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SUNDAY JULY 4
HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY

The 4th of July holiday is, too all intents and purposes, an American celebration of it independence from Britain. Along with the tens of thousands of Brits in New York alone, I have no problem with that – I don't see why any one country should own and rule another - and always enjoy joining in. Monday's a holiday in the States and I won't be posting. Expect to hear from me round the middle of the week. Happy 4th to one and all.

SATURDAY JULY 3
STEPPING OFF

Fun was had, once again, at Step On last night, though it was a little quieter than last month given that half the city had already made the most of the three-day weekend and got the hell out of Dodge. For my part, I really enjoyed reviving some of those forgotten bands from 89-91, and found plenty good music to play by The Dylans, The High, Paris Angels and Mock Turtles. Even Flowered Up were fun to dig up, however hard it may ever have been to take them seriously. And I enjoyed a little covers medley early on, mixing the same-tempoed Saint Etienne's 'Nothing Can Stop Us Now,' The Soup Dragons' 'I'm Free,' World Of Twist's 'She's A Rainbow,' Happy Mondays' 'Step On' and a white label bootleg mix of the Velvet Underground's 'Sunday Morning' that I've been sitting on these last fifteen years and counting. Some of those old baggy bands may seem outdated, but it's interesting to see how many of them had A-List production credits: Martin Hannett was at the controls for World Of Twist, Ian Broudie for Northside, and of course Andrew Weatherall did those mega fifteen minute mixes of Flowered Up's 'Weekender.' We got plenty of new music in there too, from !!!, Radio 4, Social Registry, Streets, Franz Ferdinand and others; Posie went back to the 2Tone era for a brief burst of skanking, and Nick Marc from Tiswas played a couple of ultra-sharp sets that covered all bases from The Fall to Pulp, My Bloody Valentine to Television. Good stuff all round.

Left: Nick Marc and your new baldie on the block. Right: The famous Factory Records shirt from the label's Happy Mondays-led tour of America. The year was either 89 or 90.

THE GRAND COMES FOR FREE

We are ridiculously spoiled in New York City. Any time of the year, we have more good music on our doorstep than almost all the rest of the United States put together. In summer, the treats increase, as parks, piers and beaches all promote free music. Thursday night, it seemed like cultural overload as the ultra-trendy Tribeca Grand Hotel opened up its downstairs rooms for a triple bill: a showcase by French label Recall Records, a lap-top DJ set by Germany's Funkstorung and a late-night Death Disco courtesy of BP Fallon. All of it entirely free. I showed up long after midnight, having attended a birthday bash down in Dumbo, to find that I'd missed the New York debut of British female duo Robots In Disguise. My spies in the audience told me the show was good, not great, and never quite got going, which sounds all too frustratingly like the debut album. (A new album is due in Europe in September, including a cheerful electro-techno cover of The Kinks' 'You Really Got Me.')

I was, however, in time for I Am X, the new project led by Sneaker Pimps' Chris Corner. Shamelessly rooted in early 80s synth-pop, and yet not slavishly devoted to the style, I Am X were suitably well-dressed, equipped with the requisite headless guitars and portable keyboards. Aided significantly by Corner's strong voice, powerful pop songwriting and engaging personality, they came across with just enough contemporary chops to pique my interest and avoid too great an association with the dreaded Electroclash tag. It's hard to know how a British band on a French label was able to secure a New York Rent A Crowd, but a couple of dozen people down the front went positively ballistic throughout. One of the Robots girls joined in for a song, and a violinist was brought onstage to great effect for 'Your Joy Is My Low.' An encore entitled 'Missile' found Corner singing entirely to backing tracks as the lyrics were projected on a screen behind me, and in the scheme of things, it didn't seem like a problem.

I Am X at The Tribeca Grand. Note the dubious Union Jack truckers cap. Unfortunately, trendy audiences aren't always the most fashionable....


While I Am X were performing on stage, the Funkstorung duo were doing their laptop set out in the hallway. Just fifteen or twenty people lounged around, all of them transfixed by the suitably eclectic electronic set, most of them immediately bounding up to the duo on conclusion to get a peak at the software. It was that kind of show.

Back in the main room once more, BP Fallon set up turntables on the stage, back-announced I Am X as "really fucking cool," and Robots In Disguise as, also, "really fucking cool" and then introduced the first Death Disco DJ, Jenny somebody, as "really fucking cool." That much she undoubtedly was, wearing skimpy clothes and dancing round the stage while lip-synching to glam rock. Her enthusiasm was barely dampened by an immediate power outage. However, the crowd had a harder time holding on; by now it was 2am and most of them had had their load of free music for the night. I left, too, once again amazed at what we get for our money here in this city.


FRIDAY JULY 2

BLINDED BY THE LIGHTS?

It was a double bill to die for: The Streets and Dizzee Rascal, together. Certainly, the two share an American audience. They each perform a very, very British post-hip hop, delivered with verbal dexterity and a certain amount of musical innovation. They're each strictly lower class, delivering social commentary fresh from, as Mike Skinner's lot so rightly claim it, the Streets. And they've each picked up significant acclaim in the States for playing up Britain's musical strengths (rather than trying to copy America's), making it no surprise that they should easily sell out two nights at New York's thousand-capacity Irving Plaza.

While most of his peer group from the council estate are listening to or making garage, 2-step and grime, Dizzee Rascal's debut album, Boy In Da Corner, is primarily inspired by the early days of Def Jam. He's Britain's LL circa 1984, a teenage tough boy backed by little more than the biggest beats he can find. In concert, this means presenting it strictly old school: just Dizzee, a supporting MC and a DJ. For young American audiences who've grown up on the million dollar videos of Jay Z and DMX, and the occasional live tours in which every MC is backed by a posse, the production may have looked like almost amateur. But this crowd was already wise to Dizzee's rhymes, and when the rapper dropped a reference to Run D.M.C. before his finale (the single 'Fix Up, Look Sharp'), they readily acknowledged the similarity in presentation and style. Of course, Dizzee doesn't yet perform on par with the former Kings of Queens, but he has confidence and talent; all he needs now is time. I was particularly taken by his a capella freestyle, an eloquent, wistful poem that dropped the line, "Imagine if we didn't grow up on a council estate." A strictly hip-hop American audience would have had to imagine what a council estate actually is; this crowd had no such problems. And yes, they were, as expected and even in such a multi-racial city, solidly 90% Caucasian.

The Streets, after all, have found their American audience in a mainly white, post-rave youth culture that's always had time for hip-hop's innovations, just not so much interest in its increasingly materialistic message. So, at a time when the original British dance acts are struggling to maintain relevance, The Streets and their original (pirate) material fill the musical void. That the subject matter is so totally British seems to matter little; American audiences no more need understand front man Mike Skinner's constant references to chip shops and ITV, his every use of the word "fit" and " sharking," than British audiences needed translate every slang word coming out of New York hip-hop a quarter century ago. They get the vibe, they follow the gist. They love the lingo, they've bought the beat. Hey ho, let's go.

The Streets line-up that took the Irving Plaza stage is the same as toured America eighteen months ago, but for Skinner's sidekick, dreadlocked Kevin Trail having been replaced by beefy MC Leo Ihenacho. Either way, the five-piece looks as it sounds: a melting pot of British youth cults and musical styles. The Streets recordings are so engagingly innovative they'd be selling by the truckload even if Skinner took to the stage unaccompanied, but there's no denying that having a band complete with drums, keys and bass has quickened the crossover appeal.

Surprisingly then, considering A Grand Don't Come For Free (reviewed here) is currently number one in the UK and selling well in the States, the set drew mainly from 2002's Original Pirate Material. It opened with an updated 'Turn The Page' and a quick 'Same Old Thing,' followed swiftly with a thunderously heavy dub version of 'Let's Push Things Forward', and collapsed somewhere in the middle with an overly rough and ready delivery of 'Geezers Need Excitement.' The presentation was, truth be told, almost willfully shambolic – Skinner at one point admitting 'This is Pantomine' - and while such chaos worked at the Mercury Lounge on the group's first Stateside tour, on the bigger stage it led to several pregnant pauses and an inevitable loss of momentum. If The Streets are, as I suspect, appealing to the same people who've otherwise been into Chemical Brothers, Basement Jaxx and, I am sure, Beastie Boys too, then Skinner needs to take some lessons from these masters of the live show and learn how to keep the music flowing.

The Streets' Mike Skinner at Mercury Lounge 18 months ago: "totally drunk" but on top of his game.


But because we love Skinner's recording character for his constant cock-ups, and as his onstage banter is a major part of his appeal, we indulged him. An observation about England shirts in the audience led to an abusive rebuke of David Beckham; some calculatedly casual put-downs of New York City served to deliberately rile the crowd; Skinner's distribution of drinks (during 'Too Much Brandy') and aftershow passes helped bring down any audience-performer divide. Still, there was too much dependence on MC Leo's falsettos: the man has a fine voice, but we come for Skinner's skits, not a solo soul show. And a lengthy late-set jam built around the words "It would be so nice if we could smoke in this place," was irrelevant, divisive and unnecessary. The New York City smoking ban is old news already - especially as Skinner went through much the same rant first time he came to America. He should also remember he's not the first Brit to stuggle with the colloqualisms: his line "Let's smoke some fags" is older than the Colonies themselves.

I only noted four songs from A Grand Don't Come For Free: 'Blinded By The Lights,' and 'Could Well be In' early on, 'Dry Your Eyes' (with the otherwise bass-playing Morgan Nichols on acoustic) and the pogo-fest of 'Fit But You Know It' (Nichols now on electric) for the night's conclusion, introduced as "English rock'n'roll" and sounding appropriately like Blur in the process. Encores returned to the first album: the house-inspired floor-shaker 'Weak Become Heroes,' and 'Don't Mug Yourself.'

The Streets are a proven success in The States. Original Pirate Material shifted way over 100,000 copies, and the pop appeal of 'Fit But You Know It' suggests that the brilliant A Grand Don't Come For Free should do even better. But while The Streets are taken seriously in record stores, in bedrooms, on radio and on the dancefloor, Skinner and co. may need to rethink the live show's flow as they move up to ever bigger American crowds. Right now, overly reliant on the first album and often descending into a perfectly charming but increasingly tiresome chaos, it's the one part of the otherwise inspiring culture clash that remains lost in translation.


THURSDAY JULY 1

VINYL, CDs and DVDS...

I didn't make it out to Giants Stadium last night. Too much expense and effort. I took the easy route and headed over to Village 247 to catch the Portugal-Holland Euro 2004 Semi-Final instead. In New York there are enough immigrants from across the planet that you can always guarantee a packed house for any game between any two nations, though it could be said that the Portugese and Dutch fans over on Smith Street were taking it just a little easy. Perhaps the truly passionate supporters were to be found, as with the English on big occasions, at known gathering spots like the Sporting Club and Nevada Smith's. Anyway, I enjoyed the atmosphere and the non-existent cover charge. And I enjoyed the game, too. It was hard to argue with the 2-1 score as Portugal were certainly the better team, and Figo had a blinder, though goalie Ricardo's play-acting and time-wasting following Portugal's late own goal should surely have earned him a yellow card or worse. People often wonder how the home nation really has an 'advantage'; this was ample evidence. That was only the second game of the tournament I actually got to watch, and I won't be seeing the others. Non footie-fan iJamming! readers should feel relieved.

Been digging through the boxes of vinyl in the basement for records by the various artists I plan on playing at Step On tomorrow. Fortunately I found them all. (And with the help of an iJamming! reader in Boston, have filled what gaps otherwise existed.) My vinyl collection has been a mess ever since moving to Brooklyn, at which point I decided to switch my limited office space to cater to the growing mass of CDs. I'm not sure that was the right decision: I look at the mountains and mountains of CDs, gathered in boxes, on shelves, on the floor, on the desk, and simply don't feel the same visceral excitement as when I rummage through the boxes of vinyl.

Does this sense of visceral excitement – the attractive physical aesthetic of the 12" or 7" vinyl over the homogenous silver compact disc – have anything to do with sliding CD sales? On the face of it, no: the boom in the CD format was largely a result of baby-boomers being suckered into buying their record collections all over again through the 1990s. They certainly weren't pining for the smell of old vinyl. And the current generation doesn't really have vinyl to compare anything to. But that may be the problem. I can't help but feel that the generic silver disc, which can store so much data and yet, on the surface, gives away so little information, has become such a throwaway fixture of our lives (if that sounds like an oxymoron, it's meant to) that few of us worry any more about purchasing anything but the very best albums in their intended commercial formats. If we're primarily interested in hearing a new artist's new track, we may as well visit their web site and grab it for free, or pay for an iTunes download (or visit Limewire or Kazaa or whatever) and then carry it on our iPod or laptop or other digital player, as add to the landfill dilemma by purchasing yet another 5" silver disc of digital information that we're only going to misplace within a matter of hours..

I'm still all for the album, I think that predictions of its death are premature, and I don't even have a problem with the price of CDs here in the States. (I bought two non-chart albums at an independent store in the Slope here this week, and each set me back a mere $13, which seems good enough value.) But I do believe we'll continue to be a lot less bothered about picking up individual tracks, either new or old, via the physical retail process in the future. And CD sales will continue to suffer as a result.

And yet and yet… a feature in the current Newsweek shows that when you look at this from the global capitalist perspective, it's all a case of shifting fortunes. CD sales may be in decline, but have you seen the figures for that other 5" digital disc, the DVD? American sales have gone from zero in 1997 to over a billion in 2003; that was a 50% increase on the previous year, which was double the sales from the year before that. Almost 10,000 DVDs were released in the States last year, and Hollywood studios now receive an enormous 52% of their income from the sale of DVDs. (The traditional box office accounts for less than a quarter.) Finding Nemo has sold over 21 million copies in the USA alone on DVD. No CD came close to doing those kind of sales last year.

It's worth noting here that Sony, Universal, and Warner Brothers have all been major players in the movie business as well as in the record business. There was a time when the profitable record business provided these companies with their positive cash flow, and the favor could now be returned from their Hollywood studios if the companies weren't always thinking in the short term and selling off anything that looks like it might be in trouble. The point I'm trying to make is that the business of home entertainment is clearly not in trouble; it shifts according to the tastes of the times. In the 90s, everyone was buying CDs; in the 00s everyone is buying DVDs. It's hard to believe that we, the consumers, are spending any less than we ever did. We're just spending it on different items, in different ways – with our money still going to much the same people. So don't let them fool you when they tell you they're in so much trouble.


WEDNESDAY JUNE 30

CRAZY BALDHEADS

Yesterday, after only a decade of deliberation, I bought a $20 set of clippers from the local Pharmacist and cut my hair several layers closer down to the old dome than my traditionally short and spiky hair cut. It was quite an amusing scene, as I roped the wife in to perform the post-dinner massacre while the kid looked on. Young Campbell didn't go so far as to scream and cry but he did seem rather alarmed and suggested, optimistically, that it would grow back soon and demanded, with something between good humor and blind insistence, that I wear a hat every time I step outside the house until it does so.

Of course, I will do nothing of the sort. I went straight from the number one crop to The Streets/Dizzee Rascal show at Irving Plaza, which drew, predictably, many of my long-term New York-based friends and associates. There was an after-show do, too, where I caught up with more friends. Here's the rub: only three of the several dozen people I've known for many, many years bothered to comment on the drastic new look. One told me, as what I can only assume to be a polite way of disguising her disgust, she "would have to get used to it"; another told me cheerfully that it looked great; and a third merely passed observation. (Given that this last one has precisely the same non-cut, he certainly couldn't say anything against it.) One thing I've always loved about New York is that people let you be who or what you want without judgment. In this city's scheme of things, a number one crop is the least of peoples' concerns. Anyway, should you still want a good laugh at my expense, feel free to show up to Step On this Friday….

I personally know several crazy baldheads who visit this site. That means there must be many dozens more lurking around. Anyone want to start a thread – hoping that's the appropriate word choice! – about why, how and when they went for it, and how they feel about it?

Review of the show coming tomorrow or shortly thereafter…


GLOBAL FOOTBALLS

Just heard author Franklin Foer discussing his new book, How Soccer Explains The World, on wnyc radio. British visitors to this site may not feel they need an explanation, especially from an American like Foer, though those with an interest in international affairs should note the subtitle – An Unlikely Theory of Globalization – and various chapters titled, for example, "How Soccer Explains The New Oligarchs", "How Soccer Explains Islam's Hope", and "How Soccer Explains the Sentimental Hooligan." From listening to Foer's relatively astute global view, it was evident that the first and third of these chapters concerns Chelsea - a subject I've commented on a few times these last few weeks, and one I'm very much looking forward to bringing back up in August. (Palace and Chelsea fans will understand why.)

I also mentioned here recently that I've been wanting to forcibly introduce young Campbell to the sport. I had earmarked tonight's game over at Giants Stadium between the New York/New Jersey Metro Stars and Colorado Rapids as being a possible starting point. As one of those very American double-headers, it's followed, immediately, by a friendly between Argentina and Peru. Having attended several World Cup Final matches at Giants back in '94 I can vouch that, certainly when the 80,000 seater is full, the atmosphere is right up to Gllobal standards and I may make a last-minute decision to head over there for the fun of being amongst all the South American immigrant families. But, truth be told, I doubt I can keep the kid's attention across four hours of football, especially as it goes on past his bedtime...

So, I've also been keeping an eye on the fixtures coming up in the UK, figuring I might be better off with a Palace away game or lower division Yorkshire derby match while he's in the north of England visiting Granny in August. A quick e-mail to Hull City asking why they haven't released tickets for the Bank Holiday Monday tie against Bradford received an equally quick reply – thanks, Hull – suggesting the date may change as Hull FC are playing that day. Well, that was the point of my asking, wasn't it? Oh, no, I misunderstood. This is Yorkshire: the rugby team is called Hull Football Club, which means the Hull Football Club has to call itself Hull City Association Football Club to avoid confusion. I think. And you thought Americans were the only ones to label the wrong sport 'football'...


TUESDAY JUNE 29

FESTIVE SEASONING

Following up last week's cancellation of the Lollapalooza tour, and what it appeared to say about the worrying state of American festivals, it's worth returning to my suggestion that Perry Farrell's intended two-day event may have been a victim of its sprawling over-ambition rather than an example of Americans' disinterest in the outdoor musical event. Let's check out three consecutive weekends of upcoming activity at New York's Randall's Island:

SAT JULY 31:
THE CURIOSA FESTIVAL.
Effectively an all-dayer built around the headliners, THE CURE have decided to take a couple of Cure-influenced bands on the road with them in what will surely prove to be a mutually beneficial credibility swap. The Curiosa Festival features two of New York's finest - The Rapture and Interpol – and one of Glasgow's greatest, Mogwai. But there's also as second stage with Muse, Auf der Maur and The Coople Temple Clause. Adding Stellastarr* to The Cure's chosen support slots would, I suppose, have meant one Smith-like yelp too many.

SAT AUG 7:
WARPED TOUR '04.
The annual punk rock road show features no less than eight stages' worth of constant music. You and I may not be familiar with Audio Karate, A Faith Called Chaos, Monty's Fan Club or The Tossers, but with names like those, you know it's going to be fun, don't you? Having attended Warped a couple of times over the years for review purpose, I can vouch for its positive atmosphere. Plus, what other festival insists that its bands, as part of their contract, show up daily at its own merchandising stall to meet with their public? And offers parents their own tent, away from the music, to chill out and read while their kids spend the days slam-dancing and body-surfing and otherwise getting their teen rebellion out of their systems?

SAT AUG 14:
LITTLE STEVEN'S INTERNATIONAL UNDERGROUND GARAGE FESTIVAL.
For the last few years, Little StevenSilvio to those who know their Sopranos better than their E Street Band – has been championing garage rock via a weekly syndicated radio show and occasional promotions around New York City. His first open-air festival is a veritable who's who of garage-glam-punk rock: Iggy Pop & The Stooges, The Strokes, The New York Dolls, Bo Diddley, The Raveonettes, The Mooney Suzuki, The Electric Prunes, The Chesterfield Kings, and the Flaming Sideburns - with a dozen more acts already confirmed and more still to be added. Just look at those first half-dozen names, which manage to span influential rockers from every decade since the 50s, and tell me you have a problem with the $20 ticket price. As Warped learned long ago, it's called value for money, and if you acquire a reputation for supplying it, you will be rewarded by audience loyalty.

Lollapalooza was due to drop in on Randall's Island the Monday and Tuesday following the Underground Garage Festival. But a quick glance at the above alternatives – and the fact that they're all taking place on Saturdays – and it becomes easier to understand why Lollapalooza failed where the others look likely to succeed.

For those who have never been there – indeed, those who have never been to New York – Randall's Island is about as good a location as we have here in New York City. The sports arena is somewhat run-down, but that facilitates general admission and a relatively relaxed attitude towards audience behavior, while the amount of green space surrounding the arena allows for secondary stages, concession and cultural tents to be erected as needed.

While publicizing New York City's outdoor summer shows, we have to bookmark SATURDAY JULY 17 for the Village Voice-sponsored Siren Festival in Coney Island. This free – yes, free – festival has grown enormously since its conception three years back, and the 2004 line-up ensures that once again, the Lower East Side and Williamsburg will turn into ghost towns for one day, as residents flock to the delightfully seedy beach for Blonde Redhead, Death Cab For Cutie, Mission of Burma, the Fever, the Fiery Furnaces and many others. I've planned to stay in the city that weekend for Siren, and I'll be guest-spinning at Tiswas again that night.


MONDAY JUNE 28

WELCOME TO THE WORKING WEAK

Gradually getting back with it after a weekend spent almost completely off the grid. While many Brits were enjoying Glastonbury (and some weren't), and New Yorkers had the double attraction of the Mermaid Parade in Coney Island and the various Gay Pride activities, we were hanging with friends in the woods, kicking back, hiking, playing mini golf and go-karting with the kids, practicing our own game of footie in the local public playing fields (three different sized football fields for different age groups, and yes I do mean soccer), listening to copious amounts of rockabilly, and enjoying that most innocent of American past times – the Saturday night barbeque. (Accompanied by that most potent of American wines – a Seghesio Old Vines Zinfandel, 15.3% alcohol and not afraid to show it. Read about Seghesio's every day Zin here.) We were also celebrating our wedding anniversary but coming at the end of a 3-month spell that's included my mum's 70th, mine and my wife's 40th, my wife's brother and mother's birthdays, mother's day and father's day, it's fair to say we didn't feel the need to go ballistic on this one.

Anyway, turn on the radio and you have a good idea of main world events. (Handover of power in Iraq today. Unlike some people who don't mind death and destruction if it reflects badly on the American Administration, I have taken no satisfaction in seeing this all go wrong. I want Iraq to succeed as a free and independent country. I desperately hope it works out for them, as very soon and as very peacably as possible, and I don't care who has to get the credit for it to do so.) Finding out the Euro 2004 scores is a little more difficult. So when our weekend ended by stopping in on a friend's Sunday night birthday party in Manhattan, I clocked someone wearing the distinctive blue jersey of France and asked him how his lot got on against Greece in theiir Quarter-Final.

"We won! 2-1!" Cool. Know any of the other scores? "No, I only care about France." (He wasn't first generation French by the way; it's pretty easy to tell once they start talking.) "Zinedine Zidane is my idol." Fair enough. Did Zidane have a good game? "Scored one, and got an assist on the other." Great. Good luck in the Semis.

Now it was getting late on Sunday night and this party had been going for a few hours so we can excuse our American French friend for being a little confused. But had he actually watched a game since France beat England 2-1? Did he confuse England with Greece? Does he have delusions of grandeur? Or was he simply making it up as he went along? When I got back online this morning I find that France lost their Quarter Final to Greece, 1-0. Will he ever find out?



(A quick pause to praise a bottle of white wine from Spain's Rueda district that I spotted in a cooler overflowing with cheap Yellowtail Chardonnay and promptly opened, figuring that was, after all, what it was there for. Labels are usually a good indicator of a wine-maker's philosophy and the simplicity of this particular label suggested that the wine might be a step above the ordinary. It was. I've yet to post a full review of a Spanish white wine and intend to do so in the very near future.)


Lots of new music here for me to hear. Want to get a July Hitlist up hot on the heels of the June one. I've had to miss a few happening New York gigs over the last few weeks but I've learned that, especially as the venues get bigger for the better bands, there's always another chance to see someone - and studying the British summer festivals for when I'm going to be over in late August (V Festival here, Leeds here) I realize I can pretty much stop going to shows from now until then and still get to see everyone I would have thought of in the meantime.



Among the events I missed last week was the following, quoted straight from my VIP Invite:

"Celebrate the most radical decade with the original MTV VJs Mark Goodman, Nina Blackwood and Alan Hunter, New Hosts on Sirius Satellite Radio hit music channel Big 80s. Special performances by Terri Nunn of Berlin, Dave Wakeling of English Beat and General Public, and Martha Davis of the Motels."

Brings me back to the Run Hit Wonder posting of the other week. (Turns out my wife is going to do that run as one of her qualifiers for next year's marathon. I've asked her to take the camera with her should she dare stop long enough by the Kajagoogoo stage to get a shot in focus.) Some of these people you expect to be desperate – and the MTV VJs have had a particularly difficult time moving on. But again, I have to ask, why Dave Wakeling? Are things that bad for him? Would people really not buy new music by him if he got back to making some? (His one and only solo labum was in 1988.) Or is he no longer interested in being anything but a Nostalgia act?

2004 MUSINGS
JUNE 21-27: Lollapalooza, Morrissey, Deadwood, London Calling, Stone Roses, Euro 2004,
JUNE 14-20: Fast Food and Cheap Oil, Party Prospects, More Clash, Radio Indie Pop
JUNE 7-13: MP3s vs AIFF, Step on, June Hitlist, The Clash,
MAY 31-JUNE 6: Benzos/The Hong Kong/Home Video live, Tribute Bands, Lester Bangs, Glad All Over
MAY 24-30: The Clash, Fear Of A Black Planet, Marvin Gaye, Sandy Bull, Richard Pryor, Stoop Sale LPs, Michael Moore, Nat Hentoff
MAY 17-23: 5th Ave Street Fair, James, Surefire/The Go Station live, Crystal Palace
MAY 10-16: Radio 4 live, John Entwistle, Jeff Mills, Wine notes, Joy Division covers
APR 26-MAY 9: Twenty Twos, Morningwood, French Kicks, Ambulance Ltd all live, More Than Nets, Mod, Turning 40
APR 19-25: 5 Boroughs Rock, The Number 3 Bus, Orbital split, MC5 reform
APR 6-19: British Press Cuttings, More Than Nets, Art Rockers and Brit Packers
MAR 29-APRIL 5: The Rapture/BRMC/Stellastarr* live, The Chinese Beatles, Freddie Adu
MAR 22-28: Singapore Sling live, Kerry on a Snowboard, Pricks on Clits, Eddie Izzard, Who's Two
MAR 15-21: TV On The Radio live, Tracking Terror, Bloomberg's Education Bloc, The Homosexuals,
MAR 8-14: The Undertones live, Winemakers Week, Madrid Bombings, Just In Jest
MAR 1-7: Rhone-gazing, Pop Culture Quiz answers, Who's Hindsight, March Hitlist
FEB 16-29: Lad Lit, American Primaries, New York novels, Candi Staton, the Pop Culture Quiz, World Musics In Context
FEB 9-15: Grammy gripes, Spacemen 3, Replacements, Touching The Void, Moon myths, Voice Jazz & Pop Poll
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:


iJamming! Site Copyright Tony Fletcher 2004




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WHAT'S NEW IN iJAMMING!...

HIGHWAY TO UNHEALTHY:
Why Fast Food depends on Cheap Oil

THE JUNE HITLIST:
12 featured albums, 15 more in rotation, three 12" singles and a handful of books.

FEATURED OREGON WHITE WINES:
Foris Vineyards Gewürztraminer and Witness Tree Pinot Blanc.

THE APRIL HITLIST:
MUSIC, BOOKS, FILMS, TV, BEER, WINE AND FOOD-JUICE

FEATURED WINE:
Aziano Chianti Classico 2001 .

THE UNDERTONES
Live in New York

THE MARCH HITLIST:
REISSUES REVISITED

STELLASTARR*
Live at Tiswas
Live at Bowery Ballroom
Live at Mercury Lounge
Live on the Hudson River
With Joe Strummer
Stellastarr* album review

SUICIDE GIRLS just wanna have fun

FEATURED WINE:
DOMAINE ROGER PERRIN
CHÂTEAUNEUF DU PAPE 2001
Rhône, France,

THE FEBRUARY HITLIST:
Ten That Got Away

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

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 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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