Now We Are Three

sophisticated boy

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A prisoner breaks out of jail. He runs down the street shouting “I’m free! I’m free!”. A small boy is unimpressed. “So what?” he calls, “I’m four”.

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The Crotchety Man blog is (very nearly) three years old now and, like the boy in the photo, I like to think it has developed a charming veneer of sophistication. Underneath, of course, there is still an immature personality, nicely exemplified here by a three-year-old’s sense of humour.

In 2017 this blog has taken second fiddle to the guitar. The gnarled fingers of old Crotchety Man have been contorted into strange shapes, stretched over the fretboard and pressed onto hard metal strings for up to an hour at a time most days in a partially successful attempt to create pleasing sounds. I have also spent many long hours playing with a musical score editor called MuseScore, creating and editing scores for the local U3A orchestra.

Those times have been ‘borrowed’ from the research budget for Band/Artist of the Year blog posts, which have been notable these last twelve months for their complete absence. I know I should be managing my time more effectively but there are so many other distractions these days.

The Track of the Week and Album of the Month counts were also slightly below target in 2017 but the blame for that rests squarely with a (probably viral) infection that struck poor old Crotchety Man shortly before Christmas. It didn’t help that the central heating boiler chose that very moment to give up the ghost. The maintenance company made us wait a week before fixing the boiler and two days later, like a crotchety 3-year old, it threw another tantrum leaving us with cold radiators over the two days of Christmas itself. For too long it seemed that bad luck and trouble were my only friend.

On a more positive note the site’s follower count has risen to 56, although some of those were fleeting visitors and others were disguised attempts to sell pills and other medications.

Some highlights of 2017 were given in the recent New Year Honours post and the annual summary tables can be found here as a PDF document (with all the links).

Finally, let me wish all my readers a Happy New Year. May your vinyl, CD and digital music collections grow fat, may your hi-fi systems continue to faithfully reproduce those recorded sounds and may your ears be sharp, free of wax and undamaged by live bands who turn the volume knobs way too high.



Finding His Voice

open mic

The Crotchety Man blog is now two years old and, as you can see, the boy is beginning to find his voice. According to, a two year old will be “behaving increasingly like adults do”. That site goes on to say, “About one in five children of this age has at least one tantrum a day”. (Why does that remind me of a certain Donald J. Trump?) Of more relevance, though, is the milestone listed on that a two year old will be constructing sentences of three words or more. I hope you are ready for the quantum leap in literary prowess that this new ability will surely bring in 2017.

But, first, let’s look back on the posts of 2016.

To my shame I find that there were only two posts in the Band/Artist category last year: those on Bob Dylan and The Kinks. I had intended to make Simon and Garfunkel my band of the year for 1966 but writing about that duo proved too daunting a prospect and that item remains in the section of the calendar labelled “someday soon”. Appropriately, though, Sound of Silence did feature as a Track of the Week.

Partially making up for the dearth of band/artist posts I seem to have written 13 posts about albums in 2016: 12 were tagged Album of the Month and there was a bonus item on Kate Tempest’s live performance of her Let Them Eat Chaos album.

With the Track of the Week I hit the bull’s eye: 52 posts over the year covering a motley collection of songs and instrumentals.

I added two new categories this year: Gig (one post) and Playlist (also one post). There were also a few uncategorised posts including: an announcement of the dedicated Internet domain for the blog, a teaser for my most exciting discovery of the year (the Archipelago album by Hidden Orchestra) and last year’s summary of 2015 on Crotchety Man. That’s 72 posts all together, slightly down on the 76 for the year before.

Before I provide the summary tables I’d like to give a special mention to a few tracks and artists that were new to me. The following individual tracks stood out:

Radiohead produced a terrific video for their Burn the Witch single.

And I particularly enjoyed being introduced to The Pineapple Thief (Magnolia, Fend For Yourself), Kate Tempest (Let Them Eat Chaos) and Hidden Orchestra (Archipelago).

Finally, the summary tables for 2016 can be found here as a PDF document (with all the links).

One Year On

One Year On - Baby

The Crotchety Man blog is nearly one year old. It came into the world in January 2015 with a tentative first post giving the briefest of mentions to the Jimi Hendrix track, Hey, Joe!. Since then there have been 9 posts about a band or solo artist, 14 posts about an album and 53 posts about an individual track. That’s 76 posts altogether.

I have tried to find something interesting to say in each piece or at least find an interesting way of giving the basic factual information. Above all I have tried to communicate what it is about the songs and instrumentals that I love so much. I haven’t always succeeded but, on the whole, I’m happy with what has appeared in this blog. It’s not easy finding appropriate words (and pictures) but wonderfully rewarding when it works.

For this 77th post I’ve made lists of the entries in each of the band, album and track categories by way of a summary (see below). Band and album posts are listed in alphabetical order. The track entries are in reverse chronological order because it’s too tedious to sort them. Besides, if you should want to find a particular track you can either use the search box in the Browse section of the Home page or just use a browser search in this page.

There are some obvious omissions: Elbow, Genesis and Brand X certainly deserve greater prominence within these pages and jazz-influenced tunes seem to be under-represented here, too. The lists do, however, reflect my relatively broad tastes covering pop, rock, folk, jazz, alternative, classical and cross-genre music.

I hope you have enjoyed my guided tour of Musicland through 2015 and that we will continue to walk its highways and byways together in 2016.

One Year On - Father Time

Old Father Time

Summary of Posts, 2015

Each entry in the following lists is a link to a Crotchety Man blog post published in 2015. There’s also a more detailed table as a PDF document (with all the links) here.