Category: TMI!

We’ve moved!

Suitcases packed?

Ok, let’s all go over to our new home at EGSocial.co.uk!

Adventure!!!

 

This site will be all wrapped up and packed away in the next week or so, but endaguinan.com will take you to the new place.

Last to leave turns the lights off, OK?

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The Word Magazine is dead, but… there’s over 10 GB of stuff on my computer that won’t be going anywhere

Screengrab of iTunes Playlist of tracks from Word Magazine CDsThe Word Magazine Feb 2009 - Kate BushI’m rather sad indeed that after nine years the Word is no more. The website (that I occasionally contributed to yet visited every day) will be erased from teh internets tomorrow.

I was ‘a much-valued subscriber’ for several years and I don’t believe I ever missed an issue from the outset.

Remember when it wouldn’t stop banging on about the iPod? I was totally on board with that.

Silly lists? Fine. people of some substance interviewing others of some substance? Yes, very much in tune with that.

(I very much disliked the illustrated covers but that’s an aside. I never attended a Massive Mingle either but introverts can’t be doing with that stuff – although I strongly suspect that if I had gone I would have had a wonderful time and tweeted enthusiastically about the cake.)

Stewart Lee described the magazine as the “culture primer for time-poor ageing hipsters, a midlife crisis in magazine form”. Perhaps I don’t quite qualify, but the magazine has been with me since I turned thirty and made the move from suburban Ireland to the heart of London. How else does one measure these grand scenes without examining the soundtrack?

Like many of the Word Massive, I’ve added the covermounted disc to iTunes every month. I didny keep everything from the outset, but I have 1322 tracks (or 3 days, 14 hours and 15 mins; 10.25 GB) of Word cover disc music to peruse.

Being a bit anal about iTunes metadata, I try not to duplicate tracks. So, if i subsequently acquire an album that featured a track from the Word comp, I would amend the track info so that it belonged to its parent album. I kept it in a Word playlist though.

I’ve bought a hell of a lot of albums based on Word recommendations. And some of those recommendations have become part of the My Life Soundtrack.

Have a look at the number of tracks that came from Word discs. Look at how many were subsequently converted.

(Of those that weren’t, frankly as an artist I’d die happy if I had made a track as individually wonderful as Angela McCluskey’s ‘It’s Been Done’, Kula Shaker’s ‘Fool That I Am’ or Cinematic Orchestra’s ‘To Build A Home’ – outstanding cherrypicked tracks from albums that – perhaps I’m wrong about this – couldn’t match.)

The paper has been recycled, the site will disappear but the music lives forever: thank you Word for M. Ward, Sleepy Jackson, Mew, Neko Case, Joan As Police Woman, John Grant, Cherry Ghost, She & Him, Midlake, Josh Rouse, Martha Wainwright…..

 

The Word Magazine: 2003-2012

It’s not all over! Join the Word Massive’s latest venture: The Afterword.

 + Me

iMac with Steve Jobs image on Apple website

1955-2011

When the iPod came out in 2001, it made immediate sense to me. Here was a beautiful little box the size of pack of cigarettes and it could ‘put 1,000 songs in your pocket’. I wanted 1,000 songs – and more – in my pocket.

A first-generation iPod on display at Macworld in 2002. Photograph: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I had come late to CDs, leaped enthusiastically into minidisc but when I saw this, I knew that it was the future. This gizmo was going to give me the control over my rolling Life Soundtrack more than the others could.

Alas it was crazy expensive and it wasn’t until the following year that I was given my first iPod as a gift. (The first of very many  – to date I’ve only ever bought one iPod – the original Shuffle in 2005 – my friends know me very well.)

The original Shuffle from 2005. I still have it and it still works.

In the ten years since, Apple product enrich my life hugely. From the gorgeous photo book I had printed for Andrew’s 40th; the wedding videos edited on iMovie; the mashup made on Garageband; the presentations I’ve given using Keynote; the half-remembered one-hit wonder rediscovered on iTunes; the mobility of the MacBook that let me work and live in two countries at the same time; the statsfreakery indulged as my Nano Nike+ records my runs; my book that was designed on an old Classic II; the ‘discussions’ with the university’s patient Computer Centre as I insisted on Apple stuff; to the joy of connectivity that the latest addition to the family, the iPad, brings.

Of course, the extraordinary work that went into the creation and execution of those tools can’t be credited to one person alone: they represent the talents of thousands of individuals.

But talent needs to be harnessed and directed by someone with a vision. Despite the silly Windows vs Mac ‘debates’, the marketing and the expense, Steve Jobs’ vision has made life better for me.

iThank you.

Steve Jobs 1955-2011

Worth 15 minutes of anyone’s time. ‘How To Live Before You Die’ – Jobs’ speech at Stanford in 2005

Dear punters and salespersons at Whitechapel Market, London…

Whitechapel market

“Where else can you get a box of 10 mangoes for 3 pounds?” asks Sean D in his enthusiastic review of East London’s Whitechapel Market.

This was a question I failed to consider as I chose to run through it last Thursday afternoon as part of my final training for tomorrow’s British 10K London Run.

As I weaved deftly through the hoards of those in pursuit of inexpensive mangoes, I thought only of the ticking pedometer in my bum pocket, adding milliseconds to my run time.I had already covered 4K to get this far -only two left!

I dodged; I squeezed; I zigzagged.

I f**ked up my ankle.

“Don’t run through pain”, I heard a sensible voice in my head, so I walked. I walked past the nice old Queen Mary University, and the shiny new bit, and the bit that didn’t seem familiar or that or… where the hell was I?

I attempted another little gallop and stopped just as quickly. Oh look, a familiar address, Victoria Park!

Quite how I ended up on the far side of Victoria Park was somewhat bewildering, but being without phone, money or a Boris Bike location meant I had no alternative but to hobble home.

All NINE kilometres. (I traced it on my return almost two hours later.)

9K Walk

9K Walk 5.5 miles / 8.851392 km

http://twitter.com/#!/endaguinan/status/89317652031475712

So, dear readers and sponsors, race day is tomorrow. I can just about walk again after a day of PRICE and my sexy new ankle support.

My lovely ankle brace.

I’ve trained. I was ready. You’ve given me loads of lovely sponsorship money for Tacade. I really want to do it.

Something tells me that I may have to sit this one out.

Maybe I can have a muse about some important life questions

What the flip would anyone do with 10 mangoes anyway?

Practice 10K run – what happened?

Well, we just did it…!

Only a week to go to the real thing and my friend Yusuf and I report back after our 10K practice run. We managed it in less than an hour (!)
The running over the last few weeks has obviously paid off as we manhged to do 10K but also chat along the way (and get lost, as per).

We *thought* we had run all around Victoria Park...

I’m still glowing red, but Yusuf, who is running for the Food Chain, seems remarkably unruffled.

Many thanks to all who have sponsored. We have blasted past my initial £500 target and the total is almost twice that!

mydonate.bt.com/​fundraisers/​endaguinan
More about Tacade: tacade.com

Sponsor Yusef: justgiving.com/​teamlfa
More about the Food Chain: foodchain.org.uk

Apologies: video does not contain sweaty face as promised

My god, I’ve completed a 6k run outside in less than half an hour. Amazing how the body adjusts in such a relatively short space.

Alas, the sweat (of which there was much) seems to have inhibited the part of my brain that checks things, so my usual breathless video was recorded without sound. I improvised as you see in the vid.

With two weeks to go to the run, I get a video message from Martin Buczkiewicz, Director of Tacade, the charity I’m running for.

I’m at 60% of my £500 target. Can you help? £5 or $5 or €5 would be amazing!

mydonate.bt.com/​fundraisers/​endaguinan

Stealing from Scritti Politti, or my ‘leaking’ angst

It’s been two weeks since I ‘leaked’ one of the new tracks from Scritti Politti on YouTube.

Scritti have a Best Of on the way later this month, and, thankfully, have recorded two new tracks to sweeten the deal. Prompted by an excited message on fansite Bibbly-o-Tek, I learned that Steve Wright played one of the new tracks, A Day Late And A Dollar Short, on BBC Radio 2. He cut it off 30 seconds before the end and he didn’t say what it was. Apart from that, only a handful of people had heard it.

I had the tools and the ten minutes needed to find the show on iPlayer, use Audio Hijack Pro to record it, editing out DJ banter etc, pop it into iMovie with an image of the artwork from the forthcoming best of, add some helpful text and bung it on YouTube with the label ‘rubbish quality radio rip’ for all the world to hear.

The video quickly shot to over 2,000 views and still climbing. An official version – almost identical to my cobbled together thing apart from higher quality audio (and now trailed with an ad for Lady Gaga – was posted a few days ago, but despite my linking prominently to it from mine, it’s only garnered about 400 views so far.

The stats are telling.

  • 82/18% Male/Female split overall with the vast majority of those (80%) in the 35-54 groups. But the gender split is pretty much 50:50 when we look at the admittedly small numbers of 13-17 and 18-24 year-olds.
  • Perhaps unsurprisingly, the US and UK are the biggest Scritti fans but there are healthy smatterings in Italy, Germany and France, Japan and Australia.
  • My video got significant injections of viewers from two popular blogs, So Hip It Hurts and Electronically Yours
  • It’s been shared on Facebook and Twitter. Interestingly even Rhodri Marsden, a sometimes member of the band, shared the link on Twitter.
  • And people watch/listen all the way through, which in itself is interesting.


So, Virgin, have I done you a disservice in impatiently getting the track out there? I notice that YouTube’s algorhythm’s didn’t spot that the track belonged to you (watch this fascinating TED video for more on how YouTube identify copyrighted material and what options are then available).

My rationale for being naughty? It’s a superb track. It’s probably not going to get much airplay. It’s unlikely that there will be a video or much high profile promotion. All those middle-aged blokes have probably all ordered Absolute: Best Of already.

But what about that 10% of 13-24 year olds? These kids didn’t exist when Scritti were a commercial prospect. They get their music from places like YouTube, Spotify or places on the fringes of legality.

Maybe the 200 odd of them that my video has reached will eventually result in a few realisations that here is an act that merits investigation, worth a download of the Best Of or back catalogue, a click on one of those interviews with Green in the right hand column alongside the video.

Virgin, I and others like me are doing your marketing for you. While I’m glad you haven’t shut me down, perhaps you should be doing it yourselves a little faster.

Absolute: A Collection Of Words And Music by Scritti Politti is out Feb 28th, 2011.