Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Louie stays open!

Full details here

Friday, June 17, 2005

A house on the hill in front of us is having a garage sale tomorrow, what a fanatically Un-English thing to do. I've always like the idea of the yard sale type thing as a way of getting rid of previously loved but now unwanted items.

The only way of doing it normally is to get up in the middle of the night and take your stuff to a car boot sale, it's just too much like hard work. Much better to just spread your stuff around in your yard or garage and see what people take a fancy to. If they don't like it just put back in the house, much better than all that lugging around.

Wouldn't it be great if whole streets would get together to have enormous garage sales, what fun we could have going from house to house.

This week we've mainly been at home, this is because we have had a house guest who has needed a little looking after. Orynthia's brother went in to hospital for some tests, two days later he was being rushed through a quadruple heart bypass operation. Having been discharged from hospital on Monday, he has spent the week with us. It’s great to see him getting stronger every day. Today was the first time which he has really enjoyed eating, and it’s been great to hear him asking for more food.

I’ve been working my way through the New Yorker Debut Fiction this week, really enjoyed The Lazer Age by Justin Tussing. It also contains a fantastically squirm inducing piece by David Sedaris called Turbulence.

On the music front, top listening awards go to the following:
Shout Out Louds - Howl Howl Gaff Gaff. album
The Coral - Invisible Invasion. album
Yeti - Sense of Wonder. single
Arctic Monkeys - Fake Tales of San Francisco. single
Boca 45 - Down to Mexico. Ep
The Magic Numbers - The Magic Numbers. album
M Ward - Transistor Radio. album

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Keep "The Louie" open!

Some of you will have seen this already via email, if not and you live in Bristol or just love very small venues, with great bands please read this. Rather than provoke counter productive spam emails for our friends in the council, please let me know via the comments box below and I'll send you the email address, should you wish to raise any points

I expect that most of you are aware that one of the important music venues in Bristol, The Louisiana has been under threat for some time. The latest licensing decision is due to take place on June 21st, as couple of objections to the renewal of licence have lodged, it's important to let the council know how much we value this wonderful venue.

I'm sure that you don't need me to tell you what a cornerstone of the Bristol music scene this has place has become. In recent years the likes of The Strokes, White Stripes, Divine Comedy and Scissor Sisters, have played their first Bristol gigs in the intimate surroundings that this place offers. Just as importantly it's the testing ground for all those young Bristolian musicians looking to strap on a guitar and make a big old noise. It's also a friendly and trouble free place, exactly what the city needs.

So, please lend you voice to the campaign to ensure that "The Louie" stays as part of the cultural map of the city. Send an email to *********** reminding the council that any city worth the name must have places like this. The council has happily taken reflected glory from the contribution that musicians have made to this city over recent years, remind them that music needs a place where it can develop.

Get you friends to contact the council as well, we need as many people as possible to let them know just how important to Bristol this place is.

Please get your comments into ************* by 20/06/05, so they can be read before the meeting.

Wow - Politics

Friday, June 10, 2005

Pinched this from the Teenage Fanclub site, it's something that Norman Blake wrote about Edwyn Collins of Orange Juice, it's really rather lovely.

You can't hide your love forever!

Just been listening to the forthcoming domino compilation of the orange juice singles and early recordings (hats off to domino for that). It's wonderful! Amazing songs, great, funny, strange lyrics, totally original band, and "Blokes on 45" epitomises their humour. I loved orange juice when I was in my early teens, bought all of their singles and went to see them numerous times. For me, the best group that the city of Glasgow has produced. They were a total inspiration. Without them, there would have been no Teenage Fanclub, Pastels, Bmx Bandits, Vaselines, Belle and Sebastian or Franz Ferdinand (I'm sure that Stephen,Douglas, Eugene, Alex and Stuart won't mind me saying that). I got to thinking about Edwyn and what he's been going through over the last couple of months. I've been following his progress, looking in on his website when ever I can. His partner, Grace is something else, don't you think? (coincidentally, Grace's sister Hazel, was in my class at school. She was very cool too! Whatdya know!) I loved the guy then and he's still an inspiration (as is James Kirk), and am hopeful that he will make a good recovery and be back on stage at some point soon. I met him a couple of times, he is totally charming! I met him at a Joe Meek convention on Holloway road. He loved Joe Meek. He turned me on to a lot of great music. I am looking forward to seeing him on his next tour. So there you have it! Orange Juice forever!

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

It's been a strange few days, due to a serious family illness we have been spending quite a bit of time in the hospital again. I'm not going to go in to much detail at the moment but things are looking much better than they were at the end of last week.

In between times we have managed to see the absolutely fantastic M Ward. It was a brilliant gig, he is a fantastic guitarist and blessed with an understated, hypnotic and beguiling voice, if he comes anywhere near you make sure that you go and see him.

On Saturday evening we went to see Alabama 3, they are one of those bands whose records can be a little disappointing, but when it come to live shows, they really have it cracked. Heavy on the irony and showmanship, they are always entertaining and this gig was no change to that rule. Due to our rather late arrival we were placed well towards the back of a very busy crowd, and one nice chap took upon himself to move people around so that Orynthia could see what was going on, how nice.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

So what’s be going on here then? Well, most unusually for us a lot of work around the house. We spent most of the weekend and last night painting our kitchen, It’s quite a satisfying thing to do once in a while but it’s not like real life, is it.

Talking of which, tomorrow evening we are off to see the splendid M. Ward at St Bonn’s. His latest album “Transistor Radio” has been a firm favourite round here over the past couple of months. It’s great that he is playing at St Bonn’s as it’s only a 10 minute walk from our house, how civilised!

Other than that, well not too much really. I’ve been enjoying singles by The Rakes, Yeti, Boca 45 and The Magic Numbers. Just had an unsuccessful trip to Boarders in an attempt to buy the new albums from The Coral and The Eels.

I do miss working in town, the only chance I get to go to any interesting shops is on weekends but I don’t want to spend the weekends just shopping. I miss the wandering around a record shop, seeing what other people are buying and talking about. A 30 second blast of something on iTunes just ain’t the same. Sure things are cheap to download, but I want to pour over the sleeve notes - who’s playing 3rd recorder on track 3? Oh it’s..... Where was the album recorded? Who’s doing backing vocals? Who produced it? ITunes gives you none of this, which is pretty poor.

I suppose I really miss the good old days of working 4 days a week, it gave me so much more time to do all sorts of things. Cooking for instance, I do enjoy cooking but I like to take my time. Cooking in the middle of the afternoon is a thing of joy, especially when you bought the ingredients that day.

It’s quite strange to think that at the start of next week I will have been doing my current jobs for 6 months. It has gone really quickly and we have enjoyed having the extra money, so I can’t complain. Sometimes though I do feel like a bit of an oddity there. It’s rather disappointing to be back in a world where the likes of Big Brother matter to people, indeed with a few notable exceptions, I feel like some sort of towering cultural genius. Yes I read books, go to interesting places and would rather go to see a band in a small room, than have the “30, 000 other people are here - so it must be good” mentality. I guess that’s the problem. Most of the people around me need to be told in big bold letters that something is good, so I never get the benefit of other peoples influence which Mark, RLF, Jay, Chris and Gaz gave me in Imperial. Whilst I was at Oxfam I was lucky enough to work alongside lot’s of fascinating people of all ages,so why is it not the case here?

I guess it’s just systematic of office work and office workers, as I’m lacking the creative gene, that’s where most of my working life has been spent, so what does it say about me?

Luckily Orynthia and my non work friends keep pushing things my way. Long may that continue.