Thursday, 19 January 2017

The Best Things Happen In Secret...

Well, not completely, but when I think back, it seems like a lot of the more interesting local shows end up being in semi-sketchy venues that have to exist under the radar. I know people who find these shows exclusionary, but I think there is something valuable about repurposing residential or other spaces for creative activities. That’s not least because it avoids the overheads of hiring a dwindling number of venues (that we should still support so that they don’t dwindle further...) and enables the creation of spaces where the values expressed are progressive. And let’s be honest – there’s something deeply satisfying about going into work on a Monday with stories of hidden bolt holes filled with punx going off to the best bands no one’s ever heard of. Ever seen someone crowd surf in a bedroom in an inflatable boat?   

I know that’s a utopian reading, and I’m sure that I avoid the downsides of shows such as this – I’ve not put a show on in a living room since the early 2000’s so I’ve not had to deal with houses being trashed or hats being passed around that end up light on funds; it’s not me who is opening up my home to strangers. I’ve never had to deal with angry neighbors and I’ve never lived next to a house where a punk band is playing full blast on a Sunday evening. I’m also experienced and privileged enough not to be intimidated by standing in a strange space and I'm comfortable enough not to seek approval.

In fact, I don’t always want to be in a bar now I’ve redefined my relationship to alcohol so eating gelato or skipped pastries or drinking a coffee whilst watching a band is in many ways preferred. This gets lost sometimes in the arguments around exclusion – yes, you do have to be in the know (which I not always am / care to be as the years tick by), and it’s up to promoters and bands to balance the tensions between avoiding it being an elite clique and the sort of unwanted attention that a public event can attract. But maybe your bar show is exclusive too, to those people who would prefer not to be in a club space orientated solely towards drinking, to those who don’t have the funds to access those spaces in the way that feels most comfortable, to those with child care issues who might want to bring their kids.

If we have to deal with these tensions then maybe there are creative ways to do it. I was struck by a conversation that I had with a co-conspirator who pointed out that whilst a few dozen of us were watching a bunch of new bands in an undisclosed location, there were probably other small groups of people making their own spaces and culture and having a good time all over the city that we didn’t know about, in both public and hidden spaces. It’s not the same as having a show with hundreds of people at, but I’m wary of measuring things in terms of numbers anyhow. I used to watch the stats counter of my projects go up until I realised what I was substituting it for money as a measure of success. This is the quantitative measure; what about the qualitative? What about measures of success that aren’t based on numbers but on how much fun you had, the community you felt or those transcendental moments where something a band does really fucking clicks with you and it’s like someone walks on your grave?

So. Here’s an idea for free: a ticketed event at a hidden location. On the day, an email is sent to ticket holders with the venue’s address. A set portion of the ticket money goes towards printing up pin badges and post cards which are mailed to everyone who attends. On the post card is a download code for a live recording of the show. Everyone who was quick enough to get involved gets a memento of the occasion, a reminder that they were in on the secret. For those who didn’t attend, the message is this: you were welcome, and you’ll be welcome next time. But you’d be welcome to go off and do your own band and your own show and we could support what you do.   

Part of hardcore punk is taking a supposed negative and turning it into a positive, or at least making the most of what you have and not letting it slow you down. If we’re going to be secretive, let’s take ownership of that. If we find ourselves sheltering in the cracks of their city, let’s make it about having a special, unique experience. Let’s make it not about being elitist but about those conversations with confused workmates that remind us that what we do is far from mundane. The best things happen in secret.


(Well, some of them).

Monday, 23 May 2016

Ten Songs Mix Tape 2 - Degrees of Separation

Ten Songs grew partly out of a habit of obsessively making mix tapes and CDs. The process was usually pretty simple – I would make a mix of shit I was excited about and decide that actually, everyone should hear it and it’d make a pretty great show. 

This time out, the mix seemed better as a mix, probably because it was so high concept. Every band on Degrees of Separation is connected by 6 or less degrees of separation, making it a map of a scene of sorts. This idea grew out of a flier promoting the Latchstring demo – on the back were a bunch of links to bands and projects that everyone involved wanted to promote as well. From such humble acorns, mighty oaks grow, right? Yeah.



The first Ten Songs mix was a collection of live session tracks culled from the podcast sessions. I'm still pretty proud of it, not least because it was cobbled together on a budget of pretty much nothing. 

 

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Ten Songs Podcast #29

Never got around to cancelling my account with my podcast host. Felt like doing a show. Here it is. Ta da!   
- Phil Chokeword

Tracklist 
1. Radioactivity – Silent (From the LP “Silent Kill” on Dirtnap Records)

2. Flesh World – A Trip To The Living Ice Age (From the S/T mini LP on La Vida Es Un Mus Records)
3. Twisted – Wholes and Halves (From the Utopia LP on Specialist Subject Records and Art For The Blind Records)
4. Brain F≠ – Hands In The Jar (From the “Sleep Rough” LP on Static Shock Records)
5. Martha – Bubble In My Bloodstream (from the “Courting Strong” album on Salinas Records  and Fortuna Pop)

6. Concealed Blade – Wage Slave (From the “Demo 2015” seven inch on Hardware Records)
7. Pure Disgust – Sick (From the “Chained” seven inch on Quality Control)
8. Liquids – Sick Shit (From the “Mat’s Demo” tape, downloaded from Remote Outposts Blog)
9. G.L.O.S.S. – Outcast Stomp (from the “Girls Living Outside Society’s Shit Demo” seven inch/tape on Total Negativity Records, Nervous Nelly Records, Sabotage, and Not Normal Tapes.

10. Sheer Mag – Sit and Cry (From the S/T seven inch on Static Shock Records)

Notes: 
1. This podcast was put together on an old laptop PC using Audacity, some MP3’s and a shitty internet microphone. Professional I am not. In addition to all this, the MP3 is a lower bit rate than most in order to keep it at a manageable size. So if there’s a song on here that you dig and want to buy the record it came off, don't be put off if it sounds kinda rough or scuzzy. I can guarantee it'll sound better in the original format.
2. Where possible we got permission from either the bands or labels before putting this show together. It’s polite innit. Thanks to everyone who was kind enough to let us play a track from a record they released or by a band they played in. It’s well appreciated.
3. It goes without saying that if you like this podcast, let your friends know about it! Please? Thank you. And get in touch too if you dig it/hate it/have any tips. tensongspodcast [at] googlemail [dot] com or leave a comment.

How To Listen To The Show:  

Subscribe via iTunes:
1. Open iTunes.
2. Show the menu bar by pressing Ctrl-B.
3. In the file menu, select "Subsctibe to Podcast"
4. Paste the following link into the dialogue box that opens: http://tensongspodcast.libsyn.com/rss and click OK. This will download the current show and subscribe you to any future shows.

RIGHT CLICK HERE and select "save target as" to download the show as an MP3.

Thursday, 19 December 2013

I got press & uploads from the archive

Amelia from Maximum Rocknroll interviewed me for their blog as part of the Create to Destroy series. Check it out here. I'm really stoked on how this came out! Thanks Amelia/MRR!

I've also reuploaded some old shows from the archive that Blip.tv deleted when they stopped supporting audio-only podcasts:
Ten Songs Podcast #1 - First ever show!
Ten Songs Podcast #2
Ten Songs Podcast #3 - Guest set from xHannahx
Ten Songs Podcast #4 - Set of tracks from the Maximum Rocknroll "Public Safety" comp
Ten Songs Podcast #5 - Guest set from Chris 12o5
Ten Songs Podcast #6
Ten Songs Podcast #7 - No Idea Records themed set
Ten Songs Podcast #8 - Aaron Cometbus themed set
Ten Songs Podcast #9 - Southampton punk & hardcore themed show part 1
Ten Songs Podcast #10 - Southampton punk & hardcore themed show part 2
 
Also check out Walking On My Grave #1 for all three Southampton punk & hardcore shows compiled into one podcast.

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Ten Songs Podcast #28

Wow. It’s pretty much a year since my last podcast. This show could be titled “songs on Phil’s MP3 player, August 2013”. Basically, the criteria for picking tunes to play were: i. That they were rad. ii. That they were on my MP3 player. Er. That’s about the size of it. Think of it as a summer mix tape. I’ve covered more miles than the Littlest Hobo this summer and these are some of the songs that I’ve had playing in my headphones when I’ve passed out on trains, snored loudly on boats and bounced my head repeatedly off the bus window. Sleep (when I'm supposed to)? What’s that?
- Phil Chokeword

Tracklist
1. Knucklehead – End in Sight (From the LP “Hearts on Fire” on Contra Records and Longshot Music)

2. The Novice – What You Want (From the S/T seven inch on Dirtnap Records)
3. Be My Doppleganger – Untitled (From the Sonic Annihilation seven inch on It’s Alive Records)
4. Low Culture – Screens (From the “Screens” LP on Dirtnap Records)
5. Mean Jeans – Possessed To Party (from the split seven inch with Underground Railroad to Candyland on Recess Records/It’s Alive Records)

6. Infinite Void – Still Waiting (From the S/T LP on Poison City Records)
7. Torches to Rome – Torches to Rome (From the S/T LP on Ebullition Records)
8. Big Eyes – Being Unkind (From the “Almost Famous” CD on Grave Mistake Records)
9. The Down and Outs – Wrap Time (from the “Forgotten Streets” CD on Boss TuneageDown and Outs bandcamp)

10. Crusades – Parable I (From the “Parables” seven inch on It’s Alive Records)
11. The Harrington Saints – Crime Pays (From the “Pride and Tradition” CD on Longshot Music, Contra Records and Pirates Press)
12. The Marked Men – Ghosts (From the “Ghosts” CD on Dirtnap Records)
13. RVIVR – Spider Song (From the “Beauty Between” CD on Rumbletowne Records)

14. Knucklehead – Cold Civil War (From the seven inch on Pirates Press)

Notes:
1. This podcast was put together on a notepad PC using Audacity, some MP3’s and a shitty headset internet microphone. Professional I am not. In particular, there's more pops than usual on the microphone for some reason and that means I've had to splice things together more than I'd like. I think the jarring cuts add character, right? Ahem. In addition to all this, the MP3 is a lower bit rate than most in order to keep it at a manageable size. So if there’s a song on here that you dig and want to buy the record it came off, don't be put off if it sounds kinda rough or scuzzy. I can guarantee it'll sound better in the original format. And if you can't understand me, all the info is on the blog here anyhow. 
2. Where possible we got permission from either the bands or labels before putting this show together. It’s polite innit. Thanks to everyone who was kind enough to let us play a track from a record they released or by a band they played in (Knucklehead, Dirtnap Records, It’s Alive Records, Infinite Void, Ebullition Records, Grave Mistake Records, The Down and Outs, Boss Tuneage, The Harrington Saints, Rumbletowne Records, Pirates Press). It’s well appreciated.
3. It goes without saying that if you like this podcast, let your friends know about it! Please? Thank you. And get in touch too if you dig it/hate it/have any tips. tensongspodcast [at] googlemail [dot] com or leave a comment.

How To Listen To The Show:
CLICK HERE to subscribe using i-Tunes
RIGHT CLICK HERE and select "save target as" to download the show as an MP3.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Ten Songs Podcast #27

After several shows full of tunes and mates from places I’ve travelled to, this show features tracks chosen by people from where I live at the moment. This is a split show with my friends in the Southampton punk/reggae/dub sound system Aggro-culture. They have a website here where they post all their dates up (eventually). You should check it out if you’re ever in the south of England. There’s a lot of cross over between what I like to dance to and what they like to play and I hope you enjoy listening to the sort of tunes that probably wouldn’t make it in to the podcast normally.
- Phil Chokeword

Tracklist

Ten Songs Podcast pt.1
1. Night Birds – The Other Side of Darkness (From the CD “The Other Side Of Darkness” on Grave Mistake Records)

2. Crusades – Dreamers II (From the CD “The Sun Is Down And The Night Is Riding In” on It’s Alive Records)
3. The Marked Men – Hate Me Anyway (From the s/t CD on Dirtnap Records)
4. Street Eaters – Ashby and Shattuck (From the “Rusty Eyes And Hydrocarbons” CD on Plan-It-X Records/ Bakery Outlet Records)
5. Ty Seagal – In Your Car (from the CD “Lemons” on Goner Records)

Aggro-Culture Sound System:
6. Spanner - Choose To Refuse (From the “Crisis” record on Active Distribution, Pumpkin Records, Maloka Records and Mass Productions - order from Iron Column Records)
7. Informal Society - When Will It End? (From their self released demo)
8. Autonomads - Best of Both (From the “From Rusholme With Dub” split with Black Star Dub Collective on Pumpkin Records, Active Distribution, Mass Productions, Anti-Koerper, Abracadaboum, Rodent Popsicle and General Strike – download for free)
9. AK47s - Tottenham 3 (From the “Don't Call Me Vanilla” record on Rugger Bugger Discs)
10. Rum Rebellion - Leave It All Behind (From the “Blackwater” album on Crash Assailant)
11. Mass Terror - Ticket (From the “Break The System” album on Opcion Sonica - Mass Terror Myspace)
12. Sporadics - Freak (From the self released “Hear It Is” CD - Sporadics website)
13. Bus Station Loonies - Gotta Kill That Nazi (In My Head) (From the “Mad Frank's Zonal Disco” album on Ruptured Ambitions)
14. Black Star Dub Collective - Dissident Dub (From the “From Rusholme With Dub” split with the Autonomads on Pumpkin Records, Active Distribution, Mass Productions, Anti-Koerper, Abracadaboum, Rodent Popsicle and General Strike – download for free)
15. UK Subs - Riot (From the “Riot” album on Cleopatra Records)

Ten Songs Podcast pt.2
16. The Copy Scams – Intro (From their self released demo)
17. The Frozen Teens – View From A Hole In The ground (From the s/t LP on Do You Hear We Records and Mauled By Tigers)
18. Screeching Weasel – What We Hate (From the “My Brain Hurts” LP on Recess Records)
19. Southlands – Wrexham Lager (From their self released demo)

20. Noi!se – Brothers In Arms (From the “Pushing Forward” CD on Pirates Press)

Notes:
1. This podcast was put together on a notepad PC using Audacity, some MP3’s and a shitty headset internet microphone. Professional I am not. Plus this MP3 is a lower bit rate than most in order to keep it at a manageable size. So if there’s a song on here that you dig and want to buy the record it came off, don't be put off if it sounds kinda rough or scuzzy. I can guarantee it'll sound better in the original format. 
2. Where possible we got permission from either the bands or labels before putting this show together. It’s polite innit. With the Aggro-culture set, most of the bands made it clear they wanted their music distributed freely but where this wasn't the case, Aggro-culture contacted them to get permission (with the exception of AK47s and Informal Society who have split up). Thanks to everyone who was kind enough to let us play a track from a record they released or by a band they played in. It’s well appreciated.
3. It goes without saying that if you like this podcast, let your friends know about it! Please? Thank you. And get in touch too if you dig it/hate it/have any tips. tensongspodcast [at] googlemail [dot] com or leave a comment.

How To Listen To The Show:
CLICK HERE to subscribe using i-Tunes
RIGHT CLICK HERE and select "save target as" to download the show as an MP3.

Monday, 23 April 2012

Ten Songs Podcast #26

After a couple of shows with a lot of Aussie bands, here’s one full of Canadian Content. I spent a year in Canada back in 2007/08 and saw some great shows. So when I spotted the City Limits: Down & Out in Toronto and Montreal comp on the No Idea website, I was pretty excited. There’s a set from that record as well as a set of tracks chosen by my friend Suie from Toronto. Suie helped look out for us when we first visited Toronto and totally made leaving the UK a lot easier. She’s also a rad vegan cook with two awesome books published by PM press full of recepies for amzing vegan desserts, Lickin` The Beaters: Low Fat Vegan Desserts and Lickin` The Beaters 2: Vegan Chocolate and Candy. Click here to buy your copy if you like to eat great food (and who the fuck doesn’t?).
- Phil Chokeword


Track Listing1. The Strike – Open to Interpretation (From the album “A Conscience Left To Struggle With Pockets Full Of Rust”, downloaded from the Music Ruined My Life blog)

City Limits – Down & Out In Toronto & Montreal:2. Burning Love – Mess (From the “City Limits – Down and Out In Toronto and Montreal ” LP on No Idea/High Anxiety)
3. School Jerks – N/A (From the “City Limits – Down and Out In Toronto and Montreal ” LP on
No Idea/High Anxiety)
4. Foreign Bodies– Downtown (From the “City Limits – Down and Out In Toronto and Montreal ” LP on
No Idea/High Anxiety)
5. Brutal Knights – Bad Choice (From the From the “City Limits – Down and Out In Toronto and Montreal ” LP on
No Idea/High Anxiety)

6. Manifesto Jukebox – Trail (From the S/T CDEP on
Boss Tunage Records)
7. Sydney Ducks – Esprit de Corp (From the “Oi! This Is Street Punk” 11” on
Pirates Press)
8. Armalite – Boots and Sneakers (From the “Boots & Sneakers” 7” on
No Idea Records)
9. Mark Sultan – Axis Abraxis (from the “Whenever, Wherever” CD on
In The Red Records)Suie’s Guest Set10. Saigon Distress Signal – Love (from the “Darkness” album on Wounded Paw Records)
11. Harum Scarum – Systematic Death (From “The Last Night” album on Partners In Crime –
Harum Scarum myspace)
12. The Blood of Christian Children – Chiaki Kuriyama (from the self released 8 track EP –
Blood of Christian Children myspace)
13. The Chitz – Positive (From the “Break The Cycle” album on Sub Profit –
Chitz website)

14. The Newtown Neurotics – Get Up and Fight (from the compilation CD “The Punk years” on Captain Oi! – song written by Steve Drewett - order from the
Newtown Neurotics website)

Notes:1. These podcasts were put together on a notepad PC using Audacity, some MP3’s and a shitty headset internet microphone. Professional I am not. Plus this MP3 is a lower bit rate than most in order to keep it at a manageable size. So if there’s a song on here that you dig and want to buy the record it came off, don't be put off if it sounds kinda rough or scuzzy. I can guarantee it'll sound better in the original format.
2. Where possible I got permission from either the bands or labels before putting this show together. It’s polite innit. Thanks to everyone who was kind enough to let us play a track from a record they released or by a band they played in. It’s well appreciated.
3. It goes without saying that if you like this podcast, let your friends know about it! Please? Thank you. And get in touch too if you dig it/hate it/have any tips. tensongspodcast [at] googlemail [dot] com or leave a comment.

How To Listen To The Show: CLICK HERE to subscribe using i-Tunes
RIGHT CLICK HERE and select "save target as" to download the show as an MP3.