Showing posts from March, 2024

Rock Rarity Review: Steve Swindells: Fresh Blood (1980)

A while ago, I revelled in the process of digital remastering old 1970s music , enjoying it crystal clear in 2024. And the album I used as an example was  Steve Swindells  (wiki link) and Fresh Blood, along with a smattering of links (also included here). This is such an obscure release that, especially in remastered form, I thought it deserved further treatment in the form of an actual review. Albeit 44 years after release! Being a huge  1970s Hawkwind  fan, I was aware of Steve as a member of the band from 1978-1979, and particularly his use of Hawkwind's  Simon King  (of whom I'm possibly the biggest fan on the planet) and Huw Lloyd-Langton (for whose web site I was webmaster for a decade circa 2010) as backing musicians for his own (second) solo album  Fresh Blood . Also playing on the album was Van de Graaf Generator's Nic Potter. Steve was hailed as 'the next Springsteen' in some quarters, thanks to his lyrical prowess - all the songs are lyric heavy - and son

Rock Rarity Review: Michael Moorcock and The Deep Fix: The New World's Fair

The background to this rarity (officially still listed in remastered form here on Cherry Red but 'out of stock', so your mileage will vary - unofficial file sources may come to your rescue here) has been well covered in Brian Tawn's excellent book on Mike Moorcock 's music, Dude's Dream, which I've owned from the beginning, in 1997. It's hard to find second hand these days, but Brian has said that he can be contacted on Facebook and still has copies available - so contact him while you can!  I'll attempt to summarise the background to The New World's Fair in a paragraph or two here. Moorcock's literary prowess is his main skill, of course, with a lifetime's career in books and magazines, but that doesn't mean that his music is any the less interesting. Far more niche, but then that's what we're here for in 'Rarities'.  Having sung and played guitar in various pubs and clubs while getting his writing going, Michael Moorcoc

Problem: Apple Music Mac sync waits... forever. Solved!

This had been bugging me for a year and I finally got music sync between my Mac and my iPhone working reliably in 2024... With a little 'dance' I have to do. Sadly. I don't think I'm alone in having problems, either, judging from reports online, yet the issues are not so widespread that Apple has actually, you know, FIXED them with a software patch. Sigh. The symptom is that, when plugging in to sync (I know, I know, old school), everything just grinds to a halt when it comes to the 'sync' step, i.e. where your music library syncs to what's on the phone. It will hang there forever. What's happening, under the hood, is that Apple's MDCrashReportTool (ironically) has errr... crashed, and, when queried by Finder's Music sync, can't respond to say that all is OK. So the latter just waits and waits...  The 'solution' (which works every time but is a bit of a hassle) is to go into Activity Monitor on your Mac (it's in the Utilities fold