My short exposure to the outside today had me go to the pasty shop and try and pay for the week in advance when I’d already done that yesterday. Yes, I was convinced today was Monday and it took me till 3PM to realise it was Tuesday. I went to the grocery store to buy cauliflower and there was a girl in there who looked quite out of place because she didn’t have a mask. The woman at the till didn’t say anything to her and it was hard to know from her demeanour whether she was demonstrating against the mask, forgot the mask or didn’t know about the mask. I suppose she might have been a tourist and it’s not obvious to be wearing a mask as most people in the street don’t. But if she’d come with me to buy a pasty, they wouldn’t have served her and when I think about Olivia’s trip up and down to the supermarket yesterday after forgetting her mask, it was just so odd to see her so seemingly unaware or flaunting the rules or whatever it was. She seemed to be disregarding the consequences of at least a £100 fine, I’m not sure who would come and slap the fine on her, this is Penzance after all. But this is the thing about the pandemic, some people don’t believe it exists and others are scared to death, literally. I’ll do anything to help, including erring on the side of caution just “Gimme Some Truth”.
Dare was in the studio today trying out some organ on a track we had been working on for Ahad’s album and sending him some rough mixes of the works in progress. I had two sessions, one with Kadeem in London and another with Chris in New Jersey. I just can’t believe how quickly the days fly by, was last week really a week ago? Talking of the studio, we got a letter back from the Council about the noise complaint in response to our response. It seems that the man across the road has to keep a diary of his complaints before the council can advise us on the law, including installing some equipment in his flat to monitor the levels and the frequency (sonic and temporal). We’ll see what happens.
The most lucrative prize in football, the rise to the Premiership, was tonight. Fulham beat Brentford 2-1 in extra time, it’s so sad for the losers, so great for the winners. It’s almost as if the aftermath, the consequences of the result, are where the drama is, more than the actual game. Of course, there are great games and this one wasn’t too bad, it was something of a stalemate and one mistake by the goalkeeper was responsible for Fulham’s opening goal. The two later goals were both worthy on either side but it was the mistake that gave Fulham the prize. Where the goalkeeper was standing and the ingenuity of the free-kick taker led to the goal. Oddly, the two Fulham goals were scored by a defender. Apparently winning or losing this game means the loss or gain of £160,000,000 – lost because of a player’s momentary miscalculation.
French today was interesting because with Duolingo there’s practice lessons where you go over what you’ve learned and today I did all three tests with no mistakes, so it’s sinking in. So that’s two months of every day, I just wish I could do Italian and Spanish too but I suppose my brain can only hold so much, or is it the opposite? If you fill your brain with information does it make it bigger, better, more efficient? Is it the exercising a muscle theory? Of course, you can overdo anything but should we be worried about overdoing knowledge?
I’ve just remembered that last night I had a dream that I can’t remember. I think I remembered it earlier in the day but now it’s gone. It might be interesting to try and make a point of remembering dreams just because they are often such bizarre stories. Whether your dreams have a profound meaning is up for discussion. But there are truly strange pictures and dialogues, happenings and dramas in your head. To think it’s all going on when you are asleep might suggest that your brain does actually need to be active all the time – it doesn’t want rest. Which might be the opposite of the theories that promote meditation, the clearing of the mind. I’m not sure I can clear my mind of music or want to.
Music today has been inspired by birthdays and Earth exits. Today in 2007 the great Lee Hazlewood left for the stars aged 78. What he left behind is a vast catalogue of original material, collaborations, cover versions, productions, and that memorable baritone. He might be most famous for writing Nancy Sinatra’s No. 1 hit from 1966, These Boots Are Made For Walkin’, but in the fifties his successes began as the producer for Duane Eddy, hit after hit ensued. Involvement with Dean Martin, collaborations with Nancy and Frank (he produced Something Stupid) exposed a prolific artist who his wife Jeane Kelly was quoted as saying
He was rude and sweet, innocent and depraved, proud and bitter. He absorbed everything he heard, saw, and read – from Port Neches (Texas) to L.A. to Stockholm – and then made his own music in his own defiant way.
He wrote This Town recorded by Frank Sinatra, had his own record label LHI (Lee Hazelwood Industries) and lived in Sweden for 10 years. It’s hard to know what to recommend with him because there is so much, but I like the solo album Love And Other Crimes from 1968. Of course, you haven’t lived until you’ve heard Some Velvet Morning 100 times or perhaps Summer Wine and a whole list of other tracks that he either duetted with Nancy or wrote for her.
It’s Paul Reynolds’ birthday (58)! Who is that? Well, he was the guitarist in that band from Liverpool that were known as A Flock Of Haircuts but had the equally silly name A Flock Of Seagulls perhaps inspired by equally silly named Liverpool legends Echo And The Bunnymen. Nobody really seemed to take them seriously mainly because of how they looked and their hair but they had hits and Paul Reynolds had some ideas. I listened to the debut album released in 1982 with its equally silly cover of a combined TV and toaster sitting in a fantasy lake in a fantasy house with seagulls flying overhead. It is so eighties, consciously modern and on the coattails of Punk, and then New Wave helped wipe out Prog for years to come. What was unique about it was Paul Reynolds’ guitar, which separated it from the Synth bands, gave it a different sound to compliment Mike Score’s keyboard pads and the sound of his hair. Lots of delay and effects and lyrics about being abducted by aliens (I Ran), what’s not to like? The synth thing and biscuit tin snare sound leave a lot to be desired and when you compare this release to The Blurred Crusade you might wonder at how The Blurred Crusade didn’t get a US release until way later and made little impact outside Australia, must have been the haircuts. Anyway – Happy Birthday, Paul Reynolds.
Today is Moya Brennan from Clannad’s birthday (68) so I thought I’d listen to their debut album from 1973. The album is mostly sung in Gaelic but includes two English language songs plus absolutely coincidentally a cover of Bonnie Dobson’s Morning Dew which also appears on the Lee Hazlewood album. So it’s traditional Folk music and it’s a family affair. They were formed in County Donegal by siblings Ciarán, Pól, and Moya Brennan and their twin uncles Noel and Pádraig Duggan (Pádraig died in 2016). Sister and niece Enya was in the band from 1980-1982 until she embarked on a solo career that has seen her sell 75 million records worldwide making her one of the most successful artists of all time. Clannad have continued humbly on breaking ground in their genre as they investigated a jazzier side and New Age. This album is a worthy beautiful traditional and organic slice of Irish authenticity, not to be missed, highly recommended.
Ending the night with the great German Electronic legend that is Klaus Schulze. Earlier in Tangerine Dream’s history, he was their drummer and apart from flirtations with The Cosmic Jokers and Ash Ra Tempel and an alias Richard Wahnfried, he has made 60 albums to date. Good luck collecting them all. If you were a fan of Klaus Schulze, Peter Hammill and Frank Zappa and had everything they’d released you’d have one very full room of records. Again it’s hard to know which album to play and perhaps the best way to categorise them is to separate them into eras. Sticking to the seventies and one of the first albums I ever listened to by Schulze was Blackdance from 1973 and coincidently he was 73 today and more profoundly coincidental, the second track is called Some Velvet Phasing. He didn’t always just stick to electronic instruments and for example, on this album, some acoustic guitars come into the picture quite early on. It isn’t long before the rhythm machines and the squiggly electronic noises, drones and themes and operatic voice. Investigate!
Song Of The Day is Some Velvet Morning which I have posted before but it never gets old.