I have no idea whether or not this is an improvement.

Although I get up all right, I again return to bed for a couple of hours and don’t feel up to anything strenuous, such as, for example, all the heavy lifting and getting things into and out of my Father’s loft that I actually do. When I am finished the cardboard box that has been obstructiung my bedroom door is gone, and there is a large pile of other cardboard boxes dominating the living room. I have no idea whether or not this is an improvement.

I watch the Sgt Pepper thing – it strikes me that although multitrack tape recorders had been used before, they had been in the hands of obsessive arrangers like Brian Wilson or Les Paul. The Beatles must have been the first people to just doodle around with one. I then go delving in the video box again, digging out more Seinfelds. I actually successfully spend the rest of the day watching these. My psyche is being taken over by Jerry, Elaine, George and Cosmo ("Cosmo?"). Which can’t be healthy. Includes the one where the story runs in reverse, The Cigar-Store Indian, The Soup Nazi and many many others. All the tapes are out of sequence so it takes a while to work out what’s going on in the meta-narrative (Is George engaged? Is he living with his parents? What’s Elaine’s hair like?).

During this time I clear stuff from the G3 disk in order that it be transferred to Laura, and eat a vegetarian Thali from the Indian takeaway round the corner. Very filling.

there has been a bit of a problem with the second hundred years

As yesterday – I just go back to bed at 9:00 and sleep this time staying in bed until after 11:00. Feeling very rubbish. And it appears that the internet connection is down again.

Turn back to Seinfeld videos. In between a couple of them the TV flickers in (one reason I gave up watching was that the reception was so bad) and see news that after what the Sun referred to as the Queen Mother’s First 100 Glorious Years, there has been a bit of a problem with the second hundred years. Fairly terminal. Florists are springing into action around the country, and soon the Mall will be littered with decomposing posies, much as when Diana died. Only embarassingly less so, I’d wager. So much for my theory that she was replaced by a creation of the Jim Henson Creature Shop many years ago.

The supply of Seinfeld videos is running out. Find a tape of the last half an hour or so of the Freddie Mercury tribute concert – taming of homophobic (Axl Rose) by the power of showbiz (sharing a stage with Liza Minelli and Elton John). Also struck by the fact that in the instant HMQM tribs that the BBC were running, were a lot of close-ups and mid shots of HMQM. when she was alive (such as this morning…) the TV tended to restrict shots of her to long and medium-long shots, so that it was difficult to get a sense of what she looked like (outside of "official" portraits). This uniformity of representation is probably what kept her so popular – she was reduced to an iconic figure that we never heard speak, that we never saw except in regulated, iconic forms. Same thing with Freddie Mercury – it was only when I saw trib documentaries after his death that I realised I’d never heard him speak (Brian May or Roger Taylor tended to do radio interviews), largely because he was the campest thing on the face of the Earth.

The curious thing about him was that his adoring fanbase knew all about him (I mean one look at him and you could instantly tell that he was probably not going down the pub with his mates after the gig ) but didn’t adore him any less, despite being drawn largely from the same demographic that reads the Daily Mail. Similarly the stage at Wembley was filled with a combination of the very Rawk and the very Gay (where else would you see the lead guitarist of Black Sabbath and Liza Minelli together on the same stage?), which tends to prove my belief that you don’t get a lot camper than heavy rock.

Another shock was that the presenter of the show was Anthony H. Wilson. I doubt very much that that’s in 24 Hour Party People, although I may be wrong.

After the Mercury trib on the same tape was Orson Welles’ F For Fake, which I watch all the way through. Another flamboyant gentleman, Mr Elmyr de Hory, the less flamboyant Clifford Irving and Ibiza before it was turned into a place that catered wholly to young men and women from Essex who want an intimate knowledge of sunburn, alcohol poisoning and low-level venereal disease.

After F For Fake is a 1992 documentary about the making of Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, but I go to bed, since The Clocks Go Forward tonight, and so it’s an hour later than it actually is. If you see what I mean.

on account of the length disparities

Wake up on time, but dither and sleep. Spend day watching Seinfeld videos, and others that I pullout of cardboard box.

I am directed to the Synchronicity Arkive, about synching Pink Floyd albums to films. Most famously, this works with Dark Side of the Moon and The Wizard of Oz, but there is another one with Echoes and the last twenty minutes of 2001: A Space Odyssey. I am bored enough to try it. It does sort of work. Some people sem to believe that it was done deliberately (much more believable than the Dark Side of Oz thing, on account of the length disparities), though I’m not sure.

It would be a cool thing to do, though (synchonise an album to a film), but what film would one choose? Hmm.

we’ll have to do it by telepathy

Macmillan to collect work. Chat to Gina. She asks how the web site is, and then asks for the URL and accesses it immediately right there and then. That’s this website. Which she may at some point read this entry on. Recursive temporal iterations reminiscent of a J.B. Priestley play, though hopefully with less class tension. And no one smokes a pipe, obviously.

To Walker’s in the afternoon to get on with the Stuff.

In the evening to Rainer Hersch’s Club Mozart at Bar Code. I arrive early, and it’s a good job that I notice the chain across the side exit leading down to the venue, because I don’t think I’d have felt at home in the bar itself, which is full of enthusiastic short-haired gentlemen. I hang around feeling self-conscious. Soon Phil arrives and we both hang around feeling self-conscious.

Dave arrives and we soundcheck. There is no foldback, so it’s likely that we’ll have to do it by telepathy. Then the traditional period of hanging about waiting for everything to start.The first act (after Rainer, who is MCing) is The Amazing Mr Smith, who has a variety of curious and humorous musical instruments (including two banjoleles that he has welded head-to-toe. There are many people whose hearts would warm to the news that someone has mutilated banjoleles, and who would be crestfallen to discovered to find that they both still work. Quite impressive actually). Just before we are due to go on, I worry that I’ve damaged the lead and go onstage to test it. Whilst doing so I manage to completely dislodge the jack socket. Bum. Have to play with a mic in front of me. Goes well, hopefully not because I’m inaudible. Rapturous response. The headliner is Jim Tavare, one man and his double bass. Very funny.


Another day dedicated solely to getting the stuff done for Bologna. Consequently not a lot in the way of a diary entry. Sorry.

the watchword is Panic!

Into Walker to work on the same thing as Friday, and then in the afternoon switch to a different, more urgent job that requires me to stay very late. I’m fairly peeved about this, because it’s not as if I was given a choice, but then Bologna is in the air and the watchword is Panic!

So I don’t get home until 9:30 and don’t manage to do anything constructive even then.

Perhaps I can pioneer the Happy Obsessive movement.

A delivery man gives me something for next door (and which I sign for, which just goes to show that Recorded Delivery is useless, since they just want a signature that proves it has been delivered, not that it has been delivered to the right person).which I dump by his door until a another neighbour tells me to take it in because it might get nicked. Well, yes, if you’re going to leave the front door open all the time.
Before putting the parcel in the post to Sara, I get embroiled in some recording – an actual song, which is something of a breakthrough – I haven’t successfully recorded anything for a couple of years, although I can’t be certain that I’m successfuly recording something now. Things are definitely being comitted to disk, though two basic guitars, bass, electric and (when I come back from the post office) a dual lead guitar solo. Vocals at some point, though not quite yet. Wah! After dinner I do a job for Tim and then add some kind of drumbeat to the song. Hurrah! I wonder how it will sound the next time I hear it…
Perhaps I can get into a state like 1993 when I recorded a song every weekend from the first Bank Holiday onwards, doing the final mixing on the August Bank Holiday. Obviously that is the sign of a sad obsesive, but there’s nothing wrong with being obsessive even if "sad" is a bit of a shame. Perhaps I can pioneer the Happy Obsessive movement.

wild Finnish parties

A thread on Metafilter leads me to some decluttering sites. Reading all this advice is almost (but I admit not quite) as good as following it. I do clean the bathroom, though.

One thing I notice about all the sites is that they are made by and aimed at what I believe are referred to as homemakers. That is to say, housewives. I have a feeling i wouldn’t be welcome in their fora unless I was prepared to call myself Cindy. Or possibly Mindy. I think I should give up on the idea and learn to love the mess, before the notion of being called Mindy starts to appeal.

I also join a European summer-themed CD-burning ring called A Midsummer Night’s Burn, which puts me in mind of one of those wild Finnish parties.

To the gym in the afternoon, with about an hour before closing, where I forgo running or simulated ski-walking in favour of the Hot Room. However it transpires that the Hot Room has been turned off, presumably to save the woman on reception time at the end of the day. Because obviously the gym is run for the benefit of its employees.

I then eat a lot of Rice With Stuff and watch a lot of other Seinfelds, until the tape runs out. I then cast around for other things to divert me. There’s a box I put videos in to get them out of the way. It is at the bottom of a stack of boxes, but if I reach my hand in I can pick them out one by one. A sort of lucky dip. I find an old tape of MTV’s overnight broadcast about ten years ago (a good place to hoover up a variety of videos and idents) How time have changed – when I first watched the tape I wondered what Midnight Oil’s song Truganini might be about (specifically – I got the gist. Midnight Oil are admirably committed but not overly subtle) And now I have the internet to look it up on. Very interesting.

I also find a BBC2 themed Doctor Who Night from a few years ago. Not a very long time, but it’s interesting that if it were made today most of the running time would be spent with talking heads of Celebrity Nonentities (Jamie Theakston, Some Bloke Out of Westlife) wittering on about hiding behind the sofa. And the original theme night seemed a bit dumbed down. If you listen carefuly you can hear standards falling everywhere.

That said, I also find a link to an online version of The Manual by the Justified Anciants of Mu Mu, a.k.a. The Timelords a.k.a. The JAMs a.k.a.the KLF. It really is remarkably good, and mostly relevant even today. I think even the stuff about recording studios still works even though (as they put it) "the Japanese … have delivered the technology and then brought the price of it down so that you can do the whole thing at home". Prescient, that.

The lucky dip also provides me with Sir Henry at Rawlinson End. I think it looks a lot better these days, but then everything does. This tape also contained adverts from the time it was recorded (approximately 1985) which, because they are now seventeen years old, offer a Fascinating Insight.

I momentarily consider having a good time, but decide to be miserable instead

Whilst wondering what I’m going to do with the day, I receive a call from my sister who says "I need those Schnittke prrofs now," and rings off. It doesn’t take me all day to get the proofs organised and printed out, since I stop off in sequencer-land for a couple of hours, but the Post Office in Trafalger Square closes at 7:00 so there’s plenty of time. It is a hugely fiddly busines, though, so it takes me until 6:30 getting everything printed out and packed up and then I’m off to Trafalgar Square. I walk – up Waterloo Road, past the Radio 3 vans outside the Royal Festival Hall, over Hungerford Bridge (which still hasn’t fallen down, I notice, but you still have to use those squidgy stairs at the Charing Cross end), past Charing Cross and up to the Post Office that’s sporting handwritten signs that say that from the beginning of January it will close at 5:30. So it’s closed. They apologise for the inconvenience, which is nice. Bastards. That 8:00 closing time was very useful. So I trudge back through the crowds of people (all, apart from me, on their way out to have a good tme – I momentarily consider having a good time, but decide to be miserable instead) Past Charing Cross, over Hungerford Bridge (the replacement for which is going up now, about twenty feet away from the existing bridge) past the Royal Festival Hall (the Radio 3 vans are there to record a William Walton centenary concert) down Waterloo Road and home.

Chat to Ben about Stuff and Laura about the old Mac, which I am to pass on to her.

I watch some more Seinfelds, interspersed with Bach’s Preludes and Fugues and the links between the programmes, which are already starting to look dated. They are still irritating, but in ten years they will be a fascinating insight into television in the year 2000.

The fact that I’m aware of it may be a good thing.

Into Walker for the day. Apparantly Janna Murphy is leaving both Walker and the UK. This won’t mean anything at all to the majority of people reading this diary but Janna is a very groovy person, who everybody is sad to see going and who is one of the few people who has regularly come to see me play. And she will be a huge loss to the Lindy-hopping subculture of London. And I bet you didn’t even know London had a Lindy-hopping subculture. It has. And if she Googles herself at some point in the future, it will be good for her to find someone saying something nice about her, even if it’s only as slight as "is a very groovy person".

So drinks for Janna after work, speeches and presents and so forth.

And then I go to shinay. I have no idea whether I’m getting better or worse at it, since I’m in that phase where I’m increasingly aware of how little I’m able to focus my mind. The fact that I’m aware of it may be a good thing. The fact that the mind is unfocused may be a bad thing. It’s certainly an hour with a number of different experiences in it (I find my mind has wandered all the way to 1972 and back again before I realise that it has wandered at all). The legs are reatively well-behaved tonight, though, which is a boon.

Getting home, I watch Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey, because obviously I need to watch an art movie tonight. One of those films that’s a high-budget sequel to a low budget hit that sort of expands on the original (for example Terminator 2, Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me) without ruining it and I laugh hugely.