Friday, September 30, 2011

Post from the cloud

Due to numerous technical problems and an irritated phone and router I'm connected to things via the McCloud. A lot faster than at home, sometimes the wrong kind of progress is good. I'll be here the next time I'm uploading any music or feel the need to be hacking into a double cheeser. However I might choose a more comfy seat a little further away from the door.

Thanks to CBQ for the bizarre and distorted bar panorama from Wednesday, what a creative he is. He made a trick photo out of a gig that was not a gig without a venue and everybody went home happy, reminisced (?) and fulfilled as far as you ever can be. Can you spot the cultural and artistic luminaries in the pic? No, neither can I, but I've got the wrong specs on.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

What they all say

I'd like to be able to stick with this but frankly it just doesn't work or to be precise it only works for the few. That's those with a) lots of talent and b) those with less talent but a good agent or manager.

I'm finding the latest batch of home brewed lentil soup hard work but highly sustaining. It just seems to expand in the stomach like a pulse filled balloon. One bowl and you're not hungry for days, everyday is like Christmas in fact.

Today I considered putting my foot down in Norway but then changed my mind, now it's someplace in the background.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Some signs of the times

What can you really believe on the web or afford to take seriously? I'm easily confused and duped but thankfully usually take a moment to consider my actions - so I've managed to avoid this nonsense for at least 18 months; I presume everybody else knew. That feeling of being behind, dumb and in the dark isn't so good but having now managed to get used to it at least I can understand it.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Deer in the headlights

Spotted these two wandering Bambis on the way home from the Blue Blazer last night, both just about to dodge back into a field and then into the wide open woodland between here and the Bo'ness backyards. As they are clearly on the left side of the deer park wall I doubt that they have come from the domestic herd. These chaps are wild and free and probably covered in ticks and nasties.

Meanwhile back at the pub we both enjoyed the Wright Brothers last gig; "Portobello Slam" impressed as did "Arty French Film" and a nicely remembered version the Kinks "Tired of Waiting". Some fine mandolin swapping and guitar tickling efforts were on display. Also present and all very polished and entertaining were Fi & John F, Nyk and the ever resolute Mr J Whyte who did an unexpectedly soulful version of "Guitar Man" by David Gates, somebody I'd not heard of in a long while. Sunday nights at the BB are of course known as "The Listening Room" and feature a wide variety of singer-songwriters relaxing and playing their tunes unplugged. The music and few squibs of whisky caused me to temporarily forget the mannish flu bug that appeared from nowhere and planked me between the eyes in the afternoon.

Time traveling advice for the bemused drinker on the hand drier in the Blue Blazer bog.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Lost in Glenrothes

Gilvenbank Park in Glenrothes is hard to find. Shielded by mature trees and shrubs, surrounded by houses and other types of piles of bricks, it's green spaces and copious amounts of dog poo finally yielded a couple of secret football pitches. Of course the Sat-Nav was right all along, why would I ever doubt such a device? In the end we got a result, coming from 2 down to win 2 - 3, more than the Pars could manage yesterday against the Currant Buns. The sun (?), the early morning and the relentless driving of the weekend did produce a fine headache in me, it lingers on even at 1900 today. Classic.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Free Sky and new Billys

After running about spending £s getting football tickets I discover that we've got free Sky Sports for the weekend - they never warn you these freebies are coming up; Murdoch's revenge I guess. At least there was double Modern Family last night, that may have rebalanced things between me and my Sky user anxiety and guilt.

Right now I'm waiting on the arrival of a mattress and in an unrelated move a consignment of IKEA Billys. The Billy manufacture and transfer plan is now up and running: Build a Billy, empty a Billy, sort a Billy, hoover behind a Billy, fill a Billy, recycle (or even sell) a Billy x 3 at least. A Billy progress report will be published in due course.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Can-opener angst

Living in a branch of the sticky part of the sticks our broadband is water and wind powered. This means the uploading of .wavs is tedious but I am persevering. I wouldn't want the good folks of Japan, the further out colonies, the North & South Poles and the many distant islands to be denied the opportunity to download our tunes and so swell the many swellings that make up our great pile of music related cash. So my struggle goes on.

Facebook continues to irrigate or even agitate us by morphing again into some other irritating monster version of what it was last week. Don't these people in California realise that some of us are dumb, clumsy and can't reality be arsed to relearn what button we have to push? Don't they understand that we struggle with railway ticket machines, electric can openers, Sky Plus and MS Office 11 on a regular basis and are soundly and roundly defeated by them all? Probably not.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Creating in the kitchen

Of course I would rather be cooking up an actual robot or even an android (before the name was stolen by stupid phone companies, androids were chemically based robots that regularly appeared in some of the better DC or SciFi books and comics. Mostly they were stirred up in some steaming broth mix which I guess cooled and, though the mould process was never revealed the android version of whatever the real person was would be released in order to play havoc with the comic's plot. Then Blade Runner came along with replicants, which were of course androids but a bit more confused over their own actual identities and things moved on a notch), anyway I made some tomato soup from scratch. It may even have been a success, all soups need time to settle. Look for reviews tomorrow.

Anyway as it's cold out and the soup season is prematurely upon us here's the top TV tips for folks who like to stay indoors and sup:

Modern Family - brilliant show, reruns on now, new series on Friday this week, can they maintain the standard?
The Borgias - a clattering and less sensual version of the Tudors but full of maniacs and bad acting. The spectacle and CGI does work even if the cannons are unbelievable. Good diverting stuff.
Shooting Stars - the format is exhausted and it's quite unfunny and laboured at times to the point of being embarrassing, then along comes some completely daft and wonderful joke or sequence. Hard work but worth it. How come I can only think of three TVs shows?

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Sideshow Bobcat

Today (yesterday by now) we ventured out into the garden and cut up the badly behaved mutant plum tree, we healed the broken branches with a session of drastic outdoor surgery, we cut into the wood with a gentle saw, ignored the feasting wasps, the rain and the wind and did the dirty deed. Now we have a smaller tree, fewer plums, a pile of damp fuel in the fire pit but it’s all now neater and possibly healthier. All in all our policy around here is to accept the mutant trees, encourage them, mentor them and scoff any decent fruit the mutant trees might produce, in that process we may well change the world and make it a better place. So that’s the plums sorted for a kick off. The apple tree remains a challenge, knotty and cantankerous in broods in the corner, spitting out pre-bruised fruit and holding it as high in it’s gnarled branches as possible, I’ve no idea how to fix this. The cherry tree is stunted and a little infertile, pale pink hard cherries are all we get. I suspect we may need to bring out the donkey manure. The other two younger apple trees are in their own wee world and need counselling, I think they’ve lost their tree identities somewhere but sadly I don’t speak the language nor do I whisper it. They remain close but mysteriously out of reach. There are other trees but we don’t feel the need to talk to them just yet.

Dunfermline V Hibs was always a game to look forward to and yesterday the great day dawned. Hibs are rubbish with a tactically naive manager and a baffled set of players and under achievers. We should have cuffed them 4 - 2 on the day but we struggled to pull a draw out of the black and white bunnet, next time it‘ll be different.

I like steak but I wouldn’t /couldn’t eat it every day, unless I was working on an Australian cattle station and you got a fried egg on top of each one.(I did once stay in digs in Alloa for three months and had a local version of that for tea each night but that was then). So I was really pleased when Ali cooked up a lovely steak dinner with all the hedge trimmings on Saturday. I felt spoiled and full up. We followed last night’s beefy binge with a breakfast at F&Bs. Still feel full.

Nice to see that some bunch of anonymous toadies are passing out best mortgage broker awards to RBS and to Nat West according to their stupid peak time advertisements. Do they really think that the public are so gullible that they’ll believe this tosh? The caring, sharing, here for you image they try to perpetuate with airbrushed and artificial assistants and perfect smiles makes me cringe. Banks, just do what you’re supposed to do, look after the feckin’ money and stop pretending, do that simple thing and we might just forgive you your recent over indulgence and actually begin to respect and believe you.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

No idea

Sometimes you just have no idea what to do next. That doesn't mean that there are not things to do, it just means nothing really.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


As a time traveling tourist I've recently had the opportunity to visit 1955, the year of my earthly birth. One thing I'd say is that time travel is not for the faint hearted or those of a nervous disposition and despite whatever you may have come to believe from too many Dr Who and Star Trek episodes, fashion choices and hair styles do manner. Anyway I'm glad to say I fitted in perfectly and not a soul suspected where I was really from, my cultured Fifeshire accent paved the way into many interesting conversational encounters with the somewhat dimwitted locals. I did have to cut the visit short and get back to what you might call the present (time travelers call it the Coalition Dark Ages or CoDA) in order to eat. I've made a solemn vow and a kind of cute little pact with the Devil not to eat any food whilst indulging in the time manoeuvres so imagine my surprise when I returned, hot, sweaty and time-lagged to find these bad boys were on offer at a minor burger emporium around these parts. Come to think of I've not made any Satanic pacts with anybody about not taking the odd piece of food backwards in time with me. I sense an interesting experiment coming on.

Monday, September 12, 2011

I left the office

Today: I left the office when I saw that the wind on the Forth Road bridge had been measured at 59 mph. At 70 mph they think very seriously about closing it when it hits it, at 80 you're going nowhere. With a mere 11 mph between me and a windy, traffic queueing and gridlocked disaster I made my escape only to find that few thousand other tortured souls were trying the same trick. Ho hum, but soon the virtual and spiritual border between the hostile Fife weather systems and the evil Lothians weather system was duly crossed - all a bit of a fuss about nothing really, apart from the relentless passage of blown about soot. It's time for back to winter measures and anti-soot routines to be established.

A home due to a complex technical error the heating appeared to be on, the cats were behaving as if they had been desiccated Turkish style and then spun out to dry, some were lazily sporting sunglasses, dipped to expose their in-coma eye effects. I wasted no time in doling out healthy rations of over-age chicken cutlets and sympathy before calling the RSPCA and spraying them with perfumed water. Then it was a tea of fishy leftovers, Nutella & Greek yogurt and random curry explorations, oh I stuffed more stuff onto bandcamp, hoping to have an oldie and a newie done by close of play today - the music business is a hard taskmaster.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

A dogs life... probably pretty good if set within a modern, balanced family environment. Here's Indy, now almost 5 months old and thriving and growing her new adult teeth in her mouth in Aberdeen. Shame about the perpetual damp weather but some say dogs get the maximum sensory smell experience when the air is moist, so they must be happy a lot of the time in Scotland. We can't have our own way in everything.

The music world has been rocked by us getting a five star review and some air play on Spanish Radio (?), particularly when a fictitious album that I simply made up last week is at the centre of it. The music is real enough (as are the stars) and this odd event adds another line to the mysterious history and legacy that is impossible songs. We actually have a real (new) album, more an EP I suppose, it's out now, it's here somewhere. The spit and polish part will follow.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Album of the weekend

Song for the day - Maybe I missed the point:

I know somebody whose life is tough.

I help a little, but it isn't enough

Cuz I go an' spend money on stupid stuff

When I know he's strugglin' to stay above.

An' I have so many chances to be

The hero I believe's inside of me

But I get busy and I get distracted

And I do nothin' when I could've acted

I laid low when I could've stood high.

I said nothin' when I should've asked why.

I saw somethin' that I might've done and I didn't,

A chance to speak my truth and I hid it

Inside, I'd like to believe I'm cool,

Easy to love and hard to fool,

But I know there's more I could've enjoyed.

Sometimes I find myself thinkin'

Maybe I missed the point.

So many times I turned down love,

Stayed in the dark when I could've lit it up,

But every time I did take a chance

Makes me happy when I'm lookin' back

I'm not sayin' my whole life feels like a joke

But I've been a master of mirrors and smoke

And I don't wanna live

No mo' without you.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Deaf cats like noise

Deaf cats like noise so we leave the TV on, the deaf cat can then relax in front of World Championship Athletics. Deaf cats like Channel 4, I wonder if their programmers know about this. It's a great opportunity for someone.

Hurrah! Tomorrow is Friday and an impulsive M&S food shop is predicted, a selection of quality products will be selected and the with a little forward planning the pesky red light on the oven can be overlooked or ignored. My intake of friendly and useful bacteria is set to increase.

At the Voodoo Rooms last night another Jim Igoe planned extravaganza; as expected Sam Barber and Outcasts (action photo above / obscured by PA) did not disappoint nor did quirky headliners Lost Telegrams. Nice to get out and see the good people of Edinburgh and drink a little Guinness.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Space Monkeys

For some alien reason mostly likely based around space junk, space dust or space monkeys, the web is moving very slowly in this part of the world. Frustrating. I may well venture out and visit the Voodoo Rooms to sample the various delights set up to delight, err tonight. Sam Outcast and the Barbers being a significant draw likely to bring together musical chums of all backgrounds and preferences. As I have a personal taxi standing by I could partake of at least two if not three large beers if finances, weather and those pesky space monkeys allow. They are watching, not sure if they are listening though.

In other space related news: Today I saw a photo of the moon showing the Apollo tracks and debris, I never doubted for a minute, I knew those brave young men had made it. In fact the whole moon generation experience came flooding back, I was so young and innocent and in the Army Cadets.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011


Uploading: The things that go through your head, waiting to upload. Artistic temperament is a strange beast, throwing out random phrases, ideas, strange phases, unpredictable, sometimes barren, sometimes busy, crazy, boring. This is none of this or that. It's more like buying three T shirts that don't fit and wearing them inside out, as a protest against the price of petrol. I forgot to stay that they are Shell T shirts, I wish they were BP though, that would mean more and be more effective, more relevant, more edgy.  Daft to protest but we still think we have freedom of speech.

There are many more ways to protest, more things to to be said about more injustice, more noble causes to champion, not just over  a stupid petrol based economy. In twenty years we'll think nothing of it, there will be no petrol stations, there will be no forecourts, no pumps and pump prices to bother about. There will be other things to protest about however. Hydrogen, electricity and Mr Fusion. I'll be 75 going on 76, ready to be uploaded.

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Lazy repetition

Still busy doing nothing other than holding things together in the cut and thrust world of the Scottish music business. At least we've got a little more product delivered into the market place and we're only awaiting approval from the EEC mandarins and the Sentinels of the Golden Pacific Coast and Guardians of Californian values - we need to pay them a visit soon. Once we've done that it's uphill all the way and our fortunes are assured. I'm also written a spotty and snotty letter to Soptify which should clear out the whole rancid sewers of blank artist's profiles and peculiar revenue streams and will that person who keeps playing "I miss that boy" 10 times a day just find a copy to down load and have done with it (or send us a stamped addressed envelope; AKA an SAE).

Back in the soup kitchen Ali made a load of seasonal chutney, I made a video and a pot of tomato soup. It looks like a vintage year ahead for the ever versatile and sticky chutney - the cupboards are fit and ready to bulge. Once we've tested it on the cats (now that they don't need the steroids or the cat mint) we'll start including it in all our recipes, though I draw the line at scrambled eggs and New York Cheesecake.  That line is particularly fine.

Books: Mostly about Francis Vincent Zappa, Marianne Faithful and Shakey (old) Bernard Young. The Keef phase seems to have died with the eternal promise of a sunny summer even if "Exile on Main Street" remains stubbornly stuck in the car stereo. Is there a special tool anywhere that can be had to extricate it and why is it that Radio Scotland fills it's barren schedules with repeated long passages of accordion music? This is not what the people want and yes, Karl Marx was right about quite a few things.

Friday, September 02, 2011

Great album covers of our time

Busy for a period of time today on various music related undertakings. First task was to upload more music onto the Pan-European monster of pop-rock that is Jamendo. It seems that their servers are powered by Swiss cheese or some other sullen and belligerent agricultural power source. Two hours to upload ten tracks and that's after converting each one back to a wav. format. The upload percentage bar is really some kind of modern torture device. What a grindingly slow procedure and still ten more to do. Then in a sudden outburst of enthusiasm I had a go at scanning in and so revisiting some old pieces of art work, our album covers, lovingly created in various formats but now at least (almost) captured for posterity. Wild West Lothian (above) is the latest unpublished masterthingy and remains a bit of a work in progress but is as near to completion as anything we've completed so far. A few more turns of the screw and it'll be ready push out into the ether and to sell in millions like it's predecessors.

 Scapes - 2003 or thereabouts

Heartburst - 2004 exactly

Thursday, September 01, 2011

I love these guys

Notes from a man of a certain age and stature: When you are trying to lose or simply manage your weight suddenly food that didn't matter suddenly matters. Worse than that you begin to obsess, just a little but enough to make a mark on your psyche. Food should be somewhere in the greater needs hierarchy but not at the top, not for me in this day and age. I suppose it's not as acute as I'm making it out to be but it sits, square and irritating, stubbornly taking up valuable space in my conscious mind. This space should used for love, family, creativity, working(?), playing and looking at ancient monuments whilst reading well thumbed paperbacks. My space has been invaded. Oily fish, strawberries, chocolate, dark beer, stir fry chicken, yogurt, chips. Thank you for taking up my attention but I must insist on taking it back.