Entries for Feb 2011
Currently up with the whole back pain thing. As glad as I am that my back not longer hurts as much as it did, the pain has now moved to the hip. Which is clever.
Working on ways to get Heralds down southwards for the autumn. If you know of a way, let me know!
It's with some relief that I can say I'm feeling quite a bit better. Got a fair amount to do and catch up on: but at least I can leave the house without wincing!
Another great loss to British music: Tony Levin passed away yesterday. His work in Mujician was a strong influence on me; and his playing in Tubby Hayes' recordings too. He will be sorely missed.
A few days ago, I wrote a comment about libraries [it was on a personal page]. Today, if you didn't know, is Save Our Libraries Day. It's rare that I cross-comment: but I'm going to reproduce what I wrote. If there is any protest against the cuts to libraries and you feel even remotely concerned that the government is trying to develop a nation of uneducated people please speak out. Anyway, here's what I wrote:
The clamp-down on thinking: here we are. No one is safe. Even in Egypt where there are huge riots, they protected the library. But here we create silent book tombs with civilisation as a corpse.
We are being taken back to the 19th Century, when very few could borrow a book for free.
Subscription libraries are great resources—but in towns, cities and communities where there is no such thing then the public lending library is a living breathing entity and should be sacrosanct.
My sextet would not exist without the library, since that's where the first research into stories began. Many of the things I've done have started in that space. And when I worked there, I tried my damnedest to make it a place to go. Because having a library MEANS something.
And even though the building in Derby is not necessarily threatened, I know that some more staff have gone.
The Public Libraries Act of 1850 asserts the universal right to literature and information as a national institution, through legislation.
We're not mucking about here—we made it law because we thought it was important. Universally important. And now it is being chipped away. Some people will say it's about lefties whining. But the fact that the act represents us as a nation should have any patriot out of his or her seat and slapping on the war-paint as well.
This government is quite simply stabbing the country in the throat.
It's with regret that I've had to cancel the gig for the amazing Juliet Kelly—but with luck I'll be able to bring her to Derby another time!
I've changed the mapping service for the gigs from Yahoo to Google, as Google has better international address support. I'll be working on the code over the next few days so that the pages load faster too. There's a fair bit of redundant code to hack through—so there may be a few gremlins. Apologies in advance for any malfunctions.
Music-wise, I got mentioned in JazzUK twice in two months! First for the gig I did with Arun in Cambridge, and then Heralds got a mention in this month's, and the "blue lollipop rage" photo reared its head. Even though they're small, it's still nice to appear in the scene's most respected mag!
Oh, and while I remember: there's a new podcast. In MP3 and Ogg Vorbis formats, so everyone can grab it!
Now I've actually got this mini-blogging mechanism sorted out, I'm finding it much quicker to use than when I have to write up the rambles. I may have to shift the mechanism over...
Well, that was quicker than I thought. Turns out that Google Maps geo-coding is very slow, so sticking with Yahoo to get coordinates, and Google to display the maps—which is not a bad compromise. If you have a location-aware device I think the Google map should show you directions too; and there's a minuscule speed improvement.
Here's one of the most creative reviews I've seen: it's for Heralds, and it's by Sarah Razvi. She's really picked out the intensity and different layers of the sound—and we hope to do it again soon!
A day of packing today. Lots of boxes. Heaps of miscellaneous... things.
But I also get to see some photos from the Heralds gig in Derby, so I'm looking forward to that: and itching to get the recording from Newcastle... I suspect that will be on its way soon!
I've had a few days of extensive and ultimately happy listening... which you will hear very soon!
But now, I must pack and move. See you in a couple of weeks!