Tuesday, May 15, 2012

in every city a record store

it might be a trite thing to say, but music really does connect us all. no matter where I am in the world, chances are I will find myself in a record store, spending copious amounts of money on mammoth vinyl discs that I will not be able to fit into my suitcase, and will instead be awkwardly tucking them under my arm as hand luggage. but to be able to look back at that 45 of Jane Birkin and recall picking it up in Nuremberg and showing it off to my French counterpart in the group of journalists I was with, and then bonding with a Scotch poet over a love of Otis Redding and proudly noting that he is from my new hometown... well, that will be worth the strained fingers and bumbling.

then there is the thrill of buying a mixture of long loves and lush looking album covers by artists you have never heard of before. hence I end up with a combination of Beatles 45s and Joy Division albums, and some red, purple and blue uber-foreign appearing split featuring some smooth-looking chap called Oliver.

and the connections don't stop with the showing off of my finds. this discover leads to another visit to the record store, with recommendations to my Turkish colleague, who left with some Radio 4, Muse and International Noise Conspiracy. my work here is done.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

A New Nuremberg

Today begins my two week stay in the famous (infamous?) city of Nuremberg, in Germany's heavily-wooded, incredibly beautiful Bavaria region. I've been welcomed into the home of my charming host family, and am currently staring out of my bedroom window onto roofs tiled with terracotta, aluminum, and more to give it a multicolored landscape that mirrors the city. The buildings vary in style, reflecting he history that saw so much of the city demolished in the war. Even the historic-appearing buildings are usually not so, instead being carefully crafted blocks of flats based on what had originally stood there before the bombs fell. I am lucky enough to be in one of the few historic apartment buildings, on the fourth floor with a rare balcony that plays host to a small collection of plants cared for by Ann and her two children.

I am thrilled to be here with writers from across the globe (Romania, Scotland, Nicaragua, China, Italy and more) as part of the Hermann Kesten grant, which brings writers and journalists from Nuremberg's twin cities to build relationships and dispel stereotypes and old fashioned images.

Hopefully as the stay continues my writing will find a better direction and become less stilted. For now I will blame the stagnant style of this post on jet-lag, as I have only been in the country a few hours. There has got to be a more imaginative way for me to portray my experiences. Maybe it's just the sides affects of too much cabin pressure and bad airplane food. Surely that is enough to kill any creative urges.

"Bis morgen" (until tomorrow) then!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

paul weller plays super special show at john varvatos bowery store, aka cbgb's

this is the world now. 35 years ago, the jam played at cbgb's. today that club is fancy-pants (with a rock 'n' roll edge, to be fair) designer john varvatos' bowery store. this month the jam's paul weller is coming back to these fair shores to play a couple of gigs in new york, but just before he does that, the modfather will be playing a special vip event at mr. varvatos' aforementioned store. naturally, you can't buy tickets to this show, you can only win them by checking out the details on the designer's facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/JohnVarvatos

that's all very well and good, obviously, but we would still fancy a gig a little close to home. any chance of an atlanta show this century, mr. weller?

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

john peel's collection comes to the internet; music nerds wet themselves

well, this is nothing but wonderful (from the stool pigeon):

THE FIRST 100 records from John Peel’s personal record collection will be online as of tomorrow (May 1).
The records are being archived as part of an online museum project calledThe Space, which hopes to digitise the entirety of the late Radio 1 DJ’s whopping vinyl stash — some 25,000 vinyl LPs, 40,000 vinyl singles and about a bajillion more CDs than Adele’s flogged in the last 12 months.
With the site apparently looking to post 100 new records every week — and interviews and live sessions also in the offing — there’ll be plenty more to come for a few years yet on this, if our maths does not deceive us.

i am 1) overjoyed and 2) overwhelmed, as many a music nerd probably is, at the possibility of rooting around in the legendary dj's "bajillion" records. maybe we should all just call it a sabbatical now and return in the fall. that sounds like a perfect way to avoid the oncoming blistering heat. we all know how easily music nerd get sunburned.

things i want: liberty teams up with doc martens, which means satchels!

satchels have been floating around the fashion circuit for a couple of seasons now, and while i'm happy toting my little brother's old school one he used when he was 10, i might be swayed to upgrade to this little beauty. liberty is queen when it comes to collaborations, in my book, and while i passed the doc martens boots look some time ago, their satchels are making me drool. there's a big chance i will be forking over the cash for one of these - if there are any left - on my christmas trip to england. check out all the lush items in the liberty doc martens collaboration here.

i'm back!

oh, people. i'm so sorry i've been away for so long. i'm sure you have missed me immensely. or maybe not at all. who knows how this relationship works. maybe i just give, give, give and you just take, take, take.

at any rate, i'm heading back into this crazy world of blogging, as i'm preparing a move to macon, where the hubbie is now working at mercer as the director of the new center for collaborative journalism. fancy, i know. so in the meantime i'll be posting up news i think is interesting (music-related mostly, but probably also macon-, england-, fashion-, craft-, leila-related stuff too), and hopefully also linking to some articles i'll be writing.

so it's nice to see you all again. please keep in touch.