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An Open Letter to Sean Moore

3 August, 2010
Sean:

Thanks again for answering that questionnaire. No, really, thanks. As much as I expected/secretly wanted you to write “Fuck off” in response to my asking about your future live trumpet playing, you were classier than that. Having my questions returned with ACTUAL ANSWERS is still one of the coolest things that’s ever happened to me as a Manics fan, second only to you shoving my girlfriend out of your way after your Chicago show last year.

But this isn’t just a note to tell you how much I love you, even though most people would agree that I’m easily the biggest Sean Moore fan on these shores. No, I write to you today with a proposition.

Sean, I really need a computer, and so does Alyssa.

A very nasty virus claimed mine in a little under three days earlier this year. This morning, Alyssa’s old landfill of a Dell (which barely ran Firefox anyway, let alone all the neato software I wanted for Exile) finally gave up the ghost. Yes, we can make daily trips to the library to rent the computers an hour at a time – and we are – but it’s obviously not the same. No, we don’t have the best record of publishing on schedule – the reasons why are really none of your business, Sean, but if you take me up on this offer, I’ll entertain you with stories of our shitty circumstances if you really want me to.

Anyway, this is where you come in. I know you like retail therapy, but I’m not even asking you to buy me a new computer – even though you personally told me (via that questionnaire) that you bought an Apple laptop in America, which is obviously not goin to be compatible with British outlets. No, what I’m actually referring to is the piles of slightly older, gently used machines that are now gathering dust in your attic because they got small scratches, or the new-electronics smell wore off, or something cooler came out and made them obsolete.

I’ll make this as easy as possible. Say the word, and I’ll cobble together pre-addressed, pre-paid packaging so you don’t have to spend a dime donating this computer to a good cause. Shit, I’ll hire someone in Bristol to come pick it up if that’s what you want. All I know is, I can’t afford to replace my poor old Toshiba, and you’ve probably got five more exactly like it sitting around unloved. We’ll give one or two of them the attention they deserve.

Become the patron saint of Exile today, and I’ll include a tribute to you in every issue. We’ll actually publish on time for once, something we’re already trying to work out this summer. And if you act now, I’ll make a special Sean-only issue – or, if you’d rather, a no-Sean issue where you don’t have to suffer the indignity of being written about.

Give it some thought, Sean. We eagerly await your reply (even if said reply is a simple “Fuck off”).

Love,
Janelle

PS. Yes, we have considered our incompatible US plugs and voltages, and we want to add that we bought a plug converter and a voltage converter when we visited London in March, which should take care of the outlet problem. Just so you know.

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20 October, 2009

When the lights fade and Nicky, James and Sean move on to their next show, you may find yourself with just a wrinkled ticket stub and overpriced merch to preserve your Manics memories. You’ll dig up a handful of concert photos online, maybe some videos on YouTube if you’re lucky. But Ben, a prolific taper who trades concert recordings as “Zenith,” collects a special kind of souvenir – he’s recorded 40 to 50 of the concerts he’s been to, including 13 Manics shows and a couple of JDB’s solo efforts. He graciously shared some of his hard-earned knowledge with us.

EXILE: How long have you been taping?

BEN: I started taping in 2006. My first show I recorded was James Dean Bradfield at the Concorde 2 in Brighton. I’d been speaking to some people on [ForeverDelayed.org.uk] about what gear they used to record shows, and it turned out that I already had some of the equipment that others were using. I looked on eBay and picked up a mic for a reasonable price (a Sony ECM-719 which, incidentally, I still use to this day). It arrived the day before the show so I had to wing it on the night! Luckily, it came out really well, and that was that, really. I was hooked.

EXILE: Why did you get into it originally?

BEN: After the first time I saw the Manics in 2002, I got into trading live shows. I was really fortunate that someone recorded the show I was at. Sadly, I didn’t get so lucky the next few times, and I didn’t have a record of some really get nights. As I mentioned before, it turned out that I already had some suitable gear, so I thought I’d give it a try. I really liked having the knowledge that I’d have a record of every show I went to, and it made me really happy to help out other people with copies of gigs which they otherwise wouldn’t have had. Most of the music I listen to are live recordings of shows that I or others have recorded.

EXILE: About how many shows would you say you’ve taped (Manics and in general)?

BEN: I did have a spreadsheet of all the shows I’ve recorded, but I got really lax of keeping it up to date. I’ve taped the Manics 13 times, as well as a couple of JDB solo shows. I’d say overall I’ve recorded about 40 or 50 concerts. Most are just audio, but I have video taped some of them as well with other tapers, which was fun.

EXILE: What equipment are you using now, and why?

BEN: Currently I use my Sony ECM-719 mic and a Sony MZ-NH600 Hi-MD minidisc recorder. Software wise, I use SonicStage 4.3 to transfer the audio from the minidiscs to PC, Audacity 1.2.6 to do some tweaks and tracking, and Trader’s Little Helper to create FLAC files and checksums. I believe in the “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality, which is why I’m largely still using thesame gear. Also, it’s all light, compact and easy to use. Also, I can’t really afford to splash out on more higher-end stuff (unfortunately) at the moment. If I could regularly tape “taper friendly” bands more often, I would probably buy some better stuff, but for now I’ll have to work with better stuff. I would really like a hard disk-based recorder like an Edirol R-09. I think that would be my next purchase.

EXILE: What sorts of equipment do you recommend for a beginner, for someone who’s taped a few shows and is looking to upgrade, or for someone more advanced?

BEN: It all depends on budget, really. For a beginner I’d recommend a Hi-MD minidisc. Also, it is also possible to install open source firmware called Rockbox, which means you can use certain personal use MP3 players to record in lossless WAV format. Mics wise, you can pick up some really good tie-clip style mics. Church Audio also makes some fantastic entry-level and

higher-end mics and battery boxes. Anyone with the money to spend and a serious interest would want to get a hard disk-based recorder with 24-bit capabilities. Again, the Edirol recorders are good for that. As for high-end mics, the nicest-sounding ones I’ve heard are Schoeps MK4s. I’m not too much of an expert on hardware, but if you wanted to learn more about equipment or techniques, then check out http://www.thetradersden.org or http://www.taperssection.com – TS also has a Yard Sale section where you can often find good deals on used gear.

EXILE: When you share your recordings, why do you prefer FLAC/lossless versions? What is the major difference between FLAC and MP3? What are the advantages and disadvantages of each, and why?

BEN: I’m not an audio purist like a lot of the taper/trader community, but I feel that now high speed internet, torrents, etc. are so readily available, it makes sense to share recordings in the best quality possible. I don’t mind people creating MP3s from my recordings for iPods or whatever (I do the same thing), but I do prefer people to share things in lossless formats. When people badly compress and trade out MP3s, and they get compressed again, burnt to CD, ripped and compressed again, etc., etc., you do start to notice a quick drop in quality. If you only ever trade FLACs, then you know that you’re getting the best quality available. As I said, MP3s are fine for personal use, and obviously the reduced file size is useful for personal MP3

players.

Know something about electronics or video games?  A gadget wizard or technical guru?   Send a message with your ideas or an article  to exilefanzine@gmail.com to be featured here!

Paradise Rock Club – Boston, Massachusetts, USA

19 October, 2009

October 8th, 2009 –http://www.thedise.com/

Motorcycle Emptiness
No Surface All Feeling
Peeled Apples
Your Love Alone Is Not Enough
La Tristesse Durera
Jackie Collins’ Existential Question Time
Let Robeson Sing
Faster
Tsunami
Marlon JD
From Despair To Where
If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next
Small Black Flowers That Grow In The Sky (acoustic)
Send Away the Tigers
You Stole the Sun From My Heart
All or Nothing into Motown Junk
Stephen Hawking
Little Baby Nothing
You Love Us
A Design For Life

Were you there?  Have a review?  Maybe a couple of photos?  Send it to exilefanzine@gmail.com to be featured here!

Newbury Comics – Boston, Massachusetts, USA

19 October, 2009

October 8th, 2009 – http://www.newburycomics.com/

Let Robeson Sing
Jackie Collins’ Existential Question Time
Train in Vain
Archives of Pain
Small Black Flowers That Grow In The Sky

Were you there?  Have a review?  Maybe a couple of photos?  Send it to exilefanzine@gmail.com to be featured here!

Webster Hall – New York, New York, USA

19 October, 2009

October 7th, 2009 – http://www.websterhall.com/

Motorcycle Emptiness
No Surface All Feeling
Peeled Apples
Your Love Alone Is Not Enough
La Tristesse Durera
Jackie Collins’ Existential Question Time
Let Robeson Sing
Faster
Enola/Alone
Marlon JD
From Despair To Where
If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next
This Is Yesterday (acoustic)
Sleepflower teaser into The Everlasting (acoustic)
Send Away The Tigers
You Stole The Sun From My Heart
All Or Nothing into Motown Junk
Me and Stephen Hawking
Little Baby Nothing
You Love Us
Design For Life

Were you there?  Have a review?  Maybe a couple of photos?  Send it to exilefanzine@gmail.com to be featured here!

World Cafe Live – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

19 October, 2009

October 6th, 2009 – http://www.worldcafelive.com/

Motorcycle Emptiness
No Surface All Feeling
Peeled Apples
Your Love Alone Is Not Enough
La Tristesse Durera
Jackie Collins’ Existential Question Time
Let Robeson Sing
Faster
Enola/Alone
Marlon JD
From Despair To Where
If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next
This Is Yesterday (acoustic)
Masses Against The Classes (acoustic)
Send Away The Tigers
You Stole The Sun From My Heart
All Or Nothing into Motown Junk
Me and Stephen Hawking
Little Baby Nothing
You Love Us
Design For Life

Were you there?  Have a review?  Maybe a couple of photos?  Send it to exilefanzine@gmail.com to be featured here!

Phoenix Concert Theater – Toronto, Ontario, Canada

19 October, 2009

October 2nd, 2009 – http://www.libertygroup.com/phoenix/phoenix_events.html

Motorcycle Emptiness
No Surface All Feeling
Peeled Apples
Your Love Alone Is Not Enough
La Tristesse Durera
Jackie Collins Existential Question Time
Let Robeson Sing
Faster
Tsunami
Marlon JD
From Despair To Where
If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next
This Is Yesterday (acoustic)
The Everlasting (acoustic)
Send Away The Tigers
You Stole The Sun From My Heart
All or Nothing into Motown Junk
Me and Stephen Hawking
Little Baby Nothing
You Love Us
A Design For Life

Were you there?  Have a review?  Maybe a couple of photos?  Send it to exilefanzine@gmail.com to be featured here!