Soundtrack: Satan’s Schoolgirls

Satan schoolgirls

Satan’s Schoolgirls has a soundtrack, and I think you’ll like it! Continue reading Soundtrack: Satan’s Schoolgirls

Sunday Songs: SEXYMIX

Perhaps I should explain myself a little. 

One of the most important discussions to be had about the internet is on privacy. The ever-increasing desire for government and business to know what it is you do online is creepy and greedy in equal measure, and I believe strongly in making sure that I am in control of what information I allow out into the world.

One man’s comfort zone is another man’s straitjacket, however, and if you want to spread yourself all over Facebook then go to it. As long as you’re aware of the risks and the tools available to make sure that you’re in control, then your digital life is yours to lead, and it would be remiss of me to tell you what to do.

That argument goes the other way, of course, and I find my ghast occasionally flabbered by a minor privacy issue that gets blown up out of all proportion, particularly when it comes to the “difficulty” on switching on privacy controls. It’s a simple box-ticking exercise that takes 5 minutes. 

Back in February, celebrity doctor and statistician Ben Goldacre and Father Ted writer Graham Linehan got their panties in a pretzel over the fact that Spotify’s sharing controls were defaulted to on. One of the reasons they gave for this being a bad idea was that interested parties could see if you’d put up a playlist of songs you liked to play during sexytime. It was an idea I found laughable then, and still do. 

But it got my little brain cells working, and the very next playlist I put together was a discordant mash of death metal, tooth-gritting avant-garde and sleazy old blues numbers. Of course, I called it Sexymix.  

Graham, Ben, thanks for the inspiration. This one’s for you. 

Tuesday Tunes: The True And Complete History Of Cerise Sauvage

NewImageI like my playlists to tell a story. It’s important for them to have an ebb and flow, almost a three act structure.

Today’s playlist is the soundtrack to a short story I wrote a couple of years back. It was an attempt to write about a nemesis, a totally over-the-top, unapologetic female villain. If you haven’t read it, give it a go while listening to the playlist, which features tracks from St. Vincent, Rilo Kiley, PJ Harvey and Fever Ray.

I present the True And Complete History Of The Harlot, Seditionary and Murderess Cerise Sauvage.

Cerise Sauvage: A History

(The pic is Cherry Bomb by DeviantArt user LekiLuv. Check out the fullsize pic here.)

The Saturday Tracks: Dead In Love

I wanted to try something a little different, in the interests of sharing my broad musical tastes with all-a-y’all. If nothing else, it’ll be a way of getting some quick and dirty postings up. I’ve been lax this week. There have been reasons for this. I choose not to share them.

Continue reading The Saturday Tracks: Dead In Love

Private Dancer: On Spotify, Privacy and Celebrity “Outrage”

The concept of privacy is getting a very public airing in 2012. The Leveson Enquiry on phone hacking throws out more revelations about Sun reporters listening in on our voicemails and hacking our emails every day. Facebook changes its privacy settings once a fortnight, setting off furious barrages of text across the blogoverse about how this is the final straw and Zuckerberg = Hitler (I may have been guilty of a little of this myself). Now good old Spotify has become the latest villain of the privacy war – and this time, I’m with the bad guy.

Continue reading Private Dancer: On Spotify, Privacy and Celebrity “Outrage”

Freedom To Listen, or why ST Was Wrong To Leave Spotify

>20111119-095040.jpgA lot of hablab in the press over the past couple of weeks about artists leaving Spotify. Coldplay (no tears shed there) and Tom Waits (wail of dispair) both denied the service new albums, citing the old saw of wanting people to listen to the works as a whole. We’ve seen through that one for a while. Both records are available on iTunes for you to buy as little or as much as you want.

Continue reading Freedom To Listen, or why ST Was Wrong To Leave Spotify

Free Fallin’ – Spotify And The End Of The Free Era


Spotify changed my life. I listen to more music now, from a wider range of artists than at any other point in my life. Everything from brand new releases to obscure back catalogue jazz and spookytronica, Norwegian death metal to Arvo Part. I even use it to play my iTunes library – the clean, simple interface is quicker to load and easier to use than Apple’s own bloated monster. I’m not alone. Over a million people across Europe use the service. It’s a serious alternative to piracy, and one that puts a pay-to-play model in place that is of direct (if, as some would have it, limited) benefit to the artists.

But clearly, Spotify need to expand. America is the place to be for this expansion, and in order to do that Spotify needs to play nice with the big American labels. This is always a bad move. The big American labels think nice is a type of biscuit. Compromises have had to be made, and Spotify have ended up honking off a significant chunk of their core audience – the listeners that use Spotify Free, the ad-supported service.

Continue reading Free Fallin’ – Spotify And The End Of The Free Era