27 October 2007

hey there, delilah

listening to this guy reminded me of me when i first busked the streets of london and wrote countless turgid love songs about the unattainable totties of Chelsea and South Clapham.

after listening a few times, i was egged to grab the Ovation and start a few new songs of my own about lost youth and other ephemera.

bert jansch

  • Angi
  • Running from home

    I was running from home in 1964, a Candide innocent in Soho, and Andy rescued me from his perch in Les Cousins and found me a seat. Told me to listen to this Bert Jansch fellow.

    If I fancied coming round with some proper dosh some time, one John Renbourn wasn't bad either, and that Ralph McTell had a nice voice on him.

    I think Bert told me he'd taped these with a borrowed guitar in someone's kitchen.

    I can't remember when exactly I started playing from Davy Graham's repertoire - his version of 'Cocaine', the classic 'Angi', 'Seven Gypsies'.

    The great Les Bridger and I sank an ocean of tea arguing over minute nuancing and precise speed and fingering.

    Davy had the greyest of non voices and I was disrespectful enough to chug thru his version of Dylan's 'Don't think twice' by way of showing off my fluency with the solo, and mimicking DG's atonal chanting.

    But Davy's fingering and style seem to have been part of my own plunking DNA from earliest days.

    This delightfully precious and respectful tutoring of Angi made me smile.

  • 25 October 2007

    What is war?

    I doubt Dr Stevens approved that misleading question mark in his definition of "What is war and why we do it?" but no matter.

    I continue to like living in Corfu more than you and one of the reasons is that I tap Durrell School talks such as this one.

    Comment: I couldn't get his link to work in rwells' comment, so here it is to War is a Force.

    Tiens! And there, scrolling down to punter opinions, is Ricardo's own measured review.

    Fire Statuary

    There is still a lot of clearing up after our fire and I couldn't resist snapping this frazzled thicket where we have what appears to be:

  • A pair of hounds, one looking very canine and the other with jaws wide open.
  • A gruesome twosome out of some fiery nightmare - part reptile, part who-knows-what. Not to be glimpsed across a moonlit field.

  • Posted by Picasa

    22 October 2007

    Windows sounds and logos:

    A click down memory lane

    I've loved fooling around on the computer ever since I acquired one in mid-1990s Hong Kong, and then even more fiercely in the USA with Waggener Edstrom, Visio, and Amazon.com.

    I had no idea how deeply those Windows opening sounds had penetrated my consciousness until I listened back to those good old sounds from yesteryear.

    I don't think many of those early pop songs have such a hold on me as the rippling intro of those late 1990s openers.

    21 October 2007

    Alice doesn't live here no more

    I went back somewhere I'd been happier than in a long time. Never a wise move.

    From its hollow-eyed appearance, she clearly isn't living there any more.

    Everything looked bleak and empty, far from my remembered candle-lit balcony with plants and the aroma of good cooking, the table with ashtray, 'truc' and waiting jug of vino.

    Music ebbing out into the night.

    Posted by Picasa

    18 October 2007

    Shredders shredded

    Clever Youtube tamperings with guitar gods to make them sound truly dreadful: check out Jake Lee (whoever he is) and especially Santana's clunky solo including the piano bit that sounds like I did on my first mini piano aged three.

    17 October 2007

    Burning Water

    Something biblical about this, or you could pass it off as grappa.

    Just the sort of seditious trick someone I know might have up his sleeve

    The Good, the Blogged, and the Truant

    Wonderful CD of Yo-yo Ma playing maestro Morricone. Worth getting.

    11 October 2007

    Krazy Indian Video

    This needs widest sharing: hilarious video of ultra-cool Indian singer and a bevy of glam ladies singing along to a song with subtitles attached of what it *sounds* to be in English.

    The hunky singer's dance movements almost distract from the seriously witty and funny interpretation.

    10 October 2007


    I went to the defence of a dog tonight.

    Nothing fancy, except that 18 months' labouring in the vineyard leads to brawny forearms and a waist that tapers, but that's not the point.

    I saw myself with my good old boy Harry - Lurcher, irish wolf/greyhound/lab - and remembered the appalling selfish way I treated him in his lasting years.

    He'd been meant to live for 9 and he lived for 15 and I was truly selfish and mean.

    Looking back, that was so unlike me. Was it the divorce? Being without my darlings? Straining to survive once deprived of the bezonian iron rice bowl?

    I behaved unforgiveably and when I get up (or down) there and find that dogs rule, I deserve all i get.

    Mein host was a blustering swaggart, drunk before we arrived and rude to wife and bairns.

    None of us felt comfortable but when he started booting his aged hound around and biffing her with any rod at hand I had to step in.

    There's a movie where De Niro plays a priest and some kid parishioner is being maltreated by his stepdad so Rob takes a walk with the bully and observes, "You're what? 200lbs and the kid, 110? Next time you lay a finger on him, you better try laying it on me."

    I came up with that sort of thing and there was a bit of drunken lurching and then the wife stepped in and I defused it with some guitar but it wasn't nice and it was particularly not nice because that was me back there, abusing the animal.

    The evening ended early and i made my exit with much mumbling and faux hugging of the husband but it tapped something.

    I put Harry down after his arthritis got too bad and the vet asked why I'd left it so long. I'd thought I was being kind and, any road, who was I to play god?

    I went into the office and Marjean saw my budding tears and knew why and was the perfect blotting paper.

    Sometimes i think that all the calculated blogging in the world isn't worth a tuppenny damn against setting this sort of snapshot down and getting it out there.

    06 October 2007

    File-share this!

    This is probably the stoopidest confession - online, for all the world to sue - but I was genuinely taken aback to read of that lady being RIAADed for sharing a mere 24 music files.

    I can't remember when I kitted up with KaZaA - at least at the tail end of the last century - since when I must have shared and snared literally hundreds if not thousands of music ancient and modern.

    First off there was my own original CD collection of 500 or so. Then there was my subsequent surfing for all those teenage chansons one mooned over - Russ Hamilton, Jan and Dean, the Blue Diamonds, Burl Ives, Connie Francis, the list is endless - after which, the new stuff bought so painlessly over the years on Amazon and which I shoved up for the world's delectation.

    The only reason I'm taking Jammie Thomas's $222,000 fine less than seriously is:

  • Jammie is a less than serious name
  • Duluth is a *definitely* less than serious sounding city for that jury to have sat in, let alone draw up a pronouncement on nicking muzak.

    I'm sorely tempted to amuse myself by hazarding a guess at what sort of tracks someone named Jammie might download for a mere $9,250 per ditty.

  • Coolness Online

    Two run-don't-walk sites of publications now online:

  • The UK Spectator's Coffeehouse blog.
  • The admirable Hilary Paipeti's Corfiot. Stis arhes 1 Oktovrios, identical to the print version and comprising a pdf file.
  • Cost €2, which won't suit most of my readers, but hold ... current issue and previous two month's will be for sale at any one time. On publication of a new issue, the oldest one will be archived and avail for free."
  • 05 October 2007

    Ashley Not Just a Girl's Name

    Actually, I never thought it was, but perhaps that's an American thing. Anyway, I never lose a chance to plug My Lord of the Nitekrue - no doubt considerably less seditious these days what with the gravitas of new fatherhood weighing down.

    What's in a name, anyway?

    Bob Dylan Message

    Remember that Bob Dylan movie that starts with him wielding card captions to Subterranean Homesick Blues?

    Well, you can now send your own messages via Master Zimmerman. Totally cool.

    I had wondered aloud if that wasn't Greg Corso crossing camera at the very end? Or maybe Larry Ferlinghetti.

    But the great and good Richard Wells puts me firmly to right with his comment:

    "That would be the Bard, Allen Ginsberg," quoth Ricardo, "author of one of the 20th century's greatest poems, "Howl," which still can't be read over the radio for fear of US gov't persecution. (Pacifica Radio on the Left Coast just aired it, but Pacifica in NYC declined in fear of fines.)

    The other character is Bobbie Neuwirth, Dylan's 'road manager', and all around flak catcher.

    Little Known Fact is that Donovan helped hand-letter the first set of signs - ultimately not used in the vid. I think Don has been weeping ever since."