Clapped-out has-been? Who are you calling a clapped-out has-been?

nmagcovOh. Sorry. That was me, calling myself a clapped-out has-been. I think this is what is known as The Doctrine Of The Pre-Emptive Strike – otherwise known as Get In There First Before They Say It Back To You. As in life, so in blog. ‘Twas ever thus.

Anyway. Reassurance is at hand! The dear deluded fools at .net magazine (also rather confusingly known as Netmag) clearly don’t think I’m a clapped-out has-been at all. Instead, they – or to be more exact, Gary Marshall of Bigmouth Strikes Again – have seen fit to include Troubled Diva in a lengthy feature on 50 “great British blogs”. The article appears in the current issue, at all good newsagents now, hurry hurry while stocks etc. (This is what is known as Returning The Compliment.)

Alternatively, if all you want are the 50 links with no supporting commentary, the magazine has helpfully listed them all here. Some familiar names (Geezer, Duck, Boat, Twat), and plenty which are new to me.

Apparently, Troubled Diva is “achingly honest”. Hmm, wonder if this means they’ve found that old post about the Fist, the Screwdriver and the Spasm? (You’ll have to do your own searching; I’m wholesome family entertainment these days.)

Bonk-blogging, the whys and wherefores thereof.

Making her debut on Guardian Unlimited’s “Comment Is Free”, Anna writes an interesting piece about her reactions to sex-blogging, in which she posits the splendid idea of starting up a Bad Sex Blog, as some sort of necessary corrective. (via)

As my own perspective differs from Anna’s in certain areas, I left a large-ish comment explaining why. Since I buggered up the last paragraph with a typo, and since it bears extracting and repeating, here it is:

But, yes, you’re quite right to call people out on this tendency to over-idealise. And in any case, crap shags are far more interesting to read about than perfect shags, just as suffering makes for more interesting literature than happiness.

Sign of the times?

Now, here’s a thing. After watching Juana Molina’s enchanting performance at The Social last night (here’s my review), I went for a wee-wee in one of the lock-ups – only to discover, amongst all the other scratchings on the inside of the cubicle door, no less than three different Myspace URLs.

I do realise that, as an unusually far-sighted music venue, The Social can be something of an industry hang-out – but surely this brings micro-marketing to a whole new level of desperation?

(In retrospect, I do feel a little bit bad about describing Juana as “care-worn” and “ungainly”. If I’d broken three of my fingernails the previous day, and had to use superglue to stick them back on, then I’d be feeling pretty care-worn and ungainly myself.)

A proper grown-up album review, like what proper grown-up music critics write.

I have to tell you: my inaugural full-length album review for Stylus nearly did for me. African music’s a bugger to write about, as it’s a genre where, for once, I can actually switch off my over-analytical brain and simply luxuriate in the sound and the spirit of the thing. It’s my – it’s our – chill-out music, consumed for pure pleasure.

But to describe just why the new Ali Farka Touré album is such a masterpiece, without resorting to a load of tedious blah about ngoni techniques and kora tunings? Well, my darlings, that’s nigh-on impossible.

Still, I gave it my best shot – and here’s the outcome.

A solemn pledge.

Look, I haven’t actually stopped writing or anything… it’s just that most of my writing has been elsewhere. Oh, my poor, poor neglected blog, how far have you tumbled?

But, look, here’s a pledge: at least one post per day for the whole month of September, even if it’s just a short one. (Fat chance of that; brevity has never been my strongest suit.)

If I succeed, then I’ll mark the occasion by peeling away yet another layer of my mystique, by means of an inaugural vidcast. (First he writes! Then he speaks! Then he moves! Whatever next! No, not that!)

If I fail, then I shall change the name of this blog to Clapped-out Has-been. Just see if I won’t.

Wish me luck!