Monday, July 31, 2006

Warning HMV can Serously Damage Your CD Covers

A few weeks ago I was given a five pound shopping voucher in return for doing a market research survey about internet companies. I put the voucher into my purse and then completely forgot about it. I remembered it last week when N and and I were in Virgin Megastore looking at the sale items. Yippee money to spend with no strings. I ended up buying two cds in the HMV sale which was very naughty. They were "Rearview Mirror" and "Yield" both by Pearl Jam.

Therein though lies the source of my woe! HMV in their infinite wisdom had stuck £7.99 price stickers onto the front of Rearview Mirror (the cover is cardboard with a foil type picture) and when you peel it off part of the picture comes with it. I was annoyed, true it doesn't look too bad, but it devalues the cd slightly and I like to keep my cds in good condition. I saved the receipt and next time we went to the city I went back into HMV to change it. But after looking at the other copies in the sale we discovered that the same thing had happened to all of them, grrrr, so needless to say I kept the original copy. I do wish shops would think about labeling though. Labels are heard enought to get off of plastic cd cases where it doesn't damage the art work, but they really ought to check when labelling cardboard covers, either that or the record company should shrink wrap delicate covers!

Friday, July 28, 2006

Wearing Music Like an old Jumper

Listening to "24 Carat Purple" by Deep Purple is like putting on a favourite old jumper. It's soothingly familiar (even after years in the draw), it smells good, it makes me feel both comfortable and comforted. It's a bit like having a child's comfort blanket.

"24 Carat Purple" is a compilation admittedly, but it was the first Deep Purple album I ever owned so I still regard it as my favourite. (Although after watching a recent episode of Classic albums I have been finally convinced that I might want to own my own copy of Machine Head - from which LP some of the tracks on Carat are taken).

Classic albums is a great series I think that it was originally aired on the BBC but recently they have been repeating it late at night on VH1 (although alas now I have gone over to digital tv I won't be able to see it!). Each episode takes an in depth look at how a classic album was made. Talking to the band members plus the producer, the engineer etc. They have done some excellent albums - Macine Head by Deep Purple, Fleetwood Mac's Rumours, Transformer by Lou Reed, U2's The Joshua Tree, Dark Side of the Moon etc.

I was thinking though that there is a few others that they could do - this is what I came up with:

Tapestry - Carol King
Screamadelica - Primal Scream
Blue - Joni Mitchell
Outlandos D'amour - The Police
Desire - Bob Dylan
Ziggy Stardust - David Bowie
Jollification - The Lightning seeds
Hotel California - The Eagles
Solid Air - John Martyn
American Pie - Don Mclean

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Thirteen Great Musical Films

1…. The Wall
Great film featuring the music of Pink Floyd and starring Bob Geldof as a rock stargoing through a terrifying breakdown. I had to sneak into the cinema when this came out as it was an 18 (I was 16). A fantastic use of music to illustrate the story.

2...Rude Boy
A semi fictional account of a Clash fan and his relationship/friendship with the band. If you are a Clash fan this is a must see as this contains probably some of the best live performances you will ever see!

One of my favourite films of all time. A film about mods, rokers and dissillusioned youth all set to a fabulous Who soundtrack - superb!

4...Funky Monks
I suppose you would call this a Rockumentary - a kind of video diary of the making of the Red Hot Chilli Peppers album Blood, Sex, Magic. This is a non glossy look at how artists work and features some brilliant musicianship that will take your breath away.

5...The Song Remains the Same
Slightly dated Led Zeppelin film of their houses of the Holy tour. There are some weird drama bits in here that are a little annoying - but the concert footage is amazing. They play the entire Houses of the Holy album plus other famous tracks, one to watch if you want to see musical chemistry at work.

A film about the careers and rivalries between the Dandy Warhols and The Brian Jonestown Masacre. Will alernately make you laugh, make you cry, take your breath away and finally leave you feeling glad it's not you. But along the way amongst the drug fuelled mayhem there is some great music.

7...Westside Story
I haven't watched this in a while, but as a child and ateenager this modern day version of Romeo and Juliet used to make me cry. The music is heart wrenching and there is some great dancing.

8...Absolute Beginners
Not one of the best movies of all time, but a highly under rated masterpiece none the less. Directed by Julien Temple and Featuring some great music from Paul Weller and David Bowie and starring David Bowie, Patsy Kensit and Sade.

9...Alice's Restaurant
I used to love this film - it is very of it's time (the 1960s). Featuring Arlo Guthrie (son of Woody) and some great folk songs this film covers such topical issues as grabage dumping and the draft - brilliant.

The Who's rock opera. I will never forget Keith Moon as dirty Uncle Ernie (fiddling about). Great music and riveting viewing featuring great performances from all the who plus Elton John, Eric Clapton, Ann Margeret, Arthur Brown, Tina Turner, Oliver Reed, Paul Nicholas and Robert Powell. That deaf dumb and blind kid syre plays a mean pinball...

11...Saturday Night Fever
I was too young to see this when it came out and I was devastated. This sums up a musical era and heralded the end of the seventies. John Travolta at his arrogant hip swinging best accompanied by a pumping disco soundtrack. I gave this LP to a charity shop years ago and have lived to regret it!

I did see this at the cinema, I think I went three or four times. As teenagers we were all in love with the John Travolta character Danny. We had the album and knew the words to all the songs. This is a musical classic and it's appeal is enduring, each new generation that sees it loves it - my 13 year old son is a fan!

13...Abba the Movie
I had to include this as Abba marked my true entry into music fandom. I loved them when I was 11 and 12, I though they were brilliant and I used to play their albums over and over. I went to see the movie several times and thoroughly enjoyed it - it is about a music journalist following them on their Austrailian tour and trying to get an interview with the band. Again some good concert footage. Abba may not have been the greatest musicians in the world but they knew how to write a catchy tune and work a crowd. A great blast from the past!

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!

1. (leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)

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The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Monday, July 24, 2006

sun is shining

Everyone seems a touch tetchy at the moment - it must be due to the extreme heat.
What we need is some hot weather music to chill us out - so here is my hot weather top 10...

1) Sun is Shining - Bob Marley and the Wailers
2) Leaving to Zion - Black Uhuru
3) Food for Thought - UB40
4) Where is the Love - The Black Eyed Peas ft Justin Timberlake
5) In my Head - Queens of the Stone Age
6) Sin Palabras - Radio Tarifa
7) Sundays and Holidays - Red House Painters
8) Every Day is Like Sunday - Morrisey
9) Rhythm Is A Dancer - Snap
10) Love Explosion - The Lightning Seeds

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Things I love

Thirteen Things I love to do - in no particular order!

1…. Make Collage - Hugely satisfying!

2....Writing Poetry

3....Painting - even though i'm not that good at it!

4....having Sex - obviously!

5...Listening to Music


7....Singing - I usually only do it on my own!

8....reading a great novel

9...Swimming in the sea - there's nothing else like it!

10....Taking photos

11....losing myself in a good film at the cinema

12...Watching a really funny play

13...Dancing (not too good at this either!)

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
1. Karen

2. Carmen

3. Missi

4. Christina

5. Lil Duck Duck

6. Tracie

7. Raggedy

8. Stacey

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Collage Machine

If you like art try out this collage making machine at the National Gallery of Art Washington. You can click and drag pictures, resize them make them transparent etc. I made a really good picture - the only problem I found was that because the machine is a shockwave player I couldn't find a way to save my picture. But art is transient and maybe that is the beauty of this player - make something beautiful (or ugly of course) and then let it go.....

Wordless Wednesday - Hydrant

Honkin On A Hydrant
Originally uploaded by pupski.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Music to start the week

10 tracks to help me start the week - in no particular order:

1) Highway Star - Deep Purple
2) Silver Spoon - Paul Kanter and Grace Slick
3) Rolling on the River - Creedence Clearwater Revival
4) Crazy on You - Heart
5) Shadows of Ourselves - The Theivery Corporation
6) You've got to Hide Your Love Away - The Beatles
7) Bushes - 1 Giant Leap (featuring Babaa Maal)
8) Somebody to Love - Queen
9) When a Blind Man Cries - Deep Purple
10) Knock Me Out - Linda Perry and Grace Slick

songs for the road

Yesterday I went on a long car journey with Hunchermuncher and N. H has this cool thing that you plug into the car stereo and then you can play your ipod or mp3 player through it. Not so simple to choose the music though...N is nearly 14 and likes house music and film music and H like some of the things I do but not all. I rose to the challenge though and made a playlist that I hoped would please both of them - and with enough tracks that we could skip some if they weren't popular. phew....
Popular choices were: "brown Sugar" by the Rolling Stones, Baka Beyond, Faithless and "Good Vibrations" by the Beach Boys.

Today though it's back to thinking about music I like - after talking in one of my previous posts about Grace Slick I wanted to hear some tracks off the album Sunfighter by Grace Slick and Paul Canter, I have had a look for the CD but it doesn't seem to have been re-issued in the UK, only in USA. I may have to save up and order a copy through Amazon. I did manage to download one track "Silver Spoon", which is really good although the words are a bit full on:
Throw down all yoursilver spoons -
ea tall of the raw meat with your hands.
Pick it up piece by piece
Pick it up piece by piece
Pick it up piece by piece

Where are the bodies for dinner?
I want my food!
What if you were starving to death
and the only food you had was me -
what would you say to the cannibal question?
Would your answer be perfectly free?

Your mama told you never to eat
your friends with your fingers and hands,
but I say you ought to eat what you will -
shove it n your mouth any way that your can.

You think that I will come to your mouth,
looking for a home.
But I get stuck sideways in your throat
like a good old chickenbone.

Where are the bodies for dinner?
I want my food!
Stay out the kitchen children
The cook is cleaning his gun
He just got back from the open market -
shooting his food on the run.

Your mama told you never to eat
your friends with your fingers and hands,
but I say you ought to eat what you will -
shove it in your mouth any way that your can.

Sharpen your teeth for the family feast -
let all the hungry drool roll down your chin.
Hide the human and bring out the beast.
Let all the animal games begin!
Where are the bodies for dinner?
I want my food!

You could leave to dine on your friends -
pour their bones into a cannibal soup
muscles like steak blood like wine -
save the brains to feed to troops

Scarlet juices oozing slow - boiling in a human sea.
Is it human dinner you're talking about?
Then slice me tender raw and lean
Where are the bodies for dinner?
I want my food!

Oily fingers can hardly wait -
bodies slumped face in plate
Wake up the drunks the coffers on
the fourteenth course has come and gone.
So long, all day sucker your candy has come and gone
and its left you with your mouth wide open.
Just humming cannibal songs.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Pop Literature

I Was reading an old Observer Music magazine and came across "Top 100 Music Books". It was an interesting list and made me want to immediately read several of them, but after searching on ebay and Amazon I was only able to locate a few of them. I was surprised though to see that there were no books about David Bowie on the list. You would have thought that if they were including works such as Jenny Fabian's "Groupie" that they might have also included Angie Bowie's "Backstage Passes". Sting's recent autobiography did not make their list either, although Robbie Williams biog made number three - now that can't be right!

Ah well I am looking forward to getting my paws on a copy of Brian Eno's "A Year With Swollen Appendices" which sounds both entertaining and weird in equal measure! Watch this space for furthur updates.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Thirteen Albums I would love to get on CD

1…. Sheer Heart Attack - Queen

I have owned several copies of this over the years but never on cd.

2....Live and Direct - Aswad

I used to love this album, but it seems very hard to find on CD.

3....Pure - The Lightning Seeds

another one that is hard to come by. I still have my pre-recorded tape!

4....Machine Head - Deep Purple

I watched Classic Albums last night and it reminded me what an excellent one this was!

5....Dreamboat Annie - Heart

just for a bit of nostalgia! I liked this a lot when I was in my early 20s.

6....Dub Side of the Moon - Easy Star All Stars

I only discovered this recently and have the track money. Brilliant!

7....Heavy Horses/Aqualung - Jethro Tull

couldn't choose between these two - they are quite different to one another, Aqualung is more of a concept album and is slightly darker, whilst Heavy Horses has a lot of feel good tracks and somehow seems very English (songs about woodland and the countryside).

8....Into the Music/Hard Nose the Highway - Van Morrison

ok so maybe it's cheating slightly to have two but there are more Van Morrison albums than this that I could have listed! I used to have Into the Music on pre-recorde tape when I was a teenager and have never got round to replacing it. Just recently however, I have found myself wanting to hear it again. Check out "And the Healing has Begun".

9....Transformer - Lou Reed

another one I just never got round to updating. I recently bought a cd copy of Coney Island Baby, which is excellent. This is a classic and I should be ashamed of myself for not upgrading!

10....Led Zeppelin I

I have an extremely knackered vinyl version of this, probably too knackered to play!

11....Dreams - Grace Slick

another album that I used to have on vinyl. Not many people have heard of this one. I also had one called "Sunfighter" by Grace Slick and Paul Kanter that was really good.

12....Quark, Strangeness and Charm - Hawkwind

a real blast from my past but stands up surprisingly well against the tests of time. Even though this was always my absolute favourite Hawkwind album I never have owned my own copy (shame on me!). Listened to some of it recently and it sounds very fresh, unlike a lot of their other stuff.

13....Folkjkeopus/The Unknown Soldier - Roy Harper

both excellent albums that I had on vinyl. Completely different to one another. Folkjkeopus is folky, acoustic, hippy songs whereas The Unknown Soldier is electric, more rocky and features artists like David Gilmour and Kate Bush.

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!1. Susan

2. Carmen

3. armywife

4. Lil Duck Duck

5. Red

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Monday, July 10, 2006

Sudden Urge

What is it that makes a person suddenly want to hear a song that they haven't heard for years? Sometimes it can be triggered by something someone says, something you see or aplace you go to. But other times it is just a mystery. A song you haven't heard for years just pops into your head and you know you have to find it and hear it or else. This has happened to me a lot recently. Travelling to Mytelini airport on the journey home from Lesvos I got an overwheming desire to listen to Tenement Funster by Queen from the album Sheer Heart Attack and then at the weekend I kept thinking of the track "In Your Eyes" by Peter Gabriel.

Now the Queen one has a tentative connection I suppose, we were driving along in a car at the time and there is a line in the song that goes "or give me an open car" so that kind of makes sense. but the Peter Gabriel is a complete mystery, I only had the song on tape and that was years ago as I am generally not a great Peter Gabriel fan. But suddenly I just had to hear that track. It's all very mysterious.

Back from Hols Playlist

1) In Your Eyes - Peter Gabriel
2) Tenement Funster - Queen
3) Do it Again - Smash Mouth (a brilliant cover of the Steely Dan song that I heard at little bar in Greece - it took me ages to find out who did it!)
4) Money - Easy Star All Stars (a dub version of the classic Pink Floyd Track - comes from an album called Dub Side of the Moon)
5) And the Healing Has Begun - Van Morrison (sublime!)
6) 36D - the Beautiful South
7) Rock and Roll - Led Zeppelin
8) Any Other Name - Thomas Newman
9) Journey Between - Baka Beyond
10) Epoca - Gotan Project
11) For No One - The Beatles
12) Don't Give Up - Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush
13) Adiemus - Vangelis

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Polluted Planet

It's taking me a bit of time to adjust to being back in the UK. The first thing that really hit me was the amount of traffic there is on the roads and how polluted the air seems after the clean fresh air of Lesvos. Second is how stressed out and aggressive people seem. It must be to do with our life styles. In the taxi coming back to Norwich I was struck by how ironic it is that we just keep building roads whilst oil is fast running out.

Years ago I had a dream that I woke up one day and the whole of the country was just one big sheet of tarmac. Sometimes I think that that dream might just come true - a land made of tarmac but nothing left to drive!

I always find a trip on the motorway stressful and I am bemused as to why the government keep pouring money into making new roads and not into public transport. It is obvious to any fool that a major way to reduce air pollution, conserve fuel etc is for more people to use public transport. And why not, statistically it is safer, less stressful, more relaxing and yopu can reador work at the same time. The most prohibitive factor for most people that I know is the cost. From Norwich it is cheaper to fly to Edinburgh than go by train, to visit my mum 200 miles away costs £70, more at peak times. It's no wonder that the roads are full of single occupant cars - it's cheaper. In Norwich it is cheaper for a family to park in the city centre than to travel in by bus. Now that can't be right.....

Monday, July 03, 2006

No tide in the Mediterranian?

I had always known that there is virtually no tide in the Mediterranean sea, but this week I found myself wondering why. The reason apparently, is that the Med is more like a big lake than an ocean as it is virtually landlocked. The pull of the moon's gravity causes tides in water - the more water, the greater the tide - so the med has less of a tide as it has less water than the Atlantic or the Pacific. It does have a small tide though - that's why there are waves.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Town Dog or Country Dog?

I am coming to realise that despite the fact that I live in a city that I am becoming more and more of a country dog. I crave quiet and to be away from the hustle and bustle of town life. I long to be away from traffic and crowds. Places that I loved a few years ago now just seem to busy for me. Maybe it's getting old, maybe it's just that when you have a lot going on in your life you need quiet space to reflect and recover. Or maybe life is just too noisy and hectic these days.