Half a century ago, Belgian Zoologist Bernard Heuvelmans first codified cryptozoology in his book On the Track of Unknown Animals.

The Centre for Fortean Zoology (CFZ) are still on the track, and have been since 1992. But as if chasing unknown animals wasn't enough, we are involved in education, conservation, and good old-fashioned natural history! We already have three journals, the largest cryptozoological publishing house in the world, CFZtv, and the largest cryptozoological conference in the English-speaking world, but in January 2009 someone suggested that we started a daily online magazine! The CFZ bloggo is a collaborative effort by a coalition of members, friends, and supporters of the CFZ, and covers all the subjects with which we deal, with a smattering of music, high strangeness and surreal humour to make up the mix.

It is edited by CFZ Director Jon Downes, and subbed by the lovely Lizzy Bitakara'mire (formerly Clancy), scourge of improper syntax. The daily newsblog is edited by Corinna Downes, head administratrix of the CFZ, and the indexing is done by Lee Canty and Kathy Imbriani. There is regular news from the CFZ Mystery Cat study group, and regular fortean bird news from 'The Watcher of the Skies'. Regular bloggers include Dr Karl Shuker, Dale Drinnon, Richard Muirhead and Richard Freeman.The CFZ bloggo is updated daily, and there's nothing quite like it anywhere else. Come and join us...

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Unlike some of our competitors we are not going to try and blackmail you into donating by saying that we won't continue if you don't. That would just be vulgar, but our lives, and those of the animals which we look after, would be a damn sight easier if we receive more donations to our fighting fund. Donate via Paypal today...

Saturday, February 22, 2014

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today

***You remember that Magic Penny song they used to insist on playing at the W.O.W. service? NatWest have decided to use it in their adverts now! Time to change banks...***

Yesterday’s News Today

On this day in 1908 the actor John Mills was born. Mills starred in many classic films, but is best remembered for Ice Cold in Alex, which is one of the best war movies ever made.
And now the news:

The trailer for Ice Cold in Alex  (if you've never seen this film, I promise you that your life will be enriched by it if/when do and you should rent it off Lovefilm or something):

CRYPTOLINK: Real demon dog captured in Mexico

A word about cryptolinks: we are not responsible for the content of cryptolinks, which are merely links to outside articles that we think are interesting (sometimes for the wrong reasons), usually posted up without any comment whatsoever from me. 

Read on...

CRYPTOLINK: Real Chupacabra Body Washed On The Shores Of San Diego

A word about cryptolinks: we are not responsible for the content of cryptolinks, which are merely links to outside articles that we think are interesting (sometimes for the wrong reasons), usually posted up without any comment whatsoever from me. 

Read on...

CRYPTOLINK: Tasmanian tiger 'reappears' in crop field

A word about cryptolinks: we are not responsible for the content of cryptolinks, which are merely links to outside articles that we think are interesting (sometimes for the wrong reasons), usually posted up without any comment whatsoever from me. 

A-mazing tiger find

Updated Thu 20 Feb 2014, 8:46pm AEDT
A Tasmanian farming couple has created a giant Tasmanian tiger maze in a crop field.


What has Corinna's column of Fortean bird news got to do with cyptozoology?

Well, everything, actually!

In an article for the first edition of Cryptozoology Bernard Heuvelmans wrote that cryptozoology is the study of 'unexpected animals' and following on from that perfectly reasonable assertion, it seems to us that whereas the study of out-of-place birds may not have the glamour of the hunt for bigfoot or lake monsters, it is still a perfectly valid area for the Fortean zoologist to be interested in. 


    This is quite simply the best magazine you will ever find that is edited by a mad bloke (and his orange kitten), and produced from a tumbledown potato shed on the outskirts of a tiny village that nobody's heard of in North Devon. The fact that it is published with Gonzo Multimedia - probably the grooviest record company in the known universe - is merely an added bonus.
    all the gonzo news that’s fit to print
    Issue Sixty-Six          February 22nd
    This issue was put together by me and Captain Frunobulax the Magnificent, (who is, in case you didn't know, an insane orange kitten on the verge of adulthood) ably assisted by:

    Corinna Downes, (Sub Editor, and my lovely wife)
    Graham Inglis, (Columnist, Staff writer, Hawkwind nut)
    Bart Lancia, (My favourite roving reporter)
    Thom the World Poet, (Bard in residence)
    C.J.Stone, (Columnist, commentator and all round good egg)
    Kev Rowland, (Reviewer)
    Lesley Madigan, Photographer par excellence
    Douglas Harr, (Staff writer, columnist)
    Jessica Taylor, (PA and laughing at drunk pop stars)
    Dave McMann, (He ain't nothing but a) Newshound-dog
    Orrin Hare, (Sybarite and literary bon viveur)
    Mark Raines, (Cartoonist)
    Davey Curtis, (tales from the north)
    Jon Pertwee (Pop Culture memorabilia)
    and Peter McAdam (McDada in residence)
    This is the nearest that you are ever going to get to a posh weekend colour supplement from the Gonzo Daily team. Each week we shall go through the best bits of the week before, and if there aren't any we shall make some up, or simply make our excuses and leave (you can tell the editor once did contract work at the News of the World can't ya?)
    What? You don't know who Hunter Thompson is/was/might have been/will be? Without Hunter Thompson there would be no Gonzo Multimedia. It would have been completely different and that would have been an unforgivable pity. So here is:
    C.J.Stone suggested that as well as explaining Gonzo to those wot don't understand, we should do a weekly quote from the great man himself. So here goes:
    "There is no such thing as paranoia. Your worst fears can come true at any moment."
                                                  Hunter S. Thompson
    Social media stuff that I am really too old to understand, (my stepdaughter spent much of last Christmas trying to explain Twitter to me) but I am assuming that at least someof our readers are younger and hipper than I am.
    Google Plus
    Google Plus
    It is simple; my name is Jon and I'm the editor of the Gonzo Multimedia daily online bloggything. Now there is a weekly magazine, once again edited by me and a small orange kitten from a dilapidated ex-potato shed  in rural Devonshire, to which you subscribed by opting in on the website. I hope that you all stay to join in the fun, but if it is not to your liking it is easy to unsubscribe again. But what a long, strange trip it is gonna be...

    I keep on thinking that I ought to have some sort of a mission statement in each issue, but it is more than a little difficult to do one. Basically, (if you don't mind me sounding more like a wishy washy old hippy than my haircut in the photograph above would imply) I think that books and music are immensely important. I look around and see that we are living in a world where the things that I think are important are valued less and less by society as a whole; a world where asinine gameshows and so-called reality TV (which is actually a complete oxymoron, but don't get me started) are of more importance to most people than anything of cultural or spiritual value.

    I am also very disappointed by much of what the contemporary music press puts out, and I decided many years ago, that probably the only way I could read the things that I want to read, would be to publish them myself. So this is what I have been doing for much of my life. I am also naive enough to think that music and art can change the world, and as the world is in desperate need of change, I am gonna do my best to help.
    MORE LIKE A MAGAZINE: In search of the Space Ritual
    You will almost certainly notice that this week's issue is somewhat different to usual. That is because I am not the editor. This weekend I shall be rushing around the countryside together with Graham Inglis and Gonzo Grande Fromage Rob Ayling filming and photographing Hawkwind's revisiting of the legendary Space Ritual this weekend.

    I am writing this late on Wednesday evening. I usually write this editorial sometime on Friday afternoon, prior to starting work in earnest putting that week's issue together. But on Friday afternoon I should be filming the soundcheck of the rehearsals at Seaton. All things being equal I will get back here with the boys late on Friday night so that I can add photographs of the dress rehearsal to this issue prior to downing some whisky, and getting as early a night as possible and going to London for the main event the next day.

    It is all very exciting, because so many things could go wrong and probably will.  But the long and the short of it is that I am handing over the editorial reins to my lovely (and ever so slightly scary) wife Corinna for this issue. Expect battle axes, flaming arrows, and songs about 40,000 varlets being slaughtered in a mead hall.

    I told you she was scary.
    The horn was blown and the countdown began back in November last year in York, home of the Jorvik Viking Centre (which is pretty amazing by the way, if you have never been and are ever in the area).  Yes Ragnarok, predicted in Norse mythology as the final battle on earth, begins Saturday, 22nd February.  Gods will fight each other and that will be that.  Apart from a select few Gods that is, and Lif “a woman” and Liftraser “a man” who will be responsible for repopulating the earth.  Mythology and legend is fascinating, but there is no way I can remember who will do what to whom, so I shall refer you to this site which – to my tired brain – explains it quite concisely.

    I am not quite sure what Jon means when he says that I am scary. Moi? Just because I have three swords, a halberd, a couple of daggers, a longbow, arrows, and a flail in my collection of weaponry doesn't mean I am not meek and mild like wot I should be, being a girl and all that.  I like ponies, the colour pink, nice dresses and even lace.  I just find that every muddy, and bloody, stain shows up like nobody's business on pink - not to mention the stains that woad leaves behind - and the lace just gets ripped to shreds and is totally impractical when I am out marauding.  As for ponies, they are very sweet but cannot really cope as well as a destrier; that is a lot of weaponry to haul about.  Well a girl has to be prepared for the impending apocalypse doesn't she?  Even if the Gods don't show tomorrow, there is still one looming on the horizon.  And from where I am sitting, somehow the distance between me and that horizon does not seem as great as it once was.  Furthermore, this girl will go down fighting.  Ad victoriam.

    And besides, I shall probably need some pink material and lace for the dress I wear while I am languising in a prison cell, if it comes to the notice of someone sitting in an office - that has a slightly tarnished brass plate screwed into its grubby door denoting it as belonging to the 'powers-that-be' - that I have just mentioned blood, marauding and weaponry in one paragraph. 

    1. Art is as important as science and more important than money
    2. There is life after (beyond and before) Pop Idol
    3. Music can and sometimes does change the world

    If you think those three ideas are stupid then you should probably give up reading this magazine now. Otherwise... enjoy
    As is the rest of this magazine, this is mostly about music, and the bits of contemporary culture that I find interesting, but it also has a smattering of actual NEWS, especially if there are ethical questions that effect us all, or one of those put in authority over us does something spectacularly inane. The nearest that this section will ever come to politics is laughing at politicians.
    • Bill Drummond, the high-concept artist who took The KLF to the top of the charts and vowed to only answer 200 more questions until his death, is to embark on a world tour that will last until 2025.Staring out in Birmingham on 13 March this year, he'll set up his exhibition The 25 Paintings in a different world city each year for three months at a time, with Berlin, Guangzhou and Memphis the next three on the list. Read on...
    • Kopyright Liberation? If Aerosmith's Steven Tyler, the Eagles' Don Henley, Deadmau5, Sting and other top songwriters have their way, the U.S. won't change copyright laws to "strip" them of their right to refuse mashups, remixes and sampling of their songs. "I already have to allow other artists to record my songs without permission," they wrote in individual letters to the Patent and Trademark Office earlier this month. "Allowing them to materially change my songs or recordings without my permission is taking it a step too far."Read on..
    • Idiots. After all, it was the council which had housed her in a home at the top of three flights of steps. But what she didn’t reckon on was how the council would complete the job.Officials eventually relented, but Clare, 33, was left shocked by their solution - a £40,000, 10-level chicane-like steel ramp which almost fills their front garden. The eyesore 'slalem-style' ramp winds its way over 60 metres and is proving a long way round for Clare and Katie. Read on...
    THE WEEK THAT'S PAST:  Check out the revamped page for Auburn at ReverbNation
    Of course Jon is biased. The new Reverbnation page for our friends Auburn does feature his own rather nifty video for Sitia Bay filmed during our recent visit to Wolverhampton, which I believe that Jon described in last week's spiffing issue. But there is lots of other great stuff there as well, so we cannot recommend it highly enough.

    But for those of you not in the know...
    Liz Lenten formed AUBURN in the summer of 1999. Their first gig was at the jam-packed launch party of Scarlet Records held at the salubrious and smoky Madame JoJo's in Soho to a completely packed and enthusiastic house.

    Their first EP, Sweet Sebastian, received extensive airplay and sold out of its limited pressing within 2 weeks. They then teamed up with producer Tim Pettit, (Travis, Sun House and Carlene Carter) and recorded For Life, which also got great radio support and the band toured UK and played many live radio sessions.

    The debut Album DREAMS was released in 2003 and AUBURN toured with SOPHIE ELLIS BEXTOR in the UK and EUROPE, playing to 40,000 people. In 2005 CRY reached no 5 in the indie video charts after which they took a break concentrated on parenthood!

    Since then Liz has continued to work as a vocal coach, artist manager, record label, songwriter and choral director. She was 'SING UP' (governments' national singing campaign) lead facilitator/vocal advisor for Lincolnshire; has conducted the London Mozart Players Orchestra with the South Holland Choirs; written for and directed a 1000 voice kids choir for 'Sing 66' and manages several artists including award-winning folk artist ELIZA CARTHY and New Yorker GALIA ARAD.
    THE WEEK THAT'S PAST:  Sendelica - the Welsh Connection
    Somewhere in West Wales,  at the edge of the Western lands, about as far west as you can go on the island of Great Britain without getting your feet wet, a bunch of musicians lurk in the outer darkness making some extraordinary music. Inhabiting vaguely the same space as many of the other bands that I am currently listening to, Sendelica's music has been described as blending "the hypnotic pulse of Can, the impressionistic atmospherics of Pink Floyd, the motorized proto-punk of Neu, the space patrolling guitar pyrotechnics of Hendrix and the otherworldly ambiences of The Orb." But that is a horribly sterile way of describing them, but I suppose that I did nick it from Wikipedia.

    For all their electronics and technology this is an incredibly organic ensemble, in tune with the rhythms of the earth. There is something impressively basal and primal about them which is difficult to put one's fingers on. To relate them to Pink Floyd is lazy journalism, because apart from the fact that they are vaguely spacy and have a sax player who sounds more like Dick Parry on 'Us and Them' than Nik Turner on 'Orgone Accumulator', they are - to my mind - far closer to an unholy German bands like Can and Neu, and the trippy, largely instrumental bits of Electric Ladyland. But then again the dance music comparisons, at least as far as the atmospherics of The Orb and even Aphex Twin are concerned make a weird sort of sense, even though there ain't a sign of repetitive beats in sight!

    I would seriously check them out!

    They write:

    "To tie in with our first handful of live gigs in mainland Europe, during May and June, the Italian label Vincebus Eruptum is releasing a vinyl compilation of some of our earlier deleted and hard to find tracks. Many of these tracks are still very close to our hearts and regularly pop up in our live shows. This is the first time these tracks have ever appeared on vinyl. As well as several different vinyl editions there will also be a very limited edition CD release in a card sleeve issued by FRG Records."

    I have been listening to the album, The Fabled Voyages of the Sendelicans and to its predecessor The Kaleidoscopic Kat and It's Autoscopic Ego all morning, and becoming increasingly enamoured of the rich, complex tapestry of music that I am hearing. They have a very crafty, nay mischievous way of pinching a few bars of someone else's riff (for example Set Your Controls to the Heart of the Sun or David Bowie's Width of a Circle, playing with it repetitively and then sending it spinning off into a strange and unfamiliar galaxy where even the original composer would not recognise it.

    This is a very special band indeed. I suggest you check them out, because you are bound to be reading a lot about them in these pages.
    THE WEEK THAT'S PAST:  Acid Mothers Temple cancel Chinese tour
    They write: "sadly Acid Mothers Temple's Chinese tour was cancelled... this happening is beyond our reach... we hope it'll be possible to play our music to people who needs in China in one day... thanks a lot."
    THE WEEK THAT'S PAST: The return of the mighty Six Foot Three (Part Two)
    Following last issue's announcement that my old mate Steve Bolton is back with his seminal band Six Foot Three, I found this, almost by accident, and it is massively cool:

    Download the FREE Steve 'Boltz' Bolton Mobile App

    Check out the Mobile App by Steve 'Boltz' Bolton. This free Mobile App lets you listen to music, check out photos and videos, read blog posts and get exclusive push notifications straight to your mobile device.
    If it wasn't for the fact that I don't have a smartphone, I don't want a smartphone, I have only the vaguest idea what a smartphone is, and I find the term 'app' monumentally irritating, I would certainly buy one.

    Wedding brawl started over pork pie

    A couple's wedding celebrations were interrupted by a brawl that is thought to have started over a pork pie.
    Officers from the dog section at West Yorkshire Police tweeted that they were on the way to the ''large fight'' in Bradford which led to three arrests.
    The tweet said: ''All started over a pork pie apparently!''
    Around 30 to 40 wedding guests were involved in the disturbance at the wedding of Wendy Carter and her fiance Ryan Barraclough.
    Chris Sowden, 43, steward at the Harold Club said: "People had been drinking since 2pm. Apparently there was some tension building for an hour or so before it happened.
    "It all started with a water pistol then a pork pie got thrown.
    "It was completely out of control and by the end about 30 to 40 guests had got involved.

    Read on

    THE WEEK THAT'S PAST:  Clepsydra Canadian interview
    Following the announcement of the return of CLEPSYDRA for a tour in 2014, combined with the output of a box of 4 CDs entitled "3654 Days" and its generous participation in compiling the “L’univers Progressif l’An 2”. Profil team is very pleased to present an interview with all members of CLEPSYDRA. A big thanks to Andy THOMMEN for his generosity and his help in the realization of this interview!
    Profil - First of all, I wouldn't forget to thank you for your participation in “l’Univers Progressif l’An 2”, this compilation that aims to collect funds for our station radio CKIA!
    Andy Thommen (bass): It is a pleasure to support a progressive rock program. I hope that the fans like this live version of "Soaked". This was the opener of our concerts back in 1998. This recording is from Barcelona in Spain, I feel it has a special energy. It was a wonderful night.
    PR After a break of 10 years, you have announced your return for a tour meeting in 2014! That is what motivated your decision?
    Andy: From my point of view I thought the time was just right. I always thought that Clepsydra has more than that to give. And I felt the pain that a lot of fans were demonstrating over the years in the scene. I hesitated before my first calls, because I knew that a single "no" would draw the curtain over the reunion project.

    Read on...

    And just in case you need reminding, there is a new Clepsydra box set...
    THE WEEK THAT'S PAST:  Judy Dyble strange remix
    I found this on YouTube the other day:

    A few years back Judy Dyble ran a remix competition for the track "Grey October Day" featuring Tim Bowness, taken from her album Talking With Strangers (a collaboration with Tim Bowness and Alistair Murphy AKA The Curator). The initial plan was for ten winners to be chosen for a download remix album, with the four best remixes to be also pressed as a physical release.

    Sadly, due to various issues the release never happened - at least not as initially planned. Nadim Haque and myself decided to tackle the project under our No Acronym banner and were very happy to be chosen as one of the winners. Both Tim and Judy singled out our remix in online diary comments, stating how impressed they were with our work, so there is a chance we would have been one of the four on the physical release as well, though that shorter list has never been revealed.

    As Judy prepares to release a new album to the world in mid 2013 I thought it was time to "release" our product for those that might be interested. The only restrictions in the competition were to not process the vocals and restrict the remix track to a maximum of three minutes. Given the original song is far longer that left us with a problem of what to do with the vocals to ensure an entire story was told.

    Rather than just cut off the song half-way through, Nadim and I decided to cut-up and rearrange the vocal lines and overlap them, to give the story a different spin, hopefully complementing our drone-ambient approach to the music. I hope you like it!

    Check it Out.

    Don't forget that you can see Judy live at WM Jazz in The O2 on the 16th of March! Tickets are on sale from TicketWeb here:http://www.ticketweb.co.uk/event/judy-dyble-tickets/102927
    THE WEEK THAT'S PAST:  Steve Hackett Meet and Greet
    VIP Meet & Greet Packages for most of Steve's Spring shows in the US & Europe are now available via the HackettSongs webstore. NOTE - these are bolt-on packages for ticket holders; they do NOT include a ticket for the show which is also required.
    THE WEEK THAT'S PAST: Psychedelic Warlords in Bristol
    I think that whoever designed this stunning poster left a word out. Either that or he started to say one thing and changed his mind midstream. I am not being bitchy here, because it is the sort of thing I have done myself on many occasions.

    But it should be a bloody good gig, even if Alan is the only person who played bass for Hawkwind for two decades...

    THE WEEK THAT'S PAST: Michael Des Barres on the radio
    THE WEEK THAT'S PAST:  The Gospel according to Bart
    One particularly poignant story this week from my favourite roving reporter. Last week we wrote about David Crosby's new album, and I reposted an old David Crosby joke from The Simpsons. This week, however, it appears that the poor chap has undergone heart surgery. We truly wish him well...
    THE WEEK THAT'S PAST: Gonzo Web Radio
    There is a new episode of Canterbury Sans Frontières, but first Strange Fruit presenter Neil Nixon is looking for help. There are some other exciting things afoot with another entirely new station being added to Gonzo Web Radio, and a total revamp of the radio index.

    Strange Fruit, Miskin’s Radio’s home of alternative, off-the-wall and otherwise generally strange sounds is looking for a co-presenter. This is not a paid job, but would give the lucky individual the chance to present two hour shows of music generally ignored by radio, and broadcast them twice a month to be heard by Miskin Radio’s audience online and then archived on Gonzo Multimedia’s website, where their audience would devour them. Radio experience would be useful, but isn’t necessary. The ideal candidate would be able to come to our Dartford studios, be trained and begin work when ready. Alternatively, anyone capable of self-producing and Dropboxing shows will be considered. Fame and wealth are unlikely but the chance to indulge your most maverick musical tastes knows few limits in this job. In the first instance email Neil Nixon, nlnxn@aol.com to express an interest. Also check out our shows on Gonzo Multimedia’s web radio page and Miskin Radio’s own site – www.miskinradio.co.uk

    Date Published: 21st February 2014
    We at Gonzo Web Radio are very proud to bring you Canterbury Sans Frontières - a podcast dedicated to the music of the 'Canterbury Scene' and more. Creator Matthew Watkins writes: 
    As with Canterbury Soundwaves, a new three-hour episode will be released with each full moon.I decided to wind down Canterbury Soundwaves so that I didn't end up (i) repeating myself, (ii) scraping the bottom of the Canterbury barrel, or (iii) becoming increasingly tangential. This new podcast broadens the musical remit, so it'll be about one-third 'Canterbury sound', together with progressive/psychedelic/experimental music from the Canterbury of today, the remainder being a mix of music from various times and places which I feel to be in a similar spirit of creative adventurousness. I'll be doing a lot less talking, and the programme will be less expository – so no interviews, barely-listenable bootlegs, etc.
    I also plan to include guest one-hour mixes from various musicians from the current music scene in Canterbury (Episode 2 features a mix from Neil Sullivan from Lapis Lazuli).
    And for those of you who wonder what Matthew was referring to when he writes about Canterbury Soundwaves we have brought you all the back catalogue of that as well. Those wacky guys at Gonzo, eh?
    EPISODE TWELVE: Something from one of Hugh Hopper's favourite albums along with a couple of things from his first solo album. Also Robert Wyatt, Matching Mole, News From Babel, System 7, Fred Frith goes Motown and a celebrity Kevin Ayers cover from the Royal Albert Hall last March. From the Canterbury of today: Ekoda Map, Bison Bonasus and Syd Arthur plus a couple of live semi-acoustic sets from semi-dormant prog-monsters The Boot Lagoon. And a surprise cameo from reclusive novelist-genius Thomas Pynchon.
    For more news on Strange Fruit CLICK HERE
    For more news on Canterbury Sans Frontières CLICK HERE
    For the Gonzo Web Radio homepage CLICK HERE
    What's been did and what's been hid
    I am growing up in public, as it were. The Gonzo Weekly has been going for very nearly a year now, and we are beginning to find our feet. I am making changes as I go along, and - no doubt - some of these changes will turn out to be mistakes. So, let me know what you think. Do they work? Do you like them? Hate them? Or don't you care either way?

    Please pass this magazine around as far and wide as you can. And encourage as many people as you can to subscribe. Remember it is free, and will remain so. However, I want as many subscribers as possible to move on to the next stage of the party. There might well be cake.

    Remember, I am always looking for new authors. If there is something that you feel you could add to the general melange which is the Gonzo Weekly, please email me at jon@eclipse.co.uk. The more the merrier.

    Although this newsletter also goes out in a plain text version for those of you who do not trust image intensive thingys in your browser, I promise that as long as it is technically feasible (which will be for the forseeable future) the text only mailout will continue. However, I strongly advise that for you to get the best out of this rapidly evolving publication, that you really should see it in all its picture-led glory.

    Please tell your friends, colleagues and family about The Gonzo Weekly, and try to persuade them to subscribe. The more subscribers we get, the bigger and better and more effective the whole thing will be.
    Remember, if you want more than your weekly fix of this newsletter you can check out the Gonzo Daily, which - as its name implies - does much the same as this newsletter but every day. It also features a daily poem from Thom the World Poet, and the occasional non-Gonzo rock music rambling from yours truly, plus book and gig reviews from our highly trained staff of social malcontents. And its FREE! You cannae say fairer than that!
    Each week, some of you seem to recognise me. Yes, I am indeed that weird bloke off the telly who chases mythological animals. I have a day job as Director of the Centre for Fortean Zoology, and also the editor of the CFZ Blog Network, and publisher of a plethora of books about mystery animals.
    1. Rick Wakeman    Live in Lincoln Cathedral
    François Couture  writes how this set features Rick Wakeman playing the Grand organ of Lincoln Cathedral. He continues: “There are few recordings of Wakeman at the grand organ, fewer more in a solo setting, without an audience, and majestically recorded. For this rare occasion, he wrote a handful of brand new pieces and structures to improvise within. Melodically speaking, this is not his strongest material, but he is clearly enjoying the thrill of playing the behemoth and he puts a lot of feeling into his delivery.

    2. Brand X    The X-Files - A 20 Year Retrospective
    Disc one consists of ten previously unreleased live recordings in reverse chronological order, from the 1997 Manifest Destiny tour to the group's initial mid-'70s lineup, when Phil Collins and Robin Lumley were the band's drummer and keyboardist.  Disc two technically is not Brand X at all, but a sampling of extracurricular projects by group leaders John Goodsall and Percy Jones, in tandem and separately.

    3. Blodwyn Pig    The Basement Tapes
    THE BASEMENT TAPES contains radio sessions and live material recorded from 1969 to 1974, as well as two bonus tracks recorded in 1996. Basement Tapes buy CD music Previously unreleased BBC recordings from the former Jethro Tull guitarist, recorded 1969-1974. Basement Tapes songs Plus two bonus tracks from 1996. Basement Tapes album for sale Blodwyn Pig includes: Mick Abraham. Blodwyn Pig: Mick Abrahams (vocals, guitar); Jack Lancaster (violin, flute, saxophone); Andrew Pyle, Mike Summerland (bass guitar); Clive Bunker, Graham Walker, Ron Berg (drums). Basement Tapes CD music contains a single disc with 13 songs.

    4. CLEARLIGHT featuring, Cyrille Verdeaux, Tim Blake, Steve Hillage, Didier Malherbe, Christian Boule, Gilbert Artman Clearlight Symphony
    This is one of those exquisite records that somehow slipped through the gaps of public consciousness at the time. But now its back, and you have the chance to revel in a warm bath of psychedelic weirdness. In 1975 Virgin Records released the first album of Cyrille Verdeaux compositions titled CLEARLIGHT SYMPHONY. Clearlight became the first French progressive rock band signed to a major British record label. Gathering accolades for its unique compositions and keyboard stylings, the music spanned from classical romanticism to lush experimentation. Primarily psychedelic, but also serving as a forerunner of new age music, the album's musical style manages to blend seemingly contrary elements: the symphonic rock concept is flexible enough to permit extensive jamming in both rock and jazz fusion styles. Clearlight Symphony does not officially have an artist name, but is now regarded as the first album by Clearlight who adopted the name later that year, after briefly using the name Delired Cameleon Family. Side one features group member Cyrille Verdeaux and three members of Gong; side two features the group that would become Delired Cameleon Family (Clearlight). Neither group is explicitly named as the artist.

    6. The Deviants    The Deviants Have Left The Planet
    Half live, half-studio Left the Planet bristles with the highest octane intake of new Mick Farren songs in years -- and anyone armed with the Barbarian Princes live album will already know what that means. Studio takes on that album's murderous "Aztec Calendar" and "God's Worst Nightmare" are joined by a sinister, semi-snarled take on Dylan's "It's Alright Ma," so battered that it effortlessly snags the honorable title of Most Deliciously Disreputable Dylan Cover Ever. The bulk of the album was recorded with Farren's Deviants lineup of guitarist/bassist Andy Colquhoin and former Motörhead drummer Phil Taylor -- itself an aggregation to make your skin crawl. Four live tracks from sundry Terrastock and L.A. shows, however, add a shapeless shadow to any sense of well-being which familiarity might conjure up -- the spectral "Yellow Dog" is chilling no matter how many times you hear it, while the closing "Memphis Psychosis" blends blues, Elvis, and dark dreams about Bo Diddley to equally spine-chilling effect. Farren walked this way once before, with the deranged take on "Mona" which highlights Carnivorous Circus. But that was a long time ago. This is what happened when Mona hit puberty. An unexpected reprise of Farren's 1977 single "Let's Loot the Supermarket Again" serves up a moment of light relief -- as light, that is, as visions of urban unrest and street fighting can be. But the overall mood of the album remains fearful, foreboding, and absolutely poisonous, a kick in the small of the back to propel you into a world which restructures the sound of the rock revolution before the media middlemen tacked their percentage on top -- and it proves that some things really can't be bought or sold. Peace of mind is one of them.

    7. Rupert Hine    Live TV Show Sweden
    In the early sixties, Hine formed half of the folk duo Rupert & David. The duo performed in pubs and clubs and occasionally shared the stage with a then-unknown Paul Simon. The duo's one released single (on the Decca label in 1965) was a cover of Simon's "The Sounds of Silence". The single was not a success, but was notable for featuring a young Jimmy Page on guitar and Herbie Flowers on bass.

    8. Vangelis    Journey to Ithaka
    Much to the excitement of music fans worldwide, the new feature length documentary on Greek music legend Vangelis titled 'Vangelis And The Journey To Ithaka' will be released on November 11, 2013 by Gonzo MultiMedia UK. The two-hour documentary includes interviews with Vangelis and many of his friends and colleagues, including Sean Connery, Hugh Hudson, Jessye Norman, Oliver Stone, Akiko Ebi, Julian Rachlin and many others. It also includes rare, historical footage, most of which has never been seen before. Another highlight includes recent footage of Vangelis improvising new music!
    Most of the back issues have now been archived on a dedicated Blogger site. Please use the navigation tree on the right of the page. However, please be aware that there are still a few formatting issues, and the magazine may not look as nice in blogger as we would have liked.

    If, however, you are using the MailChimp archive, (below) please be warned: Magazines from #11-41  contain the cartoon at the bottom of the stressed out guy with the computer  Apparently someone has accused the public domain images site I got it from of hosting malware, and even though there was none found there by Google, the fact that I used an image from the site (perfectly legally) flagged our whole newsletter up as possibly containing malware. This should only effect people using Google Chrome, and I would strongly suggest that you click the 'proceed anyway' tab, and view the newsletter as you had originally planned...

    Newsletter #36  Newsletter #35  Newsletter #34  Newsletter #33 Newsletter #32  Newsletter #31  Newsletter #30  Newsletter #29 Newsletter #28  Newsletter #27  Newsletter #26  Newsletter #25  Newsletter #24  Newsletter #23  Newsletter #22  Newsletter #21 Newsletter #20  Newsletter #19  Newsletter #18  Newsletter #17 Newsletter #16  Newsletter #15  Newsletter #14  Newsletter #13 Newsletter #12  Newsletter #11  Newsletter #10  Newsletter #9 Newsletter #8  Newsletter #7  Newsletter #6  Newsletter #5 Newsletter #4  Newsletter #3  Newsletter #2  Newsletter #1
    THOSE WE HAVE LOST: Bob Casale (1952-2014)
    Devo guitarist Bob Casale passed away on 17th February of heart failure. Gerald Casale described his brother's death as a "total shock" on the band's website.  

    Devo, an Ohio-based rock band, formed in 1972, with the classic line-up including two sets of brothers, the Mothersbaughs (Mark and Bob) and the Casales (Gerald and Bob), along with Alan Myers, who died last year.  
    THOSE WE HAVE LOST: Seán Desmond Potts  (1930-2014)
    Famed whistle player and founding member of The Chieftains, Sean Potts, died on 11th February. 

    "Potts was a founding member of The Chieftains. He was great friends with fellow band member and whistle player Paddy Moloney, and they often went around Dublin playing in sessions and gigging during the 1950s. In November 1962, Potts helped form The Chieftains. He briefly left the group in 1968 for a contract with Gael-Linn Records but returned to play for the band soon after. He was primarily a whistle player, although he also played the bodhrán and bones." Wikipedia
    Now, I don't know whether this is a good idea, a bad idea, or just an idea, but - as I believe you know - this magazine is put out each week on a budget of £25, and is free. It will remain free, but I would like to be able to generate some income so I can pay our contributing writers. So, 'why not flog Gonzo Weekly T Shirts?' I thought. 'Why not', I answered... 
    COVER STORY: Exclusive interview with Corky Laing
    Mountain meets bioethics! Legendary Mountain drummer Corky Laing teams up with two internationally acclaimed philosophers (Prof. Matti Häyry and Dr. Tuija Takala) in this joint effort that brings together '70s style music and contemporary moral problems of gene technology. 'Playing God' is a concept album. 'Playing God' is a musical metaphor for today's attempt to attain perfection. Musically the album covers many feels and approaches from soft ballads to riff-driven guitar rock, from meditative instrumentals to operatic melody lines.
    At its core, the guitar-bass-drums combo is complemented with powerful singing. While Corky Laing, the drummer, is known - and his forceful, innovative and mesmerizing drumming features heavily on the album - 'Playing God' also introduces Corky Laing, the singer. There is such strength and depth to his voice that one can only wonder why the world has not, prior to this, known him as the lead singer he is. The main female leads are sang by Maya Paakkari (an entrancing raspy voice from Finland), Bonnie Parker (a wide-ranging singer from the band Tang), and Denny Colt (another voice of power and attitude from Tang). The album also features Eric Schenkman (from Spin Doctors) on guitar. 'Playing God' was recorded and produced in Finland and further benefits from the local talent of Finnish musicians, singers, and sound engineers. While 'Playing God' is a rock album, it is also a soundtrack to a rock opera. It takes the listener to tomorrow's world by introducing the small town of Happyville, where the people have enjoyed the benefits of genetic engineering for years without any thought. There's a man who sells science and parents seeking to perfect their children, there are difficult choices and the need to find someone to blame when things don't go to plan. The choices these people are making are not new, it is just that the tools available are more sophisticated.
    'Playing God' is a study of the human condition. The themes of the rock opera are based on theoretical research, but the practical questions it poses are relevant to us all. 'Playing God' is something new. It represents a crossover between academic research and rock. The ethical and philosophical questions raised by modern biotechnologies are made accessible by using rock music as a medium. On the surface, the storylines are easy to follow, but they also lend themselves to deep philosophical questions about the future of humanity. Just enjoy the music - or allow yourself to be taken on a journey into your own moral convictions. In both cases, you will find something new amidst the familiar.

    A couple of days ago I gave him a ring at home, and we had a long chat about the project. Listen to our conversation HERE
    EXCLUSIVE: The Dress Rehearsal for the Hawkwind Space Ritual show
    It is very early on Saturday morning. Rob Ayling is settling down to sleep on the sofa in the sitting room and Graham and I are going to grab a few hours kip before we leave for London in eight hours time. We had an amazing day in Seaton watching Hawkwind perform their seminal Space Ritual album for the first time since 1973. Herewith pictures, but if you are expecting deathless prose from me then tough!
    "Jerusalem Postponed": homelessness, the House of Saud and history inverted
    Jerusalem, from the preface to Milton, A Poem, by William Blake


    There was a strange item in the news the other week. It seems that the famous anthem Jerusalem can be sung at gay civil ceremonies, but not at straight weddings. This is because it falls between two camps. The clergy don’t recognise it as a hymn because it is not a song addressed to God, whereas the civil authorities won’t allow it because of its overtly religious theme. It was, however, sung at theRoyal Wedding.
    Sir George Young, the Conservative leader of the House of Commons, said, ‘I think that Jerusalem should be sung on every possible occasion.’The Daily Maildescribed it as 'England’s most patriotic song,' while it has replaced the Red Flagas the Labour Party’s official anthem.
    Now this is all very odd. If you listen to the words of Jerusalem you will find that it is a call to resistance, and that it layers mystery upon mystery in the form of questions that have no answers. It is anything but patriotic.
    The poem was written by William Blake and first appeared as the frontispiece to one of his prophetic books, Milton, addressed to John Milton, Blake’s favourite poet.
    Milton was a civil servant who worked under Oliver Cromwell and who wrote possibly the greatest epic poem in the English language: Paradise LostSamuel Johnson described him as "an acrimonious and surly republican". In his political writings he dealt extensively with the trial and execution of Charles I, praising it as a justifiable act.

    Read on...

    "Stone writes with intelligence, wit and sensitivity."
    Times Literary Supplement

    "Wry, acute, and sometimes hellishly entertaining essays in squalor and rebellion."

    "The best guide to the Underground since Charon ferried dead souls across the Styx."
    Independent on Sunday


    Housing Benefit Hill: 

    I have just discovered a series of comic books by Bill Willingham, involving the exploits and adventures of a series of characters of myth, legend and fairy tale in modern-day New York. It sounds horribly twee, but - to my enormous surprise - it isn't. They are very deftly and wittily written with oodles of sex and violence, and clever plot twists which keep one interested, even when one is as jaded an old git as me. They have been gathered together into a series of 20 (so far) trade paperback graphic novels, and I have been happily working my way through them, and cluttering up the shelves of my library even more whilst I do so.
    I have just found out that the series is planned to end next year, but whether this goes for all the multifarious spin-offs or not, I don't know. The main series is called 'Fables' and - as Wikipedia precises it: The series deals with various characters from fairy tales and folklore – referring to themselves as "Fables" – who have been forced out of their Homelands by "The Adversary" who has conquered the realm. The Fables have traveled to our world and formed a clandestine community in New York City known as Fabletown. Fables who are unable to blend in with human society (such as monsters and anthropomorphic animals) live at "the Farm" in upstate New York.

    Check it out, you may well be surprised.
    (The Masters of the Universe do seem to have a steady stream of interesting stories featuring them, their various friends and relations, and alumni). Each week Graham Inglis keeps us up to date with the latest news from the Hawkverse..
    There's considerable doubt as to whether Hawkwind are visiting North America next month. A list of dates was published in late 2013 but has since been removed from the official list of upcoming dates... and while it appears some venues have cancelled the Hawkwind gigs and started
    refunding money, other ticket sources are still listing some dates.

    On Wednesday night (19th) one American ticket-selling website was still displaying a choice of five March gigs: Toronto, Massachusetts, 'Frisco, and two nights in Denver Colorado. And The Washington Post gig guide is listing Hawkwind in Washington DC. However, Hawkwind announced back in mid-January that the Toronto gig had been cancelled. This happened amidst presumably-malicious rumours that Hawkwind's Dave Brock was unable to get a visa to visit the USA.

    Hawkwind have confirmed the London show is a one-off, saying they thought long and hard about touring the show but "if we recreate the past albums, we are accused of 'cashing in' or 'living in the past'. There are lots of tribute bands and ex-members offshoot bands who are playing the Space Ritual album set... so what is the need for us to do it?"

    The recent Hawkwind comment on Facebook continued: "After loads of lucrative offers which could have made us all rich we decided to compromise and revive the Space Ritual for one night only... and we would do this, not for filthy lucre... we would do it for a good cause, and as a lot of you know, animal rescue is one of our passions..."

    The London show, on Saturday 22 February, which both Graham and Jon will be at is in support of several animal charities including Wet Nose Animal Aid and Team Badger.
    Simple Minds In the Beginning, Today
    As the great Simple Minds have scheduled yet more shows in the UK this July, let's take a look back with Doug at their 5X5 tour a couple years back at the London Roundhouse. At that time, they performed 5 tracks from each of their first 5 records- arguably their most "progressive" or "krautrock" flavored era. Last year they visited California for the first time in about 10 years to do their greatest hits, but this special show in London for 5X5 ranks as the best concert this fan has ever witnessed by Jim, Charlie, and gang....
    Occasionally there comes a once-in-a-lifetime chance to witness a moment in music history – to revisit the past or celebrate the present success of a major band. During March of 2012 at the London Roundhouse theater one of those chances came when we saw Simple Mindsperform five tracks from each of their first five records- the 5X5 tour. The show was spectacular, with singer Jim Kerr’s voice in great shape, backed by original guitarist Charlie Burchill, and drummer Mel Gaynor joined by tight backing bass and keys. As promised five tracks from each of their earliest work were performed, highlighting these early, darker, more experimental albums. As presented at the Roundhouse, the band breathed new life into these early songs, so loved by their core fans, and so different from their later rock-oriented work.
    In the states, Simple Minds were not well known until and after their fifth album, 1982′s brilliant,  New Gold Dream, which included the singles “Promised You a Miracle” and “Glittering Prize”. It wasn’t until later in 1985 that the band had their first and only #1 single in the states with “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” recorded for the John Hughes film “The Breakfast Club.” Unlike their more commercially successful Irish brethren U2, the Scottish band Simple Minds were prone to more challenging, rambling, avant-garde sounds, presented live by the writhe Kerr. Something about the way Jim fronted this band always appealed to me – he darts in and around the beat, often departing from traditional verse-chorus-verse structures into something like scat punctuated by anthemic calls. Much less direct than U2 and more interesting to these ears. The early work attracted a core of fans, then growing a stronger following in the arena-rock mid 80′s period. Their post-80′s work saw a decline of interest in the US, though they remain ever popular in Europe.

    Read on...
    He actually IS called Jon Pertwee, and he runs a shop selling  pop culture memorabilia with a special emphasis on Dr Who related stuff. He is an old mate of mine, and from now on will be doing a regular column in this magazine. Hooray!
    The way that we think of today's TV has changed. We know that we can watch this week's Big Brother on our new handy dandy phones, or with the catch up service, although why the Channel Four one isn't called 'Four play' is beyond me!

    Growing up with a family who had ideas above their social station and trying to be better than they actually were was tough!

    We moved a lot of times, basically as my birth parent tried piss off every single neighbour we had, so it seemed! However, the small flickering box in the corner had some magic gems, that, once shown to us, would never repeat them, never wait till we could catch up..they were gone forever!

    One such show was HULK. This was a true gem in the world of fantastic TV from the grim intro telling us that he had got the blame for a murder he didn't do, Dr David Banner, marvellously played by the mighty Bill Bixby, was a troubled soul and no mistake; whenever he grew angry or even miffed he tore his shirt and became big bad Lou Ferringo, an ex-body builder who had taken the part and given it a heart and soul that was previously missing from the genre.

    Weekly he bulged his way onto our screen and I strongly wished he would come to Taunton and take me away while knocking the woman I lived with through a nearby wall..it didn't happen.The Hulk was, and is, a benchmark TV show. No he wasn't an fx marvel (marvel, see what I did there?) but what he did was gave sad little kids like me some hope that life would be OK. Thanks Lou!
    The Court Circular tells interested readers about the comings and goings of members of The Royal Family. However, readers of this periodical seem interested in the comings and goings of Yes and of various alumni of this magnificent and long-standing band. Give the people what they want, I say
    After last week's bumper bag of news from the Yes camp and from all their various alumni, this week has slowed down again unfortuantely. I am very tempted to try plotting the amount of these stories each week on a graph, and seeing if I can correlate it against current events. Maybe I will even be able to foresee the future. I could call it PROG-OMANCY!

    But we have Chris Squire telling a story about Yes and Geoff Downes talking about a new Yes recording, whilst Jon Anderson is about to embark  on the "Progressive Nation at Sea"  jaunt which will also include a Q & A session.

    Oh and we cannot forget, considering the theme of this special issue, that Rick Wakeman did of course play the part of Thor in Litzomania.    
    I am probably getting a bit OCD about all of this, but I find the Yes soap opera of sound to be absolutely enthralling, and I for one can't wait to see what happens next! 
    Changing the world one gift at a time
    The worldwide Freecycle Network is made up of many individual groups across the globe. It's a grassroots movement of people who are giving (and getting) stuff for free in their own towns. Freecycle groups match people who have things they want to get rid of with people who can use them. Our goal is to keep usable items out of landfills. By using what we already have on this earth, we reduce consumerism, manufacture fewer goods, and lessen the impact on the earth. Another benefit of using Freecycle is that it encourages us to get rid of junk that we no longer need and promote community involvement in the process.

    Each of us get a slice
    Some devour theirs with hungry desire
    Others pick and choose their ingredients
    Cos when it comes to hunger/no two are alike
    Some surrender lovingly/some put up a fight
    This society oscillates between anorexic and obese
    Luckily we care more for who you are than what you choose to eat
    In Victorian times every well-bred Gentleman had a 'Cabinet of Curiosities'; a collection of peculiar odds and sods, usually housed in a finely made cabinet with a glass door. These could include anything from Natural History specimens to historical artefacts. There has always been something of the Victorian amateur naturalist about me, and I have a houseful of arcane objects; some completely worthless, others decidedly not, but all precious to me for the memories they hold.

    But people send me lots of pictures of interesting, and, may I say, peculiar things. But once again this week it is over to my lovely wife...
    This week ... I’m Starting with the Man in the Mirror

    For US $2,600.00 (Approximately £1,577.29) you can have a vanity mirror that once adorned the bathroom/dressing room of Michael Jackson.  But be warned, there are already 12 offers on it (however this auction does not appear to have a end date on it that I could see, so presumably once an offer has been accepted it will disappear).  It does look like a very ordinary mirror to me – in fact I have one exactly like it in design upstairs, apart from the fact that mine is of the bog-standard ** silver metal variety.  But I am not Michael Jackson so I am well aware that that does not count.

    I love the picture showing it in situ though.  Excellent selling strategy (?)

    ** And this reminds me. I must have a look to see if the urinals mentioned last week were sold or not, and if not if they have been relisted.1  I hope none of you were coy and, therefore, got pipped at the post, whilst  crossing your fingers (or is that legs?) waiting until the last few seconds before bidding.  That is not a good idea you know, especially with the dodgy climate at the moment with lightning threatening to cut off the all-important electricity supply to your computer, thus causing such golden opportunities to be missed in the last, crucial seconds.


    1  I was a tad alarmed when Jon read about this sale.  He actually exclaimed ‘I want it!’  However, I am fairly confident that the carefully aimed, bow-crossing shot of portent, which consisted mainly of my honed Medusa-like stare coupled with a low, just audible, growl has warned him off ever thinking such a thing again.
    Hey hey we’re the Monkees
    Many years ago – in fact I hate to think how many – I was a member of the Monkees Fan Club.  I say ‘the’; I have no idea how many of them there were but as far as I was concerned the one I was in was ‘the’ one.  I have absolutely no memory of what I received for this membership, how often and so on and so forth, or what happened to all of the gathered bits and bobs.

    However, I did not know – or have no memory of ever knowing - that Stephen Stills almost became one.  According to The Huffington Post:

    Stephen Stills Was Almost A Monkee?
    Speaking of The Monkees, did you know that Stephen Stills, soon to achieve fame as a member of the Buffalo Springfield, auditioned for a part as one of the Monkees? He was turned down — rumours have it that it was everything from bad teeth to his weight, but more likely it was a contract issue — and he recommended his old buddy Peter Tork for the role. Which worked out pretty well for Peter Tork.”

    And whilst my cheeks still burn with childish embarrassment after having revealed my membership to the above fan club, I may as well go the whole hog and admit that Peter Tork was always my favourite. (That is him on the right, for those of you not in the know.)

    Jon has also asked me to point out that another similar rumour, that Charles Manson auditioned, is completely untrue. He was in prison at the time. (Charles Manson that is,not Jon.)

    And to shoulder-force the bulging door shut on the cabinet this week:
    Apparently, “If Pink Floyd's "The Dark Side Of The Moon" is started at the precise moment the MGM lion roars for the second time in the movie "The Wizard Of Oz", the cd is perfectly synchronized with the movie”.

    Well bust my buttons.

    Argentina's Guitar Forest

    And for a change this week, I shall toss the sarcasm aside - just this once mind - and bring you this touching tale.

    It does not fit in the cabinet of curiosities, but deserves to be told in its own right, away from the weird and bizarre eccentricities of humankind.  It should not rub shoulders with the absurd and sometimes grotesque side of entertainment.  It does not involve people making money by selling things to those willing to spend their own pounds, shillings and pence on something that was once coughed on, chewed on, sweated on, or owned by someone that became famous. 

    This is the sad tale of Argentine farmer Pedro Martin Ureta and his wife Graciela, who got married and settled down on the fertile farmlands Ureta had grown up on and raised four children.

    Graciela, who oversaw work in the fields, had big plans for the farm. As Atlas Obscura reports, on a flight over Pampa, the farmer’s wife had noticed another farm that looked like a milking pail from the air. Graciela thought that family could create something even more magnificent on their own farm: A huge forest shaped as her favorite instrument – the guitar.
    But like with so many plans, Ureta had to put his wife's idea on the back burner.
    "My father was a young man, and very busy with his work and his own plans," Ureta's youngest child, Ezequiel, told the Wall Street Journal. "He told my mom, 'Later. We'll talk about it later.'"
    Later never came. In 1977, Graciela died suddenly of a cerebral aneurysm at the tender age of 25. To compound the tragedy, the young mother of four was pregnant with what would have been the couple’s fifth child. 
    Still heartbroken a few years later, Ureta decided that the best way to honor his late wife would be to fulfill her wish and create the giant work of art in her honor. 
    After landscapers refused to help with the project, the savvy farmer and his children took it on themselves. One-by-one, they planted and nurtured roughly 7,000 cypress and eucalyptus trees into the shape of a guitar: Cypess for the figure-eight-shaped body and starburst sound hole and Blue eucalyptus trees to represent the six strings.”
    Isn't that just one of the most touchingly beautiful works of art you have ever seen?

    Just in case you are interested, here is yer beloved Editor at iTunes

    Bipolar, Jon Downes Lost Weekend, Jon Downes Hard Sports - EP, Jon Downes The Man from Dystopia, Jon Downes

    Check it out now...
    There are nine Henrys, purported to be the world’s first cloned cartoon character. They live in a strange lo-fi domestic surrealist world peopled by talking rock buns and elephants on wobbly stilts.

    They mooch around in their minimalist universe suffering from an existential crisis with some genetically modified humour thrown in. I think Peter McAdam is one of the funniest people around, and I cannot recommend his book The Nine Henrys highly enough. Check it out at Amazon.
    Each issue we shall be running a series of Henrybits that are not found in his book about the nine cloned cartoon characters who inhabit a surreal world nearly as insane as mine...
    The Weird Weekend is the largest yearly gathering of mystery animal investigators in the English-speaking world. Now in its fifteenth year, the convention attracts speakers and visitors from all over the world and showcases the findings of investigators into strange phenomena.
    Cryptozoologists, parapsychologists, ufologists, and folklorists are descending on Woolfardisworthy Community Centre to share their findings and insights. Unlike other events, the Weird Weekend will also include workshops giving tips to budding paranormal investigators, and even a programme of special events for children. The Weird Weekend is the only fortean conference in the world that is truly a family event, although those veterans of previous events should be reassured that it is still as anarchically silly as ever!
    The event is raising money for the Centre for Fortean Zoology, the world’s only full time, professional cryptozoological organisation. The profit from food and beverages goes to a selection of village charities, mostly working with children.
    the running order (so far) for the 2014 event
    DEWA BUDJANA     Joged Kahyangan     (MOONJUNE)
    This is Dewa’s sixth solo album to date, and while he may well be a bona fide pop star in his home country with his band Gigi selling millions of records, he is still relatively unknown outside of his native Indonesia. With this, his second album for the international label Moonjune, surely that will soon change. The album title translates to “Dances of Heaven”, and if you are at all interested in jazz fusion that is the place to which you will be transported when listening to this. On this album he has been joined by Larry Goldings (organ, piano), Bob Mintzer (tenor and soprano sax, clarinet, bass clarinet), Jimmy Johnson (bass) and Peter Erskine (drums) as well as singer Janis Siegel guesting on the one number with vocals.
    The musicians didn’t see Budjana’s charts until the day of the recording, and the first take was the only rehearsal they had with the second or third take ending up on the album. Recorded in just a single day, this is pretty much a full live recording, which makes it even more incredible. Dewa has strong understanding of the use of space and harmony, as well as dischord, and combines all the elements to make an album that takes the listener by the hand as opposed to bashing them over the head. There are whole passages where Dewa is notable by his absence, letting the rest of the guys take his music on a journey and he joins in with wonderfully fluid Metheny/McLaughlin style at just the right moment. It is a wonderfully restful album, one where time and space disappears and is replaced instead by a world filled with harmony, delicacy, and restrained power. Every piece is a classic in it’s own right, while the restraint of everyone involved in the vocal “As You Leave My Nest” is superb.

    The digipak opens up to provide three pages of notes, written by John Kelman, which definitely add to the overall experience. This is an essential album to anyone who enjoys wonderful music, whatever the genre. 

    Elora came together in Marseilles in 2005, and after releasing an EP in 2010 they signed with German label Progressive Promotion Records and have now just released their debut album ‘Crash’. I have no problem listening to lyrics in another language, as it allows me to concentrate on the overall feel and sound of the songs (I’m a typical pom, can understand Te Reo Maori just enough to sing the anthem and I know the odd word, but apart from that it’s English all the way). But, here I think I must be missing out on something as I just don’t ‘get’ this album as much as I think that I should. It’s extremely solid crossover with loads of influences, notably Porcupine Tree and Pink Floyd among others, and the use of male and female leads and harmonies is a nice aspect, but it is never really more than that.
    If I try to dig into why I feel this way, I can only say that there is no real hook or melodic flow for me to really connect with the music, so it rather passes me by. At times very dreamy indeed, and almost New Age, there just isn’t enough bite and edge for me to get excited about it. Possibly if I understood French then it might have more meaning, but this is like a snack as opposed to a full meal and leaves me wanting more. www.progressive-promotion.de  
    JEREMY & PROGRESSOR      Searching For The Son  (MALS)
    The last time that Jeremy Morris released an album with Progressor (Vitaly Menshikov) was back in 2005 when they joined forces for ‘The Pearl of Great Price’, so it has taken them a while to get back together, but given Jeremy’s recording output probably that isn’t too surprising. They both provide different instrumentation, while Jeremy provides the vocals, but there are also a few other musicians involved, notably John ‘Rabbit’ Bundrick. I was playing his superb ‘Moccasin Warrior II’ album just the other day, so it was interesting to find him on here. I was asked to provide a much more detailed review on this album, something that I very rarely undertake just due to the amount of music I 
    listen to and the time I have to write about it, but given that Jeremy and I have known each other for some twenty years why not? In fact, I finally got all my cassettes out the other day, and still have ‘Green’, ‘Soul Saver’ and ‘Dreams Come True’ from all those years ago! One never knows quite what to expect from Jeremy in terms of what style will be in place on each release, but this is mostly songs with vocals, Christian lyrics, and a musical style that is reminiscent of the last Sixties.

    Searching for the Son (8:07) – Gentle bubbling keyboards lead way into a solid dose of psychedelic progressive pop, as the chords become more strident and the full band comes in. Dreamy, atmospheric and evocative, the addition of saxophone onto this track definitely gives it even more power and emphasis while the slightly strained guitar also brings back memories of a time gone by.

    Future Flight (7:44) – Gently picked guitar, and delicate mellotron combine with some ‘spacey’ sounds to lead us into another number that could have come straight from the end of the Sixties. Picked guitar and a driving bass leads us through a number that swirls, shifts and changes throughout.

    The Blind Man’s Dream (6:53) – Layered keyboards and gentle 12-string slowly introduces to some phased distorted guitar, as the guys gradually kick into one of the heaviest numbers on the album. There is a real edginess to this one, with plenty of guitar soloing, and although it is only seven minutes long it contains many distinct musical sections, with the repeated lyrics and themes returned to nearer the end. Throughout, the keyboards act as a bedrock for the guitars to do very much their own thing, with more than a hint of later-period Beatles.

    Distant Light (10:28) – Lots of clarinet-style keyboards on this number gives it quite a different feel, as does the use of gently strummed acoustic guitar. But, as with others, this number has multiple sections, and when it starts to drive along there is a much greater impact due to the softness of what has gone before.

    Wings of the Wind (11:16) – The longest song on the album, this also has multiple sections, and brings in loads of different musical elements trumpet combining with electric piano at one point, with distorted guitars all adding to a very jazzy feel. In fact, it seems quite chaotic at times, very different to the more structured and laid-back feel of much of the album. But what really makes this for me is the wonderfully delicate piano that comes in and out throughout the song, and closes it out as a solo. There is wonderful touch and emotion contained within those notes.

    Messiah Will Come (7:09) – This starts as a far more orchestral piece with layers of synth strings, and some real trumpet, before it moves into a more psychedelic number led by some jangly guitar. Bill Morris’ trumpet is again an important factor in this song, before guitar and keyboards dominate with some wonderful interplay.

    Had Enough (4:34) – This is one of three totally solo Jeremy songs on the album, and is the most poppy/psych of everything. A repeated chorus line gets into the mind and stays there, and there is a distinct groove and underlying emotional current that makes this a real joy to play time and again.

    Way to Zion (6:01) – A total contrast to what preceeded it, here we have a number that again is very orchestral in style, and it takes quite a while for the vocals to kick in, so much so that the first time I played it I wondered if it was going to be an instrumental. In many ways this reminds me of Gryphon, with synth instrumentation taking the place of the real thing.

    The Mirror (6:29) – The next Jeremy solo song is based much more on his vocals with gently picked guitar for accompaniment, with delicate keyboards providing some accents. This is quite an uplifting number, with less layering of the vocals and therefore more cut through.

    On A Cherub (5:23) – The final Jeremy solo finds multi-layered vocals on top of picked guitar, with delicate mellotron for support, before some phasing takes place that moves the music in and out. There is some fine jangly guitar soloing on this piece, as prog and psychedelia combine.

    Sonic Dances (4:05) – Vitaly provides the final song, apparently recorded back in 1993. Multi-layered acoustic guitar picking gives us a closing number that is musically quite at odds with the rest of the album, but somehow is a fitting final piece as it rounds it off nicely.

    So there you have it, 78 minutes long, mixing lots of different influences together in a way that is enjoyable and fun to play. The final words must go to J&P, as on the booklet it states “Repeated listens required: Don’t even try to dig it upon the first spin!” So there you are.
    NEMO  La Vers Dans Le Fruit      (PROGRESSIVE PROMOTION)
    It’s is always a pleasure to be sent an album by one of my favourite bands, so when I heard that Nemo were releasing a double CD I knew that I was going to be in for a treat, and I wasn’t wrong. These guys always put a lot of effort into how their release looks, and here we have a double digi-pak with a booklet, and great artwork. Interestingly, the painter is depicting a tree in full leaf in a field, but if one looks at the rear of the pack one can see that in fact the tree is dying, surrounded by empty oil drums and rubbish, while the ghost of a wolf and a person can be seen, as well as a goat and ravens. What does it all mean? One of the joys of Nemo for me is that I don’t speak French, so the lyrics and melodies thereof become just another instrument and I listen to the album as a whole, instead of concentrating on the words.
    Yet again, the guys have produced what I have now come to expect of them, namely a structured, layered, complex progressive rock which contains numerous elements and influences yet somehow is constructed in such a manner that is immediate and inviting. There are times when the mellotrons almost overpower the sound, then others when they are much more into a heavy prog area, with wonderfully emotive vocals throughout. There is power, there is passion, and if you ever want to hear a prog band put the hammer down then listen to “Un Pied Dans la Tombe” where they somehow keep the guitars in check just enough.

    The music ebbs and flows, taking the listener on a musical journey, always with a clear direction and intent. Is that a hint of Muse I hear there, or Porcupine Tree here? Nemo have brought together many influences, as always, and created something that is all-encompassing and while highly structured always manages to contain a sense of freedom. I have heard that long-time bassist Lionel B. Guichard has just left the band, so it will be interesting to see how Nemo replace him as this quartet have yet again combined to bring some wonderful music to the world.
    by Corinna
    From Helsinki in Finland, Ensiferum is a folk metal band founded in 1995.

    And those kind folks at Wikipedia tell us:

    Metal and folk melodies are played on lead guitar or keyboard, overlaying heavier heavy metal backing rhythms such as the classic gallop
    . The band also include fairly frequent use of acoustic guitars, usually at the beginnings of songs. The lyrical themes of their music most often relate to fantastical, archaic, or historic stories that can most often be grouped in with Nordic concepts, usually with heroic sentiment."

    If you fancy a wee listen and a bit of foot stomping whilst eating your supper, try this one out

    It does seem a rather fitting finale to this Ragnarok issue.

    If we are still here that is.  

    But that, as they say, is in the lap of the Gods.
    So folks, that was my effort at putting a fair old bit of this magazine together this week. Jon has still some last minute things to add to it, and hopefully he will spot any deliberate or horrendous errors that I may have made.  If not, forgive my ham-fistedness on my virgin trip down these columns ... and never fear ... he will be back next week to take the helm, and I shall return, with duster in hand, to the cabinet of curiosities. Speaking of helms, if the Gods set to it I think the tremors caused by the earthquake off the coast of North Devon/South Wales yesterday will pale ever so slightly into insignificance once the likes of Thor and his hammer, Mjölnir, along with the hoof-beats of Odin's horse Sleipnir get their groove on. Not to mention the dragon, the wolf, the sea serpent......
    Lilith decided it was about time that she was in this magazine instead of her brother stealing all the limelight, so for this week only here she is.  She isn't really as bad-tempered and evil as she looks in this photo by the way.

    'Far vel', I am led to believe is old Norse for 'goodbye.'

    So far vel it is, but hopefully just for a week! 
    Tors strid med jättarna 1872 (Thor's Fight with the Giants) by Marten Eskil Winge
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