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This page last updated
Mon, May 31, 2004 11:33 am)


2002: THE YEAR IN REVIEW
Ten Major Memories and a number of lists

INTERPOL in concert

JOE STRUMMER: A TRIBUTE

THE DECEMBER HITLIST:
5 ALBUMS, EPs, MIX CDS, COMPILATIONS and SONGS

the iJamming! Book Review
WHY TERRORISM WORKS
by Alan Dershowitz

CABERNET FRANC
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

HOW MUCH WILL IT HURT?:
Tips for the marathon virgin.

FEATURED ALBUM

FEATURED WINE

FEATURED MIX CD

From the Jamming! Archives:
THE JAM
Interviewed in 1979

The iJamming! Interview: UNDERWORLD
NOW WITH LIVE PHOTOS

Coming and Going
Chapter 3: THE PALACE

The iJamming! Interview
RICHARD BUTLER Part 2

From the Jamming! Archives:
ADAM ANT
Interviewed in 1978

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

A Decade In Dance
BT & BANCO DE GAIA
10 Years (Apiece)

2 MANY TASTINGS:
The iJamming! Wine Round Up October 2002, including:
Sauvignon Blanc
Chardonnay
Pinot Noir
Rhône Rangers
Southern France
Zinfandel

HALF MAN HALF BISCUIT
The whole 1990s catalogue

From the Jamming! Archives:
PAUL WELLER
interviewed in 1978

The iJamming! interview:
CARL COX

GOLDEN SHOT hostess 'Lee Patrick' recalls her time as Keith Moon's amour

HEDONISM:
An intrigue of early 90s New York nightlife.
NEW CHAPTER now online

From the Jamming! Archives:
U2 interviewed in 1984.

iJamming! Wino/Muso:
JOHN ACQUAVIVA

The iJAMMING! interview:
DAVID SYLVIAN

From the Keith Moon archives:
the JEFF BECK interview .

The iJAMMING! chat:
MARK PERRY

TRAVIS.
Fran Healy explains why "you cannot own a song."

From the JAMMING! archives: The Story That Spawned Creation

The iJAMMING! interview:
BOY GEORGE.

The full iJamming! Contents


2002: THE YEAR IN REVIEW
Ten Major Memories
(And a number of lists)

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3


1) iJAMMING!

Though I'd been working on iJamming! since its inception in late 2000, I hadn't been able to focus on it as intended, both because I lost my DSL connection (and second phone line in the process!) almost as soon as I acquired it in early 2001, and because I then spent a large part of that year rewriting a novel. But in 2002 various things came together to make running the web site faster, easier and more visually attractive (a reliable DSL line, a new computer and a digital camera among them), and I determined to make better use of it. As I observed the blogging revolution, I realized that I already had the tools at hand, not so much to "blog" as simply to make iJammming! more personal than it had been.

At first that meant penning long diary pieces covering whole weeks or months, which were duly out of date almost as soon as I posted them. Then, during the World Cup of all things, I started posting Daily Musings on the front page and traffic to the site almost trebled overnight. I began getting e-mails from people across the globe telling me how much they were enjoying my daily commentary; even the wife started checking in to get the results and see where I'd been watching that morning's or last night's game! Soon I added gig and record reviews to my daily musings, and then social-political observations, and photos I took on my travels, and links to other sites. . . and the traffic kept building and building. The threads of my life may seem disparate to some (covering music from rock to dance and most points in between, Anglo-American culture, social-political commentary, football, wine and women), but they are united by the fact that they combine to comprise one personality – me.

I had always hoped that the Internet would be used as a forum for debate, a distribution center for ideas; I never imagined that a web site could be so personal and yet so public – or that I'd be running Jamming! as a web zine and so thoroughly enjoying it.

I love that people visit iJamming! because they're linked to a particular interview or feature – and then revisit because they feel an affinity with the author and want to hear what he has to say. (I'm not so modest as to pretend that a writer doesn't want to be read.) I love too that I can host a debate here much as if this was the old world and I still had time and inclination to sit in the Rosendale all night. You don't have to agree with what I say on the site and I'm certainly not trying to bludgeon any of you with my views, but I appreciate the chance to express them. I'm particularly enthralled by my involvement in what I perceive as a new form of journalism: online diarists beholden to no advertisers, company line or special interests, who by presenting their views in an entirely open and conversational manner, can dare offer personal criticizism without fearing that it will be taken personally. I find myself speaking with blunt honesty here even about people I know and like, and our relationships actually seem stronger for the exhanges. I had always hoped that the In ternet would be used as a forum for debate, a distribution center for ideas; I never imagined that a web site could be so personal and yet so public – or that I'd be running Jamming! as a web zine and so thoroughly enjoying it.

On that note, I should stress that while I occasionally complain that I'm putting too much time into the site without remuneration, the benefit for me has been substantial. For a period in the late 1990s, I lost my sense of identity. It must happen to countless music scribes, scenesters, promoters, DJs, record company bods and others like me who achieve something major in their careers (in my case the Moon book) that coincides with their settling down and starting a family – all of which leaves them wondering what they're going to do with the rest of their lives.

But it was disturbing when it happened to me; depressing for a while, too. There were some serious discussions at home about what it would take to get me energized, enthusiastic and happy again. Turned out the solution was on my desk all along. By pursuing this site at the expense of much commissioned journalism, that which pays the mortgage but brings untold frustration, I may have taken a (temporary) dip in income, but I've enjoyed a massive upsurge in contentment. In the short term, the trade off has not only been acceptable, it was absolutely necessary. I've rediscovered my writing voice, and found that it's every bit as energetic as it ever was; it just needed the right outlet.

TOP 10 ALBUMS OF 2002

Points are as allotted in the Village Voice Pazz and Jop Poll


1. BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN - THE RISING - Columbia (15 points)
2. THE STREETS - ORIGINAL PIRATE MATERIAL – Vice/Atlantic (15 points)
3. 2 MANY DJs - AS HEARD ON RADIO SOULWAX - PIAS import (14 points)
4. TOM PETTY - THE LAST DJ - Warner Brothers (13 points)
5. INTERPOL - TURN ON THE BRIGHT LIGHTS - Matador (10 points)
6. COLDPLAY - A RUSH OF BLOOD TO THE HEAD - Capitol (9 points)
7. PAUL WESTERBERG - STEREO - Vagrant (7 points)
8. FLAMING LIPS - YOSHIMI BATTLES THE PINK ROBOTS - Warner Brothers (7 points)
9. RADIO 4 - GOTHAM! - Gern Blandstein (5 points)
10. FELIX DA HOUSECAT - KITTENZ AND THEE GLITZ - Emperor Norton (5 points)


FOR A MORE DETAILED EXPLANATION OF THESE CHOICES, CLICK HERE.

2) DEEJAYING AGAIN.

I DJ'd extensively in the early 1990s – the experience informs my novel, Hedonism – but withdrew from that world, just as it became lucrative and glamorous, to research and write the Keith Moon biography. By the time that book was done, the dance scene had moved on and my real DJing desire – to spin all forms of music for an open-minded audience – seemed like so much wishful thinking in a city segmented into closely defined subcultures. My good friend Jon Davies and myself started a night in 1998 entitled Because We Can, but people turned their noses up at our mixture of big beat, new wave, techno, house, trip hop, sixties rock and seventies glam and we gave up after three months.

Sometimes, I guess, you just have to wait for your time to come around again. I never actually stopped spinning, but in 2002, my style of mixing it all up (and I mean mixing, beat-match style, so that you identify the actual connections like when I link on the web site) returned to vogue in a city where deference to early 80s post-punk dance now went hand in hand with reverence for 60s rock and 90s techno. Last year, I played some of the most fun gigs of my life. I got to guest almost all my fave New York parties – including Shout!, Transmission, Tiswas, and Girls and Boys. I played several great birthday parties, including two of my own (one in New York and one in London). I played Alan McGee's Death Disco night on Oxford Street, oddly enough the only time I've ever DJ'd in the heart of London. Without doubt though, the highlight of the year was playing for two hours at the launch party for the movie 24 Hour Party People (see above), alongside Moby and Carl Cox. I've done some good sets in my life, but that one, honestly and truly and forgive the immodesty, was probably the best of them all. There's no greater way to stay young than to get out and play records with and for people who love them.

TOP 10 SINGLES OF 2002

WITH A LEANING TOWARD ARTISTS WHOSE ALBUMS DIDN'T MAKE MY TOP 10. READ MORE HERE

1. UNDERWORLD - "TWO MONTHS OFF" - V2
2. THE RAPTURE - "HOUSE OF JEALOUS LOVERS" - DFA
3. LAYO & BUSHWACKA! - "LOVE STORY" - XL
4. BETH ORTON - "CONCRETE SKY" - EMI
5. MISSY ELLIOTT - "WORK IT" - Elektra
6. EMINEM - "CLEANIN OUT MY CLOSET" - Interscope
7. WILCO - "HEAVY METAL DRUMMER" - Nonesuch
8. OASIS - "STOP CRYING YOUR HEART OUT" - Epic
9. TIMO MAAS - "TO GET DOWN" - Kinetic
10. GREEN VELVET - "LA LA LAND" - Relief

3) THE NEW NEW YORK.

In 2002, I found myself enjoying New York City in a way I hadn't done since the so-called dark days before Giuliani was elected. That's possibly not coincidental. New York under America's Mayor became an increasingly soulless place. It wasn't all Rudy's fault and hey, he did make the city safer (something I really appreciate now that I'm a parent and living in Brooklyn). But the city definitely lost its creative edge as Wall Street peaked and the newly rich took over downtown, midtown and uptown – leaving the younger creative types, those who make the city thrive when times are tough, to flock to the 'outer boroughs' in disgust and desperation.

A year ago, before I'd started my daily musings or seriously resumed DJing, I wrote a piece for ijamming! called The Manhattan 'Edge': Will The Island Ever Again Be a Cultural Ground Zero? In it, I suggested that the emigration to the 'outer boroughs' was permanent and that Manhattan would struggle to regain its creative edge. I was wrong in that Manhattan is currently doing pretty well: rents have come down a little, new students and employees have come into town unaffected personally by 9/11, and they've taken over promoting many of the struggling downtown bars.

But I was right in that the "outer boroughs" are doing even better. Brooklyn is now a thriving cultural center such as it may never have been in its long and illustrious history. The electroclash scene emerged from up in Williamsburg last year, and venues like Luxx, North Six, Galapagos and Warsaw provided a home base for the local talent. My own neighborhood, Lower Park Slope around Fifth Avenue exploded, not just in spite of the economic downturn but also because of it. There are so many people living here who can't afford the hefty cost of socializing in Manhattan, and now they don't have to - not when they can stroll down the street and enjoy equally good entertainment for half the price. We have the restaurants here, the bars, the galleries, the record stores and design stores - and we've always had the community feeling from families who've put down long-term roots. My son attends a thriving public school here (note to the Brits: 'public' means public, as in it's a State school). The museums are second to none, the park is a treasure, and with the BAM Rose Cinema around the corner, even the art movies are available locally. When Southpaw opened this last spring, we finally got the rock venue we craved – and soon enough, the talent to match. I still go into Manhattan several times a week for business and pleasure and the island will never lose its distinct allure, but with two and a half million people and every race under the sun, Brooklyn is a major city all and unto itself. I love it.

Brooklyn street life 2002: music at The Fifth Avenue Street Festival, and the Coney Island Mermaid Parade.


On a more metropolitan tip, 2002 was a year that the New York music scene resurrected itself. The local venues have become a fun place to see, hear, and talk with local bands - and not just to wince as visiting or emerging acts showcase briefly before returning to their day jobs. This past Labor Day Weekend, a committed tourist or music journalist could have come into town and, in the space of five nights, seen the Strokes, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, the Rapture, Liars, Interpol, Stellastarr*, Longwave, and Secret Machines all playing small venues. Add in such talent as LCD Soundsystem, The Realistics, French Kicks, Oneida, Scissor Sisters, Metro Area, A.R.E. Weapons and W.I.T., figure in all the great club nights, most in suitably small bars, and it's obvious that the place is on a roll.

CONTINUED: 2002: THE YEAR IN REVIEW PART 2 PART 3


iJamming! Site Copyright Tony Fletcher 2003