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Mon, Jan 6, 2003 11:22 am)

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
NEW! From the Jamming! Archives: The Jam
Interviewed in 1979
NEW: 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
New! Coming and Going
Chapter 3: The Palace
NEW: The iJamming! Interview
NEW! 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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. . .TONY FLETCHER's Next DJ Appearance Is At TISWAS, for its Seventh Birthday Party, Saturday December 7th, Don Hill's, Spring Street, Manhattan. . .


At Thanksgiving time last year, still reeling from the attacks of 9/11, I was extremely emotional, about the world at large, America in general and New York City in particular. Yet I was also determined to be positive, and as an immigrant who came to a firm decision about his loyalties to his second home, I wrote a Thanksgiving Toast which I e-mailed to many and posted on the web site. It's still archived and you can read it here. In fact, I'd like you to read it.

But it's a year later now and I don't have any such energetic words of wisdom - or otherwise - to offer this last Thursday of November. We're in a different place, a different mood, one in which our anger and dismay about the attacks on this city and D.C. have been hijacked (excuse the choice of word) by a different fight – a valid and necessary one against an unbalanced dictator with the worst of Stalinist tendencies, but a different fight all the same. And now that the First Anniversary of 9/11, which brought back all the horror and the pain in two-dimensional excess, has passed, it seems like the memory has begun receding - not just from a personal perspective in a way we might be grateful for, but on a national and international level in a manner we deserve to be concerned about. We said we would Never Forget. We must make sure we never do.

In the mean time, I will Never Forget how much I have to be grateful for. And this year I'm going to do so in pictures. They speak louder sometimes, don't they? Be it Campbell and his friends, the stray cats who came to live with us, our mothers, Campbell and his cousin, summer upstate, DJing the 24-Hour Party People Party or finishing the Marathon (wan and pale though I look in this shot, compared to my breezy friend James), I give thanks.



Maybe I should leave the camera at home more often. Last Friday night I headed up to Southpaw to see a long-term friend, Joe Hurley, open for Steve Wynn. It was more of a social night out than a professional one: Joe and I have been particularly tight ever since his band, Rogue's March, performed at my wedding back in '93 (turning in sterling renditions of The Who's 'I Can't Explain,' The Undertones' 'Teenage Kicks,' The Jam's 'I Need You' and The Proclaimers' 'I Met You' along the way, three of which I had the fun of performing on myself), and we meet up once a year or so for some Guinness and conversation that inevitably heads back to our similar though separate London childhood obsessions with glam rock and perm-haired footballers.

Neither of us are getting any younger, of course, and Rogue's March, while a beloved New York institution, are not getting any more famous either. Hurley, who's a fine lyricist in the London Irish tradition of Shane MacGowan (and who regularly takes part in another New York institution, the Loser's Lounge), appears aware of his professional predicament. As such, he's fronting a new band, the Gents, for which his two shows with Steve Wynn were the coming-out party. The shift in line-up is subtle but distinct: while many of the songs stay the same, the people playing them are less an up-and-at'em Gaelic party band than a sophisticatedly disheveled collection of pro musicians. It's all in the name: they're Gents, not Rogues.

Rogue's March pictured at an outdoor show in midtown this past summer.
Among the Gents who backed Hurley last Friday were Patti Smith's bassist Tony Shanahan, and Cracker's keyboard/accordion player Kenny Margolis, while guitarist James Mastro roamed the stage menacingly in pork-pie (or was it fedora?), delivering fiercely precise riffs. Certain Rogue's March favorites like 'Amsterdam Mistress,' 'Joyriding' and 'The Bedsheets of Lili Marlene' were still placed prominently in the middle of the set, but their delivery seemed more restrained than usual, and the words were more audible as a result. And while Joe stubbornly refused to perform the Rogue's March singalong anthem 'Shut Up And Drink,' a couple of new songs were similarly endearing: 'Irish Breakfast In A Green Diner' possessed that Madness/Small Faces humor-in-the-details, and 'Desiree' was an emotional late-night transatlantic phone-call for (tea and) sympathy to a teenage sweet heart back in London. As such, it was bound to resonate closely with my own childhood memories, and will no doubt provide inspirational fodder for our next get-together, what with its references to the train journey from "Bromley South to Charing Cross," "Inspector Clouseau," being "Bolan's biggest fan," and the particularly pertinent line, "We had the world completely sussed on the 227 bus."

(My own lasting memory of the 227 bus is the gangs of skinheads it would bring from Beckenham Junction to disrupt the Crystal Palace Hotel's mod nights in 1980. The CPH, basically just a pub, was right by the Palace bus terminal; the skinheads occupied the Swan pub opposite until closing time, and us weaklings were routinely let out the back doors to avoid a massacre. Fortunately my house was not far behind the CPH, so I didn't have to come back around and face the skins as did most of my school friends. Both pubs have gone through several name-changes since. And people used to ask if I found New York violent….)

Rogue's March have not by any stretch disbanded: the web site remains busy and they were gigging hard through this past summer. But Joe could find that the mature approach of the Gents serves him better as he enters his 40s. I enjoyed being able to decipher the lyrics, and the standard of musicianship, though it's never been lacking in the Rogue's oft-rotating line-up, was a perceptible step higher. All in all it just felt more . . .appropriate.

Given the Gents' relatively restrained performance, and the simplistic billing for the night concert – Steve Wynn, Joe Hurley, Julia Darling – I expected the headliner to come out in an equally semi-acoustic manner. It was something of a shock when the curtains pulled back and a layer of psychedelic noise blew all the way back across the venue and almost perforated my eardrums: Steve Wynn, the former Dream Syndicate front man, was clearly here to rock. To that end he was backed by what I guess is now his long-serving band the Miracle 3, whose drummer Johnette Napolitano deserves special commendation for her aggressive approach to the kit complemented by ineffable good cheer. Wearing white in the tradition of Keith Moon doesn't harm her ratings either.

Wynn is part of the generation that helped change the face of American rock through independent, swimming-against-the-mainstream releases and relentless, coast-to-coast touring through the early and mid 1980s. Dream Syndicate's contemporaries have long disbanded - only R.E.M. remains as a working, successful band - but even among his fellow front-men-turned-solo artists, Wynn lags behind, with neither the critical respect nor name recognition of a Bob Mould, Paul Westerberg, or Mike Watt. And to be sadly blunt about it, he doesn’t have the pulling power either. Though maybe his previous night's show at Manhattan's Mercury Lounge had been better attended, he performed Friday night to no more than 50 people.

In his place, I'd probably have been pissed off. But in his place, I probably wouldn't have persisted this long anyway. What struck me most vibrantly about Wynn's performance was its unrelenting enthusiasm and energy: Wynn made only positive references to his "first ever gig in Park Slope," to the audience at hand, and to the songs he was testing out - mostly from an upcoming album and therefore not known to the handful of his hardcore followers. A cynic might view this as the 'seasoned pro' approach that reaches its nadir in the hotel piano bar; optimists would see it instead as a musician's gratitude for opportunity and his insistence that the cup of life is always half full. While I didn't focus too closely on individual songs, the band's approach best recalled an aggressively psychedelic Tom Petty, in that a certain mainstream, country-tinged songwriting could be heard fighting to break through the overall volume. (While every band seems to complain about the monitors at Southpaw, I've concluded that front-of-house sound varies enormously according to engineer; it was the same guy tonight as did sound for The Creation, and these have been the loudest and clearest shows I've attended at Southpaw. Ideally, this engineer should be the sound man every night.) An encore of 'Days Of Wines And Roses,' the old Dream Syndicate favorite, seemed unnecessary given the quality of new and solo tunes elsewhere in the set, but was of course welcomed by the faithful all the same.

Wynn has hardly been resting on his limited 1980s acclaim. A quick visit to Steve's web site reveals no less than 14 albums since going solo in 1990. Take away the live records, the out-takes and the compilations and you're still left with a work-rate that puts most musicians half his age to shame. You might want to visit and download a couple of MP3s – including a choice cover of the Jesus and Mary Chain's 'Just Like Honey' – and when the new album sees release next year, you also might want to see him perform. Oh, and bring earplugs: unlike Joe Hurley, Steve Wynn shows no respect for his audience's increasing old age.



Coming out of the Underworld concert at Hammerstein Ballroom a few weeks ago, Posie and I were hit up with a flyer for megaclub The Roxy, which was hosting DJ Tiesto that same night. I almost froze on the spot when I saw the flyer announce that 'advance tickets' were $40. We checked the Underworld tickets in our hand (um, we got them free): they were marked $36.50 advance.

Think about this. The Underworld show, a two and a half hour extravaganza, involved touring musicians and DJs, an enormous visual production, a considerable amount of onstage equipment to transport, and a road crew that would have included sound and light technicians as well as a tour manager; in addition, Hammerstein Ballroom is a union hall, which drives up costs, and the promoters don't make money off the meager bar sales there. In comparison, The Roxy is non union and profits from its exhorbitant bar prices as well as the astronomical cover charge. And its only extra production costs for that night were essentially limited to the main attraction: a DJ whose travel expenses need consist of little more than a case or two of records and a "tour manager" to carry them for him and check him into his hotel.

I didn't bring the camera last night, so here are some gratuitous reprints...At left and right, the Underworld live show from close and afar. In the middle, the crowd at Filter 14 - the night I DJ'd there as part of the Girls And Boys night.

There can therefore only be two possible reasons for this discrepancy in ticket prices: greed on the part of the nightclub, or greed on the part of the DJ. Or, of course, both. You would think that in a New York currently undergoing its biggest fiscal crisis in over two decades, with unemployment soaring and leisure money almost non-existent - and in a culture that's already reached saturation point - that the clubs and DJs might consider loyalty from their customers and followers in the long-term, rather than lining their pockets in the short term, but then again, this is the home of capitalism. Meantime, I'm hearing of name DJs charging anywhere for $15,000-$35,000 for a major New York booking, with word out that one venue has guaranteed $120,000 to a particularly famous and popular German DJ for this coming New Year's Eve. (And these prices are typically before first class travel and hotel expenses.)

Under such circumstances, I hope that true dance aficionados will boycott the mega-clubs and attend the small venues instead. It's not like there isn't choice out there. For example, just $10 bought admission to Filter 14 last night, where Sven Väth and Richie Hawtin DJ'd to launch their new album The Sound of the Third Season amidst an atmosphere of near pandemonium. For those iJamming! readers who don't know their DJs, Väth was one of the early pioneers of German trance techno in the very early 90s (he lost the plot with overly elaborate concept albums shortly thereafter but has since fought his way back to a position of international credibility); Richie Hawtin's phenomenal work rate as a DJ, as the artist Plastikman, and as a partner in the Plus 8 and Minus labels (with John Aquavaiva) has made him the all-American (actually, Canadian via British birth) poster boy for the culture. To hear both play in such a small club was many a techno fan's idea of nirvana. The thrill was compounded (and confused) by the fact that the promoters usually host their Tronic Treatment Mondays at Baktun next door; to cater for both their guest DJs and their regular crowd, they allowed access to both venues for the same minimal cover charge.

Sadly, by the time I had to leave Filter 14, at close to the car-towing 2am curfew (when the meat trucks take over what is, after all, the meatpacking district), Richie Hawtin had just taken to the decks and sounded like he was at the beginning of a long warm-up. But I was there long enough to enjoy a thrilling 2-hour set by Sven Väth, whose choice of dirty, funky, hypnotic yet commercially melodic techno performed to a crowd of dirty, funky, hypnotized clubbers managed to simultaneously recall the following scenarios: warehouse New York rave nights of a decade ago; sweaty clubs in industrial English cities; pre-dawn time-stoppers in Berlin basements; and the all-out hedonism of the Ibiza summer. (And yes, I've witnessed them all.)

It's the last of these experiences that was most intentionally being replicated, given that The Sound of the Third Season blends, as the press release puts it, "the top drawer tunes from the 2002 season at Amnesia's legendary Cocoon night in Ibiza,". We're talking mostly beefy, brawny cuts here, of the kind that Carl Cox would also playlist, and indeed, the Smith and Selway remix of Slam's 'Step Back' shows up on Cox's Mixed Live 2nd Session as well as The Sound of the Third Season. Väth pumped the air with his fists when playing that crowd-particular pleaser last night, but then, he pretty much gesticulated to all the music he was playing. And if that sounds a little rock'n'roll, well he was sporting a Motorhead t-shirt. Reviving the 'Belgian hoover' sound of early 90s R&S/Antler-Subway classics via newer cuts like John Starlight's 'Blood Angels', Väth led the ecstatic crowd to a furious climax and a mass release of energy – followed by a frustrating drop in tempo that should, by rights, have been filled immediately by Richie.

Still, few nights are perfect. And now that Hawtin's moved to the States - to Brooklyn no less - there should be many more opportunities to hear how the mechanical, in-your-face German brand of techno continues to infiltrate his previously idiosyncratic minimalist style. And hopefully, such opportunities will continue to be in cozy, consumer-friendly environments like a Filter 14 – as opposed to the excessively expensive mega-clubs.



I was away over the weekend and have a lot else going on right now - including the intention to post a number of bigger features here - so today's posting will be short, sweet and entirely self-serving. I've just been checking out last week's webstats and enjoying, as always, seeing how people find themselves at this site. A lot of people visit out of habit (thank you), others come through links from other web sites, and others still find their way here through search engines (Yahoo, Google, AltaVista etc.). Every now and then, I post a particularly amusing search result on the Musing home page, but this week there were enough intriguing ones to gather together in one spot. The phrases below are the exact ones entered by (presumably) strangers who followed them to iJamming! The question, of course, is whether they found what they were looking for....You follow their searches and tell me.

Britney Spears Topless (AOL NetFind)

'Writhing On The Floor' Review (Google)

Roneo Printer (that brings back memories) (Google)

Chateauneuf Du Pape Wine Labels (MSN)

And most suitably for this coming week, Thanksgiving Toast. (Yahoo)

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