Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Today is all about Love songs....

Love Songs from Chris 'The Falcon' Han on Vimeo.

Last night....

Was quite hectic, actually. Straight from work to the O2, to watch Coldplay live, then DJ at the Indigo, for an after-show party. The venue is simply stunning (though not very rock'n'roll) and the gig was actually great (so many hits!) but, for me, it was all about getting back behind the decks again. It's been a while since I did one of those "first friday" sort of sets, and I had SO much fun! Can't wait to do it again - and that may happen next year, if all goes well. I'll keep you all posted.
Today is interesting too - actually had an Jesus Jones interview! It's for the NME, part of a piece they're doing about bands from our era who are still going (eep!) First time we've done an interview for the music press in many, many years. Was great to get all of us in one place again (minus Al, of course) and we actually seriously discussed the possibility of recording an album next year too. Again, i'll keep you posted.
Tonight sees me heading down to Brighton, as i'm getting jabs for the forthcoming holiday done tomorrow morning.
Have I told you all about the holiday? Ah, ok. I'm going to be here:

For two weeks, starting boxing day.

Saturday, December 06, 2008


So many memories.
Here's a video of Blue Train (who had just changed their name from Go! Service) performing their single "Land Of Gold" in London's docklands in 1985. Jo and Danny from the band found fame several years later as It's Jo And Danny.
So why is this bringing back so many memories? Because I was there, that sunny day. I was standing behind the camera as this video was being filmed. I'd stayed at Dan Treacy's place after a TVP's gig, and we popped over to check how the filming was going. I've not seen this clip for 23 years, and I can feel the ghost of my young self, dressed in anorak and stripey T-shirt, sitting on my shoulder. It's odd, but somehow, deeply reassuring.

Last night......

Was great. Had a meal here, with a great steak (blue) and Bearnaise, some fabulous cheeses, and several glasses of Pouilly Fuisse . Wonderful. Felt a little fragile this morning, but that passed once the winter Sun started to shine. I love it when London is crisp, cold, shivering.
Tonight is all about relaxation: a little bit of telly, some wine, and lots of sleep.

Friday, December 05, 2008


This has been rattling round my head for the last couple of days, and it's something that lifts my spirit every single time I hear it. Sweet, sweet soul music from Freddie Scott.

You can crawl, you can walk, you can beg or you can talk....

Went to a number of Pubs last night, the first being The Fisherman's Arms in Willesden to see The Jez. Bless 'im he's currently nursing a couple of broken bones (which explains the title of this post, for the JJ obsessives out there) namely his ribs. He managed to fall off his bike at the weekend, poor bugger. He was fairly chipper, considering, just a bit desperate to get out of the house. At one point he had to sneeze, and the pain nearly knocked him of his bar stool. However, the Jez continued to bravely drink his pint. What a trooper.
Then off to The Paradise, which was RAMMED :( Not sure why, might have been something to do with Comedy night going on upstairs, but it was full as I've ever seen it. So, after a swifty, it was off to the William The IV (or the Wiv, as it's obviously known) round the corner. Much more room to stretch out and enjoy. Hurrah!
Looks like being quite a busy weekend, kicking off tonight with an Xmas party over in Chelsea. Bring it on!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

One more for today.....

I need to skate again.
Especially at Meanwhile II. Look! It's been transformed!

It's all about me.

Or, more accurately, it's not all been about me recently, has it? With the divorce looming, it's been a little difficult to let others in, to let people know what I've been up to. I think that's got to change. I'll be doing my best to let you all in again, little by little. Forgive me for being aloof.

London by night.

See the Centre Point tower? That's where I was last night. There's a new member's club on the 32nd floor, Paramount, and I was up there for a friend's leaving drinks. The view is simply incredible - the whole of London laid out in front of you, in all its twinkling, late-night beauty. The London Eye, the marvellous roof of The British Museum, the Post Office Tower (it'll always be that for me - never the "BT Tower" - pah!) ......
You can walk all the way around the tower, watching planes drift overhead on their slow descent into Heathrow, see snaking lines of buses crawl along Oxford Street, see the spoke-like roads of Seven Dials bursting out into Covent Garden. It made me proud to live here, happy to recognise so many wonderful places, wistful at the memories that the views brought to mind.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A wet Wednesday in October.

Just the sort of day I used to try and bunk off school when I was a kid. I would feign a cold, or some sort of lurgy, and impress upon my parents that under no circumstances should my puny immune system be subjected to the rigours of a walk to school, let alone an entire day at the aforementioned establishment. To my shame, this tactic normally worked, and, with my sisters cries of "but he's not ill!" ringing in my ears, I would eagerly listen to the noise of my parent's cars disappearing off down the drive: I was free!

A day off school is simply one of the best days ever, you're free to lounge around in your pyjamas, watch unsuitable telly (don't forget, this is the mid-70's, so that actually means "Pebble Mill At One"), eat what you like (endless glasses of Lemon Squash and as many Rich Tea Biscuits as I could scoff) and the glorious, lazy hours of absolute inactivity. I would lie on the sofa, doing nothing. Sit on my bed, doing not much. Lie spread-eagled on the bedroom carpet, doing bugger all. Bliss.

But the thing which really sealed the deal for me was my dad's hi-fi. I was now its Master. I could turn the huge Sony amp (a TA 1150!!) up as far as I dared, and play whatever I wanted. My Dad had put all of his Dylan and Simon & Garfunkel onto Reel-to Reel tapes at the start of the 70's so that would always be a starting point, but from 1976 onwards, the best thing to play on a day off was always "New Rose"; with the empty house reverberating to those opening voodoo drums, whilst I sat at the foot of the stripped pine stairs (very 70's) and marvelled at the power, and the naughtiness of it all.

Thanks for all of the kind words yesterday

It's very much appreciated.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

I'm getting divorced.

So there it is. Now you know why i've not realy posted much here (or on Down With Tractors, for that matter) for quite some time. I really haven't felt like interacting with people, involving them, or boring them to death with details of my private life.
There's a line in The Lover Speak's "No More I Love You's" (no, NOT the Lennox version, that was a cover!) where David Freeman talks of a language leaving him, and I can most definitely empathise: it's a slow, lingering death, a gradual erosion of something which once was precious, now reduced to a ghost of what it was.
If there's one thing it's taught me though, it's that I don't want that language to leave me forever. I don't want to forget how to feel. I want to find that language, and start speaking again. Part of this will be me finding my blogging voice again, after this enforced hiatus, so i'll be doing my best to post as much as I can over the coming weeks.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

It's been rather busy on the gig front (for once)

Which means I've been living the rock'n'roll lifestyle once again, so please forgive the lack of updates. Last weekend was the Wireless festival in Hyde Park, which is always a pleasure to attend. When I worked for Xfm, we were instrumental in the launch process for Wireless (we were one of the launch partners, and it was I who announced the festival to the press at a photocall in the Islington Academy). I was the first DJ to go onstage an announce one of the bands (the Rakes, on the main stage, IIRC) so there's always a place in my heart for Wireless. It was great to be back there as part of a new, confident, forward-thinking radio team, but slightly sad to meet some of my old work mates and see how things have fallen away at Xfm. Here's a station which, from it's position as sole broadcaster from the site, was now relegated to selectively highlighting parts of the festival, and no longer had a dedicated "stage" either. I still hope that any new management structure will sweep away the last vestiges of the idiotic middle management cronies from GWR who placed Xfm in such a parlous state.
The actual gigs? Well, I saw......fragments of bands, as I was somewhat occupied in clebrating the end of a truly successfull week at NME Radio. Here's to many, many more. However, I would say: turn it up a bit. Fatboy Slim was WAY too quiet. Pah.

Last night saw the completely welcome return of Lowgold to London, for another Islington show. They dedicated "Let Me Into Yours" to me, which flabbergasted me; though not as much as the actual song itself, which was the best i've ever seen them play it. I was left, just like last time, with a tear in my eye. They're still the best band of the last 10 years for me, and in an ideal world, they'd be much bigger than they currently are.

Portrait of the artist as a young man (in a big coat, somewhat obsessed with The Smiths)

That's me, outside Our Price Records, Watford High St, in 1987.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Well, that was an interesting month!

Interesting for one reason: I'm back on the airwaves! I'm now on the newly-launched NME Radio, doing the afternoon show. It's been a long time, but it feels great to be back on air. Shadowglobe is currently in "wait" mode, but it Will return: we're eagerly anticipating launching V.02, so watch this space for news of that as well.
Apart from that, I've been massively busy with my friendfeed page, so if you're wondering what happened to the long stream of links and videos I normally post, well, they're on friendfeed. It's turned into one of those services I simply can't live without: I can't recommend it highly enough. If you have any interest whatsoever in Social Media, you need to sign up.

Monday, June 09, 2008

...And this is what I really know...

Today is hot. Really hot. Hot enough for me to get out of the sun, and just look at the heat from a distance, as I cower indoors, away from pollen and sunburn.
The real advantage of staying indoors, is that the stereo is there. Which means I can play this whilst looking at the sun:
Colourbox "Baby I Love You So"

I'm a dried up seed........

Went jogging this morning, along the promenade in Brighton. One of the first tunes to pop up on the ipod shuffle was "Ambition" by The Subway Sect. I've loved "Ambition for years, probably ending up loving it even more after it was covered by The Jesus And Mary Chain (it was a staple of the early live gigs I saw, and ended up as the b-side to the 12" of "Never Understand"). I can remember Jim Reid being interviewed about the song, and asserting they had covered it because The Subway Sect "had made such a huge mess of the song in the first place". Nothing could be further from the truth. It's one of the only Punk songs I know which can transmit all of its anger and frustration in a truly effective way. It's fairly accurate to say it's not as stereotypically "punky" as their first single "Nobody's Scared", but that's missing the point.
It was the lyrics of "Ambition" that supplied with the material for my first real piece of graffiti - in large letters on a development of flats round the corner from my house in Hatch End:
"Am I guided, or is life free?
'Cos nothing ever seems to happen to me"
Here's footage of The Subway Sect, live in Glasgow last year, performing it:

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Last night...

Went to see Bob Mould play at Koko. The location of the gig was rather important actually - Koko used to be known as The Camden palace, and on May 14th, 1985, Husker Du played a televised live gig from that very same place. So, last night was a bit of an emotional return, the first time Bob has played there since Husker days. The DVD of the camden palace gig was released a year or so ago , and is highly recommended, though there are also separate snippets on Youtube (where else?) Here's the opener of that gig (and the closing song of last night's show!) "New Day Rising"

The entire staff of the Rough Trade shop took the day off to go and see the Camden Palace show, the only time the shop's ever been shut on a weekday! It's a measure of the esteem in which they held Husker Du, and was very evident when I worked there - that's where I learned to love the band, as the albums were always on constant rotation in the shop.
Last night's show was especially wonderful as it gave me a chance to get back in touch with an old friend, Jason Narducey (ex of Verbow), who was a great friend from Jesus Jones days, and who I've not seen in 17 years (eeep!). He's now playing bass in Bob's band, and was absolutely rocking last night. The entire show had so much power it nearly took my breath away, and the fact that they attacked "New Day Rising" at the end of their show with as much energy as Husker Du started theirs, 23 years ago is testament to how good it was...
Tonight? more booze, I'm afraid - there'a Twitter meet-up in Soho! Better go get ready....

Monday, May 19, 2008

I blinked, and a week went by.....

Actually, it's more like a fortnight. I apologise.
Anyway, what's been going on? Plenty over at Shadowglobe, but I'll keep you posted on that over the next week or so. Apart from that, it was The Great Escape this weekend, Brighton's answer to SXSW. Lots of great bands, most of which seemed to have been played on Shadowglobe at some point, which left me feeling rather proud. Highlights? Well, you won't really be surprised; they're the bands I've plugged on this site already- Bon Iver, Wintersleep.....
But the real highlight was AA Bondy, at the Pavilion Theatre on the Thursday night. He has this laconic charm, which if you look superficially, seems to be a scratchy, lo-fi dylan-esque pastiche. But he's so much more than that: the songs have this bruised beauty which takes them into a whole new space. I genuinely think he's a major talent; with any luck, so will a whole lot of others. Here's a Youtube clip (which is actually a few months old) which is similar to the performance he put in last Thursday:
AA Bondy - "There's A Reason"

Buy the album here

Friday, May 09, 2008

Anyone who's in Camden tonight....

I'll be DJ-ing at I Love The 90's at Bar Monsta (facebook link) so if anyone has enquiries about guest list, email me! (or direct message me via Twitter)

Sunday, May 04, 2008

A gentle Sunday morning needs some gentle musical brilliance, to illuminate its beauty still further....

So this will fit the bill, exactly. It's Jayber Crow, doing "O My God, When I Drop Dead" at an acoustic show in the US, about 3 weeks ago.
I'm not sure if the album is available over here yet (I'm going shopping on Tuesday, I'll let you know) but it looks essential to me. There's plenty more on their myspace .

Friday, May 02, 2008

More glum faces at Xfm....

As they've now reduced their weekly quota of local programming across the network by 25%. It makes me particularly sad, as I was one of the people who tried hard to put across how useful we'd be on a local level ( I'm thinking specifically of the work I did around the South Wales RSL) It's galling to see Xfm renege on its promises, but I suspect this process of harrying ofcom into accepting less and less of what Xfm actually set out to do, will continue, and may actually accelerate.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

more on Twitter....

I've been using Twitter more and more over the last few weeks, as a tool for staying in touch with web development stuff, as well as being a simple barometer for the collective web consciousness, it's hard to beat.
Seems like I'm not the only one who's getting evangelical about it, either.
This time next year, it'll be as ubiquitous as Facebook.

Well, don't say I didn't tell you.....

Far be it for me to claim to be some sort of visionary (let's face it, anyone could see it coming)
But here's what I predicted: Xfm's audience collapsing.
The station is now in serious trouble, and I wouldn't put it past their new owners to be thinking long and hard about some fairly drastic measures (rebrand? close it down? wholesale redundancies?) when they finally take over. It's coming up to noon, which means the staff at 30 Leicester Square will be gathering for a RAJAR debriefing. There will be some long faces, a lot of shuffling feet, and some VERY frightened people in that meeting- oh, to be a fly on the wall!
My hope, is as ever, that the good people there can be given time to show their true potential, and that the morons responsible for the sorry decline of a once-proud station are summarily despatched to the Job Centre.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Morning all...

It's a rainy morning in Brighton, and the temperature seems to have dropped about ten degrees since yesterday *shivers*.
Today I've mostly been sorting out my laptop, tidying and tweaking some of the programs I've got installed. If you're running Windows, this list from Lifehacker could help simplify your life- give it a go!
As far as music goes: it's all about this for me today- "Emergency! Emergency!" by The Promise Ring. Now that's what I call emo ;)

Monday, April 28, 2008

Yes, it's about Lowgold....

Here's the new video for "Burning Embers" which was the song that left me open-mouthed in wonder, when they played it live last month.

I wonder if Lowgold have a tag on my blog? If they don't, they will, soon.

Right, today is a busy day...

Or at least, I aim to make it that way. This Monday morning feels like exactly the time to tackle a bit of a backlog of emails/tweets/blog posts/global postings/whatever. The sun is shining, the door to the garden is open, there's a cooling breeze, a giant glass of banana smoothie in front of me, and no excuses.
Right, off we go...

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Time for some video fun....

And this time, it's via getmortified, who deal in resurrecting all those deeply embarrasing childhood memories....
"I Hate Drake"

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Let's hear it for feedback.

It's great to see bands are still in thrall to Spector, The Ronettes, and the Mary Chain, even after all these years. This makes me wish I was back at The Living Room, watching The Jasmine Minks.
Thrushes "Heartbeats"

More on their myspace.

Monday, April 07, 2008

More on my Twitter profile....

And let's face it, Twitter is one of the only programmes I know where extra apps actually seem to add value :)
So, without any further ado, here's my Tweetcloud.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

It was nearly 20 years ago.....

...but here's what my life looked like back then. I was working in Slam City, when we co-hosted this skate night at the Limelight, in London. Back then, to put a mini-ramp in a club was quite revolutionary, I seem to recall it making the evening news here in town. Anyway, I think that's my disembodied hand in the photo at the bottom of the page, the shot was taken by my then boss, Paul Sunman, and IIRC, we were standing up by the VIP lounge, where we'd been having a beer with Kevin Staab. I managed to drink way too much beer and twist my ankle on a rock fakie, but apart from that, a truly great night. There's more here, and the rest of the site is highly recommended for all you old-schoolers out there.

Welcome back....

I spent Monday night at the Islington Academy, watching Lowgold. It's been almost 8 years since I first saw them play (at the garage, supporting Wheat) and two years since their last show (it's in the archives!) I can vividly remember the sense of wonder when I first saw Lowgold, and that sense of wonder has never dimmed; if anything, it's become stronger and more resolute with every passing year. I've said this before, but they are, without doubt, my favourite British band of the last 10 years, and it would seem I'm not alone in my opinions. The crowd was larger than two years ago, and even more appreciative. The set they played on Monday was nothing short of jaw-dropping, and, bizarrely, could have been drawn up in response to someone asking me: "tell me, which songs would you MOST like Lowgold to play?" It consisted of all my favourite tunes they've ever done, with the possible exception of "Back Here Again" and "Can't Say No". I'm not ashamed to say I had tears in my eyes on a number of occasions (notably on "Let Me Into Yours")
What was especially pleasing to see, was the positive reception given to tracks off the new CD "Promise Lands". "Burning Embers" in particular, sounded immense, and left me slightly dumb-struck.

For all of you who fancy a trip down memory lane, here's the video to "Beauty Dies Young":

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I'm off to listen to the new CD....again :)

Monday, March 31, 2008


This may only be of interest to the Skaters out there...but here goes anyway: Stevie Caballero has a blog. Hurrah!


I shouldn't laugh really, but it's such a wonderful feeling to be proved right.
Xfm returns DJ's to its daytime schedule.
So, the "revolutionary experiment" is over. And for those of you out there who bought Xfm's excuse that it was all about giving power back to the listener, finding a new and exciting way to engage with the audience, all of that claptrap.....let me just tell you this: I can tell you, for a fact, that it was only done to save money. They did all of that, they destroyed the sound and the credibility of the station I loved so much, just to cut corners and save cash. May they rot in hell!
Actually, 2 of the people responsible for the disastrous XU have already found themselves redundant, so once the remaining culprits go as well....then I'll finally open that bottle of champagne and toast their departure. So long, suckers.

A cautionary tale....

I spent most of last week unable to properly access my wireless connections, and also suffered from having my Ethernet port on my laptop disabled as well. Five days of confusion, head-scratching, long phone calls to various help desks.....
And the culprit, I eventually worked out, was a tiny little accelerator programme I'd downloaded for use with my mobile broadband. For all you T-Mobile customers, it's on this page , but I strongly suggest you don't bother with it.
Apart from that, it's been another week of activity on Shadowglobe, most notable for finding one of my favourite new bands in the world right now. They are The Muslims , and they ROCK.
What else? Well, I've been keeping myself fit, seeing as I was looking a little portly after all the fun'n'frolics of the Xmas/New Year festivities. So, I've started jogging. Sheez, has it come to this? It's not very rock'n'roll is it? Well, it has meant I'm looking a little more svelte, and I'm loving the fact it means I can clear my head first thing in the morning, and approach the coming day with a greater sense of purpose. I'm no disciple, let's get that straight, but it's doing me good.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Ah, a new obsession....

Every now and again, something wonderful comes along. What makes that thing even more wonderful is the unexpected nature of its arrival. I was never looking for Sukpatch, for Sun Kil Moon, for Wim Mertens; they just sort of appeared. Once they become assimilated so completely into my psyche, it's difficult to imagine a time when they weren't there.
Well, it's time for another obsession.
Ladies and gentlemen, say hello to Bon Iver. This is just wonderful, chilling, uplifting, haunting, exciting, thrilling and visceral genius. I defy anyone out there not to be moved by this.
Here's the video for "Wolves (Act I & II)"

The album is called "For Emma, Forever Ago" and would appear to be the first essential purchase of this year.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


This is, for today, simply the most beautiful song ever recorded.
Tom Waits "Take Me Home"

Monday, March 10, 2008

You may have noticed.....

The Google chat box i've added to this blog (and Downwithtractors, too!) More about it, and how it works (you don't need a gmail account to chat) is right here.

Well, i'm still here.....

Despite the wind, rain, and high tides.
At the present time, we seem to be in the eye of the storm, and there's a strangely serene, calm feeling to the day. As the drops of rain run down the window over my shoulder, and a small patch of blue sky peeks through the clouds, this song popped up onto the ipod: it seems rather fitting, despite it's seasonal references.
The Durutti Column "A Sketch For Summer"
FYI: the album from which this track came: "The Return Of The Durutti Column", originally came in a sleeve made of Sandpaper. It was a typical Factory Wheeze, supposedly to reflect the clash of textural sounds within the grooves, but more than likely Tony Wilson's astute ability to be able to mix marketing and style. Also typical of Tony Wilson was his penchant for saving the pennies here and there: he couldn't find anyone brave enough to fold up the abrasive sleeves, so asked one of his other Factory bands if they'd like to earn a few quid by assembling some sleeves. Reluctantly, they agreed. The band in question? Joy Division. Legend has it then, that as all the sleeves were hand-folded by Joy Division, some of their skin was left on the sandpaper, and thus all the sleeves contain tiny fragments of Joy Division DNA. it's probably wishful thinking, but it's a cute tale, nonetheless.

Sunday, March 09, 2008


there's a certain amount of breathless anticipation when one goes to sleep the night before all reputable sources are predicting the whole of the South coast will be pounded by one of the worst storms for decades. Will there be rain sheeting down the windows when I wake? Will the howling gale mean I can't go for my morning jog along the seafront? What will the sea look like? Time for me to wrap up this Sunday evening, go to sleep, and see what happens tomorrow.
Night all.

Here's one from the photo archive...

That's me and Mike, at Harrow skatepark, in 1988
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Hardcore, you know the score........

I had a DJing gig on Saturday night that was a wonderful excuse to rip a load of Old School Hardcore vinyl onto mp3....and first out of the box and onto the hard drive was this slice of dub'n'break madness from 1992: truly one of the biggest old school tunes EVER:
The Criminal Minds: "Baptised By Dub"

(the sample "Can't beat the system, go with the flow!" is from an old MC Duke tune "I'm Riffin" which also provided most of the breaks for the early 2 Bad Mice tunes....)
But what else have I been up to? Well, trying to emerge from the depression of a long and difficult February. I'm getting there.

Monday, March 03, 2008

I'm not normally swayed by advertising...

But I ended up buying The Times and The Sunday Times this weekend, purely to get the free CD-Roms of Monopoly and Scrabble that were attached to the front. Monopoly, particularly, is utterly fantastic, and the experience of playing versus the computer means you can rattle through the game nice and quick (no more of those interminable games I played as a kid- which always ended up in huge arguments) . I'm starting to formulate a strategy to win the game; it's fairly simple, viz:
2) Get all the railways
3) Get the Orange set
4) Sod Park Lane and Mayfair
5) Likewise, Old Kent Road

And now.....

The inside of my head sounds like this:
Terry Riley "A Rainbow In Curved Air"

I'll say that again- 1969!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

It's a dull Thursday afternoon......

And i'm sitting here updating the globe. Afternoons like this are always a little bit odd, there's a luminosity to the sky which really gets me: the whole horizon just seems suffused with this creeping wave of frigid air, rolling up from the sea to the houses on Clifton Hill.
Seeing as the weather is making me feel like this, there can be only one course of action: give in.
It's time for some Thursday Afternoon.
(and BTW, it's available on DVD at last!)

Sunday, February 17, 2008

This one's for Nick.....

Makes me think of the two of us going into the shopping centre in Leeds, to get matching Paisley shirts- Nick got one in dark blue, I got one in Crimson.
The Long Ryders- "I Had A Dream"

One of the reasons it's been so busy recently..

Is this. It's given me an immense feeling of pride, that this site Andy and I started, can change peoples lives.
In other news, I have a cold. How long has it been since I was properly under the weather? Well, quite some time, but that isn't much comfort to me right now.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

"I didn't get where I am today by selling ice cream tasting of bookends, pumice stone and West Germany."

I've been close to tears, laughing my head off for the last hour or so, digesting all of this.

Meme of the moment seems to be the whole "Fail" thing...

..and looks set to outstrip LOLCATS in the very near future.
Check it out here, and also here.

I've blogged about Panic! At The Disco before....

Specifically, how at a sunny Reading Festival, and as someone who'd previously been wholly suspicious of their theatrics, they suddenly made all the sense in the world. Now, to show that itwasn't just the beer and sunshine addling my brain, they've released one of the singles of the year.
Panic! At The Disco "Nine In The Afternoon"

And, as if all that wasn't enough, they appear to have morphed into the Monkees in "Head". This, as you can imagine, is a good thing.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

So, Goodbye then, Xfm.

Well, perhaps that might be slightly premature, but it's fair to say that the decision of Gcap to sell the Xfm licences outside London marks the beginning of some very tough times for Xfm. The decision is one which is taken, ostensibly, to save money. £1.5 million will be saved, and it's pointed out that the stations are losing money. however in the case of Xfm south wales, surely this is down to one-off costs involved with starting the station, which let us not forget, only started in NOVEMBER. Jeez, how desperate can you get? To contemplate handing a licence back to Ofcom a matter of mere WEEKS after it started broadcasting! What pains me, is the fact that i've been in these situations before- when new managment arrives, sweeps that new broom, installs a raft of middle-managment idiots, and throws a number of hard-working, relatively low-paid, totally professional presenters, and employees of the station, on the scrapheap. The middle management goons will move on, effortlessly, to another job, when their experiments fail, and the real casualties will still languish on the scrapheap. It's playing hard and fast with peoples lives, careers, houses, incomes, and professions. It messes with peoples minds and their confidence, and all this so the managers can do all they can to protect their share options from shrinking.
Well, let's look on the bright side..all of this means that Gcap are running scared, trying to shed ballast from their rapidly-sinking balloon, as it drifts down to the welcoming arms of the Global group, who must surely fancy their chances of a successful takeover bid.
I'd say that would end the careers of those, whose malicious and spectacularly inept tinkering has sent Xfm London into a spiral, losing it's voice, it's passion for music, and it's reputation in the process. If a takeover would mean there was an outside chance of the station being run by people who actually understood ONE IOTA of the music it played, and the listeners it represented, then I for one, would welcome our new radio overlords. Global, (or anyone else for that matter) it's over to you.

Friday, February 08, 2008

OK, a bit of a hiatus...

..Should really be rewarded with something special. So, i'm not sure how many of you have seen this, but it's priceless. Aussie clebrity chef Peter Russell Clarke, with some rather NSFW bloopers from ads he filmed in the 80's. Warning: contains swearing. A lot of swearing.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Record fairs! Don'cha just love 'em?

Well, I do :)
Went to the record fair in Brighton yesterday; there's truly no more restful and cathartic way to spend your Sunday morning than flicking through piles of old vinyl....
So what did I buy? Well, a trio of singles for a pound a pop. Firstly, the true punk/pop GENIUS that is "Animal World" by The Last Words. Australia's first real slice of Independent Punk, it came out on a small label in Oz in 1978, and was re-released on Rough Trade here in 1979. Check the video, this is one of those lost Punk classics that EVERYONE should own.....
If you need a copy on CD, it's on this compilation, which has loads more Aussie Punk and Post-Punk gems on it......
But for me, it's the joy of getting old Rough Trade singles that puts the icing on the cake: as a record collector, they're just....amazing. I love the light green labels, the over sized grooves, the "Porky's" scrawl in the run-out...and the actual vinyl always seemed to be somehow more substantial than other indie labels...
With Rough Trade as well, you were buying things from a label which continually confused and amazed you, with it's breadth of styles and statements. Within just a year or so of releasing "Animal World", Rough Trade were releasing the next one of the singles which i bought yesterday: "Are You Glad To Be In America?" by James "Blood" Ulmer. From DIY garage punk to...well, to a slice of No-wave industrial alt-jazz - there's change for you.
I can just imagine Nigel in the Rough Trade Shop, back in 1981, slipping copies of this into customer's bags, with a cheery recommendation of "you'll love this, it's great!" and then when they got home, those self-same customers would have one of those "WTF?" moments, and send the single off to the Record+Tape...
Well, the joke's on them; because, you know what? It turns out Nigel was right all along- it is a great record. Ulmers vocals have this ghost-like, haunting bluesy wail, that suits the dense concrete-jazz stew behind him's a record that could only have emerged at the turn of the 80's when the experimental approach of people like The Red Crayola's Mayo Thompson (who produced the single) was at it's peak. It's a record that is defiantly of its time, and all the better for it.
Last of the three singles was a copy of "Life's A Gamble" by Penetration. I know I've blogged about my love for this record in the past, and it seems my love affair with it continues unabated, as this was a "double"....I've already got it on 5 separate compilation Cd's, the CD of "Moving Targets" , FOUR copies of it on the Luminous vinyl album issue of "Moving Targets", and I've already got a copy on 7". But this one had a Picture sleeve, so it was time for yet another copy. Will I ever learn? I sincerely hope not.
The rest of my haul? A bunch of cheap 12"s, Baby Ford "Oochy Koochy (because it was the Remix), some old Woodentops stuff, a Blancmange single (no, i'm not sure why either) and a picture disc of "So Hot" by the Haines Gang.
I'll say it again, I LOVE record fairs :)

Friday, January 04, 2008

I get the feeling....

That this is the start of a very slippery slope. It seems that a million facebook users have already been using this app, and filling their computers with adware as a result.... how long before this becomes the norm, as opposed to the exception? Social Networking has been such a great success over the past couple of years that it was an obvious target.....

Sounds filling my head....

At the start of this new year seem to have some sort of celebratory quality about them, albeit shot through with my usual dose of melancholia....
First up, "Weighty Ghost" by Wintersleep:
This is something I've learned to love via Shadowglobe , where it totally crept up on me. One moment it was just a song on the playlist, next moment I was lost in it. there's a certain mainstream sound running through it, but that poppy sensibility adds an edge to the confusion at the song's core. Great stuff.
Next up is "Comfy In Nautica" by Panda Bear, an offshoot from The Animal Collective. How can you not love something that sounds like the Beta Band channelling the spirit of Brian Wilson? Plus, there's a skating video to accompany it, Rah!
Enjoy :)

Happy New Year.....

And as usual, it was time for my standard Xmas/New Year blogging no-show. However, this years hiatus owed its existence to the fact that I did NOTHING, as opposed to being stuck in a studio the whole time- well, that and the fact I went to the Dominican Republic for a quick holiday....
So, I'm back, and blogging again. How was your festive break?