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FRIDAY FEBRUARY 13

VOICING OPINION POLLS

It may be February 2004, but the Music Industry is still very much focused on 2003. Last Sunday night it was the Grammys, next Tuesday it's the Brits, and in between, the New York Village Voice published its Annual Pazz & Jop Critics' Poll. (Damn, how I hate that name.) The Voice is an influential music publication in its own right, but what separates its poll from all others is that it cultivates Top 10s from just about any part-time or professional music critic/journalist in the USA. (Imagine the writers from Q, Mojo, the NME, Word, Uncut, Mixmag, DJ and the daily papers voting in one chart and British visitors to this site have an idea of how seriously it's taken.)

732 writers took part this year, and though, in his accompanying essay, Voice Music Editor Robert Christgau laments the paucity of real hip-hop headz on the one hand, and the abundance of "newbies who learned to write from literary theorists" and who "festoon their ballots with arcane faves" on the other, the Poll is still the most accurate assertion of what America's music reviewers actually like to listen to.

It was a foregone conclusion that Outkast would top both the Album and Singles Polls: they did the same thing three years ago and have only become more critically accliamed since. It was no surprise either that The White Stripes' Elephant should finish runner-up to Speakerboxx/The Love Below, and that the Detroit duo's 'Seven Nation Army' should lurk just behind Beyonce's 'Crazy In Love' as third best single of the year.

But it was a shock – and a most pleasant one at that – to see Fountains of Wayne's Welcome Interstate Managers coming in as third best album of 2003, ahead of Radiohead, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs and The Shins. Easily the best concept record about everyday suburban life since Squeeze's East Side Story, Welcome Interstate Managers appears to have struck a fondly familiar chord with critics who would normally disdain such conventional music. (And its popularity is not confined to its American homeland; Welcome Interstate Managers also showed up in many British writers and magazine Polls.) I gave Christgau a hard time the last week for taking a full twelve months to dismiss Massive Attack's latest opus, so I'll give him his props here and quote the following:

"As our voters want to tell the world, Welcome Interstate Managers is through-crafted, one bittersweet tune after another as humane and unsappy as the rest of its vision of premarital suburbia… It would help me feel better about next month if not next year were this deserving critics' record to transcend its fluke renown and make a bunch of bizzers a load of loot."

Fountains Of Wayne: The Real Winners of The Village Voice Pazz and Jop Poll. Read my review here.


Any music fan worth their salt will tell you that they don't depend on the approbation of others to decide their favorite records and artists. Those same music fans will, simultaneously, secretly want those favorite records and artists to be vindicated in the shape of public, or at least peer, approval. That means I'm thrilled to find I'm on common ground over Fountains Of Wayne, the highest placed of artists from my own Voice ballot. As far as the other albums in my Top 10 (each of which I awarded ten points out of a total 100), I certainly can't be accused of towing the critical line: only Echoes by The Rapture (#25), features in the paper's published Top 40. Online, where the chart continues almost ad nauseum, I find a little more common ground: Joe Strummer and The Mescaleros at 47, The Raveonettes at 56, The Kills at 79. I eagerly jumped the American gun on Elbow, I was obstinately behind the curve with Groove Armada (as suspected, the white rock vote for dance record went to Basement Jaxx), and I was purposefully obscure with Mana Medicine. On the other hand, I'm absolutely astounded that I'm the only person to have voted for the City Of God soundtrack (especially as the movie is up for several Oscars), and would be much more disappointed that only one other reviewer fell for The Stratford 4's Love And Distortion were it not for the fans who've shown up in the Pub to echo my enthusiasm. A minor note: two bands I love but didn't vote for - old-timers Spiritualized and newcomers Stellastarr* - are tied with Black-Eyed Peas at number 184.

I picked up a bunch of 2003 albums around the end of the year based on other published polls and personal recommendations, and then wrote them up in my February Ten That Got Away Hitlist. Just in time, as several of them – The Postal Service, My Morning Jacket, Ted Leo & The Pharmacists, the Fiery Furnaces – made it into the published Top 40; Café Tacuba lurk only a little below. (My cred is preserved, he writes with a wink.) To be honest though, of those Ten That Got Away, I would probably only have found room for two in my Best of 2003 had I thoroughly digested them by then. One is the delightful Give Up by The Postal Service (#17 in the Voice); the other is Make Up The Breakdown by Hot Hot Heat, which finished just outside the top 100 in 2002, upon indie release, and somewhere near the 500 mark this past year, during which period the Brits fell for it head over heels.

Of the Singles in the Voice Top 40, I voted for Outkast's 'Hey Ya!', Electric Six's 'High Voltage' and I presume my vote for !!!'s b-side was included in the tallies for the a-side, 'Me and Giuliani By The Schoolyard (A True Story),' which ranked just above fellow New Yorkers the Strokes and Yeah Yeah Yeahs, all in the top 20. Reviewers are such hipsters, huh? Which is why I didn't mind including a vote for a 2002 single that had already finished in the previous year's Top 20, namely LCD Soundsystem's 'Losing My Edge.' If you can't laugh at yourself, you're finished.


THURSDAY FEBRUARY 12

MOON SHOT

The Rock'n'Roll Myths programme on Keith Moon has finally been broadcast on British TV, so I gather. A full year ago, I agreed to be interviewed for the show as it appeared to be aiming for a new angle on Keith's now seriously overanalyzed life, in this case attempting to unravel the truth about his 21st Birthday Party in Flint, Michigan, and whether or not the Who drummer drove a car into a swimming pool. Living in the States, I didn't catch the broadcast and haven't even seen it referenced on the one Who mailing list I check in on from time to time. Who among you watched it? What was the final opinion? Car in pool? Or not? Did Roger Daltrey take part, as the producers hoped? Someone start a new thread in the Pub, please. I'm intrigued.


Touching The Void: puts new meaning into the term 'cliff-hanger'

Something I did get to see… Touching The Void, a British (indeed, Channel 4-sponsored) documentary that's actually crossed over, in all senses, and is currently being shown in a local Brooklyn cinema. A combination of re-enactment and recollection, the movie is based on Joe Simpson's book of the same name. Back in 1985, the then 21-year old Simpson and his 25-year old partner Simon Yates successfully climbed the previously unassailed western face of Siula Grande in the Peruvian Andes. On the way back down, however, Simpson broke his leg and while Yates tried to lower the badly injured climber down the mountain from above, Simpson fell off an overhang - where he could only dangle in the void, in truly agonizing helplessness. Yates, finding himself dragged by the weight of Simpson's gravity-prone body to the same precipice, ultimately made a decision to save his own life by cutting their connecting rope - in the process sending his friend to what seemed like certain death. But Simpson defied the odds, and it's his agonizingly slow return to base that provides the bulk of the story.

Touching The Void is thankfully free of the casual violence that plagues so much of our visual entertainment, but it's not for the faint of heart: thanks to the combination of our subject's honesty and the superbly filmed re-enactments, I felt both Simpson's physical pain and his emotional fear throughout. Among the admittedly sparse viewing audience, there were frequent murmurs of 'Jesus' and 'Ouch!' and not a little uncomfortable shifting in the seats.

I attended with a friend, a male nurse who proclaimed afterwards that it was a 'miracle' Simpson had survived. But the climber himself refutes any notion of divine intervention. Raised as a staunch Catholic, he recalls how, lying trapped in a crevasse, he pondered saying a few Hail Mary's but instead experiencing an epiphany: the stark realization that there was no God, no afterlife, that if he was to die where he lay, that was, truly, to be the end. Curiously, Simpson's motivation to then get himself out of the crevasse and back to base was less from any desire to live a long mortal life, than by a desperate determination not to die alone. So yes, good luck intervened and broke his fall, but – and after losing it entirely for several hours, for which he now seems quite embarrassed - Simpson then displayed the kind of resilience, fortitude and quick thinking that sends such people out climbing the Andes in the first place.

Yates, understandably, has to face his own demons for cutting his partner loose, and in his interviews to camera he comes off as the embarrassed supporting actor to Simpson's heroic star performance. Yet the movie ends by telling us that though the climbing community heavily criticized Yates upon their return to England, Simpson has always staunchly defended his friend. And that yes, despite some six operations to repair his badly broken body, Simpson still climbs.

I knew all the above going into the movie from accompanying media coverage, so I don't feel I'm giving anything away. The viewing pleasure, should that be the right term for such an uncomfortable experience, comes from watching two men compete with nature at its most brutal and unforgiving. They initially succeed, then they fail catastrophically, and then, ultimately, they succeed again, albeit at enormous emotional and physical cost. Placing our own daily travails into perspective, Touching The Void is a must-see for anyone who ever heeds the call of the wild – and serves as a valuable reminder to always treat that wild with the respect it merits.


TUESDAY FEBRUARY 10

SEARCH ME! (AGAIN)

Following on from last week's revelations, more on the kind of depressing Google Images searches that lead people to iJamming!

'Saddam Hussein pics' will bring you to, yes, a picture of Saddam Hussein. I just hope those who find themselves at this page read the extraordinarily long piece alongside the picture, an analysis of the reasons being given for and against the invasion of Iraq, and my personal belief, as of March 11 2003, that we should not go to war. The beauty of the web, as politicians are increasingly finding out to their cost, is that such statements remain available in perpetuity. But then as Stalin, whose Kremlin cronies were several decades ahead of Photoshop's retouching formulas, would no doubt have proven by now, those of us who run web sites have the ability to change our old copy whenever and however we choose. It's up to others to save the information as it's published as a safeguard against such revisionist editing.

Dirtdirt.com aims to please Google searchers.

I predict it won't be long before we're caught in a major political scandal, whereby at least two extremely similar versions of the same secret document are seen floating around the web, with subtle but vital differences in language in the most important sections, and with both the original author of the document and a 'whistle-blowing' web site each claiming they have the original.

On a brighter note, searching Google Images for 'Naked chicks' will eventually bring you to iJamming! and a picture of the Dixie Chicks posing, yes, naked, for the cover of Entertainment Weekly. I'm not quite sure that's what the Google searchers are looking for but hey, if they're sad enough to be spending their online hours using a damn search engine to this end, it's what they deserve. (Actually, what they deserve is a picture of real naked chicks, and thanks to the many people who themselves have nothing better to do with their lives than stymie Google searchers, they'll get more pictures of cute little feathered animals than they will of even the Dixie Chicks.)


Let It Be: better than all the band's subsequent recordings for Warners put together.

I played the Replacements compilation All For Nothing on the car stereo over the weekend. It's not a Best Of because it picks up right after the group's independent days with the Twin/Tone label, eschewing Let It Be, the group's finest 33 minutes (with 'Unsatisfied,' 'Androgynous,' and 'I Will Dare' among others), and merely documents the group's subsequent days at Warner Brothers/Reprise/ Sire. And so, after a handful of genuine anthems, ('Kiss Me On The Bus,' 'Alex Chilton' and one of the greatest songs ever written, 'Here Comes A Regular') we suffer the sound of the Minneapolis quartet losing their way. The crunch moment comes, almost precisely at the half way mark, with 'Can't Hardly Wait'; laden in strings and horns, it's an obvious push for crossover airplay. You don't need to be a student of the band to listen to what follows and understand that the song failed in its intent and that the group sounds increasingly dispirited and confused thereafter. (As if, "we rocked hard and people loved us, we tried tarting it up and nobody bought on, and now we don't feel like rocking hard any more…")

Nonetheless inspired to throw myself into 'Mats land for a while longer, I read most of Michael Azerrad's chapter on the group in his history of the American independent post-punk scene, Our Band Could Be Your Life. Seems to me that for American Replacements fans, it must have been like following a band as potentially brilliant and personally important as the Clash and the Sex Pistols and the Jam - with the advantage of never having to share them with the masses, and yet the disadvantage of never seeing them reap their rewards. Summary: The Replacements were the greatest American band never to make it massive. Discuss.


Lazer Guided Melodies: The greatest ecstasy album ever?

I've also been deep at work editing a book on Spacemen 3 and the early days of Spiritualized. I came to that whole Rugby scene more with the latter band, through its debut album Lazer Guided Melodies – which I'll always associate with my greatest ecstasy experiences - and the live shows on the 1992 Rollercoaster tour with the Jesus and Mary Chain, Blur and one other (shoe-gazing?) band that for the life of me I can't remember right now. (Our Communion tour was on the same circuit at the same time and I caught Spiritualized at least three times in as many weeks.) With the initially complementary but ultimately contradictory personalities of Jason Pierce and Sonic Boom at their core, the Spacemen 3 history makes for fascinating reading, especially given the drugs involved. Summary: Many people would, for different reasons than the Replacements, claim The Spacemen 3 were the greatest British band never to make it massive. Unless you want to put forward your own candidate.


MONDAY FEBRUARY 9

GRAMMY GRIPES

I didn't watch all of the Grammys last night; I never do. There's simply too much else going on in life to stay glued to CBS for several hours in the hope of catching an unchoreographed performance or an unscripted speech. The five-minute tape delay, introduced after last week's Super Bowl snafu between Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson, ensured there would be no point anyone slipping in a swear word, slipping out a breast or launching into a Michael Moore like diatribe. And there's no need getting worked up about the Awards themselves, unless you work for one of the Artists involved. And maybe because I'm admittedly addicted to both Sex and The City and Curb Your Enthusiasm, I missed The White Stripes' performance. All I have to offer then is my own additional Awards, as follows:


1) The Worst Sound Man Award
Whoever was mixing the live music for the millions of home viewers. Obviously, we appreciated his blacking out Celine Dion's voice, and replacing it with someone on the crew asking, across the sound of live piano, "Production, shall I turn it up?" several times over; sadly, the sabotage was ruined by a stage hand giving Celine a microphone that actually worked. But why could we not also hear Dave Grohl singing during the Foo Fighters' performance? Why were Outkast completely drowned by the voices of Earth, Wind & Fire during their cross-generation funk collaboration? Even Sarah McLaughlin struggled to be heard in a relatively simple performance with Alison Krauss. Perhaps the Grammys, demonstrating their new-found affinity with the masses, were instilling in the TV viewing audience an understanding of what mortal gig-goers suffer all the time.


2) The Political Naïf Award
Chris Martin of Coldplay. Dedicating his band's award for Best Song to John Kerry, who "hopefully will be your next President" suggested one of two things:

a) Martin doesn’t realize that Kerry is not yet the Democratic Nominee, that only twelve States out of fifty have so far voted in the Primaries.

b) Martin has been following the whole Primary Season far closer than that and has been rooting for Kerry all along. Given that Kerry is the most conservative candidate left in the race, and probably unlikely to reciprocate with his own love of Coldplay, news of Martin's long-term support would be surprising.

Personally, I'd have thought more of Martin if he'd made a truly partisan speech. After all, with almost 40 States left to vote, including delegate-heavy New York and California, the singer could have thrown his support behind any of the candidates and provoked a much wider debate by doing so. Instead, by jumping the Kerry bandwagon, he inadvertently endorsed the whole dubious Primary Season system that allows Iowa and New Hampshire such an unduly influential role that several of the candidates run out of campaign funds before even getting to the truly populous States with their truly cross-cultural demographics.

Blokes who "fill the seats" watch as Coldplay singer Chris Martin endorses the current front man in a totally different ball game.

Let me just put it this way: if the Democratic Primary Season were starting today, as opposed to three weeks ago, would Martin still have thrown his support behind John Kerry? Or would he have found something else political to say? My money is on the latter. And in the meantime (and perhaps because I've yet to get excited about Kerry), it continues to amaze me how otherwise astute musicians will place such blind faith in established career politicians.

(I much preferred the comment by another member of Coldplay – that I don't know which one is part of the anecdote – who exasperatedly observed something like, "You can be on the Grammys four years running, win Awards at three of them, and still be mistaken for the bloke who fills the seats when the winners are called on stage…")


3) The Belated Recognition Award
A dead heat between Luther Vandross, Warren Zevon, Johnny and June Carter Cash, George Harrison and Celia Cruz. There's nothing wrong with honoring the deceased, nor the seriously ill. I promise I'm not being mean-spirited. But these barely posthumous awards have become such a common occurrence that it's time to call them for what they are: a form of industry necrophilia. Zevon, I have no doubt, would have much preferred the prime-time attention while he was alive. At least his son, Jordan, gave a heart-felt, impassioned, inclusive and calmly-delivered acceptance speech, proving that young people are not always as dumb as MTV makes them out to be.


4) The Old People Pretending To Be Hip Award

The School Principal 'down' with da kids. "It ain't black and white." No sir, it ain't.

NARAS, the National Academy of Recording Arts and Science, which owns and governs the Grammys. Clearly believing that young people are as dumb as MTV makes them out to be, NARAS President Neil Portnow attempted to buy the youth vote early in his speech with this comment: "If our leaders spend our resources to search for something, it ought to be for tools of mass education and cultural enlightenment in our nation." Naturally, that was but a segue, as he then used his own tool of mass education – i.e. a vast TV audience - to announce the launch of the Academy's anti-file sharing web site entitled (and yes, we cringed at home when we heard it too), WhatsTheDownload.com.

In all and absolute fairness to Portnow, his speech resisted the inflammatory (and largely inaccurate) comments of his predecessor, Michael Greene, of whose Speech at the 2002 Grammys I wrote, "If file-sharing booms in the next 12 months and record sales decline accordingly, he can take the credit." Portnow, who was especially conciliatory in his first speech as President last year, asked this time only that viewers check the 'Educational' site and "help us keep music strong and alive for this and for generations to come."

That statement is impossible to criticize on face value. But then he launched the site's debut PSA (which you can view from here), in which a disco crowd straight out of an MTV casting call is shown grooving to 'God Is A DJ' while a (beautiful, but of course) young teen downloads a music file to her computer. The download completed, she announces 'Got it,' and the lights go out in the disco. The point being? No, I have no idea either.

I spent a few minutes this morning checking out WhatsTheDownload.com. With the sad prose of the terminally unhip, it comes laden with phrases like "What's The Download rocks both on and off the Web," and "Music downloading ain't a black and white issue." Most young people, including those who speak English properly, know that music downloading isn't a black and white issue; they're fully aware of gray areas in-between. For example, the way record companies and artists let you download some music for free in the hope you'll buy the rest. Or how sometimes you burn a friend a CD of an artist you've fallen for, they too become fans of that artist and go on to spend money on them in the future, whether it means purchasing the CD in question or not. And of course, there are many people who watch the Grammys, with all their red carpet treatment, designer clothing and general bling bling and figure, holed up in their student dorms or suburban bedrooms as they are, that none of these superstars' livelihoods are being threatened by a little online enthusiasm. (This is why you get a far more reasoned discussion about this issue from people who attend gigs face-to-face with genuinely poor musicians than you do from 'mainstream consumers' who are force-fed constant media reports about the top artists' jetset lifestyle.)

WhatsTheDownload, despite the claim that "downloading ain't a black and white issue" on its More Info page, contradicts itself immediately by linking to only the following four, firmly etsablishment sites:
www.musicunited.org (hosted by the Recording Industry Association of America)
www.respectcopyrights.org (hosted by Motion Picture Academy of America)
www.grammy.com (hosted by the Recording Academy)
And www.keepmusiccoming.com (hosted by something called the Canadian Value of Music Coalition.)

As a final observation, nowhere at WhatsTheDownload.com can I find an official disclosure as to who's paying for the site. (Presumably NARAS is the main party, but they don't say so.) Such secrecy is, I imagine, no more illegal than somebody taking a freshly burned CD of 'God Is A DJ' to their local teen disco and playing it for friends, before either the cops, their parents, or even that-teenage-girl-down-the-street-downloading-to-her-computer pull the plugs… But on a site that proclaims its intent to educate, is such lack of important information any more fair?
The first Hitlist of 2004 is in fact the last of 2003: Ten That Got Away. A few albums I'd been late in getting to, and a few I went back and bought through the recommendations of readers here and various Best of 2003 Lists. As befits a year when rock nationalism became increasingly irrelevant, the featured artists - Café Tacuba, Fiery Furnaces, Fonda, Hot Hot Heat, Mando Diao, My Morning Jacket, the Postal Service, Sidonie, Singapore Sling, Ted Leo/Pharmacists - hail from such disparate countries as Mexico, Iceland, Sweden and Spain, as well as the USA and Canada. (The lack of British artists also makes up for the predominance of UK acts in my various December Hitlists.) You can access the reviews here. Previous Hitlists are Indexed

2004 MUSINGS
FEB 2-FEB 8: Suicide Girls in the flesh, Johnny Rotten's a Celebrity...So's Jodie Marsh
JAN 26-FEB 1: Starsailor/Stellastarr*/Ambulance live, Tiswas, Wine Watch, Politics Watch
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:


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

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The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

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