Some random stuff

An interesting thing about Spotify
Spotify royalties may not be great, but the "Listeners Also Listen To" section is fascinating. Some of my listeners listen to the French avant pop group Stereolab, who I discovered here. I really like Lo Boob Oscillator. I also discovered a stunningly beautiful track by John Martyn here which I'd somehow missed, Spencer The Rover. Wherever he played that, surely you could have heard a pin drop.

 

Cool Track, 15 April
I really rate this track. Paul Cook & The Chronicles, "Old Pursuit". Beatlesque in its tunefulness, hip like the Yardbirds. Deft - all said in under 2 minutes 30 seconds. 

 

Eeyore of course,  Feb 6th
Mendelssohn's  A Midsummer Night's Dream is on in the background on the radio. Just got the donkey reference for the first time, surprised I ever missed it, really jumps out at you. Interesting analysis of the motifs at http://mendelssohnincidentalmusic.weebly.com/the-overture.html

The god of thunder

The god of thunder

The god of thunder,  Jan 26th
I came across this pic of engineer Kenny Jones and drummer Marc Parnell with this interesting contraption. People often ask me, about once a day on average, "What's that sound at the very end of Jonah Part 1 on your album?". I say "The thing that sounds like a weather bell, ringing through the fog?". "No, the other one", they say, "like peals of thunder". Ah well it is the thunder machine pictured here.

"My Precious"

"My Precious"

SSL beauty,  Jan 5th 
So my music computer gave up the ghost and I had to upgrade some gear. My reaction to this Solid State Logic Audio Interface was visceral; I had to have it. I disregarded any minor issues in the audio reviews, and hoped nothing major would turn up.  I looked at about thirty different Interfaces and there are definitely some sleeker and higher spec ones. But some designs are too sleek, so simplified they become fussy and complicated again. Give me a dial or two, well spaced out, and in blue and red too.  Also, as a rule of thumb, I find that if someone can be bothered to design something that looks really good, it will probably be really good too. Let us see

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Vox Rea,  Jan 10th 
Stumbled across a fantastic song and video by a band called Vox Rea, "Dose Me Up". Class. I beseech you to check it out 
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Full of Eastern Promise,  1 Dec 2020  
Do facemasks slightly improve the overall attractiveness of Londoners ... Even the casual shopper in Budgens seems to be full of Eastern Promise.  

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Couperin on the Radio,  7 April 2020  
Some pieces of music are like a time capsule, passed perfectly through time. Listening to Couperin's Les Barricades Mystérieuses on radio. Could the listener in 1717 have felt any differently to the listener in 2020.  

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STAY TUNED FOR "The Tale of Roland Gift and the nine tracks on my iPhone" ...  

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Trying out guitars,  Feb 5th 2020
I was browsing in a guitar shop on Denmark Street a few years ago, when an American came in and asked for an American Strat.  The seller lifted one down from the wall and passed it over. The American  said "OK, you can bag it up".  
"What, don't you want to try it?"  
"Nope"  
I was always massively impressed by that guy. 
I recalled him whilst I was frigging around for hours at the weekend trying different Martin Dreadnoughts. I'd tried too many and was now lost in sound. Brighter, treblier, duller, bassier. I tried double backed guitars and treble backed guitars, newer strings, older strings. One, crucially, was lighter, it was better to hold. I had a 1970s Gibson Explorer once hewn out of an oak tree, which weighed a tonne and gave me massive neck ache. My mate liked playing it luckily, and I used to play my green Ibanez Roadstar. I settled on the brighter, lighter, older Martin D 28. I'd overthought it. Of course there was no real objective. Bassier, treblier compared to what? It's all pretty relative. Maybe I'll try that guy's approach next time.

My new Martin D28

My new Martin D28