# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Miscellaneous - Goodnight London

  by Fiona Hutchings

published: 16 / 2 / 2012

Miscellaneous - Goodnight London


Our Website of the Month is 'Goodnight London', the blog of Pennyblackmusic writer Dominic Simpson in which he writes about what is going on musically, culturally and socially in his native city

Our Website of the Month for February is fellow Pennyblack writer Dominic B. Simpson's 'Goodnight London' http://goodnightlondon.blogspot.com/. Here he shares some thoughts on what inspires him to write and what annoys him too... FIONA: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? DOMINIC: I’m a native north-east Londoner whose writes for and promotes gigs with Pennyblackmusic. I run my own blog on the side, about my home city, and have done so since about 2006 or so. I've moved house a few times since then, which has meant that I haven't always been able to publish regular updates. But at the moment, I'm trying to add a new post as frequently as possible. FIONA: What inspired you to set up Goodnight London? DOMINIC: I was reading other blogs regularly such as 'Blissblog' (Simon Reynolds, author of 'Retromania' and 'Rip It Up and Start Again: Postpunk 1978-84'); 'K-Punk' (Mark Fisher of 'The Wire' magazine, and author of various books); 'Twenty Jazz Funk Greats'; and 'Sit Down Man You’re a Bloody Tragedy' (Owen Hatherley, author of 'Militant Modernism' and commentator on architecture and housing for 'The Guardian'). On top of that, there were (and still are) online sites such as '3am Magazine' and 'Mute', and periodicals such as 'Smoke', which I really enjoyed reading. And then there’s 'Diamond Geezer', of course – it’s a blog on London written by an anonymous person (no-one knows who he is, even though he's become a sort of minor celebrity) which has become incredibly successful, mainly due to the fact that he updates it every single day. He really makes an effort to go to all the obscure nooks and crannies in London. I’d like to have that discipline but I fear that if I updated the blog every day like he does, I’d end up writing too much filler, or it would become a serious chore. I like his writings on the London Underground especially – pointing out its inefficiencies and how frustrating it can be, yet with a tone that suggests he still has a nostalgic affection for it. I share that love/hate relationship with the Tube, I guess. Whereas some other people just love or hate it! Setting up the blog and writing about stuff that interested me – and still does interest me - was a way of intellectually stimulating myself. I already had some HTML skills after having completed a web design course in early 2004, where I did an early version of the blog. My early attempts at the blog as it currently looks were pretty crude, but I’ve grown up a bit since then. I also liked the idea of a blog where there’s not just writing but links to tons of interesting places to go in London: weird club nights, leftfield venues, independent book shops, coffee shops with film screening nights and other events…so that way someone who isn’t familiar with London is exposed to a portal of a whole new world in the capital that doesn’t get publicised so much elsewhere. In general the links have to have an independent and interesting aesthetic about them, with one or two exceptions, otherwise there’s no point for me. I’m not going to link to Tesco’s! I also like putting up notices about events that I’m involved with, such as the Pennyblackmusic nights. FIONA: Do you only feature music you like? DOMINIC: Although I’ve occasionally blogged on music I don’t like, in general I try and focus on music that really excites me, whether it’s about an act that I’ve seen at All Tomorrow’s Parties festival or at an Upset The Rhythm all-dayer or somewhere else live, or something from the early 90's that I’ve got back into, or even on the slowly disappearing format of the cassette tape, which I’m old enough to remember. Or I’ll watch a music film such as Sun Ra’s 'Space Is The Place' and really enjoy it. I like writing about discovering new music and genres. Otherwise you just end up sounding misanthropic about music in general. There’s too much bad music out there to get worked up. I think not having a TV/cable helps, as I’m switched off from that stuff. I should point out also that I don’t just write about music: my interests go much further than that. I’ve written about many different things, from architecture to current affairs. Some of the posts don’t even concern London at all. FIONA: How do you interact with your readers? DOMINIC: I get the occasional email and messages in the comments section. People I know personally will have conversations about blog posts in pubs and bars sometimes. Apart from that, though, I don’t interact any other way. FIONA: What is the best thing about blogging? DOMINIC: Having my blog linked on some of the other blogs mentioned above is pretty nice, as they are what inspired me to do it in the first place. I don’t think I’m quite as good a writer as some of those people, so it’s nice to have that recognition. Having people tell me in person that they like the blog is another one. In general it’s nice to be able to exercise your creative imagination, and blogging allows you to do that. But there’s also some blogs out there which are absolute crap too: amateurishly done, with terrible grammar and childish, vindictive writing that’s like bad sixth-form journalism. I’m not one of those fashion blogger types, either. FIONA: And the worst? DOMINIC: The worst is the spam I get in the comments fields. I’ve tried to auto-delete it, but it doesn’t seem to work. Also occasional emails where PR people seem to want me to advertise their product – essentially product placement – and for free too! There’s one advert on there in the corner – a discreet one for Endsleigh Insurance, for which they paid me – but that’s it. Diamond Geezer’s got the same problem, as he’s mentioned it in his posts. FIONA: Why should Pennyblack readers come and check out 'Goodnight London'? DOMINIC: It’s written by a Pennyblackmusic veteran and has plenty of similar humour, maybe?! I dunno, not sure how to answer this question! FIONA: Thank you.

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