Wednesday, October 28, 2009


I feel sick. I've eaten too much. Well it was either that or the ill advised horizontal lying down that I decided to get with as soon as I was done with the eating. For some reason my re-heated chili and rice dinner fueled me with the urge to take to the sofa, legs slightly elevated courtesy of the chair arm. Now I am paying the price. My digestive system is truly confused and my body hates me.

My physical state is at least taking my mind off what lies outside my apartment window, that darkness, the one which will suffocate each end of my working day for the next four to five months. Winter is here and with it that oh so familiar annual pit of despair. I am doing a lot of sleeping, pretending the winter isn't even happening. sleeping and working and when I can tick neither of those boxes some HBO based dirge usually gets a look in. Prison Break is over and I want my money back.

Anyway, tis the season. The season where I rely on my little plastic friends more than usual, I feel myself gearing up for some colossal chisel, new 'wants list' prepared in pictorial format, ebay primed and friendly record staff forewarned - it is well and truly on.

So my absence for the majority of October is down to this, a transition, the shedding of Summer friendly skin, freckles and all. I am now wrapped up warm, leant against the radiator, eagerly exercising my rack flicking fingers in the cool air.

Despite the lack of words I have been busy and the past few weeks have thrown up some truly awesome and sometimes unexpected listening experiences. But first off this, the Dino Valente album. I got it on Ebay in the Summer after it topping my 'Cannot Possibly Live Without This Record a Second Longer' list and promptly forgot all about it. It's impossible to talk about this record without referencing Alexander Spence's 'Oar' LP and for good reason, whilst this is slightly more focussed they are very, very similar.

Dino Valente looks and sounds like he should be the owner of a particularly bad Italian restaurant, one that used way too much salt on the pasta and might be called Belgranos.

It's great, but then I always expected it to be. Dino, better known for his work with Quicksilver Messenger Service treats us to what veers from outsider folk (Listen to Me) to the close to radio friendly San Francisco tinged summer pop of opener 'Time', the drums of which keep threatening to break into Jefferson Airplane's 'White Rabbit'.

Side two gives us to strings and a nice break but his voice on 'Tomorrow' is way off and not necessarily in a good way. The track sounds like it belongs on a different album. I don't like it. For some reason it reminds me of 'Ferry Across the Mersey'. I wish I knew why because it certainly doesn't sound like it. Could be the indigestion throwing my ears... Either way, being reminded of that Liverpudlian shit sandwich is not really what I want right now. 

Yeah, to be honest Side 2 is pretty kack. The closer 'Test' is alright, instrumental doodling that reeks of 'we have time to fill' but he echo on his heavy breathing is nothing short of awesome. Oh now he's making ghost noises!

So to recap - definitive record of two halves this and although it's unlikely to be worth the money you pay for a US first press it's a harmless enough addition to the pile.

November's excuse for a lack of new copy is far more exotic. I travel to Sierra Leone for the first two weeks - It really is for the sight seeing and beaches. The diamonds are gone, guns surrendered and more importantly record shops all burnt down. I do wonder if it was a deliberate stunt my wife choosing the only place on the planet without record shops for our vacation...


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