Apr 28, 2015

From a poke to a shove: Facebook has chucked me off their site

Facebook has deleted me. They've picked my up by the scruff of my (rubber)neck and thrown me out of the number one social media party. You'll find me in the alleyway at the back door, sprawled among the bins.

The site's insistence on real name usage is a matter of public record, and it left a lot of internet noses out of joint. That policy has now locked me out of my own account.

My name is "not approved". I need to "try again".

Try again at what? I've been Fat Roland online since the 1990s, before Facebook was invented.

I'm not one for skeletons and closets, so I'm not hiding anything. Indeed, my real identity is on numerous websites. You can see my name here and here and here and here and here and here and here

But making my pseudonym my primary web identity allows a healthy distance between me and the web. It is a choice; a carefully selected choice.

It's good for my creativity and headspace. Also, I don't want to be tracked down by the bullies from my primary and secondary school days. That said, I'm not going to be a victim about this. There are transgender people, for example, who have much more legitimate beef with the 'book than I do.

Mention Facebook to many people, and they sneer like it's a piddle-stained relative they haven't quite got shot of. Part of me is glad it has gone. However, I will lose touch with people I love. And it will affect my ability to promote events for Bad Language and Blackwell's.

I don't think there will be a fast fix. In the meantime, this is what my profile looks like.

If you need me, I'll be on Twitter and maybe even Ello (!).

And if you fancy joining me in living a Facebook-less life, delete your account and we'll have un-status un-updated adventures together.

Edit: two weeks later, I got back onto Facebook. My new name is even more silly than before. And now I can never change it. Oh, Facebook.

Apr 25, 2015

Blaming my weirdness on music that happened in the 90s

Last night, with my head deep in the bowels of YouTube, I realised how much of an island I was.

YouTube is probably one of the most common ways to listen to music. That compression must really bring out the bass. Ahem.

I decided to playlist my evening with a whole bunch of 90s YouTube techno, from The Advent to Psychick Warriors Ov Gaia. I even remembered the Genaside II project which the Prodigy would apparently sample for Firestarter (although on a quick listen, I can’t hear it myself).

And then I realised that I was the only one listening to this stuff. Among my friends, that is. The ones I hang-out with month-in, month-out. I feel like I’m the only post-rave kid in town.

Everyone else is either eighties post-industrial electronic music with its awkward lip-synching chart crossovers or they’re from that post-Kid A world where computers became so ubiquitous for so many types of bands, dance music was no longer a political and musical protest against the norm.

There’s a longer article in this. I may write it for Electronic Sound.

I guess I’m just blaming my weirdness on knowing that there was a third part to Orbital’s Lush 3-1 and Lush 3-2, or that Fish & Chips wasn’t just a seaside indulgence but was one of the 90s’ most blistering acid workouts.

People need to know this stuff. It should be on the citizenship test.

What do you know about 90s dance music that makes you feel like a little island of knowledge? Leave a comment or tweet me.

Apr 20, 2015

New musical excess

Don’t be fooled into thinking that just because I no longer blog much, I no longer listen to music. I got loads of musics, mate. Pouring out of my ears, mate.

Actually, pouring into my ears. Let’s not get hoist on technicalities.

Now that I’m only four years younger than Ed Miliband, which is how most age should be measured, I’ve realised I’m surrounded by people that don’t listen to new music. They stopped with Fleetwood Mac in 1984 or with Nirvana in 1993 or with Fatman Scoop in 2001.

Instead they listen to the chiming melodies of mortgages or new-born sprogs. Meetings. Commitments. Responsibilities. Other long words.

“I wouldn’t know how to find new music these days,” they say, despite the internet providing numerous behemoths championing new bands: a far cry when it was basically a choice between a couple of inky weeklies and Top Of The Pops. “It was better in the olden days,” they spout, while cementing up their earholes and burying their head in sand.

At least, I thought so. Yet when I put this to Twitter, the reasons for missing out on new music weren't so simple.

For some, new music can be noise, and noise can be bad for mental health - or conversely, a release. It could be you're catching up on all the old new music, or you could have a time-guzzling project on the go (referring here to Friends trifle star Neil Kilham's impressive plan to listen to all 18,000 of his mp3s - in order).

While some delight in the past and simply have no problem with it at all. Which is kind of lovely.

Although if Fatman Scoop (pictured) really was the last new music you listened to, not even a bloke only four years younger than Ed Miliband can save you now. Lawks.