Sunday, 28 February 2010

BBC 6Music

It's been called the BBC's secret station, due probably to being launched in 2002 onto the unknown and unused DAB digital radio network.

I suspect a few more people now know of it's existence since the Times 'leaked' a BBC report that it was due to be closed along with Asian network and a lot of it's online presence.

The howls of protest have been staggering, and none have been more surprised then the stations presenters themselves. Shaun Keavney on Friday morning was quite choked up, and this was a mere couple of hours after the leakage... since then we on the twitter #save6music and #savebbc6music groups have *really* got going.

We have support from Rock stars like David Bowie on down, the NUJ is on our side along with hosts of comedians celebrities and the like. We now even have a number of MP's.The only real silence has been from those you would have thought would be the most vocal, presenters from the other stations, most notably Radio 1. Jealous perhaps.

I have written to the Mark Thompson himself, to the BBC and to the board of governors along with several MP's and ministers, the BBC complaints department, signed petitions and constantly tweeted and Facebook'd on the subject.

And why would I bother, what is the magic of BBC 6music? I mean it's only a bleedin' radio station...

Probably 10 years ago I'd stopped listening to music. Strange but true. For years I didn't even have anything to play it on. There was a half hearted 'cinema' thing in the living room and that was it. I listened to Radio 4 and everything else was at most relegated to the loft. The albums went down the dump... (I know)

I'm not even sure why it happened now. I just thought that nobody was making music for me and that I'd better face it, ageing and time for talk only radio.

in my 40's and not dead yet. Way past radio1 and it's non stop banalities and diet of stock aitken and Waterman (now simon cowell) and/or rap/dance and *never* ready for the suburban wasteland that is radio2. My time was over.

Now I'm not saying that it was 6music that changed this bleak outlook, but suddenly something changed. All I know is that they have fed into my renewed passion for music. I have NEVER bought so much, NEVER listened to so much. I have been to concerts, I have 4 *count then4!* full on Hi Fi systems with facilities for every format. I have an iPod that I could not live without.

6music is the Radio 3 for the Rock & Pop generation (a fact I see is being picked up by more and more people) it is clever, passionate, they care about music and what they play. And most importantly they play music for me and people like me, music that is not covered by and other radio station anywhere.

It is thanks to 6music I discovered MUSE.

This cultural vandalism must not happen, and by god if I have anything to do with it, it won't.

Tuesday, 23 February 2010


Everything seems to take way more time then you'd have thought, but at last the ceiling is more or less finished.

I did change to solvent free adhesive and found I had been led astray by my online builder buddies (who would have thought it?) Solvent free far from being the inferior sibling is in fact way better at the job then the hallucination inducing stuff. Maybe builders just like being off their heads. (that explains much)

There is now a vastly reduced visibility hatch to the loft room/loft which is now much bigger, way heavier and looks as impressive as a Sylvia Anderson bank vault door due to the massive slabs of polystyrene insulation glued to the back side.

Now it'll be a trip to Ikea. My stylish 1960's style drum light may look very scandi-stylish but gives a light so dull in that position I just want to kill myself. A common occurrence I find with these horrible compact fluorescent bulbs.

Halogens. That's the only option :-)I used to love proper downlighters, R63 and PAR38 spot bulbs, and what ever happened to parabolic reflectors and track lighting?.. #sigh#

I'm after a pair of speakers on eBay but people keep bidding on them. Even though it's very small bids it's very depressing. I'm not going to say what they are as I'm getting paranoid.

If I get them I'll tell you all about it.

And If I don't I'll still tell you all about it.

But I better had. GRRR!

Tuesday, 16 February 2010


Not as exciting as it sounds.

I'm putting a new ceiling up on the top hall. What that means is gluing pine panelling over the artex that's already there.

Very retro I know, but I am very retro.

The worst thing is the 'no more nails' used to do it with. It's hideously full of solvent, you can almost see the air vibrate as you use it. And very quickly you find your mood changing, and you start getting very clumsy and dizzy. I didn't even think products like that were legal any more.

Incidentally should you ever do this yourself, the trick is not only to stick it to the surface with a 'grab adhesive' (I'd recommend using some other product, preferably water based) but also to glue each plank to the previous using wood glue in the groove. I've seen some horrible shrunken panelling. It never happens to mine.

Of course you could do it the old way with battens and the like and that would avoid possibly falling off the working platform & down the stairs because you are so stoned.

Monday, 15 February 2010

What I want

What I want is a limitless tab at Amazon.

I've just had the last fruit of my Christmas Amazon voucher and from now on it's strictly actual money.

This year I've done really well with n'er a wrong move, but I love the feeling that the latest click on 'add to basket' isn't costing actual cash.

What did I get I hear you cry.. well the Arcade Fire, The Big Pink and initial forays into Depeche Mode you already know about

My latest Haul has been more Depeche Mode (wow have I got into them, I hadn't realised what I was missing), The Killers live at the Albert all. I've not heard/seen it yet, but I'm assured it is, well, Killer.

Also the new Massive Attack, Heligoland. I like it. Mezzanine is definitely one of my all time favourite albums and the new Sade, Soldier of Love. People say all her stuff sounds the same. I prefer consistent. Late nights and red wine. Just never play her during daylight hours or you'll feel kind of hung over.

My book haul has been less extensive, none of my favourite authors seems to have anything new right now but I did get This is Not a Game from Walter Jon Williams. It's a kind of game/real life crossover novel like Charles Stross did in Halting State and I loved that. I'd love to find more authors I like so I can feed my habit more reliably.

Especially since Alistair Reynolds has dropped off the list, publishing what I strongly suspect is old garbage he found at the bottom of his reject drawer in the hopes of refilling his credit crunched bank account. Doesn't work Alistair, sorry. I'm not getting caught again.

Next is a 'tv tie in' (GASP) The memoir Beautiful People by Simon Doonan. It was made into a stunning charming and very funny series by the BBC.. And finally The Cuckoo's Egg by Cliff Stoll. A real life spy/hacker chase thriller through early computer networks by someone who was actually there and really did it. Recommended by this guy on Twitter...

Friday, 12 February 2010

Living Room

In that anything is every finished, here's the living room..

Monday, 1 February 2010


I have just heard the news about Dee.

She was a lovely very special Lady and one who I would have really loved to meet in real life.

The world is a darker sadder place today.