POST #1718

Good morning/afternoon/evening folks.

Monday 8 January 2018…the first day of the first full working week of the new year and the day when this little corner of the internet is supposed to return to normal business after all the re-hashed stuff over the festive period, albeit the posts were all worthy of being resurrected from the wreckage of the old place.

I’ve been giving things some thought over the past few weeks. I’ll admit to still suffering somewhat from an extended bout of blog fatigue, but in some ways that’s to be expected after more than 11 years of churning out cliché after cliché. The most annoying thing is that the fatigue has somewhat extended itself into me not having the time and/or inclination to keep up with the work of so many great talents out there, although I did, late last week, start the process of playing catch-up and will continue to do so over the coming days.

Part of the issue is that I haven’t been properly managing all that comes with trying to keep T(n)VV relevant and meaningful. This has happened a few times in the past but there’s always been something, like a new album, a tour or an event, to come along and enthuse me in some way that has delivered the required kick up the arse.

This year, and maybe it is grumy old man syndrome, but I’ve gotten increasingly bitter and disillusioned about the rip-off factor, whether it is attached to the cost of buying new vinyl or getting to gigs – assuming of course you can get your hands on saif vinyl if it has been released in limited editions or in fact you can access Ticketbastard and the likes in time before you have to look towards the secondary markets.  All of which has meant 2017 ended up being a year where I spent much less on my hobby than any other since I became an adult.

Don’t get me wrong – there were many highlights in the past year, not least that never to be forgotten gathering up here in Glasgow last May, meeting JTFL in Manchester and all sorts of gigs, often with Aldo riding shotgun.  LCD Soundsystem at Glasgow Barrowlands was something I never dreamed would happen to me…but it did.  And the trip to Hebden Bridge for Jens Lekman was special (as was the next day in Manchester being guided by Swiss Adam).  But there were more days when there wasn’t much motivating me to blog other than it being a habit. Shaking hands with Robert Forster and having my photo taken with him was also a memory to savour.

None of these memorable events woulf have happened without this blog, something I embarked upon in 2006 with no real long-term aim other than to shove up some long-lost b-sides that were only available on vinyl. I certainly never imagined that I would still be doing it all these years later and that it would have led to the flowering of some of the most amazing and rewarding friendships imaginable with some ridiculously talented writers and musicians.

It has also led me to do things  that weren’t ever on my radar – promoting my own gigs, helping out at merchandising stalls, contributing to and being thanked on albums/boxsets and reigniting my passion for DJing to name but a few. I’d also say that having this hobby has helped me through some very tough and painful circumstances in my personal life (for which I will always be thankful to ctel and others) and it has also inspired me in ways that have, at the fag-end of my working life/career, had a positive impact in a professional capacity.

I know that I’ve got to the stage where I can’t really imagine not doing this and, as such, so I’m not contemplating  calling it a day any time soon. I do know, however, that I need to focus a bit better, mostly by staying in my comfort zone(s) of  music of bygone days with very little reviews of new albums or gigs.

There will always be a place for such things but these will need to come via guest contributions, of which I will maintain my policy of accepting without question, unless the subject matter is offensive or degrading in some way.

As I’ve long said, there’s no such thing as a bad song – it’s just that some songs aren’t quite to my taste and I can’t bring myself to say anything positive about them. The same goes for singers and bands. I’m no fan of, for instance, Coldplay, but I do admire the fact that KT and many others can be so enthusiastic about Chris and the boys and champion their work in such an informative, engaging and enjoyable way. Anyone is free to throw over an ICA Vol 2…..I will not be so childish with my responses this time round (a joke that seemed funny at the time but badly backfired on us who took part in it and left a lot of guilty feelings).

Talking of ICAs…..the long-running series is the thing I’m most proud of on this blog. It’s incredible to think that almost two-thirds of them have come from guest contributors; it is the perfect illustration of how I want T(n)VV to be a collective rather than the work of one 50-something fat and balding bloke who has no kids to direct him to what he should be listening to nowadays instead of wallowing in the delights of antiques.

I’ve decided that I’m not going to lose my enthusiasm through striving for a posting every single day from now on, although I do, as it happens, have enough just about enough ideas and things to see me through to Easter.  I’ve had something of an obsession in posting every day, partly as it seemed to be meeting what was an ever-increasing demand based on the number of visitors and hits going up on a year-by-year basis; however, the stats for 2017 showed something of a drop – down by 10% on 2016 – although the number of comments left behind was higher than before.

These figures are no real surprise given that more and more folk seem to be moving away from reading blogs to consuming their info via shorter and more immediate forms of social media and many bloggers have adjusted things accordingly.  I take a lot of comfort from the fact that those who do come in here on a frequent basis seem to revel in the length and format of the posts with many readers very happy to offer their views and opinions – the regulars know who you are and I’m hugely grateful for all you do.

So that’s sort of the T(n)VV manifesto for 2018 and beyond. In summary, more of the same rubbish but possibly with less frequency. I do hope you continue to enjoy the ride.

Oh, there’s one more thing. This blog is now going to avoid, as best as it can, all mentions of Morrissey as a solo artist.  He pissed me off big style last year and he’s now beyond defending.  I haven’t even glanced at his latest album. I will occasionally sing the praises of The Smiths – they still mean so much to me and if anything, Johnny is trying extra hard to rectify the sins of his former sparring partner.

I really think the title of a Steve Mason song provides a good way to sign off for today.  You’ll be pleased to hear there’s no moaning tomorrow as there’s a guest contribution – from our Swedish Correspondent, no less.

mp3 : Steve Mason – Words In My Head

Cheers

JC

PS : I typed all this out a few days ago, clearly with a troubled mind.  But there, seemingly, is an explanation.  My wee note of ‘welcome back’ to the The Sound of Being OK crew was posted to their office – KT seemingly is an expert on profiling folk based on their handwriting.  She has declared to SWC and Tim that I’m a psychopath.  She might be onto something…

24 thoughts on “POST #1718

  1. The reluctant mega star and future poet laureate Rick Witter fron Shed Seven once said that ‘he didn’t care if only 7 people bought has records or saw him play, those 7 people bothered to listen that’s what matters’. That’s kind of where we come from over at TSOBO.
    Tvv is an inspiration to it and I for one know that we wouldn’t have bothered with coming back had it not been for some wise words from JC. So here’s to you JC and long may you continue. Don’t change a thing mate.
    Swc.

  2. Bloody Hell JC, for a second there I thought that you were wrapping it. This Monday would be difficult enough but that would have really broken it.
    To paraphrase the great Curtis Mayfield “just keep on keeping on”.

  3. As someone of a similar age and musical tastes to yourself, I really enjoy what you do here and appreciate the work involved in keeping the fresh posts flowing.

  4. I dunno how you’ve done it for so long mate. I’ve wound things down considerably of late and, aside from my daily ‘Bowie Week’ posts this week, have very little planned for the forseeable future. And I don’t miss posting, either. It remains to be seen what I’ll bother doing with my blog this year but interest is waning, both from me and the readers. I can totally understand where you’re coming from but it won’t stop me from popping by!

  5. Bloody hell – I remember reading you comments on the Jens Lekman gig but missed completely that you came to Hebden Bridge for it.

    A) I didn’t know Lekman played Hebden.

    B) I didn’t know YOU came to Hebden.

    Hebden Bridge is about a 40 minute drive for me… I would have made the effort if I’d known two of my heroes were there at the same time!

    Happy New Year, JC… and please forgive me for still writing about Morrissey. I respect your stand and agree (largely) with your reasoning, but I have a slightly different take on it which I’ve banged on about at length recently. Still, I’ll miss your own Mozz-icisms.

  6. Blogging every single day must be some commitment that I can’t even get my head round how you have done it. I would much rather blogs appeared when you feel up to it rather than the blog disappearing altogether. I have followed it and enjoyed it for circa 7 years of it’s 11 year lifespan.

    I do agree about Morrissey. By keeping it to chat on the Smiths we don’t need to consider the charmless curmudgeon who is tainting the legacy. The young Morrissey should never have turnedinto this…

  7. I’m struggling a bit for motivation and inspiration as well JC and am putting it down to the time of year and the return to work.
    Remember you are the Blogfather (psychopathic or otherwise) and your readers need you!

  8. I have always enjoyed this blog, and hope you can motivate to continue. It only has to be be when you want it to be, we’ll still be here.

  9. whew. that was a close one. I am always so impressed that you’ve made it 11 years. It has been, and still is, a wonderful ride. Thanks JC!

  10. what is wrong with being childless, fat, white and 50(ish) – enjoy the blog and do not always agree with it…. great way to keep my own (aged) memories challenged. Please continue for as long as you enjoy it Sir.

  11. I’ve only been blogging for eight years, so I still feel relatively fresh about it, but my policy of blogging only during lunch hour serves to define my space for it even as it occasionally means that for one reason or another [illness, inclement weather, making up time lost at work on appointments and the like] I just do not have the 30+ minutes available to post. The last two years have seen 210 posts exactly each year, so I guess I have it down to a science.

    As for social media, it is anathema to me. I reject the idea of having my life being monetized by rapacious billionaires striving against my best interests. I say avoid the dumbing down and attention shortening atmosphere of them. Take the time to write what you are passionate about and everything else will follow from that. If that means a months long thread as I am wont to do on occasion, so be it!

    And finally, let me welcome you to the Morrissey-free universe! Come on in, the water’s fine!

  12. I think you’ve nailed a lot of what many of us are feeling. Glad you’re keeping going. You were one of the places I started when getting into reading blogs and one of the inspirations for doing mine (and for blogging daily). Keep on keeping on. I think many of us feel the same way about Morrissey and what he has become as well.

  13. When reading your post I thought for a second you’d pack it in, mate! As the others say: take your time, post whenever you want and whatever you want and try to remember that this is just a hobby. And not more. There is no force to write on a daily basis and – believe it or not – no-one expects you to do this!

  14. My motto… when it starts to feel like a job, quit. I think you’ll get your mojo back by releasing yourself from the rigors of a daily deadline. I hope so, anyway. You would be sorely missed. Believe me, your readers, myself included, will be happy with what we can get.

  15. I can hardly understand your thoughts and feelings, mate. But keep on keeping on and as Dirk said: Take your time and get back to this little corner of the internet whenever you can/want. Be sure your readers will be appreciate. And don’t set yourself under pressure.

  16. As others have stated more eloquently: don’t feel the pressure to post new stuff every day, JC. Everyone appreciates your dedication – I know I could never contemplate such an errand.

  17. Some great comments which I can only echo. The standard of postings from yourself and guests over the last year have been very high, but I’m sure everyone recognises how hard that is to maintain on a daily basis.

    I’m sure I say this every year, but I will try my best to get some guest posts and long awaited ICAs over to you in 2018.

    And you’ve got the return of the Twilight Sad to look forward to!

  18. Hi folks……a huge thanks for all the amazing comments left behind today. It means a lot.

    A separate e-mail from a regular reader also really helped out – more will be revealed via a bonus posting on Wednesday.

  19. Phew! Bit of an emotional roller-coaster there that you took us on! I’m sure that even the great literary figures of our time, and probably the ones in the past, didn’t write every single day, so give herself a rest, sometimes the creative juices need to percolate for a while.
    Think of it like this, when CD’s became the main way of listening to music, suddenly albums started to be 70 minutes long, except about 5 songs were a bit average, they were just there because they could be. Soon, we all realised that 40-45 minutes was actually better, more concise, get in, make your point, don’t bugger about, trim the fat, ciao baby! Quality not quantity.
    And yes, Morrissey is lost to me too, anyone that praises the Farage creature must obviously be a premier league twat who must be treated with utter disdain.

  20. Loved this. I, too, have got to the stage where I can’t imagine not doing this, but I think I’ve lost my way a bit myself and have been mostly going through the motions and the freebies. No more of that in 2018, and I’ve set myself a mental goal of two posts a week (down from three, more if I had stuff to squeeze in) to help me with that.

    The rambles are the best bit, JC, though of course I’m up for the MP3s too.

    Happy new year, and catch you at a gig sometime soon!

    x

  21. Hey, kid, rock and roll
    Rock on, ooh my soul
    Hey, kids, you boogey, too, did ya?
    Hey shout, summertime blues
    Jump up and down in my blue suede shoes
    Hey, did you rock and roll, rock on
    And where do we go from here?
    Which is a way that’s clear
    Still looking for that blue jean, baby queen
    Prettiest girl I ever seen
    See her shake on the movie screen, Jimmy Dean
    (James Dean)
    And where do we go from here?
    Which is a way that’s clear
    Still looking for that blue jean, baby queen
    Prettiest girl I ever seen
    See her shake on the movie screen, Jimmy Dean
    (Jimmy Dean)
    Rock on
    Rock on
    Rock on…

  22. love Tvv…totally get why you may think of knocking it on the head…but very pleased you are carrying on – good man!!

  23. Your hits may be down a bit from 2016 but imagine how many fewer there would be without us childless 50+ year olds reading these pages……..

  24. Just wanted to say that as a non-blogger, I thoroughly enjoy reading your missives, yours is the site i always read first. If nothing else you introduced me to Twilight Sad via the ICA for which I am truly grateful, although my wife isn’t so sure. Thanks

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