Category Archives: Site news

2006 in review

Two thousand and six has been a pretty eventful year, politically and personally. While for me, the most important event was my wedding to Gemma at the end of September, numerous moments featuring Lt Gen Aguado, Spain Herald, Reial Madrid, FC Barcelona and Solidaridad Española Con Cuba have added spice, and traffic, to the site.

This has also been a year during which Catalan and Spanish nationalism have been among the top issues discussed on blogs, including Much has been written in these pages about how I am not a nationalist, nor a supporter of Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya – the left-wing Catalan nationalist party. I have, however, spoken out several times against a series of myths and falsehoods which are circulated and often repeated by their critics. Beyond a broadly leftist outlook, I have no party loyalty here or in the UK. I’m most interested by the ways people use language when engaging in political debate – and this includes popular misconceptions about ERC as well as the PP.

This year’s FIFA World Cup wasn’t the most awe-inspiring tournament in history and I reckon it’ll be remembered as something of a low point for international football. But that doesn’t really matter because Barça won la Liga and the Champions League. I predict another league title for them but the Champions League is going to be much tougher. A final against Chelsea is possible but I don’t think that Barça would beat them. But they will have Eto’o and Messi back, so you never know. Anyway, they’ve got some hard work to put in before we need to start thinking about that.

I’ve spent a lot of time this year delving into the back catalogues of various artists on the roster of Drag City Inc., the Chicago based record label. While my obvious link with them is my passion for Royal Trux (I recently purchased “Hero / Zero” with the prestigious release code DC1), I’ve built a strong affinity for Silver Jews, Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy and Neil Hamburger – who has left a comment on this very blog. We were also lucky enough to see Silver Jews in June on what was their first proper international tour despite a career of more than 10 years. They rocked.

As I said before, the highlight of my year was undoubtedly my wedding with Gemma. We had a fantastic weekend in Tarragona and then a splendid honeymoon in post-coup Thailand. We both fell in love with Bangkok and we’re looking forward to a trip to India next Christmas. Meanwhile, we’re passing this year’s holidays in Modbury, my home town in Devon, England.

It’s been a good year: let’s hope that we can say the same for 2007. Though I should mention that I’m not planning to marry again, just to boost ratings.

Festivals and corruption (Barcelona’s never been so much fun)

Finally, I have succeeded in getting around to buying tickets for Primavera Sound (June 1-3). After three years of humming and hawing, I bit the bullet and bought two three-day passes to see such luminaries as Lou Reed, Motörhead, Lambchop, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, the Flaming Lips and er… Baby Shambles.

EDIT (6th April): I’ve just realised that I really hate the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. I now think they’re the worst band I’ve ever heard. Were they made by robots?

This year, we’re also seeing the Rolling Stones (May 27th, Olympic Stadium), and we’ll be revisiting Benicassim for a scorching FIBERFIB 2006. At FIB, we’re looking forward to seeing the Strokes, Scissor Sisters and numerous bands I’m supposed to like but don’t really know much about. I don’t much like Morrissey or his old band, but (the) Pixies should be fun. I’m expecting some more acts to be added to this lineup as we get closer to the summer.

Meanwhile, spring has sprung. ERC and CiU have been caught using some very naughty party funding tactics in the Generalitat. Hmmm… if they were a little more sophisticated they could have used the UK Labour party’s “yes, it’s a problem and we’ll legislate to stop it” line, but unfortunately they look a bit stuck for the moment. This is one of those cases where they’re so patently in the wrong that no one, not within the party or sympathetic to it’s aims can defend them. Drop it, apologise, move on.

I’ve added some new features to

  • Below each post, you can see a couple of icons pointing to popular social bookmarking sites. Click the icon if you want to share the post via Digg or
  • There’s now a Contact page for people who want to get in touch, but don’t want to leave a comment which will appear on the site.
  • I’ve fixed the sidebar so that its elements appear on every page.

Headphobe – new album!

Headphobe (aka my brother) has just unleashed his first album on the world of music. Metanoia is a combination of a lot of mental music like gabba, breakcore and more! The press release:

Headphobe (aka Ned Clarke) has been rinsing the underground scene at clubnights, parties, and raves here in Bristol and across the southwest for the past 3 years.

Headphobe has headlined nights at The Thekla and The Black Swan, his music has had people dancing in a frenzied state for hours and hours to his unique dancefloor sounds at all the best local underground clubnights including… Epoch, Kuantum_Window, Plummet, Toxic Dancehall, Dissident, DMT, Monkey!Knife!Fight!, P.R.A.N.K., Kuntz… supporting many highly respected producers including… Venetian Snares, Hellfish, Crystal Distortion, Chris Clarke, D’Kat, Hammer Damage, Black Sun Empire.
This week Headphobe is performing at Plummet in support of Mu-Ziq.

Headphobe will be performing around the UK in the coming year to promote his debut 12″ vinyl ‘Metanoia’, while he works towards his follow up release in 2006.

Headphobe will also be contributing some new tracks to the upcoming 1 MAN ARMY RECORDS 2xCD Compilation.

‘Metanoia’ is the debut Headphobe release and pulls together the raw atmosphere and the excitable energy of Headphobe’s live set onto record for the first time.

Go to 1 Man Army and buy it now, suckers.

The site does now support e-sales!

Image gallery

What the gallery looks like I’ve added a new feature to an image gallery featuring all of the terrible photos that we’ve taken over the last few months. There are also about five good pictures. At the moment, the pictures aren’t categorised or ordered really, so there may be a bit of a random feel about the whole thing! Also, I’ve run into issues getting all the thumbnails created. And the images are far too big!

Click here to open the new gallery.

Summer brings it

The failure on my part to do any blogging recently is a result of:

  • having a new job
  • temperatures reaching 35 degrees
  • knocking down a shed
  • the lack of things interesting enough to discuss, often brought on by Summer

For the record, I’m getting GTA:San Andreas next week. I am not interested in Live8. I think it’s only right that they ban smoking in public places. I’m worried about the red meat. I think Neil Michael Hagerty is some sort of musical wonder. I was burnt by the sun yesterday. We’re going to Benicassim this year. If I get the days off from my new boss. I like Saskia and Makosi in Big Brother, but only for their minds. I loathe media types talking about David and Victoria Beckham – the snide snobbery of some people is really too much to take.

The summer listening:
Royal Trux – Cats and Dogs (always at the top of the list anyhow)
The Howling Hex – All Night Fox
The Rolling Stones
Jefferson Airplane, the Worst Of
Jimi Hendrix live at Woodstock
Love Forever Changes
Supergrass, Daft Punk, Basement Jaxx, David Bowie.
(ie all the usual stuff… I like the fact you can get away with guitar solos when it’s really hot.)

An absence of reporting does not represent an absence of news

We’ve been really busy recently, and I haven’t really had the time to post any news or rants to the site in a week or so.

I’ve a new job, starting in a week and a half, writing reviews of mobile software and other IT news stories. Enter the Geek! (just kidding, in case my new bosses read this).

Adam and Raquel have moved into Cerdanyola, helping to establish the fledgling English enclave here.

Spring has sprung into summer, as temperatures soared to over 32 degrees!
And here are some pictures to prove it: