Transparent Music

It can be a real pain in the arse when great albums go out of print – their fame doesn’t stop spreading, people don’t stop hearing them at friend’s houses, and what generally happens is that otherwise law-abiding non-CD-duping peoples start doing CDR copies for their friends.

So it’s always a cause for celebration when a classic gets reissued, especially when it happens because the artist has bought back the rights for their own work.

Such is the case with ‘Transparent Music’ by BJ Cole – a classic near-ambient album of stuff a long way from his recent excursions into IDM/Breakbeat/noisy stuff. Transparent Music is a collection of tracks that highlight the impressionistic, floaty meditative side of the pedal steel in a way that pretty much no other steel player has ever done. Listening to BJ’s arrangements of works by Debussy, Ravel and Erik Satie it’s hard not to imagine that these guys would have been writing for the pedal steel had it been invented during their lifetimes, such is the remarkable stylistic fit of the instrument’s timbre and early 20th century impressionism.

BJ’s own tracks sit beautifully alongside those arrangements, and the whole effect is mesmerising. It’s available to order from BJ’s website and I thoroughly recommend it… or you’ll be able to buy it from him at the Recycle Collective gig at Darbucka on january 12th (shit, that’s next week!)

SoundtrackBJ Cole, ‘Transparent Music.

Harry Potter and The Goblet Of Fire

believe it or not, I didn’t actually go to the cinema once in the whole of 2005. We saw a few films on DVD, but not one trip to the big screen. The last time I went was to see the 3rd Harry Potter film.

So tonight we went to see the 4th one! We usually go to Barnet Odeon – fairly nice old school cinema, though the sweets ‘n’ stuff are still massively overpriced. But they didn’t have Harry Potter on in the evenings, so we went to the Vue complex at Finchley Lido.

What a shit place! The design is like some really unimaginative 70s version of ‘the future’, with nowhere nice to sit down, and just stupid prices for munchables. Given that the two tickets booked online came to over £15, and the snacks came to over £6, I think it’ll be a while before we bother going there again, given that we could hire three films and get a rather nice curry for that at home. Those mail-order DVD clubs are looking ever more tempting…

Anyway, enough of the shitness of Vue, onto the film, which was fab! I’m a sucker for all the Harry Potter films(them being the only film series that I’ve ever been to all of them at the cinema… hang on, that’s really bad grammar… ah, well, it’s never stopped me before). As the kids grow up, the acting gets better and the plots get darker – this one had some genuine shocker moments, and some horror-type effects around Voldemort. Rupert Grint in particular is shaping up to be a fine lil’ actor.

I’m not sure if it was quite as good as Prisoner Of Azkerban, but definitely at least the second best of the HP films so far. And one of these days I’ll get round to reading the books!

Talking of books, I started one of my Christmas pressies today – ‘Serious’ by John McEnroe. I’m a bit of a tennis fan anyway, and particularly like Mac’s commentary, so thought his take on the world would be worth reading… interesting stuff so far!

New Year's resolutions

Part one, music/work-related –

1) – new solo album
2) – new album with Theo
3) – more gigs in Italy
4) – make headway on first book (any of the ideas will do, no really)
5) – record live DVD? possibly…
6) – establish Recycle Collective as THE monthly gig to be at (it already is, people just don’t know it yet)
7) – do band arrangements of my tunes and gig them (the quartet I’ve been talking about for about a year and a half)
8) – look afresh at distribution deal options
9) – more collaborations!
10) – less time wasted online, more time practicing.

happy new year!

happy new year, bloglings – hope your celebrations were fun, your resolutions realistic and your lessons from 2005 well learned.

onwards and upwards, my lovelies,