- Filed in Welcome to my World at 12.35pm on 13 November 12
The best things come in threes. That is the rule of three. You come across it in the strangest places. TV chefs for instance will always pile three pieces of flesh onto a plate, never two, sometimes five, but generally three. Folks in my profession rely heavily on the rule of three, or 'The Triple' as it's known. This involves listing three things, situations, characters etc and putting a spin on the last one: 'He's a first class singer, guitarist and drunkard'. The third option is the twist in the tail. And sometimes lies work best in threes, a prime example of which is Blair's 'Education, education, education'.
There are many other examples of the rule of three, see how many you can find...
This week the rule of three has been running riot through Artrocker Towers. It all began when we announced the nominations and open voting for this year's Artrocker Awards. Within hours of the announcement we had thousands logging on and voting. And that was just the start, with the likes of our good friends Black Keys tweeting and facebooking their massive following to vote for them. It seems that the Artrocker Award is something they care about, bless 'em. Get your votes in here.
And then we announced our first foray into digital book publishing: Gary Numan: NOW...and then, released November 26th for tablets. And again the social network world went nuts. Details here.
Thirdly, we learned that the nice people at Record of the Day had nominated us in their awards lineup in several categories. Which gave us a nice warm feeling. You can vote for us here
Three. A great number, as a rule.
I'm an iPad-er, have been for a while. I love it. Right now I'm horizontal, the iPad is leant against a cushion and the latest David Sedaris reading is playing on the BBC iplayer (if you're not on the Sedaris tip yet why not? Do keep up, he's funnier than anything on TV right now). As I pause for inspiration I slip the iPad onto the floor with one hand and, inspired again I pick it up as easily as a magazine, no sweat. As I've observed previously, tablet technology has transformed my life and reintroduced me to the world of nerdery.
But there is a problem in paradise, you see my wife loves it too, when she gets home from work the first question is always: 'Where's the iPad?'. Eventually I retrieve it from its hiding place and reluctantly hand it over. After a quick flick through the news sites she settles her self down for several hours of Spyder Solitaire. Great! I'm left with the laptop, and that is so last century, I'm worried that a neighbour will wander in and find me using it. I need a sticker for the laptop that says : 'My other device is an iPad' . So embarrassing.
Fabulously successful renaissance man that I am I baulk at the idea of spending another £400+ for an iPad just so my significant other can play insanely complex card games that make my head hurt. So I've been watching developments in this field with great interest, waiting for a tablet that doesn't cost an arm and a leg but that does pretty well everything the iPad does. This month the market has gone nuts. They're all falling over themselves to get their tablets on the market pre-Christmas.
Artrocker designer Rich had to by an Android tablet this week so he can monitor the production of the magazine for non Apple tablets. It cost about £100, he describes it as his Fischer-Price tablet, it is, apparently, crap. So I won't be buying one of those. I nearly bought a Nexus having had it recommended to me by someone at Virgin, but I didn't.
I've long envied the US market for having the Kindle Fire, and turned my nose up at the monochrome versions we've been fobbed off with over here. But now they've released the HD version in Europe, 16GB for £159, less than half the price of an iPad, so I'm off to buy one as soon as this has left my outbox. Apart from the fact that you can play Spyder Solitaire on it there's another reason for me to buy, you see, as hinted at above, Artrocker Magazine will be available for Android any minute now. Kindle, Nexus, Nook, Smoove...and many other similar, dyslexically named tablets will all carry Artrocker.
In the meantime, the latest Artrocker Magazine has gone live on Apple Newsstand and, of course, it looks great. So, if you're a 'Padder' go and get it now. If you're an Android, and I know some of you are (we exclude nobody, not even robots) then we'll be plonking ourselves on those stands any minute now. Oh brave new world.
And our first venture into the world of e-books will be along on November 26th when we publish GARY NUMAN: NOW...and then. It's an incredible piece of work, I wrote it.
What I REALLY want is a tablet with a phone incorporated so I have one mobile device rather than two. Maybe they'll have that ready for next Christmas, but maybe they don't want to shoot their massive mobile phone market in the head.
How are the tablets working out for you? Got any experiences to share? Recommendations? Avoids? Fails?
I'd love to hear from you.
Until then I remain
Yes, this is an Artrocker mailout, on a Monday. Rather than seeing out the week with our usual Friday blast we thought we might light up the start of the week instead. Which sounds like a great idea. But...
What I failed to take into account is the fact that I generally feel like death on a Monday morning. It's nothing to do with excess alcohol, I'm effectively tee-total, or late nights in celebrity packed night clubs, I don't do that either. Rather, the reason I greet each Monday like a wrung out rag is that, like all self employed persons I tend to work longer than most. By Friday I'm fooked, finished, collapsed. But there's no rest for this wicked individual, because all of the other stuff I should do during the week gets delayed til the weekend. It's 2 days of washing, hoovering, rubbish disposal, checking a week's worth of personal correspondence, sweeping the leaves from the yard, cleaning out the fish, ironing, cooking, shopping...You know the score, or you do if you work for yourself. When I dream it's of 9 to 5 jobs, of being a civil servant who works on flexitime who finishes work at 4, with weeks of paid holidays and a pension. How amazing must that be?
And then I recall that many years ago I was a civil servant, and my dream turns out to be a nightmare. Never again.
I, like many self-employed, will work til I drop. I have no 'retirement' plan, just another 30 odd years of graft and weekends of madness.
Am I complaining? I am not. It's worth it all.
I may be having trouble keeping my eyes open today, but look at the result, Artrocker is a fine thing, I'm proud of it, proud to be part of a team, proud to fly the flag of independence, proud that we actually make something, a rarity in our country.
But I think I might need 40 winks now. I won't get it though, we've got a magazine to make.
The t-shirt has long been a medium for protest. Without any proof, without having done any research whatsoever I confidently declare that t- shirt slogans became political when US troops in Vietnam daubed their regulation issue tees with messages such as: 'We've Gotta Get Out Of This Place' and the like. The practice soon spread to the campuses where right-on entrepreneurs, hippy capitalists started churning out Che Guevara tees.
The Punksters embraced the tradition, led by Richard Hell and his t-shirt ripping, adorning his shirts with slogans such as 'Please Kill Me', exemplifying the oncoming nihilist tide.
Over the last decade or so the slogan t-shirt has been commandeered by the fashion retailers who have re-mixed the classics and the protest tee has lost it's power.
So it comes as a surprise to see a citizen of our country sentenced to eight months in prison for wearing the wrong t-shirt. I'm sure nobody throughout the 60s, 70s, right up to yesterday was ever sent to the nick for expressing an opinion on a t-shirt. I could be wrong, feel free to correct me.
"I may not agree with you but I'll fight for your right to say it" has been the cliche at the heart of our democracy for as long as I can recall, I imbibed it with mother's milk. What a gullible fool I was.
If you want the perfect example of the loss of free speech in our society look no further than this case, it's a disgrace.
Being sent to prison for eight months for expressing an opinion, albeit an unpleasant opinion, makes the treatment of Pussy Riot look like child's play. Let's all get over heated about some middle class Russian girls - Putin is evil, the state must fall, whither democracy etc, all of which I heartily endorse. If a member of 'The Riot' had been sent to prison for wearing the wrong t-shirt there may have been another Russian revolution.
In this country we trumpet our democratic ideals to the world, send young men across the world to die in its name. But you can't wear a t-shirt in Manchester.
It scares the hell out of me. It should do the same to you.
Read the story here http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2012/oct/11/manchester-man-jailed-tshirt-police
I do like an opinion. And I like them strongly argued. I'm not a fan of consensus, believing as I do that the engine of life runs best when some of the gears grind rather than mesh.
Opinion that becomes bigotry I can live without, but opinions that have been considered, developed and are then well expressed give me a lift like the first flower of spring, whether or not I agree. Generally I don't. But that's fine, it's what makes us human. These days there's a tendency, most obviously in the public sector, to take the 'Oooh, you can't say that' line. Express the 'wrong' opinion of the NHS anywhere near a GP and you'll be looking for a new doctor before you can say phlebotomist. In the public sector opinions are equated with abuse, one of the most devalued words in the lexicon.
So the last week has been a bean feast for me, I've interviewed Maximo Park's Paul Smith, Gary Numan and, later today I'll be going ten rounds with Jon McClure, as in The Reverend of Makers fame. Three people with strong opinions. Smith is a bit of an intellectual who quietly states his case, covering all points, with appendices, like a neatly typed thesis. Numan is equally reserved, but he has a core of steel that glints out from his sharp blue eyes which flash a message: "I've been doing this for most of my life, I know what I know". Jon McClure simply comes out and says it, got a problem with that? Tough.
Too much niceness is a killer for rock'n'roll, too many simpering ninnies who don't want to upset anybody is part of the problem we have right now. Just this morning I read a Neil Young interview in which he said: "I hate interviews". Journalists, meanwhile, are "jerks" and "dickheads" (http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2012/oct/04/neil-young-autobiography-relief-music)
He may be right, ok, he is right, but it still hurts a bit. His opinion is that I'm worthless, and do you know what my reaction is? Stick on Harvest and bang the bifter that Neil has so recently eschewed. Respect.
For God's sake say what you think. To do otherwise is not diplomatic or sensitive, it's lying.
And there's definitely too much of that about.
On the cover we have Lambeth Boys Palma Violets who tell us stuff about stuff such as “Look! What are you doing? Bring down some guitars and amplifiers and start a band!”. Same goes for features... featuring Edwyn Collins, Deap Vally give us a mountain hi, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, The Stranglers (early years) and Dream Syndicate ***** In New Blood you'll find: The 1975, Coves, Childhood, Fat Goth, Little Green Cars, Night Engine, Thought Forms, F.U.R.S. and Filthy Boy ***** We have an embedded Artrocker Radio Player with focus on Wet Nuns ***** Rock The Look of Hypnotic Eye ***** Masses of reviews ***** 'Art' with David Bowie ***** A look back with Black Lips ***** Tim Burgess' column ***** Lovely photos and tons of clever digital thingies
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