it seems, but to make it even more controversial I pose a question; was it right to laugh when it happened? I feel for them, I really do. It was a hard crash and clearly left some in a bit of pain, but is it any worse to laugh at that than laughing at a crash in the velodrome? I've happily laughed when huge crashes have occurred in previous Madison events, and I really don't see much of a difference between the two. Surely they would want us to laugh. Wouldn't they?
One last thing (actually, two). Saw a little piece on Rapa Nui (Easter Island) the other day and recorded it. Managed to watch it tonight and thought it was fascinating. Would absolutely love to visit that island. It would probably end up being a bit of a let down with not much to do but the sculptures are fascinating. Anyway, when trying to work out what a sign they showed said (Te Ara O Rapa Nui) I gave up and searched the internet and after a couple of clicks came across a great link that has a dictionary for the language they used to use - http://www.rongorongo.org/vanaga/index.html - and now I'm going to have to learn some.
Prison Break - Am I the only one that found the second episode of this new series really lame?
Be warned if you haven't seen it I may give away little spoilers.
They now have to find six of these cards. Fair enough, I can understand that. But do they honestly expect us to think that they won't? Do they really write the script saying, "oh let's have them run away from the cops" without remembering they all have GPS trackers around their ankles? If I were the policemen chasing in that short car chase I would have just taken it easy. They were never going to lose them. And then when they were all about to be lugged off to jail did they really expect us to fall for that? What would be the point in sending them back to jail?! I should think one of them will no doubt be killed at some point (most likely the new computer kid) and T-Bag will catch up with them and somehow spoil their chances of getting the last card/chip, but we all know that they will get all the information, take down "the company" (still extremely unimaginative there writers!) and be freed. Don't really know why I'm still watching it.
- Found out that the Dave Bixby re-release will be out early next year - WOO! - Boduf Songs 7" is on the way in the next week or two - WOO! - Found LPs of Morgen's self-titled album, Flower Travellin' Band's 'Satori' and Burton Green's 'On Tour' - WOO! - Still expecting the book on Jackson C Frank to arrive soon. - Also hoping the re-release of Natural Snow Building's 'The dance of the moon and the sun' will appear in the next couple of weeks. - New CDs are due from Ilyas Ahmed, The North Sea and Xela soon as well. - Also managed to get in contact with a certain Mr Valentine of MV & EE and he sold me a CD by a project of his called Sloow Road that is apparently limited to 22 copies, so that will be amazing to have.
Oooooooh, one last very exciting thing. There's a new Chunklet magazine!!!! Will have to find a way to get a copy of that soon and I recommend you do too.
This summer has been so sport packed that my brain now needs a break. The end of last season's Premier League was good, then the Champions League, then Euro 2008, then Wimbledon, then the Olympics and straight back into the Premier League. Fill all that with the Sunday/Wednesday games of baseball, a brief splattering of skiing and a couple of games of rugby, it's been constant this year.
I was flicking between both the Arsenal and Liverpool matches last night and not really paying much attention to either. Now I'm a big thankful that Sky no longer has so many Premier League games. Only thing I'm pissed off about is the fact that Setanta has stolen a huge pile of England games. Why the hell have they been allowed to do that? Some things should be left on the "free" channels. I don't care if ITV has it - although BBC is obviously preferred - but the public shouldn't have to spend more money to watch their international team play. Clubs, fair enough, it's a bit more select as to who will watch the games, but international games should be the pride of the nation. However, the state the team has been in over the past few years maybe it's a good idea...
--------------------------------------- Have been on a guitar stint again lately. I seem to have phases of going in and out of favour with the thing but ultimately there is love. Haven't played on an electric guitar properly in probably a year but the slightly worn acoustic still holds a good sound when needed. Somehow managing to remember how to play things like 'For whom the bell tolls' and 'Fade to black', that I haven't played of heard either of in years (definitely multiple), off the top of my head. No doubt they're incomplete and I'm messing up, but it's fun. Must have learnt 100s of songs over the years, I'm starting to wonder how many are actually still in my head. There are a few that come every time I pick up the guitar - 'Birds of a feather', 'Jessica', 'Stairway to heaven' (Rodrigo y Gabriela intro version), 'Lagrima' and a few others - because they're easy or because I have just spent hours playing them in the past, but are there more locked away? No doubt 'Smells like teen spirit' would take about 30 seconds to remember but would that be because I actually remember it or because it is such an easy song that it could be worked out that quick?
Can you remember songs you learnt five or six years ago? Give it a shot.
----------------------------------------- Haven't really bought a lot over the past few weeks, a couple of cassettes from Digitalis and Nice Face's fantastically titled '...Can I fuck it?' album, which wasn't quite as fantastic as I first hoped, but they are certainly a prospect for the future.
New Hold Steady album was finally purchased, it was alright, not their best but a worthy addition to their catalogue.
Have been eagerly awaiting the re-release of Dave Bixby's 'Ode to Quetzalcoatl' that is due out at some point on Guerssen Records. Not even considering trying to get an original copy as they go for £500+, would love one though.
Built up a huge want list over the past few weeks of obscurities that again, I'll probably never be able to get copies of. Some are obviously easier than others to find but I've accepted the fate of never finding some of the 70s records.
----------------------------------------- To go back to sport, why the hell is taekwondo included in the Olympics?! BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOORRRRRRRRRRRRRIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIINNNN NNNNNGGGGGGGGGGGG
I think I slept crooked last night, my neck is killing me. Was on the Wii Fit last night as well and think I did my leg in. Grown a bit bored of it now though, I have reached my peak with the mini games I enjoy on it. Got the balance bubble time down to 25.58 seconds. Managed to do 133 seconds on that muscle one where you rest your elbows on the board and have to hold your body off the ground (with your feet down). Really can't get any further than that, I fell down in pain after getting that far. Don't think I moved for five minutes afterwards.
Haven't picked up the regular giant list of stuff in the past month but got the new MV & EE bootleg releases ('Guitar Barn' being my favourite of this selection), and finally, $45 went on an original copy of 'The Dance of the Moon and the Sun' by Natural Snow Buildings. I'll try and fill out a discogs.com form at some point and get scans of the whole thing done because it is quite simply b-e-a-utiful. Where's that from? 'Me, myself and Irene'? Sounds very much like Jim Carrey in my head. Really great release though. Some of the nicest artwork I've seen in a while and it just looks like a lot of effort went into it. Numbered 31/31 which is also pretty cool (would have prefered #1, but who wouldn't?!).
Got the new Acid Mothers Temple & The Cosmic Inferno disc from Riot Season the other day and am slightly disappointed. How many times are they going to release a variation of 'Pink Lady Lemonade'? The CD actually gets pretty good for the last two tracks and clocks in somewhere around the hour mark but I wish they would just do more completely original releases. Ok, they are pretty much original tracks because of the whole way the band works - jamming and going off on one - but change the title or something. Although saying that, I would love to hear more versions of 'La Le Lo', I love that track.
Going back to Wii Fit. I don't get it. I'm looking at the records on wii-records and am amazed at how good and how incredibly bad people are at the thing. The running stuff they're going 6000 metres (for 10 minutes), which is twice as far as I can seem to get, yet for the free stepping (again, 10 minutes) they're only managing 1392 and I can get around 1500-1600 every time. The Hula Hooping I'd come in 4th, which isn't too bad. Balance Bubble, 3rd. Penguin Slide, 3rd. Table Tilt, joint 6th. Zazen, joint 1st (I still don't understand that game). Stretch challenge, last (that's the one I was on about at the start of the blog). Probably crap in the rest of them. Can anyone explain how to actually do the ski jumping one well? You go into the blue dot and then jump, but how are you meant to jump? Lean forward, back? What?
So the whole of the blogging world seemed to write about the death of George Carlin the other week, but few people picked up on the death of Fredric Baur at the start of June. Who is Fredric Baur you ask? He was the man that designed the Pringles packet.
Why is this worth talking about? Because he considered it the greatest thing he ever created. Now I don't know about you but I find those pots the single most annoying thing in relation to a food product. Ok, maybe not quite as bad as tin foil around Easter eggs (why does it never wrap back round?!), but you can't get your hand down the damned things! You may also be wondering why I bring this up now considering it happened over a month ago. Well, a couple of days back, flicking through the paper I found an article saying that Pringles are not officially crisps. It claims that Pringles are more of a cake/biscuit than a crisp. The difference between a cake and a biscuit (by definition) is that a cake goes hard when it's gone off and a biscuit goes soft. Now how can it be like both? Either way I guess it gets out of the crisp tax band, but what is a Pringle? Processed crap, that's what it is.
Also, why have crisp companies started to put less flavouring on their products? McCoys have become rather pathetic and have made the biggest change over the past few years. They used to be the best around but now they once again fall short of Walkers.
Anyway, continuing on the subject of death I just had the Jonestown death tape going on in the background and I had really forgotten how horrible it was. If you don't know what Jonestown (or Peoples Temple Agricultural Project) was, it basically a project that developed from a cult run by Jim Jones. They left the USA for Guyana to set this village up and to cut a long story short, it developed into the largest mass suicide ever (I think) with about 900 people killing themselves. The tape was recorded by the FBI (who were investigating it) and is a recording of one of the last meetings by the group and has them talking about whether to commit suicide or not. It's something that really shouldn't have been put into the public domain in my opinion but it can (or at least could) be found on archive.org if for some reason you're interested.
Last piece of death related stuff...
My cassette player died! Well, the batteries and I don't have any spares!! ARGH! So frustrated. Have been waiting about a month for these cassettes to show up and then a minute into the first one it goes beep and shuts off. Happy that they've finally arrived though.
Natural Snow Buildings - The Wheel of Sharp Daggers N.213 - Vexation Kenji Siratori - Trinity Sky
The minute I heard of the NSB tape I was really getting into. Sounded like it could be better than the last, which is all fairness wasn't their greatest effort.
Got the Podington Bear 10 disc set this morning from Hush. Bit of a bargain, 10 CDs for £15 (plus about another £5 for postage, but that's not bad). Not the loveliest box, does feel a little cheap, but so long as the music is good £2 a CD is not bad at all. Podington Bear is Chad Crouch who owns the label.
Also got the new Great Pop Supplement 7"s the other day. Both are really good. New one from MV & EE (who I really should stop going on about) and one is a split between Jerusalem & The Starbaskets and the Bengal Traitors (can't find a link for them). Both have fantastic cover art, the best I've seen from GPS, and all four tracks are pretty good and worth checking out if you can find copies.
Waiting for a copy of the new Hold Steady 7" ('Sequestered in Memphis') on Rough Trade and finally a copy of Jeff Buckley's 'Live at Sin-e' box set. Once borrowed the Buckley box set from my guitar teacher so cannot wait for that, really good set. Also the Jackson C Frank book stuff is sounding quite positive, that is going to be one of the greatest things ever. Ever.
My brother bought a Wii Fit the other day so my bones are killing me. I absolutely rule at the hula hooping stuff (although definitely don't look as good as that youtube girl when I have a go). Absolutely suck at the skiing and snowboarding one (and again, don't look as good as this when having a go). It's a good laugh though and I'm determined to kill the ski jumper somehow. I also rule at that bubble one, did it in like 30 seconds flat. Don't know if that is actually good but it seemed fast. If you're in England and want one, check out PC World they apparently had a few at a regular price. Screw paying £120 off ebay.
EDIT: 26.something seconds on the bubble thing! I seriously rule at that.
So I was just sitting down for five minutes with my guitar on my lap getting extremely frustrated at trying to figure out 'Dialogue' by Jackson C Frank from memory and quite frankly, I got nowhere. Well, the first few notes were easy enough but I couldn't work out where he was going. So then I decided to jump on the web and go to possibly the only Jackson C Frank website of any note on the net - http://www.blueangel.demon.co.uk/jcfrank/. Immediately I was distracted...
NEWS The Jackson C. Frank biography: "Blues Run the Game: The Tragedy of Jackson C. Frank"
by writer Jim Abbott, is due for release end August 2008 You can pre-order the book from Jim, which includes rare unreleased
tracks on CD
My head exploded. Woah. Had to read it again, was I seeing this right? A biography - finally - and unreleased material! Seriously?! Link was clicked to read more...
Jim Abbott, a writer who famously found Jackson living a hand
to mouth existence in New York City, has just finished the manuscript
for "Blues Run the Game: The Tragedy of Jackson C. Frank", likely the only biography of the legendary musician that will ever be written.
a detailed accounting of Frank's life, you will also learn the stories
of several unique characters and events that were important parts of
Jackson's existence. Also included are many never before seen
photographs and writings by Jackson, many from his days as a newspaper
reporter and editor.
Included with the first 1000 copies of the
book will be a CD of never before released material, including a couple
early rock n roll attempts at Elvis songs, two complete (and one almost
complete) alternate versions of songs from the 1965 album, recorded by
Judith Piepe in the same flat that housed Jackson, Sandy Denny, Al
Stewart and many others. Also, the long lost performances from John
Peel's Night Ride Programme, including a cover of a Pat Sky song called
Jimmy Clay, that might just be Jackson's finest performance ever. And
last but not least, by far, one of Jackson's most haunting and elusive
songs, Juliette, recorded in Ulster Park, NY in 1970 and never released
Pre-orders are now being accepted for the book and CD. The cost,
including shipping, is 25 dollars (US)or 13 pounds (UK)and can be made
via PayPal. The PayPal account is [edit: don't buy!!!! It was a scam. Bastards]email@example.com.
The books and CDs are scheduled to be shipped during the last week of August.
WOW! Immediately £13 has been sent to an unknown person. I really hope this isn't a wind up. So, so happy. Also very glad I got some money for my birthday. Might pay those cheques in tomorrow and ask the person if I could grab a couple more for friends and for personal obsession reasons.
Will they stop to take a breath for a moment? Going broke over here.
----------------- Acid Mothers Temple have also announced new releases. Finally I got a copy of 'Recurring Dream...' the other day. Not as great as everyone made it out to be but not a regretable purchase either. Acid Mothership Live can be bought from Riot Season. They're also the label that will release 'Pink
Lady Lemonade (You're From Outer Space)' in the next month or two. There's another Cosmic Inferno album coming out on Very Friendly around the same time but I can't for the life of me find out where that can be bought. Cosmic Inferno, in my opinion, have done the better tracks out of all AMT incarnations.
Ooh, before I forget there is also a Kawabata Makoto album due out at some point on Reverb Worship. Will go damned fast so worth keeping an eye out or joining the mailing list - that doesn't seem to work for me - to stay on top of that.
------------------ What else is due? New selection of cassettes on Digitalis, some new releases on Students of Decay. The excitement has really fallen on everything now I've heard about the Jackson C Frank book/CD... Brain has gone into meltdown and the ears have pricked up. Still really looking forward to the Natural Snow Buildings re-issue of 'The Dance of the Moon & the Sun' but it keeps getting pushed back and back which is a real shame.
Have a huge 2008 want list but I know I'll never get them all. The Hold Steady album isn't far off, will have to save some cash for that. Can't forget that.
Well the day was rather average but by heck have I loved the tv tonight - starting at 5:45 - and it's not yet over!
Scrapheap Challenge - love this show. Lisa Rogers is lovely plus the underwater salvage challenge was great.
Early BBQ dinner - yeah ok that wasn't on the box, just been a long time since the last BBQ so feel it should be mentioned.
European final - Well done Spain! I picked them to win before the tournament (although changed a couple of times during) and they were certainly amongst the best. Arguably Holland were but they completely messed up against Russia.
Top Gear - Well this episode was a bit shite. Maybe that's because my mum was saying how crap it was throughout, but it wasn't exactly their greatest.
Jimmy Carr commercial breakdown - Actually pretty funny for one of these advert shows. Jimmy Carr still absolutely cracks me up.
The Verve - Glastonbury - They were amazing. If you missed it check back on youtube tomorrow because from 'The rolling people' through 'the drugs don't work', 'bittersweet symphony' and a couple of others. Just needed 'Sonnet' to top it off. Really good performance though.
Io Non Ho Paura - On in not too long (Channel 4 - now started) and it's a film that I'd recommend recording. Cost me £18 to import a few years back and I still think it was worth the cash.
Baseball - I believe it's more Cubs tonight and that would make it against the White Sox. Should be interesting, probably not the greatest but Gouldy keeps it lively while factboy Chetwynd will attempt to keep it about baseball. Will probably be flicking onto the film every now and then.
So I failed at learning 'Classical gas'. Don't have the will to sit down and learn it at the moment. Anyway, eventually it (somehow) got me back onto my favourite tuning, Db, Ab, Db, Gb, A#, Db and started to make some beautiful chord progressions. Most were forgotten but some nice ones were remembered. Also convinced me to finally learn 'Knives out' by Radiohead - although tuned down half a step - and I fucking love that song.
Had my birthday the other day. Didn't do anything fancy, bored of birthdays now. I don't want anything and I don't really want to be considered a year older. In actual fact I'm just a day older so yes, when you ask me if I feel different the answer will be, 'no'. Why do people ask that? Like all of a sudden your life is going to jump and change. It's always older people that ask you that as well. Have they not realised themselves that absolutely fuck all changes in a day?
Got some good stuff though;
3:10 to Yuma Oldboy Disturbia
Those alone would have pleased me - although 'Disturbia' lost its touch the second time around and the girl wasn't as hot as I remembered. But then came the music...
Catapilla - s/t May Blitz - s/t Laraaji - Ambient 3 Velvet Underground - The Quine Tapes
The Catapilla and Laraaji albums are top draw. Haven't managed to listen to 'The Quine Tapes' yet but from what I have the sound really isn't as bad as everyone makes out. Heard worse from studio recorded stuff. There was also Tiger Woods '08 for the Wii. Been playing it a bit today and have enjoyed it, but the game is better on the PS3.
Been MV & EEing myself out lately. Seriously if you have not heard them yet go and run around the internet in search of them. So good. Only problem is they've released about 10 things already this year (listed just below) so it's getting rather expensive, and that's not including a few things picked up that have been lying around from the past couple of years.
Ok, there are a couple of doubles in there, but all have been released by different labels where there are doubles. Anyway, last year it was Voice of the Seven Woods that took the honour of most releases I picked up and that was just the 8. God knows what will come of these guys. There's going to be a tiny run of a 12 cassette box at some point as well! Probably won't be able to get ahold of a set as there will probably only be a couple of dozen at the most, but damn heck I'm going to try. All bootlegs rather than new albums.
Don't buy Waitrose Organic Semi-Skimmed milk. Ok, I'm not going to complain about the taste because at best I despise milk, but when you see a load of scum around the top of the bottle and this scum pours out you have to wonder why you didn't just buy full fat. It's the most disgusting thing I've seen, ever. It's also led me to this question, Coco Pops vs. Weetos. At one stage I would have gone with the monkey but these days, despite being harder to get, Weetos taste much better...
Anyway, go and watch the rest of 'Io Non Ho Paura'. Such a well shot film.
EDIT: What the hell is with the baseball having adverts lately?! It never used to after 1am, or maybe it was 1:30. Whatever the case, I don't like it - although fortunately Channel 4 still has its amazing film on. You're all going to regret missing this if you haven't seen it already.
Looking for some classical guitar pieces to learn and preferably ones that were intended for guitar rather than written on piano. I've got a Francisco Tarrega book and have been going through it for the past week or two and really like having something a bit different to play. Quite a bit of it I struggle with so preferably something that's not too fast in picking speed - not so worried about quick chord changes or odd shapes.
Take Gran Vals and Gran Jota (still working on a lot of the latter though) as an idea of what I'm looking for.
EDIT: Oh, also, if you play four and a half beats (nine quavers) before you repeat a pattern what time signature would you use? Is it simply 9/8?