i-94: Alone In The Endzone
Aimless ramblings from me. About me. For me. A personal space apart from my music site. A happy place. A quiet place. My place.

Manhattan to L.A.
10:30 am April 19th, 2007

The week is building nicely.

Tomorrow, Lostmusic Presents, which I run with Mr Savo will be putting on our first ever gig as promoters. I am nervous. I am excited and I am hoping that we manage to get a decent turn-out for what is set to be a great gig. Headliners are the wonderful Manhattan Love Suicides, from Leeds. They’ve been described as future stars. Let’s hope so. 2nd on the bill are the everso wonderful Gresham Flyers – who I hope will deliver a gorgeous set of sophisticated pop. And kicking off the proceedings are Silver Springs, featuring Amos on drums, he of many bands. All in all for our first ever gig I think we’ve got a cracking line-up. Let’s just hope a few people turn up and make the night something a little bit special.

If that wasn’t enough excitement. On Sunday I fly to L.A. – this time to see the reformed Jesus and Mary Chain. Meeting up with old friends and taking in some much needed sunshine. I haven’t had a chance to get too excited about this, with the gig coming up so fast. But I am sure come Sunday morning I will have butterflies in my stomach. And lord knows what I will be feeling when I get to see The Jesus and Mary Chain at the Glasshouse in Pomona on Thursday. And then again at the Coachella festival on the friday. I am going to be dizzy with excitement.

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20th April 2007: Lost Music Presents
7:49 pm April 14th, 2007

A wee snap of the listing on the board at the Luminaire in Kilburn:

And here in close-up – is the listing I am interested in. The first ever Lost Music Presents gig:

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11:19 am March 30th, 2007

This is one of my favourite recent shots. This was taken on a weekend away in Southwold at the end of February.

Another picture taken during the same weekend.

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Big Bang – Santa Dog
8:02 pm March 26th, 2007

Santa Dog are one of the best bands around and they have a vinyl only single coming soon on the Sounds Experience label. It’s fab. You can preview it here via last.fm .

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How does it feel to have a (northern) soul?
7:25 pm March 3rd, 2007

First up. I have always been an indie kid @ heart. Starting in 1987 or maybe just before – I fell in love with the sounds that have come to be known as C86. Jangle pop. Indie (before the term was hijacked) and Indiepop (as it seems to have been rechristened). There’s a whole debate to be had about genre names. But I haven’t got the energy, or inclination to start that now. Where was I? Ah yes, the music that has always been my first love – call it whatever you want – the songs that I am talking about here are ‘Really Stupid’ by The Primitives, ‘Gentle Tuesday’ by Primal Scream, ‘You Trip Me Up’ by The Jesus and Mary Chain, ‘Don’t Slip Up’ by Meat Whiplash, ‘Hang Ten’ by The Soup Dragons. Solid gold. Fuzzy guitars. Short. Snappy. To the point. Beautiful.

Since I started lostmusic over 2 years ago now. I have been drawn back to the sounds that started me off. The start of it all. And from here I have explored outwards. Backwards. And to some extent forwards. But this has also co-incided with me going along to the How Does It Feel To Be Loved club nights. I’d been aware of these nights for a number of years. But i’d always manage not to get myself there. That changed last year. When we finally went – it was just magical – hearing old favourites blasting out of a club sound system. The world seemed right. It was right. But alongside the old favourites there were new ‘indiepop’ songs. Capturing the spirit of my teenage years. Beautiful songs. Hand claps. And sometimes, the odd bit of fuzz guitar. Perfect. But there was more. The How Does It Feel nights play ‘Northern Soul’. A genre name, that I have since learnt, is even more contentious than that of indie. So I won’t even go there. But I have been drawn into this sound. I was aware of the sound prior to these nights. Mainly through cover versions – Soft Cells’ version of ‘Tainted Love’ and The Falls’ take on ‘There’s a Ghost in My House’ being the obvious ones.

I have since started to explore a vast array of Northern Soul compilation CDs. They’re dirt cheap and they invariable have some real great songs contained within. It’s not all great. I sometimes find myself mid-way through a compilation thinking it’s wandered off into naffness territory. But for every duff track there’s always a winner or two. And these songs are worth it. Boy are they worth it. I have always discovered the book by Kev Roberts ‘The Northern Soul Top 500′ which is a mammoth book. It’s basic premise is to list the Top 500 ‘Northern Soul’ classics. As a reference source it’s 2nd to none. It’s also crammed back with vinyl imagery. Ian Watson, the man behind How Does It Feel To Be Loved? has recently started a new club night in London – Called Northern Soul Jukebox – which is basically a club night that plays only songs from The Northern Soul Top 500. By request. I haven’t ventured to one yet. I am not sure how it would sit with me – a whole night of Northern soul. But I am sure I will go one of these days.

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I’m a sucker for a list….
8:43 pm February 18th, 2007

Last.fm has been a site I have been using for over two years now. It simply takes what I am listening too on Winamp or Itunes and collates the information – producing charts and lists galore. And you can see what like minded people are listening to, and even keep track of upcoming gigs and all sorts.

Author cloud for my library
Paul Auster J. G. Ballard Charles Bukowski Jonathan Coe Douglas Coupland Don DeLillo Philip K. Dick Jim Dodge Margaret Elphinstone John Fowles Sara Gran Niall Griffiths Robert A. Heinlein John Irving Jack Kerouac Chuck Klosterman Ian McEwan David Mitchell Walter Mosley Haruki Murakami David Peace Thomas Pynchon Luke Rhinehart E. F. Schumacher Will Self Steven Sherrill Amy Tan Alan Warner Colin Wilson Jeanette Winterson
powered by LibraryThing

I was recently introduced to Library Thing. Which attempts to do a similar thing as Last.fm but this time aimed at the book worms of the world. It’s a joy to use. And even though you have to add your books to your profile manually (you can import from a file if I had such a file with my books listed – alas I don’t) – but it’s easily the best new site I have seen in ages and I happily added 30 or so books today. Looks like I have found a good way to waste even more of my time creating and maintaining lists. Yipee!#

It’s also allowed me to create a little list of random books from my library. It’s down on the bottom right somewhere!

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Upgrading WordPress?
9:55 am October 31st, 2006

Anyone done this before? I am thinking about doing it here. I little wary but reading all the what-to-do files – it seems it can be a tricky process.

Any helpers out there?

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And the nights close in. Or Something.
5:47 pm October 24th, 2006

So it appears that Winter lies around the corner. The nights are drawing in and I think it’s this weekend that the close go back. So even darker nights ahead await. It feels more like a shock to the system as this time last week I was in the heat of a Morrocan sun. We spent just shy of a week in Marrakech and it was a great experience. A very different culture and my first time on African soil. Also my first time in a Muslim country. It has to be one of the friendliest places I have ever been. Even the beggers were friendly. I will post more on the Moroccan adventure when I have uploaded some pictures from the trip.

As usual I have let the dust gather on the nooks and crannies of i-94. I sometimes forget about this place. I sometimes wonder as to why I keep the place here at all. But, here, it is. And as long as that is the case I guess I should post from time to time. The only thing of note that has happened since our return from the sunshine has been a severe bout of gastroenteritis. Which I would not wish on my worst enemies (if I had any, that is. sidenote: Do I have any enemies? I hope not). This bug struck on this past Saturday/Sunday and put pay to my plans of dancing at How Does It Feel To Be Loved? on saturday evening. Damn, I seem cursed whenever I try and attend one of these fab indiepop disco’s.

Recent reading: James Blish – Cities In Flight

A cracking SF story. Originally published as four seperate volumes. This collected edition is a mesmerising read. I oddly started on book 2 and then read books 3,4 and 1 in that order. It made sense to do it that way. Highly recommended.

Recent music: I’m From Barcelona, Johnny Cash, Saint Thomas, Sarandon, Jesus Licks and Jim Reid.

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8:29 am September 21st, 2006

Here are the two gigs I had forgotten –

21st September – Tilly and The Wall & Butterfly Explosion – Bar Academy, Islington.
22nd September – Monkey Swallows The Universe, Fanfarlo and Pocketbooks -Buffalo Bar, Islington

Edit – never made Tilly and the Wall as I was feeling under the weather…..

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6:30 pm September 17th, 2006

It seems I am going to be busy over the next few weeks – here’s the current gig list:

18th September – Butterfly Explosion – Camden Barfly – great new band from Ireland. Shoegaze~Noisepop with a more commercial edge.

24th September – Pete & The Pirates – The Spitz – Another good new band and a whole host of others being put on my the Impressive Stolen Recordings.

26th September – Rowena Dugdale – The Betsey Trotwood – Lead singer and guitarist from Santa Dog on a rare ’solo’ outing – Stripping down the Santa Dog tunes. Should be ace.

28th September – Jesus Licks – Camden Head – Quirky pop/folk band and also current faves!

I am sure there are a few more gigs dotted about that I can’t remember right now!

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