Reminding myself of the power in DIY and not waiting for permission but taking a JFDI approach to making somethings from nothings and making possibilities a reality…

#weeknotes S03 EP07 – week ending 31 March 2019

Working on

The absolute joy this week of getting to deliver a guest lecture to the Pop Music in Society cohort at the University of Derby on DIY music and culture. I really loved putting this together and following the thread of DIY through music scenes across the last 60 years of popular music to highlight the ethos and approach, discuss politics and identity in DIY, and talk more about how individuality as well as community are big parts of it.

A great bunch of students with some really interesting questions and comments which made me think differently – and that for me is the best bit of doing these things – as well as a chance to talk punk, rave, Riot Grrrl, grime and Reckless Yes. Thanks to Simon Philo for inviting me along – check out the course and his radio show on Radio Free Matlock when you get the chance!

There was lots of music activity generally last week – LIINES announced supports for their headline dates and I’m so excited for each of the line-ups (tickets selling fast – more details here), Ghost//Signals released single A Bag For Death with a video premiered on God Is In The TV and For The Rabbits premiered the video for Panic Pocket (I’ve been doing PR for both through Noble and Wild), and I finally got to say I’m helping out the Indietracks team this year by curating the workshops and applications are now open.

MusterPoint work also continues apace – the launch is coming up and so building engagement across the social channels and joining conversations is key, while we also create a wealth of content ready to serve our community. I’m really enjoying working with public sector clients again and getting to mix skills from experience design and search optimisation through to copywriting and community management. And I’m excited for the next phase, when the platform launches, and folk can see how it can help them manage their social and media in one place.

If you’d like to talk to me about how I can support your work I’m now looking ahead to my autumn diary – you can find out more about what I can do for you and how to get in touch here.


Most of my ‘professional’ reading this week has been blog posts / online. I’m particularly enjoying refreshing my search skills with the current series of The One Hour Guide To SEO on Moz’s Whiteboard Fridays (find the first part here). However long you’ve worked in search or alongside it this is a great way to take a fresh look and they’ve hit the tone just right with being accessible and understandable without being patronising.

Following on from Brené Brown’s Daring Greatly – which was a brilliant read on vulnerability both on a professional and personal level, and which fitted with my current focus on living better (or wholeheartedly as it’s called in the book) – I’ve started reading Matt Price’s Introvert: Creative Geniuses!. Not only is this because for the first time in my life I’m more at home with being an introvert and started to see it as a feature rather than a bug but I’m also working away on a new music journalism project of which personality type and creative process is a big part.


Mostly content creation for MusterPoint and blog posts for Reckless Yes this week. Editing work has halted on my second novel temporarily – because of time and headspace – so all focus is on professional writing at the moment.


Sleeper’s new album has been getting lots of play this week – not just because I’m writing about it but because after 25 years I’m still very much in love with this band.

I’ve also been playing through Scott Walker’s back catalogue after news of his death. An absolute inspiration creatively I adore his run of albums from the late ’60s the most but his experimental work, his continuing curiosity and growth as an artist through albums like Tilt and collaborations is quite astonishing.

And it was show week last week – The Rumble went out on Radio Free Matlock last week and while I always love what we put together this edition was a particular joy taking in the percussion of Hal Blaine, math rock, indiepop, instrumental hip hop, and experimental noise. If you’d like to discover something new you can listen again here.

What’s next?

This week is another deep focus week where I get to be at home more than I get to be away. April looks to be a busy month so I’m enjoying the days where I get to work from home while they’re here. I’m trying to get better at ‘wellness’ and looking after myself as well as looking after the jobs which need doing (you can’t pour from an empty cup and all that), and putting value on results rather than activity, so being at home is perfect for this.

I’ll be working toward the MusterPoint launch so plenty of content and SEO work happening as well as continuing to build engagement across the social channels, and I’ll also be getting ready for Classic Album Sundays so anticipate spending a lot of time with Black To Black this week too. Finally it’s deadline week again (so soon!) for Louder Than War magazine so I’ll be finalising a feature and writing a couple of reviews too.

And PR work continues – post-release activity for Ghost//Signals and Japan Review and a continuing ramp up toward release for Panic Pocket.

Original source – Sarah Lay

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