Sunday, December 12, 2010

Podcast #12: They can't tell us apart

The police over here have just released photos of 14 people who, they claim, contributed to the violence that occurred at last Thursday's student protests. And so the witch-hunt begins. Here, look, here are some more people to stare at. Aren't they beautiful?

The slowness and quietness with which this new movement has taken shape is wondrous. It took over a decade of reality TV. Oh, but it must drive the government and the right-wing media absolutely insane that they can't point the finger at any one individual. This is a movement borne out of a collective spirit. There isn't one face that represents it. Not one face, not one name they can demonise. They can't tell us apart. They'll hit people over the head, they'll put others in prison but they have no idea how deep this is and how widespread. How this has been happening for years in small ways they'll never understand or care about. And it's now hit the streets. Still anonymous but loud and fantastic.

These are incredible times. I can't see them as in any way separate to my idea of what indiepop is and should be about. I feel as much part of this as I feel part of Indietracks and popfest and every brilliant popshow in Nottingham, Glasgow and Sheffield. My comrades in indiepop are my comrades in the cold streets around the country. This is the real 'we are all in this together' and it's been ours all along. It's the principles we've been guarding with our late nights all this time that are at stake here.

This coming week I'll find out whether my colleagues and I will still have a job in a few months. I've been feeling sick with anxiety for days now. But then I remember it's also the week when I'll be sat in a warm pub in the arms of two of my favourite people in the universe putting the world to rights; and the week when I'll be drawing up giddy pop plans for July with a group of incredible friends. You see, for everything they throw at us, we have a handful of things that are brighter and truer and make us indestructible.

And now I've got all this off my chest, here is a podcast you can download from here (34 MB), if you like. Told ya it was all relevant. Please forgive the sloppiness of it. My computer is playing up.

Tracklisting (30 mins)

The Tomboys - I'd rather fight than switch
Heavenly - Cut off
The Flame - See how I smile #1
Second-Hand Furniture - Whom to choose
Red Sleeping Beauty - Rocketship
When Nalda Became Punk - Moderns you should stay home
Murder Mystery - I am (if you are)
Soda Shop - Farewell
The Blanche Hudson Weekend - Let me go
The Sugar Stems - I don't want to be around you
Evans the Death - I'm so unclean
The Cannanes - Frightening thing

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

This is your train driver speaking

Tonight after work, I'm heading to our monthly pub club (where a bunch of us go to the pub and sit there until we're kicked out). It's an Indietracks Comedown Special and it's not coming a moment too soon: round 2 of my Indietracks comedown hit me good and proper on Sunday night; that slow sorrow that lingers for ages when you realise that, come Monday morning, you become once again a bundle of worries and anxieties that are of no benefit to anyone, really, apart from The Man who wants you tied down so it can keep The System running without interruptions. Come Monday morning, the friends you long to be surrounded by will be as sad as you, and the music you love will become a sound you have to turn on to block the ugly noise coming from outside. I sound like a cheery goth, I realise that.

You see, until this year I always saw Indietracks as a superlative escape from reality, this magical thing we have that allows us to forget. But last Sunday night, on the dark train to Butterley, as we were waving goodbye to the site and wished to be allowed to live in signal boxes, that night I was filled with so much love and hope. Hope! That's it. The fact Indietracks happens at all should give us hope. Because it's not magic, not really. It's very real proof that the things we believe in are possible and utopia is a reactionary concept and can sod off. Before you hand me my laminated membership card from the Anarchist Federation I have something else to say.

Here is the thing: we have to carry on. We need to keep putting on popshows, writing songs, writing about indiepop, making fanzines, putting records out and buying them. Indietracks and popfests around the world rely upon all of us doing so. We carry each other on our backs and we shouldn't let go for fear of disappointment or fear of anything. The only thing to be afraid of is that the Tories get to us. And the anxiety of doing the stuff we care about justice is still the sweetest and most joyful because it means something, and there is true comradeship and a slight bit of madness there. Fair ticket prices, all the money going to the bands, records sold at cost price, fanzines written with passion, free songs, travelling for popshows, drunken smiles, bands on your floor - beauty in the face of adversity. Indiepop as a public service. We have to keep going.