Stan Lee RIP. He had a pretty great innings though, let’s agree.
Several times recently I’ve come across suggestions that we may once again see Tony Blair and, more recently David Cameron on the political stage.
You’d think Blair is irredeemable – I did until recently – but his interviews with the likes of Nick Robinson have made me miss politicians with a shred of evidence of thought and belief in something. Now, clearly there is a problem here – many will never forgive him for Iraq. I am of that group. However if it doesn’t matter that the Labour leader mourns the death of the terrorist who masterminded the Munich terror attack, perhaps the man who launched a (just about) legally prosecuted war has a way back. I wouldn’t put money on it but I sense he’s gaining a little toehold in something. Given the choice between whatever nutter runs the Tories and Jeremy Corbyn, well, I’d have to think. Then vote Lib Dem, but we have our own problems. Hmmm.
Cameron I can only see returning due to inconceivable party largesse as for me he is a completely busted flush, calling a referendum to resolve party differences which he then cocked up the campaign and left the party more riven » Continue Reading.
Twang, Skirky, Bartleby, Askwith and El Hombre Malo convene in the pod to discuss the noble practice of being in a band – forming, storming, norming, falling apart, making a row and having FUN. Hoary anecdotes are told, bad gigs ruefully recounted and occasional triumphs celebrated. Tips are available on the tricky art of getting rid of failing band members – spoiler alert, cowardice is your friend. Part 2 is threatened…
I find myself curiously drawn to corduroy. Cord jeans were a thing when I was a teenager. There was the great early 80s elephant cord scare… Since then, nothing. Suddenly, I fancy some black cord jeans, or a battered pale brown cord jacket (the like of which I might have worn to 6th form). What is happening?
We’ve dipped into terrible films a few times before in sub threads, but I thought it might be a useful service to have a definitive resource to check against before committing to a few hours viewing. I speak from recent experience – see comments. Accepting one person’s meat is another’s poison, it would be good to say why it’s terrible. There’s quite a bit of retrospective reassessment of old films through a modern lense which colours things, for example. Get in and share!
I find myself in Southend for a couple of days – recommendations of places to visit gratefully received!
Year: 2018 Director: James Russell, Andy Derbyshire
To the Everyman in Kings Cross for the premiere of Steven Wilson’s film “Home Invasion”, filmed at the Albert Hall earlier this year. I went to the gig but on a different night, but I can report that the film absolutely captures what’s great about SW. Often pigeonholed as “prog”, which is not unfair, this shows off his other pretty dominant influences of acoustic harmony, pop and more experimental electronica through to Bollywood. Dipping right back into the Porcupine Tree catalogue as well as the hit albums of “The raven who refused to sing”, “Hand. Cannot. Erase” and “To the bone” the film is an excellent record of Steven summarising his career with his superb band. They are all terrific players but particular mention should be made of Ninet Tayeb, whose second vocals bring the house down every time she opens her mouth, and the awesome Nick Beggs on bass who represents several metric tonnes of concrete in the foundations of the sound, one minute slapping and popping like an 80s bass player (who was that band…?), sitting in the pocket for pure pop mobility or getting all King Crimson on us on » Continue Reading.
I just noticed that Chrome is now saying the Afterword is not secure in the command bar….
Not an encrypted connection according to Edge…
I’ve not noticed this before. What’s going on? Do we care?
I want to make a little animated film to be a video for a piece of music for YouTube. There are various freebie tools on the web – does anyone have any experience of them? I’m thinking along the line of the old OGWT Filmfinders weird films (though drawings, not old footage). Stick men running about would be fine! Any pointers welcome.
I can only dream of this masterpiece.
Twang, Ganglesprocket, Feedback File, TR Magic Words and Tiggerlion assemble in the pod, adopt “The Thinker” posture and get deep and philosophical on the weighty topic of whether music matters? Did it ever? Has the age of music being central to everything gone? Was John Miles right? Listen and find out.
I like a good homily, bromide, bit of received wisdom, whatever. Useful for passing on to less wise colleagues or the feckless youth. I am particularly fond of:
If a deal looks too good that’s probably because it is… or The best argument against democracy is a 5 minute chat with the average voter or Penny wise pound foolish (especially when buying fun but non-essential items)
What are yours? Are there times when you have ruefully muttered something, but too late?
Let’s pass on our collective wisdom.
Steve Hackett’s tour of the U.K. with full band and orchestra ended at the London Palladium with a show understandably heavy on the Genesis, but with a decent serving of his solo material too. The sound was excellent and as full as you’d expect given a 40 piece orchestra sat behind a 6 piece band comprising Steve’s guitar, keys, drums, a Mike Rutherford stand in on bass, double neck guitar with 12 string and bass pedals, a soprano sax player who also played flute, whistle, electronic percussion and bass pedals (bass pedals featured heavily, an intense low frequency buzz which went on rather too long for this punter), a vocalist who could do Gabriel satisfactorily and a variety of special guests. In truth the orchestra was rather lost under the rock band, with only the odd snatch of strings popping up in a quiet bit, or toot of brass finding a hole to pop through but they made a fine back drop and a nice alternative to the ever present film loops which are becoming obligatory at the modern prog gig.
The show opened with “Dance on a Volcano”, from “Trick of the Tail”, » Continue Reading.
What does it sound like?:
Bert Jansch is an icon amongst guitarists, not only for his influence on people like Jimmy Page and Neil Young, but also for his astounding ability to take relatively few notes and make them sound amazing and unique. He’s not a shredder, battering the listener with technique, but rather an artist, making every note count and knowing that the space left between them is probably more important.
This collection gathers representative tracks from Bert’s entire career starting in the early 60s when he seems to have emerged almost fully formed – clearly he’d been listening to American blues finger style players – but quickly shook loose from those standard tropes and took off with a strange amalgam of blues and folk which sounds fantastic today but which must have had a similar effect as that generated by Jimi Hendrix a few years later – WTF is this, they must have wondered. Let’s remember at the time instruments were frowned on in folk clubs, and original compositions were unthinkable. Sitting on top of the guitar is Bert’s voice, definitely of the folk tradition and with not a trace of mid Atlantic phoniness about it. It’s » Continue Reading.
Lately my phone just will not remember my AW login so I have to re-enter sign in details each time. First world problem but irritating. Anyone else got this? I’m using the Samsung browser.
Twang, Fortune 8, Uncle Wheaty, FentonSteve and Dave Big Picture gather in the pod to discuss live albums good, bad, and ugly. The boys venture off piste into genres of which they are manifestly ignorant (are there drum solos on live rap albums?) and manage to go for minutes at a time without getting back to “Live and Dangerous”.
This book charts the systematic destruction of the music industry business model by a relatively small but highly organised band of ideologically driven pirates and in parallel covers the development of the .mp3 in the face of rival formats, corrupt standards bodies and engineering obsessives who spend weeks in $5000 headphones listening to “Tom’s Diner”. Off in PC world someone develops the ability to rip audio and thoughtfully bundles it for free in the world’s most popular operating system whilst CD burners plummet in price. What can possibly go wrong? The endlessly greedy music industry, continuing to drive down production costs whilst racking up prices and music exec remuneration, doesn’t generate much sympathy either. Everyone ends sadder and wiser, and the industry is forced to redefine itself for the video age accommodating upstarts like YouTube.
Stephen Witt focusses on a few key players, and chops from pirate activity to da biz to the German scientists listening over and again to the same song whilst trying to get someone to accept that this is a great tool for streaming (Streaming? “That’ll never catch on”, the moguls chortle) so that the story is actually gripping in a thriller kinda way » Continue Reading.
Twang, Fortune 8, Rigid Digit and Asquith convene in the pod to discuss TV past and present. The square eyed team cover programmes old and new, deep dive into comedy and crime (who was in Cannon?), the Beeb, new ways of consuming the same old rubbish and take a punt on the future of that about which so many grumble whilst spending hours a week consuming.
What does it sound like?:
Martin Barre’s new solo album is his 8th to be released, and is a proudly old school set. The album sound is very 70s in that the deafening snare drum of the 80s or the very bright, loud, reverb and delay drenched sound of a modern production are avoided lending the songs a pleasingly woody, dusty vibe which suits them well. Martin wrote the music and also the lyrics which explore more gritty rock themes of struggle, hard work and emotional depths than the random topics in which ex-Tull colleague Ian Anderson sought inspiration. The playing is great of course, with the guitar playing a match for anything you’ll hear on Planet Rock and with quite a bit more taste than that displayed by yer average rock widdler. The presence of banjo, mandolin, mandola and a variety of acoustic guitars means the tonal pallet varies nicely from song to song. Variety is also provided by there being three vocalists on the album, band regular Dan Crisp plus Becca Langsford and Alex Hart providing bluesy female contributions. The songs are ripe with riffs, plenty of proper arrangement and lots to discover on repeated listens. It’s folk » Continue Reading.
YouTube is full of experts telling you how to play Jay Graydon’s fantastic solo from “Peg”, all of them wrong. Finally the great man has shown how to do it himself, with a few stories about how it was recorded. Unsurprisingly the secret was a bit of theory in response to Walter saying “think blues” and a whole lot of chance taking and winging it.
Mrs. T gave me Kylie’s new album “Golden” as a tongue in cheek wedding anniversary pressie – it’s been a running joke that I have had a mild crush on Kylie since decades ago which continues to amuse her. This all started when I heard “I should be so lucky” on the car radio when it was originally a hit and turned it off in disgust – the person I was with told me it’s the actress off “Neighbours” (which I had never seen). Fast forward to Thursday night – Top of The Pops. They show the video of ISBSL. I am utterly smitten. I don’t particularly like the song, but her delivery is perfect. Beyond perfect actually – watching it again now, not having seen it for years, it’s not obvious that this cute girl is going to be one of the biggest stars, like, ever, but she absolutely owns it and it’s almost impossible not to be won over.
Of course we all know the story – Kylie has a string of hits with SAW, goes indie and makes a more cutting edge dance/rock album with the Manic Street Preachers amongst others, falls in with more disreputable Aussie » Continue Reading.
I’m really sick of the Rolling Stones.
Twang, Tiggerlion, Junior Wells, El Hombre Malo and Mike H gather in the pod to discuss the first half of Miles Davis’s career. Berets are worn, goatees stroked and brows furrowed as the boys try to navigate the work of an artist who seemed to be having about 4 careers at once, frequently releasing multiple albums per year. Favourite albums are debated and ever switching musical companions considered, but we all agree that “Kind of blue” is definitely quite good.
We struggle endlessly with the eternal question “what shall we eat this week”. What are your favourites? Moving out of default salad is stressing me out.
No! Wait! Not another thread about Steven Wilson Tull remixes…..
Somehow I have damaged my shoulder – not doing anything specific that I can remember, but the tendon is tight as flip and two physios and a lot of stretching and yoga stuff aren’t touching it. They are currently unable to decide if it is actually a neck problem cause by my shoulder or a shoulder problem cause by my neck. One by product of this is I have realised I am both exacerbating the problem and at the same time opening up a new vista of discomfort from it due to the way I sleep. A bit of investigation has taught me that there are back sleepers and side sleepers – something pretty obvious but I didn’t know it was a thing. I’m a side guy, which is the problem. A little more research suggests the pillow you use us critical to pain free sleeping, especially with shoulder problems.
I was just looking at a pillow which costs £90 FFS. Current favourite is one of these wave shaped ones which is apparently just the kiddy.
Like everything, there is a lot of opinion out there – what think the » Continue Reading.
Twang, Chiz, Carl and Retropath 2 gather in the pod to discuss, in a shameless bit of navel gazing, the Afterword. Topic originator Attack Dog was busy on guard duty at the time so had to sit this one out but his growl was there in spirit. The team discuss their entry to the blog, favourite threads, how to achieve an effective flounce, hate threads and much more. About half way through, reggae fans will appreciate the contribution of guest producer Lee “Scratch” Perry as participants randomly disappear into a Skype provided echo chamber, but the team are not phased by this first known venture into podcast dub, and get to the end in a positive, if cautious, mood about the future of our little corner of the internet.