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author, journalist and dee jay Tony Fletcher.
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With guest DJs Team Libra: Nick Cain (Earthprogram & Watermark Records) and Allen Key (Warmth Records).

Happy Hour, from 10-11pm, and Ongoing Theme for August 6: DUB. Expect to hear Renegade Soundwave, Lee Perry, Massive Attack, Studio 1, Mad Professor, The Clash, Depth Charge, Andy Weatherall, and all manner of dubbed-up acid house, techno, and indie

The Royale, 506 Fifth Avenue, Park Slope, Brooklyn, between 12th/13th Street. (718 840 0089.) 9pm-3am.

WEDNESDAY AUGUST 18: BALEARICA, The Social, Little Portland Street, London W1. DJ set and reading from HEDONISM. With Chris Coco and Rob Dan Bank. 7-11pm. More info here.
DEATH DISCO, the Notting Hill Arts Club, 21 Notting Hill Gate, London, from 9pm to 1am. With Alan McGee, Danny Watson and live bands. More info here.



That was a corker last night: I've never seen The Royale so crowded. Credit the summer party mood, Step On's growing reputation and the serious promotional efforts of last night's guests, Nick Cain, Allan Key and Joel T. I hope the people who came out appreciated how we mixed it up: I enjoyed playing the likes of Dr. Alimantado, Mikey Dread, One Dove, and Leftfield early on in proceedings as much as I did Renegade Soundwave, Meat Beat Manifesto, Orbital, !!! and The Rapture at the height of the night, and digging out dub mixes of James, the Mondays, Stone Roses and Charlatans and co at various points in-between. (There was a point where it seemed everything I was playing was either an Andy Weatherall mix or a Chemical Brothers-back-when-they-were-the Dust Brothers mix.) The dancefloor was still going strong even after the bar's 4am closing time. There are many stories going around about the prosecution and pressuring of American club culture, but in our own little corner of the slope, Step On proves that rumours of New York Nightlife's death are extremely premature. Thanks to everyone who came down. See you at Labor Day Weekend – with a bunch of new records from the UK, I would hope.

Scenes from the crime, clockwise from top left: The busy bar at The Royale, complete with our genuine Madchester posters; groovers on the floor; party-goers late at night (is that someone smoking at the right of the shot?); DJs Allan, Joel and Nick taken 4 seconds before 4am; Jordan's twin brother Joel and friend looking like they've had an extremely good time, and Nick and yours truly dancing at the decks to Madness. Cheers.



Don't know if you remember me bitching about my old digital camera and my extended warranty problem, which provoked me to rail against big business and box stores even more than usual, but in the end, I decided against letting Canon charge me $150 to repair the old Elph and got a new Panasonic Lumix 3MP for, once the rebate comes through, only $40 more. Begrudge having to spend a penny, to be honest - I was happy with the old one 'till it broke and don't see why I have to assume I need a replacement every 30 months - but it's all done now, and the new camera should produce clearer pictures than the older one. Once I get used to it.

I took it with me to the Losers Lounge performance in Prospect Park last night, where Joe McGinty and his esteemed crew worked their way through various James Bond theme songs and John Barry music prior to a free screening of Thunderball. That's my friend Joe Hurley at the microphone below; I didn't catch the names of the two female vocalists. A friend of the group's threw a barbecue party afterwards and I met someone who saw The Who play their first ever New York gigs, for the Murray The K extravaganzas at the RKO Theater back in 1967. (The ones where they played 3-5 songs several times a day, alongside Mitch Ryder, Wilson Pickett, Cream and others.) As you would hope, the memory is vividly implanted in his mind. Losers Lounge do the James Bond thing in their own right tonight and tomorrow at Fez.



This is an ominous start to the new season. Crystal Palace FC made their new team shirts available for sale to the general public this week. But as thousands – well, hundreds, probably – queued up to spend £40 on the new design, they noticed something horribly wrong: the club name had been mis-spelled on the crest. The Romanian sub-contractors to Diadora figured it was Crystal with an H: Chrystal Palace. Oh dear. Then again, given that we've been sponsored by Tulip in the past, maybe they just figured we're a bunch of chrysantheums.


Unfortunately, the football team I play for is having a worse season back in the top flight than even Palace are likely to endure. Still, the person we're named after – pioneering New York breakdancer Crazy Legs – is enjoying a full-on revival. Breakdancing is back, says the New York Times. I'm not entirely convinced it ever went away, but no doubt about it, there's been a resurgence of interest in New York old school hip-hop of late. And as any fool know, when hip-hop kicked off in the mid Seventies, it was as much about breakdancing, graffiti art and DJing as it was about something called rapping. On subject of which...


When I reviewed Nick Hornby's Songbook, I noted that many of his essays had started out in The New Yorker, and that Hornby appeared to have quickly grown frustrated with the elitist attitudes of his fellow writers and many readers. Well, he's no longer contributing, far as I can see: The New Yorker now employs Sasha Frere-Jones as its pop critic. To his credit, Sasha is writing regularly about black music. Even better, he's writing about British black music: this week, he critiques the same Irving Plaza show by Dizzee Rascal and The Streets that I wrote about several weeks ago. And though he thinks The Streets have improved live, whereas I think the opposite, he reaches the same conclusion as yours truly - that A Grand Don't Come For Free has less to do with rap than it does with Quadrophenia. And Frere-Jones gets a good point across here, for all who instinctively think British hip-hop must be inferior to the "real" (i.e. American) thing:

Skinner [The Streets] and Mills [Dizzee Rascal] both have the confidence not to talk about dominant themes in American chart hip-hop: pliant women, amphibious vehicles, bottomless pride. Skinner and Mills prefer questions to assertions, doubt the loyalty of their friends, and struggle with women who appear in songs as real voices, not just abstract conquests.

The only question remaining: what took them so long to publish? The feature was surely a home run/slam dunk/open goal at the editor's meet: a piece on new British street rappers of genuine artistic merit must have been an easier sell to the socially conscious, Anglocentric New Yorker editors than a John Updike short story....

Actually, if you read The Guardian back on July 8, you'd have been informed that The Streets are proving a hard sell to American media. As evidence, Alexis Petridis quoted English-born Blender editor Andy Pemberton:

It's a good piece of BS to close out the piece with. If Blender can't get behind The Streets, that's their loss (of credibility - assuming they have any to begin with). Anyway, you didn't hear Brits complaining that they couldn't understand old school hip-hop, did you? And to quote Joe Strummer back in 1977, in defense of his deliberately bad diction:

"Our music is like Jamaican stuff – if they can't hear it, they're not supposed to hear it. It's not for them if they can't understand it."

The same Guardian piece posts as its pictorial selling point for this new new British invasion not The Streets, not Dizzee Rascal, but Mis-Teeq. Do you remember me saying I've stopped paying attention to the American singles charts? Here's your proof... About three days before I saw this piece, I went out for dinner (a rare occurrence these days) and ran into a bunch of music biz friends (an equally rare occurrence), who introduced me to three fly young girls in their company. You can guess who they were. The good news is that, considering I showed absolutely no recognition whatsoever of her current chart success (and my ignorance would have invited serious attitude from any number of British rock bands), Mis-Teeq leader Sabrina Washington was the personification of modesty and politeness. (And flyness… Oh yeah!) I still haven't heard their hit and I don't know if I'd like it if I did, but good luck to them. Manners will get you a long way in this game.



I like the New York Press because it's willing to present both sides of an argument - and assume its readers have enough intelligence to draw their own conclusions. This week it takes that attitude one step further by presenting two complementary arguments: The Conservative Case against George Bush (by William Bryk) and The Liberal Case against John Kerry (by Matt Taibbi). It may just be my own reading of the issues, but I find the former argument – an impassioned defense of Conservatism as pro-Liberty and small Government – more convincing than the latter argument, which reduces the "non-bullshit" parts of John Kerry's acceptance speech at the Democratic Convention last week down to a mere two lines. In other words, going by these two inside attacks, I see more good reasons for Conservatives to abandon Bush than for Liberals to abandon Kerry. But hey, read through and draw your own conclusions.

I'm still not much impressed by new New York fortnightly freebie L Magazine, but its Polemic pieces tend to be interesting. In a feature entitled "At Least He's Our Son Of A Bitch," Adam Bonislawski asks, "Just what is the proper tack for a right-minded Kerry voter to take on Michael Moore? Or, to put things a bit more broadly — how is one to relate to propaganda supporting a worthy cause?" And then does his best to answer. Unfortunately, the L site doesn't have html references and this piece will likely come down as the new issue goes up: from the Home Page, click on Features and then on Polemic and hope it's still there.

And this one is from last week's Village Voice: Tricia Romano's piece on New York DJs fleeing the excessive rents and oppressive authorities for the more welcoming if grimy climes of Barcelona and Berlin, under the headline "The Next Brooklyns." (Which must be news to the Spanish and Germans!)

We're having an overdue spell of hot humid weather here in New York this week. If you can't get to the beach, Prospect Park is the place to be round the point it cools down in the evening. Tonight I'm participating in the fortnightly 5k road race; I did it two weeks ago and to my delight (though eventual disappointment) I very nearly, finally, broke the 20 minute mark. It will be insane for me to try a similar speed tonight, given the weather, but I have a horrible tendency to compete, so let's hope I'm not a wreck tomorrow. Anyway, Thursday evening I will definitely be in the park for the Celebrate Brooklyn festival, less so for the free screening of Thunderball than the preceding The Losers' Lounge James Bond Tribute. Sunday, meanwhile, is the date for Celebrate Brooklyn's 13th All-Day African Festival, this year featuring KANDA BONGO MAN, SIDIKI, LORRAINE KLASSEN, KALETA and more. Both events are free. (Suggested donation: $3.) And both promise to be fabulous.



You don't need an essay from me every day, do you? Good. I've got a ton of things I'd love to talk about and just about no time to do so. I do appreciate people keeping The Pub so lively, with responses to some of my questions from this front page of the last few days and lots of excited discussion about new music. Let's have some more of you introduce yourselves at The Pub; just pop on in and tell us a little about where you're from and what turns you on. Then we'll all be in agreement about what to put on the Jukebox for closing time!

One link I can't help but comment on:

RADIO 4 ARE THE NEW HAPPY MONDAYS: So says Drowned In Sound in its review of 'Party Crashers.' Seems appopriate that, at my recent DJ gigs, I've been mixing R4's 'Party Crashers' out of the Mondays' '24 Hour Party People.'



If you're on holiday already, here's the perfect way to celebrate. If you're not, the thought of it may just get you through... Read about the Saint Joseph white wines here.

We're into August and the dog days of summer. When I spoke to a couple of my English friends on Friday, they were raving about the overdue good weather supposedly on its way and their plans to make the most of it this past weekend. We struck lucky ourselves at the end of an atypically wet July and had fun with kids at the Catskills water park. (Some of the better records blaring through the camp ground this time round: 'Love Shack,' 'Groove Is In The Heart' and a throwback to my days at Primary School: The Rubettes' 'Sugar Baby Love.' Didn't know it was a hit in America too.)

The French typically close down for the whole month of August. Not a bad idea: if your suppliers, buyers, competitors and friends are all on holiday, then you too can head to the beach or country without worrying about work. (However, if the summer happens to be the hottest on record, it helps to check in on your parents now and then, rather than leaving them to drop dead in the heat as happened to so many poor old folk across France, especially in Paris, last year.)

I'm not quite ready to close down. With a two-week trip to Britain coming up later this month, I've got a lot to finish up before I can get on the flight and relax. (As if DJing twice in a week, attending two Festivals and several football matches will spell 'relaxation,' but I at least intend for it all to be unmitigated fun.) In recognition of the month-long French holiday, in reflection of my desire to welcome in a Monday in summer with a glass of wine rather than a day at my desk, and as a teaser for the August Hitlist which will be up in the next couple of days, here's a new wine posting. The Domaine Vallet Saint Joseph blanc 2001 is simply sublime, but then so are most wines from this Northern Rhône appellation. See me wax lyrical here.

JULY 26-AUG 1: Farewell to Orbital, the Nike RunHitWonder, Pere Ubu in the Park, Devo, Dave Wakeling, Berger & Wyse
JULY 19-25: Live reviews: Mission Of Burma/Electric Six/The Fever/Van Hunt/Brazilian Girls/Apollo Heights/L Maestro; Crime Watch, Book Watch, TV Watch, Booze Watch
JULY 12-18: Jeff Mills' Exhibitionist DVD review, Midweek W(h)ines, Los Pleneros de la 21/Kékélé live, The Homosexuals,
JULY 5-11: Nick Hornby's Songbook
JUNE 28-JULY 4: The Streets/Dizzee Rascal/I Am X/Funkstorung live, Wine, Football and festivals,
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,

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

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

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