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Mon, Feb 24, 2003 1:05 pm)


THE FEBRUARY HITLIST:
25 ALBUMS

FEATURED ALBUM:
LOVEBOX by GROOVE ARMADA

FEATURED WINE:
Domaine Louis Chèze,
"Cuvée Ro-Rée, 1999
Saint Joseph, France,

2002: THE YEAR IN REVIEW
Ten Major Memories and a number of lists

INTERPOL in concert

JOE STRUMMER: A TRIBUTE

THE DECEMBER HITLIST:
5 ALBUMS, EPs, MIX CDS, COMPILATIONS and SONGS

the iJamming! Book Review
WHY TERRORISM WORKS
by Alan Dershowitz

CABERNET FRANC
The 'Other' Cabernet Grape Takes Root In New York
Part 1: The Basics/Regions
Part 2: New York Wines
Part 3: Loire Wines
Part 4: Conclusions

THE NOVEMBER HITLIST
30 Albums 10 Songs

HOW MUCH WILL IT HURT?:
Tips for the marathon virgin.

FEATURED ALBUM

FEATURED WINE

FEATURED MIX CD

From the Jamming! Archives:
THE JAM
Interviewed in 1979

The iJamming! Interview: UNDERWORLD
NOW WITH LIVE PHOTOS

Coming and Going
Chapter 3: THE PALACE

The iJamming! Interview
RICHARD BUTLER Part 2

From the Jamming! Archives:
ADAM ANT
Interviewed in 1978

REMARKS REMADE:
Available Now!
The introduction to the new edition of my R.E.M. biography is here.

A Decade In Dance
BT & BANCO DE GAIA
10 Years (Apiece)

2 MANY TASTINGS:
The iJamming! Wine Round Up October 2002, including:
Sauvignon Blanc
Chardonnay
Pinot Noir
Rhône Rangers
Southern France
Zinfandel

HALF MAN HALF BISCUIT
The whole 1990s catalogue

From the Jamming! Archives:
PAUL WELLER
interviewed in 1978

The iJamming! interview:
CARL COX

GOLDEN SHOT hostess 'Lee Patrick' recalls her time as Keith Moon's amour

HEDONISM:
An intrigue of early 90s New York nightlife.
NEW CHAPTER now online

From the Jamming! Archives:
U2 interviewed in 1984.

iJamming! Wino/Muso:
JOHN ACQUAVIVA

The iJAMMING! interview:
DAVID SYLVIAN

From the Keith Moon archives:
the JEFF BECK interview .

The iJAMMING! chat:
MARK PERRY

TRAVIS.
Fran Healy explains why "you cannot own a song."

From the JAMMING! archives: The Story That Spawned Creation

The iJAMMING! interview:
BOY GEORGE.

The full iJamming! Contents

iJAMMING! is a music and lifestyle web site hosted by
author, journalist and dee jay Tony Fletcher.
Click on the buttons above to access all areas of the site.
For the latest additions, scroll down the index at left.
To find something specific, use the search engine on your left.
Full iJamming! contents here. iJamming! mission statement here.
You are in the right place for Tony's daily musings.

FRIDAY FEBRUARY 21

SMOKE AND FIRE

I wrote my breezy commentary about 7" singles and smoky clubs soon as I got up this morning, before becoming fully aware of the horrendous tragedy at the Station club in Rhode Island last night, where a pyrotechic display by the band Great White went awry, causing the whole club to catch fire. As of this point in late afternoon, the death toll is at 95, and presumably will keep climbing. Coming so fast on the heels of the stampede at the Chicago club E2, in which 21 people lost their lives, it's fair to say that night-clubbing and gig-going have suddenly lost their usual allure.

On one hand it's easy for iJamming! readers, especially outside the USA, to assume that these two disasters don't concern them: I doubt anyone who stops by here makes a point of attending Chicago South Side hip-hop clubs nor suburban Rhode Island 80s hard rock revival concerts. But I feel right now the same way I did following the tragedies that occurred at English football stadiums in the late 1980s (i.e. the 1985 fire at Bradford followed by the 1989 crush at Hillsborough): that with the blissful benefit of 20/20 hindsight, both those disasters were accidents obviously waiting to happen. The Bradford fire was started by a cigarette stub dropped at a decrepit old stadium that was, essentially, a tinderbox. The crush at Hillsborough was caused by (and let me be incredibly simplistic here, not trying to reopen anyone's old wounds) a combination of over-excited fans desperate not to miss the kick-off, the fencing running round the front of the terraces that had been installed to prevent pitch invasions, and ill-informed and prejudicial attitudes towards the fans coupled with dubious policing. It took the loss of all those lives (and I'm even leaving Heysel out of this for now) for football to finally wake up to its long latent dangers. Fifteen years later, Britain boasts many of the biggest, newest and best stadiums in the world. And when crowds are not in place in time for kick-off, a delay of 15 minutes is enforced. Attending a football match in the UK is now considered an extremely safe (if expensive) form of entertainment.

The comparisons with this last week's American tragedies are patently obvious: there's a similar minority of 'thugs' in a lot of urban night clubs as there were 'hooligans' at British football matches, and there's a similarly nonchalant disregard for fire prevention at smaller, backwoods clubs as there was at older football grounds. And I know now just how lucky I've been: I attended too many football matches in the 70s and 80s where people got hurt and we were not far off a major disaster, and I've often found myself at nightclubs and rock clubs taking a pre-emptive glance at the fire exits when I've felt the venue to be uncomfortably overcrowded and poorly designed. In addition, I've stood in front of bands who've used blowtorches on stage and been thoroughly engrossed in their 'art'; I've surely always assumed that the promoters, the venue and the band knew what they're doing and had taken all necessary precautions. Then again, I've promoted my share of shows (I genuinely can't remember how many of them involved industrial equipment, but it was a few) and am aware that sometimes everyone just passes the responsibility on to someone else.

In retrospect, we're entitled to ask how comes security guards use pepper spray, or how clubs that have been issued with various violations succeed in staying open despite them. We're equally entitled to ask how come bands think they can light fires in clubs with low ceilings made of Styrofoam - and why club owners let them. Still, no amount of second-guessing will bring any of the victims back, and so my sympathy goes out to anyone who knows any of the poor people who went out for a night of entertainment and didn't come home. I suppose in future I'll show some understanding should I attend an illegal party that gets closed by the Fire Department or if a favored nightspot has its doors closed because of fire violations, and I hope that if in the short run we feel like we're coming under too much scrutiny, that in the long run we end up with safer places of entertainment. And this might be a suitable opportunity to remind the authorities in New York City that a handful of people dancing or a couple of 20-year olds drinking are victimless offenses - and that we'd feel far better disposed towards law enforcement if they enforced the laws that protect our lives rather than those that curtail our freedoms.


THE SINGLES CLUB

Last night I stopped by Jason Consoli's Restricted party at Lit to spin some records. As arranged, I brought only 7" singles, and by the end of the night I'd fallen back in love with that format. Not that I'd ever fallen out of love with it, you understand, but these days just about everything is released and purchased on CD, transferred across the internet via MP3s or, for club DJs, pressed up as 12" vinyl for maximum mixing potential. But there's still nothing to beat rifling through your record collection and picking out those individual songs that once sounded so good you couldn't live without them.

There are many wonderful attributes to the 7" single, not least being the highly visceral sense of involvement in them. Several songs I played last night may not, in the greater scheme of things, be considered proper classics, but in the format in which I bought them and held on to them, they're as much a part of my life as any old photo albums or football programmes. So when I started off my set with 'Popcorn' by Hot Butter, yes in one sense I'm playing one of the original instrumental synthesizer singles and it has a historical perspective and it's all very interesting, but because I'm playing the same 7" single that I bought as an 8—year old (on Pye Records with its distinctive blue label), I'm also reliving a certain set of memories - in this case, the same summer holiday in France in 1972 on which I first heard Alice Cooper across the medium wave.

People like myself who've grown up being obsessed with pop music often associate old songs with aromas. I think the 'aroma' in question is primarily that of nostalgia – something as tangible and yet non-physical as memory itself - and while I'm anything but a technophobe and have no great argument against the digitization of music, I don't believe anything can conjure up that sense of nostalgia so immediately and effectively as the 7" single.

(Talking of aromas, we're going to have fun next month when the smoking ban goes into effect across New York City bars and clubs: that it should, in theory, stop my precious records stinking like a nicotine factory after I've taken them out to play is something I'm seriously looking forward to.)

One other advantage of throwing a bunch of 7"s – and only a bunch of 7"s - in a box is that it narrows the night's playlist. Most people who play any kind of 'old' music as DJs tend to use CD compilations with the result that they become human jukeboxes – and even if they ignore the inevitable requests, they're tempted to play the biggest hits just because they know those songs work. But when you show up with just one 7" each by any number of acts whose entire repertoire you may otherwise own on album, then of course that's the single (or b-side) you're going to play. I found last night I was playing many a 'non-obvious' single and enjoying the music all the more because of it. By the end of the night I regretted that I sold so much of my record collection when I came to the States at the end of the 1980s: while most of the albums had to go, given the cost of shipping them over (let alone the lack of space in the average New York apartment to store them), I'm not sure I had to be equally indiscriminate with the 7" singles. At the time, I think I bought into the familiar adult argument that because I now owned these songs on other formats I no longer needed them in original scratched up 7" form. But last night I was furious that I didn't have my old Sweet or Slade singles at hand to play alongside the T. Rex and Wizzard ones I've held onto.

Anyway, just for the hell of it, here's a handful of the 7"s that made it onto the smokey bar's decks. I'm convinced that if someone launched a "Singles Only" party – where Djs bring their treasured 7" 45s and associated memories – it would be an immediate 'hit'. (Albeit only for the over-30s.) Maybe this playlist will encourage someone to promote such an event – and maybe it'll just encourage you to dig out some older music of your own this weekend for the pure nostalgic hell of it…

48 Crash - Suzi Quatro
The Free Electric Band – Albert Hammond
I Love A Man In Uniform - Gang of Four
Pressure Drop - The Clash
(Love Is Like A) Heatwave - The Jam
(I Can't Get No) Satisfation – Jimmy Mcgriff
Get Off Of My Cloud – Rolling Stones
Did You No Wrong - The Sex Pistols
Kiss Me On The Bus - The Replacements
Shakermaker – Oasis
She's So High – Blur
Elephant Stone – Stone Roses
Crashin' In – The Charlatans
I Don't Know Why I Love You – House of Love
The Pictures on My Wall – Echo & The Bunnymen
Noise Annoys – The Buzzcocks
Runnin' With the Devil – Van Halen (yes, you read correctly – I bought this at the height of punk!)
I Need To Know – Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
Get Over You – The Undertones
Do Anything you Wanna Do – the Rods
I Can't Stand My Baby – The Rezillos
Sweet Gene Vincent – Ian Dury & The Blockheads
Soul Train – Jason and Pam I Know You Got Soul – Bobby Byrd
Gimme That beat – Junior Walker and The All Stars
Block Party – Jimmy Castor
He's Alright With Me – The Mirettes
The Real Thing – Tina Britt
Summertime Blues – The Who


…And talking of digging out, you probably know that postings have been light this last three weeks while I've been snowed under – firstly by wrapping up the final edit of Hedonism, then by a family visit and the mid-winter school break, and finally by the snow itself. Snowboarding with b on a sunny mid-week February day is nothing to complain about, but I've missed sitting at my desk and offering my daily musings; hopefully next week I'll be able to resume some kind of normal service.


TUESDAY FEBRUARY 18

LIVING IN SNOW MOTION

Following on from last week's postings, one of the other rewarding aspects of being secluded away (in my case, upstate) is the ability to get on with living one's own life, without being caught up in the madness of everyone else's. By which I mean that while I had the local NPR radio on a lot last week, and was up-to-date on the fractured standing of both the United Nations and NATO, I don’t think I fully realized just how panicked the USA and UK were about an imminent terrorist attack until I got back into NYC on Saturday. (My mother flew over from the UK the day after tanks were positioned around Heathrow.) Given that there was no attack - at least last week – then I'm tempted to think I was better off not sharing the sense of fear. I've caught up enormously over the last few days with newspapers from both countries, and currently have several books by the bedside which I hope will provide me with a greater understanding of our international turmoil, but I'm trying not to let this sense of foreboding interrupt me too much as I come down to the wire on a personal project and try and enjoy the prime mid-winter week with three different generations of my family.

I managed to stay down in New York just long enough to watch my beloved Crystal Palace outplay Leeds United throughout much of their FA Cup 5th Round tie. I also had the misfortune of watching a Palace shot get both handled on the goal-line by a Leeds defender and then drop way behind that goal-line without the referee awarding either a penalty or the obvious goal… but though a part of me insists "we was robbed," it's hard to be too bitter when you're beaten by such a world-class goal as Harry Kewell's winner in the last ten minutes. Pretty much since Ian Wright left the club, instinctive finishing has usually been the difference between Palace and the teams that beat them. So I'll take this on the chin and be glad that I got to see the team a couple of times in a few weeks. My hope is that the players come off this impressive cup run (beating Liverpool at Anfield and outplaying Leeds), realize that they're good enough to play these teams every week in the Premiership, and pull out all the stops to get themselves into the play-offs.

I notice that I'm not going to be able to rail against this year's Village Voice Pazz and Jop Poll the way I did last year given that four of my personal Top 10 made the Voice critics' Top 10 (Flaming Lips, the Streets, Bruce Springsteen and Coldplay), that two more of my Top 10 were in the Top 40 (Interpol and 2 Many Djs), and that four more of the Voice Top 10 were in my own Top 50 (Wilco, Beck, the Roots and Eminem). If anything, I'm a little concerned: have I succumbed to the collective subconscious of American-based music journalists? Given that I barely hang out with any of them, I don't think this is the case. I just think that in a year in which the underground thrived and the mainstream suffered, there was nonetheless enough of a shortage of evidently classic albums that it wasn't that hard to agree on the best of the crop. (And unlike 2001, my fave English bands either didn't release records or let me down, which allowed me to concentrate on American releases as do most of the America-based journalists anyway.)

From what I could follow of it online, Robert Christgau's annual essay seems to assert that this was the "worst" poll in memory, but if I remember correctly, he's one of those who was enamored with Bob Dylan's victory last year. So here's my very brief tuppence: I don't think Wilco's Yankee Hotel Foxtrot is actually as good an album as the story that surrounds it, and while I love Beck's Sea Change, it didn't make my personal Top 10, but I like that these acts are doing something valid within the broad confines of the folk-rock/singer-songwriter context at such a much younger age than the Zimmerman, and I have no doubt that they're better records than many of those which made last year's Top 10. I'm glad the Streets was recognized for its brilliance, 2 Many Djs too; that Springsteen got his props for such a worthy comeback and that Interpol are recognized for such a promising start. Fact is, we're in a disturbing yet fascinating time in popular music in which no particular movement is dominating, in which many a young hopeful has yet to make their claims on history, and in which certain old stalwarts (from Springsteen down to Flaming Lips) are making some of the best music of their careers. For my part, I plan to just keep enjoying as much of it as I can.

And last week, my CD drive died on my laptop, so I was reduced to my iTunes. I found myself returning regularly to what I believe are the Orb's remixes of various Pink Floyd songs ('Us and Them,' 'Is There Anybody Out There?','Echoes' and a few others). I can imagine there are some Floyd fans who see these mixes, whether they were authorized or not (and I'm not sure myself on that score) as being sacrilege. I think they actually make Floyd sound younger, hipper and decidedly more relevant. They've actually helped reintroduce me to the Floyd and I plan to spend more time with the back catalogue once I have time. I was also listening to lots of live Underworld; there's hardly a jam band on the planet can vary their music onstage as much as Karl and Rick have done.

That's it from me for a couple of days. I'll be back in NYC to DJ at Lit on Thursday if anyone fancies stopping by; I'll probably have all kinds of comments to pass on the various magazines, books, newspapers, records and MP3s I'm catching up on in the meantime come the weekend. And I'm meant to be handing in a manuscript tomorrow too, so excuse me for getting out of here…

2003 MUSINGS:
FEBRUARY 3-16: Snug, The Face, Pink, Supergrass live, Keith Moon, Phil Spector, Gore Vidal
JANUARY 27-FEBRUARY 2: Communist Chic, Spiritland, Daddy You're A Hero, Keith Moon, State of the Union, CPFC and more on Iraq
JANUARY 20-26: Divisions of Laura Lee, Burning Brides, Words On War, Child Abuse of a Different Kind, Losing My Edge
JANUARY 13-19: Pete Townshend, Pee Wee Herman, South Park and more Pete Townshend
JANUARY 6-12: Interpol in concert, Tony Fletcher's Top 10 Albums and Singles of 2002, More on Joe Strummer and The Clash, Fever Pitch and Bend It Like Beckham.
DECEMBER 31 2002 -JAN 5 2003: A tribute to Joe Strummer, Radio 4 live on New Year's Eve
2002 MUSINGS:
DECEMBER 25-30: NO POSTINGS: ON VACATION
DECEMBER 16-24: Metro Area, Breakbeat Science, Sting makes Wine, New York Downtown redesigns, Keith Moon anecdotes, Campbell's jokes.
DECEMBER 9-15:
Tiswas, pledge drives, The View from Up North
DECEMBER 2-8 MUSINGS CLICK HERE (includes Weekend Players and Snow Lit Piano Bars)
FOR NOVEMBER 25-29 MUSINGS CLICK HERE (includes Joe Hurley, Thanksgiving, Sven
Väth, Richie Hawtin)
FOR NOVEMBER 16-24 MUSINGS CLICK HERE (includes Longwave, The Pleased, Get Your War On, Powder, Radio 4, Supreme Beings Of Leisure, Ben Neill, Baldwin Brothers, Thievery Corporation)
FOR NOVEMBER 9-15 MUSINGS CLICK HERE (includes CMJ report including Datsuns, von Bondies and My Favorite, and political Eagles)
FOR NOVEMBER 2-8 MUSINGS CLICK HERE (includes Halloween, the New York Marathon, and British Cuisine)
FOR OCTOBER 26-NOV 1 MUSINGS CLICK HERE (includes live reviews of The Streets, Mooney Suzuki, Sahara Hotnights, Flaming Sideburns, Stellastarr*; Jam Master Jay; Halloween)
FOR OCTOBER 19-25 MUSINGS CLICK HERE (includes Underworld live, Atlantic Avenue antics, Girls and Boys night)
FOR OCTOBER 12-18 MUSINGS CLICK HERE (includes Bali Bombing and stupid editorials, the Electro-Clash festival, VHS Or Beta, Ballboy, Mindless Self Indulgence, 2 Many DJs, Tom Petty, The Streets, pointless stop-the-war e-mails)
FOR OCTOBER 5-11 MUSINGS CLICK HERE (includes Steve Earle and John Walker's Blues, Dreaming Of Britney, Girls Against Boys and Radio 4)
FOR SEPTEMBER 28-OCT 4 MUSINGS CLICK HERE (includes White Stripes live, Morel live, My Generation re-issue)
FOR SEPTEMBER 21-27 MUSINGS CLICK HERE (includes The Creation live, Village Voice, Wine not Whine and more)
FOR SEPTEMBER 14-20 MUSINGS CLICK HERE (includes Firefighter Andre Fletcher, Untamed, Uncut, and more September 11 Musings)
FOR SEPTEMBER 7-13 MUSINGS CLICK HERE (includes Sep 11 memorials, Did Bin Laden Win?, Scissor Sisters and Electro-clash)
FOR AUGUST 31-SEPTEMBER 6 MUSINGS CLICK HERE (includes The Strokes live, The Rising, Saint Etienne, Team USA, a.i., Tahiti 80, Dot Allison)
FOR AUGUST 17-30 DAILY MUSINGS CLICK HERE (includes holiday musings, wine reviews, Luna at Southpaw, and more)
FOR AUGUST 10-16 DAILY MUSINGS CLICK HERE (includes lengthy Who live review)
FOR JULY 27-AUG 9 DAILY MUSINGS CLICK HERE (includes Area 2, 24 Hour Party People Party, Hootenanny Tour, 2 Many DJs and more.
FOR JULY 20-26 DAILY MUSINGS CLICK HERE (includes Wilson Pickett, John Entwistle, rebuilding downtown NYC)
FOR JULY 13-19 DAILY MUSINGS CLICK HERE (includes Love Parade, Teany, RenewNYC, Femi Kuti, NRA, Londonisation of New York, Britishification of Global Rock)
FOR JULY 6-12 DAILY MUSINGS CLICK HERE (includes Mike Meyers as Keith Moon, the RAVE Act, John Entwistle, Michael Jackson, Southpaw, Moby Online, Layo & Bushwacka!,
(accidentally deleted)
FOR JUNE 29-JULY 5 DAILY MUSINGS CLICK HERE (includes World Cup Final, John Entwistle's legacy, The Who's decision to carry on, the meaning of July 4)
FOR JUNE 22-28 DAILY MUSINGS CLICK HERE (includes World Cup diary, Dr. John, Doves, Mermaid Parade, John Entwistle's death, Timothy White's death, Clinic Firewater and Radio 4 live, The Who's decision to carry on)
FOR JUNE 15-21 DAILY MUSINGS CLICK HERE (includes World Cup diary, Liars live, GiantFingers, the Big Takeover)
FOR JUNE 8 -14 DAILY MUSINGS CLICK HERE (includes World Cup diary, StellaStarr*, Jose Padilla, Dee Dee Ramone, suicide bombings)
FOR JUNE 1-7 DAILY MUSINGS, CLICK HERE (includes World Cup diary, Southpaw, Six Foot Under, Andrew Sullivan)
FOR LATE MAY DAILY MUSINGS, CLICK HERE
FOR MAY'S EIGHT DAYS IN A WEEK'S MUSINGS, CLICK HERE
FOR LATE APRIL LONDON MUSINGS, CLICK HERE
FOR EARLY APRIL MUSINGS, CLICK HERE


iJamming! Site Copyright Tony Fletcher 2003