Category Archives: General

The definitive reason why this blog exists!

A discussion with a very good friend – via the medium of Facebook Chat – has revealed the definitive reason for the existence of this blog.

There are so many conversations we have in life with family, friends, acquaintances, random people (some of whom may later become acquaintances or friends), and most of these conversations will be forgotten, purely because they’re only relevant in the context of where and when the conversation takes place…a gig for instance. However, there are some pieces of information that really should be shared with the world (apart from secrets, of course!), like the artistic and maritime interests of said close friend, Emma Guppy.

(Before I drift off into more of my musings, Emma’s recently been featured and interviewed on page 16-17 of Issue 4 of The Box Zine, and more of her artwork can be found on The Arcadia Relm)

I’m sure these topics must have come up in conversation at some point, but between one conversation and the next, they appear to have been corrupted and overwritten by physics-stuff, which is a real shame. They’ve never really been forgotten completely, merely filed away for future reference.

The Unchart, a Top 5 chart of unsigned/unheard/unknown music driven entirely by Off The Chart Radio listeners’ votes, is my attempt to counteract this process, at least in a musical sense. Starting as a few friend requests from bands sitting in my Myspace inbox, I had two options:

1. Add them as a friend. (Result: they get one more friend, and then get lost amongst all of my other Myspace friends. Wow…not.)
2. Add them as a friend, tell them I really appreciate their music and why, and invite them onto my radio show (Result: their friend request hasn’t fallen on deaf ears, it might only be a small radio show on an internet-only station, but to appropriate Tesco’s famous strapline, ‘Every little helps!’)

There’s actually an even better result to option #2…I’ve featured over 100 acts on The Unchart over the past two years, and I remember every single one of them…many of them even remember me.

Let’s see if I can apply the same logic to this blog: if someone gives me a piece of information that really should be heard/seen by people other than myself, because it’s good enough to be, and deserves to be, and certainly doesn’t deserve to be filed away selfishly in ‘the archive’ that is my confuzzled brain, it’ll be posted on this blog. It’s a new blog, I’m new to blogging, and I’m probably going to be talking to myself…at least initially (though having said this, I already have ten followers on Twitter after only a day…slightly scary…but if you are reading this, welcome!)

I’ve also unwittingly discovered a link between my conversational style and the way I listen to music (bear with me here, there is a link!) Some people buy an album, listen to all the tracks in order, possibly more than once, and that’s that. Others (like myself) buy an album, whizz it over to the computer (before they/I lose the CD), listen to one track to make sure it’s transferred, then forget about it…never hearing from that artist again until a track of theirs appears on my radio playlist, or on my MP3 player (I always listen on random shuffle). I seem to be the same in conversation; I’m wondering how it’s possible that I never delved further into these particular interests of Emma’s, yet I remember every conversation of ours being full of really interesting stuff, each one different. In the same way it can take me years to hear an album in full, it would appear to take me years to fully explore any one facet of someone’s life.

I must be a very frustrating person to converse with!

Am I human, or am I blogger?

With all the so-called ‘new media’ in the world at the moment, I’m starting to feel old before my time. There’s me thinking I’m all modern with my love of technogadgets and frequent visits to Maplin, yet I still insist on buying CDs and ripping them into my music collection rather than resort to (legal) MP3 downloading. I call myself a ‘technophilic luddite’ for this very reason, an intentional oxymoron.

Perhaps I don’t have time for such things…yet another statement which makes me feel old, but it’s the truth! However, I’m coming to the end of my PhD, and my media passion has never gone away. I’m already doing a weekly radio show on Off The Chart Radio (and having to fight my own brain to stop myself accepting offers of extra slots), trying to start a community radio station, and gigging with several bands…frequenty enough to keep me sane, but infrequently enough that I still have free time to do other stuff, like…oh yes…my thesis!

So, you may ask…why on earth have I chosen to start one now? I’ll be honest, there isn’t a simple answer to that question. I’m not the world’s most straightforward person. Perhaps I’m procrastinating (yep, that’s it!), perhaps I’m getting nostalgic for my student newspaper days, or perhaps it’s just because everyone else seems to be doing it and I’ve been inspired to jump on the bandwagon. I’m not sure. Whatever the reason, here it is: my sometimes sarcastic, whimsical, cynical, unusual, tangential, bizarre (just because I needed an adjective that didn’t end in ‘-al’) outlook on the world. I said sometimes. Occasionally I can be quite normal.