So, that’s it then. The end of 2009.
Looking back over the notes, this was a pretty good year, and since I’ve blogged a fair bit of it (though with some significant gaps – must watch that in 2010), I thought I’d do a quick wrap-up of some of the highlights.
But let’s start with a lowlight.
Jake got beaten up at school, and we had to go get him checked out at the hospital. Both traumatic and infuriating, but it came at a really pivotal time at that school, and if there’s one thing positive you can say out of that whole event, it’s that there’s one teacher there I now have a lot of respect for – and he’s running the show.
Clutch and I started doing whisky tastings online, and launched Twhisky on Robert Burns’s 200th anniversary.
Jibbering Records closed down, which was an end of an era for us. Jibbering was where we met all our new friends when we first moved to Birmingham, and it was the social hub, coffee joint, second office and second home to us Moseley laptop warriors. Still a bit sad about that.
I went to New Zealand to work on an album by Caitlin Smith, speak at a public event and do some interviews for a radio documentary about Zane Lowe. It was a pretty busy week, and I was pretty jetlagged by the end of it – but I did some cool stuff out there, and it was nice to see everyone.
To clear my head after so much travel, I went for a bit of a bike ride around Stratford-Upon-Avon.
I also went to a conference in Copenhagen (about jazz, rather than climate change) and another one in Leeds, but I think I was taking a bit of a hiatus from blogging at the time and didn’t record much about either of those events.
However, I did make a little game out of music online by mixing up Twitter and Spotify, getting people to make playlists on a particular theme and then compiling a ‘best of’ album out of it. I know people who still play the Imaginary 80s Romantic Comedy Soundtrack.
I went to The Specials’ 30th anniversary concert with my friend Owen who was over from America. Great gig.
Then there was the music industry conference in Helsinki that was so ‘old thinking’ it was farcical. Like ‘Carry On’ farcical.
An article I wrote was published in a very cool book called After The Crunch. The book was a collection of essays by people reflecting on the Creative Industries and how (or whether) they could lead Britain out of recession. Some of my favourite thinkers were included, and it was a really big honour for me to be printed alongside them.
At Un-Convention in Manchester I made a music video for my friend Brad’s band Merchandise, and chaired a really great panel called Outside The Box, which featured some very cool people talking about their unusual approaches to the music business.
I went to Liverpool, Manchester and Scarborough with Jez, Dr Jazz and Professor Tim, which was a bit of an adventure – and I caught up with some friends (and made some new ones) while I was there.
I went to Toronto to speak at an international Radio Conference. It was great to catch up with the guys from my old university in New Zealand as well as see a bit of the city and meet some new friends.
I followed it up with a week in Hamilton, ON – where I hung out with the brilliant guys from Vibewrangler studio, consulted with some very fine local musicians, and even got to go and be a tourist at Niagara Falls.
Didn’t blog much in September. At least – not on this site. I did do an awful lot of project-specific blogging, but none of that ended up here.
The month started in Swansea for another Un-Convention. Then it was off to Berlin for a music industry conference, Scarborough for the jazz festival (which has its own blog that I was one of the main contributors to), and Marseille for Aftershock (another project with its own blog, that I was frantically uploading stuff to).
I also started a blogging project of my own, to take a photo of everything I eat and drink for a year, starting on my 42nd birthday. That blog’s still going, despite a number of people who were insisted that it’d never last more than a few weeks…
And Mum and Dad came and visited from New Zealand. They’d come over primarily to visit their newest grandchild in London, but we got to hang out with them for a week or so, which was really cool – and I entirely failed to blog any of it.
Back to Berlin for the NetAudio Conference, which was amazing, but exhausting.
And then I went to Brussels to keynote a conference about Digital Music. It was my first time in Belgium, and I was only there a little over 24 hours – but I managed to pack a lot into my time there.
Another project that had its own blog was the one we did with UB40, in their campaign to Save The Rainbow (a local pub). That was a lot of fun (and a lot of work) – and it was great to meet and work with Brian Travers, the band’s sax player, on that.
Big month. It started with the creation of a new Sunday jazz radio show (of sorts). Essentially, it’s just a weekly Spotify playlist, but I programme it as I would a 2-hour specialist music show.
I went to India with a bunch of people, including my friend and colleague Jez. For the purposes of a general, personal blog like this, there was far too much to talk about from an insane two weeks in Kolkata, Shillong, Delhi and Mumbai – so Jez and I made a separate blog just for the occasion. I did manage to post a very abbreviated round-up of the trip here though.
And as soon as I got back, it was off to Manchester for an academic conference about jazz. Interesting, but still a bit of a come-down after the amazing time in India.
Jake played drums in the college performance of Return to the Forbidden Planet, which was great – and his playing has improved out of sight since he’s been performing with other people.
Dad had a significant birthday.
I made my usual efforts at an end-of-year music list – this time, a top 10 albums of the decade, based on how often I returned to them.
Christmas itself was spent in Prague with Bobbie’s sister Kelly, who’s over in the Northern Hemisphere for the first time ever. We saw some amazing sights and had some wonderful cultural experiences, did a bit of shopping and ate some great food.
And that about brings us up to date. As always, I take plenty of photos wherever I go, and you can see them all right here on my gallery page.
Really looking forward to 2010 – if only because it looks like there’ll be a lot more of this sort of thing going on.
Have a great new year yourself. Cheers!