Monday, 30 September 2013

Back To The Music

Quotation of the day ~ Rory Gallagher: Push the tempo, push the time / No excuses, not this time.

Okay, yesterday's post -- the one about St Louis -- was not the best thing i've ever written. I admit it, but i'd been trying to write it for so long, trying to elucidate my feelings and examine my interest in the place, with no real conclusion in mind;  ultimately it became more of a frustration than anything else and i just wanted to get it done, published and over with so that i could move on.

To my CD collection LOL. Here's the next batch:

And, of course, the playlist:

Fish - Feast Of Consequences (twice!)
Coldplay - Parachutes
Dead Can Dance - Toward The Within
Chickenfoot - Chickenfoot
Black Country Communion - Afterglow
Chicago - Chicago VI
The Butterfield Blues Band - East-West
Saga - 20/20
Eric Clapton - Me And Mr Johnson
Peter Hammill - Thin Air
Sheryl Crow - Feels Like Home
Garfield - Out There Tonight
Donovan - A Gift From A Flower To A Garden
Brian Plummer - No Questions

Th-th-that's all, folks!!

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Meet Me In St Louis, Lewis

Quotation Of The Day ~ W.C. Handy: St. Louis woman, wid her diamon' rings, Pulls dat man 'roun' by her apron strings.

Something very odd has happened to me over the past few months -- i have developed an overwhelming urge to visit St Louis, Missouri. As the regular reader of this blog (i.e., me) will recall, thanks to the recommendation of a friend who lives in nearby St Clair, Missouri, at the beginning of this year i started listening to radio station K-SHE ( from St Louis (two of their slogans are "Real Rock Radio" and "The Rock Of St Louis"), and it's now my favourite radio station -- i listen online virtually every morning.

(Just as an irrelevant aside, i find it odd that few of K-SHE's deejays use their full names: there's Tommy T., Lern [Lauren Colvin], Uman [John Ulett -- a legend in St Louis broadcasting, i'm told], there's Radio Rose [i think her surname is Dalton], there's Favazz [no idea what his name is or even what the word means!] but there's also Mike Doran -- well, there's one in every crowd...)

Listening to the deejays talking about the place -- and even listening to the local ads -- piqued my interest. I even subscribed to The St Louis Blues Twitter feed and ordered one of their baseball-style caps, and my interest in hockey is non-existent!

For a while, i was working on the thesis that St Louis is one of the relatively few cities in the world that has an instantly-recognisable skyline, thanks to The Gateway Arch (so-called because St Lou is "the gateway to the west" -- an expression which dates back to the Lewis & Clark Expedition of 1804, which set off from there). It's a massive structure, half the height of the Empire State Building, and looms over the city in the same way the CN Tower looms over downtown Toronto. But my thesis lies in shreds: i showed a photograph of the St Louis skyline to nine people and only one identified it -- although when i posted the photograph to Facebook, i had a much better response -- but that's shabby research. Very few responders got it wrong (one guessed "Elizabeth Taylor," some friends i got!) -- but that could well be because the people who didn't know, didn't attempt to guess. So, ultimately, i don't think that my thesis is entirely valid. Not bad, but not great. My conclusion is, that anyone who has seen it, can never forget it, but many people (at least outside the U.S.A.) simply have never seen it.

Evidently St Louis has a fairly high crime rate. That's okay, though -- if and when i visit i shall fear no fear. (When i lived in N.Y.C. in the 70's, before it cleaned itself up, i loved to just walk around and i inadvertently wandered into both Harlem and Hell's Kitchen -- both notoriously nasty neighbourhoods at the time -- i must have a beatific smile or something because i was hassled not.

It looks like a beautiful city, the downtown area seems to have a lot of wide avenues, a lot of green spaces...

Here's a selection of random photographs of the place, maybe they'll help explain my curiosity:

Tuesday, 17 September 2013


Quotation of the day ~ King Edward VII: It doesn't matter what you do, so long as you don't frighten the horses.

Hi, everyone.

That extraordinary structure above me there is The Gateway Arch in St Louis Missouri, with the Mississippi River in the foreground.  And what i'm stuck on is its recognisability. You see, for a couple of weeks i've been working on a blogpost about St Louis, and part of my thesis was that it is one of the fairly small number of cities in the world that it instantly identifiable by its skyline. See the CN Tower and you immediately know that it's Toronto. The Statue of Liberty? New York, obviously. The Eiffel Tower? Paris, bien sûr! The Gateway Arch ... er, perhaps not. To test my idea i showed the photo to three people at work. One said "it's on the tip of my tongue," one said "I've seen it before but i don't remember," and the third guessed "Vancouver?" (The last time i was in Vancouver, it wasn't on a major river -- but that was quite a few years ago.)

Admittedly, my test group was far from my demographic ideal -- only three people, and all members of a group most of whom are just down from the trees. But that's why i'm stuck. I cannot continue until i've shown the picture to a wider group. Plus there's the minor fact that i don't really know where i'm going with the St Louis post anyway -- apart from trying to explain my fascination with the place.

So for now, i'll continue to conceptualise and today i just present the further adventures of ... my CD collection:

Oh, and of course, my recent playlist:

George Harrison - Wonderwall Music
Dead Can Dance - Spiritchaser
Blodwyn Pig - Ahead Rings Out
Jack Bruce - Cities Of The Heart
Bob Dylan - Bringing It All Back Home
Jefferson Airplane - Volunteers
Harry Nilsson - Pussycats
Runrig - In Search Of Angels (1st album with Bruce Guthro)
Runrig - Mara (last album with Donnie Munro)
Rory Gallagher - Top Priority
Stone The Crows - Teenage Licks
Fish - Feast Of Consequences
Sheryl Crow - Feels Like Home
Judy Collins - 5th Album