Saturday, 24 January 2009

Radio, Part II

I am absolutely astonished.

I love the new radio station i have just started to listen to online, Yesterday, they played an entire U2 album, on vinyl -- yes, really! There were pops and crackles and it sounded great (and i'm not even a fan of U2).

Today they played Led Zeppelin's "D'Yer Mak'er" and the DJ actually pronounced the title correctly. This is not corporate robot radio, this is reminding me of the golden age of FM.

Tuesday, 20 January 2009


I suppose that, like most people, I only ever listen to the radio in the mornings. (I don’t listen to it in the car for the very simple reason that I don’t have a car.)

I want to hear the overnight news and the weather report and that’s about all, apart from the music, but in the afternoon / evening, I play the music I want to hear on the CD / mp3 player, not what some corporate non-entity wants me to hear.

Anyway. My point being.

Where I live, and without cable, there are very few stations my terrestrial radio can receive. For a long time I was a loyal listener to Kool-FM (“today’s hits, yesterdays classics” is their motto), from Waterloo, Ontario ( But in mid-November of last year, something happened. They had a “Kool Yule Tune Weekend” – a weekend of nothing but Christmas music, and … so much of it was absolutely ghastly! (“I Farted In Santa’s Lap” by The Little Stinkers? OMG, effing horrid!)

And so I changed stations, I couldn’t stand it. It was truly nauseating. I switched to FM96 out of London (“London’s best rock”) ( and it was okay, too: they played more Led Zeppelin and no Avril Lavigne (good) but no Chantal Kreviazuk or Bruce Springsteen (bad). They played more AC/DC (good) but had Guns ‘n’ Roses “Chinese Democracy” on heavy rotation and that is VERY bad. But the worst thing about FM96 was its morning DJs, a couple of cases of arrested development named Tucker and Taz – I detested their sophomoric senses of humour.

So now I’ve been floundering a bit, and listening to radio online. A couple of Toronto stations: mostly and but also a station I really like from Adelaide -- not that I can get the local weather from any of them (especially not from the Australian one LOL – but Toronto and Stratford weather are usually quite different too, even though we’re a mere 100 kms apart).

Sunday, 18 January 2009

Muddy Waters

As many of you will know, one of my favourite blues singers (and guitarists) is Muddy Waters. Above is a link where you can download his song "Gypsy Woman."


Friday, 16 January 2009


My DSL connection is supposed to be 100k/bps. Usually it runs at about 60/70 k/bps. But it varies hugely: it can be as slow as 20; or as fast as 170. I just downloaded the very first Rolling Stones album in less than 4 minutes at a speed approaching 300! I have never ever had that kind of speed before! But then i downloaded a Buddy Holly album and it came through at around 60/70. Stoopid servers...

Saturday, 10 January 2009

Mea Culpa, Mea Stupido

Yesterday, in reference to the film "Gallipoli," i misquoted, or malquoted, Eric Bogle. I wrote that "And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda" (which was about Gallipoli) included the line "a whole generation that was butchered and damned."

Wrong again. That line comes from his song "No Man's Land." Which was about the war in France.

Still, and yet, at Gallipoli a whole generation was butchered. But i forgot rule #1 of research: verify your assumptions

Friday, 9 January 2009

Spriggsblog Goes To The Movies 2

Watched Peter Weir's "Gallipoli" last night -- a very powerful film.

Remember Eric Bogle's song about it, "And the band played 'Waltzing Matilda'"? One of the lines in the song is "a whole generation that was butchered and damned." I hadn't realised how true that was: a large percentage of the young men of Western Australia were slaughtered in that battle. It brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it.

Oddly, that's two evenings in a row i've watched a film with Mel Gibson in it. Say what you may about him as a person -- he's been an embarrassment to himself more than once recently -- he's made heaps of worthy films.

Thursday, 8 January 2009

Spriggsblog Goes To The Movies

Actually, the movies come to us, thanks to our Home Entertainment Centre (13" television with VCR and DVD players sitting on top of it). Last night we watched "Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome." The third and in some ways the weakest of the trilogy it is nonetheless full of exciting moments (i'd seen it before, of course -- i have it on video).

Monday, 5 January 2009


Well, yes.

My favourite guitarists gallery yesterday omitted one essential player: Terje Rypdal!

But i was digging through some dusty corners of my hard-drive a wee while ago, and came across an mp3 called "S.C. & W." by Barre Phillips. I couldn't remember what it was or why on earth i'd spent precious bandwidth downloading it and so, of course, i played it.

The immediately-identifiable sound of Terje rang through the speakers, and of course i slapped myself silly. I can't imagine how i forgot him yesterday. (I plead temporary insanity.)

Sunday, 4 January 2009

My Favourite Guitar Players

I can't think of anything to write about today, so i thought i'd just post some photos of my favourite guitar players.

Th-th-that's all, folks!

Saturday, 3 January 2009

Happy New Year, Everyone!

I am now completely skint. OK, the holidays and all that, but also i just discovered that one of my favourite films of all time, Lars von Trier's "Europa" (called "Zentropa" in the U.S.A. because Americans get confused easily and there was already a film called "Europa, Europa") has finally been released on DVD in Canada. And so i went to my favourite shop, Video + Books, and they only had it in a deluxe, 2-disc edition, at $39.88.

Well of course i bought it. I had no choice. And i don't begrudge the expense: you cannot put a price on art. But i won't be sending out for pizza tonight!