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Monday, June 16, 2008

Building

Everyone seems to want to build at the moment.  Received two planning application things through the door this past week, one for a house opposite wanting to build (what sounds like) an extension into the whole of their garden (possibly wanting to convert the house into flats - great ), another saying that the council are going to build 1500 flats in the centre of town.  14 stories seems ridiculous and no extra infrastructure to help to cope with all these people kind of emphasises that.  Then there's all this news at the moment about the hand over of the Olympics at the end of the summer.  How are they going to build all those stadiums in four years?  It took seven to build Wembley didn't it?
Everyone's going mad.

At the moment I feel like I could moan about anything.  Could definitely still moan about the post and probably will do within a few weeks.

There is a family of blue tits outside at the moment though that seem to chase each other around the garden the whole day, that can be a bit of light entertainment when they're trying to steal food off one another.

What's with the football suddenly being on at 7:30?  That's really annoying.  Would have happily watched both games last night but then they are both of crappy ITV at the same time.  Useful!

Ended up missing Gladiators last night as well.  Can't say that's a total loss but it's amusing.  Don't like their eliminator these days, and the gladiators don't seem to have any kind of personality and they don't really look that big.  Or is that just me remembering the old gladiators to be bigger than they actually were?
Remember that Russian Gladiator, Dynamite?  "He may be strong but I am Dynamite!" - classic.
Oh, and a bit of useless information, Eunice Huthart (or however you spell her name) who won it in like 94/95 went on to be the stunt double for Angelina Jolie!  A tomboy scouser goes to Hollywood.  You couldn't even write a story like that.

-----------
On the music front...

New Voice of the Seven Woods EP is available from his new website.

If you can, pick up MV & EE's 'Iron Brew' live album.  I believe Volcanic Tongue still has copies.  It's amazingly good, can't stop listening to it.  Heard from Joe that runs Blackest Rainbow that he might release a 12 cassette set of live MV & EE material at some point.  Apparently going to be extremely limited though and expensive - for 12 cassettes that can't be a surprise.
The new Cam Deas album on Blackest Rainbow is well worth checking out if you fancy a bit of nice guitar music.

New Natural Snow Buildings cassette should hopefully appear soon, along with the re-release of 'The dance of the moon and the sun'.  The Isengrind re-issue has been cancelled though as Brad (owner of Digitalis) has apparently fallen out with the band.  'The dance...' will be solely released by Students of Decay now, still with bonus discs from what I understand.  Bit of a shame that there won't be any more limited releases from Digitalis and NSB, but hopefully somewhere else will pick up on these things.

New set of L'animaux Tryst's Tryst Haunt single series should be out soon.  Features Big Blood and Visitations amongst others.
Still hoping another Lightning Strike Lightning release appears at some point, that'd be amazing.

Can't think of anything else at the moment.  I gave a few quid to Rateyourmusic the other day though so I've now got the useless subscription stuff.
1:35 pm - 0 comments - 0 Kudos
Tuesday, June 03, 2008

F*ck the post!

Seriously what the hell is up with the post?
Currently this year three sets of CDs and records haven't shown up, in the previous 5 years only one thing has ever not arrived.  I'm getting quite annoyed now.  Someone out there - most likely a thieving postman considering the rate - is enjoying my messed up oddities and rarities and I'm not.  In theory it can only get worse as well thanks to the Government's stupid idea of closing thousands of branches over the next few years.  What kind of value for money is this?  We get to save a sh*tty bank that was being too greedy, we get an overpriced sporting event that will no doubt just end up in London being blown to pieces, and yet we lose a valuable service.  Great
Surely money would be better spent on services that are useful than on one off events that leave a country broke and with disused sporting arenas.
11:51 am - 4 comments - 0 Kudos
Thursday, May 22, 2008

Worldwide telescope, Champions league and stuff

Worldwide Telescope is like Google Earth but for the sky.  I'm sure everyone's already read about it but it is actually pretty cool.  Google sky was lame, this actually looks like some effort went into creating it and as a result is much easier and smoother to use.  Granted you (well, at least I) keep getting lost by zooming into nothing, but once you work out the search and how to actually find stuff it works pretty well.  There are some nice little tours on it as well so you can actually learn some interesting things and not just look at the pretty pictures.
Anyway, I'd recommend taking a look if you have any slight interest in space.  Just wish there were better zooms on things like the moon - I'm determined to find that flag the Americans supposedly put on it.

--------------------
Now to the important stuff, the Champions League.  Thank God United won.  After last years FA Cup final the game was expected to be boring, but when you hear them talking about it at the bottom of the 7th during the Braves and Mets game you know it actually made an impression around the world and I think a good advert for what the Premier League has to offer.  Well worth watching and actually made me feel a bit more respectful towards Chelsea (kill me now).
Anyway, fantastic game and even better result.  Shame up Abramovic, you can't buy everything - although I'm sure we'd all love to have £17million to waste on a single painting.

Unfortunately I think that's also bye bye for Avram Grant who I personally think has done well and can hold his head high.  However, how bad can you do with a team like that?  Seriously it must be one of the easiest jobs in football.  "Oh no, we're not doing well", there goes £50million on two new midfielders.
Their youths play down the road from me and they really need to be spending more money on young talent rather than wasting so much on people like Anelka.  Anelka is crap, why do you think he's played for so many teams and is still only 29 (I think)?  It's because everyone realises he's useless and has a bad attitude.  Also, only Chelsea player to go left on the penalties and the player to lose it - not that I mind.

This is currently my desktop...



People are so quick to do these things, you have to take advantage of the witty.

Also, what a shame poor ol' Drogba got sent off.  End on a high eh Didier?  Although he is a good player, he needs to head off to Italy or Spain where they like players to lie on the floor for hours and moan to the ref.
That was the worst thing about last night, Chelsea constantly going up to the ref and complaining.  They always do that, think they're being cheated, but really they're getting what they deserve.  Remove Ashley Cole from the team and everyone will have a bit more appreciation.  I hope he joins Joey Barton at some point but for a longer sentence.

Anyway, go on United!!

Next week it's England vs. USA at Wembley.  That's going to be a huge embarassment for us.  I think we'll be alright controlling the game but the USA team always has good stamina and the never say die attitude that just keeps them a threat for the whole game.  If we go and get a goal and settle again I'm going to be so pissed off.

---------------
Great little videos on the BBC website over the past couple of weeks.

Microsoft CEO egg attack
Plane lands on another plane

Both classics.  Just a shame there isn't full footage of that plane landing on the other one, can't imagine how it happened.

--------------
The Donnie Darko sequel was finally announced the other day, S. Darko.  It will no doubt be terrible but at least it wasn't rushed into in the way that filmmakers tend to rush to capitalise on a story.  And at least it's got a damn hot actress in it (Briana Evigan).  Although I can't say I've watched any of the films she's been in (admired her in the trailer for that 'Step up 2' film), she was in Linkin Park's video for 'Numb' a few years back - thanks to her sister dating the drummer - and she was hot back then, and it doesn't look as though she's lost it.

-------------
Does anyone know how to filter out a website from searches on yahoo?  Drives me mad that when you search for something as simple as 'car' on yahoo image search you're stuck with nothing but flicker pictures, and flicker pictures are generally shit.
12:07 pm - 0 comments - 0 Kudos
Wednesday, May 07, 2008

The Book of Am

Current mood: achy

This time last week serious smiling was done.  After almost a month of waiting 'The Book of Am' by Can Am Des Puig arrived in my gracious arms.  It had to be picked up from the post office collection place and I thought that typically someone would try and rob it from me on the way home.  No one did, and if they had they wouldn't have managed to take it from me.

The damned thing is beautiful.  Can't say I paid any attention to the LPs for the first couple of hours as the drawings and writings had me absorbed, but I was happy enough when the music finally played.  The first and last sides are not as good as the second and third but there may be a bit of psychology going on there - 1st not quite living up to expectations, 4th realising that its nearly over.  Great acid folk though and if anyone disagrees they're lying.

Sadly I have hidden it away for now fearing that it might get warped in the summer sun we've been blessed with already.  Don't really know how to store it though so fingers crossed it stays in tact.







Truly amazing.  140 something pages of it, not all colour and quite a lot of it a preface to the actual book written in different languages, but I'd guess at least 70 pages like that.
Just wow.

I'd love to make something like that, infact I want to but have no idea where to start.

-------
Also in the past week the new Ilyas Ahmed record arrived.  Not fully convinced by that yet, again the first and last pieces (just songs this time rather than sides of record) don't fill me with the joy that the rest of the album does but I'm happy to have it.
Got the re-issue of James Blackshaw's 'Sunshrine' yesterday as well and am happy with that, would be happier if there weren't two and a half minutes of dull cowbells leading into the piece but that's just being picky.
The new Jandek was a bit of a let down.  Its almost as though he's trying to be discordant but finding it hard to be and forcing it slightly.  I'd love to hear what he could create if he set out to make a more musically mainstream in his approach, it would no doubt spoil it for a lot of fans though.

Got news this morning that the Colin Meloy vinyl is finally done and in the post, and there is also the new Acid Mothers Temple record shipping over from the States, but I'm losing interest in both of those in anticipation for the new Natural Snow Buildings / Twinsistermoon / Isengrind stuff to arrive.  The postman better not steal them and I'm resting all my hopes and dreams on tomorrow being the day they appear.  Seriously.

Does anyone have any recommendations for some upcoming stuff?
Only thing at the moment that I want to get my grubby mits on is the new Shortwave Set album because the first was wonderful.  Dananananaykroyd, The Hold Steady and The Night Marchers are also on the list but further down it.
11:48 am - 0 comments - 0 Kudos
Monday, April 21, 2008

Large Discographies

So an interesting thread appeared in the Classic Rock forum the other day.  It has been a while since I've looked into it but I'm sure most aspiring musicians, or music fans in general have thought about it in the past; who has the largest discography?

Everytime a discussion like this appears Frank Zappa shows his face, as do The Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan.  These are all good shouts and in popular music you wouldn't be too far off.  This thread however brought Elvis Presley into the fold.  Yeah he's had the most hit albums in the UK but I was still surprised to see his song count at 700.  However, the majority he didn't write so should they really carry the same worth as the discography of the likes of Zappa who had some kind of role in most of the music he played?  I don't know, that's up to you to decide, but I thought whilst on the subject - writing in that thread - I may as well make a brief note of artists who have written a huge body of work.

Not always exact numbers, but close enough to give a good idea.

Pearl Jam (8 studio, 245 live!)
The Rolling Stones (22)
Grateful Dead (22 + ~65 live releases)
The Fall (only 26 studio but 60+ overall)
Bob Dylan (32 albums)
The Residents (34 albums)
Neil Young (around 40 albums over entire career)
Jandek (53)
Johnny Cash
James Last

Frank Zappa (57)
Current 93 (60+ - lots of multi-disc sets)

Daevid Allen (Daevid Allen Trio, The Soft Machine, Gong...)

Acid Mothers Temple
Wolf Eyes
Richard Youngs (around 100)
Lee 'Scratch' Perry (around 100)
Tangerine Dream (100+)
Anthony Braxton (115+ releases - includes sets with up to four discs)
Merzbow (200+)
R. Stevie Moore (400+)

Where could Johan Sebastian Bach be placed?  He wrote over 1000 pieces, but how many releases could that be considered?
Vivaldi (around 640 pieces)
Mozart (around 620 pieces)


I'll try and expand on this a little more tomorrow when I'm not so tired.
If you know any that are missing, please contribute.  Ideally over 50 albums, I'm sure there are a load out there.

Thanks for the contributions.
12:56 pm - 4 comments - 2 Kudos
Saturday, March 29, 2008

DVDs & DVDs & DVDs & DVDs

Not going to ramble on for so long about DVDs as I did for tapes, but a fair few music DVDs have already landed this year and here are some brief opinions.  The first two are now virtually impossible to get ahold of, but the latter few are readily available.


Birchville Cat Motel / Tarentel / Charalambides - Rockumentaries (3 DVD)

Now this set is top notch.  There are still a couple of copies lurking in distros, but it was originally released on Nothing Out There Records (check the link for the distros) in Belgium and only cost 8 Euros!  Ok, they're not full sized DVDs, they're 3" DVDs - they should play in all DVD players - but you still get about an hour of entertainment for your money.
Birchville Cat Motel, a crazy New Zealander that makes noise, Tarentel that play a kind of improvised experimental ambience and Charalambides that play semi-improvised, generally pretty songs.  A few little interview pieces and generally quite nicely edited.  Definitely the best DVD release so far this year - limited to 25 copies.


Jefre Cantu-Ledesma & Paul Clipson - Corridors

Tarentel related and self-released on Jefre's own Root Strata label.  This one, despite there being more copies (100) made sold out in about a day.  Again, you can probably find copies in some distros but the label generally sells out of the limited stuff quickly.
This is a single piece that shows how video and audio can really work fantastically in harmony.  Filmed on Super 8mm by Paul and put to the, "
billowy clouds of distorted guitar expand out into long passages of muffled static and fuzzed out melody" of Jefre.
Check the label site (catalogue page) for some clips.


Sir Richard Bishop - God Damn Religion

Something now that is easy to find.  If you know a bit about Richard Bishop you'll probably know that, as well as being a main part of Sun City Girls, he used to deal in rare occult books and (from what I understand) strange art books.  This really shows in the film.  The whole thing is basically composed out of flashing images of religion (a lot of hell) and sex.  There are a few sections of moving imagery, like at a phallus temple in Thailand and a strange black and white film, but largely you'll begin to go a bit dizzy with the flashing images.
Musically I don't love it, the style works better through the stereo - which is fortunate considering the bonus disc of 'Elektronika Demonika.


Acid Mothers Temple - Never Ending Space Ritual

Wasn't going to type up the full name of the band or the DVD because it would have taken 10 minutes, but it comes from the Melting Paraiso UFO side of the AMT spectrum.
Personally I didn't much enjoy this set, when something has 'history of' in the title I'm half expecting a documentary.  This isn't one.  It's just a set of five minute clips compiled together from over the years on the first DVD.  The second is a bit better with a short interview and some full live tracks, but when you spot those videos up for free on last.fm it seems like a waste of money buying this.

------------------------------
There was a Low DVD released last week called 'You may need a murderer' which might be worth checking out, and still to come is that Dronevolk documentary.  Haven't seen either but I'm going to recommend them none-the-less.

------------------------------
New music in the lap over the past week:

Valet - Naked Acid
Ajilvsga / Capricorn Wings - Rites of the Solemn Ceremonies (cass)
Andy Futreal - Wrack: Oud improvisations, reactions and abstractions (cass)
We Have Heaven - s/t (cass)
Family Battle Snake - Arabian Knights (cass)
Beltline - The Narrative (7")
Valiant Arms - Swallow the Sea (10")
Kelly Nesbitt - Beaks that could smile
Richard Youngs - Three Headed Star
North Hero - January February
Harvey Lord - Weighted Down
Mountainhood - Brother the cloud

I'd highly recommend the We Have Heaven cassette, well worth the £5/6 it costs.

--------------------------
Hopefully this week:

Ilyas Ahmed - Between two skies / Towards the night
Ice Bird Spiral - A Taste of...
Magik Markers - For Mary Meyer
Natural Snow Buildings - Slayer of the King of Hell (cass)
Fausto Papetti - 20a (vinyl)
Silvester Anfang - Funeral Folk (cass)
Teenage Cool Kids - discography (cass)
Xela - The Illuminated (cass)
Xela / Ajilvsga - I love her till I die (cass)


Supposedly there is going to be some new Voice of the Seven Woods stuff released imminently which I cannot wait for.

--------------------------
This has taken so much longer than expected to type out for some reason.

What I really wanted to know is, where is a good place to buy server space from?  Preferably quite cheap as I don't want much.

Also, anyone have a good idea about how to screen print multiple colours want to explain it to me?
To be honest the whole process confuses me.  I mean you're supposed to paint glue onto the cloth stuff, but if you're planning to do a page of writing (not tiny but not huge) are you seriously meant to paint outlines of every letter?!
I can't believe that people seriously do that so figuring there must be another way.

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Please check the song on my profile page as well and leave negative/positive comments.  Should've really put this at the beginning so you have some background music but the brain works slowly.

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Baseball starts up again tomorrow night!  WOOO.
Anyone know what game we're getting on channel 5 (UK)?
Weekends are so good for sport around this time of year, just finished the skiing season, we've destroyed everyone in the cycling (love velodrome stuff), football coming to an exciting end of season, formula 1 back on, baseball season starting up, and yet we still have rain and snow...  Still, love it.
1:32 pm - 0 comments - 0 Kudos
Saturday, March 15, 2008

Tapes & tapes & tapes & tapes


So, right at this very moment, waiting up for the Aussie grand prix, eyes going slightly blurry, it suddenly struck me that I was staring (just behind where this laptop it) at a heap of audio cassettes.  I'm starting to wonder why.

According to rateyourmusic I have 37 of the things.  My first album was Jacko's 'Dangerous', and my first single (barring the flexis of things like Postman Pat and Ghostbusters that used to appear on the side of cereal boxes) was (from what I can remember) 'Doop', strangely enough by Doop.

Compared to my CD collection that began with the rather expensive 'Tales from the punchbowl' by Primus as first album and my first CD single came a while after in the unusual form of R. Kelly's 'If I could turn back the hands of time'.

Looking back I must have been more messed up going through my teens than I can remember.

Anyway, back to cassettes...

Their ever growing re-popularity seems rather bizarre.
The general population of new tapes I see are either noisey or odd lo-fi folk recordings usually put out in editions of less than 200.
There are a few great specialist labels out there for tape releases (Sloow being my favourite), but now my tape player has gone bust and the only option is to sit in the car to listen to them, I'm slightly annoyed by the amount I've accumulated.

Oh, and don't get me started on how annoying one-sided cassettes are.  There I was a year or two ago being all stroppy about people releasing more and more 5" records that don't play on my turntable.  Don't really know what's worse when compared to one-sided tapes.


Here's a brief summary of 2008 cassette releases:

Barn Owl - Smoke loom ceremony
Cursillistas - Fleece face
MV & EE - The ground ain't dirty
MV & EE - Catalytic dung
Natural Snow Buildings - Slayer of the King of Hell
Pocahaunted - Beast that you are
Raccoo-oo-oon - Mythos Folkways vol. IV: Future Vision
Slurp Dogs - Postal Licks
Terrestrial - Wrapped in a shawl
We Have Heaven - We Have Heaven
Wet Hair - Irifi
Xela - The Illuminated
Xela / Ajilvsga - I love her till I die

No doubt there have already been dozens more, but I didn't ever expect that in 2008 my music collection would be growing in this way.

================
Couple of non-cassette new releases to take note of...

Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso UFO (2 dvd)
The cheapest place I could find to get a copy of this was Riot Season, was planning to watch part of it before the Grand Prix, but don't know now.  It has a history of the band and live stuff on it, so would probably make a good introduction to the band as well as something for fans.
Seen the majority of the first disc and I'm a bit disappointed so far.  Was expecting it to be a documentary style history but its just a load of five minute clips compiled together in their respective years.  Interesting but a bit repetitive and not really what I was hoping for.  Will try and update when I've seen the whole thing.

Sand Snowman - I'm not here
The best release to date from Reverb Worship, and would recommend this to anyone wanting something slightly folky and slightly odd.  Only £5, limited to 60 copies and almost gone.

Li Jianhong - San Sheng Shi
First Western solo release from Jianhong and it's basically a 50 minute guitar noise piece.  Has a lot of atmosphere to it.  Might not take your fancy straight away and it may leave you with a bit of tinnitus, but it is really good once it gets going.
Available from Archive.

Ilyas Ahmed - Vertigo of Dawn
Word has it that the LP and CD from Time-Lag has dropped although it hasn't updated on the site yet.  Definitely going to be one you have to buy though.  If you like acoustic folky guitar or things that you can listen to on repeat when you're stoned I'd imagine you'd love Ilyas and his music.  His past releases have been stunning, and fortunately some are getting re-issued this year and there are a couple of others in the works.  Check him out though.

Sir Richard Bishop - God Damn Religion (dvd)
Haven't seen this yet, hopefully will arrive this week, but word is that it's a slightly messed up piece of film.  "
This film is a diabolical experiment in hypnotic mind control—a phantasmagoric presentation of demonic and divine imagery, meticulously assembled and designed to put the viewer into an altered state of darkened awareness." - Sounds good to me...
Available from Locust for like £12 with the bonus CD of the out of print 'Elektronika Demonika'.

Colin Meloy - Sings Live!
Vinyl pre-order available from Jealous Butcher now.  First 400 copies are on green vinyl.  Relatively expensive but surely going to be an album that is worth listening to if The Decemberists albums are anything to go by.  His live EPs were quite popular as well so that's probably a good sign.

A Capella box set
Lastly, word has it that soon Root Strata will be releasing some form of a capella box set featuring the likes of Zelienople, Christina Carter, Richard Youngs, Xela and Islaja so that will sure be one to look out for.
1:51 pm - 5 comments - 2 Kudos
Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Lunchtime learner: Big Blood - The Grove

Thought this might be worth doing every now and then, a song to learn.  Going to start off with Big Blood's 'The Grove (is hotter than an ocean's oven when the rays of light do boil)' from last year's 'The Grove'.  Fantastic song and relatively simple.

Hear it on their myspace page or download a high quality track from WFMU's blog.

Standard tuning
|-----0-0-0------------------------------
|-0-4-------4-0---0-0-0------------------
|---------------3-------3-0---0-0-0------
|---------------------------4-------1-2--
|----------------------------------------
|----------------------------------------

Then literally the chords are just Am and Em from what I can tell.  After the intro it goes into Am - Em a couple of times and then the verses are just Em.
A good strumming pattern for it is d, d, x, u, x, u.
d = down
x = mute (on a lead-in down strum)
u = up

Turn the song up loud and bash along on your acoustic, sounds great.

Might do a couple more of these in time.  Great songs to learn in 5 minutes.
4:59 pm - 0 comments - 0 Kudos
Friday, March 07, 2008

£10 off voucher, but what to spend it on?

Current mood: refreshed

Today in the post a surprise letter came from (of all places) ebay.  In it they said I'm a star, showed me some love, and then handed me ten smackeroonies.  That's £10 (or $20 - yeah, I saw that we'd got to £1>$2 again last night).

Initial thoughts were to spend it on pre-ordering Grand Theft Auto and cut the price down from £40 to £30, but does anyone have any other ideas of what it could be good for?
It's only spendable on ebay, but you can buy anything off ebay.  Don't really want to buy music with it because that's what I do with 90% of the money I have.

Hope they send me money again next year.  Let's make this a regular thing Ebay

=========================
Lots of music to catch up on this week.  A huge backlog seemed to just flow into my arms and now I feel a bit overcome.
Some amazing stuff so far though from Lightning Strike Lightning and Big Blood and Beggin' Your Pardon Miss Joan.

There was also a pile from Blackest Rainbow which included Cam Deas, Nackt Insecten, Ian W and the great Ben Nash.
Then there was a catch up from Art of the Underground with the single series (now up to #24) and included Ghost Mice, The Leftovers, Gordon Gano's Army and The Exit Strategy.
Following that was a couple from Students of Decay with Natural Snow Buildings and Emaciator.
Then Reverb Worship with Stone Baby and Wooden Spoon.
Then my great purchase of the split between The City on Film, Sterling Silver and Kind of Like Spitting.
The my Root Strata order of the Jefre Cantu-Ledesma (of Tarentel) & Paul Clipson DVD arrived.
After that appeared the new Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds.
And lastly a bunch of stuff including the Lightning Strike Lighning and Big Blood CDs, but also Wovoka, Emil Brynge and
Annelies Monseré.

Slowly making my way through the piles and have to get through it all before April arrives with the Retribution Gospel Choir, Sun Kil Moon, Colin Meloy, Camille and no doubt some other things that I've yet to wake up to.

Here's a list of my 2008 so far.

=========================
With the government once again going on about their stupid ID card scheme, I must leave the link to no2id again.

=========================
Check out the Sound release from Visionaire (#53), looks AMAZING!  If you can afford £150 for it, buy me a copy too.  And whilst you're at it, check out Peter Callesen's work.  These two are my favourites...

Cowboy


Looking Back

3:02 pm - 0 comments - 0 Kudos
Thursday, February 28, 2008

Jackson C Frank, among other things.

Current mood: peaceful

Before starting properly (this blog goes on for a while) I feel the need to point out Dronevolk.  It's basically a movie about four bands in Belgium involved in the wierdfolk scene.
English subtitled trailer here.
The DVD should be out some point next month.  Maybe not to everyone's preference but hopefully someone reading this will like it.

=================

Jackson C. Frank has been a musical obsession of mine for a good few years now, and even in the past four or five years I've been enjoying his music I've noticed a huge (long deserved) leap in his fanbase.
People that have and are covering his music are generally people that I respect, but its amazing to see the sudden surge.  Here are some I've come across.
Firstly the early few...

Nick Drake
Bert Jansch
Paul Simon
Sandy Denny
John Renbourn
Tom Paxton
Dave Cousins
Fairport Convention

I don't think I'd be wrong in saying Al Stewart as well, but can't remember.

Then there was The Counting Crows.

Now in the past couple of years there seems to have been a bit of a resurgence of interest in his music.  This was possibly since Vincent Gallo included him on his 'Brown Bunny' soundtrack, maybe because of him appearing at the end of Daft Punk's 'Electroma' film, or maybe its because the 'Tanworth-in-Arden' demos by Nick Drake were released on a recent box set.  But then again, maybe people have begun to see sense and have found an appreciation for his amazing music.  In a few cases I'm sure the musicians have just come across him, much like myself, but no doubt the upcoming flurry (well, two - that I've noticed) of covers have some link to the Nick Drake re-issues.

Simon Joyner included a cover of 'The Visit' on his covers box set 'To Almost No One' and Novi Split had a cover of 'Blues Run The Game' on his myspace page a good six months back.  Coming up though Colin Meloy (of The Decemberists) has done a cover of 'Blues Runs the Game' that will be included on the vinyl version of 'Sings Live!' and Malcolm Middleton has covered 'Just Like Anything' for his 'Sleight of Heart' release.

Part of me loves this and wishes Jackson were still alive to see it, and it means that my 7" of 'Blues run the game' may actually go up in value - not that I'd ever be willing to part with it - but the other part of me wishes he remains relatively anonymous.  There's no family that royalties will go to
(to my knownledge at least - his child died very young and I don't believe he was married when he died), only than the record label, and its always nice to have a band or musician that you can have to yourself, isn't it?

Well, I put his music to you now so that you may admire him instead of the musician covering it.

http://www.myspace.com/jacksoncfrank (be sure to check out some of the cover project stuff as well)

He was a shy, modest man about his music, but listen to that voice and the beautiful guitar.  Amazing.
I don't know how regularly he played live, but unfortunately barely any footage has appeared, only in a BBC4 folk documentary, and even then it was about a 20 second clip.

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Ok, some other stuff.  Don't know what though...

Ah, ok, this DNA database proposal.  Been driving me insane lately.  How can people seriously be saying, "you shouldn't mind if you don't have anything to hide"?  Are these people sheep or drones?  Really can't work out which.  We're an innocent until proven guilty society, not one where you have to prove your inncence before you're even informed of a crime.
Also, what's to stop, say, a hairdresser from taking a few select hairs after a shift and then planting them on someone they've attacked?  Or maybe someone taking a cigarette bud and leaving it close to a murder?
Nothing is full proof, and apparently there have already been 1,500 mistakes made using the database with only 4.5million people on it, so multiply that figure by about 15 and surely it becomes rather useless?

Every solution created and used in this country with crime in mind is not preventative, its for retribution.  Granted you can't stop all crime from occurring, but why do our civil liberties have to be taken away from us?

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Got to feel sorry for Prince Harry for the recent media coverage.  Got to give a lot of respect to him though, not many people in his position in this day and age would do the same.

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Why have people only just turned on their thoughts on Hillary Clinton?
I said somewhere recently that I couldn't imagine anyone worse for US President, and that was a bit of an exaggeration, but still, out of the people left in the race(s) I do think she would be the worst option.  She's so annoying.

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An interesting story arrived on yahoo this morning about someone getting a four year sentence for texting whilst driving (read here).
Ok, she hit a cyclist who subsequently died, but if you read it you will have read that the cyclist jumped a red light.  Now I'm all for people not getting hit by cars and the roads actually being safe, but was the car driver actually more in the wrong than the cyclist?
Had the cyclist survived the driver probably wouldn't have received such a lengthy sentence, but if that was the case I would bet my money on the driver receiving higher punishment, which I don't think should be the case.  Understanding traffic lights is the most basic part of being a road user yet constantly you see people on bikes flouting the law and jumping them.  If they really want less people to be hurt from cycling accidents, tell them how to use the roads sensibly, otherwise I do feel that they sometimes deserve to be hit.

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Some musical recommendations:

Teenage Cool Kids
Natural Snow Buildings
Beggin' Your Pardon Miss Joan
Lightning Strike Lightning

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Is there really going to be an 'Arrested Development' movie?
I would love another series - although I do like the way the third ended - but a movie?  Would it work?

Oh, and whilst on the subject of tv, who on earth at Channel 4 bought the rights to 'The Big Bang Theory'?!  Quite possibly the worst programme I've ever watched.

'Prison Break' also had a poor ending.  Would the alarms going off in a museum not mean some kind of lockdown rather than everyone having to be evacuated?

'Neighbours', I once again urge you to kill off Ringo.  This (with the anorexia or whatever it is) is the third or fourth opportunity to do it, take it.
Its a crap programme though, don't know why I still watch it.  Even more annoying now its gone to Channel 5, although the channel as a whole is improving.

Word is BBC want to get the rights to the Champions League soon.  That would be excellent, but please don't make Mark Lawrenson commentate it.  He comes across a lot better in the studio rather than negative and sarcastic comments for 90 minutes.

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Been trying to put together a few songs again lately, still useless at lyrical content and rarely feel satisfied, but I'm slowly taking the view of having some kind of structure to the music and then semi-improvising lyrics over the top.  For example, one piece I just haven't managed to get to a state where I'm happy with it.  The guitar is good enough, based on a basic Bm to G progression but then expanding and elaborating, but then I'm happy with the lyrics to the end of the first line, "there once was a little man, he was my son" (sounds a bit lame from just that line I know), but then expanding and going in all directions from selling him to the Queen to allowing him to be killed by kidnappers - happy ending songs are dull.
Then there's one about a Priest being falsely accused of using one of his Sunday schoolers as a catamite.  Got four lines for that one and half a solo.

Just can't seem to get a grip with lyrics unless they're off the top of my head.  When I sit down and think, 'I've got to write this' I can't do it.  Then when I improvise something good I can't remember it.  Logically recording the improvisations to tape would be the sensible thing to do, but no doubt when I play them back I wouldn't be as happy with it as I was when playing it.

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Anyway, rambling on, and seeing as no one will have got this far its rather pointless continuing.
11:52 am - 0 comments - 0 Kudos
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