Saturday, 28 February 2009

... your heart out ... again

The second issue of Your Heart Out was ready in time for Christmas to meet our target of producing a monthly publication which combined flair and imagination.

I think what pleased us most about this issue was the feature on Brazilian singer/composer Tuca, as this seemed to sum up what was happening in our world. The name had been familiar from Francoise Hardy but it was only by digging deeper via blogs like Loronix that we were able to put the pieces together and discover the full glory of what she produced in her tragically short life. It seemed only right that when we set up a MySpace page we chose a Tuca song for our theme.

The second issue also featured Kate Wax, Penny Reel's book on Dennis Brown, Mick Jones, Nancy Wilson, Oliver Nelson, Andrew Hill, and Jody Reynolds. It also featured our only guest contribution to date, which was Rob Symmons explaining how he got from Subway Sect to Fallen Leaves. This was a great honour, as the way Rob looked and played guitar in Subway Sect made us what we are. Now you know who to blame!

Importantly we also focused on Stacy Epps, one of the new cosmic hip hop/experimental soul artists exciting us so much at the moment.

On the back cover there was a bit of a ramble about cover versions, featuring a still from a video of Paul Quinn and Edwyn Collins performing Pale Blue Eyes. If that doesn't make you cry ...

Due to our technical incompetence we messed up the closing adieu which was meant to suggest we were siting somewhere listening to Ruby & the Romantics sing Young Wings Can Fly.

Friday, 27 February 2009

... your heart out

So, the first issue of Your Heart Out came out towards the end of November 2008. It was very much a spur of the moment thing, put together quickly, with limited IT skills, very much in the punk DIY spirit.

I'd been thinking a lot about how, partly through economic necessity, people were seeking pleasures, absorbing music, expanding their knowledge, increasingly via lost music posted on blogs, new music being discovered via MySpace, YouTube providing opportunities to see both new and old footage. And about how this was changing our outlook, and maybe this was a good time to share some current obsessions, like female jazz singers, bossa nova, Charles Stepney productions, Raw Records' back pages, and some new sounds that were making life seem a bit more special like Fallen Leaves and Eric Lau.

It was also a good opportunity to challenge some prevailing conceptions, so there was a fresh perspective on the revival of interest in mod related things that took place in 1979, and the positive repercussions of what happened then.

The first issue had a wonderful still on its back page of Marina Van-Rooy dancing and prompting the question whether this is the coolest thing ever?

Thursday, 26 February 2009

Didn't Want To Have To Do It ...

Your Heart Out is I guess what you would call a fanzine. A music fanzine. Created by fans. For fans. For fans of all sorts of music. For people who were increasingly frustrated about what was out there to read about music. Too much classification. Too much specialisation. And that's being generous.

It was also about wanting to give something back to the wider musical community. So many people are using the web to share their passion and enthusiasms. While you can debate endlessly the whys and wherefores of easy access to just about anything, there is something liberating about being able to hear or learn about music that was hitherto the preserve of a lucky few. We liked the old Johnny Rotten line about music being for listening to, not for shutting away in a cupboard.

Interestingly the proliferation of music being posted on the web coincided with a decline in the quality of writing about music. There was a sense too that the ease of blogging was distracting from the creation of structured writing.

So for those and various other reasons Your Heart Out was started. The idea was to produce something in pdf format that could be downloaded free, and either read onscreen or printed off and read on the go. I am not a fan of reading detailed documents on a PC, and like sitting in an armchair with something to be read.

The hope was that by producing it in pdf format that by sending it to 20 people they would pass it on to 20 people who would then pass the link on to 20 other people, and world domination would be there for the taking. Life is never straight forward though, and these are too-much-trouble troubled times.

The idea of Your Heart Out being rootless, not hosted anywhere specific, was appealing. Friends and comrades did help posting recommendations. We also started a MySpace page to help spread the word, and provide easy links to some of the music we were writing about.

The next step was to set up an archive here where all our editions could be accessed easily.

And now we've given in to the temptation to start this site. As Oscar Wilde said ...