Tuesday, August 28, 2007

A bright idea called life

I can't sit still today - I want to take over the world. I want to find a new job that won't make me want to sleep all day to forget its existence but that would also pay me decent money so that I can continue with the label and the indiepop adventures (and pay that dreaded mortgage). Then I want to sit down and do that fanzine I've been talking about for ages - if I start now surely it could be ready for Christmas Twee, right? I'd like it to be something I do on my own for a change, although my instinct tells me to go and ask my favourite people to write for it. I'll have to see... But I also can't wait to get started with the third Atomic Beat Records release, especially since receiving some of the songs for it through the post on Saturday. And I'm tempted to start a distro. And put on acoustic gigs in my flat.

I'm completely mental, aren't I? I can hardly watch Corrie and eat at the same time. Who am I kidding? Well, that's what listening to the Aerospace album does to you. It makes you feel invincible.

Monday, August 27, 2007

A classic piece of emo

Yesterday I woke up in the morning and realised that it's been 10 years since I came to live in this country. It was a great decision and one that, no matter what happens, I'll never ever regret. It's also a very bad time for my home country, with the fires being out of control and an extraordinary number of people dying. I wish Greece could be in the news about something positive once - and don't mention the Olympics. Anyway, it was really nice to spend the afternoon with Martijn and Dimitra because I have a feeling that they have the same sense of fear and expectation that we had when we first came here. It's still like that in fact. Living abroad keeps on your toes because there's always that other place.

Been feeling quite lost this weekend and kept catching myself stopping and blanking out. I'm not sure if it was sadness or longing or stress, I can never tell. Last night I had all the lights turned off in our front room and was just staring out of the window for ages listening to Rachmaninov's piano concerto no.3 (in a recording with Rachmaninov himself on the piano), my favourite piece of classical music and something I can really appreciate because I can sing along to it. The sign of good pop. And the sign of a good view, I suppose, if you can sit there for ages, with your head sticking out of the window.

Friday, August 24, 2007

I wish I wish I had some money

In the last couple of days the subject of doing a house gig (popshow!) came up a few times in conversations while lying on the sofa sipping tea and listening to A House Full of Friends, the Magic Marker compilation. The first time the subject came up I was saying how brilliant it would be if someone else did it so I could go. Now I’m sitting here, thinking about my life a little bit and the great things that I’m lucky to have and all the popshows I get to see and organise and help out with, and my heart starts racing at the thought of having a couple of bands playing acoustically in my tiny front room and maybe 15-20 people attending. Don’t let me go ahead with it: I’ll probably end up wanting to do it every week. You know what a good alternative to house popshows is though? Popshows upstairs at pubs, unplugged and joyous.


This entry was brought to you by

- Rose Melberg singing ‘A Holiday in Rhode Island’ live in Oxford
- A very weak cup of tea
- Saint Trainticketbooking-on-the-Internet
- Science is sexy – you know, when it's cool

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Helen Love loves me

I'm not one to boast but Helen Love sent me an mp3 taster off her new album today. She sent it to me. Me. Little ol' me. Me.

I'm ridiculously excited about the covers compilation Pete and I are putting together. The submissions I've already listened to are as pretty as the summer sky and totally spot on. I don't want to give much away right now because the rights situation is not clear yet, but if we end up releasing it, it's going to be a beautiful, beautiful thing.

In other news my head and my body ache from the crazy ups and downs of the last few days. There shouldn't have been any ups and downs so I'm not quite sure what happened but, woah, did the madness mess up my head. I feel all floaty and in desperate need of a few drinks but first I need to go to bed, put the radio on and read my book. Drinks, bed, radio, book. Right. Got it.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Still in the zone

I'm going through another one of those periods when listening to music is making me feel 6" tall.

I remember being 18 and still in the early, slow years of my indiepop discovery, when finding and buying records was a 6-month long adventure of waiting for the next bi-annual issue of the In Those Days fanzine to come out with recommendations, sending an SAE for the latest Mind the Gap catalogue, saving money, turning it into foreign currency, sending the cash by post and waiting and waiting forever for the postman to arrive... (We used to live in a wooden box you know, all 14 of us. And for breakfast we had a lump of coal.) Back then, I used to pop a tape in my walkman and walk round Athens feeling like I was on top of the world: so privileged, so lucky, so beautiful. This was the music that I had discovered and it was the best music in the world and it was mine.

To feel like this 15 years later is nothing short of a miracle because I get easily bored and I have the attention span of a squirrel. But here I am, playing The Deirdres demo and thinking, yeah, this is brilliant and this is what I'm part of. Whooop!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Say no to memories, there's more pop to come

You know when people ask you sometimes what's your favourite song of all time and you start mumbling nervously about not having one favourite song or how it keeps changing all the time and how that's just the nature of pop? No? That's just me then.

Apart from knowing that my favourite band is probably the Orchids and that my favourite song of theirs is 'I Was Just Dreaming', I've always found it very difficult to pinpoint favourites when it comes to music because I get very easily excited and that's the sad truth.

What I never in a million years thought would ever happen though is to not be able to decide what my favourite moment of the last couple of weeks would be. Of any couple of weeks. How many amazing things can happen in a couple of weeks if you're a normal person who doesn't go on exotic holidays and is having a particularly bad time at work at the moment? So many that I was on an empty coach travelling from Oxford to London last night and sighed and said "I love my life". What's that all about?

But I really can't decide between hugs, ohmygods during the Orchids set and singalongs on moving steam trains at Indietracks; Gregory Webster and Rose Melberg singing Carousel songs together upstairs a smelly pub in Oxford; dancing 'til I'm sick to the Aislers Set on an empty dancefloor; defending Sarah Records in a cab heading towards south London; watching a cat taking up all the available space between two popkids sitting drinking tea and moaning about their hangovers; meeting Ralphie and sharing a badge; shouting "muffin!" to the Parallelograms...

I can't decide and I love it.

Eight things

Blimey, I was tagged aaaages ago by Dimitra and didn't even realise until the other night. Duh! Maybe it's time people started finding out about my lame attempt at a popblog - and maybe I should make a bit more of an effort.

Ooh and then I got tagged again, this time by That Pete. Well, Pete tagged the label but I can't see anyone else doing it and I haven't got access to our Mysp*ce blog, so lalala.

Here it goes, then: eight things you might not know about me, unless you know me.

1. My first memory is of our neighbour (and one of my parents' best friends) storming into our flat dressed as Santa but with a black beard (his own) and shouting "MwahahaHAHAHAHA!". I wasn't even three yet but I remember jumping onto my dad's lap, shaking like a caught fish and crying my heart out.

2. I can speak four languages but I can only switch easily between English and Greek. Everything else confuses me greatly.

3. I love red things. There is something in my brain that directly links red to happiness.

4. If I'm at a popdisco or a popshow I cannot not dance to a song I love. I like to think it's loyalty when in fact it's just an obsessive compulsive disorder, especially when I do it even though I know I can hardly stand up (be it from drunkeness, illness, tiredness). Last Friday I almost made myself sick dancing to the Aislers Set but I couldn't stop.

5. My first job in Greece was helping my English teacher's autistic older son with his homework. I did it every weekday afternoon for two years in exchange for English lessons.

6. The first time I got ridiculously drunk was when I was 17 and I was at the island of Rodos. The second time I was 31 and in Sheffield.

7. I always think I disappoint the people I love and as a result I apologise all the time.

8. I have now met my favourite film director and my favourite popband. I got hugs from all of them.

I have to nominate some poor souls to do this. I wonder if they'll ever come across this entry...
her him him

Friday, August 03, 2007

Escaping from escapism

I've been going slightly crazy since Indietracks. You have to worry really, when you can't cope with real life because you've lived through a couple of days of intense indiepop action. Well, I am useless like that, the ultimate indiepop escapist. I'd sell my record player to buy records. That sort of thing.

The one thing that can keep me going when real life kicks in and I feel ridiculously lonely in my thoughts about how best to escape it, is discovering new songs. Yesterday my friend sent me an absolutely amazing song called 'I'm A Broken Heart' by American duo The Bird and the Bee. It got me rolling again for a bit. Their self-titled album also has another amazing song that's been rattling my brain all day today: 'Again and Again'. They're a bit like The Blow with some Au Revoir Simone, The Aluminum Group and Saint Etienne thrown in. A bit loungy pop electronica. Dunno. They're fucking brilliant, that's all I can say for sure.