When Sgt. Pepper arrived

Earlier this year I listened to the remastered, reissued Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band – an album that was released six years before I was born. The first thing that struck me was how similar it was to Nevermind by Nirvana. No, really. Nirvana had been making some waves but the first time I heard Smells Like Teen Spirit on MTV it made me stop and turn and stare. What was this? It wasn’t heavy metal, it wasn’t indie rock, it was new, and once I managed to get a copy of the album it stayed on my stereo, on repeat, loudly, for several weeks. It was the soundtrack for my first winter at college and to this day …

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44

44 is a tribonacci number, an octahedral number and the number of derangements of 5 items. Since the greatest prime factor of 442 + 1 = 1937 is 149 and thus more than 44 twice, 44 is a Størmer number. 44 is the number of candles in a box of Hanukkah candles. “Forty-Four” or “44 Blues” is a blues standard whose origins have been traced back to early 1920s Louisiana.[1] However, it was Roosevelt Sykes, who provided the lyrics and first recorded it in 1929, that helped popularize the song. “Forty-Four,” through numerous adaptations and recordings, remains in the blues lexicon eighty years later. Angel Number 44 is thought to be directly related to our passions. It tends to deal …

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Oops I inked me again

Tattoos hurt. Depending on where on your body, and what your pain thresholds are, the sensation of getting a tattoo can range from an almost soothing buzzing feeling, to a mild ‘scratchy’ feeling, through to a sharp cutting pain. I don’t mind the pain. It’s part of the parcel and becomes an intrinsic element of getting a tattoo, adding a visceral element to the trust you are placing in the artist. After all, you are allowing them to hurt you. There is also a formulaic/ritualistic element that comes to bear when I am getting a new tattoo. It all helps me get into the right head space I guess, and whilst each artist is different I’ve found they all go …

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If in doubt DIY

How many gigs do you attend each year? Which band have you seen most often? Which venue is your most attended? What month is ‘gig month’ for you? With quite a few gigs lined up in the coming weeks I’ve been busy scouring setlist.fm to create some sample playlists in Spotify to give me a sense of what said gigs may contain. Not all bands stick to fixed setlists though – Pearl Jam change theirs dramatically for each gig – but it gives me a sense of what to expect and has highlighted a couple of tracks I tend to skip, so it’ll be interesting to hear those particular tracks played live. It’s always interesting seeing what a band considers …

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Focus needed

With no apologies whatsoever, I’m gonna talk about going the gym. Again. The next block of ‘boot camp’ sessions starts on 4th October. It’s the third time I’ve signed up and have to admit I’m looking forward to it starting, and it’s got me thinking about how I can make it successful. The first time I did boot camp I went all in; I tracked my food in MyFitnessPal, tracked my weight, slept better, and was focussed on using the 10 weeks as a way to kick start a healthier lifestyle. As a result I lost weight, and my body changed shape enough that people noticed. I noticed too because my belts all had to be tightened in a new …

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Gin Festival

Last week I looked ahead at my calendar and realised that I had nothing at all planned for the weekend just passed. I wracked my brains for a second, it doesn’t take much longer, but couldn’t think of anything that I might just have forgotten to add. I really did have an entirely blank weekend. Bemused, I took to Twitter and that evening my query got a response from the lovely Sharon!  Do you like gin? Looks like I've got a spare ticket for the Gin Fest on Sat afternoon. If you don't mind me, Maw & Whiskey for company 😉 — Maul (@Maulin_Rouge) September 20, 2017 Do I like gin? Is a one-legged bear a catholic?!* And so it …

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LCD Soundsystem

The Barrowlands is probably my favourite Glasgow gig venue. Large enough to generate a good crowd atmosphere, small enough to feel intimate, and tarnished enough to feel alive, I don’t think I’ve ever been to a gig there that wasn’t good. Add in a band that has a good live reputation and it was with an intrigued anticipation that I stood and waited through the last couple of tracks of the support act, Hot Chip’s James Goddard, for my first ever LCD Soundsystem gig. LCD Soundsystem have bounced around my music conscious since they first arrived, I was aware of them but nothing really clicked with me until Sounds of Silver where they started to make sense. That said their …

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AirPods, finally

I’ve held off getting a set off these for some time but as my current ‘commuting’ in-ear headphones (JLabs Epic BT – discontinued) are starting to show their age, both in terms of wear and tear and in how the diminishing battery life is impacting the Bluetooth connectivity. Although admittedly the latter concern is purely based on my perception, but they do seem to drop the connection to my iPhone far more than they used to, even though I logically know that the science behind that thinking is bunkum. I do have another pair of bluetooth headphones – my wonderful Jabra Revos – but I prefer in-ear for commuting as they let in enough ambient noise to keep me aware …

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X or not

We’ve had a couple of days to digest the recent Apple keynote, and a few more days than that to pour over the leaked data that basically outlined all of the announcements and almost reduced the keynote to little more than a series of (mostly) slick product presentations. Almost, but not quite. There was certainly no hint about the opening video and tribute to Steve Jobs, which was a nice surprise and perfectly handled by an emotional Tim Cook, and it certainly added to the poignancy of the occasion. The new venue certainly looks impressive but I find I’m still stuck between thinking it’s either ‘over indulgent’ and/or ‘inspiring’ but there is no doubt it’s well designed with an incredibly …

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4 beeps in the night

I had gone to bed at a reasonable hour for once and was asleep in no time at all, my weary bones and tired mind happily conceding to the warmth of the bed and the darkness of the night. I fell fast into a deep and comfortable slumber. So you can imagine my consternation and the enusing ire when, not long after the clock swept past 2am, I was rudely awakened by a short series of loud beeps. Startled awake, my eyes opened to the dark and in my chest the loudest of crashing thumps began as my heart beat the panic drum. My mind raced to the source; was it the (unset) burglar alarm or one of the smoke …

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