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What's new in iJamming!...
Fri, Mar 28, 2003
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.
Jack magazine comes out of the starting gate with the banner headline "best new men's mag in years."
Tenuta Mormoraia
2000 Vernaccia Di San Gimignano
'Hard Grind' by LITTLE AXE
Why I re-wrote the book: The introduction to the new edition of my R.E.M. biography, due out this summer through Omnibus.
Chemical Brothers, Neil Young, Van Morrison, Paul Westerberg, Skywalking, Joe Strummer, Radio 4, and Aquatulle.
A weekend with John Mayer, Sugarcult - and Elvis
Michael Greene's Grammy Speech: An Invitation to Download?
Plus: 10 things they forgot to tell you at the Grammys.
What the Hell Is Going On Here?
From the Jamming! Archives:
interviewed in 1978
"A number one single would be a bit scary."
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.'"
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?'
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."
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."
Featured wine region 3:
Featured wine region 4:
iJamming! interview:
Jesse Hartman, aka LAPTOP
"Every New York band knows the meaning of failure"
MIX Albums:
Who, what and why you should bother
"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
THE iJAMMING! Book Review:
SNIFFIN' GLUE: The Essential Punk Accessory
From the JAMMING! archives: PAUL WELLER ON POP
Featured wine region 2:
From the JAMMING! archives: ALTERNATIVE TV
interviewed in 1978
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
Featured vine:
Finally, a worthy rival to Chardonnay.
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."
Featured wine region 1:
The full iJamming! Contents
The Monthly Hitlist:
August 2002
30 ALBUMS (or is it 28? in no order)
- Free All Angels (Kinetic)
The former teen punk-poppers from Northern Ireland are maturing nicely without losing their appealing simplicity. Witness songs such as 'Candy' and 'Cherry Bomb' -it's all been done before, but in the hands of Ash it's worth doing again.
BECK - Mutations (DGC/Bong Load)
This one was missing from my collection; I picked it up once I heard Beck was playing so much of it (seven songs in all) on his current acoustic tour. Funny how you can have 10,000 CDs and still be missing the good ones: 'No One's Fault But My Own' is a new fave.
QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE - Songs For The Deaf (Interscope)
Theres's a thin line between raw undaulterated rock'n'roll, and self-indulgent heavy metal; fortunately Queens of The Stone Age are aware of this and ensure not to cross it.
JON MARSH - Fabric 03 (Fabric)
I love Jon Marsh for making so much timeless music as The Beloved. (I also love him for being a Palace fan and a great friend.) In recent years, Marsh has preferred Djing to music-making, and with this mix for the ace London spot Fabric, he finally moves up to the big leagues. The mix is resolutely underground, mid-tempo, funky house (Le Grande Boofant, Papa Washington Trio and other acts I've never heard of); the packaging is obscenely extravagant - but as beautiful as the man, the club and the music it embodies.
RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS - By The Way (Warner Bros)
The Chili Peppers mellow out big time two decades into a career no one seriously imagined lasting this long. The lower volume and more relaxed mood suits them
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN - The Rising (Columbia)
For all the reasons I list here.
2 MANY DJ'S - As Heard On Radio Soulwax Pt. 2 (PIAS)
Sheer madness. Total genius. Read more here.
VARIOUS ARTISTS - Dubwise & Otherwise 2 (Blood and fire)
Bought this to help bolster and vary my reggae collection, and it's done the trick: King Tubby and Big Youth apply the heavy dub, The Tamlins and Johnny Clarke provide the love, Inner Circle and Gregory Isaacs supply juice.
GORDON GANO - Hitting The Ground (Instinct)
The former Violent Femmes front-man returns with his own songs - but other peoples' voices. It's indicative of the respect Gano commands that he can attract the likes of Lou Reed, PJ Harvey, and Frank Black to sing his words; it's also a relief given how Gano's own voice can grate.
- Recordings of Music for Film (Warp)
He may be a right-wing megalomaniac, but the frequently derided Vincent Gallo wouldn't be so infamous if he didn't have talent, and these recordings from his movies (primarily 1983's 'The Way It Is' and 1998's excellent 'Buffalo 6') reveal an affinity with the ephemeral soundtrack composition. Primarily acoustic guitars over sparse percussion, they're no less worthy than any other incidental film music that makes it onto CD. And the sleeve notes are typically opinionated.
VARIOUS ARTISTS - In The Beginning There Was Rhythm (Soul Jazz)
I picked this up a couple of weeks back specifically so I could play A Certain Ratio's 'Shack-Up' at the 24 Hour Party People Party. But that's hardly the only reason to own this compilation from the golden era of post-punk experimentation: there's also the title track by The Slits, 'She Is Beyond Good and Evil' by the Pop Group, 'Being Boiled' by the Human League, 'To Hell With Poverty' by Gang Of 4, and superb and generally obscure tracks from this golden post-punk era by Cabaret Voltaire, This Heat and 23 Skidoo. And an informative, in-depth and faithfully-designed (for the era) mini-book on the era that comes with both the CD or double vinyl.
SAVALAS BROTHERS - Pimp Knuckle (tbonesrecords)
Don't be put off by the unnecessarily dumb title. The production duo behind Afroman have made a totally cool, mostly down beat, acid-jazz-funk album with just a touch of hip hop. Ideal late night lounging.
IT'S JO AND DANNY - Lank Haired Girl To Bearded Boy (Double Snazzy)
I'm getting slightly overwhelmed by ijamming! Readers sending me their home-made music. And Jo and Danny's self-produced debut dates back two years already. But the lengthy opening instrumental romp, 'Solar Plexus,' which builds into a semi-acoustic seven-minute psychedelic epic, is well worth the price of admission. The rest of Lank Haired is more bucolic, peaking with the trumpet-accentuated 'Pilgrim's Prayer'.
GARAGELAND - Scorpio Righting (Flying Nun)
I've a soft spot for New Zealand rock in general, Garageland in particular. I'm not convinced that Scorpio Righting truly makes the most of their talents: too many songs with titles like 'Superstar' and 'Rock and Roll Heart' and not enough of the naivety that marked their rearly releases. But given the group's name, and their physical distance from the rest of the musical planet, it's hard to begrudge them a mythologised view of the bigger rock world at large. And on songs such as 'Crazy,' it all comes together anyway.
THE FLAMING LIPS - Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots (Warner Brothers)
Several albums in, the Lips mellow just enough to deliver a wonderfully translucent semi-psychedelic near-masterpiece. And those vocals: on opener 'Fight Test', Wayne Coyne impersonate John Lennon at his most summery; by 'In The Morning of The Magicians,' he's acheived the same with Neil Young. Remarkable stuff.
BREE SHARP - More B.S. (Union)
I dig female singer-songwriters as long as they offer melody and humor. Bree Sharp has both in abundance: the former is all over songs like 'Everything Feels Wrong' and 'Lazy Afternoon'; the latter is apparent in album title, songs like 'Dirty Magazine' and - hopefully - her cover of 'Boys Of Summer.'
SASHA - Airdrawndagger (Kinetic)
Way more mellow than one would expect from epic progressive superstar trance DJ Sasha, but in many ways, all the better for it. A difficult sell perhaps, but a pleasing late night listen. VARIOUS ARTISTS - Total Lee! The Songs of Lee Hazelwood (City Slang/Astralwerks)
Long a hit with the Losers Lounge crowd, Lee Hazelwood's catalogue of 300 songs warrants a tribute album. The Webb Brothers' cover of 'Some Velvet Morning' and Tindersticks' 'My Autumn's Done Come' suggest it's a success. But where oh where is the cover of 'These Boots Are Made For Walking', where are the big name s(St. Etienne? Evan Dando?) and why make sleeve notes out of Hazelwood's own reaction to hearing the album - for the first time? Pleasing but flawed.
ORBITAL - Work (1989-2002) (London/Warner Strategic Marketing)
An Orbital 'Best of' could never be less than brilliant, though it should be emphasised that we've never stopped playing the likes of 'Chime,' 'Halcyon', 'Illuminate' and 'Funny Break' around these parts. I'm not convinced that the long-overdue CD release of the Golden Girls track 'Kinetic' from 1991 is better for the new vocal and title 'Frenetic', and the sleeve notes has too many typos for such a long-awaited, well packaged release. Those gripes aside, this is permanent proof that Orbital are Britain's greatest instrumental act . . . Ever?
ORBITAL - Back To Mine (DMC)
The choice of artists behind this series of late-night chill-out choices has mutated from professional Djs (Danny Tenaglia, Groove Armada) to marketable acts (Everything But The Girl, New Order) but why not? Only non-Djs like Orbital would find a way to mix Eon's 'Spice' into The Tornadoes' 'Love and Fury'. Or gleefully segue German soft porn music producer Gert Wilden & Orchestra with The Selecter's 'Celebrate The Bullet.' Among the other 15 acts are Plaid, Jethro Tull, Lee Perry and Tangerine Dream - the very definition of late night musical munchies.
AERIAL LOVE FEED - 7 song demo.
Wrote about this band after literally stumbling across them on a random night in NYC, and I've since noticed them continuing to pick up new fans and gigging hard. The CD demo confirms what I first heard - shoegazing guitars, elegantly whined vocals, and a couple of solid songs lurking underneath. A band for whom the phrase, Watch this space was designed.
SOULWAX - Much Against Everyone's Advice (PIAS)
Before they became known for mashing up bootleg mixes on their Radio Soulwax Show, and then for their 2 Many DJ's gigs and album of the same name, Belgian brothers Steven and David Dewaele had a rock band called Soulwax, and this, their second album (released in the year 2000), indicates a surprisingly Catholic sense of music-making. 'Saturday' owes much to the Squeeze school of song-writing; 'Scream' is a 6/8 ballad. The most interesting track, however, is the one for which they named their secondary career. "Everybody wants to be the DJ," they sing between grungy guitar riffs, "Everybody thinks it's oh-so easy." As they've gone on to to prove, it isn't. (Thanks to Chad for offering to burn me this and coming through on his word.)
BETH ORTON - Daybreaker (Astralwerks)
For all its success, Beth Orton's second album Central Reservation lacked a lot of the imaginatinon and variation of her superb debut Trailer Park; Daybreaker seems to have found the right middle ground without becoming middle of the road. Luscious, reflective, and impeccably constructed, it's also hit the top 40 in the US. Kudos.
MORCHEEBA - Charango (Reprise)
The archetypal trip hop merchants chill out - in that they're more concerned about their songs than their beats. The laid-back late-night delights of opening duo 'Slow Down' and 'Otherwise' should guarantee singer Skye and co's continued cult success; Slick Rick's cameo on 'Women Lose Weight' reveals a sense of humor and should win plenty new fans.
THE REINDEER SECTION - Son Of Evil Reindeer (PIAS America)
The indie Scots all-stars return for a more coherent and song-driven collection than last year's spontaneous Y'All get Scared Now, Ya Hear! Led by Snow Patrol's Gary Lightbody, with a cast that includes members of Mogwai, Idlewild, Teenage Fan Club and Arab Strap, 'Son Of...' opens strongly with 'Grand Parade' and the Luna-like 'Budapest', and while the quality of melodies occasionally tapers off, the album continually exudes the easy-going camaraderie of the sessions.
THE CRYSTAL METHOD - Community Service (Ultra)
America's best-known electronic act cut their mix first CD - and exhibit on the same high-intensity take-no-prisoners attitude as their live show. There's underground techno (Koma + Bones, Stir Fry), mainstream electronica (Orbital and the Crystal Method themselves), metal (P.O.D., Rage Against The Machine), big beat (Ceasefire's now-dated 'Trickshot') and pop (Garbage). That the whole thing gels is remarkable - and thoroughly enjoyable/
VARIOUS ARTISTS - 24 Hour Party People Soundtrack (WMG)
It would seem impossible to go wrong with this one, and any album that includes New Order's 'Blue Monday', Joy Division's 'Love Will Tear Us Apart' and 'Atmosphere,' Happy Mondays' 'Hallelujah' and A Guy Called Gerald's 'Voodoo Ray' is going to take up permanence on many CD players. But the absence of OTHER Madchester bands - Stone Roses, Inspiral Carpets - and yet the inclusion of the Pistols' 'Anarchy In The UK' and the Clash' 'Janie Jones' along with suspect new New Order - ultimately marks it far too short of perfection. Still, wasn't that the Factory way?
VARIOUS ARTISTS - Me Without You Soundtrack (Sony Legacy) Read full review
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