Spill Awards 2014: The Voting Begins

Welcome to the next stage of the 2014 Spill Awards: the voting. Nominations have been collected and scrutinised, and pretty well anything that more than one person put forward – we really are a remarkably eclectic lot – has been added to the shortlists for the different categories. You have three votes for the Album of the Year, and one vote for everything else. I’m doing this in a mad scramble, and won’t have a chance to publicise it properly, so apologies in advance… Voting continues until some time around the New Year; Awards ceremony to follow whenever I get my act together in January – I will announce the date in advance, promise. Continue reading

Spill Awards 2014: Reminder

Sorry for crashing in again, but the original post about nominations for this year’s Spill Awards was buried fairly quickly by a series of posts including DsD’s birthday, so just wanted to remind you to send me your nominations (abahachi(at)hotmail.co.uk) by the end of Sunday. Full details in the previous post, but is it worth stressing again that you can nominate more than one thing under each category – and indeed that this is a really good thing to do, as if twenty people each nominate just one album and – as usually happens – they’re all different, it’s more or less impossible to put together a decent shortlist. If you’re one of the people who’s sent me just one album of the year, feel free to send follow-up emails…

Spill Awards 2014: Nominations Open!

"A Nobel Peace Prize is okay, but I do hope I get nominated for a Spill Award again this year."

“A Nobel Peace Prize is okay, but I do hope I get nominated for a Spill Award again this year.”

It’s that time of year again… Well, maybe a little earlier than normal, but I’m so snowed under with work at the moment that I’m even going to skip the annual passive-aggressive ritual of asking whether anyone else would like to take over this year, and instead just get on with the (unnecessarily convoluted) process of setting up this year’s Spill Awards.

Here’s how it’s supposed to work. By the end of Sunday 14th December, please send an email to abahachi(at)hotmail.co.uk, listing as many nominations as you like for any or all of the following categories:

Album of the Year

Film of the Year

TV Series of the Year

Hero (male or female) of the Year

Villain of the Year

Event of the Year

Feel free to write a few words about some or all of your nominations if you wish, and to make suggestions for additional awards of any nature whatsoever. On the basis of all the suggestions received, I will put together short-lists for the different awards, and set up online polls where you can vote for your choices, with votes closing on 31st December 2014. At some point in early January, I will then work out a date and format for the award ceremony.

Everyone clear? I’d particularly like to stress how useful it is for you to put forward a decent number of nominations; in previous years, some people have ended up on the short-list on the basis of just two people mentioning them…

GET ANGRY

Is this too much of a shoe-horn? Probably, though it’s music of a sort; just music that first makes you giggle hysterically and then fills you with an all-consuming rage that these people run the country and have significant influence in the world, and look to have a fair chance of carrying on after next year’s election if our pathetic excuse of an opposition don’t get their act together sharpish – and if they have any sense, ditch all the vacuous slogans that have doubtless been thought up by expensive marketing consultants, and just put this on repeat on every mainstream media channel… “We have the bravery to bring back slavery.. I’m not saying it isn’t funny. It is to me; I’ve got lots of money…” It’s funny because it’s true. It’s infuriating because it’s true.

Introducing Patrick Williams (well, maybe you all already know about him, but…)

Staying at my mother-in-law’s in Llanelli last week, flicking through the lower depths of Sky television channels, we stumbled across an episode of The Streets of San Francisco featuring pre-irony Leslie Nielsen (i.e. back when he was simply a terrible ham rather than a genius straight-faced actor). Mrs Abahachi hadn’t seen it for years, I’d never even heard of it. Great fun, but the best bit as far as I was concerned – besides the fact that they put up titles for ‘Act I’, ‘Act II’, ‘Epilogue’ etc. – was the music; I’ve never heard of Pat(rick) Williams, but this is up there with the great TV themes, with classic 70s scratchy wah-wah guitar and some nicely dissonant chords.

Continue reading

The Naming of Things

guitarThis is my new baby – bought on Sunday from an astonishing shop called Guitar Village in Farnham, with literally hundreds of guitars, entire room full of Les Pauls, another full of Strats, guitarist heaven – and I’m still trying to think of a name for her. I don’t name all my guitars – that would be both sad and peculiar – but the special ones deserve to be treated right. Trouble is, my current TV character crush (my gorgeous Gibson ES335 is called Buffy, predictably enough) is a non-starter as she has the same name as Mrs Abahachi, which means that I’m having to cast the net more broadly, and so far haven’t hit on the perfect name: Lauren might have been a possibility, given today’s news, but that’s also the name of a second cousin; my sporting heroine is a Lena, but she’s very blond and most of this guitar is brunette…

So, a random extra EOTWQ, for the half hour before the new theme turns up, or if you get bored over the weekend: what name(s) have you ever given to inanimate objects, male or female, and why?

Trwbador: Several Wolves

Someone has been feeding Trwbador after midnight, and then getting them wet (okay, not so difficult for a band based in the depths of West Wales). The landscape of their forthcoming second album (out on 11th August) is familiar enough, with Angharad van Rijswijk’s delicate vocals, Owain Gwilym’s guitar patterns, subtle electronic beats and random tinkly noises all present and correct. This time, however, the landscape is dominated not by gentle, shy creatures with big soulful eyes but by giant avant-pop monsters in eye-catching plumage, cavorting exuberantly. Continue reading