rhythmaning: (Default)
The other day on Facebook, [livejournal.com profile] nicnac challenged me to name some of the bands I had seen in my youth. Which got me thinking - what bands have I seen? I started to make a list, trawling the web and looking at books to remind myself.

Most of these I am absolutely certain I have seen, though there are a few I think I've seen and a couple that I think I must have seen. Some of them I have no recollection of seeing, but they were on the same bill and I know I saw the bands before and after, so I must have seen them. It is always possible I may be imagining one or two...
Cut because there are 220 of them... )
rhythmaning: (violin)
Back in – I think – November, Andrew Dubber decided to start a new project. He wanted to twin towns – and make a mixtape, one side for each town.

Recently moved south, I asked for Edinburgh – twinned with Dunedin (a city in New Zealand, settled, I believe, by immigrants from Edinburgh who named their new home after the Scots for their old one).

Andrew’s tape arrived in February; but in between, I had moved flats; and I hadn’t set up my cassette player for my hifi (nor, I should point out, my CD player or record player – just my ipod and the radio, for now).

So I haven’t played Andrew’s tape, which I felt very bad about: he had gone to the trouble of making it, and I hadn’t listened to it.

Until today. I’m visiting friends in the country, and, knowing they had a hifi with cassette player, I brought the tape along.

It is a great piece of music programming. There is an art to making a mixtape – a dying art (viz my lack of cassette player). You can create playlists to share on Spotify or last.fm, but somehow that doesn’t feel the same. I used to make a lot of mixtapes – mostly but not exclusively for myself. Before we had CDs – yes, there was a time (and there’ll be kids growing up who will know neither cassettes nor CDs…) – cassettes were the most transportable form of music. We’d all make cassettes of party music, and fight over whose tape would provide the dance music (we didn’t have DJs back then, either!).

When I first got a car, I had a portable cassette player which would sit on the front seat. Road music got added to the mix.

And making a mixtape was part of the wooing process – a mating ritual, sharing something with a prospective mate.

Online playlists don’t quite do it.

Andrew’s Edinburgh/Dunedin tape is great. A lot of thought has gone into the programming – the order of the tracks. A range of genres from Tom Waits to the Fall via a range of Scottish bands and Scottish jazz on the Edinburgh side. I don’t quite get all the connections, but most I can see the link to Edinburgh. (The Blue Nile might not agree…)

The Dunedin side is full of artists unknown to me. I presume they are largely from New Zealand, though they don’t include any of the New Zealand bands I know (and – I’m feeling smug here – he missed a trick: Edinburgh drummer John Rae now lives in New Zealand, apparently).

It is great fun: not random, but not in my control or experience. There is a story within the music and the choices. And I get to hear new things!

And it makes me think I really must get by cassette player out of the loft and explore all those old cassettes I made twenty five years ago…

ETA: Andrew sent me an email saying "I think yours was one of the easiest tapes for me to compile though - because of this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunedin_Sound
"

The track listing for the Dunedin side was...
  1. Pink Frost - The Chills
  2. Husband House (?) - Sneaky Feelings
  3. Little Things - Trinity Roots
  4. Block of Wood - The Bats
  5. Mary Tyler Moore - Able Tasmans
  6. Touch Me - Superette
  7. Nova Scotia - The Stereo Bus
  8. My Electric Husband - Bachelorette
  9. Raukatauri - SJD
  10. I Will Not Let You Down - Don McGlashan (?)
rhythmaning: (whisky)
This is the second part of a letter I wrote nearly twenty years ago...

The second story I have to tell is simpler; it begins where the first ended, in my office. I was leaning against a doorway, talking to a computer guy, talking spreadsheets maybe, and memory, and as he walked away, I pushed against the doorway. In a second, I was on the floor in agony, and a fire-extinguisher was on my ankle. Rolling on the carpet. I stood on my other leg, and hopped - and I thought I was all right I was fine, me I'm all smiles.

I was sitting at my desk a few minutes later when I realized my foot felt damp; my sock was red and blood filled my shoe. Oh my - the pictures swing and fall. I phone the first aid girl, a secretary who sits with a friend, and ask to come over. She does it by the book - I don't see - and calls me a cab to take me to the hospital. (The grapevine moves quickly; when I get in on the following Monday, suddenly everyone knows my face, and asks if I am ok.)

I still don't think I am hurt; I hop down four flights of stairs, because I get irritated waiting for the lift (on the eighth floor, of course); I hop into the taxi. I walk into the hospital, down on Dean Ryle Street; I know it well: my grandmother - a sickly woman - was there a lot. I talk to the nurse on the casualty desk, and she gives me a form or two to fill in (always a dilemma: I call myself Mr). I sit on an uncomfortable seat, my leg stretched out in front or tucked under as I feel easier.
...lots more words... )

Twenty Four

May. 3rd, 2009 01:19 pm
rhythmaning: (violin)
I wrote this back in 1991, as a letter to a friend; I recently came across it and enjoyed reading it again, so I thought I’d post it here, too. I recently moved back into the area, and I have been making the same journey. The sights are the same, twenty years on, though the buses have changed…

The everyday thing - this happens everyday - every working day, anyhow, and a few times at weekends too. Going to work - a simple process, but fascinating: watching the world go by. It interests me, this process - partly because I see motion and movement as crucial to my character - one reason perhaps I will never truly settle (until, perhaps, I find someone with whom I want to settle?) - and I define myself in part by movement, by walking, and by watching things change as I move. (They move too, of course, in their own speed, in their way; sometime watching me change as I pass by.)

There are two ways to get to work, and each of those has two alternative routes. I prefer the bus, but when if I am busy at work, I will take the tube; it gets me there about half an hour earlier, and is more hurried, more intense, so I think I may arrive at my desk slightly more flustered, but more ready to do battle with the phones and computers.

DSC_0008 cut



The bus: the bus down to the office leaves from South End Green, five minutes away. I walk passed nurses coming off their night shift, looking tired, almost hostile, as if the world has just been too painful for the last twelve hours that the one thing they can't bear to see are the trees in the sunshine. I walk passed the smell of freshly baked bread - always tempted to go in and buy a donut - and across the zebra crossing; I cross the road arrogantly, daring the cars not to stop - though they always do - and I barely look at them.

Cut for length; lots of words but no more pictures... )
rhythmaning: (violin)
I have written before how written before how I "starred" in a short movie set in 1960s London. (Irritatingly the film credits spelt my name wrong - and they couldn't afford to correct it! So IMDB gets it wrong, too... I played Johnny!)

I was a little surprised to hear the film being discussed on Radio4.

I didn't get a name check - though they did describe it as a charming story...
rhythmaning: (violin)
There was a fairly depressing article in today's The Observer about libraries and the erosion of both their collections and their place in British society.

I like libraries, although i must admit I haven't been in a library for perhaps five years. Libraries have played an important part in my life, since I was first taken to the library at primary school: a crocodile of small children meandering down the street – the street where I lived, indeed – to a the children's library housed next to the building renowned for being Keats' house. My mother took me there as well and, later, I would go by myself on my way home from secondary school.
Read more... )
rhythmaning: (violin)
This time last weekend, I was sitting around nervous, waiting for things to happen. I looked at Twitter; [livejournal.com profile] frankie_cap broadcast that she was earwormed by Tom Lehrer's song about the atomic table.

For a reason that I can't fathom, this got me thinking of the song Dry Bones by Fred Waring & The Pennsylvanians - only as it appeared in the tv programme The Signing Detective. Or as it might have appeared - because in my head, it was being sung by the schoolteacher.

I know she sang After You've Gone - a scary, nightmaring witch of a woman, terrifying her pupils. And that Dry Bones - in the series - was sung by Joanne Whalley as a nurse with a chorus of medical students and some nifty vibraphone work on a skeleton.

But what came into my head was the schoolteacher singing Dry Bones. And the image stuck there.

Later in the day, I saw the schoolteacher for real: the actress Janet Henfrey was the main speaker at the memorial celebration organised at my mother's college. And she played the nightmarish teacher in the Signing Detective.

This is very, very strange.
rhythmaning: (violin)
This time last weekend, I was sitting around nervous, waiting for things to happen. I looked at Twitter; [livejournal.com profile] frankie_cap broadcast that she was earwormed by Tom Lehrer's song about the atomic table.

For a reason that I can't fathom, this got me thinking of the song Dry Bones by Fred Waring & The Pennsylvanians - only as it appeared in the tv programme The Signing Detective. Or as it might have appeared - because in my head, it was being sung by the schoolteacher.

I know she sang After You've Gone - a scary, nightmaring witch of a woman, terrifying her pupils. And that Dry Bones - in the series - was sung by Joanne Whalley as a nurse with a chorus of medical students and some nifty vibraphone work on a skeleton.

But what came into my head was the schoolteacher singing Dry Bones. And the image stuck there.

Later in the day, I saw the schoolteacher for real: the actress Janet Henfrey was the main speaker at the memorial celebration organised at my mother's college. And she played the nightmarish teacher in the Signing Detective.

This is very, very strange.
rhythmaning: (Default)
I have spent much of the day listening to old albums, courtesy of the internet. I went to Amazon to download a couple of tracks – which I couldn’t. I was after a tune by Prince with the enigmatic title “It” – on the Sing O’ The Times album (a great single album; pity he made it a double!). Instead, I looked for it on Last.fm (not available to listen) and so I went to Spotify.

Where of course I listened to it. It is wonderful – a very sparse sound, mostly just a drum beat with some moody twiddly bits in the background. I can’t think when I last heard It – not for fifteen years, I would guess. It is one of the best tracks on Sign O’ The Times – It, (the ungrammatical) If I Was Your Girlfriend (and, yay! the unexpurgated version) and the title track make a brilliant trio of songs, and I listened to them all.
Read more... )
rhythmaning: (Default)
I have spent much of the day listening to old albums, courtesy of the internet. I went to Amazon to download a couple of tracks – which I couldn’t. I was after a tune by Prince with the enigmatic title “It” – on the Sing O’ The Times album (a great single album; pity he made it a double!). Instead, I looked for it on Last.fm (not available to listen) and so I went to Spotify.

Where of course I listened to it. It is wonderful – a very sparse sound, mostly just a drum beat with some moody twiddly bits in the background. I can’t think when I last heard It – not for fifteen years, I would guess. It is one of the best tracks on Sign O’ The Times – It, (the ungrammatical) If I Was Your Girlfriend (and, yay! the unexpurgated version) and the title track make a brilliant trio of songs, and I listened to them all.
Read more... )

Ritual

Jan. 9th, 2009 06:50 pm
rhythmaning: (violin)
Last weekend, I started this year’s diary by moving all the addresses from the old one into the new one; some people don’t get copied across, dropping out after a while of silence.

Except last year I hadn’t done this: I was in a funny mood at the beginning of the new year, and I hadn’t started my diary as usual. I did have a diary, I just never copied the names from the previous year. This did mean that when I needed the names – which I did a lot in the autumn - I had to go into my old diary. A bit like that year not properly closing.

I also go through the pages and make sure any useful information I have scribbled down during the year is kept. It also serves to review the year – informally. It really was quite strange. Indeed, it has been a strange couple of years, all in all.

Ritual

Jan. 9th, 2009 06:50 pm
rhythmaning: (violin)
Last weekend, I started this year’s diary by moving all the addresses from the old one into the new one; some people don’t get copied across, dropping out after a while of silence.

Except last year I hadn’t done this: I was in a funny mood at the beginning of the new year, and I hadn’t started my diary as usual. I did have a diary, I just never copied the names from the previous year. This did mean that when I needed the names – which I did a lot in the autumn - I had to go into my old diary. A bit like that year not properly closing.

I also go through the pages and make sure any useful information I have scribbled down during the year is kept. It also serves to review the year – informally. It really was quite strange. Indeed, it has been a strange couple of years, all in all.

Letters

Jan. 9th, 2009 05:28 pm
rhythmaning: (violin)
I used to write letters: long, drunken swirling narratives. And I kept a copy of them. Not necessarily every one, but a lot of them.

I have been meaning to match some letters describing trips I have been on – India, Borneo, New York – with pictures taken on those trips. It is actually why I started this journal, more than three years ago.

This morning, I started to sort through these old letter. There are 188, spanning eighteen years. A little over ten a year – not that productive, then. But perhaps thousands of pages.

They are full of adolescent ramblings (long after adolescence): girls, parties, gigs; girls, mostly.

I didn’t read them – well, I glanced at a couple; I was simply trying to put them in date order.

Then I got curious: I wanted to work out who I had written too. It was quite surprising.

Off those 188, I can’t tell who 28 of them were written for: they don’t start “Dear…” Of the remaining 160, I can have letters to 39 people: 30 women and nine men. Eighty per cent of those 160 letters are to 18 people. I wrote to D, my friend in New York, eighteen times; my brother, 16 times (whilst he was working abroad – which he did a lot); T, a girlfriend, 12 times (when she was away from university). And A, 12 times (although it gets a little more complicated – she married Dd, and some letters are addressed A&Dd and some Dd&A…).

I am still in touch with 10 people on the list, which I think isn’t bad going, ten years on.

Now I have to try to find whether I have written about the places I think I wrote about, and transcribe them; then I have to find the photographs and scan.

I may be some time.

Letters

Jan. 9th, 2009 05:28 pm
rhythmaning: (violin)
I used to write letters: long, drunken swirling narratives. And I kept a copy of them. Not necessarily every one, but a lot of them.

I have been meaning to match some letters describing trips I have been on – India, Borneo, New York – with pictures taken on those trips. It is actually why I started this journal, more than three years ago.

This morning, I started to sort through these old letter. There are 188, spanning eighteen years. A little over ten a year – not that productive, then. But perhaps thousands of pages.

They are full of adolescent ramblings (long after adolescence): girls, parties, gigs; girls, mostly.

I didn’t read them – well, I glanced at a couple; I was simply trying to put them in date order.

Then I got curious: I wanted to work out who I had written too. It was quite surprising.

Off those 188, I can’t tell who 28 of them were written for: they don’t start “Dear…” Of the remaining 160, I can have letters to 39 people: 30 women and nine men. Eighty per cent of those 160 letters are to 18 people. I wrote to D, my friend in New York, eighteen times; my brother, 16 times (whilst he was working abroad – which he did a lot); T, a girlfriend, 12 times (when she was away from university). And A, 12 times (although it gets a little more complicated – she married Dd, and some letters are addressed A&Dd and some Dd&A…).

I am still in touch with 10 people on the list, which I think isn’t bad going, ten years on.

Now I have to try to find whether I have written about the places I think I wrote about, and transcribe them; then I have to find the photographs and scan.

I may be some time.
rhythmaning: (christmas)
Well, actually, Thor Nogson.

I heard this morning that Oliver Postgate had died. I wasn't into the Clangers, and Bagpuss was (I think) after my time; but I did love Noggin the Nog.

When I was looking through my old autograph book the other day, I found that I had this sketch of Thor Nogson by Peter Firmin, who illustrated the series, from book show in 1971. In memory of Oliver Postgate, then:

thor nogson001 bw

rhythmaning: (christmas)
Well, actually, Thor Nogson.

I heard this morning that Oliver Postgate had died. I wasn't into the Clangers, and Bagpuss was (I think) after my time; but I did love Noggin the Nog.

When I was looking through my old autograph book the other day, I found that I had this sketch of Thor Nogson by Peter Firmin, who illustrated the series, from book show in 1971. In memory of Oliver Postgate, then:

thor nogson001 bw

rhythmaning: (violin)
So there I am, browsing in Fopp again. I have no idea how I got there.

My eye is caught by a box set. “Original recordings from the Manticore vaults.” And one of those recordings is of the second ever rock concert I went to: Emerson Lake & Palmer at Hammersmith Odeon, 27 November [erm…] 1972.
...If we make it we can all sit back and laugh... )
rhythmaning: (violin)
So there I am, browsing in Fopp again. I have no idea how I got there.

My eye is caught by a box set. “Original recordings from the Manticore vaults.” And one of those recordings is of the second ever rock concert I went to: Emerson Lake & Palmer at Hammersmith Odeon, 27 November [erm…] 1972.
...If we make it we can all sit back and laugh... )

Cold Feet

Dec. 3rd, 2008 03:47 pm
rhythmaning: (christmas)
It is cold; I don’t think the temperature has risen above freezing since Saturday, like much of the country. Yesterday, I was caught in a snow shower in Princes St – large flakes swirling around the merry-go-round, ferris wheel and slide.

Sunday night and Monday, wrapped up in bed, my feet were freezing, so cold they kept me awake.

So yesterday, I went shopping for a new duvet.

And last night, my feet were very comfortable indeed.

* * *

It feels like we will be in for a cold winter; and I was thinking about previous winters. When I first moved back to Edinburgh, fourteen years ago, the Water of Leith froze over at Christmas: the falls in Dean Village were solid ice, a waterfall of icicles. It was very beautiful – but cold.

And in January 1982, I was in Oxford, which was for one night the coldest place in the UK. The temperature fell to -17°C. There was ice on the inside of the windows of my bedroom. Going outside to go to the pub, my hair froze – my breath rising from my mouth condensed on my hair, and froze it so it cracked when my fingers rubbed it. My hair was longer then.

I think I’d like another cold winter, for a change.

Cold Feet

Dec. 3rd, 2008 03:47 pm
rhythmaning: (christmas)
It is cold; I don’t think the temperature has risen above freezing since Saturday, like much of the country. Yesterday, I was caught in a snow shower in Princes St – large flakes swirling around the merry-go-round, ferris wheel and slide.

Sunday night and Monday, wrapped up in bed, my feet were freezing, so cold they kept me awake.

So yesterday, I went shopping for a new duvet.

And last night, my feet were very comfortable indeed.

* * *

It feels like we will be in for a cold winter; and I was thinking about previous winters. When I first moved back to Edinburgh, fourteen years ago, the Water of Leith froze over at Christmas: the falls in Dean Village were solid ice, a waterfall of icicles. It was very beautiful – but cold.

And in January 1982, I was in Oxford, which was for one night the coldest place in the UK. The temperature fell to -17°C. There was ice on the inside of the windows of my bedroom. Going outside to go to the pub, my hair froze – my breath rising from my mouth condensed on my hair, and froze it so it cracked when my fingers rubbed it. My hair was longer then.

I think I’d like another cold winter, for a change.

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