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Mon, Dec 16, 2002 2:50 pm)

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
Ten tips for the marathon virgin.Or...How to enjoy an exercise in maoschism.
The Last DJ
Château d'Oupia Minervois 20001
Featured Mix CD:
Mixed Live: 2nd Sessions by Carl Cox
From the Jamming! Archives: The Jam
Interviewed in 1979
The iJamming! Interview: UNDERWORLD
"I got it in my head that I was going to die in a cheesy hotel room covered in cat's piss." NOW WITH LIVE PHOTOS
Coming and Going
Chapter 3: The Palace
The iJamming! Interview
From the Jamming! Archives: Adam Ant
Interviewed in 1978

Available Now!
The introduction to the new edition of my R.E.M. biography is here.

A Decade In Dance
10 Years (Apiece)
The October Hitlist
30 Albums 10 Songs
The whole Bloody 1990s cataloge
Last of The Summer Rosês:
Goats Do Roam, Vin Gris de Cigare and Rose of Virginia.
10 Reasons To Fear The Worst
From the Jamming! Archives:
interviewed in 1978
"A number one single would be a bit scary."
New York's rock'n'roll rescuers play Lowlife - loudly
Local legends and international influence come home to party
28 Albums Rocking Our World
The Who at Madison Square Garden
A wash-out
The Movie
The Party
Cedell Davis, Tuatara, and The Minus 5 atthe Knitting Factory
Still 'A Man And A Half'
30 Albums, 5 Songs, 5 books and a handful of movies
An obituary by Chris Charlesworth
Back On The (Flying Saucer) Attack
30 Albums, 10 Songs, 5 books and a handful of movies.
Eight Days in A Week's Music:
Ed Harcourt, Vines, Candy Butchers, Timo Maas, Ashley Casselle & Adam Freeland, Aerial Love Feed, and enough little club nights to shake several sticks at.
Tony's (lengthy) trip down nostalgia lane from his visit home at the end of April. Stop-offs include Death Disco, old Jamming! Magazines, life-long friendships, road trips to Brighton, Damilola Taylor and political frustration, Morrissey-Marr, Zeitgeist, Oasis, Dexys, Primal Scream, the current British music scene and more.
The iJamming! interview:
"'Acid Trax' by Phuture came out and I was just 'Okay, forget all hip hop and all old school rare groove right here, this is it.'"
hostess 'Lee Patrick' recalls her time as Keith Moon's amour
An intrigue of early 90s New York nightlife.
NEW CHAPTER now online
From the Jamming! Archives:
U2 interviewed in 1984.
"It's not U2 that's creating this great art. . .There's something that works through us to create in this way."
iJamming! Wino/Muso:
"New world wines are just too techno for me."
The iJAMMING! interview:
"I don't think people realize that life can become so exciting and interesting that it can draw you away for long periods of time from creating music - & why not?"
From the Keith Moon archives:
the JEFF BECK interview .
The iJAMMING! chat:

"If I was asked why Sniffin' Glue was so important, it was the way we conducted ourselves, the style of it, just the attitude. It had attitude in abundance didn't it?"
Forgotten Classics:
THE CHILLS: Brave Words
From the JAMMING! archives: PAUL WELLER ON POP
Featured wine region 2:
Fran Healy explains why "you cannot own a song." (And why Liam Gallagher "is going to turn into a really great songwriter.")
Featured Artist Web Site:
From the JAMMING! archives: The Story That Spawned Creation
The iJAMMING! interview:
"Once you've had your go, what-ever it may be, they want you to piss off, and they can't bear it if you come back, they can't bear it."
The full iJamming! Contents
What's new in iJAMMING!?

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THURSDAY DECEMBER 12 (posted Friday back in NYC)


Assuming I get this posted, i.e. that you're reading it, today's short musing will be my first contribution from outside the home office, and open up all manner of possibilities for working on the site while away from New York City. . . Don't know what it's like where you are, but I woke to over a foot of fresh snow today. The temptation to abandon all work and build snowmen is tempting, but without a parka-clad kid to egg me along, it's one I can resist . (The temptation to abandon all work and go skiing is harder, but so far I've held fast) . . . I feel a little removed from world events this week, but before I departed on Tuesday, I received a couple of links to web sites where you can send a letter registering your views about the American administration's hunger for war against Iraq. Given how much I railed against that silly generic e-mail chain letter that was doing the rounds for a whole year after September 11, I feel it's only fair to link to these two letters as they're well-written and properly structured by recognized organisations. Will they necessarily make a difference? No. But you may get some brief satisfaction out of sending them anyway. Neither letter espouses the pacifist-at-all-costs and anti-American-at-all-times-position that has been the bane of previously committed leftists like myself for the last 14 months, and while I agree more whole-heartedly with the precise wording in the letter by ActForChange than the one from MoveOn (Win Without War), each is valid. My feelings about capturing Bin Laden and striving to destroy Al-Qaeda before spending billions on invading Iraq (even though I don't hesitate for a moment to think that the Iraqi people are desperate to be free of their tyrant, and that the world would be a far better, more secure place without him) have been solidified by a re-reading of the book Why Terrorism Works, an extremely lengthy review of which should appear any day now.

Staying on the political front, I also didn't leave before Trent Lott's apparently pro-segregation speech hit the headlines. While it's almost incredulous that the leading Republican in the Senate, in the year 2002, should be suggesting that America would have been better off were it still racially segregated as per 1948 (I mean, how else can you read his speech or any of his attempts to excuse it?), I'm glad he made it. Why? Because, especially during a time of war, we need to be forcefuly reminded that the Republican Party has a history of racism that has clearly not been eradicated by the social advancements of the last forty to fifty years. Of course not all Republicans are racists, and I'm sure there's dozens of Senators, and hundreds of Congressmen, who don't begin to share Lott's views and are wondering how they can face their constituents with their held head high this week. Here's how. Demand a new Republican leader in the Senate. One who doesn't represent all that's most distasteful about the issue that still divides America more than anything - race. And one who can present to the international community what made them look so favorably towards the country in general, New York in particular, after the September 11 attacks - tolerance and multi-culturalism. Lott was elected to the Senate by his public constituency, who have turned a blind eye to his extreme right-wing views; much though I hate it, that's (a form of) democracy. But Lott was elected to his position as Senate Majority Leader by his peers - i.e. his fellow Republican Senators - and they should know better. The head should roll. And now.

On a less serious note, don't you love these moments of synchronicity? I've deliberately got myself surrounded with some older music than usual. On a compilation CD I come across 'Jezebel' by Frankie Laine, one of the few songs discussed in the Keith Moon book that I'd never really heard. (Keith's former band the Beachcombers covered it and Keith hated it. Now I can see why: it’s among the most overlown and outdated of the old pop ballads.) The next record I play is Leonard Cohen's superb 1977 opus Death of A Ladie's Man - and I hear the song 'Memories' open with the line "Frankie Laine he was singing Jezebel." . . . I found the coincidence enjoyably odd anyway. . . Also been listening with pleasure to the Sam and Dave Anthology Sweat'n'Soul, Rising Above Bedlam by Jah Wobble's Invaders of the Heart, Leonard Cohen's I'm Your Man, Us by Peter Gabriel, the Itsit compilation The Sugarcubes, a band that could do with some reviving on the dancefloor, The Smiths' Singles (a long long time since I've heard the entire 45 catalogue in chronological order, makes me all the more keen to read Simon Goddard's new book on the band which I should have any day now), and A Toda Le Gusta by the Afro-Cuban All Stars. On a more contemporary note, I still can't stop playing Groove Armada's new Love Box and I found myself happily drifting off to Rob da Bank's ambient compilation on Trust The DJ - especially with ITunes' trippy graphics in the background. Rob, by the way, is Chris Coco's partner on Radio 1's The Blue Room. As ever, everything connects.



Back on October 27, I wrote up a short piece that raised the question of a site like iJamming! becoming reader-supported. I.e., rather than making this a subscription service or taking advertisements, but to offset some costs and to encourage me to spend yet more time on the site, I would accept donations from readers.

I shelved the column because I didn't feel I'd done enough at my end to warrant the pitch. My readers still number in the several thousand, rather than the tens of thousands, a week; I don't post quite as furiously as other people out there, especially in terms of the magazine style features; and I can't help but feel that the moment I sit down in earnest to write another book, I'll have to rethink my commitment to the daily posts anyway. Then again, it's largely because I don't get paid for running this web site that I really do need to start on another book – and in fact I'm going into hibernation for the rest of the week to work up a couple of proposals. You're unlikely to hear from me here until the weekend.

I'm not the only web host in this dilemma. I was not entirely surprised to visit Andrew Sullivan's site yesterday and see him make the precise pitch I shied away from. As one of the most popular – and I think important – web journalists out there, Sullivan is all too aware that the work involved in running such a site becomes self-perpetuating, a never-ending outward spiral of increased correspondence time, research time, design time and admin time. At some point, even the most committed and passionate writer has to pause and say – I may not be doing this for the money, but I can't keep doing it for free.

I'm not in that position. Quite. Yet. But I'm not far off. And so before going away for the week, I've dug up the column I shelved at the end of October and tidied it a little. It's not yet a pitch for financial support. It's a pitch for the idea of financial support. I'd really like it if people could take a moment to whiz over to the Forum (yet another area of the site that needs redesign) and tell me what their thoughts are on the subject. If no one responds, I'll know it's a non-starter.

"I've frequently noted these last few months how much I've been listening to WNYC, a National Public Radio station that relies on listener contributions and the occasional sponsorship to maintain its superbly high (and admirably neutral) political, arts and current affairs content. Every few months, the station hosts a pledge drive and this weekend, finally, I pitched in $50. I compared it to the $20 a month I spend on the New York Times and considered it a bargain. I rely upon the station for the dissemination of the news every bit as much as I do on my weekend newspaper; I value its independence and want to ensure that it stays financially healthy. Though I doubt anyone's getting rich off the station, I believe the staff (background and on-air) should get paid properly for their expertise; just because it's considered Public Radio doesn't mean the employees need work for free.

The longer I work on iJamming! without remuneration, the more I think of how these public broadcasting stations are providing the template for the survival of web sites like mine. In other words, we may need to start asking the people who spend time with us, appreciate what we have to say, and admire our independence, to support us financially so that we can keep on doing it. For me, this site has been a revelation. After some very frustrating experiences with mainstream media in the last few years, I was seriously wondering whether my own freelance journalism (as opposed to book writing) had reached a dead end. By starting this web site, I found the answer to be a resounding no.

At iJamming! I can write about the subjects that truly inspire me, I can approach them the way that I want to, I am not limited by an editor's word count or agenda, and best of all, I can communicate directly with the readership and in real time. Many is the (paid) magazine feature or newspaper review I've written over the years from which I have never heard no comment whatsoever. Yet virtually every sentence that goes into iJamming! meets with reaction from someone, somewhere. My reviews don't play into mainstream marketing campaigns the way they would if they were in Spin, Details or Newsday, but I know they actually sell records, books, and wine – because people write to me and say as much. Just as importantly, I feel free from external (i.e. corporate) pressures; I can speak my mind about the policies of major record companies or other media outlets without worrying that my ad dollars might disappear as a result. And by writing for the same publication every day, instead of tailoring my tone for different outlets as used to be a necessity of the freelance environment, I have rediscovered my 'voice'. In doing so, I've become increasingly confident in it. To use that most American of phrases, I'm on a roll.

I get nervous about making yet a bigger commitment to the site because there are many more books I want to write, and other things I want to do with my life besides, but even if it all stopped now, I've had more fun writing for iJamming! this last year or two than the last five years' freelance work put together - and I think it shows. To take it a step further: if running this web site could provide my living, I wouldn't even bother with freelance journalism at all. I get total satisfaction out of bouncing out of bed, turning on the computer, posting my daily musings, handling the correspondence, working on longer features, listening to the music that comes my way, reading the various links I'm pointed to and engaging in spirited public debate. My only complaints are that there aren't enough hours in the day – and, um, it doesn't pay the mortgage.

As someone who believes that "information wants to be free", and who has an idealistic vision of "art for art's sake," I'm nervous about the prospect of turning a 'zine into a paying gig. (I also have the experience of trying, and failing, with the print version of Jamming! in the 80s. Mind you, that was old media, with exorbitant infrastructure costs; new media web sites are incredibly inexpensive to maintain.) And I think there's an inbuilt guilt factor about doing your own thing for fun and then profiting from it. (Especially when, unlike a naïve musician signing to a major label, there's no one else profiting instead.) Then again, writing provides my livelihood, and even if I'm willing to do a certain amount of it for free, here on this site, because of the sheer pleasure of communication, I should not actually be paying for the privilege, as is currently the case. Unlike many an artist web site, or wine company web site, or newspaper web site, my Internet presence is not a marketing necessity financially supported by the sale of a physical product: I may sell a few more books by hosting my own site, but more of you come here from the books. And unlike a musician, I'm not out there doing paid gigs. Right now, this is my gig. I could cease tomorrow. But I get the feeling a number of you would miss it.

I'm not about to start a subscription service. I always want readers to be able to access this site without paying for it. And I really do want to avoid taking advertisements: they distract and detract from a site's visual quality, and often give the appearance of conflicting with editorial independence. (In addition, they require a whole extra level of administration that I'm not interested in.) And so I return to the idea of the public broadcasting stations (radio and TV) that rely on annual pledge drives to keep going. It's proven to be effective and relatively painless. (In Britain, this would be like the BBC ASKING if you want to buy an annual license, rather than forcing it upon you by law.)

But broadcasting is not the only precedent. I see an equally viable comparison with the shareware concept that was such a big deal in the computer world a few years ago. Bedroom designers would invent some nifty new software – be it a useful work application or a totally dumb but fun game – and put it out on the market, with the basic premise that if you used it and liked it, you should send them a suggested payment. If you used it, liked it and didn't pay them – well, you were free to use it anyway. It was your karma. Similarly, I attend many concerts every year that are free to the public but nonetheless pass around a bucket for donations (I'm thinking specifically of outdoors summer events in Prospect and Central Park). Then there are all those museums and art galleries and other public spaces that offer free admission but have donation boxes in case you feel particularly enlightened and care to lighten your pocket in gratitude. Finally, I feel that this is where music and media are going in general and someone needs to take the lead. I'm still longing for the day that a well known musical artist abandons the record company process and puts its new music on the web as part of a subscription or for a donation. Maybe writers, with lower overheads (and less ambitious expectations for income!) need to go first.

I don't intend to make an official pitch unless I think it's a viable idea that resonates with the readers. For that reason, I welcome your thoughts. Please post them here. I'm just generally interested to know whether you support the idea, in principle, of contributing to a web site in the same way you'd pay for a shareware program, contribute to a public broadcasting channel, or drop money in the box at a free concert, museum, gallery or seminar. I'll listen to what you have to say and take it from there. In the meantime, I'll keep pouring heart and soul into this."

Originally written October 27. Posted December 10 by Tony Fletcher



Time flies when you're having fun, and it certainly flew fast at Tiswas on Saturday night. I seem to recall playing music by everyone from Timmy Willis to Fatboy Slim, Public Image to Jedi Knights, The Creation to The Rapture, and Buzzcocks to Stellastarr* (whose debut 3-song EP has just been released on Tiswas Records, no less.) I had to ignore about 17 requests for Suede in the meantime; I had no idea they were still so popular. Thanks to Nick Marc and Justine for putting me on; I hope everyone else there had as much fun as I did.

Dancing to The Rapture at Tiswas Saturday night. Host DJ Nick Marc at the controls

I signed off Saturday's column with a link to a New York Times op-ed about the Iraq situation. The Sunday magazine had a separate feature entitled The Liberal Quandary Over Iraq. (Brits can replace the word Liberal with Left Wing and get the same meaning.) Though it's depressingly short on answers, it raises the right questions for someone like me.

And on an entirely positive note, last week once more saw a record number of visitors to iJamming! And that in a relatively uneventful week for the site. iJamming! is still small fry in the Internet scheme of things, but it's picking up quite the cult following. And more and more people have been offering to help out, which is great. Later this week I should have the 2 Many DJ's/Soulwax interview up; the John Entwistle interview for the Keith Moon bio is currently being edited; and from the Jamming! magazine archives, so is a hilariously anachronistic Killing Joke interview conducted the weekend of the first Brixton riots, in April 81 if memory serves correct. It's being edited by the same friend and former Jamming! contributor who helped carry out (and then hand transcribed) the interview in the first place - Anthony Blampied, who these days lives in Belgium. (Somebody has to.) Great to have you back on board. And while I'm waxing personal, a belated congratulations to Jeffries Briginshaw, who recently became a father for the first time. Jeff's living in Brazil these days, and who knows, one day I might get to visit. No doubt if I do, the conversation will immediately revert to our days watching the Palace together and the undisputed brilliance of Hawkwind's 'Silver Machine.'

FOR DECEMBER 2-8 MUSINGS CLICK HERE (includes Weekend Players and Snow Lit Piano Bars)
FOR NOVEMBER 25-29 MUSINGS CLICK HERE (includes Joe Hurley, Thanksgiving, Sven
Väth, Richie Hawtin)
FOR NOVEMBER 16-24 MUSINGS CLICK HERE (includes Longwave, The Pleased, Get Your War On, Powder, Radio 4, Supreme Beings Of Leisure, Ben Neill, Baldwin Brothers, Thievery Corporation)
FOR NOVEMBER 9-15 MUSINGS CLICK HERE (includes CMJ report including Datsuns, von Bondies and My Favorite, and political Eagles)
FOR NOVEMBER 2-8 MUSINGS CLICK HERE (includes Halloween, the New York Marathon, and British Cuisine)
FOR OCTOBER 26-NOV 1 MUSINGS CLICK HERE (includes live reviews of The Streets, Mooney Suzuki, Sahara Hotnights, Flaming Sideburns, Stellastarr*; Jam Master Jay; Halloween)
FOR OCTOBER 19-25 MUSINGS CLICK HERE (includes Underworld live, Atlantic Avenue antics, Girls and Boys night)
FOR OCTOBER 12-18 MUSINGS CLICK HERE (includes Bali Bombing and stupid editorials, the Electro-Clash festival, VHS Or Beta, Ballboy, Mindless Self Indulgence, 2 Many DJs, Tom Petty, The Streets, pointless stop-the-war e-mails)
FOR OCTOBER 5-11 MUSINGS CLICK HERE (includes Steve Earle and John Walker's Blues, Dreaming Of Britney, Girls Against Boys and Radio 4)
FOR SEPTEMBER 28-OCT 4 MUSINGS CLICK HERE (includes White Stripes live, Morel live, My Generation re-issue)
FOR SEPTEMBER 21-27 MUSINGS CLICK HERE (includes The Creation live, Village Voice, Wine not Whine and more)
FOR SEPTEMBER 14-20 MUSINGS CLICK HERE (includes Firefighter Andre Fletcher, Untamed, Uncut, and more September 11 Musings)
FOR SEPTEMBER 7-13 MUSINGS CLICK HERE (includes Sep 11 memorials, Did Bin Laden Win?, Scissor Sisters and Electro-clash)
FOR AUGUST 31-SEPTEMBER 6 MUSINGS CLICK HERE (includes The Strokes live, The Rising, Saint Etienne, Team USA, a.i., Tahiti 80, Dot Allison)
FOR AUGUST 17-30 DAILY MUSINGS CLICK HERE (includes holiday musings, wine reviews, Luna at Southpaw, and more)
FOR AUGUST 10-16 DAILY MUSINGS CLICK HERE (includes lengthy Who live review)
FOR JULY 27-AUG 9 DAILY MUSINGS CLICK HERE (includes Area 2, 24 Hour Party People Party, Hootenanny Tour, 2 Many DJs and more.
FOR JULY 20-26 DAILY MUSINGS CLICK HERE (includes Wilson Pickett, John Entwistle, rebuilding downtown NYC)
FOR JULY 13-19 DAILY MUSINGS CLICK HERE (includes Love Parade, Teany, RenewNYC, Femi Kuti, NRA, Londonisation of New York, Britishification of Global Rock)
FOR JULY 6-12 DAILY MUSINGS CLICK HERE (includes Mike Meyers as Keith Moon, the RAVE Act, John Entwistle, Michael Jackson, Southpaw, Moby Online, Layo & Bushwacka!,
(accidentally deleted)
FOR JUNE 29-JULY 5 DAILY MUSINGS CLICK HERE (includes World Cup Final, John Entwistle's legacy, The Who's decision to carry on, the meaning of July 4)
FOR JUNE 22-28 DAILY MUSINGS CLICK HERE (includes World Cup diary, Dr. John, Doves, Mermaid Parade, John Entwistle's death, Timothy White's death, Clinic Firewater and Radio 4 live, The Who's decision to carry on)
FOR JUNE 15-21 DAILY MUSINGS CLICK HERE (includes World Cup diary, Liars live, GiantFingers, the Big Takeover)
FOR JUNE 8 -14 DAILY MUSINGS CLICK HERE (includes World Cup diary, StellaStarr*, Jose Padilla, Dee Dee Ramone, suicide bombings)
FOR JUNE 1-7 DAILY MUSINGS, CLICK HERE (includes World Cup diary, Southpaw, Six Foot Under, Andrew Sullivan)
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iJamming! Site Copyright Tony Fletcher 2002