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FRIDAY AUGUST 15

BLACKOUT BLUES BLISS

I can't complain about the black-out the way other people might. Working from home, it was a minor inconvenience, no real problem compared to all the people who had to walk miles to get home, and especially not those trapped in elevators on on the subway. Our street in late afternoon was filled with good-natured, if rather sweaty boasting as to who had the longest journey: Posie's six mile journey was by no means the record (and anyway, she truly enjoys walking the bridge to Brooklyn on a sunny day).

Being the kind of dangerously schadenfraude-friendly person I am, I couldn't help but make an ironic connection to a report that had been issued on Tuesday. Turns out that New Yorkers, contrary to our superiority complex, have similar weight problems to the rest of the country, with 35% of citizens describing themselves as overweight in an extensive survey. In fact, a full "26% of adult New Yorkers said they had not exercised at all in the month before they were questioned – not even a brisk 20-minute walk." You can rest assured that many of those got enforced exercise yesterday.

Anyway, it was remarkably civilized and friendly in our 'hood. We got the inflatable pool going in the back garden and invited some neighborhood kids over to join our son for a splash. When nightfall came, we got the barbeque going in the back garden, cooked up some of the veggie burgers we were concerned would otherwise go bad, and some other vegetables too, and again invited some neighbors down to join us. The lack of traffic enabled us to sleep with the windows open (the air conditioning is as important in blocking out street noise as in keeping us cool) and when we awoke, it was to find the electricity back on.

Above: 4th Avenue at midnight. The 6-lane road is usually choked with traffic at all hours. Right: how black was my block? Very. The light in the top left corner is the moon.

Obviously, I'm speaking through extremely rose-colored glasses here, but still, considering that deaths have been at a minimum, and looting almost non-existent, it does one some good in the city to step back from the modern world, do without all mod cons and watch the setting son(s) without the sound affects of TV and music and just appreciate the gift of life. (Excuse that verbal jam; got carried away there.) The good humor round these parts is based on the highly perceptible relief among New York that it wasn't terrorism at work, that this wasn't another 9/11.

And unlike that last disaster, this time there was no TV available for us to slavishly track events; those with battery radios kept the rest of us informed of what we quickly learned was a multi-State crisis and that was it. We were forced to get on with things as opposed to being glued to the goggle-box. Anyone who was smart avoided getting in their car, too, but with the subways closed and the buses jammed, that was not a universal option, and the resulting gridlock was probably the one and only sign of societal breakdown. Our neighborhood had an odd combination of volunteer traffic police standing where the traffic lights had stopped: they ranged from the National Guard and off-duty cops to well-meaning wooly hippies whom, I noticed, took over the least-trafficked roads. (Hey, I don't blame them!)

One neighbor who works in midtown media took the opposite option from walking home – 45 flights of stairs was enough for the time being – and headed with work friends to a local restaurant that presumably cooked with gas, where they all proceeded to eat, drink and get merry. She reports that being drunk in a completely unlit Times Square at midnight is a truly apocalyptic scenario, and not one she hopes to repeat any time soon.

I too went out on the street around midnight, and it was genuinely eery – the usually choked 4th Avenue had just the occasional slow-moving, heavily lit car and our own street was the equivalent of that famous Spinal Tap cover from the Black Album. (See accompanying photos.) The sound of someone else coming down the unlit street caused me to suddenly jump. I suppose the fear of crime is an integral part of living in the city. New York's a civilized enough place, even in the dark – but all the same, it's nice to be able to see your neighbors as well as to hear them.

There's plenty time for finger-pointing and the blame game. I only hope that this might raise questions about excessive power consumption and prompt a national discussion about conservation. Somehow I doubt it. I do know that we got given a snow day in August. As they just said on WNYC, reminding us to take the day off, "consider it the hottest blizzard of all time – and make the most of it." Will do. The Thrills review will have to wait till next week. Here comes the weekend.


THURSDAY AUGUST 14

RESTAURANT ROUND-UP

I closed out yesterday's musing linking to a column about sommeliers, which seems like a good way to segue into a couple of restaurant reviews today. I don't eat out much anymore, which is related to the whole business (financial and time-management) of being a parent. (Paradoxically, this is, one of the reasons I became more interested in wine; I figured that if we were no longer paying restaurant mark-ups, I could pay more attention to and a higher price for the wine we put on the home dinner table). But last weekend was an exception: two sets of friends came to town and each insisted on treating (lucky old) me to dinner.

The first guests, who were staying with me in Brooklyn Friday night, had asked hopefully if they could get Asian or fish; I don't think they expected find so many restaurants on our local 5th Avenue offering both. We considered the relatively new Nana, which has chefs from Malaysia, Thailand and Japan, but too few true vegetarian options for me. And the wait at Blue Ribbon was an hour long – testament to its phenomenal reputation - so we headed back down the avenue to Long Tan instead.

Long Tan. A part of Park Slope that is forever Australian. Or Thai. Via Ireland.


This Thai-flavored Australian restaurant opened in the frightening immediate aftermath of September 11, 2001, when not only were most New Yorkers eating and crying at home but 5th Avenue was being excavated for the second autumn running. Despite this unlucky timing, Long Tan opened, survived, and soon flourished, thanks to a winning combination of inexpensive Pacific Rim flavors, Thai curries and Australian kangaroo (yes, kangaroo) in a chic setting, with a front bar featuring late night DJs and weekend footie, an outback courtyard for summer dining, and a wittily-updated street-front blackboard.

Sadly, one of Long Tan's owners is no longer here to enjoy his restaurant's popularity. The Australian half of the partnership headed home with English wife show off their new baby to his family, believing his own green card guaranteed his wife's status in the States. Sadly, he was wrong: when they returned to the States, she was refused entry. (They've since moved to Sydney, where he's planning on opening a new restaurant; I'm sure if he can make there, he can make it there, too.) Though this shows that draconian enforcement of immigration laws is not just affecting Muslims and South Asians, it's still upsetting – and it's not the only such story I've heard. It would likely have been different prior to 9/11, but then, as we're so used to saying round these parts, everything was different prior to 9/11.

But back to Long Tan, which continues to offer good value for money under the sole ownership of Irishman Rory. When some light vegetable summer rolls were placed straight on our table, we assumed they were a restaurant freebie; only after eating them did we learn they'd been given us by mistake. They were so delectable we paid for them anyway. Vegetarian spring rolls, spicy sweetcorn cakes and, according to my friends, their kingfish fritters too, were all equally edible. Having worked my way through the other vegetarian options on previous visits, I upped the ante this time out and went for the 'very spicy' vegetarian jungle curry w/ tofu, green & yellow zucchini, mung beans, long beans & chili. It went down a treat, and continued going down for the next 12 hours. I put this discomfort down to a late meal and the fact I eat fewer hot curries than I used to. My friends, who opted for grilled salmon and three-flavored snapper respectively, seemed delighted to be eating Asian-flavored fish and expressed total satisfaction.

It's no surprise that most of the wines at Long Tan are Australian. Usually, that includes the Charles Melton Rosé I wrote about last year; unfortunately, it was out of stock and our Sydney-born waiter declared that the replacement French rosé was "not very good." I went for that rarest of Australian wines – an unoaked chardonnay – instead, and followed it with a Shiraz from a winery I've visited, the Rothbury Estate in Hunter Valley. Long Tan has an impressive wine list by the bottle, which includes the benchmark Marsanne from Chateau Tahbilk (a wine I've never seen for sale in the States); I'd like to see some Aussie Viognier too, but the fact that they serve a down-under Riesling by the glass and Gewürztraminer by the bottle indicates they're conscious of providing suitable wines for such spicy rich food.


Long Tan is not necessarily the place to go for an anniversary or major celebration: service is occasionally erratic and the food is very good but not outstanding. But considering its unique menu, its proud promotion of Thai-flavored, Pacific Rim cooking and Australasian wines, throw in its attractive décor and its affordability - my curry was but $9 – and it's absolutely worth the trip on a casual Friday.


Sunday night a friend came to Manhattan and wanted to eat well and drink Rhône. I was caught on the hop when asked for recommendations, and decided to play safe, plumping for Danny Meyer's flagship restaurant, the Union Square Café, which I'd still not visited despite living in that neighborhood for six years in the 1990s. The place is surely still doing something right. Despite 15 years in business – several lifetimes in the New York restaurant scene – we couldn't get a table until 9.45pm. That on a Sunday in summer, too.

Meyer's restaurants, which include the Gramercy Tavern, are known for their wine lists; my visiting friend and I gave the menu but a cursory glance and turned straight to the Rhône section of the wine list. We were immediately dazzled both by choice (including the top Châteauneuf du Pape estate, Château Rayas) and put off by price ($350 for the brilliant 1989 vintage), and settled on a 1997 Côte Rôtie Vieilles Vignes from Marie-Claude Lafoy and Vincent Gasse. This itself is quite a rarity given that the vines date from before World War II, that they come from a clone of Syrah no longer planted and that only a few hundred cases are made each year. (No, I did not learn this from the 'wine steward'; I visited the importer's web site.)

Sadly, the wine was brought to us at something close to fridge temperature, which suggests that Union Square's cellars, while ideal for long-term storage, are too cold for short-term orders. Given that the room was well air conditioned, we had trouble bringing the wine up to an appropriate temperature, despite cupping the sizable glasses in our hands for minutes on end. This disappointment was all the more pronounced because Côte Rôtie is truly one of the world's great wines, and the Lafoy-Gasse VV is a particularly traditional example. The product of biodynamic farming, the grapes see no-destemming and after a couple of years in oak, the wine is bottled unfiltered – which explains the exceptional amount of tannin left in our glasses by such a relatively young wine. A big brute of a Côte Rôtie (unlike some of the more silky offerings, which blend in up to 20% Viognier, this is 100% syrah), its complex nose of olives, smoke, raspberry, bacon fat and tar would have been much more redolent at something closer to room temperature.

Of course you don't kick a Côte Rôtie out of bed whatever the circumstances and once we restrained the waiter from trying to top up our glasses – a pet hate for myself, my host and yesterday's Times columnist – we made the most of it, allowing it to breathe and develop over the next hour or two. Ironically, due to my diet, I was forced to accompany it a similar meal to Friday night's: "an assortment of Indian vegetables", in other words, another curry. Much though I love syrah, greatly though I enjoy the occasional curry, I hadn't anticipated matching the two, twice in one weekend.

If you sense some disappointment, it's perhaps from raising my expectations too high, especially when arranging a meal around the wine as we did. (My meat-eating friends were probably better off at Union Square.) The lesson then is to enjoy one's finest wines at home, where a) they cost less (though thankfully I wasn't paying on this occasion) and b) the host can keep temperatures controlled and perfectly match the food for the celebration.

All this said, it would have been interesting to have had a 'real' sommelier on hand, and not just because he or she may have noticed the wine was too cool to begin with. My Rhône-loving host told of dining in a 3-star restaurant in the south of France, where from the extensive (and expensive) wine list he ordered, again, a Côte Rôtie, usually an indicator of a customer's fine taste. The sommelier recoiled in horror and insisted that Monsieur could not possible drink such a wine with such food, and promptly brought a local vin de pays at a fraction of the price! When my friends finished the bottle and, scared now to offend the sommelier, asked for a glass of 'anything red' that would suitably accompany the cheese plate, they were served the Côte Rôtie they'd asked for in the first place!


One reason I opted for Union Square for Sunday night's meal was because I figured I would then have no excuse not to pop down the road to Shout!, where Irish sensations the Thrills were performing an acoustic set. And so I attended and so I took notes, but after this unexpectedly long diversion into food and wine, I'll save them for Friday.


WEDNESDAY AUGUST 13

THE MEDIA AS WATCHDOG...

Up early today, into Manhattan and back, giving me a chance to speed-read the city's weekly news-entertainment papers - the Village Voice and the New York Press – and the New York Times, which I look out for on a Wednesday specifically for the Thomas Friedman column and the wine reports…

The news itself certainly doesn't make for optimism. Suicide bombers return in Israel, despite the apparently genuinely determination by both the Israeli and Palestinian Prime Ministers, with not some little cajoling by the American President, to put the bloodshed behind them and work towards a lasting peace. (The Times has an interesting historical sidebar about how Israel's first Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion, dealt with the then committed-to-violence renegade/terrorist Menachem Begin back in 1948, presumably as advice to Palestinian PM Ahmoud Abbas on reigning in Hamas.)… 61 die in 24 hours in Afghanistan, according to my updated home page here, reminding us that we (the international community) still have a job to finish in that nation, while a front page report in the print edition warns that the 'Rising Tide of Islamic Militants See Iraq as Ultimate Battlefield.' This makes sense from a Militant's point of view: There weren't many Americans to fight on the ground in Afghanistan, so why not take on a fully stretched American (and British) force in Iraq? But it ought to be accompanied by its own sidebar. There is a certain school of thought here that President Bush is fully aware of Iraq's current attraction to Islamic Militants and is deliberately trying to "bring them on" (in his own words), presumably believing it's easier to defeat the extremists in the Iraqi desert than on Afghan turf or, say, Saudi soil.

If so, it's a dangerous policy, as proven not just by the daily deaths of American soldiers, but by this frustratingly negative report from Baghdad by Thomas Friedman, who sees clearly the opportunity for America to achieve some real, lasting success in Iraq but, unhappily, views the possibility of failure as a more likely scenario. (Given that he was held up at gunpoint since his last column, one can forgive him his pessimism.) In a final (for now) connection of the dots, the arrest of a British arms dealer in Newark, New Jersey, on charges of trying to sell a surface-to-air missile to Al-Qaeda, seems like a triumph for the intelligence services, until one notes that it was in fact a double sting: both the supplier of the missile and the potential purchaser were part of an undercover international police operation. The arms dealer, it would seem, was only doing what arms dealers do in the first place: selling deadly weapons to whomever wants them. So while this particular odious creature may be out of the picture for now, it makes me no less certain that real al-Qaeda operatives won't get their hands on real surface-to-air missiles if they truly want them.



The New York Press continues to deliver to every political affiliation: former publisher/editor Russ Smith offers support to Arnold Schwarzanegger's Gubernatorial aspirations on one page, while a couple of pages later, Michelangelo Signorile notes that celebrities on the left are projected as treasonous "Hollyweirders" when they voice their political opinions, "but when they’re on the right they're just the kind of 'outsiders' who can do the job."

Skip the polemics then, and jump to the book section, where both features make genuinely interesting, um, reading. The first is about veteran war correspondent Chris Hedges, who has followed his acclaimed book War Is A Force that Gives Us Meaning, with a tome aimed at a younger audience, What Every Person Should Know About War. This new book sets out to answer such questions as 'What does it feel like to kill someone?' and 'What will happen to my body when I die?' (Presumably that should be 'if' I die, unless Hedges is answering to bigger questions than those of war.)

Hedges says that he "argued the price down" with his publishers on What Every Person Should Know. "They wanted to sell it for $15 and I wanted to sell it for $11, because I wanted the kids on minimum wage to be able to afford it." Hedges, who witnessed the carnage in Central America in the 1980s and reported independently rather than from the press pool during the first Gulf War, only gave up his addictive job after he "got caught in a really bad Israeli ambush in the Gaza Strip in 1999…A kid got killed 50 feet in front of me." Neither pacifist nor war-monger, Hedges appears to be a straight-talker who wants to impart some of what he's learned on the battlefield to those who might be thinking of joining up to pay their way through college. Respect.

On the opposite page, meanwhile, correspondent Margaret Menge notes that 75 people were laid off at New York publisher Simon & Schuster "exactly six weeks after the June 9 publication date of" Senator Hillary Clinton's autobiography Living History, when the company would have "likely cut Sen. Clinton a check for the remainder of the gigantic [$8 million] advance." As an author myself, I can confirm that partial payment comes on publication, and it's therefore hard not to conclude that the two events must surely be related. (In all likelihood, there was a minimum $2,000,000 check being paid in June.) Naturally, the publishers actively deny any connection whatsoever, pointing out that Clinton's book has topped the best-seller lists. Indeed it has, and sales are currently over a million, but Menge looks at the figures – books are a relatively straight-forward financial proposition – and notes that even by end of the year, Clinton will likely be around $1,700,000 behind on her advance. That discrepancy wouldn't cover all 75 sacked staff's salaries (not at New York incomes anyway), but it would surely have helped keep some of them in their jobs.

Of course, as Menge writes of our free-market society, "Simon & Schuster can pay a billion-dollar advance if it wants to." And every writer, as per every musician, has a right to demand the biggest advance they can get away with to secure their old age. However, I should note – and this is my observation, not that of the New York Press - that Hillary Clinton is also paid, not just by Simon & Schuster, but ultimately by the American people, to represent the State of New York in the United States Senate. (The other New York Senator, also a Democrat, is Park Sloper Charles Schumer). At a time when New York, both the State and the City, is in desperate financial straits, still recovering from the biggest act of wanton terrorism in history and uncertain when it might next become a war zone, wouldn't it seem more appropriate for Clinton to be focusing on her day job, representing the people, rather than raking in the millions writing her autobiography?

It's true that Clinton is not the only person to moonlight like this – politician's autobiographies are a famliar first step towards a Presidential bid - and of course part of her multi—million dollar advance (greater than even her ex-President husband's) would have gone on the salaries of her ghost-writers (there were said to be three). But still, isn't there something a little disrespectful in banking all this money while New Yorkers, both urban and rural, are losing their jobs and their savings at an alarming rate? And before we hear it, the "other people do it so why can't I?" defense carries little more weight for Hillary than for criminals: it's the calling of great politicians - and writers – to hold themselves to higher standards than their competition. Chris Hedges did so by arguing down the price – and, by extension, his royalty – of his latest book. He will get less press than the Senator for his gallantry, and I doubt it will even help him sleep better at night. (War correspondents, as with combat soldiers themselves, aren't known for having pleasant dreams.) Hopefully, somewhere in the Universe, the karma will even out.


The Village Voice, which recently laid off several of its own staff despite being in profit, this week unveils a redesign. These things are always initially disconcerting; it will take a few weeks for us all to figure out if we like it or not. But certain fingers at the ageing weekly remain very much on the pulse: props are given inside the paper for not one happening Brooklyn Friday night hang-out spot, but two. The first, E-Man's all-inclusive house nation celebration Bang The Party, is back in Fort Greene where it belongs (though sadly, no longer at the delightfully anachronistic Frank's Lounge). The second, The Royale on my own neighboring block, 5th Avenue, is commended for its Friday nights of "funky soul, old-and-new-skool hip hop, and reggae." Fond though I may be of such (standard weekend bar) music, I have to warn that first Fridays of each month, it's going to be in scarce supply, as Step On is now booked into The Royale on that date for the foreseeable future. Our third attempt to joyously and somewhat facetiously carve out a little bit of Madchester in Brooklyn will be on September 5th.

As the Voice puts it, "Silky-haired vixen pretending she's in a Galaxie 500 video: Liz Phair."(photo: David Atlas)

Two contradictory comments from two reviews of Liz Phair's show at Bowery Ballroom. The former indie-queen's recent make-over (not just visually, but her collaboration with Avril Lavigne's production team the Matrix) has met with much criticism, including from the Times' Kelefa Sanneh. Reviewing Phair's show, Sanneh writes that "Maybe the new songs have earned Ms. Phair some new fans, but it's a safe bet none of them scored tickets to see her on Sunday. The audience was full of longtime fans…"

Notes Laura Sinagra in the Voice of the exact same show, "a divorced dad from Jersey told me that he didn't know who Liz Phair was until two weeks ago, when the guitar-straddle shot on her CD caught his eye." How big, precisely, was the wager on that 'safe bet'?

Oh yeah, I buy the Times on Wednesdays partly because of the wine column. This week, Frank Prial compiles a list of crimes committed by sommeliers – or wine stewards, as they now prefer to be called. He's not alone: my Who fanatic friends Max Ker-Seymer and Chris Charlesworth each voiced one of Frial's frustrations to me in just the last 48 hours. I'll add my own tomorrow – if I'm not further distracted.


MONDAY-TUESDAY AUGUST 11-12

WHAT I BOUGHT ON MY HOLIDAYS

As you can no doubt tell, there's no long-winded rants as yet this week. Instead, I've put up an August Hitlist, aka What I Bought On My Holidays. Includes records by Cerys Matthews (see left), The Kills, Kings Of Leon, Small Faces, T. Rex, and Deep Purple (yes, Deep Purple); books by Iain Banks, Martin Amis, Hanif Kureishi and Peter Saville; and an assortment of magazines and singles, all of which I bought while in the UK this July. Go on, give it a read. You're bound to disagree...


And in the meantime... Shall we talk some more about the Weather? I gather Britain finally broke 100 degrees Farenheit yesterday. (Yay!) Except that most people don't have air conditioning. (Boo!) And the Brits successfully drunk an extra 2 million pints last weekend to celebrate. (Yay!) Except you're better off drinking less alcohol and more water in a heatwave unless you want to die of dehydration. (Boo!) Palace won their opening game of the season, with only 9 men for much it and thanks to a Dougie Freedman hat-trick (Yay!) But Crazy Legs United just suffered their first defeat in their 7th game of the season. (Boo!) And it didn't rain on Monday in New York City. (Yay!) Though it did rain - and heavily - for each of the previous 11 days here. (Boo!) As someone surely once said, What the F***'s going on?

2003 MUSINGS:
AUG 4-10: Step On again, Shaun W. Ryder, Jack magazine, the BBC, the Weather, Detroit Cobras, football and Rock'n'Roll
JULY 28-AUG 3: De La Guarda, The Rapture, Radio 4, Stellastarr*, Jodie Marsh, A Tale of Two Lions, Hedonism launch photos,
JULY 14-27: Manchester Move Memories, Hedonism is Here, Holiday postcard
JULY 7-13: Chuck Jackson live, Step On, Beverley Beat, British Way of Life
JUNE30-JULY6: David Beckham, Geoffrey Armes, Happy Mondays, Step On at Royale
JUNE 23-29: Ceasars/The Realistics live, weddings and anniversaries, Cabaret laws.
JUNE 9-23: Hell W10, The Clash, Big Audio Dynamite, Nada Surf live, Field Day debacle
JUNE 2-8: Six Feet Under - Over, Field Day, Siren Fest, Crouching Tigher Hidden Cigarette
MAY 19-JUNE 1: Ian McCulloch live, New York's financial woes, Six Feet Under, Hedonism, Tommy Guerrero.
MAY 5-18: Live reviews of The Rapture, De La Soul, Carlsonics, Laptop, The Libertines, Echoboy, The Greenhornes; observations on Chris Coco/The Blue Room, The Apple Music Store, Alan Freed, Phil Spector, The Matrix Reloaded, Rare Earth, Tinnitus and Royale!
APRIL 28-MAY 4: Flaming Lips, Madonna, Bill Maher, The Dixie Chicks, the war
APRIL 21-27: Rotary Connection, War(n) Out, Cocaine Talk
APRIL 14-20: Belated London Musings on Death Disco and CPFC.
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
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
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iJamming! Site Copyright Tony Fletcher 2003




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This page last updated
Thu, Aug 21, 2003 1:37 am)


THE AUGUST HITLIST
What I bought on my Holidays (CDs, 12"s, books and magazines from the UK)

HEDONISM
What, Where, How and Why...

MANCHESTER MOVE MEMORIES:
A report from a proper Field Day Festival (includes R.E.M., The Charlatans, Inspiral Carpets, and Badly Drawn Boy)

THE JULY HITLIST:
10 NEW NEW YORK ALBUMS

THE JUNE HITLIST:
15 NEW ALBUMS
10 OLD ALBUMS
5 MOVIES

THE MAY HITLIST:
20 NEW ALBUMS,
1 ONLINE ESSENTIAL,
3 NEW MAGAZINES

FEATURED MIX CD:
2 CD's & MP3's

FEATURED ALBUM:
COCKAHOOP by CERYS MATTHEWS

FEATURED WINE:
CHAPEL DOWN HORIZON, England

INSPIRAL CARPETS
live at the Brixton Academy

The iJamming! Interview:
2 MANY DJs
"We bypassed the record company and the industry - we just did this thing and it went off."

From the Jamming! Archives:
KILLING JOKE
interviewed in 1981

WHY I OPPOSE THE WAR
as of March 11

THE MARCH HITLIST:
5 SUPERB COMPILATIONS
20 ALBUMS, 5 EPs

THE FEBRUARY HITLIST:
25 ALBUMS

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.

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

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