Warning: Football talk appears in today’s blog, alongside music, talk of brains, neuroscience, weather, surfing and Portugal.
Congrats to Everton for their winning streak and their topping the Premiership, Calvert-Lewin is on fire as are all long-haired people with double-barrelled names (sorry). Today also saw one of Liverpool’s greatest massacres losing 7-2 to Aston Villa in a match that Villa deserved to win – by more goals! It’s a pattern – today Man U also lost 6-1 to Spurs and last week Man City lost 5-2 to Leicester. Impressive Leeds held Man City to a 1-1 draw and Leicester lost 3-0 to West Ham. David Moyes and Mané are out with Covid (we wish them a speedy recovery). Allison is injured and Adrián let in 7 goals but you can’t just blame the goalkeeper and the loss of Mané. Liverpool were terrible, as were Man City, as were Man U. What happens to these teams? One must always remember when you are watching a football game that you are often watching 11 millionaires playing against 11 millionaires managed by millionaires at a club owned by billionaires. They say the trophy and the competitive spirit is the motivation, winning for your club, but when you see lesser teams, teams with smaller budgets and fewer stars, destroying the mega-teams, you have to wonder if it was a bad day at the office or anger at the caviar for not being the right temperature.
Today was Ahad’s last day in the studio. We managed to complete lead vocals on 13 songs in 5 days, good going. We finished at 7PM, just before the Liverpool game. Ahad was catching the night train to London at 9.15PM, which arrives at something like 7AM. He was catching an early flight back to Istanbul and this time tomorrow he will be there – like nothing happened, although we have the proof that it did. Dare and I will now continue with the project, hiring a piano player, a trumpet player, a cellist and whoever else we need. We will also concentrate on all the backing vocals that need doing and there’s a lot. Then it’s mix time and then we see what we have. Thanks Ahad, it’s been quite a journey from your first sesh to finishing your lead vocals on this album.
The cold was penetrating the walls of the archive today and October’s signals had me contemplating clothing. We hope to be leaving for Portugal in November but we’ve been told that just because it’s Portugal it doesn’t mean that it’s a lovely warm winter. Porto is in the north and winter means winter in Portuguese (inverno). Another widely unknown thing about Portugal amongst non-surfers is that one of the world’s greatest surfing locations is at Nazaré where they have giant waves – who knew.
Tomorrow is a well-deserved lie-in day, except I have so much to do in the archive – putting records away, writing down the records I played in September on the website. Two days away from MOAT’s Poison Stream Indiegogo launch there’s lots to do. Also, when it’s cold and windy, that’s the time to go and look at the sea, watch the waves, breathe in the air, inhale some massive doses of oxygen. The brain wants oxygen, perhaps brainy people have more direct access to oxygen through wider, more open, channels to the brain, oxygen as brain food. Oxygen tanks every morning for breakfast. I wonder if we will ever conquer the brain’s secrets, the mystery of consciousness, the potential, the powers we have locked inside us to invent, create, understand, evolve.
A few years ago I read a book by V.S. Ramachandran and co-author Sandra Blakeslee, it was really amazing, if you are interested in the brain – go here.
Ramachandran discusses his work with patients exhibiting phantom limbs, the Capgras delusion, pseudobulbar affect and hemispatial neglect following stroke, and religious experiences associated with epileptic seizure, among other disorders. Ramachandran uses these cases to illustrate the construction of body image, and the functioning of mood, decision-making, self-deception, and artistic skill. In the final chapter of the book, Ramachandran addresses the so-called hard problem of consciousness, discussing qualia and various facets of the self.
Music today comes from Tempest, formed by drummer Jon Hiseman and bassist Mark Clarke from Colosseum and joined by vocalist and keyboard player Paul Williams and guitarist Allan Holdsworth. Their first, self-titled album, was released in 1973 and is what might be considered Heavy Prog. It’s great to hear Holdsworth as a riffing Rock lead guitarist instead of a jazzer. I have a white label of this album which I can’t remember buying but must have found somewhere in a dusty record store in the back of beyond. Their second album Living In Fear (1974) saw Allan Holdsworth leave, replaced by Patto’s Ollie Halsall another talented player who would later join Kevin Ayers. There’s a weird version of The Beatles’ Paperback Writer with the riff incorrectly played, it’s too fast and one wonders what they were thinking but it’s interesting hearing it as a Rock song with mad guitar solos. This album seems to be leaning more to songs than Progressive workouts although in truth there’s both. If you’ve never heard Holdsworth or Halsall play the guitar…speed and feel, technique and heart.
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