Tuesday, November 14, 2006

By the Sea

I've been in Whitley Bay for the weekend seeing family, and, last night, at Sage Gateshead, Herbie Hancock, which was a remarkably good three hour set including classics such as "Watermelon Man" and "Chameleon." I didn't know what to expect, having never been to a jazz "gig" before, but the musicianship - they were just a four piece - Herbie's crowd friendly banter, and a smattering of great songs that I knew showed how to do it. So this year, I've seen Public Enemy, George Clinton and Herbie, its like an all time soul hall of fame all to myself. Otherwise, I've still been recovering from pernicious bug, and though I'm now better, its like I'm now recovering from the convalescence. Take it easy, chicken, in other words. I've begun reading Martin Amis's "House of Meetings." Whilst his last novel "Yellow Dog" was a good book, sometimes shockingly written, the writing here is so far exemplary - I'd go so far as to say, the best he's done. Too early to say if the book lives up to the prose but its a promising start. And a promising start was all I managed in National Write a Novel Month or whatever its called, derailed, by sickness after 2000 words or so. Good luck to those, like the Manchizzle, who are continuing. For what its worth, I found the bit I did do, a little liberating, piling words on words rather than some higher purpose, and, if nothing else, I've the start of a new piece. In the week I gave a presentation to a number of artists/creatives we had at a drop in event with lots of other arts support agencies. "Ten ways for a creative to go digital" or some such thing. Get a Myspace, write a blog, buy a digital camera, start selling on eBay, investigate Creative Commons, post a video to YouTube, tag everything, use Adwords, set up a remote office and publish on demand. I've only done 4 out of 10 myself, but you get the idea...

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