heard on the wire

A distant echo…

One of the advantages¹ of having an early bird wife is that for half an hour each day I get to listen to Alex Lester on BBC Radio 2, who combines amusing repartee with a sound knowledge and clear enjoyment of the records he plays (and he doesn’t talk over the records, avoiding quite the most annoying, narcissistic practice in radio broadcasting).

The highlight of my half hour is Lester’s Library, when he plays a record from his own collection that I’ve almost certainly not heard before. But occasionally he swaps his Library for a Listener’s generally better known selection.

And so it transpired on Friday, when Paul Gill from Leicester picked one of the greatest songs of all time and my karaoke/air guitar tour de force, The Jam’s Down in the Tube Station at Midnight.

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Pork with sweet paprika, peppers, tomato and basil

Pork with sweet paprika, peppers, tomato and basil

I finally tired of root vegetables, which, with the occasional exception, are all that have been available from the farmers’ market in the past couple of months. So bearing in mind the cut-price supermarket pork chops that were in the fridge, I picked up some Spanish sweet paprika¹, red peppers, tinned tomatoes and fresh basil from Markthalle Trivisano, Winterthur’s excellent Italian delicatessen (and local home to The British Cheese Centre of Switzerland).

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Why the iPad 2 is rubbish and you shouldn’t buy it, redux

Tom Arah, writing on the usually reasoned PC Pro blog, won’t be buying an iPad 2, not because it’s rubbish¹, per se but for one simple reason, Flash.

Or more specifically, the lack of Flash and what that apparently tells us about Apple, Steve Jobs and the frightening nature of the iOS “walled garden”.

But the problem with Arah’s argument is that it’s full of untruths and misdirections.

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Miss Black America

Two songs, same name, completely different. One a sweet soul number from Curtis Mayfield’s 1970 debut solo LP, Curtis, the other from the eponymous Bury St Edmunds band, taken from their 2002 offering God Bless Miss Black America.

Miss Black America, the band, released several records, though not this one, on the Repeat label. Only subsequently did I discover that Repeat is run by Richard Rose, with whom I shared a house back in the day.

Listen and download Curtis Mayfield :: Miss Black America
Listen and download Miss Black America :: Miss Black America

Sardine, avocado and tomato salad

Sardine, avocado and tomato salad

One small (125g) tin of sardines in olive oil (drained unless you like it really fishy), one tomato, one avocado, a handful of leaves — winter purslane in this instance, a few capers, a drizzle of olive oil (if you drained the fish) and balsamic vinegar and a little black pepper — easy, quick, delicious and exceedingly healthy.

Why the iPad 2 is rubbish and you shouldn’t buy it, by someone who hasn’t used it

iPad 2 is a disappointment. I know, I read it on the internet.

Take Jemima Kiss in The Guardian, lamenting that Apple’s thinner, lighter tablet, with its “faster processor, dual-core A5 chip, that will mean it can operate twice as fast and render graphics up to nine times faster”, is “underwhelming”. And Kiss is clearly being kind, she even credits the addition of a front-facing camera for making free video calls.

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heard on the wire is a blog about music old and new, but mostly new. It occasionally uses 21st century file formats that may not be supported by 20th century web browsers. For best results use Safari or Chrome. And If you like the music posted here, please think of the effort and expense that has gone into making it and consider buying a copy of your own.


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All the music on this site is posted to encourage listeners to enjoy it and then rush out and buy as many songs by the artist as they possibly can. Any artist, record label boss, publisher or other rightsholder who doesn't want their works featured here only needs to get in touch and the offending file(s) will be removed at the earliest opportunity.