heard on the wire

Ancient tales from distant lands

Heard on the Wire

When I first started this blog, back in February 2011, the plan was for it to be a repository for all sorts of musings, on technology — the field I’d been working in, food, living abroad, maybe even politics.

Thus the title was deliberately non-committal, taken simply from my twitter username, which itself had initially been adopted as something of a joke — I didn’t really expect to use twitter that much.

But over time the purpose of the blog became clear to me. I lost interest in writing about technology; in a sense, as a Mac user and advocate for 20 years, I felt that I’d finally been proven right, smug and self-congratulatory as that may seem. There was nothing more I wanted to write; I liked being in a minority.

I posted a few articles about food, but it seemed redundant. There are enough food blogs and serious food writers about to sate any appetite. I added nothing to the discussion.

A couple of years after the blog hit its stride I no longer lived abroad. As for politics, I’m happy to remain quietly on the sidelines, content in my socialism and forever in a tiny minority. I no longer have the drive or optimism for the kind of politics that can challenge and upset this country’s entrenched stasis of privilege and meritocracy.

So all that’s left is music. It began as an idle interjection, two paragraphs pointing to a Stereolab song, but soon became the only subject I was really interested in writing about.

Not that I would ever consider myself a music writer, despite my background in journalism. Again, that kind of writing I leave to others. I like to think I’m more of an online DJ, if that doesn’t sound too conceited, stringing together songs with the thoughts that come to mind. After all, it is all about the music.

Last year I took a break to focus on my new career as a teacher and I may need to do so again as I move from trainee to fully qualified pedagogue. But in this hiatus between the two, I intend to revive the blog and see what happens.

I’m certainly not doing it for the readership figures, which are barely worth counting, though I’ve always been chuffed when people have told me that they’ve enjoyed reading (yes that has happened!). I’m doing it because I enjoy it and I’ve missed it and because this music needs to be heard.

It’s a minority thing.

All of which has led me to consider the blog’s name; it no longer felt right, even though I still wear the socks, heavily darned. So there’s a new name, Heard on the Wire, albeit with the same address so those old links don’t break.

While this blog was resting, I briefly began another to document my teacher training year, but for several reasons I abandoned that project, something I regret a little now. One post considered an incident in The Wire, my favourite TV show, and an accidental pun in this blog’s new name. It’s a clip that is always in my mind.

Steve Earle both starred in The Wire, as drug counsellor Walon, and sang the theme song for season 5. Each season was brought to a close by a montage set to the show’s only non-incidental music. I’ve previously posted season 4’s Paul Weller-accompanied clip; this is Earle bring season 2 to a close.

Photo: Spots; some rights reserved.

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3 Responses

  1. Simon Aughton says:

    Also related, tangentially: There’s a noise on the wire

  2. Sav says:

    Great to have the blog back! In case you missed it, Emma Kupa who you know from Standard Fare, had a really nice long EP out a couple of months ago and is now about to release a new album with new band Mammoth Penguins.

    I saw her do her solo set and she was terrific.

    • Simon Aughton says:

      Cheers Sav. I’m glad you noticed, since I haven’t publicised anything yet. I’ve got the Kupa EP, so Im sure that’ll be mentioned at some stage.

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heard on the wire is a blog about music old and new, but mostly new. It occasionally uses 21st century file formats that may not be supported by 20th century web browsers. For best results use Safari or Chrome. And If you like the music posted here, please think of the effort and expense that has gone into making it and consider buying a copy of your own.

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All the music on this site is posted to encourage listeners to enjoy it and then rush out and buy as many songs by the artist as they possibly can. Any artist, record label boss, publisher or other rightsholder who doesn't want their works featured here only needs to get in touch and the offending file(s) will be removed at the earliest opportunity.