REFLECTIONS ON MYSELF

Since I was always the one with the camera I rarely got into any pictures so I started documenting myself whenever I saw a large mirror, later on it started so become quite surreal and abstract. These two were taken on a trip to Paris in the 80′s. As you can see focus isn’t all it should be when shooting into a mirror, the second one is inside the Pompidou center.


The art of the fairground mirror



This year’s Brighton Festival was curated by Anish Kapoor. He arranged for his giant polished sculpture “C Curve” (1997) to be placed up on the Downs just outside Brighton. Here’s a couple of shots of this extraordinary thing (one from each side), which was very popular to visit. Fortunately, it belittles the photographer (and my beer gut takes some belittling). It had to be guarded during the hours of daylight, because the concave side concentrated sunrays on a spot on the concrete plinth, where if you placed a cup of water, it boiled! The guards were there to ensure it didn’t do the same to humans.

…my moment of glory (probably shortlived)…..

The Unidond League at the moment:

1 Buckyboys FC ’09 108.5
2 Darcey County 102
3 sane city fc 101.5
4 TSV 1860 Abahachi 89.5
5 LA Saints 89
6 gremlinfc 83.5
7 Dinamo Splodge 82
8 Carinthians 81.5
9 Th’ Mighty Owls 78.5
10 Dondler FC 74.5
11 Spirit of 87 68.5
12 FC1878 37.5
13 Merthyr Berlin 28.5
14 Dinamo Telecaster 25

Have you seen your mother, baby?

I dont have any reflection pics, but I do have this.

Back in 1992, my then band played a headline slot at the Abbey Park Festival in Leicester – a yearly celebration of local bands who’ve done well during the previous year. Since we’d just done a record which was getting a fair amount of Radio 1 airplay, we were asked to headline. Several thousand people present, all of our local peers..our highest profile gig to date in many ways.

The night before the gig, while having a few beers, what did we decide to do? “Lets all wear dresses and make up!…Come on! It’ll be a laugh!”

Oh dear.

Gremlinfc admires huge European organ




Int Europe brilliant!
Last Weds I arrived in Basel at 11 a.m. I decided to have lunch at the Cafe Spitz near the SBB and sample Swiss Gastfreundlichkeit : at 2 p.m. I got a train to Offenburg , where I was met by my good journo Kumpel Paddy and we had an Eis in the sweltering German heat. After a bit of prevaricating we decided to drive the 20 mins to France over the Kehl bridge , which forms a border crossing and spent the next few hours sightseeing in Strasbourg , ending up in the great hypermarché “LeClerc”. Next time I’m going to push it a bit more and start off in Milano – apparently it’s about 160 miles to Basel and the train connections are great. Quiztime : can you identify the 2 locations?
1.The one where I have my fetching pink shirt is famous for its “Bächli” – the little streams which run throughout the town. It is also part of the name in Basel airport…
2.The organ was in the cathedral in……? Not sure how Paddy managed to get such a skewed pic – curiouser & curiouser…

Thank you!

I’m sorry about this post, I know it’s ridiculously silly and very late, but I’ve been listening to my Steen Chain birthday mix, and enjoying it sooooo much. And it’s months later, and I don’t know how to mention each track I like, because there are so many, and I don’t want to leave anybody out. But I just wanted to say that I love it. I really do. And thank you all so much.

And…I liked Blimpy’s subtle reflection of himself, so here’s one of me, and if anybody else wants to post one, I’d be glad to see them…

Music internship closing soon – 31st August


For anyone you know who fancies organising music events, applications are still open for a Music Events internship at Crisis working on the Hidden Gigs season.

 Crisis Hidden Gigs is a series of gigs, hosted by Crisis, the national charity for single homeless people. The 2009 gigs took place in central London throughout May and June.

“Top acts in intimate, unusual spaces for a unique musical experience. The venues are kept ‘hidden’ until 24 hours before the gig when ticket holders are sent the location by text or email.”

Bands that took part this year :

Hot Chip, Man Like Me, Erol Alkan, Dodgy, The Bluetones, David Gilmour, Amadou & Mariam, Catherine A.D, Starsailor, Stephane Girard, Paul Webb, Portico Quartet, Bombay Bicicle Club, Jeremy Warmsley, Steve McBrayne, The Magic Numbers, Fanfarlo, Rachel Mayfield, Noah & The Whale, Jay Jay Pistolet, Wave Machines & more

AOTW: Legião Urbana – Dois

This is Legião Urbana‘s Dois, the second album from the Brazilian band from Brasilia. I’ve been listening to this in the same playlist as the Chills’ Submarine Bells, and realised something fairly obvious: music from the same era can sometimes sound similar. They also sound a bit like the Smiths, a bit Cure, even a bit Indochine and probably a few more bands I don’t know as much about. I first heard of them about 4 years ago, when Tempo Perdido seemed to be playing quite often. I fell in love with the song, it was a different sound for me, and now that I think about it, I hadn’t knowingly heard a Smiths song yet. I had left it at that but the next time I was in Brazil, I investigated a bit more and got this album.
I thought Steenbeck was brave to do a Hip Hop album a couple of weeks ago, and I was inspired to go with a non-English speaking band. However, samba this is not, the music shouldn’t sound that foreign to you. Brazil has produced a lot of guitar based bands (most famous of all is probably Sepultura), like Legião or Titãs. The main points for me are the guitar and Renato Russo’s voice, it can be soft, harsh, romantic, angry. I don’t like it as much when they go for a rockier sound, but their more poppy numbers are a joy, albeit tinted with a certain darkness. The one thing that ages this album is the production, but once you get past that, I hope you can enjoy it. So here it is, on Spotify or in the dropbox.

Getting your band known. The Music Glue method.

I was just browsing the Freebies on Gumtree and came across a free ep download offer from a band I like, The Federals . Turns out they use Music Glue which immediately made me think of debbym’s Mother’s Pride post a while ago about her son’s band.

This looks worth a careful looksee for marketing :

Music glue – The Band is the Brand

What is it? :
“Music Glue is a free to use online marketing and e-commerce solution for artists, managers, promoters and venues, providing all the tools required to engage modern internet savvy fans that expect to interact directly with their favourite artists. “

The blurb:
“Free Sign Up
Commercialise music on P2P networks
Commercialise music on Social Engineering websites
Control wholesale and retail prices
Create ‘product offerings’ that include multiple tracks, encouraging consumers to purchase albums or EPs.
Create elaborate viral campaigns that bring the fan back to the band every time
Gain invaluable information on fans, including email addresses, listening habits and location (city & country)
Bring fans closer to the artist, with personalised messages and branding on all web pages.
Furthermore send out automated emails reminding fans of release dates
Load up unlimited tracks
Design your own flash music player, that can be added to your website, MySpace or any other social networking page
Switch off certain countries, depending on your licensing situation
View ‘real time’ reports of sales, with total financial transparency.
Paypal, Credit card sales worldwide
Quarterly accounting”

Cheers, Caitlin

.

hmm, what to wear to the office next casual dress day

The WiFi Detector T-shirt features a built in WiFi detector on the front,as soon as you are near a WiFi connection the animation on the front lights up.

The display changes as you move away from and closer to the signal.

(It has a practical application too, if you aren’t keen on official hot spot pricing schemes, which tend to be overpriced by, well, why buy a cow when you can get the milk for free.)

Take A Load Off

How pop music got here.


Did the Beatles really kill rock’n’roll?

That review in today’s Guardian of this interesting book reminded me of two excellent TV series a few years back,
Howard Goodall’s How Music Works for Channel 4 and Alan Lewen’s Walk On By : The Story of Pop for the BBC which is apparently called “Soundtrack of the Century” in the US.

I love these programs that join up the dots in pop history and show its influences. I still have the Howard Goodall series on DVD but I’d love to find Walk On By. Does anyone know if it’s available?

Here’s the blurb about Elijah Wald’s book
How the Beatles Destroyed Rock’n’Roll : A history of American pop music from the dawn of recording through the 1960s, which turns up new stories and provides a fresh outlook on old ones by looking at what people were listening to and dancing to over the years, rather than focusing on the usual histories of jazz and rock.

Cheers, Caitlin

Enlightening curios of edification – The Rock’n’Roll Public Library. Hurry! Last day Sunday 23rd August.

After Tatanka’s glowing recommendation about the Rock’n’Roll Public Library I went along today and it was well worth getting through the Portobello Road crowd to see all this. Fascinating. Thanks for posting about it!

I loved the magazine collection and one of the things that was most absorbing was that fine Woody Guthrie quote which is easy to miss, right by the entrance in a tiny frame under a photo of him with his fascist killing machine.

The library’s last day is SUNDAY 23RD AUGUST. They said it opens at 11am and probably closes at 6pm.

They invite people to use their scanner for any items that grab them. Lovely generous spirit, that. Lots of people taking photos. An hour well-dawdled.

Cheers, Caitlin

2000 and still going strong…

I had this post waiting for the 2000 slot, but you night owls beat me to it. Here goes anyway.

On behalf of us all, I’d like to start by thanking technosavvy twitteriffic Blimpy McFlah for starting it all. He is verily the Laird of the Kingdom of Faff. (I can see him doing his acceptance speech now: “I’d like to thank my producer, Ma McFlah, without whom none of this would have been possible (weeps)…”)

And thanks to the rest of the ‘Spill community for contributing at the rate of over posts 100 a month – a cornucopia of the absurd and the amazing, that keeps us all coming back for more. Give yourselves a round of applause.

And when this week’s topic is over, we need suggestions for a better celebration song than PSBs.

Letz Zep

OK, a confession first.

I have never seen a tribute band and I always thought that there was something a bit odd about people going along to see other people pretending to be other bands.

Anyway, having said that, I was actually quite intrigued about the phenomenon and I had tried to get tickets for the Australian Pink Floyd a while back but the gig was sold out. However, while at the Bristol Hippodrome back in July – we went to see Chicago, very good too, thanks for asking – we saw posters for a Led Zeppelin tribute band called Letz Zep.

So, inevitably almost, we bought tickets and last night we duly rocked up to the Hippodrome for the gig.

Weirdly, in the audience were men wearing Led Zeppelin teeshirts. Now, it is one thing wearing band teeshirts at a gig by the band, but at a gig by impersonators? Odd.

Having seen Zeppelin three times in their pomp, I was naturally a bit wary. Nicky said to me that she knew I was going to be hyper-critical. She was right. I tried not to be but I knew I was going to be judgemental.

The opener, Rock and Roll, was a bit flat, the band seemed a bit lukewarm.

They don’t really look much like the originals, certainly not the way that Rory Bremner manages to look like his victims and soundwise, at the beginning, they didn’t sound much like them either. They sounded like a covers band.

I didn’t think that the guitarist nailed the Black Dog riff properly, not a crime, I can’t get it right either. Then again, I am not a Jimmy Page tribute guitarist.

This isn’t going to be a slag-fest though, because they got better.

Either, they warmed up, or I lowered my standards, I think it was the former. The licks got sharper, the dynamics improved and they relaxed.

There were some really good moments in the first half of the show. Since I’ve Been Lovin’ You was excellent, really.

They did a good No Quarter too.

The bass/keyboards/mandolin player and drummer are both really good, very technically accomplished. No complaints there at all. The guitarist, as I said, seemed to relax and loosen up and he hit his stride. He’s a good player and I think that when he didn’t try and do a carbon copy Pagey riff, he was better.

They did Dazed And Confused, extended version, just like in the Song Remains The Same film, complete with violin bow passage and he was GOOD.

The singer isn’t really a Robert Plant soundalike, he has a lot of the mannerisms and he can sing a fair bit but he is different. I saw ol’ Percy last year, with Alison Krauss, and he is still the business. No one does Plant, except Plant himself.

Having said that, the singer is OK, lots of personality and he clearly enjoys himself.

They opened the second half with an acoustic set – all pretty good, the guitarist excelling in himself in an extended Bron-Y-Aur Stomp.

They then got better and better. Confidence was high, I think and it showed. The riffs and licks came off and Stairway to Heaven was well done, really. White Summer/Black Mountainside, played on a black and white Danny, natch, segued into a really very well managed Kashmir.

They did Moby Dick too, giving the drummer a showcase. He was bloody good. They ended up with an extended Whole Lotta Love that left me happy, the guitarist pulled off some nice stuff, How Many More Times, Boogie Chillun etc and some nice freeform Rock and roll soloing, just like Pagey used to. They encored with Immigrant Song.

OK, they massively improved over the two and a bit hours and I ended up genuinely enjoying them. I’d even recommend other people to go along and make up their own minds. I’d probably go and see them again.

I still think that the whole tribute band phenomenon is a bit odd though.