Monday has come and it’s time to put records in boxes. Starting on the funk/soul/disco/doo-wop section, it’s currently looking like about 11-12 boxes per shelf and the idea is to plonk the boxes down where the shelves were, except the boxes aren’t as stable as the shelves and you can’t stack them so high, so space is an issue. The boxes aren’t ideal, they’re a little too heavy for one person and only just strong enough for the number of records they hold. Not quite a disaster but we’ll see where we are as the week progresses. Then there’s the question of where do you put the shelving? One must have the attitude of head down, do it, worry about it when the Earth stops spinning, the stars fall from the sky and the oceans are sucked into space.
One positive thing happened today, we bought the more expensive flexible tickets on the ferry and we called today to see if that meant we could change our departure date and they told us we can, so worst-case scenario, if we run out of time and can’t make our original leave date of October 12th, we have more time to finish. The removers are coming on October 4th but the last date of the lease is October 9th, so if we didn’t get everything done, we have another week. As long as we leave before the half-term holiday because like the rush hour, they charge more when more people want to travel for holidays. I was wondering how do they live with that? Surely buses and trains should be cheaper when everybody needs them, not more expensive. Why not try and help the public who already have to deal with the horror of rush hour and are spending their lives at work. Also, why punish the people who work normal hours? Say you work lunch in a restaurant, you might not need to be there till 10.30 AM so you miss the price hike. It’s not really fair, is it?
We managed to get to the pool for me and the gym for Olivia today. The archive has no shower, just a toilet and a sink. It was strange to be back at the old pool, the water depth is different, the edges of the pool a different height, so I was banging into the walls like a badly packed synthesizer in a box. They also only give you 50 minutes here and getting into the water on time isn’t so easy because the last crew have to get out of the pool before we can get in. Still, somehow, I managed a fighting 64 lengths, finishing my last link as the clock ticked over to 12 – it was like the winning goal in the last second of the game.
Olivia read some information about the Brix et Moi album, Lost Angeles, online today, I haven’t heard anything yet but as soon as I do I’ll confirm what it said, which was this.
The internet behaved today for my sesh with Matt in Brooklyn as it did with Brian in Indiana yesterday but both were a little later, I’m hoping an earlier sesh with Chris in New Jersey at 6 tomorrow will work, we’ll see. It’s so frustrating when you are used to an instant response. I know we should be grateful that technology has given us this amazing communicative invention and placed it at our fingertips and let us remain on the couch to operate it, but you just get so used to the efficiency and nothing else will do.
I went into some of the shops in Penzance today, firstly Rowe’s for my pasty, nice to see Amy (and Lisa yesterday). I spoke with Dawn in one of the charity shops and Jo in another and managed not to buy anything (result). I went down to Supervolt, the electrical store, because Dare told me they have boxes and packaging to give away. They had none left but the subject of lava lamps came up and there’s some new rule about selling lightbulbs and replacing them with LED lights and of course LED lights don’t give off any heat so therefore your lava lamp won’t work. So I’m considering buying what stock they have of heat making lightbulbs so my lava lamps can continue to do their thing. You just can’t imagine how things can develop into frustrating conundrums, unsolvable, your hands tied and your lava lamps dormant.
Music today has been another eclectic mix, starting with Pentangle’s Solomon’s Seal (1972) featuring some moody electric and acoustic folk with Danny Thompson’s brilliant double bass sound and style, Bert Jansch and John Renbourn on the guitars, Jansch and Jacqui McShee on vocals and Terry Cox on drums, it’s a classic in its genre. I love the opening track Sally Free And Easy, written by songwriter Cyril Tawney.
Next came Bob Dylan’s The Times They Are A-Changin’ (1963) which I listened to because when I popped into W.H. Smith’s to say Hi to Pete, I noticed there’s a new series of vinyl and magazine that’s just started with Dylan albums and the collector in me had to get it, it was only £7.99 too (they did it with The Beatles a while ago). Now I have to find a nice friend who can pick up the bi-weekly or monthly copies after I’ve gone back to Portugal – hello nice friends.
Next was a Canned Heat compilation from 1989. After seeing the Top Of The Pops Let’s Work Together (sung by Bob The Bear Hite) clip with the dancers, it’s classic sixties style and I’ve always also loved Going Up The Country sung by Alan Blind Owl Wilson in that weird voice (he also sang On The Road Again). I think Canned Heat get a bad rap, there’s a lot more to them than a generic boogie band, guitarists Henry The Sunflower Vestine, Blind Owl and Harvey The Snake Mandel had the magic (as did bassist Larry The Mole Taylor). Then there’s drummer Adolfo Fito de la Parra whose been in the band since 1967 and is still there.
Next, over dinner, we listened to The Beach Boys‘ Pet Sounds (1966). We like to listen to the album, not just for its beautiful vocals and wonderful songs but for its odd arrangements, such an accessible and complex record, way ahead of its time structurally.
Next Olivia wanted to listen to King Crimson‘s Red (1974), another classic album, King Crimson as a three-piece with Fripp on guitar, Bill Bruford on drums and John Wetton on bass and vocals. It’s raw and melodic, experimental and beautiful, love it. It would be seven years before they’d make another album and then the band was a whole new thang.
I saw that my triple vinyl 50th-anniversary copy of Rory Gallagher’s debut album (1971) had arrived and although I’m not really finding the time to play all kinds of recently arrived vinyl records, my CD version of the album was at hand. Such a great tone and you can hear his heart on every note and throughout all his albums. I saw him twice, once at the stadium in Liverpool and once at the Reading festival in the seventies.
After mentioning Ed Wynne and his face carved onto the renovations on Wells Cathedral, I thought that a long-overdue listen to Ozric Tentacles‘ Jurassic Shift (1993) might be appropriate with earthquakes and volcanoes on the move around the world. Great cosmic jams.
I’ve seen Anna Calvi live three times and even interviewed her once for some internet thing I was doing when I worked at Pet Sounds Records in Stockholm. I wasn’t on board with Calvi at first but once it hit me, I became a real fan. Unbelievable voice, especially live and great creative guitar playing. Tonight I listened to her self-titled first album (2011) which has just been reissued on vinyl with different artwork.
Last but not least a trip into the mind of Don Van Vliet with Captain Beefheart’s Safe As Milk (1967). The Magic Band at this point featured Ry Cooder at age 20. It’s a nutty wild bluesy ride into the avant-garde, a fascinating mixture of the traditional and the far reaches of the creative mind. You must also get the CD version with its excellent mad bonus tracks.