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.

Tony Fletcher's debut novel HEDONISM it out now in the UK. For more information and to read excerpts, click here. ORDER THROUGH AMAZON.CO.UK

Tony Fletcher's next DJ gig:

FRIDAY AUGUST 29

BANK HOLIDAY BEST BETS

The perfect wine for a Bank Holiday Barbeque : Cline's California Zinfandel 2001

Two new reviews in place of the last two days' muses. Black Rebel Motorcycle Club's Take Them On, On Your Own lives up to the promise of their impressive debut, while Cline's California Zinfandel, one of the best $9 bottles on the American market year in year out, is particularly flavorful in the 2001 vintage. The combination is perfect for a Labor Day Weekend barbeque if you're in the States, but equally likely to fire up any party anywhere - assuming you can find Cline's wines overseas...

...The pairing also only works assuming you can come across the BRMC album in the States, where it isn't officially released until Tuesday. (It came out in Europe and Japan this past week.) I didn't make the connection when I posted on Wednesday, but I've since realized that Black Rebel Motorcycle Club are also on Virgin Records. I still find it odd that Virgin sent the Chemical Brothers b-side album out to the media with that elaborate identification system that can trace an MP3 back to its originator, but allowed the Chemicals' a-sides album (with the new, previously unreleased single) and the whole, highly anticipated BRMC album out without such protections. Makes me think that the intention is primarily to scare us, to demonstrate what they can do with technology, too.A couple of years ago, launching this site, I wrote that "People download digital music files for the same reason that dogs lick their balls: because they can." Seems like the record companies are doing the same thing.


WEDNESDAY AUGUST 27

STICKER SHOCK

Record companies and publicists are taking different attitudes by which to deter journalists from sharing pre-release CDs. Some of them appeal to our sense of morality and decency. Sending an advance of the new Black Rebel Motorcycle Club album Take Them On, On Your Own a month before its shop date (itself a smaller window than once we were accustomed to), indie publicist Jim Merlis wrote in his accompanying letter, "Please don't put this music on the Internet. I can't tell you how difficult it's become getting advance music and every time something puts up advance music [he may have meant to say 'someONE'] it makes my and ultimately your job more difficult." Nicely put, and it hit home.

Other companies take a more aggressive stance. Virgin Records, parent company of the hip alternative label Astralwerks, sent my copy of The Chemical Brothers Singles 93-03 (disk 2 only, mind, not disk 1) in a tightly sealed slip sleeve that printed my name, a number (mine is 1085, which may signify a lowly status in the scheme of things), affiliation (freelance), and a rather stiff set of conditions, of which the following is but an excerpt:

"We have discovered that recent pre-release copies of some of our recordings were uploaded onto P2P Internet Services that unlawfully trade in unauthorized distribution of recordings. This uploading and subsequent file-sharing blatantly infringes our intellectual property rights… You should be aware that we are carefully monitoring the use of our pre-release copies by their recipients, including use by journalists and publishers who should be sensitive towards intellectual property rights since they derive a living from the creativity and investment that these rights protect and stimulate."

In short, the same technology that allows CDs to be copied in the first place also now allows those copies to be individually identified. Upload (or even inadvertently share via iTunes) an encrypted advance CD and "you will be held liable and responsible".

I should be grateful that Virgin have not gone the route of BMG and rendered some of their commercially released CDs – such as the Kings of Leon album I paid £10 for in the UK – incompatible with Apple Mac computers, which I consider to infringe MY intellectual property rights. Virgin in turn should be grateful that I've received their message loud and clear. Not only have I not turned the music into MP3s, but I haven't even taken it out of the impressively sealed shrink-wrap: I've yet to find a knife up to the job. Then again, I don't really need to. The unstated joke accompanying the stiff printed threat is that the CD is a collection of b-sides, all of which have long been commercially available – meaning that presumably they're all up on the P2P Services already. By all means scare us from sharing unreleased music, but what's the point in scaring us from sharing previously released songs? Unless the point is just to scare us, full stop...

I'm also scared to cut through the shrink-wrap on the debut album by the Carlsonics. Why? Well, a few months ago I saw the band live at Manhattan Ballroom opening for the Rapture (see left) and wrote enthusiastically on this site how "they sound like The Stones, move like Primal Scream, and rock like The Hives," and then didn't think much more of it. Which means I was real (sticker) shocked to receive the group's eponymous album a few days ago, and find that same triple comparison attached to the cover. I didn't know record companies take what I write on this site seriously. And maybe they don't, because the quote is referenced not to iJamming!, which by rights it should be, but to me as "author of Keith Moon: A Biography." This is not the title of my book in either the UK or the USA, but I'm not offended, at least not any more than that member of the Carlsonics whose head has been blocked by my words must be. Why then am I scared to play the record? Because I reviewed a live show, not the band's recordings – which I've yet to hear. What if I don't actually like the album?…


TUESDAY AUGUST 26

QUICK W(H)INE

Who would ever have thought I'd find myself on the same side as Kenneth Starr, the Impeachment investigator best known now as the sexually specific author of the odious report into former President Bill Clinton's dalliance with Monica Lewinsky? Still, politics makes for strange bedfellows and other cliches, and Starr now represents that part of the wine industry which seeks to do away with the antiquated Direct-Shipping Laws. These laws, which date back to the repeal of Prohibition, prevent someone like me, here in New York, from having wine delivered direct from a winery based in any other State but my own. As you can imagine, these laws are a source of great anger in this Internet age where in theory anyone can buy anything from anywhere. And as much as the laws may have been originally been designed with the fair intention of allowing individual States to set their own policies on alcohol after Prohibition, they've also served to preserve a three-tier distribution system that keeps the price of American wine much higher than it need be. An interesting piece in the NY Times on Sunday notes that the core argument - States' Rights versus Free Trade - is actually two sides of a conservative coin, which is why Starr can represent the wineries and an equally conservative and dislikeable right wing lawyer, Robert Bork, can represent the wholesalers. If you're interested in learning more about the fight against the Direct-Shipping Laws, which seem as ludicrous as the Cabaret Laws we also suffer under in New York, visit the freethegrapes web site.


MONDAY AUGUST 25

ANOTHER BANK HOLIDAY WEEKEND, ANOTHER (PUNK) PLANET

Just back from a few days in the old industrial mid-west… I can probably tell you what I was doing there but I'll save it for another day. Due to the fact it was a short notice trip and there was a major sports event in town, I found myself staying on a horrifically generic piece of strip mall Americana, in the kind of Holiday Inn where you turn down the free breakfast, the food is so bad. I had the Interstate on one side of me, and on the other, an 8-lane highway leading into town with one mall after another after another after another, almost ad infinitum (and certainly ad nauseum).

The strip is designed for maximum driving and minimum walking, as I found when using the (surprisingly good) Mexican restaurant literally across the street. Given that there were no pedestrian signs and no sidewalk I felt like I was breaking the law just by using my feet. The whole city was a shocking indictment of car culture. Obviously I take New York's community feel, dependence on public transport and relative fondness for getting about on foot for granted. No longer.

But for all that I was in the clutch of corporate capitalism, there were some surprisingly redeeming factors: a Starbucks that played Nada Surf (the last time I went into a Starbucks they were playing Tommy Guerrero; someone at headquarters has good taste), a Kinko's that allowed completely free access to their T1 lines for anyone, like me, with a plug-in laptop, and a coincidence at a Barnes & Noble that so beggars belief I'm going to save telling it for another day. And being that I'm determined to mine the good that's left from even the most heavily stripped cities, I had a great time when not working: found a winery in the country just five miles from my hotel in one direction, went on a run in a 33,000 acre National Park just five miles in the other direction, and picked up some interesting books and vinyl at an alt-record store in the city's one remaining preserve of alternative culture.

Among my acquisitions was a copy of the latest Punk Planet - not a magazine I normally pay attention to but which I picked up as it was marked down to a dollar. Lo and behold if the decidedly counter-culture magazine didn't have an interview with that subject of a few musings and forum postings over the last few weeks, Greg Palast. No surprise perhaps: Palast has a book and an agenda to promote, and Punk Planet is a perfect platform. All the same, the introduction, written by editor Jim Horwatt, is revealing: the two men met at an independent press event, where the relentlessly self-promoting Palast insisted he should be in Horwatt's magazine. Better yet, he provided up his own interviewer: "I'll have my friend Jello Biafra do it," Horwatt quotes him as enthusing. "I'll call him up right now."

Now Jello's a proper alternative American institution who's never to my knowledge sold himself short, and I still have extremely fond memories of interviewing him on the first Dead Kennedys tour of the UK in 1980: he talked so eloquently and elaborately that the subsequent piece probably won the Jamming! Award for smallest point size typeface ever – and it had some fair competition over the years!

All the same, I hope we can see the irony here: Greg Palast, fearless investigative journalist, a man who asks such tough questions of his subjects that he provokes them to walk out of his interviews (which makes for pointed viewing when there are cameras rolling), chooses friends as his own interviewers when it comes to being on the receiving end - even, no especially, when talking to a sympathetic magazine. The subsequent Punk Planet piece still has plenty shocking revelations, and I'm determined to read Palast's book The Best Democracy Money Can Buy as soon as I'm through with the other books that have piled up over recent months. Still, even the most vociferous of his supporters would surely welcome the chance for more challenging questions than Biafra's "Did you really try out for cheerleader in high school?"

The rest of Punk Planet is well worth getting your hands on, be it for the lengthy diary from a (punk) US soldier, an interview with Brazil's first feminist punk band Dominatrix, Ramones' biographer Everett True's lengthy interview with Wire or the genuinely informative piece about Fair Trade Coffee. It may just be because I felt like I was on another planet for a few days, but Punk Planet helped keep me rooted on earth.

2003 MUSINGS:
AUG 18-24: Black Out Blame Game, John Shuttleworth, British Music mags, Greg Palast, The Thrills live.
AUG 11-17: The New York blackout, Restaurant reviews, The Media as Watchdog, What I Bought On My Holidays
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
FOR EARLY APRIL MUSINGS, CLICK HERE


iJamming! Site Copyright Tony Fletcher 2003




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This page last updated
Tue, Sep 2, 2003 12:42 pm)


FEATURED ALBUM:
'Take Them On, On Your Own' by Black Rebel Motorcycle Club

FEATURED WINE:
CLINE CALIFORNIA ZINFANDEL 2001

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

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