CD-SHOP   by     Courtney Love on MUSIC   by     MGCK Music   by    UK Copyright Advice  by   The World

APRIL 2007  -  Continuing Notes from Life's Highway

Newest New Year's Resolution: Be Wonderful!

Mon 30 April 2007 -  MGCK Music     "Last weekend of the month.

We were supposed to be sailing around Mull this weekend; setting off from Tobermory.  Two things happened to edit that experience.  Terrible flu (me) and the sudden illness of the yacht-owner's father and his subsequent hospitalization in Edinburgh.  So.. we detoured to Ardfern and found ourselves on Saturday afternoon on the patio of The Galley in the middle of a 'wake' for a young man who'd died in a sea-kayaking accident. Very tragic, but the event was more like an 'after-party' than a funeral, so the lad had a fine send-off into the hereafter and our weekend was spent not quite out on the water but close enough for jazz.  Around 8pm.. a little bit 'tanked' I took a bicycle ride (4 or 5 miles) out to the viewpoint at the far southern tip of the peninsula.. gorgeous west coast late-Spring evening looking across to the 'paps' of Jura, listening to the gentle lapping of waves, lambs bleating and birdsong... and then repeated the trip the next morning when JM was compos mentus enough to accompany me.

JM view.jpg (94490 bytes) jura view.jpg (70966 bytes) railing view.jpg (215403 bytes)

 THE TRIPTYCH Festival ... It should be a trip... which reminds me..

Mon 23 April 2007 -  MGCK Music     "The French Film Festival...

@ the FILMHOUSE (Edinburgh) this past weekend through early this week.  A couple of the films we viewed I had already seen in San Francisco, like 'BACKSTAGE' with the extraordinary Emanuelle Seigner and 'LE PETIT LIEUTENANT' with Nathalie Baye, but we also saw a terrific film set during the 1954 Algerian uprising called 'BETRAYAL'.  The best thing about 'Betrayal': it's factual non-sentimentality and review of the 'grey areas' of human behaviour.  Nothing black and white.  Things are as they are.  Don't take it personally... even if it means you're dead at the end of it. On Tuesday night another great documentary: Being Jacques Chirac.

Which brings me to World News: ***Even Sadder news (is that possible?) on the world stage:  They (the great big 'THEY') are building WALLS in BAGHDAD!!!!  Madness everywhere and these are 'educated' personages managing our world? (All members of the Carlyle Group and Bilderberg Society) There is so much madness at the hands of these men, they make that guy 'Cho' look almost 'balanced'.

Wed 18 April 2007 -  MGCK Music     But, sometimes life needs a little levity...


Aside from obvious alien abduction and cow-pat shit-chucking contests of the last day or two, I have a terrifying admission to make: 

 I am a secret RAMMSTEIN fan... even worse.. a secret RAMMSTEIN FAN-A-TIC!

And as an admitted RAMMSTEIN fanatic, I'm going to purchase their complete back catalogue.  I heard the track 'Stripped' again on Saturday, and haven't been able to get it out of my head.  On a lighter, but similar note.. I heard Amy Winehouse's 'REHAB' three times on the trot on Sunday and haven't been able to get that out of my head either... but maybe, more, because I keep expecting the afro-chick singing the track to come out from behind the curtain.  And I wonder if the record label didn't 'suppress' more suggestive lyrics, because there are like 'no' lyrics.. just a hook, which gently says, 'I like gettin' high, I don't see it as a problem.. not even a 'challenge'.. it's just a lifestyle.

A note from ALAVALA - Film Arts Foundation (San Francisco, CA) screenings that contained MGCK Music tracks:

FAF* Open Screening 3/22/07 - "3 X Love" - 

FAF Open Screening 11/17/06 "Deep Six" 

FAF Open Screening 03/05/06 "After Life" 

FAF Open Screening 10/21/05 "I'm Going to Tell You a Secret" 

FAF Open Screening 6/24/05 "All The Things We Love" 

FAF Open Screening 3/25/05 "All The Things We Love" 

FAF Open Screening 7/16/04 "Save You" 

FAF Open Screening 3/19/04 "Memorie"

Fri 13 April 2007 -  MGCK Music     "So.. what is your religious belief???"

this is a great video about the 'real' sacrament: Too bad it's by a guy who doesn't understand JACK! about it!!
"John Safran vs Peyote"
[He should have just shut his mouth and gone for a walk across the desert.  He would have enjoyed it more]

I just found this comment I posted to YouTube when I first saw this video:

""I love the video... but I also LOVE PEYOTE! John claims the Peyote fucked him up, but I think he's got it backwards. He was fucked up to begin with and the Peyote couldn't help him. He should have just swallowed the jar and started walking.. he might have been a better man by the end of it.""


Sat 6 April 2007 -  MGCK Music     "Now here's the thing...no.. here's TWO things..."

The news in the last couple of weeks included visual bytes of that fat EMI pig sitting alongside Steve Jobs; both of them telling us how great it is!! EMI will provide 'DRM-free' tracks for download.  In short: they're scared shitless that 99 cents is too much for a track on iTunes in a world where kids are in a download-for-free frenzy... Anyway...  most of the profit goes to Steve Jobs at Apple and whatever record labels come on board; the service providers and mobile phone people and listening device people also make their buck.  The artist will get 'something', but it will be 'less', and over time...probably nuthin'.  I loved the last question thrown their way, 'when will the Beatles back catalogue become available on iTunes?"  That tells you all you need to know.  The people who's music is worth the most aren't giving it away AT ALL.  

Anyway.. you can read 'THE REAL INTERVIEW WITH THE FAKE STEVE JOBS" which tells you f*ck-all but is kinda dumb funny.

Point 2: I was scurrying around the web last night looking for a US Media company on Google.  What I found, by googling one thing which led to another, absolutely shot me in the head with sadness.  There was a Supreme Court case about two years ago, that somehow completely slipped under my radar.  Probably because I've been living HERE! Click on the 'What the FCC Happened to Free Speech?" link and read about:

Supreme Court Deals Blow to Independent Media in BRAND X - June 27, 2005

 The game is so 'up'.  The game is so 'over'.  The game is so manipulated and really, here we are out here, wondering why one media provider is taken over by another and we get fewer channels and less access and suddenly the same program over and over and over on the remaining channels...and as for the internet???!!!! 'Steering' is the word. This is the way it's gonna be.

Fri 6 April 2007 -  MGCK Music     "A night to remember...

Altres @ The Westport Bar in Dundee.. (with or w/out Electra vocalising.. should be great sonic entertainment value!

A re-working of the Medicine Man video;  had to include the 'road-block'.. you can't make a journey of enlightenment without experiencing a 'road-block': or for some... a 'stop, search and seizure!'

[Because of the long journey from YouTube to here... the music and images are probably out of synch... but sometimes that makes it better!.]

Sat 31 Mar 2007 -  MGCK Music     "Last words on the Last day of another month...

This weekend was filled with musical insights.  TINARIWEN @ The Queens Hall on Friday night was standing and dancing room only.  They kind of shuffled onto the stage in traditional Toureg dress (mind the electric guitars!) with head-wraps; braced against a sand storm (or bad review) and from a slightly shambolic start, slowly but surely dug deeper and deeper and deeper through all the layers of rigid restrictive culture that is ours in the West.  They dug through the 'statement' t-shirts and middle class accents (in profusion at such alternatively 'cultural' events)... they dug deeper through the layers of 'my space' which is our real western heritage.  We have this great sense of entitlement to the space immediately around us; our 'critical' space.  Of course, alcohol (a Scotsman's Peyote) helped and by the end of the night.. the audience had been plumbed and cracked into like a great vein of some inglorious ore and they were all dancing, sweating, clapping... quite absurdly really... to music they didn't understand the suffering or 'consciousness' behind.. a culture they can only gawp at and not have the faintest clue to, as they run for the bar and the ladies room during the break, to belt down bevvies and wash their hands in water racing it's exit from a tap.  But the audience were VERY good at buying the merchandise.  Mental notes to self, get those frickin T-SHirts printed.

While I was watching TINARIWEN, I thought of TRANSGLOBAL UNDERGROUND and the spectacular voice of Natacha Atlas! And I just found them both (the project and the vocalist) on MySpace.  MySpace is like that BT ad, where the whole planet is seated in a giant stadium and each individual gets about 15 seconds to tell you a little bit about themselves.  Some of it you want to hear, the rest... well you can dream.

The next insight came with the BBC hour devoted to the history of HAWKWIND.  The band that launched a thousand trips and changed JM's life when he climbed the drain-pipe of The Liverpool Stadium and broke into one of their gigs at the tender age of 13.  He remarked, that life-changing event just 'began' and then carried on for 3 hours and then it just stopped.  He remembers a big naked lady (the legendary 'Stacia') painted blue and writhing on the stage and he also remembers someone slipped him his first bite of d-lysergic acid.  He said he drifted home sometime that next dawn and thought about what he'd seen and heard for a week after.  He never went to church again.  He stopped singing with the choir.  Exited the boy scouts and began his journey of 'self', all from that one cozmic trigger.  Can you imagine Keane or Boyzone or even Baby-Shambling Pete Doherty creating such a 'life-changing' fervour????

Watching the HAWKWIND documentary reminded me how 'clean-cut' music is now.  Of course for the last 20 years, insurance companies wouldn't underwrite gigs or tours unless you're 'clean', or if there's a whiff of you jetting down a line of white or seen 'dancing in the street' you're hurried into 'Rehab' the next day.  So artists are hamstrung by the industry and, thus, can't BE artists, they have to be little businessmen with little business heads.. Thus the clean-cut aura around all the bands you see, all the winners of the prizes.    Anyway.. great music used to be made by people completely off their heads and played to audiences equally off their heads.  Oh for the good old dayz.....

Which brings me to the next point:  While I was away in 'Cal-IF-ONLY-a!' - some music was sent to me here for review or for play on LEITH FM  (which is on air as we speak at 98.8FM).  A band managed by Alec "NEMIS" Downie - POPUP  - and another band called The DULOKS... shamefully I admit I have listened to neither in the 6 weeks since I arrived back.  I'll get around to it, I promise.. to someone or myself.. I promise, something. (SHAMEFULLY INDEED!  POP-UP played the SXSW Festival on Wed March 16 this year.  Where was I?  Sleeping?  I guess maybe I'll review that CD now.  I guess maybe they won't care)

The 'other' issue that keeps coming up is invites to perform.  ALTRES are doing a couple of gigs here and there.  The Mills Observatory gig that was planned for this coming month of April has kind of cancelled out due to the retirement of Mills Observatory main man Bill Sampson.  A great guy who so generously let me peer through his telescope at the perfectly FULL MOON on the first night I joined ALTRES there in October 2005. So.....ALTRES are doing other gigs and have requested that the 'guest vocalist' (Electra) come along and...uh... 'guest'!!!

 It's hard to explain, but a few things have changed or as the song says: "there's been a change in the weather.. and a change in me."  The trip to Cal-IF-ONLY-a!... has altered perceptions, reset goalposts, changed the entire playing field of future endeavour (or so one HOPES in both the internal moments and external actions).  Indeed, 'Electra' will 'guest' with ALTRES again, as that's a great gig, no matter where it happens; on the balcony of an observatory, as witness to a mind-blowing view or in the teeniest tiniest bierkellar cellar.  There will be gigs together. And the Elemental Arts Festival is a definite  for August.

Now.. maybe, as March is over and Spring is sprung and April is upon us and South By Southwest is ... well...what's happenin' out in Austin?  I don't know.. but I've just been told by JM that we'll be in Austin TX in June as part of the PEYOTE FAMILY.. either entourage style or on the main stage... Will make my best efforts to stop in Albuquerque on this trip to see my cousin Leah Black again.

I've written a lot of words today... a LOT.  It just seemed like the right thing to do.. to ramble along.. and 'Ramble On'...


If you're looking for LAST MONTH's stuff : go to Last month's blog: March07

Still smokin'!!!!


  BE THERE...... or BE SOMEWHERE ELSE!  If you don't know how.. take lessons on COUNTERCULTURE.


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