With Nightjar coming to the next Record Store Day on September 26th we hear it’s a good idea to contact your local record store and make sure they are getting it in. The album has never been on vinyl before and not only that – it’s red to match the eyes of the moth/goat/bird. There’s some extra artwork and all the lyrics printed out in a lovely gatefold. It’s going to be limited edition so make sure you get one. It’s the last of the solo records that needed vinyl and I’m already contemplating what should be next, Dancing With Death 10 inch, Rarities, Seeing Stars? We would, of course, like to have something new ready for the next Record Store Day but time is short and nobody seems quite sure if next year will be happening at all, that is for anybody doing anything, not just RSD. We just heard that the US government have put the price of work visas up so we need to find $5,000 before we start. They are essentially stopping anyone without a following playing in America, especially if you are a band. I heard it’s not reciprocated and for American musicians to come to England it’s relatively cheap and easy. Is that true? I can’t tell being English and having a British passport. But these pre-tour costs to play in America are another blow to musicians who are already struggling with the problem of selling their music, if they are priced out of touring then what hope?
It was a beautiful day and I left for my swim forgetting my swimmers. I had to go back and put them on as well before I left as you’re not allowed to get changed there, but I hadn’t got too far away and I still made it in time. If I was a few minutes late I wouldn’t be able to make the mile. I always start a couple of minutes early and finish a couple of minutes early, it seems to take me the exact designated time. There’s no messing around, no stopping for adjustments or a drink of water and certainly no chatting. You’d think I’d get faster, but no, this is my 7th mile and my time is the same. Maybe like in evolution there’s suddenly a giant leap forward.
Today would have been a perfect day to go and look at the sea, take in the breeze, enjoy the sun but I was waiting for the courier (day 3) that still didn’t show up despite two messages saying they would and then one message saying they wouldn’t be coming. They must be affiliated with the plumber. This reminds me of another alleged reliable institution that seems to have lost itself in the modern world. The number of typos I see in the newspaper these days, I’m sure it wasn’t like that. What happened, did the person that was checking everything for the last few decades retire? Does nobody care about those pesky details anymore? Is spelling properly out of fashion? Are the words we hear out of touch with reality? Have words become speechless? Are words only for misspelt lies in print and insincere in speech? What a sorry state we find ourselves in.
I had two sessions today with Kevin in Atlanta and Chris in New Jersey, progress! It’s Ricky Maymi’s birthday, progress! The Penzance promenade is almost all paved, progress. Ahad’s album is approaching its last major guitar day, progress. Jerome has all my tracks for our unnamed project (best so far: The Refractionists), progress. MOAT (Niko and I) have released the first track from Poison Stream, progress. Space Summit is taxiing, progress. Salim has sent me tracks to listen to, progress. Dare’s loft is done, progress. I stopped drinking coke, progress. I’m swimming again, progress. Olivia and I have gigs booked in Europe next year, progress. Nightjar is coming out on red vinyl for RSD, progress. One could almost imagine the world as a positive place.
Last but not least in Sweden where I have family there have been reports of their crazy Covid strategy and their sane Covid strategy. I don’t really care who’s right and who’s wrong, I just want to know why the facts have been so polarising. Aren’t facts supposed to be facts whereas opinions are the things that can be polarising? Anyway, this from The Guardian.
Music today has been catching up on Exmagma, the German experimental Jazz and Krautrock band whose record I had to have because of the band members’ fantastic flared jeans. Just that alone told me it was going to be interesting and so I went ahead and bought the other two available albums. The band was Thomas Balluff (keyboards, trumpet, flute, vocals), Andy Goldner (guitars, bass, sax, vocals), and Fred Braceful (drums). They were formed in Stuttgart in the early seventies, their first, self-titled, album was released in 1973, their second, Goldball, in 1974 (the most accessible musically) and their third, Exmagma 3, a double album that seems to be more vocal orientated on Sides 1 & 2 although it’s not exactly singing. It does have the classic line: “Do you still like this R’n’R music, don’t you think it’s time for a change?”. Sides 3 & 4 seem to be more jamming with strange sounds. It was recorded in 1975 but not released until 2006.
Fred Braceful was actually an American based in Germany with the military, he settled in Stuttgart when he was discharged. He worked with some notable German Jazz musicians in the sixties (pianist Wolfgang Dauner). He died in 1995 just short of his 57th birthday. Their sound was something like Matching Mole meets the avant-garde dressed as Rock musicians. The range of instruments Balluff and Goldner played made it difficult for them to play anything straight and there was a lot of jamming, exploring and improvising going on, often more in the direction of sound searching rather than actual music. Highly recommended if you like tall men in very long flared trousers that answer to nobody (the trousers that is).