Sunday, September 30, 2012

Absolutely September 30th 2012

Here are the two new songs-I-brought-in-from-home for the radio show this week... and they're very different beasts.

I'm a big fan of Admiral Fallow and this track, Guest Of The Government, is a great example of what they do. It's from their recent album, Tree Bursts In Snow, which comes highly recommended by me:

I know a lot less about Pop Levi who's completely new to me. I stumbled across this track online somewhere. It's been out for a year and as I type this, the top comment on youtube says, "this guy is my teacher's brother." It's camp. Energised. Glam. And I like it:

We're off next week - I'm taking a few days off - but normal service will be resumed on October 14th... which will effectively mark my third year at Absolute Radio. Blimey!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

It's Coming Home, It's Coming Home, It's Coming... Screen Guild's Coming Home.

I'm getting excited - and panicked - by my imminent return to this place:

Hoxton Hall.

The new mini-run of Dave Gorman's Screen Guild kicks off on Saturday and we've got a great line up.

I've written about Screen Guild before but if you're new to these parts,  I created the night as a way of giving me a playground in which to try out new ideas.

For regular stand up, London is full of clubs that will let you do five minutes of new stuff... but most of them don't really accommodate a 9ft by 12ft screen and projector... and even if they do, it's not exactly practical to set all of it up and then just try out a five minute new bit.

So instead of trying out three minutes here and five minutes there, I host my own evening and commit to doing only new stuff all night. Some will work. Some won't. There's only one way to find out. As a rule I'm not a particularly nervous performer - but when it's new I make an exception.

To ensure that the tickets are worth having I book four guests - acts that I know are great and I compère the night. I'm really chuffed with the acts we've got for the first night of this run. Steve Hall, Ed Gamble, Morgan & West and David O'Doherty. Brilliant and different to a man.

If you want to come along - this Saturday or to the shows in November and December - you can get tickets here.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Absolutely September 23, 2012

We Won't Ever Be Rich (But We Could Be Happy) by The Candle Thieves

Smile On Sunshine by Maz Totterdell
My Spotify playlist of (nearly) all the songs I've brought in from home this year can be found here... and the podcasts for the show - which contain all the talky content from the Sunday morning as well as loads of extras - should be here.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Absolutely, September 16th

Here are the two songs I brought in from home for the show this week:

The Turn, The Pike & The Glow by Turnpike Glow

Honey, You're No Good For Me by Stickboy:

I've added them both to the Spotify playlist which features almost every song I've brought in from home so far this year - all bar one actually, as nothing from The Loud seems to be available on Spotify. Anyway... it's here.

Oh... and the podcasts for the show - which contain all the talky content from the Sunday morning as well as loads of extras - will be here.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Absolutely, September 9th 2012...

We had a guest on the show this morning. Richard Whitehead. He's seriously impressive. He's a marathon runner - hence his twitter name, @MarathonChamp - but they don't have a marathon in the Paralympics for his category (T42) so he had to run a shorter distance.

And the longest distance available to him... was the 200metres.

That's a lot shorter. More than 26 miles shorter. That's quite a switch of discipline. And then he went and won a gold medal. Blimey!

One of the things I love about doing the radio show is the way it inspires me to seek out new music. It's easy to get complacent. But while the songs I bring in from home are sometimes old favourites, I make an effort to find new things that will excite me and, obviously, I hope some of them will excite some of you too.

Well, I can't remember the last time a new piece of music got under my skin in quite the same way as this one. I bloody love it. It's by a band called Dogtanion. Who's really a man called Matthew de Kersaint Giraudeau. (The other two people you can see in this video are Kerry Leatham and Peter Lyons... I expect I'll play some of their stuff on the show soon too.)

Anyway... here it is, it's called Islam. But it's not about Islam. At all. Listen to the lyrics. Although there are some swears... we took those out on the radio.

This Many Boyfriends are a band from Leeds that I’ve played at least once before on the show. Back in May I brought in a song called You Don’t Need To Worry. This next song is, I think, a little older than that one. It was released about a year ago, it’s called Young Lovers Go Pop… but it – and You Don’t Need To Worry will both be on their debut album – which is self titled and is produced by Ryan Jarman of The Cribs. It’s due for release in October this year. Anyway here it is… This Many Boyfriends and Young Lovers Go Pop…

Oh... by the way, prompted by a listener - Darren Richards - I created a spotify playlist of all the songs I've brought in to the show so far this year. I think there was just one song I couldn't find there... so it's pretty complete at the minute. If you use Spotify and want a playlist that already has 61 songs and lasts over 3 hours... it's here. I'll try to keep it up to date as the year goes on.
Oh... and the podcasts for the show - which contain all the talky content from the Sunday morning as well as loads of extras - can be found here.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Caring & Sharing

I've written before about why I don't retweet requests for charitable retweets so I won't rehash the same thing all over again - you can see what I said about it a couple of years ago here if you're interested. (The numbers have increased since then, but my feelings remain the same).

I promise you it's not because I'm a misanthropic, charity-hater who's too lazy to click a button and do some good. Far from it. In fact, quite the reverse.


But I wanted to add a new post on the topic because something seems to have changed with twitter recently. Or at least with how I'm experiencing twitter.

I've left it a little while to blog this and I hope to pick my words carefully so that nobody is identified or identifiable. I don't want anyone to go looking for those that have stirred these thoughts, that's not really important.

The thing is, there are thousands of good causes; charities and campaigns that could do with more support. Of course there are. And not one of us supports them all. I don't. You don't. It's not possible. So how do we choose? Most of us sponsor our friends when they do a run/walk/swim/cycle/whatever and most of us support other things that we feel particularly connected to or moved by for one reason or another. But none of us proactively backs every single good cause.

But recently I seem to be encountering people who are increasingly strident in the way they campaign on twitter. I'm not sure what's motivating it. But I am sure I don't like it. One group of students who asked me to retweet their fundraising page came back a few days later to tell me that they were now "keeping a list" of all the people they'd asked who had not retweeted it and that they were going to "name and shame" those who were not helping.

Which is, of course, ridiculous. Because I could just as easily name and shame them for not supporting a whole host of other, equally-deserving causes. You can't play Top Trumps with this stuff: your caring isn't worth more than my caring and my caring isn't worth more than yours. It's not fair to decide that your cause is the one and that all others are irrelevant.

Someone else emailed a few weeks ago to ask why I had not retweeted any of the many requests they'd sent me. (They had asked me at least 3 times a day for a week and by the looks of it they had asked a couple of hundred other people with the same frequency too - I wonder if any of them got similar emails?)

I replied explaining why I hadn't done so - in the same terms as contained in that earlier blogpost - and said I hoped they understood.

They did not understand.

As far as they were concerned it was a simple, binary equation. I should support their cause and if I didn't do so - on twitter, via their particular fundraising endeavour - it was evidence that I didn't care for other people. All other people.

These are two examples in which people have specifically addressed me but I've seen four or five instances recently where people are taking a similar approach with others. I don't really understand where it's coming from.

I understand that when you're campaigning for a particular cause, tunnel vision can set in, but I think twitter is somehow intensifying it for some. There is a strange idea afoot that twitter is the be all and end all, that a thought only exists if it has been expressed on twitter. A few months ago, after the untimely passing of a celebrity I was taken to task by someone because I did not tweet a message of condolence.

Don't misunderstand me, they weren't having a go at me for tweeting something snide or unpleasant. My crime - such as it was - was to not mention them at all. Why would I? I didn't know the deceased. They weren't even in my DVD or CD collection. "Was I sorry to hear about their passing?" my interrogator wanted to know. Yes. Yes, I suppose I was. But not more sorry than when I hear about any other stranger's passing. How famous do they have to be for an RIP tweet to be obligatory? What are the rules?

When I meet someone new I don't assume they're a racist until they specifically mention that they're not. And I doubt that angry twitter correspondent does either. If we don't need every thought to be expressed when we're off twitter why would we need it to be so when we're on it?

How about we all assume that we're all broadly in support of one another's good causes and accept that if we all proactively pushed all of them... it wouldn't actually do more good, it would just make things more confusing. More noise. Less clarity.

Now... if a friend of yours is doing something for a good cause and you haven't already donated, why not go and do so. You'll feel better for it. If none of your friends are doing such a thing but you have the money to spare, pick a charity and donate to that. Pick the one you think will do the most good if you think that's possible. If not, just pick the one that appeals most. Google it. Find their page. Think about sending them a few quid.

Monday, September 3, 2012


Here are this Sunday's Songs-from-home.

First up: You Don't Look At Me That Way No More by Stickboy. I love Stickboy. This is from a soon to be released EP - called AM PM - and I doubt it'll be the last track from the EP that I sneak into the show:

Ace City Racers are new to me... but I don't think Blur are new to them. I think it's fair to say they're wearing the influence on their (Fred Perry) sleeves... but then again, they have got Stephen Street producing them so that's a seal of approval from a higher power than me. This is called Waiting:

The show returned to what passes for normal this week as Danielle and Michael returned from Edinburgh. You can hear the whole show - sans music but plus extras - on the podcast.