Announcing “This is Nowhere” — a new site I’ll be contributing to

Eventually, not immediately! It’s only just gone live and is still only in an initial beta blog mode. But I’ve been quite flattered to be asked by its founder and editor, John Doran, to be a contributor. The site is based in the UK and will have its focus there but I’ll be chiming in as I do over time; its primary focus will understandably be on music but there will be other subjects for discussion too, which I’m very happy to see.

The site’s goals and background, from the ‘about’ page:

If you don’t actually believe that Jack Penate is the best thing since Nirvana but you’re still not ready to slump into yet another feature on ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ then we could be the thing you’re waiting for.

First and foremost the emphasis will be on quality writing that avoids the all-filler no-killer route that so many magazines have gone down. We’re just as sick as everyone else at how cotton-brained the lifestyle publication industry has become – giving more time over to pet psychology, advice on how to wear scarves and how to make free range squid marmalade than anything of interest. If these mags were any more stupid you’d have to milk them.

But to be honest we’ve got problems with the general music press as well. Does anyone actually think that reviewing two hundred albums a month is a good idea? And who thought that reducing the word counts to the size of an average product description in an Argos catalogue was a good idea? We must have missed that meeting. Instead we thought, why not just concentrate on the top thirty releases and reissues per month and let some of the best music writers from the last 30 years – from the cream of the new school to hardened survivors of the punk wars – really get to grips with them.

Which I’m all for. The contributors list down the page is a fine mix of folks including a number of writers I’m happy to count as friends, so I’m quite looking forward to this. As any pieces of mine are posted I’ll link to them here but I’d say go ahead and bookmark the main site now and watch it as it grows…

A St. Patrick’s dinner of sorts

So there are potatoes in there — and carrots and kohlrabi. Lightily oiled and then roasted for a bit, topped with shredded Irish cheddar with porter in it, along with some seasonings. A stout ale (American but hey) and some frozen Thin Mints, and frankly who needed anything more green than the kohlrabi? Cheers and see you all again next year for something maybe similar!