June 16th, 2004


Inventing the Zero

The iTunes Music Store seems to have gone online in my absence. Aside from the gaping holes in the current catalogue (it seems more like shopping for CDs at an erratic local Virgin), the pricing seems a bit off. For France and Germany, the cost is €.99, whereas in the UK it's £.79. So, reasonably cheaper in Europe. Unfortunately, you can't purchase music from the mainland. Haven't Apple heard of the European Union? I can understand the legalist argument for not being able to purchase from the US at US$ prices, but I'm not convinced that that's tenable for the EU. Can't find anywhere to write a shirty email to. Have now. Won't make any difference though. That's not the attitude, young man...

Seeing Kilroy-Silk grinning back at me from the newspaper in Paris. It makes you want to abandon the country to these insular nostalgists. UKIP seem to be the BNP you can just about admit to voting for, although you'll get a very short shrift from me if you voted for them. Shrift is too polite. I can't say that I'm crazy for everything about the European Union, but I'm definitely IN rather than OUT. But I'm definitely OUT if all I have to look forward to is a nation of invertebrate curtain twitchers. Or conceivably INSIDE.

Some of you, maybe just someone, might be wondering what on earth happened to the album mooted some years ago in this journal. Well, it's finally on its way. I've abandoned the Supersized DVD jewelbox extravaganza in favour of a far simpler presentation. It will now come in a slimline CD case, but each copy is going to be handwrapped and will come with a free sew-on Autocrat patch. There'll be two launch parties. One will be taking place in The Foundry alongside an exhibition on Barry's photography and will include a live PA, we've got to confirm a date with them tomorrow. The other will take place on my birthday. That's Saturday July 24. Venue to be confirmed, but if the weather's like today, it will be here in London and outside somewhere. Smoking will be permitted.

Given the distance between the album's recording and release, the contents have altered slightly. As a taster for two forthcoming recordings, I'm including two extra tracks. One is called something like The Rain Always Makes Me Feel Wet, which is by Paul Smyth. Paul and I played in an archetypal English miserabilist band called The Bright Carvings many moons ago. He's been sending me some new songs and I've been arranging them so he can do the vocals on top. I couldn't resist doing the vocals myself though, so I'm adding this alternate version. Sounds rather Leonard Cohen via Lou Reed [I see Lou reckons that Loretta's Portland Oregon is a stonker of track too] and The Silver Jews. I'm hamming it up. The other track is Transgendered in NYC, which is based on a bit of creative mishearing and is a demo of a song from the Disco 1000 album (due December 2004). In this album, the Autocrat casts his critical gaze across the Atlantic to the Big Apple. So whereas Moscow or Tennessee is about Russia and the Soviet Union, Disco 1000 will be taking inspiration from various points of New York history. Sort of Harry meets Patti at Studio 54. Yes, there will be some disco on the album. How much? Well, that depends!