From Desk Till Dawn

My mainly music & nerd bird blog

Posts Tagged ‘Jarvis Cocker

Everyday Is Like A Record Store Day

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We had one place to buy records in little old seaside town Brixham. It was also the only option if you needed a washing machine. Terry R Darts on Fore Street. Once you squeezed past the white goods you could climb up the creaky staircase to see Paul who looked after the music selection, he would order in anything you wanted that he didn’t have in stock.

My first album, Hits 5 would more than likely have been purchased from there. It was on tape and lost to the world of Charity Shops decades ago but last year in Oxfam I found the exact album on vinyl. Oh the sweet smell of nostalgia, karma bringing back what was once rightfully mine but in a different format. That luscious black grooved pancake that has come back in fashion.

This weekend sees the return of Record Store Day where people will get up at seemingly impossible hours and commit to the queues. It’s a fantastic event for the genuine music lovers (if only there were a way of filtering out those that are there for ebay profit, maybe cashiers should challenge those buying to sing 5 songs from the artist they’re purchasing) and I doff my cap to all behind it and the artists who have produced limited releases and remixes for us lovely geeks.

For me, bliss is an afternoon spent lurking in Rough Trade, Asahi in one hand, records in the other. So every time I step through their doors it’s Record Store Day to me. Metronomy gig for the price of the album that I’d of rushed to buy anyway, Jarvis Cocker reading from his book Brother, Mother, Lover just for buying his book? Two reasons to keep going back and willingly offering my custom, not just limiting it to one day, like a musical bank holiday. These special stores that bring a smile to our ears deserve our paper round money all year round.

I put Hits 5 on while I typed this post and decided to add a mixtape. Here’s some of the tracks that made me smile and probably shaped my taste in music and by Jove a lot of them stand up to the test of time. You can play it on Spotify or YouTube.

  1. The Psychedelic Furs – Heartbreak Beat
  2. Julian Cope – World Shut Your Mouth
  3. Prince – Anotherloverholenyohead
  4. Rod Stewart – Every Beat Of My Heart
  5. The Pretenders – Don’t Get Me Wrong
  6. Paul Simon – You Can Call Me Al
  7. Eurythmics – Thorn In My Side
  8. Haywoode – Roses
  9. The Stranglers – Always The Sun
  10. Cyndi Lauper – True Colours

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Sunday Swoon for 6 Music

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Today is 6 Music’s 10th birthday and my ears tell me I owe them a special dedication so this weeks Sunday Swoon is especially for all involved and the people with impeccable taste that fought so hard to save the station. I dread to think how many bands I may have missed out on, that have become integral to my life’s soundtrack, had it not been for this music station. A huge thank you and here’s to another 10 years.

1. The sense of community that 6 Music creates with its listeners is a huge part of the charm. Shaun Keaveny’s middle-aged shout-outs, Lauren Laverne’s memory tapes, Just having a text/tweet/email read out can make you feel instantly connected. There’s a great piece in The Independent today where the presenters are described as ‘radiating warmth’ and I can’t sum it up better than that. The people who do the talking in between the tracks play equal importance to the excellent, diverse, I can’t believe they’ve just played that, eclectic, makes your heart stop music.

2. Sometimes 6 Music burns a small, specific, joyous memory into your mind. New Years Eve 2010 the boy and I were sat in my flat necking champagne listening to 6 Music’s top 100 countdown of the year before heading to Kentish Town Forum to see Foals. Spanish Sahara was their number 1 as we predicted the further down the list they got without it being played. After we jumped in a cab to see them welcome in 2011 live. This song still gives me goose bumps. Best new years ever.

3. Sunday afternoons are no longer about roast dinners and Last of the Summer Wine, it’s all about lying in bed and having a Huey Jarvis sandwich. If you’re a sexy nerd then the mixture of these two starkly contrasting presenters (and lets not forget music legends) banishes all thoughts of Sunday blues. Adore the energy Huey gives me for Jarvis to then calmly talk me off the ledge.

4. When it comes to Steve Lamacq my list of thanks is exhaustive. He gave me Sissy & The Blisters. He told me about John Peel’s Shed (the play). I was lucky enough to take part in “Good Day/Bad Day” last year where I chose Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Date With The Night. But, possibly above all those things, he once played this Stan Freberg track on his show. “Lammo” was discussing songs you loved as a child, apparently he was obsessed with Sh-Boom. Now I am. This track has me grinning like an utter fool every time I put it on.

5. I think any 6 Music fan would place Adam & Joe in their top 5. There have been occasions where I’ve been close to wetting myself with laughter (see pom pom party and the Royal wedding song wars). Saturday mornings used to truly be my happiest of hours, I miss them.

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Written by Anon PA

March 11, 2012 at 1:04 pm

I Hear Clouds

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Two months ago I started to hear a constant buzz in my ears, at times like the drone of bees, sometimes like a constant drill muffled, at others high-pitched like a dog whistle. Before heading to the GP I already suspected the diagnosis would be Tinnitus. On my first visit I was told it would disappear in a couple of weeks and to sleep with the radio on (as trouble sleeping was the thing most dragging me down). On my second visit a different Doctor told me the exact opposite. Not to sleep with the radio on, to remain hopeful as by this point I was left with Tinnitus in my right ear only, but to expect the long haul. On both visits I stumbled out onto the pavement thinking “How am I meant to cope with this exactly?” Advice had been vague and conflicting.

Trying to explain what suffering from Tinnitus is like has been challenging for me, you’re probably best listening to someone who has been afflicted with this for years. It’s not like pointing to a bad tooth and saying “this one hurts”, or expressing a chest infection by the accompanying coughs and wheezes, or showing an open wound and screaming “Argh! The Blood”. It’s invisible to all but you and your brain. In that respect it’s frustrating, makes you feel like you’re going mad at times and is extremely isolating.

Because of my patient partner wanting to try to understand what I am dealing with I started to read up and talk about it more instead of defiantly thinking this was something I had to deal with alone. Eddy Temple Morris, via Twitter, lead me to the British Tinnitus Association’s awareness week. They’re dedicating time to make sure people don’t have the same experience as me when they turn to their GP’s for advice and guidance. It’s also lead me to realise just how common Tinnitus is and how a ton of people still go to gigs, still play gigs in fact (Eddy Temple Morris, Jarvis Cocker) and certainly don’t let it alter an energetic, happy, full life. In other words “Don’t let the Tinnitus grind you down”. All those gigs I’ve been too and never thought to wear ear plugs before. If music plays a big part in your life you need to look after yourLugholesas my Dad would call them. If you suffer from Tinnitus please follow their brilliant efforts this week.

Lying in bed one night my other half said for a few moments he could hear strange noises in his head and tried to put himself in my shoes (or ear drums). He said it felt like the noise he’d expect to hear if he was in a cloud. That’s what I think to myself when I can’t sleep now, it’s oddly comforting. I can hear clouds.

An added playlist for you which you can play on Spotify ♥

  1. The Dead Weather – I can’t hear you
  2. Blondie – Fan Mail
  3. The Buzzcocks – Moving Away From The Pulse Beat
  4. Wire – Eardrum Buzz
  5. Loop – Arc-Lite
  6. Garbage – Push It
  7. The (ear) Drums – Forever and ever amen
  8. Jonathan Richman – Buzz Buzz Buzz
  9. Groove Armada – Fall Silent
  10. Depeche Mode – Enjoy The Silence

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What Was & What Will Be. And Artichokes.

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Happy New Year my music loving, book nerd, pick and mix addict alcoholics.

I spent a good chunk of yesterday reminiscing about 2011. It was the year I became addicted to Romanesco, Rum & Ginger, and Hackney (inconvenient seeing as I reside in north-west London). The year I met Jarvis Cocker *swoon*. The year I got a tattoo. The year I spoke to Steve Lamacq on BBC6 Music. The year I remained in love. The year I made a wish in a 6th century wishing well, the Basilica Cistern in Istanbul. The year I found community through Riot Clean Up, the most precious days of last year came from destruction, who could have predicted that – amazing!

It was the year I tweeted for The Guardian at Glastonbury and started writing for Flush The Fashion (thanks Pete!). It was the year I started this blog and had Thom Vincent, Dan Thompson, Bob Winckworth, my Dad and Priyam Chovhan guest blog for me (thanks a ton lovely folk). I’ve had a ton of support from friends, family and strangers in my writing which has truly meant the bloody universe to me.

The year I averaged 2.91 books a month and 2.58 gigs a month (festivals not included as some bands at Glastonbury are a bit of a blur) mainly with Lolita who has energetically suffered my stubborn determination to trek around various venues and fields. This was my soundtrack of 2011.

It was also the year I didn’t truly recognise the value of a friend until she was over the other side of the planet (I should have never let her get on that plane) and that is my one regret. It was the year I was made redundant from a job I loathed, only to find another and be told on my first day they were going bust at Christmas (it’s ok, I found another job after a frantic couple of months). The year my parents bailed me out on a number of occasions reminding me how important family are, I am eternally grateful for their love and support, poor sods.

Then I started thinking about 2012. I’ve never been one for resolutions but this year I decided I’d like some aims to plod towards. My list started with “Eat more artichokes”, and then it remained at that one point for the entire day. I also plan to work my way through the awesome books Cocktails with Bompas & Parr and the stunning Vintage Tea Party. Have a dip dye at Bleach, another tattoo, go back to meditation classes, learn how to ride a bike, find some new friends to trot around London with. Keep a journal in a slightly alternative way thanks to Keel’s Simple Diary, join a book club (ticked off the list thanks to The Good Ship, Kilburn). Above all I hope it’s a content year with few dramas and plenty of creativity.

I’ll leave you all with The Maccabees, the first album of 2012 I’ll be buying and the first gig of the year I’ll be heading to. Happy New Year, hope it’s a proper little belter for you all.

2011 Cool List

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Technically I can’t give the NME complete credit for inspiring me to compile my own cool list as I only agreed with one of their choices, but they were the drive for me to blog my own list. It’s not all about the music and it’s not in order, these are the people who have made me laugh, inspired and amazed me.

1. I’m not sure if there are any rules about recognising a fictional character for this but The Killing’s Sarah Lund makes the cut. She’s independent but fragile, highly intelligent and as a result of that is messed up socially and emotionally. Finally a female lead character that doesn’t resort to dumbing down and pouting at the men. Also because of her I’m now wearing thick knit jumpers.

2. This time last year, had you asked my opinion on Hugh Grant, quite frankly, I wouldn’t have had one. This year his dry humour, wit, intelligent, candid and frank talking in relation to the Leveson enquiry has turned him into a surprise hero. We need more sane and honest characters like Hugh Grant to speak up, he’s set the bar.

3. I’ve had Jarvis overdose this year and I’m craving more. Three Pulp gigs and a book signing at Rough Trade where I got to meet the man. From seeing him writhe and squirm his non-existent hips to This Is Hardcore to then watching him recite from his book accompanied by a geeky Powerpoint presentation has ensured he stays at the top of my “thinking woman’s crumpet” list.

4. Despite a recent realising that listening to some of her tracks make me irrationally angry with the boyfriend when he’s done nothing wrong she rocked my world at Glastonbury this year. The first female solo artist to headline in a long time turned a lot of doubters into fans (if anyone mentions Skunk Anansie I stress solo artist). You hear no massive diva strop stories, no photo’s falling out of nightclubs drunk, I love her ass and I don’t think I’ll ever tire of  Countdown (one of my 2011 tracks).

5. Summer Camp used their talents for the greater good this year when they released their debut album through Pledge Music and by opting for this route they’ve supported the charity Shelter From The Storm UK. They’ve proved you don’t have to tread the traditional route to sell out gigs and shift record units. What’s more their creativity wasn’t stifled or controlled, they set the agenda. Their fanzine detailing the concept of Welcome To Condale was quirky, insightful and artistic. A refreshing approach to music.  

6. This is a strange one for an Arsenal fan to be listing but my oh my do I adore Mario Balotelli. Even if the stories surrounding him are urban myth I will choose to believe them for their nutty charm. The latest of these tales (which would be unbelievable if his name wasn’t attached to them) being he was driving around Manchester dressed as Santa on Saturday night handing out money. He’s also been recognised in The Guardian’s 2011 style highlights. Genius

7. Covering Led Zeppelin’s Immigrant Song for Trent Reznor and then claiming she didn’t even know who they were made me laugh. Featuring on David Lynche’s, Pinky’s Dream, has me keeping fingers and toes crossed for future collaborations throwing up Twin Peaks meets glitter and gothic. The staging of her “psycho rock opera” made me want to run across the oceans to Brooklyn. Even away from the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s this woman proved she’s a volcano of creativity. The stage notes to cast members of Stop The Virgens read “It embodies the collision of darkness and innocence. We skin our knees on the way to wisdom.”       

8. I type this blog on my Macbook, I tweet (obsessively) on my iPhone, I get to walk around with a constant soundtrack to my life because of my iPod. This man changed the way I view media and technology and has given me the tools to do the things I love with ease and no stress. When he passed away I wrote a short piece on him which can be found here. He left his mark in this world and inspired so many.

9. Steve Lazarides The Minotaur exhibition at The Old Vic Tunnels this year wowed me more than any other artistic event I’ve been too in 2011. It was like Guillermo del Toro and Neil Gaiman had secretly plotted a strange, dark fairytale and I left wanting to write more and more, take better photos, pick up charcoals and a sketch pad, create odd poems. His vision and eye for the strange gave me a creative cold shower this year when I needed it most.

10. Last but in no means least are the people across the UK that proved, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that community does still exist in cities. To everyone that picked up a broom, bunked off work to help local shopkeepers clear up their businesses, people who donated, worked selflessly to restore damaged areas, you restored faith at a dire time and for that you are the very coolest people in the universe. Of course, it was one mans initiative, quick thinking and kind brain that started the Riot Clean Up movement so for that we have Dan Thompson to thank from the bottom of our hearts to the tips of those fingers that leapt to action. To those I met, those I know contributed, those that are strangers; may karma kiss you all over for your good deeds.

Written by Anon PA

December 20, 2011 at 12:26 pm

He is not Jesus though he has the same Initials

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Monday night we stood stomping our feet on the cobbles in an attempt to stay warm outside Rough Trade East waiting for Jarvis Cocker to present his book Mother, Brother, Lover published recently by Faber and Faber. It was decided straight from the start that the very worst thing we could do on meeting him would be to crack a joke, (it would be the faux pas music equivalent of daring to high-five the Queen).

The unlikely indie girls heart-throb took to stage with slides to accompany his reading of selected lyrics and words. (I say words because despite the cadence and flow similar to poetry I heard Jarvis correct someone ahead of me at the signing taking place afterwards when she said she enjoyed his poetry. “It’s not poetry. They’re words” he firmly stated). He read from his school days, Pulp, Relaxed Muscle(I was the sole person that whooped at the mere mention of his not so secret project with Jason Buckle. Anyone else there remember Darren Spooner?). Slides were littered with grainy Sheffield car parks, Space, Newcastle Brown Ale and sunbeams streaming in through net curtains. All used to litter his “words” with nostalgia, irony and wit. This is the stuff geeks could only dream about on a full moon.

I always live under the happy illusion that I would exude a calm,  “do this every day” persona when it comes to meeting people I admire. Not for me the comical swooning and knee knocking. The mere fact that I am writing about this makes me painfully tragic, of this I am all too aware.

The sound of my patella’s meeting like a clacker toy was possibly audible.

He made me eat some grapes, I told him I felt like he was forcing me to eat my 5-a-day (I broke the joke rule but the trapdoor did not open below my feet thankfully). He then told me this meant I had to eat 5 grapes. I dutifully popped 5 in my mouth just to stop me saying anything else idiotic. My mere minutes in his presence, *chatting while he signed my book, has to be the most memorable Monday I’ve ever encountered. 

* For the record, we didn’t just talk about grapes.

Written by Anon PA

December 7, 2011 at 1:21 pm