Part of the reason for me doing new content every month was to force me to prepare two new tracks for serialisation. And I gave myself a headstart of… remixing everything I’d released so far, basically. But after next month that’s going to run out, and I don’t have a new album lined up yet.

I found myself explaining this to someone recently. How I started it earlier in the year, but when I came to look at the ideas I’ve been sitting on since my last album release (in 2013) I realised I’d just moved way past them. Many of the songs I had lined up were written over a decade ago, and… they’re fine. But I don’t have a record company pushing me – I am really doing it purely for the love of it. And I don’t want to do ‘fine’ anymore. I have a lot of new ideas, and they’re already taking shape, but I’m sort of rebuilding everything from the ground up. I feel I now have the chance to make the music in my head that I’ve always wanted to hear and that I feel no one else has quite managed to get close to. And I may not get that chance later, so I’m very focused on getting it done.

But still… months go by… Continue reading

HAIM are a band that I feel have been floating around my peripheral vision for a while – a band with the kind of shape and consistency that suggest I might be playing them over and over again very soon. Well, the day finally came, and their albums ‘Days Are Gone’ and ‘Something To Tell You’ are probably my most listened to albums at the moment. Continue reading

I wonder how many other men walked out of Blade Runner 2049, thought to themselves ‘I’m not an expert on this sort of thing, but that film had kind of a lazy and/or shitty attitude to women, right?’, only to then be frustrated by finding all of their go-to film critics gushing about how, finally, a worthy sequel had arrived to their favourite film ever. I’m a fan of internet & US TV star Adam Savage’s Still Untitled podcast, and Savage is such a fan of the original Blade Runner that he actually appears in a recent spinoff film, so he unsurprisingly liked the sequel. But I was heartened to hear that at least he and his (all male) crew took seriously the issues that (mainly female) filmgoers were having with this movie.

Anyway, the reason why I mention this is because I found myself grinning a few weeks later when listening to the latest Still Untitled episode, when Savage said he had been enjoying a stunningly good podcast made by film historian Karina Longworth, called You Must Remember This. I was grinning because I was wondering whether he had done exactly what I did after seeing the Blade Runner sequel. Had he also read about the debate, and concluded that, as a man, he simply didn’t have anywhere near enough understanding of this issue to be able to critique the film properly? Did he also feel like he needed expert help? I wonder how many other subscriptions Ms Longworth has acquired from men post-2049 typing the words “women review movies” into their podcast apps in exasperation.

You Must Remember This is not a movie review podcast. It is a movie history podcast, about “the secret and/or forgotten history of Hollywood’s first century”. It was not the podcast I was looking for. But it was definitely the podcast I needed. Continue reading

This month, I’m recommending the work of my neighbour, who lives just a couple of boats down from us with his lovely wife Abby. Many’s the time in summer when I’m cycling past and the path is blocked by Mani, attacking some enormous canvas. And inevitably he’ll say “Hey, James! Wait a minute…”  And then he’ll scrabble in his pocket for headphones and say “You HAVE to listen to this…” And some psychedelic funk headfuck will ensue. Continue reading

Time to crack open another ‘vaults’ artefact. From way back in February 2015, in the Vaults in central Oxford, this is a version of Tom Waits’s magnificent Fish & Bird by Faceometer and myself, that’s very dark (photographically) and a bit insane, and we both seem to be competitively shooting up and up into the highest registers of falsetto. “Is it a fish? Is it a bird? No! It’s… the only way we seem to be able to wind this song up.” To be fair, I started it…

Anyway, if you haven’t heard the original song before, it’s on Waits’s album Alice, and I think it’s one of his best. (And from me, that’s saying something.)

Controversially, this is a recommendation that I haven’t actually watched all the way through. I just loved the concept.

For fans of the new wave of True Crime documentary series like Making A Murderer and podcasts like Serial, this is a new Netflix ‘mock-rue-crime-mentary’*, in which a school A/V club makes their own series exploring the mystery of 27 penises spray-painted on the 27 cars of their schoolteachers. Treated with all the seriousness of a mass killing, this show has a blast sending up all the clichés that have been gripping netizens for months. Continue reading