Wednesday, May 23, 2007


* Hay Festival Saturday May 26; location-- the British Legion:
---6pm: 'To Hell with Mike Read' rock quiz with me (supplying postpunk questions), Nick Kent, John Harris.
---8pm: 'To Hell with Music Journalists', same as above discussing on British rockwrite/music press.
---9pm: 'In the Pines' some sort of folk-ish club: live bands of folk-ish persuasion interspersed with deejaying from the three crits (postpunk in my case)

* Borders with Don Letts Thursday May 31--event starts at
6.30pm. Free admission, tickets available from the store or telephone (t) 0207 379 8877 (not honestly sure why tickets are required if it's free but that's what it says in the mail-out)

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Next week I'll be returning to the motherland to do a bunch of Bring the Noise related events.


I'll be making two appearances at the Hay Festival, the annual literary festival in Hay-on-Wye, Wales, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year.

* Saturday 26th May: a discussion with Nick Kent and John Harris about rock criticism, the music press, etc. Details of time and place to follow. I will also be playing some records later in the evening.

* Sunday 27th May, 4pm: an onstage conversation with Robert Wyatt. Tickets and info here

This event is under the aegis "Domino Recording Co. Presents"--they have just signed Wyatt to the label and he has a new album provisionally titled Comicopera out later this year. Later that night Domino also Present: Young Marble Giants live, the group are reuniting for the first time, to mark Domino's reissue of their complete works as a 3 CD set (complete with a sleevenote history of the band written by me). Tickets and info here.


Thursday May 31st: I'll be doing an event in London with Don Letts, author of Culture Clash: Dread Meets Punk Rockers --a discussion addressing issues to do with music and race, UK multiculture, etc, followed by questions from the audience and book signing. Location: Borders bookshop, 122 Charing Cross Road, London WC2H. Time: check here later for details. Further information: Tel. 0207 379 8877.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

here's David Stubbs take from a few years ago on the "future that never arrived" meme

and here's a thoughtful post from Stuart Candy, a researcher in "alternative futures" at the Hawaii Research Center for Future Studies, at his blog the Sceptical Futuryst

and sort of on the retro-futurist/neostalgic tip, someone at Dissensus posted a link to this Nanny Tango Radio stream of a 1973 curio involving John Baker of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, a sort of radio-documentary called "Carry On London". Haven't got very far into it yet, but so far instead of a dense daubing of synthetic bleeps and wzoots , the music's been more things like a bizarre trad-jazzy version of Cockney music hall fave "My Old Man Said Follow the Van"--I'm thinking this must be that same woman who's scatting in the background of the pub fight scene in Alfie while chairs go flying past her head...
the missus bids farewell to the Gilmore Girls

must admit, as lame as the last season or two have been, my eye did moisten slightly in the final scenes

and talking of season finales, the last episode in the current series of Woebot TV -- which has been brilliant from first to last (my favourite the visit to Cecil Sharp House)

Saturday, May 12, 2007

like there's no tomorrow

a piece by me for Salon on "neostalgia," the impressively futuristic-looking tomorrow that never showed up, futurology's waning mainstream presence, etc

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Anthony Easton has been doing this project sorta thing where he asked people to tabulate what they listened to most frequently last year (as opposed to their official critic-minded aesthetic- evaluative Best Records of 2006 end of year type thing), this obviously including all the stuff that wasn't recorded in 2006, and not just reissues but just old stuff you dug out and played to death. Naturally this is hard to do with any scientific accuracy, given the nature of memory (bit like trying to remember meals you ate in February), but this was my guess of what got the most sustained play. Not totally sure why Anthony has rendered it as a Mixtape though, as it's a Top 10 Chart--or two charts, one for albums and other for individual songs.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Bring the Noise is published today.
Matt was kind enough to send me a mini-comp of funky house. It was nothing like what I'd expected. It was actually not that far off Tiefschwarz (which I guess explains why in his post Matt used the word "electro-house"). Good stuff (especially Volta's "Robot Needs Oil"), with a real in-your-face, goes-for-the-throat quality--I liked it lots. What intrigued me was that it appeared to have absolutely no sonic connection to the Nuuum, in terms of the constituents of the style. Accordingly, the picture that came to mind listening to it was not a London black-white-all-shades-in-between crowd brocking out, but a much more Euro tableau--elegantly wasted Berliners in a near pitch-black bunker or decommisioned electrical plant.

So is this total dis-placement, this migration to a sound that has no organic roots to the tradition and the locale, is this really--as Matt suggested-- the end of the line for the Nuum? Are all its dialectical possibilities exhausted? Was the Burial album really a funer(e)al eulogy, an outsider's audio-essay written as a tribute to something whose time has now definitively passed? I'm struck again by the sample in "Gutted":

“me and him, we’re from different, ancient tribes… now we’re both almost extinct -- sometimes… you got to stick with the ancient ways… old skool ways”
very nice review of the focus group's new album by mike powell
(i'd have given it at least a B plus if not an A minus personally but that's just me the diehard Ghost Box fan....)

last night actually, i was playing some ghost box for my brother jez, in town from LA this week on a business trip -- he is the reynolds brother who's inherited all of my dad's play-by-ear musical ability, jez plays a bunch of instruments, makes tunes, and has very good ears, so i was well chuffed when five seconds into belbury poly's "the willows" he was like "oooh, what's this? this is good" --- but anyway, but when we got to hey let loose your love, it sounded different to my ears, not worse, far from it, just different: if anything even eerier and more discombobulating. mind you i had drunk a fair amount of wine so maybe my hearing was diffused or something.

the audio-appetitiser for the ghost box entree was a CD-R pairing of ron geesin's Electrosound (the second vol of which is jim jupp's favourite library record if i recall correct) and delia derbyshire/brian hodgson's library outing Electrosonic.

other kookytronic beauts tickling my cochlea recently have been john pfeiffer's Electronomusic, tom dissevelt & kid baltan's song of the second moon (and dissevelt's fantasy in orbit) (the missing link between Meek and Schaeffer, those two), the grateful dead electroacoustic side project Seastones (phil lesh and ned lagin), bunch of others whose titles escape me just this second... really, can't get enough of the stuff