Thursday, 31 March 2011

Getting Better Acquainted [and more...]

Hello my friends,

I was at the TUC March for the Alternative and at some of the UK Uncut Occupy for the Alternative actions. This is my blog about what happening.


I am starting a new podcast in May. It's called:

Getting Better Acquainted

Part 1: A ten minute monologue where Dave helps the audience get better acquainted with him by telling autobiographical stories.

Part 2: A long-form conversation [45-1hr] where Dave gets better acquainted with someone he knows.

Part 3: Audience feedback

[A podcast is like a radio show that is released over the internet and can be downloaded and played on mp3 players (such as iPods).]

To find out more about GBA and to find out about how you can take part check out this blog. I will be approaching many people on this email list about the show more fully at a later date. Go here for a sneak peak at the music for the show.

Four Days in a Room a new podcast series, has it's 13th episode coming out on Monday

"Discussing profound things in a silly way." "A podcast experiment." "An audio journey." "A strange muffled voicemail message that you can't stop listening to!"

Subscribe to it via iTunes. / Or follow it's RSS feed. / Like it's facebook page. / Listen to it on MixCloud

We're blogging the episodes and the reactions to the episodes here:

If anyone fancies giving listening to it and want a recommendation these are my personal top 5 of the ones we have broadcast:

5. Episode 8: "Is consciousness an evolutionary disadvantage?"
4. Episode 6: Flashback to the first morning
3. Episode 7: "Yes it's Fu*king Political"
2. Episode 9: The Melvin Episode
1. Episode 11: The Journey

Please spread the word and subscribe, we've had a lot of great and interesting feedback to what's gone out so far. The show will take you (and took us) to all sorts of places. Please travel with us. Engage with us. And judge us.

Speaking of listening journeys, has recently had a few fantastic make overs and is set for some even more exciting developments in the future. If you like audio that's the place to listen. Here's a good blog what they wrote telling you why: (Check out my audio selections here.)

Some of my friends have some good projects. Here are two I want to get behind:

The Hackney Hear: An interactive GPS-triggered audio tour of Hackney, revealing the borough’s best kept secrets in 400 unique audio pieces.

This will be great, but it needs your help. They are doing it through crowd-funding. Which means they need your donations. Even a couple of quid would do. That's the thing with crowd -funding, everyone can pay a small bit and big things can happen. If you can't donate you can support them and spread the word via their facebook and twitter accounts.

Content - a new British sci fi drama
: 148 years in the future, a group of strangers lose their 3D `internet' connection and must set out across a forgotten world to find it again.

This project is just an idea at the moment. But it's a great and well developed idea. My friend has written the first two episodes and he is involved in various different approaches to getting it made. Check out the Pitch
and the Plot Outline. If you like it then like the facebook page. He may be looking for collaborators to help make trailer or promo videos of it. He's really looking to engage audiences in the process of creating this show.

New band still seeking members. (Please spread the word/get in touch)

The Plural's
March 20th track is now available for your listening consideration. We are writing/recording/mixing and releasing 12 songs over 12 days over 12 months. By December we'll have an album of material.

Listen to our first 2 tracks (and all future tracks) on our SoundCloud page.

Like our facebook page to keep informed of when our tunes come out.

The Middle Class Bastards are also available on SoundCloud for free streaming and download. As me and Alex prepare to go in a different musical direction, under a different name, we thought it was time we tidied up the house we are leaving, so that if we ever come back it will be a neat and tidy place to return to.

The Reactionaries album is now AVAILABLE! Yes, over a year after it was finished, and after being mistreated by some people who mess musicians about, we have decided to go completely virtual and completely FREE!

So you can stream and download the album from our SoundCloud page. You can see and download the album artworks and lyrics on our Flickr page.

Other Reactionary places are myspace and facebook

We won't be getting started again properly till September but... The Reactionaries will probably be performing live for the first time at Autumn Shift on May 14th watch the above space for details and developments.



ps Follow me on Twitter:

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Getting Better Acquainted: New podcast coming in May

GBA is a podcast show being created by Dave Pickering. The format of the show will be:
Part 1: A ten minute monologue where Dave helps the audience get better acquainted with him by telling autobiographical stories.

Part 2: A long-form conversation [45-1hr] where Dave gets better acquainted with someone he knows.

Part 3: Audience feedback
[A podcast is like a radio show that is released over the internet and can be downloaded and played on mp3 players (such as iPods).]


Getting Better Acquainted Needs You:

If you know me then you’re a prefect candidate for the show. Even if you know me through friends and have only met me briefly. Being on the show is not a large demand on your time. I’m looking for an hour or so of conversation. I can accommodate and I can also travel to wherever you are. I’ll provide refreshments (and travel expenses if you come to me.)

There are lots of interview shows with famous people. This is an interview show about the rest of us. Okay so you don't necessarily have anything to plug (although if you do you can). Okay so you aren't used to talking on mic, you aren't generally inclined to do this sort of thing. But you are interesting. Everyone is interesting. Let's have a conversation.

If you have any story that you want to tell then here’s a place you can tell it.

For people who listen to the radio GBA will hopefully be like Desert Island Disks or maybe even Parkinson. For podcast listeners closer reference points might be WTF with Marc Maron, The Nerdist or NPR’s Fresh Air for the main show and The Moth or Spark London for the opening monologue.

What I aim to get from the interviews:

Interesting, moving and engaging conversations.

Personally to learn to listen better.

Find common ground between myself and the guest.

Talk about interesting and unusual experiences or expertise the guests have.

Have a true and genuine conversation.

If this sounds good to you then download the form and get in touch:

[Word Version] [PDF Version]


Saturday, 26 March 2011

The truth...

I have just watched the BBC news. First up any claim that the BBC has a liberal bias is 100% bollocks. What I just watched was a very slanted representation of the march I went on today. The headline should be: Over a quarter of a million protesters marched peacefully through London. That is the most important thing.

A small group of people committing vandalism and clashing with riot police isn't the lead story. Not only is it not the lead story it is also vastly misrepresented by being on a continuous loop. Generally no footage of the earlier march is shown. Everything is violence. And that is already over. [NB at the time of writing this it had all got quiet, it was only later that the clashes began again. This doesn't change any of the following:]

Furthermore they are mixing things up. The violence was NOT committed by UK Uncut. But by a hardcore of "anarchists" / "the black bloc". They are mixing these two separate groups together. UK Uncut did peaceful, intelligent protest.

They even described wanting tax dodgers and banks to pay their taxes as an anarchist ideological point of view. Anarchists do not believe in taxes, let alone that they should be paid. That is stupid misinformation.

By emphasising all of this and even playing footage of the violence as their pro-march talking head [Sunny Hundal] was on they were giving as false impression. They even continued to play it when he said that it was the responsibility of the media to present the events realistically rather than top loading it with the violence. They proved his anti-media point as he made it. BUT pictures lodge in the mind more than disembodied voices.

This is terrible reporting. It also forms lies in peoples minds. All I can hope is that there were so many people there that these lies will be seen clearly. The truth must be told. We also have our OWN media and can spread OUR news via it. Facebook, twitter, whatever, make sure an accurate view is seen by those who weren't there. This is important. Today we said: "Who's streets, our streets." and we walked down them freely communicating a message. Tomorrow we must say "Who's media, our media." and reclaim the truth.

Having seen this footage I will be reconsidering if I sign any future "save the BBC" petitions. I guess they are better than Sky! This is ludicrous behavior, the BBC, like the police, are under threat from these cuts. We ARE all in it together. Apart from the millionaire filled cabinet, the banks that gambled and lost with our money, and the businesses that do not pay the amount of tax they owe.

And now I must go and eat a lovely meal with my fellow marchers, who are currently asking the very real question to each other "What shall we watch that we can trust."


Postscript 1: One reason things are being confused is that whilst UK Uncut closed down and occupied Fortnam and Masons they were NOT the "anarchists" who smashed things up outside and threw stuff. That is why the footage shows UK Uncut banners beside the "anarchists".

Some accounts from UK Uncut protestors who were inside F and M:

Video from inside F and M!!

Alex Pinkerman from UK Uncut in Comment is free

Adam Ramsey in Bright Green

Sarah Morrison in The Independant

Laurie Penny in the New Statesman

Some articles and blogs that present the March and Uncut Actions in the way that I and my friends experienced it:

Stuart White in Next Left

Blog by Emma Bob 3

Blog by Jenny Adamthwaite

Postcript 2: The below video and this video on the guardian website seem to me to be closer to most peoples experience of the March and the UK Uncut Actions:

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

A lluman glân Dewi a ddyrchafant

When I arrived in Coventry from North Wales the English thought I had a Scottish/Irish accent and teased me a bit for it. I was 8.

When I arrived in Cardiff the Welsh knew I had an English accent and it was pretty rough for me. I was 12.

I left Wales at 18. My mum moved away so I haven't been back as much as I would have liked.

Wales has more of a sense of itself, lots to be proud of, lots to be angry about. Hatred of the English is really just opposition to power and dominion. Something I've always shared. It's the same thing Northerners feel about Southerners. It's the same thing the Cornish, The Scottish, The Irish, feel - not to mention the many places we enslaved and exploited under the Empire.

Still it is not very powerful to be an English almost teenager with glasses and no friends trying to find new friends. .

That said there is, or was, a cultural identity to Cardiff that embraced me and that I embraced. The first pubs I drank in were Cardiff pubs. The first romances I had were Cardiff romances (unrequited generally). The first bands I played in were Cardiff bands. The first place my words were performed was Cardiff. I love the city. I love it. I love its parks, its accent, its culture, its people.

I've been accepted by a small welsh village and rejected and then accepted by a small welsh city. I think I've done my time, paid my dues, I know that I'm not Welsh. But I also think I'll never be properly English. Some people I know have objected to me classifying myself as British. Well that's as close as I can get really. But still I feel part Welsh.

And certainly I approve of holidays that celebrate revolutionary attitudes (title translates as: And they will raise the pure banner of Dewi) Big believer in the need to fight the power (in a non-violent way). But also I don't like the undertones of nationalism, even believing that we need more community and cultural identity in our culture, the stupidity of saying any country or people are better than another just won't go away.

All that said Happy St David's Day.