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Friday February 6th:

STEP ON

Resident DJ Tony Fletcher will be joined by the return of DJ DB, founder of NASA, SORTED, and DEEP. DB and Tony will be tag-teaming Chicago house, early rave hits and Madchester classics from about midnight.

The Royale, 506 Fifth Avenue, Park Slope, Brooklyn, between 12th/13th Street. 9pm. (718 840 0089.) Admission is free

Opening set: DJ POSIE.

FRIDAY JANUARY 30

WINE WATCH

Generally speaking, in our meat-free household, when the vegetables tend towards the green (spinach, broccoli, asparagus, zucchini/courgette) we choose a white wine with plenty acidity to match. When the veggies are more earthy and fleshy (mushrooms, aubergines/eggplants), we naturally go for equally hearty reds. In winter, we eat and drink more of the latter coupling, which is why, a couple of weeks ago, realizing we had friends coming for dinner, green veggies in the pot, and no whites in store, I found myself running out to the local wine shop in a hurry.

The store in question, the Korean-owned Sterling, has been overshadowed of late in our neighborhood by the high-end (and high-priced) Red, White and Bubbly. Sterling's friendly owners know little about the wines they sell, and anything that's sat on the shelves for more than a year or two has usually 'turned' due to the store's poor temperatures. But there's never a shortage of interesting wines to be found, as proven by the Kunde Estate Sonoma Valley Sauvignon Blanc Magnolia Lane 2002 I picked out of the store fridge for $14 and brought home just in time for our guests and the hot food.

Idiosyncratic, interesting, innovative. And good value. Kunde Estate's 2002 Sauvignon Blanc Magnolia Lane 2002

I've written up Californian Sauvignon Blancs at this web site before (check the whole page on Honig); given due attention and care, and if not laden in oak, they can provide a subtle, refined mid-way point between the stingingly bright tropical flavors of New Zealand SBs and the refreshing chalky, grassy, flint-like flavors of the Loire's. But the idiosyncratic Kunde wine goes in a Bordeaux direction, blending in some 11% Semillon. (Bordeaux whites tend to be any combination of Sauvignon Blanc and/or Semillon.) In typically audacious new World fashion, the Kunde then throws in a smidgeon – just 4% - of my beloved Viognier.

The result is an intriguingly complex wine. There's all the crisp acidity you expect from good Sauvignon Blanc, there's the citrus flavors of grapefruit, along with some passion fruit and melon, and there's a familiar grassy texture too. But it's bigger bodied than many a Sauvignon Blanc, for which you can credit the Semillon; and the bare minimum of Viognier adds weight and intensity at the back end for a deep finish. With just 20% of the blend seeing oak maturation, the rest cold-fermented in stainless steel, it's a stellar example of how Californian wineries can be innovative and interesting without needing to bludgeon. And at a sensible price, too.


Our guests had, fortuitously, or so we thought, also brought a white wine, the Chile Central Valley 'Solario' Chardonnay 2002, imported by a company I like a lot (T. Edward) and bottled exclusively through a store I like a lot (Astor Wines). Which goes to show: anyone can make a mistake. Because the Solario is an example of everything that can be wrong with New World winemaking. Acidic to the point of fizziness and overoaked to the point of sickliness, the tropical fruit flavors (a kind of pineapple/mango tango) were so abundantly ripe that even a sip was difficult to get down without a water chaser. Whereas the Kunde had mingled politely with our dinner, the Solario tried to start a fight. But bullies always get their come-uppance, as evidenced by the fact that the Solario sat in our glasses while the dinner plates were eagerly finished.

The two wines had almost identical alcohol content of around 13.5%, so that was not the reason for their difference in subtlety. Perhaps it was purely down to price: Astor's web site lists the Solario at an alarmingly low $6 a bottle. There are good white wines to be had at this price (many Spanish whites, La Vielle Ferme from the Perrins of the Rhone, even Yellowtail Chardonnay from down under), but the Solario is not one of them. Skip it before it gives Chile a bad name.


My interest piqued by the Kunde, last week I went back to another Viognier-infused Californian wine. Pine Ridge is a generally high-end winery (its best Cabs go for $70), which several years ago seized on the idea of adding to the State's most planted grape, Chenin Blanc (it's the prime component for all those 'Chablis' style jug wines your grandparents have probably been seen to drink) some 20% of the State's current sweetheart, Viognier. This initially innovative Loire-Rhone style blend has subsequently been copied across California. (I wrote about Vinum's Pointe Blanc a couple of years ago.) I've enjoyed the Pine Ridge Chenin Blanc Viognier California in the past, but at $13, the 2002 is over-priced for what it offers: a simplistic, refreshing but relatively neutral blend of pears and melons. The Viognier clearly adds weight and intensity, as intended, though not much by way of anticipated perfume. Chilled, the wine was perfectly attractive, but as it warmed up in the glass, it turned a little ugly. That's not the way good whites should behave.


Ideally, Ice Wine is made from grapes frozen on the vine, and picked in mid-winter.

The New York Times today has a feature about Finger Lakes Ice Wines, a subject I touched on when writing my New York W(h)ines feature last summer. I still have an unopened bottle of the Wagner Vidal Ice Wine which, according to the Times, should not be sold as such given that it wasn't actually picked when frozen (i.e. now, in mid-winter), but picked during autumn harvest and then frozen. Either way, it's interesting stuff, and the Finger Lakes, along with neighboring Ontario, make the most renowned examples of Ice Wines in North America.


I've often stated how we're spoiled for choice with wine stores in my neighborhood. The new issue of the Park Slope Reader confirms as much with a feature on the community's four 'new wave' wine stores: Red White and Bubbly, Big Nose Full Body, Slope Cellars and Prospect Wine. You can find the piece under 'current articles' at the psreader web site or download the feature in pdf form from here. I can understand the Reader column choosing to ignore Sterling, and Garry's on Flatbush, though each of these old-timer stores has its bargains and rarities. I'm less certain why the Reader ignored the generally well-stocked Shawn's on Seventh Avenue, which has a stranglehold on the prime Slope community by virtue of its central location. All the more so since neighboring store Paley's recently became the first casualty of simple over-saturation of good wine store. Which is, you should note, not the same as an over-saturated wine. For that, see Solario. Just don't drink it.


WEDNESDAY JANUARY 28-THURSDAY JANUARY 29

POLITICAL NOTEBOOK

JOHN KERRY FOR PRESIDENT?

It's too early to tell whether it's even John Kerry for Democratic Candidate. Remember that George W. Bush failed to win New Hampshire during the Republican Primaries four years ago and was written off at the time...

I admit to not paying particularly close attention to Kerry until now, though I appreciate that voters, albeit in just two States, have turned their back on the whole Dean-Clark media blitz, followed their own instincts and forced the rest of us to re-evaluate the more 'traditional' candidates. Kerry's qualified, that much is clear. And his status as a decorated Vietnam veteran (and then as an outspoken opponent to that war) could prove vital in a showdown over America's military might. One thing worth remembering though: it's a long time since a Senator became President. From Jimmy Carter through to George W. Bush, the Americans have preferred to place Governors in office rather than what they see as 'Washington insiders.' The lone exception since 1976, and even for a while before, was the first President Bush, who came to office running as Reagan's Vice-President. Just an observation.



BLAIR BEATS THE BEEB?

The Hutton Report is out in the UK and any which way you examine it, Blair's Government appears to be exonerated and the BBC damned. Even the Guardian opens its report with this indictment:

"Lord Hutton today delivered the worst possible verdict for the BBC, describing its editorial systems as "defective" and declaring that the board of governors led by chairman Gavyn Davies had failed in its duty to act as an independent regulator."

I came in for some serious criticism when I suggested, last year, that the BBC News Department appeared to be following its own 'London insider' political agenda rather than maintaining the impartiality for which it is justly famous and admired around the world. But now that BBC Chairman Gavyn Davies has resigned in the wake of the Hutton Report, I may be entitled to claim that I had an entirely legitimate complaint. Not that I take any satisfaction in being proven right…



WMD MIA?

Just as there's no satisfaction in being proven wrong about Saddam Hussein's Weapons of Mass Destruction. Or lack thereof. When I wrote, on March 11 last year, Why I Oppose The War (For Now), I did so by looking at the reasons being presented both for and against the removal of Hussein by force. Of the widely held belief that, as I put it,

"Despite pretence to the contrary, Saddam Hussein's Iraqi regime continues to produce chemical and biological weapons, and he is unlikely ever to give up his nuclear ambitions," I concluded, 'I AGREE.'

Given the evidence at the time, that seemed the right response. I still believe that Saddam was either trying to restart various weapons programs, or believed his scientists when they claimed they were having success doing so themselves. I'm certain he would have restarted WMD programs the moment sanctions were lifted, as so many were encouraging the UN to do, under the erroneous belief that this would somehow alleviate all the Iraqi peoples' suffering. I recall the UN Weapons Inspectors finding all manner of suspicious paper trails (documents hidden in gardens and ceilings if you remember) and physical evidence of illegal weapons little more than twelve months ago. And I remind everyone that, following his defeat in the 1991 Gulf War, after Iraq invaded and annexed Kuwait, it was legally beholden on Saddam to prove he did not have those weapons, as opposed to the United Nations or the USA to prove that he did.

Saddam chose to bluff, perhaps believing that no nation, or group of nations, would invade and remove him from power for fear that he would launch such weapons on their armies or their home countries. Such fear appeared entirely justified: don't forget that in 1991, when a genuinely international coalition forced Iraq out of Kuwait, Saddam tried to widen the conflict by launching missiles upon Israel, a country that had agreed not to enter the conflict for fear of upsetting the coalilition's Arab allies.

Saddam's bluff was called. That was the right thing to do. But it was done in the wrong manner. We're in a mess as a result and I was appalled last night that news of yet another six American soldiers dying in that country yesterday came halfway down the international news reports.

Ultimately, I never bought WMD as the central issue for Saddam's removal, and I always thought it a mistake for Blair and Bush to push it to the fore, especially to suggest that Saddam was somehow planning or interested in launching such weapons at the USA and the UK.

"Is he such a threat to American security that Bush would be justified to launch a war on Iraq without United Nations approval?" I wrote back then. "No he's not," I concluded.

It's absolutely essential that the international community comes together to take on the world's worst tyrants. I'm glad Saddam is removed from power. I wish it could have been done differently.


PATENT PROOF?

A couple of interesting notes I pulled from the New York Times Week In Review from last Sunday. This from Thomas Friedman's column:

"According to the 2003 Arab Human Development Report, between 1980 and 1999 the nine leading Arab economies registered 370 patents (in the U.S.) for new inventions. Patents are a good measure of a society's education quality, entrepreneurship, rule of law and innovation. During that same 20-year period, South Korea alone registered 16,328 patents for inventions. You don't run into a lot of South Koreans who want to be martyrs."


BARKING MAD?

Maureen Dowd's column, opposite Friedman's, began with this paragraph.

Howard Dean's bark was missing its bite. And his socks were missing their warp. Not to mention their woof.

Huh?



STATE OF THE ENVIRONMENT

Then there's this, from the paper's editorial, about President Bush's State Of The Union address and its complete lack of reference to the environment. The paper notes how

"Simply closing the so-called S.U.V. loophole, and making light trucks as efficient as ordinary cars, would save a million barrels of oil a day, reducing global warming gases while easing our reliance on imported oil."

This time last year, I commented in detail on Bush's State of The Union address, paying special attention to his surprise suggestion that

"America can lead the world in developing clean, hydrogen-powered automobiles."

I tried being optimistic about his intentions, but warned that I would periodically reprint his comments just to keep them in the public domain. And so I do. As he said last year,

"Join me in this important innovation to make … Our country much less dependent on foreign sources of energy."


THE NEW ACLU: THE AMERICAN CONSERVATIVE-LIBERAL UNION?

Those who worry about a right-wing takeover of the USA should note that they in fact have friends on the right wing who will ensure that it doesn't happen. Yes, that does make sense. At the recent Conservative Political Action Conference, an annual gathering of, obviously, conservatives (key-note speaker: Vice President Dick Cheney), many Republican lawmakers voiced their concerns that the Bush Administration is not sufficiently conservative. However, some of the most staunch of those Conservatives also voiced their opposition to any extension of the USA Patriot Act and its further encroachment on civil liberties.

'Representative F. James Sensenbrenner Jr., the Wisconsin Republican who heads the House Judiciary Committee, vowed that extending the act before reviewing its results by 2005 would happen "over my dead body."

A few hours later, Bob Barr, the former congressman from Georgia, denounced the administration's expanded powers as a dangerous threat to liberty. "We don't want a surveillance society," he said.'


THE NEW YORK TIMES AND BRUCE RATNER: AN IMPROPER RELATIONSHIP?

So I'm liberally quoting the New York Times here, as I often do, but I had been wondering why the paper of record's many features on the proposed Nets Stadium in my Brooklyn neighborhood had all been so relentlessly positive. Doesn't the Times typically offer both sides of the story?

The Publisher of Brooklyn Papers, Ed Weintrob, reminds readers why this would be the case in an editorial that, exercising his own right as owner, he chooses to print above the logo on the local papers' latest front page. He notes that,

"When the New York Times is your real estate partner, it's amazing the story its pages will tell."

I'd forgotten, that, and here I quote a disclosure I found in a Times editorial, Bruce Ratner's "development company is a partner of The New York Times in building the newspaper's new headquarters." Ah. That explains why the only NY Times story I can find that gives full voice to local residents is this one.



SLAM DUNK? OR FOUL BALL?

The more I read my local paper last night, the more I worried about the Ratner development. (I wrote about it in detail last week too.) Nobody in the city seems to doubt that the rail yards should be built over. The vast majority of Brooklynites want a sports team, and are thrilled to have a spanking new arena built right above a major transport hub. But the more I look at it, the more the arena seems merely to be a bait by which Ratner will likely get his public subsidies and public approval to then build his tower blocks, some of which are intended to reach sixty stories high, in a confined area surrounded on all sides by thriving neighborhood communities. According to Weintrob, we're looking at

"a potential build-out of more than 14 million square feet, the equivalent of seven Empire State Buildings."

Letter-writers in the local paper (the whole issue is available as a pdf file) reserve their real ire for Borough President Marty Markowitz who, as I wrote last week, was elected because he supposedly represented Brooklyn's everyman.

"Marty, you sold out," writes one Prospect Heights resident. "You, who were one of us, now are one of them, cloaked in pretension."

A Park Sloper writes to Markowitz as follows:

"I sincerely believe you were NOT elected because we thought you could radically change areas of Brooklyn that were already doing quite nicely, thank you. You were elected because our perception was that you valued our history, lifestyle and pride in what has been accomplished, not by the city, but by your borough's citizens. We're tired and resentful that after years of vigilance against crime, prejudice and economic hardship to build our neighborhoods, we must now be as vigilant to protect them against our government."

Finally, as another Prospect Heights resident puts it, living up to the neighborhood's positive, 'Develop. Don't Destroy' theme of protest:

"The most egregious fact of all is that Mr. Ratner has yet to meet with anyone in this neighborhood, all of whom would eagerly support a rational development plan for the LIRR yard behind our homes."

Rational plans have already been proposed. I examined some at the nostadium.homestead.com web site last night. They happen not to include an arena and as such may be doomed to wishful thinking. But I went on to read more about 'eminent domain' and how local Government across the country has used it to evict private residents in the name of public interest. It's frightening stuff. Which made it double unfortunate to hear Mayor Bloomberg enthusiastically supporting the $2.5 billion complex on the Brian Lehrer show this morning, without offering the slightest suggestion of any need to listen to legitimate complaints.

"I feel sorry for them," he said of the local residents who face eviction, without sounding remotely sympathetic. "I will pressure the developer, he will do what is right for the handful of people who have to move. The thing in Brooklyn is absolutely one of the best things that has happened to this city."

Asked about the issue of public subsidies for Ratner's primarily private development, Bloomberg stated,

"There would be nothing built if the public didn't spend some money. In the context you're asking, no, this is done with private money."

Really? As per Bush's comment last year about reducing dependence on foreign energy sources, I plan to keep reprinting that comment for as long as necessary.


TUESDAY JANUARY 27

SUBTLETY'S NOT EASY

Starsailor would like to believe that subtlety is their strong point. On their second album, Silence Is Easy, they strive to give space to the gaps between the multi-tracks, to enhance the arrangements around the melodies. That's because they're blessed and cursed with James Walsh, a singer whose voice is so inherently powerful it's difficult for him to sound anything but bombastic. Which means then, their attempts at subtlety are actually an admission of their lack of it. Onstage at Irving Plaza in Manhattan last Thursday night, Walsh appeared to be so painfully aware of this inherent contradiction that his every on-stage movement was either a proud acknowledgement of or unspoken apology for his gift.

For an introductory example, Starsailor took the stage to a tape of their own music, a move of extreme arrogance immediately justified by the effortless manner in which they segued into their own performance. And yet evidence of insecurity was apparent in Walsh's first sung words (the song was 'Shark Food'): "We're stepping through the door, we're shooting from the heart, but if we get it wrong, they'll feed us to the sharks."

Starsailor: James Stelfox, Ben Byrne (hidden behind yellow lights), James Walsh and Barry Westhead. Lights become them.

Likewise the subsequent 'Music Was Saved,' a title that suggests megalomania but is of such timeless majesty we're temporarily willing to grant Starsailor their savior status. As Walsh sang with the bold clarity of a cock rooster waking the neighborhood, the rhythm section of Ben Byrne on drums and James Stelfox on bass declared their own loud intent to prove their skills, and Barry Westhead turned the volume on his Hammond Organ up to a piercing eleven. Walsh may be Starsailor's winning hand, but he's clearly not the only ace in the pack.

'Alcoholic' and 'Poor Misguided Fool,' two hits from the debut album Love Is Here, were dispensed with early, partly to get the big songs behind them, one suspects, and partly to bring the crowd fully on board. Not that they needed worry on the latter score. Bands like Starsailor – steeped in tradition, abundant in talent, just the wrong side of current fashions – make up in devotional following what they may lack in current hipness. And so the enraptured audience readily indulged Walsh when he performed a couple of unaccompanied acoustic songs. The first he back-announced as a "work in progess," the other was a cover of Bruce Springsteen's 'Thunder Road' – a 'surprise' but for the fact he'd just stripped to a t-shirt sporting the Born to Run album cover.

The whole set was full of similar head-on clashes of talent and embarrassment. A man with the confidence to (successfully) cover The Boss in New York should not need to feel compelled to announce "We're Warmplay, your friendly Coldplay cover act," as if the critics' carping actually matters for anything. Likewise, while I can go with the announcement "it's disco time" before an admittedly svelte delivery of 'Four To The Floor,' and will grant any band the right to get the audience singing and clapping along at least once (as with the latest UK single 'Born Again'), I cringed when Walsh then picked a note out of the hands of a (Japanese?) front row fan and read aloud that "Starsailor sings from a beautiful song."

A fan in the spotlight: James Walsh covers The Boss while sporting a Born To Run t-shirt.

Finally, with the magnificent title track from the new album, 'Silence Is Easy' (no Phil Spector production needed on stage), the band took a step beyond its pronounced subtleties to readily rock out. They should do so more often; it becomes them. Or maybe not. At its conclusion, Walsh threw the guitar behind his neck to play the last few notes a la Hendrix. A fine moment. Ruined.

Still, he's got the voice. That much is impossible to deny. It's a voice granted to one in a million and he's making the most of it. And he's got as talented but modest a trio of musicians behind him as any front man in the UK. It adds up to a solid, old-fashioned delivery of songs from the heart, one that was ably complemented here by an unusually superb light show, all simplistic primary colors projected onto the audience for emotional uplift. Ultimately, these upsides outweighed any negative emotional reactions to Walsh's performance. (And I should note that the whole presentation was drastically improved from when I first saw Starsailor some eighteen months ago.) I drove home listening to Silence Is Easy on the car stereo. And by the time I was home I'd almost forgotten about Walsh with his guitar behind his neck. Almost.


MONDAY JANUARY 26

THAT WAS THE WEEK TISWAS

I had a real blast on Saturday night, DJing at Tiswas. The occasion for my 'guest' spot was the launch of +1, a new management-publicity company based out of Brooklyn. Two of +1's bands had been advertised as performing: Inouk and Ambulance Ltd. A third act showed up for something of a secret gig (though, as these things inevitably go, word was come the night), and that was Stellastarr*.

I didn't get to see Inouk. Ambulance Ltd, whose debut EP on TVT Records nicely marries the more melodic tendencies of the old Shoegazing bands with the good old beats of the Kinks and co., opened with their forthcoming album's superb instrumental, 'Yoga Means Unity,' shortly after which their gear packed up. Though it was resuscitated quickly, the unassuming New York four-piece struggled to regain momentum. Ambulance Ltd. make mostly swirling, dreamy music that requires listener involvement (check the song 'Primitive', track two on both their EP and upcoming album), and the crowded confines of Don Hill's on a Saturday night may not have done them full justice. Definitely ones to watch.

The changeover time between bands was so quick, I barely had time to drop the new Fatboy Slim mix of 'Sympathy For The Devil', the Pet Shop Boys mix of Blur's 'Boys and Girls' and the Chemical Brothers' (then still known as the Dust Brothers) mix of Leftfield-Lydon's 'Open Up' before Stellastarr* were seen taking to their instruments. I killed two birds with one stone by playing The Pixies' cover of The Jesus and Mary Chain's 'Head On' (there's a song for you all to dig out of your collections) and led into the band with The Raveonettes' 'That Great Love Sound.' Seemed to do the job.

Somewhere there in the darkness plays Stellastarr*

While I've witnessed Stellastarr* in all manner of venues over the last two years, this was the first opportunity to see them 'return' to a small club as homecoming superstarr*s. That the group has attracted a fan base as well as critical acclaim and a major label deal since I first saw them open for Joe Strummer was evident by near pandemonium in the front few rows, especially in those songs that most invite audience participation, namely the new single 'My Coco,' the former single 'Jenny' and the album/set finale 'The Pulp Song.' Performing a 'new old song' 'On My Own,' Shawn Christensen did without the guitar and sung from atop the drum riser; another unfamiliar (to these ears) song reminded me that, as is so often the case in the modern music business where, all perceptions aside, careers move at a snail's pace, Stellastarr* have at least one album's worth of songs awaiting recording. I know that Stellastarr* is something of an acquired taste: not all my friends 'get' the band. But perhaps it's a live thing: I'd like to have put those doubters in Don Hill's and seen their reaction. I think someone was filming the gig; I imagine it will some serious cultural value down the line.

I DJ'd for a longer stint later in the night, and had the utmost fun doing so. Look at a brief list of the acts that made it into the set and you'll see why: The Rapture, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Interpol, Small Faces ('Itchycoo Park'), The Creation, The Who ('Happy Jack'), PiL (my extremely worn 7" of 'Public Image Ltd'), James, Happy Mondays, Stone Roses, Siouxsie and the Banshees (a Peel session version of 'Hong Kong Garden'), The Smiths, The Dylans, The Chemical Brothers with The Flaming Lips ('The Golden Path'), The Soup Dragons, New Order, The Charlatans ('Sprouston Green'), Stellastarr* ('My Coco' works brilliantly on the dancefloor if you skip the first minute), and the 2 Many DJs mix of The Stooges 'No Fun' with Salt-n-Pepa's 'Push It'.

To my shame, I didn't play LCD Soundsystem's 'Yeah', despite lining up a great version at home in which the vocal from !!!'s 'Intensifieder' ("Can you feel it intensify?") complements 'Yeah's gradual build. I'm excusing myself by virtue of the fact that there were some equipment glitches – perhaps because of my preference for ear-shaking volume, the mixing board vibrated its way out of the strip board, believe it or not, resulting in two solid minutes of silence while we all tried to figure what the hell had happened! – and the opportunity for some funky New York indie-house appeared to pass with it. I was put in my place when Justine D. took to the decks after me and promptly dropped The Rapture's 'Echoes,' the DFA mix of Le Tigre's 'Deceptacon' (which can be found on the Yes New York compilation) and Hot Hot Heat's 'Bandages.' The crowd responded warmly to all three. An important reminder never to underestimate your audience.

Anyway, mucho thanks to Justine and Nick Marc (shown at left) for having me again. Tiswas has survived some seven and a half years as a weekly party, and as well as offering many a great memory on the dancefloor, it's helped launch more good bands than probably any other club of its kind in the world. Nice one.

2004 MUSINGS
JAN 19-25: Brooklyn Nets? LCD Soundsystem, Iowa Primary, The Melody, TV On The Radio
JAN 12-18: The Unicorns live, New York w(h)ines, Sex In The City, Curb Your Enthusiasm, S.U.V. Safety, Bands Reunited
JAN 5-11: Tony's Top 10s of 2003, Howard Dean and his credits, Mick Middles and Mark E. Smith, Mick Jones and Don Letts,

2003 MUSINGS:
DEC 22-JAN 4: Blind Boys of Alabama live, Joe Strummer, Year-End Lists, Finding Nemo, The Return of The King
DEC 15-21: Placebo live, Park Slope, Angels In America, Saddam's capture
DEC 8-14: The Rapture live, Guardian readers change lightbulbs, Keep iJamming! Thriving
DEC 1-7: Cabaret Laws, Ready Brek, Kinky Friedman, Sir Ranulph Fiennes, Jonathan Lethem, Julie Burchill, Blizzard running
NOV 17-30: Lost In Music, Lost In Translation, Neil Boland, Political Polls, Press Clips, Australian Whines
NOV 10-16: Ben E. King live, Hedonism readings, A***nal, Charts on Fire
NOV 3-9: Brother Bear, Oneida, P. Diddy, Steve Kember, Guy Fawkes, Iraq, the Marathon
OCT 27-NOV 2: CMJ Music Marathon report, NYC Running Marathon preview, Prey For Rock'n'Roll, Yellow Dog, Gen Wesley Clark, Halloween
OCT 20-26: Television Personalities, defending New York rockers, Bill Drummond Is Read
OCT 6-19: LCD Soundsystem live, Renewable Brooklyn review, Blind Acceptance is a sign...
SEP29-OCT 5: New York w(h)ines parts 1 and 2, Bruce Springsteen at Shea Stadium.
SEP 22-28: Atlantic Antic, Pacifists for War: General Wesley Clark and the Democratic Debate, Danny Tenaglia, Running Wild, Steppenwolf
SEP 15-21: Radio 4/DJ Vadim live, Manhattan Mondaze, Circle of Light, Renewable Brooklyn
SEP 8-14: Central Park Film Festival, Roger (Daltrey) and me, September 11 Revisited, The Raveonettes/Stellastarr* live, Recording Idiots of America,
SEP1-7: Film Festivities, Party Monster, Keith Moon RIP
AUG 25-31: Punk Planet, Carlsonics, Copyright Protection, Cline Zinfandel, BRMC
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 Feet 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 ARE LISTED HERE:


iJamming! Site Copyright Tony Fletcher 2003




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Fri, Jul 23, 2004 6:12 pm)


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WHAT'S NEW IN iJAMMING!...

NEW YORK W(H)INES Part 2

THE BEST OF 2003
Tony's Top Tens

FEATURED WINE REGION:
CÔTES DU RHÔNE-VILLAGES
updated and re-designed

The DECEMBER HITLIST
Bruce, Bowie, Iggy, Joe and Jodie...

From the Jamming! Archives
TONY PARSONS on BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN, 1984

THE IJAMMING! HITLIST:
Global Techtronica

FEATURED WINE:
Santa Julia Torrontes, Argentina

THE DECEMBER HITLIST Part 2
TRIPPED OUT BRITS: Nine albums of vaguely psychedelic bliss

FEATURED ALBUM:
Eargasm by Plump DJs

FEATURED WINE:
Paul Durdilly Les Grandes Coasses Beaujolais Nouveau 2003

THE DECEMBER HITLIST Part 1
BRITISH DANCE MUSIC:
Down But Not Out

THE OTHER NEW YORK MARATHON: 10 Live Reviews from the CMJ Music Marathon, October 2003

THE OCTOBER HITLIST:
Albums from UK, USA, Canada, Australia, Iceland, Denmark, New York and New Jersey.

NEW YORK W(H)INES:
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

DANCING IN THE DARK:
Bruce Springsteen at Shea Stadium

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 biggest night out that you'll ever have in." Jockey Slut
"Hedonism will have you gripped from start to finish, guaranteed." International DJ


Tony Fletcher's debut novel HEDONISM is out now. For more information and to read excerpts, click here.

HEDONISM is available mail order in the USA from Barnes&Noble.com. It's available mail order in the UK from amazon.co.uk or musicroom.com.

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