Lead is the stable end-product of three major nuclear decay chains. In fact, it has the highest atomic number (82) of all the non-radioactive elements. Astatine, on the other hand, is so unstable that it is the rarest naturally-occurring element in the Earth's crust. Its nucleus is so fragile that only microscopic quantities of the…Read more The Sad Story of Lead and Astatine
By definition, fluids flow. Steam rises from a boiling kettle, spring water spontaneously cascades down the mountainside. And when you hear a particularly fluid jazz lick you can be sure the band has achieved that indefinable quality of musical 'flow'. It's what all musicians strive for, when the notes spill out without bidding, floating in…Read more Flow
For this Album of the Month I was tempted to say simply, "see last month's post". You see, this is another review of a progressive rock live album by a band that has been around for more than 40 years and has recently found an astonishing new vitality. This time the band in question is…Read more But Wait … There’s More!
Sit up straight and pay attention, everyone, because if you don't what follows will be terribly confusing. For this Album of the Month piece I'm going to review two albums by Bill Bruford's Earthworks. Yes, Smithers minor, this is cheating but it provides a partial solution to a difficult problem. You see, I am very…Read more Earthworks/All Heaven …
While idly browsing the Web the other day, with my Release Radar playing in the background, my thoughts were hijacked by a bluesy bass solo. I knew immediately that it was something by Colin Hodgkinson. It had to be him because nobody plays bass like Colin Hodgkinson. Switching to the Spotify window I saw the…Read more Tears in Heaven
Q: What's small, female, Australian and brilliant? A: Tal Wilkenfeld. No, it's not a joke. It's what I asked Mrs. Crotchety the other day after reading a blog post by CirdecSongs. The article was a personal appreciation of Jeff Beck and it just happened to mention Beck's bass player on his Live At Ronnie Scott's…Read more Corner Painter
Crotchety Man lives in two parallel worlds. There's the real world of solid objects like houses, apples and people. Then there's the insubstantial world of the imagination. The other day, at the click of a mouse button, a bubble of the imagined world burst into the mundanity of real life. My computer screen had given a link into a province of La La land…Read more Something Different