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What's new in iJamming!...
(Last updated
Thu, Dec 19, 2002)7:19 PM
TIMOTHY WHITE
An obituary by Chris Charlesworth
The REZILLOS:
Back On The (Flying Saucer) Attck
The iJAMMING! interview
RICHARD BUTLER
(at last)
Featured Mix CD
Grandmaster Flash Essential Mix Classic Edition
THE JUNE HITLIST
30 Albums, 10 Songs, 5 books and a handful of movies.
MAY MUSINGS
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.
LONDON MUSING
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.
YOU DON'T KNOW JACK
Jack magazine comes out of the starting gate with the banner headline "best new men's mag in years."
FEATURED WINE:
DOMAINE GERARD
2000 Sancerre La Garenne
FEATURED ALBUM:
'Hard Grind' by LITTLE AXE
REMARKS REMADE
Why I re-wrote the book: The introduction to the new edition of my R.E.M. biography, due out this summer through Omnibus.
EARLY APRIL MUSINGS
Chemical Brothers, Neil Young, Van Morrison, Paul Westerberg, Skywalking, Joe Strummer, Radio 4, and Aquatulle.
KIDS IN AMERICA
A weekend with John Mayer, Sugarcult - and Elvis
IT'S MY PARTY AND I'LL LIE IF I WANT TO
Michael Greene's Grammy Speech: An Invitation to Download?
Plus: 10 things they forgot to tell you at the Grammys.
THE VILLAGE VOICE PAZZ & JOP POLL
What the Hell Is Going On Here?
From the Jamming! Archives:
PAUL WELLER
interviewed in 1978
"A number one single would be a bit scary."
The iJamming! interview:
CARL COX
"'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.'"
The Best Of 2001
Tony Fletcher's Top Albums, Concerts, Singles and Books - and comments on the Village Voice Poll
MUSING on The Manhattan 'Edge':
Will the Island Ever Again Be A 'Cultural Ground Zero?'
GOLDEN SHOT
hostess 'Lee Patrick' recalls her time as Keith Moon's amour
ECHO & THE BUNNYMEN: "Flowers is Echo & The Bunnymen's finest hour since Ocean Rain."
HEDONISM:
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:
JOHN ACQUAVIVA
"New world wines are just too techno for me."
Featured wine region 3:
SOUTHERN RHÔNE WHITES
Featured wine region 4:
SOUTHERN RHÔNE ROSÉS
iJamming! interview:
Jesse Hartman, aka LAPTOP
"Every New York band knows the meaning of failure"
MIX Albums:
Who, what and why you should bother
The iJAMMING! interview: DAVID SYLVIAN
"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:
MARK PERRY

"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
THE iJAMMING! Book Review:
SNIFFIN' GLUE: The Essential Punk Accessory
From the JAMMING! archives: PAUL WELLER ON POP
Featured wine region 2:
CÔTES DU RHÔNE VILLAGES
From the JAMMING! archives: ALTERNATIVE TV
interviewed in 1978
TRAVIS.
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:
LLOYD COLE
From the JAMMING! archives: The Story That Spawned Creation
Featured vine:
VIOGNIER:
Finally, a worthy rival to Chardonnay.
The iJAMMING! interview:
BOY GEORGE.
"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."
Featured wine region 1:
CÔTES DU RHÔNE
The full iJamming! Contents
What's new in iJAMMING!?

Click on the header buttons above, follow the menu at left, or scroll all the way down to find your way round the site....The front page is now being used for (near) daily postings....


FRIDAY JULY 19: HERE COMES THE WEEKEND

Listened to a brief story on WNYC this morning about the 'best tourists' in the world, a report filed from London based on some leading study or other. The 'best tourists' are defined, not surprisingly, by levels of politeness, interest in local culture, expenditure and tipping. Top nation? The Germans. Second? The Americans. Bottom of the list? Let me give you a clue. They spend four times as much on alcohol while on holiday as any other nationality. And tipping is not part of their lifestyle. . .

. . .I must have over-written this last couple of days. I'm out of opinions. I've got other things to do. If you're new, surf round the site to see what you can find. I'll be back later. Hopefully with something more earth-shattering to contribute.



THURSDAY JULY 18:

CITY PLANNERS DESIGN A TRAVESTY - AS USUAL.


As the one-year anniversary of September 11 draws closer, and with Ground Zero now a flat piece of land awaiting redevelopment, it's time for the people of this city to express how they want those 16 acres to look. Most inhabitants are agreeing without hesitation that they don't want any of the six plans put forward Tuesday by the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation; each of these would shroud any park or memorial space with a series of new towers, and three of which would actually build over the old towers, two of those plans without even paying homage to the 'footptints' of the towers they would replace - as if they could simply pour concrete over the fact that these are the final resting grounds for some 2800 innocent victims of the world's worst terror attacks. New York has some of the most inspiring architecture in the world - the Woolworth Building, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building and, if it counts, then of course the Statue of Liberty - and thanks to designers Olmstead and Vaux, then in Central Park and Prospect Park it also has two of the world's great open spaces. Where is that historical sense of vision and beauty, let alone respect, in a series of nondescript towers overshadowing what we will always know to be a mass graveyard?

The insulting designs are not entirely the fault of the architects, given that the LMDC mandated that every plan incorporate ALL 11,000,000 square feet of office space lost in the attacks, include a hotel as was also lost, and actually INCREASE retail space from 450,000 to 600,000 square feet; naturally this can only be done by either replacing the twin towers themselves (a nice emotional knee-jerk response, but not viable for many reasons) or building a number of smaller towers. Yet let's consider that New York City is in a tough recession, with way too much vacant office space; that the attacks on New York have forever affected people's enthusiasm to occupy tall skyscrapers; that industrial, manufacturing, high-tech and yes, even financial markets are increasingly widely dispersed in this computerised age; and that the majority of people wantthese 16 acres treated as predominantly hallowed ground, then every one of the plans is an insult to the people who died there and those who have decided to stay living here.

My own vote for best of a bad bunch: The Memorial Plaza maximises open space.

If this cloud of typically short-sighted urban planning has any silver lining, it's that the LMDC seems open to public feedback and further input. But then it needs to be: Governor Pataki rejected the three designs that would build over the WTC 'footprints' outright, and Mayor Bloomberg announced in advance of their unveiling that none of them excited him. With such non-support from civic leaders, and with an outcry rising from the media and populace beneath, let's hope the planners go right back to the drawing board - and this time that's not a metaphor.


THE GUARDIAN TALKS SENSE - FOR ONCE.
Following the surprise apology by the IRA for its 30 years of killing 'noncombattants', Simon Tisdall rightly writes that the only way forward for Israelis and Palestinians is for the militants there to understand - now - that they will one day be making similar statements if they are ever going to live alongside each other in peace. I worry that some people have no such long-term goals anyway; Tisdall worries that if we take the aforementioned 30-year benchmark and date the current Mid-East 'troubles' to the birth of the Intifada two years ago, we could have 28 years more bloody violence before we hear either side say 'sorry' and lay down its weapons. Given the body count of just the last 48 hours - the armed attack on a bus full of civilians including the cold-blooded shooting of babies, simultaneous suicide bombings in crowded city centres, and the ongoing incremental increase in the number of people killed by soldiers - we simply don't have 28 years to wait. The cycle must be broken - and increasing the other side's civilan death toll, as the IRA has finally admitted, is not the way to go.



MICHAEL JACKSON AND AL SHARPTON MISS THE POINT.
To say they've lost the plot would be to suggest that they ever understood it. More here.

JUNIOR VAZQUEZ IS 56.
Say what? One year shy of John Entwistle's final birthday? And you thought the not-yet 40 Fatboy Slim should change part of his name to reflect his (supposed) maturity. . . On that subject, I was sorry to hear that the Slim one's second annual Party on Brighton Beach was marred by security concerns, culminating in the death of a fan. But given the supposedly perfect weather on July 13, and the British tradition of maximising those rare days when sunshine and free concerts coincide, the fact that some 250,000 flocked from all over the south coast to the free gig should not have come as a total surprise. The 40,000 who made it last year will have the better memory; the rest of us must suffice with the superb mix CD souvenir of the 2001 event.


AND I ALWAYS THOUGHT IT WAS THE ALCOHOL.
An interesting story on Red Wine Headaches in the Eating Well section of The Times. It's frustratingly true that many people get headaches from drinking red wine that they don't from white. Experts are still divided as to what causes this ruination of nature's greatest liquid offering. Sulfites, tannins, histamines, and even prostaglandins have all been blamed. From personal experience, I favour the third: I've learned to take a non-drowsy antihistamine if I know I'm going to be drinking more than a glass or two of red wine and it seems to help enormously. (It doesn't help that non-drowsy anti-histamines can't be bought over the counter, though ones that put you straight to sleep can.) But the tannin argument must also carry strength. The Times quotes a Dr Nestle from NYU as noting that "no one complains about tea, soy or chocolate headaches - though all contain tannins." Far from it; I have met several people who get immediate headaches from chocolate. Reaching no conclusions, the story nonetheless ends on this warning: "Don't confuse RWH with the headcache that comes six hours after a full evening of drinking. That's called a hangover." Damn.


WEDNESDAY JULY 17:

THE LONDONISATION OF NEW YORK

Got to give props to my long-term friend Phil Foxman for coming up with the above term to describe the new New York: no longer a place where everything happens in its Manhattan core, but a city made up of many thriving communities spread across the entire metropolis. As Phil (who lived there and was signed to EMI the same time as Apocalypse) pointed out, London has been like this for years. Camden Town, Brixton and Notting Hill, to name the three areas in which I spent most of my formative years, are each renowned for their cultural edge. But getting from one to the other can be so time-consuming (by public transport), expensive (by cab) or self-defeating (taking a car while bar-hopping) that people tend to stay close to home, building their own flourishing little communities that gradually leave an emotional hole in the city centre. The difficulties of traversing London's different areas contributed to my initial love of Manhattan, where everything could be attended to with a walk, a bike ride or a short cab hop; it would be interesting if New York's gradual 'suburbinisation' (to use another, more conventional description) was one area in which my old country proved itself ahead of my new one.

In fairness, London's West End maintains a palpable, if touristy buzz, and NYC's East Village continues to thrive in its own predictable way. But, with the 'Disneyfication' of the old Times Square leading the change, Manhattan is increasingly the land of the very rich or very poor, with very very little of the middle classes inbetween. Meantime, the outer boroughs - particularly Brooklyn - continue to flourish, with more people finding 'undiscovered' areas every week. (Two examples: the stops further east on the L train than Williamsburg; and the visibly attractive, if currently culturally desolate, Kensington.) After talking with Phil about this phenomena, I went back to an essay I put up on the web site a few months back: The Manhattan 'Edge': WILL THE ISLAND EVER AGAIN BE A CULTURAL GROUND ZERO? Apart from the fact that it's too long as always, I'm surprised (and relieved) at how accurate it appears to be. Give it a read and see if you agree.


THE BRITISHIFICATION OF GLOBAL ROCK.

I noticed the top three albums in The UK this week are all 'rawk,' and from three different continents at that, with Yanks the Red Hot Chili Peppers on top, Brits own Oasis at number two, and Aussies The Vines in at three. That's very internationalist of British audiences, a favour I can guarantee will not be returned by American buyers. And for good reasons, according Christian Hoard's review of albums #s 2 and 3, in this week's Village Voice. As repulsed by the NME's overly-effusive praise of The Vines as myself, and just as unimpressed by their Mercury Lounge appearance (front man Craig Nicholls is shown from that gig on the left), Hoard notes that "The Vines have trouble faking both the depth of feeling and the noisome mischief that good garage-punk requires," suggesting that New York's Yeah Yeah Yeahs succeed better on both those scores. [So let's see how the YYYs do in the UK. I have to miss their appearance at the Voice-sponsored Siren Festival at Coney Island this Saturday; they'll probably be world-famous before I check them out.]

Oasis come in for such back-handed compliments off the Voice that it's hard not to read them an insults. ("Heathen Chemistry is such a non-advance that you almost have to admire Oasis' stubbornness") But just to prove that NY rock critics are consistent when it comes to slagging off British taste, this city's own Longwave gets a drubbing on a separate page. Longwave recently opened for the Strokes in the UK, which invited a record deal with East West there to match their RCA deal over here, and of course which brought red carpet treatment from the British press. Longwave's debut album was solid, for certain; but once again (as per Strokes, Vines, Hives, even BRMC, who I really like) I'm taken aback that a group so content to recycle rock history is presented instead as its saviour. Last word to Hoard, who concludes that "Even worse (than retro fever) is the English press's need to pretend - and believe - that just around the corner there are new messiahs with guitars in tow...thus saving the British economy and their jobs." Sells records in the short term, though, doesn't it?


THE AMERICANIZATION OF NEW YORK'S CABARET LAWS?

I linked the other day to the worrying RAVE Act currently making its way through the Senate. If enacted in its most draconian form, this could take New York's own anti-dancing laws on to a national stage. Here in NYC, a loose and large coalition is seizing on our change in Mayor to push for a repeal in the antiquated Cabaret Laws. You can visit the No Dancing Allowed web site here. New York can never truly claim cultural primacy for as long as its inhabitants are forbidden their instinctive freedom to dance.


THE SECOND COMING OF CONDOMS?

You'd never normally finding me clicking on a pop-up ad. But Durex's 'Too Cheeky For TV' got me curious. Even though British TV apparently found this overly heavy on the sauce, I have to admire the UK Ad agencies (and manufacturors) for constantly backing such humourous and creative ads. That's one area of creativity the Americans will probably never catch up in. If you want to see what I'm talking about, get a load of it here. . .
;->


TUESDAY JULY 16: YOU BRING LIGHT IN . . .

Just returned from a very pleasant morning interviewing Karl Hyde of Underworld, specifically for the iJamming! Site. (And spent most of last night in bed failing miserably to get the new single 'Two Months Off' out of my head.) We covered lots of ground during the interview - literally, for in a positive attempt to escape the grind of hotel suite/conference room interview mundanity, Karl offered to meet in the Brooklyn Botanical Garden, conveniently situated in my own neighbourhood. Not often I get the interviewees to come to me. (Though Mark Perry did one better and came to my very house.) Hard to think of a better way to start a sunny day than wondering through the resplendent greenery talking to one of rock/dance music's most engaging front men and artists.



Got a copy of my new(ish) book, Remarks Remade, yesterday. It looks cool, a big thick paperback, the kind that will fill an oversize jacket pocket, but not, like the Moon bio, something so heavy it will weigh you down. I feel good about Remarks Remade: this is neither my 'next big thing' nor a mere rehash or update, but something very much in between, as I explain in the introduction. Don't expect a media push on the scale of my Moon bio; it will probably just show up in the shops some point later in August. More info as I get it.


And on the subject of anticipation, this interview with Bruce Springsteen very much whetted my appetite for his new album. Last time I saw the Boss, at Madison Square Garden in the summer of 2000, a large percentage of the crowd sat down/and or booed during his performance of 'American Skin,' his song about the shooting of unarmed African immigrant Amadou Diallo in NYC. Sounds like his new album, The Rising, with its stories of every day heroes written in the wake of September 11, should bring much of that traditional audience - the firemen, cops and other 'blue-collar' types - back into the fold. He's the right person to sing about them - even when that means criticising them.


Would write more, but I'm desperate to get the July hitlist up, the second part of the Richard Butler interview, start on the Karl Hyde piece, look back at my old John Entwistle interview, and write up a feature about Chenin Blanc after our Bastille Day tasting. If you missed my notes on another of the great white wines from the Loire - Sancerre - click here. And if you missed my notes on one of the great sweet wines of the world - Muscat de Beaumes de Venise - click here.

MONDAY JULY 15: TWO SIDES TO EVERY STORY. . .

. . .As we keep reminding each other on the Forum, it's all a matter of perspective. When it comes to the story of Twelve, the debut novel by 18-year old Nick McDonnell, that perspective can either be that it's a work of prodigious brilliance by a talented new discovery - as this glowing review in yesterday's New York Times might have you believe - or as a piece of crap published and hyped through sheer nepotism and back-scratching, as this analysis in the current New York Press would indicate. I haven't read Twelve (the first chapter is online here), but I do find it worrying that the Times would write about it so positively without even mentioning the McDonnell family connections.



TWO SIDES TO EVERY STORY Part 2

It's hard enough to stomach self-described "card carrying members of the NRA" at the best of times, but when they come at you from the left, it's almost impossible to figure them out. Found myself in a heavy (and somewhat involuntary) debate with one of these at a local gathering Saturday night, after he heard me talking to a neighbor about London's crime rate overtaking New York's. He was very keen to inform me that said spike in crime had only taken off after the British government passed its most recent anti-handgun laws (in the wake of the Dunblane massacre). The fact that the current increase in British crime largely stems from gun use seemed only to further his belief that people should be able to carry them legally and for self-defence.

I believe that if you're going to have a policy of banning guns from the streets, you've got to then enforce the law on it. This was something that Mayor Giuliani and his former Police Commissioner William Bratton understood all too clearly, when they started picking people up for such minor infractions as jumping subway fares or pot smoking, often finding that petty criminals were carrying guns as a matter of course, and then arresting these offenders for the bigger crime (gun possession). Though there were those who opposed this method of policing (the NRA New Yorker told me he would readily accept a higher murder rate for the maintaining of social liberties), still it sent a message to the criminals and gang-bangers that it was not okay to take guns onto the streets as a matter of habit. Once people started leaving the guns at home, naturally the number of shooting incidents dropped.

As I've written before, there were other reasons for the drop in crime over here: the improvement in the economy in the late 1990s, and the change in drug use from crack to heroin each played a crucial role. It's also true that other American cities saw their own drastic drop in crime rates without resorting to heavy-handed policing. And then it has to be stressed that if the British do indeed want to follow Giuliani's Zero Tolerance method for bringing down urban crime, that means accepting a more provocative and aggressive police presence. Difficult decisions, of that there's no doubt, but even more difficult for me is accepting that both the following statements can be true, as the NRA member insisted they were:
1) The increase in crime in Britain is attributable to the banning of hand guns.
2) The decrease in crime in New York is not attributable to the strict enforcement of anti hand-gun laws.
Comments?



AND WHILE WE'RE ON THE SUBJECT. . .

. . . Don't worry, it all relates. Every year, the Celebrate Brooklyn Performing Arts Festival in Prospect Park features an all day African Festival, with a headliner of serious international renown. This Saturday, it was Femi Kuti who topped the bill, and a multi-cultural crowd of several thousand filled the Bandshell and surrounding lawns to see him. I was only able to stay for the first half hour of his show, long enough to reach the conclusion that Femi is an able entertainer, a so-so singer, a passable politician, an eager dancer, and a capable bandleader. But he still has many many miles to go before he can claim the status of his father, the legendary (and quite possibly lunatic) Fela Kuti. In his battle against the corrupt Nigerian government, Fela went so far as to declare his own independent State, upon which, in 1977, 1000 soldiers attacked his compound, burned it down, beat all its occupants and threw Fela's mother to her death from a first floor window.

That's the kind of historical incident people are always surprised to hear about (I know I was first time out) and Femi made at least one clear speech urging his people to take more of an interest in their home country. He used football (not the word 'soccer') as his metaphor. "In Nigeria, we have many great football teams, but we don't even know their names. Instead, we follow Manchester United, Paris Saint Germain, even American teams." Not sure about the last of those, but he was otherwise on the money: the lone team shirt in the group of passionate home-land Kuti fans in front of me was indeed in the blue of Paris Saint Germain.

As befitted a free show featuring the son of a legendary African radical, there were plenty activists at work in Prospect Park, handing out stickers urging 'Stop The War, Say No the Police State, Refuse and Resist.' Although the last statement is vague in its object and subject, I couldn't agree more with the first two. But is it too much to hope that they're Global in intent? I definitely want to Stop The War, and I especially want the forces that attacked the USA and killed thousands of its civilians to take the lead. Likewise, I will always say No a Police State. And I'm sure that Femi Kuti must feel the same way, given how often his father was a victim of it - in Nigeria. As always, it's a matter of perspective.



SUNDAY JULY 14: A BREAK FOR BASTILLE DAY

I'd love to stop and chat but we're hosting a Chenin Blanc tasting to celebrate Bastille Day. (Actually, the French holiday just provides an excuse to drink good wine.) I'll look forward to writing up proper notes about the Vouvrays and Savennieres we hope to enjoy, but in the meantime, here's something I've been long remiss in failing to post: a review of Sancerre as the epitomy of sauvignon blanc. The best value-for-money, easy-to-find example is Domaine Girard's 'La Garenne', 2000/2001. Read, drink, and enjoy your summer Sunday.


SATURDAY JULY 13: TEANY AND SYMPATHY AND LOVE (PARADE)

While writing up today's posting and clearing up some mail, I was listening to Radio 1's broadcast from its float on the Berlin Love Parade. (Lots of needles skipping across vinyl, Layo & Bushwacka's 'Love Story' in rotation, and Darren Emerson delivering a wicked mix of Public Enemy's 'Don't Believe The Hype' over the top of Renegade Soudwave's 'The Phantom.' Next I knew, I was scanning in a few pictures from my own visit to Berlin's festival of humanity two years ago. Here they are. . . Wish I was there. . .

. . . And here's what I meant to say in the first place. . .


I always felt that if a) I really enjoyed having people in my face all day, or b) had a spare hundred grand, I would open a totally cool cafe that would combine music and literature and art and wine and vegetarian/vegan food, all of which combined would make for ongoing great vibes and positive karma even if it didn't turn a profit.

My dream was realised by the people behind Halcyon over on Smith Street in the Cobble Hill section of Brooklyn who, because they don't mind having people in their face all day, have had no trouble turning their record store/dj performance space/reading place/veggie cafe/thrift store/beer-and-wine bar into one of the hottest, and surely profitable, gathering spots in the whole of New York City. Halcyon has been heralded by the New York media since the day it opened, and I had a wonderful time doing my audio-visual multi-media presentation of Hedonism there back when my novel was still a 'work-in-progress' and before Halcyon was able to attract A-list Djs and top-notch authors.

But it wouldn't be Halcyon unless it carried on championing the underground, and as well as all kinds of low-level performances, its Thursday night Wordsmiths readings usually feature a motley collection of barely-knowns. I stopped in briefly on Thursday night to hear my good friend and neighbour Nava Renek read a short story set in Portugal, though featuring its share of drunken English lads. (She knows plenty about that breed; she's married to one!) It must have been an accidental theme night, as the following reader, John Davidson, then himself told a story of a couple of drunken English lads, one curiously named Tony, coming to America to stake their claim as Djs. Perfect fodder for the Halcyon crowd, though it didn't get anywhere quickly enough to stop myself and pal Harrison leaving mid-story for the Layo & Bushwacka! do - where I promptly found one of Halcyon's owners neglecting his home turf for the Manhattan dance floor. But that's what's cool about the Halcyon crew: they stay involved in all manners of all scenes.

Nava Renek has her debut novel, Spiritland, coming out this fall through local publishers Spuyten Duyvil. (The publishers are named for a community in the Bronx, in case you were wondering.) Halcyon continues to cruise and if you're ever visiting this fair city, try and find your way down there for an easy-going evening of beats, bites and brewskis. (And ask them to lower the alcohol prices while you're at it: $5 for a can of Boddington's is pushing it.)


A Pause for more memories of the Love Parade. You're either on the bus. . .or you're not. . .

I don't think Moby wants to give up what he's currently doing to have people in his face all day - well, at least not one a one-on-one basis at a neighbourhood cafe - but given that he does have a spare hundred grand or two, he's also realised the dream. He's the silent partner in the cutely-named Teany on Rivington Street in the once destitute, now painfully and overly-trendy Lower East Side. I was meeting with a friend from that area for lunch Friday, so we decided to check out the community's only genuinely global music superstar's new boité. A noticeboard on the wall carries a few press cuttings about the place (which opened the same day as 18 was released), including one from USA Today with a big photo of Moby as part of a story that stated there were no photos of Moby anywhere in the café. In fact, the little one was quoted as saying his only input had been to design the mural on the floor, but in fact the very cool, post-modern, silver-coated menu comes with his easily-identifiable doodle cartoons all over it. No matter either way; like I say, this is just the sort of venture I'd risk if I had the spare cash.

I admire that Moby, who I believe is still vegan, allowed the menu to be fully (i.e. dairy) vegetarian - and no more. I slipped back from a non-dairy diet vegetarian to a dairy one a few years back; I wish I had the will to stick with the former, but even if I had, and I had my own place too, I wouldn't want to scare away too many customers by imposing by regime on theirs. (Halcyon, btw, follows similar food standards.) Teany's trademark, as its name implies, is a leafy one: some 200 types of tea. It's a lofty ambition too: as any Brit knows (and Moby spends enough time there to count himself one of them), the Yanks may make a mean java, but they haven't the foggiest when it comes to serving a cuppa. I didn't test Teany too much on its claim to individuality; it was a hot lunchtime so I opted for an Iced Tea instead. (One of five on the menu.) The accompanying artichoke/sund dried tomato/arugala salad hit the spot though, as did my friend's Middle Eastern assortment. A couple of cakes passing by looked positively 'yummy', there's plenty wine and beer on the menu, and no shortage of magazines to browse through while letting your teapot stew. Teany's no Halcyon - there's no 12" vinyl on sale, no Djs on the schedule, no readings I'm aware of, and you can't buy the furniture. But on its own terms, Teany's a delightful sipping spot.


I didn't get to Yo La Tengo last night; I got on the bike to hit the park and found myself at the video store instead. I'll let you know my thoughts, fwiw, on Black Hawk Down when I finally post my July hitlist. In the meantime, in honour of Bastille Day, here's the first of a few new French wine reviews, and an addition to my Southern Rhône White Wines: the Muscat de Beaumes de Venise from Paul Jaboulet-Aine.


As a couple of knee-jerk posts over at the Forum have made clear, there are British visitors to this site who get angry every time I dare to defend the Israeli people's right to exist. But then that would appear to be the pervasive mood in my home country, as this story - about an Egyptian professor in Britain who fired two Israeli scholars from an academic journal purely because of their nationality - indicates. Though I can't do much more than sit here, type, and pass comment, I'm willing to do so on both sides: this op-ed, also printed in the New York Times, suggests that the current Israeli government is equally willing to silence those would make peace with them. We'll move on: I've known Liquid Todd as a DJ for some time (he hosts a techno show on New York's major rock radio station). I hadn't realised, until we got talking Thursday night at the Layo & Bushwacka! party, that he runs a web-site every bit as much of an information overload as my own. And no less political either. More so, probably. And further to the left. I'm glad he finds time to speak his mind. Myself, I'm hoping to catch a bit of Femi Kuti in the park, so I'm out of here. At least till tomorrow.


FOR JULY 13-19 DAILY MUSINGS CLICK HERE
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!,
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)
FOR LATE MAY DAILY MUSINGS, CLICK HERE
FOR MAY'S EIGHT DAYS IN A WEEK'S MUSINGS, CLICK HERE
FOR LATE APRIL LONDON MUSINGS, CLICK HERE
FOR EARLY APRIL MUSINGS, CLICK HERE
What is iJAMMING!?

Back in the heady punk rock heyday of 1977, I started a fanzine at school, following the famous encouragement of (what I had thought was) Sniffin' Glue founder Mark Perry that "it was easy, it was cheap, go and do it." Truth is, it wasn't always easy and the printing bills certainly weren't cheap, but I did it anyway. And I had fun. For many years. Until eventually the business realities of running a monthly magazine got in the way of the creative energies, it stopped being fun, the bean counters took over and so finally, almost a decade after it was launched, the magazine - Jamming! - folded.
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