Friday, August 18, 2006


New York is beautiful at the moment. By that I mean it's cooler. And by that I mean it's 'only' in the mid '80s. A gorgeous morning last Sunday in Central Park. Then to the American Museum of Natural History for 'Indigenous Peoples' Day'. Bag checks are cursory now and seem to have been replaced by drinking displays - you can't go in without drinking from whatever liquid you're carrying in front of security guards, but you can probably take in a couple of suitcases full of who knows what without much trouble. All a bit strange as apparently some liquids which could be used to make explosives wouldn't do you any harm if you tasted them anyway. Then to performances by Matou - mesmerising chants and harmonies from a fusion group of native Americans and Maori singers and Tama Waipara - a Maori vocalist/songwriter who played a kind of mellow soul set. Had arranged to meet Janek Gwizdala there (as he was performing with Tama), to do an interview for the feature I'm currently writing on British musicians living in New York.

We decided to go back to his apartment for the interview on account of the general children-meet-dinosaurs din in the museum, and there then followed a very amusing few minutes where security wouldn't let us OUT with a bass guitar and amp, thinking that we were stealing Egyptian artifacts. It's an oldish amp, granted, but Egyptian.....? A good and very interesting interview, but was slightly panicked at the end when I went to save it on my newly acquired Belkin ipod attachment, and the ipod crashed on me mid-save.

Hours later I was that person with a midnight appointment at the 'genius bar' at the apple store. It's true - pretty much everything is 24 hours in this city, except the 'genius' that is, who was showing clear signs of needing sleep. In trying to salvage the interview by 'updating the software' (this is only a 2 month old ipod we're talking about), he managed to totally crash the entire thing and lose the whole 30GB of music etc currently on there. All backed up of course, but a total pain. It's at times like this that I'm definitely becoming American and I let the 'genius' know in no uncertain terms what I thought of the situation.. Left with a replacement ipod, new software and a guarantee this wouldn't happen again, but had lost the last 10 minutes of the interview and was gutted.....

Did a few ipod recording test-runs before Wednesday's interview with Wayne Batchelor. On the morning of the interview another test run sent the ipod crashing again. This was no joking matter now. Very annoyed. So persuaded Wayne to come round to my flat instead of meeting for lunch, where I'd set up my old mini-disc recorder, which for some reason will only work when plugged into a UK socket which in turn is plugged into a step transformer. (They'd have loved that at the museum - it even looks like a bomb. But I guess that would've been okay 'cos it's clearly not a liquid.)

Another good interview, and apart from that really good to catch up with Wayne, who I've only seen a couple of times briefly since living here. Then ran off to buy a new mini-disc player because frankly life was getting too stressful without one, and the Belkin attachment is obviously a pile of crap.

On Thursday to the upper West side to meet Mark Taylor. We had lunch and a good catch-up chat before the actual interview, which went very well and was totally fascinating. After that back to his apartment for tea and more chats. We haven't seen each other properly for something like 12 years, and literally didn't stop talking for five hours. Really lovely to see him again, and I think we'll be seeing a lot more of each other now we've re-connected. I'm totally loving doing this interviewing thing - nothing makes me happier than good interesting one-to-one chats, and hanging with musicians, on top of which I'm really fascinated by their New York stories and am looking forward to writing it all up.

Then the third crisis of the week. Got home and transferred the mini-disc to another player, which for some reason immediately went into record mode. Hastily ejected the disc and when I put it back, it read 0 files and 'read error'. The absolute final straw. What is it with crappy new digital media??!! Is absolutely nothing reliable? I need that interview, not least because Mark goes to Japan for seven weeks this weekend and although I can remember the essence of it all, I want his quotes. So spent the whole evening searching for a data recovery place in NY to take the disc to which isn't going to totally break the bank, and spent this morning taking it there. I am not happy. At least I'm not happy until they tell me it's recoverable.....
Then I need to take the Belkin rubbish back for a refund. Arg.
Bring back cassettes....


Blogger codenameLizzy said...

Ohhhhh, who is it for? The article.
Top news.

11:03 AM, August 19, 2006  

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