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What's new in iJamming!...
Tue, Oct 23, 2001
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."
My immediate reaction to September 11
PART 2: Messages from friends & family overseas
PART 3: Observations & quotes from others.
PART 5: COPING - 2 weeks later
iJamming! Wino/Muso:
"New world wines are just too techno for me."
Featured albums
(Hub, Slumber Party, DJ Harry, Spearhead, The Who tribute
Albums that sound different since September 11
(Charlatans UK, Arabian Travels, Cafe del Mar, Sugarcult)
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 (DB, Spooky, Jody, RSW, Bad Boy Bill)
"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 .
From Homework to the Disco:
grows up and dumbs down
The Return of Shoegazing:
DOVES take New York by swarm
Forgotten Classics:
THE CHILLS: Brave Words
THE iJAMMING! Book Review:
SNIFFIN' GLUE: The Essential Punk Accessory
Musing with SALLY TAYLOR:
"I'm not interested in what the major labels have to offer."
From the JAMMING! archives: PAUL WELLER ON POP
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.")
From the JAMMING! archives: The Story That Spawned Creation
They love rock'n'roll but they don't want to deal with the hassle
From the JAMMING! archives: RAYMONDE in 1985
The full iJamming! Contents
featured artist web site:
Continued from Part 1

The original lyrics to 2CV: the others have all been retyped, though still presented if in a notebook
Even more conclusively, the Lyrics section offers the words to every Cole song recorded - "thereby ending all controversy," he wryly admits. He's currently experimenting with guitar tabs - move your hands over the words for 'Perfect Skin' and the chord layouts open in a separate window. The Photography section is a little embarrassing - it's one thing Cole putting up his lyrics (they are, after all, his art), it's another putting up his picture so many time, especially when it's been used in the past as a marketing tool based on studious good looks. But to Cole's credit he's labeled this section as 'Pin-Ups and anti Pin-Ups,' and doesn't appear to be prioritising it. There's some online merchandising of course and, valuably, e-mail links to Cole's business representatives. There are also many outside links, to other Lloyd Cole sites around through, Cole's personal choices like Modern Humorist, Analogue Man (a guitar site) and Walking Golf (I suddenly remember how villified he was in the UK in the eighties when he admitted to loving the so-called sport!), and on to the people who have helped Cole with his site along the way.

That brings us back to the site itself. Cole admits that he wanted to start work on it years ago, but that label bullshit and subsequent recording sessions came first. As they should. But with new music in the bag, deals resolved, and free time on hand now that he's out of New York, he found himself able to finally get to it. I don't know what else Cole and I have in common but it looks to me like we've gained similar emotional benefits from taking on the task of doing a web site ourselves - one being the sheer visceral thrill of realising you can do it, another being the excitement of making immediate and personal contact with the world at large, and the most important being the sense of putting your life in order/perspective, and in the process, (recon)figuring out who you are and where you want to go. It's all incredibly ego-driven of course (his site and mine), but it's far too late to worry about that: it's ego that drove us into our respective mediums to begin with. What I find beautiful about so many of these musician-maintained web sites is that they allow the artist to be the "artist," i.e. the icon in whom "fans" invest enthusiasm (and money), while also allowing the artist to be a "person," i.e. someone who can communicate directly with other people, sharing their philosophy on life while struggling to learn the new languages/mediums in which this philosphy is communicated.
Lloyd Cole is philosophical about his web site: it "will always be ongoing."

In Cole's case, he professes not to be able to type: "I'm pathetic, glacial." But he certainly knows Flash design. In the philosophy section of 'About this Site' he offers up the theory that "Creating page layout in HTML is like mowing the lawn with a kitchen knife attached to a broomstick with special Netscape and Microsoft string and rubber gloves holding the contraption together" as his justification for designing entirely in Flash, instead. Which makes me feel rather small and ineffectual for doing old-fashioned HTML. I would quote you more of Lloyd's philosophy but when a page has been designed in Flash, you can't click and drag anything out: so while my typing is far from glacial, I refuse to retype any more of his words out of principle. After all, if the web is all about sharing information, and computers come with the cross-application ability to cut and paste, then denying people the ability to do so negates one of the main attractions of this combination. Then again, right underneath Lloyd's assertion that "it makes no sense for independent amateurs like myself to design convoluted HTML anymore" comes that announcement from Feb 01 that "hell freezes over. . .there will be an html only area," and indeed there is (www/, but it's still bare bones), so evidently there are still plenty people out there who don't want to deal with Flash.

Cole and I coalesce again with our mixed feelings about Microsoft (though I had no idea they invented Verdana, which is my typeface of choice as well as Cole's) and banner ads. He promises that he will take the site down before he takes ads, though he will accept donations from multi-nationals. Presumably these don't come in the strings-attached form of record deals.

Finally, you will find some news about auctions. The notion of Lloyd Cole selling off an Epiphone guitar to the highest bidder, or selling some of his first edition books, brings us back almost to where we started, the idea that he must have hit rock bottom. But in fact, it's just one more benefit of the web: rock stars, however famous, inevitably find the need to downsize their equipment inventory. Why shouldn't Lloyd Cole sell one of his guitars to a (hopefully fellow musician) fan, rather than a guitar store that will only pay him half of its retail value? Same with the books: if he feels they have to go, for whatever reason, he could take them to a second-hand dealer - or he can figure that as a famously literate songwriter, he's likely to have a ready made audience for them on his web site. Cut out the middle man. That's what the web is about. And once you learn that, you start applying the philosophy through much else of your life.

The autonomous artist has been little more than a pipe-dream throughout my life, but when I spend time surfing Lloyd Cole's site and listening to his new album, I realise that such status is becoming ever more attainable. Those who have already been through the fame game, the major label grind, who have settled down, had kids, watched their audience grow up with them, and recognise that they are no longer a part of the hit machine's buzz system, no longer need to consider getting a day job: there's a future out there instead which could prove even more rewarding, in all senses, than the past.



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iJamming! Site Copyright Tony Fletcher 2001.