Yes, it’s a slightly naff hashtag, but the sentiment is perfect: in these dark times, we need to try to find comfort and relief where we can, to fortify ourselves for the struggle ahead. One of my #tinyjoys this week is the fact that my aubergine and Pimiento de Padron seeds are germinating – there’s always a period of nervous uncertainty, as peppers and related species take so long to sprout (and I’m still waiting for any sign of life from the habaneros). The other is the discovery of someone in Finland who improvises Lego sculptures to jazz albums; see @AjuArchIdiot on Twitter, but also this quixotic project to get Lego to produce an actual kit of the ECM studio, complete with Pat Metheny Group…



Sidney de Paris.

At this stage in my life I find myself writing short pieces about events in my life, they’re not intended for publication, they’re just intended to keep my mind active. I’ve previously posted a couple of them here and they were well received, here’s another.


In the summer of 1963 we were in England after having spent the winter and spring traveling around the Mediterranean in our red VW Beatle but it was time to return to the US. I saw an ad in the Observer for a ‘student charter’ ship sailing from Southampton to New York within a week or so, the price was very reasonable. So we booked passage and on the scheduled day arrived at Southampton docks having already shipped the VW to NY. We were informed there that we wouldn’t be boarding the ship at the docks but would be transported in small boats out to where it was anchored, this was apparently for the charter organization to avoid docking fees. And so it went.

Continue reading

More a link than a post! (Is it rock yet?)



I stumbled across one of those lists of songs that preceded and maybe anticipated rock n roll. A much better and more comprehensive one than many I’ve seen. Nice introductory article too. What it was doing on a schools-choosing website I am not quite sure but well worth a perusal.

Some of the videos they posted are no longer available so I’ve made a Youtube playlist of my own for any who would like to have a listen.

Here’s the link to the site itself:


And here is the playlist.





Let me tell you a tale about Maxwell the Whippet. Back in the early 70’s I had a girlfriend, Joni, She had a dog called Maxwell, he was a beautiful brindled whippet, a wonderful dog. I had a friend, David who had the use of his uncles sailboat- a 30ft Cal 30, one day he asked if we’d like to go sailing with him that weekend, I said ‘Yeah, we’d love to’.
So on the Saturday he and I and Joni and Maxwell left the Long Beach Marina and headed out to sea, when we were about 3-4 miles offshore a stiff breeze sprang up and the water became very choppy, lots of whitecaps. We were cruising along at a steady clip when suddenly Maxwell, in one splendid leap sailed over the side of the boat! He must have felt very insecure there and needed to escape, the trouble was he didn’t know about water, he’d never been in it before. We were moving at such a brisk rate that all I could see was his little head bobbing above the waves and receding very quickly. Continue reading

I’d feel offal not signing up to be an organ donor, so here’s this:

I’ve been wanting to share Garbage Time with you. It’s grown from a webcam in Katie’s bedroom to a home studio with real gear, and has just emigrated from the internets to broadcast TV. More of this and less ex-jocks in suits would be fine with me.

Katie Nolan rounds up the week that was in the sports world and beyond in a loose and lo-fi setting where unfiltered sports talk meets late night comedy.

hockey organThe clip I chose marks organ music week on RR  and requires a short trip to the nearest hockey arena. Katie wants to drive the Zamboni and I want to show you the organ in the rafters, played in snippets during stoppages in play. DJs have replaced organs at most basketball and baseball arenas, but in hockey superstition dictates that the fat lady doesn’t sing at the end. Just the start.


clint hurdleI thought this is cool.

An American major league baseball manager, Pittsburgh Pirates’ Clint Hurdle, has imported his 2,300 CDs and put them up for auction (ends today) to benefit public radio and Prader-Willi Syndrom.

“The collection reflects his time living and playing in various parts of the country. From Kansas City to New York to St. Louis to Colorado to Texas and all the way to Pittsburgh, Clint developed a deep appreciation for blues and roots music, country music, rock and roll, folk music and a lot of local and regional artists.”

He talks about his love of music HERE