John Peel’s Record Collection goes online

Music geeks the world over will be rubbing their hands together with glee at this news – I certainly am! From now until October, The Space website will be releasing parts of the legendary John Peel‘s equally legendary record collection onto its site, at a rate of 100 records a week. This is, and can only be, just a fraction of the great man’s enormous and eclectic collection, as his wife Sheila told Alexis Petridis in The Guardian yesterday:

Peel’s is probably the most celebrated record collection in Britain: 26,000 albums, 40,000 singles and countless CDs, which spread out of Peel’s office and took over a variety of rooms and outbuildings in the home near Stowmarket he invariably referred to as Peel Acres. The singles and CDs, [Sheila] Ravenscroft says, were filed alphabetically, but the albums were a different matter. “They are all filed numerically and cross-referenced with a very old filing cabinet, full of small filing cards that John hand typed himself on his old Olivetti typewriter. The way you access them is that you look in the filing cabinet, find the file card alphabetically, and on the top corner there’s a number.”

These filing cards have now formed the basis of The John Peel Project on The Space, an Arts Council-funded pop-up website, which launches this month and runs until the end of October. Every week, for the next 26 weeks, users will be able to browse the first 100 cards from each letter of the alphabet, with one album pulled out for special attention. “We will try to get a film of the artist, show old clips of them, look into what they are doing now,” says Ravenscroft.

I love the idea of being able to rummage through Peel’s record collection, and I love the sheer geekiness of his filing system! It is such a treat to get this unprecedented access to the arch-uber-music geek’s very own tunes, and I can’t wait to see more. The ‘A’s’ are already available to browse on The Space (there’s even an ABBA record!), with the ‘B’s’ coming next week…

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‘The Crisis of Civilization’: More FREE London Screenings and New Website!

You may have noticed that I’ve been a little quiet on the blogging front recently. The reason for that is a very exciting one – my friends at The Crisis of Civilization asked me to help them set up their brand new website, which went live (after a lot of hard work from the web team!) last week.

There’s already lots to read, watch and listen to on the new site. You can find out more about the crises featured in the film, discover how The Crisis of Civilization came to be made, watch some of the archive footage used in the film, read how artist Lucca Benney created the film’s distinctive animated sections, listen to radio interviews with the director Dean Puckett and the writer and narrator Nafeez Ahmed, or even learn how you can help by subtitling the film or by putting on a screening yourself!

And on the subject of screenings, I have some equally exciting news…

After last week’s successful London premiere at the Whirled Cinema, we have three more FREE London screenings of The Crisis of Civilization coming up in the next few weeks! Forget the consumerist excess of Christmas and come join the team for one, two or all of these:

15th December 2011 – Transition Brixton, 6-8 Robsart Street, SW9 0DJ – 7pm

16th December 2011 – UBS Bank of Ideas, 29 Sun Street, EC2M 2PT – 7.30pm

19th December 2011 – Tent City University at Occupy LSX, EC4M 8AD – 8pm

For more information on how to get to these venues, visit The Crisis of Civilization website here.