Monday, December 31, 2012

Best of the Free Music Archive 2012

The Free Music Archive is rich source of music that I regularly turn to to keep the variety of music on Headstand fresh and interesting. Here is a mix of tracks featured on the show over the last year for you to stream and download for free.

'As another year comes to a close it's great to look back at all the music that's made it from the Free Music Archive onto my fortnightly show on Cambridge 105 ( Starting with Auld Lang Syne played in traditional fashion on new year's day the mix takes a twisting route to the far reaches of the archive's diverse selection of music concluding with The Decapitated Hed beheading Christmas carols (according to Google Translate.)
FMA has been a constant source of inspiration during 2012 and this mix doesn't even include the music played in the FMA Special show in January. That music is available in a separate mix. I hope you enjoy this mix and listen to the show at
I look forward to sharing more music from the archive in 2013. Happy New Year to everyone at FMA!'

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The Smell of Cubes

I have an album of poetry and experimental music available on Band Camp. It's kind of my Christmas present to everyone this year. It's pay what you want so you can give me a Christmas present back if you like.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Poem: Jerry Gordon Reflects on the End of the World

As the end of the world allegedly draws nigh, Headstand contributor Jerry Gordon shares this poem:

If I took this
seriously, I would
write or call to each of
you, saying: After tomorrow
I don't know
if I will ever see you
or myself again. So,
while we are still sharing
existence with this chance
to exchange,
I want you to know I am
glad to have known you,
glad to have had you
turn my mind, eye and arm
towards where I could not
imagine alone, that I know
I could not have known
anything alone. You are
an extender of me,
an unfathomable
set of senses beyond
my self-serving 5.
I am alive through
the world I know through
you, saturated in our
mutual saturation.
thanks for everything.

A bird flies up as
the train comes in.
The rails are bare
for this moment before
the wheels make them

jerry gordon

Patrick Widdess & Tom Adams Live Recording

A recording of a recent set I did with Tom Adams is now available for free streaming and download courtesy of Only Shallow Records.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Show: 16.12.12 with Grahame Johnson and Suzi Shimwell

I was joined on this show by poets Grahame Johnson and Suzi Shimwell from the writing group Free Inkers. They shared a terrific selection of poems. We got into the Christmas mood with some festive tunes including some tracks from the excellent new compilation All Ready for the 25th? An amazing selection of Christmas music and spoken word including David Coulter on musical saw, Robyn Hitchcock covering Captain Beefheart and a jazzed up We Three Kings. The show also featured a track from the new live album by Cambridge band The Scissors. You can listen to and download it here. Name your price.

Enjoy the show and please vote for Headstand on Mixcloud's best of 2012 by going to and click the vote button.

David Coulter - Silent Night
Mr.b The Gentleman Rhymer - Mr.b’s Christmas Song
The Scissors - HC Ecstatic (Live at MOTM)
Malty Media - Man vs Enema
Rue Royale - Snow on Snow ( In the Bleak Midwinter)
Bob Dylan - Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right
Charly “the City Mouse” Fasano - Gasoline Fumes
Robyn Hitchcock - There ain’t no Santa Claus on The Evening Stage
Pipo Pegoraro - Samambia
Wire - The Outdoor Miner
Staygold - Staygold Theme
A Collection of Notes - Forsake Me

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Poem: Tomorrow by Suzi Shimwell

Tomorrow I will be good.
I will not smoke or drink
but instead floss regularly
in-between yoga sessions.
I will work harder,
write that article,
paint that wall.
I will concentrate on succeeding.
Eschewing all cakes
and trash TV,
I will sleep at ten
and rise at six.
I will walk 3 miles before having fruit for breakfast.
I won’t need breakfast.
I’ll be a machine.
Tomorrow I will be better;
the rest of today
does not count.

Suzi Shimwell

Suzi will be my guest on the show on 16th December.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

New Single from Malty Media

The New Zealand duo return with the best enema you'll ever receive.

The music of Malty Media aka Stuart McDonald and Michael Upton could have been made for Headstand. Audio clips drawn from movies, adverts and TV programmes are mixed with experimental electronic compositions  in original and memorable music and spoken word compositions. The duo also do occasional radio shows on Radio Active FM. Each one is a seamless journey through an eclectic selection of music and sound. You can listen to their shows here.

Man vs Enema / No Sparky is the first release from the duo in two years. Man vs Enema is built around a snippet of Bear Grylls explaining how an enema can be used for survival. The juxtaposition of Bear's macho commentary and laid-back dub track is a pleasing bit of musical comedy. The absurd and lurid images it conjures up leave an indelible mark on the listener's mind. The subtly comical track is followed by funky chill out piece No Sparky with a wobbly beat and sparkly synths. Grab the free download to be entertained and slightly increase your chances of survival if you find yourself stranded out at sea.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Poem: Lost Song by Grahame Johnson

Next Sunday I'll be joined by poets Grahame Johnson and Suzi Shimwell who will be sharing their poetry and talking about the writing group Free Inkers. Here's a poem by Grahame. Check back later this week for one of Suzi's.

Lost Song

You stir in velvet light
Shimmering moments re-emerge
Without tether to time or place
Fragments from a lost song
A song of hope and happiness

But the cuckoo’s call
Breaks the spell
And you remember
What you have become
You try to cling
To that beautiful moment
Postpone reality
But it slips away
Beyond the cusp
Where memory blurs
And dreams fade to nothing

Grahame Johnson

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Bad Timing 11th Anniversary with Heatsick - 6th December

Read my review at:

Get down to the Cow for some live techno from Heatsick headlining Bad-Timing's 11th anniversary downstairs at the Cow.

"Heatsick batters a solitary Casio through a myriad of effects, looping up a coarse, crisp and twinkling out-house music into a wonderfully queasy eternity, teasing out melodic and rhythmic mantras to an off-kilter, Burroughsian effect that wins on the floor and never forgets to be lo-fi fun/funk. Combining a palette of sources from early Chicago house mixtapes (in sound, texture and mixing technique) through to musique concrète and psychedelia, Heatsick proposes a live dance music that expands and unlocks the senses."
Steven Warwick (also known as half of duo Birds of Delay) is active in the music, visual arts and club scenes. Recent releases include the acclaimed debut LP 'Intersex' and EP 'Déviation' on Bill Kouligas's PAN label, where labelmates include the likes of recent Bad Timing visitor NHK yx KOYXEN, Aaron Dilloway and Lee Gamble (recently seen at Reworks' closing party in Cambridge). Recent and upcoming activities include Unsound festival and visual arts shows in Berlin and Glasgow.
"This is dance music through and through, albeit probably unlike any you've heard before" - The Quietus

"There's something about the sense of containment (all the sounds come from one box), the character of the sound (circuits which sound like they're operating at close to overload and the sense of play within these constraints that makes this as overwhelming as any dancefloor experience you can imagine" - The Wire 

For full details and tickets go to:

Heatsick Paris Olympic Café 26nov2011 -2 from NO MORE RETURN on Vimeo.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Events this week

Another action-packed week in Cambridge after another terrific Mill Road Winter Fair last Saturday. On Wednesday Malcolm Guite is launching his new book Sounding the Seasons at St Edward's Church from 7:30 details here. On the same night you can hear experimental electronic music at CB1 including Headstand favourite Tom Adams.
The following evening I look forward to doing at turn at the new open mic night at my favourite local cafe Hot Numbers. On Friday there is live music at the Cornerhouse headlined by The Scissors. Details here. The Scissors have just released a live album which you can stream and download here and get a taste of what's on offer on Friday.
Finally on Saturday it's Shindig at the Leper Chapel. The venue offers a wonderful atmosphere for concerts but wrap up warm.

Have a good week!

Show: 2.12.12 with Geoffrey Heptonstall

This show featured special guest Geoffrey Heptonstall making a return to the show. I don't see Geoffrey out as much as some poets and it was great to be reminded not only what a great poet he is but also a very fine reader as you'll hear in the show.
The programme also featured a poem by Wayne Holloway Smith and we launched the Christmas season with a beautiful rendition of Deck The Halls by Rue Royale from their Christmas EP which you can listen to and download here.
The programme finished with some laid back electronica from Cambridge-based Tom Adams and Ian Handsley, a DJ I used to see out and about in Osaka. He now makes lush ambient music under the name enh. You can find more of his music here.

Elbow - High Ideals
Prince Rama - Those Who Live For Love Will Live For Ever
DJ Incidental - Uh La Lai
Louis Armstrong & The Hot Five - Struttin’ With Some Barbecue
Wayne Holloway Smith - Cutting a Figure (1.30)
Lester J. Allen - Good Old Luton Town
Rue Royale - Deck The Halls
Anna Silvera - Snow Queen
Billy Bragg - She Smiled Sweetly
Charly “The City Mouse” Fasano - Laundry Day
Tom Adams - Through the lens I see the great cliffs, we are close now.
enh - Within You

Sunday, December 2, 2012

3 Short Poetry Films

As a radio show, visual art is rather overlooked on Headstand. In this guest post Cambridge-based film maker Simon Mullen presents three of his short films featuring his poems.

These short films are at the end of two threads. One is an exploration of the highly textured and awesomely imperfect medium of Super 8. The other is an epic quest for audience engagement. The films exist because I love Super 8, and their narration exists because I need the films to engage the audience. If you don't make films to engage an audience, why make them at all. The films originally had no narration, although they did have a sound track. I found that the general reaction to them was flat. When I attached a narration to the films, everything changes, people liked them! I present here three one-minute films I made in just the last few months. There are more to come, check my website for updates.

 The first film is FIRE 150: This film is about an empty house on the Buckden roundabout of the A1. Its a hugely busy roundabout and Ive driven past this boarded up property many times. And from the first moment I saw it, I knew it must be haunted! Because if any house should be haunted, it's this one. The roundabout is a modern crossroad and crossroads are rich in mythological tradition across the world. I found this really nice Radiolab podcast, where the reporter goes looking for the devil at a crossroad as part of an investigation of American blues singer and musician Robert Leroy Johnson. So who knows what the denizens of an empty boarded up house on the crossroad would be like? I know . . .
FIRE 150 from Simon Mullen on Vimeo.


Film by Simon Mullen Sound Effects: all sound effects hosted by freesound "very noisy traffic heavy", "motorbike around 1", "passing truck 9" by Robinhood76 "ufo pass", "jetbike flypast" by tigersound "swosh" by man "passingcar01", "passingcar02" , "passingcar03" by Pingel "woosh5" by damco "woosh 02" by Glaneur de sons

The second film is WATER: Life is complicated. Sometimes its a battle just to locate your towel!

WATER from Simon Mullen on Vimeo.


Film by Simon Mullen Camera Operator Lucy Evens Sound Effects Waves at New York Point by Rob House Hosted by The Internet Archive Length: 1:00 Produced: 2012

And the third and final film is My Friends Are Always In The Woods: Everyone has one or two special friends. Unusual people with unusual habits and habitats. But the strange thing with me is, all my friends are that special. And I don't remember when that happened.
My Friends Are Always In The Woods from Simon Mullen on Vimeo.


Film by Simon Mullen Sound Effects Wind Storm in Los Ranchos by dhattman Hosted by The Internet Archive Length: 1:00 Produced: 2012