Moody cat & the Marine Boy

Moody cat
Originally uploaded by Roostar.
OK, I'm tired of paperwork and my eyes are aching. The cat has posed for a photograph though. So here she is again. She's looking moody because I haven't given her enough attention today.

One advantage of my pal discovering YouTube was that I felt inspired to look for a favourite television show from my youth. And here it is. I may not have seen an episode of Marine Boy since the very early seventies, and then it was on a black and white television. It's at times like this that I really love modern technology.

Funky treats for all

It's been a quiet week in Lake Cruttenden. J is away house sitting for her parents and yesterday was the first chance I've had in the past week to catch up with her. We met in Oxford and I had time to walk through the good, but not fantastic exhibition at MAO.

Band mate, friend and all round good guy Richard Guitarist has a new computer and is enjoying discovering YouTube and MySpace. He has put some funky treats from his past on his own site and I strongly suggest you get over there. I don't think I'll be using the phrase 'funky treats' again though.

This week has been tinged with sadness as both Ian Wallace and Jim Gomez left us. However, there's so much good stuff to look forward to (music, babies, pizza) that it feels right to move on. Now I have to put my head down and plan lessons for next week. Hopefully some news of musicking soon.


Ian Wallace

I've just got back home after an evening's musicking to find news that Ian Wallace had died. Ian was a superb drummer and I can do no better than direct you here to show what a range he had. I know he'll be greatly missed and I'd like to send my sympathy and love to his wife Margie.

I do have some positive news but it all feels a little trivial at the moment.



Signs that I might be a tiny bit stressed/tired.

Number one: sitting in the car at a roundabout this morning, waiting for the lights to change. Then realizing there were no traffic lights.

Number two: mad (and alliterative) comfort food after twelve hours at the day job. Pancakes with onion, salt and pepper followed by brioche, blue cheese and beer.


Defenceless under the night/Our world in stupor lies

I had intended a long and thrilling blog entry. But it's getting late and I've been working on dayjob paperwork for the last two days and my mind is frazzled.

I do have time for a few quick things though. Firstly could you all go out and read a WH Auden poem sometimes soon please? This year is the centenary of his birth and if you needed an excuse to read and enjoy some of his work, this is it.

Secondly, in this week away from the day job I've done some musical work, other than practising. I had some thoughts about the last track of the new album, which was OK, but not exactly what I'd wanted. The thoughts suggested not just remix but a complete reworking and I found... no, made the time to do this. I'm very happy with the results. It's much less tuneful but, goodness me, does it rock (OK, not rock strictly but there isn't really another word).

Sleep is closing in. J is house/dog sitting for her mum and the cat and I are missing her terribly. She'll be back soon.

Lastly, I love this Lloyds TSB advert.

Goodnight. Back soon.



I thought a Police reunion might be a bit lame.

I was wrong.


Snowy morning 7
Originally uploaded by Roostar.
This was Thursday morning in the village. Sadly, days of freezing weather and continued snowfall didn't appear and we were left with piles of slush. The evening was beautiful though. A roaring fire and both cat and wife asleep on the sofa while I caught up with my reading.

It is now half term, my car is in the garage, the builders are in the house and J is young-person sitting at her brother's house. Because the builders are in I've had to keep the front door open and as a consequence the whole place is freezing cold. Your shivering correspondent is writing at the kitchen table and hoping to find warming food somewhere at the back of the cupboard. Send warm thoughts.



New tunes and (gasp) pictures are up on the Spingere site. I missed the Superbowl (I hear Prince was amazing) but did get the sad news of Funk Brother, Joe Hunter's death. Mr Hunter was one of the hard working musicians who brought the Motown sound to the world. If you haven't seen 'Standing in the Shadows of Motown' track it down and watch it.

Today was one of those days when I was really glad to have my 'With Attitude' playlist on the iPod. Grrr.


Music update

I've been having huge fun mixing vocals through a Kaoss Pad and an echo machine. Humming, singing and speaking into a small stereo microphone and then processing the results into a shifting wash of noise was highly rewarding. Of course I didn't tape it but thought I'll try this again with maybe some other processing gear and record the results. Having worked on long form pieces over the last few months I'm producing plenty of short noise-things which I'm not wholly embarrassed of. I don't see this as anything commercial so once I've done some minimal editing I'll post them on on the My Space site. The music in my head is far more structured and, in a few months I hope to start recording and playing some actual tunes. Yes, tunes. Melodies and harmonies and all that.

The excellent Radio Three show 'Mixing It' is about to come to an end. I'm going to put an old track of mine up on the My Space page tonight or tomorrow which features samples from it. Enjoy.


Brains in bees

I'm writing up paperwork for the day job on my laptop and listening the WNYC. Because of this I've just heard an interview with recently departed political journalist Molly Ivins and a wonderful line from her about a Texan politician. He said, "If you put his brain into a bumble bee it would have flown backwards."