Aug 18, 2010


This is my 467th post on To mark this, um, momentous occasion, I thought I would waffle about my blogging process and, basically, why I am here.

I fell into blogging when I stumbled upon James And The Blue Cat using the 'Next Blog' button nestled away uninvitingly at the top of the screen. "Aha, a writer!" I declared, and promptly set up my own site.

The first post was in November 2004 (although I had run a separate website since the memorable date 02/02/02, which was later combined with the blog) and warned the reader to "expect blogs from me. Because this is a blog. And not a dry cleaners. I will not leave dry cleaning stains on your silk shirts, but I will leave blogs."

My blog used to be unfocussed, with thoughts on the Old Testament, wayward local youths and a large smattering of music musings. Back then, you can still see strains of my dark weirdness that regularly smears my blog these days:

- Chiquita safetyadvil law biology: spam as poetry

- Oh puppies, why do you live (my thoughts on the demise of Top Of The Pops)

- My paeon to Boards Of Canada, It's the snot that makes it seem so familiar.

I turned up the volume round here when I realised I needed to progress the blog or give it up. On New Year's Day 2009, I wrote a preview post that, in a way, was a manifesto of what this blog was about. I went on to post three times as much, a level I have kept up ever since.

But this blog will never be a definitive guide to electronic music. It will never be a go-to place for people looking for authority or news or mp3s of Warp, Rephlex and the like. The most common comment I get about it is "I don't understand your blog, but I like reading it because it's funny". Hardly Wikipedia, huh?

When this blog does become the "go to" place for electronica-heads, it's only by accident, such as the Autechre album that was leaked in a comments section and pounced upon by a couple of thousand salivating fans. Have I capitalised on that traffic rush? Have I heck.

Still, I often wake up an hour early to get some 'blog time', which could mean writing a whole piece, researching, or editing something I knocked together a few days ago. Some posts come easy, others are like pulling a Christmas tree out of a cat's backside.

I have this strange spontanaeity (Christmas tree?! Cat's backside?!) within me, this vivid imagination that eats away at my synapses and can cause me to be depressed if left unchecked. I think this is why I blog: I need to have that release valve.

It's probably why people see me as the quick wit in social situations. I don't see that necessarily as a positive attribute: it's more of a survival mechanism. Humour is sharp and blunt and is the quickest way for me to hammer out the strangeness within. I am, underneath it all, a quite deeply sad person: making people laugh is the best form of defence against and connection with the outer world.

Anton Vowl explains it well in his great piece about blogging:
"I see a blog entry as like those things they put in Chekhov's ear in Wrath of Khan. It's there, the idea in your head, growing in your brain, getting bigger and bigger, and all you want to do is just get it out before it drives you insane."
It's also, as Anton says, the immediacy of the process. At the age of 17, I became a journalist. I learned to need that instant gratification of perfect first drafts and quick publishing. It's why I'm also playing around with performance ideas and will probably, silently, without announcement, try stand-up comedy again. My non-existent novel can wait.

There are 32 drafts on my Blogger dashboard. Maybe three will become blog posts. I will ditch my 'acid August' idea (a look at acid music throughout the month) because it's too late. My films of 2010 post will come, but not for a few months. And there are loads of half-written reviews of people like Caribou, Actress and Squarepusher.

This post? Written in one go, deliberately unedited, and published.... NOW. *clicks*


9/10ths Full of Penguins said...

Happy 467th!

This means that your blog is one post younger than Dracula is old.

Work that one out...

Fat Roland said...

Fangs for that analysis.



JPM said...

This thing about being a journalist and 'perfect first drafts'. Tell me more about that?

I thought being a journalist was about having your stories about tedious suburbs subbed into oblivion so they could pass themselves off as news and therefore avoid the ignominy of being spiked with the cutting remark 'what's this b@ll@cks?' [(c) the late great Brian Wood)

I know. I was that sub-editor...

Fat Roland said...

I once had an author tell me I'd never write a book because I don't know the concept of continuous editing: journalism is immediate and throwaway. I grabbed her book and immediately threw it away.

Every time - EVERY time - I write something crap, I hear Brian's voice in my head. His legacy is annoying but useful.