17 Seconds Blog – The 1,000th post


Yes indeed!

Technically, it is more than 1,000 posts, on the grounds that I have lost a few posts after clashes with the DMCA last year, but here it is, the 1,000th published post on the blog.

So, what’s happened since I started the blog back in July 2006? I’ve reveiwed lots of albums, and quite a few gigs, interviewed some great bands, and started a record label. It’s been hard work, I’ve been driven to distraction, but I feel that there are lots of people who enjoy the blog, as it generally gets over 1,000 hits a day (1400 seems to be the record).

I’ve also enjoyed writing about bands that have come and gone – the posts on the Shop Assistants and Motorcycle Boy, for example, seem to have struck a chord. Hopefully one day those records will be properly re-issued.

Thanks is due, first and foremost to the wonderful Sam, Mrs. 17 Seconds, for all her love and support, and patience. As well as to all the readers (whether I know you or not) who have left feedback, artists who got in touch about stuff they are doing, fellow bloggers who supported me through thick and thin and linked to me, and anyone who sent me mp3s when I begged for them.

Many thanks to to everyone who has helped with the label – Mrs. 17 Seconds, my business partner Laurent, Scott for doing all the mailouts and support; my parents and brother; our five artists; Shona Donaldson, Bruce Finday, Julia Nicolle, for vital work and support; and the DJs who have supported us on the radio: Jim Gellatley, Tom Robinson, Iain Baker and especially Vic Galloway, and everyone who has come to the gigs, stocked our records, bought the music, written about us and supported us. Apologies to anyone who really should be on here that I have forgotten.

(And no thanks to the person who tried to use this against me. God is watching you.)

The song that started it all:

The Cure -‘Seventeen Seconds.’ mp3

The most popular song to appear on the blog:

Manic Street Preachers -‘Umbrella (Rihanna cover).’ mp3

One of the bands, gone but not forgotten that I have championed:

Motorcycle Boy -‘Big Rock Candy Mountain.’ mp3

…and proof, if proof should be needed after all this time, that this blog is not just about white men with guitars:

Nina Simone -‘Feeling Good.’ mp3

Bless you all XX

Sad songs say so much…2

Haven’t posted much here this week. It’s been kinda busy, and isn’t showing sign of letting up. How the heck did Tony Wilson manage to run a label and work in TV? No marking, I suppose.

Anyway, some songs for a cold winter’s day…

Johnny Cash -‘Hurt.’ (No there’s nothing wrong with me, just something in my eye…)

afterword: Johnny Cash’s wife June Carter Cash, seen here in the video, died shortly before him in 2003. Someone said that ‘she’d gone to get the house ready for him.’ I’m sure some would criticise that statement as sexism, but to me it makes my eyes almost as misty as watching the video.

The Cure -‘Charlotte Sometimes.’

Who would have thought a pop video could be so sad and creepy? I remember watching that video with my dad and the hairs on his arm literally standing on end. Also worth reading Penelope Farmer’s book Charlotte Sometimes which inspired the song. Charlotte Sometimes is my favourite song by my favourite ever band, and second only to this…

Joy Division -‘Atmosphere.’

My favourite ever song. Apparently the surviving members of the band hated this video but I love it. The bit when the synths ocme in sounds like the sound water would make if you could tape it forming on water (actually, I’m pretty sure that’s exactly what Martin Hannett would have recorded). The bit where this is played in 24 Hour Party People is a misty-eyed moment as well…

David Bowie -‘Life On Mars?’

For many years, this was my favourite song and it’s still up there as one of my favourites. I’m sure I heard Flaming Lips do a cover of that on John Peel’s show in about 1993. If anyone can help, please let me know…

Billie Holiday -‘Strange Fruit.’

I was amazed but delighted to find footage for Strange Fruit. It’s a beautiful but harrowing song. Covered by many people including Robert Wyatt, Tori Amos, Siouxsie and the Banshees, and also by Nina Simone, who had to give up performing it as everytime she did, she broke down. There’s ingenious (IMHO) use of this in Ae Fond Kiss, a film that looks at sectarianism in Glasgow in the twenty-first century.

So…I’ll finish with a clip of Nina Simone, talking about how important it is to her as an artist to reflect the times. I found myself thinking it was a shame she hadn’t lived to see Barack Obama elected to be President of the US, but there’s millions of Americans who would have loved to have seen that.

Ten for a summer’s day

Hallelujah. It’s a summer’s day, it’s nice and warm and i’m not back in the classroom for several weeks. Yeees!

So, why not a playlist for a summer’s day? An eclectic mix of indie, dance, jazz and whatever takes my fancy.

Jamie Lidell -‘Another Day.’ mp3

Nina Simone -‘Feeling Good.’ mp3

Sigur Ros – Staralfur.’ mp3

Rockers’ Revenge -‘Walking On Sunshine 12″.’ mp3

Primitives -‘Through The Flowers.’ mp3

Aphex Twin -‘Girl/Boy Song.’ mp3

Donna Summer -‘I feel Love 12″ version.’ mp3

Moloko -‘Sing It Back (Boris musical mix).’ mp3

Chic -‘I Want Your Love 12″ version.’ mp3

The Streets -‘Your Song (Elton John cover).’ mp3

Melys -‘Chinese Whispers.’ mp3