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What's new in iJamming!...
Sun, Sep 21, 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:
June 2002
Albums Songs Books Movies


NINE INCH NAILS - And All That Could Have Been. Live/Still. (Nothing)
I'd expected a NIN concert album to be yet more piercing than a studio release, but there's a clarity to this year 2000 live set that makes it a suprisingly friendly 'best of.' The bonus disk of re-constructed and new tracks, entitled 'Still,' takes aural accomodation a step further, coming as close to an ambient CD as we could expect from Trent Reznor.
LUKE SLATER - Alright On Top (Mute) Read full review
JONATHAN BEST - Songs From Before I Got Laid. (BubbleMusic.)
These 18 songs of childhood innocence (from an adult perspective) cover more musical bases than you can shake the 31 (count 'em) musical contributors at. There are rhythmic changes all over the place, country and jazz influences, and oddvocals from even more curious song titles (I particularly like 'If Dogs Had A Memory'). Comparisons? Difficult. But if you're a fan of Harry Nilsson, Alice Cooper, Joe Walsh, Woody Allen and Rafi's children's songs, you'll groove to this eclectic Brooklyn-based artist too.
They got the look. (On front sleeve they seem to aping the Hives.) They got the beat. (Punk-pop a la Sugarcult meets air metal a la Poison.) Most of all, this Seattle quartet got the songs. 'Ozzy' is tailor-made for our Osbournes-obsessed culture, and all the better for the fact the band wrote it before the MTV hit series. Subsequent singalongs like 'Break the Record' and 'My Happy Ending' suggest they're way more than a novelty.
VARIOUS ARTISTS - Afro-Rock (Evolver)
There are good retrospective compilations and then there are epics like this collection, which dates back to the 60s and contains some of the most vibrant, uplifting and funkiest Afro-Rock of all time. Steele Beautttah's 'Africa' would get your grandmother dancing.
VAN MORRISON - Down The Road (Universal) Read full review
RINÔÇERÔSE - Music Kills Me. (V2)
Not an immediate knock-out a la their debut Installation Sonore, but southern France's finest live instrumental dance combo pack in plenty guest vocalists to give this album variety - and load a punch.
SPEEDY J - Loudboxer (Novamute)
Six-year old Campbell walks in the room while this is playing, starts shaking his little booty. "You know what music this is?" I ask. "Um...techno?" he asks hopefully. "Why do you think that?" I ask again. "Um...It's got no words, I don't know the instruments, you can dance to it and the tune keeps going round." Taught him well, haven't I?
GOMEZ - In Our Gun (Virgin)
No flash in any one's pan, Gomez' third album is as consistent as it is mature.
NEIL YOUNG - Are You Passionate? (Reprise) Read full review
VARIOUS ARTISTS - Six Feet Under (Universal)
Not only is it the best black comedic drama on television, but the HBO show about the dysfunctional undertaking family has great music taste too. As well as the beautiful theme song by Thomas Newman, the soundtrack CD features PJ Harvey, the Dandy Warhols, Zero 7 and Peggy Lee among others.
PAUL WESTERBERG - Stereo (Vagrant) Read full review
CLINIC - Walking With Thee (Domino)
Sometimes the latest press hype is just that. And sometimes it's because lots of writers just agree that there's something great you should know about. Clinic - Radiohead via The Velvets via Joe Meek - falls into the latter camp.
It's all too easy to call them the new Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. But it's accurate. And 'Another Morning Stoner' is as good a song as it is a song title.
LITTLE AXE - Hard Grind (Fat Possum) Read full review
ALANIS MORISSETTE - under rug swept (Maverick)
Many people find her an easy target. Not me. I love her. In small doses. At least smaller than the 16-song drawn-out epic that was her last album. Under rug swept is more palatable, a little less self-conscious, somewhat more relaxed. She's obviously here to stay.
JACK DANGERS - Variaciones Espectrales (Instinct)
On the fifth installment of Series 7 (seven instrumental releases, each seven tracks long, all on Cocteau Twins' Robin Guthrie's label), Jack Dangers demonstrates that he's lost none of his touch for aural wizardry since Meat Beat Manifesto, though he has toned down the volume somewhat.
GOLDFINGER - Open Your Eyes (Mojo/Jive)
"What happened to honesty?/I don't see it in the top ten/I only see it in what has been" Goldfinger's John Feldman gets all passionate on 'Spokesman.' The kind of melodic punk band that makes attending the annual Warped festival fun. at its best. Funnily enough, I had a song in Apocalypse called 'Open Your Eyes.' I heard it again when transferring master tapes to CD back in London. It wasn't that good.
PET SHOP BOYS - Release (Sanctuary)
I had a song called 'Release' too. Mine was of the emotional kind; the Pet Shop Boys' is of the ironic album title noun kind. Chris and Neil slow it down further and get yet more wistful as they get older. Occasionally, the lyrical tail wags the melodic dog - as on the let's-pretend-Eminem-is-gay 'The Night I Fell In Love' - but for the most part ('Home and Dry,' 'London') they remain as comforting as a security blanket.
SOUL CENTER - Soul Center III (Novamute)
Cologne based producer Thomas Brinkman finds a mid-tempo, soul-filled vein to mine in the techno realm.
TIMO MAAS - Loud. (Kinetic) Read live review.
GRANDMASTER FLASH - Classic Essential Mix (ffrr-Sire) Read Full review
DOVES - The Last Broadcast (Heavenly/Capitol)
Comes roaring out the gate every bit as strong as the British chart-topping success suggests. Looking forward to repeat listens.
GRANDMASTER FLASH - Classic Essential Mix (ffrr-Sire) Look for full review
MOTH - Provisions, Fiction & Gear (Virgin). Solid rock, and rock solid with it. That's enough
ERIC LICHTER - Palm Wine Sunday Blue ()
Sample lyrics, from the song 'Hayley Mills.' "God how I miss her sad funny British lips and her lady finger twister in the air." It's twee, romantic, retrospective songwriting. And it's good.
KING OF WOOLWORTHS - Ming Star (Mantra/Beggars)
Seedy London film noir atmospherics as evidenced by song titles like 'Kentish Town,' 'Bakerloo' and 'Kite Hill.' The weirdness took on a new dimension when my advance CD turned into glitch city central around track 8. For a while I thought it was deliberate.
VARIOUS ARTISTS - Rarewerks 2 (Astralwerks)
Some nice bonus cuts/mixes from the U.S. Home to Fatboy Slim ('Song For Shelter' remixed by Chemical Brothers), Air, Beta Band, Basement Jaxx ('Fly Life') and the Chemical Brothers themselves (a gorgeous 'Life Is Sweet' Daft Punk remix.)

STRYKE - Pages From The Blue Diary (substance)
Proof you shouldn't judge a book- or a CD - by its cover. What looks like the latest R&B vocal hype turns out to be a thoroughly modern techno-house producer. 'Heaven' is a female sung rhapsody; 'Sin Ti' is a mimalist tech stormer, 'Cry' is pure Ibizia atmosphere. From there on it's excellent instrumentals throughout. Stryke has a wonderful home web site to entice you further, though it's in need of serious updating.

THE HIVES - Veni Vidi Vicious (Epitaph/Sire/Warners/Poptones)
Everyone's mad for them. Especially in the UK, where the single 'Hate to Say I Told You So' is taking on 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' status. It ain't that great; in fact it's not even the best song on the album, which offers punk spunk and beat band riffs by the bucketload.
OUTRAGEOUS CHERRY - The Book of Spectral Projections (Rainbow Quartz/PopTones)
Incredibly lo-fi psychedelia that would have been consigned entirely to the margins but a couple of years ago. With a resurgent interest in a) Detroit, b) guitar bands, and c) retro obsessives, Outrageous Cherry not only get a look in, they get released on PopTones in the UK.

10 SONGS (in no order)

You can blame my recent DJ stints at Death Disco and Shout!, seeing Joe Strummer live, getting press releases for various reformed bands touring America, and the slew of UK punk-print specials for the number of oldies here - especially reggae related ones:
White Man In Hammersmith Palais - The Clash
CCTV - Pony Club
Born For A Purpose - Doctor Alimantado
Top Of The Pops - The Rezillos
The Hindu Times - Oasis
Soak Up The Sun - Sheryl Crow
Where Were You I Needed You? - Grass Roots (was donated an original 7", fell in love with it)
We Are All Made of Stars - Moby (still digesting the new album)
Calling All Cars - C-Mos (mega tech-funk 12" on the Junior Boys Own label)
Punky Reggae Party - Bob Marley & The Wailers


Debut from Irish novelist now living here in Brooklyn. Love gone bad, love gone mad.

Heavier Than Heaven: A Biography of Kurt Cobain - CHARLES R. CROSS (Hyperion)
Cross got unprecedented co-operation from hundreds of sources, and yet keeps the story short and simple. His reconstruction of Cobain's last moments is especially haunting.

Exploding - TheHighs, Hits, Hype, Heroes and Hustlers of the Warner Music Group - STAN CORNYN (HarperEntertainment)
I still need to get through the middle of former WB executive Cornyn's semi memoir, but the last chapters, covering the collapse of the greatest major label of our times, provided vital background for my Remarks update. The early chapters, about the birth of the corporate music industry, are just as exciting.

The English - JEREMY PAXMAN (Penguin)
It's not new, and it's not easy to draw conclusions from - but it's as relevant now as ever.

Wine And War: The French, The Nazis & The Battle for France's Greatest Treasure - DON & PETIE KLADSTRUP (Broadway)
Fascinating account of the Nazis' thirst for good wine, and the French winemakers' myriad ways of ensuring the best got saved until after the War. The subplot, reharding the collaboration of the Vichy government, makes for interesting reading too.

Hey, I actually saw a few this last month! Caught both VANILLA SKY and OCEAN'S ELEVEN on the flight back from the UK. The former got too fucking weird for a transAtlantic flight with free cocktails, and finally lost me, though I thought I was paying rapt attention; the latter provided necessary light relief. And each proved that with just a little forethought, music can be used to complement a movie rather than just to accessorise it. Ocean's Eleven has excellent retro scoring by David Holmes; Vanilla Sky could easily have succumbed to the sort of big guns that director and former music journo Cameron Crowe commissioned new music from (R.E.M. And Paul McCartney), so all the more credit for including some of the best contemporary artists in the world - Underworld, Spiritualized and Sigur Ros among them. And placing their music so perfectly.
Ditto for 24 HOUR PARTY PEOPLE. This mildly fictional re-telling of Manchester's post punk music scene through Factory Records' boss Tony Wilson's eyes and ears, is all the better for the superb Wilson character (Steve Coogan) frequently talking to camera to and tell us what really did/didn't happen. For someone who found movies like 'Sid and Nancy' unpleasant because of their fictionalisation of recent events, it helped humanise a film that, with the likes of Joy Division, New Order, John Cooper Clarke, Happy Mondays, the Hacienda, the Pistols and the Buzzcocks weaving their way through it, is hardly lacking for character or plot in the first place. Cameos from Howard Devoto, Mani from the Roses, and Paul Ryder from the Mondays all up the ante to explain why this is rightly being hailed as one of the best music movies ever made. Needless to say, there's a killer soundtrack on this one too.
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