If, as it seems, we’re spilling over into photos – and supradondalissimas to CaroleBristol for setting up SpillSnaps ™ ( c’mon, that’s just my little joke) at http://www.flickr.com/groups/spill and semidondasturias (that’s a smaller Catalan wave to you, dude!) to goneforeign for pasteing up his ‘Face The Camera’ shot . . . then I really think you-all should cop on (it’s Cork slang) to TheAutomaticEarth.
For many months now ilargi and stoneleigh have been ahead of the ‘economy’ game, and prefacing their stuff with the best photos of early 20th. century photo-reportage.

It was a dry wind
And it swept across the desert
And it curled into the circle of birth
And the dead sand
Falling on the children
The mothers and the fathers
And the automatic earth.

I think we have to separate the cuddly little Paul-on-stage, from the monster-slaying poet on the page.

Ilargi posted this a couple of days ago. It is Dorothea Lange’s take on poverty in the US. She was part of a talented team sent out to ‘take photos of the poor’. Ilargi posts these images, every day. Lest we forget that ‘Economics’ has a human face.


I’ve been doing nothing but scanning slides this week. All my life I shot everything in the Ektachrome slide format, now all I have is that dumb Canon SD400, but I have thousands of slides and a Nikon Super Coolscan 5000ED slide scanner. So I’ve been scanning mostly photos of kids but a few others somehow sneaked in, [including 2 boxes of Bob Marley concerts that I’d totally forgotten about] . As I scan ’em I assign ’em to folders but occasionally one or two escape and wind up lurking on the desktop; This is one such. I think of her as ‘The Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands’ I shot her in Kingston in the ’80’s, I think she’s gorgeous.
I saw her at her window, half raised my camera and gave her a ‘May I’ smile, she gave the slightest assent and I shot just one shot, wish I knew how to get it to her.
If nobody objects I might post the occasional favorite photos as they turn up.


As you may have read on the mothership, our (in)glorius leader Paul’s inspiration for this week’s topic was his journey home from Edinburgh today. I tried to guess when he’d be going past my area so I could go out to the highway and wave (an elaborate form of sucking up, hoping to increase my A list count).

And guess what!

I SPOTTED HIM entering Birkenhead’s financial district early this morning.

So it is a RED HELMET you want to be looking out for if you are heading out later today to wave and wish him well on his journey. Here’s a side view if it helps.

Happy Trails, Paul!

To the Unwary – Part 2

Note – this is still technically my First Post. I stress this because glasshalfempty, while welcoming me warmly to the community, pointed out the requirement of an accompanying photo: one of the Unwritten Rules. Suspecting such a situation would arise, I had already scanned the entire site with Adobe’s UnReader (due for release in 2010 and still in beta – but that’s another long story that has nothing to do with music and everything to do with my brother-in-law and Adobe’s security department . . . )

So – the photo was about to go into Part 1, when my computer simply Ran Out of Pixels! Unbelievable,eh? I’d forgotten to fill it up that morning!
‘Could have happened to anyone’ is the line my legal advisors (Messieurs Tourniquet et Vice of Carcassonne) urged me to take.

The Adobe Unreader, being still in development, may of course miss other elements that make up B.L.Impy’s First Law of Photogenics, itself but a tiny part of the vast body of work that is the Unwritten Overspill Rulebook ( an online tome that runs to 600 Tantrabites!). Woe betide anyone caught infracting – as infractions, I gather, could result in many hours of community service. I still have painful memories of my last days with the Philatelic blog community (StampOnIt.blogspot.com) – and some hefty physiotherapy bills, still unpaid.

On the subject of unpaid bills – here is the caption to go with my photo:
Gaston ‘Antifreeze’ Gaulloise (a nickname that I promised him I would not explain in full. Nor have I.) who is my local vigneron, has come up with a novel way for his impecunious customers to ‘pay off’ some of their drink debt. He fastens us to the back of his tractor as we manipulate the circa 1950’s weeding contraption. Furthermore, we are obliged to dress up as the Blues Brothers, and sing parts of their woeful repertoire, while appearing to be cheerfully engaged in organic vineyard work.

A Salute To Marconius7 (And Some Questions)

I love the Marconium. I don’t want to turn The ‘Spill into something too self-referential or it’ll get all Ouroborosy, but it’s fantastic, isn’t it? Not only does it represent a huge amount of dedicated work on Marconius7’s part, which really is above and beyond, but it’s so interesting to explore. I have spent so much time browsing through it. I have Dorian’s Playlists book, but the Marconium is a complete archive not just of lists, blogs and columns, but of how the simple premise for the column evolved as more and more people joined in, leading to the behemoth you see before you. It’s such fun to read earlier entries, to see friendships take shape and expand beyond the parameters of the initial idea. The latest addition, prompted by some really funny banter this week, mostly at steenbeck’s expense, is this page:


which, if you haven’t seen it yet, sorts out A-list picks so far this year by Recommender. It added a whole new dimension for me, as a means of getting a more tangible sense of RR regulars’ breadth of musical tastes. I know some people, myself included, are bound to mention a particular act or genre as often as they think they can get away with it, so I know about those, but it’s the surprises on this page that made it such a fascinating read. I hope I’m not embarrassing anyone by mentioning them by name, but seeing, for example, The Make-Up in amongst Abahachi’s other A-Listers, Morcheeba in barbryn’s, Sugababes and Britney Spears beside Public Enemy and The Clash in gremlinfc’s picks, this gives me a much better idea of what you all like rather than just reading posts here or on The Mothership. Does anyone else agree?

Anyway, I just really wanted to thank Marconius7 for turning the whole RR experience into a tripod.

So, the other thing I was wondering about, also inspired by the aforementioned banter on the blog, and the obvious fact that steenbeck has a P.I. on retainer to give her the good stuff on 2009’s gurus (38 A-List picks!), was regarding times you may or may not have gotten on the A-list. Was there a particular A-listing you received where you just thought ‘Yes!’, in terms of being proud of it? For example, I was genuinely pleased to see LCD Soundsystem’s ‘Losing My Edge’ make it on to the Aging playlist, because, to be honest, I’m not very good at making lateral-thinking suggestions, and I felt this was a recommendation that showed a bit of imagination, hence being pleased to see it make the final list. And, conversely, was there a song you recommended where you thought the relevant Guru had screwed up in not picking it? Not because it’s a personal favourite, but because you truly thought it nailed the topic? My example would be not having Magnetic Fields’ ‘Yeah! Oh Yeah!’ picked for Cruel Songs since I thought that one set the bar for cruelty. The judge’s decision is, of course, final, I just thought it might be fun to vent a little.