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December 09, 2006

Never Explain, Never Apologise

The underground is full of iPod shuffle ads that evoke the sense of wearable music. One of the commonest has three badges. Two I didn't immediately recognise, but the third is an OK Go badge. Now, most people on the underground aren't, I think, going to know that OK Go are famous on the interwebs. Therefore, I mused, this is the Apple ad designer's enormous shout-out to the band -- hey, you do cool videos!

This sort of hidden message in ads is becoming more and more common. For example, I noticed that tube ads for 'Flushed Away' invite you to text for "SLUGS ON UR MOBILE".

Plokta has been stuffed full of in-jokes for years. Our motto concerning them, and their explanations, is "Never Explain, Never Apologise". But now I realise they're not in-jokes at all, they're shout-outs. Much cooler.

Meanwhile, OK Go's video for "Here it Goes Again" has a Grammy nomination, as does the video for RHCP's "Dani California". I feel a bit embarrassed about the Red Hot Chili Peppers. I've been actively disliking them for years, and it was a bit of a shock to hear them on Jools Holland and really like the music. Perhaps I should buy some.

Posted by Alison Scott at 11:38 AM | Comments (0)

December 02, 2006

Bands I've seen Live

Weeks ago, someone commented that it would be 'hard' for me to compile a list of bands I've seen live. True.
But I am making some progress. Over at eMusic, I have a list of bands I've seen live whose music is available on eMusic.

I also have a partial list of (important or major) bands who I've seen live but who aren't on eMu; substantially reduced since Topic turned up this morning, which is what made me think about it.

10cc, Afro Celt Sound System, Albion Band, Eric Bogle, Berroguetto, Blue Horses, The Chieftains, Eric Clapton, Croft No. Five, The Demon Barbers, Donovan, Dougie MacLean, The Dubliners, Dr Faustus, Bob Dylan, Eddi Reader, Elephant Talk, English Acoustic Collective, The Family Malone, Huw and Tony Williams, Idlewild, Jabadaw, Hilary James and Simon Mayor, Kansas, Kepa Junkera, Sandra Kerr & James Fagan playing the Music of Bagpuss, King Crimson, John Kirkpatrick, Last Night's Fun, Les Barker, Linda Thompson, Little Johnny England, Jez Lowe, Manfred Mann, Mark Knopfler, Mawkin, The Men They Couldn't Hang, Ralph McTell, Natalie Merchant, Jim Moray, Alanis Morisette, Mundy Turner, Nickel Creek, Nizlopi, Notting Hillbillies, James Raynard, Runrig, Rachel Unthank and the Winterset, Santana, The Saw Doctors, Spiers & Boden, Al Stewart, The Strawbs, Supertramp, Uiscedwr, Whapweasel, The Who, Xose Manuel Budino.

Posted by Alison Scott at 12:47 PM | Comments (0)

Saturday Morning Roundup

Cover of Plokta 36Lots of stuff you might want to know about. Plokta 36 was finished for Novacon, and 35 and 36 were mailed this week. Should arrive yesterday or today for UK, and over the next few weeks worldwide. (we have sent surface to US because our experience is that it's normally pretty quick, but air to Australia because surface to Australia is abominable).

Over at eMusic, the venerable folk label Topic has arrived. 64 albums so far, not (shame) including Voice of the People. But June Tabor, all manner of Watersons and Carthys, Brass Monkey, John Tams, the new (Folk Award nominated) Tim Van Eyken album, and so on. Loads of great stuff and I am probably going to systematically download every Topic album I don't already own, using eMusic Booster Packs. Booster Packs are more expensive than regular eMu, at 50 tracks for £14, but that's still approx four top-quality folk albums.

Hideous pink Disney bag
Having dipped my toe in the waters of eBay selling a couple of months ago, this weekend we are selling a couple of dozen bits of clutter. This approach to decluttering is timeconsuming but satisfying. My previous foray covered the cost of the brilliant selling tool Garage Sale. The aim this time is to sell enough stuff that after expenses, postage, ebay and paypal fees, I cover the cost of an Aperture license. I still qualify for the (large) student discount, too, which is nice. The 'pro' features of Aperture that work so well for serious photographers also very much suit people photographing for eBay and other utility photography. A couple of the items we're selling actually belong to the kids; I'm hoping that the experience of getting actual cash for toys they've never played with will encourage them to give up other stuff they don't want or need. It is difficult, for example, to imagine that anyone who's ever had a conversation with Marianne would think that a Bratz doll was a likely present for her; we're selling two different ones. So you see that I doubt eBay will make me rich any time soon.

photo of twinned cameras Meanwhile, I appear to have acquired not one but two new cameras. After some months of organisation, I received my twin Sony P200 from Co van Ekeren in the Netherlands. More about that here. Chances are I won't really get to use it in anger until we have brighter days; twinned cameras do not really handle flash well. The other camera is a Fujifilm F-30, bought with low-light photography, in particular concert photography, in mind. I was pretty pleased about what it delivered from the Battersea fireworks display, and I am managing some nice surreptitious concert photos.

On the matter of concerts, we've recently seen Spiers and Boden, Karine Polwart, Chris Coe, and Steven saw Chris Wood and I saw Al Stewart on the same night in different cities. Paul Kincaid wrote about a different instantiation of the Stewart concert.

Al Stewart, with Laurence Juber, Dave Nachmanoff and supporting musicians

And now I must sort out the League of Fan Funds website.

Posted by Alison Scott at 12:36 PM | Comments (0)