Date archives for February, 2014

February 16th, 2014
Blog Entry


I’m a bit late to the Miguel party. He’s been around for about eight or ten years or so, but he first came to my attention a couple of years ago with “Many Times”, a pretty dirty collaboration with the dependably grotty Esthero. Then last year I found out about his album Kaleidoscope Dream, and listened to it an awful lot.

Have you ever felt alone?
Do you still believe in love?
But do you like drugs?

So go the most memorable lines on an album full of them. Miguel doesn’t take himself too seriously, so you get songs asking whether you like drugs, or how many drinks it would take you to leave with him. Listening to the album is like Miguel chatting you up, then having an aside while he wonders to himself who got there before he did.

An album full of good music and peppered with humour, it’s really worth a listen. There’s a deluxe version with two alternate versions of Adorn (admittedly the best song on the album) and a remix of that song about drugs I mentioned, but it’s more for fans and completionists, really.

Miguel – “Do You” on Soundcloud

February 4th, 2014
Blog Entry

Lanterns on the Lake

My first listen to Lanterns on the Lake was back in late 2011 (or that’s when I first scrobbled them, anyway) but I’ve been listening to them a lot more recently. In January of this year I saw them live in a church in Darmstadt for a memorable evening. So far they’ve released two albums: Gracious Tide, Take Me Home in 2011, and Until the Colours Run in late 2013.

A great album to listen to on a wet night, or if you’re feeling a bit homesick. If you’re listening through headphones there’s something unsettling, invasive almost, about the opening clicks of “Lungs Quicken”, but the rest of the album is warm and comforting, like coming home to a hot fire after being caught in the winter rain. In fact there’s quite a lot of aquatic themes and references threaded throughout, but it’s not an album borne of the beach, but of the quay or the docks, perhaps.

Musically accomplished and full of striking moments of harmony, it’s an album I’m really glad I discovered.

A much louder and more guitar-oriented album than the first, run through with interplay between vocals and electric guitar: the guitar line in “The Buffalo Days” is one of my favourite bits of music of the last few years.

Less obviously melancholic than the first album, with richer seams of colour and some really good drum and guitar work, it’s simply a very good listen.

Lanterns on the Lake – Official Website

February 2nd, 2014
Blog Entry

Celebrating 10 years of

On 13th February 2014, celebrated its 10th anniversary. What started as a dark blue site to host my music became a place of experimental blogging, then truly a “collected writings” as it evolved to capture everything I ever wrote at Nintendo Life, and later its sister sites.

Primarily for my own interest, here’s an evolution of over the last decade.

The first archive: 17th February, 2004

OK, so I had the domain from 13th February, but the site didn’t go live until a bit later. The text was a reference to that Grolsch advert, but we changed “beer” to “website”, setting a high standard of linguistic creativity that the site continually fell below.

Prosody version 0.1: 9th May 2004

This very, very blue site had everything a musician nobody had heard of could need: a guestbook, forum, biography, that sort of stuff. I think at one point the forum had around 20 members, so you can tell how big things were getting.

In January 2006 (I forgot exactly when, and Web Archive did too), I started writing at It used Pivot and had a really nice rainy blue theme with a fountain pen, if I recall.

This was the first time I felt excited about writing online.

The first “Collected Writings”: 4th June 2006

(Note: this link is actually to November 2006, just because it’s the first archive of this page that looks right)

I changed from Pivot to WordPress in June 2006, and launched the first proper “Collected Writings”. This was the first design I really loved – the top banner changed every month, and I did banners for special occasions, like this one for Tails’ 14th birthday.

This version of the blog was home to a lot of ideas, as I basically did anything I wanted. I wasn’t studying or working full-time, so I had time to write diaries for my Harvest Moon farmer; virtually cycle from Land’s End to John O’Groats using an exercise bike, Microsoft Virtual Earth and Wikipedia; do podcasts, and that sort of thing. Truly it was a golden age.

What this site means to me has changed enormously over the years. What started out as a promotional site for my ill-fated musical endeavour turned into a place I could try any idea I wanted. I created a Blog Carnival, podcasted, wrote match reports for Pro Evo 4, and loads more. It helped me develop my writing style and create a portfolio – there are over 1.25 million words here, spread across more than 7,200 published posts – and have a huge amount of fun in the process.

Since moving to Germany for work, I haven’t shown this site any attention. I’d like to change that in 2014.

Happy anniversary, URL. Thanks for everything.

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