Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Biting The Hand That Feeds You Crumbs

Everybody says that the music industry is in terrible shape. I guess that makes it like all the other industries then. There is no balance, mainly because "we (the business) take all the risks". In the words of Scotland's national bard, "Aye right!". Of course most of us bottom feeders in the "industry" accepted long ago that we'd never make anything but we'd carry on building the blocks for the pyramid anyway. We like building blocks after all and the general public are pretty happy to collect them from wherever they're cheap or free. 

Actually you can get our music free in loads of places but if you want to pay, best go along to Sonstream. It's a pretty bleak looking site, no bells or whistles but the musicians actually get a reasonable return on every stream or whatever. I'm still leaving the Spotify link up above because despite the obvious I haven't got a better idea at the moment.

What's 26 countries worth?

Tuesday, November 29, 2022


The spacey theme continues as Orion flies beyond everywhere: Surprisingly I didn't take this photo nor was it taken by the wonderful iPhone XL5. Anyway if you look very closely at the blue planet you'll see me waving and supping on a tepid cup of Nescafe.

The Red Planet

Mars seems closer than ever these days. The extreme gravity created by Elon Musk's self awareness and gravitas is obviously pulling it towards us. I took this photo with a stock iPhone XL5 from my back garden after the (mental) fog had lifted. Absolutely buzzin' with the result. Also considering digging down and building a fall-out shelter. I always had a soft spot for the 60s.

Monday, November 28, 2022

Winter Gardens

November in an urban version of the Garden of Good and Evil: Sucking up leaves with a leaf sucker/blower when the leaves are wet isn't easy. The damp leaf material clogs the machine and it's basic metabolism is changed into a kind of super glue come super mud. A handy material for emergency shoe repairs. The internals of the machine are not impressed and a pit stop is necessary to clear the plumbing. This is akin to sticking an electric screwdriver up a cows arse in the dark and hoping for the best. It's an almost satisfying procedure. Thankfully I'm good at hoping for the best and now our winter garden is pristine in a kind of untidy and damaged way and the brown bin is full of horrid leafy material that's ready for collection tomorrow. As a result of this I'm now quite relaxed.

Sunday, November 27, 2022

Handling the Truth

The truth is that there's a hotel toilet and a rather effective shower behind this door in Aberdeen. However all the towels have been used. Just turn the handle to reveal this truth if you are in that part of the world. If not you'll just have to take my word for it.

Saturday, November 26, 2022


Some early seasonal gifts from Ukraine. Even in war, turmoil and loss, kindness and appreciation can still prevail. Most people are good, it's just tragic that the rotten ones rise into powerful positions that they then abuse for their own personal gain and ambition.

Thursday, November 24, 2022

Self Portrait

Apart from questionable hair color and the actual amount of hair the likeness here is uncanny. The artist in question being none other than a five year old HP laptop that has both issues and attitude. Our high tech masters know their stuff (but maybe not the script) and will certainly be a force to be reckoned with if they can develop some sense of style and remain fully charged. ⚡

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Gratuitous Forms


When I was at secondary school lunch money was always tight, tough choices were necessary. Did you eat, did you drink or just buy some fags? Maybe a charitable friend would help out. Maybe you could steal a posh kid's lunch box. These were daily trials and decisions. Sometimes you ate nothing as you had no money or were paying off some debt or loan. Maybe you'd bought a second hand LP or needed to pay off a bully. Nonetheless there always was some kid, a boy naturally, who'd spend his lunch money on a single Swiss (jam) roll from a nearby corner shop. This would be eaten, often whilst walking and/or smoking, direct from the packaging as if it was a large sausage roll or a chicken wrap (which by the way did not exist in those dark times, neither did fast food outlets). It was the lunch of champions, or so those uncrowned and unlikely champions thought. I'm sure it still takes place today in some other gratuitous form.

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Observational Ranting

It's common knowledge that all the supermarkets sell cheaper own brand versions of famous brand foods. Usually not quite as good but passable and if you're on a budget they're fine. What I've noticed over time though, particularly with chocolates and certain biscuits is that the quality (not just the size, that's a racket that's been going on for years) is falling. Mars, Cadbury, Galaxy and Nestle brands all taste worse and have a poorer consistency than they did 30 years ago. You'd expect that food standards are better (who knows really) which might impact on taste etc. but the chocolate isn't nearly as good by colour, flavour and texture as it once was. Along the way they've ruined their business and I wouldn't miss not eating Mars or Cadbury products ever again. They are simply not worth it. The odd thing is that the inferior copy products now out perform the originators in every department. Aldi and Lidl copies taste better and more like the Mars/Cadbury stuff did back in the 60s and 70s. Anyway. Blah, blah, blah. Lovely distortion there.

Monday, November 21, 2022


"Some traditions are good, some not so good. All generalizations are wrong. Sometimes I think that those annoying and cantankerous dead people really knew a thing or two albeit they'd probably struggle with social media and think tanks. Many of them could write books though, compose songs and music, paint pictures and set up worthwhile institutions that changed things for the better. Those who knew about science and maths discovered life saving drugs and treatments, they build pyramids and space rockets and brewed beer and coffee. They explored. A few even turned out to be our parents. Anyway enough of that, there's stuff like religion, bagpipes, torture, exploitation and corruption to consider."   Also unknown.

Sunday, November 20, 2022

Impossible Psychedelic Moments

We have a different garden shed, the other has gone to the brown recycle bin located just outside heaven. Quite liking the interior space and the new fangled LED lighting. I spent most of yesterday sorting it out and quietly marveling. The older you get the more marvelous the world becomes until you reach the point where you're overcome by the wonder of it all and exist simply as the essence of your presence. You still need to eat, sip wine and take showers.

Meanwhile in the actual garden...

Saturday, November 19, 2022

Film Noir Totoro

Another questionable project: Took the financially risky decision to do a live action, film noir style remake of "My Neighbour Totoro" in period perfect monochrome. It has a downbeat feel to it but the warm poetic essence of the plot and characters remains cute as ever, well almost. "You may not want to feel good but you just might eventually" is our overlong working strap line. 

In this post-production still I'm shown travelling on the famous Catbus. To be honest I'm looking just a bit too smug and it's obvious that the production values could've been higher. You get what you pay for and we're living in a universe of self generated austerity. Despite that we've still to pencil in a few special effects, GCI blooper fixes etc. to smooth out some of the visual bumps but otherwise good to go. The arts are all  fucked anyway but we'll see you at the Oscars.

Friday, November 18, 2022

Unchained Recipes

First World Problems: People eat shit and more often than not it's their first choice. They could eat less shitty stuff seeing as how one man's shit is another man's pancake, but where do I begin? Ultimately it's a matter of taste, life style and affordability. These are not easy things to balance or criticize. So it was a rainy day yesterday and being bored on the hot new venture Mastodon I decided to carry out a few experimental recipes just to see what the outcomes might be. 

First up there was leek, onion, bacon and Coca-Cola soup. Truthfully not as brown as I imagined nor as sweet. Leeks are a powerful force in the world of vegetables and can neutralize harsh chemicals and small animals due to an electrical charge they emit mostly at a molecular level. If there ever was a "Soup-Off" TV show this soup would get a slimy handshake from the sincere millionaire presenter 8 days a week. Industrial giant and destroyer of worlds; Coca-Cola I salute you.

Next was Dr Pepper Chicken Korma. At least half a chicken had to die to fill this pot. A fact that leaves me uneasy and the chicken a whole lot worse. As the rain beat down against our leaky window panes I said a short prayer, "thank you God for the millimetre, Amen." Again the mystery that is Dr Pepper added an enigmatic and fruity je ne sais quoi to the dish and left the spellchecker befuddled. The curry consisted of Dr P, a jar of spicy gunge, onions, peppers (mixed), chicken bits and some E numbers (nobody mentions these anymore). Served with slow boiled rice it was surprisingly OK.

"I've been aware of time going by, they say in the end it's the wink of an eye," Jackson Browne, The Pretender.

Thursday, November 17, 2022


Experts everywhere are of the opinion that there's never been a better time in human history to pack up and head for the moon*. It offers peace, quiet and serenity if you can put up with a smattering of Chinese space junk that's been abandoned there. See Zoopla for details of some attractive property that's on offer for the curious buyer. Get in there before somebody else finds gold whilst raking through otherwise worthless mineral samples.

*Photo of Artemis 1 and the USA's moon taken from a Canberra.

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Lord of the Bins

Spotted in an Aberdeen street and digitally captured by my phone one Sunday night. No idea what's actually going on but it's an interesting photo. 

Monday, November 14, 2022

Into the Distance

However or wherever you travel you're always headed into the distance. A place you never quite get to. Perhaps it's home to you or a strange and unknown destination or nothing more than some fleeting visit that will be quickly overtaken by other experiences. Being there may change you, harden you, kill you. You're not really there though, you're not anywhere. We're all moving along on this abstract cosmic cycle. Tiresome at times, wonderful at others. One thing after another. Feet planted firmly onto the quicksand of travel.

Friday, November 11, 2022

Most Painful


So what or where is the most painful place to get a tattoo? I've little or no lived experience of these things but rumour has it that it's Dunfermline.

If you think that this image is NSFW you might well be correct but whatever it looks like to you I can assure you it's 100% pure AI.

Thursday, November 10, 2022

Treacherous Cretins

Frank Zappa Treacherous Cretins.  Pau, France 1979.

40+ years on and I probably should try to do my own (pretty sketchy) version based on today's "popular" everyday events, dumb-fuckery and dangerous circumstances and call it Venomous Morons or something. A homage and tribute to some of our various Short Kings.

Wednesday, November 09, 2022

Short Kings


Not really sure of what to make of this.

Cat: No Filter

Here's an unfiltered geriatric cat adopting a sitting freeze position which he managed to maintain for pretty much three hours. Most of this time he was purring and to all intents and purposes staring into space, happy with his lot. Frozen insomnia. I guess we've all been there.

Tuesday, November 08, 2022

The Elusive Melody

If there's a fuss then I don't know why: So I joined up to the Mastodon community and nothing really happened other than I thought I'd fallen into some sort of twenty year backwards time warp. Twitter seemed to encourage a pile in or a pile on to take place. "You have to be here" tweeted those in the know. Maybe all those escapees from Twitter don't actually know what they're doing or maybe they're just attention seekers wanting to make a point about this Musk fellow. Perhaps I just joined the wrong wing of the community (?), the Toot Community it appears to be called for no obvious reason. Sometimes social media is pretty disappointing regardless of the ownership or the platform. I wonder who might be at fault there?

Monday, November 07, 2022

Nihilists for Nothing

What Scottish people might say and might mean: "Yes" but with a slight tinge of "No really",  a pinch of "can't quite be bothered", a smidgen of "dinnae ken" and a spoonful of "aye, that'll be right". For politicians it doesn't really matter which political gravy train they're riding on, none of them ever get to their predicted destination, but that's not how they'd describe the experience. The somewhat jaded onlookers have little choice other than to look on ever bewildered.

Sunday, November 06, 2022

Roll Up for Glasto!

Roll up and get your Glastonbury 2023 tickets here, or not as the case may be. We live with the constant threat of disappointment, it's 2022 after all, the year of further shit happening. Losing out on this virtual queue is a pretty common experience as it turns out. Staring into the barrel of a 20 second countdown style void that judders along for 72 minutes is a cruel and slow form of torture for the elderly. Then the ugly truth emerges. It's all sold out and you might die without ever getting there. The promise was real but now it's gone. Now it's over for us. We retreat in abject failure and will, in due course think again, fingers at the ready.

Saturday, November 05, 2022

Here but not Created

Studio Diary: A worthwhile day was spent in the recording studio yesterday. As ever I'm learning all the time. 9v power cables generate a lot of unwanted noise, you may need to do away with them. My memory is unreliable. The abilities to count and concentrate are not linked. Click tracks only work up to a point, writing two rhythms into a song doesn't help. Auto-tune is everywhere, just embrace it's use at least in limited areas. A loud and dirty guitar sound leads to loud and dirty guitar music. The rule of "three takes for a guitar part/solo" holds up even after all these years. 

There is always a song that says, "you need a 12 string guitar for this". Every so often you should have the inside of your head scooped out like a boiled egg, this may sound bad or disturbing but it will help you in the long run. In a sensible world (?) petrol sold near to the refinery where it was refined should be cheaper in price than at places that are further away from the refinery. Glastonbury tickets go on sale tomorrow, we have two personal registration numbers; one has 9 digits, the other has 10. Hmm.

Friday, November 04, 2022

Uncanny Valley


Parking this here due to my own personal forgetfulness and self doubt as once again I must enter the valley. I'm clearly not a robot or some auto-tuned voice but sometimes I wish I was (just a bit). 

"Uncanny Valley" is a hypothesis that AI style human replicas that appear almost but not exactly like real humans elicit feelings of eeriness and revulsion, among some observers but not all. 

"Masahiro Mori's original hypothesis states that as the appearance of a robot is made more human, some observers' emotional response to the robot becomes increasingly positive and empathetic until it reaches a point beyond which the response quickly becomes strong revulsion. However, as the robot's appearance continues to become less distinguishable from a human being, the emotional response becomes positive once again and approaches human-to-human empathy levels." 

Thursday, November 03, 2022

Pleasure and Happiness

The new old urbanism: A wet Wednesday evening. Shoppers are queuing to buy tat in glossy shops where the label and bag logo mean more than the contents. Few things are "nice", they're just the shiny bright totems and charms that beckon the beholder into some pretend place of pleasure and temporary satisfaction. Like candlesticks and crosses in a gilded chapel, they suggest the great beyond, the supernatural and a wider horizon but the payoff never arrives. In the end they lead nowhere as the lights dim and the candle's wax cools into chilled drips that cling to their holders. The inner light has failed.  Nobody is going anywhere and the fun of existence is sucked into some black hole of continuous credit and hypnotic greed. So suck up some more snake oil and don't bother to review your life or purpose. The open road that led back to simplicity has closed it's black and yellow barriers. 

Anyway, it's hard not to wander around a mall and not feel you'll be picked up on CCTV as a bad egg, a misfit, walking in circles, going up and down escalators and not taking part in the shopping spree. Staring into windows isn't enough, you deserve to be ejected back out into the rain where you belong. Security sees you and the fingers point. If you want to stay then get in the line for a bubble tea, jewelry for a loved one's gift, some impossibly designed trainers or a perfume that will transport you to some exotic location where Jonny Depp might be waiting. Shopping breaks even more promises than religion or politics and nobody holds it to account as it just rolls on 24 hours a day, in the flesh, on line, over the phone, through TV. We seem to have the wisps of pleasure but never get to the heart of happiness.