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

The new TWELFTH NIGHT 'VOICES IN THE NIGHT' Double CD is now available on Cyclops Records.  The album of previously unreleased material, includes 3 of the earliest Twelfth Night tracks written and performed with 'Electra', in that brief, but glittering period when she was their lyricist/vocalist.  If you like the words 'PROG' and 'ROCK' in the same sentence, you'll like this. So, GO get it NOW!  [SLEEVE NOTES]

OCTOBER 2007  - Homage to Artists

31 October 2007  MGCK Music    "Et In Arcadia Ego"

"The phrase is a memento mori, usually interpreted as "I am also in Arcadia" or "I am even in Arcadia", as if spoken by personified Death. It is sometimes interpreted to mean that the person buried in this tomb "has lived in Arcadia"; in other words, that the person too once enjoyed the pleasures of life on earth."  {yes, indeed, I have!}

After the weekend's "Scouse Nation" excesses, I've dipped once again into T S Eliot's 'THE WASTE LAND'... as a fitting (and sonorously repentant) end to an otherwise, COMPLETELY, frickin' MARVELLOUS month. 

(corner of the painting ET IN ARCADIA EGO by Giovanni Francesco Barbieri - di Galleria Nazionale di Arte Antica Roma)

[Mal Function invited me to some gig at THe Tron on Saturday night, my old friends, The Lords Of Bastard will be taking to the stage... so we'll see.. I have a birthday party that night... a late HALLOWEEN (i.e. fancy dress) Party.. so, yeah, we'll see.  I may go dressed as a TOURIST!!]


Last weekend 27-28 Oct 2007  MGCK Music    Homage to a City

 "Liverpool is the Pool of Life"- Carl Jung, 1927

And where do we begin?  With the incredible architecture; the first steel-framed skyscrapers the world had ever seen that spawned Manhattan's skyline?  Do we begin with the streets; lined with more early Georgian architecture; than Bath and Edinburgh combined?  Or do we begin with the sentimental ride on the Ferry Cross The Mersey....?  Do we begin with the home to the Cunard Line's Head Office and 20 miles of once state-of-the-art docks; the greatest shipping capital in British history? Or a city's fortunes built on the slave-trade?? Do we begin with the football club that has lifted 5 Champions League Cups?  Or do we begin with gangsters and scallies that would make Ian Rankin's 'Rebus' faint; and the city's darker reputations in endless corridors of bars, pubs and clubs pounding out LOUD music all night long?  Do we begin with the testosterone and booze-fuelled street battles at 3am or with Penny Lane, The Fab Four and John Lennon's "Imagine"?  With bottles and pissed off bouncers or the fabulous fare at the French Street Market?  With the Tate North or the Pyramid grave of 'The Gambler' who made a 'deal with the devil'?  With students out in countless throngs, trick or treating, dressed to kill??  Or with the cavalcade of award winning actors, play-writes, artists, authors, poet laureates,  stage and film and theatre directors and producers the city has spawned?  Where do we begin? With a population SO FULL of brash, boundless ENERGY yet pulling like the four horses of an apocalyptic chariot in all different directions, all running amok on a Saturn-day night?  Where do we begin?  With The Liver Birds of course!

and the magnificent Cunard Building, the Ferry Cross the Mersey and us on it, meandering through the street markets, and stopping for a pint @ The Swan  (a pub that hasn't changed in 30 years; the juke box pounding out GREAT heavy metal/hard rock classics), Me and Colette in Chinatown, and Hope Street, another pint in the Symphonic Bar, with Slash and some Witches, and a toke!!, strolling down to Paddy's Wigwam, 

... just snapshots of a Scouse Nation

[all photos by Electra Oct 07]



Fri 26 Oct 2007  MGCK Music    ...Notes from The Biennale

The honourable Ms Jackson has just returned from Venice and enriched my small world with visions from another.  A couple of web links to art and expressionism of interest:  Her notes:

"""There was one art piece all about the AK47 and the fight between Russia and Bulgaria about who had the rights to the patent. Written on the wall with blue and red magic markers, in a very humorous and informal tone, it reminded me of the Mark Thomas book I read about arms deals. So, yes a lot of the art did strike a note of familiarity. Tracy Emin's pavilion, whom I have never understood anyway, was self indulgent, adolescent twaddle. At least compared to Sophie Calle's - a French artist who received a "Dear John" letter from her boyfriend and sent it to 107 women to "analyse". Very funny, very sophisticated and beautifully presented, it showed these womens' reactions to the man's letter, whether it was interpreted by song, dance, comedy, psychological or grammatical analysis. The French always have much more style!""  Fiona Jackson

Interviews with Bill Viola and Sophie Calle: http://www.tate.org.uk/tateshots/issue10070/default.htm

and YOU TUBE of Bill Viola's waterwork:


[photos of canal and exhibition by Oct 2007 F Jackson]

and what else this coming weekend... oh my GOSH!!!! Liverpool v Arsenal @ Anfield...

IF ONLY I could be in the stands for that one!!!  But as a result of the above match this w-end, our trip to Liverpool has landed us with absolutely NO  hotel availability in the city.   The only choice remaining in ALL of Merseyside (I kid you not.. this is a SOLD OUT TOWN) is The Britannia Adelphi, charging a rate of by 180 per night for a minimum Saturday AND Sunday night stay.  We have to go to Liverpool this weekend, so have to pay.  Incredible.  I could have flown to San Francisco and back for that.  But I AM excited.  Perhaps I'll breath the same air molecules as Arsene Wenger.   JM never kept his promise to take me to Highbury and now, the Emirates is ALWAYS sold out.  Liverpool may be as close as I'll ever get.


Thurs 25 Oct 2007  MGCK Music    ...not the most practical pony in the paddock...

In keeping with my general irresponsible desire for instant (CONSTANT!) gratification and pleasant climates and companions... I have acquired a ticket BACK to Catalunya in November.  Is it possible to get too much of a good thing?

Currently reading Evelyn Waugh's BRIDESHEAD REVISITED.  The man is a genius.


Looking at more photographs of the colours along The Forth on Tuesday night.  The sun was setting in burnt orange to my back and the moon was rising to the East in salmon hues; all in the same moment of the same autumn sky.


Tues 23 Oct 2007  MGCK Music    ...He has 19 Bird Dogs...

[photograph of Catfish Keith by Oct 2007 Electra]

Last night @ The Pleasance: Catfish Keith.  Sublime authentic acoustic blues.  In addition to his stunning guitar-picking and interpretive skills, he sources and channels the most remarkable ghosts to join him on stage: Jessie Mae Hemphill (got to find a copy of 'Eagle Bird' somewhere), Leadbelly (the true story about the governor of Angola Prison hearing him play and, on the spot, releasing him from prison), and The Otis Brothers (Amos Otis and, uhhh... Otis Otis!) to name a few.  But that's only part of his provocative powers.  His HANDS are the greatest gift he brings to the stage.  His hands and the collection of beautiful guitars he lovingly thumbs through.  A superb evening and I have to thank Dave Arcari and Margaret for booking him and bringing him here.  And of course, the marvelous Penny -  tour manager, sound engineer and wife of the extraordinary Catfish.  We all bought the new album by 'If I Could Holler', and queued to have it autographed.  Catfish has the best titles: "Nineteen Bird-Dogs And One Floppy-Headed Hound (It Takes All O' Them Puppies To Hunt My Baby Down)"

I've said it before - probably in August during the Edinburgh Festival:  Being treated to the talents of a true 'purist' and genuine 'professional', reminds me again just how necessary good live art is.  It's easy to forget, in a world increasingly viewed through monitors and screens.  But, to see ACCOMPLISHED live artists: musicians, dancers, actors, performance artists and even poets - Artists who have put in the years, devoted themselves to their calling; developed and honed their skills, mastered the instruments of their specific craft (and are still learning), curious about their audiences and wanting to share their gifts; to see them strut their stuff across the boards and work their magick; it leaves a part of you more alive.   So, with the deepest gratitude, I thank Catfish Keith for bringing his 19 bird dogs and one-man-band to hunt this audience down.  Small clip of his fret-work genius captured last night:


And, this evening, as the moon was rising, two people strolled along Portobello beach.  Two people who've probably never heard of Catfish Keith!!... 

But you can't tell everyone.

[photograph by Oct 2007 Electra]


Sat 20 Oct 2007  MGCK Music    .Ok... so.. what is NEXT???...

CATFISH (FLIPPIN') KEITH!!!! On Monday night at The Pleasance Theatre!!!

[Told you.. we do 'eclectic' very well.  But we saw him last year, at the same time.. ROCKTOBER!]

It occurred to me today, September and October have flown by without one single thought to MUSHROOM PICKING!!!!  My head must have been somewhere else altogether.  I wonder if it's too late to boogie over to the Fife and walk around some fine cow fields...reading a well-thumbed copy of:  Magic Mushroom hunting.. a picker's tale...

(and here comes a photo! not of cowfields, but of Cathedrals to Commerce!!! CALIFORNIA!!) 

Sent off my  'absentee ballot' vote for the upcoming San Francisco MAYORAL election. I voted, of course, for Gavin Newsome (how could you NOT vote for an extremely handsome guy who has (quite unashamedly) slept with every single woman in San Francisco and is now moving on to the married ones.  I mean, his name's NEWSOME.. not WHOLESOME).  The curious thing about the Mayoral race ballot, it asks you to vote for a 'second' choice.  I could not resist  a guy called 'GRASSHOPPER ALEX KAPLAN'.  I have no idea what his politics or what he believes in, but with a first name like 'Grasshopper', he can't be dull!

California is such a groovy place.

And I did NOT take THAT photograph (left)... 


I took THIS one (below).. early this year when I was back home in sunny San Fran.


Fri 19 Oct 2007  MGCK Music    ... damned stoopid blasby attitude...

I walked past that Bongo Club poster again last night and realised I'd missed something probably well worth seeing on Wednesday Night.  OXJAM Music Festival @ The Bongo Club - All profits going to OXFAM - Help Make Poverty History.  All a good thing, and all something I missed.  DAMMMIT!  That's a gig I would have liked to see.  Bands playing were: FLATLINERS, TAKING CHASE, PHOENIX Q and the singular STEVEN CAREY.  My loss... my fuckup.. my mistake.  Next time, maybe I'll pay more attention.

Yesterday afternoon, I went to the Portobello Baths for a sauna, steam and swim.  When I came out, it felt like pure autumn had finally arrived in Scotland.  The lights along the promenade and the grey cast of the sea and beach... it made me think of older times, but it was lovely.


Wed, 17 October 2007 - 'Something' on at The Bongo Club tonight.  I saw a poster or flyer a few days ago and thought, 'I might go to that,' but as it is, I can't exactly remember what it is or who is playing.  Names I've never heard before..  Several bands doing something.  But if you look it up, you might like it. It sounded like something worth seeing... a few days ago.


[The odd thing.  When you live in a place for a few years and become a part of, or simply, 'follow',  the local scene, you'll discover that every year and a half, the names of the bands making the rounds changes completely.  Bands that were throwing down the gauntlet 3 years ago are now simply 'vanished' from the scene.  Didn't make it or are still trying under a new monniker.  You'd have to be completely tenacious, completely 'interested', or have absolutely NO OTHER LIFE!!! to follow the travails of local attemptees, as they strut and stumble across the poorly lit stages of Bannerman's and Henry's Cellar Bar.  The Subway and wherever else they can book a gig.]

Tues 16 Oct 2007  MGCK Music    I am having a love affair with my camera...

Pure and simple.  It's my newest personal obsession AND at the same time, I make an occasional living from it.

"Photography is a major force in explaining man to man."
Edward Steichen

[or woman to anyone.]


- Homage to Catalunya

[all photographs on this page by Oct 2007 Electra / James Miller]

second week of October 2007  MGCK Music    Notes on last days in heaven...

We passed a day in Girona (the capital of...uh... GIRONA) and enjoyed the maze of narrow winding, angular streets leading up to the Cathedral and Roman wall encircling the city.  

My sister studied Medieval History at the University and so took us on a tour of its beautiful new buildings.  We lunched in the square and walked along the river.  I had toured this town last summer with Nance and we had a wonderful day , but did not go so high up on the city walls.  Yes, Girona is a beautiful example of pura Catalana and now that we are back in Edinburgh, suddenly I am assailed with images of GIRONA everywhere.  There is a new 'CANON' camera ad that uses a main bridge into the city as a lure to buy a new EOS 400D Digital. [I'll stick with my new Fuji, which, unfortunately, I haven't quite mastered yet.  Using the wrong light readings for absolutely mundane daylight photos.]  

And so, there are too many images from our remaining days in Catalunya.  The incredible evenings by the pool in Madremanya,  listening to larks and jays in the trees, watching the passage of huge clouds on their journey to another sunset. 

We spent an afternoon hunting (rifle-less) in the woods for wild boars (which are so common they come every night to dig around the garden and overturn the dog bowls hunting for snippets of yummy 'Chum'.)  Which is why Saturdays 'ring' with the echoes of rifle blasts across the mountains; dogs yipping, barking and howling on the trail of a cornered beast and if they get too close in our woods below the house, you can hear the bells they wear so as not to get lost in the heat of the hunt.   But in the ensuing evening stillness, you can pick a pomegranate from the trees around the patio and eat it.

On our last day in heaven, we grudgingly said good-bye to all of the beauty on that mountaintop and made the journey back to Barcelona and her stylised streets and shops

and an afternoon and evening in San Cugat (cue another fantastic thunder storm), including a walk to the Monastery, a place I remember from first sight almost 30 or so years ago, long before it was rebuilt, followed by dinner in town.

At 5am when we prepare to get the taxi to Barcelona airport, I remember only the brilliant October light fading into the west.... 

and dread the oncoming season of rainy and wintry dark.


First week of Oct 2007  MGCK Music    Notes from the trip

[early breakfast in the airport, goodbye to grey skies over Britain, by Bon Dia la Catalana!]

Catalunya (most know Barcelona and the Costa Brava) is too much like 'home' to come here sightseeing.  Yet, in the company of JM, who's always restless to see and do, I feel the pressure of trying to appease the evil genies, 'Mustdo' and 'Seemore'. But really, if left to my own devices, I'm perfectly at peace just bozing in the landscapes I have known since I first arrived in this beautiful and unique province at the age of 14.  So, there will be no notes about 'you must do this...' and if you go, you must see the _______________."  That's not why I come here.  I come here to 'live', and when I do, I simply put my 'other' life on the shelf.

But I will note, we had a SPECTACULAR Lightning storm last Thursday night.  We'd gone to dinner with Michael and Nance who have the most beautiful gallery and home in Torroella de Montgris and the storm began there around 10pm.  Hours later we made the long drive back up the mountain to Madremanya in still pouring rain.  Well, it's not a 'mountain' but if you try cycling from the beach at L'Estartit (which is near enough to Torroella for jazz) 'back up' to Madremanya, you'll know you're climbing.... anyway here we go..  it's a long story, but, what the heck... we're here and this is life right now.

The "spectacular" lightning storm began (for us back at home) in earnest around 3am and circled the house like a gigantic black UFO.  We stood in the protective stone arches of the first floor terrace and watched Nature's 'power display'.  Made 'FUERZABRUTA' seem like the dabblings of children in a plastic play pool.  JM whispered to me about 'Demiurges' and the book 'The Dark Gods'. The philosophy fronted by that tome; we are someone else's property and these 'others' feed on us, like cattle. Sounds reasonable to me. And even more reasonable at 5am when the crackling THWACK of an enormous bolt slammed into the lightning rod attached to the studio roof, not 50 yards from where we stood; i.e. instant and total BLACK OUT. Yes, I will chew my brussells sprouts and be a good girl. Just don't eat me. 

I heard the telephone make a tiny 'burrr' for help before it was silenced forever, or until next week when a repair person can be called to un-fuse whatever bits of metal are probably lying blackened and twisted in the line.  We stayed watching the lights flash in the sky until dawn and then to bed.

(well.. there we had  no lights, so this must have been the night before.)

It's strange in this period we're living in, to be completely 'out of touch' and unable to log on to the internet or make something as simple as a phone call, but that's how it's been for a couple of days now. And it's been beautiful. Get me to that ranch in Montana. It will be a gloriously non-suburban start.

The next day, we (JM and me) cycled down the hill and roamed about a lovely Iglesia Romanica siglo XI (11th Century Roman church), in Villars:

a tiny rural colony of possibly three lovely glade hidden stone houses and a large masia (stone farm house) near to La Pera (the village of Gala's House museum) and Pubol.  The church surprised us with it's unlocked door and clear continued use by the surrounding community.

The cycle back 'up' the hill was testing, but invigorating.  I cycle a lot in Edinburgh (a hilly town) and love it, so this was not a terrible 'challenge' to my physical abilities, but boy oh boy, JM was sweatin'! We made it up the hill to the town of Madremanya

 and then further along to our road up to the top of the hill in the fading evening light.

The weather has been as lovely as I remember all Catalan Octobers to be. Gentle warmth, sunlight and enough rain to keep the fields and forests in heavenly green. I swim and lie in the sun without fear of it destroying my skin and now that my brother-in-law has come up for the weekend from Barcelona, maybe we'll get some sailing under our belts.  He says the waves are two metres high as soon as you leave the marina and head for open water, so we'll see how willing a captain he'll be. I don't want to die in the sea, but I do want to dive down around the rocky coves of the Illes Medes and swim with the fishes, before the winter comes and the water is un-enterable.

Which reminds me, we spent Saturday afternoon on the beach at Gola de Ter.

These have been such beautiful days and even more perfect because it sure ain't tourist season, so we have all of these lovely places to ourselves.

Gastronomy: You don't 'dine' in Spain until 10 or 11 and 'eating' whether it's long lunches or wonderful dinners (in or out), is a social past-time, which lasts for many courses; a luxurious journey well-attended by swirling conversation and palate-thrilling delights. In short, it's all very civilised. If I was in another kind of mood, I might say it can be a bit 'bourgeois' except we're fortunate to be sharing these meals with genuinely intellectually stimulating companions, who are interested in EVERYTHING and equally well-versed in the critical realities and absurd fantasies of life as a human being on a seriously diminishing planet.

Every night, is a dinner party, here or there. This is the European way. When you live in the UK, a land where NOBODY has a dinner party unless it's a birthday or some other once-every-ten-years' occasion (and then it's a DRINKING party) you forget that elsewhere in Europe (and NEW YORK), people cook and eat regularly and COOK and EAT WELL!! The UK has a great 'drinking' culture, but in other areas, life in Britain, even amongst the 'landed', is pretty culturally and socially, well.... impoverished. Maybe not so much in London. I do remember a pretty groovy colony of designers and artists who got together regularly for soirees down saff.  But it's been a while...

As to the local delicacies, pigs and olives make an enormous contribution.  I've never eaten so much vegetable and animal 'fat'  (well not since the last time I was here).  Every dish is swimming in olive oil, and the chorizo and Jamon Iberico are consumed precisely BECAUSE OF the deliciousness of their prevailing adiposity. The really interesting thing about this culinary proclivity for all things soaked in oil and fat?? The indigenous population of Catalanes are generally slender in youth, perhaps thickening a bit in middle years, but nobody is FAT and you will leave Catalunya probably slimmer than when you arrived. Go figure.

 Sun 7 October 2007 -  Finally, the boat

First, I've got to say, in the UK, apparently, ANYTHING that goes on the water, they call a 'yacht'.  Where I come from, a 'yacht' is a very specific type of sea-worthy vessel, usually no less than 50 feet in length, with a big engine and comfy cabins, a bit like Onassis' "Christina".  That's been my understanding.  So, please, when I say 'boat'.. I generally mean anything smaller (but bigger than a rowboat, canoe or kayak), that goes out on the water and sails or motors.  I'll leave the specifics to the real sailors.

So, ANY-WAY, out on the open sea.  And what a day it was for it. Clear, crystal blue sky. Gentle wind. Lulling soft waves. One of the most perfect days I've ever had here on the Med. 

The water was cold but not too cold. An initial shock followed quickly by comfort and yes, little fishes everywhere, schooling, darting, coming alongside to be fed bits of crisps. I paddled with my flippers and goggles diving down to investigate the rocky shapes. We were moored quite far out and at first, I have to admit, my 'new' passion for the sea was quarrelling with my 'old' terror. I've had two experiences that have shaped a fear of deep water, (so ENORMOUS) in my life: 1) my first 'memory' at the age of 22 months, drowning in a friend's pool.  While all the adults played gin rummy and drank martinis, I slipped into the depths, watching the bubbles float to the surface. Not terrifying at the time, but in retrospect, adding to a lifelong fear. Next was the 7-days spent sailing across the Bermuda Triangle in a 40-foot Trimaran from Bermuda to Grand Turk. Every night the Bermuda Triangle lived up to it's sinister and terrifying reputation. Blasts of lightning and near hurricane winds (God's light show), taught us the power of sea and sky. I remember clinging to anything in the wheel house, watching my brother and Ragin' Roy (a Jehovah's Witness) wrestling with sodden sails and whipping cords in each lit-by-lightning frack.

But the sea is nicer to me now.

So, I come to 'sailing' in this part of my life with incredible trepidation. Yet, it's growing on me.  When I was 18, an astrologer did my chart and told me I would die in the water. That possibility is becoming less terrifying each day.

After a sail around the 'other' side of the Illes Medes, you feel as if you're approaching the Pillars of Hercules coming back into the main bay. 

So beautiful yesterday was. We motored back into the marina and parked 

after admiring a sleak black beauty of a sailboat (about 70 feet long - maybe this is a 'yacht'), that just sat out on the water, relaxing...waiting to launch itself on some fantastic sunlit trip...

Then we lunched at Las Salinas. Famous for it's delicacy laden 'pica pica'.  A lunch entirely of different varieties of shell-fish, calamares and sardinas...  A lunch I'm not partial to.  Mi cuby ado told me how the berberechos had been cooked (grilled - alive alive oh!) and I could not touch their poor tortured shells.  Same with the calamares.  I saw the David Attenborough 'Blue Planet' and his spectacularly tender footage of squid. They make the best mothers. In other words, I'm not willing to eat one. And, tampoco, will I eat an octopus - an equally intelligent and sacrificing parent. The conversation touched so often on these being the 'last' shellfish and shrimps and sardines and 'things' in the sea, "so 'enjoy' them!"  I wondered, if they're the last, why would you ask someone to collect and cook them for you in the first place???? I made it through politely tasting a corner of some poor creature and eating bread and 'a li oli' plus a desert of helado chocolate con nata, y un poco de pinya natural. Buenissimo.

It pleases me no end that as soon as I arrive back here, my Spanish is clearly fluent and my Catalan is not verbal, but understood. Early teenage years spent living in Barcelona have given me two languages and for that I'm grateful. Studying languages is painful and difficult and 'time consuming' later on.  I know, because I've given Russian a go for the last 4 years.  One of my mother's languages, but not mine.

Anyway... the sunsets by the pool, the twittering of wrens and jays and the general stillness in the forests of the Parque National surrounding the house: I could live like this forever.  Forget trying to 'make things happen'. Easily forget 'nights doon the pub'. Completely forget ridiculous scrabblings of people walking, talking, STANDING too close in towns and cities. Yes, I could forget it all...

for this



[all photographs by Oct 07 Electra & James Miller]


If you're looking for LAST MONTH's stuffGo to Last month's entry into autumn: September 07

Still smokin'!!!! 


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