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Posted: October 7th, 2007, by JGRAM

I’m kinda sad to report that most of my 2007 has been consumed with work woes and issues. At the beginning of the year I finally qualified as a fully blown certified accountant after too many years of study taking up too much of my “leisure” time. Anyhow, it proved quite the poison challis and re-iterated just how over qualified I was for my role at Buggles’s gaff despite it being something of my dream job. After much searching and truly painful dealings with swine and shysters posing as employment agencies who in reality barely has a brain cell between them (and evidently NOT the first idea about the industry I work in) I have landed another very good job in the music industry following failed applications (and interviews) at places such as the BBC, Wall Of Sound Records etc etc. It is proving a really tough job though and one that I have sadly had to sign a confidentiality form/contract/disclosure/document. On the flipside I never had to sign any such document when I worked for Buggles at the studio and there is some true scandal waiting to be uncovered by someone at that place. I truly miss working with many of the people there though, such as the former Big Brother South Africa contestant, the ex-Irish girl band member, the old Quentin Tarantino PA etc etc

So……my experiences of the music industry are never ceasing to surprise or illuminate, continuing to do so on an almost daily basis. I often feel disgust and disillusion at just how odious the whole process and profession is – firstly you ain’t accomplish shit without management to brown nose on your behalf. I have seen silly amounts of money thrown at some really third and fourth rate bands which is verging on soul destroying. Comparing what I see now to my previous life with Gringo, how on earth was a professional label able to come in and sign Hirameka without doing nish on the publishing side? Publishing by the way is money for old rope! The majority of acts seldom recoup advances so I have seen the future and it is – no advances! Message me offline and I will tell you a horrible tale of one of the biggest cowboys in the industry doing just that. And the dude looks like Danny Devito. Odious!

As a result of moving in these circles this week has seen me shaking my head to gigs by Incubus, the Dandy Warhols and the Happy Mondays pushing me back towards Shellac, Fugazi, Nirvana etc records more than ever.

Good gigs though! I am VERY excited about the Les Savy Fav in a couple of weeks, their new record does not fail to disappoint. Part of my thinks their return has been spurned on by the justified success of their friends The Hold Steady being flavour of the month, an OK band made amazing through thick layers of personality and a sense of genuine gratitude.

Devo take the honour of gig of the year at the Shepherd’s Bush Empire and are probably in the running for my all time favourite show. My God, for podgy old men in radiation suits there sure was a lot of energy, enthusiasm and excellence on show that night with every song a hit/classic. Which I have to say cannot be said for Sonic Youth doing Daydream Nation at the Roundhouse which left me with a resounding feeling of “meh”, which is something I would never have dreamt. And in recent weeks LITE from Japan really showed me a good time. I have also rediscovered hardcore after being enthused by the documentary movie American Hardcore and I currently love the band Coke Bust.

Movie wise I have enjoyed very few lately and avoided many films that I would have previously run to enthusiastically. The Simpsons Movie was only OK (it spread itself too thinly) but I am very excited about going to see Fay Grim (the sequel to Henry Fool) at the London Film Festival at the end of the month.

TV has been astonishingly good this year. Without doubt The Sopranos has solidified its place as the greatest TV drama of all time with some of the strongest episodes in the entire show’s existence, proving truly affecting especially in the genuinely jawdropping final four which performed the unthinkable and broached some real taboo subjects. Running in parallel I finally discovered The Wire as an equally well written and performed series, now four seasons old with an ensemble cast to die for and perhaps the smoothest villan in history in Stringer Bell. The show feels like an education in the most entertaining way, one from you come away feeling more intelligent. And finally the Sarah Silverman Program has made me laugh more than anything in recent memory. I question how she is able to put her “sick” humour on screen in such stifling times but I am thankful she has in these times of a real lack of humour in the world it seems.

The new Trapped In The Closet chapters (complete with Will Oldham cameo) despite now proving somewhat knowing totally delivered with the introduction of a ridiculous amount of ridiculous characters.

I have been to the theatre! I went to see the Bill Hicks Slight Return for the third time in as many years last Friday and it still rocks my world. A few weeks prior to that I caught Warren Mitchell (Alf Garnett) in Colchester performing the play Visiting Mr Green and it felt a true privilige to see an 81 year old legend in performance. And on my birthday I finally got to see Avenue Q which was as glorious as I was imagining it would be.

Comedy rocks! Seeing the David Cross residence at the 100 Club was a genuine treat, Eugene Mirman is a big Russian bear of comedy and is currently appearing in Flight Of The Conchords – something I can’t make my mind up on. And Josie Long just continues to get funnier and funnier while my friends Pappy’s Fun Club have returned from the Edinburgh Festival with resounding success and Robin Ince’s Myspace blog remains one of the funniest reads online.

The closure of Fopp (especially the Tottenham Court Road store) has hit me hard.

I continue to try and get my book done. The first edit was put into a printable template of 387 pages back around June but I decided to make a few additional edits and the manuscript has remained in limbo since but I have to draw a line under it soon and get the thing put out otherwise it will never get done. In the meantime I am tentatively working on four other writing ideas to varying degrees of success, a number of which I am sure will fall to the wayside. Hopefully the Douglas Coupland reading at the Bloomsbury Theatre this week will prove inspiring.

I want a new dog but I have no room in my flat.

The Danny Baker podcasts have proved a real surprise highlight of my summer, getting my through many commutes to London and the recent football shows are some of the best podcasts on the internet.

Somehow I remain really enjoying listening to daytime Radio One at work despite walls of shitty “indie” guitar bands easily being eclipsed by pop and mainstream electronic music sounding REALLY savvy and even experimental in comparison. Nowhere will you hear a better song this year than “Police On My Back” by Lethal Bizzle

My apparent fetish for High School Musical apparently has no ends (according to my ex-work colleagues).

American Apparel clothing has really gone downhill.

Eating out is all about dim sum.

I love London more than ever.

I need a holiday.


JGram, friend of the stars, chartered accountant and pie enthusiast, likes nothing better than KICKING YOUR SKINNY ASS by way of a carefully-timed half-nelson followed by the CLOTHES LINE! OW! So never, never cross him. His dog Snowy is equally rockhard and will bite your lim bs off in the blink of an eye. And then paw your eyes out for blinking when he's biting you.

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