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Log 2009

Louise Wener Cartoon

posted Sep 26, 2009, 9:43 PM by Vu Nguyen

From funrama

My newest MICROPHONE portrait is Louise Wener from the band Sleeper. Wait... Who from the What Now? Sleeper. It was a band.

Primarily, I did this to investigate if Manga Studio Debut will be appropriate for the production of The New York Four 2. Hence, all the dots. I think Manga Studio will suffice.

All these musician portraits are for pure experimentation. I still have to do Terry Hall, Snoop Dogg, Tricky, M.I.A, Siouxsie Sioux, Robert Smith and David Byrne and maybe Johnny Cash. Any requests ?!?

Guardian: Women are making inroads in pop. But men still call the tune

posted Aug 1, 2009, 6:44 PM by Vu Nguyen


Krissie Murissan, editor of New Musical Express (NME), 2009
Krissie Murissan, editor of New Musical Express (NME), 2009. Photograph: Eamonn McCabe/Eamonn McCabe
Women are making inroads in pop. But men still call the tune
Anushka Asthana - The Observer, Sunday 2 August 2009

As the New Musical Express appoints its first female editor, the music business is starting to shed its misogynist image. But for many women, from performers to publicists and record label executives, the glass ceiling is still very much in place

Camden, north London, 1993. Hundreds of people were thronging the streets, streaming past rows of brightly painted buildings, buying food from market stalls by the canal and bartering with traders.

Sitting in a noisy pub, Louise Wener, the lead singer of a then little-known band called Sleeper, clutched a pint and waited excitedly for a journalist to arrive. "It was our first interview with NME," she recalls. "This guy walked in with a big jacket - I remember he was bald. He sat down at the table, took one look at me and then turned to speak to the other guys. I was the main singer and writing the songs, but he did not ask me a single question."

Wener, who is now a novelist, says that is what music journalism was like then, a "boys' club" - where it was acceptable for writers to ask her lurid and patronising questions and for photographers to leer as they told her to undo another button of her blouse. "It was creepy."

So it came as something of a surprise to learn last week that the magazine she once found so "hideous" - that staffed its offices and filled its pages mainly with men - had appointed Krissi Murison as its first female editor. "I almost fell off my chair," says Wener, laughing.

[ Read more Women are making inroads in pop. But men still call the tune ]

The gospel according to Luke Haines

posted Jun 21, 2009, 1:39 AM by Vu Nguyen   [ updated Jun 21, 2009, 1:49 AM ]


The gospel according to Luke Haines
Louise Wener
The Observer, Sunday 18 January 2009

Bad Vibes: Britpop and My Part in Its Downfall
by Luke Haines

The self-styled bad boy of Britpop hasn't a good word to say for anyone, least of all Blur, but is there any substance behind the bile? asks Louise Wener

Someone was bound to do it sooner or later. And who better than Luke Haines, rock music's perennial underachiever, its king curmudgeon, to pen Britpop's very own misery memoir? Over 256 agreeably spite-filled pages, he spins a series of tall tales involving personal ignominy, drug psychosis, commercial failure and profound physical self-harm. He is a self-confessed misanthrope, a bad seed who hates everyone and everything and, to begin with, I couldn't help but love him for it.

It shouldn't be so. Haines and I are matter and anti-matter. Dark and light. Had we run into each other in the mid-90s - if we did, I don't recall - it's likely we would have cancelled one another out. Haines was a grim-faced art-rocker who wrote lyrics about French girlfriends and 70s terrorists. I was a doe-eyed siren who sang with my band Sleeper about sex and suburban angst. While Haines feigned contempt for the Britpop circus that cast him to its margins, I clung to the greasy pole of its merry-go-round and rode it for all it was worth.

Haines's pet peeve, the fuel that stokes his "biblical desire for revenge", is that he should have been more successful. As the 1990s got into their stride, his ascent to glory seemed assured. He was "the new girl in town that everyone wants to fuck". His band, the Auteurs, were feted by the press and nominated for the Mercury Music Prize, an event he describes, with winning disdain, as a "feeble-minded sports day for the music biz".

[ Read more The gospel according to Luke Haines ]

Kate Moss to write novel with Louise Wener?

posted Jun 19, 2009, 11:56 AM by Vu Nguyen   [ updated Jun 19, 2009, 12:02 PM ]

Hey guys, I just got back from a vacation to the North Shores for the Memorial weekend holiday. I have been up there several times, mostly for hiking purposes. This time around, we spent a chunk of the day in Duluth, which has this small touristy section (exit 256B), which may turn around that my opinion that Duluth has nothing to offer (other than the band Low and Bob Dylan).

Anyway, although fun and exciting, I'm an old man and will be recovering from my trip - so I actually have no reviews prepared. So, you know what that means? News and gossips!


Sleeper - Inbetweener
Whoa, supermodel Kate Moss is literate? Well, she won't be doing all the writing, she's hiring Louise Wener (ex singer/songwriter of my favorite band Sleeper) as ghost writer. All this was first reported by the "highly reputable" the Sun.

As soon as the story was published in late Monday (May 25, 2009 at 6:17 PM), the story was picked up by a ton of "newspapers", including the NME, which Christopher said was "the musical equivalent of the sun".

Talking to Jon Stewart (Sleeper's guitarist), he basically could not confirm (or deny!) this, so in my opinion this gossip sounds legit.

So where are they now? Last month, Q Magazine, ran a story on Sleeper - lots of new details, including the elusive Diid Osman. I knew a lot of post-Sleeper split stories, but I'm not sure if it was public knowledge.

In addition to Stewart's jokingly regretful cover of Blondie's "Atomic" and working at the Brighton Institute of Music, his latest project is as the musical supervisor for the movie Telstar the Movie.


Swedish "pirates" from the Pirate Bay was recently found guilty for, er, piracy and plunder. Although they have appealed the case, I don't think it will end in their favor.

Anyway, I got news from respected Swedish record label, Hybrism that Montt Mardié ( have written an anthem for the Pirate Bay. You can torrent the song from (if you don't have bittorrent, you can find it online!)

An artist has got to make a living just like everybody else, there's no doubt about it. And these are tough times, believe me I know. The thing is though, if I were to go back in time, 10 years or so, and tell the 15-year-old version of myself that over a night, 60 000 people had heard one of my songs, the first question I'd throw back at myself wouldn't be "how much money did I make?".

Don't get me wrong, I love money and I want to make a lot of it. Bathe in it just like Uncle Scrooge. But money isn't the main reason why I write songs. First and foremost I want people to hear them.

Times are so strange at the moment and a lot of people are angry and upset. Still, for each day that goes by I get more and more convinced that we shouldn't try to fight the future, we should embrace it. Try to see opportunities instead of catastrophys.

I've written a song. I call it "We're All The Pirate Bay". It's free and nobody will ever have to pay for it, though if you incist you are welcome to make a donation!

Take care, Monty

Ironically, the theme song doesn't sound like it was stolen from anywhere else.

 05/26/2009 11:36:14  vu () 

Worldwide Adventures In Love by Louise Wener

posted Jun 19, 2009, 10:54 AM by Vu Nguyen   [ updated Jun 19, 2009, 11:19 AM ]


Worldwide Adventures In Love

Louise Wener

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May 2009 Book of the Month.

A lovely book full of nostalgia and warmth. Jessie’s story is set in the 1970’s and  finds her coping with a family life that is breaking down around her. In the letters she finds from Edith, a female explorer in the 1930’s we find another life, very different from Jessie’s, but still coping with the same worries and relationship problems. This will make you laugh and cry and laugh a bit more. Thoroughly enjoyable.


'Edith's house interested us from the beginning'

Mysterious and inviting, Jessie and Margaret are drawn to their reclusive neighbour's house. It offers an escape from the dreary summer of 1977 and their fragile family life, into a world they can only dream about. When the house suddenly burns down at the same time as their mother moves out to live with her new boyfriend, and their father develops an unhealthy crush on a woman in their street, life seems bleak for the girls.

Escaping the claustrophobia of family life isn't easy, until the story of an eccentric and beautiful female explorer from the 1930s unfolds in a series of letters. In these letters she tells stories of far-flung places, secrets, doomed love and adventure. Her determination to live life to the full, risking everything cares about, holds untold consequences for all of them.

About the Author

Louise Wener was born and raised in Ilford, East London. In the mid nineties, after years of singing into hair brushes and working in dead end jobs, she found fame as lead singer with the pop band Sleeper and went on to record three top ten albums and eight top forty singles. She is now a full time author and mother of two.

Photograph © Debra Hurford Brown

Below is a Q & A with this author.

What's the first book you remember reading : The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Anderson. I rented it from the library every week for months when I was about six. I remember finding it scary each time I read it but loving it just the same. The imagery is quite creepy and claustrophobic and for as long as I can remember, I've always hated the snow. I think it must be partly down to this fairy tale.
Where do you write? At home at the kitchen table, or on the sofa with laptop balanced on my knee. We have an attic room in our house that was meant to be a work room for me, but I'm married to a drummer who owns three drum kits. They take up all available work space.
What's your "writing day" like?
It really varies. Before I had kids I used to be very relaxed about it. I'd wander down to the local coffee shop around ten, buy a latte and a paper, come back, open the computer, answer email, Google for a bit, then write for the afternoon as soon as I was into the flow. These days I start writing the minute I'm kid free and barely look up from the computer until they're back. Time is much more precious now and I have to be able to switch into work mode right away. I wrote a lot of Worldwide Adventures while my youngest was napping. The one rule I've always stuck to is to try and write 1000 words a day.
Writing songs and writing novels are very different, do you prefer one to the other? Songwriting comes in sharp bursts and can be incredibly quick from start to finish. We had hit songs that took less than an hour to write and I always felt that the best songs came when I didn't over think them. Writing a novel it's a much slower burn and the refinement process is very much longer. I can't pick between them. It's thrilling to write a good tune but coming to the end of a novel feels like you've climbed a small mountain.  
Who do you most admire and why? Tyra Banks for giving America's Next Top Model to the world.
If your house was burning down what would you save? Apart from husband kids and cat, not much. Photos, perhaps, or the guitar I always played in Sleeper. I'm insanely sentimental, but more about places than mementos and material things. On reflection it would probably have to be my daughter's Peppa Pig tea set. It's her favourite toy.