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These may also appear on my twitter @cleanskies or my instagram @mrsjeremyday.

August compilation: Jump the Glass

It took me a while to get round to assembling my August playlist, but in the end it finally emerged from my mess of bookmarked songs, mostly from my walking commute, a few bus journeys. The local bands resurgence continues, that slightly annoying Underworld/Iggy Pop collaboration features, a few sweet blasts from the past turn up, and there's a random classical track or two, because why not? I'm still drawing "covers" but actually creating the CDs seems a bit wasteful nowadays, so the covers just stay in their sketchpad.

Here's August's:

As ever, we have a Youtube Playlist, but this month I've been less successful at filling in the gaps, so the Red Star Cycle track (that's a local band) has none of the soaring strings that make My Body Bleeds a great track, and you have a boywithatoy remix of the Evenings (another local band) track, which is pretty good actually. Mirror of Dirt from Robot Swans (you've guessed it - another local band) is not as good as the Tao of Dirt. But here are almost all of them:

Sadly, the play-out track is not on Youtube, or if it is, I can't find it. It's Sexy Breakfast's extraordinary track Fade to White (I wouldn't recommend that you put those search terms into Youtube, incidentally) which replays a chunk of the Snowman's Walking in the Air and shoves it, protesting every which way, into a huge throbbing slab of classic Oxford Mathrock. I should really upload it myself, but that'll probably have to wait, er, till after I've built myself an easy music video creator. But fortunately I had two play-out tracks in the original playlist and Fosca's The Director's Cut is a great track, so that's fine.

The videos are uniformly missable, apart from this one:

You're welcome

July on-the-go: into the Jum Jem Gym

2018 is my year of digitising everything; no skips, no excuses. There are twelve shelves on the CD rack, and I'm going through them all. June brought O and the Oxfordbands compilations; July R, and the dubious delights of a folkttronica trio called Robot Swans. Opera, modern classical, punt-based hip-hop, this is the year of listening to it all. This summer also saw the arrivale of the machacha delights of going to the gym; spinning, rowing, chasing pulse rates, spin counts and static miles and metres. It reminded me a lot of playing pokemon, except I was both trainer and monster. There also seemed to be a sinister aspect to the gym; dysfunctional exercisers, the heavy smell of ketones and sour breath, the glances and cross-twitches of comparison, status, attraction, repulsion. So I imagined a trainer gym full of japanese scroll-painting horrors, and it seemed to fit the music.


We have fewer substitutions again this time, as I suffered a benign algorhythmic burp that alsmost seemed to generate the tracks I wanted (literally in the case of Revlon's Muscles I think!) however, you don't have quite the right boywithatoy track, the Nailbomb Cults track is a different (although just as good) slice of speed metal and I had to sub in one of the Robot Swans tracks - but not the closer, thankfully, which may be the ultimate platonic perfect folktronica plaint. I also couldn't find anything by Flooded Hallways - search ghosts suggested some deletion had occurred - but Deeq had a couple of tracks up including the Nemrot one I've included here, so that's covered. Deeq's video's a nice slice of normcore, and the Presets one is kind of dizzying, other than that you can leave it playing in the background unless you fancy dropping in for Pulp, which is accompanied by a film-studenty noirish fan video about escalators and shoplifting sunglasses.

CR ACK gallery

Woke up this morning from a dream about converting a hoarder's townhouse into a gallery. This person, played by a friend (best man Alex) but obviously not the same person, was moving out/moving on but had been something on the scene. His house was full of the fascinating crap that accretes in such places, along with quantities of filth, insects (I discretely moved my feet out of the way of some huge carpet beetles) and the usual decay. The entire bottom floor had been extended and knocked through creating what would be a decent space "but you can't see that right now as there's so much crap against the walls" I told my investor, who was here with the TV crew, because it's not really happening if there isn't a documentary.

Here's a mock-up of what the gallery would look like. The house already had a big crack down the front - and was a well-known party/hangout space for the local arts scene, informally and affectionately known as the Crack House, with that slight frisson of naughty that artsfolk like so much. The idea was to work with the crack and the dilapidation, with minimum intervention for safety and structure.

Upstairs there were two large rooms that would work for installation and performance spaces. The attic wasn't open yet, but that would provide a good project in a few year's time. It was small for a gallery, but two other problem properties, one corridor thin and the other rather larger with good-sized rooms, could potentially provide spillover space, if the deals on those properties went through (they were on streets round the corner, so there would be a little walk between the galleries).

I was pretty excited about this, as you might imagine.

Oxford in May and the Maytenders

My favorite month in Oxford is September (nothing beats that sense of indrawn breath just before the students arrive) but May comes a very close second. The green of the trees, the birds, fresh yellow sunshine on golden stone. This year in Oxford the tow paths are being widened. Each week seemed to bring a different route through the works. Some mornings I listened to the birdsong. Others I took a more parochial route, listening to the songs of my own species.

Here's what kept my feet steady in May:

This is bookended with Metronomy songs; leading with one of their last big hits (I'm Aquarius" and closing with their first ("you could easily have me"). The video for Aquarius is a silly bit of superglam sci-fi fluff; you could easily have me is a manic memeish animal-headed chase scene at least partly set in Oxford, and dates from when they were a local band who performed with cupboard lights on their chests. I was a fan, of course.

Heaven 17 and Jessica 6 provide robotish glamour with that faintly disturbing quasi-fascist edge some high 80s style had. I found a nice performance of Mess Around with an old Ray Charles whooping is up grand style, though the version I favourited was just the one from the calpol ad. McDull (the weird Japanese interlude) was a cult children's animation of some note; I got a CD of it in a pile of library chuck-outs. The songs are weirdly hypnotic. Boys Noize and Negativland bring the politics this time - be sure to watch the videos of Yellow, Black and Rectangular for classic nucleur paranoia and Mayday for surveillance state panic.

Van Demons Allotment

I've been feeling a bit down this month, of what source I don't know. Obviously the denture is bugging me, and I got a bit ill, and I've been feeling the cold (although, as my mum reminded me, it's obviously got quite cold again) and there's a sense at work of a changing of the guard, what with my boss leaving, and a whole bunch of other people leaving, and me feeling like what I'm doing isn't exactly gripping me any more, or isn't quite in the place of what's happening that I need to be operating in any more. I need to not parlay this into leaving though; if I leave near learning I theoretically have to pay back tuition. So for the next 18 months to a year I'm doing what I'm doing, whatever it is that I'm doing. But I feel like I need something new.

So, the allotment. It turned up on the Yammer at work, in the manner of these things, just as I was fretting about a bunch of squash seedlings I'd just germinated and didn't have space for, and a blueberry bush that has outgrown my garden, wondering if anyone with an allotment might want to take them. Instead I took an allotment. It's on Van Dieman's lane, a tiny interstitial residential plot-set of about fifteen plots backing onto gardens with plumbed in water-troughs to fill your watering can (speaking of which, I need a galvanised watering can I can paint DAY on in rough red letters, where do I get one of those? Ebay?)

It's been a bit neglected for a few years, and it does need a bit of work. But the allotment sheds contain communal strimmers and a mower to get things started, and above all, it's a good plot. The previous occupants had left down a bit of weed supressor and the soil underneath was lovely stuff. Here it is:

There's a load of crap in there; paving stones, a sort of compost-y thing, some herb bushes. Discoveries await! Not tonight though because it's bloody freezing.
As for January, you have a few of my running tracks in the mix, but not till the speed-up at the end. There are a couple of great videos to get you started - first up Joe Goddard being all gooey in a kebab, and then Massive Attack doing their total unconcern thing - this time in the face of people breaking into their apartment with chainsaws. We have a couple of weird vintage items - Nik Kershaw's moderately successful single Dancing Girls with its VERY 80s video, and Lowgold's Beauty Dies Young, whose eye-popping video in its day (early 00s) was famed for its utter incomprehensibility and mismatch with song. Live shows this time are a vintage Bowie and some semi-pro live recordings of amazing new Natalie Sharp (Wrangler, Tuung, Benge) project Lone Taxidermist. In a category all of its own is David McCallum's Communication, from his Man from UNCLE spin-off music release "Open Channel D". My substitutions this month come from bands I know, suggesting I should spend some time uploading, but eh... it's not my music. So instead of KaitO's Bow Wow you have Shoot Shoot (also great) and Linus's Way on Down has morphed into the lovely Lovers of London. There is a tiny snippet of lum col con pix (experimental turntable serialism) instead of the full track on the original mix. It is a tuneful one, by lum col con pix standards, but this is probably best for a Youtube mix. I found a fan video of "I wish I was a polar bear" that's just footage of Polar Bears, but otherwise most of the end tracks you can just leave playing in the background - there's occasional pretty visuals, but nothing worth coming off tab for. Good luck staying still to the Skrillex/Nero track though - it's an everything accelerator.

Hourly Comics Day 2018

So, yes, Hourly Comics Day. It was a wee bit of a busy day for me, so I apologise in advance for the chaotic nature of the art. Oh bloody hell, livejournal, really??? Reverse order!!!!????

OK, let me just fix that....

Right, fixed. So, obviously I didn't ink anything, this is rough pencils. I've gone over it today where things were illegible or so badly spelled to be incomprehensible. Oh, and the final page, because I ran out of blank paper for that one and drew on the back of an old print-out and of course you need the pencil to be quite hard over that or the scanner sees the pencil and the printer ink through the paper as the same tone, making the post-process very hard. Equally obviously there were points in the day where I wasn't in a position to draw (the three hour meeting, e.g.) so some of the drawing was done in bunches. But it was all completed on the day - as my triumphant twitter post demonstrates. You've got a bigger picture on click, and there are some footnotes between pages to help out artfail/clear up ambiguities/make it clear that I'm a colossal Squirrel Girl fan.

Footnote break alert! I'm going to have a bath, then finish them later tonight.


I wasn't very clear about what a Butler Brush is.


That wasn't a great picture of our bread bin.


Read my review of Sweet Charity here, and check out Rich Man's Frug here.


That wasn't a great picture of my hanging basket - I got the handle wrong!! It's one of the stove top kettles I wrecked by boiling dry before I got over the whole stove top kettle thing. Caraway Beef is a thing.


Paul's bizarre and lovely floating led circles are part of our new huge commercial/entertainment space, The Westgate. I only have to alter my walk to work a tiny bit to swing by it. The Keep Cup test is how the baristas respond when you hand them a keep cup. Paul's made me an excellent cup of coffee and then asked me if I wanted them to put the lid on if I'd rather do it myself, which is a pass with flying colours.


This is a terrible picture of my cake-enthusiast colleague, and doesn't really do justice to the cake either.


That WTF moment should be familiar to anyone who's ever managed a website. I've just discovered that a database is not acting as expected, an hour before I'm due in a meeting twenty minutes away. Catch my earworm here.


Never seen a restorative window before? Knock yourself out, but keep it restorative!


My top actually has decorative lions and tigers on it, not weird squiggles.


Any wireless access which requires log-on via a web gateway is a colossal pain in the arse, even if you're not using a secure tunnel system plus a variety of secure long-on to web delivered systems locked to IP, which we are.


Very understated menstruation scene for an autobiographical comic.


I'm not working late (remember how late I got in) I'm working flexibly. I'm probably the only person in the world who calls work experience students WEx students. I did get through to him on the phone in the end. Eventually.


Here's the take me to the mountains lobster, over on @mrsjeremyday's instagram. I liked the paperchase own brand flexi fabric bound A5 blank pads, but those have been discontinued. What will I do my page-a-day in now?


We're doing Couch to 5K, in case that wasn't clear. Also: What could be better, than fighting fire with you?


In case you missed A Game of Crows.


They're actually called Chocolate Gemstones. Oh, and did you miss phenomenally stupid phone game Kleptocats?


I am wearing a Future of the Left t-shirt. Ooh look, the cat of the day calendar is still available. Tearevv is the Manchester tea blender. Ooh, valentine blends.


Photograph of the warring cats.
So, a sweet and farewell to 2018 and here's my last on-the-go-comp of the year. You have, I am sorry, a quantity of substitutions in December's playlist. But there are also some must-watches (including one of the subs) so that's OK. First up, bloody hell Fader (Benge's new project) just one track available to UK audiences? So I'm starting you on the wrong foot. You should be listening to A Trip to the Coast. Instead you have first light, which is still good, however. Hannah Peel, similarly won't let anyone in the UK watch Nailhouse II on Youtube. You have Harbour, which at least puts the sea back into the playlist. Lizzo isn't going to let anyone see Go in the UK - but my substitute (Humanize) is one of the three must-watch videos on the playlist (the others are Los Ageless by St Vincent and Nancy Drew by Sløtface). I'll also grumble at Autobahn, but only mildly as to be honest there's not a lot of difference between Vessel and Society. The mix ends with not one, but two torchsongs, because it's Christmas/the New Year, let's push the boat out. One is a second track by St Vincent, and she's playing it live, wearing latex arm warmers and playing a neon yellow guitar. The other has some crazy dance moves!

The title of the playlist may be based on the "I regret nothing but my regrets" quote by oh who honstly knows, but takes a different position, morally. I may regret many things - but I certainly regret my regrets.

In officially annoying news, he last itunes update broke burning playlists to discs. I don't know, I'm not sure why I'm carrying on doing it to be honest. It's a hack that makes me create a visually interesting artefact every month, but it seems a bit wasteful. Maybe 2017 should be my last.