you don’t want to bring the arms house


My arm is proper fucked up, so consider this something of an intermission.

While I figure out what to do about that, some short posts with audio will be the order of the day.

I did a talk at the Audio Poverty conference about blogging, fanzines, music journalism and occulture:

It’s sans powerpoint but I think it works pretty great.

You can also download the audio file from here.

EDIT: here is the text from the programme which includes the questions I asked myself at the end…

Misadventures in music blogging: dub journalism or amateur ranting?

I have been running my since January 2003, which generally covers topics such as reggae soundsystems, the UK MC tradition (from fast chat to grime), life in the London Borough of Hackney and whatever is on my mind.

In this presentation I will trace the origins of his blogging style in the fanzine and mail art networks of the 1980s and 90s (and in a poem about a mouse he wrote at school which he is still slightly embarrassed about). I will contrast this with the established styles of formal music journalism and attempt to show the advantages and disadvantages of being a 39 year old balding white guy writing about reggae and grime.

The trajectory of a particular corner of the music blogosphere will also be examined.

Questions posed and answered will include:

  1. What is there left to write about in an era of information overload?
  2. Where is your audience?
  3. Why is it that every time someone apologises for not updating their blog there’s a fairy someplace that falls down dead?
  4. How is a well constructed sentence better than an mp3 file?
  5. When is it time to give up?

Whilst doing this I will also unveil the occult secrets of good blogging and explain why bloggers have the power to save or destroy the music industry.


  1. That’s shitty man, hope you work out how to deal with it soon. We’re missing you John.

    A mate of mine tried to use that thing where you speak into a mic and it types it up for you. He found it a little hard to use but I guess it could be worth a try ..

  2. Hi John. Sorry to hear that. Can be pretty depressing alright. I saw you linked to my RSI blog, glad you found it useful. I’ve had rsi for 7 or 8 years now and it never really goes away but I do get the better of it a lot of the time. For me what really makes the difference is the times when I manage to keep my exercises up, that’s when I really get on top of it. Well that’s taking it as a given that I’m taking proper breaks and have a good ergonomic setup and all that good stuff. Have you bought any books yet? Really helps to get a good medical understanding, and they drive home the important factrs to recovery. I’d recommend “It’s not carpal tunnel syndrome” and/or “Dr Casparellis compelte guide to repetitive strain injury”.

  3. Trust you’re feeling a bit better soon. Fortunately I’ve never experienced it, but what a drag! As others have said, if you can’t blog more soon it will have to be trips to see you, or I’ll have withdrawl from your usual blog quota syndrome!

  4. First of all get well soon mate, must be so frustrating if you have a load on your mind that you want to share with the world.

    Thanks for the lecture John, this was pretty motivating, made me think about my direction as a whole. Sadly im stuck with this silly Butterz name for life, I wish I thought about the name properly rather then just taking a word we where using all the time and writing about Grime.

    I wish I started blogging in 2004. My english would of been more badder (joke), but I would of been able to document some of the great stuff I saw/was apart of in early stages of the Grime Scene. Who knows what opportunities may arise as a result of my work on the blogspot, doubt it would end up as a columnist writing for any mainstream paper though.

    I am definitely going to stop apologizing for not posting much, the blog isn’t a news feed and I am proud about with most of my posts I have created the content thats there, as opposed to just being reactive to what is going on in the scene.

    Im FOR destroying the music INDUSTRY by the way. It needs to start again! Its all gone wrong!
    Your a 39 year old white guy, im a 21 year old black guy and we enjoy the same music. I think that is a wonderful thing.

  5. Just a note from a long time lurker to say really enjoyed yr spiel and bare-faced honesty, refreshing. A lot of to think about especially in regards to real motivation behind blogging (making it more than cock fights in the comments box and blind links to You Tube)… not too hot on Mr Reynolds but nevertheless a good point about the jump from print to blogging. I raise a glass of tequila flavoured beer to you and sorry to hear about the RSI.

  6. thanks everyone, what a great bunch of people check this thing out… 🙂

    I am slowly on the mend but don’t want to push it too much… so this will be brief. I am off to drink some beer and listen to Mad Cobra.

    I genuinely appreciated your good thoughts, it counts for a lot and spurs me on to get my shit together. Thanks all!


Comments are closed.