iJAMMING! is a music and lifestyle web site hosted by
author, journalist and dee jay Tony Fletcher.
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You are in the right place for Tony's daily musings.

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Sunday April 27th: Shout!, Bar 13, University Place and 13th Street, Manhattan, New York City. 10pm-4am. Spinning on the main floor with Pedro and Steve as a personal birthday shindig. The Good Time Women are playing live. Admission free. (Over 21.)

Sunday May 11th: Shout!, Bar 13, University Place and 13th Street, Manhattan, New York City. 10pm-4am. Launch party for the Shout! compilation album, The Revolution Rave-Up Alive 1997-2003 featuring The Greenhornes playing live. Spinning on the top floor with Kid America.



Maybe so, but no sooner did I post Simon Jordan's explanation for not hiring a new manager at Crystal Palace than he sacks Trevor Francis after all. (Typically, he did so after the Palace won 4-1 away from home last Saturday.) We're currently seeing out the season with co-assistant coach Steve Kember doing a Steve Coppell and stepping back in from the shadows to try and salvage some respectability over the final few weeks (including a dreaded Bank Holiday Monday visit to Millwall) before, presumably, another high-profile manager comes in and we repeat the whole cycle.

Non-football fans visiting this site will wonder what the hell all the above is about. But allow that when I've watched them play in the flesh (live TV to the States will do), I always get worked up about the Palace, and seeing the team in such a state of tactical disarray and poor morale this last couple of weeks was particularly galling. Clearly, under Trevor Francis the team was going nowhere fast. But just as a chairman has the right to hold the team coach accountable for the results, so do the fans have the right to hold their chairman accountable for his appointments. Jordan makes a big noise about spending £30 million since buying the club three years ago, but the simple fact is, he inherited a team with a respected and devoted manager, Steve Coppell, who he fired almost immediately much to the fan's dismay; we've subsequently seen Alan Smith, Steve Bruce and now Trevor Francis all come and go, and the result of this embarrassingly high one-manager-a-season turnover is that the team is in almost exactly the same mid First Division position it was back when Jordan took over.

Something has to give. Even the most patient football fan (if such a creature exists) will feel that if Jordan can't form some permanent and positive relationship with his next managerial appointment, the next set of changes at Selhurst Park ought to reverberate higher up the ranks.

For my own part, I made a big song and dance about all the social activity awaiting my return to New York, but the reality is that the jetlag hit me big time and I've been tucked up in bed all week at what your parents would no doubt call a "sensible time." The bonus was feeling fighting fit for a 5k run in Central Park this morning, all the better for the 5-a-side footie starting up again on Monday. Who knows? I might even get out to see some live music again in the next few days.

So what else to tell you? You can hear the new Ian McCulloch single 'Sliding' in its entirety on his web site, and if you do, maybe let us know on the Forum if you're similarly underwhelmed. Next week I'm going to vault the April Hitlist into May and post a bunch more observations/recollections from my lovely trip back to Blighty. Enjoy your Holiday Weekend.


OVERKILL! (and we're not talking Iraq)

I've spent the best part of a day going through all the press releases and music that piled up during the two weeks I was away. I envy my old mod friends in London who only go to two shows a year (Paul Weller and Secret Affair, ha ha!); those of us who follow new music while still cocking an ear and eye to our childhood heroes have no possible way of keeping up with it all. I've only just realized that I missed Groove Armada and Weekend Players on a double bill to-die-for Tuesday night, I'm regretting that I don't have an excuse to go out to Coachella festival in California next weekend and see Underworld along with the Beastie Boys, Blur, White Stripes and Red Hot Chili Peppers among many others; I'm figuring if I can see Primal Scream next week in New York; I'm digesting the just-announced attempt at a proper festival - Field Day - out on Long Island in June with Radiohead and The Beastie Boys headlining; I'm registering the Yes New York album due out in June and featuring my fave New York acts Radio 4, Interpol, and The Rapture (though not, sadly, Stellastarr*); and meantime I'm looking at all the club action in New York City and figuring it's actually a good reason for living in the country: you're not constantly tempted out of the house when you should be writing books. (No, you get cabin fever instead.)

Genuine old mod friends: Paul Blackwell, Craig, and Paul Shelley captured at the Rhythm Factory in London on April 3rd. No older than me, though: I went to primary school with the chap on the left...

Genuine old friends: Ian McNabb, TF and James Atkin after the Inspiral Carpets show in London on April 4th.

In the spirit of all this music, I'm putting finishing touches to the April Hitlist, which should be up imminently. In the meantime, I'm also working on more notes from my UK trip, some of which follow further down the page.



I'm back at my desk in Brooklyn after two lovely weeks in Blighty: I'm told I missed six inches of snow here last week which seems hard to believe given that it's topping 80 degrees Farenheit as I write. Looks like this coming summer plans to compensate for last winter in typically extreme New York fashion.

I'm thrilled to see that "hits" here at the iJamming! site stayed absolutely solid the last two weeks even though I posted only occasionally. There's clearly a loyal readership and I appreciate it. And I'm glad I made the most of my London publishers' T1 connection to keep the site updated because, for reasons I won't bore you with, I couldn't post anything once I went up to Yorkshire for a long weekend. That was probably just as well: it would have been a shame to stay indoors when there was so much beautiful town and country to explore, not to mention personal time to spend with my mother.

Anyway, I have lots more to say about my visit to the UK and will do so over the next few days. In the meantime, if any of my New York-based readership recorded Six Foot Under from two weeks ago (i.e., broadcast on April 6 and repeated on the 8th) I'd love to see it: unfortunately, our VCR got a little confused, as machines are prone to do. You can contact me here: I promise to keep your tape in good order.

The posts below have been added SINCE writing the above: they're diary entries I would have posted last week under usual circumstances.



Ever been to a party where the hosts didn't show? Such was the case at Death Disco at London's Notting Hill Arts Club on Wednesday night, April 9, where the night's founders, Alan McGee and Danny Watson, each had other commitments and I was promoted rapidly from guest DJ to main DJ, aided by a late substitute named Ariel and a band called, though probably mis-spelled, Moko. I can only assume that based on the good time we all had last year at Death Disco's old home in Oxford Street last year, McGee and Watson figured the night was in safe hands with me. Certainly it seemed to be: people came, they danced, they drank, they laughed, they kissed (well, some of them did), and eventually they went home - though few of them left before the lights came up at one in the morning, which to my mind is always a sign of success.

Tony tries to look like he knows what he's doing while DJ Ariel pretends she might learn something.

Moko (sp?) seem to know what they're doing at Death Disco on April 9.

Throughout the night, the crowd proved itself a notch more imaginative than the crowd I encountered on Oxford Street last year, filling the floor regardless of my deliberately obscure offerings. I got away with new and surely as yet unheard cuts by The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, the Greenhornes, The Sun and the International Noise Conspiracy at one end of the musical spectrum, and managed a DFA medley of Radio 4, LCD Soundystem and The Rapture at the other end. I was also able to offer the world exclusive premiere of the Ruts' 'Babylon's Burning' remixed by Terminal Head. (All of which makes me feel better about falling back on a failsafe mix of Timo Maas, Blur, Charlatans, remixed Inspiral Carpets and Stone Roses, and the Farm, played in the knowledge that I didn't bring those tracks with me to London last year.) There wasn't as much time to dive back into the 60s as I'd hoped – though the Jam's version of 'Heatwave' should count – but the Grass Roots' rousing 7" 'Where Were You When I Needed You,' donated to my collection by my upstairs neighbour last year, prompted several requests for track identification. (It was the San Franciscan band's debut top 30 hit in 1966.)

I had one minor crisis with the dual CD decks, fast-forwarding happily through the one that was playing, rather than the one that wasn't, but that's why I hate the things: with vinyl, you can see the label of any record you're lifting the needle off and are therefore less inclined to remove the record you can hear coming out the speakers. (Besides, I blame my old friend Guy Pratt, former Speedball bassist, current Gary Kemp collaborator and the mutual friend who hooked up our Jamming! Mag Killing Joke interview all those 22 years ago, for ordering a bottle of wine at the pub beforehand when I asked for a glass!) Anyway, the crowd was perfectly good natured about that cock-up and soon got back on the floor with the appropriately chosen '19th Nervous Breakdown.'

I wasn't sure what to make of Moko: recent recipients of an NME Single of the Week, so I was told, I found them too much of an identikit band for the moment. As someone alongside me stated with a keen eye for journalism shorthand, they were a cross between The Strokes and the Datsuns: they made a loud noise in all the right places and fell over in all the right places too, but myself, I'm looking for bands with a little more imagination right now.

Blue Room host Chris Coco comes out for some Death Disco with his wife, DJ Lene Stokes.

Old friends Jeni and Pascal have a hug at The Notting Hill Arts Club.

A big thanks to those friends who came out for the evening: Jen and Lee, Jeni and Lee (and no that's not a typo), Chris & Lene (the latter who dressed for the occasion in an MC5 tee, extra impressive as she's essentially a dance-head), and Jemma and Pascal among them. Cheers to Don and Paul from the venue, who lubricated my entire entourage for the whole evening. And to Ariel (whose band Ariel & The Flames' web site can be found here) for being such an easygoing DJing partner. Here's hoping we can all do it again some time.


THE PALACE BOMB (and we're not talking Iraq)

Palace attacking the Holmesdale: sadly the only goals they scored at this end the two games I witnessed were in their own net.

I've seen Crystal Palace play twice in four days now – the first two times I've watched them in the flesh in a couple of years. There have been five goals in these two matches, three of them at the far (Whitehorse Lane) end from where I've been sitting, two of them at the near (Holmesdale Road) end. The good news for my viewing purposes is that both the goals scored at 'my' end were put in the net by Palace players. The bad news is that they also both happened to be own goals.

The clanger by Tony Popovic on Saturday, which enabled promotion challengers Sheffield United to stay in the game, was bad enough, but the one Tuesday night by David Hunt - which gave Watford all three points - was truly embarrassing. Hunt's glanced backward header off of a corner into the far reaches of the net was the sort of goal Alan Shearer would be proud of – had it only been intended. Sadly, it was the nearest Palace looked like scoring all night.

The fact that both Palace's opponents these last few days were warming up for a rare FA Cup Semi-Final appearance the following Sunday was a frustrating reminder of our own season's limited glory – a brief run in the same Cup in which we beat one Premiership giant, Liverpool, were cruelly denied against another, Leeds, after which our league performances collapsed. It was no surprise then that at half time, we all went in to the bar to watch some proper football - Manchester United being thoroughly outclassed by Real Madrid in a European Championship Quarter-Final that some ended up calling the greatest match of all time. Nor was it any surprise that when the Stewards turned the TV off to force us to go back out and watch the game we'd actually paid for, some of the fans sneakily turned it on again. And it was certainly no shock when, forty-five minutes later, the Palace players having shown a truly desperate lack of imagination against what was effectively the Watford reserves (the star players being rested before their cup game), they were roundly booed off the field.

A half hour after that I found myself listening in as the Palace chairman, self-made 'Pocket Phone Shop' millionaire Simon Jordan, held forth with small groups of fans in the Players Lounge. Jordan bought the club two years ago after another self-made millionaire chairman, Mark Goldberg, ran through £25 million or so in a season, bankrupting both himself and the club in the process. Jordan has better business skills than his predecessor, in so far as the club is solvent, but in my book he's never redeemed himself for sacking Palace's most beloved and loyal manager, Steve Coppell, within a few weeks of taking over. Jordan's preferred manager, Steve Bruce, displayed his own commitment by buggering off to Birmingham half way through last season, taking Palace's star goal scorer with him and promptly getting his new team promoted to the Premiership; Palace received Birmingham's manager, Trevor Francis, in a dubiously valued exchange. Francis was a fantastic player in his time but has been a constant underachiever as a manager, and Palace are no higher up the First Division table now than when Jordan arrived and Coppell was working without wages. No wonder the fans are unhappy.

At Selhurst Park Tuesday night, Jordan fended off one set of fans' complaints about Francis' lack of managerial prowess by pointing out, fairly enough, that any new manager he might appoint would insist on clearing shop and then bringing in his own preferred players, necessitating another period of uncertainty with no further guarantee of quality. To a different group of well-mannered loyal supporters (this was the Player's Lounge, after all) he voiced his opinion that the fans' support should come before their complaints, that they should be helping instill the players with the necessary on-field confidence and desire to win games rather than booing them. I'm with him on this for certain: I've never walked out of a Palace game early, whatever the result, and even at this particular sorry display, I cheered the team on to the dying minutes. But talk about hypocrisy: the day before that I flew over, Jordan went publicly ballistic about players "earning eight grand a week (who) have a big-time Charlie attitude." The players responded with the two disapponting performances I witnessed.

Besides, the Palace fans reserved their boos to the very end of the game, expressing a general, genuine and entirely understandable dissatisfaction, rather than engaging in constant and unsettling barracking and abuse. And they gave credit where it was due: 17-year old Ben Watson dominated the Palace team on his debut performance, and was given a standing ovation when he was subbed late in the second half. (Hungry young players like Watson and Wayne Routledge, determined to make a name for themselves when given the opportunity, may lack the stamina and patience of their higher-paid elders, but they show far more commitment and inspiration and usually provide better entertainment too.) And Jordan certainly can't complain about the club's fan base: with an average home crowd of nearly 18,000, at least 11,000 of those in pre-paid season tickets, he has a guaranteed income with which to plan the club's future.

So no, Jordan's problems are of his own making. As a high profile, publicity-hungry young businessman (though not as a high-profile or publicity-hungry as his disastrously ambitious predecessor Goldberg), he's led the fans to expect something better than the current mediocrity. He isn't the first chairman not to get on with his managers, and he won't be the last, and like many another self-made millionaire who's bought into the football dream, he's finding a 100-year old sports club with all its legacies and loyalties a much wilder beast than his own self-created business. But as far as I see it, the only way Jordan is going to get Palace back where they belong (we ARE a Premiership club, if not a Premiership side) is by installing a young, determined, passionate and loyal manager – and giving him the free reign to do his job.

This may be more than Jordan is capable of: angered late Tuesday night by a mild-mannered fan's opinion that he wouldn't have brought Francis in to begin with, Jordan said, "I tell you what: They're all the fucking same," using his right hand to imitate a yapping jaw. He was referring, it seemed, to his experience with managers, not with whining fans. But as he turned and walked away with that riposte, unwilling to suffer further criticism from season-ticket holders, I couldn't help think that he was inadvertently referring to chairmen like himself.

APRIL 7-13: London Musings: Madness, Inspiral Carpets, the Affair, the Palace, the Jam
MARCH 31-APRIL 6: Music be the spice of life, London Calling: Ten Observations from the Old Country
MARCH 24-30: Six Foot Under, Peaches/Elefant live, MP Frees and Busted Boy Bands
MARCH 17-23: Röyksopp live, Transmission, Worn-Out War Talk
MARCH 10-16: Live reviews: Stratford 4, Flaming Sideburns, Joe Jackson Band, Linkin Park. Why I Oppose The War (For Now).
MARCH 3-9: The Pursuit of Happiness, Weekend Players, U.S. Bombs, Al Farooq, A New Pessimism, Brooklyn Half Marathon
FEBRUARY 24-MARCH2: Orange Park, Ali G-Saddam Hussein-Dan Rather-Bill Maher-Jon Stewart TV reviews, Stellastarr*, James Murphy, The Station nightclub fire, the Grammys
FEBRUARY 17-23: Village Voice Poll, Singles Club, Smoke and Fire
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
DECEMBER 16-24: Metro Area, Breakbeat Science, Sting makes Wine, New York Downtown redesigns, Keith Moon anecdotes, Campbell's jokes.
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)

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live at the Brixton Academy

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From the Jamming! Archives:
interviewed in 1981

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20 ALBUMS, 5 EPs

Live at Mercury Lounge

HUGEL, Pinot Blanc Cuvee Amour 2000, Alsace



Ten Major Memories and a number of lists

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the iJamming! Book Review
by Alan Dershowitz

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30 Albums 10 Songs

Tips for the marathon virgin.

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Interviewed in 1979

The iJamming! Interview: UNDERWORLD

Coming and Going
Chapter 3: THE PALACE

The iJamming! Interview

From the Jamming! Archives:
Interviewed in 1978

Available Now!
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A Decade In Dance
10 Years (Apiece)

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Sauvignon Blanc
Pinot Noir
Rhône Rangers
Southern France

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

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NEW CHAPTER now online

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

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