High Hopes…

24th December 2009

Winter sun on walls.

Now the shortest day is passed we have six months of getting lighter.

In a way this is the best time of the year. Full of hope and expectation.

New plans. Fresh start.

Winter colours, black and white and red. Shining. Bright.

A Small Sweet Victory For The People

21st December 2009

So Rage have beaten Performer Joe X to the Christmas number one spot, thanks to a Facebook campaign. The theme ringing out this season of goodwill is therefore the rather refreshing and uplifting – fuck you I won’t do what you told me.

Traditionally, of course, the Christmas number one has always been rubbish, either a comedy record or a charity record or, in recent years, the X Factor finalist’s cabaret cover version. So, this is no small sign that there is life out there in consumer land. That we, the people, are not all couch potato zombies in thrall to Simon Cowell and his cronies. There are thinking, feeling people who still love music and would rather be force-fed a dose of adrenaline fuelled, old school agro-rock than the latest bland offering from the X machine. OK, it’s an old, dumb tune but the message is clear.

In these tough times we must celebrate these small, sweet victories. This is certainly not the end for X, Cowell and reality entertainment shows that pretend to be something to do with music, it’s not even the beginning of the end but it could well be, as Churchill said, the end of the beginning.

This little national event will make TV execs and radio programmers and those in charge of what’s left of the real music business, think that maybe it is worth looking at music beyond the narrow band of manipulable, pretty young things that Cowell parades in front of his lazy, hypnotised punters.

The point to be made is simple. There is more to music than cabaret for a mainstream Saturday night TV audience. Thanks to the net it’s easier than ever before to find music that suits our tastes (however eclectic or peculiar). There is amazing, exciting, innovative music being made by all sorts of different people in all sorts of genres that we can explore and experience and fall in love with. So let’s get out there and do it.

There’s Poetry In the Lines

19th December 2009

There’s poetry in the lines. The regimented rows of reds and whites, then, always last, always fashionably late, the blushing rosé, the young bride, so fruity and fresh.

Cuvée Tranquille, from the slopes of Mont Ventoux, snow covered and winter bleak now, tar black roads covered in snow, but still, listen, still you can hear the echoes of the shouts from a summer cycling tour triumph.

Cotes Du Rousillon Villages, the slopes and scandals, the intimacies of the lives as ordered and ordinary as the vines, intertwined, each totally the same, each totally unique.

Chapel Down’s English Rose, blushing and peachy, like a perfect perfumed May day, blossoming, blooming, pregnant with plump freshness.

Brouilly of course, so evocative a name you can almost taste the contents of the bottle floating it’s way to the table atop a waiter’s arm.

Hautes Cotes De Nuit, inky black, blackcurrant, juicy and dark and a little bit scary at first but warm and friendly once you get to know them intimately. Old friends with a touch of mystery. Bouncy Billecart-Salmon Rosé, flipping up stream, dancing in the froth of fresh water rapids.

It’s such fun to get lost in those words on a bleak, bitter winter day like today.

Links make me excited…

13th December 2009

I am so excited about the coming Overground rail link to Shoreditch, it’s stupid. There are fantastic new bridges and everything. And being able to use Oyster cards on local rail services from next January. What a way to usher in a new decade.

Top boy-about-town enhancements for sure

Better than traffic.

Sax Life…

13th December 2009

Sax life And saxophone. Here’s Connor with his. That’s exciting too. Making links and tracks. Wow. Great.