02 August 2009

I have an announcement!

well, I have several, actually. some of them I just haven't had the time to post about until now. for my sanity, I'll put them in chronologic order:


1. in June I posted a letter to one of my music journo heroes, Stuart Maconie (he of 6music's Sunday programme "Freak Zone" and the copresenter of Radio2's nightly programme "Radcliffe and Maconie") . he's always been a bit of a living legend in my and my friends' eyes b/c he has interviewed Morrissey more times you can shake a stick at and, from all appearances, has somehow maintained a confidence and kinship with the man. I stuck an international reply coupon and an SASE in with my letter, thinking that if he'd have time, he'd post me a promo picture of Mark and himself or something equally nonpersonal.

so on the second week of July, I come home from a long day's work and see in my pile of mail an envelope with this in the upper right hand corner:

I bit my lip as I opened the envelope and revealed a letter Stuart himself had typed out on A4 paper using MS Word. I won't bore you with the details, but the end of the letter (right before his signature in black Sharpie) was this:

Do what you love is my advice. And take care of yourself


the man must receive bags upon bags of mail every day from his devoted legions of fans around the UK alone, not to mention anyone outside of the UK's borders who might fancy a listen to one of his shows. and he chose to write to me. I am v. grateful.

2. interestingly, there is a sideways connection between what Stuart Mac wrote me in his letter and Ed Mac of Friendly Fires. the day Stu wrote me was the day the Phenomenal Handclap Band was scheduled to come in for a live session for Radcliffe/Maconie. as usual, I tuned in that night, not knowing that it was the v. same day Stuart was going to write a letter to me. I knew nothing about the PHB until that morning of their session, when I opened an email from the le poisson rouge mailing list - where I'm seeing the Fires on the 12th - and I see the PHB is their support act.

I dunno about you, but I find the timing of both the email and when the band were visiting the Oxford Road BBC Manchester studios, ALONG WITH the choice of opening act must be more than a coincidence! I even dashed off a reply to Stuart with what had happened - this time no IRC and SASE, b/c I figured he didn't need to be bothered further! - but I thought he might be amused with this startling set of events.

at any rate, the PHB's live session with Mark and Stu was phenomenal (no pun intended) so I am looking forward to photographing and seeing them live in 10 days. eep!

3. my Paolo Nutini/Matt Hires/Erin McCarley gig report was made a featured item at Popwreckoning. you can read it here. I wasn't too impressed with Paolo (I think he may have just been a little pissed before coming onstage) but I really enjoyed Matt and Erin's sets and would have been happy if it'd just been the two of them.

Erin McCarley with her purty acoustic

that was the third time I'd been at the 9:30 this year and definitely the worst experience of the three. Doves had been sold out, yet tall guys let me stand in front of them on the balcony. the Camera Obscura crowd was filled with relatively mellow people - just like their music - and I never once felt threatened. fast forward a month to the Paolo Nutini show. let's just say that there were totally rabid fans from age 16 to age 50 and they screamed equally as loudly and passionately for Paolo, and the older set grated on my nerves for their "I'm allowed to be a b*tch and treat you like crap" sense of entitlement. when I went to go get my press pass - which was an ordeal in itself that I don't want to relive by typing it out here - one of these women shouted at the guy at the window that Paolo's tour manager had said she could go in before everyone else, because "I have to be in the front."

lady, unless you're his mum, you line up with the rest of us. end of story.

I do not have a problem with REAL fans lining up early and taking up the front spots b/c I'd rather have a real fan in front than a posturing industry type or someone who's shoved their way to the front from the back. we're all fans and we're in this together - be kind to your fellow fan.

4. bands have been making fall tour announcements left and right. some of the blast from the past notables:

Pearl Jam
Manic Street Preachers
Muse (touring w/ U2)
Leonard Cohen

5. good lord this has gotten long. will be back in a mo' with another post to finish up...

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