Friday, December 07, 2007

A little hiatus....

....but I'm back now :)
It's been a windy couple of days on the south coast, and we've been lashed by rain that you just wouldn't believe. One of the only advantages of the whole situation is that there's less people swarming around the centre of Brighton doing their Xmas shopping - hurrah!
Anyway, I shall return to the big smoke today, and be there tomorrow for the footy, and my first Xmas party of the season.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

I missed the anniversary of the actual fight....

But this month marks 25 years since the fight between Ray "Boom Boom" Mancini and the Korean challenger Duk Koo Kim. The fight left Kim in a coma, and he died a few days later. His mother commited suicide, as did the referee of the bout, haunted by his decision not to stop the fight and perhaps save Duk Koo Kim's life. There is footage of the fight, and it's aftermath on youtube...

It's truly heartbreaking, as opposed to being merely mawkish, or sensationalist.
For those who need some background info on the story, this is taken from a boxing forum, but I can't find it's actual source:
>>>>>>>



Of the thousands of times Ray Mancini pulled on a pair of boxing gloves and stepped inside a ring, the thought had never crossed his mind.
But as the pain increased during his fight with Duk Koo Kim in an outdoor stadium behind Caesars Palace in Las Vegas on Nov. 13, 1982, Mancini considered throwing in the towel. Lightweight title be damned. His head throbbed. His hands ached. He couldn't breathe without feeling like he was being stabbed.As he considered his options, surrendering began to seem wise.
"I had never, ever, for a minute, a second, even considered quitting before," Mancini says. "There was shame in saying you'd even thought of it. But that day – that day – I did. As we hit the championship rounds, I felt like giving up."
Had he quit, 25 years of pain would have been washed away in an instant.
Mancini takes a deep breath and sighs."My body, physically, wanted to quit, but mentally, I wouldn't allow it," he said. "That's not who I was. Ray Mancini was not a quitter."

Sadly, neither was Duk Koo Kim.
JUST ANOTHER PAYDAY
The 21-year-old son of a World War II veteran and the 23-year-old child of South Korean rice and ginseng farmers battled fiercely for the WBA lightweight championship on that mild Saturday before a national network television audience.
Because there had been a major fight between Aaron Pryor and Alexis Arguello in Miami the previous night, few of the regulars on the boxing circuit attended the Mancini-Kim bout, despite the fact that Mancini was one of the game's rising attractions. He was personable and good-looking and had a style that frequently left his opponent's face, as well as his own, bruised and swollen.
"There got to be a point around that time when people realized that if you were a boxing fan, you had to see the kid fight," said Mancini's promoter, Bob Arum. "Each fight seemed to top the next. It didn't matter who he was matched against. It was Mancini they were coming to see. He was the show."
Mancini was being groomed for a fight against Pryor, who on that Friday night at the Orange Bowl stopped Arguello in the 14th round of a bout that the late boxing writer Pat Putnam of Sports Illustrated called, "one of the fiercest title fights in recent memory." Nothing of the kind was expected for the Mancini-Kim fight. It was just another payday for Mancini and an opportunity for CBS to develop a relationship with an emerging superstar. Little was known of Kim, who brought a 17-1-1 record but had never fought outside of Asia and had no opponents of note on his record. Royce Feour, the longtime boxing writer at the Las Vegas Review-Journal, was one of the few reporters at ringside for the Mancini-Kim bout. "The talk around Caesars Palace the week of the fight was that, indeed, Kim was not a qualified opponent," Feour said. Curious to learn more about the mysterious South Korean, Feour arranged to meet Kim in Kim's suite at Caesars a few days before the fight. The introverted Kim offered little of himself, but Feour noticed a lamp shade on which Kim had handwritten something in Korean. Feour asked the interpreter what it said.

The answer: "Kill or be killed."

NO STEPPING STONE

Though Kim was widely viewed as a stepping stone, Mancini believed otherwise. He had pored over tapes of the South Korean and knew he would be a serious threat to his title. "People in America are not sophisticated about boxing from the sense that they just don't have an awareness of anything that goes on outside this country," said Mancini, at 46 an independent film producer and the owner of a cigar manufacturing company. The scheduled 15-round bout drew a number of A-list celebrities, including Frank Sinatra and Bill Cosby. They saw an unexpectedly competitive and highly grueling bout. Mancini tore at Kim at the opening bell, only to be met by fierce resistance. "Nobody really knew much about Kim, but it wasn't too long into the fight before we were looking at each other and saying, 'Hey, we have ourselves a fight here,' " said Sig Rogich, who was a member of the Nevada Athletic Commission before eventually becoming an advisor to President George H. W. Bush. "This wasn't one of those fights where you automatically expected the champion to win. Each round was incredibly hard-fought."
Mancini wasn't known as a devastating puncher; but he wore down his opponents with the volume of punches he threw and his sheer will to win. Mancini would take three to give one if he had to, and he fought with a religious fervor.
"I was competitive like that naturally, but I was raised that you just never quit and would come and come and come and give every last ounce you had inside of you," Mancini said. As he looked across the ring, he saw himself in the man he was battering. Kim took a series of flush, hard punches and not only didn't flinch, but fired back almost immediately. It wasn't long before Mancini's left eye was swelling grotesquely.
"I was very impressed at Kim's ability to absorb punishment and to dish out a lot of his own," said Jim Hunter, who covered the fight for Reuters.
The fight was uncomfortably tight for Mancini fans just past the midpoint, and for the first time in his career, Mancini was having doubts. Aching and uncertain, he considered asking his corner to stop the bout.
"The only thing that saved me was the way I trained," Mancini said. "I trained more physically than most fighters. I had an old-school trainer, Murphy Griffith, and we used to do a lot of things that fighters years ago would do. I'd go neck deep in water and shadow box four-minute rounds. I'd push a boulder up a hill. I'd do push-ups with a 60-pound sack of sand on my back. The thought of quitting entered my mind, but I thought about the way I had worked. I worked like a dog to get ready for my fights and I knew if I could dig down, I'd find a way to keep going." The frenetic pace was having a subtle effect on Kim, too. He was attacking in spite of Mancini's onslaught, but his rallies were fewer and the punches he took were cleaner. "Boom Boom never changed his strategy," said Marc Ratner, who attended the fight as a fan, but went on to become the most famous boxing administrator in the world when he ran the Nevada Athletic Commission for 13 years. "He was the stronger of the two and eventually, he began to wear Kim down."Mancini controlled the 10th through 12th rounds of the 15-round bout and pounded his gloves together with glee as he walked back to his corner after the 12th.
He was beginning to think positively. "One of the things that I think has really hurt boxing was going from 15 rounds to 12 for championship fights," Mancini said. "I lived for those championship rounds. "I always felt they were my rounds. I believed nobody had trained the way I had trained and that was going to pay off in those final three rounds." Mancini began to drop straight rights off Kim's head, which resonated with a thud. Kim's counters were less frequent and less powerful, though he would land a hard left often enough that he couldn't be discounted, something recognized by Tim Ryan, who was doing the blow-by-blow for CBS Sports. "Certainly, the underrated Kim is giving Mancini all he can handle," Ryan told his viewers in the 12th round.
THE FINAL MOMENTS
As the 13th opened – the first of Mancini's championship rounds – he landed a 35- or 40-punch combination, most of which were to Kim's head. Referee Richard Green, one of Nevada's most experienced judges, was keeping a close eye on Kim, but never seemed to be on the verge of halting the fight. And Ratner, who helped institute numerous safety measures during his term with the Nevada commission, never felt Green made a mistake by letting the fight continue.
"Ray was getting the better of most of the exchanges, but Kim was fighting back and he was defending himself and competing," Ratner said. TV analyst Gil Clancy, a highly regarded trainer, told CBS viewers that Kim was "still dangerous with that straight left hand." When the bell sounded to start the 14th, Mancini popped off his stool and sprinted toward Kim, who wearily pulled himself up. Seconds into the round, he whistled a straight right that landed. Kim managed to avoid the follow-up left, but he couldn't avoid the right hand behind that.
The right landed flush on Kim's head, sending him hurtling backward. His head banged off the canvas as he fell on his back.
"Finally," Mancini thought.
Green ushered Mancini to a neutral corner. When he turned toward Kim to pick up the count, Kim was on all fours, attempting to pull himself up. He got about three-quarters of the way before tumbling back into the ropes. Green quickly waved off the fight as jubilant Mancini fans stormed the ring.
What Mancini didn't realize as he raised his arms above his head in exultation was that the darkest days of his life were about to commence. "I don't think the average fan understands how much the fighters have to commit emotionally to a fight like that," Mancini said. "When it's over and you win, there is this overwhelming sense of relief. I was really badly beaten up, and I felt like I'd gone to hell and back, but I did what I came to do, which was to keep my title."
Mancini walked to Kim's corner several times after the fight ended in a bid to congratulate his opponent on his gallant effort. But Kim was beginning a bigger fight, one he had little chance to win.
TURN FOR THE WORSE
A blood clot had formed on Kim's brain during the fight. Dr. Lonnie Hammargren, who performed 2½ hours of surgery on Kim that night at Desert Springs Hospital, speculated that it was caused by one or two powerful punches.
The surgery could not effectively stem the pressure on Kim's brain, and a traumatized Arum suggested in the emergency room that the sport be suspended until a panel could examine ways to make it safer.
As a man's life and a sport's future hung in the balance, Mancini was facing problems of his own. Sensitive even in the best of times, he was about to face a boxer's biggest nightmare: Kim was about die. Four days later, on Nov. 17, 1982, a Nevada judge declared Kim legally dead and doctors removed him from life support. "He died once, and I felt I was dying every day," Mancini said, softly. "When you're a fighter, you develop a respect for your opponent and I had all the respect in the world for this guy. I just wanted to win the fight. I never wanted to see him hurt. It was devastating."
THE AFTERMATH
There had been deaths in boxing before, but none resonated with the public the way Kim's had. The bout featured a glamorous champion in a famous venue live on national television. Even those who never paid much attention to boxing knew of Boom Boom Mancini and Duk Koo Kim. Smiling strangers would approach Mancini and ask, "What does it feel like to actually kill someone?" Mancini wanted to vomit. His ire grew worse when his children were tormented at school. His daughter, Carmenina, was in second grade when a classmate approached her and said, "Your father is a murderer."
Mancini was distraught. He would lie in bed at night and see Kim's face, replaying the scene over and over in his mind. He knew it was an accident, but it wasn't one he would easily forget.
Mancini returned to the place he had long sought refuge, winning a 10-round decision over journeyman George Feeney in Italy just three months later, but it wasn't the same.
Mancini, who now lives in Beverly Hills, Calif., went 4-4 after the fateful fight, bouncing in and out of retirement before ending his career for good in 1992, after a loss to Greg Haugen, with a 29-5 record.
"He was never the same fighter," Arum said. "He just didn't have the thing that made him who he was. He was never as aggressive. He never threw the punches with the reckless abandon that he used to. He was shaken to his core."
It was a tragic fight in so many ways. Four months later, Kim's mother committed suicide. Green, the referee, committed suicide, too.
Ray Mancini lived on, haunted forever by the memory of that brilliant afternoon in the Las Vegas sun and a fight gone horribly wrong.
"The rest of my life, I'm not just Ray Mancini, I'm Ray Mancini, the guy who killed Duk Koo Kim," he said. "You never escape that. You wonder what it would have been like for the both of us if I had quit or if he had quit and this hadn't happened.
"I've done a lot of praying, a lot of thinking. I'm never really going to know why it happened. No one will. He was a tough kid. Too tough, really. Too tough."
>>>>>>>>>>
The events of that night in Las Vegas have been part of my life this year, due to the fact they form the backbone of the song "Duk Koo Kim" by Sun Kil Moon, AKA Mark Kozolek from the Red House Painters. The song is 14 minutes long, the same number of rounds that Duk Koo Kim endured, and it's structure follows the progress of the bout, even down to its abrupt and tragic end. It's one of the most perfect songs I know, and I can't recommend it highly enough. There's an excellent analysis of the song, plus a download, here.
It's been the soundtrack to my year.

Monday, November 26, 2007

The first item on my Xmas wish list....

..Is this reissue. I had a copy of the "Miracle" CD many years ago, but lost it, so this has put a big smile on my face.

Bye bye, Ralph Bernard....

Bake us a cake will you? there's a good boy.
I'm expecting a wave of further departures from 30 Leicester Square, if I was in middle management at gcap, I'd be booking the removal van RIGHT NOW.
In other news, I'm back from a brief sojourn in Italy, and can now wield a rustello with impressive ease.
Lot's of traffic on the mp3 blog, which is very gratifying- I'm aware that it seems to have taken over a bit of my blogging priority of late, but I'll try and redress the balance if I can. Quite a bit of the traffic has come via me posting the Jesus And Mary Chain ICA gig, there's a link to a forum discussion on my post here.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Damn!

Look, here's my first ever "Pig" deck. I bought a second-hand one of these from the old Alpine Action on Notting Hill Gate, sometime in 1982. It was delaminated at the nose and tail, but was only a fiver. A bit of TLC, not to mention some Plastic Padding and a vice, and it was up and running again. The Cab "Bearing" deck was the first Powell deck to have a concave (a nice little spoon to the nose) and was such a nice board to ride. I kept mine for about 18 months, before swapping it with Steve Douglas, for a lovely Powell "Gelfand".
This board in the photo sold on ebay recently, for a little more than a fiver.
It went for..................



$2,250.

:(

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

A Pagan Day.....

Fireworks last night in Lewes: shouts of "No Popery" and "Burn Him!" gigantic effigies of Seagulls being burned to rile the planners of the new Falmer Station, tremendously loud thunderflashes in the street (my ears are still ringing) and the worst ever journey home. Next year, I'm leaving earlier.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Today, i've been redisovering the sheer genius of this....

Ee-leven! Ee-leven!

The album it comes from, "Escape From Noise", would appear to be unavailable. I'd advise you to start checking ebay.

Right.....

That's the last time I'm EVER drinking Jaegermeister and Red Bull :(
I think I need some sweet release in the form of digging through crates of vinyl at car boot sales.

Friday, October 26, 2007

X to the power of......You've got to be kidding

Well, I've got a huge smile on my face today. It would seem like Xfm's bold programming move "XU" where YOU the listener were in charge of the content (but in reality, they just wanted to save money and fire lots of DJ's ) has been a complete disaster. Have a look at the figures, they've gone from a 2% share to just 1.2%, they've shed 10% of their audience, and their hours total has plummeted. I suppose I shouldn't gloat; but you know what? I'm going to. This is nothing more than Karma coming round to bite them on the arse, and I wish nothing more for the morons who "run" the station now than for them to lose their jobs and see them dumped unceremoniously on the scrapheap.
I still feel so sad about Xfm, not that I'm no longer involved with it- but that a great station has been so callously ruined by people who care more about profit than they do about music.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The fallout from the Oink shutdown has been interesting...

This is perhaps the most thought-provoking insight into how the site worked.
(original story here)

Hurrah! for Web Development!

We've seen Hard URL's go up on Shadowglobe in the last few days, and there's a Wall on the way as well! All of this has been keeping me busy, but I musn't grumble.
another thing I musn't really grumble about is the onset of winter: despite me raising my collar, shivering slightly, and gritting my teeth in the face of yet another chilly blast of arctic air, I actually quite like the cold. When I was young, all I wanted was to be warm- warm houses, thick duvets, wooly blankets, sunshine, hot baths....as I've grown older, I actually like the cold. There's something crisp and clean about the winter, something definite.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

On a train down to the coast......

With this piece of mesmeric video art in my mind........

Call and Response from wreckandsalvage on Vimeo.
Reminds me of negativland, which can't be a bad thing.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

And while we're doing nostalgia....

This photo is from a history of the Wonderstuff that I've been checking out online. That picture must have been taken some time in 1987, when I was working at Rough Trade/Slam City. Martin and Miles were regular visitors to Slam, and I used to give them free clothes- Martin and Malc are wearing the shirts I gave them...
I'd not seen this photo for 20 years, but seeing it now, I can remember handing those shirts over, checking the sizes (Martin wanted a red shirt in XL)...
It's very hard for me to think that Martin is no longer with us; I loved him to bits, and seeing things like this always leave me a little tearful. RIP, fella, I love you to bits.
x

Just to prove that I hadn't died.....

I've been busy doing loads of things over the last week or so, but I still managed to make it onto the pages of the Guardian Blog, which was quite cool....
I also went to see Turin Brakes at the Forum in Kentish Town, at which i was somewhat haunted by the ghosts of my past. As I sat in the balcony, watching the gig (very good, as it happens) all I could think of were the myriad occasions I'd been through the venues doors over the years. I can remember sneaking in to watch Tackhead, still sweating from a Jesus Jones gig at the Bull & Gate next door, moshing to the Pixies on a wave of almost pure euphoria in 1987, watching Coldplay play a Xmas gig there and thinking "Next year they'll be the biggest band in the world" (and next year, they were)...Seeing the Wonderstuff, the Voice Of The Beehive....so many gigs....
And, of course, all the times that we played there. We sold out a couple of nights in 1989, and held both the merchandise record and the bar record, which was rather cool. I think the merch record stood for about 10 years, the bar record for about 7 :)
The first floor bar is just across from the old Tea room, where we had a presentation to award us with gold and silver discs for "Doubt" and silver discs for "Liquidiser" . I can remember hitching a lift home with my mate Paul, in his old Renault van later on that night, and everyone had a disc on their lap, as we swerved round the roads of North London....

Monday, October 01, 2007

Another year older....

...and deeper in debt *sighs*
The weekend was notable for a number of things, but top of the list were:
  1. My First Home Chelsea game of the season. Due to a combination of bad luck and prior engagements, Chelsea v. Fulham was the first time I'd been back in my seat (Matthew Harding upper, just to the left of the goal). We were awful, so there was a Little bit of a bittersweet taste in my mouth. Also leaving a taste were the new pies (there's been a bit o a catering overhaul). The steak pies are now square, not round: the filling tastes more homemade, but not quite as good as the old pies. the Bovril tastes exactly the same.
  2. I got a pair Of Doc Martins! When I was a kid, they were the one pair of shoes I coveted more than any other, and my love affair with the brand never really stopped, it's just that I forgot about them for a while. Plus, I've lived in trainers for years, so I think it was about time I had some sturdy footwear. I got a pair of cherry-red low tops, and in true hooligan fashion, immediately polished them using BLACK polish, so they turn into the colour of a wonderfully livid bruise (how apt).

Friday, September 28, 2007

If you're an R.E.M fan, you'll love this....

Matthew Perpetua (of Fluxblog fame) has a wonderful blog where he's reviewing ever single R.E.M song ever .The combination of a methodical approach to a band's work, coupled with Matthew's gentle, insightful prose, make it an absolutely wonderful read. Highly recommended.

It's been a long couple of weeks for me..

...and humour has been in pitifully short supply. So, when something really makes me laugh out load, it's very welcome indeed.

Glamourous Friday...

Means i'm sitting here waiting for my washing to dry in the Lauderette. The weather has changed from "short coat" to "long coat", and even yesterday, "scarf". Despite the heat from all the machines and driers that surround me, my face feels cold.
Today is a day for experimenting with viral invites for Shadowglobe, it's also a day recuperating from yesterday's long lunch (or symposium, if you will) with Johnny Kevin and Richard.
Tonight sees me DJing south of the river *slight shudder*, which i'm looking forward to, it's been a while since I played out.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Wistful.....

I'm always somewhat wistful at this time of year, and I'm never exactly sure why. It's probably got something to do with my upcoming birthday, but more than that, it seems to be a reaction to the passing of the year. The end of summer and the resultant darkening of leaves; the swelling horse chestnuts teeming on the ends of ever-more drooping branches- the same ones I would spend all day lugging sticks at when I was a kid- all of these things seem to make me realise that the birth of another year means the death of its predecessor. Autumn is a time for reflection and introspection; and it's always been that way.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Multiplayer game fun.......

How about playing Asteroids with THOUSANDS of people?
While we're on the subject of games, but delving back into more analogue forms of entertainment, i've been delving back into my Pinball obsession recently.

This is the closest to my own Pinball machine that i've found online, it's even a Gottlieb! According to this, (Bowling Queen, July 1964) there were 2650 made, I wonder how many can have survived these four decades?

Have you ever paid for a ringtone?

You might want to read this.....

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Sorry for the hiatus....

I've been away for a while, been busy for an even longer while.....and i've been feeling like this:

I just love the way that Wim sits there looking miserable until the high piano line comes in half way through.....
Here's the song in the context of the film "Belly Of An Architect" (my favourite film of all time) this scene is almost heart-stoppingly poignant, as the central protaganist, Stourley Kracklite, comes up against the evidence of his mortality, how he's being cuckolded, his obsessions with his fear of being poisoned...and all of this pales as his knowledge of his impending doom is given a cruel twist as he's seduced by the photographer Flavia.....

Will post more tomorrow, now that i'm BACK on the planet blog :))

Friday, August 31, 2007

Owowowowowow :(

One of the many legacies of my years as a skater is a knackered wrist. When you're young, you tend to think of yourself as being invincible, and I was no different. I never used wrist guards, and being left-handed, every time I bailed- I stuck out my left hand. Result: I sprained it more times than I care to remember. All well and good, but the legacy of all of those injuries keeps coming back to haunt me. I spent most of yesterday completely unable to move my left wrist, and in a huge amount of pain. The odd thing being, this normally happens when the weather turns cold and damp. The fact that 'm in this much pain, at the end of August, means that's it for summer.
:(

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

This has been making me smile all day long....

Evening Standard random headline generator. (For history on this, check here.)

So, how was your Bank Holiday weekend?

I was at Reading Festival on Saturday, then back in Brighton over the last couple of days, with the family....
Reading was great, the sunshine definitely makes a difference: the vibe was so much better than last year. For proof of that, you don't really need to look any further than Panic! at The Disco; last year they get bottled, this year the crowd just loved 'em. They were also responsible for my moment of the festival, this cover of "The Weight" by The Band.....

(FYI, I'm just to the right of the sound desk, waving a large glass of Jack & Coke, can you see me? No? Oh well.....)
Other good stuff: Lethal Bizzle (the whole NME tent joining in for "Pow") and Dinosaur Jr, who did their version of "Just Like Heaven" with so much power it nearly took the top of my head off.
Spent a great deal of the day hanging out with Shiny Toy Guns, which was messy, but fun. they absolutely rocked the Carling stage as well :) The size of the backstage area, a sort of village for all of the bands, is SO much bigger than it used to be: it was absolutely vast....whereas in the past it was restricted to the area behind the main stage, it now snaked round the corner so that bands paying the Carling stage could just walk out of their dressing rooms and onto the stage!
Back up to town this morning, there's a playlist meeting for shadowglobe, and I've got to work out what's the next tune to put up on the mp3 blog. My apologies for the lack of posts over the last few days, there'll be more later today :)

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Sometimes life can be a bit of a blur........

Take this video for example:

I have absolutely NO IDEA where that is from, and I certainly can't remember doing it.
:(
Oh dear, so many memories of all those JJ days just seem to have .....evaporated.
I am particularly loving the bit where I chase Jez around the keyboard. It's also worth noting that I look utterly bored and bemused for most of the performance. It might have something to do with the equipment they gave us for the playback. Look at that keyboard stand!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Wonderful:

Brad Fitz on the social graph "problem"
Interesting that he's also totally advocating the use of openID as a way of organising your sites; it's something I've meant to do for a while, but haven't got round to just yet. Time to do some research.

Morning all.......

Today, this story has been making me smile, and the headline is just GENIUS :)
It was another one of those Monday journeys into London; and it's always the same once I reach Victoria- the station and Tube is awash with idiot tourists dragging the world's BIGGEST suitcases behind them. Seriously, what's up with the huge cases? Why? Why?
These morons seem intent on dislocating their own shoulders dragging these behemoths behind them, risking heart attacks as they clatter down the stairs into the tube...
what can they be carrying in these cases? This morning, three women were carrying a case the size of a small CAR down to the Victoria line :(

Friday, August 17, 2007

How much longer will it be with us?

Happy birthday, the CD.

It's all been videos on here the last couple of days, hasn't it?

Well, here's another:

Mainly for the fact that I adore the song, but also because it feels like a Friday song, doesn't it? It seems full of hope and anticipation, of joyful release, and letting your hair down. Also, it's worth pointing out that prior to actually becoming the band we all know and love as Aberfeldy, they were working as a Devo tribute band. For that reason alone, they deserve your unending admiration.
Lot's to be done today, some forum attention, playlist blogging, profile tweaking......and maybe, searching for a new office. All of that and a dash to Victoria station at the end of it all. if it wasn't for the dhal and chappatis in the middle of it all, I'd be flagging.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

My Last.fm widget *points right*...

..Hasn't changed in AGES. Anyone else having this problem?
This week has been another busy one, marshalling the forums, sending out invites via myspazz....
I need more sleep.
It's also been really interesting setting up the mp3 blog, I'm hoping it doesn't interfere too much with this blog, I'm aiming for some sort of arrangement whereby the mp3 blog does the musical nostalgia, and this blog does everything else. Does that sound OK to you?

Aah...memories :)


Sunday, August 12, 2007

Bloody Hell!

Every now and again, I go through my record collection, sorting out what should stay and what should go. I've been doing it tonight, looking for stuff to post up on the mp3 blog. Well, I found a copy of the "Live At The Soul All Dayer Of the Century" LP, pretty legendary LP, it was sampled heavily by lots of Old-School Hardcore artists (the most obvious one: "North London Posse in the place!" taken from Kaotic Chemistry's "Drum Trip")
Turns out it's a little more valuable than I'd thought.
:)
Reading the small print, it would appear that 12 copies reached the public. just to make you even more pissed off, I've got TWO of those twelve copies. One sold on eBay recently for 650 quid. Jeebus!!! There's more info here: one of the people on the forum reckons there's only five copies worldwide.
Cripes!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Hahahahahahaha

Clell Tickle: Indie Marketing Guru

Posted Aug 18, 2006

A behind the scenes look at Clell Tickle, the man who makes indie rock dreams come true. By any means necessary.

At Long Last!

A Film i'd actually like to go and see!

I used to do it all the time.....

....when I was on Xfm (R.I.P.), but here's some time wasting Friday web fun :)
It's been another busy week, but it's been great. We're on to our fifth playlist at Shadowglobe, and we're finally starting to see the undiscovered music we always knew was out ther coming through.....
It's been somewhat hectic marshaling all the various areas of the site, but it's been worth it.
One of the other great things about this week has been just how much FUN I've had doing my mp3 blog : it's a good stress release valve from all the madness of Web 2.0.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

And the award for "Headline Of The Day" goes to......

This :(

The format that just won't die......

Everyone kind of expected vinyl to take its rightful place at the head of the vast panoply of musical formats to emerge over the last 100 years: it's the fetishistic nature of the plastic, the smell of it, the feeling of sliding a mint condition album out of its poly-lined inner sleeve for the first time, the unexpected buzz of peeking inside the sleeve of a seven inch single to find a coloured vinyl treasure inside....
All of that makes perfect sense doesn't it? So how come there's still so much interest in the humble cassette tape? It's rather odd, but I guess it's all tied up with the fact that it was THE mass-market format of the 80's, and would have been most people's first encounter with organising, saving and treasuring their first batch of musical memories. Hence, the affection that people feel for the humble cassette. I'd like to see the same thing happen with CDR's and mini discs in 10 years time, I bet it wont :)

Monday, August 06, 2007

OK, here's some news for you....

I've toyed with the idea for quite some time, but i've finally done it.
I've started up a little mp3 blog. Here it is: Down With Tractors. My first post (and mp3) is up there, it's all on fileden at the moment, i'll be checking the demand to see if I need to host it elsewhere......
I'll also migrate the links to the mp3 blogs over to DWT (when I get a minute!)
Enjoy
x

Saturday, August 04, 2007

OMG.

I've NEVER seen anything like this. Worst slam EVER, and he walks away.......

Seriously: this is absolutely superhuman stuff. This is akin to falling out of a window on the 5th floor, then just getting up and walking away. I have no idea how or why he's still alive, but I thank god that he is. Just watch the end of the video as his shoes fly off with the power of the impact and ask yourself "Would I have walked away?" I know I wouldn't.
Respect.

Friday, August 03, 2007

For those of you out there who remain unconvinced by Twitter...

Today was a really rather remarkable day. We managed to have the first London Mornington Crescent game on Twitter, and highly enjoyable it was too; though I suspect productivity in a number of offices across the capital may have suddenly experienced a marked downturn in productivity.
Hey ho.
:)
Confused? More info here.

It's been one of the saddest weeks I can remember...

Because we lost this bloke:

Bye, Paul X

Hurrah!

We got some good press over at Sky News.
:)

Monday, July 30, 2007

....And just one more thing while we're on the subject....

If anyone else out there need to know: the "theme" to The Lock-in (show I did on Xfm ages ago) was "Dawning" from this album. Actually, the second link I'd do on the X-list was normally over a bed composed of a loop of "Crossfire" from the same album.......

And this one's for Mike.....

who was musing (see comments in previous post) over the identity of the music i'd play at the start of the X-list. It's a sneaky little loop from the start of this tune: "Making Music" by Chungking.

It just makes me so very very sad.....

To see just how far Xfm has fallen.
Take a look at the page on their site for the "DJ Homepages". Twelve little thumbnail photos. Where, only a few months ago, there were so very many more. And of those 12, five of them relate to DJ's who only do single shows. Just one show a week. A further two are links to DJ's (Ricky, Adam & Joe) who haven't worked at Xfm for AGES, and are unlikely ever to work there again.
All that's left are the 4 DJ's whose job it is to shoulder the majority of the schedule. I'm not bitter about leaving Xfm, nor am I looking for revenge, but I'd love it if those fools who destroyed a once-great station were to be summarily removed from GCap headquarters, and were prevented from ever wreaking this sort of havoc at any other radio station, ever again.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

I'm a little bit overwhelmed by this......

It's Footage of Penetration, at the Reading festival in 1978, playing "Life's A Gamble".
First up, it's 1978. My favourite year for music ever. Now I know most purists will sniff that '78 was too late for punk, too early for post-punk, that it was the refuge of bandwagon-jumpers, scene-stealers and pouting poseurs, but it was the year that I really began to do nothing else but buy records, read SOUNDS (R.I.P) and obsess about music. To me, '78 is as much about the Dickies and Devo as it is about all the other more worthy stuff that was around at the time. My ears were full of Magazine, of Ultravox!, Nick Lowe, Elvis Costello, Cabaret Voltaire......
It's the year I started living, started feeling, started really hearing.
Next, it's Reading. This was the year Ultravox! and Penetration played, alongside such other luminaries as John Otway, Radio Stars and Sham 69. All of that and Spirit played as well! Bloody hell, what I'd have given to be in the crowd. However, I was a little too green for gigs at that time, and my cosy teenage haven of the Wiltshire countryside seemed a million miles away from a muddy field on the outskirts of Reading. It would be another 8 years before I made my first pilgrimage to the site (Bonnie Tyler being bottled off, Hawkwind, The Mission and lots of fumbling in a soggy tent with my girlfriend of the time)
Of course, a few years after that, I was lucky enough to actually play the Main Stage (believe me, if you think the crowd looks big when you're in it, try looking at it from the stage: I nearly soiled myself) and most years since then, I've spent an agreeable couple of days slowly sliding off a plastic chair in the backstage arena.
But then, above all, it's Penetration. One of the best bands around at that time (and they're still playing now!) playing one of the best punk singles of ALL TIME. "Life's A Gamble" is an extraordinary single: it's short (a couple of minutes) yet manages to cram that time full of giddy enthusiasm and hope. It's a record with a HUGE grin on it's face: a beaming, wide-eyed blast of sunshine. It's real golden moment comes straight after the first verse, where Pauline Murray bawls out "Decision, a clearer vision, you can see it....TOO!" and then there's the chorus. Except, there isn't. In the space where that first chorus should be, is that most un-punk of things: a guitar solo. It's rocky, chiming, and melodic; tripping over its own shoelaces as it bursts out of the middle of the song. Every time the first little notes of the solo burble up, my heart literally misses a beat. After all these years, it still makes me smile.
To get the full force of "Life's a Gamble" you need a copy of the album "Moving Targets", which is utterly indispensable. But for now, enjoy this, whilst I dream about 1978..........

Monday, July 23, 2007

More linkage:

Comes in the shape of the wonderful Raiding The Vinyl Archive. There's Vicious Pink on there at the moment (Attn: Nick! DOWNLOAD THESE NOW!) and also New Musik.....
I must really come out and state that one of my favourite musical eras is the 80's, all those 12" remixes, the wonderful period of time before "proper" dance music took over, when producers were first experimenting with studios and recording techniques...there was a lot of innovation going on, with people like Martin Rushent working on the Human League 12"s (not to mention his work with Altered Images, Intaferon, Pete Shelley and The Members) and the Latin Rascals dropping all these super-fast "Razor" cuts (some of which can be heard on the "Notorious" Duran Duran remix, as well as remixes from Warren Zevon, Spear Of Destiny.....)
I absolutely LOVED the 80's because all these records were released at a time when record companies were DESPERATE for hits: this desperation manifested itself in cheap vinyl (12" for the price of a 7"!, the sleeves would scream..) and normally, piles of even cheaper 12"s in the cut-out bins........
I've been scouring the boot sales recently, they're a really great place to stock up on forgotten 80's vinyl: acquisitions of late: Lots of Mari Wilson, the Topper Headon solo singles, First Priority, Vicious Pink, I-Level, The Swinging Laurels.......
One of these days I'll whack up some MP3's :)

I can't quite describe..........

How wonderful this forum post is.
Here's the backstory, some guy on a Poker forum claims to have played a game with legendary Producer (and Musician) Steve Albini.
He wonders whether Steve would stick his head above the parapet and post on the forum himself, to verify this.
Steve does. But he does much more. He offers to answer anyone's questions.
And there are lots, and lots, and lots of questions. This is by turns, crude, informative, funny, visionary stuff. It's really worth reading.
My favourite quote (at the moment) concerns downloads:
"Almost universally, bands and musicians are happy anyone is interested in their music enough to become a fan, and they know there are many opportunities to do some business with such a person that may or may not involve selling him a particular record.They also recognize that a download by someone unwilling to buy a record is not a "lost sale," because that person has made it clear that he is unwilling to buy a record. You haven't lost a sale, you've made a fan for free. Fans eventually want to buy records, concert tickets and other things"
Brilliant stuff.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

God, it's been busy.....

And for the first time, i'm actually posting with a legitimate excuse for a lack of updates, i.e. Shadowglobe has been really hectic in the last few days. To all the people who've joined, who've emailed or got in touch via facebook or myspace, cheers, you're all ACES.
There'll be more stuff up soon.......
For now, THIS is where my head's at: MC Taz and MC Beefy. Enjoy.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Feeling fragile, but happy.


Fragile? Because Andy and I were out on a bit of a large one last night, fulminating over our progress on Shadowglobe so far, musing on the voting process and generally putting the world to rights. However, today I feel absolutely shocking, it has to be said.

Happy? Because I got myself a copy of the reissue of "Jerky Versions Of The Dream" by Howard Devoto. It's been one of my favourite albums since its release in 1983, I spent most of my first time at University wandering around Lancaster town centre, listening to it on my Walkman. It's mix of woozy melodies and incisive lyrics still sound great today, despite the production being draped in a none-more-80's sheen of synth washes and Linn drums. It was only briefly available on CD in the early 90's, then rapidly deleted (copies fetched anything up to £150 on eBay) and it's re-release has been dogged by problems: it was due to be released at the same time as the batch of Magazine Cd's that emerged earlier this year, but legal wrangling meant it took another few months before it arrived on the shelves. Hurrah! I'm listening to it now as I type this, and it's the salve that my drunken soul needs.
And......the video for "Rainy Season", the albums lead-off single (and one of the greatest pop songs of all time) is on youtube! It's worth noting that the video keeps getting pulled, so watch it while can :

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Attn. Vegetarians!

Red Bull has got MEAT in it. Or at least, "Meat Sugar" whatever the hell that is........
We're starting to get some really good stuff on Shadowglobe now, there's this: Rendle, who's got a song called "Sometimes" which is so insanely catchy I was convinced it had to be a major-label scam, but no, it appears to be the real deal. Whatever, it's a tune, and that's all that really counts. Then there's The Auto Dropouts, which rules as well, perfectly constructed sweeping pop brilliance. I'm loving the uncertainty of the whole thing, not really knowing what the next day will bring; what sorts of bands will join us and share their tunes-at the very least it's a truly interesting voyage, but at it's best? It leaves a giant grin on my face, and that's just fine by me. After the pain of the last few months at Xfm, where they were selling the brand down the river and neglecting the station's duty to find the great new music that's out there; it's a sweet feeling indeed.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Ah, what a great weekend........

Had a wonderful time at the Sutton With Shopland Festival (more about that when I can post up the photos) and spent a sunny Sunday morning travelling back to London with the following song in my ears: "Nature's Way" By Spirit, from the album "The Seven Dreams Of Dr. Sardonicus"

One of the more interesting areas of development on Youtube in recent months has been its use as a place to "host" music by proxy. Whereas in the past it was more likely you'd find an old music video or live performance by the band you were searching for, now the content frequently manifests itself in videos which may be no more complicated than 3 minutes of a turntable playing a record: the payoff, of course, is that it's the record you want to hear.
It happens with rare dance vinyl, old-school hardcore, ska and rocksteady (lots of great footage of old scratchy Doctor Bird 7"s) and more besides.
Initially, it would seem to defeat the object of a video-sharing network, if the videos aren't really worth watching, but that would be missing the point. People are now using Youtube to get content across: it doesn't really have to fit the actual medium.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

It's been a hectic couple of days!

But it's been really satisfying. I've created and updated the look of the Shadowglobe forum, and worked on all the other "satellite" areas of our Internet footprint. There's a Facebook group and a Twitter page, please feel free to add us!
Also today is tinged with sadness: RIP George Melly. I have fond memories of seeing him here in Soho, just standing on the pavement, outside a selection of classic Soho watering-holes, chatting to passing tourists and fans, all the time waving to all the cabbies who would pass by, leaning out of their windows to bellow "AWRIGHT GEORGE?"
He looked like he loved being here, but more than that, he looked like he belonged here, like he was a part of the city. London will be a little bit quieter without him (and sales of garish suits will fall as well, which is a great pity)
.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Here's something cool I found online....

It's the set-list for the REM gig me and my best mate Nick saw in Manchester, back in 1985. It was the second gig they'd played following the release of "Fables....", the first gig was a rather underwhelming affair (by all accounts) supporting U2. So by the time they reached Manchester, they were like a coiled spring; they absolutely ripped the venue apart.In 2007, REM are one of the biggest bands in the world (last time I saw them, they were playing to a packed Hyde Park), but back in 1985, virtually no-one ,except the faithful few, knew who they were: the venue, one of Manchester's seediest clubs, held about 200 people. Nick and me managed to squeeze down the front (in our Paisley shirts, natch.) and watched, spellbound for the next two hours. We were close enough to reach out and touch Peter Buck's 12-string Rickenbacker, and at the end, when Michael Stipe was trying to get the crowd to move back, it was me and Nick who were manhandled out of the way by the road crew.
Here's the set:

24 June 1985 - International Ballroom, Manchester, England
set: Boy (Go) [Stipe a capella] / Feeling Gravitys Pull / Hyena / Harborcoat / Green Grow The Rushes / So. Central Rain / Have You Even Seen The Rain? / Driver 8 / Good Advices / Talk About The Passion / Can't Get There From Here / Cushy Tush / Maps And Legends / Seven Chinese Brothers / Auctioneer (Another Engine) / Old Man Kensey / Pretty Persuasion / Life And How To Live It / Home On The Range-Little America
encore 1: Femme Fatale / (Don't Go Back To) Rockville / Broken Whisky Glass / Second Guessing - Respect
encore 2: Theme From Two Steps Onward / 9-9 / Windout
notes: At the start of the show Stipe sings lyrics from '(Boy) Go'. As an intro to Little America Stipe sings 'Home on The Range' a capella with help from the crowd. Cushy Tush is played while Stipe asks the crowd to step back ('Simon says two steps back').
A slightly different setlist appears in the book "It Crawled From The South" - this setlist was taken from the tape of the show so they changed the encores slightly from the written setlist
(taken from here)

It mentions a tape of the show: does anyone have one? Or know where I can find one? After all these years, I'd LOVE to hear the gig again.........

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Well, that was an interesting day........

And today has been cut from similar cloth, to be honest......issues with the stream, problems here, excitment there; "rollercoaster ride" is an oft-overused turn of phrase, but it's certainly applicable right now.

What we need is a little light relief. In the shape of this:

Monday, July 02, 2007

OK then.......

You've waited long enough. It was going to happen last week, but we had some issues with consolidation of the Javascript yadda yadda yadda.........
But I think it's time to let you know what I've been doing.
I've been working on this.
Ladies and Gentlemen, say hello to Shadowglobe.
Go easy on it for now, it's still in a Beta state, there will be bugs to find, problems to iron out....there will also be a whole raft of new features to be added when we move to phase two of the launch. But for now, sit back, have a listen, tell me what you think, I'd love to get any feedback you might have........
Over to you then!
:)

The next post on this blog.....

Will contain the URL for "The Project"
BRING. IT. ON.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

I've spent most of my life in record shops....


So news like the passing of the Fopp chain makes me incredibly depressed. What seems to have finished them off was the bullish acquisition of the Music Zone shops they bought back in February. Expansion was a catalyst, not for change, but for the fall of the entire company. All of this is taking place against the planned expansion of Rough Trade into its huge new flagship store in Brick Lane; I'm keeping everything crossed that similar problems don't befall the greatest record shop in London (IMHO).
For those of you who don't know, I worked for Rough Trade back in the late 80's, heading up their mail order department, until the rapid resurgence of skating, and the ensuing rapid rise of Slam City Skates, meant I ended up selling decks and trucks instead of vinyl and CD's. Previous to my tenure of employment in Talbot Road, I'd worked for Our Price in various locations across North London (deep breath: FOUR stores in Watford, also Harrow, Wembley, St. Albans....) but frankly, it was brain-numbing stuff. however, as a fully paid-up vinyl junkie, I still spent most of my time off trawling other record shops for the things i couldn't find in Our Price's over-commercially stacked racks. My area of choice was always Notting Hill and Portobello Road. It was the first place I'd ever seen in London when I visited the city for the first time as an awe-struck 13-year old kid: and the love affair had continued and blossomed. in 1978, there was only one Record And Tape Exchange (on Pembridge Road) now there were several, and Rough Trade had moved from the slightly dingy shop I remember buying the first Cabaret Voltaire EP from (at 202 Kensington Park Road) to new premises just round the corner, even closer to the Portobello Road.
So, I knew they were looking for staff back then in 1986, but I never really thought that I could do the job. One Saturday, I was in Rough Trade and Nigel House (who still helps run the shop) said to me "Hey, Iain, are you still at Our Price?" I sighed, deeply. "Afraid so" .He smiled at me: "Why don't you come and work for us?" He gave me a copy of the form that applicants had to fill in. And in that moment, I realised that all the stupid stuff I'd been building up in my head, all the music that'd been filling my ears, the trivia I used to bore others to tears with.....it was actually useful!
Some of the questions were (IIRC)
Will Imran Khan be missed? (they were mad on cricket in the shop, you had to be able to talk about it or you were no use to them)
Who was C.S. Dodd? (this was West London, the reggae roots ran very deep)
We don't stock any records by the Stranglers, can you tell us why?
Can you still get LBong12? Or ANY LBONG for that matter?
What's your favourite TV Personalities record?
Who (or what) was "friendly as a hand grenade"

And on........and on........and on.
I rattled out the answers, passed with flying colours, and i was in. I had the best time of my record shop assistant life in Rough Trade, but it was the feeling of belonging that I cherished, and that feeling came from realising that the knowledge I'd developed had a real and quantifiable value. My passion could be turned into a job, a wage, a career. Ever since then, I've sought out ways to turn what I know into what I can do. It's a really simple lesson, but it's been the one which has shaped my life more than any other choice I've ever made.
So, in the light of all the developments with Fopp, I wish Rough Trade the best of luck. They, more than anyone else, realise the value of passion, enthusiasm and knowledge, and I pray to God that passion never ends up sacrificed on the altar of ambition and expansion.

Ah....Sunday roast......

A nice rib-eye of Beef, nice fluffy Yorkshire puddings and roasted carrots and parsnips.
*burps*
This has been making me think today: Facebook is the new AOL.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

As you might expect....

The internet has, unsurprisingly, been aflame over the past few days with discussions, musings and out-and-out lust for the iphone.
Hmmmm. I'm still not sure. don't get me wrong, it's not that I don't love nice new toys: I do! But I've been through a PDA phone phase....and came right out the other side. I just liked my mobile to be, well, like a mobile phone. To feel like a phone, to look like one, to work like one. It's that last one that's the killer, for me: does it WORK like a mobile? In other words, can you be mobile with it? And that's mobile as in "away from your desk/office/home/country for SEVERAL DAYS"
So, for the past year or so, I've reverted to using one of these, and I absolutely love it (I'm not alone either, check those reviews!) It's simply the only phone that does what it says on the tin. PLUS, the battery is still amazing, here's a radical concept for a future phone: one that you can take on holiday for a week, without a charger, and when you get back it's still working.
:)
So, there you go, that's me; but what about you? What phone do you use, and why?

Friday, June 29, 2007

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Today's obligatory youtube clip

is this: The Long Ryders "I Had A Dream"

What a tune! Nick and JD, that's for you. Why hasn't it been released on CD? *grumbles*
You can also check them out on myspace.....
And today's piece of tech-related musing: this week seems to be the week that Facebook has reached some sort of tipping point here in the UK. I know I'm as guilty as the next man, but it seems like EVERYONE has suddenly joined this week: it's like we've been gripped by some sort of subliminal compulsion....
And of course, the net result of this is that I'm now in that honeymoon period where your heart beats a little faster when the notification mails plop into your inbox: "Rah! more friends! more pokes! more applications to add! More people drawing comedy penises on the graffiti wall!" (Seriously, how much of the graffiti app is taken up with the art of the dobber? what's up with that, huh?)

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Phew!

It's one of those days today, where things keep getting more and more complicated...
The launch date for "the project" is now Monday, due to the fact we need to tidy up the Java Script and enable everything to run REALLY FAST.
Stick with me on this one, please? Cheers :)

Right, i'm on Facebook now as well...

Isn't everyone? That's me. I'll update the blog profile as well (soon-ish).
Also been checking out Mediamaster again (which you know I love) and it seems they've added a button which will let you import itunes in one go! Seeing as there's about 11,000 songs on mine, i'm not sure if it'll all upload, but it's worth a try, isn't it? I'll keep you posted on progress.
Video of the day, without question, is this. He likes Turtles.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Hahahahahahahahahaha

Just found this whilst trawling the net this afternoon.........Here's my profile from a Jesus Jones interview in Smash Hits magazine:

Iain
Full name: Iain Richard Foxwell Baker. "The Foxwell bit's been traced back two or three hundred years." Very enthusiastic, talks fast and loud and emphasises every other word. Born 29/9/65 in Carshalton in Surrey. "I'm a complete Libra. A full on Libra. "One Sister, Joanne, a nurse. Parents called Richard ("a top geezer"), who's writing a book about ancient crooner Bobby Darin, and Margaret, who's recovering from an operation at the moment ("Get well soon, mum!"). Once bunked off school and got caught by the military police hiding in the nearby military academy. "I was frog-marched back into school. It was brilliant!" Thinks Kylie Minogue is "ace, a top pop star". Likes waking up in the morning and "just lying there for an hour, just wriggling about". Favourite food: fish fingers and bread sauce. Worst vice: "Too much beer". Used to be a choirboy and hates The Pope.
Introduce yourself.
"I'm Iain, the keyboard player. Erm, everybody calls me Barry D, basically because I hated it so much when I first heard it. Everybody thought, 'well, we're in a band so we'd better have some stupid names. And you can have the most stupid name!' Yeah, I'm the keyboard player that can't stand keyboards. I really hate them. Well, they're so stupid - you look like such a nonce if you're stood behind them. You can't throw any rock shapes from behind a keyboard. So when we play live I don't spend a lot of time at the keyboard. I run around, I wave my arms in the air and leap up and down and scream my head off."
What's your room like?
"It's like a bomb site at the moment. There's just stuff all over the floor. It's L-shaped and there's a double bed in one bit of the L. And along the wall is just piles and piles and piles of records, a Julian Cope poster from "World Shut You Mouth", a Madonna poster for "True Blue", a couple of other things which I can't even remember...What else? It's up in the roof of a dormer bungalow so it isn't straight up. The walls slope in, so that's really nice and it's got a great big window that looks out onto a garden and I can see the pond. So that's ace."
What's your favourite word?
"My favourite word? Um, I can't think! There are loads of words! It'd have to be something like, um, cloudy. It sounds nice."
Are you in love?
(Immediately and very definately) "Yes, I can't tell you who with! Ahahaha! (Goes all bashful) No I can't, but she knows who she is, and she knows that I always will. You've got to put that down - that's quite important that."
Do you like yourself?
"Not really, actually. Sometimes not at all, because I always think I could be a bit of a better person if I tried. What don't I like about myself? Erm, my feet. Because I've got collapsed arches which makes walking really painful sometimes. So I'd like to swop those if I could. And my arms are too skinny. I'm a bit selfish, which I wouldn't mind changing, and erm, I'm hopelessly romantic, which is nice but it gets a bit wearing after a while."
Who do you get on with best in the band?
"I think all of them really. We're dead close. Jerry's quite good fun to be with, because I end up taking the mick out of him all time. Alan's the most ridiculous person to go out partying with, because if you ever go out partying with him he has to be the last person to go to bed. He just won't stop until everybody else has dropped around him."
Tell us a secret about one of the others.
(Pause) "Ermmm, let me think. Jerry's got a hairy nose! Ahahaha!"

Time for some TPOH....

I know i've blogged about them before, but i'm in one of those moods when only The Pursuit Of Happiness can save me. TPOH are one of my favourite bands of all time, but, more than that, I think Moe Berg is one of the only musicians i've ever really worshipped. He is, without question, the most gifted lyricist i've ever heard. Many, many years ago, Jesus Jones played a show in Toronto (TPOH's hometown) and through some vague record company connections, someone got word to Moe that I was a huge fan and he turned up to the gig; I was lucky enough to spend most of the ensuing aftershow party chatting to my idol....
Moe was friendly, humble, charming and funny; but what sticks in my mind is a drunken guy coming up to him and saying "Hey Moe! I LOVE that "Cigarette Dangles" tune man, what's it about, man?"
(FYI, "Cigarette Dangles" is possibly the world's least subtle song: it deals with seeing your lover lasciviously smoke a cigarette, getting an erection, then having gymnastic sex all over the place as a result)
Moe, to his credit, just raised his eyebrows imperceptibly, smiled and told the drunk guy the whole story of the song. God bless you Moe :)
And for those of you who doubt my description of the less-than-subtle meanings behind the lyrics of "Cigarette Dangles", here's the video:

"Now sit up straight, hook your legs through the rocking chair, I wanna find a new way to show you how I care"
Just perfect.
Mind you, their entire career is full of songs every inch as good........
Here's another: "She's So Young from the first CD "Lovejunk"


And another: "Pressing Lips"

Monday, June 25, 2007

Hahahaha

Here's the latest from the "I'm in UR..." meme, which ended up in the hyper-meme explosion of Lolcats/Lolbots/Lol-logos/whatever....a snazzy T-shirt which gives you the chance to update ur phrazez as the meme mutates. Enjoy!!!111ELEVEN!
And i'm guessing you'll be wanting an update on "the project" won't you? Well, beta is *this* close. If you're in my address book, expect some news very soon.
In other news, I appear to be coming down with a bit of a cold, which is very frustrating. This week is one which will need me to be as sharp as I can possibly be.
*sighs*
How about some silliness, to take away the impending chaos of launch?
Fair enough.
how about the US Supreme court cracking down on free speech?
And it's been a while since we checked out Xfm, hasn't it? Well, the latest wheeze they've come up with is "Live From Leicester Square" Well, as far as I can see, all that means is yet more networked content. Essentially, they will network the 6-7pm hour of Camfield's afternoon show on a Friday....and what will the regional audiences feel, when they're coerced into the jollities down south?

Sunday, June 24, 2007

"Screw him and screw his memory"

Marvellous piece by Marcus Brigstocke on the passing of Bernard Manning:
"He did have great timing - everyone will say that over the next few days, and I would join them - except that it is no compliment. Manning had great timing ... yeah, and that mentally ill lad who murdered all those kids at Virginia Tech was a bloody good shot, but that's hardly the point, is it?"
Just brilliant stuff. (via)

This is hugely exciting......

As I type this, I'm looking at a finished version of "the project". It looks as though we're about a day or so from launch, barring the unforeseen snags and bugs that tend to appear at this somewhat critical juncture-take it from me: I've got EVERYTHING crossed.
More news the very second I get it.
Right, time for a diversion........
I know I shouldn't really laugh at this next clip, as it's SO childish, but it's been a valuable source of humour, at a time when the whole "project" thing has been so very fraught.........

Friday, June 22, 2007

This has been making me smile (and wince)

So then.......

...who saved themselves some cash on that mute boxset? Wonder if someone at itunes checked out my blog ?(i'll let you know once google analytics kicks in) because it's now gone back up to 45 quid :((((

Thursday, June 21, 2007

And today's top money-saving tip is.......

Get yourself a copy of the "Mute Documents" box set. 10 CD's of truly wonderful electronica, from Depeche Mode and The Silicon Teens, to the wack-ed out genius of Fad Gadget, Boyd Rice and LOADS more........
Here it is on Amazon, for 42 quid.
But, I hear you say, "That's not that much of a bargain"
Indeed.
So, how about getting it from itunes? I think someone over there has suffered from a bit of a brainfart: they've got it on sale for £7.99 (EDIT: link disabled, they've realised their mistake)
:))))))))))
I'd hurry if I were you, it's not going to stay at that price forever..........

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The subject of Editors came up in the office today....

(that's the band, BTW) and I couldn't resist posting this.

Everyone always seems to label Editors as Joy Division wannabes, but IMHO, they always seemed to be biting the Chameleons style, big time.
How was your weekend? Mine was odd, TBH, very strange not to be involved in Wireless, as it's been such a big part of my summer for the last couple of years....
However, it meant I could spend an entire weekend snoozing, so I'm not complaining.
And here's my favourite link of the day.....
Many years ago, before the dawn of embedded content and hyperlinks that fire up when you put a CD in your computer.........actually, before Cd's altogether. And pretty much before computers. Well, before computers that actually worked anyway.......
Look, I'm getting ahead of myself. What you need to know is:
1) Shakin' Stevens released a computer game.
2) you can now play it in your browser.
3) If you die, Shaky will attempt to make you feel better by saying "OH DEAR, a Bat bit you"

Any more questions? Thought not.
:)

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Jeebus.........

What's with those "Ask Xfm" interludes? They appear to have been made by Smashey (or Nicey, i'm not quite sure) Whatever, they are painful to listen to.
*sighs*
*again*
I'm quite sure this video is veh old, but it's great stuff, nonetheless.(not quite sure why I didn't embed this one, sorry)

And while we're on the subject of great videos, this is equally wonderful, and is particularly notable for the use of "reciprocity"

VideoJug: Web 2.0

Monday, June 11, 2007

Back from Download....

...And it's safe to say I was impressed. Best festival i've been to in ages. I Dj-ed in the Duracell tent (my thanks to Zak at Caught in the Crossfire for sorting it) which was the best fun EVAH. Tunes?
"Voodoo People" (Pendulum Remix) Prodigy -this was tune of the night!!!
"I'm Broken" - Pantera (rather fitting, with naming of one of the stages in the memory of Dimebag)
"Refuse/Resist" - Sepultura (remind me to tell you the story about the Sepultura/JJ punch-up)

If i'm going to be geeky about it, it was like a Festival 2.0......a real feeeling of a sense of community, of organisation, of shared purpose..
Made Reading look like Netscape.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

I love this photo....

I just found it whilst looking to put a bunch of stuff onto a new USB drive ( see post below: I thought it best to get a new drive, just in case) It's from a Japanese tour that Jesus Jones did in 2004, we're crossing the Rainbow Bridge in Tokyo, on our way to a gig ......
what I love about this photo is that it lays bare all the various facets of life on the road; they're all there, if you look carefully. There's three members of the band in this photo: from left-Tony (drums) Alan (bass) and Jez (guitar).
First up, look how everyone is all over the place. When a bus turns up, as it always does at festivals like these, to take you to the gig, the first instinct is to separate. Get a bit of space. Throw your bag of stage clothes on to one seat (look to the left) and then sit on another seat. Then, look where the fun is: it's always towards the back of the bus. From Jez's strange grin to Tony's carefree look as he roots through his bag. Look also, how empty this bus is: it's always a factor of life on the road that you are forever leaving the sanctity of these empty spaces and then immersing yourself into a morass of bizarre adulation. Rock and Roll is not about fame, it's about the gulf between that fame and the utter normality of the life you lead between situations like being in this bus and being on the stage. This photo seems to catch some of that anticipation.
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Wednesday, June 06, 2007

And our second pic of the day...


Is this. My USB drive. I've had it ages (it was a freebie Tiscali thing from last year's Reading Festival) and it always been useful. Just HOW useful has been revealed to me this morning. This is my USB drive shortly AFTER its visit to the Launderette.
It endured 30 minutes on a hot wash, a 1400rpm spin for about 5 minutes, then went into the dryer for 45 minutes at maximum heat.
And as I type this, it's plugged into my laptop, and i'm playing the mp3 files that were stored on it. Amazing!
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Spitfire Elvis......

Is the Graphic on the top of my deck......he's great isn't he?
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