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top noises of 2011

30 Dec

mark e. smith and azealia banks in a swear-off.

fugazi and wu-tang in a dance-off

and all bets are off – pj still rules britannia.

that’s right: it’s time for my favourite 5 songs, albums and re-issues of 2011.

a happy, noisy new year to you all!

 

 

 

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middle eight: top noises of 2011 so far

12 Jul

your half-time report. guitar solo optional

pj makes england her own.

the beasties make some noise.

and mogwai make me dance on the ceiling.

that’s right, it’s time for my biased account of the best songs and albums of 2011 so far.

PLAY LOUD.

the revolution will be downloaded

23 Jun

the new and improved ether books app has arrived…

i’m not sure if i’ve ever mentioned ether books to you before but-

oh, silly me, i nearly forgot; i’ve rambled on about ether’s pure brilliance here, here, and performed an award-winning* dramatic performance about it here.

but it’s time for me to rave about ether once again, because from today you** can download the new, improved, all singing, all dancing*** ether iphone app v1.4.

since i last wrote about the fantastic work ether are doing to push the short story into the smartphone age, they’ve massively picked up momentum. almost every day now, ether books’ facebook page and twitter feed raves about new releases; more talented writers are joining ether every day, many of whom are well-established award-winners who often offer their stories for free. because they’re nice like that. not because they’re rubbish at writing and can barely give it away.  and, as i’ve said before, i’m proud to have had two stories published by ether books so far (‘i think the sun is shining’ and ‘bcc:’, both frankly brilliant and yours, here),  largely because i’m amongst such fine company.

…so download the revolution

if for some reason you’ve got an iphone and evaded ether’s charms so far, now is the time to get involved. ether’s iphone app has always been a winner – easy to use, good-looking and a joy to read from – but v1.4 is even better. it looks smarter, it’s more intuitive, plus it’s, like, as down with the kids in this social media age as it should be: now, you can not only follow the authors you fall in love with, as well as link to their own sites / blogs, but also rave about their brilliance by sharing links to their stories via the facebooks, the twitters or good ol’ email. ether has always been great at offering affordable quick reads on the go, but this new functionality means you can now recommend your new discoveries in an instant. as a result, you will inevitably become more popular, and your new friends will think you’re ever so cultured and, like, literary, because you’ve recommended they read some writing and stuff.****

anyway, ether themselves talk far more convincingly – and professionally – about the benefits of v1.4 here and here.

this new world of mobile reading isn’t going to fade away – the rise of the mighty kindle has proved that – and ether will have more to offer as time goes on. this week they announced that, as well as short stories, essays and serials, you can also download weekly columns by well-established writers and journalists via the ether app. plus ether will, sooner rather than later, be available on android and blackberry too. the ether universe is expanding. so come on, get involved. before everyone starts laughing at you more than they already do. sorry. shouldn’t have mentioned that. it’s nothing, honest.

oh, one more thing:

“thanks for this wonderfully written pr stunt, daaan,” i hear you say. “but what’s in it for you?”

nothing. i just do these things out of pure love.

but – oh – incidentally, i do have another story scheduled to be published by ether very soon indeed. it’s called ‘disney’s dream debased’, and originally appeared in a short story collection i contributed to, pop fiction: stories inspired by songs. it’s an essential purchase for everyone in the world who:

a) owns an iphone

b) likes my writing but

c) failed to buy pop fiction when it came out, despite my incessant pleading

d) thinks “£7.99 for a book? bugger that, i’ll spend 59p on just one of the stories instead. that’s a reasonable price”.

there must be one of you out there…so please buy it when it comes out. fret not – i’ll let you know.

so. what now? well, first, i’d recommend grabbing your iphone and downloading the ether app v1.4. even if you’ve been kind enough to listen to me in the past and get involved, you’ll need to update the application to get the best out of what ether has to offer.

and, once you’ve got your app, marvelled at its beauty and immersed yourself in a world of fantastic fiction…get voting. that’s right – the sunday times is looking for the best apps out there, and i reckon ether deserves your vote. it’s either that or angry birds, but frankly i’d plump for the app that doesn’t make you scream like a child and drive you towards murderous thoughts every time you play it.*****

* ‘best iphone app-pimping whilst eating confectionary performance’ category, the idiot awards, 2011.

** when i say ‘you’, i mean ‘you, if you’ve got an iphone’. we’ve already discussed what you need to do if you don’t own one. seriously, sort it out. it’s getting embarrassing.

*** nb. ether app v1.4 does not sing or dance. but v1.5 presumably will.

**** this cannot be proven and yet remains a fact.

***** i am not addicted. it is just a game. it is just a game. it’s just a bloody game and i will destroy those pigs or die trying. ahem. sorry.

ether books v chocolate

22 Apr

a video i made to help promote the awesome ether books iphone app.

get your free app from http://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/id362070951?mt=8
more info at www.etherbooks.co.uk
download my stories by searching for daniel lewis under the author tab.

thanks!

when something great is gone

5 Apr

in praise of lcd soundsystem’s final and finest moments

madison square garden, 2nd april 2011

i was there.

just as the narrator of ‘losing my edge’ was there – at the first suicide practices in a loft in NYC, and the first can shows in cologne – i was there on saturday night to witness lcd soundsystem’s last ever show…

read more here.

the best 59p you’ll ever spend?

1 Mar

‘i think the sun is shining’ now available from ether books!

what can you buy for 59p these days?

not a lot.

you can’t even buy a decent chocolate bar. i should know. i hadn’t had a lion bar in years, and felt the urge to buy one the other day. crack it open and pretend it was roaring like a real lion. y’know, like in the ’90’s advert. no? oh…anyway. it cost 65p. and it was rubbish. i think it was a fake.

look, the point is, it’s difficult to find something worth roaring about for 59p these days.

however…

i’ve recently had one of my stories, ‘i think the sun is shining’ published by ether books.

ether books publish short stories specifically for the iphone / ipad, so you can read whilst you’re on the move. the thinking behind the ether app is that short stories are the perfect length to keep a reader occupied by their phone whilst they’re out and about / waiting for a train / standing in the corner on their own at a party and pretending they’re really busy reading important emails.

it’s a great app, and is likely to become more popular as time goes on – especially once it’s available on other smart phones and blackberry.

i’m really chuffed to have been accepted for publication by ether – the app has secured loads of publicity, and plenty of respected writers have made their stories available for download. i’m therefore now listed alongside some really well established authors who are also on ether, such as toby litt, hilary mantel and, er, paul mccartney.

the app is free and available here from itunes.
once you’ve downloaded the app, i’d be hugely appreciative if you could bring yourself to part with 59p for ‘i think the sun is shining’ (plus there’ll be more to come, so don’t be surprised if i ask for more of your cash soon).

aside from my fine self, there are many of up-and-coming authors to choose from, some of whose stories are free. much as it pains me to recommend anyone else apart from myself…rebecca emin, adam marek, lane ashfeldt and denise kirkby are all great authors who seem to be really benefitting from their association with ether books.

if you’re a writer, you can submit to ether, and the process is really painless…not least because their social media queen, bea moyes, is endlessly helpful and enthusiastic about ether books’ writers.

go on. you may even earn yourself a few pence.

but, before you go submitting your masterpiece, may i recommend you download my story? it may be the best thing i’ve yet written (not necessarily an achievement). it’ll make you laugh, it’ll make you cry, it’ll stop you looking sad and alone in the corner at that party.

what else can you buy these days for 59p that’ll fill you with so much joy?

please, on second thoughts, don’t answer that.

#keepingitpeel Podcast Special : The Fall (via #KeepingItPeel)

19 Feb

pure brilliance.
worth it for john peel’s compiled fall announcements alone…

#keepingitpeel Podcast Special : The Fall This edition of the #keepingitpeel podcast is a special edition featuring just the one artist. A group that John Peel had great admiration for: The Fall This band recorded more Peel Sessions than any other. A total of 24 between 1978 to 2004. All of these sessions were collected and released on a 6 CD compilation. This special edition podcast just scratches the surface of their output, an edited highlights of only a small part of their history. T … Read More

via #KeepingItPeel

why you need what you need…

16 Feb

this nation’s saving grace (omnibus edition) – the fall

in praise of mark e. smith’s finest hour

give the fall a chance. right here, right now, in the company of the seminal this nation’s saving grace. i’ve even provided the original album tracklist for your listening pleasure. c’mon, click here.

top noises of 2010 – reprise

10 Jan

to read my top 5’s from 2010 (songs, albums, and now – in this expanded, remastered, deluxe edition – with added re-issues), please click here.

yes, i know it’s 2011. i’ve been busy. y’know, listening to music and stuff.

arvon. and on…

5 Jan

a terrible pun, i know. blame lack of sleep.

was i up late last night being a total rock god? no, of course not. i was putting the finishing touches to my application for the 2011 jerwood / arvon mentoring scheme. i’d invite you to apply too but, unless you have the time to read the rules, write a 1,000 word statement and biography and hand-deliver your application to the free word centre in farringdon by 5pm tomorrow…you’re too late. sorry about that. for what it’s worth, i left everything to the last minute, and only just posted mine off in time. i probably missed something important out. like my contact details.

it’s a great oparvon foundation course toolsportunity – three fiction writers, three playwrights and three poets chosen from applicants will receive guidance and support over the next year from established writers, plus the prize includes two separate weeks at arvon foundation courses, where work-in-progress can be developed.

the reason i’m mentioning the scheme here is that, when writing my application statement, i found myself thinking fondly of the week i spent on an arvon foundation course last summer. there are four different locations around the country where courses take place, and mine was at john osbourne’s old home, the hurst.

i’ll keep it brief and say: it was one of the best experiences i’ve had as a writer. tutorials in the morning, free time to write in the afternoon, and group fun in the evening. beautiful surroundings. great tutors. loads of fun. you even cook for each other – which is more fun than it sounds.

most courses are attended by about fifteen writers, and i’m pleased to say that for five days i was surrounded by about as nice a group as you could wish to meet. a really diverse bunch of friendly and talented characters, including melanie, vinnie and jane, whose wonderful words you should, of course, sample.

most importantly, the course gave me the space – both mentally and physically – to actually write. having the free time to concentrate on what you love doing, whilst knowing that you are supposed to be doing that and nothing else, felt…unusual. and awesome. i wrote a lot of words. a few of them were actually alright.

arvon haven’t announced their 2011 courses yet, but will soon. sign up and they’ll let you know once they’re open for bookings.

get to the point? fine:

if you’re a writer, and you’re reading this, and you acknowledge that your writing can and should improve, and you haven’t done an arvon course…then do one. you won’t regret it.

(disclaimer: you might regret it. but i doubt you will. and if you do, don’t come crying to me. arvon don’t pay me for this, you know. i just like them and think they’re great. oh, just BOOK A COURSE, will you?).

oh, and if you’re interested, i submitted a story called ‘i think the sun is shining’ with my application. i’ll put it on this site sometime soon, but in the meantime i’d be eternally grateful if you’d do me the honour of reading it here.

 

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