Saturday, 27 September 2008


Off to check out new stereos today. The old one has got to go. One channel on the amp repeatedly cuts out or breaks up, the speakers aren't the brightest around and every part is over 15 years old (excepting the tape deck and mini disk) if not more. We've had it cleaned out before but I really think it has now done it's time.

So, how do you buy a stereo? I've only ever acquired them before, always second hand; a friend of a friend is flogging an amp or someone moves out of shared housing and leaves behind some speakers etc. Having said that, the current set up is mostly my better half's. So, back to the buying, I've decided on a selection of CDs to take with me. Not sure what the shop assistants will make of my choice but I'm sure they've heard worse. I've chosen a range of styles and recording qualities to gauge the systems and separates I'll be listening to and this is what will be blasting out of electronic retailers around Ipswich later today:

Joe Gibbs and The Professionals - Almighty Dub Chapter Three (for the 70s dub production and sound FXs)
Bonnie 'Prince' Billy - Lie Down In The Light (for the clarity of the male/female vocal mix and for the folk)
Lou Reed - The Blue Mask (for the 80s production and the heaviness of the title track)
Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra & Tra-La-La-Band - One Million Died To Make This Sound (for the mood and its lo-fi glory)
The Bug - London Zoo (for the deep bass, deep vocals and claustrophobic ambiance)
Leadbelly - C.C Rider (for the crackles)

I've rejected Fugazi and Bob Dylan and narrowly avoided taking some Bum Gravy, the ultimate in shit production.

The only thing missing is classical but that is for musical snobs and elitists and I'm unlikely to ever want to listen to any unless it is accompanying a nice advert on the TV.

Still deciding whether to get a turntable or store the vinyl when we move.

Friday, 26 September 2008


It's been a crazy busy week. Got my first look in the new University Campus Suffolk Waterfront Building on Monday and then spent everyday except today in there begging rooms to induct new and returning students. It's looking good.
Also been busy planning some lectures for next week and dealing with loads and loads of admin.

In the great house move scheme of things got rid of our piano last night and although I tried not to, ended up giving the people that came to pick it up a hand. An old friend/band acquaintance turned up to help them take it away (coincidence) and it's the first time I've seen someone prepare for piano removal by wearing flip flops!
Another old friend phoned and as we hadn't spoken for two years it was a long call. Great to hear from him.
Saw some friends last Sunday and went to a Polish festival in one of Ipswich's many parks and watched the Warsaw Village Band who were fantastic. Thanks for the tip off Kelvin and it was great to see you all.

Down point of the week, I unfortunately had to pull out of a Pindown gig. It was scheduled for late October in Colchester, the same week I'm going to move house. Too much on at the moment to concentrate on rehearsing. Number one priority: keep sanity intact! We will play again however, and hopefully showcase some of Jason's new clothes I've heard he's been buying!

TV On The Radio and Mogwai's new albums have been helping me to keep on top of it all.

Wednesday, 17 September 2008


My submission for an exhibition themed on CMYK with the outcome resulting in an A2 poster of one of my initial ideas. Text at bottom of poster reads:

'I love print. A screen can never match the tactile nature of paper or the smell of fresh CMYK on uncoated stock. Twelve years of working in the print industry leaves an impression you know. Not to mention that my grandfather was a printer and that my father, a photographer by trade, started and ended his career working in print. I sometimes feel I must have Pantone 1807c running through my veins. I can’t walk into a print shop now without my heart beating a little faster and I’m not ashamed to admit I get a little giddy when the smell of ink that pervades the air hits my nostrils. It’s the best smell in the world, fresh cut grass and ground coffee don’t come anywhere near. I am a self confessed print sniffer! CMYK is my DNA.
Nigel Ball, 2008 – after Milton Glaser.'

Link to previous dublog post on subject.

The mirror man

Just returned home from a very civilized works social. Lovely homemade food, wine and tea from teapots laid out in what is usually an exhibition cum teaching space with small tables adorned by plastic beakers of carnations. Joshing with colleagues about politely drinking tea out of cups with saucers while outside society collapses, I return home and check Newsfire to discover a Noisy Decent Graphics post today discussing the uselessness of saucers, and that The Design Observer has a post about Lehman's Bankruptcy Statement. I'm starting to get a little worried that my life is becoming an offline blog post where my comments and thoughts and activities mirror other peoples online activity. I'm sure there's some SciFi feature in this somewhere.

Sunday, 7 September 2008


With an imminent house move coming up we've been Freecycling like crazy but alas we can't help this person who wants baby muslims!