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The return of Melodic Randomiser Unspooled…

I thought it was time to delve once more into the little plastic boxes of nostalgia that make up my vintage cassette collection, just because I haven’t done a Melodic Randomiser post for a while and it seemed like a good idea.
The box I dragged out from under the stairs this time is as eclectic a selection as any of them and this one offered up a fine juxtaposition of styles.

First we have the epitome of ’90s indie pop, Travis, with their debut album, Good Feeling, from which I’ve picked my favourite single, All I Want To Do Is Rock

….followed by Hey Dude, by hippy rockers Kula Shaker, from their first album, K

…and completing this most unlikely trio with the full album of the frankly unhinged Captain Lockheed And The Starfighters by bonkers Hawkwind alumni, Robert Calvert:


So there you have it, a playlist you won’t find anywhere else, I hope you find something to enjoy.

Stay tuned for further trips back in time in the not too distant future.

 
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Posted by on February 4, 2017 in Blogging, Melodic Randomiser, Music, Video

 

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K’lee and Dale’s Cosmic Photo Challenge…

Hello and welcome to another Monday and the latest edition of K’lee and Dale’s Cosmic Photo Challenge, which I have dictated the theme for this week.

I asked you to go Into the light, break the rules of conventional wisdom and shoot your photos directly towards a light source; let us see some creative (lens)flair and bright ideas.

I have compiled half a dozen shining examples of excessive brilliance, as well as creating a piece of video artwork (using just my phone, a kaleidoscope and a small flashlight) for one of my recent musical experiments, Inner Sphear.

Enjoy…

Update: Here’s an old layering experiment I just found, merging Rhonda with the first of today’s photos…

…and I little gif I made today, using two glitter lamps.


K’lee’s photo for the day can be seen HERE.

*****

To get involved with the challenge, post a photo to your blog on Monday, add a pingback to this post (or to K’lee’s) and don’t forget to tag your post #CosPhoChal.

Alternatively, add a link to your blog in the comments of either mine or K’lee’s post and we’ll come and check out your entry.
Any and all effects, editing, Photoshop, Instagram, morphing, collages or whatever other post production techniques you fancy are permitted, (in fact, they’re actively encouraged!) so get creative and turn your photos into artworks for the Cosmic Photo Challenge.

#CosPhoChal

 
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Posted by on September 5, 2016 in Animation, Arts, Photography, Video

 

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Interview: The Bee talks with dalecooper57…

​A few weeks ago I was honoured to be invited to take part in an interview with Bee Halton, as part of her The Bee talks with… feature.

Well, I’m only now getting around to answering Bee’s questions and today you can discover what information she managed to wheedle out of me.
The questions all seem quite straightforward but, given my tendency to ramble, it’s anyone’s guess how long this will take, so I’d better get on with it…

1) How would you describe yourself in one paragraph? 

This is the sort of question that makes me wonder how honest we are about ourselves, because I immediately think of the way I am described by the people who know me; loud, verbose, opinionated, arrogant, immodest, sarcastic, the (not always complimentary) list goes on… At least that was generally the case, before I began writing Diary of an Internet Nobody, but recently I’m getting dangerously used to seeing words like “creative”, “talented” and even “artistic” being applied to me. Now, although I’m more than willing to accept the praise and plaudits of my peers in the blogging community, not even I (with all those aforementioned, uncomplimentary, but probably accurate characteristics) am comfortable using those terms to describe myself, not out loud anyway. So I think I’m going to have to go with somewhere in between, something along the lines of; inventive, persistent, determined, intelligent, (or at least clever, which isn’t the same thing, but it’s a convincing impression) friendly, generous and…oh alright, immodest, sarcastic and verbose, too.

2) A fun fact about you? 

Hmm, I’m not sure what constitutes a fun fact, but I was once nearly eaten by a drunken vegetarian at a party.

3) What made you write (draw, blog, paint, make music…) in the first place?

Oh, that’s an easy one. A friend of a friend who I met on Facebook (the irritatingly talented Mr Darmon Richter, writer of the highly successful Bohemian blog) encouraged me to start blogging, after I’d helped promote his work on social media, just over four years ago. I had no idea or plan for what I was going to write, (and still don’t) except that I would have no constant theme and that I would stubbornly insist on creating all original content on the blog, using only my smartphone (both of which mission statements remain true to this day) and it seems to be working ok so far.

The fiction came about, I suppose, because I had always been an avid reader and love a well-told story. Although having said that, it had never occurred to me to even attempt writing fiction until, out of curiosity, I decided to take part in Linda G Hill’s regular feature, Stream of consciousness Saturday Sunday, setting myself the challenge of writing a short story for each of her weekly prompts on the spur of the moment. 

As for all the other threads on the blog; the photography, video, animation and music, they too are a direct result of my introduction to the wonderful world of Google’s Android™ system. It’s amazing what you can do with a phone, few apps, a bit of imagination and the computing power of something you would have needed to carry around on a forklift twenty years ago. The fact that I’ve enjoyed taking pictures and have been an obsessive music fan since I was a teenager probably didn’t hurt either, but I have no actual musical knowledge or training and rely on the marvels of modern technology to make up the shortfall between my ingenuity and any genuine ability to carry a tune.


4) Which author/painter/musician… has influenced you and why? 

I’d probably say that, style-wise, I’m most influenced by the sadly late, but extremely great British writers, Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett, both of whom had such a palpable love of language and how it can be made to inject humour into almost any situation. I also like the way Stephen King and Quentin Tarantino use non-linear storytelling to create suspense and mystery, so I try to incorporate that into my writing, too.

Musically, I’ve always had a very eclectic taste; ranging from rock, prog and metal, through punk, pop, dance and indie, veering wildly into jazz, folk and electronica, the latter of which is what was the biggest influence on me, when I first began mucking about with sequencers and loop making apps on my phone. Bands like Yello, Kraftwerk and New Order are old favourites, while more experimental artists like Crystal Castles and Aphex Twin have also informed some of my more abrasive attempts at audio creativity.

As for actual art, (drawing, painting, sculpture, etc) I have no aptitude for that whatsoever, choosing once again to resort to 21st century gadgets in order to bring my artistic visions to life.

5) What is your favourite book/painting/song? 

I’m fairly sure that anyone who has ever heard more than one song, read more than one book, or seen more than one painting will tell you that’s an almost impossible question to answer, so I’ll just pick one of each from the air, in no particular order of preference:
Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams.

Metamorphosis by MC Escher.

Spirit of Radio by Rush


6) Your writing/painting/ music making ritual (if you have one)? 

I sit down, I start writing, I see what happens. That’s about it, really.

7) Your secret “sin” when you write/draw/make music? 

It’s a secret, you’re right.

8) Do you suffer from artist’s block and if so, what do you do against it? 

This is very rarely a problem for me, because I only write when I want to (which is almost all the time now) and I’m never short of something to say, however nonsensical it might be. Whether that’s a good enough reason to keep on writing it down is another matter, but I continue to enjoy doing so nevertheless, because it gets more enjoyable each time.


9) Your advice for apprentice creatives? 

Another easy one; DO IT! 

Honestly, if I can do it, anyone can. Start a blog, (as I keep telling my friend Biff, who has so many stories, he already has enough material for about a hundred blog posts. Come on Biff, I know you’re reading this…) take some photos, paint a picture, form a band, even if you think you’ll be no good at it. 

Because if you don’t try, you’ll never know how much fun you’re missing out on, or find out what hidden talents you might have.

**********
So, there you have it, as much random information about me as you could possibly wish for.

Thank you, Bee, for inviting me, it was a most thought-provoking experience. Here are a couple more of my musical selections to play us out…


 

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Video

Travelling in time(lapse)…

One of the main reasons that I keep getting behind with posting stuff, is that I’m continually sidetracking myself with things which seem more interesting than whatever I’m doing at any given moment.

Yesterday, I thought that I’d better write some more in the collaborative space opera that is Starship Gypsies, as I have been very lax recently in keeping up with the story. But, despite my best intentions and having made good progress on a new new episode, my magpie mind soon drifted upwards, to the clouds above my head (serves me right for sitting out in the sunshine, I suppose) and to thoughts of trying out the timelapse feature on my camera.

So I stopped writing (I’ll get back to it this afternoon, honest I will) and set up my impromptu studio on the patio to do an experiment.

While I cooked Audrey and I some dinner, my trusty smartphone camera patiently clicked away in the garden, recording the passage of big fluffy clouds and gently waving trees. Then, full of spaghetti, meatballs and after dinner coffee, I began to apply the all-important “mucking about” element to the collected images.

I decided to add one of my swirly musical compositions to the resulting visual creation, after having run the original thirty second clip of the sky above our garden through several different editing treatments and ending up with the following, rather hypnotic, multi-media presentation.

So please sit back, relax and enjoy this little video for Speedwell

 
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Posted by on August 6, 2016 in Animation, Arts, Music, Photography, Video

 

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Pluggin’, baby…

Yes, it’s time for another burst of shameless self promotion and a bit of a publishing update.

Both anthologies; Stories in Green Ink and Short Stories and Tall Tales, containing a total of four of my twisty mystery tales, (writing as Guy Thair) as well as an eclectic selection of work by other new writers, are still available for Kindle and in paperback. 

I was flattered to be asked to write an introduction to The Foodie Book; a charity fundraiser publication which compiles recipes, cooking tips and culinary anecdotes from around the world. It is still available, with sales going to support cancer charities.

Not only that, but due to an update of the WordPress mobile app’s post editor by their Happiness Engineers, you can now click the book artwork above and it will take you straight to the Amazon page of your choice.

As for upcoming releases; the lovely Catherine Broughton has once again honoured me by asking me to write another introduction, this time to a book of stories and poems for children, again with proceeds going to charity. 

And finally, Catherine is once more compiling a fiction anthology and she has asked me to submit another short story, so I’m going to try and convince her to take one with a sci-fi twist, (not a genre listed in the guidelines I was given, but it never hurts to ask) just because I’d like to see it in print.

So there you go, my published back catalogue and works in progress, all in one handy to digest post and, as a reward for your attention, here’s a musical gem to play us out; (Yeah, I know, I’ve probably posted it before, but it’s such a great song) Ladies and gentlemen, give it up for Muse…

 

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#atozchallenge: Y is for Yello…

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I’ve spent today off work with my revolting cold, so the penultimate A-Z post is a bit of a cop out, I’m afraid.

Having reached the catarrh stage of my illness, the colour yellow has featured quite heavily in my day, so (tenuous link ahoy) I thought I’d post some tracks by one of my favourite bands, the uniquely odd and willfully retro Swiss electro wizards, Yello

I already have a post planned for tomorrow, so I’ll see you then for the final leg of the challenge.

AHHHTCHHHHOOOOO!

#atozchallenge

 
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Posted by on April 29, 2016 in A - Z challenge, Music, Video

 

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#atozchallenge: V is for Very excited…

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So, we’re down to the final five days of the A-Z challenge and although it’s been an interesting month of randomly unplanned posts, there is one thing I haven’t manage to squeeze in and today I have an excuse.

Don’t worry, I’m not going to go on about it, I’ve already done that at some length in the past, but I can’t not mention the impending return of Twin Peaks, the greatest tv show of all time, bar none.

And yesterday we got further details of David Lynch‘s rebooted soap noir;
– Filming has been completed.
– Probable release date is very early 2017.
– UK release will be on Sky Atlantic, as they have exclusive rights to all original Showtime output (bad news for those of us without satellite tv)
– The cast list has been released, confirming a large number of original members are going to be back amongst the pines.
So, for those of you who are interested, here are those returning heroes in full:

Richard Beymer – Ben Horne
Catherine E Coulson – The Log Lady (scenes filmed before she sadly passed away last year)
Julee Cruise – Roadhouse Singer​
Jan D’Arcy – Sylvia Horne​
David Duchovny – Denise/Dennis Bryson​
Sherilyn Fenn – Audrey Horne
Miguel Ferrer – Albert Rosenfield
Warren Frost – Doctor William Hayward​
Harry Goaz – Deputy Andy Brennan​
Andrea Hays – Heidi​
Gary Hershberger –  Mike Nelson​
Michael Horse – Deputy Tommy ‘Hawk’ Hill​
David Patrick Kelly – Jerry Horne​
Sheryl Lee – Laura Palmer/Maddy Ferguson
Peggy Lipton – Norma Jennings
Bellina Martin Logan – Louie ‘Birdsong’ Budway
David Lynch – GORDON COLE
Kyle MacLachlan – Special Agent Dale Cooper
James Marshall – James Hurley
Everett McGill – ‘Big’ Ed Hurley
Walter Olkewicz – Jacques Renault​
Kimmy Robertson – Lucy Moran
Wendy Robie – Nadine Hurley​
Marv Rosand – Cook at the Double R Diner
Carlton Lee Russell – Jumping Man
Harry Dean Stanton – Carl Rodd
Charlotte Stewart – Betty Briggs​
Al Strobel – Philip Gerard/ ‘Mike’ The One-Armed Man​
Carel Struycken – The Giant​
Russ Tamblyn – Dr Lawrence Jacoby​
Ray Wise – Leland Palmer
Alicia Witt – Gersten Hayward
Grace Zabriskie – Sarah Palmer​

You’ll have to make your own minds up as to how some of these characters are being resurrected included in the plot, but it’s a good sign that the main body of the cast is still involved.

– More casting details have also been released, featuring a good many high profile surprises.
What do you reckon Lynch is going to do with the likes of;

Monica Bellucci
Michael Cera
Laura Dern
Sky Ferreira
Ernie Hudson
Jennifer Jason Leigh
Ashley Judd
Trent Reznor
Tim Roth
Amanda Seyfried
Jessica Szhor
Eddie Vedder
Naomi Watts

Ok, Laura Dern is a Lynch veteran, but Eddie Vedder and Trent Reznor? Really?

And then there’s this; Emre Unayli‘s amazing new artwork.

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So yes, I think it’s safe to say that I’m VERY excited at the prospect of going back into the woods with FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper and friends.

Here’s the trailer…

…which, of course, tells you nothing whatsoever.

But then, I’d expect nothing less.
Roll on 2017.

If your thirst for Peakiness is piqued and you want even more details, GO HERE.

And if that hasn’t put you in the mood, here’s a Road House favourite from Julee Cruise, the lovely Rockin’ Back Inside My Heart.
Enjoy.

#atozchallenge

 
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Posted by on April 26, 2016 in A - Z challenge, Arts, Internet, TV, Twin Peaks, Video

 

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